The following evening we picked up our official referral which was the paperwork that granted us permission to go and meet her. In the wee hours of the next morning we packed up ( Myself, Josh, our two boys, my mom, and Josh's mom) into our drivers van and took a 6 hour drive to the town that stef lived in. When we arrived Josh and I were sent with our regional facilitator and the boys and grandmas stayed with our driver. we went straight to the regional social workers office to get some paperwork and then set off for the babyhouse. On the way to the baby house our facilitator dropped a bomb on us. "your daughter has recently had heart surgery and is in the hospital not the orphange" i thought i was going to throw up but she quickly assured us that her surgery had been successful and had been done by by doctors who came as a medical mission. We later learned it was ICHF (the international childrens heart foundation) that did her surgery. here are some pictures they shared with us.
Our facilitator took us to the baby house to meet the director and to hear her full history. It was very strange to be in a building that houses probably 100 children and not hear any noise. Anyways after that our facilitator had gotten special permission for us to have a 10 minute visit with stef in the hospital. The hospital didnt want to let us visit but we would not be able to request a court date or move on with our adoption without having met her in person. so off we went to the hospital they ushered us into someones rather large office and brought in Stef. this was the only picture we got on our first visit. They made us wear face masks. Stef seemed interested in us and made great eye contact. she even smiled for a split second at Josh. we fell completely in love with her. Ten minutes felt like 60 seconds it was over way too fast. we were then asked "well after meeting her are you sure you want her?" we said of course we do! So off to the notary for court documents. Then finally back to the apartment and our boy's.