I don't think I can repeat enough times how amazing these boys are. They should have had families YEARS ago. Orion is so helpful. He is full of energy and excitement. Everything we do is the best thing ever. I have never seen a teenage boy so excited to take a shower before! He can't wait to get America because he wants glasses to help him see better. He is so sweet and kind and helpful with his new brothers. He will pet Evan's head so gently and tell him to sleep or eat. Yes, he has a knack for finding trouble too, but we even love that. He did not belong at this kind of institution. None of the kids should be there, but his delays appear to be almost entirely caused by the environment he grew up in.
I love how joyful Theo is. Such small things make him so happy. We gave him a xylophone to play with and I danced to the music he made. He was thrilled. I moved his arms to the music from a cartoon on tv, and he could barely catch his breath he was laughing so much. This boy loves music. He can also do so many things for himself if he is given the chance. He is used to people helping him with tasks he can do himself because he takes longer. We would rather take the time and let him be independent. He also wants to do everything just like the other kids. When we were leaving the orphanage he insisted on wearing shoes. His feet are very twisted from never being braced or stretched, so they don't fit in shoes. We found a way to keep them on long enough for him to get to the car, and he was so proud.
I have so much to say about little Evan. He will be 11 next week. He weighs 33 pounds. He wasn't eating well at the orphanage and he didn't eat much for us at first, but he has already gotten better at eating for us. He would choke on the cut open orphanage nipples, but he will actually suck on the nipple we have for him. There isn't time for nannies with 9 children with severe needs in a room to make sure each individual child eats. If he needed to stop and breathe, sometimes someone would come back around to give him the rest of his bottle. Sometimes one of the other children would be given the rest of the bottle. He takes turns vocalizing with us, he laughs, he loves contact and attention. That last part was a huge, unexpected blessing. He loves to snuggle up with us and we thought all that attention might be too overwhelming.
Some things have been overwhelming for all the boys. Passport photos and the first medical appointment were tough on them. It was hard to get the boys to sit and look at the camera, they didn't understand what was happening, and it was right after we left the orphanage. The next day we were able to explain to Theo and Orion that we would be going back to our apartment when they were visibly frightened in the medical waiting room, but Evan doesn't understand that. He was nonresponsive the entire time we were there and didn't get back to himself until that evening. The travel has also been very hard on Evan. After being left alone lying down in a crib for a decade, it is a lot to travel across the country and back and forth to appointments. The flight home is going to be hard for everyone, but we are hoping it is uneventful for everyone. If we are lucky they will sleep most of the way, but none of them slept on the trip out of the orphanage so we are planning ways to keep them entertained. We are all hoping we travel home soon!