Ahnja was next on the pickup schedule. I was worried. I knew what she had been told about US being the ones to leave her. I also knew that she was older and in a group home where she likely had some attachments.
When we arrived and went up to the "flat" that they lived in there, the other children had gone away the day before on a vacation and she had been left behind with one staff. She was happy to see herself on the camera, but very unsure of me. I have no idea what could have been told to her after Brent left or right before I arrived. She was happy to call me "Mama" after just a few minutes. There were lots of hugs and she gave me pictures that she had prepared for me. Then she was NOT happy to be told she needed to leave with me. The psychologist was assuring me that she'd be fine. Ahnja cried and I felt so badly for her. I also knew that she would be fine later and I knew that what she didn't know is that there was no real future for her there. Down Syndrome is still a very big deal there. She was scared of going somewhere new, but her future there would have been much scarier.
I do not have videos of picking Ahnja up. The couple that went with me had their hands full with the 3 children in the van. I could have asked the driver with me to video, but I did not think that would be fair to her. She was much older and more aware. I wouldn't want someone to video me transitioning into a brand new life with some crazy lady who spoke a language I didn't understand. We got her into the van with promises of going to get ice cream first thing and still not terribly happy. Thankfully, that changed. The pictures I'm going to post of her with the ice cream show how quickly that occurred! Her personality came out quickly and she was back to her amazing self in no time at all. She has attached wonderfully.
She is doing great here at home! The first several visitors that came over made her get very quiet. Then when they got ready to leave, she said "Chow" and tried to push them out the door. After the were out the door and getting in their cars, she would go out and be very friendly. We realized that she was afraid they too would "take" her. We encouraged visitors to come more, so that she could see that she didn't have to leave with anyone. She is very friendly when people come now!
She has quite a few words that she says. She repeats everyone's names and sometimes uses them on her own. She says "No", "Stop it" (mainly to Cody or Anita! lol), "I love you", "Goodnight", "Tickle", "Yes", "doll baby", and several other words. She knows body parts and can repeat them.
She understands almost everything that is said to her. She claims to NOT understand the word "clean". roflol When you use that word and point to toys (like you do every day), she has no clue what that means. Thankfully, Destiny is glad to take her hand and model how she needs to help with that task!
She has a huge personality! She is very loving. Lots of kisses, hugs, and playfulness from her now!! She is very bossy. I've had to remind her a hundred or so times that she is not in charge of Anita. (She was left in charge of other children at the group home, so this is only typical for her to need to learn this.) She can be somewhat sassy and have an attitude, but she gets over it quickly with a timeout.
Ahnja and Destiny have become so close and the best of friends!
Destiny is actually bigger than Ahnja by several inches and a clothing size,
but Ahnja sits up tall to make sure she looks taller. lol
Here is a little "Ahnja footage"!