Here are some of the things we have been hearing.
- It seems the children are up bright and early!
- They are allowed as much as they wish to eat. They do have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, it does not seem that they are getting milk or fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. They get meat about twice a week. The lunch the reporting mother saw was bits of injera in a bowl with sauce. (Admittedly a confusing description, but there is a language barrier in trying to visit with the nannies.) "Soup" was on the menu for dinner. (This mom also said the children loved milk, fruit, and yogurt at the guesthouse so suspected they do get some. And that her little one was eating LOTS. More than her. I have heard this echoed from other traveling families as well.)
- There are 30-35 children living in the Care Center with our Joshua G.
- The caregivers are affectionately called nannies. The nannies are very loving and protective of the children. They are understaffed by our standards, but by all accounts very dedicated and doing their best.
- The toddlers lay down for a nap around 12:30 or 1:00 and sleep 1 - 2 hours.
- The morning this mother was there, the children played outside in the morning. They were later brought indoors. They played with each other, but there were not toys.
- The children are rather bundled up by our standards. (I have been told this by other moms as well. A friend reported that when she just had a t-shirt on her child on a 75 - 80 degree day, the nannies went in search of more clothes. Just a cultural difference, but my hot-blooded little Brenna would not approve!)
- There seem to be a bunch of little boys Joshua G's age. There are 5 other families waiting for court dates with boys about the same age as Joshua. What is he going to think about all the girls at our house? He'll love them I am sure because they will spoil him rotten!
We also learned this week that we will be allowed to send Joshua G. a book/family photo story and one personal gift. He can have these items as soon as we pass court. So my creative scrapbook friends, I may be enlisting your help! I know from as much as we have bonded with the one little picture we have of him, that connections can/will be made through this book. What to put in... how to tell the story of our family... explain that we will be flying with him to America... going home to 3 sisters, 1 brother, a golden retriever, and an amazing extended family and friends that can not wait to love him... how do I explain all that with a few pictures to a 2yr old that speaks another language... a challenge but I am so excited to try!
I am actually more daunted by the personal item/gift. He has maybe never been given a gift before. How do I choose? What would possibly communicate how connected my heart is to him? What could possibly provide even a drop of the comfort and love that I long to give him? Suggestions anyone?
**We applied for Krissy's passport today!