One Year Later

Camilla’s first year at home has been one amazing adventure!  We loved Camilla before we ever met her, as we tried to imagine what she would be like.  We pictured her as this sweet, quiet little girl who would love to snuggle and everything would just be peachy!  We have spent the last year falling in love with her all over again.  We have had really hard times where I feared life would always be pretty difficult.  We have had discouraging moments and still do sometimes.  We have gone from not knowing what the heck we are doing to kind of having a handle on things, or at least hoping we do.  We were saved and given hope by awesome doctors, therapists, teachers, and friends.  But oh the joy!  We have witnessed miracles, learned to love more, be more tolerant, made more friends, grown as a family, laughed, cried, sometimes yelled, and most of all been amazed by this little girl.  She is pure joy, and we love her more every day.

That sweet, quiet girl we pictured before we went to China….yea, well, Camilla is sweet, but she is not quiet.  She is crazy!  She is loud, fun, strong, amazing, and soooo full of energy.  We call her “Boozer” because when she came home, she walked kindof like a drunk person!  She also reminds us very much of this Boo:

She loves music and can pick it out better than any child I know.  Her favorite toys are musical and she will only watch shows with signing.  She loves to sing songs with actions on our lap and tries hard to do them on her own.  She loves swimming, and  wants to swim and jump off the edges of the pool all by herself.  She jumped all summer on her trampoline, and can do bum plants.   She loves for us to jump and bounce her.  This girl has NO FEAR!   If she could live at The Little Gym she would.  She has learned to run, do somersaults, walk on the balance beam, and climb.  Her favorite thing to do is jump….jump off beds, furniture, into someone’s arms, or jump to music.  Camilla is in Preschool, which she loves.  Every day after school, she runs thru the front door, tumbles over the couch arm,  and laughs her head off.  Camilla doesn’t talk, but has learned some words and signs this year.  Kayla is the best sister and is especially good at teaching her to talk.  She learned to say mom, daddy, zzz for zack, ayla for kayla, yuck, GO!, gum, and bum.  She knows the signs for milk, come, jump, sit, socks, and a few others but doesn’t like to use them much to our frustration.  She understands many words and commands, but doesn’t always obey.  🙂  Overall she is great.  She is especially accomplished at making noises, and loves to hit her cheek with her thumb.  She has exceptional fine motor skills and loves to put things on her fingers and touch everything.  She is the cutest ballerina, who doesn’t listen to her teachers.  We are constantly working on that whole listening thing in general!   Camilla’s laugh is our favorite, it is contagious.  She is mostly happy, and we can’t help but be happy around her.

This year Camilla has had a lot of helpers–her doctors at Primary Children’s  who keep her tummy and brain happy with careful metabolic precision, her OT therapist who is probably her favorite person because swings her and plays, her doctor who prescribed sleep meds to save our sanity, her sweet dentist who gave her surgery, many amazing school teachers who taught us much and loved her so well, and countless friends who make our world go round.  Most of all, she has amazing siblings who love her, play, babysit, and all around are the best friends a girl could have.

While sometimes progress seems slow, Camilla has grown leaps and bounds this year.  She has gone from not being able to walk up stairs, having low muscle tone to having muscles that can rival Thor’s little sister.  She had little eye contract or attention span at first, but now she engages often,  wants to play constantly, and follows us around.    She has gone from nightly sleep terrors to– still not liking to sleep– but loving being in her little bed or being rocked to sleep at night.  She has gone from never smiling to laughing and being comfortable in her world.  She has learned to love and to snuggle.  She has gone from being an orphan to learning she is loved in her forever family.

Choosing to bring Camilla home has been on of the most beautiful experiences of our lives and we are grateful for all it has brought.   We love you Boozey!

♥  Amy