Sania Louise is going to school!

ACK!  Be still my mama’s heart!

My sweet little girl is starting public school tomorrow!!

I am nervous and excited at the same time.  I have been home-schooling her since August, and I feel that that has been best for her as she has adjusted to her new family and new life in America.  It has also been a great time to visit different doctors and get a good baseline for Sania Louise’s needs. 

Sania Louise has Sensory Processing Disorder (PSD,) which directly affected her behavior and development in Latvia.  She is “sensory-seeking,” which basically means her senses are dulled, and she has to do things bigger and harder and longer to get her senses filled the way we do.

She hugs tighter, stomps harder, twirls longer, talks louder, claps stronger, etc.  If her senses are not filled, misbehavior can occur.  So we have been going to OT (Occupational Therapy) weekly and learning all kinds of GREAT ideas to help with her sensory disorder.  Sania Louise LOVES going to OT!  (We are headed there today at 11:00.) And I love going with her and learning more about how I can help meet her sensory needs.

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For example, I did something I told my boys I would NEVER do!!

I bought a trampoline.   #biggulps

Trampolines are one of the top toys that send kids to the emergency room.  But after learning about our girl’s sensory disorder, trampolines are one of the best ways to help fill her senses.  So I didn’t get a super big trampoline, but one that is big enough for one kid at a time to bounce around.  It should arrive this week.

Filling her senses with things like trampolines and sensory bins (beans, rice, flour, sand,) and weighted blankets and fidget toys will actually help her behavior and improve her focus on schoolwork.  

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We have seen such an improvement in Sania Louise’s behavior since she has been home (7 months.) . You guys wouldn’t believe how much better she is doing!  It is amazing to have a front row seat to the miracles that God is doing in her life daily.  However, most of the past 7 months have been spent with our family.  She hasn’t had a lot of time with other children her age except in Sunday School each week.   She needs to be around other kids her age.  She has started to trust her family, her immediate family, and the adults in her life, but she needs to learn to trust children as well. 

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She has been through a lot in her 9 years of life, and children have not always been nice to her.  They have been down right mean to her at times.  She has been made fun of and actually physically hurt by others.  Also, the boarding schools in Latvia did not accommodate her special needs, which set her up for failure. 

One of the biggest blessings of living in our very small town (popul. 6,000) is that we have one of the best elementary schools in the state of Kentucky.  Literally.  It ranks at the top of the charts every year!

Now that we are understanding her behavior better, we feel that it is a good time for her to start going to school for half a day.   Friday, I had a meeting with the principal, guidance counselor, OT specialist, resource room teacher, and the school psychologist, and we came up with a plan that we think will be best for Sania Louise and set her up for success.

Right now, she will go to school half a day until she is able to handle a full day.  And part of that half day, she will be with her brother, Eli, in the same class.  Eli has had a wonderful teacher for the past two years, Ms. Jones, and she has walked with us through Sania Louise’s adoption and knows her story well.  Sania Louise has already spent some time visiting in Eli’s class this year, so she already has some comfort in that room.

Sania Louise is THRILLED about going to school!!!  She has wanted to go to school with Eli for quite a while.  We got her a new backpack, and today we are going to get her a new outfit to wear on her first day to school tomorrow. 

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I will drop her and Eli off at school at 8:00, and then I will pick her up sometime around 11:30.  And I will be truthful, as much as I will miss her, I really do need a few hours to myself each day to work.  It has really been hard to keep up with blogging this past year, but I knew it would be temporary and SO worth it to have that time at home with her everyday.  

I just feel super, super protective over her.  More than I have ever been over my boys, as I am sure you can understand why.  I want to be at school with her and protect her from anything that might hurt her heart.  I know her best.  I know what makes her excited or upset or things that might trigger her insecurities.  It is hard for me to entrust her to others. 

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But God has brought her this far, and He will continue to take care of her.  I have no doubt.

Please pray for her (and me) tomorrow as she starts her first day of school.  Pray that she will not be nervous and that the teachers will have extra amounts of understanding and patience as they work with her.  Pray that the children will show her kindness and acceptance.

Pray for sweet Eli.  :) He is protective of his sister as well, and I don’t want him to carry too much of the burden on his shoulders.  

Thank you, friends!  You are truly the best!!  





  1. I set my alarm to pray for her, you and Eli at 8am tomorrow! Until then, I’ll be praying for everyone’s hearts will be prepared to accept Sania Louise with love and grace. God’s got this❤

  2. Our Lord is the healer, encourager and lover of our soul. He knows what we need before anyone. He has brought your daughter from the other side of the world for, I’m sure, a great purpose. He won’t leave her ( your family) now. What a wonderful testimony she will have to share….you all will. You are doing some good things in helping her to prepare….God has already made great provision. Carry on, Momma!

  3. Traci, you are doing great with her, God will be with you all as you continue this journey with your sweet daughter. She is a gift from God and He knew that you and your family will be the best family for Sania. I understand about being over protected, that is how we feel about our sweet china dolls. I believe Ms Jones will also be a watchful over her and fall in love with her as well. Maybe one day when we visit Sonny’s restaurant (our favorite place to eat) in your area we will run into you all and met sweet Sania in person. I will be praying God Bless you all and keep you.

  4. Take a deep breath, Mama! It sounds like she has a great bunch of support from bith the school staff and its support staff (OT and psychologist).

    If Sania was coming into my classroom, I already know what I’d be doing with her and how the day would go- splendidly! Everything will be great! God (and your family) have prepared her for this. Oh sure, there may be a few bumps but when in life isn’t there? 😄 All will be well.

  5. Wishing the best for all of you! I have a grandson with SPD so I am quite familiar with it. He is also non-verbal. He has had MUCH therapy in the last 3 or 4 years (he’s 6 and is in kindergarten this yr). He has come so far, his therapists and teachers have all been so good and we appreciate them so much. SPD has gotten much awareness in the past several years and treatment has improved. As far as the trampoline goes – we had one when my kids were young. They survived and no one got hurt bad enough to go to the hospital. They spent many, many hours on it and loved every minute of it. My grandkids now have one, but it is enclosed with a large netting that zips – you have to unzip it to get in or out. I’m a trampoline fan! It’s great exercise, even for adults. I hope Sania’s day went well. She is such a cutie! You are blessed!

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. I am very thankful for the teachers and support we will have at Sania’s school. God bless your grandson too!

  6. Oh, I’m betting it is going to be a great morning for her. You have done such wonderful preparing for this day. And, you are slowly transitioning her into a full day and that is probably a very good idea. She is such a blessed little girl and will one day rise up and call you “blessed.” Hugs!

    1. Yes, I am very happy that she is starting with a half day. I think that will definitely set her up for success. And it’s good for me too. {wink}

  7. I pray that everything goes well. You are doing a great job. You seem to be very open and honest about exactly what she needs. The school will step in and make us all proud. You can do this!!

  8. Im sure you have nothing to worry about Eli will protect her. She is blessed to have brothers who love and look out for her . I will be praying !

    1. Yes, Eli will definitely want to make sure she is okay. I think it will help her to know that she has a brother in the building. She has always been alone at school before now.

  9. Love seeing her happy little face :) I’m not thinking you will get much work done on her first day — meet a friend for coffee until pick up time:)

  10. (((Traci))) Hugs to you, Girl!
    It sounds like you have done a fabulous job setting up a game plan with the school system.

    If you have a recommendation for a weighted blanket, please share.

  11. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. This is going to be a tough couple of days for you all. I’ll be thinking of you.

  12. Praying for all of you. I agree with the comment above, meet a friend for coffee or go shopping for decor for your laundry room that first day. Of course there will be bumps in the road but God has certainly blessed Sania with resilience and a family to love her for who she is and to support her both when things go well and when they don’t. God’s got this.

  13. You’re to be credited for how well she’s done since moving with your family! Homeschooling is wonderful! (I’m totally biased; been homeschooling my kids since 1990.) I hope her adjustment is good. And yours too.

  14. Awesome news! My nephew just installed a trampoline at basically ground level …. they have a little one. Will try to save pictures and send to you. No doubt you guys could do!

  15. Bless her precious and tender heart. She has come so far and I know God will watch over her and be with her as she begins this new journey in her life. She still has many challenges to face, but with her wonderful families love and faith, she can handle anything. My thoughts and prayers are with your girl and you Mama. Please let us know how things are going and how she is doing. God Bess!!

  16. My thoughts and prayers go to you and family during this special and important time! I hope she has a wonderful experience at school!!! Keep up the great work!

  17. I will be praying so hard for Sania and Eli. I knew she would be ready sooner than we thought. The kids will love her. How blessed that school will be with that beautiful smile everyday. So proud of you SANIA. Love you, Whitney

  18. Oh what a great mama you are!! You have prepared her for this day. You set her up with a great plan within the school and you have loved and worked with all of her needs for months now. And yes you do know her best! But God is there to look out for her when us Mama bears cant be around. Just know that when she comes home she is going to talk your ear off about every minute of her day!! And I agree go do something and keep your mind busy so that first day goes by fast! You got this Mama Bear! :) Don’t worry!! And hey us out here in blogland need to hear about her day too. So remember to fill us in!! Follower and Friend in Maryland, Shawn

  19. Praying for your family and the staff at the school. Our God is Great and He alone will take care of her! Enjoy your few hours of “Traci Time!”

  20. Sending prayers for all – for patience, trust, understanding, and peace. As you have said many, many times, God has his hand in this and he won’t leave now. What opportunities you have been allowed to give to Sania Louise! You have witnessed her progress so far, and I pray her progress will continue.

  21. I’m joining all of the other sweet ladies in prayer for you, Eli, and Sania Louise. I’m praying for her teacher, too, and the children in her class. I’m looking forward to hearing how tomorrow goes! <3

  22. Prayers for a great experience at school! Our two grands ( which we are rearing) have sensory issues and sometimes school is a challenge. Our school has been very good about listening to our needs and theirs.

  23. I just read this post. If that was my daughter I would be concerned too. But when we worry about something we’ve prayed about, we aren’t trusting. So when those worrisome thoughts creep in, remember that Sonia Louise and Eli are always held in God’s protection and expect good things. I will be praying for all of you.

  24. I, too, have one of my adopted ones with sensory needs. He sleeps with his weighted blanket and carries it around the house when needed. We have been doing equine therapy for the past few years, and it has been so awesome. So, my prayers are with you….and I understand what you are going through. :) Sounds like you are doing all you can to support her and give her what she needs. What a blessing for her to be placed in your home where she will get the care she needs. (And a huge blessing for you, as well). :)

  25. You need this and Sania needs this but it’s so hard to let go isn’t it? Bless your heart. I’ll definitely be praying for y’all in the morning; 7am on the dot my time. It’s ok to cry a little bit AFTER you drop the kiddos off :). I know I sure would. I’ll pray for the school staff and Sania’s classmates as well.

  26. Praying for a great first day of school. It’s usually harder on Mom than the child…praying for your too.
    Keep us posted on her progress.

  27. Traci, having a child with special needs is a battle of emotions for you, for Sania, but also for the whole family dynamic! We’ve had two children with special needs. My husband’s son (autism) and our daughter with ADHD who is now eighteen and in college. I suggest an online support group to talk to others in similar situations. It’s been a lifesaver for me! There’s a few wonderful Facebook groups for ADHD and I suggest those groups because so many children have comorbid issues such as Sania’s. It’s really nice to bounce ideas and questions off moms (mostly moms) who know exactly what your going through. I get so much good information, great resources and links to school laws that affect our children. With you as a mom, I know Sania will thrive!

  28. Have you thought about dance classes? My daughter is a dancer and I am sure she could provide you with some wonderful and helpful information that may be of great use to Sania. Although my daughter does not have the same sensory needs as your daughter, she has also been bullied at school in the past. Through dance, she has met the most amazing friends, traveled to wonderful places, and met a community of people who accept her, love her and support her dreams. My daughter is 16 now and I know she would be happy to chat with Sania about dance if she has any questions(: And 16 year old girls can be such great role models for little girls (: We had a few who helped us along the way too.

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