Thursday, May 5, 2011

Come The Spring...

Yana was born in winter. It was March 20, 2003, but for her there was no coming thaw. There was no first flower of spring. There were not fresh rains washing the cold and dirt of winter away. There was no warm sunshine on her face, no gentle breeze blowing her hair.

For Yana there were the four walls of a crib. There were bottles hastily shoved into her mouth from out of no where. There was crying out for attention until hope was lost and she was silent. There was no familiar face, there were no recipricated smiles.

There were just the same four walls of a room she very rarely left, most of the time was spent in the same four walls of her crib. There was no variety in her diet, just like there was no variety in her life. It was stale, dark, cold,[or very hot], and silent.

Death permeated the air. The death of hearts that had given up or become hardened. The death of hope as no child's cry was answered. The death of joy as there was nothing to look forward to. The death of little souls as they waited for their savior who sometimes only came in the form of a lonely, and sometimes painful death.

Let's face it, winter sucks for the young when there is no hope of spring, no hope of sunshine on their face, no hope of a gentle snow to cover up all that has died and become stale and ugly.

But there is something amazing that is happening. Yana doesn't live in a winter atmosphere anymore. The ugliness has been replaced. There is sunshine, and gentle breezes, joy and hope, smiling faces that always answer a cry or a need, and there are celebrations all day long!

Spring has sprung, and like the grave could not hold my savior, winters shadows can not hold my Yana.

"Blossom by blossom the spring begins"
Author: Algernon Charles Swinburne

So many blossoms on my beautiful Yana flower!

blossom #1. She constantly seeks attention. You can not sit down w/o Yana crawling over and up into your lap. She then proceeds to make herself comfortable and often is very demanding in you paying attention to her. All this from a child that you had to all but beg to interact with you.... All this from a child that showed no independant thought.

blossom #2. WE have language comprehension!!! Yana literally had NO language, Bulgarian or English. She understood nothing and it meant nothing to her. Now I can definitely say that is not the case. I KNOW she understands at least 7 questions/phrases. I am sure there are more coming, but she is getting it! And I am putting the phrases/questions to actions/signs on her part so she can start to show me what she wants!

blossom #3. She LAYS her head down on my shoulder as I sing her songs before tucking her into bed! I LOVE IT!

blossom #4. She CRIES many mornings when she is awake and will break into smiles and giggles when I come into her room!

blossom #5. Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact.... it is happening more and more!

blossome #6. She loves to crawl quickly to the door if someone goes out of it and tries to go out herself. :)

blossom #7. She shows a MARKED preference for her family. AND shows an interest in where they go if they leave her.

So many things are happening... she knows so much more than she did just 9 months ago. Within the love of her family, she is aware, alert, interactive, purposeful, and communicative. She is blossoming.

Winter has lost it grip. Spring has come!

I could watch her all day long! Enjoy some spring blossoms with me. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Featured Child....


December 2006
Osteogenesis Imperfecta

From volunteers who met her: This radiant girl lives in a Russian orphanage. She suffers from OI, Group 3. She was bedridden for the most of her life; until she was almost 4 years old she could not sit and could not turn over. She had multiple bones broken by simply moving around in bed. Only one year ago volunteers found her in a cast from head to toe. They have begun raising money for her rehabilitation in the American Medical Center in Moscow. As a result, she is now sitting vertically first time in her life. The first time she was able to look out the window, she saw the bleak Moscow landscape of late November and there was no limit for her joy! She takes such pleasure in being able to see that the street cleaning guy has a “soft” hat and that birds are “fuzzy .” Despite having such a handicapped childhood, Bethany is unbelievably bright. At three and a half she knew all colors, 1 to 10 numbers, could recite many children rhymes, and she has a perfect music pitch! According to the nurses, Bethany radiates positivism and humor to such degree that children from the hospital gather in her room for a good laugh, a song, or a story. When it was time for her to leave the hospital and to part with the nurses, she broke down crying for the first time, despite all the physical pain of the hospital procedures. She desperately wants to belong, to be part of a family.

More information is available for interested families. Potential families must have good medical coverage and be comfortable financially.

**** Where is her mommy? I can just imagine the bright light of her soul locked inside a body that is not getting the help it needs? Where is the family that will set her free?