Monday, April 30, 2012

Lovely Leah

I've been doing all of my posting on the family blog, but I thought I'd post this little Leah update here too in case anyone is still reading! I've been neglecting to post some really cute pictures of Leah.  After all I've got almost a year and a half of picture taking to make up for, so I really should do better.  Leah is doing great.  It is amazing how resilient and loving children are.  She has truly opened her heart to us and her progress has been miraculous.  She is such a sweet, happy, and although this goes without saying...beautiful baby.  It is so fun to see her personality developing.  She now pulls faces and can be quite a ham.  She is such an amazing blessing and has helped me be a more patient, loving mom.  She was evaluated by a PT this morning, and I was so encouraged by his report.

Of course as expected her gross motor skills are well behind her age, but he didn't see any physiological reason for it.  He thought it was due to her rough start and lack of stimulation.  He said she has great muscle tone, and he was very impressed by the progress she's made in such a short time.  She now cruises along furniture and gets to her bottom and bum scoots all over the place.  She walks quite well with her walker.  She still lacks confidence on her feet but stood for a long time the other day by herself.  (I tricked her by giving her something to hold and then letting go.  She's a smart cookie and not about to fall for that again.  If she senses we're letting go, she immediately sits down!)  He predicted she will be taking steps on her own within a month or two at most and running around by the end of summer!  The other area she is delayed in is speech and communication which is very common among kids from an institutional setting.  We're going to kind of play this by ear and possibly start with a speech therapist.

Check out our sweet girl...(you will have to ignore her crusty nose in most pictures.  Despite non stop wiping, two rounds of antibiotics, saline drops, etc. she has had a nasty nose since the day we first met)!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Loving Life with Leah

I'm not going to lie...the last few weeks have been totally crazy!  Those first few days of jet lag really kicked my butt, but I've been feeling much better since.  Thankfully the kids have been so good and our adjustment has been smoother than I ever thought it could be.  The boys love Leah and are so cute with her, and she loves them more each day.  The other day out of the blue Ian said, "I'm so happy I have a baby sister Yeah."  He really is happy.  I can count the problems he's had with her on one hand, and he is anxious to play with her and help out.  Luke has really stepped up as a great helper and big brother to the littles.  He and Seth still have their normal squabbles but even those have been at a minimum.  I could not ask for better kids, and I'm so glad we are all home together finally.  (Now don't get me wrong when Spring Break is over next week I'll be glad for that all honesty though  I have loved having everyone home together without anything planned.  We've had a nice staycation this year versus our annual spring pilgrimage to the desert which we bumped to May.)

Leah is continuing to grow and learn each day.  She amazes us with her happy, sweet personality, and the way she has adjusted to a completely new life.  It's hard to believe that only a few weeks ago she was an orphan who had no family and had never seen Americans or heard English.  Now she is becoming a chunky little girl (she officially has her first leg roll) who smiles and laughs and blows kisses complete with sound effects of "mwah!" She has brought such joy to our family and watching the boys love her and care for her has made me a proud mom!  Our family had a very special day on Friday March 30th which deserves its own post...more to follow.

We developed the pictures on the cameras that came home with Leah.  Many of them were so bad you can't even see the images but there were a few decent ones that gave us a little more insight into her orphanage life.  I think this picture was probably taken around December in the orphanage.  Look how skinny she is!  Her face doesn't even look like the same baby.  I was happy to see that in one of the pictures her little nanny was kissing her cheek and in another looking at our family photo album with her.  It seems to me that most of the gains she made in weight and strength took place in those last few months when she was returned to the orphanage from her foster home so maybe that was a blessing in disguise.

I'll let the pictures of Leah today speak for themselves.  We are so blessed that our baby girl "born in our hearts" is home now!

I think it's time now to return to our family blog.  It is a private blog but for my new friends in the adoption community (or any other friends) that have followed Leah's story and want to continue now that she's home please email me for an invite!  The blog is  Email me at for an invitation if you need one.  I'm hoping to post there very soon!  Thanks again for all of the love and support we've received both here and long distance during this process.  It has made all the difference.