Tuesday, December 14, 2010
It is my last night in Nepal. We depart tomorrow at 1 p.m. I thought I would have written so much more by now, but truth is, I've been so busy and the time to write just hasn't opened up, until now. I am hopeful to express more of this incredible journey down the road, because it has been just that, incredible.
So for this trip, I will return home without my daughter Junu. The U.S. has decided to give my case an RFE which basically means I have to further prove my daughter is an orphan. Until this is accomplished, they will not issue a visa. So I am, of course, very sad I cannot relish in her love and the love we have for one another. Today, however, was perfect and I am so grateful. We had a beautiful day. I picked her up at the orphanage early. I left quickly because I just wanted to get her back to the hotel with me. She has been refusing to eat at the orphanage, because she knows she is coming with me that day and she will have the good food. So when we arrived back home, which is now the Everest Hotel, we went directly into the cafe to get some food to take to our room. She really looked like an orphan with all her orphan clothes, but she is still beautiful. Junu is very particular about who she will go to, but Gitta, our sweet server for breakfast, was granted the special Junu acceptance. You have no idea, her acceptance is like a great boon. Gitta knew her weak point....Chocolate. Yes indeed she is my daughter. So with Junu on Gitta's hip, I meandered through the buffet and choose a plenitude of food. We brought the food upstairs and by now she has gotten the routine. I sat her upon my lap and fed her. Now she is 2 1/2 and I know she can feed herself, but something special is happening here. It's like all that she needed and secretly wanted since she was an infant is now here for her. She is accepting. She has two personalities, the survivor strong girl who is tougher than those even older than she and the most innocent precious open little being who wants her mama. I love both parts of her and I'll tell you, the strong girl is oddly comforting since she has to stay in the orphanage. We have been coined "The Keegan Girls" and we both know somewhere in our Souls that it is just a matter of time before we are together again.
I have wanted to give Junu a bath for DAYS!!!! The orphanage smell comes with her and because we have either had no time or the water is cold (because that's typical here) there has been no bath. Today, however, the water was luke warm and Dad had a great idea to heat up water in the tea pot and well, warm up the water. So we did. The bath was quick, but it was soooo good. She actually loved it. I can't wait to see her in a big bath with warm water splashing around with Lilly. Can't wait.
So dressing time has been interesting. You see, I love everything to look beautiful and of course I brought so many sweet clothes with me, but wouldn't you know, Junu has her own ideas on style. Pink is NOT it. She likes yellow and I think purple is okay. But really, I have to keep giving her choices. I've waited forever to dress a little girl up and I may have to let that one go. It's okay, I can do it. Eventually, Junu settled on a yellow shirt and cargo style pants. I had to coerce her into wearing a purple long sleeve over her yellow shirt as it's all about layering here and today it was a bit on the cool side. Trying to get a jacket or hat has been a bit of a feat.
Today was the greatest opening of all. Junu is showing more trust, more smiles, more hugs and more love. It is bittersweet given we will be separated after tomorrow. I can't think about that now.... We played all day. After jumping around, rearranging my wallet, sticker book time and just plain fun, she turned her body towards mine wrapped her arms around my neck, tight, laid her head on my shoulder and went asleep. Just that quickly. I've been holding her during most of her sleeps because she lets me, I can and I want to feel her close to me. Okay, now I'm feeling not so strong, I'm feeling the sadness wash over me. To know I can't feel her close for more than a month is almost more than I can bear right now, but somehow I will find a way.
The rest of the day, we just were with one another. We went to lunch across the street, which despite having a baby in my arms the drivers still had no mercy in slowing down or stopping, but we managed somehow. We had lunch with Dad and Pandey (our friend). I love being a mother. Today, Junu began to play with my hair, in a particular way. She would wipe my hair out of my eyes and just look at me with love. She only wants me right now and we are knowing each other in that non verbal way. She is, however, looking more at Dad and even said "Buwa" several times. She is smiling at him and let him give her some mango juice. They are connecting in their own way and of course on her terms.
Dad has had a bad cold, all brought on by the incredible pollution and exhaust. Junu has had a deep cough for the entire time of my stay, so today we went to the hospital. It was a small clinic like hospital with a pharmacy right next door. The pharmacy was like a boardwalk shop with no doors and boxes upon boxes of medicine behind the counter. Very different than the U.S., no surprise. We have been blessed again by Pandey's friendship. He had a friend who works in the hospital and was able to move up through the long wait list of people. I mean right through, just like that. Dad to the general practitioner and Junu to the pediatrician. Both were given medicine and I feel much better knowing Junu will have medicine to fight this awful cough and that Dad will have medicine to keep a deep infection from manifesting in his chest, especially given we are traveling today.
Back at the hotel, I gave Junu her meds, which she took easily. I soaked up more love and gave more love. This is it for today. It was time to take her back to the orphanage. I always dread this part. I just want to put on her jammies, cuddle up and watch her sleep, but in contrast we had to go back into the nightmare traffic and I had to let her go back to a building without heat and put old worn out clothes on her. I can't watch her sleep for a long time, today was the last day for that. My heart is getting heavier as I write this post. My eyes fill with tears. To finally hold and love my daughter has been so beautiful, but today the pain a mother feels is real. I am feeling a pain which consumes me, it goes right to my heart and I feel a taring is occurring. If I could see my heart right now it would be weeping. It would be so full of love and at the same time full of pain. The love would try to comfort the pain, but the pain would push love away, because today the pain is in charge. The mother pain. It makes me filled with even more sadness as my cousin Linnea was laid to rest today and I can't imagine the loss and pain my Aunt Rink must be feeling. Sometimes life is so difficult to understand, but what I believe to be true, is that God's center is everywhere and God's circumference is nowhere. So with this knowing, I will find peace, I will have hope and I will hold my daughter again. Peace and blessings to all. See you soon.