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Sunday, August 5, 2012

The End...

...is only the beginning!

This blog was started on June 24, 2008.  Four years later, our long-anticipated, much-loved daughter Sophia has been home for over a year.  It has always been my intention to use this blog as a record of our adoption journey and God's faithfulness to us.  That has been accomplished here and Sophia is now a well-integrated member of our family.  Therefore, this will be my last post on this blog...from now on you can find me--and Sophia--at our family blog, www.merrilymusingmom.blogspot.com!

Praising God for His faithfulness on our Silk Road Journey...

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Forever Family Day...A Year Later

What a difference a year makes!! In the throes of adjustment, sleep deprivation, and PADS after Sophia came home last year, I never thought I would make it through another day, let alone a whole year!  But as so many of my dear friends encouraged me in those hours and days following Sophia's first "Forever Family" day, the outlook did get better and is totally different now.  I thank God for those dear friends who cheered me through those rough days when I wasn't sure what in the world we were thinking...you know who you are!!
Sophia on her first "Forever Family" day, one year ago.  Her foster mother felt as though she was "giving one of her children away as in marriage", thus the white dress.

So, it's time for a one year update.  We've been so busy, I didn't keep up too well with my monthly updates, but I'll try to recap what Sophia has accomplished recently.  She is a totally different little girl then the one we brought home a year ago.  There are still many areas in her life where growth is needed and expected, but she has certainly made a lot of progress in one year!

Mobility:  When Sophia came home, she wasn't walking.  She now runs everywhere, including on uneven surfaces, without blinking an eyelash.  I have to make sure I stand between her and freedom, because she will take off on me in parking lots and stores!  She loves life, and will often hop and skip with joy when she's happy or excited about something.  She does not use her sure step inserts in her shoes currently because she has outgrown them.  We are awaiting our next doctor's visit to see if she really still needs them.  The only physical issue we are really still dealing with is a little bit of spasticity in her right arm and hand.  She received one round of botox a few months ago which has helped loosen those muscles, and she has started occupational therapy at Hershey Medical Center to strengthen the muscles while they are loose.

Vision:  Sophia received glasses a couple of months after coming home.  She did really well with them for awhile, but in the last couple of months, she won't keep them on.  We are planning a follow up visit to see if her vision has changed or perhaps she has grown to the point where the glasses don't fit properly.  But she seems to be seeing fine without them!

Eating:  This was a HUGE issue when we came home, as Sophia was only drinking a thick, gooey substance that we made from rice powder and cereal from a bottle.  She quickly adjusted to milk and some solids, and with the help of a feeding clinic, she is now pretty much eating anything.  Just in the past month we have totally given up the bottle and are drinking from "big girl" cups!  That was a battle, but we survived it!!  We are so proud of Sophia in this area!

Communication:  This is our biggest area with Sophia right now, as she does not really talk.  However, she can communicate her desires with little problem!  From whining to crying to all out temper tantrums, developmentally Sophia is in the "terrible two's and three's".  However, it is encouraging to see her at this point, because it is a natural progression in her development.  She will pull you to what she wants and use a few words like "num-num" to indicate what she wants.  Her receptive language is much more developed; we know she understands a lot of what we say to her.  We are working with her speech teacher at school and in private therapy to develop pre-communication skills to prepare her for talking in the future, however that might look for her!

Overall Growth:  Sophia came home barely able to keep 2T clothes on her little body.  She has grown several inches and gained weight accordingly.  She is now in 4T clothes!  We totally missed using her 3T summer clothes, as she skipped those entirely!  She no longer looks like a toddler, but very much like a preschooler.  Her eye contact and interaction with others outside the family has improved so much as her confidence has increased along with her bonding and attachment.

So, as you can see, our little girl is growing up!  We are so grateful to God for the blessing He gave us in our daughter.  She has made a difference in our family and we love her so much.  We will forever be thankful to her foster parents and the investment they made in her early life...they laid the foundation on which we have been building the last year.  We look forward to seeing how Sophia grows and develops in the future.  God has a special plan for our Taiwanese princess, and we are so humbled and grateful to be able to be a part of it!

Sophia two weeks ago at the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh.  This outfit was handcrafted for us to be used a year ago when we brought Sophia home.  However, it didn't fit (too big!).  Now, it's perfect!!

We love you, Sophia Elizabeth Chia-Lin Fisher!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today we met our precious daughter, Sophia Elizabeth, for the very first time.  After three years of working on her adoption and waiting for God's timing, it was like a dream come true.  I've been reminiscing and rejoicing in how God has continued to work in Sophia's life and our lives over the past year.  If you care to reminisce, here are my posts from that day...

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Praising God for His faithfulness...

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Taiwanese Sisters

Last weekend Sophia and I had the exciting privilege of traveling to Pittsburgh to meet up with a long-time online friend and her daughter.  Mandi and her family have been a part of our lives since we connected over two years ago when we first committed to bringing Sophia home from Taiwan.  Mandi and her husband and two sons had recently committed to another Taiwanese princess, whom they named, Teagan.  Teagan and Sophia are about six months apart in age and both have cerebral palsy.  What I remember most about our first connection was that Mandi told me that she had seen Sophia's profile, and while they felt led to adopt Teagan, she had been praying for Sophia to find a family.  Mandi was such an encouragement to me while we were in Taiwan, as she had just been through similar circumstances six months prior, and, when we came home and I was struggling with the adjustments, she was there to cheer me on.

Fast forward over two years, and we finally had the chance to meet in person.  Teagan had an appointment with a medical specialist in Pittsburgh, so Mandi, her mom, and Teagan were making the drive from Indiana for the weekend.  We met up and had a wonderful time getting to interact in person and meeting the girls for the first time.  As Mandi said, it was great to actually get to hug in person!!  Our hope and prayer is that we can maintain our relationship over the distance and allow Sophia and Teagan to grow up together as Taiwanese sisters.  It was so neat to see how God clearly put each little girl in the family where she fit best...just another reminder of God's faithfulness in our adoption journeys!

Thanks, Mandi, for a great weekend...until next time!!

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Bathing Beach Beauty

In January we had the privilege of spending a week in Florida with Dave's parents, Grandma and Grandpa Fisher.  We had awesome weather that week, and really enjoyed just relaxing and playing together.  One day we decided to visit the beach to give Sophia her first beach experience.  Here are some of the photos from that day...I love seeing her investigating sand and waves for the very first time!  She really enjoyed it!

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where Has the Time Gone?

Wow!  It's been several months since I updated this blog.  Part of the reason is that I can't find my camera cord since our vacation in Florida in January, so I can't upload any new photos.  I have SO many cute photos of Sophia from her first family vacation, so when I find or buy my camera cord, I will have a bunch of fun photos to share!  Also, we have been through some interesting times as a family since January, and blogging just went by the wayside.  I will try to do better!

Sophia is doing really well overall.  She has adapted well to preschool three afternoons a week, and loves her speech pathologist whom she sees two mornings a week.  She had botox injections in her right arm a couple of weeks ago, and responded really well to that treatment.  I need to set her up with some additional occupational therapy for that arm as recommended by her doctor.  I also have been asked to consider an audiology appointment, just to get a baseline on her hearing.  That is one specialist we have not seen since June!  Sophia loves to look at herself in the mirror and is very content to play in her room with a variety of objects from her room or from around the house...pretty much if you can't find something that was laying around, you check Sophia's room!

I was looking back at some photos from the fall and am just amazed at the differences I see in Sophia in such a short period of time.  She has really lost her toddler look and is very much a little girl.  I will have to post some "then and now" photos...when I recover that lost camera cord!!

Thanks for checking in!!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our First Christmas with Sophia

What a difference a year makes!  Last year, I posted this...and looked forward to 2011 as the year that we would hopefully bring our daughter home to her forever family.  This Christmas, we are looking back at six months home together, and celebrating our first Christmas together with Sophia.  It was a joyous time, having all five of our children together, but it was also a time to reflect on Christmases gone by, wondering how Sophia celebrated, what she remembered.  If her interest in wrapped presents was any indication, she didn't do much gift opening in Taiwan...she could really care less, and all of her presents were opened by others, eager to get the actual gift into her hands, which was much more interesting to her!  Here are some of my favorite photos of our first Christmas with Sophia!

The annual Christmas pajamas in front of the tree photo...Sophia's not too thrilled with this tradition!

Enthralled by something on the tree...

A filled stocking, front and center, this year!

This one's for Miss Carol Anne, her Kindermusik teacher!  She loves her rhythm sticks!

She stared and stared at her new baby doll when she first got her...does she recognize the Asian features?

Her favorite gift by far...a grocery cart from MomMom and PopPop...great therapy, too!

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