Okay, first of all, is this not the most adorable poster baby for Reece's Rainbow?!!! Oh I just love my sweet girl! Please go HERE to buy this car magnet. For a $25 donation to the voice of hope fund, you will get two of these HUGE car magnets but you don't have to use them just for your car!
We've been home 12 days and the changes in Mila are remarkable. I've posted a lot about the physical changes, which are HUGE, as you can see in any picture I post. Mila is up to 12 pounds, 5 ounces....a whole entire pound more from last week! I haven't measured her length but I'm sure she must have grown another half an inch too! Her cheekies are getting some more pudge, her skin is looking a lot healthier and less dry, her chapped lips are gone, she's rolling over all the time and supporting her head fabulously....just so many physical changes.....But she's also showing so many personality changes too.
I honestly thought she was deaf the first week we met her. I would make loud noises, turn on the music player, and watch as she had no reaction to those noises or any of the other loud noises in her environment. I told Shawn I worried she was deaf. When she fell asleep a firetruck could have whizzed by her and she would have not even flinched. Then little by little we started seeing her come alive and responding to sounds by the second week of visiting. I call it "coming out of the orphanage stupor." Now she responds to every little sound she hears. She wakes up easier if there is a loud noise. When we met her she didn't babble at all. I think maybe a total of 5 times we heard her voice. We only ever saw her silently crying or very quietly crying in her crib. Now we hear her voice ALL DAY LONG! She has so much to say. When we met her she couldn't tolerate being held upright, not just for physical reasons but because she was just so used to laying flat in her crib, so it was scary for her to be in any other position. Even into last week Mila needed many breaks from being held at all. Lately she has started to love being held upright and now the little bean has figured out that she'd MUCH RATHER be held ALL DAY LONG! In fact, if we put her down now she fusses and fusses until we pick her up. I remember Zoya being very clingy like this in the beginning to. I think they just figure out it feels way better to be in loving arms and they've already spent way too much time sitting/laying all alone. The only problem I'm having is that I'm home alone with them and they both want to be held all day....I need 4 arms :) I suppose it's a great problem to have.
One of my favorite things about Mila is her killer smile! We worked soooo hard to get one or two smiles here and there when we were in Ukraine. And when we got one it was like finding gold! Well this girl just hands out smiles left and right now and her smiles are SUPER FABULOUS! If we do have to put her down for a moment (you know to go to the bathroom or something essential HA) she just fusses and as soon as we get within view of her and make eye contact this big huge smile just spreads across her face! When she first started smiling she would only smile in return if we smiled first. Well now she just looks up at us with her big beautiful blue eyes and smiles just because. She initiates smiles all the time and we can't help but giggle like school kids when we're gifted with those special smiles. She has us wrapped around her little finger I'm afraid! (I think Zoya must have taught her that!)
I promise I'll start taking more pictures. Life here has just been so very busy just doing life with two kids in general, and then adding all the medical emails/phone calls/appointments, etc. Please pray for discernment for decisions that need to be made regarding Mila's surgery and medical care. We are praying for neon signs spelling it all out for us :) (hey we can ask right?). We do not have a date yet, but that might be a good thing. Many of you have emailed/commented with concerns and suggestions. I don't have answers to all of them...but I'm trying to find out because I have all the same concerns as all of you. Occasionally I've let my thoughts go to that dark place and it's pretty scary. But even with the gravity of Mila's health situation, I keep coming back to a sense of peace. Maybe it's just me being naive, but I think it's God speaking to my heart telling me he's got this one.
*Michelle who left a couple comments on my last post, can you email me...I have a few questions for you :) (spbasile at gmail dot com). Thanks!