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Sunday, September 30, 2012
Sorry for the lack of posting. My internet service in country was not very good. Then my computer wouldn't connect to the internet at all. So, I just let things slide. I have been home since Tuesday, 09/25/12. So, what has happened since the last post...Oh I know! Brigita is home with me!!
Friday, September 7, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
9/5/12 Orphan court went okay yesterday. I was given guardianship of Brigita however, they want us to keep her until 09/21/11. This is 17 days of bonding time, which is ridiculous. 10-14 days is all they ever do. And it means at least $600 more for airfare changes as well as money towards the lodging and food. Hopefully this will be changed. The judges (I guess that’s what they are) had many questions about how I would handle Brigita’s hitting. To me, its not a big deal. She is not aggressive. She thinks its funny, she is doing it for attention, and its just like kids going to daycare learning negative behaviors except she is around it at all times, no one has the time to address the issues, and they don’t think she can really learn anyway. Yesterday Liz and I went into Riga to get Brigita some clothes. We managed to get on the right number train and on the right track home, but it was retiring for the night and another had taken over. So we drove about a quarter of a mile and then the train stopped, the lights dimmed, and then went out. We had to bust out of the boxcar (I know, dramatic, we simply opened the door), jumped down on the tracks and walk back the quarter of a mile. It was funny. We made sure we were not the first or only ones to get on the next train. Poor Brigita had to drive for 4 hours. She was a trooper though. I don’t think we could have asked her to handle it better. She of course got really restless the last 2 hours. It was past both her dinner time and bed time and she had been sitting in a car for basically 2 hours with total strangers. She is usually in bed at 8pm but it was after 10pm last night. She slept well though. She loves a bath!! She lays all in it, completely submerged and likes for me to splash water on whatever is not covered by the water. You have to drain the water out and still pick her up to get her out. She is an amazing little girl! It makes me so sad to see the behaviors and oddities she has developed in order to stimulate and soothe herself. She rocks often and likes to dangle things in front of her face. She sucks on her clothes and stuffed animals. She tries to suck on her thumb but her tongue is so big she mostly ends up chewing on her thumb. Tonight she was tired and not feeling well and proceeded to hit herself quite hard on both sides of her face and head for over 2 hours. However, she was also coming to me to “fix” it for her and help soothe her. She is funny and her personality is coming out more and more. And its only been 24 hours. I am going to miss her so much! I pray that the process is completed by Christmas but there is a definite possibility that it could be February. This makes me so sad on so many levels. I love her so much and just want her to be home where she can get some medical care and attention. Her little stomach is so distended and she has gas (and let me tell you they stink!) all the time. Her tonsils and ears also need checking out. I don’t think her tonsils are infected necessarily but they are definitely obvious. Her teeth could be worse but she has several cavities and damage from excessive grinding. Brigita likes to snuggle and loves to swing. She likes the stroller and has done well walking hand in hand when I’ve allowed it. She is strong willed, stubborn, and independent. Most of her smiles and laughs are more mischevious. But I have gotten to see some sweet smiles too. She thinks she’s hilarious by the way! I think she is too! Though she is bigger than I expected, she is not as big as she seemed initially. I was expecting a small, petite 3T and what I got was a very big 4/5. 09/06/12 Brigita is fantastic! I love this little girl so much. She follows me around, wants to snuggle, and loves to play. She is learning time out today. We have realized that she is much more aware of what she is doing than given credit for. She has spent several times in time out today (with me standing there of course). She will even check to see if I am looking and if not will try to get up. But when I turn around, she’ll plop right back down. She even knows to give hugs afterwards. Again, she is fantastic! She has beautiful skin like porcelain and big brown eyes. I can’t imagine being with her another week or so and then not seeing her again for months. When she lays beside me at night, she smiles and smiles like she’s so happy to be there and for me to be there with her. She follows me around the apartment and if I look like I’m going out, she comes to grab my hand. She is eating and drinking okay and using the potty, though she doesn’t tell you she needs to go or anything. She would bathe every time the door is open if I let her. Well, I’m cold and been away from her for a little while. I have to come outside to use the internet so I’m not able to get on often without being away from Darya and leaving everyrthing to Liz. I’m going to try my hand at adding a video of Brigita doing one of her stemming behaviors. She had an "episode" yesterday evening of hitting herself for about 2 hours. She clearly didn't feel good and just wanted to be held and snuggled but couldn't stop hitting herself. I gave her some tylenol and just held her. After she ate and got a bath it completely subsided. It was pitiful. It was like having a child whining when they don't feel good but instead she was hitting. But she wanted mama.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Sorry its been so long but I haven’t really had access to internet and we have been on the go. Liz (my good friend) arrived here on August 30. We stopped at the store, got settled into the apartment, met up with Valerie and Tyler Kirkland for a little bit, then showered and basically vegged out. We were in bed by 8:30pm. We were so exhausted. The flights were not bad but were long!! The longest one from Newark, NJ to Frankfurt, Germany had some very inconsiderate people in front of us that felt they should recline their chairs all the way back the entire. Poor Liz’s knees were crushed against the back of the chair. Being short this was not a problem for me. But the TV screen was directly in front of our eyes. I have never watched TV so close. The flight attendants had to pull their chairs up for them so we could eat. As soon as they were eating, they would recline again, whether we were finished or not. It was not fun! Brigita’s country is beautiful! We have mostly just seen things while driving. We are staying in a beautiful resort town outside the capital and her orphanage is about 4 hours away. We left the next morning to go see Brigita. Oddly I did not feel very nervous about meeting her. It mostly just felt surreal still. I have seen the outside of her institution and the people there so many times on videos I had found. But seeing it in person still felt weird. But what was most surprising was the child they brought to me. I was waiting for a little, listless girl. What came in was nothing little and nothing listless. Brigita has grown so much. I brought 3T clothing but am guessing she is a size 5/6 maybe. She is about 3 ½ feet tall! Her hair now reaches her shoulders. She is absolutely beautiful. She was scared when she walked in but quickly reached over to climb in my lap, then promptly boxed me in both ears LOL!!! She loves to do this and thinks it’s funny. She is quite the little imp. She also thinks biting is funny. Luckily she doesn’t do that as often. She will hit anyone that gets within reach of her but mostly on the sides of the face. She also does this to herself. She tries to run off and also thinks this is funny. She is very active and tries to climb everything. We were told she was not “very into what is happening around her.” Wrong!! She is completely aware of what is going on she just doesn’t always care. She does have some attention issues. We were not allowed to take her from the orphanage yet because we have not had orphan court. But we were invited to stay at the orphanage as long as we wanted. The only problem is they wanted our attorney/facilitator person to stay as well b/c of the communication issues. So, we stayed in an apartment at the orphanage and they kindly fed us dinner and breakfast too. It was very well prepared and good for orphanage food. They fixed everything up nicely. We got to meet some of the other children but there was no one to translate for us so the kids would just walk off. But the kids knew Brigita’s name (its actually a nickname of her real name). I met Veronika from RR. She seems really sweet and takes care of the younger children. Also, Brigita’s hearing does not seem as bad as I had expected. She definitely has issues with hearing but there were things I wouldn’t have expected her to hear that she did I’m getting cold b/c we are having to sit outside to get internet access. We are going to go buy new clothes for Brigita tomorrow and do some adult and touristy stuff with the Kirklands since we can’t see or get the kids until Tuesday. We all go to court on Tuesday and hopefully get our kids that day!! We can’t wait to get the kids together and spend time together. And I’m excited to have Valerie and Tyler’s expertise and advise! So, here’s the pictures! Brigita first walking into the room! See how big and scared she is...