Friday, April 5, 2013

Selah's Home:) ----- One year anniversary of meeting the girls!

We're all under one roof tonight.  Selah was released today.  She also got her casts off and her feet/ankles/legs look normal!!!!!!  They had turned in since the accident and her toes pointed downward.  LOVE the way she responded to the surgery.  The doctor feels like she will be fine, wearing the braces AFOs and will maintain her new look.  The AFO's are nice and very small.  I will take pictures tomorrow.

I am beyond exhausted tonight.  I got my 5 laps in this morning at "the Mountain" worked a little bit on the garden and then was at the hospital all day...with the KIDS!  No actually everyone was great.  On the way there it was storming and the interstate had construction....pretty awful driving conditions...that totally stresses me....

We got Selah home and set back up without a nurse.....that was also stressful to me.  When a child is in home health care and then goes in patient, it is a big deal to register them back home...nothing was in place so they won't do it till tomorrow.  That was all I needed.  It's one thing to take care of her at night but it is another to make sure all the machines work and everything is set up right.  We got it done but was very stressful to me. I had to pick up some things at Walmart including a new BP machine I had ordered on line.  Everything took so long.   Then I had to go get her meds...can you believe the pharmacy didn't give us the box?  I picked up her and Sam's monthly meds along with her new prescription then it wasn't in the bag when I got home!  UGH!!!  Jon had to go back to get it.  So I'm tired...I hope I make sense tonight.

BTW, Selah is doing great, her heart rate is in the 80's and she is sleeping away:) 

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Well today was our one year anniversary of meeting the girls....what a day that was....

We rode all night on the train from hell....no shower, I woke up around 5 am and watched the countryside thinking that THIS was where my girls were from.    Our facilitator got up about 6 am and told us to get our things together because when the train stopped for us we had to jump off.  Well 4 people and a ton of luggage just dont' quite jump off LOL   We got dropped off in a small town with dusty streets.  A tough guy had an old 1970 Russian Military Van waiting for us.....we headed off down dirt roads with NOTHING around for miles.  We went around holes in the "road" that you could drive a truck in....I was FREAKING out in my mind by this point.  I was pretty sure we had brought our kids out to the middle of nowhere to die!!!!!

in the van

 

scenery

 
 

 
our van for our time in Ukraine
 
 
So then we drive for about an hour or so and come into town the back way and see our apartment....

 
our apartment building

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
This is where we are supposed to drop the boys off and then Jon & me go to the orphanage....I was about to FREAK...LOL  I didn't say anything but I gave Jon a "look" that said "there aint NO way"...  well our dear facilitator caught on and assured me it would be better inside...it was.....
 
 

 
Steve thought it was a drinking fountain...LOL  Just kidding...

 
 

 
So we dropped the boys off (these pictures were taken much later)  and off we went to a government office to get more permission and to bring some government officials with us for our first meeting.  ....
 
We were just kinda being led by the hand at this point, not knowing what to expect next.....
 
 
 
Downtown Torez Ukraine



 
so we picked up the officials and headed off to the orphanage....
 
We met with the director and gave him some gifts.  We were nervous to meet him as we had heard so many different things about him.  there had been newspaper articles and tv shows done on the mental instuiton that were awful.  We didn't know what to think of him.  He showed us nothing but courtesy and an open door.  He made our adoption easy and gave us free rein at the institution.  Yes it was poor, not the conditions were NOT what we'd expect in America...but as you can see from the pictures, everything was poor...
 
 
So as we made "nice" and did more paperwork...my heart was in my throat knowing that the girls were near...  FINALLY we were taken outside and towards this building....  See the area with green on the top floor?  That was the only "outside " place for the children.  Sarah's room ws the first window by the porch.
 
 
At this point, my legs were shaking so bad, I could hardly walk.  We had an group of maybe 15 people by this time counting all the "older girls"  the adult disabled girls who lived there)  I was hoping no one could see how nervous I was.
 
I'm not a BIG people person...what I mean is actors, stars, celebrities...really do not mean much to me.  The only one I'd loved to have met was Steve Irwin (Croc Hunter)  I'm not impressed by Christan celebrities either (I've met a few of them and I'd rather have met Steve Irwin's crocodiles LOL)  BUT meeting the girls...was so much more important to me than any star in the world!!!
 
So we walked into the building and up some stairs and into a alcove where the girls were!!!  Sarah was in a wheelchair and Selah was standing... my heart just stopped....the tears fell...here they were ...at last...our daughters....
 
 
 

 
I had to be touching both of them at once

 
Sarah started rolling...

my Sarah....
 
what emotions...ONLY if you have taken such a walk, inside an orphanage, can you know how it feels..it is amazing to finally see that little person you fought so hard to get to....
 
 
 
 

 
We were all over the floor with the girls.  I don't think that is normal for the workers to see. 
 
Then the main official government lady asked us if we'd accept them.  I let Jon answer...and he said YES!
 
Then the paperwork began for our court appointment .....
 
 
I have to say we were concerned that day about Selah.  She was very agaited and couldn't look us in the eye.  She was picking little tiny things off the floor and putting them in her mouth.  At one point she fell over Sarah and didn't even seem to notice she was there.  There was alot of people walking around and that seemed to bother her.  Neither of us had seen behavior like she exhibited.  She wasn't aggressive just very different.  I started thinking about various diagnosis to try and figure out what was going on with her.  That day I thought of autism but she certainly wasn't like a classic case of it.  We came to find out that she had institutional autism.  That certainly answered our questions...
 
We did have some concerns, that although she was not aggressive, she was just very out of reality acting and we did not know how she'd treat Sarah or Sam, with them being blind/visionally impaired and not being able to protect themselves or get out of her way.    We had some fears but we felt like we could deal with whatever we had to to help Selah.  We came to find out that love made a HUGE change, even before we left the insituion...much less ever got home with her.
 
Sarah on the other hand was so very weak she could barely hold her head up.  We were terrified she'd die before we got through the whole court experience....
 
We left our short meeting in love with both girls but with alot to think about.....we knew there would be challenges but we were committed.
 
Turns out for Selah and Sarah all they needed was love and a family.  Of course they had delays and physical issues that will never go away BUT all the things we worried about...never came to be.  With Selah we worried about the emotional/psychological issues...within days we saw changes...no she would never be "normal" but she was certainly someone we could work with and love.  With Sarah, as soon as we started visiting, her will to live came back.  We honestly think she had lost her will to live.  She was so lifeless and weak but in just days she was starting to sit herself up and pay attention to us.  Now....she is a mess:)  She never had a real emotion issue.  Everyone comments on how bonded she is with us and it happened so easily...
 
Adopting two "older girls"  Sarah was 5 and and Selah 7 at the time of the adoption...was a big step...and then adopting them NOT from an orphanage BUT rather from a notorious mental institution.....that was very scary....but it was not like some "experts" would say it would be.    Maybe having Sam and adjusting to his delays/vision impairment...has made it easier for us to accept the girls where they were at and we had no real expectations of them.  We didn't know how things would be...but they turned out so good...
 
I've never been happier in my whole life as I was those 14 weeks we had with them at home before the accident....I thought the other day, if I never see Selah healed, at least I had that time that she knew she was loved and she was opening up like a flower to us.  Everyday we saw new changes in her and saw her little heart reaching out and having a family....  she still has us and our love.  We don't know what she understands, but we will do all we can do the rest of our lives to give her the BEST life possible.  I believe she knows she is loved still and she reacts to us.  Tonight it is a blessing to see her sleeping soundly in her clean bed.  I just checked on her and her heart rate is in the low 80's which is perfect and she looks so at peace. 
 
We hate that the accident happen.  Believe me, we all still beat ourselves up with the "If onlys...."  it's never far from our minds.  We try not to focus on it but just the other night Jon started talking about it...rehashing it...
 
But unfortunately accidents happen every day in our fallen world.  My mother in law was killed in a car accident that was her fault, she turned in front of a dump truck....  I remeind my husband that we don't hold the accident against his mom...we know she certainly  didn't mean for it to happen to herself!  In the same way, we have to look at the kids' accident.  It's the only way we can get through it. 
 
We promised the judge in court that we would forever love the girls and be a REAL family to them.  That promise has never changed, in fact it is stronger now than ever.  Our whole life has revolved around our children anyhow but now even more so for Selah.  She will never be alone or neglected. 
 
And thanks to all of you....she has many people who know her name and are praying for her DAILY!  Thank you for caring about our children and espicially for all the prayers for Selah! 
 
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One year later
 
 
this morning leaving to go get Selah:)

 
 
Selah dressed in her new outfit and her AFOs waiting to go home
Steve surrounded by little people:)
 

2 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful, amazing story.....to quote the Beatles, All you need is Love :)

    Welcome home Selah!! I LOVE that outfit on her!!!!

    I hope with all my heart that the HBOT will help her make great strides in recovery.

    I know that the "small accidents" my son has had, health emergencies, I play over and over in my head.....that's what truly loving, good parents do. I pray for healing for you and Jon to be able to let go of this. HE saved their lives! He didn't think twice and jumped in--he's a hero in my book.

    Love to you all xoxoxo

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  2. Oh my, I would have had the same reaction to seeing the apartment from the outside! Yikes! It looks so much different inside though. Such a lovely place. I am loving seeing all your Ukraine pictures, and hearing of your experiences. My heart longs to hold those precious lovelies! Thank you, Thank you for sharing!

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