Two months ago today, we stepped off an airplane with a tiny three-year-old boy. This boy was legally in our care, but he really wasn’t ours yet. These days, we can’t imagine life without him (except when he throws fits, but I assume all parents – adoptive and biological – can agree with that).
E’s Two Month Report
We’ve really gotten to see more of E’s personality in the past month.
Some of my favorite things
– He kisses Louis goodnight without being prompted
– He is not a morning person. When you say “Good morning!”, he shakes his head, glares at you, and says, “No.”
– He loves to imitate Nasko. I now have two little boys who like to pretend to be puppies.
– He LOVES to be outside, and is incredibly offended when someone goes outside without him.
– He giggles a lot these days – especially when being tickled or being bounced on the trampoline.
– He is very smart and opinionated. He likes to choose which shoes he wants to wear, and what accessories to wear each day (sunglasses, hat, etc.).
– He flirts with anyone new, letting them in on the fact that he is adorable and he knows it.
This was the month when we seemed to get all our appointments scheduled.
Here’s a brief report of all the doctors we’ve seen –
Infectious Disease: They did blood work and tested his levels. Everything came back in the appropriate ranges, so we aren’t concerned about anything with that. His daily medications have received minor dosage adjustments.
Dietician: We met with a dietician in St. Louis (that I didn’t love) but then met with another one here locally (and I do like her!). E is technically labeled as “failure to thrive” because of his small size and lack of weight gain, so we are working on ways to get more protein and fat into his diet. (Not necessarily an easy task with a toddler!)
Occupational Therapy: E will start receiving services twice monthly. We have not gotten his full evaluation back yet, but I know they are working on some issues of balance and self-awareness. They are also focusing on his left leg, and its range of motion (or lack there of).
Speech Therapy: E has very weak oral motor muscles. He will receive speech therapy twice a month to increase his oral abilities and his vocabulary.
Pediatrician: E’s first pediatrician visit went well. She documented his weight and height in order to track his growth properly. She also made multiple referrals for more doctors!
Orthopedic Surgeon: Because of the surgery done in [EEC], E’s hip is in the correct place. He is missing a portion of his hip that causes his leg to grow though. He may eventually need a surgery to help lengthen his left leg. Also, he will probably need hip-replacement surgery in ten years, or so.
Casting and Braces: E has been fitted for a leg brace that will extend from under his left knee down to his heel. He will also have a shoe insert that will lift his left leg .5 inches to make up for the leg-length difference.
Spine Specialist (Nurse Practitioner): E has two extra half vertebrae in his spine which are causing the scoliosis. Surgery may need to be done in the near future to remove these vertebrae. An MRI has been scheduled to get a better picture of what is attached to his spine.
Gastrointestinal Doctor: A sonogram was done to check E’s belly and kidneys. These results will be reviewed at an appointment in early October.
Cardiologist: The heart murmur that was detected in [EEC] was confirmed. It was also discovered that his main artery travels down the wrong side of his body. More tests are being ordered to determine what affects (if any) this might be having on his trachea and esophagus.
Ears, Nose, and Throat: E has swollen tonsils and adenoids. He also has an atypical amount of fluid in his ears. We will soon be seeking Orphan Court approval in order to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and drainage tubes placed in his ears. Because of his many other medical conditions, this surgery will probably require and overnight hospital stay. The doctor thinks that E may be suffering from sleep apnea because of his swollen tonsils and adenoids, so we’re hopeful that the surgery will eventually help his issues with waking through the night!
Optometrist: E actually does not have astigmatism! This was misdiagnosed and his vision was reported as being great! He does not need glasses and does not need to return to the eye doctor unless we notice any changes. (Hurray for one good report!)
In case you wonder what we’ve been doing to fill our time – please refer to the “physical/medical section of this report!
I feel like I’ve made great strides in attaching with E this past month though. He has buddied up with Chance from the beginning, but he’s now starting to respond very positively to me, my demands, and my discipline. E is going to be my artist, so I’ve really tried to make an effort to spend time “creating” with him one-on-one since that’s an activity that Nasko doesn’t care for, and Louis is too young to do.
Like I said, E loves to create. He’s very interested in coloring, cutting, and using stickers. For this reason, I am starting a little bit of homeschooling with him.
Many days, he is the first child to wake from nap, so I work with him one-on-one for a few minutes. We have started a workbook that focuses on coloring and fine motor control.
E’s speech is the domain that has progressed the most this month. It’s not always easy to know how much English he understands, but he is certainly picking up on it quickly.
Just this week, he was trying to communicate to me that he needed his diaper changed. He came to the kitchen and said, “Mama?” When I responded with, “Yes?” he said, “Come on!” He motioned that I should follow him, so I did. When we arrived at his final destination (the changing table) he said, “Good job!” Those are apparently a few phrases he’s heard before!
I have tried to encourage him to say single words, but he seems like he’d rather gain the English language in full sentences (next month – paragraphs!). We’ve heard him say things like “Up there,” “Thank you,” and “Where’d it go?”
He’s been playing around with turn-taking in conversations too, as he will seek my attention (“Mama? Mama? Mama!!!”) and once I respond, he will spew a whole string of sounds that are not his native language, nor his new language, and then he’ll FREAK OUT until I affirm or deny his request. Heaven forbid I don’t answer him, as he’ll start all over with a much louder and more urgent tone! I have this fear that I have actually agreed to multiple things that are against my religion! I’m just hoping he doesn’t start quoting me once his speech is more understandable!