Monday, February 16, 2009

Family fun time!

Emily and Nathan are right at home on the little school bus at Amazing Jake's fun place. We also took them to the zoo and Nathan loved the train and as always Emily loved the merry-go-round. It was a 70 degree day and it was wonderful just to let the kids run outside. I think we only saw the monkeys and elephants because the kids were having too much fun just exploring on the paths.
Nathan's one cool dude in his shades! So funny, now every time we get in the car everyone has to put on their sunglasses before we can pull out of the driveway. Emily announced today that all of the movie stars were ready to go! That was our cue to get going I guess.
Quite a bit has happened since my last post. Nathan started preschool. On the days that Emily went to preschool, Nathan would cry and sob. We realized that he was used to going all day to preschool in China, I think he thought we were punishing him by not allowing him to go. We got him enrolled at a different preschool on Tues/Thurs. When I told him that he could go to xue xiao (school), he gave me the biggest hug and kissed my hand. He's starting his third week and LOVES it!
We had our appointment with the Cleft Palate Team at Children's Hospital. Here are the results:
  1. All of the doctor's were very impressed with Nathan's repair. They said it was one of the best repairs they have seen coming from China. It was the same technique they use in the U.S. The small whole that he has in his upper gum is normal for anyone his age with a repaired cleft. I wish our pediatrician or someone would have explained this to us sooner. This whole time I've been worried about it. The whole will be closed when his adult teeth come and he is about 9 or 10 yrs old. WHEW!!
  2. The audiologist tested his hearing and discovered that he has a mild to moderate hearing loss due to fluid behind the ear drum. The doctors state that 9 out of 10 children with a cleft palate have fluid behind the ear drum. So in a month or so Nathan will have to have tubes put in his ears. Once the fluid drains, he'll obviously be able to hear better and that will help his speech and English.
  3. The Speech Therapist said to begin speech therapy as soon as possible. She said not to bother with teaching sign language because he is already picking up English fast and due to the quality of his repaired cleft, he has the proper mechanisms to speak English clearly. He would need speech just to learn how to speak clearly.
So, I am so glad I pushed to have him evaluated so quickly. I had told him that day that we were going to see some doctors and they will be looking in his mouth and ears. I emphatically told him "NO SHOTS" to reasure him since his blood work, he thinks we are always taking him to get shots when I say the word "doctor". The Cleft Team all laughed when one of them asked Nathan to open his mouth and Nathan opened it really wide and said "AH". He is such a wonderful boy...he cracks me up!
Emily has been having difficulties sleeping in her bed still. She will ask us repeatedly if we are going to leave her. She holds onto Jim's finger so tight at night. She asks him to tell her about the first morning we had her in China. About how when she cried Mommy and Daddy jumped up to see if she was wet, hungry, cold...etc. She is reassured by the retelling of that morning that we will always take care of her. Now we just really need to help her understand that we will never leave her..EVER! I know she's thinking that if Nathan was with a family and he is older but now he's with our family...that other family must have left him. How do you handle that logic?
I am so thankful that we have such support from family and friends to help us help our kids. Our social worker has been wonderful and we're meeting with her again (without the kids) to discuss some of the issues and hopefully come up with some tools we can use to help Emily and Nathan.