We met Maria today! What a squishable, edible, sweet doll she is! She is going to need LOTS of therapy but she is going to do well. I really think that horse therapy is going to be the best thing for her. Her core is very loose and she cannot sit on her own but she is very close to crawling and I think that she will be by the time we get back. She is very chubby and HEAVY. I am going to get some serious biceps with this baby around. Maria seems to be developmentally 6 months old but is chronologically 16 months old. During her medical info session we found out that she has some hydrocephallus and brain damage so that may affect her development (in addition to Down Syndrome). She also has crossed eyes. This is something I have not had to deal with yet so I guess I am going to learn something new. She refuses to bear weight in her legs so she is going to have lots of time in the Johnny Jumper. I think that she realizes how heavy she is and is saying, "Are you serious?!" Maria also has very unique ears. I think we will need to do some hearing tests when we get home.
The most concerning is her heart defect. It is getting worse and she really needs to have it operated. Unfortunately, they have decided not to perform the surgery so we really need to get her home right away.
She makes the most adorable little sounds. She has a very calm and sweet disposition. The kids are going to simply adore her. Poor thing will never have a moment of peace because she will have so many brothers and sisters eager to play with her. This will be a great thing though as it will build her strength and coordination. I really believe that siblings are the best therapy of all.
Maria is in baby house 2. Unfortunately, they are much more familiar with international adoptions and therefore we did not see many of the other children and we didn't see any RR kiddos. We found the facility nice. They do not have consistent caregivers though and they just have several people who rotate through. This was disappointing as this can create serious bonding problems. Maria seems cognitively delayed enough that this will probably not be an issue though. As a note to future adoptive parents, if you are adopting from Novosibirsk baby house 2 make sure that you wear socks as they make you take off your shoes.
I feel much better today now that I have had enough sleep. After enjoying Maria today, we both feel much more confident and far less worried about our meeting tomorrow with Alisa.
Enjoy the pics!