Thursday, June 19, 2014

Christy's First Month Home!

Two Feet on US soil - a new US citizen!
Oh my, time flies!  I can not believe that as of this week, Christ has been in our home for a month!  Her first day in our home was May 18.  She has done so very very well in adjusting to our home!  She even acclimated to our time zone within days - faster than I did, that is for sure!

 We have been very busy settling in, finding a new routine that works for now, and getting her the medical diagnosis that we felt were important - here's a list of appointments she's had and what we found out from them:

Carese - the binky caretaker
May 20 - Pediatrician - basically got her height weight, updated our Dr with her new medical information and got her file started and a general look/see for her doctor and her.

May 22 - University of Washington Adoption Medical Clinic (3 hour drive each way!) - Dr Davies got her weight height and looked over both Christy and her latest medical documents and got referrals in place for things like cardiology, neurology, speech and physical therapy evaluations being top priority, Ear/Nose/Throat  evaluation, eye sight and hearing are all on the list too, only not critical.   She also had a myriad of blood work drawn and tested as well as stool cultures done.  So far everything has been great, with the one exception of a Vit D deficiency (we are giving her 1000 IU/day now).

She wasn't too sure about grass, but she warmed up to it!
May 27 - Pediatrician - checking Christy for cold symptoms, but mostly discussing the findings from Dr Davies and discussing referrals needed. She also got to watch Christy drink from a tippy cup and put in the feeding referral right away...told me to only feed her foods from a spoon until then (thickening everything to pudding consistency to be on the safe side).
It was hat day, or something!  Carese wanted to do whatever
Christy was doing that day!

Starting the next day, a virus passed through our family - Rachel, Elizabeth and Carese with high fevers, and I got tonsillitis, the worst case that I can remember (it really took me over a week to finally have no pain)!  Esther and Christy did not get sick at all which was totally weird!

Too stinking cute!
June 3 - Seattle Children's Hospital Cardiology/Echocardiogram -   I finally got all the answers - Christy did no only have an ASD correction like her earlier documents had said, but a very complete open heart surgery - they repaired an ASD, a VSD and an AV Canal defect.  They basically reconstructed the middle of her heart.  The echo was not as clear as they would like, but she feels that the surgery was very successful that she will not need any further repair work.  We are to bring her back in one year from now.  That was a very good sign!

Playing at her Neurology
June 5 - Neurology - after reviewing her medical files, and observing her clinically, the pediatric neurologist has determined that Christy has brain damage.  This could have happened either when she was born (traumatic, fetal distress induced emergency C-section) or during her open heart surgery.  If it happened at or around the time of birth, then it is called "Cerebral Palsy" but if it happens later in life they refer to it as a "stroke."  Either way, it is a stable diagnosis (that means it is not getting progressively worse) but it is permanent.  At the same time she did agree that it was very promising that we were already seeing her use her right hand and arm more and more since we brought her home, and with therapy and the blessing of a home and many siblings to play with, she has great potential to gain more use of her right side and she believes that she will be able to walk someday too!  So that was great news, but I did shed a few tears as in my heart I had really hoped that it was just some pinched nerve that adjustment/surgery would correct.

All 4 in matching PJs!
June 8 - First time we were able to bring Christy to church!  She did great and we had a wonderful time introducing her to our church family.  She would not make eye contact with strangers and got a little stressed if people wanted to touch her, but she had no panic attacks and we were even able to stay after the service for the potluck!

Favorite toy - her own foot!
Jun 10 - On the 5th, I finally got a good look at Christy's teeth and immediately made an appt to see our pediatric dentist.  On this day my suspicions were confirmed.  Every molar had as least two cavities (one above each root) and she needed work done right away.  She has been referred to Seattle Children's for this and has a consultation scheduled for the middle of July, but she is on a cancellation list, so hopefully we can get her in sooner. So far no abscesses, but I am to keep and eye out for that and brush regularly.  She does allow me to brush her teeth, but I can tell that sometimes it hurts (she winces).

First Sunday going to church - all in
Matching dresses (all of which came
from a consignment store!)
That was the  last appointment so far, but in the next month we have the following:

(I have two appts for a new crown as a tooth broke last summer and last weekend it broke further...)
June 24 - ENT
July 1 - Esther's pre-surgery consultation for her dental general anesthesia procedure
July 3 - Christy - Physical Therapy Evaluation (hoping to get a referral for braces and her knees bend backwards to an alarming degree)
July 11 - Christy - Feeding Therapy Evaluation
July 15 - Christy - Seattle Children's Hospital - dental consultation
July 17 - Esther - Seattle Children's Hospital - dental surgery

Good night mommy!
So we have a busy month ahead.  We still have some things to schedule yet, but they are not urgent (like vision).

Matching PJs that were given as gifts from
Two different people in two different states!
As far as Christy's integration into our family - it has gone so very much better than I even hoped!  She really had no problems with our busy home, except occasionally if played with too long she would get grumpy, but would recover if she got some time by herself.  She loves to scoot all around the house exploring her new environment.  She continues to love reflective surfaces like our kitchen appliances. We have definitely had to do some "baby proofing" in the home, especially since she loves to put things into her mouth - she loves to chew on paper, plastic and other things....but yet she spews out things like Cheerios and Kix - go figure!

Here are some videos that I think you'll enjoy!

Christy at the UW appointment, having a great time waiting.  She LOVES mirrors, can you tell?

This was just two days ago - this is her right hand/arm that has pretty much been useless.  When we visited her last fall, she could only move it occasionally and it was usually to get you to stop messing with it.  This is purposefully using it to experiment with the toy!  This is miraculous!

This last video was taken that same day, only at bedtime.  Esther has pretty much ignored Christy until very recently.  We noticed that she showed jealousy for the first time just last week, and it was when she saw that Reuben was spending time with Christy and Reuben is Esther's favorite person.  Then, on this evening, she was actually playing with Christy on the floor and they were laughing together.  I thought it would stop when I took them to bed, but I was wrong and I was able to take this amazing, sweet video of them playing together!

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