Wednesday, June 1, 2011
As I mentioned in my previous post, both kids are now considered first graders. The process varied greatly as Evan got a wonderful party and a cap and gown and a pomp and circumstance tune to march into the sanctuary to...and Marina got an IEP for next year and an end of school party for summer!! Most of the difference can be attributed to sending a child to private school I think, but this is the long version of why there is only graduation photos of Evan...
Marina and Evan started their summer officially by attending Kickin' kids Karate summer day camp and they are overwhelmed with the program of fun that is in place there! I truly think every town needs THIS kickin' kids to come in and show 'em how it is done! The kids are so happy and exhausted when I pick them up!! They go on a field trip nearly every day, whether it is to the bowling alley around the corner or to the library for summer exploration of reading, these kids are on the go! There will be swim trips and water parks, and indoor jump parks, etc. Not bragging here, well yes I am, but this was the find of the summer! They also have karate class 2 or 3 times a week. Somewhere I uploaded some photos from my phone but they may have gone into cyper space, as I cannot find them on line. I promise to take photos of them in their outfits (I am SURE Evan will school me in the proper name for that when he gets home today)and I can't wait to hear all about their day.
Last night was Marina's sleep study to measure her need for having her tonsils taken out. She was incredibly good and promptly fell over asleep, right on cue, when the last wire was glued to her hair...oh was that ever fun to dislodge this morning at 6 am! The test was conducted overnight and she flopped from one end of that twin bed to another! That poor tech must have come in to reattach Marina's wire leads at least 10 times last night. I did take Marina to my mom's this morning by 7 am to play beauty shop and all was near normal when we headed back out to go to summer camp an hour later. Evan had his first spend the night party and stayed with his cousin last night. He loved it and was really proud that he did not cry even one time. I was delighted as well! Now if I could convince myself that I have indeed actually had coffee today... I must have failed my own sleep study coz it feels like I missed several needed hours.
It has been near a hundred degrees every day this week with no end in sight. I will work 3 full days friday saturday and sunday at the airport. I try to say I love my job at least several times an hour as I am at work, because I do, but it is hard to remember with that much sweat drowning my contact lenses and burning my eyes. People do not pack less stuff in the summer, though logically they should! Tully works at a mill that caters to families tubing down the river on the weekends he does not come home, and I think we are due a ride ourselves real soon! I am sort of jealous I think:)
Life continues on a normal path which is always a bonus for us and we do not take it for granted ever. Marina is talking in sentences but she mixes it in with her version of Russian, so one really has to pay attention to hear her sneak in things like I like that, or brush my teeth, etc. The words are clear and sound alot like us, which puts her at the distinct disadvantage of being southern/russian. To that I can only say "Bless her heart!" She has come a long way in her 6 months of being one of us and we love her more each day. She still spits at me but hardly would even consider doing that to anyone else so she must love me the most:) I am definitely her GO TO Girl, and can heal all wounds with a can of aloe and a big hug and kiss, whether I see the boo boo or not.
We have signed up for swim lessons starting next week and they go for two weeks, 4 nights a week. Both kids will attend. Marina LOVES the water and can swim like a fish now that she figures out that she floats with her floater bathing suit and a life jacket on top of that. Heck she couldn't sink if she tried!! She is small enough for the suit, but whoever designed the suit did not consider how much "Marina" there can be packed in a small body, and she is heavy like mercury so she tends to sink just under her mouth line--not a working plan if you keep your mouth open all the time like she does. I LOVE this photo of her by the pool, she is soooo HOLLYWOOD!! She has also established that she is the biggest fan of Curious George and can dance like a maniac when the "song" comes on...life simply rages through this child.
I remember that I fought so hard and was delayed over and over again when I went through the battle of her paperwork. The spiritual warfare was nearly unbearable and I was nearly despondent alot of days. I remember praying for her safety and protection every single night of our delays, for a year and a half. I fought as hard for Marina as I fought for Caylyn and you who know me, know I gave everything I had to doing what we could to keep Caylyn with us. But I know that Caylyn is no more than a breath away from me and I am sure she is in a beautiful place and she is totally healed now...and I know that every one of those prayers to keep Marina safe resulted in her being transferred to a good orphanage that cared for her and gave her the foundation for being the Marina we love so much now. I believe that the Marina THEY acquired was a shell shocked broken little child who did not even speak at 4 and a half and had a fraction of the personality that was discovered lurking within this beautiful child. I can never say thank you enough to those who were part of those answered prayers to build this little powerhouse of joy.
I pray that more children are discovered and prayed for and brought home this year than ever before...and so far Reece's Rainbow is blowing away its collective records up to now. No child deserves to wither away in an ill funded life draining institution, No child. Those that are left there waiting, are on my heart today as I watched Marina bounce happily through the door of Kickin' kids and a group of older girls all went "Awwww, she's so CUUUTE!" and threw their arms around her. How different Marina's life turned out...how utterly different. She is so incredibly loved. I do believe Jesus loves the children so much, and it is our job to be those arms, until He comes back and uses them Himself. This story is one that makes a difference...and I am not writing it, I am only cast in the roll of me by One who is so much Greater and Awesome. I am utterly grateful for the hearts he has rescued from the shards of broken-ness 3 years ago. That would include this whole family, in addition to Marina. The definition of a miracle is when God does something so amazing that we simply cannot do ourselves. Marina being here and being her, fits that definition. We are grateful beyond words...