First, the good news. We finally got the signature we needed! Now we just need to clear the hurdles of the SDA approval letter and interpol clearance and we'll be set for court. Of course, nothing in Ukraine goes as planned :)
About the FAS- I am really paranoid about that, so we made sure and had the doctor look for signs. And we don't see any concerns in her personality...she is really opening up to us! She is cautious, yet daring and is always making sure things are OK before she tries them. Ok, not always. She's been testing her boundaries with us a little bit lately, but it's a good thing. I think the facial features you're seeing might just be the picture. I'll put more up after court. I also don't see signs of hyperactivity or aggression, which is good. We were also told by her previous orphanage director that her mom was "Strange, but didn't do drugs or use alcohol." I'm taking that at face value hoping that it's the truth!
Celeste - We don't know what's going on with her mental status. The orphanage told us she has a "mid level mental retardation" but we aren't sure what that means. We don't know if she has a diagnosable mental issue, or if she's suffered a lot of loss and is dealing with that, or if she hasn't gotten the education from the orphanage she needs. That's one of the things we're going to find out as soon as we get her home. A 3 year mental delay, even for an orphan, is quite a bit considering she'll be 6 in 1.5 weeks. But she seems very normal in her interactions with other kids, even a little motherly to the boys. She is also very sweet to her best friend, Natasha, sharing her toys and showing her all the cool stuff we bring her. And she talks. A lot. We don't know what she's saying, but she's telling us something!
As for her adoption story, it's still unfolding! I think I'll wait until we get home with her until I share. I have a feeling there's more to her story :) (Just a taste: Both girls we visited were Anastasia's and both had bio moms with a first name of Natalia...Hmmmm....)
Today was really cute. She likes to take Dave's cell phone and hold it up to her ear and walk around the area we take her to...so adorable! And she's a climber...we're going to have to watch her. She's quite daring, but doesn't overdo it. Quite the opposite of our super cautious Eli. I think they'll be really good for each other. She also LOVES the sandbox and a musical barbie camera we got for her.
We've been working on numbers up to 5 and she's doing great! She likes to repeat things we say, so we try to help her understand new words. It's amazing how much we can communicate non verbally in just one week.