An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet,regardless of time,place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.~Ancient Chinese Proverb

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Big Changes for a Little Girl

Big Changes are coming for this little girl. It's her last weekend without a palate. Major. Once her surgery is preformed, she will finally have a hard and soft palate! Mommas of cleft kiddos know how BIG of a change this is. It's. going to be rough, very rough, at first..but the outcome is going to be life changing. Bottle feedings will be SO much easier, drool will be much less, her hearing will improve ohh, and lets not forget, FOOD!!! About 2 weeks post surgery, we will be able to introduce soft foods. We will start with baby foods and see how it goes. Right now, she has NO idea how to even eat. She will put things in, but because of the huge open palate, it comes right out through the nose, or she spits it out..nothing makes it to the back of her throat to swallow. The Surgeon has warned us that at first she may struggle. He told us to keep working at it, and if neccessary, there are Feeding Specialists JUST for Cleft kids, who we can have to come and help us. We are so fortunate to have these resources available to us, and we plan to go ahead and contact them, so that we can enlist their services. They will also help us with Speech issues. We are fortunate that she really has not become that vocal she will get to "learn" how to talk with her new palate.
As we spent this last weekend before her surgery, we are filled with all sorts of emotions. As her Forever Mommy, I am petrified. Anytime you have a child go thru surgery, you worry. I worry, that with no real knowledge of her past medical history, we really had very little info to be able to pass on to the Surgeon and Anesthesiologist. We have no idea of drug allergies, reaction to anesthesia; nothing-and so I am nervous about her going "under". I also am wrestling with whether we are doing the surgery "too soon". While I have spoken with many adoptive parents who also scheduled surgeries for soon after bringing their Children home, I also know many who are waiting. Waiting for. Better bonding, attachment, trust....and so this has me apprehensive. Mia has adjusted to her new surroundings amazingly well. She is settled, happy, safe and secure. She looks for me when I am not around. She reaches for me; clings to me. What if the surgery sets us back? She has come to trust us and knows that we are her safety. I can only pray that she will not relate US to the PAIN that she is going to have to endure from the surgery. Some have told us that she is so young, that she won't remember a thing. While I'm sure that is all true, we have seen how she used to ache and how she now smiles..and obviously, we don't want ANYTHING to change that. Along with prayers for a successful surgery, would you also pray that the pain does not affect her attachment to US? We are in prayer that she allows us to comfort her, to hold her, and that seeing our faces and feeling our touch, will calm her fears and help ease her physical pain. We believe in the power of prayer, and are asking for  it, as we approach next week.

For those of ou wondering about our little guy...we are still change in frequency, but hoping the medicine will begin to show signs of improvement.

He had his karate belt test this morning. I have no pictures to show for it, because Daddy took him. You know Dads...they don't obsess over photos like us Moms do. If he did well enough to earn his next belt, he will be awarded the belt at the next class, next week. I will be sending Grandma with HER camera, so hopefully we will get some pictures that way.

Lots of family heading in this week to help with the Boys and to come up and keep me company in the hospital. We are so fortunate to have such a supportive extended family, in times like these. Our closest relatives are 3 hours away, but in a minute, they will hop in the car and head South to help us out. So blessed for that.
Here are a few photos taken from this week. Next op!!!!

Is it bath time yet????

UH OH....Looks like it's time for child locks on the cabinets....

Wishing you all a blessed week!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Good news!

Today our little girl turned 17 months old!!!

We love watching how quickly she is growing and changing. She is developing quite a little personality and coming out of her "shell". She seems utterly content and secure with us, and seems to know that we are HERS.

Happy 17 months, Mia...we can't wait to see what your next month brings!!!!!

In a HUGE praise report....Our visit to a Pediatric Urologist today for our middle Son revealed bladder spasms to be the culprit for his recent health issues. They preformed an ultrasound which showed no stenosis or obstruction. They said the bladder is emptying to completion, and it is most likely spasms that are causing him to THINK he still has more "to go". They have started him on a medication and we are hoping to see results soon.
Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes. We were so concerned, since he has been dealing with this for over a month with no answers. We are hopeful the medicine will do the trick...and keep him off the potty so much....;-))


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cuteness oVErlOaD.......

Today we had Mia's pre-op appointment with the Surgeon, where we just basically discussed exactly how they will be repairingthe palate and what to expect afterwards, as far as recuperating. Boy, I THOUGHT I fully understood how the repair would be done...umm..after an extensive explanation, with drawings and diagrams of HOW he would close the palate, I'm probably sorry that I asked. Now
I have a visual of what will be done....connecting, reconnecting, suturing...eeeks....shouldn't have asked:-((. Basically we were told that the hard palate is harder to close than the soft palate, but oddly, the soft palate will be more tender and sore than the hard palate. (FYI....hard palate is towards the front of the roof of the mouth, soft palate is the back of the roof of the mouth). We were told she will be managed with pain medication during our hospital stay and once discharged. Expect lots of blood and drool (yay!!), and PRAY that after about 24 hrs,  she begins to want to drink a bottle...that is what will bust us out of the hospital. The longer it takes for her to drink...the longer we stay....
There is a 25% change of the surgery "not taking" and re-opening, but usually that is due to the patient pushing something hard in the mouth after surgery. He said fingers and tongue are your worst enemy after palate surgery..and so we have to watch both, with her....should be easy with a teething, orally fixated 16 month old...right????;-))

Tomorrow, we meet with a Pediatric Urologist to find out what has been going with on with our middle Son. Praying we can finally get some answers, as our poor guy has spent most of the last month in the potty...going...and going...and going......We have ruled out UTI, kidney infections, diabetes, and anything else that could be detected in the blood. Constipation didn't seem to be the culprit (thanks to a weekend trail of laxatives and lots of bathroom fan running). So, tomorrow, we are hoping an ultrasound will reveal the problem and take us towards a road of recovery.

Ok, I'll just make the rest of this post about TOTAL CUTENESS........

Have I mentioned how much this girl LOVES our Dog's chew toys???

Poor Doggy.......

Goofing around with Mommy.....

oh, and I'd like to report that aside from the occasional nightmare that wakes us up 2:15 am and requires a little soothing...we are sleeping GOOD!!! oh well, it's nice to hear all of that is going to go down the tubes now that surgery is looming..oh well...

I hope that you all are having a wonderful week, and that there is plenty of cuteness overload in YOUR house!!!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

First dates and first kisses...celebrating both....

Yesterday we celebrated Mia's 2 month Gotcha Day Anniversary!! It was also the anniversary of my husband and I's first date--15 years ago!! Aww...memories.... My Sorority Spring Formal was coming up, I had the dress, the shoes, but NO date (loser!!). My Sorority Sister and I had gone to a bar a few nights before, where she introduced me to this handsome, tall, blonde guy. Apparently she told him my "woe is me" story about not having a date for Spring Formal and he eagerly jumped to the rescue and offered to be my date. And so, he escorted me to the Formal...and the rest is history! We hit it off, began dating, moved in together 4 months later (yep..the parents were NOT thrilled), lived together for a year and a half, got engaged, lived together for another year and a half while we planned the Wedding, said I DO, and here we are...15 years later, after that first date...stronger than ever, with this beautiful life and 3 adorable little blessings.....BEST first date ever....
Lordy, we look different now!!!

So, Miss Mia has been with us 2 months..and is just as happy as can be. She wakes up with a big ole smile, goes to bed smiling and is just constant grins all throughout her days. She has just fit into our little family so perfectly. The Boys absolutely adore her and she just loves to follow them around and destroy any toy or creation they are building. She loves the dog and can usually be found either chewing on her squeaky bone (enter gasp from ocd moms!), chasing her on all fours, or laying in Ciccia's bed, while the poor dog just sits there, thinking..."really?? she gets MY bed??".

 She loves to be held, rocked and does a pretty good job at keeping herself occupied for short periods of time. Just give her something to chew on...and she will sit there, in a pile of drool forever!! It is a bittersweet feeling to see how happy she is now. My mind drifts to the millions of orphans around the world who are just WAITING for a family to come and rescue give them's a hard reality to swallow. We woke this morning to news of a tragic Earthquake in China. It's crazy how my mind drifts to her birth parents. Where do they live? Were they affected?? I think about them alot..wondering about them and how they live their daily lives...I'm not sure I will ever NOT wonder about them. They produced this child..this BEAUTIFUL, SWEET baby girl, who God found for us to raise..and we are eternally grateful to have been given this lifelong honor.

This week our sweet 4 year old has been sick and having some health problems. We think we may have figured out the culprit, but we will wait to be referred to a Specialist this week for further tests. If you don't mind, keep him in your prayers, as we hope to get some answers this has been a rough week for him..
All this, while we prepare for Mia's upcoming surgery. She will visit the Surgeon for her pre-op blood work this week, and spend her last full week without a palate....praise the lord...hoping within a few weeks, this girl will be eating solids!!!!

Hope this post finds you all happy and well!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A glimpse into her past

"For I know the plans for you..plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."~ Jeremiah 29:11

This verse rings over and over in my head when I think about our sweet girl. As we celebrate her 2 Month Gotcha Day, I think back to the road she has traveled that has led her to us.

When we first met our sweet Mia, we were given a photo album along with 4 disposable cameras with photos taken of her during her 15 months in her Orphanage. The album was filled with photos going back as early as her first days, while the disposable cameras were used once the Orphanage learned that we had been matched with her and would be coming to adopt her soon. We sent these cameras in each care package that we mailed her, never knowing if they even ever made it to her..but apparently they did and were used.
I have only allowed myself to flip through the album given to us by her Orphanage workers two or three times since returning home with her. I am not going to lie, it is very hard for me to see her in those Orphan..with no family...alone...My heart breaks for what she must have felt and my eyes fill with tears, especially when i see the photos that I know to have been taken AFTER we accepted her file. We were matched with her in October of 2012 and did not get to bring her home until February 3013, so for 4 months, as she lay in her Orphanage, she already HAD a family. A family who had seen her face, learned her story and had been been praying and preparing for her....but she NEVER knew it.....It definitely makes this Mommas heart hurt....
We learned from the Orphanage bits and pieces about her "story", some of which we have chosen to keep private, but others we are very open about sharing. This girl is a SURVIVOR...meant to be FOUND...meant to be HELD and destined to be LOVED. During her stay in her Orphanage, she was cared for by 1 particular Nanny...this is the Nanny who told us that she never smiled, did not like people and was scared of "sounds"...We are currently working on a photo album to send to this Nanny (through another Adoptive family traveling to her Orphanage), so that we can show our sweet girl now enjoying ALL of the things that she supposedly didn't like....

These are just a few of the photos we received of her time apart from us...

Here is our sweet baby girl..

Getting a little older.....
After her surgery....
These next photos were taken after we found her!!! Hard to look at...especially when i think about HOW long it took us to get to her...
 I just realized that she IS smiling in this photo!!! I'd like to think she is imaging the day she will be held by her new family...

The day my SWEET friend Kelly went to visit her in the Orphanage.....Love this Momma to the moon and back!!!
Outside of her Orphange

While our past does not reflect where we are headed, it is a vital piece of WHO we are. For some,the past may serve as a hindrance or obstacle, to keep you from moving to your future..but we hope that our sweet girl's past will serve as a constant reminder of WHERE she came from,THOSE that loved and cared for her and of the STRENGTH that she was given, in order to sustain her early months. We have abundant hopes for our Daughter;that she will grow to know all of the love and support that surrounds her. That she will learn God's promise, see the Mountains that he moves and always find comfort and grace through HIS love...

We love you, sweet girl......

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD ~ Psalm 31:24