August 26, 2005

After being home for almost 2 months and our trip is a bit behind us …I have to say, in the beginning of the process I had wished it could have been easier like some other countries are to adopt from. With it all said and done, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

All the time we spent there taught us so much, Bill and I have grown as human beings in ways most people will never get the chance to discover. It was very important for us to learn about Kazakhstan first hand because that was the first step in knowing our daughter. We needed to know where she came from to help her because that is and will always be who she is. The awesome experience of meeting and getting to know all those precious orphans was unbelievable. There isn’t a day that goes by that Bill and I aren’t talking about one of the kids but not with sadness as they still bring huge smiles to our faces and quite often we will joke around about them. They all had such spirited personalities and inner and outer beauty.

Our time with Gianna has gone by so quickly. We sometimes still can’t believe she is really home and that she is really ours. At night I rock her to sleep just for some extra mommy time and most evenings I can’t get through a lullaby without crying. I love her so much and along with the love there is the feeling of gratitude from God and from Kazakhstan for entrusting us with this gift. A dear friend Michelle, (great child advocate) recently said if we could bottle the feelings and experience’s we have gone through and hand it out, there would not be an orphan left in the world.
Gianna is an amazing child she really has never had any major adjustment problems not even as much as a bad dream. She embraces every day as it should be, filled with great expectations and eager to learn. We could really say at this point she really loves all of us. She and Anthony are still working out some jealousy issues that are the nature of real siblings. They are constructively playing together now, and when one isn’t around the other one misses the other. Along with sibling rivalry does come a great love for each other. I am so happy they have each other again… Thank You GOD we all have gained so much from this little Angel.

Gianna has picked up many new english words and has also made some new versions of her own like this morning she asked for a "poon" for her "Wapple" (spoon for her waffle) She seems to think that "good morning" must mean "I love you" or something like that as she uses it in many instances. She finally stopped saying "enada" which we were told meant "I don't want" now it is just "no"! She is the first to offer you anything she has and does it gladly. She is so close to Marie it is scary sometimes as she wants her around constantly. If Marie is out of sight for more than two minutes, we know about it! The best is that when she has or is given something, she feels compelled to say "Gianna's" this or that and looks at you for your approval of it. I joke back to her and just say, "yes, we know your name honey!"

We finally had a chance to take Gianna on her first camping trip. Of course she embraced all of the activities. With out a second thought, she hopped into he sister-in-law’s family boat with the usual Gianna “go get em” attitude and laughed as we flew across the lake. She loves the water and sand.
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Copyright Our Kazakh Angel 2005