Fairly early start today – up at around 7:30am to get showered and ready for breakfast. Magnolia was coming at 9am to pick us up, so we had a bit of time to get ready.
Magnolia was wonderful during the drive – keeping us occupied by talking to us about the city of Cali and the area, we felt surprisingly relaxed on the way to the orphanage. I was worried that we would both be so nervous and excited that we would make ourselves feel ill – but we were fine.
We arrived at Chiquitines just before 10am and waited only a short period before being ushered into a meeting room to meet with the director of the orphanage and the doctor. The doctor explained about his medical history and updated us with what has happened since the last report we received. They also went through his sleeping and feeding routine and detailed what type of formula he takes and what other food he likes, plus his immunisation history. Finally, we signed the documents accepting responsibility and temporary custody of Andres while the adoption process is completed.
During this time, one of the staff members took my camera and went to take photos of Andres getting ready – taking a bath and getting dressed. When they finally brought Andres in, the staff were there taking photos of us and our happy moment.
The staff left us alone for a while so we could get to know Andres a little bit in private, and then came in for some final photos together before we headed home.
One the way home, Magnolia took us to the shopping mall near where she lives so we could buy some more formula and nappies. The girls working at the supermarket were all coming up to say how cute he is and how he is chubby like his papa – I’m not sure whether to be offended by that or not!
When we arrived back at the hotel, some of the older adopted girls were waiting near the top of the stairs and ran in to announce that we had arrived with the new baby – it was very sweet. There were lots of congratulations from everyone and the staff at the hotel all told us how cute he was. They seem to really enjoy having the adopting families staying with them.
We went back to our room and sat with Andres for a while – enjoying the happiness and wonder of being given care of such an amazing little boy.
From the time we were first introduced to him at the orphanage all the way home and then when we first got him to our room – he was quite placid. He was very attentive – watching everything and looking at us with his big brown eyes, but he didn’t make much noise or wriggle around much. It wasn’t until a little later, after he’d had a couple of short naps and then a decent bottle feed that he really started to relax – he started gurgling and gargling and became much more active, swinging his legs, and letting us play a little game where he would grab our hands and pull himself up to a seated position and then laugh. We were delighted that he seemed to be more relaxed and happy in our company.
We managed to catch Leanne’s parents before they went to work and had a lengthy Skype video call with them so that they could see Andres – and he was clearly able to see them on the computer screen too and would look at them talking. We later managed to talk to Leanne’s sister and my sister before they went to work – the internet connection here is good enough (when it works) to make very clear VoIP calls – I’m using Internode’s NodePhone VoIP service and CounterPath eyeBeam soft phone to make the calls using the computer – we have a cheap little USB phone handset which allows us to talk to people back home just like we would on a phone. The audio quality is surpisingly good.
We took him down to the dining room when it was time for our lunch and Enrique found us a baby carrier (the type that can be used as a car seat) so that we could put him down while we were eating. We had earlier asked about bottle sterilisation – the hotel staff do this for us, we have a coloured plastic basket that we place our bottles and other gear to be sterilised and put it in the kitchen. Once it is done, they put the basket up on the top shelf for us to collect. There’s an urn with hot water in it in the dining room, and there are water coolers with chilled and warmed water in them in a couple of spots around the hotel – including one just outside our room which is convenient.
The afternoon was spent in our room – we managed some brief naps while Andres had a snooze, but his naps were short, and soon he was up and demanding attention again.
Our first bottle feed went well – he wolfed most of it down. He has had reflux for quite a while now, but he is no longer on any specific medication for it, and is just on a regular formula. We just have to feed him sitting up, and keep him sitting up for at least half an hour after feeding. Sometimes he gets a bit whingy lying down, but sitting him up seems to settle him down quickly.
Andres fell asleep again before it was time for our dinner, so we ended up needing to tag-team with one of us going down to the dining room while the other stayed and watched Andres. We did borrow a baby monitor from another family back in Australia, but it doesn’t have enough range to reach the dining room.
We finally managed to get a Skype video call going with my parents for a while before Andres went back to sleep – and once he did, Leanne went to sleep as well while I tried to catch up with the blogging.
It has been an exhausting day, but very satisfying and very happy. Andres has been very easy to manage so far, we just hope that continues while we are still learning how to look after a baby!
Tweets from today
- http://twitpic.com/5gxtt – Squeezing sugar cane to extract juice to sell on the side of the road – near Cali, Colombia
- 18th May, 2009 10:37 PM from TweetDeck
- http://twitpic.com/5gxjk – Coca plants in the gardens of the Sugar Cane Museum, near Cali, Colombia
- 18th May, 2009 10:33 PM from TweetDeck
- we are now tag-teaming dinner in the dining room – no room service here. Nice to talk to other families over dinner who have also adopted.
- 18th May, 2009 8:25 PM from TweetDeck
- We just collected our son from the orphanage Andres Camilo Hampel. Heading to shops now to buy formula and nappies.
- 18th May, 2009 10:53 AM from TweetDeck