Today we celebrated the second birthday of M.!
M. has quite the history and has made significant progress since arriving at Casa de Amor. To give you a bit of background... Both of her parents are in jail, and she was born a week after her mom was arrested. In Bolivia, children can live in the jails with their mothers, so she lived in jail with her mom until March of this year. When she was almost a year and a half old, her mom decided to send her to Casa de Amor (She knew Jennifer, so she had an idea of where she was sending her daughter). She was very delayed, developmentally, and wasn't crawling, talking, walking, etc. The hope was that being in a home, she would have opportunities to catch up in these areas... and what progress she has made!
When I arrived in late May, M. was still pretty delayed. She seemed to spend most of her time in the spot where a tía sat her down and didn't really know how to play. She would hold toys but just stare at them. If she did want to move, she did a sort of army crawl... dragging herself along. She didn't really have a desire to interact with anyone or anything though, so she didn't really care about crawling.
After a LOT of work with physical therapists, M. is a different child. Watching her transformation has been nothing short of amazing. She first learned how to properly crawl, and now she's walking all over the place, all the time! We can't keep her still! She climbs out of her high chair in the dining room, constantly takes her clothes off (socks and pants are her favorite to remove!), plays appropriately with toys (she loves it when I "dress" her baby dolls in our fabric-scrap wipes and she searches for a plate and spoon in the playroom so she can "feed" both me and her baby), and is learning to talk (she can say "mamá," "papá" and "más" (more)... and today she tried to say "por favor"!).
She still has a bit of work to do to be on level developmentally, but if her progress so far is any indication, she'll be caught up in no time!
This morning, we went to visit both of her parents. Her mom had ordered a cake for her, so we celebrated with her and her mom's friends. Unfortunately, M. decided she wanted no part of the cake and refused to even try it! We arrived back home just in time for lunch. Then, we celebrated again with another cake! She ate a little bit of that cake but not much. She doesn't have much of a sweet tooth!