McDonald's does not serve breakfast in India. Who knew? I know it sounds ridiculous that we would go THERE while in India, but Devi has obviously lost some weight and we are trying to put a few solid calories into her with a bit more than a week left to go in India. In the end, it was room service eggs this morning.
Fueled for another day we headed back to SOFOSH for a second, less apprehensive, meeting with our daughter Sonalika (which we've been pronouncing wrong the whole time...it is Sa-NALL-ika) She was smiling and looking out the window at us when we arrived, but once inside played a bit of the shy game. The children were still all in there sleeping clothes - layers of clothing, each with a heavy wool sweater on top. This is winter here, but honestly the temperature probably does not make it into the 60s. Pat even saw someone with ear muffs on this morning.
Out she popped moments later in a beautiful pink dress, all smiles to see us. Treya can be described in a few words, active, opinionated, loved, spoiled rotten and did I say ACTIVE. She really never stops moving....ever. She was having a hard time leaving the circle of other children, all seated in a maze of small connected rooms and hallways, making it difficult to follow her until I sat across the room and took a board book from by back pack and started to read it.
Like a magnet, she rushed me and then we connected for the day. Because she is always moving, we read in the hall, in the crib room, outside, outside some more - each session lasting only a few minutes before she would take the book and move to a new location. Yesterday they mentioned that she rarely speaks, but you couldn't prove that by me. She has been non-stop babble since we've met and actually refers to me as momma all ready. Today I taught her the sign for ball and she says the word and hot...while sitting by the chapati burner.
Soon we were introduced to a NRI (non-resident Indian) family arriving from California of all places to adopt a small girl, Sasha, today. His parents live in Pune and had made all the arrangements. They have a biological daughter the same age as Devi and the two girls made fast friends discussing their excitement about becoming big sisters.
While there ceremony was going on, we stayed in the small baby area playing with the children. Sonalika, who seems to get her way all the time here...no discipline, was mad because she wanted to go into the hall, which would have disrupted the ceremony. Recalling a passage in the book I am reading on this trip, which states, "Touching is one of the most important things a person can do...It is the best form of communication, better than any verbal language." I saw the opportunity and seized the moment to pick her flailing and crying self up and cuddle her. She briefly relaxed into my embrace for the first time and I think actually put her head on my shoulder for a few seconds. It felt wonderful to feel her warm body against mine, and to feel her little legs actually wrap around my waist. Up to this point, every time one of us picks her up, she goes boneless and hangs her head back getting as far from you as she can, so I call this progress.
Lunch came next, which started in the kitchen with Manda (Monda) Sonalika's favorite care giver making chapati. Evidently, Sonalika daily pushes a stool close and helps her, of course grabbing a nibble from time to time. So it seems we now have two future cooks in our family. While eating her mish mash of rice, she started playing a game with me...take a bite from the caregiver, then jump up and give me a giant leg hug, then I'd take rub her back and take her back to the stool. We did this throughout lunch...making feeding take a long time!
It is odd trying to figure out how much we should step in and how much we should observe. The caregivers speak no English and so much of the time I think we are in the way, or messing with their orderly tight ship. No matter where I step I seem to be blocking something or someone and so someone is constantly moving me out of the way. I am huge compared to them also, so feel a bit like the bull in a china factory. It will be nice to finally bring her home or at least to our hotel where we feel like she has to rely solely on us. I think by tomorrow she will be ready.
We chatted a bit with the director who confirmed my suspicion that Sonalika was born to a married couple who were unable to treat her needs. They took her to a safe place for babies to be brought to SOFOSH when she was 5 days old. She was born of healthy weight and full term, which only goes to show what good care she received from her birth mother before even being born.
Nap time came for all of us. Sonalika was put in the top level of cribs for hers and sleeps with one other baby girl each time...although not the same child each time. When I went in to say a final night-night the sleepy head popped right up and gave a grin recognizing me as momma. We all blew kisses and said see you tomorrow. She does the sign for Namanste and then blows kisses, which is cuteness beyond words.
Namaste, until this afternoon. This evening we are going to try and take Dev to the circus which is in Pune for the first time ever! It is our last big outing as 3 before taking custody or Treya tomorrow. Devi's quote of the day, "The day after Circus day, we get to bring Treya home. I can't wait!"
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