Friday, July 9, 2010

Ugly american

Yup, that's how I felt for part of the day yesterday. This will not be the prettiest post, but it will be guardedly honest, and God will shine through it in the end.
Yesterday was the day we were going to go to the passport agency and get the birth and adoption certificates, as well as start our passport process, which could be done in 1 hour, allowing us to get things translated over the weekend so we could go to the embassy on Monday and be ready to leave Thursday.
First we went to see Hannah. They have the 3 Musketeers going on there- Nika, Ilio, and Hannah. They do everything together- eat, sleep, play. Understandably, there's some jealousy going on when I go to visit, so I try to make time for each child, which Hannah doesn't really always appreciate. She really likes my orange backpack and tries each visit to see what treasures I have in there for her. I pulled out my lip gloss, put some on, and that was it! She had to have some, and have some she did. We drew pictures together with crayons. Side note, she likes things put back in place, so not putting crayons into the cup was not acceptable! Catherine will be pleased about this- you can rest assured that your room will not get messy because of Hannah! She had the most beautiful hair clip in, which was inconveniently located on level with my face. (see the UA attitude starting to pop up?) I got to feed her her lunch, and saw 1st hand what good manners she has, wiping her mouth with a napkin after almost every bite.
We had the same driver 2 days in a row, who again came in to visit the kids, only this time, he brought a pe pe-a for each boy (car) and a Barbie for Hannah. He won big points!
There are no car seats, so I hold Hannah as we drive through the obstacle course of potholes. Remember the hair clip? Sitting still when there is so much to see is difficult, especially when you're missing nap time. So, down to the middle seat she went, which made it more difficult to hold her still. She wanted to do everything BUT face forward and sit still. (Look out car seat!) Once we got to the agency, I realized I'd left my passport at the apartment in the "safe place" Buddy had put it before he left. We quickly went back to get it, back to the agency to meet Giorgi, to sit while discussions in Georgian flowed around me of what went wrong. Evidently, there are 2 locations for record keeping. The right hand didn't know what the left had done, and one had written "Miriam" as her name, scratched it out, wrote in "Natia" and notarized it. Only it never got changed in the 1st location. So, it could be a 45 (fourty five) day process to get it changed. did I mention our driver is also an attorney? He and Giorgi were vigorously talking to the clerk, trying to find a way out of it. Have I mentioned what sweet people these Georgians are? Although the driver had business to take care of, he stayed with us to go off to a lawyer friend's office, who is apparently the head of something, to ask him if he could do anything. Nothing could be done that day. We were in the car almost one hour. Have I mentioned this is during nap time and she has a lot of energy? I think she's more used to me than the 2nd day when she rested so quietly with Buddy and I. She wanted Lika's phone and was caling Costa and Mah Mah (Buddy) over and over. Very sweet.
Back to her house, because nothing could be done, then off to eat. By this time, it's about 3:30 and I've only eaten a bowl of cereal and a snack bar the whole day in 90 something degree heat. I felt like I was starving and we went to a mahchakhala for some Georgian food. We had khatchapuri with an egg, a big slab of butter, and of course cheese. It was shaped like a boat, which made it difficult to cut and share, but cut and share we did. MMMM MMm good stuff. The other khatchapuri we tried was with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and greens, with cheese on top. Really like that one. I think lobiani and this vegetable khatchapuri are my favorite. The green salad at #12 hits the spot, too. (although they don't understand the "to go" idea and the vegetable pie I couldn't eat after the wonderful green salad went in the trash, not a container after I asked to take it with me. What a bummer! It's sooo good!) We got to experience a power outage (no a/c inside a smoking restaurant) for a bit, but then it came back on. whew!
The driver went to take care of business, so his wife was going to drive us. When we got to the car, there was a woman who had jet black hair, the kind we usually find in a bottle in America, chunky jewelry, tank top, great shades, tiny. She told me she'd drive slowly so I wouldn't be afraid. I've not been truly afraid yet. Our drivers have been great, I just haven't figured out the rules. Her husband said he's been driving since he was 14, and he still doesn't know what that dashed white line is for. Honestly, people don't pay attn. to them.
Our destination was a hospital. I'm trying to decide how to describe it to you. What movie could I mention that you'd say, "Oh yeah, I can see it"? No a/c, peeling paint on walls and ceilings, very few chairs, padlocked doors to the floor you wish to visit. One elevator that you have 3 steps to using. #1- push the button. #2 pound on the door #3 yell what floor you want it to come to. If you don't do all 3, it will not work. There is a lady who works the elevator and charges 20 tetries for each person to use it. We had to go to the 6th floor and didn't know that it worked, at first. Remember no a/c? The reason for our visit is that the other boy who is now adopted by the Hauflers had gotten sick and was admitted to the ICU. Now, how he got to the ICU is a story I won't repeat. But, there he was. We waited almost an hour on a landing in the stair case, waiting for the door to be unlocked so we could go into a hall way, outside another locked door, to wait for someone to allow us to see the child. Wait we did, but finally we got inside. After the Dr. kindly took time from caring for his patients, he explained what they were doing, planned to do and why. I'm hopeful I wasn't offensive as i took the patient advocate stance and my many years as an ICU nurse to share with him what I thought should be done. We did get to see him and further evaluated what I could. They did the test I suggested, which showed what we needed it to. After waiting another hour, we got to talk to the Dr about the results and to hear that the child was stable! Praise the Lord!
When we met Giorgi downstairs, he ran through what was happening with our paperwork, what he hoped could happen, and that if it did take as long as they say it could, I should apply for Georgian citizenship. He would't let me be a driver in Tbilisi, so I figured I could just skip that idea, and something had to change.
The driver was patiently waiting for us when we got out. She happens to have worked as a surgeon, who shared her ideas about what was happening, which cooresponded with ours.
After I got home to the apt, the Hauflers came over to use the Magic Jack (I'm soooo thankful the Baileys had this!) to talk with Robin and call their children. When they left, I skyped home and got to talk to Buddy, Catherine, and briefly to Caleb. Buddy had a movie on for him, so he was definitely more interested in that.
When I finished, I knit for a bit (only about 9 rows into the sweater) and listened to some soul soothing music, and fell asleep easily.
This morning, I awoke to another beautiful day, birds chirping, sun shining, and God still on the throne. I called my dad, the only one I know who would be awak at that time, and talked to him on his way home from work. Then I had 2 sweet voice mails to listen to. Buddy and my brother. For the first time since we've been here, I really cried. Here I go again! It's just so comforting to hear voices and love! Then I saw a friend on FB, whom I've know for 30 years, almost, was up at 4:30 am praying for our family.
It's time to dry the tears, get some breakfast and take a shower. We're off to visit another part of Tbilisi, outside the city. But, I will be praising God the whole day for His great love for me and His faithfulness that lasts forever.


Alice said...

I never found the unpleasant part of the post. How were you an ugly American? Hang in there. You are so brave to be there by yourself!!Prayers.

And patiently waiting... said...

You are not alone...I am moved to tears. I have been following your story and praying for you! I still have your son's picture that I printed means the world to me! I will pray for things to get done according to God's will and give you peace! :)

Kelsie said...

Didn't sound ugly to me. You sound like you handled everything lovingly <3 Hannah is lucky to have a family like yours waiting for her!