Gemma is coming more and more out of her shell. She's still pretty quiet during the day, but she's playing more and more. Today she kept looking to me for approval and even with an impish little grin on her face when she was doing something silly and she wanted me to notice. She saw a picture of our family, and she pointed to Simon (baba) in the picture, and then she pointed to Simon in real life. She doesn't say "mama" or "baba," but she looks for us when we're out of the room or when we're in another part of the room.
We're planning a trip to Gemma's orphanage on Friday. We're really nervous to take her. Because of her reaction to us on Gotcha Day, we're afraid that she may do the same thing if we visit her orphanage. Those of you who are prayer warriors...please pray for us/her...we covet your prayers for that day. Anyway, it is customary to take gifts to the orphanage, so we went to a Chinese "Walmart" kind of store to shop. We got lots of toys and candy/snacks to take with us on Friday. We're hoping that Gemma will feel a sense of pride to be able to pass the toys and goodies out to her friends because SHE now has a family to go home with. That's our prayer for her, anyway. So again, please pray for Gemma and her visit to the orphanage. God has shown himself so faithful this whole journey, and I know he will continue to do so through your prayers.
We went to the local police station to apply for Gemma's passport today. She had to get her picture taken, and they had to see our passports to verify our identities. We should have her passport in a few days. There were many families at the police station applying for passports...mostly Americans, but some Europeans as well. Almost all of the families adopting babies have been waiting upwards of 5 years. Had we not switched to the Special Needs/Waiting Child program, we would probably be waiting for a baby until 2013, if not longer. Almost all adoptions from China these days are special needs (SN).
Speaking of SN, some of you may not know that Gemma's special need is Developmental Delay. When the Dutch family decided not to go through with her adoption last fall, the Chinese officials required a medical reason to disrupt the adoption. So, they gave her some kind of IQ test where she scored very low. That earned her the SN label. Simon and I both feel, however, that we have one smart cookie on our hands. We don't pretend to be experts in the field of child development, but we feel that intellectually, she's pretty much right on track. Of course, there will be some social and/or other delays because she's been in an institution her whole life. We are confident, however, that with our love and God's love, she will overcome. Speaking of being a smart cookie, she discovered Simon's netbook today. Hello! She started manipulating the mouse and pressing keys like crazy! She knows what it's for! :)
Oh, and she's also eating EVERYTHING we've given her: Chinese noodles, Mexican rice; chicken nuggets; fruit snacks; ritz crackers; and tonight...pizza and ice cream. We've also had the first signs of jealousy between the two girls today...from Gracie. We knew it was coming. We know we have to give Gemma lots of attention right now, but we're trying REALLY hard to make sure Gracie is included in everything we do, and that she knows how much we love her. There will definitely be some adjusting to do, especially once we get home. ;)
Breakfast time gain!
Strolling through the Trust Mart (I HATE shots from the "rear" but I thought this one was cute because you can see Gemma's purse hanging crosswise over her shoulder.)
Our van driver...he received this shirt as a gift from another family. We HAD to get a picture for all our Coug faithful!