"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I always said that I didn't want my life to be easy. I didn't want my life to be all neat and planned out. Well, that wish was certainly granted!

Here we are leaving the hospital. This was our third load. But it was still easier than lugging things home from the store in the Ukraine!

First, for the big news! Victoria is finally home! We left the hospital at 7 pm, but we didn't made it home until after midnight last night thanks to the perky pharmacist at CVS. She didn't bother to mention that she hadn't received the prescription from the hospital until after I had been there for an hour.
"Isn't that it, sitting there on the fax". I asked sweetly.
"Oh yeah. We'll have it ready in a minute", she grinned evilly.

Another hour past. Desperate measures were called for. I summoned my troops.
"Isabella, get me a giant Butterfinger and some Skittles".

"Anastasia, find me some Doritos, run, don't walk. RUN!!!!", I hollered.

I yanked open the bag with my teeth and approached the pharmacist again.
"My baby just got our of the hospital, can you hurry?" I tried to smile.
"Well, there are a lot of other people who are waiting too." she sneered.

I tried to be patient and polite.

Finally, she called my name. I spilled Doritos everywhere in my rush to the cashier.
"Your child's name isn't showing up on your insurance, so you can't get the medicine.", she informed me.
"Aren't antibiotics supposed to be free anyway?" I inquired politely.
"Not here".

Clearly, patient and polite wasn't getting me anywhere. I don't even remember exactly what I said, but in two minutes we were out the door and the pharmacist had Dorito cheese stuck to her jacket.

But, I digress.

See the picture of Victoria at the top of my blog? That is an actual smile, not a grimace! I really didn't think she would ever smile. Everyone said, "she will blossom", and "give her time", but deep down I really thought Victoria was going to be the one child who didn't flourish. I was prepared for her to stay the same, always. But, she is shining. Even the doctors thought she couldn't move her mouth much, but today she was sticking things in her mouth, like a real baby!

She is babbling and watching my face and trying to copy me. She just never had anyone to mimic before. She is kicking her little legs with excitement. Bowls of Lucky Charms (man, I really missed those rainbow marshmallows!) are sailing off the table with a swift pull of her little finger.

She isn't crying constantly, for hours and hours. Her eyes are peaceful.

My son walked by me in the hallway today and said, "Mom, you look old."
You bet! It's from all of my growing experiences!

I have so much more to write (stay tuned to find out who screamed for 10 hours on the plane) and so many wonderful people to thank! Never in my life have I had the privilege to meet so many amazing people! My heart is overflowing, much like Francesca's cheeks!


  1. So I know she didn't gain much weight in the hospital but can I just say her face looks so different...fuller, happier, more peaceful!!! She is flourishing!! I can see it already!! My prayers are with you and your family and I'm so happy you guys are home! Love the pictures!!

    Arceneaux's from Austin Texas

  2. Such great news that sweet Victoria is smiling and showing signs of toddlerhood :) I am sure this is a huge time of transition for your family but I will continue to pray for peace and healing. Sending love and prayers from Montana to your warrior family.

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to see that smile! Maybe with some better food and all the lovin', she'll be putting on weight in no time. I can't wait to see her again! You all bless my socks off!!!

  4. Oh praise God! My heart is so happy to see her truly smiling. You have an excuse to look old right now. You too will blossom again in time, just like your precious daughter. :) Take care of yourself.

  5. Praise God that she is home now, and can continue to heal there. :) So happy~!

  6. What a smile! It just warms my heart to see that! God bless!

  7. Congratulations and I am so happy to see everyone got home, even with a detour!

  8. I'm smiling watching Victoria's smile! I pray for your family everyday! Miss Francesca looks gorgeous!

  9. I am IN LOVE with Victoria's sweet face. It made my heart leap when I saw her little smile. She is definitely a little fighter and the meaning of her name fits her so well.
    Francesca is just too darling!

    Beautiful family, and warrior mama for sure :)

  10. That smile makes my heart happy.

  11. Yay!!! Victoria Smiles!!!!

  12. Keep up the good work...it's hard, but in the end it will pay off with two happy girls!!

    Elk Grove, CA

  13. so so happy for ALL of you!!!
    Now you can settle in!!
    So happy they are BOTH already blossoming :)

  14. Victoria looks so much better especially with her smile! You're doing good mama!

  15. Victoria has a beautiful smile:) Praise God!
    Welcome home for real:)

  16. Joy!!

    You are one awesome momma! I so wish I could be there to cook and scrub bathrooms for you so you can love on your little ones even more!!


  17. It is so great to see little Victoria smile! In all the previous pictures, she was all eyes, with that same solemn expression all the time. Now look at her! She has cheeks and even a little grin!

  18. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! What a blessed little girl who would be loved no matter if she blossomed or not...and then our God of miracles saw fit to begin to work in her little heart. She is just a little flower needing the basics of sunshine and water, that's all it took! You will be blessed beyond measure as she begins to transform before your very eyes. So happy for all of you!

  19. Love both of their cheeks. They are really blossoming in your family.

  20. Bless her heart! I love that precious smile of hers! Happy 4th!

  21. I am not sure if you've considered this but is it possible that Victoria has food allergies? I know you have an overflowing plate right now (and CUP!) and I am praying for your little ones.

    Our littlest had such tummy troubles before we discovered her food allergies and she's much better now!

  22. I'm so glad you're all home together. Such love!

  23. YAY! She must feel so much better with water and food in her little belly! They look great! God bless you guys!

  24. Im so happy. When I looked at your blog earlier I almost cried as I noticed what I thought was a smile!!!! I pray you were able to get the antibiotic.....and look you got your beloved Doritos!!!!! and a butterfinger and skittles to boot. ~ Trina

  25. Don't mess with Mama BEAR! You Go! Love the smiles!

    You can see a Christian Comedian talk about being a Mom..and mama Bear..at my blog..she is so funny.
    Blessings to you all,

  26. Just de-lurking to say, I'm so happy to see Victoria getting better. Good Luck and God Bless!

  27. so wonderful to see the smiles on those precious girls faces and the rest behind the eyes xxxx

  28. Wow!! I am so happy, seeing Victoria smile! Such a change in her already! So very very happy for her and you all.


  29. I wanted to say that I'm so happy you have your girls home. I work with adults who have developmental disabilities, and parents like you are such a blessing. I have never felt so good about spending a hundred dollars as I did donating to your family. You are in my prayers :)


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