Tomorrow will not be an easy day, but it will be an important one. Of course, we are all wondering how our babies will react to seeing their orphanage and nannies again. Some of you are probably wondering why in the world we would even go there. There are several reasons. First, it is important for us to see where Ayla came from. We will be taken to her finding spot, where she was abandoned when she was 3 weeks old. We will also get to ask her nanny questions and get a lot more insight into the first 22 months of her life. One day, Ayla will ask questions about her adoption, and it is very important to us to be able to give her as much information as we can.
Second, I have a very soft spot in my heart for her nanny. We have heard she was very attached to one in particular. I want to hug her neck and thank her for loving our daughter until we could come get her. The love and care she gave her will have a huge positive impact on how she attaches and bonds with us. You can pray specifically for the moment we see her nanny. For obvious reasons, there are concerns about how Ayla will respond.
Which brings me to the last reason we're going...closure for Ayla. She had no clue why she left the orphanage on Monday morning. Even though visiting will be emotionally exhausting, we are praying that she will gain a sense of security with us when she leaves one last time...in our arms!
Ok, on to a few updates. Ayla is continuing to adjust. She has been VERY clingy the past 2 days (hence no blogs). My arms are sore, but so worth it!! She can be sitting in my lap and will still reach for me to hold her. She prefers that I be standing up too. We are working on her being able to sit and play with me beside her, which she'll do a little...but not for very long. Today was the first time she really cried hard, and she did it about 3 times. We know she is grieving, and we knew it would happen eventually, but it is heartbreaking and exhausting to watch. She finally cried herself to sleep in my arms this afternoon.
She is obsessed with the hotel hand towel. It still goes everywhere with us! She was used to sleeping with a washcloth at the orphanage, so it must be the texture that she likes and makes her feel secure. No interest in the adorable lovies whatsoever! We will have to
Today we learned that she likes to feed herself with a spoon! She does pretty well too! She even gets the pieces that fall in her bib and puts them back in her bowl. She is eating more and more. She LOVES french fries! Really, she just likes to eat! I have been working with her on the baby sign for "more". When she runs out of something, I will sign it to her and say, "more, more." Well, she hasn't gotten the sign down, but she now says, "mo, mo," in the cutest little raspy voice, for ANYTHING she wants!
She is giving us little glimpses of the personality that is hiding somewhere under all the shock from the past few days. We are getting smiles a little more, and have even heard a few good laughs. The first was Wednesday. We were sitting in a chair and she was playing with a couple stacking cups. She was touching them to my face. Then she started doing it harder...and harder. Then she got me pretty good, and I had to tell her no, pretty firmly. I thought it might hurt her feelings, but apparently it was hillarious! We are pretty sure we've got a fiesty little girl, and she's gonna give us a run for our money.
Speaking of stacking cups...those are her favorite! She will play with them for hours! She usually has one in each hand. We may be on and off the bus and walking all over the place, and she will not drop them (or whatever is in her hands). When she plays with anything, she will not move to another part of the room without taking EVERYTHING with her. We call her the "toy hoarder". It is so funny to watch her. If her hands are full, she'll prop stuff under her chin so she can take it with her. Sharing is not going to be a fun lesson for her to learn!
My favorite new thing she did just happened tonight on our way to dinner. It was just the 3 of us walking quite a ways, so I had her in the carrier. She has been getting lots of kisses, but hasn't given any. While we were walking, I looked down at her and kissed her and said, "Give mommy kiss." I've done that a lot, but this time, I thought I heard her smack her lips like she was trying to make a kiss sound. I looked at her and smiled and tried to get her to do it again. Not a chance. Then, as soon as I looked away she did it again. I looked back at her and she started laughing. Then she kept making the little kiss noise. Oh, I could just eat her up!
Overall, things are going great! Daddy still hasn't gotten to hold her, but she will let him feed her and kiss her. Hopefully it won't be much longer. There are a few other dads in our group waiting to hold their daughters too. This is completely normal, but I know Steven is so ready! And mommy's arms could use a break every now and then (still not complaining though).
Alright, time for some ibuprofren and then off to bed! Here's a few pics...