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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Three Cities in Two Days

We are home from our big trip to Shriner's. Victoria is an old pro at flying. The only problem is, she never sleeps on the plane. She likes to be entertained, preferably with Skittles.  

Once we arrived in Philly, we had over three hours until our appointment, so we went to the Philadelphia zoo. Victoria had never seen animals like this before!

My little monkey! 

I got in trouble for taking this picture of Victoria's physical therapy. I guess I should have read the privacy signs posted everywhere. We got some really good news from PT though. They think Victoria is really, really close to walking alone! She barely needs to hang on to something for support anymore. The PT thinks she doesn't quite have the confidence just yet, but considering she was in a body cast four months ago, I think she is doing really well!

Victoria also got a new walker, which is much lighter. With her other walker, she never wanted to be put down outside, but with this one, she is zooming everywhere!

We didn't get very good news from the doctor at Shriner's. He said she needs another hip surgery. In about a year, she will need to have the plates removed from her femur and he wants to cut some more of her femur and also her hip and make a kind of shelf for her hip joint to rest in. Otherwise, he said she might have arthritis in the future. So, that would mean another 6 weeks of casts and another major surgery. I am not sure if we will do this surgery. She is doing so well right now and there is not definite reason. Luckily, we have quite a while to decide. He also said she will need 6 different casts for her feet, followed by more surgery. Then, she will have to be in AFO's (ankle, foot orthodics) for 24 hours a day for many months. We want to do what's best for her and give her the best chance, but we also want her to be able to enjoy her life. She seems to be adapting well so far, so we will see.

There is a pizza place right next to Shriner's that has absolutely the best pizza I have ever tasted! This is my dear friend, Catherine, with her kids, Julianna and Zach. Believe it or not, Catherine and I met at the embassy in Ukraine when we were adopting. We ended up on the same plane going to Frankfort and we have been fast friends ever since.

Guess what we decided to do on Saturday! Go to New York City! I have always wanted to go and it is only 2 hours away from Philly. We drove to Trenton, NJ and then took the train to New York.  As you can see, Victoria was really excited!

I got in trouble to taking this picture too. He wanted money for the picture and he wanted it now, so we had to make a quick getaway.

Victoria sure has come a long way! From an orphan who never left her crib to the big apple! She really loved it!

We went to Ground Zero, which was really sad. This picture lists all the names of the people who died. 

The only difficulty we faced was the never ending stairs for the subway. Poor Catherine had to carry the stroller up and down a million times.

We had to visit Grand Central Station, of course! What an amazing place. 

I loved Times Square! There was a guy in the middle of the street, wearing only his underwear and an indian headdress. He was playing the guitar.

We had pizza in Time Square. The cheesecake was so yummy.

I really, really wanted to find this statue of Balto. He was a sled dog who delivered medicine to children. I am still amazed that Catherine was able to find it!

This was the "Survivor Tree" at Ground Zero. This tree was the only tree to live after September 11th. It was moved to another park and then it was knocked over in a storm, but it still managed to survive!

This is one of the fountains that is in the exact location of one of the twin towers.

I loved all the unusual people in New York! We would all fit right in! 

A 15 minute ride on the horse drawn carriage was $50! This was the first time Victoria had ever seen a real horse. Pretty funny that she had to come to another city to see one! 

We are very glad to be home, but I sure hope we can visit again soon! 


  1. She looks wonderful!!!!
    You are wise to think about surgeries and weight the costs to her childhood. We didn't do everything doctors wanted, because we had to weigh out how emotions played into it.
    The best advice I have ever gotten was from a prosthetist who said, FUNCTION! Don't do too much or you could go backwards. They call those "cadillac kids"...... the money to keep on fixing, but it doesn't help.

  2. FUN!!! Well, not the PT and doctor stuff but the rest!!!!!! I don't blame you one bit for waiting about making decisions on surgeries, etc. Who knows what this little one will accomplish and do in these next months?! If it were me I'd wait too. ;-)

  3. Great news that Victoria may be walking soon. And YAY for a lighter walker!
    LOVE your NYC pics! I have only been there once. I was amazed by all the different smells, like a new (or not so new) smell every block. AND, I saw the same man in the headress and undies!
    Thanks for sharing your trip.

  4. I haven't got any personal experience from such surgeries, so maybe I should just remain quiet. But I think you are right to think about Victoria enjoying life too. She has been through so much, and I guess she really needs peace and happiness, and maybe then good-enough-feet will be good enough for a while, instead of the-best-feet-possible.... And she really seems to enjoy herself! Such a darling child!

  5. Ahhh, before I moved to NH I was in NYC! Next time you are going to be there, i may have to come say hi!!!

  6. My daughter loved the movie Balto. When we were thinking about a visit to NYC I googled like crazy trying to find out where the statue was or if it was even real. I never found a thing!
    I'm glad to know it is real. I love the story of the brave dog.

  7. I loved these pictures. I esp. like the one of Victoria with you sitting by the railroad tracks. All of you sound so wise commenting about postponing any surgeries in order to give Victoria an opportunity to finally enjoy her life and not be encumbered with painful procedures, at least for awhile. I feel this way as an older adult who tires easily of so many high maintenance measures as therapy, medicines, fix-this-fix-that. IMO, do what your mother's (and father's) heart tells you as her #1 champion!


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