These girls have so much fun together. This photo was from their all day photo shoot the three of them did. Taking turns with the camera, going all over the house and yard and changing clothes 20 times.
This fall Kali started pursuing her new passion- Rhythmic Gymnastics
She has always done some sort of dance and or gymnastics, but this is a combination of both. She LOVES it and finds every spare second she can get to do her training homework. She can do the over splits, with one foot on like 10 books. She is mastering the hoop and the ball and is preparing for her first competitions this spring. She is so focused and determined and is a natural. She has a chance to win an IPod or a Rhythmic Gymnastics Rope by doing push ups, sit ups and some other muscle burning exercises and she is so excited. She dreams of winning the .... you guessed it :)...... The Rope. Yep, all that sweat for a rope. I told you she was determined.
Ayla started back to dance and though she loves dance, I think she mostly loves having another reason to hang out with her friends. She did her first performance this Christmas and made mom cry. She is so beautiful and has worked so hard to learn the dances in a very short amount of time. She too has done gym and dance off and on her whole life and loves it. It is so funny because it was Ayla who originally wanted to quit ballet to do gymnastics. Within the year Kali followed her and now Ayla is back to dance. She likes the ballet but she loves the Jazz. Anything with a little kick and color.
Ayla is also one of our kiddos going off to school. I am sure I have said it before, she is our social butterfly. I think she got that from her dad. :) he he She works so hard on her homework and is so responsible. Sometimes though I think she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders because she cares about her friends so much. We are praying about the future of her education. Trying to find a way to give her the social atmosphere she loves with out so much weight of trying to help her hurting friends. It is a lot for an 11 year old.
|pic by Kali or Ayla ?|
Olya started another Art class. Three at school is just not enough. She loves art and loves to create new things. She is knitting me a scarf, screen printed a T- shirt for Jeromy's Christmas present, and is always coming up with some creative artistic thing to try. The last few days she has put her artistic skills to work making a dessert of frosting, which she made herself, peanuts, chocolate chips, crushed ginger bread and whip cream. YUM! She has also takin' a liking to being a photographer. Her English is AMAZING and a Russian woman told me the other night that Olya already speaks Russian with an accent. :)
|Art by Olya|
|Photo by Olya|
Oh, that reminds me of a great story. :)
We have been taking Olya to a few different Russian Churches about an hour away. We found one we really like and through the service last Sunday I was feeling so much like this is a good place for us to visit. It had a great service, great messages and a lot of youth. After the service a woman came over to me and said, " I know your family". I said in amazement, "how?" She said, uh, "I don't know".
She natively speaks Russian, I speak only English, so it was hard for her to explain how she knew us.
But we figured it out: A friend of ours from church bought a piano from her family while we were in the process of adopting Olya. While he was picking up the piano he noticed they were speaking something other that English. ;) Somehow he found out they spoke Russian. At some point he felt he should tell them about our family and shared our blog with them. Well she read our blog while we were in Ukraine!
I have to say, I feel God used this night to minister to my heart. The church was awesome, this woman as sweet as can be and God laid on Jeromy and I's hearts the same message, (even though it was not the topic of the night) we need to PRAY.
I will not go into details but adopting can be hard. The journey to get her home was hard and the journey to help her heal is hard. We "knew" it all before, but the living it every day caught me off guard. I am selfish, I am not very patient, I am not as understanding as I thought I would be. I thought I could do it. Well, truth is I can't. God can!!!! He got her home even though it was impossible. He is doing a great work in her, but in reality I think He is doing a great work in me.
I am learning. I am seeing some of the things I have always done to Jeromy that now that I see it in her I realize isn't so nice to be on the other side. I am seeing more and more how I treat God and how much He loves me in-spite of it. I am human and I fail and sometimes I feel like a failure as a mom, but sometimes I am so happy to see what God is doing and so proud of who Olya is and is becoming. Adoption can be hard but it is beautiful because it is God's heart. His heart is to comfort and love the orphan and his heart is to make ours more like his. I pray I do not stand in the way of Him accomplishing both.