"Adventures, I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull...But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually...I expect they had a lot of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten."

-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day! Three years ago, I knew next to nothing about Cerebral Palsy. In my ignorant mind, CP was completely debilitating. Wheelchairs and non verbal and downright scary. I didn't know what really caused it, nor did I pay much attention to treatments and therapies and AFO's and the people themselves who were affected by CP.

Then, I seen this-

And I also seen this next to her picture-
"Cerebral Palsy, working on her walking!'
And I started overworking Google. I read blogs by parents of children with CP. I bookmarked pages and poured over statistics and information for hours. And then, I casually left the page with her picture and info on it up on my laptop, strategically placed on the counter where hubby would see it. He walked in that night, looked at her pic and said 'she's cute, whats her story?'

It was all downhill from there. We knew she was ours, and I still cant' look at this picture without smiling and remembering how I just KNEW. We were very hesitant about the Cerebral palsy, but it was our own ignorance. Clearly she could sit up and smile and who could say she wasn't seriously cute! So we jumped.

And we learned. We met our girl on October 1st, 2010. I will never forget how my heart sank when the nanny stood her up and she was so weak and bent over, she had no idea how to stand up on her own legs and had zero balance. But when I sat down next to her and she leaned over and smiled at me, I said 'hi', and she said 'hi' right back to me. The next 4 weeks were spent getting to know our girl in an environment that was not conductive to actually bonding and teaching. We had to 'turn her in' every day after our visits. This was clearly affecting her. We made progress, but it was slow.

Fast forward two (!!) years and lots of physical therapy, going to school, and most importantly, being loved unconditionally by a family, our girl is pure sunshine! Is Cerebral Palsy hard? Of course. There are days that I just want to scream! I want her to walk and run and roll in the grass and then be able to get back up after. She has come so far..... she can walk on her own! She can get up off the floor on her own in two different ways! She's talking non.stop. and learning so fast, things are really clicking for her. But there are days where I long for her to be like her peers physically.

I watch her today, wearing her backpack around because she starts preschool this afternoon (her second year in this program, we love it!) and talking non stop about her friends and school and the bus and painting and books and circle time and PT and the teachers (by name!) and I know she will be ok. She is loved. And that has made all the difference.

(click the image below to read other blogs celebrating World Cerebral Palsy Day today, and link up yourself if you are a blogger!)
 Stumbo Family Story


Christy said...

ok, this made me cry! She is an amazing little girl. And you guys are proof that love works wonders

Jenny Hill said...

I know she'll be okay...she is loved. I think that says it all!

Susan Godfrey said...

I've been following your adoption story here recently and I would really like to help you get closer to your adoption. I have a soft spot in my heart for Downs Syndrome kids and special needs kids. I am a Tupperware consultant and Tupperware has a very generous Fundraising program. I have recently hosted 2 of these Fundraisers for other families adopting and they have done well. I would love to host one for your family and help you get closer to what you need for your adoption.

Fundraisers Receive:

40% of the online sales totals. Tupperware will issue you one check within 2 weeks after the fundraiser closes.

Let me know if you have any questions, I'll be happy to see if I can answer them. If you would like to set up an adoption fundraiser, just email me and let's see how much we can raise for y'all!! I'll be happy to put you in touch with the other 2 families I've worked with and answer any questions you might have.

Susan Godfrey

Jessie @ Dream and Differ said...

Those back to school photos today were so great! Alina looks so big, it's hard to believe she's the same girl in this photo. Beautiful post, beautiful girl, beautiful family. You guys are amazing and I'm proud to call you my friend <3