Where Did I Come From?
I am more and more amazed each day at how much life has gotten back to normal and routine already. On so many levels, it feels like Dasha has been here in our family all her life. She has truly become just another regular member of our family. Her English continues to improve (too much sometimes, as she has picked up the habit of saying "I know, I know" just like the other kids!) and she has settled into school and our routine. She comes home each day and sits down to do her homework, with help from us, of course. Her language development is at the point now where she is starting to blur the lines between Russian and English, often times asking me how to say a word in English, only to find out that she was saying it in English. Last week she asked me how to say "breakfast" in English. I laughed and said "breakfast". She kept saying "No - in English, not Russian". When I said "No silly, breakfast in Russian is zaftrak" she got this look on her face of confusion and surprise when she realized she was starting to think in English. One of the best parts about this stage is that it has elevated her impression of my Russian. She told Jeff last week that she was sure that mommy knew all Russian and English, which is true if that means that there are only about 20 words in Russian!
She is really opening up about her experiences at the orphanage and with the other family that adopted her for a short period of time in Kazakhstan. It sounds like there was a very nice grandmother at the home where she lived, and I am so thankful for that. The thought of her spending a month in a home with parents that were not able to provide love for her is really too much to think about, so at least it sounds like someone in the home was nice to her. At this point she does not have a memory of her birth mother, at least not one she is conscious of. She actually does not remember ever not being in the orphanage. Last weekend while Jeff was surfing, Dasha and Jacob crawled into bed with me early in the morning. Dasha came in first and was chatting and snuggling. She pointed to my stomach and asked if my stomach was really big when Jacob was in my belly. I told her that my stomach got really big when Amber, Mitchell and Jacob each were in my belly. I tried to make my stomach as flat as possible to show her what it used to look like before any pregnancies, and then said that it is just squishy now. She started laughing and then said to me, "So I was in your stomach first and then I went to detsky dom?" Ooofff. "No sweetie - Amber and Mitchell and Jacob came from my tummy, but you came from my heart." She answered with, "Oh, so I was in your heart and then I was in your tummy?" "No sweetie - you came right from my heart." Later that day when we were all in the car together, Dasha started telling Amber and Mitchell that "you guys all came from mommy's tummy, but I came from her heart". My eyes were welling up a little bit until Jacob blurted out, "No Dasha - you came from Kazakhstan silly!!!" So much for tender moments! She does love to hear the story every night when we are putting her to bed about how God told us that he had another child waiting for us in Kazakhstan, and that He picked her to be our daughter, and we get to be her mommy and daddy forever. Jeff taught her to pray every night before she goes to bed, and her prayers have gotten so sweet. She thanks God for everything in her world - her family, her school, her friends, her clothes, her food, Disneyland, and then she always adds a part at the end where she says, "And please God, make my hair long when I wake up". Thanks to God and good nutrition, her hair is growing more every day, so it looks like God will be taking care of that prayer! Luckily for me, He has certainly answered all of mine, too!