Can you say tired? I did lay her back on the bed before I laid down. This is jet-lag to a "T".

Today marks one week that Leeza and Philip have been home. Their arrival was a bit of a mountain-top experience for our family. It’s WONDERFUL to all be together finally and to see her playing with the other kids is an answer to so many prayers. As I look in the rearview mirror in the car I feel like I’m driving around a preschool, but it’s a good feeling. A tired feeling, but a good feeling.

But you don’t get to stay on the mountain top for long. Reality started setting in Monday as we had to begin teaching her our routine and working through all the odd (to us) behaviors. Since she was put in the orphanage she’s never been around anything that could hurt her. She doesn’t understand not touching the oven because it’s hot or the scissors because they will cut her. She doesn’t understand that you can’t hang off a stool and not fall on your head or lean over a flight of stairs and not tumble down. She says our names about a thousand times a day and we’re not sure what that’s about…maybe just checking to make sure we’re still there or maybe just because she finally has a Mama and Papa to call. She doesn’t understand when Philip has to leave the house so when he had to go back to work today she was NOT happy about it and has asked for him at least once an hour so far. It does no good to tell her he’s at work because she has no idea what that is. She noticed his car was missing and keeps asking if he’s taking a nap somewhere.

Leeza and Josiah helping Kimmie make some banana-pumpkin bread.

She has odd eating behaviors…not the hoarding like we expected, but she’ll chew things up and then want to give them to us. When we refuse to take them she’ll try chewing them again and spit it back out again. She’s fascinated by the mop and vacuum cleaner. Trying to clean the floors today reminded me of having a cat in the house. She just scooted in front of each of them the whole time trying to touch them and play with their cords. When I feel like my patience is just about gone I have to remind myself that she’s only been here a week and she’s doing the best she can to find patterns in what must seem like chaos to her. And just when I feel like I really can’t deal with much more she’ll want a big hug and kiss or she’ll get excited about something little like being able to help us clean up after dinner. As I write this we’re in nap time, which has proven to be a pretty stressful time for her, but I just sneaked a peek at her and Josiah is teaching her how to dress like a superhero (he put a bandanna around her shoulders) and patiently showing her how to play with his train set.

Leeza enjoys holding the bottle for Kasia to eat. Kasia can do it herself, but she never seems to complain about the help.

We’ve also had quite a few questions about the doctor’s visit yesterday. We were blessed to be able to get her in to one of the best neurosurgeons in the country and he gave us a synopsis of how much she can feel and how much function her legs have. He read the bloodwork results and let us know her kidney function is ok (we’ll still meet with the urologist next month, but not for an emergency situation) and let us know her spinal cord is not in any immediate danger. We are to protect her lower back where her spinal cord sticks out a little (obviously) and, as he put it, answer the phone and come to the appointments they set up for us. She has a lot of medical appointments ahead of her and knowing that they are now responsible for coordinating all of it is a major relief since we have no idea what we’re doing. Sometime in December she will go in for a full day MRI session so we can see what’s going on in her brain and spine and within the next 6-9 months he said she’ll end up with major back surgery. The surgery won’t do anything to improve the function she has, but will prevent any further damage to her spinal cord as she grows. We have a lot to learn about what he’ll be doing, but in a nutshell he’ll be detaching the spinal cord from the spinal column (bone) at the bottom of her back so that as she grows her cord isn’t being stretched out and damaged. Right now that sounds very scary and just hearing it knocked me right off that mountain top and my brain starts coming up with all the reasons why this is just going to be impossible. And then I remember how much God has already gotten us through. It was just 8 months ago that we first saw Leeza’s picture and bringing her home seemed impossible. Now she’s playing in the next room with Josiah and I know I can trust that God will get us over this next mountain as well.

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