The following blog was submitted by Kenzie’s Mom, Diana, on behalf of Kenzie. Kenzie’s life began in an orphanage in the Ukraine. Since that time, Kenzie has been adopted by a loving family and now resides in the US. This piece reminds us of the very different journeys individuals traverse. Thank you, Diana, for sharing Kenzie’s Journey.
“Please be patient and understanding of my behaviors.
I hit when overstimulated, but I don’t know my own strength. I bite or grab onto you when I want your attention, not because I’m being mean. I take toys from you because I struggle with sharing, just like any two year old does. But don’t worry, my mommy is always by my side and on me like a hawk. She stops my hits or bites then I am disciplined and shown how to touch “nice”. She makes me take turns even when I don’t want to.
I am learning and developing at such a rapid pace, and I’m doing the best that I can trying to make up for a year of lost time.
See, let me explain… when most of you were born, you were given to your mommy and cuddled skin to skin. When I was born, I was put into the baby bed and taken away.
When you were in the NICU, you had your mommy and daddy holding your little hand through the hole telling you to hang on and fight through the tough times. When I was in the NICU no one held my hand or smiled down upon me.
When you went home with mommy and daddy you had a painted room, colorful rattles, musical toys, soft cozy blankets, and you were held and talked to. I didn’t go to a home, I was taken to an orphanage, where I laid in a white crib all day, in tiny room with blank walls. No rattles. No colors. And nobody talked to me.
When you were nursed or fed a bottle, your mommy held you close to her body. When I was fed a bottle, they didn’t even take me out of my crib. I still laid there flat and I attempted to suck down my bottle.
When your tummy hurt, you had parents to console you and help you through the pain. When my tummy hurt, no one rubbed it or changed my diet to help reduce the bloating and pain.
You smiled and giggled when mommy sang to you. Nobody sang to me, and I didn’t know how to smile until I was 12 months old.
While you worked so hard on hitting milestones with your parents and therapists, I worked so hard on “surviving” another day.
When you cried, your mommy or daddy came running. When I cried I was ignored, and no one came… I quickly learned there was no reason to cry anymore.
So yes I carry this with me. My past doesn’t go away. But every day I move away from it, it will become less and less a part of me. I may get frustrated easily. It may seem like I’m rough… but can you blame me? I am cramming 2 1/2 years of life into only 1 year and 5 months of having a mommy and daddy, of having real love and interaction. Only 1 year and 5 months of reaching milestones and really learning. Only 1 year and 5 months of having real life experiences.
So please friends… Learn with me. Share with me. Play with me… ❤️”
Submitted by Kenize’s Mom, Diana.