Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Friday, April 29, 2011

Video of Mariah

This video was taken about a month and a half ago. Her English is so much better now, but it still shows her little personality :) I'm going to try to take a more recent video of her soon!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Testing Video

This video is from last fall. I am just trying to see if I can get video on my blog!

Summer Haircut & Ice Cream

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Don't get the dress wet.

I thought she looked so cute in the dress but she wanted to play in the pool.  I told her not to get it wet, but you know how well that went!

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I can't wait

As I've posted about before, we've been trying since we came home to get Mariah evaluated by the school system here to see if she will qualify for therapy.  We've had a bit of a difficult time and finally had a meeting with the local school last month to discuss when we'd be setting up appointments for her to be evaluated.

Yesterday I got a letter saying that they had completed all of their evaluations and were ready to have a meeting on May 9th to dicuss whether she qualified for an IEP.

Hmmm.... that's news to me because we haven't had any appointments yet.  2 are scheduled.  One AFTER the meeting at school to discuss their findings.  I'm calling about this meeting today because that just confuses me.

A social worker from the school called Phillip yesterday to set up a time to come to our house and "See if our home environment is what's causing our daughter's developmental delays."  Yes.  She took THAT tone with him.  The only reason the school even knows Mariah has developmental delays is because WE told them.  No one from the school has actually even determined that.  The Drs. at Kluges Children's Rehab Center have determined that she does, but the school is going off of what WE told them.

I don't suppose being born at 29 weeks could cause a problem like that?

Or being in an orphanage for 4 1/3 years?

Or having cerebral pasly and having to wear AFOs and use a walker?

Oh no, WE must be the reason. 

I can't wait for her to call me today and set up her evaluation. 

We've been through every background check and home safety check there is.  Assess away. 
I won't even bother with the crazy deep cleaning I did for our homestudy social worker.

We are good parents and if anyone wants to know why Mariah has developmental delays, they can go jump on a plane to where she was born and see what people there have to say about it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


One thing that we didn't tell most people about when we were right at the very end of our paperchase and dossier submission was that Phillip was offered a new job. We really wanted him to be able to work closer to home and be able to work fewer hours but we questioned whether or not it was really a good idea to change jobs right before we left for 6 weeks in Ukraine.

He was selected out of something like 80 other candidates and accepted the job because it really had just fallen right into our lap and we felt like God really meant it to be.

It also meant that he'd have to ask for time off in order for us to go to Ukraine. He'd already been approved for 6 weeks of FMLA at his other job and that was hard to walk away from! You have to work at a job for at least 6 months before being eligible for FMLA paid leave and we knew he wouldn't have time to qualify for that and there was no guarantee he'd even be allowed unpaid leave.

We really worried about asking for all of that time off right after he'd just been hired, and he put off asking until we got our SDA appointment which ended up being quite a bit earlier than we expected; but when he did, the people who had to approve his leave just said, "Take as long as you need, your job will be here when you come back."

We knew it was God but yesterday we found out just how much.

Of the three people who had to approve his leave of absence, one has a husband who is adopted and the other two are adoptive parents themselves. One had even adopted from Eastern Europe.

Coincidence?  I think not.  Really what are the chances??

It just confirms once again for us that all God was waiting for was us to say "Yes." He took care of the rest. I have no doubt that Phillip would never have been offered the job he has now (that is WONDERFUL) instead of the super stressful one he had just a few months before we left for Ukraine. The job was one of the things we worried about with all of the adjustments we knew we'd have once we came home but we didn't wait to find "The perfect job" before we committed to adopting. In this economy we felt we were lucky that Phillip still had a job, but now he not only has a job but one that lets him work 10-20 fewer hours a week (yes I told you it was crazy!) and cut his mileage by 20 miles a day.

I encourage you that if there is something you are waiting for before you tell God "Yes" then maybe you should just take the leap :) Your life might just end up better than the one you're holding on to now!

Another unexpected benefit of Phillip switching jobs was that it freed up his retirement fund; that was something we hadn't even thought about. We had the option of rolling it over or cashing it in. Well, when you're short about 12K in cash 2 months before you leave for Ukraine, you can guess what we did! Some might call it foolish to use our retirement money like that, but what better investment than the life of a child?

All of these things just fell into place right when we needed them to, and all because we said "Yes" despite not knowing HOW.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Happy Post

I just wanted to put a little update on here that since we bought Mariah a little potty seat with a step up onto the potty and handles on the side, she has not had an accident (even a dribble) for two days.

I don't actually like how flimsy the one we bought is (link above if you click the title to the post) but Mariah LOVES it. She still has a really hard time getting onto it herself but the idea that she can go into the bathroom, take her pants off, and attempt to get on the potty herself has transformed her behavior.

Its like she had no idea that SHE could just go in there and try to do it herself. She even wipes herself which is more than I can get Wes to do right now lol

So... after horrible day of having her pee, poop, and force herself to throw up ALL in one day, we've had a great rest of the week. She isn't even rocking herself back and forth or throwing her head around to get attention when she "has" to pee, or if I've told her to hold it a little while. Seriously, "Moi Steps!" have transformed the idea of the potty and how she is supposed to use it.

Phillip is off tomorrow too so its an early weekend. I'm going to hide the eggs that the kids and I colored and we're gonna have a little Easter Celebration tomorrow complete with baskets in the morning. They'll be so surprised :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


So I haven't put up any new posts for a couple of days because really we have had a rough several days and I haven't felt like talking about. Mostly because everyone has a "solution" and sometimes I just need to vent. Mariah has finally started talking about her grouppa and her friends. She wouldn't talk about them before but for some reason the last several days, that is all she talks about. Susanna, Natasha, Olya, Sasha... she even said that she doesn't like us and wanted to stay with her grouppa. Now that's not what has made the last few days rough. I know that's not what she means and she is just missing her friends. I am REALLY happy that she is talking about it with us! I have printed off a few pictures of her grouppa room and a favorite caretaker for her to carry around and sleep with. She seems to really love that she can look at it whenever she wants.

What's been rough is the bizare toileting techniques she is blessing us with. We thought we had this... and then she'll intentionally wet herself. Argh. I don't even want to go into details. Its so frustrating because there is no rhyme or reason to any of it. We're trying to walk the line between being understanding and making it known that intentionally peeing on yourself 20 minutes AFTER you said that you were done on the potty doesn't fly around here. Mariah can also make herself throw up at the drop of a hat. Say like if she doesn't want to finish her dinner (or has requested to pee for the 13405th time and was told "after dinner") Not a lot, but enough to make a mess. Sooo... Most of the time I try to keep this blog a happy place full of rosy updates and progress reports but I'm also keeping it real.

This week has made me feel like a bad mommy, especially yesterday.
Today has been so much better so I felt like I could finally write about it.
The end.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mariah looks like a mama hen

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We have a bunch of baby chicks that we're raising this summer. They arrived via the postal service so they imprinted on us as their mama. Mariah LOVES them and is so nice and gentle (most of the time!) with them.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


She just sat down and started putting the train track together this evening. Its a huge step for her in learning how things fit together.  Its a skill that she is very delayed in which makes puzzles impossible for her, but this is a great start! She understands how they hook together and she is now making a huge track. 

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Nathan Tasker

Last night at church we had an artist from Australia put on a free concert. Phillip ran the sound board and despite many homes around church losing power from some bad storms (including ours!) we had power at church and were able to enjoy a great evening of music.

I know I have a few viewers from Australia, so do you guys know about Nathan Tasker? We heard he was pretty big in Australia before coming here to the U.S. I thought he was great!

Please click on the title (Nathan Tasker) above to be taken to his website. You can read about him and also about how to sponsor a child. I just love when artists give back!

Here's a few pictures from the night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Things I've come to grips with..sort of

Love can be instant or require a constant effort

Orphanage behaviors

Orphanage delays

The effects of institutionalizing a child

Questions that will never be answered

Trying to understand your child when you've known them for about 16% of their life.


Amazed at just how much God loves ME even when I fail every day.

The memory of the children we left behind

The realization that most people just.do.not.get.it.

Finding that miracles DO still happen even if God has to use the internet

Adoption = Redemption

It means so much more to me now that I've been through the adoption process here on this earth; how much God loves me. He adopted ME. I am HIS child. He LOVES me. REALLY loves me. It doesn't matter what I do or don't do, He unconditionally loves me and wants what's best for me.

Adoption is hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be, but it comes with a greater understanding of what God did for me.

"To those whom much has been given, much will be required."

How much have we been given?

Only everything.

So what then is required?

Tweets that get me *Warning: radical orphan advocate post*

So I hopped onto twitter this afternoon to tweet about a free giveaway I'm trying to win... and I saw a re-tweet of this guy Johnny Carr by a friend of mine. Ooooh my gosh this guy gets it like few people do. I just had to steal a few of his tweets. I feel like saying things like this, but he actually did.

Things don't have to have a gray area. Lets just call it black and white like it really is because the truth is, while The Church waits for "The right time" kids are being transfered to institutions, aging out of orphanages to a life on the street, and dying from neglect. I read a post tonight by a sweet lady who held a baby in an orphanage 2 days ago only to find when she went back today, that the baby had died.

I dream of a day when all Christians get it like this guy.

church budget time: new carpet or help an orphan get adopted into a family? easy answer. why didn't I know this before? #fb

culture of #adoption = pastor saying FROM THE PULPIT "if you adopt, we will help, encourage, baby sit, sacrifice, etc..."

when you give money to help an #adoption, you aren't helping a family get a child, you are helping a child get a family. #fb

I'm tired of hypocrisy. everyone should not adopt, but every pastor should lead their church to have a culture of adoption #fb

We Christians claim 2b pro-family. 116,000 kids n foster care wait 2b adopted. actions speak louder than words #adoption #fb

*Disclaimer: whenever I talk about "The church" or "church" I am referring to the church as the entire body of believers, not a specific location*


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Here we go...

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First steps

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Standing up

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Signs we made

I made these signs for the boys to hold at the airport when Mariah and Daddy landed.  Sadly, after waiting an hour, the novelty of the signs wore off, the boys trampled them and started rolling on the floor.  So, no pictures of our cute kids with welcome home signs...  but I took a picture of them to remember the anti-climatic airport reunion we had.  After standing in arrivals with 2 little boys for an hour, I had to take the boys to go find a sweaty exhausted Phillip 2 gates down and the poor man who'd had no sleep for 3 days had to drive us all home cause I promptly got lost upon leaving Dulles.  But the signs were cute! 

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My little man with his big fat flower

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"For you mommy cause you're big and fat!" He said it so sweetly...

{just for the record, he weighs nearly half as much as I do}

My twins

I can't tell you how many people ask me if Wy and Mariah are twins.

They are the same size and have almost the same shade of blonde hair.

What do you think?


Blogger help!

There are several blogs that I follow that I have recently been unable to read because when I click on them, the only thing that comes up is the header and the background. No text, no sidebars, nothing. They also will not open in Safari (I'm using IE) b/c blogger says that my browser's java script and cookies are not enabled. Umm...yes they are.

Its frustrating to not be able to read these blogs. Does anyone know what's going on? I keep getting an error message but it makes no sense to me!

Anyone else had this problem and fixed it?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mariah: Medical Update

We spent half of the day this past Friday at the Kluge Childrens Rehab Center. We had appointments with several different doctors to assess Mariah. The things we were hoping to accomplish were

1) To confirm her Ukrainian diagnosis of spastic diplegia (CP)
2) To see just how bad the CP is and how it affects her cognitively, physically, and developmentally
3) To get her doctors on board with giving us a strong recommendation for the schools here so that she can start receiving therapy services ASAP
4)To see if there is anything that can be done right now to help her physically be more mobile.

I took Wyatt along on this trip and while he wasn't awful, he demands a lot of attention so its hard for me to pay attention to what the doctor is telling me while trying to keep the 2 year old from digging through the hazardous waste container or trying to play with the developmental assessment blocks the OT was using for Mariah. Oy... poor baby he was so tired from getting up early. He also ate ALL of the snacks that I brought for the ENTIRE day for all 3 of us in the first visit! Then decided to let go of it via the exit valve while we were in radiology getting a hip x-ray for Mariah. I'm sure those ladies just Loooooved me!

We saw an orthopedic doctor who specializes in kids with CP. He looked at Mariah and checked the tone and flexibility of her muscles in her legs. He said that given the short amount of time she's been here, had her AFOs and walker and has actually been using them, she has made remarkable progress. While watching her walk down the hall with her walker he said that she really doesn't need it to walk and that she is basically hauling it around with her. He said that's fine, its a confidence builder just like the AFOs but he thinks that in 6 months or so we'll try to move her to walking with a crutch or crutches. I asked about botox or serial casting and he said that he really didn't want to do anything right now because she is improving so much. He said that she will probably be a good candidate for botox injections later on but we'll wait to see where she quits improving.

The orthopedic doctor said that he would probably classify Mariah with stage 2 spastic diplegia. Cerebral Palsy is classified in stages 1-5 with 1 being the mildest and 5 being the most severe. Stage 2 means she'll probably learn to walk on her own for at least indoor stuff, and will most likely need a crutch or cane to walk around outside. He said that she'll probably always need AFOs of some sort for her entire life. Also, in a couple of months he wants Mariah to have an MRI. Her medical records in Ukraine indicated a stage 2 brain bleed when she was an infant so because of that and the fact that she has CP (which is caused by brain damage) he said it would be a good idea for her to have an MRI just to see what exactly went on in her little head.

The ortho Dr. also had us go up to radiology and have a hip x-ray done of Mariah just to make sure she doesn't have any additional issues with her hips like hip displaysia which is common in kids with CP.

The occupational therapist...

This guy was a nice man, but evidently had no understanding of how quickly an internationally adopted child who is immersed in another culture will lose their native language. (Hello, its why we wanted a MUCH earlier appointment!) He decided that since Mariah wasn't speaking Russian in full sentences a month ago when we had her evaluated that she must be speech delayed. I told him that she not only spoke complete sentences, she had conversations with adults who had no trouble understanding her at all. (Our translator told us over and over how smart she was and how well she spoke; and she was originally very hesitant about us adopting Mariah b/c of her CP.) It is what it is, and while she has some very obvious delays, speech is absolutely NOT one of them. He insisted that the Russian translator stay for her evaluation even though the translator told him that she understood English just fine. The translator would ask her a question in Russian and she'd answer in English lol

So what the OT did find out from his evaluation of Mariah that I found to be the most interesting is that Mariah is functioning on a 30 month level for many basic skills. She can only copy a single line on a piece of paper with a pen. She had a very difficult time with adding eyes, nose, mouth to a picture of a face (with a pen). She was not able to button or un-button buttons. (I'm not sure about this because I don't think she has ever seen buttons before that time)

The OT said that she very much needs occupational therapy to help her build her skills. She is at a great risk for having trouble in school with handwriting, and anything else that requires that relationship between the eye seeing and the hand doing. She has a lot of trouble with awareness in relation to how objects fit together (puzzles are impossible for her). The therapist wasn't sure if her delays are just due to being in an institutional environment or due to damage in her brain related to her CP. He did at one point look at me and ask if I thought she was very bright. I said YES! He said, yeah I get the feeling she is very smart just needing work in some areas. So, my thoughts about this area being difficult for her were correct. She is very behind kids her age and has a lot of work to do to catch up.

The OT did say that Mariah is VERY persistant. She doesn't get upset or frustrated and quit trying just because something is hard for her. She will find a way to do it even if it takes her a long time. The OT thinks that she was born right handed, but b/c the CP affects her right side that she uses her left hand equally as much as her right. He said that its great that she uses her right hand at all because a lot of kids with CP just won't use the affected hand because its harder. Mariah will use the right hand and many times try it first then switch to left if she needs to. I had to laugh when Mariah stood up, placed one hand on the table and one hand on her chair and moved it to where she wanted to sit then sat back down. The OT commented that most kids with CP won't try to do something like that for themselves. I told him that if she wants to do it, she's gonna make it happen!

We also saw another Dr. who evaluated her more cognitively. Its funny because I saw how Dr. Yuri in Ukraine did little evaluations with different designs of blocks and stringing beads and lacing up laces. These doctors at Kluges did exactly the same exercises that he did! I was very fascinated. Anyways, Mariah was able to complete most things up to a 3 year old level which is about right when you take into account her orphanage delays. I had really felt that 3 years old is about the level she was functioning at right now anyways. This does not mean she is cognitively impaired, it just means she's delayed will hopefully catch up. This doctor seemed to think that she might always be a little slower than her peers and at the bottom of the normal end for IQ, but I am just not feeling that... Mariah is one sharp cookie and not always ready to show what she can really do for strangers in a 30 minute time box.

So the occupational delays are VERY real. The physical effects of CP are very visible and will always be there but are actually less severe than we originally thought. So right now, Mariah does not need surgery or botox and we'll just go back in 6 months to see everyone and see how she's progressed to get a better idea of what she really needs help with and what she is catching up on her own. (I can't wait to see her chattering a mile a minute in perfect English to the OT who thinks she has a speech delay)

So on the "To Do List" for the next several months:

See an optometrist
Have a sedated MRI
Start PT
Try to start OT

On a side note, please pray for our tax return to be processed and deposited right away! Its been held up for a long time and just got pushed out even further (like middle of April). We need that money for Mariah's medical bills. We are JUST under the salary limit for our family size to qualify for financial help from the hospital so we've really been counting on the tax refund and now its not coming when we were told it would. I know there is a reason for everything and its all in God's timing, but I am having a hard time letting go of this one!

"Processing delays" ::::Eye Roll::::

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Click here to read Vanya's dream

Vanya is a little boy in an Eastern European orphanage who's dream is to have a family. He asks every day when his mama and papa are coming for him. Sadly, he is now on a list to be transfered out of the orphanage and to a place where he cannot be adopted from. A group of people have organized over 100 items that are up for grabs if you donate to Vanya's Dream and help spread the word about this little guy.


On Friday Mariah has several appointments at Kluge Children's Rehab Center to more fully evaluate her CP. For some reason they want us to be 30 minutes early which will amount to me having to be on the road by 7:30am. Hah - Like doctors are ever on time much less early!

I have to take Wyatt along with Mariah and I for this full morning of evaluations so I'm hoping that he is really good, but doubting he will be since he is a COMPLETE BEAR when he has to get up early in the morning. I'm hoping for a good day and productive appointments... really I am. Early mornings are just not our thing (yet we always seem to end up with early morning appointments lol) and I've got to drop Wes off at a friend's house before I can get going on the road to Kluges. (yes I'm done whining now)

I've done some research on serial casting for kids who have CP and I'm hoping to ask some questions about that and botox because we've seen such improvement with Mariah that I think we really should try to work on stretching her heel cords and hamstrings out NOW to improve her gait. I suspect she has some orthopedic issues with her left ankle and possibly knee as well. The ankle just doesn't look quite right and I don't think she ever did enough weight bearing for it to be rickets. We shall see...

I'm also hoping to get a prescription for PT so we can start with a therapist. We finally had a stretching session today in which Mariah did not cry, fuss, scream, thrash, try to scratch herself, or push me away. She FINALLY seems to understand that she can just tell me when it hurts and where we need to hold the stretch. I think she actually understands now that we stretch so she can walk better. I realize we'll probably take 2 steps back from here, but the fact that we got here at all feels pretty darn good.

We've also put her back in underwear and started to try potty training again. She was potty trained when we met her, but once we came home she would ask to go pee every ten minutes only to wet herself 5 minutes later and just do very random things that completely baffled us so we regressed her into diapers for a while but we're back in the training pants now. I can't say I'm thrilled with how its going, however she does understand that she should not pee in her pants, but in the potty; and she HATES to wear wet pants around... so at some point this too shall pass. I'm trying to coax Wyatt into giving up the diapers as well but he insists that he LIKES to poop in his pants and he LIKES to be wet.

Uh huh.

I also tried teaching Mariah the letter "A" today. Wow - she just didn't get it at all. I know we traced "Up down across" like 100 times. I hold her hand and say like this "Up down across about 10 times in a row. Now you do it." She has NO clue. Absolutely no clue what I am asking her to do. She repeats, "Up down across" yet just scribbles a little instead of making (or even attempting) an "A." Even Wyatt attempted the A and I haven't worked on letters with him before either. I was a little baffled at how she had no clue what we were doing. She is bright... but obviously had no exposure to working with writing letters (even Cryllic) or numbers or even coloring a picture. Really her hand eye coordination with a pen is about what you'd expect a 12 month old to have. She just scribbles. I've noticed she does some odd positioning when she tries to color or play with things on the floor. She lays her head down next to what she's playing with. I can't tell if its an eye issues because this is the same girl who spots fries in the freezer from 20 feet away at Food Lion, or if its just easier for her to sit that way. In any case, we'll be going to the opthamologist soon.

So that's the way things are around here!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What is the value of a life?

Watch this video and think about it. Moldova borders Ukraine and sadly, this is the fate of nearly all of the girls in Eastern Europe that never get adopted and age out of the orphanages at 14-16 years of age. The clips of the city and the buildings in this video look just like what we saw in Ukraine. That is their reality.

Click one of the links below for information on how to host an older child and change their life forever.

Frontier Horizons

New Horizons for Children

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm what? Birthday?

We've celebrated two birthdays in our house since Mariah came home. Wes turned 5 in February and I turned 26 in March.

Mariah had no idea what a birthday party was.

She is completely baffled when someone asks how old she is.

She knows what numbers are. She can count and understands how to get "that" many of something, but how old she is? No clue. Its sad.

She has never had a birthday party. Getting older in an orphanage is not a happy thing! It means a transfer out of the only place you've ever known, so why celebrate it? Plus with 120 kids in one building, it would be difficult to have a party when they can hardly afford to feed the kids soup 3 times a day.

We've tried to explain to her that she is 4 and her brothers are 5 and 2.

She just doesn't get it. I'll say, "How old are you Mariah?" "How many?" Why should she know? No one ever celebrated the other 4 years.

She will count her fingers. 2? It confuses her. Sweet little girl.

I am planning her birthday party already even if it is 5 months away because turning FIVE is something I want her to remember.

Feet Down!

Feet Down! Feet down! That's what Mariah says when she walks. She TRIES with every step to put her feet down. She loves wearing her AFOs because she understands that without them, she cannot walk. They are the first thing she asks for in the morning (well before "Fixin hewah"). Here is a picture of her feet today. *Proud Mama moment *

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Where oh where can it be?

We STILL have not gotten our tax refund. We were really counting on that money to pay back loans and to pay for Mariah's medical expenses. I have bills sitting here, Uncle Sam. Hospitals want their money, ya know? I called them and explained that I was waiting on YOU, but they still want at least some of it...

Speaking of Hospitals, I just have to say that when I received the ER bills for the 5 staples Wyatt got in his head last month, I about fell over. Over $1,000 in charges! :-X We were charged for "surgery." Totally not cool, and that's why I hate going to an ER. Another reason I need you to send our money back, Uncle Sam! Fortunately insurance "negotiated" some of the costs, and paid some of it, so we were left with a more managable (cough cough) amount. Next time I might just whip out the swingline and do the job myself! (Totally kidding here!)

We have another visit to the Kluge Children's Rebab Center coming up next week (hint hint Uncle Sam). Mariah is going to see several specialist who specialize in working with kids who have CP. I'm excited and nervous because I want to help her as much as we can, but worry what exactly that might mean. Mariah is getting pretty fast in her walker. She likes to try to run in it and chase her brothers. I keep reminding her to put her feet down with each step so she can work on strengthening the correct muscles that are used for *REAL* walking. She has NO glutes and that makes it hard for her to pick her feet up if she's not holding onto something. Before we brought her home, she had NEVER walked. She held people's hands and kind of tippy toed around sometimes, but never really walking. So, we realize that its going to take some time for her to build up those muscles.

At the CP clinic next week, I am going to get a prescription (who knew you needed that?) for physical therapy so we can start therapy with a local therapist soon. Mariah still completely freaks out sometimes when we try to stretch, but it is getting better. She seems the least upset over me helping her stretch vs. Phillip. A therapist at Kluges tried to just get a feel for how flexible she was, but Mariah tenses up the instant someone touches her so its pretty much useless to try to determine anything that way. I think sometimes she thinks that we'll be angry with her if she doesn't do what we want so she tries to do it but is just completely scared so she's still tense...

(When she gets in an uncomfortable social situation {for her} she always points to us and says, "My mama" or "My Papa" like she is afraid we won't be anymore. She did this at the meeting we had with our local school about having her evaluated. A bunch of adults having a meeting about her around a table in a small room that looked a lot like the orphanage director's office probably made her wonder what was going on. She was very quiet the entire time and seemed very relieved when we left. My boys were VERY un-quiet and I was relieved when we left LOL)

She really wants to walk and she very much wants to please us so I think with time, we'll be able to really accomplish a lot with her. Adjusting is hard though and she hasn't been here with us long enough for this to feel like "home" yet. When I think of the things she had to give up, I think that must be the hardest. To give up that feeling of "home"; knowing where everything is, who everyone is, and what's going on around you. Even if it wasn't an ideal environment, it was HER environment and she completely lost that. So, since she has the rest of her life left to work on therapy, we're trying to get her to feel more comfortable with us and understand that we love her and always will no matter what she does before we really try to push her physically.

BTW - other adoptive mommies out there, or other mommies in general. Ringworm... anyone had trouble getting rid of this in kiddos? I've got the standard antifungal cream our Dr. recommended but umm... I think it ought to look at least a little better after a week. Not sure where my kid got ringworm from since we do not have cats or dogs, but I just want it gone!

Oh and another question for those who are experienced in having their kids received therapy from the public schools... We were told that Mariah has to be found delayed in cognative or developmental areas before she can even be evaluated for physical or occupational therapy. I think I am saying this correctly, that it is the law. So basically a child who is cognitively normal but needs physical therapy will not be able to get it through the school system... ? Mariah is definitely developmentally delayed in areas, and a few things make me wonder if there are some other underlying issues, but for the most part I think she is cognitively normal and will eventually perform on grade level if not above. Just curious how this might play out and what others in this situation have done :)

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson