life on the funny farm

Friday, January 16, 2009


Third by birth order but fourth to join our family, Bella is quite possibly the sweetest child on earth. As my sister says, she is a muffin. A love muffin that could cuddle with you all day and not tire of it. She is observant and nurturing and bright .... in her own way. She also has a learning disability as well as a speech impairment, but she doesn't let those things slow her down. What she lacks in ability she makes up for in effort and eagerness, and is generally an honor roll student, witht he help of her loving teachers and learning support staff. Her tastes in playthings/entertainment have matured considerably in the last couple years. Where she loved playing with Barbies and babies and kitchen, she now prefers her DS and her iPod and watching the shows required of all preteen girls, like Hanna Montana, Zoey 101 and HS Musical.

Sadly, as she and her school peers get older, they are beginning to notice differences more and pull away. Although it bothers her for the "pop-a-lar girls" to treat her badly, she has never let it destroy her world, and still has a smile on her face and love in her heart when she goes off to school. Don't know how long she'll be able to not let it get to her, but I'll continue to talk to her about it and support her through it the best I can.

She's a paradox on two legs. She would be a couch potato if I let her, and yet she's definitley got athletic talent. She's great at gymanstics, dancing, and ice skating (the latter she is taking lessons for currently). She's also quite a good shot with the basketball, though it's funny to see this little shrimp of a girl so accurately sink the ball through the net time and time again.

She still loves her homeland of Kazakhstan, and her trip there with us in 2008 was probably the highlight of her 11 years. She has some fond memories of orphanage life, where she spent her first almost six years, but she can remember some pretty traumatic events, too. Perhaps because of that, there is still not a day that goes by that she doesn't appreciate just about everything, and she relishes life. Each day I learn from her. She is truly one of my role models.

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