Sunday, January 10, 2010

Becoming a Family

It has been only a little over a week since Nina and I got back home. I will honestly say that it is nice to be away from Russian speaking people. Nina showed a marked preference for those she understood and it is important for her to be attached to us, we are her family. I know she gets frustrated with the language barrier, but at the same time, she is picking up on English quickly.

Some of her phrases in English are, "Oh goodness!" "No touch," "It's okay" "I know" "Nina play" "Baby Signing Time" "I love you"

And she has many words.

Nina no longer cries or screams at night. She has found great comfort in the fact that Nichole is right there in the room with her in a crib next to hers. It is what Nina was used to. Nichole is having more of an adjustment as Nichole talks and talks to Nina until they both fall asleep. Tonight, Nina gave us kisses and she waved "paka" at Andy and I as we laid the girls down to sleep.

When we were in Ukraine, Nina did not want much to do with Andy. She was okay playing with him and sitting next to him, but touching or holding were very hard for her. As soon as we got home and Nina saw her sisters love on their daddy, and their daddy love on them, she decided to give Andy a try. So after one day, she became a daddy's little girl.

That first day together (January 1st) Andy rolled on the floor with the girls, Nina joining in the fun and tickles. Andy and I looked at each other for a moment. Understanding in our eyes, our hearts full. This is what we had been dreaming for, this is what we wanted to do for this once orphan girl, now our daughter.

There has been adjustment at home. Some very good and some hard. The 3 girls are getting to know each other and they have good moments and not so good. Nina is not very affectionate (due to the orphanage) and has a hard time accepting physical love especially from Ellie. I am sure she never received any form the other kids. Ellie has a very hard time being rejected, pushed, hit, or hair pulled by Nina. Nichole is jealous and yet Nina seems to follow Nichole quite a bit, she likes her very much. They are at about the same developmental stage. Nichole is more advanced except for speech, so they play well (next to each other) but Nina is quickly catching up as she learns and explores the world every day.

Andy and I feel exhausted by the end of the day, but we seem to be more disciplined in some areas (because we have to!) However, if you feel like helping us clean our house, you are welcome! The pile of dishes is high and the bathrooms and floors need some cleaning :)

So finally, here are some pictures of our family! (Mainly the 3 girls)


Lu, Poppies Blooming said...

Beautiful girls! You are doing brilliantly, you know it is a struggle but you know the alternative was just not acceptable. Thank you for giving her a family & sharing that it can be done. It will inspire others, I'm sure!

LeaAnn said...

Such beautiful little girls!!!! Very excited for you, hope your girls enjoyed their tutus!!!!!

Karien Prinlsoo said...

Ellen I wonder if I will ever manage not to cry by one of your post. So glad that God is knitting you all together as a family.Blessings to you all!

Tami said...

Your girls are absolutely gorgeous! I am so happy for your family to finally be able to begin bonding with Nina. I'm sure it won't be long before you don't remember life before Nina.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Nina finally home although I know it is not an ending but a beginning. I was wondering the other day if Nina's adoption has now been fully funded or if there was any residual funding you needed yet?

Nan and Dan said...

they are beautiful!! I love the matching pj's.
Transition is so hard, little ones just don't understand. I worry that Sveta will not like affection and our 2 are always hugging and kissing. I so hope Nina learns quickly how wonderful it is :)

Cathy said...

love all the photo's