Hannah settles into her into her newlife

One year ago, Hannah's life changed dramatically when she was adopted from an orphanage outside Moscow. The Monitor covered her journey from Russia to Massachusetts, as she joined the Rocklein family: parents Mary and Bob, and their daughter, Abby.

Hannah, who arrived pale, small for her age, and behind in her language skills, has courageously faced the constant stimulation and excitement that family life and American childhood offers her.

"Hannah has no fear," Mrs. Rocklein says.

Clearly the leader of the two siblings, Hannah drinks in new experiences and helps her shy older sister. The sisters now share a room and Hannah has joined Abby in attending gymnastics and ballet classes.

Hannah has thrived since her arrival in Groveland, Mass. Her complexion glows and she has grown five inches.

She was placed in a preschool that integrates regular and special-needs students, because many adoptees from institutions need extra attention. But Hannah has performed so well that teachers say she can attend regular classes next year.

Language is still a bit of a challenge. She understands English perfectly, but struggles to speak complete sentences. Still, her mother says proudly that Hannah can say the alphabet and count to 10 without help.

On June 8, a day before Hannah's fourth birthday, Judge Mary Manzi signed the documents finalizing Hannah's adoption. In two more years, Hannah can apply for American citizenship.

Hannah was last seen headed to Storyland in New Hampshire with her family for a long summer weekend. Perhaps next year, says her mom, she'll be ready for Disney World.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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