Monday, October 3, 2011

All About Sveta

Sveta turned my life upside down almost six years ago.
I can hardly believe it's been that long since a Russian judge declared her our daughter back in
September of 2005.
From the moment we met her, we knew she was a unique little girl with lots of challenges.
But her smile was bigger.  She won our heart and dedication to her immediately.
The judge questioned our sanity for purposefully choosing Sveta with her apparent learning and behavioral challenges-- but we chose to look past it.
We said yes!
Ever since we have been incredibly blessed.
I didn't say that our blessings didn't include challenges that crept into every inch of our body and soul at one time-- but that too was a blessing even though we did not think it at the time.
Because of Sveta we learned patience, endurance, and a knack for finding the smallest of blessings.
At one time- Sveta learning to write her name was one of those blessings.
Now she writes paragraphs!
We became passionate about advocating for our children's education, and sensitive to families who were also raising children with special needs.  
Above all, she sparked a little light that gave us the ability to see past disabilities into the inner worth that each child has within them. 
You can say that she gave us the strength and courage to adopt Alex and Dennis.
Pretty amazing for a young lady diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and learning disabilities.
Sveta loves animals especially octopuses.
She dislikes mayonnaise, watching movies, and reading.
Sveta enjoys music to the very core of her being.
She likes to roller blade, scooter, and swim.
She could live outside if I let her.
Sveta can make anyone smile!
What a beautiful young lady she is growing up to be.
Today Sveta was working on math with Anastasia.  They have been working with money for a while and will probably continue throughout the school year.
Money is a hard concept.
Currently the goal is to get Sveta to be able to count whatever money she has in her pocket and add it to the money in her piggy bank.
We are doing a variety of exercises to help her.
Sveta is learning to exchange 10 one dollar bills for one 10 dollar bill.
Sveta has learned to exchange five pennies for one nickel, ten pennies for two nickels, and ten pennies for one dime.  This is not too hard for her since she is exchanging one kind of coin for another.
But today she had two dimes and five pennies that I wanted her to exchange for one quarter.
This was very challenging for her.
We worked through eight problems together and she and Anastasia actually got a few of them correct all by themselves! I am very encouraged!

Today's activity was a worksheet that I wrote out.
I wrote a money addition problem and each one had to find the amount.  Then they drew the dollars and coins on their paper.  Next they put the money together and exchanged coins totaling over one dollar for dollar bills.  Once the money was exchanged into a countable amount, they then counted the money.
This activity was very challenging but little by little I am seeing progress.
That's all I can ask for.


  1. I am one of those checking in on your blog BUT I already voted ... at 2am ... and the system only lets us vote once per 24hrs! I just emailed hubby and asked him to vote from work ... he said he would :-)
    MariaG (Canada)
    Here's rooting for you ... hopefully every one gets those votes in by 5pm (which time zone??? it is 2:54pm here right now)

  2. I've voted every day! Sveta is such a pretty girl and I love hearing success stories about children that have many obstacles. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yeah! My iTouch just allowed me to vote again! Yipee! You are still #1 :-)
    (and I see that the timing is PST ... lucky for me and my iTouch)
    MariaG (Canada)

  4. You won!!!! Congratulations!! Yipeee!! Thanks for all the wonderful posts. :-)

  5. YOU WON, YOU WON!!!!!!!!! :)

  6. I really enjoy reading about each of your kids. Here's a teaching idea -- would a poster showing equivalents of $1.00 to help Sveta? For example -- PENNY = $0.01 then visually show 100 pennies? NICKEL = $0.05 then visually show 20 nickels? (etc) Patience, patience! :)

  7. I think my husband will be very relieved that you won.

    I have been getting home and greeting him with "have you voted??" for the past couple of weeks. He has been very diligently voting from our home PC & mobile while I have been voting from work & laptop.

    Glad you won :)

  8. Sevta is so blessed to have you and hubby as parents. You having so much love for her and enough to go around a milllion times more. Even when you have to fight for every inch of success and its so much hard work for Sevta she does it and she keeps taking that next step she does not give up and neither do you. Praise God for putting this beautiful young lady in your charge until he comes back.

    I have been voting and its been intense and its not even me LOL.

  9. Sveta sounds like an absolute sweetheart I've enjoyed hearing more about her triumphs with FAS and something tells me Sveta will go far in life and exceed many expectations.

  10. Hi! Sveta has very been trying in your family. You have provides a loving home she may alway be in.SHE HAS GROWN BY HEAPS AND BOUNDS.pAT


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.