I'm praying that all these visits from traveling friends who go before us will help lessen his anxiety when he meets us! Another friend leaves tomorrow and will be taking him a small care package for us: a blanket with his name and a photo of Eric and I printed onto fabric and stitched into it (plus many hours of cuddles, a spritz of mom's perfume, and a few tears), a photo album to introduce him to his FAMILY! and a bunch of matchbox cars (his brother's favorite toy) to share with the kids in his room.
We also received this update from his orphanage through our agency:
1. How are Titus’ sleep habits? Does he snore or have difficulty breathing while sleeping? He goes to bed around 8pm and gets up at 6am. He doesn’t snore or have difficulty breathing while sleeping.
2. Does Titus talk? If so, please provide a short list of some words he says. Is he more talkative or quiet? Is his speech about as clearly understood or less clearly understood than other children his age? He can say many single words, such as Mama, Nainai. He can also call other children’s names. He can imitate our talking. We can understand his talking when he wants to express himself.
3. What foods does Titus like to eat? Is there anything he does not like to eat? Does he have any difficulty chewing and swallowing? He likes to eat apple, bread, cracker. He has no problem to chew and swallow.
4. What does Titus like to do during play time? What are his favorite toys? He likes to play block, ball and slide.
5. Do the nannies sing any children’s songs or lullabies with the children in Titus' room? If so, please send us the names of the songs so that our Chinese friends can teach them to us. He can sing “two tigers”, “looking for friends”, “song for newspaper selling”.
6. What do the nannies enjoy most about Titus? He is very sweet boy, he is always obey, he is a helper too. He likes to help us when he can.
I'm assuming that absolutely everyone is curious about the songs he can sing, and loves having songs stuck in your head that you don't know the lyrics to, so I've attached YouTube links for you :)
We are excited to hear that Titus SINGS. (Remember, his file says that he is profoundly deaf in both ears. We are absolutely ready to embrace whatever his needs are, but we have received SO MANY indications that his hearing loss is not quite that severe. Initially this was quite a shock to us and we haven't really been believing it. We continue learning basic ASL but are happy to continue receiving indications that he has some hearing and we will assess his true degree of hearing loss as soon as possible when he is home. ) With this new information that may point to a better degree of hearing and knowledge of Mandarin, we've stepped up our Mandarin learning, listening to Pimsleur audio in the the car and enjoying this book at home:
We continue waiting for our Letter Seeking Confirmation, which indicates that China has officially matched us with our son and asks us to confirm that we want to adopt him (um, yes!). We return this letter with a great big YES YES YES and it becomes our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). It is a huge milestone which allows us to begin applying for visas and preparing to travel! Typically families complete the steps to travel about 3 months after LOA. According to the most recent AVERAGE timelines, we *could* receive this letter by the end of April, although we are trying hard not to expect it, and are not counting the days. We can not estimate at this time when our travel might be, but we are hoping it will be before September. Please pray with us for this!