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all done

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

When we first brought 'Punky' home from Russia in '02 there was a big language barrier. Not only she couldn't speak our language or understand a single thing we said to her, at 20 months old she wasn't even speaking Russian. To try and make the transition a little easier, we did what a lot of parents do...we taught her some sign language.
Things like, 'eat', 'drink', 'more' (an absolute favorite!) and 'all done.'
The motions were easy for her to do and helped make her transition and the terrible twos a little bit more manageable.
Today, she is a beautiful, healthy, care-free, vivacious six year old. Full of energy, spunk and determination. A little girl who knows her mind and definitely knows how to express it! :)
Tonight she used those words to do something that a year ago I didn't think would be possible. She passed her AWANA Skipper handbook. To a six-year-old in AWANA this is a really big deal. And to her mama it's a very proud moment.
It's not that I didn't think she could do it. She has the ability to do anything she puts her mind to. It's just that when things don't come as easily for her as for her brothers, she tends to get frustrated. But this little girl, who has amazed me so many times before, amazed me yet again this year. She kept at it. She worked hard and she passed not only the whole book, she has retained every verse she has learned this year and the books of the New Testament! Not only that, but she finished before any of the other kids in her group. (Alright...now I'm bragging! :)
It's amazing to realize that this confident, beautiful, healthy child is the same scared, shy, skinny little Punky we brought home almost five years ago. Only now she doesn't have to show palms up for 'all done.'
Above: Punky (20 mo.) looks out of the window of the apartment in Syktyvkar, Russia a few days into our 10-day wait.

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