Saturday, January 8, 2011

6 pounds and some change

That's how much weight Darya has put on in three months! I took her to the pediatrician yesterday.  She's had these little red dots all over her body, and several times little areas that have red pinpoint dots.  I was almost certain it was petechiae (which could be an early indication of leukemia). This worried mother was so relieved to find out that it was only eczema!  The boys have had eczema and it's never looked like that, but two doctors looked at it and were both certain (even the small areas with small red dots that don't blanch when pressed).  So now I have to wash her clothes in perfume-free detergent and use perfume-free wash and lotion for her.  If it doesn't help, then we'll see if it's something else causing her allergy (environmental or food).  But when the nurse put her on that scale and she was over 22 pounds I was surprised!  I knew she'd put on weight, but 6 pounds! haha!!  I love my chunky monkey :-)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

3 months home already!

Has it really been 3 months since Darya came home???  Wow!!  Yes, time has flown, but mostly it feels like she's always been a part of our family.  My heart just overflows with love for my little girl :-)

Each day she amazes me.  She is walking everywhere now. She is learning new signs and surprises me with what she remembers and understands.  She signs: more, eat, all done, down, bath, ball, shoes, fish (for goldfish crackers), and music.  She also tries to say some of the words like "baa" for bath.  She is also turning into a mischievous little 2 year old.  She loves sneaking into the bathroom to splash in the toilets (ew!), and she has figured out how to crawl out of her crib (pack-n-play really) so she can play with her activity table.  It's quite funny because we'll think she's asleep then we hear music coming from her bedroom.  It will be pitch black in there and she'll be standing at her table with the lights and music going off.  What a ham!  

She had her last "specialist" referral the other day at the audiologist's office.  Everything went great and her ears seem to be working well.  When she's older, they'll do a more thorough hearing test with headphones to test each ear's hearing individually.

We leave for California in a few days (sooo excited to see family and friends there who are all dying to meet Darya), and when we get back she'll start her therapies. Speech and occupational therapists will come into our home.  That will be so nice to not have to take her somewhere.  Unfortunately it's only until she's 3 (which is in June).

Well, that's a quick summary!  I'll try to post pics/video soon!

Caring for the orphans

Caring for the orphans didn't stop with our adoption of Darya into our family.  The desire to continue to serve "the least of these" has been on my heart continually.  It's a feeling I can't brush off.   If you have followed my blog for a little while, you may remember my post that while in Ukraine, I had the opportunity to visit the older girls' invalid institute where Darya would likely have been sent.  That experience will always remain with me.  Our translator in Odessa, Alyona, and her husband, Slavik, serve the orphans in the area and continually poor their lives into serving them.  It is a lot of work, sacrifice, and dedication.  They could spend their Saturday mornings at home but instead they spend time with the orphans.  One such a Saturday morning, is when I got to go along with them and see them "in action".  They give sacrificially and joyfully and truly love these children!  Many people would prefer to look the other way, but they are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the children, however painful the experience must be for them (in seeing the conditions).

Another family who adopted a little boy from a secluded and poor institution outside of Odessa was recently put into contact with them.  Alyona and Slavik drove in the snow for 3 hours each way (Alyona's pregnant, mind you) to visit these boys and bring some much needed supplies.  You can read about how this providentially came about here:

It is still my desire to go back to Ukraine to serve the orphans.  I don't know how or when or if it will happen.  But even if I can't get back, at the very least I can do something to help those who can.  Recently Alyona told me of some boys that they minister to were in need of socks and gloves (about 50 of them). So I posted about it on Facebook and had several people send me socks and gloves that we in turn sent to Alyona!  My son, Sam, even bought a few pairs of gloves with his own money.  It may not be much in the big scheme of things, but it is something.  I am so thankful to my friends who contributed!  In fact, it was upon hearing about these boys that my son Ben wanted to help fundraise for orphans (see previous posts on the ABC-shells).  It saddened him to hear about boys just like him who would be glad to receive gloves and socks, when other kids like him here in the States would take it for granted.

If anyone would like to help Alyona and Slavik in their ministry to the orphans please let me know! I know that Julia Nalle (see the above blog link) is trying to figure out how we can support them.  In the meantime, they always ask for prayer which is something we can all certainly do!