"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands."--- Kristi Larson

Our little princess!!!

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Chapter!

We thought that Ava's first Gotcha Day anniversary was a great time to close the page on this chapter and start a new one! We look at it as not the end but just a new beginning. We are so excited about this new chapter and the blessings that it will bring into our lives. So click on the link and see where our next chapter will lead us!


One Year "Gotcha" Day Anniversary!!!

Today marks our one year "Gotcha Day" anniversary ! It seems like it was just yesterday that we walked out of that orphanage in Russia.I handed them your new clothes and they quickly changed you. When they handed you back to me you just looked at Daddy and I with those big blue eyes and did not even shed a tear. I made a promise to you on that day that you would never be alone again . You now belong to a family ...forever. Now looking back at you then and now I am amazed at the changes that you have gone through. We walked out of there with a timid baby that we really knew nothing about. In one short year you have grown into our little girl that I know better than myself. The strength and courage that you have shown just amazes me. Leaving everything you have ever know and embracing us with your trust is one of the greatest gifts that I have ever received. This past year has been a wonderful year full of blessings. I had no idea how much one little girl could impact so many lives. Each day that you have graced our lives you manage to bring out the best in all of us. With one simple smile or giggle you can light up a room.

I really cannot remember my life before you.I just remember something missing in my life. A place in my heart that you have filled. Although it has only been a year it seems like you have been here with us always.In that year you have carved a place in each of our hearts and wrapped everyone in the house around your little finger. I am often told how blessed you are . If they only knew how blessed we are that God had planned long ago that you were to be part of our family,created you with each of us in mind and placed you in our arms.
I love you more than you will ever know,
One Blessed Mama

Monday, September 14, 2009

Attachment vs. Developmental

Okay, bare with me it has been one of those days! First off I want to say that things here have been going great. Ava is attaching wonderfully and has made such progress since coming home. We have been receiving services from ECI for about 10 months now. We do not qualify for a speech therapist through them because there is not something structurally wrong with Ava's mouth.So we have a caseworker that comes out every 2 weeks and checks on progress and offers suggestions. Our social worker suggested that we leave their program and enter a true speech pathologist program. So today we had our first visit with the speech pathologist.Ava is totally different in a strange setting . So they come out and take her in the back for an assessment...alone. Okay Bret can see the look on my face and I think it was something like shock or panic. She took Ava to her office did not have much luck on getting her to talk and then Ava took her hand and headed to the door to look for me. So then they headed to the waiting room and got Dad and I to go in with her. I think at that point I started to breath again. (Yes I think that I stopped breathing when they took her back.) It is so difficult to explain to someone that this child that she is seeing is not the same child that we see everyday. Ava was a bit overwhelmed and at one point crawled up in my lap and buried her face into my chest.She was like a doodlebug in my lap.I have had my baby with me for 1 year now and I know her as well as I know myself. You know that gift that God gives every mother.Well he has given me Ava's map and I know it well. Ava got in that room ran around like she was in overdrive and made no eye contact. It was like she was crazy. We have been home for 1 year this week and I have stayed home with her. She has found this home to be her sanctuary and in many ways it has been the same for me. The Speech therapist then let me know that she thinks Ava is ready for mother's day out. What?????? That knocked me for a loop.I then had to explain to her that Ava already had that socialization and what our #1 focus has been is attachment. I really did not feel comfortable explaining to her (the professional) the importance between attachment vs. developmental .What a stressful appointment it was and I left there questioning what the hell am I doing! Do I put her in some program for children one day a week.I know she would benefit from it socially and developmentally. Then I think what our social worker who is also an attachment therapist said when we saw her 3 weeks ago for our post placement. She said that the best thing that we have done for Ava is staying at home and keeping her world small. We have been blessed for me to be a stay at home mom. So ,the thought of dropping her off at a children's program and not having to work would stress me out maybe worse than her ! So I am left here today wondering if any of you have faced this and what you have done.

Any suggestions would be great .It is hard to be be reminded of what these precious kids have been deprive of at the beginning of their little lives.Today, I have been reminded once again of that and it really makes my heart heavy for her. I do not like days like today!

I think I will post this on my blog and see what other feed back I get . Wait I think the only other person who reads it is Kristine ,momma of that yummy peanut butter cup! Ha, Ha!Well Kristine and the gang give me your feed back!

Okay, I am going to go wash the mascara off my contacts so I do not bring home the wrong first grader!
Share the wisdom people!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September Already!

We can hardly believe that it is already September! The time is just flying by. In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating our one year anniversary of picking up Ava. What a wonderful day it was walking out of those orphanage gates with our precious girl and looking forward to our new lives together as a family.Since we have been home a year we feel that it is time to move on . There will be one final post on September 20th and then we will be starting a new chapter in our lives!
Today, Ava and I went to Jake's school for a parade and picnic lunch. It amazes me when I see her in this social setting. She was easily overwhelmed and timid a year ago. But today she is so secure and comfortable sitting at her Bubba's desk coloring a picture. When we go to leave she ever so gently leans down and kisses him and tells him bye . It really warms my heart to see how she loves each of us as we do her. She is truly a treasure that was heaven sent.
I will leave you with a picture that Jake took of her at the school.As you can tell from Jake's photo he was feeling a little ridiculous dressed as a nursery rhyme character! He was all smiles when he got his costume off! Check back on the 20th for our exciting announcement!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Warning! Contains Gross Bodily Humor

We have our own little mystery going on around here. I have several suspects but I am really wondering if it is one single person to blame or rather a group effort.

Suspect #1 Jake - profile: sweet mama's boy; always eager to point or pull the finger;expert storyteller

Suspect #2 Nick - profile: (confidential)Cannot divulge too much personal info I am under a gag order ; I suspect there is a restraining order against me coming within 10 feet of the high school

Suspect #3 Dad - Profile: High protein diet ...Need I say more

Suspect # 4 Tex - Profile: Sneaky and eats dirt, bugs and everything in his path!

The problem here is that I have a beautiful little girl who suffers from a syndrome called P.O.D. For those of you that are not familiar with this be glad! If you have boys in your house you are probably in denial but have seen the signs of this disorder. POD a.k.a. Pooting On Demand . Yes, my little "poot in pink" thinks this is so funny to cut the cheese in public! While we were out shopping the other day she cut the cheese so loud the lady on the aisle looked at me!
I am fearful that she is lost to all the laughter that she can get from her new found bodily function!So her is her latest mug shot . If you see her out in public I swear it is not me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

One Sad Little Sister!

Today was the first day back at school and I have one sad little lady here! Every time we said "Ava do not be sad both bubba's have to go to school" her bottom lip would stick out! Ava has enjoyed having the boy's here for the summer. It will take us a good two weeks to get back into the groove but we will have some really good one on one time again.
I now have a sophomore in high school and a first grader. That means I will one day have a freshman in College and a kindergartner! That sounds really crazy!
Well, stay posted we have some really exciting news to share in the next few weeks! Until then I will leave you with some pics of the first day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Three Day's and Counting!!!!

School begins on Monday ! I cannot believe summer is gone! Ava is going to miss her bubba's. I did not see any X box or Rockband on either of their schedules for this upcoming school year. Maybe there was a mistake? NOT!
On Monday morning there is going to be some cobwebs burning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is a photo of the band. Nick the singer, Jake on the guitar and Ava on the piano.
Look at that grin on her face! Too cute!