Today our facilitator Tatyana was able to accompany us to the orphanage so that we could find out more about Jenny's daily routine.
Jenny came in dressed in this gorgeous, Christmasy looking dress.
We were hoping with those little red shoes, if she clicked her heels together just right, we could all go home to to Kansas.
After playing together for a while, we were able to go back to "Room #8" with her to watch her eat her lunch and learn from her caretakers how best to feed her. The room was a beautiful multipurpose nursery setup to care for about 10 children at a time. Much of the room was taken up with ten little cribs around the perimeter. The remainder of the room is filled with equipment such as swings and walkers for those who cannot walk on their own. There are also a couple kid sized tables with chairs where the children are fed.
Two women were helping Jenny eat, while the rest of the children in the room were watching and eagerly waiting their turn. About six of them sat around the tables with Jenny and were so well behaved as they watched and waited. Some of them came up to us to say hello or get a little attention while we watched her eat and Tatyana translated each of our questions to the caregivers. The meal they gave her was very substantial. The main course was a chicken broth with what looked like big dumplings in it and a slice of bread. To our surprise there was a second course or dessert which looked to us like a flan or creme brulee, a cooked treat with cheese, wheat, cream and what looked like a carmelized sauce over the top. Whatever it all was, both plates were empty when they went back to the kitchen. Jenny is a healthy little eater. To give you proof is this, we found out today that she weighs 26 pounds. Our facilitator, who has known her for a while, commented that Jenny has grown a lot in recent months.
The crib where Jenny sleeps was right next to the feeding area. They were able to tell us about her sleeping schedule and that she naps for a couple hours after lunch each day.
We do not mean to make light of institutional living in any way, and each child's experience and care can vary by their group or facility. What we can say honestly from everything we have seen of the children in this group, they are well cared for. The facility is clean. The children are nicely dressed. The workers appear to genuinely care for their little charges.
That was visit six. While we were there Tatyana also visited the local courthouse to submit our paperwork, so hopefully we will have word on a court date for next week soon.
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