Yesterday we got a bit of a surprise. Just as Susan and I were walking out the door to go to a Vietnamese cooking class for the day the phone rang. It was our agency cordinator here in VietNam and she said that our giving and receiving ceremony (the part where Tuan is made ours on the VietNam side of things) had been changed from Tuesday to Monday (Which happens to be Gem’s Birthday back home).
Here’s some information about the trip you might want to know. We are here with 3 other adoptive Families who are adopting through our adoption agency (Pearl S. Buck International). From Tuan’s orphanage there are 2 kids. Tuan and Chau (to be named Morgan) being adopted. The other little girl being adopted is from another orphanage around Hanoi.
We pulled up to the POJ (I have no idea what that stands for but it’s the government entity that we have our giving and receiving ceremony (G&R) at). The kids were already there waiting outside on the grounds with their care givers.
Tuan’s orphanage is pretty unique. It’s part of a larger women’s correctional facility (I don’t think it houses major offenders mostly drug and prostitution related crimes), but we do know that because of this the ratio to care givers is much higher than your typical orphanage (2 to 1 it seemed compared to Gems 10+ to 1). Women who want to be involved with the the orphanage go through training and then become part of the staff and care givers at the orphanage.
The photo above is Tuan and his nanny. She told us that she’s been Tuan’s nanny ever since she became part of the program, which was about 2 months after Tuan had been left at the orphanage gate. All the photos that we’ve received before travel usually had Tuan being held by this women. As you can imagine the two of them are extremely close. He held on to her the whole time we had to wait around. I don’t think I can express enough my gratitude for this women, and how lucky we are to have had her to care and mother our son while we’ve had to wait to make him ours.
Above is POJ building. The G&R is pretty uneventful and having to sign papers and such I needed to put the camera down.
After the G&R we went outside and of course had to wait a few minutes for more paper work to be finalized. This photo is extremely awkward as the families wait with much anticipation and the Nannies dread the turn over. It’s was really difficult. You wanted nothing more than to go up and hug the nannies and express your gratitude, but cultural and language barriers held us back.
The transition of course hasn’t been the smoothest. Tuan has cried a bit but not near the amount Gem. I have yet to hold him as Susan won’t give him up for the life of her. Which is fine by me right now. Having had Gem attach to me and then be physically attached to me for 3 weeks I will be happy to be the supportive parent (though it has it’s headaches too). Anyway I just wanted to share some of the details. The next few days we’ll be mostly in the hotel room working on getting Tuan attached to us (there’s nothing worse then taking a kid around and having him reach out for every brown woman he sees).
And finally “Happy Birthday Gem”. I really wish we were at home with you to celebrate. I feel like a terrible parent having missed half of your 4 birthdays. I’ll make it up to you with a car on your sweet sixteen.