Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Zoya's Prayers

Here is a video of Zoya saying her bedtime prayers. She knew I was video taping; I told her it was to show Opa and Oma.  I wanted to show you how well she has picked up English, and to show exactly what I mean when I talk about her speech difficulties associated with the cleft. Please leave me a comment and tell me how well you understand her. I'm curious to know how much of it is just Mom-undertanding, if you know what I mean.

There are a couple of things I want you to notice about her in this video:

1. Notice her speech *could* be better if she just worked a little harder to use her lips. The cleft palate really has nothing to do with why she doesn't close her lips to talk. One thing we learned from the speech therapist is that there are many sounds she could be and should be making but nobody has ever made her, thus she has gotten lazy about talking. We need to do a better job of insisting she work a little harder to make the sounds that she can.

2. Notice both of her hands are bright pink. This is because her sister Hope painted her fingernails, and went a little overboard. :)

3. Her pajamas are on backwards. She insists on wearing them this way because  Joseph and Ava wear theirs that way.

4. She is sleeping in Hope's bed, not her own. Hope bribes her tells her that when she eats good during the day she can sleep with her in her bed.

35 comments:

Cammie Heflin said...

Oh my goodness!!! She is doing great! A lot of the kids that I have worked with that have had cleft lip and palates take awhile to use bilabial sounds (p, b, m, when both lips go together) when they have the cleft, the muscles are not there correctly so they don't have the opportunity to practice them during babbling. It is harder for her to make those sounds but she can, I would definitely encourage those :) She is doing great! I don't hear too much nasality considering how large her cleft is, she is wonderful! Hugs!

Deb D. said...

How dear to hear her sweet little voice. She is so precious! Animated, engaging and engaged, clearly following your words. I found it hard to discern her words, but as you would respond then I could understand her from that context. What a bright little girl. Love how you stated in the other post for today that she is tucked into her own bed at home. Such a wonderful image. She had her brother kissing her hand and then was able to come back home and be warm and happy in her own bed. Precious little girl!

Gina said...

She is extremely adorable! I could not understand her very well, though.

Anonymous said...

She is beyond precious, and adorable!! I hate to say that the only words I could understand were the names of your other children! She knew what she was saying though- and that is all that matters!!!

Sarah

Michelle said...

Amen!!! That is the cutest thing ever! :) But, yeah, I have no idea what she was saying. :) lol

Tilly Cat & Pip-Squeak said...

She is sooooo very cute! And has an adorable little voice. I'm afraid I had a lot of trouble understanding her though... I could only understand anything when she was repeating what you said (so I knew what she was saying, then I could "hear" it.) After watching the whole video, I thought she was saying "Thank you for..." (Jude, Hope, Liesel etc,) am I right? But I got that from the rythm mostly.

Anonymous said...

She is so sweet!!!! I can understand a lot of what she is saying. She is most adorable!

Jan

Jennifer said...

That is the sweetest, most precious voice I have ever heard!!!

Gretchen Thibault said...

Oh, that is really, really cute. My Ricky watched it with me and loved it. Her voice is so precious....and of course the mere fact she is praying. AMEN!

Nelly said...

She has the most cutest voice!! We adopted from foster care and our daughter was 2 and could not talk very well, it sounded french and I was the only one that could understand her. Thank You for sharing

Anonymous said...

Such a precious video! So sweet!

I think that if I were learning a foreign language, it would probably take me a while to properly learn all of the sounds, too. I'm sure that with time, and practice, her speech will become more and more clear.

She is such an adorable little girl!

Melissa said...

This is just precious! What a little gem she is!

Blessings

Melissa

journeytoonemore.blogspot.com

mom2four said...

Though I think most of it is you understanding her as mom I could understand small bits and pieces. Like at the beginning of the prayer it almost sounded like will you help (with what to say in the prayer) but you "interpreted" it Hope so I wasn't completely correct but I kinda got it. But def with you "interpreting" I could see how those were the things she was saying.

Ian & Ruby said...

What a precious girl; and even if I could not understand every word (although I did understand some of it) I know that God understands not just the words she says, but the love that is in her heart - what a blessing she is. Hopefully, with therapy, and surgery, she will be able to speak some of the sounds that are hard for her now, so that her speech will be more readily understood by others. I'm sure that all in your family understand her; now the challenge is for the wider community to be able to understand her messages. God bless.
(I have no trouble understanding our 8 year old, although some others do. She speaks very slowly; her words broken down into syllables as she runs out of breath easily.Sometimes it is just a matter of listening carefully.)

kirsten said...

Adorable, simply the sweetest, Charissa! I definitely understand her better when she purposely uses her lips to say the word. Im not a speech therapy person but I think she'll be fine.

shelly said...

That was so sweet! I could only understand your kids names but i am sure the rest will get easier as you help her. She probably has to get her siblings attention so she can say their names well! That just means practice practice practice for new words! :)

Anonymous said...

Charrisa
It was difficult to understand but it was oh so precious. She is doing beautifully learning everything she needs to learn as everyone has said and Im in awe! Im going to sign my name since I have to do this as anonymous :) Donna Asbury

Lisa (DanielsMommy) said...

She is truly a princess though and through!!! I have to admit, I was wondering what she would sound like. I half expected a Russian accent, and the other 1/2 of me expected her to sound like our kid with Ds. And of course, she sounded like neither of those. She has the sweetest girliest voice!! I could understand some of what she was saying...and from the sounds of her voice, with a bit more time and practice...I think she will certainly have intelligible speech sooner than later. Thanks for sharing, I always love to see videos!

JennyH said...

What a sweetie!! Love the Amen part!

I could understand names but not a whole lot more. However, if someone is around her I think they could understand her much better. You know, just like typical children... The mom can understand everything but to others they are hard to understand. I think she is doing great, considering. I could not imagine being thrown into a new language and picking it up that fast. So really, she is getting there.

Anonymous said...

So precious!!!!! So fun to see Zoya so happy. I will admit, I had no idea what she was saying except for the last word she was repeating from you.

I am sure she will continue to improve! She has already come a long way.

~Kristin~

~*Brittany*~ said...

Wow, Zoya definitely gets an A+ for effort! You can tell she understands English and could speak it great if it weren't for the speech difficulties. She was very hard to understand for the most part. One of my little girls sounded a lot like that when she first started talking (no cleft), and I understood her, but no one else could.

What I heard: at the begining she said pray and then asked what twice. Then I thought she clearly said will you help? but then you said something about praying for Hope so maybe I misunderstood. When she said Jude and Mommy those words were so clear oh, also Amen was clear.

What an accomplishment in such a short time. Getting to hear her little voice made my day. Video clips are much better than pictures ;)

A. Gillispie said...

This just blessed me today! Zoya is such a precious gift. Hope and joy just pours out of her!!! I could only understand the end of her sentences. I couldn't tell what she was saying at the beginning. What really touched me though was the thought that the Lord knows EXACTLY what her little heart was saying!

Alexa said...

She is adorable!!! I love her enthusiasm and spirit!! I cant understand what she is staying though, except for MOMMY and AMEN!!!

Anonymous said...

She is so, so adorable. Her sweet face is so animated! The part toward the end where she was like, "And Dad!" was so cute.

Her English is amazing, considering she hasn't been home for long. Articulation-wise, I could understand some of what she was saying, but not all. I'm also the last person who you should ask - I am never around little kids and usually can't understand them when I am. I'm one of those people who just agrees with whatever the kid is saying.

-M.

Anonymous said...

Could she be any sweeter? Such a blessing!

Stacy
Sand Springs

Amy L said...

Absolutely precious!!

Charissa said...

Brittany...I think you're right. She was saying 'help', not Hope! Can you imagine how frustrating it would be that even your own mother can't understand when you're asking for help?? :(

Tamara's Mommy said...

Oh WOW .. Is she sweet!!! She is doing wonderfully. Our daughter has a speech delay also. The past 6 months she's made great strides. It takes time. Don't worry she'll get it. Good Bless. What an angel you've found in her. ;o)

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh, her sweet little voice! She is adorable! I could understand her when you put it into context, and said what she was saying. I am in awe of your family :o)

Michelle (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Sela Freuler said...

I can understand what she is saying *pretty* well. My brother had the worst speech impediment, and after much speech therapy still has a small one, so I'm pretty good at translating :)
But oh my goodness, she is so very adorable! I could just eat her up. And her English is fantastic! What a smart cookie...

Sela

Allison said...

She is so very sweet!! I must say there were some words that I could understand perfectly! She will do great with speech therapy! Thanks so much for sharing. She is precious! The "Amen" at the end was priceless! Peace to all, Allison

Jo's Corner said...

From the very first time that I saw Zoya, after the decision to also adopt her, I felt this very strong presence of the Holy Spirit. I saw it in a photo of you carrying her, walking next to john holding joseph. Another adopting parent took it. I just felt overcome with Love for that tiny girl in your arms.
I absolutely believe that Zoya will grow into the Godly woman she is intended to be and that she will do great work for Him! (I personally believe that for each of your children, as you & John are raising them to Serve our Lord!) But, i just feel this special anointing over your new daughter. I can't wait to see what lies ahead for all of you!! The Prayer was adorable! That sweet, raspy little girl voice just touched my heart! I really love your babies! Wonderful parenting!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, is she just adorable! So pretty and she has the sweetest little voice.

I watched the video 3 times, listening to her speak and to be honest, I couldn't understand her at all. I heard a "mommy" and a "zoya" that I understood, but that's about it. The rest sounded like babbles to me. Though I sort of heard some of the words once you "translated" for us.

I'm sure she'll improve once she gets her palate fixed. And I see what you mean about not using her lips to annunciate -- just a bit of practice and I bet she'll sound great!

jennifer... said...

Oh, first of all, that's just adorable. I understood Mommy, Ava, Zoya, Oma, Opa -- and AMEN perfectly! She's really smart to get all that you communicate to her. I'm impressed!

Karien Prinlsoo said...

Hi I am a South African following your blog.Do you use "prompt" with Zoya? My son of almost 5 has ds and he leaves out a lot of consonants. We started using promt commands late last year and he is now using the consonants- eat, was just ea and sit>si, ext. I must add that we pray daily for his speech and that he would be able to say all that is in his mind. I follow a blog of someone who explains their speech therapy and got a lot of hints from her.
http://gotdownsyndrome.blogspot.com/search/label/PROMPT
You can also look at their use of talk tools- she has recently written a post about lip closure and using tongue depressor sticks. Maybe it can help