This girl can jump! Cerebral palsy won't stop her.

Cerebral palsy is one of Nina's greatest challenges, but although it is a challenge, cerebral palsy is also one of her biggest character builders. That was not always the case, when Nina first arrived home after we adopted her, she had a "victim" mentality. "I can't," were her first English words and oh how we pushed this little girl to take ownership of her abilities.

Last April (17 months ago) Nina had a rhizotomy. We spent the summer going to therapy every day of the week, and eventually were able to cut down to 3 times a week. Still, by the time Nina began Kindergarten, we were taking her to school in her wheelchair, she used her walker only in the classroom. Little by little, she began to gain strength and walk independently, the wheelchair became a means to get her from the car to her classroom only and back again.

We know the rhizotomy made a huge difference. This surgery gave her legs the possibility to walk by greatly reducing her spasticity (tightness). We are convinced Nina would not have been able to walk independently without some type of asistive device if it wasn't for this surgery. She was tight, tight, tight! But we are also convinced that when Nina saw what her classmates could do, and that she was being left behind, something inside of her became determined. Cerebral palsy? She was not going to let that stop her. By the end of the school year, Nina was walking independently all around school, without her walker.

Then summer came and therapy stopped (she received therapy through school) I tried to get therapy for both my girls through a local place here that supposedly works with kids in the summer. That didn't happen for unknown reasons to us, but that is a different story. Nina regressed during the summer, her confidence was not the same, her stability was not the same, her endurance was not the same.

As a mom, I felt discouraged.

Then school began on Wednesday, and I was hoping that within a month we could get back to the swing of "movement" we were at before.

Well, I guess our little determined girl decided to take it up a notch even more. She has decided she will not only work on her walking, but her jumping to. If you know anything about cerebral palsy, you know this is quite the accomplishment.

So here it is, our determined girl that won't let cerebral palsy stop her, her character builder for determination and courage. Jump sweet girl, jump! Oh, and this girl jumps with her own style, because she likes to move it!