I've already told you about Kieu, the young girl that hides in the back of the baby orphanage. I have gone back to her room a few times to play with her and her friends but she shys away from me each time. I had never seen her smile at me and backed away when I tried to hold her hand. It has been a little disheartening. I figured it just took time, because I saw her being a little more comfortable with Carrie and Tam, volunteers who have been here for a while. Sometimes Tam would try and help me by telling Kieu my name, or speaking in Vietnamese to her, but she never really responded to any of it.
Today, I went out back, assuming that her friends would be there, but she was sitting on the floor, doing a puzzle all by herself. I sat down quietly and watched as she took a few pieces out of the completed puzzle, and put them back in, giving me a big smile once she had put the last pieces in place. I took this as a bit of an opening and smiled, said 'great job' and held my hands up for a high five. She went for it! There were high fives all around! She must have taken 5 pieces out of the puzzle and put them back in about 20 times, and by the end of it, we had a crazy high-five handshake for celebration.
As I was leaving, I said 'Tam Biet' (goodbye) and hugged her from behind (very nervously) and she cuddled right into me! I bounced out of the room to tell Tam, (who was ALMOST equally excited for me) and I've been grinning about it all day.
They told me that she goes in and out of her shell often, and that I shouldn't get my hopes up too high that she will jump on my lap any time soon, but I'm proud of the small steps that I made today.