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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy to be Home!

Sorry for the lack of posting. My internet service in country was not very good. Then my computer wouldn't connect to the internet at all. So, I just let things slide. I have been home since Tuesday, 09/25/12. So, what has happened since the last post...Oh I know! Brigita is home with me!!
Our last night in Country Brigita's country allows guardianship of the child after the first visit. This had not seemed like a good option for me and Brigita initially for various reasons. However, after having her with me and seeing her grow and change so much, I could not send her back to her institution and have her regress. In addition, I would have been a heartbroken mama coming home by myself. The delay in the court case ended up being the biggest blessing! A reminder that if we trust in God, his timing will reveal his might and wisdom. I was able to use the extra time to get the necessary documents and arrangements in place to bring Brigita home. Brigita's institution is 4 hours away from where we were staying. The attorney showed up at my door at lunch time for us to go...unannounced. We had to go there to get her passport b/c the institution had her birth certificate. We also needed her medical records for her to have a medical as part of the Visa. So I quickly packed Brigita's diaper bag and a lunch for her. Three hours later we arrived at an adult social care center. The entire ride was in the middle of NOWHERE! The attorney got out at the care center and went inside. An hour later he was ready to leave. I have no idea why we were there or anything. So, when we got in the car, that's when I found out that we no longer had time to do Brigita's passport and would have to spend the night at the institution. I was not prepared for this at all. I was worried about how Brigita would act mostly. I didn't know if she would get to stay with me or if they would want her with her group. Plus, I had nothing for her or myself for spending the night anywhere. And had limited diapers since I hadn't even known we were going anywhere. Brigita did not fare well initially. She started hitting herself, throwing food, and refusing to eat. When we would walk by her group door, she would start pulling and trying to run off to keep from going inside there. She did eventually calm down and we were even able to visit with some of the caretakers in her group as well as 2 kids (the others were in school at the institution). While we were there, if I even looked like I was getting ready to leave a room, Brigita was right there holding on to my hand. I knew Brigita was cared for and cared about at her institution. But it was still glad to see people coming to see her and telling her how sweet she was. They were also impressed with how calm and well she was doing. The institution ended up sending a letter to the orphan court saying they had seen her with me and that I was a good mama for her and it would be detrimental for her to be returned to the institution and instead should be allowed to come home with me. We had another visit with the two workers for orphan court on 09/19/12. These ladies had not seen Brigita since 09/05/12 (2 workers from another court made 2 visits). These ladies were very impressed with Brigita's progress as well. However, we have all been very concerned about her tummy issues. Her poor little tummy gets so big! We took her to the Children's Hospital one day and she had an enema to give her some relief. When we had court on 09/21/12, I was really nervous that I would not get approved to be bring Brigita home with the documents I had b/c they were not originals or apostilled. However, that didn't seem to matter. My application to adopt was approved and my application to bring her home was approved! So, we set off to get her medical and visa. We had to wait to get her Visa back on Monday, which is why we couldn't leave until 09/25. Brigita did great on the planes until the very last one. She had been up for 18 hours and I had rushed her down some ramps and then up the ramp to one of the small airplanes. She doesn't really rush (at all) and has issues with perception and balance so the ramp was especially difficult. But we had to hurry! By the time we were seated, she was stressed and rocked and banged her head the whole time. But once we got off the plane, she was fine again. She has done really well with her transition home. She is an amazing little girl! I feel so overjoyed and blessed to have her in my life. I also feel like she has been with me for so long. I love her so much!! Brigita has not been adopted yet. This is only temporary guardianship while the adoption is pending. It will be about 2-4 months before I get to go back for the 2nd trip, which is the actual adoption court hearing. After that trip, Brigita and I both go back for the last trip (there is a 20 day appeal wait so its 30 days after trip 2) to get the adoption decree, new birth certificate, new passport with her new name, and new visa! Please, if you are able to continue donating, fundraising, and/or sharing our story, we would greatly appreciate any help. We still need about $10,000 and bringing her home early did add some extra expenses. Of course, she is worth every dime! So, here are a few pictures of my beautiful girl!
Settling into the car seat at the airport
Hanging out with Dollie after a morning bath
This swing will do for now. I found her a nice swing for a really good price that we'll get next Saturday
Snack time!
Froggie friend from Aunt Paige


  1. I am so thankful that they let her come home with you this trip! I did not realize that meant you had to go back and so did she. But, I am just thankful everyone realized just how much she needed you! She is gorgeous! Love her!

  2. Awesome Dee. :) Why is it important to get her medical information tied to the Visa?

    When y'all get the new birth certificate, that's when her name legally changes to Darya Etheridge, right? :)

    And as a side note, princesses are just not used to being rushed. :) :P

  3. Dee, i forgot to ask.. are y'all going to get an ultrasound of her tummy? That whole tummy getting bigger thing sounds serious. The reason why is because a coworker's grandbaby had the same issue and it was due to the muscle fibers not being able to produce dystrophine (spelling) which are the spindles that bind the muscle fibers to each other and the bone. A blood test ended up being conducted and her grandbaby was determined to have muscular dystrophy.

  4. When anyone migrates to another country, they have to have a physical to make sure they do not have any communicable diseases. Also, if there had been any issues present, it may have expediated things. But baby girl has been pretty healthy. We are getting her tummy checked out. She has her first doctor's appointment today to start getting done what needs to be done. I'm worried about her tummy but think its mainly going to consist of certain foods she can and can't eat as well as some supplements and/or other medications that will help her tummy digest food and have bowel movements. Its fairly common with down syndrome. But, of course, we want to make sure and not just assume.

  5. Cool. I didn't know that about Down's Syndrome. I learn something new everyday.

    It sounds like you're really on the ball. The court definitely made the right decision. :)

  6. She's so beautiful!! I'm so glad she's with you! <3