Another day spent getting closer to the boys. The mall, then lunch with them in the room. Think everything is going pretty good. Zsolt / Sam is a bull in a china closet, Christopher / Drew not quite as much. Everybody lays down and takes a nap without too much incident. When Zsolt gets out of hand, you have to hold him tight to you and just don’t let him go. He cries for a little bit and then settles down and understands. He will throw all of his toys and is out of control, we will have to work him out of that.
When we go to drop them off for the day, we discuss with the foster parents, the items that they have packed for us to take that are familiar to the boys such as outfits, pj’s, toys and undies. They give us a couple bags packed full of this stuff and it starts to sink in that we are getting them for good tomorrow. Tonight will be the last they spend with their family of the last 3 years.
Kimbo and I get back and are feeling sentimental. Last night as the Sage Family of 3. We do some blog entries, and I have a couple of beers and catch up with things at work. Then we decide to go eat at a place we haven’t tried called Kisipi sp.? The food wasn’t good. I had bean goulash and some fish dish. The goulash was okay but not like the other I have had and I didn’t hardly eat any of the fish. Highlight of this evening however, was the older gentleman who is playing and singing songs with his organ / synthesizer. He is a friendly old man and not a very good singer. I am standing watching him and he asks if I am Deutsche? (German) and I say American. He says he has a special Elvis song for us and so he plays Elvis’ “I can’t help falling in love with you” I have all 3:32 of it on HD video. It is a classic.
Thursday Feb 16th and Into early Friday morning
Today is the day we get custody of the boys. We start out at 7:30 to the town of Szikso (Six-so) about 30 minutes away. This is where the regional govt office is that is handling the boys’ case. We spend an hour there, signing papers saying we have spent time with them and everything has been going okay and then we have to give them their new full names. They give us signed documents granting custody and they say keep them with us at all times in case we need to prove it. We also find out that they have a savings account in another town that we have to collect for them before we leave. Drumroll please. The account has 13000 forint, about $60. But it is in another town that we will have a ride to so we will probably spend $60 to get $60. We can’t get it until after we have finalized adoption at the end of the 30 days.
From here we drive straight to Budapest to give these papers to the U.S. Consulate / Embassy to start the passport and visa paperwork. There we speak with the Vice Consulate for 10 or 15 minutes about how the process is going to work. He is an American I suspect somewhere from the Northeast. He asks all the usual questions like “How did you choose Hungary in this” and “Do you know any Hungarian?” The old city center of Budapest is beautiful and the Embassy is very nice with lots of security of course. Just about 50 yards from here we go to an old Budapest open air food market. This looks like family owned farmers market type setup with meats, cheeses, espressos and bread. Adam wants us to try Mangalica Sausage which is a spicy Hungarian Salami with Paprika made from an ancient Hungarian breed of pig. It tastes pretty good and Kimbo and I eat quite a bit of it.
Budapest Open Market
Enyoying the Mangelica Salami
From here it’s on to Keszenyeten village to pick up the boys. So another 2.5 hrs in the van going to get them and I am starting to feel some anxiety. We get to the house about 4:30 or 5. I am feeling how hard this is going to be as we walk in. All the kids are there, of course Christopher and Zsolt, their older siblings Amanda and Oliver, and the Foster Parents little girl. Everybody is running around playing just as before, and everybody is talking and in good spirits. Christian makes us all a Cappuccino, just as before. There are also plates of homemade donut things with jam and some are stuffed with cream cheese. I am not hungry at all, but oblige by eating 2 of the donuts. The foster parents tell us (through Adam) that they would really like some pictures of the boys with their new friends when we get back and also of their birthdays. You can tell they have discussed it and they will really miss them. Edina starts to get teary eyed. Christopher and Zsolt are playing just as usual and they really don’t know what is going on. We talk for about 15 or 20 minutes and I start to notice Amanda and Oliver trying to hold on and hug their 2 brothers. They definitely know what is going on. I notice that they start to cry as they hug the boys and the boys are just trying to get away from them to play. I realize that Amanda is about the same age as Gus and that there is a chance they will never see them again after this. Amanda and Oliver will be available for adoption so there is no telling where they will end up. Adam then says, "OK it’s time to go." The room quiets up quite a bit from before and then Amanda and Oliver are looking around sensing that we are leaving. This moment is really starting to tear at me, I start to cry. I haven’t cried at any point during this yet, but it is finally too much. It isn’t because they are coming with us, and not for sadness for the foster parents, it is sadness for the older siblings. I think of Gus and what would happen if you tried to take someone that he was that close to, away from him.
The boys are pretty quiet in the van but I don’t think they understand. Adam and George drop us off at the room and luckily the hotel has allowed us to use the small adjoining room at no extra charge. This is very good. We don’t have any plans for Friday, just be with the boys and see how it goes. I am looking forward to this because for the last week we have to spend at least 4 hrs a day in the car driving to and from and to and from their house.
Things are going okay in the room. I go get some soup, juice, and bananas we all eat and they play some. They are starting to get tired and we are debating when to try and put them to bed. Zsolt gets a little out of hand and I hold him and won’t let him go, he cries then settles down. This works pretty well. About 9:30 we start getting them into PJ’s and they brush their teeth - everything going A OKAy. The adjoining room has one single bed and we make it up for the 2 to sleep side by side. We bring them in and lay them down and start to close the curtains and Christopher starts sobbing, it is heartbreaking to watch him. Everything was fine and then as we started to dim some lights and pull the curtain he realized they weren’t going to their home to sleep. This lasts about 15 or 20 minutes as Kimbo comforts them. They both fall asleep but then Christopher wakes up and says he has to pee (hungarian "pilsilni", yes we know that word now, if you interested to know, "kaka" is for #2), but the good thing is he is calm. He goes in the bathroom, pees and then crawls right back into the bed. Over the next 2 hours he gets up 2 other times because he says he has to pee. Again he is calm and goes right back to the bed. Zsolt is sleeping the entire time. Christopher gets up again about 4am and goes potty again. And then both are up and jabbering to each other at 7am. They are in good spirits when they wake up and immediately want to start playing. Kimbo and I are both exhausted and hoping that they can entertain themselves without too much trouble for some extended time, but no dice. After 15 minutes they are on full go.
Thought it might be necessary to explain everybody’s names here because we are jumping around quite a bit.
Younger Sage Boy
Their names now are Fabian Zsolt, (in Hungary, the family name comes first, then first name last). So the little one’s name is Zsolt. We are naming him Samuel Zsolt Sage. But everybody here, including us still calls him “Hommie.” The foster parents gave him this nickname because he eats so much. I mean the kid can eat and eat. They start with“Ham” . So, “Ham,” beget “Hammie” which is pronounced “Hommie.” We still call him Hommie and are trying to figure out when we are going to start calling him Sam. I am thinking it might be an easier transition for everybody to call him Sammy, a smooth transition from Hommie.
Older Sage Boy
His name is Fabian Chistopher Andres. He goes by Christopher and we are calling him that right now. We are naming him Andrew Christopher Sage and we are going to call him Drew. We will see when that transition happens.
Kristian or Christian is the Foster Dad
Edina is the Foster Mom
Amanda is the 2 boys’ older sister who is 10.
Oliver is the 2 boys’ older brother who is 8George is our main contact and in country coordinator during this entire process
Adam works for George and is our Translator and actually the one we have spent the most time with.
Cornell is the driver.
Hungarian Elvis is the Hungarian Elvis from the restaurant a few nights ago. Ha!