We are now in Hoi An, after a few very difficult days during which I was quite sick and emotionally very shaken. Hanoi was boiling hot and humid, 40 degrees with very little clouds, so the whole family was quite under the weather. Dao had the fever after swimming and playing in the pool one day, while I spent most of my time agonizing in bed with very painful cramps and Nicola, despite haven some kind of heat stroke one day, had to deal with everything in this killing temperature. Phuc too was very congested from going in and out form places with very strong air conditioning.
Being a little sick is normal when you are in this part of the world, so I was not concerned, but it becomes a problem when you have just adopted a little boy that doesn’t know you and needs so much attention and you have your 7 years old daughter to look after too. I know there are worst problems in the world, but I think getting to know a new member of your family is a major deal, this is a moment in time that will change our lives forever, and it doesn’t happen biologically, like a pregnancy. We have waited for this child to arrive for six years and during the last seven years we have lived in a family of 3 people, very attached to each other, and in a way, emotionally self-sufficient. Then 2 months ago we had the news that little Phuc was waiting for us in Ho Chi Minh City, we were very happy of course, but 2 months is a very short time to assimilate such news, and we were in the middle of so many things that we hardly had time to prepare ourselves, to make space to welcome this little boy to be part of our family.
This temporary state of ineptitude threw me in a very bad state. I think I haven’t felt so bad since my mother died, over 10 years ago. I felt I was betraying my daughter, who I love so much, I felt that was useless, selfish, unable to love. Thankfully Dao and Nicola helped me to connect with Phuc in my own time, taking it slowly as I was recovering and showing me how easy it was to bond with this little boy that life has brought to us. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
The one thing that I know now, after going trough such an intense emotional turmoil, is that I have learned more about myself in ten days with Levin Phuc, than in ten years of therapy! And for this I will always be grateful to him.
Things in general have been very different from the time we adopted Dao. The law has changed, this is part of the reason we waited so long, and I must say that this time I felt very unhappy about the way Enzo B, the association that dealt with both our International adoption procedures, has treated us.
We have received very little information, not only about our son’s history, but about what he eats, when he sleeps, what he likes. I had to call our contact here to ask her to ask the institute, to give us some suggestions, while Phuc is very agitated, and we wanted some help to calm him a little.
As for practical help, we had to do everything ourselves, from buying domestic plain tickets and booking hotels, to looking for baby food and bringing papers to various administrative offices. I had to go to about 5 supermarket before I could find some baby food whose label I could understand, we even had to ask for a pediatrician to come and visit him. It’s a good thing that we are used to travel, but I don’t know what some of the families that where with us the first time, would have done this time in our place.
Anyway, fortunately we managed to do all that we had to do, so 2 days we came to Hoi An. We are in a lovely hotel on the beach where we stayed 7 years ago, when we adopted Dao (some of the waitresses recognized us, it was quite emotional) and here we began to relax and to allow ourselves to adjust more peacefully to the situation.