Abby has been such a blessing to our family. We are forever thankful, more than you can possibly imagine. She is a perfect fit for our family and her personality has blossomed SOOOOOOOOO MUCH since she now has a family. She is an excited and sweet girl with strong opinions at times. She has bonded extremely well with her new siblings, Bailey and Taylor, and we are so grateful and blessed to have her as a part of our family. We cannot imagine her having to grow up in an orphanage without a family.
Abby has come out of her shell more and more every day. When I spent time with her at the orphanage in Lithuania, she was stand-offish from me…somewhat uncomfortable being around me as a guy. She is anything but that now. The minute she landed at the airport, that went out the door. She LOVES to cuddle with me. I rock Bailey and Abby before bed every night and spend a half hour or so with them. We read the Bible and pray together. I love spending time with that girl.
She gets along very well with her sister and brother. Taylor has responded so positively towards her and she has responded the same towards him. She loves him very much, as does he to her. Bailey and Abby have started playing together a little. They have a tussle over toys sometimes, but it is really neat to see them give each other hugs and “high fives”. They are friends. They make great roommates too!
Abby can sleep through ANYTHING. She goes to sleep in about 5 seconds and sleeps like a rock all night long. Abby loves to have fun. On Easter weekend, we played with lots of bubbles outside and she loved chasing them around and popping them. They helped her with her coordination. She is thriving with her speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. I can see marked improvements since she has started therapy in the U.S. On Saturday, we went to a theme park called Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio. Morgan’s Wonderland is a fairly large theme park designed precisely for children with special needs. Abby and Bailey, along with Taylor, loved it. Abby especially loved playing in the water with the water guns. She had a wonderful time.
Abby has really bonded with extended family, and each one has LOVED getting to know her. They cannot get enough of her. Her two older cousins that live a couple of minutes away absolutely love spending time with her and showing her love. Her aunts and uncles love to play with Abby and hold her. Abby made her first overnight trip, actually for two nights, to go spend the weekend with her Grandma and Papaw (my parents) a couple of hours away. She had a blast and didn’t seem to miss Christy or I at all. We missed her a ton, however, and were so excited to get her back. She is such a vital part of our family now, and we have a hard time being away from her. It is hard to imagine our family without her now.
Abby gets very excited every day when I get home from work. She is almost always standing at the door or nearby when I come in and reaching her hands out saying “up, up, up”. I pick her up and cuddle her. Abby got her new glasses a month or so ago and she wears them very well. They fit her well and have a band to keep them on her head. She doesn’t seem to mind them and is so beautiful with them on.
We are still fighting the issue with her dry skin…I am actually going to take her to the doctor this week to try some different creams or something. Her skin gets dry and red, but not nearly as bad as it was at the orphanage. I think that the warmer weather is helping.
Abby loves to put shorts or a dress on and go outside and play in the warm weather. It is now very warm in our part of Texas, and Abby seems to like it. Her favorite things to do in our backyard are to swing, which she loves for me to push her as high on the swing as I feel comfortable. The higher the better for her. It is me that has to decide not to push her any higher, because she will go as high as I will push her and she loves it. She also LOVES playing in the sandbox. She will play in the sandbox for very long periods of time by herself or with me. She can sit there on her own and have so much fun in the sand. We plan to take her to the beach this summer.
Abby is picking up on English INCREDIBLY well. She has amazed me. She knows and understands soooooooo many words. And, she can say a lot of words very clearly. She talks very well. And, she can do the sign language for just about every word that she can say. She is an extremely smart girl. She amazes me every day how well she has learned English and how clear she speaks it.
We had a big party for Abby's 3rd birthday at a place called Gymboree, which is a play center for children around her age. She excitedly worked the room and played with all the toys. She also had fun with her friends. We had three or four other children around her age with Down syndrome there as well. They were all excited to spend time with each other. Abby enjoyed eating her cupcake, getting it all over her face, and she and Bailey stood by the bowl of pretzel crackers and ate as many as they could fit in their mouth in the permitted time.
We are blessed to have Abby in our family!
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Since our beginnings, An Open Door has always felt a strong call to provide orphan children with loving, Christian homes.
There are more than 153 million children in the world who have lost at least one parent, and there 8 million children living in orphanages -- not counting those living on the streets or trafficked as slaves. Every year, there are also thousands of birth parents who face the incredibly hard decision to place their child with the best family possible. What a humbling privilege it is to be there for these children and families.
Since 1987, An Open Door Adoption Agency, Inc. has placed over 2,100 children. These include 1,400+ children from the state of Georgia and 700+ international orphans. Each of these precious lives represents many more people touched by adoption -- from the birth parents to the adoptive couple to the children themselves. What a great privilege it is to be there for them to complete their desire for a family.