Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Two Months HOME

We have been home with Gracie for two months and I am amazed at all that has happened. I am so glad that I have these measurements and pictures to show me the changes. Since we see her every day it is harder to see the changes. I know she is growing. I know she is happy. I know she is learning.

She is now receiving therapy every week: occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy. Every week we see marked improvement. She can now drink from a honey bear straw cup, she can now stand and take about 3 steps, she can now play with toys more appropriately, she can now touch food, she can now chew food, she can now swallow without choking.

The orphanage behaviors have greatly decreased. The stimming, screaming over food, rocking, not wanting to be held, shoveling food into her mouth, hand flapping, chewing on everything, ...all of it has decreased so much that sometimes I'm surprised when I see her do these things.

We have visited many doctors and therapists since she has been home and now I feel like we have relief. Cardiologist, ENT, Audiologist, Pediatrician, Adoption Clinic, Orthotics. The upcoming appointments include: surgery to put tubes in her ears next Monday (she has fluid and moderate hearing loss), orthotics will be ready in two weeks, and endocrine appointment is beginning of May. We have also started the referral process with the school. I am not sure if she will start this school year or next, but I am open to seeing what happens.

First Day Home
One Month Home
Two Months Home
20 lbs
22 lbs
25 lbs
Head Circumference
Upper Arm
Clothing Size
12 months
18 months
18 months

Five pounds of weight packed on in two months. Four and a half inches gained around her waist in two months. One and a half inches gained in her head circumference in two months (do you suppose her brain is growing-how cool is that?). Three inches around her thigh gained in two months. These numbers just shock me. I never would have imagined this kind of gain would occur so quickly.

These pictures really force us to see what is hard to see on a day to day basis. This child is blossoming emotionally and physically. Seeing the change over a period of two months is really encouraging us.

Take a look at those love handles!!!

The little girl that we met for the first time seven months ago...
 ...now has life and love like never before!!

When I take the measurements...when I take the photos...when I compare them side by side...I get so emotional. There are hard moments. There are hard days. The journey has been exhausting. Look at this girl. She is worth every single thing we did to give her family, love, happiness and so much more. What a blessing she has been to us! We are so thankful that God gave her to us!!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Day You Were Born

Dear Gracie,

Today is the day you were born. Four years ago, in a country far away, your birth parents welcomed you into the world. Although we know very little about that day, I imagine what that day was like.

I know that you were their first child and they must have been so excited and anxious to meet you. I know that you were born via cesarean section and they must have been nervous. I know that you weighed 6lbs 9oz and were 19.69 inches long. I know that you were born in good health and that you were made perfectly by a God who loves you and knew everything about every cell in your body. I know that God had plans for you and that those plans included us even though we didn't know it at the time.

I imagine your birth mother holding you and crying over the emotion and excitement of the day. I imagine your birth father letting you grasp his finger as he smiled over you.

I wonder when and how the news came. The news that you were born with Down syndrome. The news that would crush them and their dreams for you. The news that didn't have to be as scary and sad as it was, but they had no way to know. I know this feeling. I lived it and it was hard. I trusted God's plan when your brother was born and I now know that His plan for us included you.

I know that your birth parents are thinking of you today. I know their hearts are hurting and they will think of you and wonder about you often, especially on this day. I know they visited you for the last time on your 2nd birthday. Today is your 4th birthday and I am praying for them. I am praying for them to have peace. I am praying for them to know that you are loved and taken care of and have a family. I pray that they know the Lord and they can find comfort in Him.

Today we celebrate all of your birthdays...1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th. Happy 4th Birthday Gracie! We Love You!!