Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Weeks

Aviana has been home for two full weeks today. Honestly, these 2 weeks have been wonderful. We have enjoyed every moment with her. I decided to do a periodic note about her progress for a few reasons. I would love to let all of you know what she is doing and what she has accomplished. I also have a terrible memory and want to remember all of these great moments.

I have said many times before; I am not a wishful thinker and choose to carefully analyze every movement and occurrence for valid progress. I want to be sure what I am seeing is actual and true. I sound so technical, don't I? I just don't ever want to read into anything.

These are the wonderful things Aviana has done in 2 weeks time~

• she sat up on her own for 25 seconds at one time.

• she lifts her head just about every single time I ask her to.

• I was feeding her in her bed one time and it leaked and she somehow moved her body out of the Nutren Jr. puddle.

• we can set her arms to the side and lean her and she holds her weight on both sides. One time Dave let go and she held herself up.

• she is tracking much, much better with her eyes.

• when put on her stomach or her side, she can lift her head up.

• she can now tolerate her feeds.

I’m sure there is much more that I cannot think of. Like I said….terrible memory :o( There was one thing I was saving to tell you. It was so insanely exciting. Tears were falling from my face for almost an entire therapy session.

Last Tuesday, I had Aviana lying on her right side and assisting her with pushing down on a toy slightly out of her reach. We did that a number of times and she seemed less than thrilled about it. She was showing all signs of boredom! I rolled her onto her left side and Kama happened to be a little over a foot away. Kama is so much more interesting than any toy could be any day of the week!

I told Aviana to go pet Kama. She was the most bound and determined little being I have ever seen. She was able to slowly move her body all the way over to Kama and put her hand on her. I could not believe what was happening. I was so excited. She was exhausted by the time she got to Kama. She loved on her and then I grabbed her up and was hugging and kissing her like never before. Aviana’s face was soaking wet, not from sweat, but from all of my tears streaming down on her face.

A few minutes later, I put her a little closer to Kama (based on how tired she was) and she managed to latch on with her little fists and pull herself up Kama’s side. She finally was lying over the top of her and she rested her head against Kama (just like old times.) Aviana was so at ease once her face was lying on her partner in crime. I did not have my camera and was not about to leave the room to run and grab it. I did not want to miss one split second of this action. I did however try this again a few days later on our bed. The pictures you saw yesterday with Kama and Aviana were from the second time she moved her little body over to her best friend.

As many of you know, Kama is my life. I did not think I could possibly love her anymore than I already do. After seeing Kama’s reactions to Aviana over the past couple of weeks, I am even more in love with her (if that is possible.) Kama knows Aviana is sick and when we have company she is wherever Aviana is....protecting her. She has gone so far as to growl at company when they got too close to Aviana. Kama never growls! The other day, Dave’s mom was standing with her hand on the crib and Kama wedged her body between the crib and his mom.

Kama is also so patient and loving towards Aviana. I try to use her for all therapy sessions as she is the best medicine of all. As Aviana is working like crazy, Kama doesn’t even mind the puddles of spit all over her. Now that’s love ;o)

That hurt ;(


  1. aawwwwww!! sending you virtual hugs!!


    Love you, cuz! You're doing GREAT!


  2. Thank you so much for update! She is doing wonderfully!!! I am so happy to hear that things are going well and that you are seeing such great progress. Keep up the great work! It will be exciting when you go to Pennsylvania!

  3. Thata girl, Kama! We are a Lab family as well and just find them to be so sweet and loyal. It's great that Kama is such a part of Avi's progress and therapy. You're a good girl, Kama! Sending you a big belly rub!

    Go Avi, go!

  4. Jen I am so excited for all of you! Avi has defied the odds over and over, and she's going to keep on doing it. I have high hopes for the rehab program through the institute. Emma has been asking if Avi is ready to play tea party, and I hope that they'll be able to soon enough.

  5. Wow, she is making great progress. Maybe Kama can carry treats and dollies in her mouth for her. And that post is even more cute because we have the SAME dog, but ours is named Koa!

  6. I am glad Aviana was home for quite awhile before the accident.

    She knows her parents intuitively now, she is attached to Kama, she knows the feeling of HER house.

    If she'd been less attached I am imagining that her progress would have been quite stinted.

    What a pure blessing for Aviana to have a HOME to become WHOLE within again....

    The first time she came into your home...she became a daughter...

    This second time (since the accident) she is becoming a medical miracle...

    Kudos....Keep your grip tight. You can do this.

  7. I can see the love they both feel for eachother; I saw that from your other post. I can imagine that it hurt, posting those; it hurt me, and I've never met your precious baby girl or Kama in real life; I am so very hopeful, and so very proud of all that you are doing---you are such a protective, cheerleading, committed mama---it is absolutely beautiful to see.


  8. wowo that is just awesome I can't beleive how great she is doing, I shouldn't say I can't believe it I mean I just didn't have any idea. Thats so great she can sit up and pull herself and follow directions I mean thats just huge. Those were wonderful pictures and I"m sorry for the pain but look at what a wonderful connection they have. To bad you didnt' live closer althoguth even around where you live they have therapuetic riding. I tell you using a horse for therapy is amazing I did some volunteer work in college, I worked mainly with a cowboy with a head injury. It is amazing the trunk skills they can strengthen so much easier and the horses gait mimick our walking gait so riding is great therapy, also the equillibrium. Just a thought, like I said if you were closer we have a cute little pony that would work but maybe you could look into it close to you.

  9. Your precious Aviana is too beautiful for words. I am sooo happy to hear about her progress. I know it will only get better from here. She is such an amazing little girl. So strong and determined. I wish you all the best in her recovery.

  10. I am so glad to read all of this good news! Way to go! Keep the hard work coming and little Aviana will be getting better every day!
    Loved the pics though I am sorry it hurt to post them, just make that work for more hard work in the future! Aviana is such a doll!

  11. Jen those are the most beautiful pictures in the world. Aviana has a wonderful guardian in Kama. Best wishes for the future.

    Becci & Angela

  12. Those pictures are wonderful. I was talking to our group of adoptive moms (all Guat adopt families) and telling them how amazing those pictures of Kama and Aviana you posted. Kama has to be one of the best friends, therapy dog, guardians EVER. Wish we were there to give Kama a great big hug and lots of treats for being such a wonderful helper. Way to go Aviana!!! We're cheering for you!

    Ann and Elianna

  13. There is a horse therapy group in Loomis, so when Avi is ready it is worth a shot. I think she'd love it. Sunshine + animals = happy day.

  14. I came across your blog quite accidentally but have followed it closely; much of what you write, despite being on a different topic, resonates with me, and I too am an adoptive mother. I had considered writing to you to let you know of an amazing place just one block away from where I live, but I did not feel comfortable offering unsolicited advice from across the coast, to somebody I did not know, and I figured that you were getting all the information you needed. Imagine how heartened I was to log on and see that you, in fact will be at the very place about which I was going to write. Should you need any information about the area, please do not hesitate to contact me. (I guess you could reply in a post with your email and we could correspond further, if you'd like.) I wish that we could offer you housing, but we've got a full house at the moment, and I suspect that the Institute must provide it. Nonetheless, if needed, I'd be happy to let you know more about places in the area, or be of assistance in any other way - helping with airport logistics if that is not sorted out, or whatever.
    Now that I am writing, I might as well tell you of something else that I thought might be of interest. Your dog Kama clearly is an amazing therapy dog. I though you might be interested in reading more about Stephen Hunek. He is an artist, whose work centers on labs, but also, he is a survivor of a rare condition that put him into a coma and required that he relearn everything upon recovery. He credits his lab with his amazing comeback. In addition to being an artist, he is a children's book author and illustrator. Your family might enjoy these books and the corresponding message. Good luck with everything. Aviana looks like a real trooper.

  15. Hi Anonymous~

    Thank you so much for your comment. That is the craziest thing about the institute. It is such a small world. I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Thank you for your offer of help, we appreciate it.

    We get out of class between 6-7 every night and were hoping to travel around PA and check it out. Can you recommend the best places to eat or whatever you would suggest to do?

    I also looked up that artist you spoke of. Very interesting, I love people who love dogs!!!

    I hope you get this message :o)

    Thank you for following along!!!