I don't think I've posted this before, but this was the picture we saw at the SDA appointment on March 25, 2009. This is the picture I was drawn to for some reason. He almost looks like he had red hair at one time!
Here are some thoughts I had of our first encounter:
"We got to the orphanage around 11:30am, and got to hang with this little fella for about 20 mins before he had to go to lunch. My first impression wasn’t bad, but wasn’t good either. I didn’t really feel a connection with him at first. He was exhibiting good signs, like not wanting us to pick him up, and running back to his classroom. He has a healthy connection to his caregiver. But he didn’t want much to do with the cute stuffed dog we brought for him to play with. The orphanage appears to be well kept, and well run. The workers we ran in to seem to genuinely care about these children, which makes a big difference. She showed us how smart he is by asking him to pick the biggest of the objects on the table, and put the red circle in the right spot on the puzzle. I compared him to my friend Lindsay’s 2 year old, and he seems to be just a little past that. He’s smart, focused and obedient.After our meeting, we talked with the doctors about his diagnoses, which aren’t as bad as I initially thought. His feet will require some orthopedic care, but not surgery. And his heart condition is something that’s diagnosed in many orphanage children. The doctors seemed very up front about everything and answered our questions patiently.
We went to our visit at 4pm and this boy was a different child. He was engaging and fun, and I even got a few chuckles out of him! He is so much like Dave, it isn’t funny. He thought it was a hoot that Dave would give him jumbo legos, which he stacked right away. He was determined to stack each one, and wouldn’t stop until he reached his goal. He also loves his cars, and even showed us how he pushes himself about on a 3 wheeler. He’s on the track to being potty trained. He and I played with a roller for quite some time. I would take the roller apart, and GASP, give them to the boy, who would gasp back, smile and very absorbedly put it back together (there were only two pieces).After seeing his personality shine through a bit, we looked at each other and just laughed. I’m not sure a biological child would fit in much better. We told Igor that we didn’t need a doctor’s opinion, this is our son. Igor thought we were joking at first. He advised us to sleep on the decision; we’ll visit our boy again tomorrow and then go to the notary if we still want to proceed."
A side by side comparison...same child? Yep. That's how much he's changed in a year!