Okay, so I didn't actually forget that I had a blog. As a matter of fact, I've thought about and wanted to write many times since my last post. What it comes down to is that a lot has changed for us. Julia was experiencing so much for the first time. Lily is taking on a new role and a sister (sometimes the big sister, sometimes the little sister). We are all learning how to be a family of four.
In January, we bought a house and made the move.
We all pitched in and worked hard...
It is much larger and the girls especially are loving the extra room to play. The size is perfect for us and the price was right so we jumped on it! Both girls handled the move well beyond our expectations. Much to our relief, there wasn't any particular increase in being scared at night or loss of sleep. We even gave them separate rooms since their bedtime routines didn't seem to effect each other either way. Julia can even tackle the stairs with ease now if she goes up and down by herself.
Now that the weather is cooperating a bit here and there, the girls' favorite attribute of the house is the backyard.
While the pictures are fun and cute, the last one in particular catches a glimpse of something very exciting for us--playing together. Back at the orphanage and since we've got her home, Julia was always content and even usually preferred to be left to her own at playtime. It made sense in the fact that she's delayed in her social progress and overall development. People with young children can remember that playtime slowly moves from independent to side-by-side to interactive.
On most levels, Julia is testing around the age of 2 or 3, which again made sense not just in the orphanage and FAS delays, but the fact that they kept her in the groupa of 2-3 year olds so she wouldn't have witnessed development whether she would have been considered capable of it or not. Anyways, the fact that she is 'growing up' and showing advancing social skills like occasionally playing interactively is very exciting!
Our little Ukrainian import actually continues to grow in all sorts of areas. One being her physical growth. While she's stopped putting on weight at a rapid rate, this little gal is most definitely growing! This girly is going to be tall! In five months she's grown a full clothing size as her 4T stuff is becoming 3/4 length sleeves and just about capri pants. Good thing she is still such a skinny little lady, so we can just trim up the legs and keep them as shorts! :)
She's also got a ton of hair! Thankfully, we don't hold the orphanage belief that summer is too hot for hair and won't whack it all off! (That one still makes us roll our eyes!)
There is no other way to put it, but Julia simply continues to just amaze me. The little girl that they said learned no words in her over 6 years in Ukraine can now say 'hi', 'bye', 'yeah', 'no' (I'm counting it even though it sounds more like 'nah' because there is no mistaking her meaning no when she says it!), 'shoes', 'chair' and is pretty dang close to saying her name and knowing that it means her. She can sign for help and sign to let you know she is all done. And even though her reciprocation of English is limited, I cannot even describe how much she understands! It marvels me how I can tell her just about anything and she pretty well gets it. Once we break through the language a bit, this little cookie is going to be unstoppable!
And speaking of cookie, I just couldn't help but add these pictures too...
As for what the near future holds for us, we are meeting with our school district tomorrow to see about starting her in some classes and/or therapies. After that, we are just excited for Julia's first Easter at home and we'll see where things take us from there.