This morning we returned with the red backpack. This time however we began to work with Andrew on asking rather than just grabbing. We didn't want to be in the same situation as we were yesterday waiting for him to finish his snack before engaging with us. The immediate benefit to this was that it forced him to begin to converse with us as well as set up some initial boundaries. When he would ask, we would immediately respond with lots of praise and affections. At one point he even began to pout a little bit, only to break into another smile when we began to talk to him.
We brought him shoes and a new jacket. Immediately he sat down and began to pull his old shoes off asking us to put the new ones on. Standing up he tore off his jacket and began trying to put the new one on. He let Aaron help zip it up for him. Many times throughout the day other children would be calling for him through the windows. Often they would see us and call out "Uncle!" Or "Auntie!". Andrew would run over to the window and yell at them to go away. It bothered him that others were calling his mommy and daddy, uncle and auntie.
The rest of the morning we simply played whatever game Andrew wanted to play: moving gigantic plastic blocks and sliding race cars down the slide.
For lunch we walked the city of Sofia and picked up some more sticker and picture books. Our interpreter / guide brought us to a restaurant where we had the most amazing authentic Bulgarian meal. Don't ask us to repeat what they were called, but here's some pictures:
When we returned in the afternoon, one of the caretakers brought out Andrew's afternoon snack of cream and fruit for him to eat with us. He wasn't interested so we went outside. We played with a couple of the new books we bought him but were often interrupted by the other children through the windows. On a positive note, with some effort Jen was able to call him back to us several times. Jen also got to play a peak a boo game through the playground slide and fence. It made Andrew giggle so much. Unfortunately we missed that on video.
A caretaker at the home brought out some pictures of Andrew's life there. We had only seen the most recent picture and one from when he was 14months old. She left and returned a short while later to ask us if we wanted to take Andrew for a walk with her outside the orphanage. What a phenomenal blessing! This is virtually unheard of! Not to mention that our time was to end at 5 and we didnt get back from the walk until 6.
She took us to a park and through the interpreter we were able to ask her all sorts of questions about Andrew's life. We continued walking and she had mentioned that at the river the two of them would throw sticks into it. So as soon as we reached the bridge Aaron was quick to grab a branch and began breaking pieces off for Andrew to throw in. Real simple, but probably Aaron's favorite part of the day. From there we held hands with Andrew through an open market and back home again. We bought him a banana at the market and he ate it all. He had never eaten a banana with the peel on. He didn't talk throughout this walk, but he observed everything. He is very smart and takes everything in.