We received more pictures last night!!! Of course we can't post them yet, but I can say that she's too young to discern much about her personality, except that she is perfect in every way. She looks kinda despondent -- in two pictures she's looking down and away in a manner so similar to some of Dessi's old pictures so that it breaks your heart a little. To us, who have admittedly spent what might almost be an unhealthy amount of time staring at the previous pics, we see positive change, though!! She looks fuller and more alert and I think it's very clear now from her eyes that she is destined for great things in this world.
I honestly cannot believe how beautiful she is. I think she looks so similar to Dessi when Dessi was that age (although Eric completely disagrees with me), and ... but ... she's her own little being. I'm not doing any compare and contrast, and I hope I never, ever will. But I see glimpses of Dessi in her, and that makes me feel closer to her. For now, it's all I have. If I think about it too much, I physically ache.
Still no word on a court / travel date for Ethiopia, but we're hoping to hear ANY day now (seriously!) (even Patty says so. Any day now.) Strangely, I also dread it --i'm afraid it will be too sad and far away. In a nutshell, we're hoping for end of November, we're happy with end of December, and we are pretty darned bummed if it's in 2011. (but trust me, I also have 400 nuances of happy/un built into that, and a flow chart of possible mitigating/complicating factors. I have been VERY busy with all of this. Very.) But honestly, despite my grumblings, worry and flow charts, I know this is going to be all okay. Soon it will come, and until then she is in a very good place, and we know that.
I have heard of a few other families who have court dates assigned for Nov. 12 and Dec. 3, and I"m betting (but just guessing) that the nov. 12 date is for a first court appointment and the dec. 3 date is for a second (not every agency allows parents to choose to travel for the first court date). So, with all this additional speculation entered into the flow chart, my best guess is for November 24. That's my guess. Maybe sooner?! But not to get our hopes up either way. (Yeah, right.)
In the meantime, our little bug has eaten .3 kilos worth of food in the past week. What a relief! It had been our biggest worry. (For Eric, it had been his only one. How does he do it?!) She hadn't gained but .2 kilos in the last month total. Her weight, 5 kilograms, works out to a little more than 10 pounds. For a 3-month baby that's pretty scrawny, but as long as she's gaining, we're cool with it. She's still below the 5th percentile for height, weight and head circumference, but it's not scary anymore like it was (for us, anyway. The THomas Center made no mention of it). The kid just needs a dada and a mama and, of course, a big sister.
Dessi simply rocks. She adores school. Every morning, she's so excited to go. Eric and I think the teacher is pretty weird, actually, but dessi likes her so I guess really who cares what we think. She is really really into her letters now, she learned the A and B and now has started seeing them all over town and it's added a new level of utility to the whole thing that she finds thrilling. She can write her A, B, D and P (They started as bad B's, so we made it into a teachable moment ;) She is so SO excited for her sister now, sometimes she whines and complains about it -- she will throw up her arms in exasperation and say, Where is my LITTLE SISTER?! I fear we've talked it up too much or something -- I mean, it's going to translate into considerably less attention for her, at least sometimes, and it's not like her sister's going to play legos with her. But whenever she looks at the pictures her eyes get wide and dramatic and she says, 'mama, isn't she sooo cute?!"
It continues to rain here, a LOT, and we've all started on meflofquine. Whatever. I couldn't think about it anymore -- should we, shouldn't we -- so we did. Voila. We plan on taking it just until the dry season begins. Whenever that is.
OK, I"m off to bed. Eric's out now with our dear friend Henrik, who is visiting from Senegal this week. Henrik wanted to go see a reggae band and somehow Eric rallied and they left the house in a 10 pm blaze! (Not really. They were both so tired, I could tell, despite the cappucinos. But they went and did it, and that's what counts.)
I feel like I just mindlessly babbled my way through this post. Maybe I will write a more organized one soon, with some stories about the fun people we've met here so far, and the sawed-off crocodile leg someone tried to sell me by the side of the road (I had pulled over to buy pineapples) and the awesome house right on the beach that we rent ...
Or maybe to report on a COURT DATE!!!!
So okay, more later.
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