Wednesday, January 2, 2013

15 Pics for 15 Days

Dear Friends,

I have now been home from the hospital for 15 days!  Even though my mom says I am a very easygoing, sweet kid to care for, she still hasn't had much time to blog between the Christmas season events and activities, my doctor's appointments, and adjusting to her new routine with three children.  I thought I'd help her out tonight and show you what I've been up to these last couple of weeks.  I hope you enjoy!

1.  Taking a walk to see the Christmas lights in Kaneohe with my family - loved having my dad push me around in the stroller, and the lights were so pretty!

2.  Hangin out on my couch, with my favorite quilt and my favorite magazine (Parents - I'm mesmerized by it!).

3.  Playing with my "Dolly" - my mom ordered it for me from another adoptive mom who makes them by hand.  She is very special to me and I love to give her kisses and fall asleep holding her.

4.  My first movie night with my brother and sister - we watched "The Incredibles".  Every Friday night we get to fold out the sleeper sofa and eat popcorn while we watch.

5.  My first Christmas morning!  My mom's friend speaks Russian, and she asked me if I knew what Christmas was.  I told her I had never heard of it (only New Year's).  She told me what it was all about, but I think that next year I will understand it a little better.  Many of my friends and family gave me gifts for Christmas, and I was thrilled to have them all surrounding me (in fact, when it was time for my mom to finally put some of them away, I protested just a tiny bit!).

6.  The Christmas photo shoot - can I just say that my mama LOVES to take pictures :)  That's okay though - I am pretty cooperative.  Now when the camera comes out I exclaim "Smile!"

7.  Sitting up in the activity chair that my mom's friend Kelly loaned us.  Mrs. Kelly, if you are reading this, I want you to know that I am SO happy to be able to sit at the table and eat with my family.

8.  Floor time.  In Ukraine, I was never ever allowed to get down on the floor and play, so this is a treat for me.

9.  The beach!  Of course, I had to spend almost the whole time lying on a quilt under an umbrella, but I still had a great time.  When I was in the orphanage I only remember going outside three times my WHOLE life - once when I was transferred from my "baby house" to "dom invalid" and twice when I was taken to the hospital.  Other than that, I spent 24 hours a day on the second floor of an orphanage - never feeling the sun shine on my face or the wind blowing through my hair.  My mom was really nervous that I would be scared to go out into this big, wide, open, new world but you know what - I love it!!

10.  Matching my sister - don't we look cute?

11.  My own bed.  Each night my mom gets me ready for bed in the room I share with my sister, and after she tucks me in I tell her night-night and I drift off to sleep peacefully.  I sleep all night long, and wake up smiling the next morning.  My mom says this is too good to be true :)

12.  The dogs - I love em.  This is Chica and there is also a little one named Kocher.  I can frequently be heard saying "Chica Chica, ye tebya loobloo (I love you)" and "No no, Chica Chica".

 13.  Eating in a restaurant (please excuse the bread in my mouth - again, my mom was snapping pics while I was trying to chew!).  I love all kinds of food.  In fact when my mom's friend asked me what my favorite food so far is, I said "Everything!".

14.  My first shopping spree.  We went to TCP for a few new clothes, and I was so happy with it all :)

15. FREEDOM.  I am discovering that I can move, dance, sing, laugh, cry, and help myself.  I don't have to just lay here anymore and be helpless - I can DO stuff.  A month ago I kept my right arm completely flexed and tucked tight by my side all the time (chicken-wing style).  Now I raise both arms high above my head and I can completely straighten out my left arm.  My right arm is almost completely straight too.  My parents are excited to see what else I am able to accomplish in the coming weeks and months.  So am I!


  1. Oh my gosh!!! I just smiled all the way through! WOW!!! Life is good. God is good. :)

  2. You just made me burst into tears! Precious PRecious!!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING!! She is my hero!!

  3. Lisa! what a wonderful update from YOUR daughter. love it.

  4. Crying tears of joy and shouting joyful praise to the Lord! I am so inspired by all of you!

    1. Jamie, I had to smile at your comment because I am the one inspired by YOU :)

  5. Hi. You don't know me, so I wanted to say thank you for sharing this experience. It inspires my husband and me. Makes a pray about what we can do in the future! Thank you.

  6. Good job, Bella! I am so proud of you :)

  7. Oh this made me happy. I'm so glad that things are going well. So many wonderful experiences in such a short time. I can't wait to see what a month, six months..... bring. Happy New year to all of you.

  8. Wow, Lisa! She is doing so well! I can't believe I still haven't met her, but I hope soon! She seems like a joyful person to know! You guys are amazing, and I'm so happy she has a home and a family that love her now.

  9. Thank you so much for the update! Wonderful! :-)

  10. Absolutely Amazing, Beautiful and Incredible!!!

  11. Dear Bella,
    I decided I'd write YOU back. :) Thank you for the updates. May I say that all I could think while looking at these photos was, "You are astonishingly beautiful." Well, your whole family is, but your spirit just shines like nothing I've ever seen before! So beautiful in fact, that when I came to the picture of you sleeping, I realized I was crying!

    I'm so happy for you, your family and your FREEDOM to be all that you were created to be.

    God bless you sweet girl.

    Katrina W
    PS I have a daughter named Bella too! And she has long blonde hair (like I think you will soon have!) and blue eyes and I tell her all of the time that Bella means beautiful. And I always ask her, "Why are you so pretty?" And she answers me, "MOMMY, I TOLD you, it's because God made me that way." Indeed.

  12. Thank you for the update on all of your new adventures, Bella. You and your family are such an inspiration to all of us. I look forward to seeing all of the accomplishments you will be making in the future.
    May God bless you and your family,

  13. I found your blog from a friend of a friend (all adoptive moms). We adopted in December too, a sibling group of 3 after fostering for 18 months. Your posts touched me so much; I cried tears of joy for Bella, and tears of heartbreak for the plight of other special-needs orphans. Your family is in my prayers, and I will check back to see how this sweet girl will thrive and grow! All of your children are beautiful, and Bella's amazing smile has been in my mind ever since. She reminds me of our youngest, who had the best smile when we got her at 6 weeks. At 19 months, she continues to be such a happy girl. Praying for such amazing blessings as you continue your journey!

  14. Please continue to blog - I am really looking forward to being able to see this child as she grows and discovers all that she can do and be. Every time I look at your blog she gives me the gift of a smile - and that is quite a gift. :-)