It doesn’t take long for the kids here to realize that all good things come out of Mama and Papa’s backpacks…Grace figured it out today. She still loves the camera (we’re hoping ours can survive her playing) and immediately started pointing at Philip’s pocket today, wanting to see the pictures on his phone. This kiddo is going to fit right in if she already loves technology. :)

We arrived at the orphanage at about 3pm and they obviously weren’t expecting us because all the kids were still in their beds from nap time. No one was asleep, but they were all staying put. I want to know their secret! When they saw us they brought her out and dressed her for us (they all nap in just underwear or diapers). We had a chance to quickly see that she does have a spot very low on her back that is puckered, which may means she really does have SB. And we’d always heard that they don’t actually bathe the kids, but do more of a sponge bath type thing. They cleaned her up quickly in one of them so it gives us a better idea of what she’s used to, which will help when we transition her to real baths. They put on her little boots today that give her ankles more support, but I’m pretty sure she’s outgrowing them because they were hard to get on. We got to take her outside and we had the whole playground to ourselves for most of the 2 hours.

She pointed to what chair or bike she wanted to ride and directed us to multiple swings and slides that she wanted to use. She rode down the twisty slide with Philip for the first time and had me drive her all over the sidewalks on a bike. She acted like she wanted to eat a pretty gross apple that had fallen from one of the trees and we realized she probably missed snack because we came so I dug in the backpack for the granola bar I thought was still in there. Her eyes lit up and she didn’t waste any time gobbling that thing up! They have apparently taught them to be very neat and it bothered her that her fingers were getting sticky so she had Philip hold the bar while she chewed and kept cleaning her fingers with a napkin. Other parents have mentioned the kids have pretty good table manners…that’s something we’re still battling a bit at home so maybe she’ll be a good example! Once the bar was gone she wanted to start digging through the rest of the bag. Normally I would have all kinds of kid stuff on me, but most of that was left at home. She found a novel in there about William Carey and she held on to it the rest of the time. We’d also brought our photo album, which she wanted to keep with her (she likes the pictures of Josiah and her ‘babushkas’) and then wanted to wear my backpack as well. At this point she had the pack, the 2 books and a couple pieces of paper she’d found and tried to hang on to all of them while directing Philip to pick her up. She reminded us of ‘little Grace’ who tries to do the same thing at home and it gets tricky to hang on to the kid under all the stuff.

Afterward we were able to meet up with 2 other RR families and have dinner. Once again it took 2 hours for the food to come out and they brought out an extra meal, which we sent back but they tried to charge for anyway. It’s very challenging to order from a regular menu when you can’t read anything and you can’t just pick something random because you may end up with just alcohol (it’s half of any menu), gum or cigarettes (sold at most restaurants) or something completely covered in mayo or sour cream. We tried to communicate that we weren’t going to pay for something we didn’t order, but at the end we still weren’t sure they understood so we paid for what we ate and then left…and kept looking back to make sure no one was yelling at us to come back. It would be such a little thing if we could all understand each other, but with the language barrier it’s almost impossible to disagree with anyone because you can’t explain yourself.

Time to try to translate a few words she keeps saying that we haven’t figured out yet and head to bed. I think we’re meeting her again in the afternoon so we’re planning to spend part of the morning with Forrest at his house and maybe help another RR mom come move in with us for a few days while she finishes up her process before heading home. It’s truly been wonderful to have some other people here to share this with!

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