Since February when I first saw her picture, I have been waiting for this day. This was the day when our world collided with our daughter’s. What a sweet time it was.
From the moment she walked into the room, she was curious. The surroundings of the play room were new to her and she was intent on exploring it and us. She was a bit apprehensive of us at first, but then began to warm up and enjoy her time.
She was especially taken with her Papa, although she argued with him that he should be called “Mama!” She was very intrigued by his goatee and when he would hold her, she would stroke it, trying to figure out what she thought. Although the director of her orphanage is a male, she doesn’t usually come in contact with males so she was quite drawn to my man. This was also the case with our DOP. Males are rare caregivers so interesting in themselves.
Playing on the small trampoline seemed to be one of her favorite things to do, whether it was with me or my man. Jumping brought the most smiles. She was also very determined to stack the rings onto the tower taller than her, making musical sounds as she worked.
Before we traveled here, we had a sneaking suspicion that Anika had crossed eyes. We were prepared for that and figured we’d deal with it when we got home. If you notice, most pictures of her are taken from the side so you don’t notice her eyes. Surprisingly, the doctors here are already working to correct this. Thus, the reason for the corrective lenses and patched eye. They are working on making her weaker eye stronger. Seeing crossed eyes in an orphan is not new to me. I’ve seen it time and again. What breaks my heart is knowing that often this happens because as babies they have nothing to look at and learn to focus their eyes on. It just makes me want to scoop her up and give her plenty of loving faces to look at for the rest of her life!
Along with her eyes, we also learned that she has speech delays. We did not hear her utter a word today beside calling her Papa, “Mama.” This is not uncommon on the first visit as she gets used to us. I am curious to observe her over this week to see how much speech she has or lack of speech. None of these issues are large ones, it’s just good to spend time with her to know what we have ahead. It will give us time to line up the professionals she will need to see upon our arrival home.
We were pleased to see that the orphanages in this region are located on the fringes of the big city and in a more open, nature-like environment. Her orphanage in specific is top of the line and we couldn’t have been more impressed with not only the facility, but the staff also. Our daughter is in good hands.
The orphanage director gave us permission to visit her twice per day, instead of just once. This is quite exciting to us, but I do have to confess that two times per day of two hour play sessions is a long time to be in a small room with limited toys. Thankfully, we’ve been granted the opportunity to take Anika to the park tomorrow.
Heading to bed to get rest for another big day of time spent with Anika.