Sunday, August 28, 2011

Malika's birthday

Last week, Malika turned 4! I just cannot believe she is already 4. She is so big now and so helpful, sometimes, if Justus or Kaylee cry, she will pick them up and bring them to me and say "It's ok, do you want your mommy", it is too funny to see, since they aren't much smaller than her.

We celebrated her birthday at home with family and then the day after went to the Haglers and celebrated again.

Malika has been waiting so long to have her birthday, she has been talking about it for months. And has had to wait through the other kids birthdays. The first thing she said on her birthday was "where are my presents?" Kids are great! I'm sure many times in the past, I had wanted to say that too, but it would just be impolite, so I refrained. But, kids say whatever comes to their minds. :)

I love this picture, she is so sweet. It makes me want to pick her up and give her a big kiss and tell her to stay little :). The saturday before her birthday, I took her to the mall and she picked this outfit out. She loved it so much, she wore it for 2 days straight and would have worn it for 4 days, had I not made her take it off to wash it in between.

I finally got a good picture of them together, I think I will hang this one on the wall.

Daddy working with Malika on a project. He took her to home depot to pick something out for them to make together and she chose this treasure box.

We went to the park in the morning on Malika's birthday. It was so hot, but we stayed until we were very sweaty.

At the Haglers. After we got there, I noticed that the kids were segregated :), our three Ukrainian babies were "playing" together...

... and I look over and the other 4 were playing together (Justus was here too, until I got the camera out)

 They were so sweet and even made Malika a cake. So, she had two birthdays.

 Malika and Trey. I think they are best friends, it is so cute to watch them together. They played all day long. When we were in Ukraine, we would compare our kids, it is just so amazing how many similarities there are. They are so different than most other kids, but yet, are so much alike. I never thought I'd meet another child like Malika. I think these next two pictures really show how much they are alike. Maybe only their families can tell :), but with Trey putting his arm on the table and not smiling... just waiting...

 ...and how I know Malika is happy about her gift, but she refuses to smile :)
  Here they are again. I just think they are so cute together. They were watching this video and kept whispering to each other, finally Malika whispers to Trey " Let's go play" and so they run off together. 

Lindsay was so sweet to put up their bounce house for the kids to play in. They had a blast.

I loved watching Kaylee, she is a different child than she was 3 months ago. Instead of staying by me the whole time, she actually gets out and plays. She is playing more like a 2 year old should play now. She absolutely loved the bounce house and even figured out how to go down the slide.

 Lindsay and me with our little girls. Lindsay is truly the best friend I have wanted for so long. It took us sharing a house half way across the world and 3 little orphans for us to find eachother :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

orphanage behaviors

Since bringing Kaylee home, I have struggled with wondering if we really did so much for her by taking her out of the orphanage. I know in the long run, we have, but she just seemed so happy there. And she was well fed and seemed loved. But, tonight, after discovering a new orphanage behavior, I realized she may have "seemed" happy, but was probably just coping. She may have not known she was coping, since it was all she ever knew.

Kaylee has had sores and scratches all over her. I knew she was scratching herself, but I didn't realize how bad it was, until I realized the sores are from her scratching. I thought they were just bug bites and maybe they started out that way, but are now infected. I have been watching her the last few days, wondering why she has big welts all over her legs and now understand after watching her scratch her legs raw. And there are what looks like bite marks all over her crib. That is what I thought they were, except, I just couldn't understand how they got there, since, she does not have top teeth. Now, I'm thinking they are from her scratching it. Her poor little nails are so tore up. 

This just makes me so mad. Not at her, but just that she has had to resort to that in the past to entertain herself and it now seems to be a habit. This even bothers me more than all of the eating issues she has, I think it is because she is hurting herself, and doesn't even care. 

And then it makes me mad to think that some mothers think they are doing what is best for their child by putting them in the orphanage. We saw that everyday while we were there. Some of the mothers would come and visit their child everyday, but still wouldn't take them home. One little girl in particular, I fell in love with and would go back to get her, if only she were available for adoption. I saw her mom come to visit her and I could tell she loved her, I just wish she were told she could have a better life and that she would believe it. An orphanage is no place to live.

Kaylee is starting to crawl correctly now. Three weeks ago the PT said to go back and only work on crawling, since it is so important. So, we did and it has paid off, because this last week the PT said we don't have to put an emphasis on either anymore, since she was doing so well.  I bought some new shoes for Kaylee and they have helped so much, she is walking and crawling better because of them. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cardiology appointment

When we adopted Kaylee, we were told that she had an open oval window and a heart murmur, but that both of these had healed on their own. We were also told she had a thin muscle in her heart.

When we were in court, one of the witnesses sitting next to the judge was trying to convince the judge that she would not be able to travel by plane because of her heart condition. Even though we didn't know anything about it, other than what the orphanage doctor told us, we had to convince the judge that her heart would be fine and that she would be fine. We even had to tell him that we had Doctors here in America that we could call if anything went wrong. We do have doctors here, but not sure they would have or could have done anything.

Anyway, fast forward to her cardiology appointment, which was yesterday. When we went into the room with the Cardiologist, he looked at her chart and then turns to me and asks "what is an open oval window?". At first, I thought he was joking, then he said there is no such thing. He asked where she was adopted from, and then said that usually they over diagnose to get them out of the country. Well, I'm not sure if that is true, but it completely makes sense that there is no such thing as an oval window, because I have googled it and haven't found much, other than other adoptive families wanting to know what it is too.

He did an ultrasound and her heart is completely fine. He said it looks like she had a VSD at one time, which is a hole in her heart. He also said that since he didn't see her from birth, he is unsure when it closed. It could have closed before she was born. By looking at how it healed, he could tell that it was a very large hole and if it was there after she was born, then she would have had to have surgery, which she did not. I asked about the heart murmur, he said she did not have one now and thinks maybe there was just a lot of noise before when they checked her.

He said we did not have to come back and everything looks good. Praise God!

Here are a few pictures of the kids:

Playing in the bathtub

Kaylee got caught playing in the bathroom trash, after this, it has been very hard to keep her away from the bathroom. She is starting to get into everything now. Last night, she dumped all the toys off the toy shelf, trying to climb to the top of it. I just sat and watched her to see if she could do it, and she almost succeeded. 

Me and my girls. This was right before I bonked Malika in the nose with the camera. Poor baby, she had a huge bruise and bump for two days. 

 The kids playing with their babies. They were pretending to drive. I love it, Kaylee wants to play with them all of the time now.  Oh, and she loves that baby. One day, I asked her to give me a kiss, she starts looking around for her baby. I think for some reason, she associates "kiss" with banging her baby against her face :)