Thursday, May 7, 2015

Three years ago today…May 7, 2012 = BEST DAY EVER! Wow! Where do I even start? I just checked and saw that I have not updated our blog since October, so I thought it was definitely time and no better time than now as it was three years ago today at about this time that Dale and I had just picked Kayti up from her orphanage and we were heading back to Sofia where we would spend the next five days getting to know each other better and learning to be a family of three before heading home. I vividly remember every detail of that trip and all of the feelings that I was having at the time. I was so very excited to finally after seven long months be bringing her home and getting her out of the orphanage and yet so very nervous as her life would now be all in our hands. Although, I am sure that every mother goes through these same emotions! I am so glad that I have found a lot of her former caregivers here on Facebook and that they are able to see pictures and videos of her to see how she has grown. She has grown and changed so much!! I remember every minute of arriving at the airport in Pittsburgh and anticipating and finally seeing our waiting family and friends who were there waiting to meet her. Those first few minutes with them were precious and I will never forget them!! I am sharing a rather lengthy video of pictures from our metcha and gotcha trips. I call it the Kayti movie and she loves to watch it and she even knows the words to a lot of the songs on it! I cannot adequately express in words just how much I love this precious little girl and how she has forever changed our lives. Dale and I are so proud to be her mommy and daddy!! And I cannot believe we have now been blessed again with Kaleb. I just had a meeting with her teachers at school today and we all agree she has made great progress over the year. We have pretty much the same plan for next year. I can't believe she is almost done with kindergarten. The school year has gone by so quickly. She has learned so much and loved every minute! She could not have had better teachers and aides! So thanks again for all you did to make her first year of school so great Serena, Cindy, Mrs. McConnell, and Norma Jean for the great care on the bus. Some of the biggest things she has learned are spelling her name, recognizing her name, and we are now starting to work on writing her name, counting, putting long sentences together (She can even say the Pledge of Allegiance!), colors, shapes, and body parts. She got to go on many field trips with her class this year and enjoyed all of them, but my favorite was her most recent which was a trip to TREC (Therapeutic Riding Equestrian Center). She seemed to really enjoy riding and seemed like a natural at it. They have a 6 week program that I would love to see her be able to do. We will have to look further into that! She also got to take swimming lessons for about 4 weeks at Edinboro University and I know she loved that too. She has made some friends at school and I am told that is well loved by all the kids and staff which is a relief for me as that was definitely one of my worries. She does not play with the other kids very much though, but I still think that comes from being in an orphanage and am hoping that starts to change more. She would much rather play and interact with an adult. She does play with Kaleb now though, so being a big sister is very good for her in that aspect. Her attention span is getting better, but is still very short unless she is interested. But we are making progress with that as well. She does not like to sit and color and she will look at books but mainly for pictures and does not like to sit still to be read to a lot. It has to be a very short story. I am hoping that changes, because I love reading to her!! Since I haven’t updated for quite a little while, I will say that Kayti and Kaleb are starting to behave more and more like siblings. She loves being a big sister and trying to tell him what to do. And he loves being a little brother right now! They seem to get along great which is great! Kayti actually did have another first this week! She lost her first tooth (front tooth of course!) and now has had her first visit from the tooth fairy. She was very excited about this and was so happy with what the tooth fairy left her!! As most of you knew, she had her adenoids out in January and did awesome. Dr. Te is an amazing ENT and the staff at UPMC Horizon could not have been nicer to us. She will be having some dental surgery that will require sedation sometime in June, so please pray that it goes just as smoothly. We are so glad nice weather is here finally. They just got their swing set put up this past weekend and loved being outside all day! We had a long winter and survived many, many viruses, so the warm weather is so nice for all of us! The only good thing this winter was that we had our first Christmas as a family of four! As of her checkup last week, Kayti has grown another inch and now weighs almost 40 pounds, She has now doubled her weight when she came home. She continues to be a very good eater, although she eats very, very slowly. She loves all meats, most vegetables even salads and spinach, and all fruits except bananas. The only thing she doesn’t like is bread or anything else doughy like cake or doughnuts. This is something that has not changed since she came home. Kaleb seems like he is going to be my picky eater. At least for now. Another thing that has not changed about her is that she still will fight going to sleep a lot of times. I don’t know if this is typical or if she is just afraid of missing something after her first four years. She still loves to sing and be sung to. Her favorite songs are anything from Frozen, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the itsy bitsy spider, and the wheels on the bus. She loves to dance and spin arount!! Her favorite movies are still loves Nemo, Frozen, the Lion King, and the Little Mermaid. She loves to watch TV and loves almost anything on Disney Junior like Sofia the First, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStiffins. She also loves Peppa Pig, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, Little Einsteins, SpongeBob, Max and Ruby, Super Why, and Dora the Explorer. She loves being outside and playing on the swing. She loves playing the Wii and Playstation and even more her LeapPad and DS. They have been great tools when she has lost a sticker at school, she also loses her games for that night. The both really love Grammy and Papas UTV and riding around in it!! Speaking of Grammy and Papa, I don't know where we would be without them. I know when I go to work that they are getting the best care. Thank you for all you do and we love you so much!! For those of you who don't know her or have had the chance to meet her I will try to tell you more about Kayti. She really is such a little sweetheart. Those of you who do know her know what I am talking about, but she is almost always happy and smiling. That has not changed from the first day we met!! She is always ready to give you a hug. And if she is close to you a kiss. She loves to give her Uncle Mike kisses before she leaves moms every day. He always gets about 3-4 kisses on the forehead before she goes! And she definitely will make you laugh. Their personalities are so different and complete our family so perfectly!! She also has recently started to want to pick out her own clothes and want to wear bows/barrettes in her hair. Because she is so cute it is very difficult for me to be stern with her. The other day she did something and I raised my voice and looked and her little bottom lip was quivering and I have to remind myself to stay strong and don’t give in! And her sweet smile could melt the coldest heart! As I was writing this, I realized that next year by this time, she will have spent more time with her family than she did at the orphanage, so I am very anxious to see the progress she can make in that time. She makes my heart smile every single day. (Not slighting Kaleb as he most definitely does too! This is just Kayti’s special day:) God has truly blessed Dale and I with two incredible kids. I will say once again that I have no idea how nobody chose her before we saw her on the waiting child list. All I can say is that God meant her for us!! I remember every second of the wait between trips and how terribly difficult and painful that it was particularly Kayti’s because it was 7 very long months, and as I sit here now watching both of them peacefully sleeping I truly know that it was worth every single second! So those of you who are between trips right now, I feel your pain and know exactly how you are feeling, so hang in there and trust me when I say it will all be worth it. Thanks to all of you for your continued love and support. It has meant so much. We are so blessed!! Until next time...I will leave you with some pictures and you tube links. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBeQAIkNVlU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg7zrb-d7PM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btu0TYNQepA a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Lqi_4SVpwac/VUt9KgoXqcI/AAAAAAAAA6w/1h6UCzn8LPI/s1600/542945_3895525352509_1618687969_n.jpg" imageanchor="1" >

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