Thursday, December 1, 2011

A bit about Reni

Thought it was time I do a little more of an introduction of the new kids and what they are really like.  Not sure why I started with Reni but I did.  She's a sweetheart.  She is.  She is quiet but does have a voice and can use it.   She and Logan have a true sib relationship.  Right down to the fighting.  They would really hit and hurt each other over in Bulgaria.  And, we all know we have to kind of "go w/ the flow" till we're on our own turf so to speak.  Where they can be punished for bad behavior, separated, etc.  Since we have been in our own home, they have only fought ONCE!  I can't believe it myself since over there in the apartment it almost seemed nonstop.  Give it time , they'll do it again.  LOL. 

Anyhow, Reni is 9yo.  She is delayed but not too much.  Most of it orphanage delays.  Though I know some of it is academic.  Reni is very motivated to learn English.  Whereas her brother was not, in Bulgaria, she was soaking it up from us and really wanting to learn new words.  Proud of everyone of them.  She has slipped right into the family.  She and Alyona are great friends and sisters.  Though some times there is posession on whose clothes are whose.  They have to share as both are in identical sizes.  7/8 girls.  Both in the same size shoe too.  Two peas in  a pod.  Reni loves to help out and adores being praised. 

Reni has some medical issues we are working on.  They were not able to obtain enough blood so have to redo some bloodwork and get an x-ray for that positive TB test last week.  Logan already had his x-ray...negative.  Reni needs a plastic surgeon for whatever it is on her nose.  We think rocks may still be embedded in her.  Before her orphanage in Shumen, she was in another orphanage.  There, a boy beat her with a rock in the face.  Don't know the why of it but she was definitely younger than 7  just based on transfer records. We got this info from her brother as it was being translated from the doctor on our first summer visit.  I will be making that appointment in the near future but want to find a good surgeon.  Someone on here already recommended one that we'll be checking out soon.  Knowing how teens are, this will help her I do believe.  Reni recently received glasses that she has been without for quite some time.  We tried to buy some for her in June when we went but that did not work out.  She went to a specialist the Monday after we got home(Friday).  He said she has alternating strambismus which is great b/c she can use both eyes.  She is a +5 in both eyes but he gave her a +4.25 script.  She could SEE!  She wouldn't be falling any more. This would correct for the most part, all her vision issues. 

Ignore the terminator eye.  We think she looks wonderful in her new glasses. 

Besides some medical stuff, there is some mental distress going on.  Reni is  a very hurt child.  I don't know if it is solely from the rock incident or not.  Example, the other day I went to reach for something above Reni's head.  She ducked and covered like I was going to beat her.  Same thing in Bulgaria when you go near her, she'd flinch like crazy.  I went to brush her hair one day and she moves like a foot away.  It's hard as these are signs that she has suffered something tragic yet we dont' know what it is.  Maybe she'll be able to tell us in time.  For now, we must make her feel safe and secure.  She's getting there.  There is less flinching if someone from the family approaches her or attempts to brush her hair.  Don't get me wrong, still flinching but much less noticeable.  Once she gains more language, we will be able to ask her questions and maybe help her further in her healing.  A child should never have to worry about feeling unsafe in their own environment.  Reni is very nervous about many things.  Got over the airplane fear though.  She's still working on her fear of dogs.  Took her awhile to even want to navigate the house alone.  And that's okay.  She is to go at her own pace and feel comfortable.  I think she is getting there.  Here is what she drew the other day:

Just a bright cheery picture.  She said it was our house.  Yes, we really do have a fence on one side.  Don't ask, long story w/ the dogs.  Love her heart balloons and flowers.  Just seems like a pleasant drawing to me from a girl getting comfortable in her family. 

This young girl is going to blossom.  I just know it.  She is very well loved here, safe, and secure.  Learning English.  Oh, they just got back from getting her glasses fixed at Walmart.  On the way out, Warren said Reni said goodbye to everyone.  Last person, she said "bye ya'all."  Umm yep, comfortable here in the south.  Over the next few months I will document her progress b/c I feel she will make tremendous strides.  She just has such a sweet side to her.  And this one LOVES to give and receive hugs and kisses.  It's just nice to see.  

I have realized over the years she has missed out on a lot.  The first few nights in the apartment she wanted me to wash her hair.  Not b/c she couldn't, but b/c she had never had anyone do that before.  She longed for that gentle physical touch I think.  She was trying the first night to give us a kiss on the cheek but did not know how.  Can you imagine being 9yo and never being kissed goodnight?  I know many go for infants and young children but the older ones have so much to give as well.  they long for love, closeness, family.  They really do.  I see that in Reni a lot.  Trust me, she gets hugs quite often around here.  

These things above are things that you will not find in a medical.  It is something you learn along the way.  We are very familiar w/ this type of issue as one of our other children had similar issues when arriving home.  It takes time to heal them but it can be done.  It will be done here.  We love them too much not to. 

Reni is quiet but loves to play.  She can jump high on the trampoline and is learning how to ride a bike.  She has a genuine motivation and drive for learning.  It is great to see.  I do believe she will be a real teacher to others.  In many ways.  I can not wait to see how her story unfolds.  The little events mean so much to her.  I want her to experience many new things in life.  I want to be able to give her some lovely things just for her.  Reni is wonderful about sharing.  She shares whatever is given to her.  Even if it is food or candy.  She is always there to give you what she has.  I think it's time someone gave her something.  Be rest assured, Reni is loved here.  By all.  It is nice for her to see what love is and what a family means.  She was passed over for 9 years.  9 years.  Please, please consider an older child for adoption.  They really open you up to what is important in life.  Thanks for listening and I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about Ms. Reni. 


  1. She is a cutie!
    And I believe she has come to the right place.

  2. Reni is a beautiful little girl. I want to ask if it's possible for her to have some clothing items that are hers only? She's always had to wear the orphanage clothing and it seems like she could learn a lot about being important enough/valuable and deserving for the first time in her life. I'm sure that Alyona has some things that are just hers and would understand that some things are not public property. That she could ask to borrow something and Reni could learn about sharing. Just a thought.
    As for the part about her flinching...that breaks my heart! Sounds like she was hurt pretty seriously in her past. I have the same reaction to someone making a sudden, unexpected movement around my head. And, I know exactly why I respond that way. I too, was a very hurt and damaged little girl. Sometimes, even with the best therapy and love, the fear doesn't go away. It's a built-in reflex and a way to protect yourself. You're not even aware of it. I'm so glad she has a family to love her!