[This is an email I am sending to Martin and Svet. They are the staff of the Bulgarian adoption agency we used in order to adopt Nasko. We have not corresponded with them since Nasko's first two weeks here.] Dear Martin and Svet,
It's hard to believe that exactly three months ago I was dizzy from doing "Ring Around The Rosey" while Svet and Chance signed paperwork in the airport.
It's hard to believe that exactly three months ago I had very little to say to a five-year-old boy, because I knew he would not understand me.
Now, I have lots to say: "Put your flip flops away." "Pet the dog, don't pinch." "Get back in bed, it's time to go night-night!" "Tomorrow you get to ride the bus to school. Not today though. No school today!"
Nasko has learned the English language very, very quickly. He is a VERY intelligent little boy. I know that the orphanage workers tried to tell us that [warn us of that?] but we had no idea how smart Nasko really was.
Nasko went from saying about five words in Bulgarian to verbally communicating over one hundred and fifty English words in three months. He does not always pronounce the words correctly [example: "day-dee" is "baby"] but he tries so hard. He continues using sign language to help communicate many words as well.
Nasko can recognize the letter 'N' when written. He will even attempt to write it himself. Nasko can count to three (when he wants to) and can identify the numbers 1-4.
Nasko has his own thoughts, ideas, and preferences. He is learning how to express those appropriately.
We continue to work on reigning in Nasko's impulsiveness. He is beginning to walk with us, without always running towards the nearest car or office chair. He will sometimes even ask before leaving our sides.
It's hard to believe that exactly three months ago Nasko was eating some foods that were causing his stomach to hurt. We've realized that Nasko is probably intolerant of gluten (found in flour) and dairy (any milk product). Since changing his diet, he seems to be absorbing more of the nutrients from his food. Fortunately, he can still eat hot dogs - as they are his favorite food. In three days, last weekend, he ate a total of 13 hot dogs. We don't normally give him so many, but hot dogs were on everyone's menu for the Memorial Day weekend here!!
It's hard to believe that exactly three months ago Nasko weighed just what he weighs now. That child can eat, but he does NOT sit still. He burns off every calorie he takes in - and then some. Just the other morning, Nasko rode his tricycle for 2.5 miles without taking a break. He wanted to ride more, but my legs were tired, so I made him stop. Then, when we got back home, he wanted to jump on our trampoline for 30 minutes. He's not always quite that active, but it's no wonder my legs are sore by the end of the day!
It's hard to believe that exactly three months ago Nasko didn't have any male caregivers. Nasko has become his Taty's shadow. When Chance is in the garage working on a project, Nasko wants to be in the garage. When Chance is getting in his truck to run an errand, Nasko wants to go with him. When Chance leaves for work in the morning, Nasko watches for him out the window. He frequently asks about Taty during the day as well.
It's hard to believe that exactly three months ago Nasko would lash out at anyone/thing every time he got hurt. Now he cries real tears and crumples into my arms. Nasko never bites people anymore, but he will still bite toys or a pillow in frustration.
Nasko is showing more affection and trust to us as well. He desires to be held, hugged, and helped.
It's hard to believe that exactly three months ago Nasko was just entering into our family.
Thanks for all you did to make this happen. We praise God for you and your work for the orphans. We thank God for His mercy towards Nasko. We continue to be hopeful for Nasko's future.
Chance and Ginger Newingham