First off, let me reassure all of you that I’m not taking Rani’s sadness personally. You have to remember that those posts were written as a way for me to vent my feelings. I was feeling alone and hopeless and helpless and that was my way of dealing with it. I am a very social person and not having anyone to get feedback from was awful! Thanks so much everyone for your comments and posts. You can’t know what rejuvenation you have offered me. I see now that it really could be much worse and this type of feedback is exactly what I needed to help me see straight.
Today was a marvelous day! I’m so glad the we decided not to cancel the Agra trip because it truly was a day of miracles. We are now in a different part of India and Rani no longer understands anyone. Dave and I are her only stable link right now and that is turning out so well for all of us.
We started out this morning with a two hour train ride from Delhi to Agra. The train was something I was nervous about but it turned out to be pretty great. At first Rani cried because she thought it was an airplane and the flight to Delhi was scary(for all of us, we had an Indian taxi driver for a pilot I swear!) I said “Rani no cry. Not an airplane. It’s ok” and believe it or not she calmed down! She is starting to pick up a few words here and there. Throughout the train ride I got her to feed us candy again(she loves hard candies like jolly ranchers) though she threw mine at my mouth the first time LOL. I gave it back to her and then she put it in my mouth and smiled. Then every 30 minutes or so she would open her book to Shanti’s picture and let out the most heartwrenching little wail. Every time she does that my heart breaks for her. I can’t imagine what she must be going through. She didn’t cry as long though or as much and she seemed in a much better mood.
When we got to Agra we travelled first to see the Taj Mahal. The sun had just come out and was very hot. We had only eaten a few Chappatis for breakfast and truly I’m surprised we didn’t die of heat stroke. Dave put Rani in the sling(a pink one no less!) because he’s getting so tired from holding her so much. She cried and cried until we took her out. I guess the sling reminds her of us taking her since I had put her in it to take her out of the orphanage. That’s one thing I wish I hadn’t done. The Taj was beautiful but we were ready to get out of there faster than the average person. I did get a chance to aske a lovely Indian mother who was breastfeeding if I could please take her picture. She thought it was silly but agreed. Also we agreed to let a man take our picture. Dave didn’t even think about the fact that he’d be forever pictured in a sling, something he vowed would never happen. He looks so cute!
On our way out the photographer had taken 24 shots rather than 12. I was very firm….no EXTREMELY firm with him and only took 12. He was not happy, kept lowering the price for the others, and I would not budge. Dave said the tour guide was smiling and was impressed with my firmness.
Outside of the Taj many people were trying to sell us things. These people do not take no for an answer. I found that putting my hand up like a stop sign and gently pushing the item away seemed to get them to stop, though Dave thought that it was a bit much when I pushed gently one of the salesmen back off the bus. The guide was chuckling.
The driver then took us to a great restaurant. I can’t remember the name of the place, but the food was delicious, the best we’ve had in India so far. Rani LOVED it. She brightened up and even started feeding herself, which in turn led to feeding Dave. He didn’t much appreciate it, but he was obliging. I can’t believe how much this man is sacrificing for this little girl. She’s so much heavier than we thought she would be and long and lanky and all sharp bones and such. Not the cuddliest kid to carry. And here he is doing it day and night! At lunch Rani even fed me a bit and smiled at me. It felt so good to know I am no longer the “bad guy”. She doesn’t cry when I talk to her as much now and like I said she even smiles.
After we ate the driver took us shopping. The prices were more expensive then I was hoping to spend so we were unable to get very many gifts. I did get some inlaid stone items, two saris for Rani’s room, two brass goblets, matching Pajama Kurtas for the boys! Also the tailors there handmade me my own custom Salwar Kameez suit for $50 US dollars in less than three hours!!! That was impressive!
After we left the shops we came out to a literal monsoon. I joked that we would bring the monsoon with us to India and it seems to be true. It was like a sheet of water. You couldn’t even see through it! We thought that our trip to Agra fort would be cancelled. OH NO! Our guide insisted we still go. Of course the umbrellas I bought were back at the hotel. As we got out the rain was lessening a bit, but there was a veritable river coming out of the fort. A man was offering umbrellas for hire for 100 rupees(about $2.00 US). Our guide suggested to ask if it was for both or for each. I asked him and he said for each. I frowned a little and said. How about 150 Rs for both. He agreed. The guide smiled again. I think he likes my style. LOL
Anyway there was a river coming out of the entrance to the fort, and yes we walked through it. Running water about six inches deep! Oh how I wish I had the video camera out at that time. It was amazing! I thought I could get it on the way out but it was all dry by that time. The fort was beautiful and we really enjoyed ourselves there. Rani didn’t cry much either. She was fascinated by the rain.
When we came out the umbrella guy tried to sell me postcards and wasn’t listening to me saying no. So I said “I’ve got an idea. How about I give you 100 Rs for both umbrellas? He looked at me strange and said “postcard” again. I said OK how about we make it 50 Rs? No more postcard or I only pay 50 Rs for the umbrellas. LOL He started up again as soon as he was paid, but it surely stopped him in his tracks!
After that we went to the mini Taj Mahal. It wasn’t near as impressive but was fun because there were many monkeys and even a mother monkey nursing her baby!
After that we went back to the Ashok hotel to settle our bill and to relax till it was time to take the train back to Delhi. It was very nice sitting there and Dave started playing with Rani(like he’s always trying to do and she never cooperates). He tickled her like he does several times a day but rather than crying like she usually does she started giggling!!! Then she made him tickle her over and over again. She was really laughing! Needless to say the tears were streaming down my cheeks! We are making great leaps and bounds with her, especially Dave though he keeps saying he’s going to get me for this.
The train ride back was twice as long as the trip there(4 hrs rather than 2) and Rani slept the whole way. She was in such a deep sleep that she let me hold her the whole time. I was in heaven! Of course as soon as she woke up and realized it she wanted him. But she didn’t ask for her book or her doll the whole way back in the car! She just sat with Dave. I am feeling so good now and I know that your prayers have helped.
And thank you Shannon, you are right. How much worse would it have been without the angels? I needed that!