Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pictures from our trip home

Here are some pictures from our journey back home.

Feeding Kaylee (she is on the floor), right before our near disaster (keep reading :)
 We were so blessed to have our tickets changed, without even asking, to the bulkhead section. They had these really cool basinets, it really helped, both Justus and Kaylee were able to take naps. 
 We met a family who are missionaries to Russia. They are from our same town and were on their way home for a visit. We found out they even go to the same church as some of our friends. They had 5 children and they all loved Kaylee and played and played with her. We've never heard her laugh so hard. 
 Very sleep, but still happy Kaylee.

Our homecoming. We were met by a huge group of friends. 
I love this picture, and it has nothing to do with my head being cut off :), I love it, because it captures the moment, with Malika being nervous and hiding behind me. Looking at this picture, now I see why people smile when they see me and say " you have your hands full". Really?

 Our friends who greeted us. We feel so loved. 
 Malika meeting her Grammy, they were so happy to finally be re-united.
 Kaylee so happy with our friend Linda. 
 She was a trooper to meet all of our friends and be passed around to all those that have been in this journey with us. Poor thing, she was so exhausted though. 

In the carseat for the first time after our long, long day. She is doing amazing with it
Malika in her new position in the back row. I thought she would have a hard time, but she loves it.

Kaylee is so smart, she is picking things up so quickly, I am completely amazed by her. While we were still in Ukraine, I worked with her on putting food in her mouth, and after only a handful of times teaching her, she figured out how to do it. This has back fired on me though, because now she puts everything in her mouth and tries to eat it. The worst thing that happened was while we were on the airplane. We were in the bulkhead section, so we had a lot of room at our feet, so I put her on the floor to play, she picked something up and ate it, but I didn't see her do it, so I didnt know what she put in her mouth. She started to gag, she has done this many times, so I wasn't worried, thinking she ate some food we dropped, so I gave her something to drink, but that didn't work. I put my finger in her mouth but didn't feel anything, so I thought maybe it was a hair, since that has happened to Justus. I gave her more to drink, but she wouldn't drink and was having an even harder time, so I stuck my finger in her mouth again, this time further in her throat and felt something. This really scared me, I wasn't sure what to do, but the momma part of me took over. I turned her over and upside down and stuck my finger into her throat, and thankfully pulled out a piece of plastic covered in blood. It scared me so bad, I was shaking and crying. She was crying too, so I just held her, she stared into my eyes. This was probably our first real "bonding" moment. She looked at me with what seemed like gratitude, I think maybe she knew I just saved her life. We have been very careful to try to keep a closer watch on her now, even Malika will pick things up around her to make sure she doesn't put anything in her mouth.

She has also learned to crawl, except she puts her head down and rubs it across the floor as she crawls. My guess is that her head is too heavy to crawl with it up. My mom said I crawled that way too, I guess I also had a big head :).

Kaylee did the most amazing things today. I kept telling her how mart she was. I started working with her on drinking from a straw. We bought a special sippy cup that is great for special needs kids. It is like a juice box, so if you squeeze it, something comes out of it. When I first used it, she didn't like the way it felt in her mouth and would not wrap her mouth around it and instead just let the water fall out of her mouth. We tried it again two or three more times, I knew she would get it, it just would take time. I had no idea she would get it so fast. She has learned to suck out of it and hold it on her own. She is absolutely amazing.

Malika decided to feed Kaylee on her own. I was in the kitchen and she said she was feeding Kaylee, I looked over to a very messy girl. 
 Kaylee drinking out of her sippy cup. She was so proud of herself.

The other thing she did was sign more, all on her own. We have been trying to get her to sign more every time she is eating, because she is very impatient and screams when she wants more, even if she still has a mouth full of food. Usually i say more, while making the sign and then make her hands sign it. Normally she screams again and then pulls her hands back. Today, she started making my hands sign more on her own, then once she did it completely on her own. I was so happy and surprised and excited. I called Josh over, but of course like any child, she wouldn't do it again when I wanted her to.

I put Kaylee's hair up in a ponytail, and then Malika wanted hers up that way too. Malika loves Kaylee so much and talks all day long about how she is her sister and that she is going to live with us now. 

I wrote this two days ago and now Kaylee seems to have taken a step back. She is refusing to do any of those things I said she could do. She won't drink out of the sippy anymore and is even refusing to drink out of the bottle, I tried to give her something to drink from a spoon, but she didn't like that at all.

I am trying to just be patient with her, since she has only been with us for 1 week and lived in an orphanage for 2 years. I know it is a process, but it is frustrating when one day she is doing great and the next not so great. Today was a really hard day, but I am hopeful that tomorrow will be better. One good thing, I can tell she is starting to bond with me, because she cries when I leave the room.


  1. I am sorry that she seems to be losing those skills that she just got, but it is her first experience with jet lag, maybe her first experience ever with sleep deprivation (who knows? the orphanage sounded pretty set on the schedule not being interrupted) and it is really hard to do anything you just learned when you are sleepy.

    The really good thing whether she has to relearn these particular skills or not later on, is that she can and does learn well when something new is introduced.

    I hope that you won't have to wait too long to see these things coming back, because it is so exciting and fun to be part of, but I wouldn't worry too much when they come and go. I remember my algebra skills coming and going like that and I didn't even have jet lag to blame it on, some days I just didn't understand what had made perfect sense the day before, but two days after that would make sense again.

  2. thank you for continuing to write!!! i am so glad y'all are home and your hands are beautifully full :)