23 hours ago
Friday, December 14, 2012
In Which Everything Is Wonderful
And what a fantastic girl she is! Yesterday morning we met at the passport office to get her picture taken. I got there a few minutes before her, and was sitting in a large group of French couples with their newly adopted small children, also waiting to have their passport photos taken. Since I know a little Thai, it was the first time in this country I've been surrounded by people talking that I couldn't understand at all, and it was a very isolating feeling. So I was so happy when I finally saw Ellen and her caretakers round the corner. A whole group of them had come to see her off.
Ellen was dressed to the nines, in a bluejean jacket and some very cool shoes. We did her passport photos, collected her things from the car (she brought a large suitcase of clothes and many presents with her from her friends and family at the orphanage, her school and her swimming team) and then it was time for her to say her goodbyes to her caretakers. It was a very emotional leavetaking and I did my best not to cry too.
I want to make sure she knows that we won't make her choose between her Thai loved ones and her new family in America. In my opinion, the more people who love her, the better. She's had so many wonderful people care for her over the years, and I'm so grateful to them for not only loving her for so long, but for having the strength to see her off with grace. We'll be keeping in close touch with them once we return to America so that they are able to see how she is doing and know that she is safe and loved. And I'm sure we will return to Thailand in the future to visit them.
Ellen knows quite a bit of English, and between that and my rather poor Thai we haven't really had to use the translator. She's been studying her English very hard in preparation for our arrival. I think she'll pick it up very quickly once we get back to the states.
Yesterday afternoon we visited Siam Ocean World, a very large aquarium located in a mall a few stops down the skytrain from where we are staying. Then we went out to dinner with a friend, who took us to eat some street food. We ate a ton of food-- I think we had six or seven different dishes and it was all absolutely delicious. Then we went out for ice cream at Swenson's, which is really big over here. I don't think I'll be losing any weight in Thailand!
I can't post any public pictures of her where you can see her face until the adoption is finalized, but here we are at Siam Ocean World. I'm loving every second I spend with her, and I can't wait to see what adventures we'll get up to next!