Mina is a precious little girl recently rescued from an orphanage in Eastern Europe who is now finally home with her forever family! She had been without a mother or father to love her & care for her each day. No one to rock her, kiss her gently or tell her she's loved. She is blessed with an extra chromosome known as Down syndrome, which for her that meant a life of being viewed as worthless in the country she was born into & a life without hope. Because of this her parents gave her up at the age of 6 months when they found out the diagnosis & from there her life progressivly went down hill. We are the Gower family residing in OKC who recently adopted this little angel. She was extremely malnourished and unable to do just about anything when we first met her. She will be 2 in January & is the size of a 3-6 month old weighing 14lbs. She continues to amaze us at how quickly she is progressing with love and nutrition. She has learned to sit up, roll over, feed herself finger foods, hold her own bottle and loves to interact with toys and other children. Her life has changed so much in such a short period of time and will forever be changed! Thank you Lord for putting a burden on our hearts to rescue this little blessing and making her apart of our family!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gotcha day!!

Today was gotcha day & what a busy joyous day it was! We woke up this morning without knowing the plans for the day got a call from Rostik saying he’d be by to pick us up at 9:10 and that we would meet Marina at court. We met Marina and waited in the car while she picked up the court decree, drove to the department of vital statistics to get Mina’s birth certificate with us listed as her parents. We waited in a skinny crowded hall where several people kept trying to ask us questions while we were waiting on Marina. We just kept shaking our head and saying we don’t know. Then after about 20 minutes Marina came out to get us to sign papers so we could get the birth certificate and be on our way. Next stop was to the orphanage to pick up Mina and Svetlana (the head nurse.) We went to the passport office and got Mina’s picture taken and paperwork done to obtain her passport. Of course we ended up having to walk across the street to another office and left the diaper bag in the car thinking we’d be in and out and of course Mina had an awful diarrhea diaper. Picture taken, made it back to the car, changed her and waited for Marina to come out of the other office. Then off to the two banks where Mina had fund accounts set up for her where the government/ orphanage deposits money into an account for her so that if she was never adopted she would later on in life get the money (I believe after she was out of the orphanage system due to age... if she was still alive by then.) Went to one bank and waited in the car while Svetlana took care of some stuff, ran to the other bank, signed papers to close Mina’s account and to sign the money over to the orphanage to be given to the other children. Went by the apartment and dropped Myla and Jim off because she was cranky and extremely tired. Went back to the first bank and finished up paperwork to sign that money over to the orphanage. By this time it was an hour past Mina’s lunch time and nap time and she was getting sleepy and cranky. She fell asleep in my arms for a little bit. We then went back to the orphanage and I took Mina to her groupa for them to feed her while I went up to Svetlana’s office to sign some paperwork to get Mina out of the orphanage. I gave the orphanage director, Svetlana, and the 5 caregivers and 5 nurses their gifts and then went back down the hall to get Mina to come home at last!! She was cranky and so very sleepy. The caregivers asked for her clothes that we brought so I got them out of her bag & they took them and dressed her. I did not put her hairbow in I stayed up till 1 in the am making for her because she was just so cranky and couldn’t handle one more thing. Marina and I left the orphanage quickly. It was amazing how fast the day went today and all the many things we crammed into such a short time. Marina really is an extremely hard worker. We made it back to the apartment where daddy met us at the car downstairs to video us bringing Mina into the apartment. We didn’t have much time for pictures cause like I said the girl was cranky and tired. We put her down for a nap and she slept about 3 hours. We finally went in and woke her up so she would be able to sleep tonight. She is such a happy little camper.

Svetlana today was talking to Marina and telling her that she can see a huge change in Mina in the short time we’ve been here. She told her that when she sat her up to take a picture for the embassy last week she was amazed at how well and strong Mina was sitting up and that usually she would just fall over when propped up.

We told Svetlana about the bumbos and that we are going to mail some to the orphanage for the kids and showed her a picture and explained them to her. She was so excited and said she thought that would be wonderful and that they don’t have anything like that anywhere here. She said that it is so hard for the caregivers to be able to work with the children on sitting up because they can’t sit there and hold them up throughout the day and there is nothing like that children can sit in. I am really excited to be able to send them some and think that it will make a huge difference for many of these children. I know it sure would have been a helpful tool for Mina.

Myla was so excited that today was the day we got to bring Mina home. She actually woke up at 6 this morning saying Mommy Mina gets to come home with Myla today! Needless to say she was so excited about it that she couldn’t go back to sleep so that is another reason why she had to come home this afternoon for a nap. She also was excited to finally get to take a bath and splash with her sister this evening. It took Mina a minute to get used to the water but she sure loved to splash. Mommy and Daddy are excited that she is all clean now and that she smells so good!!!

Mina did an awesome job eating dinner and we even gave her some puffs which she loved and has mastered at getting in her mouth all by herself!! So proud of our girl she has come such a long ways!

Please pray for me again. I have no idea why I can’t stay well and keep getting sick. I practically never get sick back home. Last night I started to get a sore throat and had a rough time sleeping… part of which was because my back and body ached really bad and the other part was sheer excitement for today. I woke up with swollen glands and a terrible migraine and my body has just been really achy. This afternoon after making it home I laid down to take a nap cause I wasn’t feeling well and checked my temp which it got up to 101.9. Please just pray that I get completely better. That any illness would just leave my body, that the headaches, achyness, and sore throat would go away, and that my energy level would be restored so I can enjoy this new time with our precious girl and play with her lots!

Today ended up mostly being a lazy afternoon for us because of this and she was quite the trooper. Daddy took Myla to go get us some supper to go and pick up more bottled water and Mina hung out with Mommy on the bed. She didn’t fuss one bit. She just seems really happy and kept looking at me with a grin on her face! So precious! I love that girl and am so excited that she is finally with us where she belongs! Her and her sister are both now sleeping peacefully and we are two happy and proud parents!

Mina's first car ride leaving the orphanage for passport pics

Best family portrait we could get :)

This is what Mina thought after all the running around and missing her nap time.  She was sure sleepy!

The 2 caregivers working today when we got to get Mina and say our goodbyes!

Made it home to the apartment & just got a pic in before she wasn't having it any longer and we put her down for her nap

Sleeping Beauty all snuggled in on mommy & daddy's bed!

First bath home!! Splishing and splashing!

Video of Mina and Myla splahing in the tub!
Clean dry baby all bundled up!

PJs on and ready for bed!!


thedickinsonfamily said...

Love, Love it! What a blessing to be together as a family of 4. You are almost home. Can't wait to see you in OK together. It won't be long now. Congratulations!

Melissa said...

Ha ha ha! She's awesome! Can't wait to meet her. Congratulations Gower Family on your new little bundle of JOY!!!

dottie said...

What a precious little one. She looks so happy after her bath. Blessings to all of you.

Jamie McClain said...

So so precious!! I am so happy that you finally have this precious baby in your care! We love you and miss you all so much! Aunt Jamie & Uncle Chad

Tracey Sharp said...

I am so beyond excited for you guys!!! Thank You for sharing your journey to go get her with us for you have taught us so much. Mina and Myla sure are going to have a special lil bond. You can just tell how much they love each other already!

Saying prayers for the rest of your journey and that you stay healthy Melissa!! Dont forget to take care of yourself too!!

Mel said...

Woohoo!!! Congratulations on bustin' her out!! :) She's a DOLL!!!

Molly said...

Look at how much she has changed in the past few weeks. It's amazing!!

Also, I want to send a bumbo seat. Aaron's old orphanage had one and I want to send you money or something for one. Email me? Nobabynoblog at gmail dot com

Amber Feld said...

Congrats!!! I am so happy for you! Love her after bath pictures, she is just precious :)

Rhonda Sloup said...

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy for all of you. I love the PJ pics....she's adorable. Myla sure is a good big sister. Praying that you feel better.

kiwicpk said...

so happy for you all...how very exciting....big happy hugs from Kim in New Zealand.

Dawn said...

Congratulations to Mina on her new family forever!

An RR reader


Tiffany said...

HUGE congratulations! What an exciting (and exhausting) day! Thank you for sharing your story!

Devon said...

Congratulations Mina on your Gotcha Day!!! She looks so beautiful, happy and healthy... it brings tears to my eyes. What a wonderful day for you all!

Becky said...

Congratulations on Gotcha day! Mina is gorgeous and she's so cute in her new jammies!