Right now Nina is all about family. I think she is putting together in her head how she belongs with us. Many times she makes sure to say everyone's name stressing out our family name. "Daddy Stumbo, Mommy Stumbo, Ellie Stumbo, Nichole Stumbo and Nina Stumbo. We are a family, a Stumbo family!"
One of our favorite things right now is that Nina often says to us, "I am a happy girl!" many times she says it while bouncing on her legs and clapping her hands. Sometimes, the statement catches us in the most unexpected times and the significance of it touches our hearts deeply. Like being held by daddy while watching a show, and all of a sudden she turns to him and with her sweet, soft voice she will say, "Daddy, I am a happy girl."
She also talks about loving her family (and yes, she even includes the fact that she loves Nina too.) Many times she will come into the rooms we are in just to say, "Mommy, I love you!" She blows a kiss and goes back to whatever she was doing before.
The significance of family. A little girl that knew nothing about the love of a family is not basking in it. Her life would be so different today had we not adopted her. Tied down in a crib, or if lucky, still at the orphanage, hanging on by the day.
But she is loved. She has a family. She belongs. She is a Stumbo.
Here is a little video I took of her the other day. We had just gotten a book that we are sending to the family that is adopting Nina's best friend from the orphanage. We made this book for the orphanage to have, so they can see a little bit about Nina's new life. In the book we included pictures of our time in Ukraine, of her favorite worker, as well as the doctor. At the beginning of the video, Nina was trying to say that she had looked at a book of pictures and that she had seen a picture of her and her worker. She is saying the worker's name.