When we arrived this morning, we were told Avery was not there. Her nanny, Luda, said she was swimming and we could wait for her. Then she explained to Edward, who had accompanied us today, that we could go where she was swimming. But as we walked around the back side of her building to head over there, we ran into Avery with another nanny bringing her back. So I assume she goes swimming somewhere on the orphanage grounds. Maybe a small wading pool?
This time she was only in a pair of underpants. Again, I hope these pictures do not bother anyone, but this seems to be the way they keep her dressed here. Maybe today it is just because she was swimming, I am not sure. But there is really nothing that I think I can do about it at this point. I have to share these pictures or none at all.
Luda then instructed us to go up the hill to visit with her up on some benches away from her building and groupa. She said something to the effect of getting Avery used to being away from her. Maybe she is particularly attached to Luda.
So Kacey took Avery's hand and we all went up to the benches in a shaded grassy area to visit. She instantly wanted to get into the pink Strawberry Shortcake backpack we brought for her. She seems to like the balloons the best, but her intent is to instantly try to pop them. We try not to blow them up so much so they don't pop as easily, but she just becomes more determined to accomplish the task. I tried to get her attention to show her how to play with the balloons by hitting them up in the air or hitting them back and forth, but she would not stray from her main intention.
She is very much like Aaron was in the beginning.....extremely overstimulated, wants everything immediately, and flits from one thing to the next VERY quickly. It's difficult to keep up. She grabbed a hold of one of our water bottles and we let her drink some. She kept drinking and drinking and drinking......we hoped this was okay. She finished 3/4 of the bottle. It wasn't long before she had to pee. She kept holding herself and then eventually just pulled down her underwear, squated in the grass and tried to go. But she couldn't get her underpants out the way. After a few tries, I decided that she must have done this before and is allowed to do this. Again, I am not really sure. But I thought it would be better to help her not get it all over her underwear and sandals, so I helped her take her underwear off and she went A LOT!
It is very different visiting in the summer time vs. the end of winter (when we were visiting Aaron and Julia). Most of the toys we brought over here are indoor toys. Outdoor toys are too big and bulky to bring. We did buy her a ball here. We brought a few pink tennis balls. When I handed a tennis ball to her, she immediately threw it far away into some flowers and turns around to look for another one. She didn't understand the concept of going after the one she threw. She liked the bubbles for only a minute. Balloons seem to be her favorite. We would like to try to get her to do something other than constantly try to pop them. We don't have an endless supply and at the rate she pops them, we'll be out by the end of the week. We would appreciate any suggestions on how to get her to stop trying to pop them? When she succeeds, she is very satisfied with herself. It is cute and it makes her laugh, but like I said....it is short-lived and once they are all popped that's the end of it! She continues to ask for more : ). And any time she gets bored with anything else we take out for her, she asks for more balloons. She says a certain two syllable sound and puts her hand to her mouth like she is holding a balloon and blows. We know exactly what she wants!
The one calm things she likes to do is sit on our laps and look at our picture books we brought for her. One album is pictures of our home and all the rooms inside. The other is a photo book of all of us. Today she verbally mimicked the words I spoke, while I was telling her what was in each picture. She also loves it when we would pick her up, hold her upside down and over our shoulders. Steve and Kacey did this for a while, but they soon got very tired. Without fail, every time they put her down, she jumped back up into their arms for more. And she can be hard to hold onto because she doesn't stop moving. Kacey described her as "squirrelly!"
Our visit today was about an hour and a half long. It was a fun, entertaining, and tiring experience! We understand that anytime these children get out of their routine or have visitors, it is very exciting and overstimulating for them. And they do not understand the significance of how much there life is going to permanently change. We distinctly remember Aaron being very exhausting to keep up with during our orphanage visits. Having gone through this before, it makes us all the more anxious to get her home with us and in our routine. Once we got Aaron home and made it through the initial adjustment period, things were much easier. And after he learned English, we were cruising! We are optimistic that Avery has the ability to learn to communicate with us, whether it be verbally, with sign language, or a combination of the two.
When it was lunch time, we walked her back down to her building. When she walked in, Luda instructed her to go to the bathroom to wash her hands before her lunch. I was glad to see this. We will be visiting again tomorrow morning.