Good stuff

A big congratulations is due to our Drama Queen.  She won Best Classical Monologue at her Juries yesterday.  Great stuff!  And if you are confused (like I was) Juries are when all the students in the theater department - Freshmen through Seniors - present a classical and a contemporary monologue to an audience and a judge.  Yesterday's judge was Jane Brody, who teaches acting at The Theatre School and has been an award winning casting director for films like Fargo and Groundhog Day.  So it's pretty great that she judged Drama Queen's Lady MacBeth as the best classical piece of the show.  So proud!

(No pictures of her because she's camera shy)

As for little one, I think I am going to start calling her Stinkerbell.  I found the nickname on a friend's blog, and it suits her perfectly!  She is into everything!  We are getting a second opinion on her leg this week, so for now we're just living life.

Zoe is making major progress on the mobility front.  My big brother and his wife gave her an enormous teddy bear - bigger than her.  Who could have known it would be the perfect therapy tool?  Zoe sat on it (as any toddler would) and realized she felt safe there.  So she started standing up on her own.

She was sooooo proud!

Since then she has been standing alot - even without the bear.  Two days ago Drama Queen swears she saw her take a step on her own.  She'll be walking any day now.

The other day my boys wanted to make Peanut Butter Balls for some friends who have moved into the neighborhood.  They had a blast, and so did little sis:

She decided to tell them how to do the job.

And once more, some random pics of cuteness for your viewing pleasure:


Shriners and Social Workers

Things have been rolling along very well in our new family of 7.  Zoe continues to make amazing gains in her physical and language development.  She yells GeGe (brother) when she wants their attention, and she says - very quietly - Night Night and Bye Bye at bedtime.  I swear she understands everything we say.  She can say Nose and Eyes, and point to the appropriate feature, and she says Uh-Oh when she drops something - especially if it makes a big noise.

Zoe loves music, and will wave her hands in the air when she hears a song she likes.  She also likes the piano, and mostly doesn't pound (thank goodness).

We had her first post-adoption visit with her social worker.  China requires multiple reports ranging from 1 month to 5 years after adoptions.  Along with the report we needed some photographs, so we quick got together a family picture:

It turned out pretty well, I think.

Yesterday was Zoe's first visit to Shriners Hospital in Chicago to have her limb length discrepancy addressed.  We didn't even have x-rays, so had very little idea what was going on inside that leg and foot.  It turns out that Zoe has Fibular Hemimelia, aka longitudinal fibular deficiency.  Basically, Zoe has no fibula in her right leg, her right femur is slightly short, and she has a 2-ray foot.  However, her tibia looks strong and straight, if short (about 7 cm short right now, with a projected difference over 6 inches by the time she stops growing).

The doctors and nurses at Shiners were very kind, and spent all the time we needed to answer questions about our options.  We have two.  One is limb lengthening, which would involve two 6 or 7 months sessions of stretching her leg bone, one when she is 7 or 8 years old and one when she is about 13.  The problem with this is that her little foot will probably not be able to support her appropriately as she grows up.  The other option is amputation of her little foot at the ankle and a prosthetic lower limb.  The problem with this one is, well, it's an amputation of a cute little foot that we all rather like - especially Zoe.  Either option will involve hard things, so we are taking some time to pray and consider before we make a choice.

I do know this - Zoe is an ambitious, persistent little girl who REALLY wants to walk, and to run.  One of our goals will be to get her up and walking as soon as possible.  After observing her for a little while yesterday, her social worker suggested the word Driven to describe her personality, and we agreed.

So - after all that heavy info, how about some great cuteness to brighten your day?

Ready for Winter
Scooting around in the great new coat Grandma and Grandpa gave her.

Playing Smash with Daddy

Love how her hair is getting longer!


Our Community

Yesterday we introduced Zoe to our church, and our wonderful church community welcomed her with great enthusiasm.  The Man and I shared our testimony of God's goodness at the beginning of the service.

Our wonderful pastors welcomed her.

 And multiple people came up to bless her.

We are truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful church family.

Zoe really liked the music during worship - she went along with The Man as he paced back and forth like he usually does.

After a while of the walking and the music, she fell asleep.

What a cutie!

Later in the day some good friends came over and played with Zoe - she quite liked all the attention. Though when they arrived she was a bit of a mess!

We got her cleaned up and they played for a while.

My good friend Sonia has a wonderful idea for helping young people remember their identities.  She has come up with some label designs for clothing, meant to be worn on jeans or other items.  Sonia gave Zoe her first prototype:

Isn't is great on a pair of overalls?

Sonia would love to have more people wearing her identity labels.  If you're interested, leave a comment and I'll get you in touch with her.