Day 5, Monday, February 11
Cara woke this morning with a bit of a cough, and was a little hoarse. I suspect she is coming down with a cold. She’s suddenly been exposed to a million different germs she never came in contact with while in the orphanage. Hopefully, it is just a little one, and won’t last long.
Last night she exhibited the first of what we call “orphanage behaviors.” She started sucking her thumb and rocking herself side to side while she was going to sleep. She hadn’t done this until now, and I can only suspect it was because she was too emotionally drained. As she begins to feel safer and more comfortable with us, these behaviors will emerge. It is sad to see your child do these self-soothing behaviors as it means that when they needed comfort in the past, no one was there to offer it. I tried to comfort her last night, but she pushed me away and continued to rock. I just spoke to her soothingly as she rocked and she finally fell asleep. There were several times during the night that she woke me by rocking, and I just spoke softly to her again until she calmed. I know in time this will go away, it is just sad to watch.
She ate like a champ at breakfast again today and seemed to be in good spirits in spite of the oncoming cold. She was very social with the staff as they once again catered to “Princess Cara!” She ate her standard eggs, sausage, fruit, yogurt, potatoes and croissant. We had to take 2 bananas with us back to the room. Thankfully, the staff is quite indulgent and allows us to take whatever we want from the buffet to keep her happy.
After leaving the bananas in the room, we headed up over the big bridge to the huge shopping square close to the hotel. I forgot Cara’s hat, and it was a bit windy, so the first thing we did was find her a hat. She wasn’t real impressed with it, but we managed to keep it on her head most of the time. I found a pair of leather Italian ankle (maybe a little higher) boots on clearance for 48 Leva, which is about $33. Score one for Mom!
We continued to walk through the square, not venturing into too many stores as we discovered we had a baby octopus on our hands when we were in the shoe store buying my shoes. I swear I put a child to bed last night with only two hands, but she woke with at least 8 this morning. She has been pushing every button she can push, turning the lights off and on, pushing the buttons on the radio, and doing her best to talk on the hotel phone! We tell her NE (No) and she laughs delightedly at us both! The more playful she becomes, the more she gets into! Suddenly life is a game of engaging our attention every waking moment. It is a good thing Ron came with me so we can tag team this busy girl.
We stopped for lunch at a little restaurant in the square. I wanted meat balls in the worst way! Unfortunately, this little place did not serve meat balls, so we all ordered a tuna sandwich. Cara ate a banana and an entire tuna sandwich on a whole grain roll, while I ate half of mine, and Ron ate his and the rest of mine. I would weigh 500 lbs. if I ate the amount of food this child can put away! I am always amazed when I watch her eat.
Daddy has still been the preferred parent, so he is the one who must hold her hand as we walk. I was in charge of taking pictures. As we headed back towards the hotel, we walked through an area where there was a huge jackhammer digging in the middle of the street. I happened to look back to see if they were close behind me and could see that she was crying and frightened. I scooped her up in my arms and hurried through the area to get away from the noise. We take so much for granted, and don’t realize how little these children have been exposed to until they get frightened or amazed by something new. It breaks my heart for all the children that are still waiting for their forever family to come and find them.
We made it back to the park, which is close to the hotel. Ron walks with Cara and I go off to take some photos of a couple of monuments that are in the park. The huge opera house, and something else that is obviously a monument, but because I cannot read the language I have no idea what it says. J While snapping photos, I hear Cara scream in terror, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” and see Ron carrying her under the arms, feel dangling, heading right for me. She is screaming “Mama” all the way to me. I took her from him and found a bench to sit on with her in my lap, looking to see if she was hurt. Ron then explained that a woman with a little white dog walked past them and the dog jumped up at her, scaring her half to death. The woman felt terrible and tried to explain that the dog wouldn’t hurt her, but she was having none of it. I was able to comfort her, but as we continued our walk back to the hotel I had to carry her when there was a dog close by. Not feeling really good right now about having 3 dogs waiting for us at home! Two little white ones and a big chocolate lab that will lick your face off if you let her! Fun times ahead… I did like it that she called for me for comfort though. That was a good indication that she is starting to connect and knows I’m here to comfort her.
Back in the room, Ron and I tried desperately to get her to take a nap. Both of us are still suffering from Jet lag, and a nap sounded delightful for us. Cara, however, was having none of it. Dad napped, mom played my little pony, baby, and chase through the hotel room for about an hour. I did finally get her to sit with me on the bed to look at pictures on the computer. She loves seeing herself in pictures and especially loves watching herself on video. She gets very excited when she sees pictures of Alexandra and Daniel, and since she has already skyped with Alexandra, she keeps asking about Daniel. Hopefully, we can catch him online at least once before we head home.
We went back to the Mall and the food court for dinner and made a quick stop at the grocery store again for bananas. Of course Cara found a few things she wanted, mainly Kinder Eggs. She loves the chocolate, but especially loves the little toys inside. Dinner was more chicken nuggets and fries at McDonalds, and she wasn’t disappointed to be there. She definitely has a love affair with French fries.
She had a difficult time accepting that it was bedtime again tonight, but we turned off the lights and ignored her for the most part. When she figured out we were serious, she settled down and went to sleep.
I could lay here for hours just looking at her and watching her sleep. The reality that she is truly my daughter, and will be coming home with us still amazes me and seems surreal. I love hearing her laugh, love her spunk, and love every bit of who she is! And she will be flying home with us on Friday, to grow up outside of an orphanage, surrounded by a family that loves and cherishes her! What a blessing she is to all of us.