This was the long-awaited ICAB day. This was supposed to be the high note on which our trip would end. We would meet the people who matched us with Francis, gather the documents necessary for him to come into the United States, and take the requisite picture on “The Bench.” It was something exciting to look forward to. We had puppets to explain to Francis what would be happening this day.
Francis had some other plans about ICAB day. Thankfully, the ICAB staff has probably seen it all and then some before.
Sit for a picture? We couldn’t get him to sit at all. I was very thankful to have my parents with us that day, because while Gregg and I went over the necessary paperwork with the ICAB social worker, my parents sat on the floor with Francis and played cars with him.
About the time we were supposed to be touring the ICAB office and speaking with the other social workers, Francis decided he didn’t want to play and didn’t want to walk with us (or be carried). He preferred to run up the stairs, dart into offices, and go just about anywhere he wasn’t supposed to go. Gregg ended up finishing the tour and I ended up walking with Francis to keep him out of places he shouldn’t be.
|This was the closest thing we got to a Bench picture.|
After ICAB, we visited the Philippines office of our adoption agency and heard more about their local outreach programs. Fortunately, they had food, so Francis was quiet and a little more settled there.
We took the long way back to the hotel through the streets of Manila and got to see lots of the crazy Manila driving we had heard about. Stop signs? Red lights? Mere suggestions. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately, the man who was hired to be our driver while we were in Manila had his car detailed that day and had some sort of scented freshener in it. By the time we got back to the hotel I was gagging, coughing, and having an asthma attack. Between my asthma attack, Francis being in a cranky mood, and needing to pay the driver, we were beyond grateful to have my parents with us for the extra help at this point.
We had hoped that going to ICAB would be the end of Francis’ nasty tantrums, but that hope was quickly dissolved. Another tantrum followed later that day, perhaps the worst one yet.
We had one day left in the Philippines, and then we would be on our own. We were looking forward to routine – and hot showers.
|Celebrating ICAB Day with a fresh mango.|
To Be Continued…