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!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More pics of Mina

Today has been a crazy all over the place day but it was so wonderful to finally get to meet our daughter. We left this morning around 5am on about 3 hrs of sleep and were exhausted. We attempted to sleep in the car during the 4 hr drive but of course Myla didn't want to go to sleep for the first couple hours cause she was wide awake bright eyed and ready to play. Jim and I both felt sick to our stomach this morning from lack of sleep but ended up getting a brief nap on the way. We went by the inspectors/ social workers office (I believe) and he road with us up to the orphanage. We got to meet with Mina right away once we got there. No questions or anything. The director was not yet there so they took us back to see her. We saw her for about 15 minutes and then had to go to the directors office (who is also the orphanage doctor.) She told us about Mina's history and all she new about her and asked if we are still willing to adopt her.

Of course we said yes.

The director told us that she lived with her parents until she was 6 months 1 week old and then was brought to the orphanage. They had no idea when she was born that she had down syndrome and it wasn't until around that time that her doctor started to notice and voice her concern to the parents. Once they realized that was in fact the case they put her in the orphanage. They said that they couldn't afford to care for her and were already struggling to get by in their apartment so they could not keep her.

That truly breaks my heart for so many reasons. The fact that I couldn't imagine having my child loving on her daily and then 6 months later giving her up, and also the fact that the resources for the care are not available here so parents feel they really have no other choice. What if they really wanted to keep her and just felt they couldn't give her the best care and she would be better off if she was adopted and had the care she needed to help her thrive in life. Or what if they found out and felt disgrace and shame and lack of care at that point. We have no way of knowing of course... it is just so sad to me.

Mina was her parents 3rd pregnancy and the other 2 were normal so she has brothers &/or sisters (not sure). They said at birth she had an 8 on her apgar score, weighed 2 Kilos 900 grams (I will have to figure out how much this is in lbs) and 50 cm long.

The orphanage director said that the genetical tests where done to prove she does in fact have DS and that she has an open oval window that last checked was closing and should be closed possibly by now. We will need to have that checked out by a cardiologist once we are home.

As I mentioned previously the parents have already signed documents releasing her to be adopted.

After visiting with her this morning we went to the notaries (much different then notaries back home because you actually have to have a degree to be a notary) we dropped off papers, ran across the street for some lunch while Marina (our amazing facilitator) ran all over the place getting everything done.

At the notaries office we actually met another family who is adopting from the same orphanage and same groupa as Mina and they are from Oklahoma also. It was so good to be able to talk to fellow Oklahomans. We actually saw them again tonight during the 2nd visitation for the day. Please pray for them because they are in the process of adopting 23 month old twins with FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) and they are having problems in court because they have a 10 yr old bro and 1 judge is saying he doesn't want them adopted out. Doesn't make much since though because the 10 yr old is not even in the orphanage and is not even available for adoption. Please pray for them and their process that it would go smoothly, quickly and that they would be able to go through with adopting their 2 little ones.

So after getting papers notarized we went back to the social workers office then back to the orphanage for some papers, back to social workers, by court and then by our apartment to drop off our luggage. We had been sandwiched in the back of the car with luggage all beside us most the day so it was so nice to get all that out of there.

We then got to go spend a couple hours with Mina while Marina met with the judge. Our time with Mina was great. We got to take her around the orphanage and outside in their stroller and Myla got to play on the playground.

Well Mina is definitely further behind then what we had invisioned cause last we heard back in February we thought she was able to sit up and was working on crawling. But there is definitely no way she is crawling at this time. She can't even sit up on her own. It doesn't matter because of course we are still bringing her home and she will still be apart of our family regardless. It is just really hard for Jim and I to see this little girl (18 months old) that feels and acts like a 3-6 month old. She is so tiny and basically didn't have a ton of interaction she just would sit there and stare. By the end of the visit she was gripping my finger and holding on tight and when we took her back when time was up she started crying. That of course was hard. I can't wait to see this precious girl smile!

We will get to visit her twice a day from 10-11:30 and again from 4-6.

Our court date could possibly be really quick. The judge is going out of town and flys out next Thursday. Marina said that they want to have our court date next Tuesday but she said it will take a miracle for all the paperwork to be finished through the SDA and ready that quickly. She said if that won't work out then the court date will be next Wednesday. Please pray for a miracle and that next Tuesday is our court date!!

Here's a few pics of Mina from today!

Myla wanted to push her sister ;)

Huge hole cut in the nipple of her fruit water bottle. She literally was choking on it it was dumping out so fast

Little hands....

Little feet...

Big sister being a big helper ;)

Mina loved her book

YouTube Video


Devon said...

Tears are flowing from my eyes! What a beautiful day for you all! I know that first day can be really hard because it is so hard seeing your child experiencing such difficulty. It was really hard for us seeing Sasha the first day and just how sick he looked.

But just remember, she is going to FLOURISH and BLOSSOM like you won't believe once she is home with you. So just keep that in your thoughts while you are in the orphanage and hopefully soon (praying for Tuesday) she can be out of there for good and home with her beautiful loving family!

My prayers and thoughts are with you guys. Congratulations on this HUGE, MOMENTOUS day!

Devon said...

Oh, and I wanted to say as well...

She is so adorable and beautiful. Love all the pics!


Melissa said...

Oh my goodness. Hold her. Hold her. Hold her. Brings tears to my eyes. The pic with her head on Jim's shoulder is sooo sweet.

Melissa said...

Can you come home after your court date? If you don't have the ergo I can mail it to you!

Liz said...

oh ow she is soooo tiny! i loved the video, such a beautiful baby girl! her sister is going to have a lot of fun babying her!!

babyarnie said...

Mina is beautiful! Don't be discouraged. You'll be shocked at how quickly they will progress once home! Enjoy your new daughter.

PS: You stayed in the apt. in Kyiv my husband and I stayed in last Sept. to adopt our daughter. What memories!

Becky said...

She is just beautiful!

Kelsey said...

I just caught up with all your posts. I can't even imagine all that you're feeling. Mina is absolutely precious. It is a joy and a blessing to pray for all 4 of you. Can't wait to read more!


Mina is just as beautiful as always. Congrats

Rhonda Sloup said...

With your love and care, she's going to bloom before your eyes. She'll be chasing after big sister before you know it. She's beautiful. I pray that things move quickly and smoothly.


schoolmother said...

What a cutie-bug! She is so tiny! So glad you have met her and that your other daughter is getting to meet her, too.

Helle said...

Congratulations on your new daughter!! :)

It is hard to imagine she is 18 months, with her tiny size and lack of interaction. But I am certain that with more stimulation, and the love and care of a family, she will grow and blossom quickly.

She's so sweet and adorable, and big sister is just so charming. You really have two wonderful girls! Congratulations again, hope court goes fast.

Stephanie @ Ralphcrew said...

She is so precious and tiny! Beautiful!

How is the weather in your region? I'm in Crimea and it is terribly hot. I have been skipping our afternoon visit because it's too hot to do anything.

Hope you get a speedy court date!

heatherbrown said...

Aww,she is so beautiful and so tiny! I know her growth and development will fly ahead once she is home!

Carissa said...

I'm from RR yahoo group. :) Your story is just beautiful and so are your babies! How exciting that you have met Mina! I'm praying for a smooth journey home with her in your arms.

btw, 2.9kg = 6 # 4 oz and she was 19.5" long What a tiny one!!!

Jodi said...

Oh my goodness! She is SO beautiful!!!

I can't wait to follow along watch it unfold...enjoy your time there, hopefully it has cooled off some :)


Kelsey Colbert said...

Love the pics! She is so precious :) BTW I think 2 kilos 900grams equals 6 pounds 3 ounces if I did it correctly. Love reading your posts!!!

The Gross Family said...

Mina is so beautiful. The picture of her tiny little foot brings tears to my eyes. I'm so glad you finally have her. I can't wait to see her blossom with your loving care.