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, September 30, 2010

TB Test Results Negative!

This morning we ran Mina by the doctor's office for them to read her TB spot and it was negative.  Glad that is over and done with.  Mina is such a wonderful baby.  Everyday that passes I am blown away by all the accomplishments and all thats changed.  It is just truly amazing.  We are so blessed and thankful to have this precious girl in our lives and her smile and laugh light up the room and brings us so much joy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Toys, Development, State Fair, Doctors, & It's a girl!

Here's our once again long overdue post.... I will call this the weekly digest :) Lots has happened since the last post.

State Fair, yummy food, playing at Oma's, learning new things, shooting, Doctor's appointment and it's a girl!

So this past week has been full with lots of fun things!! Myla and I went to the state fair and enjoyed some food together and walked around, Mina got to enjoy some time with her Oma & get her fingernails painted, we got to go shooting with some family and friends and have had doctor's appointments. 

Mina's appointment was on Monday which you can read about below in the previous post.

Jim had a doctors appointment this am cause he has been having severe migraines... and my ultrasound was this morning.  IT'S A GIRL!!! Very soon we will be having our 3rd little girl! Oh how much fun this shall be 3 sisters so close in age. LOL We are very excited and grateful for the little blessing on it's way that the Lord has blessed us with.

Check out all the new pics and some precious videos of Mina!!

Mina has mastered digging through her box of toys!! 

Mina and mommy took a trip to Orange tree to get some frozen yogurt and this video shows what she thought about ice-cream.  It is so funny! So I guess she's not a big fan of the cold wet amazing treat just yet but I'm sure before long she will love it :)

OKC State Fair! Myla and mommy took a trip to the state fair while Mina got to hang out, take a nap & play at Oma's.  We thought Mina may be a little overwhelmed and overstimulated going to the fair with lots of people around just yet.
Eating lots of yummy state fair bad for you food. We had cheese on a stick, fried pickles, fried snickers, cinnamon roll, jug of root beer & a snow cone. And I think I'm sick just typing it out :)

Playing at Oma's out by the pool.

I showed Mina how to put the balls in the holes on this dinosaur maybe 10 times and helped her do it a few times and here our quick learner is doing it by herself! Amazing!! She is just picking up on things so quickly!

Coloring sitting in great grandma's (Mimi) lap

Trying out our new double stroller that will soon be a triple stroller. This stroller is amazing.  Once the third baby gets here there is a standing board on the back so Myla will stand on the back, Mina will sit in the toddler seat and the baby will be in the back seat.  It is the size of a single stroller and is great for outdoors with air pump tires and it pushes so easily.  Love it! I won it off of Ebay! Just what we needed!

I included this pic because this was something that was so precious to me.  Myla got in the fridge and grabbed out her milk, her sisters milk, and got each of them a bottle.  When I walked in the kitchen later there it was all sitting out on the counter. I can't believe my 2 year old is getting so big.

Watching sign language "My baby can talk" videos

Shooting.... Jim and I got to go shooting with some family and friends. Shot a Colt 45, 22 rifle, AR-15 and 356 magnum. Jim has been wanting to teach me how to shoot and now he got the opportunity.  Just hopefully I can remember if a day like this ever comes again :) LOL It was fun & I enjoyed doing something with my hubby that he likes to do.

Please excuse the nasty cigar in his mouth. Yuck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mina's Doctor Visit, Lab work, and TB Test!

Monday morning Mina had her second doctor's appointment.  The doctor said she looked great and is already looking better.  She weighed 15.5 lbs so has gained a little!  Yay!  She was just a little ham smiling and laughing and talking up a storm.  She started waving at the doctor when he walked in the room.  So precious! We are so glad and excited to see all these new changes as she seems to enjoy life and be a much happier girl with each passing day. 

She had a TB test done which we will take her back in Wednesday or Thursday to have it read and then she had lots of blood work done.  She had a vial from each arm drawn and we have to take her back next Monday for more blood to be drawn since she is so tiny. Can't wait to have all these tests out of the way.

Her stool came back normal and no parasites so that is wonderful! Her ultrasound of her heart is scheduled for Oct 5th and once our return appointment next Monday for more blood to be drawn we will just be waiting on the test results.

I felt so bad for my precious girl today because she cried and cried during the TB test and the blood being drawn.  She cried so hard little blood spots came up across the bridge of her nose and under her eyes.  Poor baby. I am thankful I wasn't the one in the room when she had the blood drawn cause I would've been balling right along with her.  Daddy went in with Mina while I waited in the waiting room with Myla.  Myla was worried about her sister and kept trying to yell "It's okay sister, It's okay." to comfort her.  Oh how thankful I am that is over with.... but said that we have to return for more next week. Hopefully this will be the end of it and everything will come back normal! That is our prayer!

A PRAISE!! Mina has really been trying to say some words.  She has said daddy and momma a couple times and she tries to say ball. Sounds like ba.  She is really trying and doing great.   We were playing peek-a-boo and she kept putting my hand up in her face and then moving it saying boo.  She said boo probably 100 times :)  LOL and I got her to start doing it with her own hands.  So we have been working on that and blowing kisses.  She has the waving thing down pretty well now also.  Tonight before bed we worked on helping Mina stand up to strengthen her legs which she absolutely hates.  She stood there for probably about 2 minutes straightening her legs putting some weight on them while we held her up under her arms.  Although she isn't a big fan I'm hoping if we continue it each night it will help strengthen her legs and hopefully she will start to not mind it as much! She is really making some great improvement and we are so proud of her!!!

Here's her battle wounds on her arms.  My poor baby.  She has two around her upper arm from where the blood was drawn and the pink bandaid is from the TB test.  Notice her pretty pink nails in the bottom pic :)  Her Oma did that the other day when she was playing over at Oma's house.   Don't know how she managed to keep her hands still long enough :)


Pretty princess and her celery stick.  She loves cold celery sticks.  I give them to her several times a day and I think it just really feels good on her gums and is helping some of her teeth come through.  She has 2 more teeth coming in (one front top and one bottom.)  Also the celery sticks are wonderful whenever she has had a lot to eat and she thinks she is still hungry when her belly is clearly full and bloated.  This helps minimize the tears.  We actually have learned that children with DS have a hard time knowing when they are full because their brain tummy doesn't send a message to their brain letting them know they are full so they want to just keep over eating.  The doctor said a lot of DS children end up overweight because of it.  Although this is not at all a concern for now we have been trying to give her enough food (which is usually more than Myla will even eat) but not feeding her till she stops eating cause quite frankly that time never comes she just keeps on eating till her tummy is hard as a rock and she is sick.  So anyways the celery sticks help with that cause once she is finished eating all her food I will give her one of those to chew on and she is happy :)

My crown!

Myla serenading all her baby dolls! :)

And now she needed to tuck them all in her bed to sing them lullabies.  Notice each baby has their own bottle of milk or juice.  LOL

Monday, September 20, 2010


On Tuesday (today) we have heard that the countries Parliament (from where we adopted Mina) is scheduled to consider a bill to ban all international adoptions. This is not the first time the bill has come up and in the past it has not passed.  If it does pass that means adoptions end.  Depending upon the terms that could mean that many families well on there way to adopting could end up unable to finish the process to bring their child home and many many children who have families working towards adopting them will no longer be able to be adopted.  This breaks my heart for all these precious babies, blessings, and gifts from the Lord that they would no longer be able to be adopted internationally which would make their chances of being adopted much more slim. Please pray pray pray with us that this will not pass. Please pray that international adoptions will still be accepted so that more of these children can have hope at having a family and a home to call their own.

Wonderful news update!! I have heard that it has been postponed indefinitely so for now adoptions can continue as usual! Praise the Lord!! This has aparently come up several times in the past and we are just praying it doesn't come up anytime in the future so that more of these children can have a family and home!

Zoo Trip and Doctors Visits! Long overdue update

Sorry that I've been slacking on blogging. Daddy has been out of town working this past week so it has been me and the girls till late Thursday night so I haven't found a whole lot of time for doing anything extra. :)
We had Mina's doctors appointment on Wednesday. She did great.... wasn't a big fan of sitting and laying on the table but for the rest of it she was a happy girl. The doctor gave me a list of things he wants us to test for and sent home a stool kit for me to collect stools for them to check for parasites and such. Ewwww..... Mina still has awful awful diapers... not quite as bad as they were at first but still bad. We figured by the time we got her home and fed her good food it wouldn't be as bad but not so. Maybe her tummy is still working on getting fully adjusted. Anyway... I think collecting stools from her diapers is probably one of the grossest things I've ever done in my life. Yuck! Mina weighed 14lbs and is 28.5 inches long. Of course the doctor showed me the growth chart and how she was no where near even being in the 1 percentile... as expected. I wish we knew her weight when we first got to her to see how much she's gained cause I'm pretty sure she's gained some weight over the past few weeks. Her little legs and belly are stating to get a slight bit of pudge on them :) Yay! The doctor also listened to her heart and said she has a heart murmur so someone should be calling me soon to schedule an appointment for an ultrasound of her heart. Also someone should call soon to get started on therapy.

I had my doctors appointment on Thursday and Mimi and Papa came over to watch the girls. I have some precious pics and videos below from the sweet time they spent together. The girls loved it! The doctor said everything sounded great and looked normal. The babies heart beat is 147 and I have an ultrasound scheduled for September 28th. So in just a little over a week we will hopefully know if it is a boy or girl.
Mina has been teething lately and fussy off and on. When I was brushing her teeth the other day there was one area when I brushed over it that she just went nuts and started crying. I felt so bad.... it's one of her back molars on the top and looks like it's about 3/4 of the way through.

Mina is absolutely loving bath time now. She gets in and splashes around and plays with all the toys and doesn't get upset one bit. So glad she has learned to love baths.

And the greatest news of all is she will finally drink milk. She actually isn't a very big fan of juice anymore and will just down the milk. The pediatrician gave me some pediasure to try her on so we did that but I hated all the sugar in those and that it is the 2nd ingredient so I thought I'd just mix that with some milk and she loved it. I just gradually did more and more milk and less pediasure so now I will mix about 1 ounce to 6 ounces of milk and she still drinks it. I'm so glad to be able to get the extra calcium and protein in her.

Mina is such a wonderful little blessing! It is so joyful when she wakes up in the morning and I go in there to check on her trying to figure out if she is awake (since she doesn't cry to let you know she's awake) and when she is and her bright blue eyes are opened and she sees you she gets the biggest grin and reaches her arms up to me to get her out of the bed. So precious! I love those sweet moments. She has turned into quite the little snuggler and cuddle bug!

Enjoying bath time!

OKC Zoo Trip!  The gorillas were loving their photo shoot :)

Mina wasn't so happy when I sat her down from holding her

Playing with the gorillas!

Spending time loving on Papa Bud!

YouTube Video
Thursday when Mimi and Papa Huzz were watching the girls

Daddy is finally home!!

Daddy was being silly with Mina's puffs. She thought it was funny!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Party, Science Museum, Waving, Partying Star Mina!

Our precious girl has been changing so so much since we've brought her home! She is just doing wonderful and continues to amaze me! She is such a smart smart girl and is learning so quickly! Her new thing is now waving (which there is a video in the previous post.)  She has been sharing toys looking at the person she wants to hand it to as she hands it to them and then giving it to another person and so forth.  It is so precious! She also shared her puffs feeding her great grandma the other day :) 
Here's some recent pics for you all!
Our happy girl!

I gave Mina a spoon to hold the other day when I was feeding her and she knew exactly what to do with it.  This time she got to use the spoon without food :)  (no messes) but soon we will have to try letting her attempt to feed herself and see how she does.  She does great with little finger foods!

Mina's welcome home party was so wonderful!! We absolutely loved spending time with all of our family and friends.  There was also a great deal of yummy foods and desserts! Mina did great for all the passing around she did but still managed to keep an eye on one of us periodically to make sure we weren't going anywhere.  She just snuggled right into everybody. She also got to meet her great grandma that is 101!! We have some precious pics of the two of them.
Unfortunately this welcome Home Mina sign pointing to the party was the only picture I actually took on my phone and our camera battery is dead so I can't upload the pics from my camera.
Thank you to my sister Christy and sister-in-law Misty for having this party for Mina!


Saturday Morning Jim and I decided we wanted to have a fun family day. We went to Jimmy's Egg and had an amazing breakfast (pineapple ham cream cheese omelet and sweet potato pancakes... YUM!) and then we took the girls to the Science Museum. Mina loved loved loved breakfast.  I actually couldn't really get her to stop but the poor child had to be hurting she ate so much.  They had a blast at the museum.
Our little astronauts

Gymnastics play area!

Playing at home!

Ball pit fun!!

This video shows the life that is now in our child! She is just jumping up a storm, moving her legs, playing with all the toys and she just has really livened up a ton just since we got her home.  She looks so playful and energetic and I love it!