So here is Ahnja's 1 year home side by side!
Here is Nicholas's 1 year home side by side!
Here is Aleshia's 1 year home side by side!
Once again here is Keith's 1 year home side by side!
As far as other updates on them, here we go:
Ahnja is 11 now and doing amazing. She has learned English so quickly and still speaks a lot of Bulgarian too. She understands all everyday English that is spoken to her and her grammar is getting better all the time. We actually all speak some simple Bulgarian around the house (very simple because we just aren't that great, but we enjoy the words we've been able to pick up!). She has learned to write the alphabet and can tell you many of the phonetical sounds. She can write most of the names of family members (no small task around here!). She recognizes quite a few words as well! She is SO amazing. She has a sparkle about her that captivates everyone she meets!
Nicholas is 10 1/2 now. He is much more delayed and still very traumatized from his time in the mental institution there. Going into a hospital environment or even a large brick building that isn't but reminds him of his institution will leave him in complete fear. His institutional behaviors have reduced dramatically, but he still has a long ways to go to heal from all he went through. He reminds us so much of Mowgli on The Jungle Book. He just wasn't socialized. On top of that he just suffered a lot of stuff that most people will never understand in that institution. It was a "survival of the fittest" kind of environment. He isn't at all aggressive though and he can be quite cuddly. He has learned to eat with utensils and to slow down for the most part though and has come SO far!
Anita. . . oh Anita. lol She is 8 now and quite the stubborn child. If you look at her picture above the first thing you will notice is that she learned how to smile. At first she just didn't know how. Somehow or another her initial response was what you see on the left. . . no one else I know can duplicate that face, but it was her "smile". She did it every time you got out the camera. She's come so far and is saying words and phrases in English. She spoke nothing in Bulgarian, so this is HUGE! She is partially potty trained already and really just needs to learn to go on her own instead of waiting to be sent. She's able to put together puzzles and is working on preschool/kindergarten concepts in English.
Aleshia is 7 now and is our most delayed and physically handicapped child. It is believed that she did not get enough oxygen during her heart procedure that she had prior to coming to us. She can sit up for short periods of time, but it is very tiring for her. We hope that her upcoming heart surgery will give her more energy and strength. She can push to a stand in her stander or in her jumperoo, but she does not walk or really sit unassisted for any real length of time. She has said a few words though! We will learn more about the extent of her brain damage the day before her heart surgery. She has become SO much more interactive though in the last year. She laughs and interjects her personality into every day family life and we LOVE it!
Keith, well you can read about him in the last post! lol He is doing AMAZING! He is cruising the furniture and into all kinds of mischief! We figure after 5 years in that crib, he has a lot of mischief to make up for!
If you'd like to help bring our next 3 children home, so that they too can make amazing progress in the love of a family, then there are many ways you can help us to bring them home.
We have an Indiegogo fundraiser that a friend set up for us HERE that has a place to donate and even some things offered for your donation!
You can shop at our Usborne eshow by clicking HERE and get some amazing books for your family while helping our kids coming home!
You can shop at our What's in the Bible link and buy amazing dvds to teach your family about the Bible and help with our adoption at the same time as well. These are made by the creator of Veggie Tales and are so much fun, but even adults will learn something! Click HERE to go shop our site for that!
Our Tshirt Fundraiser ends on August 3rd at midnight, so you can click HERE to learn more about the amazing shirt we have available!
Thanks for all your help!!! More pictures of the 5 to come in the next post and then I'll get to pictures of the newest three from my trip to meet them!