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Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm leaving!!!!! On a big ol' jet airliner....

Tomorrow's the day! I leave to go back to Brigita's country for her adoption hearing! I'm so excited. I cannot wait until she is officially my daughter. Of course, there is a 20 day appeal period that we have to wait before Brigita and I both travel back to finalize everything. But still...Monday is such an important day for us! It will be her official adoption day!

Please visit the link below if you would like to purchase some Pampered Chef products to help us out with some of the travel expenses for the last trip. The consultant has graciously offered her entire commission to our FSP!

Brigita is doing okay. She is still struggling with ear infections and so we are waiting for a surgery date (again) to put tubes in (for real this time). I will be so glad. Every time she gets an infection, her behaviors regress and of course she is in pain. She is now making a gesture of someone lifting her chin up sometimes. I think she is mimicking me lifting her chin to help her with her medication. She doesn't always lift her head up to drink. So, I think she is letting me know she needs medicine. And of course there are behavioral cues when her pain meds have worn off: covering her ears, screaming, grumping and groaning, hitting herself in the face :(

When she starts to feel better, she is such a loving, sweet girl. She starts learning new things and doing things. And then she gets sick again...and regresses. I'm so tired of this cycle.

Please keep us in your prayers this weekend through Wednesday. I leave tomorrow, have court on Monday, and leave Tuesday morning. I will land around 7pm Tuesday night and already can't wait to see Brigita! Please pray for Brigita during this time as well. This is our first time apart and she will also be with people that have kept her short term but never long and definitely not overnight. She is such a strong little girl that I feel like she will be fine. And she's with good people! But, you just can't tell what separation will do when having a family is so new to you.

In addition to the ear infection, baby girl had a tummy bug. She slept nearly all day. We enjoyed lots of snuggling together.


She LOVES her keyboard!

She got 2 cakes: one with me and Aunt Liz and one with my family

She climbed all up on this tall bed by herself after watching her cousins one time

Heart Sunday @ church! Her hair has gotten long enough for pigtails!

Don't let her fool you...every last puzzle piece was promptly thrown

Again, she LOVES the keyboard!

Playing with a doll. Hasn't she gotten so big?

Oh, we had her school assessment with the School for the Deaf (partly b/c it was scheduled prior to us knowing she had basically no hearing loss and partly b/c our school system had no idea how to evaluate a child with no communication). They will send me the results soon. The biggest thing that came out was that 2 different people there have mentioned concerns about her vision. They do not think she is focusing correctly and not seeing things well. They have recommended another doctor (not sure if he's an ophthamologist or optometrist yet). They are writing a letter so I can send to the insurance company so I will hopefully not have to pay for it since she has already had one examination already. Also, they said sign language will likely not be her main way to communicate due to dexterity and vision concerns. They believe she is an auditory communicator. Also, in terms of communicating, we have been working on saying "mama" which is a sound Brigita actually makes sometimes but not trying to say the name. Anyway, Brigita is starting to try to mimick me saying it! Then today I was saying "nana" and she copied me! She also signed "milk" last night while drinking her milk. She even stopped drinking to watch herself sign it. My big girl! She makes mama proud so many times per day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday, Brigita! (and an adoption date!)

Today is such an important day for me. I've been talking with Brigita about this day for a couple of weeks. We have been singing Happy Birthday already and talking about blowing out candles. My niece and I tried showing her how with dandeelions yesterday. Last year, I was praying and celebrating Brigita's last birthday as an orphan and in an institution. Though she is still technically an orphan, she really isn't. Brigita knows love. She knows a family. She knows that even if this mama has crazy mama moments one minute, she will be snuggling and loving her the next. She is beginning to see that if she gets hurts, I will try to make it better. We were playing on her bed yesterday (she has moved into her own room!) and she ended up hitting her leg on the foot board. She winced and rubbed it, but I immediately swooped in and started making it a big deal. Kissing her leg and rubbing it myself. Brigita laughed! She thought mom's reaction was so funny. But at the same time, she lifted her foot towards me. She sought me out for more. I explained to her that mommies kiss boo boos and make them better. Right now, she is still sleeping as its 1am here. I can't sleep b/c I'm so excited. I have already decorated her chair and hung the Happy Birthday banner. I meant to hang streamers and thought we had some but apparently I don't. I will pick them up tomorrow on my lunch break. We are going to have spaghetti (her favorite) and cake tonight. We will also have a family celebration this weekend for her real party. I will post pics of her when she is actually awake on her birthday later.

Ignore the tinkerbell! We will be getting her a lady bug bed set after we have completely finished with the adoption.
But look at her sleeping in her big girl room!

Tonight has also gotten me thinking of her birth mom and of her actual day of birth. I can't imagine how she must have felt, having had a few miscarriages already and expecting to have a "normal" child. Only, when Brigita was born, her mom would have likely been told of all the "bad" things about Down syndrome. Brigita was born with a rather large hole in her heart (ventricular septal defect). Brigita had jaundice and its likely safe to say that her mother was told Brigita was a sick baby and would likely not live. I can't imagine what her mom was feeling, leaving her baby behind in the hospital. She certainly wasn't old but was nearing her child-bearing years. I'm not sure if she went on to have more children or not. I hope if she truly yearned for Brigita, that she was blessed to have another baby that was healthy. I hate that she was unable to take Brigita home and see what a wonderful little girl she has become. I can only imagine how much more wonderful she would have been with the right love and care from the start. When Brigita was born, there was no school or day care available for children with special needs in her country. The medical care system now is one of the worst in the EU, so I can only imagine what it was like 8 years ago. I hope one day if her mother would like to know what happened to her child, what became of her, that she and I would be able to make that connection. I do not fault her in any way for leaving Brigita in the hospital. Though I do hope it was a hard decision for her. I know that may be wrong of me to wish, but for Brigita, I hope there was pain in leaving her behind. And I pray one day she can see the beauty and life in this wonderful little girl!

 Love my mommy and daughter moments! I think Brigita does too!

And I cannot believe I have not posted yet....but I did receive our adoption court date!! I will have court on February 25th! In God's great glory, this date is also the anniversary of my father's passing (when I was 19) AND the date of my uncle's birthday, who only recently passed away. I am so glad to always remember him on this date as well!

Doesn't she have the cuteest little hands?
They look like her mama's, tiny with short stubby fingers.
Really, mama? Another picture?
Still enjoys swinging! Even on cold days
(though it was only 50-something degrees here today)