This morning I was thinking about Mia and wondering what we could do to help her adjust to her new family. I felt that if she did not make progress and we headed home she would get lost in our little crowd and bonding would be more difficult because she could continue to hide amongst the other children. I wondered if we should continue allowing her to go at her own pace or should we be more firm and insist that she hold our hands, sit next to us, answer us, etc. But the flip side is- she is making progress, she seems to be happy, everything is slowly moving in the right direction. I figured at this point we would continue to take her cues and respond accordingly.
Mia has a gentle spirit, a sweetness but a stubborn side too. She is resourceful and resilient. 10 years in tough living conditions has made her a survivor.
Today we finalized Melissa's adoption. They asked us how many children we had and we hesitated! We forgot! We went back and forth on the number! Thank goodness everyone laughed! As we are in process adding to the family and with every two days we have another child- we got confused!!
In the early afternoon we took a walk to the park just to get some exercise and fresh air!
The children love playing at the park!
YES, even Mark!
Mia and Melissa can already swing!!
So often the children have no idea how to pump on the swing.
Then they took a train ride- simple pleasures and new experiences!!
I love his spirit! He is just a fun guy!
Later in the afternoon we visited Melissa's orphanage- Nanning SWI. We did not go inside but saw the outside and talked to the nanny that cared for her. We visited at length with the director and walked the grounds. Melissa was actually in a large foster care facility not connected to the orphanage.
The white building behind the entry way is where Melissa stayed for awhile.
Many of the children are in foster care.
This is the baby building and where the children who have cp live.
This is where the children diagnosed with CP or other neurological diagnosis get therapy- OT, PT and acupuncture.
They also brought us the photo album that we had sent Melissa! We were thrilled to get it! Right away we showed it to Mia- she LOVED seeing it!! It would have helped her so much if only she had gotten it before meeting us. At least we have it now and they can continue to look through it while we are in China!
It was so wonderful visiting with Melissa's Nanny- our girl was well cared for and loved! She had better living conditions and more opportunities than Mia. Melissa has fewer orphanage behaviors- she walks lightly on her feet, she has better table manors and chews quietly. All things that Mia will learn in time.
We also found out some incredibly awesome news- our two youngest girls already know each other! Isn't that cool!! They went to camp together last summer!! Melissa recognized Madeline right away in her photo album!! Hopefully this will help Madeline on gotcha day and throughout her adjustment!
We also went to Melissa's finding spot - in front of a hotel. The traffic was terrible so we just took pics from the car.
Now... onto the breakthrough! Throughout the whole afternoon the three girls had a blast together! We heard Mia's voice a lot- she chattered away, mimicked English words, laughed and played!
Then Sarah started to remember her Chinese and they were all talking together! All the girls were nonstop smiles and giggles! It was wonderful to see and hear!!
It made me feel like we should stay the course with Mia and not push her. The progress in just one day has been amazing! She also lets Mark lift her up and toss her on the bed. So we at least know in time she will be comfortable enough to hold hands and someday give a hug!
My guess is that in the future we will have to add in more guidelines for her to follow.
She has been covering her face a lot for pics and we have asked our guide to talk to her about it. Once home these pics are going to mean the world to her- she will not want every one of them to be of her covering her face. After they spoke to her she is getting a little better about it.
Mia loves shrimp!! She at over 1 lbs of shrimp at dinner!
The next morning we left for GZ - we are here now and getting settled!
The Garden Hotel is wonderful!
We had an afternoon Starbucks and we are happy campers!!
Madeline's Gotcha day is on Monday Jan. 21st!