Tonight we went the Nyanja's house (she's the lady that is our host and directs the activities in Rwanda, interfacing wtih our adoption agency (she doesn't work for them)... pictured below with all our adopted children) for her son Solomon's three year old birthday party. There were about 30 other adults and kids there (see kids in picture to left.) It was fun to experience a Rwandan 'party' while eating some amazing food. Watching her son really made Courtney and I miss Noah. We called him when we got back to the hotel and are really looking forward to coming home to see him soon!
Nyanja also gave each of the mom's a traditional Rwandan wrap that mothers use to carry their children. Then Nyanja and her Mom showed us how to use them. You can see Courtney below carrying Maya around. Maya loved it! I guess it's supposed to be extremely relaxing and soothing for the children. I told Courtney she can carry one of the kids around while she does work around the house or cut hair... she didn't like that idea :)The highlight of the day was the progress our girls made. Up until today Keira had been pretty inexpressive, inactive and just wanted to be held or lay there. However, after six days of being with us she finally started opening up! She smiled and even laughed several times throughout the day. She started jibber jabbing some and started moving around a lot. Now we're having a hard time getting her stay still for a nap or diaper change.
Maya also is becoming more expressive. She is definitely recognizing us as her parents and preferring us to other adults which is a good sign. Both girls also had a lot of fun playing with Grandma tonight back in the hotel room. Grandma said she is worn out!
For those parents adopting, what we've been experiencing is common. These kids are going through a dramatic event in their lives that they don't really understand. They are overwhelmed with new attention and new people, while at the same times grieving the loss of everything that was normal in their life. It's normal for some kids to take days or even weeks before you see their true personalities. I don't think we're there with Maya or Keira yet but we are making progress which is encouraging!