Monday, October 14, 2013

In Nate's bag

Some might think it is ridiculous that Nate is traveling internationally for 10 days and will only be packing things for himself in his carry on.

But we think differently.

Nellie is delayed.  Not because of her blindness but because of her mode of care and the realities of institutional life.  Not many have given her the chance to "go to the action" (imperative for children with visual impairments to learn).  Not many have had the chance to hold her hand while she explores her environment (or provide her with "pre cane" items like a doll stroller or other push toy).  Not many have taken the time to provide her with the word for her experience again and again until she says it herself.

We can't do anything about that yet (and oh how I wish we could!!) but we can leave her with some choice toys and items to awaken her curiosity and provide her with some appropriate learning tools.

The purple book is a love book I talked about in this article.  I'm praying the staff will read it to her often and they will see the pictures of her adoring family.  A Braille book with tactile illustrations to get her fingers responsive to touch.  Another piano to match the one she has now.  Two balls with texture, again to open up her fingers.

Someone gifted us this toy.  It's the Neurosmith Sunshine Symphony and it plays Peter and the Wolf, Handel's Water Music, The Nutcracker and Mozart.  I love that it responds to touch.  Nate will buy a huge pack of extra batteries while in Bulgarian for the orphanage.  I have made a playlist on our iPod with the same songs for when she comes home.

The wrist bell and shaker are for her to enjoy - in the color I think of as "hers".

And from a sweet friend, a tiny baby to cuddle that smells like lavender.  I can't wait until it is me she cuddles.

Even since we committed to these two Nate has been scouring our dump for free finds (we have three "free" sheds at our dump!!).  The UMass Minutemen sweatshirt showed up early.  Can you believe it is the right size for Marin?  A Boston Red Sox hat and his love book.  Marin also gets a letter from a friend who lived with him at the orphanage but who now lives in the US.  He's sent Marin a card and pictures of him in his new life telling him to come to the US!

A puzzle, glow in the dark Frisbee (for some fun with Nate) , calendar (to count down the days), a map (to show him where we live, it is US on the other side).  A card game to play with Nate, coloring paper, and books.

Lots of art stuff.  They have none at the orphanage.

And one lonely pair of socks.  The mother of the boy who wrote the card said that it was one of the poorest orphanages in the country.  They don't always have the funding to turn on the heat!!

If anyone would like to make this pile bigger the clock is ticking....

Nate promises to update the blog twice a day while in country.  What else does he have to do?    No diapers to change or meals to make or laundry to do or kids to wrestle.....   he's going to be stir crazy!!

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