As of last week, Leeza is officially a walker! We got her new outside walker that allows her to maneuver pretty easily on uneven ground and moves so quickly that she can almost jog in it when she really gets going. After a short conversation with her physical therapist we decided if we were going to expect her to walk as an adult now was the time to enforce that she’s a walker…not a scooter. Except for quiet time each afternoon she uses a walker all the time and it’s been amazing how much stronger she’s getting with all that practice. Her core muscles are so much sturdier (no more falling over all the time) and she’s suddenly become aware of her feet and where they are some of the time. Because she can’t feel them and hasn’t used them most of her life, this is a pretty big deal! She is not always aware of where her WALKER is so our walls and shins are taking quite a beating, but hopefully that will get better with practice. All this walking means she has to wear her Theratogs (hideous velcro therapy torture to position her legs) almost all the time. I used to cry every time we had to put those things on because they are so confusing, but I’ve gotten to were I can get them on her about 5 minutes. Thankfully, Leeza doesn’t really seem to mind them. At our last PT appointment her therapist was amazed at how much progress she’d made in the last month and we rejoiced when we realized the contractures in her leg muscles had stretched out enough that she is in the ‘normal’ range for someone in her condition, which allows her to stand up straighter.

After a couple days of enforced walking Leeza did finally ask me why she couldn’t scoot anymore. I asked her if she wanted to scoot when she was a mama and she got a horrified look on her face and told me she wanted to cook when she was a mama. I told her she had to stand up to cook and she informed me, ‘I stand and I COOK!’ The kid is motivated.

We have friends who are going back to Leeza’s orphanage to adopt a second child in just a few days and we’re hoping to get a video together to show the doctor and therapist who worked so hard with her to keep her healthy. They had told her she had to stay strong so she could learn to walk some day and she apparently believed them because she’s never really doubted that she would. I wonder how often they ever get to hear what happens to the kids they work with and Philip and I both wish we could see their faces when they get to see Leeza running around her front yard like everyone else.

Please check out our friends’ blog at http://hebrewselevevone.blogspot.com. They are a truly remarkable family and are adopting Gage, who we blogged about months ago, and just brought home Madeline a few months ago. They are a wonderful example of trusting Jesus and I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers as they go through the process of bringing Gage home.

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