by Pierre-Olivier Girard
ADOPTION. The moment Magogois Philippe Brault and Julie Villeneuve had been waiting for for so long finally came true, after more than seven years of effort, when they went to pick up their adopted son in Thailand over the past few weeks.
Earlier in January, the couple received the good news that they have officially become the parents of a 17-month-old boy. But after the festivities, it was time to organize as they had to prepare a big trip to pick him up from an orphanage more than 13,000 kilometers from here. “When we landed in Bangkok on March 19, it took a few days to rest as we had to take a second plane to the orphanage. We all had knots in our stomachs, the stress was so intense for fear that something unexpected would ruin everything. After all this time it was both real and real to be there. it was unreal,” says Julie Villeneuve, who is traveling with her daughter Lili (6) and her family.
The first meeting with Louka took place on March 22. When the star of the day came, the Quebecs were sitting in a room in the orphanage with their caregivers. Despite the language barriers and the awkwardness of the situation, it was the first time to get to know each other. “Louka wasn’t shy and we quickly started having fun with her on all fours on the floor. She smiled faintly when she and I left the orphanage, but you could see that she didn’t understand what was going on. He was in shock for good reason. »
DOOMING AN UNKNOWN CHILD
The next few days passed between the four walls of the hotel room, the quiet environment necessary to facilitate exploration of one and the other. “When you adopt a child, it’s important to quickly build a cocoon so the child can identify who their new caregiver is. We did not want to impose habits on him; rather, it was an opportunity to tame him and get to know him as a human being. Apart from some medical information about him, his tastes, interests, fears, sleeping habits, etc. nothing was known about it. »
Through trial and error, brimming with moments of tears and chuckles, the family chose to end their Thailand adventure by going to a paradise place called Phuket. A final stop on a long journey to the other end of the world that will take almost a month. “It was so nice to get out of the city and breathe some fresh air. Wearing a mask is mandatory both inside and outside in Thailand. It was very suffocating to walk in the city with a mask at 40 degrees,” he says.
“We knew right away that it was also Louka’s first experience at the beach. He really didn’t like having his feet in the sand or the sea, and it was the same in the swimming pool or even on the grass. She hates new textures so she’s a real baby arm! “, he continues.
STRESS, HAPPINESS AND SHOPPING
After a very painful return flight, camping under the neon lights of the airport during a 15-hour stopover in Frankfurt, the four of them returned to Magog “fully depleted” on 16 April. While some of the stress has lessened, Julie Villeneuve explains that the first weeks were also emotionally intense. “When you adopt a child, you know that there will be developmental delays; comes with. As a parent, we are very attentive to the smallest movements and gestures of the child. We are worried if he reacts to a situation. If he doesn’t react, we’re just as worried. After a month and a half, that pressure has subsided, and the adaptation is going well for everyone, including my daughter, Lili, who has been very helpful and is proud to have a younger brother,” Magogoise underlines.
Over the next few months, the Brault family must continue the official steps to obtain Canadian citizenship for Louka, who was admitted to Canada on a visa. Meetings with a social worker are on the agenda, as are a few unexpected shopping sprees. “We were given a lot of laundry, but in the end, nothing helped him! Luke is very small. He wears it 6-9 months in 17 months. We think she’s dressed for at least the next three years! ‘, the mother concludes, laughing.