The weather here has been absolutely perfect. Our visits with Darya are getting better and better and we love spending time with her outside on the beautiful grounds. Just a week ago she would get frustrated after about an hour (or less) with us. I think she was overwhelmed and over stimulated. We are now seeing more of the "real" Darya who is playful and content (mostly!). We are also seeing some unusual behaviors and we don't know if they're orphanage behaviors that she's learned to soothe herself or not. Any of you reading this who might have some advice to offer we'd love to hear it. She grinds her teeth and/or sucks on her tongue to soothe herself when she gets tired. She will also thrust herself back and hit her head continually whens she's tired or mad. We brought a pacifier yesterday and she wanted nothing to do with it (she doesn't like things in her mouth, which I know is normal - right Julie?), in hopes it would provide an alternate way to soothe herself rather than teeth grinding or tongue sucking.
Last night we also went out to dinner with two other RR families. The food was great and we enjoyed getting to know everyone better. We are all staying in the same apartment/hotel complex so while we live in entirely different parts of the States, we are temporary neighbors across the world! One of the families, the Parkers, are adopting two girls from Darya's orphanage.
It is now Sunday morning and we just got back from worshiping with the saints at The Evangelical Presbyterian Reformed Church of Odessa. We are enjoying worshiping our Lord with them, and it's so nice to have the service translated for us! In the evening we will get together with the American missionary families for a time of study, worship, and fellowship (in English!). We look forward to that. But of course we miss our church family at ROPC in Gainesville! :-)
Here's a picture of Darya sleeping in Daddy's arms yesterday:
Dinner with the Herricks and Parkers: