While we had initially thought we would keep Ruslana at home for awhile and home school, we decided that at this point she would do best in a school setting. For one, she is used to going to school in Ukraine. She seems to thrive and be more comfortable in a structured environment. Second, she is used to being around other kids all the time. While she likes being around us and Scarlett, I think she is missing the social interaction that she has grown accustom to. Third, I think she'll learn English quicker by utilizing the ESL tools at school and having a teacher trained to help her learn the language. Because there's only about eight weeks left of the school year, we figure we can use this time as a trial period and reevaluate after that.
After we toured the elementary school we went and got pedicures. I've been saving a gift card since Christmas and I decided that now was the perfect time to use it. She picked yellow for her toenail polish. Not the color I'd choose, but to each his own. She didn't seem to show a lot of emotion during the pedicure:
It was a great birthday spent at home with my family and new daughter. I am so thankful and blessed.
However, I'm not going to lie, this week has been difficult and trying. The transition hasn't been easy. Ruslana is testing us constantly. Today I told her she couldn't get in the pool and to spite me she jumped in the pool fully clothed--including her tennis shoes. She's had meltdowns where she cries, screams, kicks, and hits. Meal times are a struggle. She doesn't always see the need to obey us. Yesterday she took the keys out of the car's ignition while Mark was driving and then threw papers out the window. Things aren't perfect. But going from an orphanage setting to a home setting is one that will take time, love, and patience. I just need to remind myself that it won't happen overnight.
But as with most things in life, the low points are followed by high points. Take for instance the notes she put around the house this afternoon expressing her love (or "lofe" as she wrote) for her mama, papa, and relatives:
Or the fun time we had playing on the playground:
Or the darling poses she makes:
High and low, we love this girl!