My little girl is 5 years old! I will start with the stats: Victoria is weighing in at 27 lbs and she is 36 inches tall. She has grown! Since this time last year, she has gained 5 lbs and grown 3 inches. Victoria continues to love life and people. She really does find joy in just about everything she encounters. She is curious about everything that crosses her path or comes her way. We traveled to Oklahoma in March, which was an awesome trip visiting family for Easter. She also had her first trip to the snow in March, which she loved. We have had many visits to the beach. She is unsure of the waves, which I am just fine with. She continues to love her dogs and play with them daily. My son, Dylan, who is now 16 has an amazing bond with Tori. He truly is her protector and at times I marvel at the patience he has with her. I am blessed with two amazing children. Victoria has done unbelievably well with acquiring the language. She knows several sight words, all her letters, sounds, colors, shapes, writes her name, along with letters and numbers. She is beginning to spell words. She sings and chatters nonstop. Her intellectual growth has been amazing. She is truly a sponge when it comes to learning, as most young children are. I share this mainly because the child I met in the orphanage and the child I have home with me now are completely different. She was quiet, subdued, trembled when she tried to manipulate things, seemed so frail, I suppose I will also add medicated, which I am sure caused some of this behavior.....now she is thriving, full of life, free spirited, strong willed, compassionate, affectionate, and continues to bring me joy and amaze me daily! Minor hiccup......Victoria started Kindergarten the beginning of July. She has struggled with the separation in the morning from me. I work full time, so being away from me during the day is not new. I realize there is a lot a newness in the whole Kindergarten experience and that has caused alarm for her. It has been a rough transition for her and has really put things into check for me. I say this because at times I feel the bonding and trust that has grown between us has been exceptional, and I do believe it has been. With this rough transition, I am reminded once again of her past and the importance of me to continually step back, look at things through her eyes, from her perspective, taking her first 3 1/2 years of her life (which I don't know much about, but what I do know is heart-wrenching) into consideration, and internalizing that her past is what she basis some of her thoughts, fears, and insecurities off of. Reality check for this mom, and admittedly knowing I need to check into that reality more often! Every day is a new day and we continue to work through this together and make progress. Family is coming into town in August. I am sure we will have an action packed week while they are here. We are also heading back to Oklahoma in October for my nieces wedding. Tori will be the flower girl. Again, it will be more fun times and new explorations ahead. I plan to get her in swimming lessons in August, though she is already doing an amazing job with it. She loves the water; swimming, bath, hose, sprinklers, water parks, etc. She will have no trouble with formal lessons. Just Victoria, Dylan and myself will celebrate her birthday on the actual day (July 29th). We will have a family celebration when family comes. All is well in our home and we continue to enjoy life as a family. In a nutshell, life is good!