Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2012

Travel day.  Not yet leaving the Philippines, but leaving the region where Francis spent the first 7 years of his life.  Such a painful day for him.  The grief he felt in leaving Legazpi to go to Manila was written all over his face.  The intensity of his broken heart was enough to bring any one of us to tears.

The day started with a very early breakfast, loading up the van to the airport, and farewell to the staff of the Venezia, who had been so very kind and helpful during our stay. We took the quick ride to the Legazpi airport and then the day started to go downhill quickly.  We had to deal with a baggage agent who was charging exorbitant cash fees for overweight bags, which resulted in our nearly missing the plane.
Ready to go to Manila.
  When we got on the plane, Francis sat next to the window.  He sat with his face up against the glass the entire flight, looking forlornly at what he was leaving behind.  When we arrived in Manila, he was still quiet.  Then we got to the hotel. 

Leaving Legazpi - So very sad.
 Our itinerary for the rest of the week was to have free time the rest of the 23rd, then go to ICAB on the 24th, rest on the 25th and go home on the 26th. 

In his time in Manila, Francis went all out to keep us on our toes.  One of his favorite tricks was locking the doors to the different rooms in the suite.  We had a few of our own tricks to prevent this from happening, but Francis was a pretty determined little guy. 

First family picture.
On the other hand, this was the first time that Francis sat down with his Magna Doodle and drew a family picture.  He was showing us that he felt that he belonged, even though he pushed his limits.  He still had a daily freak-out, generally around the same time in the afternoon, kicking, hitting, pinching, hair-pulling…it was getting worse, not any better. 

We had dinner that evening in the dining room, looking and feeling completely exhausted.  Francis, on the other hand, was full of pep and raring to go.  I still don’t know where he comes up with all of his energy.  We were full of hope that when he saw us make our promises to love him forever the next day at ICAB, he would understand that this relationship was forever and always and he would stop lashing out so painfully.  

Too tired to eat his mango dessert at the end of the day.
 To Be Continued…

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