One week ago today Leeza was still in the orphanage…today she was in church, swaying to the music and holding her hands in the air like Mr. John who was leading worship this morning. I’ve cried grateful tears the first Sunday we’ve brought each of our kids to church and today was no different.

It’ll be a while before we find our new normal, but we’re already making some progress. Last night Leeza still woke up in the middle of the night screaming, but she FELL BACK TO SLEEP!! That is major progress! Philip and I were able to take shifts sleeping on the floor beside her and she was able to drift back to sleep each time she woke. I’ve been taking her over to the clock when it’s time to get to show her the ‘7’ so she can learn when it’s ok to get up. I can’t tell if she’s learning that number or if she just knows she can get up when I walk to the clock, but today she smiled and I could tell she understood. We tried laying on the floor by her bed for nap too and it’s the first day she hasn’t screamed through the whole thing. She even stayed in bed so we were able to get a little rest as well.

We’re learning what she likes to eat (eggs, bread, bananas, yogurt and milk) and what she doesn’t (chocolate chips, meat, cheese, fresh vegetables). We’ve noticed that anything that requires much chewing is confusing and when we thought about what she used to eat that made sense. Her diet consisted of cookies dipped in tea, oatmeal, soup and bread. We’re learning the quirks of clothing a child with SB…shirts with small head holes are horrible, pants that don’t fit her waist well fall down when she scoots around, thin tights can’t handle the beating she gives them and some shoes simply won’t fit on her little feet. We’re learning to find humor in having to put a child back in bed literally a hundred times before she stays and having her correct our clumsy Russian. I’m learning that despite her age, she’s a great deal like having another 10-month old in the house because she wants to get into EVERYTHING (but she can get into so much more than Kasia)! There’s a lot of growth going on right now and most of it is fun to watch. She’s fascinated with the kitchen and what I’m doing in there and loves taking baths with her siblings. Going somewhere in the car is fun and so far she’s enjoyed everywhere we’ve gone except the doctor’s office (can’t really blame her there).

We even tried Sunday school and church this morning and she did fantastic! She so badly wanted to style one little girls’ beautiful white-blond hair and likes another girls’ jacket so much she wouldn’t stop petting it (we have to work on the ‘personal space thing’), but the other kids were so kind and all wanted to sit beside her. She had no idea what we were all saying, but she did all the hand motions with her teacher and followed along during snack and craft time (I stayed with her and will be a helper in her class this year). She and Josiah sat quietly during most of the sermon with Philip and we left a little early to avoid the crowd at the end, which had scared her between Sunday school and the service. As we get ready to start our first full week with her home we’re encouraged that she’s adapting so well and that our other kids are working so hard to show her love and patience. It should be an interesting week and we’re certainly appreciative of all your continued prayers!

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