Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trip to Lukovit. My first days with Stephen.

On Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, Toni picked me up at 7:00 a.m. at the Budapest Hotel in Sofia, to go to Lukovit. The BIG day had arrived!!! As usual, I was not ready. As a matter of fact, it was not until the very last moment that I finally figured out which present would be for whom.

At Lukovit, I was allowed to give the singing duck to Philip and the big cuddly monkey to Maximilian--and I had a chance to see Philip for the first time. He's really cute. The first thing he did was to kiss his duck! Maximilian was delighted with the monkey, and was very verbal. Of course, I did not understand what he said--except for, "Super!" The look in his eyes is engraved in my heart, and will inspire all of us to make it through all that is involved in getting those two little ones home  as well ASAP--which, in our case, will be much more than a simple adoption process (as if any adoption process could be simple!) In our case it'll also mean a move from one coast to the other. Yet, I'll leave that for a future post.

Philip simply loved his duck!!! I don't think the duck's batteries survived more than one day.

When will all the family be able to hug them?
Stephen was tense at the beginning, but started to warm up in a short time. Far from being a negative thing, his initial stiff attitude is a positive one, as he was saying good-bye to everyone and everything he knew and loved--and that shows he enormous capability to make solid attachments.

Some very important figures in Stephen's first eight years of life--and, as most of you will recognize, to the left someone (Toni Vladimirova) to whom our family will be indebted forever.

A moment loaded with mixed emotions for Stephen, as he was saying good-bye to everyone and everything he knew and loved, to start a very promising yet still totally unknown new life with his new family--his family forever.

On our way to Sofia, though, at one point he put his hand on top of mine, and kept it there for a long time.

I knew that at the beginning of this year he had gotten scalded with hot water. Due to his total lack of sensitivity on his legs, he had not felt the pain, and had gotten severely burnt. Yet, I could not imagine the extent of those burns until the first day at the hotel. Even during my first visit I had not been able to see how horrible the burnt sites looked because his clothes covered them. My first thought was that he might need skin grafts. I looked it up online, and apparently I was right. The sores are now closed, and there is no bleeding or draining, but the aftermath of those burns still looks awful, terrible, horrible. Those must have been not third-, but fourth-degree burns.  How didn't anyone realize until the damage was so pervasive? There are no major aesthetic concerns because the worst sites are covered by clothes. His left leg and foot look badly burnt also, but that couldn't matter less. On the contrary, those scars make him a little hero. Yet--can such mistreated skin cause any further problems later on in life?

A touching moment was when I was applying a healing cream to his burn scars--and he stretched his right hand to stroke my face for a second with his fingertips.

It is also remarkable how very fast he learns to trust. When on Tuesday morning for the very first time I was about to fill the tub for his bath, he was trying to tell me something. Although inside me I knew what he was meaning to tell me,  in order to make sure I put him through to the front desk over the phone, for him to tell them, so that they could translate it for me. I was right: he wanted to remind me that the water needed to be only a little warm, and not hot at all, so as not to burn his skin any more. Although he could not understand me as I don't speak his language, I assured him that we'd take very good care of him and he would not get burned again. When this morning, Wednesday, Dec. 15, I filled out the bathtub for him again, he did not find it necessary to remind me of anything: he knew I would check the water temperature for him.

Lunch at the Budapest Hotel, in Sofia

1 comment:

eliz said...

what a love!what a blessing! I love the way you write Lillian. Thank You for sharing!


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