We did get some good news today. We are going to be able to hire a teacher to come and work with her while she works with us. Aleshia doesn't speak so she probably won't learn to speak English while we are away, but the time with an English teacher may help her to better understand us. It will also give her some continued attention individually. They want us to write something explaining to the teacher what we would like for her to do. We are going to ask that she continues to go over the picture album and says the words to Aleshia in English and Bulgarian to help her associate the English words with the pictures. We also want her to continue to let Aleshia listen to the story that I recorded for her, so that she will be use to my voice when I arrive. Hopefully she will continue to encourage her to turn the pages and give her English words for things. Brent will also be leaving a toy there that has buttons to push and it talks. It has several pictures on it, which will allow Aleshia to have more pictures to associate with English words as well as more "cause and effect" play.
The director of her institution is one who really CARES about the kids and takes pride in doing his job in the best way that he possibly can. He met with Brent today and asked what Brent thought of the facility and if (as a professional who works with special needs in the US) he had any suggestions. The staff there genuinely care about the kids (that is more apt to happen when the director does!) and do their best. The children are fed the best way possible. Anywhere else Aleshia would have been "bedridden" and confined to a crib. She would be given a bottle because it is easier. At this institution she is in a wheelchair every day - and Brent has seen several other kids up in them as well! She is fed pureed food on a spoon and a cup is held for her so that she can drink out of it. That is all HUGE stuff in an institution! We are so thankful for the care that she has gotten there and it makes it so much easier to leave her, though still by no means easy. They will be getting xrays done of her hips soon and letting us know the results so we can plan for treatment here. Please pray for Aleshia and the people who are trying so hard to care for so many children.
Now for the pictures!
You can see a little smile in this one, though she and Daddy both have their eyes shut!
This next one is one of the best snuggly parts of many children with Down Syndrome
- the lack of a nose bridge just makes them irresistable!
I always call that my "kissy spot" on Julianne!
Daddy is showing her the pictures of everyone in these videos!
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Please pray for Brent and Aleshia tomorrow.
I know how hard that last glimpse is for me and I'm not the one who has to walk away
or the one being left.