Monday, August 06, 2007

The Most Terrible of News

On 5th Aug we heard news that we could never prepared ourselves for.

Chris sent an email round to some of our friends (afraid we had to do it in batches, we had to share it out between us) which I thought was beautifully written.

I copy it below:

"Dear All,

We have recieved very upsetting news that our little boy, Umesh, died yesterday in his orphanage in Nepal. It was very sudden and unexpected. As you can imagine we are desperately upset.

We appreciate how supportive and helpful you have all been in our attempt to adopt baby Umesh.. be it from writing reference letters to complete our dossier (which seems like an eternity ago now) to being genuinely excited for us when we cornered you with photos of our son !

So we just wanted to send out this circular e-mail as it really helps not having to constantly break the news to individuals or tell the painful story again in 6 months when we next see some of you.

We only spent 5 days with Umesh in Kathmandu but he was one of the happiest and "chuckliest" little babies we have ever had the privilege to meet. Leaving him behind was very hard. We genuinely felt he was already part of our family and that the day was drawing closer when we would be able to bring him home to his loving family.

As it happens the anticipated date for completion of his adoption in June was continually delayed by governmental infighting and political wranglings. Obviously he was not destined to be with us but at least, even in his short life he managed to find parents and people to mourn him.
Maybe he was too good for this world and now his soul can find some peace.

Much love to you all"

The orphanage and the lawyer who was helping us are equally stunned and in 12 years of operation this is the first death they have ever had.

Manoj told us that the orphanage is in deep shock and the nannies who cared for him and, in fact, the entire orphange is observing 10 days of mourning.

I asked him what this entailed as we would like to observe their customs if at all possible to acknowledge the culture he was born into and to feel a bit closer to them.

This was his email yesterday:

"Dear Chris and Caroline
we all pray for little umeshs soul.
Here at home we dont take salt and non veg for 13 days, the nannies are observing the ritual without salt and nonveg, and the orphange is not cooking any non veg .
traditionally the father has to shave his head.
every morning we offer water to surya (sun) meant for umesh .
On the thirteenth day we will feed a brahmin in a temple and he does puja in umesh name for the release of his soul.
umesh was cremeated at Pashupati temple , so the puja will also be done there at pashupati."

Given Chris's particular 'hair' style - head shaving is not really an option *rather weak watery smile*

Anyway, like Chris said earlier, we thank everyone who has been so supportive of our journey to Umesh - we are utterly heart-broken and currently can hardly figure out which way is up.

The shock will pass and we will continue to hold each other and our family & friends close while we mourn the loss a little boy born in Bhaktapur, Nepal who became our Son the minute we saw his photo.



Kimono Karen said...

I'm so sorry to read about your loss. Words are never enough in times like these, but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and everyone who was touched by Umesh.

Anonymous said...

I am so terribly sorry. What a horrible shock for you. I know of other people this has happened to in 2004 but they were Balmandir adoptions and so they had not visited yet and only found out when they had embassy appts that there had originaly been another child. Please know you have my deepest sympathy at this impossible time in your life.


Jessica said...

I'm very sorry to hear your sad news. Much metta to you and to Chris.

Kathy Ma said...

Oh Mi Gosh! I had no idea! My heart goes out to you both & your families. There are no words that will console you at the moment, but my thougths are with you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Caroline and Chris,
I know we have never met but I feel I know Caroline via our postings on a certain website and also the odd e mail to each other. I can't start to think what you must be going through and my heartfelt condolences are sent to you both.

God Bless you little Umesh
Love Debbie