Friday, January 24, 2014

One month home

Last week Ryan had an appointment with an ENT. I wasn't worried about his ears but his adenoids since he lightly snores and sounds hoarse all the time. The appointment was at nap time. Not good considering I've been working fervently on getting him on a strict napping schedule so he feels more secure at home. We were there almost two hours and by the time the doctor came in to see Ryan, he had been asleep for about 15 minutes. He woke understandably upset to a man all in his face. The dr was very nice but that didn't help. He checked both ears and found he had an ear infection. I was surprised because I hadn't seen any signs other than waking often which could have been attributed to a dozen other things. I then recalled that often times adopted children don't show signs of pain because their hurts and falls have been dismissed at the orphanage. I'm not sure if this was the case but I did notice many times kids at the orphanage would fall HARD and not even cry. They were picked up and brushed off instead of being hugged and loved on. So possibly Ryan had this infection for a long time and didn't show signs of pain. The dr then checked his nose and noticed the drainage we've seen. Nothing green or major just a runny nose. I was disappointed he didn't check his throat but Ryan was screaming and it was traumatic for all three of us. We go back for a follow up next week and I will ask that he check the adenoid/throat area again.

This week we went to the International Adoption Clinic in Birmingham. What a God-send for adoptive parents! International adoption is complex and having a team of doctors and therapists who have adopted internationally or have been adopted themselves brought me such peace knowing there are specialists that  REALLY understand us. We met with the therapist for nearly an hour. She asked dozens of questions about how he's adjusting, adapting, bonding, attaching, prior life at the orphanage, etc. We were so thankful that most of our responses were positive. Ryan is obviously adjusting and adapting well to us but to know the therapist also noticed it was very comforting. She was very pleased with his interaction with us and our responses. She said a big part of the reason he's doing so well is because of the care he received at the orphanage. (insert my huge tears of relief here..seriously I cried and cried)  He was loved and cared for and it shows in his interactions with his family. He is very affectionate with us, gives us hugs and kisses all day and is so thrilled to see Papa, Katie and Braden when they come home that he squeals with JOY. He LOVES his family! He isn't showing indiscriminate affection with strangers which is a wonderful sign. In fact he's scared of strangers and clings to me if someone even tries to hold him. I know everyone is anxious to love on our boy but it's still too soon so for now give him a high five if you see him or knock some knuckles. :) He will be ready to give and receive hugs soon and we'll let you know when it's ok. She did recommend it was fine for me to start leaving for 30min every once in awhile. I can tell him goodbye, leave and show him that Mama comes back. I had been afraid to do that yet  so it's good to know the right way to do it. We met with the dr after the therapist completed our session. Dr Chambers checked him out from head to toe and found one ear impacted with wax. We've got some drops for that. She pointed out two TB inoculations on both arms that we hadn't even noticed. She said his foot that he kicks out may resolve itself but if it not, we will see a PT in six months. He gained TWO POUNDS in one month which is awesome! He's showing growth in height and weight since we first shared his file with IAC a year ago when we were matched. All positive signs! The dreaded blood work came at the end of our appointment. They drew antibody titers to see what immunizations he's received, they also checked for Hepatitis, lead, and a few other things. The first draw was traumatic and Mama could not take it once Ryan moved and they lost the vein. I sent Daddy for the other vials which resulted in a total of NINE. That poor baby was screaming in a way I've never heard before (THANKFULLY!). I also have to do a sweet little stool collection over the week to check for parasites. We will get all results when we go back next month plus a developmental session with the therapist. 
Playing at IAC. It was a long day and we found a ball and played in the hallway. I happened to catch one of many wipe outs in the hallway. Crazy kid!

After the blood work. Those tears came off and on all the way home. Did I mention it was a three hour drive back to the house? Very long day! 

Here are some happier pictures of everyday life with our little chocolate muffin. 

Ryan's first trip to the grocery store. He sat IN the cart which was a huge since he's usually in the Ergo, or being carried if we shop. He said, "Mmmmmmmmm Mmmmmmm" down every aisle. He loved holding all the groceries. He even insisted on helping me bring the groceries inside. He loves to carry things on his arms so I put a bag on his arm and he toddled on in the house. 

Nap time snuggles help with the crankies. 

He officially LOVES bath time now! It's Daddy time which he enjoys since Daddy is gone to work all day. The first few weeks bath time was torture but he's LOVING it now which is great cause we're clean people around here :) 

He is understanding so much English. He learns something new every day. It's amazing to watch! He goes to his room to get his diaper without being asked now. If he's poopy, he will go and get the diaper and wipes. This morning his wipes weren't in his room and he was confused. He was looking for them and called out, Hallllooo!?!? (people what did you DO with my wipes?)  He then puts the wipes away on his dresser when he's done. He does the same with his shoes - gets them and puts them away. He understands the nap/bed time routine. Lights off, white noise on, door shut, he grabs the elephant lovey and blanket, then we rock. He will dump all the duplo blocks out of the bag and when we tell him to clean up, he cleans them all up. He finds satisfaction in cleaning, whether it's cleaning up his toys, helping me clean the french doors with Windex, taking a towel and wiping down walls or floors. I know these are things he's seen the ladies do in the orphanage and they taught the kids to clean, too, I'm sure. A few days ago we had let all three dogs outside. Two came back in but one didn't. She started scratching and Ryan ran to me, gave me a pat and showed me Nugget wanted to come inside. He's loving the dogs now which is a huge relief. He was so scared of them the first time he saw them. He now gives them hugs and kisses and obviously looks out for their well being, wanting them to come inside from the cold :)

A few of his new words he can say:
PupPup (puppy/dog)
Gabbbblablab (or something like that for Yo Gabba Gabba)
Cocoa (he loves chocolate)

He can name the following body parts by pointing to them: teeth, nose, eyes, belly button, and he's almost got ears down, too.

Nap time is still a struggle. He wakes every 20-30 minutes and I rock him back to sleep. He will wake again and we repeat. This means Mama is not productive but we will work on it. I'm hoping by next month we can start putting him in the crib and sitting by him until he falls asleep. Bed time is much better. He usually only wakes 1-2 times now if at all. Praise God for that! Daddy gets up with him when he wakes around 5-6am so I can get a few more winks. 

We are slowly settling into a new normal life with our precious toddler boy, after one month home. 

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