Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nashville, TN & Montgomery, AL

We have arrived in Florida!! We are staying in Rosemary Beach - a little town in the panhandle.  The house is lovely and the area is beautiful. My parents are staying with us so tonight we were able to go to dinner sans kiddos. Our first night without the kiddos since Kunming!!

I am not going to lie, the drive was a little crazy.  Two 9-10 hours/days of driving will do anyone in.  After the first day I had a stiff neck from turning around so much and giving the kiddos food.  Seriously, I was really uncomfortable.  We stopped in Nashville for the night and that rejuvenated me a bit.  The hotel was awesome and the girls loved the fountains and the ice cream!!

 Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN


Emma's first Ice Cream Cone - Chocolate with Peanut Butter
(what type of parents are we that we made her wait this long?!)

The second day of driving I tried to turn around less but the neck stiffness hit an all time high after hour 6.  We stopped in Montgomery, AL for lunch and to let the girls run around.

 Montgomery, AL - Riverwalk 
Note - these are Emma's PJ's as we left so early in the morning!

Expending a little exercise!

Montgomery, AL - On our way for some BBQ at lunch!

We are super excited for the week at the beach!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Girl

This week Emma has shown us her adorable sisterly love side. She is babbling up a storm and is trying to communicate that she wants to do anything Lexie can do. I think she knows something is up based on the once/day doctor appointment schedule we seem to be on &  has decided that she will show us that she is in fact fine and does not appreciate going to the doctors every day!! :-)

 Goofing around in the playroom

We are heading to FL for a week on Friday returning on April fools day. It should be a nice break from all of the appointments. Time to just relax and play without the worry about the next appointment.

Matt starts back to work that following Monday. It has been amazing to have him home for these 12 weeks. I am forever grateful to our employer for allowing such a generous policy and for Matt's teammates for taking his work while he was out.  I have decided to take 3 more months off to figure out what will be best for Emma.

We still have a lot of unknowns about what is going on. It seems that hearing loss often goes hand in hand with a variety of other symptoms and the doctors want to just be doubly sure that the hearing loss is not a result of a larger issue. Anyway, the path of figuring all of this out & starting treatment for the hearing loss includes visits to all of the following individuals/groups: 

1) ENT doctor
2) Audiologist
3) Speech Pathologist
4) Radiologist for a CT Scan
5) Ultra Sound technician @ U of M
6) Geneticist
7) Ophthalmologist 
8) Early On Speech Therapist (Early intervention in Michigan)
9) Early On Hearing Therapist
10) Pediatrician (regular visits to ensure we don't have ear infections and that she is gaining weight) 

So you can see, we are a busy household.  Thank God for University of Michigan Motts hospital and the $2 parking as long as you stay < 4 hours. :-)

Emma takes all of this like a champ by the way.  The other day Lexie got a shot at the doctors office and Emma got two.  Lexie cried like a baby. Literally, I had to carry her out of the building while she was screaming hysterically like someone just cut off her arm. She talked about it for 3 days straight and she still will mention it ('why did that doctor hurt me?'). On the other hand, Emma took both shots like a walk in the park. No crying, she just watched it happen and moved on.  

Bless her little heart, we love her to pieces. 

Friday, March 16, 2012


No easy way to start this post so here it goes....we found out on Tuesday that Emma has partial, permanent, hearing loss in both of her ears.

This came as a complete shock to Matt and I.  Yes, I was at the U of M ears/nose/throat doctor but I went with one banana at nap time thinking we were going to have a quick conversation about tubes.  5 hours, 3 tests, and an ear molding for hearing aids later, I left to drive home. My phone died by the time the banana was gone.  So when I showed up 3 hours late at dinner time, Matt knew something was wrong.

We had no indication this was coming. Emma seems to be hearing fine and her words are actually coming along great. But, apparently, partial hearing loss is like that. If we had not had her tested, we may not have known until she was 4 or 5 when her speech was delayed.

In fact...when we got home, my pediatrician actually said the hearing and eye test were not required if I did not suspect anything. I scheduled the eye appt about a month ago when a few ppl mentioned that Emma had a lazy eye (of course I didn't notice that either) and the hearing test got scheduled routinely at that time.    So while this is heartbreaking for me as a mama, I am very glad we were able to detect this early.

We are still absorbing this information and trying to understand what it means. If you know of anyone who also has a child who is hard of hearing, please pass their information along (or pass them my blog). To be brutally honest, hearing loss was not one of the needs we said we were comfortable with when we first started Emma's adoption. Emma's referral listed her hearing as 'normal'.

Some friends have asked me if I am upset with China for the missed diagnosis.  After 4 days of thinking about it, I realize I am not upset at all. God knew better then to list her file as hard of hearing.  He knew we were her parents and lined up everything to make that happen. Matt and I may think we know what we 'need' but God is the only one who really knows that.  We just have to let go and trust that things will work out!

In the meantime, Emma is just adjusting great. She says mama now and I know she means me (for those adoptive parents out there you know how amazing this feeling is)!  She also says dada, nana (banning), more,  poo poo, & bye bye.  Moreover, we have twice caught her fake crying after she 'fake' fell down  while playing with Lexie.  Smart girl. :-)

Emma in FL in early March - see full pictures of our vacation here!

Please pray for Matt and I as we figure out how to navigate these waters. Pray to give us peace with this diagnosis and to give us the guidance of what we can do to help our little miracle continue to grow & adjust.