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!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Our visits with Mina today + Lots of precious pics!

A little smile!! ;)

She's holding on to toys much better today!

A video of Mina playing with her toys!

Daddy & his girls

She love love loves her toys. At first she had a hard time holding on to anything and she just kept dropping everything. Today she actually was holding on to the toys and more excited about them!

Mina started holding back or kind of gripping my arm today when I was holding her. Every time we pick her up to hold her she acts like she doesn't really know what to do and her arms and legs just flail out to the sides and she just keeps her arms out to the side of her body. I was so excited today when she actually tried to grasp or hold on to me a little bit and started snuggling in!

Mina loves her picture book! Here's 2 precious videos of her with her book. The first one u will hear another child in the orphanage crying in the background at the end. Mina just gets all dazed at that point. In the 2nd video daddy gets Mina to laugh! So cute!!

Sister photo shoot:

Notice Mina threw her leg over in Myla's lap. So cute!! Myla thought it was so funny!

Myla helping Mina get a drink!

Myla loves going to visit Mina each time. She gets so excited and knows exactly how to get to her room... she practically runs down the halls cause she is so excited. She has been such a big helper sharing things and wanting to help feed her (her boiled juice water... or whatever it is :)

The caregivers always smile at Myla and think she is so cute. They gave her a chocolate filled pastry this afternoon.

We got to visit with Mina for about 4 hours today in 2 seperate visits. In between visits we went to a huge farmer's market type place with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables!! Melissa you would have loved it. It is like the world's largest farmer's market and they have practically everything. I was so excited to get fruits and vegetables.

Then we went by the supermarket for all the other items. I am so excited to get to cook some well missed food :) Rostik our driver has been amazing he took us to all these places today and translated for us and told them exactly what we wanted. It was so wonderful!! When we finished our shopping we had to rush to meet the head nurse from the orphanage because there was another paper we needed to sign to try and rush our court date along. We went to the social workers and at that point was asked the many questions of why we want to adopt, especially a child with special needs. They kept saying you all are so beautiful and young and might have many more of your own "normal" babies why would we want to adopt Mina. So we explained our thoughts and feelings and how we believe all children are blessings and a gift from the Lord and that we will love and care for Mina as if she is our own regardless of her diagnoses. She is still a beautiful girl perfectly made by the Lord and still deserves a chance at life and to be loved. They apparently liked our answer cause they let us sign the paper to proceed. Then we took the nurse by the station to send the paper back to Kiev and we went back to our apartment for a quick nap before our second visit.

Visits are a little bit difficult because in Ukraine you are not supposed to sit on the ground unless you are on a rug or something and they really don't have any rugs that we've seen in the orphanage. We have been walking many many halls and sitting in the couch at the front of the orphanage because since Mina can't do much and is pretty much like a new baby we really can't do a whole lot more than sit and hold her to play with toys or prop her on the couch. She can't sit up on her own at all. We can take her outside but it's a little difficult cause there's not really many places to sit to hold her. She of course doesn't complain one bit where we are :) I just can't wait till we can actually take her out of the orphanage and get back home with her where we have things like the bumbo to help her work on sitting, or the jumperoo to work on her leg muscles and other things like that and where we can roll around and play with her on the floor to help her work on crawling.

Please continue to pray for us and that everything go quickly and smoothly! Thank you all so much!!


christy said...

yay! i am seeing this on the computer so i can comment!! i cant comment from my phone. :) these are awesome pictures and videos. she is just coming to life as the days progress and she gets used to you guys. keep sharing.... we will keep praying for things to go speedily!

Sarah said...

Precious!!!!!!!!! I still can't get over how much she looks like her sister. I can already see Mina coming alive!! You will be AMAZED at how she takes off when you get her home where she belongs!! Yes the visits get tougher and tougher bc of the no sitting on the floor rule :( Esp. with a baby. We would take walks through the halls and find couches too!!! Can't wait to hear and see more!

Kelsey said...

This precious little girl is going to absolutely thrive in your guys' loving arms. It seems like she is already beginning to. Much love to you!

Charissa said...

Beautiful!! Boy those market photos sure bring back memories.

Kirsten said...

Congrats! Mina is adorable, love her little scarf head covering!!! Super cute! Cant believe how tiny she is. The little girls we are adopting are about her same age and we are wondering if they will be that tiny too! :( Praying for all your paperwork to be in order for you to have you court date!

TUC said...

Seeing Mina lean into you and put her hand on your arm brought up little tears for me. She is blooming right before your eyes. I am so glad I can watch the transformation. Such joy!