Monday, January 19, 2009

Kiana turns 9!

Kiana, my oldest, turned 9 today!! It feels so crazy for me to have a 9 year old! 2 years ago I was getting worried about getting too old before I had kids and now here I am at 27 years old with a 9 year old.

For her birthday, I made her a carrot cake (a little selfish - my favorite) with cream cheese frosting. Then, my mom came over and helped write her name on the cake.

She probably got the loudest, most wild rendition of "Happy Birthday" ever from her siblings. They were quite excited about celebrating this day with her.I sure do LOVE this girl!

In honor of Kiana turning 9, I wanted to write 9 things I LOVE about her.

1 - She has a big gorgeous grin that she sports about 95% of the time.

2 - She loves to please people and WANTS to do what is right.

3 - After people meet her and get to know her (especially teachers and therapists) they fall in love with her and try to attribute how well she is doing to her living in our home. If only that were true. I think people with such celestial spirits as her just come that way.

4 - She's a fighter with a determined spirit!
She doesn't let her physical disabilities get in her way. Although some things are more difficult for her to do, she takes so much pride in learning how to things for herself. Because the right side of her body has partial paralysis she often falls while she's walking or attempting to run. Nine out of 10 times after a fall, her reaction is her normal grin and a giggle, then she gets right back up and keeps on walking.

5 - She is a people person and people are attracted to her.
Her Cerebral Palsy effects her ability to produce speech but in no way does she let that slow her down in her efforts to communicate. When someone is around who knows sign language she excitedly tells them story after story. And if the person she's communicating with doesn't know sign, she amazes me with her ability to express herself. She is so creative and quick she can almost always get her point across.

6 - She is accepting of her lot in life.
There have been times she has felt overwhelmed with with how difficult everyday tasks can be for her. Things such as getting dresses, showering, enduring hours and hours of therapy, manipulating things with one hand instead of two, getting hurt after a bad fall and the frustration that comes with her limitations with communication. She has cried on my shoulder several times telling me that she just wants to be able to talk, or use her right hand, or have 2 strong legs. She asks me why she is the way she is.
I tell her that Heavenly Father made her. I tell her she IS the perfect Kiana because Heavenly Father doesn't make mistakes. He has a purpose for her being like she is. People are inspired by her and by all she can accomplish. I tell her that her spirit is SO pure. That she has a gift and ability to see into and love people like no one else I know. I tell her how blessed I am to have such a wonderful person as her in my home to remind me how to be happy no matter what we are called to endure.
She gives herself just a short time to mourn, to let herself get frustrated and then, she's over it. She is genuinly a happy person inside and out and doesn't let the hardships of the Earth overpower who her spirit is.

7 - She is HAPPY!
She has endured more in her short 9 years on Earth than most people ever will - neglect and abuse, multiple moves in foster care, not knowing what was going on, where she was or what to expect, not being able to express herself in the midst of all this turmoil and confusion (it's been just in the last 2 years that she's learned sign language), and all of her physical challenges on top of all that. Still she is one of the happiest people anyone will ever meet.
Did I mention that she inspires me?!

8 - Not only does she want to do the right thing and make good choices, she wants other people to as well. She is the ultimate example for her younger siblings, always trying to lead them in the right direction and prevent them from breaking the rules.

9 - She is MY daughter!
I LOVE that I get to call her my daughter. I hardly feel worthy of raising such a pure, sweet, heavenly spirit. I think she will teach me FAR more than I'll ever be able to teach her.

Happy Birthday, Kiana.


Kilie Rainey said...

ummm make me cry!!! HAHA... i sure do love you guys!!! im glad your all settled and happy! i miss that smiley kid!!! i miss all you guys! haha.. I agree with all you said! she is such a blessing and heather.. you are very BLESSED, LUCKY, and STRONG to take on those children! they were a perfect match for you two!! i admire you and beef cake bradley both for doing what you have!! ... good luck with the pregnancy!! cant wait till the new addition comes along! LOvE YOU!

Morris Mama said...

Happy birthday Kiana! Give that sweet girl a big hug for me!

Lindsay said...

That was a very sweet tribute!! She is very lucky to have you guys as parents where she can thrive and live to her fullest potential.

I'm glad you made it safely to South Dakota and are getting all settled in. I know what you mean about unpacking all your belongings and still having tons of empty space! It'll fill up before you know it! ;) It's probably nice to be near your mom too.

Lindsay said...

hey heather, a mother of almost five, right?? bless you! kiana sounds like a unbelievable young lady. i'm happy she's found a sweet, loving momma to teach, nurture, and love her.
south dakota looks chilly and adveturesome. and how's the little baby girl-in-waiting?? hope all is well, love lindsay.

Turley Family said...

Kiana is such a sweet person. I have only talked to her once, but she does have the most beautiful spirit! You can tell that she is happy, that she has great parents that love her and encourage her to be her best self.

Heather you are so lucky to have her and she is lucky to have you and Brad!

Happy birthday Kiana! Hope you had a great day!

Julie said...

Once again, you've made me cry! Happy birthday to Kiana. Your house looks gorgeous in those pictures.

Karol Turley said...

Kiana Bobahna ~ How I love that girl!

Laree said...

I love how you only see the good in people. How blessed Kiana is to have such a wonderful adoring mother. You are amazing. Tell Kiana we all said Happy Birthday!

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