Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One Year Ago Today: Meeting My Dream

The very first picture I took of her.
Can you see the fear in those eyes? Poor baby :(
Early morning on Tuesday October 5, 2010 we rolled into Krivoy Rog on the overnight train from Kiev. I didn't sleep that ENTIRE night on that darn train. I'm sure it was just because I knew the next day I was going to finally meet the little girl from my dream for the first time. I was once again excited/nervous all at the same time. I did write a post last year, but it was a few days late due to computer and internet issues and I did leave a few things out.

This year, after being her mom for a year, I'm not afraid to say what I was afraid to say last year.

When we first met Liza they had taken her from her groupa, put her hair up and dressed her in pink, and had her playing with toys she probably didn't get to play with that often. We walked into the room and I was just immediately in awe that she was actually there in front of me. I remember having my camera ready, walking in and saying "There she is!" and then totally forgetting to take pics or video for a bit. But, after just enjoying watching her for a few minutes I caught her interaction with her baby doll. It's so nice to have this to look back on now.

Not long after she fed her baby, and herself, I went over and tried to get her to let me play. She wasn't really having it but the Speech Therapist, who you see in the video with her, encouraged her to let me and gave me a plastic spoon (like the ones you use for picnics). Liza decided she liked my spoon better, which she still does by the way, took it from me and started "feeding herself" with it. Next thing we all knew she had taken a bite out of the spoon and the ST was frantically trying to get the piece out of her mouth. She ended up having to pick her up, take her out of the room, and bring her back once the piece of spoon had been removed from her mouth. It was kind of funny then and looking back now I'm still laughing, although I should've known from that encounter just how stubborn my girl was. Too bad I didn't get THAT on video!

In the room with the Speech Therapist, who she was familiar with, we were just a couple people who talked funny and she wasn't too worried about us. Once they let us go down to the visitation room with her it was obvious to us that she didn't care for us. In fact, I see now that she was scared of us. My poor Girl.
She was making what we called her "hissing sound".
It was like she was trying to scare us away.
The only way she would allow me to hold her at first
Poor girl :(
Obviously these pictures don't look like the ones that you hope to see on adoption blogs and that's probably why I never got around to sharing them. But, it's good to see that things don't always go picture perfect at first. For us, it took a little time for her to warm up, but she did and we knew that it might be that way because those who'd adopted before us weren't afraid to be honest about the hard things.

I remember after visiting with Liza for a while our facilitator, Yulia, coming in and asking us for our decision. We just looked at her cause we didn't know what she meant, and she said, "Do you want her? If you do I have to start the paperwork?" We just laughed and I said, "Yes! We want her!" I can honestly say that is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

After we visited with Liza that morning we left to get some lunch, do a little more paperwork, and do some grocery shopping for our stay in Krivoy Rog. We spent some time talking about how our morning went and I remember at one point Rick and I talked about Liza and how she met our expectations. I was honest and admitted that I was a little worried that she would never bond with us and I think I even mentioned the fear of institutional autism. I see now that she was scared to death of us and I was overwhelmed with all that we'd already gone through and was tired from not having slept the night before. Our evening visit was like a gift from God telling me not to worry. There was no night and day change, but things were better and maybe my perspective had changed a bit.

See for your self:
She let me play in her favorite toy with her. She didn't even
wanna let other kids in there, but she let me :)
She decided she kinda liked him too.
She's a fast learner and she let us know it by learning the sign for "crazy" and doing it on demand. Well, she needed to know what she was getting herself into, didn't she? LOL

Yep, I'm a little crazy. She's a little stubborn. We actually make a pretty good pair. I'm so glad that we stuck it out through all the stress and all the scares. She has been worth every moment. 

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