Sunday, January 31, 2010

Making bird feeders

Feeding the horses-such a great helper!
Eating Snow

Sledding with Brother

It did snow here! Yippee. We thought Laurel would love the snow b/c of being in Ukraine but at first she hated it. She HATED being all bundled up again-I don't blame her. She finally got used to it and loved to sled with Noah. She is such a great helper too. She knows where the horse food is and tries to carry the buckets and hay. I love this last pic b/c it looks like she's having a conversation with this horse (which she thought she was). A wonderful, restful weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tea Parties & Muddy Feet

Laurel & Noah LOVE a good tea party these days. We have one at least twice a day. With or without snacks, they don't care as long as the "pot" is full of water. It's just easier to clean up that way-they aren't picky.
Where to start with Miss Priss?? So many milestones in just the past week. She really has hit a new level of attachment and being comfortable with my leaving. Usually she melts down if I leave her with Mike for even a short while but not any more. She kisses me and tells me bye and goes on with it. Also, she has gotten so much more friendly to other family members and her therapists. She even hugged them this past week. She has always been bright and friendly but a little cautious. I truly think she knows now she is staying with us forever and isn't worried about going back.
Also, Laurel is sick for the first time since she's been home (4 months-not bad). She is definately a snot factory and has trouble sleeping b/c of her congestion. As usual, she takes it with a smile.
Her language is still coming along wonderfully. One of her therapists this week said she really didn't think she needed a Cochlear Implant. She is babbling constantly, her voice tone has changed (it actually has inflections now), she will mimick any word and is trying to read to us now!! Hopefully it will keep coming along and she will become understandable to everyone. Smart little girl.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Look who got her ears pierced!! Last week Rachael and I took Laurel to get her ears done. Yes, Yes, I cleared it with her Dr.'s who said "Go for it!". Laurel is such a girly girl and constantly tries to put on my jewelry and wear my earrings. Guess what color earrings we got?? Pink of course (her birthstone). She cried for a minute and then we gave her a peppermint stick and she was fine. The lady who piereced her ears actually cried herself! Anyway, they look good and Laurel loves them-no problems.
Hmmm..... what else is going on in our lives?? Laurel has therapies twice a week, on is Developmental Therapy and the other is through Deaf and Hard of hearing which works on listening and speech. Laurel had 11 new words last week which is really good. This week, probably due to a sinus infection, she hasn't really tried to talk a lot and has been pretty cranky and clingy. However, last night she said "bed" very clearly. I really think these hearing aids are working for her.
As for her Chiarri Type 1 Malformation, we got word on Thursday that the UNC Dr. has ordered a spinal MRI to see if the malformation could be caused by spinal pressure. We have a call in to her Ped. to discuss this but will probably have to do this in March. I wish we could have done all this when we did her brain MRI b/c she will have to go under anesthesia again but we didn't know the malformation was there. Oh well, hindsight and all! She'll do fine b/c she is such a trooper.
Anyway, today on the farm after very hard rain these two beautiful rainbows appeared. It was such a wonderful reminder of God's promises to us and that he will never leave us to walk our paths alone. Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I am looking forward to 2010 being a year of New Beginnings. Laurel will now get to spend the rest of her years as a US citizen and with a Momma & Dadat who loves her and a little brother who protects her. 2009 is gone and so are her orphanage days. Her days of rocking herself to sleep on her knees are also over. I thank God for new beginnings. He gives them to us if we ask and lets us start fresh.
Laurel is doing really well with her hearing aids. I feel like she can understand what we are saying and can say about 8-10 audible words. She tries many more but can't quite get the hang of them. We start working on speech tomorrow with her therapist and hopefully this will help her make better progress. The ENT has only given her 3-6 months to make a lot of progress before he recommends a Cochlear Implant. Please pray with us that her hearing will do the trick but if not we'll go to the next step.
We found out last week that her MRI showed a Chiare Type 1 Malformation. You can google it but basically her brain is lower in her skull than it should be and extends down into her spinal cord some. We are going to see a Neurosurgeon to get his recommendations but usually they don't do surgery unless she is having symptoms (breathing difficulty, head/neck aches, numbness, trouble walking, weakness etc....). It is a matter of prayer b/c it can be serious but we know this didn't sneak up on God. It makes us all the more thankful that we got this little girl so we can get her the medical care she needs!! Anyway, Happy New Beginnings to you all!