Sunday, June 29, 2008

RED LETTER DAY!!!

Logan spent both hours today in Sunday School with Ryan! After his initial look of fear, he decided that the classroom looked like too much fun to sit and cry, and he jumped in with both feet. Both teachers said he did wonderfully, playing with the other children during playtime and listening quietly when it was lesson time. It's fun to see him proudly showing off his papers from class time, and he's even tried saying the memory verse!

Ahhhh....progress.

Friday, June 27, 2008

finally some sun

AHHHH...summer in Seattle. Does it get any better than this???








And some video of the crazy crew in the pool...
video

good news and bad news

Well, yesterday was a good news/bad news kind of day. Logan did amazingly well during his eye exam, especially when you consider that there's no easy way to prepare him for what's going to happen. I was impressed...

The good news is that Logan's vision is "within the range of normal for a preschooler." That was nice. He does have some mild astigmatism, but not enough to correct at this point. The doctor felt that putting him in glasses would cause more problems than they solved at this point. She did ask to see him again in a year to monitor his eyes, but thinks everything looks fine. The bad news? Well, the bad news is that Logan doesn't have any vision issues, so the things we're seeing (walking into things, tripping continually, struggling with surface changes while he walks...ie carpet to wood flooring and uneven sidewalks) are likely motor skills related. The biggest reason that's bad is because while he has an evaluation on July 8, actually getting him IN for therapy is harder. The waiting list for both speech and PT is long.

And that was the last of the "bad" news yesterday. While Logan has, in fact, qualified for speech therapy, they are so busy that he's on the waiting list. On the bottom of the waiting list. And they didn't think he'd be able to get in until fall, when they would prefer that we seek school district offered services. Sigh. I guess I can look at the good side--he won't be frustrated with being asked to do things he's not physically capable of doing, and we have more (plenty??) of time to determine whether we want to pursue the VPI surgery. I have several calls in for answers, so we'll see what comes of it.

One other bit of good news from yesterday: Logan is now officially a US citizen. Well, he was officially a US Citizen the moment we landed in the US, but now we have the paperwork to prove it! So this morning, I'm off to Social Security to get him an SS number. Wish me luck! That can be one of the "bigger" challenges for an internationally adopted child without a state-issued birth certificate. Government.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That's what I like about you

For all of us, adding a 3 year old has been a challenge. He's delightful for sure, but it has not been a totally smooth, seamless path. Last night I was struggling and decided to put together a list of all the great things about Logan, so that I can SEE it when we're having trouble.

Logan...
*makes Ryan laugh like no one else can.
*and Ryan play together like they've been together since birth. It's fun to watch.
*willingly eats just about anything put before him. In copious quantities. :)
*sleeps all night every night. Without fail. And, without any trouble falling asleep. A story, hug, and kiss, and he's off to dreamland.
*understands nearly everything he's told. His receptive language is amazing!
*is very bright and curious.
*is a problem solver.
*loves to help. Everywhere he possibly can--like laundry, dishes, and cooking--and some places he can't. Yet, anyway. Yesterday we were leaving for basketball, and he wanted to help. So, he grabbed Momma's car keys, went to the garage, got in the car, and was ready to drive. Fortunately, I was only 3 steps behind him...
*is fully potty trained. Day AND night. Never underestimate the value of that.
*wants to learn, and wants to please.
*has no sensory issues, no oral sensitivities, and no attachment issues.
*has a quick smile and an infectious laugh. And we see (or hear) both frequently.

I know there are many more, but that short list is a start. As I listen to he and Ryan laughing and giggling their way through the new tunnel maze now occupying our dining room, I am so grateful we have added him to our family. He is a delightful addition!

Ye of little faith...

...is apparently a very accurate description of my faith. It's just not big enough. When Logan saw our pediatrician, we all agreed that he needed an eye exam to rule out any eye problems related to his clumsiness. I waited until we went to Children's to pursue it because I hoped for a recommendation of a pediatric ophthalmologist. They gave me some recommendations, but some of them are not on our insurance plan, so I was back to finding one on my own. This morning it occurred to me to check on the website of another hospital in town with extensive pediatric services. Lo and behold, they have several pediatric ophthalmologists, and they all take our insurance. So I called, hoping to get him in before his physical therapy evaluation on July 8. Well...no surprise at all, but God is bigger than that! Logan will see the eye doctor TOMORROW MORNING at 9:30.

One more issue checked and hopefully ruled out. That will leave us with simply the speech/hearing issues to deal with. And today, that feels like plenty.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Craniofacial Clinic visit

Logan did amazingly well! It was a very long day, and I'm glad it's over. Ryan thoroughly enjoyed his playdate with his cousin, which is a good thing, since we would have been hard-pressed to entertain TWO little boys in that exam room all day.

Most of the visit went much as expected. Logan was more participatory with this speech/language pathologist, but her findings matched those of Miss Laura. She loved what she saw in Miss Laura's evaluation and will work with us and her to help Logan progress with his speech. The pediatric dentist was elated to learn that we have a great pediatric dentist here in town that we use; he's someone Children's is very familiar with and enjoys working with. They'll happily consult for us with Dr. Tom and Dr. Jared. That's wonderful, since Dr. Tom is pretty close to perfect in my mind! Anyone who will see all of my crew at one time has my vote--and that office will. I can take all of them in to get their teeth cleaned, and the whole crowd will be done and we'll be out of there in less than an hour. Plus, our orthodontist is willing to work with Children's for Logan's orthodontia, which means we can do all of those things right here in town. The social worker and nursing care coordinator were very helpful and will be great resources for us as we move forward. It will be nice to have such great people on our side!

Our second to last visit was with the plastic surgeon. Up to this point, we were thinking that we would not have to be back for about 9 months, which was nice. This doctor was very direct and very clear about his thoughts for Logan's care. He believes (and we agree, given his explanation and diagram) that Logan needs surgery, and sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see how his opinions are integrated into the team approach to care. He feels very strongly that Logan has an insufficiency in his palate repair that requires an additional surgery in order for him to be able to make sounds correctly. He showed us the physical evidence in Logan's mouth while Logan made sounds that led him to that conclusion. He believes that while speech therapy will be very helpful, it will only frustrate Logan UNTIL this correction is made because he cannot yet physically make the sounds we are asking him to make. He would prefer to run a few additional tests now and schedule surgery soon if the tests agree with his opinion. I don't know whether the rest of the team will agree. I think both of us would like to have Logan do the additional testing sooner rather than later. I'm thankful we have an excellent pediatrician who can help us make this decision. If we had to make a decision right now, both of us would schedule his surgery as quickly as possible so that he isn't any more frustrated than necessary. But we'll see...

Our last visit was with the audiologist. We expected that Logan would have a BAER hearing test (where he would likely be sedated, then hooked up to an EEG type machine to determine his hearing) but that's not what happened. Like a trooper, Logan walked into the room, allowed them to hook him up with the ear pieces, and played games with the assistant. He did amazingly well, performing the tests nearly textbook perfectly! If only the results had been textbook perfect as well. One test (a tympanogram) indicated that he does, in fact, probably have fluid in his left ear. The second tests showed that he has some low frequency hearing loss in his left ear. A portion of the test indicated that it's not only his eardrum that is the problem, that there are some inner-ear issues as well. The audiologist thinks that tubes may help but that because there's something else going on too, we may not see the improvement we hope for. It will be interesting to see what happens next in this area. Because of his age and history, they would not wait to insert tubes in his ears; it's simply a matter of scheduling his visit with the ENT and moving forward. The other results complicate things a bit, and the scheduling is a significant issue as well. Right now, the ENTs are booking first appointments in SEPTEMBER. Please pray with us that God, who has opened so many doors already, would open one more so that we can move forward with Logan's hearing!

It was quite interesting overall, and not as overwhelming as it could have been. In the big picture, he'll have several surgeries before he's 13, but nothing we hadn't expected. Right now, it's these first few months we're more concerned about, making wise decisions about his palate insufficiency and his hearing.

So now we wait for the final reports and recommendations, and the opportunity to schedule a visit with the ENT. Then we get to make decisions! :)

our crew

A new picture of our entire crew...

clockwise from top left: Logan (3), Emily (15), Brent (19), Hailey (17) holding Ryan (3), and Victoria (13)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

tomorrow is a BIG day

Tomorrow morning bright and early we head out to drop Ryan off with his Aunt Patty (thanks Patty!!) so that we can spend the day at Children's Hospital in Seattle. Logan has an appointment with the Craniofacial Clinic, a multi-disciplinary team approach to treating cleft palate and cleft lip patients, as well as children with other craniofacial issues. Of all the places at Children's Hospital, it's the one clinic we've been to before. Hailey was evaluated and deemed perfectly healthy in January 1992...

We'll have a busy morning: visits with the speech/language pathologist, the social worker, the craniofacial pediatrician, the pediatric craniofacial dentist, the pediatric plastic surgeon, the craniofacial nursing care coordinator, and the audiologist. Please pray that things will go well, that Logan will cooperate and give/show the people the things they need to see and hear to help him, and that Ryan will do well with his cousins. Logan's first appointment is at 9am; his last is at 1:30pm. We know the 1:30 appointment will take about an hour, since it's a brain wave hearing test. He'll be sedated for that particular part of the visit. It's one of the areas of big concern since Logan failed his initial hearing tests once we got home. We're hoping for definitive answers and the ability to move forward. Once all the visits are finished, the team will meet to discuss their findings. They'll determine a course of treatment if necessary and either directly provide or oversee all the services Logan needs. We're grateful for such a great team so close to home and are looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

Logan's speech evaluation came back this week, and Miss Laura has recommended weekly speech therapy. So, Tuesday morning bright and early I'll be calling to set up a schedule. After seeing HIS frustration this week, I'm ready to get started!

Thanks for your prayers!

pictures...

Okay, I promised pictures. Thanks to my friend Colleen for sharing with me, since I don't generally take a camera when we go out.



A little "brotherly love" going on...



left to right: Jake, Linlee, Rachel, Logan, and Ryan. Like I said, it was fun seeing the faces of people watching us while we ate lunch. I still think they were more amazed by the 5 preschoolers behaving themselves. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

one month already


We've been home one month already. Some days it seems amazing it's been that long already; other days I wonder how many years have passed since we got off the plane. Fortunately, those days are far fewer now. Good days are more the norm, and I LOVE it! We're settling into a good routine, Logan is understanding (and following) the directions we give, and he's beginning to speak English. It's funny-- he's probably been speaking English for a long time, but we're just too dense to understand. Yesterday, he came running up to me and began talking. Excitedly. So I stopped fixing dinner, got down to his level, and listened carefully. Or so I thought. As he was speaking, I was trying to figure out what he might be telling me. When he was done, I was in the dark. (Not unusual. Mom's not that quick these days.) So, I told him to try again, that Momma couldn't understand Chinese, that Momma wanted to know what he was saying, so could he show me. Instead, he gave me this look that very clearly said, "You MORON!", heaved a huge sigh, and started over. Slower, this time, for the obviously dumb lady in the kitchen. Still nothing registered. So (stupid me!) I asked him again to try it once more. Even more slowly and deliberately, he repeated himself. When I didn't immediately respond, he shook his head in total disgust and walked away muttering to himself. What he said, I don't know, but I'm sure he thinks it was in English. Probably was, too, given how difficult he is to understand. Speech therapy will help--Miss Laura has some awesome goals for him and I can't wait to get started. I'm finding that IF I listen carefully and he repeats himself several times, I can sometimes figure it out. Then the light goes on--THAT'S what he's been saying. He is always so excited when we understand--his face lights up like someone turned on a light. We'll get this...eventually. :)

Overall, it's been an amazing, challenging, humbling experience having Logan in our home. I feel like I've been sanded with 40 grit sandpaper on a power sander--everything I "knew" has been put to the test. But, I've survived. As painful as it's been, it's also been a time of growth. Today in the car I was listening to the radio. Mercy Me's "Jesus Bring the Rain" came on, and I thought about how true the words have been the past 6 weeks. The chorus says:

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise you
Jesus bring the rain

It was followed immediately by Casting Crowns, singing "Lifesong." The second verse says:

Lord I give my life
a living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet
May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

And it struck me. In a nutshell, that's what makes every single day, every irritation, every frustration, every sweet smile, sticky hug, and slobbery kiss worthwhile. God has called me to this, and to do anything less would be dishonoring to him. A dear friend asked last week how things were going. I debated for a bit, then gave a brutally honest reply and said it was the hardest thing I'd ever done. But, because I knew God hadn't called us to this to abandon us, I would keep walking in faith--there is simply no other choice. The response to my honesty blew me away: "... Oh gosh, Jenn, you are a star - you are living the work of God in such a profound, profound way, and you challenge me to do the same." Those words were so encouraging and have carried me through some bad times this week. Because after all, living the work of God is my goal. If doing so and being honest about the struggles challenges someone else, even better.

Pictures tomorrow, I promise! We had a great play date (or "hot date" as Ryan calls it) with our friends Rachel, Linlee, and Jake and their moms. My camera's not available, but the other moms took great pics. The kids had a ball on the playground, and it was fun seeing people do a double-take while we ate lunch: 4 caucasian women eating out with 5 Chinese preschoolers ages 3 and under. I'm not sure what attracted more attention, the fact that we had all these Chinese children, or the fact that 5 preschoolers could be so well-behaved at a restaurant for lunch. It was fun.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

some things are hard

Yesterday was a nice day, weather-wise. And so, when the boys went to bed last night in their pj shorts and t-shirts, they fell asleep without covers on. After all, when you're in an upstairs bedroom that gets the late afternoon sun, who needs covers at 7:30 or 8:00? Especially when the sun is still shining in the window??

Anyway, when I headed upstairs at 9:30, I checked in on the boys. Pulled Ryan's blanket off the foot of the bed and covered him, just like I've done a million times before with the other guys at that age. Then I walked over to Logan's bed. (Yep, they've been separated. But they still share a room.) Fully prepared to cover him as well, I leaned over and realized that his covers were already on. Neatly. Fully squared up, with the top folded over so the edge doesn't tickle his neck, just like he likes. I knew Jim hadn't been up, and no one else was home. That's when it hit me--this little guy did it all by himself. I know he had awesome incredible care at PHF, but for some reason it hurt. There's no reason at all that any 3 year old should HAVE to know how to cover himself at night. That's what Moms and Dads are for.

Yesterday was a pretty awful day, without a doubt. But my heart sure hurt last night, aching for the simple things Logan's had to learn out of necessity. It's our prayer that he will soon understand that even if he CAN do these things, Mom and Dad LOVE to do them for him. He's our little guy, and he doesn't need to be totally self-sufficient any longer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Where do I go

...to resign???

It's only 9:30 in the morning. So far the casualty list doesn't include anything terribly important or valuable, but I CANNOT wait for the day that I can turn my back for 30 seconds and not have something broken, damaged, or otherwise compromised.

I'm off to rewash the clean laundry that was smeared with dirt from the tennis shoes. The shoes I told them specifically to NOT TOUCH. The ones they went into the garage to get, after I told them not to touch and put them outside to clean. All while I did something as silly and selfish as go wash my hands of said dirt from the shoes.

AAARRRGGGHHHHHHH.... It will get better, right??? Please?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Finally making progress??

You know, it's amazing what a little "adult time" and some sunshine can do for a person's attitude. Last night, Jim and I went up the street and had some ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. I love their ice cream, but last night it was a bonus, since what I REALLY needed wasn't the ice cream but the time away from home. Okay, time away with someone to have a conversation with--a REAL conversation, not the kind you have with 3 year olds, or with 3 year olds who don't speak English yet, or even the kind you can have with delightful teens. I was in serious need of conversation with an adult, and I went to bed happy last night.

Then today the sun came out. What more could a girl want?? It was a lovely afternoon, pulling weeds and hanging out in my rose garden. The boys loved playing in the sun and the sand, and "helping" Daddy mow the lawn was an extra special bonus. We've decided on the new swingset for the back yard and have set a goal to have it set up by the end of the 4th of July weekend. That will help, too--having something to climb and play on will make a difference for all of us! And, we'll get yet another wading pool, since we have horrible luck storing those year to year. Maybe the sun will even come out and stay out long enough to use the new toys.

Because they played so hard and don't take naps any more, both boys crashed right after their bath tonight. Hopefully the outside playtime will help Ryan sleep through the night. Slowly, he's getting better at that... And the best thing of all? Logan's FINALLY making attempts to speak English!!! Much/most of it is very difficult to understand, given his speech issues, but I'm around him enough that I recognize several phrases. Even Poppa (my dad) recognized one today!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! If tomorrow is like today, we will for sure!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An amazing testimony, and a serious prayer need

I don't know if any of you have read Nate's blog but it's an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness as this little family deals with cystic fibrosis and the premature birth of their daughter. Today Nate and his family are asking for prayer because his wife Tricia is needing more tests after her lung transplant. Prayers for the doctors as they run the tests, for wisdom as they make diagnoses and offer options, and for continued healing for Tricia and baby Gwyneth would be greatly appreciated.

And if you've never visited their blog, do so. You will be inspired, humbled, and challenged by this family that so clearly loves and serves God.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One month ago

Dear Logan,

One month ago today, you met your new family. Almost all of us, at one time. It was a lot of new people, and you knew enough to understand that you were leaving your "home" forever--leaving to go live with these people now holding you. As I watched you cry and scream, I have to admit that I did wonder if in fact you would be better off staying where you were, if it was really the right thing to put you through such agony. I knew then that in the end, you would receive much love, care, and help you couldn't get in China and that it was the right thing to do, but it was so hard watching you grieve. Fortunately, your curiousity got the best of you and you decided to give it a go.

The last month has been one of incredible challenge and amazing change. I told a friend today that sometimes we take it day by day; sometimes just minute by minute. Most of the time now, it's day by day. You are getting so much more comfortable! With it, though, have come new challenges. Your strong will, the part that has helped you grow and thrive through difficult times, is now trying Momma's patience. Daily. Your inquisitiveness knows no bounds, and of all the words you understand and have learned to dislike, "NO" tops the list. Telling you that dumping water from the bathroom sink onto the floor is a "NO" is likely to have you searching the tupperware drawer for cups and bowls to dump faster. Telling you that throwing sand on Ryan is a "NO" means that in 23 seconds he'll be completely buried. So much of every day is spent trying to find ways to tell you "YES!" hoping that it will help ease your frustration. That frustration seems to be borne of an inability to communicate. And yet, even communication seems to be more a matter of stubborn pride than ability. You KNOW the words and you know how to use them--we hear them often. You LOVE showing off all the new things you have learned. You LOVE the praise, the hugs, and the high fives that come with each new accomplishment. And so, each day is greeted with hugs and kisses and eager anticipation about the things that might happen, and each evening is met with relief that it's finally bedtime! :)

So what's next for you? HARD challenges! You start speech therapy soon. You'll have a long visit with the craniofacial clinic at the hospital. That alone will be hard--you've learned so far that going to the doctor likely means pokes and blood draws, and it frightens you. Both Momma and Daddy will be with you, and it is our fervent hope that the clinic will be able to solve some problems we know you have--hearing, for one. We hope they have some ideas for helping you chew your food more effectively. We know that the team will work with your doctor, your dentist, and Miss Laura to do the very best they can for you. You need to understand that Momma and Daddy have high hopes for you, and high expectations. You CAN do this! It will be hard, but we know you are highly capable!

You also have a PT evaluation coming up. Hopefully some PT and OT will help get you over the hump in your gross motor skills and some areas in your fine motor skills. It's hard to watch you wanting to do things just like Ryan and know that you understand you can't. We so want you to be right there with him. PT and OT will be hard work too. But we'll be right there with you, cheering you on. You can do it!

I wish I could tell you how much your smile lights my world. How much I love having you snuggle with me. How fun it is to see you give everyone a hug and kiss before you head to bed, just like you've done it every night for your entire life. Even though your inquisitiveness can make me nuts, I know that you will do great things some day! It takes a curiousity about how the world works to make things better, and I can see you making great changes in your world. You love the simple things in life: watching Daddy mow the lawn, playing in the sandpile, watching your sisters play basketball, doing puzzles and coloring in your new color books, and reading, reading, reading.

And so, dear Logan, at the end of this first month, we eagerly look forward to the growth we know we'll see. After all, you are a survivor. And more important, you are a gift from God. His hand is on your life, and no matter what the challenges you face, He will go before you. He has brought you this far, and He will not leave you.

We are so proud of you, and so glad to have you in our lives! You are an amazing, brave little boy, and we love you!

Momma and Daddy
(and Brent, Hailey, Emily, Victoria, and Ryan, too!)

Friday, June 6, 2008

He PASSED...or failed...or something...

Crazy day!! Logan had his speech evaluation today at noon. I am still blown away with the whole thing. I mean--he's been home from China for 2 1/2 weeks. We've not had him with us even one month yet, and he's already had a speech evaluation! And the great news of the day: he passed...or he failed...or...he QUALIFIED FOR SPEECH THERAPY! YEE HAW! He'll start in about 2 weeks or so.

No, he doesn't speak English yet. No, he won't get therapy in Chinese. Many of Logan's issues right now have to do with oral/facial muscle control, so he'll be learning exercises to help with those things. He'll have some feeding therapy too, to help with his tongue-thrusting while he eats. Any exercises that build muscle strength in the mouth are game, and our first assignment is to get a hard plastic straw and help him be successful with it. The therapist suggested starting with his favorite juice or other thin beverage, then work up to "McDonald's shake" thickness as quickly as he can. Then, have him practice every day until he's great with a crazy straw! I guess we'll be drinking some smoothies here... It's not like Logan needs the calorie packing, though. That would be Ryan! Hmmm... Maybe Ryan will benefit from Logan's speech therapy too. That would be a bonus. :)

And even better news: Miss Laura, who did the speech evaluation, will have a full report ready for the SLP (speech language pathologist) at the Craniofacial Clinic on June 23. The two places will work together to make sure Logan's getting the best types of therapy for his situation, with one side looking at the practical, and one side clearly understanding the anatomical differences in the mouth of a child with a cleft palate. Miss Laura has worked with cleft palate kids before, but she welcomes the input from the clinic. They are the ones determining if/when he'll need surgeries and how best to do those so he regains/retains the highest level of speaking ability possible.

Fortunately, today is over. It's been a crazy one for sure. But God continues to bless us with amazing people in our lives. I knew we had someone who had agreed to bring us dinner, but I forgot to tell her I'd be gone much of the day. When I got home, it was sitting on the porch just waiting for us! I am so grateful for friends who love us and care for us!! Thanks everyone--you are DEFINITELY appreciated!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And it just keeps going...

I just got off the phone with the Craniofacial Clinic scheduler at Children's Hospital. While it generally takes quite a while to get in to see the interdisciplinary team, because there was an opening, Logan has an appointment on June 23. I am STILL in awe...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thank you Lord!

I don't know what to say. I mean--when we talked to the dr. on Monday, he told us he'd fax the referral to Children's Therapy for OT/PT/speech evaluations, but to expect that it would take 6 to 8 weeks to get Logan in for the evaluations, and that speech would be the longest wait. Knowing that, I called today to make the appointments. I was fully prepared to have appointments in late July or August, with speech possibly as late as even September. I was frustrated by the thought, but knew there was nothing I could do.

What I didn't count on was that while I couldn't do anything about it, God sure could! Just before I called, another client called and canceled her child's speech evaluation. For Friday. June 6. At noon. So Logan has his speech evaluation on Friday at noon. Unbelievable! I am totally blown away by the whole thing. Praise God for His mighty provision, even in the little details!! And we scheduled a PT evaluation for July 8, which isn't that far away. Once the speech and PT are done, as a team they will determine if an OT evaluation is necessary. Of the three, it's the one I think we need the least.

I'm still stunned.

SCORE!

The boys are in the other room watching some Signing Time videos. Why didn't I get these earlier? Like maybe to take to China?? Logan is making HUGE connections--making the sign, trying to say the word, then dashing through the house to find the "real" item he's signing. I think he's making the connections... :)

This could be good. VERY good.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

someday...

...I'll be able to move 1/2 step without crunching a little body. I'm truly grateful they find me fascinating, but it will be fine with me to return to the realm of boring (or at least the "not fascinating").

A picture of the boys wearing their new brain buckets...er...bicycle helmets. They have provided hours of entertainment so far, and it's too wet outside to go ride trikes!




And I finally finished uploading the last of the pics off my camera. Found this one of Ryan and Jim napping just before we ate lunch on the day we got Logan. I think it's one of my new favorites. Like father, like son...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Logan meets the doctor....and has LOTS of blood drawn

When we adopted Ryan, I debated (VERY briefly) about using the adoption medicine practice over by the University. Decided against it, in part because I didn't want to drive that far and in part because I had great confidence in the pediatrician we had used for years. It was a good decision. But our doctor retired about 18 months ago, and I wasn't real thrilled with the new doc we chose in the group practice. So we floundered a bit, and once again I debated the adoption med docs by the U. Instead, we changed to the new doctor in the practice, and I am SO GLAD we did! He's awesome!!

Today was Logan's first US checkup. CHI provides a very comprehensive list of tests needed to be run, many of them blood tests. Because the list was so long, I dropped it off on Friday so they would be prepared for what Logan needed to have done. I also included our list of questions and concerns about Logan. Dr. Moore sat and talked with me for about 30 minutes before he examined Logan. He confirmed some of our concerns and reassured me about others. Then he did his exam. No huge surprises...or at least nothing we weren't somewhat prepared for. Logan passed the hearing test on his right ear with no problems, but didn't do so hot on his left ear. I anticipated that might happen. We've struggled with some volume issues, and if I talk to him on one side there's been very little response. (But God provides in amazing ways. Although I hadn't planned on it, I started doing daycare last fall. The girls are darling, and their sweet mom is an audiologist for a local school system. Before we ever decided to bring Logan home, God was clearing the way by providing just the right people to help!) Dr. Moore confirmed some concerns about his gross motor skills. Again, nothing hugely significant, but things that he wants evaluated sooner rather than later. And, after listening to him speak, examining his bite, and watching him chew, he asked to do two things for us. First, he wants to get involved in setting our appointment at the Craniofacial clinic, because he wants some things checked or verified and a plan of action in place as quickly as possible. (Mostly bite and hearing, but also speech evaluation) And he gave us a referral to Children's Therapy, the local office for speech/OT/PT staffed by Children's Hospital, just down the hill from the house. He wants Logan to have a full evaluation ASAP. He doesn't feel there's any reason for concern but wants to see him receive as much help as he needs as quickly as possible to take advantage of his obvious desire to learn.

And so, the frustration that we see? The rage that he's displayed? The stubborn streak a mile wide? Normal. Expected, for a child who is as bright and inquisitive as Logan seems to be. The hope is that if we get him started soon, we can unlock this "trap" he's in and give the bright, sweet little boy inside a chance to blossom. We had planned on stopping by Children's Therapy today to pick up bicycle helmets at "Bicycle Helmet Monday." Now we'll stop and pick up helmets AND schedule an evaluation. Not bad.

If only today's exam didn't require 5 test tubes of blood, everything would have been perfect. Oh well.... Now we wait to see how the tests--for lead, HepB, TB, parasites, and others--come back, then see where we are.