We met Joseph!! It was a disappointingly short visit, only about 5 minutes. I laid awake all night imagining all the different scenarios that could potentially play out today, but none of them were accurate. :)
We were ready by 8:00am thinking our visit started at 8:30. In reality, our 8:30 appointment was at the Department of Children's Services to get official permission to visit the child. We sat for 2 1/2 hours in the hot car waiting for someone to show up to sign the paper, giving us permission to visit the orphanage. By the time we got there, visiting hours were almost over and I wasn't sure whether we would even get to see him at all.
The orphanage director was on vacation, but we sat in her office with the orphanage doctor, the social worker, the orphanage attorney, and our facilitator, who translated a summary of Joseph's social and medical history.
He has been at the orphanage almost six years, since he was born with Down Syndrome. He has had just a couple of tearful visits early on from his father, but his parents returned to their home country in the middle east, three years ago.
It seems there still may be some problems with his paperwork but the facilitator seems confident that it will work out for poor little Joseph this time. Poor little guy can't help that he was born to foreigners who left the country without him. It is a shame to think some people think that should doom him to a life of orphan-hood. But like I said we are being led to believe that it should work out for him this time, to be adopted. Pray with us, will you?
According to our meeting, Joseph is very healthy, eats very well, has flat feet, communicates in his own Joseph-way, is playful, social, and just like Ava..he gets overwhelmed and overstimulated....He is POTTY TRAINED! Woo hoo! By the way, the name Joseph is his Reece's Rainbow name, derived from the middle eastern name given by his parents. So we will just keep it "Joseph" because I can't think of any other name that would fit him better!
And here, the long awaited pictures...of our FIVE MINUTES TOGETHER!! (Hopefully tomorrow we will have more time to really get to know him. Today it was his lunch time and he made it very clear that he did not want to sit on the couch in a sterile office with complete strangers who insisted on picking him up and holding him......He wanted to EAT!! We saw him sign eat, by the way, in his own Joseph sign language. He is a doll, and we are crazy about him already!!!