Saturday, July 26, 2008

And they're off!

Yes, it's that time of year. We head out tomorrow for a week of fun in the sun and water, a week camping with 8 other families. This will be our 15th summer at the lake, and Logan's first time! Can't wait to see how he does. Of course, he'd better follow directions. Today was NOT a good day!! At one point, after very specific instructions to stay away from the ladder, we found Logan on the ROOF of our trailer! Talk about scary! He spent a few hours having to be within 2 feet of Mom, then we gave him a bit more freedom. OY!!

Pictures when we return. In the meantime, keep praying for my nephew Nicholas. He's doing well, but still needs your prayers. If you want updates, check here:

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I asked Logan the other day what his name was. He replied "Yo-yan." After the hugs and high fives for such great pronunciation of his name, I asked him about Xiao Tong (his Chinese name). There was a pause, then he looked at me and said "all gone" while he did the sign at the same time. Apparently he didn't want any misunderstanding.

I'm thrilled he sees himself as Logan, as part of this family. But it hurts to see that he has disconnected from China so quickly. It's only been 9 weeks...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

my guys

It's cold and cloudy today, and we're all wearing jeans or sweats and sweatshirts. The boys are longing for sun, though--they're wearing sunglasses! Logan can't seem to get (or keep!) his on straight. It's hilarious! They look like gangsters...

Our weekend adventure

We've lived in this house for almost 15 years, and for the entire time our back door has needed to be replaced. It's never been a huge high priority until now. The boys have been driving me NUTS with their constant asking for help going in and out. We finally bit the bullet and replaced the door on Saturday. What a difference! And the boys are in heaven...they can open the door. :)

The hole--the sliding door is 8' wide, so it's a BIG hole!

And the new's AWESOME! Jim wants to replace the windows on the back of the house now, too.

Monday, July 21, 2008

3 year old boys with teenaged sisters... least it wasn't their FINGERnails!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sad news here tonight

In September 2006, my 4 year old nephew was diagnosed with leukemia. After nearly 2 years of treatment, today Nicholas had a lumbar puncture that brought more bad news: he has relapsed. We are heartbroken. Please keep my sister Pam, her husband Tony, and their boys--Nicholas, now 6, and Teddy, almost 9--in your prayers. He will be hospitalized tomorrow for a new round of intense chemo, likely to be followed by a bone marrow transplant.

Nicholas during his first hospitalization, September 2006

Nick during the intensification phase of treatment, maybe November 2006? Steroids are part of the chemo regime and are responsible for the significant weight gain.

making sense of Logan's hearing loss

Last fall, God blessed us with a new friend, a mom whose daughters spent Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays with us. At the time, I didn't now just how much of a blessing Kristen would be, but she's been awesome. Yesterday, she helped SO MUCH! I didn't know we needed an audiologist in our lives, but God sure did! We're grateful He brought Kristen to us.

Monday I was at the doctor's office, and I asked for a copy of Logan's audiology report from our craniofacial visit. I had the opportunity to re-read it and see what I could understand. After a bit, I sat down and copied what the hospital audiologist had written and sent it to Kristen. She helped me make sense of it, and sent me a great chart that helps us see clearly why Logan doesn't always respond to us, and a list of helpful ideas to make things easier for all of us.

She sent us an audiogram with a "speech banana" in it. It was helpful to take Logan's report and graph the numbers onto it. When we did it, we could see that he doesn't hear the following sounds well out of either ear:

z, v, j, m, d, b, n, ng, l, i, o

He doesn't hear these sounds out of his left ear, but some from his right:

a, p, r

These are the sounds he hears most clearly:

h, s, ch, sh, k, f, th

That doesn't leave much.... No wonder his English isn't progressing as we'd hoped. No wonder he doesn't always respond to us. No wonder he responds less if I have my back to him when I talk. No wonder he sometimes does strange things when I ask him a question. He's not hearing us as well as we'd like! Or, I'm sure, as well as HE'D like!!

We're hopeful that ear tubes (to reduce/eliminate fluid in his middle ear) will be done this fall and will help, especially in the sounds he doesn't hear well out of either ear. They might give him some of those sounds back. I'm praying they do, because I suspect that when Logan can HEAR we'll see a language explosion!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Houston we have...

...SUCCESS!!! Yes, Logan starts speech therapy on Friday July 25. The scheduler was apologetic that the therapist would be gone Friday August 1, but I'm elated--we're on vacation that week. He'll have speech every Friday through September right close by, then the therapist moves to a new location a bit farther from home but still convenient. Finally!! The funny thing is that I got a call today for speech therapy from another place he was on the waiting list--they also have an opening for him. When it rains it pours. :)

And on other fronts, our new sliding door was delivered yesterday too. An 8' slider is not a simple thing to deliver, but it's sitting in the garage waiting for the weekend. Guess what's happening here? Yep. The best news is that Brent will be home for the weekend, so he's going to be able to help us install the new door. Sometimes size and brute muscle is a good thing. We're excited to see him, but this is an added bonus.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a little light reading

My new improved summer reading list. Ought to be a blast on vacation, huh??

* The Out of Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder
* The Out of Sync Child has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder
* Therapy Techniques for Cleft Palate Speech and Related Disorders

If Logan's not going to qualify for or be able to get in to therapy, I'll just have to do what I can on my own, I guess. First step? Start learning...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Hmmm...hard to know even where to begin. The days are better (sunshine helps!) and overall things are good to very good. We still haven't found any place with spots open for speech therapy. That's still frustrating, for sure. We still don't have the new back door we ordered nearly 3 weeks ago, and haven't heard anything about it, either. That's frustrating! Making me nuts, in fact. But life goes on...

Logan had his physical therapy assessment yesterday. It went well, but Logan didn't qualify for PT. They evaluate the kids on a scale, with kids scoring in the 1st to 85th percentiles qualifying for therapy. Logan scored in the 87th percentile, so he just missed needing PT. The PT recommended that we have him evaluated by an occupational therapist for sensory processing issues, so we scheduled an appointment for this afternoon. The OT agrees that he has some issues that affect his movement and coordination, but like PT, he scored just a point or two higher than would qualify him for therapy. She gave me several exercises to do at home, some resources available at the library, and her card, so I can call her with questions. She suggested that if we don't see a significant improvement by the time he has ear tubes put in, then we should call her and she'll see him for a few months of therapy. And so we're back where we started.

Over all, though, today was an amazing day. I had an opportunity to visit a friend whose baby has been in the hospital for 8 of the last 11 weeks. This mom is a young mom at our church, one we met many years ago when she was a teen, Brent was a baby, and she was his babysitter. Then, she was Emily's favorite Sunday School teacher. Now she's a mom to many children, including her darling newborn with health issues. Amy and I had a wonderful time chatting. She's been down this special needs adoption road before. She has a house full of children. She understands the joys and heartaches of little ones who struggle to believe that they are loved and are never going to be left again. It was SO ENCOURAGING to just sit and talk. I'm sorry I've been so busy and haven't been able to do this before, but I think our time together was just what both of us needed today. I know I was refreshed, and I thoroughly enjoyed a morning without children! Then, this evening we had our annual camping trip planning night. Every summer since 1994, we have gone camping with the same group of families. We have a ball together, swimming and boating and relaxing in the sun. The group has changed a bit--the children are mostly teenagers now, the babies belong to the married children, and the parents are a bit wiser. :) But the ladies sure have fun planning the meals! We took 2 1/2 hours to complete a 15 minute task, talking and giggling and laughing about all sorts of things, and enjoying wonderfully delicious ice cream pie.

And for those who wonder how close the boys are to the same size, I have this funny picture. Today when I hung the clean laundry out to dry, I hung Ryan's clothes next to Logan's clothes. Keep in mind that they are only about 3/4" difference in their height. Logan's just way bigger than Ryan. He's such a dinky little thing, and it's very apparent in this pic, because Logan's just a bit smaller than the "average" 3 year old in the US!

Ryan's clothes are on the left. The shirt is a 2T, the shorts (which are way too big around the waist!) are an 18 months. Logan's shirt and shorts, on the right, are a 3T.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I knew there would be days like this, but today's been a bit frustrating...

*Logan can't get in to see the ENT until August 25. We're on the wait list for canceled appointments, but they don't happen often. I know August 25 isn't that far off, but it's hard to learn to talk when you don't hear well.

*Even though I've spent 2 days calling places that do pediatric speech therapy to find him SOMEWHERE to start, no one has returned my calls. I've called several places, all recommended by Children's Hospital, but I'm getting nowhere.

*Logan won't have an evaluation for his next surgery until 9 months after he starts speech therapy. The team agrees that he needs surgery, but he has to have more speech sounds to effectively evaluate the type and degree of correction needed. So, at this point, surgery is at least 1 year off...

*Yesterday was nightmarish. For some reason, Logan alternated between extremely clingy and totally rejecting me. I understand it's all tied to his adjustment to home, but after 3 hours of being whined at, clung to, pushed away, and hit, it was old. VERY old. Fortunately, today's been a little bit better...

*The new sliding door we ordered 2 weeks ago to install in the back didn't come. We had planned to replace the back door over the 4th of July weekend, but it's hard to do when you don't have the door! Now, who knows how long it will be before the new door is installed. And I was SO looking forward to not having to open the slider for the dynamic duo every time they want in or out.

Oh well. Tomorrow's another day. And a good one, to boot: Hailey and Emily will be home after 2 weeks in Mexico on a mission trip. It will be so good to have them home! They've been missed.