Saturday, May 29, 2010

Medical Update on Xin

Over the past week we have had several medical appointments for Xin. He had his first "well" check-up and I am happy to report he is pretty ...well. He is in the 5% for height and 25% for weight. A rather small little dude but probably not for Asian standards. These are the American charts. He still had fluid in his ears and so he was on a second round of antibiotics. I see tubes in his future. His lead and iron were normal-yeah! I guess he didn't do a lot of chewing on toys when he was little! The pediatrician confirmed there was still a "sound"-not a hole in your heart sound but a sound in his heartbeat, so she referred us to a pediatric cardiologist. Not to worry she said, so I will go with that advice for now, or at least try to! After receiving 5 shots in GZ the poor guy still needs 4 more to get caught up-ugh!!!!!! We are doing that when Jaida has her 4 yr old check-up in Oct. Won't that be fun to have TWO 4yr olds getting shots?!?!?!

We also saw the cleft doctor, for lack of a better title. He is Chinese and one of the best in the country so we are glad to have him close by. He feels Xin will need a surgery we weren't planning on here in the near future. He is lacking the capability to close the air off from his nose when he speaks so he talks very "nasally"-again lack of a better word. This surgery would reattach his muscle to give him that capability and provide better quality of speech. He referred us to speech therapist for further testing. I asked on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst case-where was Xin? He said a 3-we will take a 3!

Enter speech therapist and testing done yesterday. Well, he did not fair so well but I didn't expect him to-he doesn't know the English language yet nor is he familiar with American items-toys, scenes, tools, etc. It would be like placing an American child in China after being there 3 weeks and showing them and asking them questions concerning the items. So he pretty much failed the comprehension part and did not fair so well on the articulation part either. She did a test where it registered the amount of air coming out of his nose when he said words starting with B's-things we say with our mouths and .....oh boy......the little ball in the tube shot to the top and bounced off-not good-lot-o-air through the ole nose. So she confirmed the Dr's diagnosis of needing a surgery. She said she really did not want to start therapy until the surgery was complete because it would be useless without the capability. Think tennis lesson with a broken arm. The good thing was I learned what we need to work on as far as the English language, for example, pronouns, opposites, ing endings, shapes, colors......and so on! He really is catching on though, he might not be able to point to the color red but if I show him something red and ask him to show me another red he does. All in time!

So, we will go to the ENT and the cardiologist in a few weeks. I am thinking tubes will be needed but that can be done the same time as the palate surgery. Hoping and praying there will be no need for additional heart surgery. If you have extra prayers in you, we could use some for no further heart surgery. Thank you, thank you!

All in all, not too bad. Xin continues to learn and grow and blend into his new family. We are very thankful for the good care and attention Xin received while living in the Beijing Children's Welfare Institute. A HUGE answered prayer!!!! We will be forever grateful to the wonderful people who worked there during our son's first 4 years.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My "lived-in" home!

So, this post is NOT for those of you who have wonderfully tidy and picked up homes. As a matter of fact, if your house is immaculate please don't look at the pictures that follow. And how DO you do it?-keep it tidy that is-please leave your comment and let me know how it is done!

The pictures that follow represent my well lived-in abode. It drives me crazy at times and at times I don't even see the clutter -I just step right over it! I know someday they will all be gone and my house WILL be immaculate....and lonely! I will wish for the days of dolls, cars, dirty socks and little voices yelling my name constantly. So for now, I will try to put my type A personality aside and lived thru the clutter that fills our days at present. After all, it isn't just a house, it is a home.....a well lived-in HOME!

This is our dining room. We have lived here for 5 yrs and have probably dined in it 8 -10 times. Instead it is a great place to do legos and set up the soccer stadium for "baby Xin" and "baby Jaida" to catch some pretend soccer games. Today the chairs were filled with the real Xin and Jaida too, along with their sunglasses and cell phones!

This is Ollie! Ollie was 1 yr old yesterday-note signs on pen and kitchen chair in back that state this fact. The kids celebrated his bday with treats and a new toy. He is in the pen, which by the way sits in the middle of my kitchen....for almost a yr now, because he chews, still, everything he can get his teeth on and he "pottys" still too. This way he can share "family" time and still be under my watch! Also note the play kitchen set-photo right-Xin and Jaida cook here with plastic food and dried beans which inevitably drop on the floor and get crunched under foot!

Ah.... the island. And a great view of the entire, pen and clutter. This island collects junk,aka crap, constantly. We had a mudroom with desk and cubbies built so as to avoid this but alas..........sigh.........


Notice the dirty socks on the stool, countless receipts for heaven only knows what, catalogs I THINK I am going to look at in my spare time-HA!-and the pile of recycle stuff to the left of the sink in back-"Al and Tipper Gore" here are doing our part for the environment! Actually, this happens to look pretty good-some days there is NO island to be seen under the mound of cr--.
Doesn't this make you want to stop over for a cup of coffee or better yet dinner. You could sit ON the dirty socks, amongst the legos or even in the stadium seating....that is if Xin and Jaida would share their chairs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A different kind of crown for the princess!

Ok, so Jaida has had a HARD time lately! To say the least. This new brother thing has just rocked her "princess world". Friday night we were excited to go to some friends house for a cookout. Julia had to call to say we would be a little late-Jaida had a train stuck in her head. Thomas the Train to be exact! Here are the pictures of our unhappy Princess and the desperate attempt to save the hair and undo the wad wrapped and twisted around Thomas and his motorized wheel.

A close up of the train/crown.

A full blown family affair as you can see. It did come out, along with a wad of hair, but not too bad considering. She doesn't have alot of hair as it is poor thing and a princess needs her tresses!!! Thomas on the other hand did not fair as well. We had to pry the wheel off to save the hair and now Thomas doesn't move. He has already been replaced with strict instructions NEVER to run a moving train in your hair again! Who would have thought? Jaida sweety, we love you to pieces anyway!!!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

One month ago today........

One month ago today our little boy walked into our arms! It seems like a lifetime ago. So much has happened and he has changed so much! He has gone from a screaming, thrashing (have to say not likable at all times) kid to an absolute sweet heart. He is kind, gentle-hearted, loving, smart, funny, and easy to get along with. He is picking up English well and communicates more with gestures now instead of full on Chinese. The tantrums are a thing of the past-oh please stay that way! He does follow me EVERYWHERE! Think shadow-that is him. I guess he is curious and may be afraid I will disappear? It is challenging to handle at times. I am still adjusting to life with 4 kids-mostly life with 2 toddlers/preschoolers who compete for my attention CONSTANTLY!!!!!! It will get better though-or at least I hope it does. He really has adjusted beautifully and much quicker than we thought. We are all falling in love with him and his sweet endearing ways! He seems to love his new family and we feel blessed to have him as a part of us. We believe he was well cared for and loved because he really is very loving and kind. That can only mean he was shown those qualities. Thank you Lord for answered prayers!!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

The FOUR reasons I get to celebrate this day! Thank you for letting me love you!

May the Lord's grace, mercy and love guide me as I strive to raise these gifts He has entrusted to my care. I am truly blessed!
To all the Moms out there.......Happy Mother's Day. And to MY Mom, I love you and I thank you for all the years of love and dedication!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We are HOME!!!!!!

I know how Dorothy feels. There is NO place like home! Especially when you have been gone 20 days. We have never been away for that long and quite honestly don't want to be again.

So now that we are home, we are all settling into our new normal with our new roles. Jaida, bless her heart, is struggling greatly. Xin is doing very well, Julia and Sam are coming out of jet-lag phase and are really my right hand man and woman. Will has gone back to work-poor guy, lots to do there. And I am the tired, overwhelmed but very blessed mother of 4. Two toddler/preschoolers and jet-lag don't mix well. It is getting better though each night. More sleep comes and that is a very good thing!
We have had only 1 tantrum since we have been home and that was the day we all got up at 3:00am because we just couldn't sleep. He is picking up the language well and motions and shows me what he wants vs speaking Chinese all the time. He absolutely loves playing outside and hanging out with his brother and sisters. He is sweet, affectionate, smart, silly and curious. The hardest part is that he is like a cave man. You have to watch him every second, which is tiring, because he doesn't know simple things...... you don't touch the hot stove, or pull the lamp cord or the curtains down. You don't walk out into the street or put your entire hand into a bowl of food or the dog's food. You get the picture. But it is WORLDS better than it was in Beijing. He has made huge strides and it will continue to move forward. It is so cute to watch him discover the world. Very simple things kids take for granted he has never done nor seen. Sad really. I am sure we will Americanize him soon enough and he will be spoiled rotten. But for now we will go through the process of showing our little boy how to be a part of a family, how to love, how to trust, how to get along in society and how to love the Lord. It has been quite the journey these past few weeks and we did not do it alone. We had all the love and prayers that sustained us and most of all we had our God. We did not do this.....He did!