Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A New Beginning...

Time and time again I intend to sit down and blog, to no avail. Life has once again gotten in the way of doing what I think I need to do, or at least want to do. It has been over a year since we brought this remarkable young lady home from Kokshetau, Kazakhstan. Hard to believe. It's also hard to imagine what our life was like before bringing her home. Kathryn has adjusted to her new (or not so new anymore) environment, surroundings, extended family, teachers, and of course, her brothers who absolutely LOVE having her as a younger sister. In going back over the blog and reading the posts I see a fantastic journey unfold and culminate in completing our family of 6. All of the paperwork, planning, coordinating work schedules, school, who will take care of the boys while we were gone, the many families and new friends we met while travelling, our sojourn to Heidelberg; it was all amazing and an experience not to be forgotten. Well, ok, I can forget the paperwork.

Last October, the two older boys and I went to Washington, D.C. for a soccer game and had the opportunity to catch up with a couple we shared the cottage with in Kokshetau. Nothing like meeting someone half way around the world and being able to visit again back home. They were the first family we met there and they were kind enough to bring back pizza from Pyramid Pizza resturant our first night there. A very much appreciated gesture after 15 hours of flying time, a short night rest followed by another short flight and a four hour car ride.

Kazakhstan is an amazing country with a long, interesting history. I think about the people we met there and the varied sceneary. The vast, undulating steppes with their beauty and the untammed wind that swept across them. The fridgid face of winter pressed upon the trees in pure white frost.

To the mountains that traverse the Tien Shen mountain range that frames the Almaty landscape. It is a country whose landscape is as diverse as its people. It was all an amazing experience and ended with us bringing home an amazing addition to our family. The sisters, our driver and interpreter, our friend Makhabbat, and the other adoptive families we were able to share the experience with, they were all positive memories we will cherish. The soccer game, the Viola store, Dombra players, the English students at the university, the green market, and of course, Luba the housekeeper.

Kathryn is a beautiful, engaging spirit who leaves an indelible mark on the heart of everyone she comes in contact with. I can vividly recall the first time we walked into the Children's Hospital in Kokshetau. To that little room with four plain walls, a crib, space heater, and a window that looked out into nothing but an out building, some trees, stray dogs, and a dirt path. Kathryn pushed herself up to look at us with her disproportionately large brown eyes and an even larger smile that greeted us. We instantly knew that this was indeed the child that was meant to be a part of our family. She is exactly where she is supposed to be. Her three brothers absolutley love having her as a part of the family and are helpful in teaching her that there is another way to get around other than rolling. And as brothers do, they have taught her the high five and knuckle touch. Two things she participates in with sheer delight.

And so we begin with our family of six. We continue to be busy with all of the kids activities, including Kathryn's at her school. She attends a school that includes both developmentally delayed children and typically developing kids. She is able to receive her theray at school and has teachers that care for her while she is there. It is no exaggeration to say that when we drop her off at school we don't worry at all about what kind of care she will receive. Her teachers are fantastic and absolutely love what they do. It shows. We are so blessed to have that resource available to us in our community.

She is making remarkable progress and, although there is much work to do, she is either close to or has completed some milestones. Holding a bottle by herself, sitting independantly, crawling on hands and knees. Big steps compared to when we brought her home a little over a year ago when she could not roll over or hold her head up for any length of time. Keep up the great work Kathryn, you're going to do amazing things.

Welcome home Kathryn, we love you!

1 comment:

Beth Miller said...

So cute! I am so happy you have her in your family :)