So, we are still waiting for our agency to get our daughter's file. Supposedly, they will get it any day now which would be amazing because we are really getting tired of waiting :-(. It's been 4 months now since we first got "soft-matched" with her and the thought of her being in an orphanage when she could be home with us is depressing! Also, the other steps have known timeframes which seem shorter.
But, while we have been waiting, our agency (Gladney)'s SuperKids team has visited our daughter - in the past 3 weeks or so. And we just got the information from that visit! We received a bunch of pictures and two videos of her yesterday and today, we spoke with the head of the SuperKids team and received information about how she is developing! We literally just got off the phone with her, so I want to write this all down so we have it!
So our little girl has a repaired cleft lip. They don't see any cleft palate which is so wonderful and apparently very rare to not have both. She had surgery at about 1 year of age to repair her lip so she has a healed scar there. Her lungs were clear and heart sounds normal. She also has a skin tag next to her left ear, but looking at the ear, the structure appears to be normal. They did a rudimentary hearing test with low noises, high-pitch noises, etc... and she seemed to respond to all with both ears.
She came to the evaluation with the head nanny. Apparently, Hannah is now part of a program where a family takes her home on the weekends and at nights. The family consists of a mom, dad, little boy and a little girl and they say Hannah has become very close to them. This makes us so happy because it means she is getting much needed attention and she is developing attachments which is a concern for children when they have been in an orphanage.
Since she has been with this family she has made huge development strides including language development. In February, her language started exploding and she has a relatively large vocabulary and is speaking in 3 to 4 word sentences. She was asking questions and saying stuff to the SuperKids team. Her caregivers also state that her language is understandable. This is so great, bc with a cleft lip, a lot of times speech can be a relatively major issue and children can need a lot of speech therapy. So the fact she is at least talking and sounds like pretty well, is a big deal! Yay!
She goes to the Half the Sky pre-school program at the orphanage and really likes it. She is very girly and likes dolls, playing kitchen and stuffed animals. What a difference that is going to be! I just got her a dollhouse from an online garage sale, so it sounds like that will be a good fit! We also have already gotten her a baby doll :-). They also apparently told her about us and gave her the gift that we had them bring her (a stuffed panda bear). I wonder how much she understands - she is 2.5 years old.
She has a serious personality which I love and reminds me a lot of Mack. She is also fairly timid. But the team did get her to smile and giggle with bubbles. :-) She really loves tabletop activities like puzzles, stacking cups, writing. She has a good attention span, because she is doing all this with a ton of other children in the room. In the video you can see her concentrating - it is so cute!
Her gross motor skills are fine, but behind - which sounds much like our kids. She walks great, but she wants someone to hold her hand going up and down the stairs. She also just isn't interested in the gross motor skills. Like she wouldn't jump when they asked her to jump. She started walking in June 2014 which means she didn't walk until 20 months! But Cooper didn't walk until 18 months and he lived in a home with a mom that stays home and got a ton of attention. It sounds she has a cautious personality.
She can already imitate a line by drawing one which apparently most of the other children in the orphanage cannot do. She likes crafty stuff.
She is starting to show interest with other children and does parallel play, but not playing with other children. She showed off toys to the older children.
She is telling her caregivers when her diaper is wet or dirty, but isn't potty trained. I think that's really good!
She gets overwhelmed by loud noises. We need to make sure she has an environment where she feels safe. She eats well and is not picky.
We love love love getting these updates! Our main concern has been language development and sounds like that is falling in line. Oh, we can't wait to get her home. Hearing how she is thriving being a semi foster family, makes us so excited to see how she will thrive once she is home with us! Pray that our agency gets her file quickly!!!