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 13, 2010

Morning visit cut short, Jim's afternoon visit, & new shoes 4 Mina!

Starting yesterday Jim and I decided that all 3 of us would go to the orphanage for the morning visits but just one of us would go to the afternoon visit and the other would stay back at the apartment with Myla. I think she is just getting bored from having the exact same daily routine of getting up, getting ready, going to the orphanage, coming home, naptime, back to the orphanage, back home, dinner, bath & bed. She has done great but the more days that pass the harder it is on her and the more disobedient she has become. Plus she’s starting to think she runs the place and she can do whatever she wants at the orphanage. I think sticking with 1 visit a day for her she is still getting to spend time with her sister which she is so excited about but she is also given time to finish her nap (cause we’d been waking her up so we could leave for the afternoon visit) and she gets some time to just play around the apartment. So far for the past 2 days it’s gone good. She seems to be in a bit of a better mood although every time one of us gets ready to leave to go to the orphanage she gets upset for a minute cause she wants to see sister to. Very soon she won’t have to tell her sister bye anymore or go anywhere to see her! Yay for that!
So yesterday afternoon I went for the afternoon visit and played with Mina. It was nice to just be the two of us. We worked on sitting up and then I let her lay down on the couch a bit to play with her toys and of course had to tickle her a few times to get some sweet laughs : ) I tried to see if she could roll over on her own but it didn’t quite look like it. She would try to roll over and get about half way and then get stuck where she couldn’t finish turning over. After our visit Jim, Myla and I went for a walk with our Okie friends to go to the mall (pics posted of it the other day.) It sure is wonderful that there is another couple here that speaks English and it is so crazy that they are even from our home state. I praise God for them being here. It sure makes it easier on us to walk around town with others that stand out just as bad as we do and try to struggle through talking to the locals as we do. It takes away a bit of the homesickness. LOL Plus I think it makes us a bit braver to navigate into new places : )

Pics from yesterdays visit with momma!

At the mall I found a few things for Mina. There was a baby store where I bought her a hat (which I will be leaving with the orphanage because it makes her look like a turkey… ha ha ) and we found her some little pink shoes. The smallest shoes I could find where 3 months and I thought surely that will work. I brought her size 2, 3, and 4 from home thinking one of those would work but all are extremely huge. It worked out good cause the Okie couple have been looking for some shoes small enough for their little girl’s feet and haven’t had any luck so we gave them the size 2 shoes we brought for Mina and they fit her perfectly and she loved them. Sorry to get off topic… so anyway I took the little pink 3 month sandals to try on her feet this morning and well they are still big. They may just have to do though cause I’m not so sure I can find newborn shoes around here. I’ll keep an eye out. At least these will actually stay on her feet. I thought her feet were the size of a newborn… guess I was right. WOW, still blows my mind that she is 20 months old.

Here's her little turkey hat :)  ha ha

New shoes (3 months) & still big

We also bought a bottle for her to try that has a hole in the middle of it thinking she may be able to try to start holding on to it a little bit. We also bought size 5 nipples (the biggest size hole they had.) She hasn’t been able to drink out of any of the bottles we brought her she just kinda chews on the nipple. I think we are going to have to drill a hole in it to make it even larger so that she can actually get something out of it since she doesn’t really know how to suck.

Well this mornings visit got cut short. 20 minutes before time to bring her back everything got crazy. The other couples translator that is with them constantly said that she got a call from the orphanage nurse (while we were all outside) and said that the doctor wants the kids back in the room right now. So we had to rush them back to the room and then they took the kids from us really quickly. We weren’t told anything so not really sure what all was going on. Mina has seemed sick today. She has been cranky the past day or two and today she just would cry and cry and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then she had lots of green snot (TMI) and we had to keep wiping her nose and she fell asleep very quickly on daddy again today. I don’t think she has been feeling very good. Maybe something is going around her groupa so that is why the orphanage doctor shortened our visit this morning. I hope she starts feeling better soon.

Michele, we found the fun ball pit area today!! Thanks for telling us where that was!


Myla coloring

This was our best attempt at getting Mina to use her little legs and stand up... I think Jim got a better arm work out than she got a leg work out :) Ha ha... She did push back a few times before I got the camera out to video of course. And she will push against our hands occasionally.

Myla holding sister!

Jim had a great time with Mina this afternoon. He said that she seemed to be feeling a little bit better and wasn’t quite as cranky. They spent some time outside and then playing on the couch. Daddy is always so silly and she sure does love him.

This evening we went for a walk, bought some more data on our aircard for the computer, ate New York Pizza (again… surprise : ) But this time we got some “fried icecream” afterwards. It was pretty tasty! I also got to talk to my good friend Melissa from back home through skype tonight so that was awesome to get to catch up!! Now off to bed! Everyone back home and in the US have a great rest of your day while we sleep peacefully!

Pics from Daddy's afternoon visit with Mina:

Video playing and being silly with daddy!

Pics from around town this evening:

The walking street


Fried Ice-cream!


TUC said...

First of all, I adore that turkey hat. You have to bring it home and save it for her! She sure is a tiny princess. Can you find any bottles there that have liners, like a playtex-type bottle... because you can squeeze the liner while she is "drinking" so that the liquid comes out and it will help her to be able to drink from a bottle and learn to suck better. Anyway, good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

It's so wonderful to hear about your beautiful daughter! In response to your bottle problem, I wonder if you would have luck with a Habermann Feeder. It's a bottle invented by a mom for babies with a cleft palate or poor suck. It's often used for Down Syndrome babies. They can get milk with just a chewing motion or parents can help by squeezing the milk down. We had great results with our daughter. Good Luck!

Jamie said...

We have that same music toy for Lucy, she loves it!

Michele Marie Mastroianni said...

I think also it was a good idea in how you are handling the visits now, and I am glad it is working out better for everyone. Is Mina looking around like why is only one person here, where's the other two?? So glad you found the ball pit! Just love seeing the progress with Mina.. 10 day almost over!
Get all the rest you can now, Momma.
Love, Michele

the Gower Fam said...

Haven't seen any playtex type bottles here... have lots of them at home though so we can try that when we get back. I'll have to look into those Habberman feeders also haven't seen or heard of those before.

Jamie the music toy does seem to be a big hit. Sarah who adopted Zoya told us about it cause she loved it so we got one!

Michele, Mina doesn't seem to mind when it's just one of us. I wish the 10 days was almost over but we still have 10 days left (since the added weekend and holiday grr..) But still counting down the days :)