We met Artiom / Shea for the first time on Thursday morning! Our first meeting was only 10 minutes or less and it was in a small hallway area, everyone standing, no chairs etc so it wasn’t exactly cozy and comfy but it sure was fun!
The nanny came out carrying him and he was smiling. They said he knew we were coming today and was very excited. No one knew, or could tell me how long he knew about getting a mama and papa, but he did not seem nervous or scared at all!
I talked to him for about 20 seconds, then put out my arms and he easily came to me. He is lighter and smaller than simon. I’m guessing 3T clothing probably? Maybe some 4T in shirts. He saw the toys that we brought right away and was asking about them. The teddy bear we gave him soon became a toy that he would place on dan’s head, dan would shake it off, make funny noises and Shea would giggle hysterically. When the bear was placed on mama’s head apparently I didn’t comply quickly enough so shea put one of his little hands on each side of my head and shook my head for me so that the mr bear game would continue!
We then went on to nose beeping, and the like…We had him stand for us while holding onto a bench, and he was very proud! Then we were told we must hurry to complete more paperwork today and that we could come back for 2 hours in the evening. So - we left promising him we would be back soon. I don’t think it could have gone better if we had tried.
Since then we are allowed 2 visitations a day. 10-noon and 4-6 pm. We have learned so much about him so far.
Socially - he loves loves loves cars and trucks! All other things pale in comparison. He is also a builder with blocks etc and has a love for anything technological. If he spots our camera’s, video or laptop he insists on using them…and he actually gets the hang of things pretty quickly. He loves his daddy’s silly games and faces. He loves when mommy spins him and flys him like an airplane. He giggles A LOT!! So much giggling that sometimes we have to stop because he can barely breathe! I would say he is very happy to have a mama and papa now. He is starting to give kisses now…and has developed a strange yet wonderful action of wanting to kiss my legs and feet! I’ve also caught him sniffing me in deeply a few times. How awesome! Simon and Danielle…I miss you soooo much, and can’t wait to get you all in the same room.
Physically - As we knew from the waist down his legs are pretty small. They did a good job correcting his club feet. He has lots of hip motion and some knee control. He is not able to control his feet. He can sit on a chair without back support well. He get into and can play in kneeling. He even squats sometimes if holding on to something, and today for a few seconds he got into a sqaut, let go and maintained his position for about 8 seconds! He can’t stand or walk without holding on to things, but he can walk if pushing something sturdy like a cozy coach car etc. He can climb the ladder to a slide if I stablize his feet on the rungs, he does the rest by himself. Tunnels are not a problem for him. His fastest mode of mobility is on all fours, progressing both legs at once. I wish my pictures and video would upload on this internet connection so you could see his motivation! Wait until we get him the proper equipment! Watch out, here he comes!
He does have issues with bowel and bladder control. (nothing new in our house!) His shunt is palpable on the
left side of his head and down his neck.
Language He is a chatter box in Russian! Today we got him to mimic a few English words like mama, daddy, car, guitar, music. He understands all Russian that is spoken to him. He communicates to us through pointing and facial expression too. He fusses when visitation time is over and we need to take him back to his grouppa. I’m sad to see him upset…but pleased that I know we are the preference right now. I also was encouraged when I had to leave him for a few minutes with Dan to use the ladies room, and found out he had been asking for me while I was gone J
He seems like one smart cookie! His fine motor control is good. He does need to learn how to drink from a straw! OK...this is getting long, and I've probably lost half of my readers by now! Until tomorrow :)