Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Big Scheme of Things

I know it has been a long time since my last post, but it has been crazy at our house. We are taking it day by day and getting through it all. We have had a sick child in our house for 14 days now...It all began with Morgan and was passed along to Rylee and now Ryan has it...He ran a high fever for 6 days straight. Scared me to death since we are still learning what is his "normal" and "not normal". Yesterday, we made our trek up to Cincinnati's Children Hospital for his initial visit with a pediatric otolaryngologist. Oh my gosh, the hospital was amazing...So huge (like an airport) and child friendly! We were very impressed with everyone's helpfulness and friendliness. Unfortunately, it takes trips like this sometimes to see how blessed you truly are. Seeing some of the children, we know how minor Ryan's medical issues are in the big scheme of things - Though we are going through some major transitions and still face some obstacles, they are so minor in the big scheme of things. While at the hospital, we talked with a resident briefly and he used a metal tuning fork type instrument to see how Ryan would respond. Ryan is much more apprehensive with males so, that was not a very productive little evaluation. We were then escorted to the audiology waiting room where we met another mom with her little boy that was adopted from China and had the same condition (microtia in just one ear). From there, we went to see the audiologist who gave him a screening. Our little guy responded a couple of times, but was more interested in the toys the audiologist was using to distract him than he was in being attentive to the sounds. They then tried the test with a bone conductor aid and he did about the same. There was not a significant enough difference between the test with and without the bone conductor so, she spoke to us about the BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) - which is what he will probably end up using except in the soft band form. (The aid can not be anchored to the bone until the child is a bit older.) She requested that we return in 3 weeks to retest him. They will try testing him 3 times before they will resort to the brain stem response test as they do not want to have him under anesthesia unless absolutely necessary. After the test and consult with the audiologist, we spoke with the main doctor himself who has many patients with this same condition. He gave us the big picture and the options that could possibly be available to us. Thankfully, we see eye-to-eye on everything: Establishing as much hearing as possible and as soon as possible is our main priority. Cosmetically, they can not do anything until a child is 5 years old and we have plenty of time to consider those options - if we chose to do anything. He ordered a CT scan and will use that to determine the temporal structure of both ears and that will answer more questions for us. Ryan is scheduled to return on Feb. 27th for another hearing evaluation and his CT scan. He will go to the University of Kentucky on Feb. 12th for an echo cardiogram and ultrasound of his kidneys. Due to the fact that the ears, heart, and kidney develop around the same time our pediatrician wants to be sure that everything is functioning properly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Hat!

Well, it is official...I wear a new hat these days. Maybe I should rephrase that - I have a new wardrobe; Black and white striped shirt(No,they've not sent me to prison), black pants, whistle around my neck and a penalty flag in my back pocket. Whew! It has been crazy around here, but I believe it is slowly beginning to smooth out a little. Rylee is beginning to adjust to the changes, but is a STRONG willed 3 year old little girl...Enough said! The 3's were not easy with Morgan, nor have they been with Rylee - only 9 more months to go (I'm thinking of making a ticker counting down to her 4th birthday for the blog)...Then, I will have another 3 year old on my hands. HA! Overall, it does seem to be improving and she is quickly learning relearning the boundaries and rules of our home (Some days, I'm convinced that the introduction of Ryan into our home erased her entire memory!). Ryan is doing well. He had his initial visit at the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Kentucky. We do not have the blood work nor the other labs back yet, but overall he is a healthy little and the 15th percentile for weight. An occupational therapy assessment was done while we were there and there were some concerns about his gross motor skills. Personally, Mike and I are not concerned as we have observed the skills that he was asked to do here at home. Ryan was just not into what she was asking him to do as he wanted to be in the room playing with her toys and that paired with the language barrier, he just wasn't very cooperative. We have been referred to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital for his audiological assessment, etc. That is scheduled for January 30th. We are very anxious for that appointment! Ryan is adapting well. He is hugging and bends his forehead forward for kisses. He is picking up a few English words and is signing - night-night (sleep), I love you, potty, finish, help, thank you, eat. I am not using 100% signs with him, just a few key words here and there along with saying the word. He absolutely loves his Matchbox/Hot Wheel cars and is not uncommon to see him playing with them while wearing Rylee's tiara. He has the most expressive little face and is not afraid to tell you off in Chinese - we aren't sure what he is saying or if he is really saying anything at all - but there is no doubt that he is not happy with you! He is the funniest and sweetest little guy and it doesn't take long for him to make you laugh!!

Morgan is still Morgan... Going with the flow, initiating some of the chaos, stepping up to help without being asked, and loving every minute of being the "big brother"!