Jude has been home for 7 months now.
She is now speaking in full sentences much of the time. Some examples (just today) include: “Mama, look, Blue lights! Why no sirens?” and “I see you, Pippen!”.
I declare her officially caught up on her language skills. We will of course continue to work with her at home, but we have had no speech therapy since her 3rd birthday (aprox 2 months), due to a lag in covered services, and have decided not to continue with it at this point in time.
She has actually put on a little weight this month. She has now gained 6 pounds since we picked her up. She continues to track on the growth charts at around the 25% (she was less than 1% at homecoming).
This week Jude (and I) became a statistic. Despite both of us being vaccinated this past fall we both came down with influenza within 24 hours of each other. I suspect that I brought it home from work and passed it onto her before I even really knew I was ill. As some may recall, Jude had influenza last year during Trip 1. We were told however that she hadn’t been vaccinated last year. As a result she was really very ill when we met her and developed pneumonia as a complication. By vaccinating her this year I was hoping to prevent the same complication. When it was obvious this week that we were both ill I started her on Tamiflu. Perhaps there are a number of factors at play, but she has done so much better when compared with last year. She has had a few episode of fever and has reported some soreness in her legs and has been overall more cranky and sleepy, but I have seen none of the upper respiratory complications that she ran into last year. I am very grateful that we have this treatment available to us and that I can be there to take care of her this flu season.
I had been told that it isn’t rare to hear in Bulgaria that residents of a town/village or even a neighborhood do not know that there is an orphanage located nearby. Up until a few weeks ago I was totally ignorant of the fact that there used to be an orphanage IN MY NEIGBORHOOD. Yes. So I set out on a quest to find out where it used to be and what it looked like now. The building is no longer there. The land is part of a corner of the property now belonging to the State House (so it appears) but I was able to find this photo of it from roughly 100 years ago before it closed.
What became of it? It closed around 1915 and the organization became what is today The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderer’s now located in Waterville. I don’t believe that this organization has been a residential facility for at least 15 years. Unfortunately, little else information exists about it. As a parent to 1 (soon to be 2) children who started their lives in orphanages not unlike this one I wonder what happened to the the children that lived within those walls? As Bulgaria continues their (hopefully successful) movement to shut down their orphanages as many have been shut in my state I hope that the memory of such places will not be lost.
Gabriel’s adoption is coming along quickly. The homestudy update is complete and we received our notarized copies in the mail this afternoon. I have had my fingerprints done for the FBI background check and plan on completing the process through a channeler this time in hopes to try to get the process to move along faster. We will also be mailing out our I-800a application to the USCIS early next week. With any luck at all I hope to have the dossier complete and ready to submit to Bulgaria by the end of winter.