Had quite a few “firsts” this week.
1. Caleb’s first time in an airport, checking in, airport security, waiting at a gate, boarding a plane and flying, getting complimentary peanuts. Each of these had their own moments, as I’m sure you can imagine. Ha! I don’t have any photos but I do have video. Hoping to post a short clip of him and the plane in the next couple of days. Just get ready for the word “gorgeous.” “This plane is SO GORGEOUS Mama.” Where the heck has he heard that word so often that it’s now a part of his vocab? Hilarious!
2. First time meeting Sarah, another CTEN missionary, and getting to spend time with all of her beautiful, abandoned babies that she works with. And, first time meeting Amy, another friend that I met through CTEN but have never officially in person met. Loved both of these ‘meets’!
3. First time in a Bucuresti taxi. That taxi driver tried his hardest to screw me over – no way. Does he know who he is dealing with? You don’t have change? Yeah, I’m sorry, but then I guess you aren’t getting paid. I took him down, let me tell you. I might not be from the ‘big city’ but you try to pull that kind of crap on me then you’d better be ready for the wrath of Kelsey to be released. Thanks to the state orphanage kids, I have a few phrases and words up my sleeve that I was able to bust out! Ha! Actually, in all seriousness, I have to tell you what happened. It was honestly a miracle, or else my eyes played tricks on me. You can decide for yourself. The taxi took us from our hotel to the US Embassy. Because I didn’t have any cash on me I had him, first, stop at the nearby mall so that I could run and pull out cash from the ATM there. ATMs only give you the largest bill for what you’re pulling out. So, the bill I got was equivalent to $30. When we got to the Embassy the charge was only $5. The hotel front desk people told me it would be at least $10, that’s why I thought giving a $30 wouldn’t be a big deal change wise. The taxi driver told me that in no way, shape or form would he give me change for the $30 – I just had to give him the $30 and be done with it. Heck no! I looked in my wallet and all I had was 11 RON in change – and I need 14 RON. I shoved it back in and told the taxi driver, in a few choice words, that either he gives me change for the 100RON bill or he only would get 11RON. I went to pull out the 11 RON to give it to him and, I’m not kidding, there were an extra 3 bills there making the total exactly 14 RON. I could have cried in joy, except then the taxi driver would have seen me go soft after being so hard with him so I told the tears to stop 🙂
4. First time in the new fancy, shmancy US Embassy in, or rather just on the outskirts of, Bucuresti. As in 1 week new, new.
5. First time going through the visa process as a Romanian, since Caleb was the applicant. This was an interesting experience. Inside the visa building it was so high tech and brand new…so strange to see everything like that. Some of the people working were kind, others were quite rude to be honest. You are granted an electronic number and then you must wait for the screen on the wall, with the computerized voice, to announce your number and which cubicle to report to. We had to do this twice. The first to turn in all of his papers and the second time to meet with an actual American, Embassy employee. That poor guy, his Romanian was s-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g. He thought I was Romanian and it was just a mess, for him. I finally switched to English and he was quite relieved 🙂 Our situation took him by surprise, in a really good way. He was really curious about how long and why I live here and then how the adoption happened. Didn’t have so much to do with the actual visa but he just kept saying, while smiling, “This is not the situation I usual deal with every day.” “He looks like a pretty neat kid.” Yup, he is! “Well you can go and speak with the courier service about getting your son’s passport delivered.”
When do I know if he was granted a visa and for how long?
“Oh! The visa’s already been approved. For 60 months, is that okay? If he was an adult I could give him 10 years but children are only allowed 5.”
YES! Praise JESUS! Oh my goodness, thank you so much!
I don’t think he quite knew what to do with that bit of an outburst….hahaha.
6. First time hearing so much French, outside of what I had to study/sing while at IU. We stayed in the French district of Bucuresti. I thought this was just a name for some reason or other, until parents walked their children to school and back each morning. They cut through the hotel’s parking lot to get to the school just around the corner. We happened to be outside at each time, it seemed. So much French, so fun! Okay, not that I think the French language is fun to speak. But, it was really fun to hear all of those little kids speaking it. And, Caleb loved it, too!
7. First time seeing a Chinese and African American baby in a Romanian, abandoned babies ward.
8. First time using WiFi at McDonalds. (Stopped there on the way home from the airport.) You know, it didn’t work. I had to grab from someone who lived near McDonalds instead. And, McDonalds only had 1 outlet to plug my computer in. So thankful for that 1 outlet since my battery died on me but still, only 1? And first time meeting two of the state orphanage girls, one whom I’m really close to, at McD to use the internet to Skype with someone she is close to. Note to self: McD is super loud and their internet didn’t work anyhow. Find another WiFi connection in Oradea next time! Honestly though, it was so worth it. She was SO happy to speak with this person. When these kids open themselves up, even if it seems the tiniest bit to us, it means the world to them. It is such a HUGE deal that she lets people into her life at all. It took her a few minutes to start talking but she did and to be there to help her with that was such an honor. I really love that God allows me to work with these children/teens and witness them moving, sometimes in very small steps, forward in their lives.
9. First time getting super duper lost in Oradea. It was dark, I was exhausted. Caleb was a wreck in the back seat – so tired. I never get lost in Oradea, but it was my own, stupid fault. I thought I could take some back roads to get them back to their orphanage faster than the main road, which was kind of out of the way from where we were. I ended up so lost and it took forever to get them home. The girls definitely enjoyed making fun of me for the fact that I didn’t know where we were going 🙂 And they did, like every 2 seconds.
10. First time buying plane tickets for TWO to the States. HA! YES! YAHOO! Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Cracked Pots at ECC, and the other adoption, financial donors for making these plane tickets possible! Actually, thank You Jesus for placing this burden to raise the money on their hearts…and for giving them the resources to make the giving possible!! We fly on Wednesday.
Okay, enough for now. Hopefully I’ll get the video posted soon of Caleb on the airplane!
PS. I forgot to add a very important “first” that happened in Bucuresti : Caleb’s 1st trip to IKEA. He didn’t care at all while his Mama, on the other hand, was super pumped to get a new, plastic shower curtain for a great price. He did, though, love the ball pit in the kids’ play area. We only discovered it on our way out (been a few years since I’ve been to an IKEA and I forgot that it was there) so I let him play in it for about 20 minutes. He loved that! I left little Sweden (aka Marghita) and I guess I still couldn’t stay away from the culture in some form or other, HA! No, really, I needed a shower curtain. For real. The Lightening McQueen one, the one my Mom gave us 5 years ago, needed to be laid to rest. Seriously. Now we have fish monster things – matches the green we painted the bathroom a few years ago so it was a great find! Yay!