Friday, October 23, 2009

Before and After!

Six months after being home
First day home
Playing in new sandbox

Dedication day at FBC, Montgomery
Dow and Beth getting ready for Sr. Citizen Day

Hope continues to blossom in so many ways. As you can see she has come a long way in five months. I don’t think we realized how much until I took the “after” picture and compared it to the earlier one. Her whole appearance has taken on a complete change. In the past few weeks, her language has just exploded. She is beginning to repeat a lot of what we say and will say please and thank-you when prompted. Of course when she really wants something, she will say please without prompting and it is really hard to say no to her. She is so sweet when she says it.

She is very, very animated in her expressions and has gotten in the habit of say, “Ohhhh,” really loud and dramatically when she sees something exciting. She also puts her hands out and says “go?” when she doesn’t know where something went.

Everyone continues to show such love and interest toward Hope and we are so grateful. From older children to her preschool teachers. One sweet person from our church made a beautiful hand made dress for her. We received the dress in the mail with a simple note welcoming Hope to First Baptist. We had her dedicated in the dress, and she looked like an angel. Her dedication was shared with Ruthie Grace Blakeney who was recently adopted by Dr. Mendy Blakeney. It was a special day with our choir singing “Orphans of God” to a very moving video created by the Portis family.

Hope has been wide open at home since the week she came home. With others and in different settings, she has been quiet and reserved for the most part. In the past few weeks, she has really started to come out of her “shell.” Her preschool teacher said she was doing better, because she was getting into a “little trouble.” She was laughing and sliding in Sunday School and eating green apples. Finally, Hope participated in Kindermusik this week after 10 weeks of attending. It is so fun watching her and seeing her personality develop. Just today, she started blowing kisses with her hand. I wish you all could see her.

She continues to battle ear infections and if we can ever get her well, we plan to have tubes put in. She is on her 6th antibiotic (four for ears). She has gained about three pounds since she has been home. She is eating a little better, but not as good as I think she needs to. We have made a little progress in the area of sleep. I now can sit at the end of the bed and read as long as I hold her foot. She continues to wake up crying every night, and I sleep the rest of the night with her. We will just have to be patient in this area. Thanks again for your continued prayers and concern.