Thursday, May 28, 2009

Keely and Kelly Update

Week Two


It has been a productive week. Its amazing how much…and how little…we get done everyday. The majority of the week, we have been conducting developmental screens of all the kids 4 and under. Many of the infants have presented with sensory and motor delay. We are using the
information that we have gained to put them into appropriate motor groups. One thing that has really amazed us is the increase in initiation of movement and engagement in play just during the
evaluation. At the start, most of the children are laying motionless on their backs in the cribs. By the end, we notice increased reaching, interest in toys and self-exploration and overall more
active movement. This has given us a lot of hope for the potential ALL these kiddos have.

We also developed a questionnaire for the caregivers at both Kechene and Kebebtsehay so that we can begin to better understand their difficulties and questions so that our educational programs will be relevant and worthwhile for them. We have started to work through their responses. As we were already keenly aware, their significant limitation is resources: diapers, formula, limited number of caregivers and medical treatment. We are going to work in the next week to better understand their current system such that we can help them get the most out of the resources they do have. This is a very challenging task- the balance of reality and optimism!

Yesterday, we had a surprise opportunity to spend time eating lunch with several adoptive families and their new children. It was a very rewarding opportunity for us to see the possibility that exists for these kids. There was a swirl of emotions for these families and children. As one husband and wife put it, “we are on day three of parenthood!” What an amazing and exciting time for them as they learn to adjust to their roles as parents to these incredible Ethiopia children.

Tomorrow we are going to assist the Gladney Center for Adoption by going to their foster care centers and helping perform personality updates for 40 children in their system. These updates are sent to adoptive families every 2 weeks to help keep them up to date with their child. We are both very interested to see the condition of the foster care centers to see how the care provided differs from the orphanages. We hope these personality and picture updates offer hope and excitement to the adoptive parents and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to provide them.

We are looking forward to the weekend and sorting through our evaluations to see where we’ll go from here. Thank you for your continued support and love.

Keely and Kelly