"We are so blessed to have been given such a nice grant. With out of state adoptions there are many costs that are unknown and even unexpected. We incurred a lot of expenses from two unexpected plane tickets to North Carolina on a matter of an hour’s notice, two and a half driving trips of 15+ hours to and from North Carolina/Arkansas. Two diff. lodging arrangements, multiple doctor visits, food, etc. We were able to use a credit card for most of these expenses and this grant helped to relieve some of that financial burden. All well worth it for the blessing we received! Thank you again for giving us this gift!"
So we were able to celebrate both Hope's first birthday and her adoption ,that was finalized on April 24th, on May 5th Cinco de Mayo. We thought that was so fitting since she is Latino! We wanted to celebrate her heritage. We also went to Florida to see family and take a Disney Cruise in celebration of the adoption and several other family events. On September 12th we celebrated her one year anniversary of her open heart surgery and last weekend we participated in our first Inclusion Walk that supports our local Down syndrome organization. Hope is turning 18 months on Sunday and she has two teeth, she's crawling on her hands and knees and just started to self feed last week! We still have many obstacles to overcome but she's rocking and rolling along through her milestones on her own time schedule! We are just so blessed to have her in our lives and couldn't imagine life without her!
Not a single day goes by that we don't feel blessed to have Hope on our lives and it's just competely amazing to us that WE were chosen by God to be her parents /sister. Okay enough gushing! Hope is 2! Unbelievable! She is starting to walk but only a few steps here and there but she's determined and she will get right back up every time she falls! She also thinks it's fun to fall on her bum. A year ago she was army crawling, so she's come a long way. She says some words. Some of her words sound the same but are distinctly different in various contexts. She's sassy as can be, loves her dog but we are trying to teach her to be gentle with him and to us! Screaming is starting to finally calm down as she learns to communicate and/or we learn to decipher. She's been cleared for yearly heart visits so that's a yay and had minimal illnesses this year, another yay. She has a mouthful of teeth I'm afraid to count (12 last time I did). She loves everything music! We've started to introduce potty training with no high expectations but will try more intensely this summer when it's just her and me and no interruptions in her daily schedule. She will be starting at a highly recommended developmental school in the toddler room in mid July. They will be helping us reach some of her goals in potty training, self feeding (with utensils) and communication as well as the opportunity to socialize with her own peers. I'm a nervous wreck about it but we know it's best for her. Thank you again for your generous gift and I cannot wait until some day we can share a huge donation to the foundation for another lucky mom and dad to be!