I still remember how I felt the first time I saw a picture of this little girl of ours. Something in her eyes called out to me and she immediately had my heart.
She still does.
In fact, she has captured a lot of hearts. Our whole family is smitten with this imp of ours. It has been so much fun to have her in our family and to see the love that everyone has for her.
Sophi sparkles. I don't know how else to put it. Her spirit is full of life and light and spunk and sweetness. She is just the right combination of sugar and spice. She has brought so many smiles into our home. We love, love, love our baby girl!
Sophi's a bit of a rock star in our neighborhood. The kids love showing her off and take great pride in her. I had her at school one day and they boys wanted to introduce her to their classes. They both came home and said that the kids talked about her all day long. They love it, and I love watching them revel in her. We have one girl across our street (9 years old) who comes over often just to play with her and Lexi and to help me out. I laughed the other day when she called and asked, "Can Sophi play?" She came and got her and brought her to her house to hang out with her friends, and has done it a couple times since. Sohpi definitely knows how to steal hearts.
A bit about Soph:
She's almost 2 1/2 years old. Developmentally, she is a bit younger-- which is honestly fine with us! We love having a little one! Sophi's language is delayed. She only had a handful of words in Chinese, but understood a lot. She has already learned more English than Chinese. Her little voice is soooo sweet and cute. When we first got her, she would try a word here and there but was mostly quiet. It's been over two months now, and she is definitely more verbal. She has this cute little language called "Sophi." It's a combination of babbling, half-words, and little barks. (: We love listening to her. Our favorite thing right now is hearing her sing "Baby" by Justin Beiber. She get's really into it, singing, "baby, baby, baby oh!" She also has her little version of "twinkle twinkle" which most people wouldn't recognize as such, but we do. (:
Sophi was obviously born without arms, but what most people don't know is that she also has issues with her legs. Her right leg is 4 centimeters shorter than her left, and she is missing her fibula in that leg. The doctors at Shriner's are quite fascinated with her (their words.) She is complicated, because it is harder to know how to treat her legs when she relies on her legs and feet for everything. In a child with her leg issues, but who has arms, they would either do a series of leg lengthening surgeries, or amputate her right foot and give her a prosthetic. Either of these treatments could facilitate walking. However, with Sophi, it's a bit different. They are obviously not going to amputate her foot, as she NEEDS it. And surgeries pose the risk of messing with muscles and the mobility she has with her feet. So for now, we are doing nothing permanent. She has been given shoes made especially for her, with a lift in one. They're pretty cute, if you ask me. (: She has also been given a walker to help get her on her way to walking. When she wears the shoes and is in the walker, she does pretty well. Still, it will be a long time before she can figure out how to walk on her own. Right now, her preferred mode of travel is to scoot. She sits on her bottom and uses one leg, then the other, to pull herself forward. You would be amazed at how quickly she gets around this way. Also, we were thrilled to find out that she will be getting her own wheelchair, which she will maneuver with her shoulder. This will be a few months down the road, but we are so excited for her!! The wheelchair won't really work well in our house (neither does the walker) but it will be great to have outdoors and when we go other places. As the doctors at Shriner's said, she's a bright little girl that should be given the freedom to get where she wants to go.
Sophi receives occupational therapy in our home. Her therapist is actually from Hong Kong, so that is fun! Every therapist and doctor that has seen Sophi is thrilled with how she is doing and amazed by all she can do with her feet. She can draw, use a fork and spoon, pick up little objects and put them in containers, wrap up her baby doll and rock her, put iids on markers-- really just about anything she sets her mind to. We have no doubt that she will be capable of amazing things.
Sophi has a great sense of humor. She makes us laugh all the time. Late last nigh, Jeremy was kneeling on his bed saying his prayers, and I came up and tackled him from behind. We ended up in a tickle fight, all the time trying to shush each other because Sophi was asleep next to us. Our giggles eventually woke her up, and she pulled herself straight up in her crib, barely able to open her eyes, and started laughing right along with us. She's just so much fun.
If I only had one word to describe our Sophi, I'm not sure what it would be. Magnificent? Exquisite? Miraculous? She is those words and more. Jeremy and I are constantly talking about what a gift she is to us.
And those eyes still do to me what they did that first time I saw her picture.
I'm in love!