Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy 15th Birthday Yana!!!

Wow, how the time has flown.  Yana is 15 today.  She came to us when she was 8.5 years old.  Though little, she had already lived a life time of hardship.  I will not go through a how far she's come post.  Instead, this is a time to celebrate a little girl that has turned into a remarkable young lady.  No, I never thought we'd get here.  Not my lazy RADish.  LOL.  Last night, she was doing homework from 3:30 to 10:30.  She does this every night. Except for the hour she runs, she is doing school work.  Yana has said she wants to go to early college.  She is trying so incredibly  hard.  Keep in mind, she went from a 2nd/ 3rd grade reading level last year to an on grade level this year.  She is in 8th grade and ON grade level.  Grammar still stinks but other than that, amazing transformation.  Yana wants to try out for track in the spring and that would do her good I think.  She loves running.  It is just hard to believe that had she stayed in Russia, none of this would have been possible.  She would inevitably been out on the streets prostituting.  How do I know?  This is what they were "training" her for when we got her at 8.5yo.  Not kidding.  From what we've heard over the years, her older sister was headed down this path of no return.  We had even heard at one point she was into drugs.  Don't know but from what we've gathered of Yana's orphanage, Yana did not have options once she got out.  Now, her whole future is bright.  She HAS goals, she HAS dreams, she HAS a family.  Plain and simple.  Though we missed many a birthdays in the beginning, it is just as wonderful to celebrate them w/her now.  You can see the dreams in her eyes.

One day, I had accidentally left out a sheet of paper that listed all the characteristics of different disorders.  She asked which ones she had.  I told her.  One day, I went into her room and hanging on her bulletin board were the listed characteristics.  Alongside it, goals of how she would change each one.  Though she knows she has FAE and RAD and PTSD and some other things, she also knows she & only she has the power to overcome many of those things that go w/ these disorders.  Had I known this is what it took to change, I would have made her write those years ago!  Yana is celebrating her birthday w/ a very fresh attitude and new lease on life this year.  Wonderful to watch her grow and hoping it will continue.

 Yana's referral picture before she was hosted by us.  No dreams, huh?

This was Yana a few months after arriving home.  Still very tall.  

This is Yana this summer.  Definitely full of life.  Full of hopes and dreams. 

We wish our daughter a very Happy 15th Birthday!  With many more to come.  She will be having a roller skating party w/ a couple of friends who will then spend the night tomorrow.  They have early release at school tomorrow and then no school on Friday so it works out.  Happy, Happy 15th Birthday Yana!  We love you.  Now, if I can keep all the "littles" out of the cake today.


  1. Wow oh wow! what a transformation. Happy birthday to Yana.

  2. Happy Birthday Yana!! I LOVE what you wrote about Yana!! It is so true about her future if she stayed in Russia - I am so happy that she found her forever family and has all her Wishes and Dreams!!

    We are in the process of adoptin again - an older sibling group (girl-10 and boy-14) from Estonia. Our agency told us that at 16/17 years old the kids are ask to leave the orphanage with no money, little education and no support. So they have no options at that age and inevitably turn to prostitution or crime.
    I wish you the best with your kids and your new adoption journey!!

    Best wishes,