Well, almost one week ago we walked into the airport in Springfield, MO to a wonderful crowd of 60+ family & friends. Joe & I had talked about what we thought Leigah would do or how she would react and she did exactly what we thought... She smiled from ear to ear, I said "this is for you" and she said, "no, no, no! Yes? YES!" About 10 feet from the gate, she ran into the arms of Ethan her new brother. Then was surrounded by Keegan & Micah. The crowd chanted, sang, cheered and loved all over us. What a wonderful homecoming! When we were leaving, Leigah said, "Mommy, you have BIGGGG family!!!" hehe so funny!!! I will try to load pics from the airport this week.
What can I say about this last week? AMAZING!!! Yeah, I probably overuse this word but it is a perfect word for this week. We slept in late the first few days and showed her the ropes at the house. She has tried new foods without complaint, gone to bed everynight happily and maintained a sweet attitude that she had while in Latvia.
We have gone to several Dr. appts for her eyes and just general well-care checkup. On Tuesday, we went to the eye Dr. and found out that her left eye is 95% blind and her right eye will only see 20/200 at best with a new lense. She has a severe astigmatism and some other issues, including scar tissue on her optic nerves and around her eye that prevents periferal (sp) vision. But if I never told you that and you saw her, you would never know. She has learned to adapt to her circumstance and does an incredible job of coping with her disability.
We went to the Family Dr. on Friday for a check-up. She had her blood drawn and it will be testing her thyroid as well as doing a CBC to know how she is doing all-around. She was also given a TB test. During all the testing she smiled and said it's okay. We are still waiting for her Immunization records from Latvia and once we have those we will be able to know exactly what shots she still needs.
When we came home, several people blessed Leigah with gifts and she has cherished all of them. She was given more in that one event than she has gotten in 10 Christmas'. One of the gifts was a dress...you'd think - no big deal but she loved and was so excited about it. In fact, she wouldn't put it down...WHY? It was her first dress that belonged only to her. She also was given puzzles and some other clothes and a pillow pet. She loves the pillow pet because she can snuggle with it and because it's red - her favorite color.
Today, our church had a carry-in dinner in honor of Leigah and our family. What a blessing to be prayed over before we left but then to be prayed over and welcomed into our church family. She was given lots of yarn, puzzles, a singing monkey and another beautiful dress, that is all hers. She was excited to open cards that had cash and Walmart cards in them.
We are currently waiting for Maija, her foster mom to get on skype so that Leigah can see her. She is very excited to talk to her.
So, overall, how are we? AWESOME!!! We couldn't have asked for a better week, one that was easy and comfortable. At dinner last night, Leigah got up to use the restroom and during that small time we asked the other 3 kiddos what they were thinking and we got: It feels like she's always been here (in a good way). I love her and wish I could understand her better. She is such a good sister.
This next week we have a wonderful lady from the Prevention of Blindness coming to help us fill out paperwork and show us what resources we will have for Leigah. We could look at the negative but with her bubbly personality... there's just no way to look at things like that. She has been given eyes that don't work as well as yours or mine but she will have opportunities for college, computer programs and curriculum that will be provided by the state subsidies. Things that we couldn't help her with and she may even have a better opportunities for college than we could have given her. We are also looking into teaching her braille (sp) while she can still see so that she has that to fall back on as an adult.
Well, we do our best to post at least once a week until we hear more about our next trip. I'm waiting for paperwork from Daina to send with our I-800 and as soon as that is in, I'm sending out everything so I can get back to Latvia and make her officially ours (at least in Latvia's eyes). She doesn't want to go back to Latvia at this point, I think she doesn't know that she will get to come back to America.
Well, chat with ya soon! If you have any particular questions about our trip or being home, just leave a comment and I'll try to cover it!