Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some details about Aleksa...

Here are some things about our sweet girl that we've 'caught on to' during our first two visits with Aleksa:

  • She really IS toilet trained, and told us once during each visit that she needed to go!  She brought me to the little toilet room off the playground, found a little bucket in the corner to pee in, and then told me to dump it in the toilet and rinse it out!  
  • She has great communication even with no language.  She points, takes our hand and leads us, and goes somewhere and motions for us to come along.  
  • She responds to the tone of things even though she has no idea what we're saying.  For instance as she pulls us to leave the playground (or just tries to run out...) because her group of girls was headed to the dining building for snack, she was redirected by us holding her (pretty firmly, she's STRONG!) and saying "NO, we're not leaving right now."  (Though I hated that she missed the snack time, she had some crackers and water with us, and then they brought her for a snack once we were leaving...).  For her to be redirected when knowing her friends were eating says a LOT to me!
  • She doesn't just throw everything.  She has a bear that sings that we brought for her (haha... we brought it for Wesley bc it's music and lights but he's scared of it and she loves it!).  Bear in Russian is "Mishka".  She hangs on to that bear like it's gold, but will hand it to us to go on a swing or if she wants to bring us somewhere.  She seems to know now that we'll give it back, but we had to keep taking it and giving it back the first day for her to realize that.  We accidentally left it on the playground today because it started raining and we left quickly, but someone for the orphanage picked it up for us when we called back.  Hopefully it will be there Friday when we go back.  Anyway, she's hit at us with it, but only thrown it once.  This is a REALLY good thing :D
  • She has a very strong will.  It's a good thing, and a very natural thing since the director said that he has about 30 children per staff member there.  She has to assert herself or she won't likely be paid attention.  When she doesn't want to go somewhere, she stiffens, tries to sit, but then ends up laying completely backward.  I'm sure this is in self defense classes on how to avoid being kidnapped :)  Because it's very difficult to keep hold of a strong person that is doing this! LOL  But, even after she does that, in a firm voice when we said "no, we're going this way" or something like that, she responded and went with us anyway. 
  • She listens!  Though we don't know the language, she did go get a little toy that she'd thrown in the deputy director's office yesterday.  The inspector (like a social worker) said for her to go pick it up and bring it back to her and she did.  That says a lot!  She also didn't want to go out of the director's office with us today (we were going outside to play but she just saw it as leaving the room with a bowl full of crackers in front of her) and I asked Yana (translator) to tell her we're going outside to play.  I still had to pick her up to get her outside (see the strong will?) because she stopped at the next desk as well, BUT, she was fine and went with us after that.  She thought we were going back to the 'house' but we were going to the playground just before the house...
  • She's still TINY.  I looked at pictures of her and thought she was really pretty tall based on the pictures.  She's really NOT!  She's probably similar in height to Emma, maybe somewhere between Emma's and Kristopher's height.  She's not nearly as tall as Kristopher, though.  Maybe on Friday we can measure her now that we have the signatures that we need so that we can start getting some clothing gathered for her to come home in (and come home to!).
  • She's HEAVY :).  Not as in an unhealthy weight... but as in she isn't skinny or scrawny.  She's been well fed and has a bit of meat on her bones!  I can hold her, but won't be carrying her any long distances if I can help it!  I am guessing she's over 40 lbs, maybe similar to Kristopher's weight.
  • She quickly learns ways to request things and to respond to situations.  Mike would pick her up (like a baby hold, cradled) and spin in a circle with her.  He'd count "oden, dva, tree!" then spin.  After the first time she began holding on at three.  She also would come up to him and turn around for him to pick her up to do it again.  There are several more examples, but that describes it pretty well :).
  • We were wrong about her birth date, which has to have been an issue in translating last time (in 08).  She was born in October, not September (same day we thought).
  • She will swat at us when she doesn't like what we're doing, and will kick at us too.  But... when told no and with us touching that part (her arm or leg), she has stopped each time.  I'm sure that will be one of the more difficult behaviors to overcome, especially when it comes to the other kids (she's used to being one of the youngest and smallest kids), BUT- God brought us here and He will help it to work.  It will just take some extra mindful parenting for a while for us to all work on that :)
So much more I could share, but that's enough for now.  We are looking forward to having her home with our family and integrating her into society... something she has never known!  What an adventure we all have ahead of us!!


  1. What a little treasure she seems to be! I'm sure God had a very special meaning in having you meet her back in 2008, then giving you Emma and Micah and your other treasures, and then now finally Aleksa too. I get happy shivers just reading about this wonderful story happening.

    Now I stumble on the words so I better stop!

    After court - pictures? Please?

  2. I think there must be a deeper meaning that you didn't even know about yourselves in that you were planning to name her Faith.

  3. Aleksa Faith - so excited she is coming home! I will be praying blessings as you work to bring Aleksa and "Monroe" home.

  4. I don't think I have fully grasped the enormity of this situation. I sat with my husband last night explaining what is happening (I started back in 08). He too was just amazed at what God is doing. We literally sat and cried together and once again thanked God for our Daniel. Without him, I'd likely never know of these sweet angels. Please let me know what size you need for her, I'll gather some fall type clothes together and send you a package. I'm feeling a shopping trip coming on :).

  5. I've been re-reading your prior attempt at adopting Aleksa becauseI wanted to be sure I remember correctly. Did the director give any reason for his change of heart? You said you'll still be the first adoption from that facility so it's not like he's seen a bunch of positive adoptions.

    I'm just so happy for you all.

  6. What a beautiful girl. She looks so happy to be loved!

  7. I don't know the whole story of 08- just glimpses of what you shared so that people understand your story NOW. She sounds just wonderful and not neglected at all. I shared your story with my DH last night-of how God orchestrated your meet up and finding Alexa again. He kept saying that if GOD did ALL that, you WILL Be taking her home...and he believes that God will also let it happen in record time. It is not only good to read about God doing miracles in YOUR families lives, but your story, opens my heart, to EXPECT the miracles of God in MY life. Many blessings from Pretoria, South Africa

  8. I know there are SO many things I could comment on about this post, but I'll only say one thing: FINALLY, and October baby! haha