Friday, May 28, 2010


We have enjoyed getting to know Alina over the past six weeks! Here is what we have learned about our newest little girl:

Alina is self-assured, adaptable and good-natured. She is curious and active, with definite ideas and seemingly boundless energy.

She is alert—and very observant. She smiles and laughs easily. She’s interested in people and enjoys social interaction. She likes to give “fist bumps,” and “fives” and “high one’s” (with her index finger). She waves at every. single. person. she sees at the grocery store.

Alina likes to try to do things for herself. We believe she began walking just over 6 months ago, so she is still really a “toddler” and can be wobbly at times. That does not stop her from trying anything. She does not hold back—she’s on a mission, and does literally everything with purpose.

Alina is very sharp--she is a quick study. She understands how to play with toys (which buttons to push, how they work). She is a little Houdini, and has figured out how to get out of her crib and how to take her Onesies off by slipping them over her shoulders and down. (Notice the ribbon tie on the picture works! For now.) Chris keeps saying, Don't show Alina how you did that! (unhooking a safety latch on the cabinet, or getting her out of the harness on her carseat, for example). She watches once, and it is over :).

Alina is an interesting mixture of active and content. As seen in the last post, she plays with gusto. She works hard at playing. She plays for long periods of time (by herself or with others), and has a very good attention span (if, of course, the object or activity is something she is interested in!).

Like most children, she likes to be praised and does not like to be scolded.

Alina is expressive. (Who knew, from her profile pictures??)

She enjoys: eating, books, phones, pretend play (baby dolls, cleaning, kitchen), things she can carry (purses, bags and buckets), and playing “dress up” (i.e., dressing and undressing).

Her speech is delayed (though we are not sure exactly how much since her native language is Russian!), but her total communication is quite good. She not only understands much of what we ask of her in English, but she is also beginning to communicate some of her wants and needs using a variety of strategies (facial expressions, sounds, gestures, signs). She is beginning to repeat sounds for us as well.

Since Alina has been home, she has learned to say: book, more (“muh”), cup (“puh”), mama, hi, and “Buh!” for Bridget.

She is signing: more, apple, gentle, sad, and cup. She waves “hi” and “bye-bye”.

Alina keeps us running...and smiling...and giving thanks on an hourly basis.

She is a delightful child, who is so full of life and potential. She is a wonderful daughter...

...and we feel lucky to be able to call her our own...

Up next: Alina & Bridget--how they are adjusting and NEW PICS :)


  1. Oh that last photo is so sweet. What an awesome post, Lisa. The "1" with the index finger made me smile, because John Michael's relatives from Holland taught him that. Maybe it's a Euro/Russian thing? Who knows. I love the update on all she can and is doing and how eager she is to learn and do. Sounds like she's on a fast track to take it all in and be just like her new siblings.

  2. All I can say is, "who would have thought?". Your and Chris's ability to see the potential beyond the profile picture still inspires me!

    She is such a doll--that first picture is amazing! What a cutie-pie!


  3. OH, I just LOVED reading this update on beautiful Alina!! What a wonderful addition to your family... and what a very lucky little girl. I just can't imagine what might have happened if she hadn't been adopted... but I can't let myself think about that - it's too much to bear.

    I'll be continuing my efforts to raise funds for Reece's Rainbow.

  4. I have a lump in my throat! This was so fun to read....what an absolute little doll she is! That top picture tells it all about how she feels.... :)

  5. I am totally amazed it's the same girl in the profile picture! Truly amazing.

    Just goes to show NOT to put too much stock in a picture, because the 'bigger picture' is SO MUCH BIGGER.

    She is beautiful...a gem.

  6. This is a wonderful update on your daughter. She looks like a delightful handful!!! So glad you and your family stepped up and out...what a blessing you were given in return!

  7. So glad to hear everything is going well! Alina sounds like a cute mess! She and Bridget should provide many smiles! Can't wait for more pics---

  8. It makes me smile so much that one of the first things she learned to say was Bridget (her version of it at least), those two are adorable together!