Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 24-He Praises Himself

Maria's view-

Today has been so far, so good.  We arrived at the orphanage, rang the buzzer numerous times, and finally just opened the door and yelled, "Privyet!"  The nanny opened the door to the children's bathroom area and there sat all of the children on potties, including Griffin.  It was the cutest thing.  The nanny was sitting among them keeping them all on their potties.  She picked dude up, bare bottom in the air, and took him back to get changed.   Glad to know that they are at least attempting to potty train him! 

Outside, we did our usual thing except that this time, we let him guide where he wanted to walk.  Chris held both of his hands and he made his way around the orphanage the opposite direction that we usually go.  He walked us to our normal place and then we could tell that he was getting tired.  So Chris took him to the swing to rest.  After that, we took him to the empty play shed where he got to play with a musical mat that is not usually in there.  He seemed very intrigued by it and I really think that he has music within him!  I love it.  He played with this about 20 mins and then I roughed him up with tickles a little bit and the nanny walked by and motioned that he was to either eat or drink.  We just nodded and she brought

out a glass coffee mug of juice and a cloth.  I sat Griffin in Chris' lap and helped him to drink.  Juice was going everywhere and it was very obvious to me that he does not usually get drinks in cups like this.  I got him to drink about a 1/3 of it and glanced up to see both nannies watching.  I kind of shrugged my shoulders, not exactly sure why I was shrugging, maybe I was just not sure if we should even make him drink this way, or maybe I felt he had enough.  I don't know.  But the nanny came over and took over for me.  She got him to drink the entire cup but it was more like a continual thing in which she didn't remove the cup from his mouth to even let him get a breath.  I felt bad for not trying harder. <sigh>  Once she was done, we took him to the swing to recover.  He wasn't in pain or anything but I just imagine that he probably felt pretty full and needed a break. I felt his little tummy and it did seem to be full.  We let him swing and watched all of the other children play.  He seemed to enjoy the breeze and the activity.  We looked across the yard at one of the other play sheds and noticed that all of the children were "set free" to play except for the beautiful blond girl with Down syndrome.  Pretty sad.  She's so capable of playing just like everyone else!  She has no issues with walking, she's so strong, and engages herself perfectly with the others!  I just don't understand.  But anyway...

We took him for a walk around the orphanage and we decided to stop at the train so that he could practice his walking.  I like this area because it's basically the platform to a slide but it's the perfect height for practicing.  We started standing him up so that he would lean his back against our bodies but we wouldn't let him hold our hands.  Then Chris would say "ee dee syu da" which means come here... and he would willingly walk!  Once he got to Chris, he would be so proud of himself to the point of letting out a victory cry!  adorable.  He would do the same thing to me.  Chris would prop him up, and I would tell him to come here.  He would willingly do so with the biggest smile on his face.  And what I love most, is that he's not done until he is in an embrace.  He has had many opportunities to stop at our hands if we have to catch him but he will keep walking until we are hugging him.  When we hug him, we praise him, and he starts praising himself as well!  It is adorable.  I love how he is connecting with us.  And by the way, he made about 10 trips back and forth between the 2 of us, only about 3-4 steps, but he was doing it alone.  He just likes to have his safety net.

We decided to do a different plan with crackers for the evening visit.  Last night, I had broken pieces in a ziplock and he could see what was available.  Today, I took 1 whole cracker in the ziplock bag.  I took it out of the bag, put the bag in my purse, and handed him the whole cracker.  He ate it well, although he put way too much in his mouth, drank his juice, and he was fine!  After he was done with his juice, I put it back into my bag and he started to get fussy but I believe he just wanted to walk around.  The minute his feet hit the ground, he was fine.  So maybe he needs to see only what is available for him to eat.  An out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.  We will see how tomorrow goes!

Our facilitator is back in town helping another family wrap up their adoption.  We are praying hard that we will have the paper that we need to schedule court so that we can schedule it on MONDAY.  We need a miracle to happen tomorrow, so please, please, please pray!

Chris's View:

There is a movie that us military folks always liken our work to when we go deployed.  It's a 1993 flick starring Bill Murray called Groundhog Day.  It's become part of the military vernacular anymore and it's too commonly heard as, "Man, it seems like Groundhog Day."  It is due in part to the lack of things to do at deployed locations and the repetitive lifestyle one falls in to while there.  For instance, I can draw mental maps of the bases that I have been deployed to and the exact route that I would walk to get from point A to point B.  I could write general schedules as to where I would be at what time.  When you have a finite amount of things to do, and you do the same things over & over, one of two things happens:

A - You lose track of time and time seems to pass by faster.


B - You cannot help but dwell on the redundant nature of your tasks and time seems to creep by.

In our instance, we are falling into, or rather, have long been in, a Groundhog Day rut.  We do the same things and wear the same things and eat the same things and play with the same toys... for the most part.  I have told Maria that this is very much like a deployment, except there is McDonald's and a full kitchen and a comfortable apartment (aside from the bed... I've resorted to sleeping on the couch).  There are niceties, but we still do the same things, on roughly the same schedule, and we are away from almost everyone we love (hey, we still got each other).  It has become as if we are deployed to this place.

I can draw a map from memory, down to the locations of fence posts & light poles, dumpsters, burnpits & pot holes.  I can tell you approximately how far it is in steps from the door of the Karavan to the line at McDonald's (about 319).  It is odd the things you can map out with just your memory.  Then again, when you do them so repetitively, it is not that surprising.

Don't get me wrong, just like on my deployments we do get some things that are fresh and new.  For example, the cottonwood "snow" that has been falling, and is still falling.  That is neat to see.  Sure is different from the yellow, pine pollen & love bug covered vehicles of South Mississippi, though I'd trade this place for home in a heartbeat!  The fact that our son is becoming more accepting of us each day and USUALLY does at least one thing new each day for us.  The shopping adventures to Karavan (today it was trying to figure out how to weigh bulk frozen french fries).  Each of these things are what helps us maintain what little sanity we have left.  It's getting about that time... yes, time to do the same thing we do every night... try to take over the world!

See ya'll tomorrow!

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