Today was spent giving gifts to the director of the orphanage, the caregivers, nurses, etc... They were all very appreciative. The director showed us several pictures of her they have taken the last two years and a huge file on her...which we LOVED(the pictures...we get to keep them when we come pick her up, YAY!!). We did ask about the mother consuming any alcohol during pregnancy...but she stated that there, the social workers meet with the mothers and this is not something they ask them. But, she is going to try and find out for us. Not that we see any warning signs, but we have to have eyes wide open!
We also found out that Ava does NOT like cars or new places...they had to take her for a picture for her visa, etc..for later in the process.. They said she screamed the whole way:(...doesn't bode well for the 4 hour trip from her town to Sofia on the pick-up trip. They fly some of the children because of this...
They let us feed her a snack and lunch while we're there and let me tell you, this tiny one can eat! They eat breakfast, then have a morning snack(something like a Little Debbie), then lunch...which consists of soup, a stew with pork/chicken and potatoes, and a fruit for dessert(no drink for lunch...weird). She feeds herself like a little machine and she doesn't leave a CRUMB! It's not like she's starving...they feed them appropriate amounts...but she packs it away...catching up I guess:). She did let me feed her some, but they are so used to doing everything independently and without help..they look like little robots sometimes... But she did let me help feed her, so that's good for bonding, etc...
She doesn't like the bubbles I brought..not impressive and she doesn't like them on her fingers..sticky you know.. She loved playing with some barrettes we brought for her. She spent a long time just taking them off the cardboard thingy and putting them back on. Same with the crayons I brought...she loved dumping them and putting them back in the box. She's not very active(not in front of us anyway)...she was content to sit on my lap for the whole time and look at the stuff we brought. She's very tactile. She did talk some today..she said baby and bear in Bulgarian....they say she can say several words and is just being shy. Oh, and she said "Ciao" when we left.
Tomorrow we get to see her room(and crib), as well as her with the other children, I think(Lord protect my heart!). There are 65 children in this particular orphanage, but we have been confined to the playroom, so we haven't seen any.
I would say the only "institution" type behavior I've seen is how she reacts to the routine as mentioned above. The caregiver comes in, she immediately gets up and goes to get her shoes on(in the same place everytime), or she sits down at the table and begins to eat...very robotic...but after that, she seems like any other little girl.
Tomorrow we go back to Sofia and officially sign our acceptance papers. I'm okay with leaving her, because they really do love her and she is happy to go with them every time...plus, the sooner I go home, the sooner I can get back to get her:)! I have more pics for you if you email me...please keep private, friends!:)