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Vietnam Adoption

Molly's Adoption Story

11 October 1999 - WE MEET MOLLY!!

We meet at the Army Hotel at 7 a.m. where Mike and Ina are staying. We have loads of stuff with us but manage to fit in a cyclo anyway. When we get there the others are ready, and we all jump into the mini bus who will take us to the Hoa Binh Social Protection Center, about 70 kms south-west of Hanoi. Mrs. Ha joins us on the way. Kurt and Anne-Grethe have also brought her parents along plus – we wonder how we’re all going to fit in the mini bus on the way home!

We drive out of Hanoi, into the country. It is very flat. Suddenly after about 2 hours of driving, these big hills or lime stones appear out of

nothing. Everything goes very quiet – nobody is saying anything – we each sit enwrapped in our own thoughts. Suddenly the mini bus stops and turns to the right, along a small dirt track and in through the gate of the Hoa Binh SPC. Suddenly we don’t feel so good! We’re getting nervous. The car takes us right up to the door of the administration building and we are brought up the stairs and into a waiting room with a big oval-shaped table in the middle. There is a statue of Ho Chi Minh in one end of the room and a map of the Hoa Binh province. As we got out of the car, Kurt and Anne-Grethe’s children’s biological mother is standing their, so they suddenly have enough on their plate… We sit down at the table and wait anxiously together with Mike and Ina. They look as tense as we feel! I get up and take a few photos in the room – I have to do something!

I think we wait for about 10 minutes (my sense of time has evaporated). Suddenly there’s a commotion outside, and a nanny comes in carrying a baby. “Lam” they say – that’s Alexander. Mike and Ina get up and go over and take him. Another nanny comes in – I hardly notice her or the baby. Then someone says “Hao” as yet another nanny enters the room.
I sit as if glued to my chair. I am not moving a muscle. Frank says ”Hao, that’s ours?!” and gives me an elbow in my side. I jump up, and in a daze without really knowing what I’m doing walk over to the nanny who immediately places the baby in my arms. When I look down I see the prettiest little face – I am totally unprepared for what I’m seeing. Molly is wearing a baby cap on her head. Another woman comes over and she and the nanny points at something under the cap, at the back of Molly’s head, trying to tell me something. I don’t understand what they’re doing – what are they on about? I don’t care about the back of her head, I only have eyes for her face. I hurry over to Frank to show him “here she is, here is our Molly”. I can’t believe how gorgeous she looks. I had not had any picture in my head beforehand of how I thought she’d look – I’m completely taken by surprise.



Molly is tiny – much smaller than we had imagined. She looks great.

But she has something on her scalp that they feel we should pay attention to. I’m almost feeling irritation – there just can’t be anything wrong with this little miracle. Gradually we grasp that there is something with an infection because of the heat. Mrs. Ha is not here to translate – she has gone with Kurt and Anne-Grethe to visit the bio family. There is another woman who acts as interpreter but her English is hard to understand. Now we do see that the back of Molly’s head is quite deformed with a big abscess. What is it? They say she’s been to a doctor who has prescribed some medicine and they show us the bottle. There are instructions in French, it says to keep it refrigerated – what are they doing with it here? It looks as if it hasn’t been used. They say it’s antibiotics. We are a little worried but we’re in such a daze that it’s hard to focus. We agree that as soon as we get back from Hoa Binh we’ll take her to the international clinic in Hanoi. Once that’s settled, we concentrate on Molly and the orphanage.

We stay in the waiting room for a while, together with Mike and Ina, who are just as wrapped up in their Alexander. He’s just 4 days younger than Molly. We put diapers on the babies, play with them, and just smile and stare at them…

Then it’s feeding time. We have brought a bottle, as instructed, and give it to the nannies – and then we’re to go to the Giving and Receiving ceremony. It’s a formal affair on the one hand, but a relaxed one on the other. It’s soon over, and we go back to the center.

When we get back, our chauffeur suddenly wants to take us back to Hanoi. But we have been promised a proper tour of the center, and I get really upset. I don’t want to go just yet. Frank tells the chauffeur in no uncertain terms that we are staying and if he wants to go, he can go! He stays.

Kurt and Anne-Grethe come back from their visit with the bio family. It has been an emotional experience. Finally, it’s time for the real tour of the center. We see the children’s rooms. They are basic and the paint is peeling off the walls, but everywhere is very clean. We get to sit with Molly in what has been her room. There are only a few other babies present. Some of them have infections similar to Molly’s. We wish we could take them all – we’re told all the babies we see are going to Denmark, Belgium or the US.

It is now early in the afternoon, and we must get back to Hanoi. Molly falls asleep on the way. Back at the hotel, we call the international clinic and get an appointment for 5.30 p.m. We take a cyclo – Molly loves it! She’s clearly as fascinated as we with all the hustle and bustle. When we get there, there is no clinic! We can’t find anyone who understands English or French, what are we going to do? Panic!! At last we find a small note on a door saying that the clinic has moved. We throw ourselves into a taxi, and fortunately it’s not very far. We're a little late for our appointment but they are very nice to us - our panic is probably obvious!

The American doctor confirms that it’s probably just an infection due to the heat and bad hygiene. He arranges an appointment with a paediatrician to check it out in a few days’ time, just to be on the safe side. We’re to continue with the antibiotics. We’re relieved.

Back to the hotel. It’s been a long day. Molly looks gorgeous. She sleeps a little. Frank goes down to buy some more water while I sit with Molly on the bed. We call Denmark and Ireland and give them the good news. We order room service and wolf down the food. We haven’t had a bite to eat all day. Before we go to bed, I freak out – for no apparent reason. I’m roaring and crying! The excitement….. I take a long shower – it’s impossible to tell which is the shower water and which is my crying! Afterwards, I fall asleep on the bed, utterly exhausted. Molly sleeps in the baby lift, placed between us in the bed…. Many times that night we wake up and check on her. She needs a feed about 4 in the morning and then sleeps again until around 7. We’re quite exhilarated – this is going well! (more...)

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Read the complete travel journal: http://www.laceysenderovitzfamily.dk/Molly%20pages/Molly_main.htm


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