Stefanya was transferred back to the orphanage so i began visiting her there instead of at the hospital. I didn't get to see much of the orphanage, they don't want you wandering around and don't allow you to see where the children eat, sleep, or play. I was always taken straight to the visiting room where i waited for them to bring Stefanya to me.
I brought her diapers and wipes, formula, and a few medications they had asked if i wanted to purchase for her. (things the orphanage could not afford but that would improve her mystery diagnosis) . Stefanya was always so tired when i visited that she only stayed awake maybe 10 min minutes of every 1 hour visit. i tried to make the most of those 10 minutes with lots of smiles at her and eye contact. I started to bring baby lotion to give her a massage every visit. Everything i did during those visits was done with bonding in the forefront of my mind. i would speak softly to her and tell her about home, about our family, i would tell her mommy is gentle, mommy loves you, mommy will keep you safe, or things like warm hugs, kind hands, soft kisses etc. and just repeat them like a mantra over and over to her even when she slept. I sang lots and lots of lullaby's to the point where I'm pretty sure one of the "nannies" asked me to stop singing lol. I cant be sure though because neither of us spoke each others language. I also brought an ergo baby carrier with me and an infant insert since i knew she likely wouldn't be able to hold her own head up and i was right. when she began to look like she was going to fall asleep i would put her in the ergo and walk and rock and either sing or repeat my mantra's to her.
I debated talking about this here but i'm going to just do it. Bonding was important for so many reasons. Wanting to avoid attachment disorders since Stef had no one she was bonded to . Everyone was just a caretaker and it didn't seem she had anyone who invested any time in her or was anyone's favorite. Not to mention not wanting her to be scared when i took her with me, and because obviously every mother wants to feel warm and fuzzy about their kids and their kids to feel safe and secure with them. But a huge reason i was so determined to gain her trust quickly and create a bond was that i planned to give breastfeeding her my all. I already have a bio child two months older than her whom i was and still am breastfeeding. ( more about our breastfeeding journey in future posts).
after a few days of visits the nannies asked if i would like to feed her. YES!!! I WOULD LOVE TO!! They brought me her bottle piping hot. It had the hole in the nipple enlarged and had chunky rice cereal mixed in it. They only gave her 2-3 ounces at a time because they felt she was too weak to handle more. (she wasn't) she would choke and splutter and try to gulp it down as quick as possible because if she stopped for a rest the bottle would be taken away. Luckily i was only supervised while feeding her the first 2 times and then they left me alone to feed her.
Stef is a thumb sucker and she gets tired quickly while eating (though now that we have been home almost 4 months a lot has changed) i learned during those visits that it took her a long time to eat because she needed frequent breaks to rest , catch her breathe, and suck her thumb for comfort. I took my time and let her eat at her own pace. She could never finish the last ounce though because the rice was thick and choked her and she couldn't handle it. It was so hard looking at her skinny little body, and knowing she needed more food but that i had no say over anything to do with her until i took her from the orphanage.
And so these visits were much the same day after day while i bid my time until i could take her into my custody. All I could do until then was pray for my baby girl and trust that God would look after her.
(pictures are of the visitors room where i spent my visits with Stef)