learning to walk

i don’t know how we’ve come from this:

our long 30-hour trip home to Charlotte

…to this:

but somehow we did. and we’re here.  living together as a family of three in a sweet old brick house in charlotte.  it’s been two months since we arrived home.  life has thrown us a lot of changes.  troy and i are married now and Mikisa started kindergarten last week at the nearby elementary school.

we are really excited about Mikisa’s development!  she’s learning to walk (for real this time–she has an orthopedic ankle brace and goes to physical therapy). she is now able when we hold just one hand, which is a huge deal for her!  her left leg is more stable with the brace and she is able to stand independently for up to 20 seconds (without holding on to anything).  her balance is the biggest challenge for her right now, and she falls over easily when we are not supporting her.  she is also talking a lot more, although much of what she says is still ugandan-sounding babble.  she definitely tries to communicate,and her vocabulary has increased to about 25 words.  her receptive language skills are much better and she understands a lot of what we tell her, which has reduced her stress level significantly.  she still has some challenging behaviors, but it will just take time for her to learn appropriate social skills and acceptable coping mechanisms.  it seems like she is going through the terrible twos…she is very defiant and loves saying no. of course, she is still a joy and delight, and we have a lot of laughter in our house!  she keeps surprising us with her musical talent, and has gotten very good at singing and dancing and playing the djembe.  she is very excited that daddy is finally living with us!  it is wonderful to see the two of them interact.  God sure knew what He was doing.  what a huge blessing that Mikisa now has a mom and a dad!

parenting has presented its share of challenges for troy and me, and it feels like we are learning to walk just like Mikisa is.  we love her dearly, but it is often difficult figuring out the most effective solution to the problems that surface.  she has deep residual pain and anger.  she has reason to lash out in frustration and bitterness because her life wasn’t fair.  no child should have to suffer the pain of neglect and abandonment.  no child should have to spend the first five years of their life without structure, routine, or love…she is just learning what it means to have a family.  and it’s a lot of newness for her to wade through.  we want to be right there with her, supporting her through these major life transitions. we are willing to stumble and fall with her through these bumps in the road. we want her to know love.  real love. His love.

last friday night, Mikisa had a grand mal seizure in her sleep.  we heard it just as we were going to bed…we called 911 and the ambulance came within minutes.  the seizure lasted about 20 minutes and then her little body kept jerking for another 40 minutes before she finally came out of it.  she was rushed to the ER and then admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for monitoring and an IV drip.  we were terrified and still haven’t gotten over the shock and fear of that moment.  thankfully there was no long term brain damage, and Mikisa is now on a medication which should reduce the risk of her having another serious seizure.  we will also take her in for further testing next week.

it is so evident that God has His hand on Mikisa.  He has protected her throughout her short life and continues to bring healing to her body.  He cares deeply about her and loves her as His daughter.  we are so blessed to have her in our family!

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5 responses to “learning to walk

  1. Rejoicing with you at how far He has brought you 3. Hoping the tears will dry quickly from my eyes over the thought of witnessing her having a seizure. Praying for you RIGHT NOW and clinging to His promises with you, sister.

  2. Thanks for the update.
    So happy she got through the seizure without complications. Will continue to pray for her.
    Thanks for adopting her so there now is one less suffering child in the world. Her story is so inspiring.
    God bless you and your family,
    A. Nielsen

  3. Christina you do not know me but I know your father in law and ever since he has mentioned Mikisa to us our family has prayed for yours. Let me azure you that having children is the greatest blessing and biggest struggle you will ever have. The decision to have a child is forever to have a piece of your heart go walking outside of your own body. I know that you already have faced more in your short motherhood than most will face in a lifetime; however, I am responding to let you know that you have been and will continue to be lifted to the thrown in prayer.
    I am looking forward to meeting you and your little girl. “May God bless you and keep you. May he make his face shine upon you and give you peace.”

    Steve Hill

  4. What a grand testimony as to the fact that God loves His “little ones”…and to the faithfulness He shows to those of us who have a deep care and concern for them…I am blessed to be able to witness one of the miracles of God’s restoration of one whom the world had probably forgotten…we serve a masterful God! I am joining you all in prayer that this little girl will follow and show “others” how to “escape to freedom through HIM!”

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