Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Day We Met Her

A year ago today, we got to meet Nina for the first time.

Nina's tired orphanage house greeted us with it's salmon colored walls and tall wooden door. As we walked through inside, we were immediately escorted to right into the doctor's office. Andy and I sat on the newspaper print couch, listening to our translator, worker and doctors speak to each other in Russian. A few minutes later a spunky little girl with Down syndrome walked into the room, ready to own the world and visit her daddy. A worker walked inside the room holding a little girl awkwardly on her hip, grabbed the little girl with Down syndrome and took her to the room across the hall where her daddy was waiting for her. The worker came back and was speaking to the doctor, laughing. I could tell she was saying that the little girl had been confused and in her excitement had gotten away and ran into the wrong room. Then I noticed the little girl the woman was carrying. She was scared, she was shy, she was holding on tight to the worker. Her head was misshapen, and her haircut was bad. Her eyes looked so lost. Then I felt the "thump" of realization. That little girl was Nina. That was the little girl we had been dreaming of.

Our first meeting with her was a lot to process. Although I did blog about it back then, we were still processing our doubts, concerns, and feelings. The little girl we met that day seemed to have many significant challenges.

So here it is, that small clip of the first day we met Nina.

A year, a year has gone by since that day in the stale doctor's room at the orphanage. Nina has changed, she is not the same little girl. The last 2 days we have tried to get a video of her, and right now she has decided she does not like her videos taken, so this is the best we could do.

In this video you can see she is doing pretty well with her pretzel legs (when she is not wearing her braces) and she knew we were taking the video because it has been a year since we met her. She is so aware of that! She even brings up the orphanage and I admit, I did not know how to respond to her question!
And this was tonight, when the other 2 sisters were watching a video. Except Nichole joined us after a while and was about to steal the camera.


  1. Wow, I can't get over how much she has changed in just one year! You're right, she is NOT the same little girl. It is amazing what the love of a family can do for a child. I know this year has not been all sunshine and roses for you, and that there are still hard times ahead, yet it is obvious the hard work and dedication to Nina has had an incredible impact on her life. Thank you for following God's call to bring her home!

  2. The first thing that struck me when I opened this is that her legs are so far apart when she sits! Amazing! Love the update and I can't wait to show Oksana the new videos! Looking forward to "seeing" you on Saturday :)

  3. These are great videos- thanks for putting them up. Can't wait to see you all. We can watch some golf together. :-)

  4. Ellen, she is just a beautiful, beautiful treasure. I think her speech is great- listening to her as an American-you might not be aware of how much she sounds like you. From the little that I've heard, the sounds in Ukrainian and Russian are often like sounds in our language-Afrikaans. And she doesn't sound at all like that. Also, she is a girl with an identity and feelings she can vocalize- something I'm sure she couldn't do before!


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