The Boroughs Family

The Boroughs Family

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Irina

Six years ago we met Irina in an Eastern European orphanage a few days before her 4th birthday. I will never forget her entrance into the room to meet us. I was smitten and terrified at the same time. My heart sank when I realized she had Autism. It was definitely on my list of "can nots". Then the orphanage doctor assured us we did not want her. Oh how wrong she was! We DID want her. As terrified as I was of autism, there was no doubt we were bringing this little girl home.

No, it has not been easy. There are days that autism is a tough pill to swallow. There have been so many times I didn't have a clue what to do or how to address behaviors. We have been stretched and stressed. Somedays we are so focused on the minute to minute we can't see the big picture, and we forget the tremendous growth and changes that have taken place across the span of six years.

Six years ago, this child had no language. I had never encountered a child that made no verbal sounds aside from grunts or growls. Irina now knows more signs than I can count! Her verbal speech has exploded in the last year, and she has begun using an augmentative speech app.

This little girl who could barely tolerate physical contact is so affectionate. She makes eye contact. She loves to eat ALL textures, and feeds herself. This year she is so excited for her birthday, really for the first time! She keeps telling me it's her "Happy birthday ", that she wants presents and a new bathing suit (this girl swims like a fish!) and cake. She also picked pizza for her birthday dinner!

It has been hard, but she is worth it! Happy Birthday sweet girl!

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