Saturday, April 20, 2013

Overdue Update

I know it's been a long time since I've blogged. In some sense, I apologize. In another, I've been spending my time with my precious family as we work to help Polina adapt to life in a family. I won't lie - it hasn't been the easiest, smoothest transition. I debate over what I share here. It may not be for awhile until I share, and it may be in the form of a book rather than on my blog. I think it's important for people to know the not-so-glorious details of what institutionalized life does to children. At the same time, my daughter deserves some level of privacy and then there's the fact that we are still under the Russian government's radar.

All that being said, Polina Joy is thriving! She is going to a regular school and spends her days with peers who are not handicapped in any way. We run into classmates in public and she gets terribly excited. We had a princess party for her 6th birthday. She plays Miracle League baseball, goes to 2 hours each of physical and occupational therapy in addition to what she gets at school. She absolutely loves animals and I need to start a therapy dog fund for her. She has ridden horses a few times. She loves her older brother and is very protective of him. They fight like typical siblings. From the outside looking in, you would never know Polina isn't our biological child. So many people say she looks just like me. That makes me feel good because she is the most beautiful little girl!

Anyhow, I took a video today that inspired me to update you. Polina has been measured for a custom wheelchair, a stander and orthotic braces that will go from her hips to her feet. It is going to take a few months before all of these things are ready. However, Polina isn't waiting. Today, she told me, "Watch this."  She proceeded to push herself up with her arms until her feet were lat on the ground & she was "standing" bent over holing onto a bucket. I wish I could get the video to work for you to see.

Instead, here's a bunch of photos of life as a Russian orphan adopted into an American family. 

Getting sized for wheelchair/stander