As we get to know Rebeka, I love discovering what her preferences are. She likes grapes, but not the skin. She peels them with her teeth and spits the skin out. She loves the water, but she has no interest in going deep and trying to float. Here are a few more of her favorite things:
When Rebeka found her “pinkie” ball she latched right on. She can throw it by slinging up her arm, and then releasing at just the right moment. Rebeka has no strength to lift her arms or bend her elbows on her own, though they do bend once they make it to a table or meet resistance in some way. She also likes to roll her ball, and hide it from Clay by stuffing it in a pocket or shoving it between cushions on the couch. She likes to keep it with her at all times, so we were thrilled when she discovered this:
When we found it, it was full of Mr. Potato Head parts. I showed Rebeka how this game worked, and I’m sure she thought it very odd. These strange Americans and their faces on potatoes! But the backpack, ah, that was a different story. She strapped it right on, by herself. Rebeka is also fond of a little stuffed dog that has a clip that can clip to her shorts. He is a daily accessory.
We were also so happy to find that Rebeka enjoys the lake. Before she came, we worried she’d be afraid of the water. Afraid of the boat. We figured we’d never get her out on the tube. We had nothing to worry about.
Some more of her favorites? Mangoes, bananas, avocados, beans, rice, and boiled eggs. She’s an easy guest! And one more favorite:
This is Rebeka’s family. Africa New Life emailed me this picture before they picked up Rebeka to take her to the airport, and I printed a couple and had them framed so she could have her family here. She looks at it often, sometimes we set it up so she can look at it while she eats. The other day, it was sitting on the table and I saw Rebeka go over to it, gaze at it, and then give the picture a kiss. She loves her family, and for that we are so grateful. We are also grateful that she seems to be fitting in with our family. We are all finding our way with each other.
We got a call from the doctors this week and they laid out the initial treatment plan. They are going to put Rebeka’s left foot in a cast on August 22nd. The plan is for the casts to gradually turn her foot. This will happen over a series of different casts, which will be changed every week or so. After three or four treatments, the doctor will have a better idea of whether or not this will work. The challenge is the skin and the blood vessels, which have become used to being twisted and working another way. They may want to turn her foot back around. This sort of casting, the Ponseti technique, is generally done in newborns with great success, but because Rebeka has been walking with club feet for almost ten years, it will be much more difficult to fix them.
So we will wait, and hope, and pray that it works. If the left foot is successful, they’ll put a cast on her right foot as well. She won’t be able to get it wet, so no more lake. She may not be able to bear weight on it, so no more chase or trampoline. We will find new things to fill our days and new ways to stay entertained, but I have no worries for little Rebeka. She seems to be getting along just fine.