Sunday, November 28, 2010

Their favorite ornaments....the ones from China

Christmas decorating with my girlies......

Mei Mei discovered candy canes and when we weren't looking she devoured one and was on to the second one before we noticed. She had a big ole smile on her face : )

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.......

Love the newest stocking this year : )

Look who's back..... ELFIE

 Izzy actually squealed when she saw him. She was beyond excited.

Mari on the other hand is not sure what to make of Elfie. She keeps a suspicious eye on him. 

Off to get donuts with Maw Maw and Nini : )

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Mommy, paint my ten toes. Paint my ten toes Mommy."

We had a toenail painting party in celebration of "leggie" coming home. Mari was so proud of her ten toes. She must have counted them a dozen times. So funny. She is something that girl. We came close to painting Rob's too.  She just about had him talked into it. Then the phone rang and he got out of it. I would've loved to see how he looked in pink : )

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Worth it all

What a sight !


What a week.... Whew. It's good to be home. I can't say enough wonderful things about Children's Hospital. They were so good with Marianna. They all loved her spunk. It was sweet to see. There's no place like home though.  So this week my girl learned how to walk and as I type this she's outside with Rob and Izzy climbing the ladder to the clubhouse. I told Rob to keep an eye on her because she hasn't navigated a ladder yet. I went back not a minute later and she was in the clubhouse. Should I have expected anything different? She's up and down, up and down. I think she likes keeping us on our toes. She has amazed me this week. She has touched my heart in a different way than before. This week was the first time ever that I've been able to be completely alone with Mari. She and Izzy are always together. Izzy couldn't sleep at the hospital though so every night she would go home and Mari and I had some quality alone time. It has blossomed our relationship. At this stage in adoption you are still getting to know each other and with another sibling it's really hard to bond as quickly. This has been on my mind a lot in the last few weeks. With Izzy we clicked immediately and she was essentially an only child. Our big kids are out of the house and it was just Izzy and I everyday. It was so easy to attach. When Mari came home we didn't have that alone time at all. So, I've had to work harder to bond with her. This time at the hospital was exactly what we needed. Snuggling with her in bed. Reading only to her. She would brush my hair. She put make up on me. At night we'd trace each other's face over and over till she fell asleep. It was precious time with her. Watching her take her first steps. Seeing that smile on her face. She was very proud of herself. Precious time.

On Wednesday Rob came back in to New Orleans to come to therapy with us. She and I headed downstairs to the lobby to meet him. She was walking all by herself. She looked up at me and said "Mommy, Daddy will know I am a big girl now when he sees me walking."  When Rob saw her I could tell he was fighting back tears. She smiled and said "Daddy, I'm walking." Well, that was it. He was a mess. The whole week was just like that. One minute in tears and the next cracking up. She would try to run or jump and we'd all end up rolling around laughing. It's just like Mari to try to run before mastering walking. Little did we know she'd end up climbing the rock climbing wall before we left the hospital. She met all of her goals in a few days as opposed to the ten days they had us scheduled.

It's so strange how so much can change in just a week. A week ago today I viewed the upcoming week as this difficult challenge ahead of us. I was worried a little bit about how we would navigate it all. We had nine therapy sessions a day. Izzy went to everyone of them with us. Izzy had to leave us every night to go home. She wasn't real thrilled about going to bed without me. I knew that would be hard. I wondered how Mari would handle attaching to her new leg. Would that be difficult for her? I had the mindset of "We can do this. It will be hard, but we can do it." What I didn't know is how blessed I would be by the whole experience. What I found was that while it was not easy it was not just a difficult task that we just had to get through.  Not just another thing to check off the list in order to get back to life. This is life. Going through this has changed us as a family. It's changed my relationship with Mari. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of my daughter learning how to walk. I'm truly blessed to be her Momma. Yes, that comes with a lot of challenges but I have a much different perspective on that now. I know the Lord will use all of these challenges and they will all be life changing events for us.  Mari touched so many lives this week. I've had the opportunity to tell God's story over and over. Yes, we are delighted to be home, but we have incredibly fond memories of this past week. 

She had surgery on Friday to remove a little digit on her left hand/nub that was functionless. The poor little thing got caught in her zipper every time she put her jacket on. It hurt her and she would rub it a lot. She finally asked me if we could take off little one : ( Since it would eventually have to be removed for a good fit for her prosthetic hand, the doctor went ahead and removed it this week. She still has some stitches which hurt a little bit, but overall she's doing great.

As we left the hospital everyone was so sweet. They really loved working with her. She was a delight they said. We'll be doing some outpatient Physical Therapy for a little while. So, we'll get to see them regularly. 

She has to give "leggie" back tomorrow. She is not going to be happy about that. She's had a test leg all week. Now that they have the fit just right they will fabricate "her" leg. So, she'll be without it for a couple days : (  Her leg is not a very sophisticated leg at this point. There's no hydraulics or anything like that. She's too small for all of that yet. She did gain a pound and a half since she' come home. Still at just 28 lbs she's too tiny for anything else. It's amazing what kind of technology they have for prosthetics. It's astonishing. It blows my mind. She will eventually need surgery on her left leg. Once her growth plates close on her thigh bones they will remove her knee and she'll be fitted with a very nice prosthetic with a complete hydraulic knee. Right know anatomically her left leg bends below where her right knee bends, so it's obvious when she walks that she has a prosthetic. Once they remove her knee when she's a teenager, both knees will be at the same height and you won't notice by her walk at all. She could care less about her gate right now. She is tickled to be upright and cruising around. I know as a teenager that will be important. Right now what's important is that Mommy doesn't have to carry her everywhere. She and I had many disagreements about her wanting to "do it myself" across the Wal-Mart parking lot. As if I'd let her crawl across the parking lot. She wanted to though. Today she walked into church all on her own. She was big stuff and she LOVED it : ) It was all I could do to get her to hold my hand. She was off and running. Couldn't wait to show her friends and her Sunday school teacher.