Wednesday, May 29, 2013

8 Month Update

I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this--it's been a while.  How time flies, huh?

Things here have been interesting--good, but interesting.

  • L underwent surgery on his right ear to rebuild his eardrum.  Once he has healed we will retest his hearing--probably in August--to find out how successful the procedure was.  Surgery was about 2 hours long, and as they were messing with his inner ear he was pretty dizzy and nauseous when waking up.  His middle ear, or the teensy-eensy bones that clank around, showed scarring from infection, so it will remain to be seen if he will need permanent hearing aids.  We are realllllly hopeful that the surgery will do the trick, but realistically we are probably in for a much longer road.
  • His left ear was fitted for a hearing aid.  I read a million stories of huge, massive toddler battles about wearing hearing aids, but L decided almost immediately that he *loves* his. He wants to wear it at night, and asks for it each morning.  Something to be very thankful for.
  • He makes this face when he hears something new, which is about every 10 seconds:

The list of new things he can hear are kind of astounding--we honestly didn't realize how bad things were and kind of didn't believe the audiologists when they gave us results of his hearing tests. He can now hear the dog walking on the hardwoods, Cory sneezing (which is kind of like a bomb going off), the garbage truck outside, and the list goes on and on and on.  Nuts.  I can't tell yet if his language is improving--I think I'm around him a bit to much to really know.  He will have a formal evaluation in the fall by our school district and hopefully will qualify for speech and language services. 

The most interesting thing about the last few weeks in relation to adoption is the increase in...I don't know...pity stares.  I've had a stranger a day tell me I'm amazing for "taking on such challenges" --between the limb deficiency and his bright yellow hearing aid, we have now achieved sainthood.  Good to know.  We are also told how "inspirational" he is, and I just don't have a response to that.  I mean, what are his options?  He's missing one hand and is wearing a hearing aid.  People get along just fine with a lot worse than that.  Seriously, he is the goofiest kid around, with a laugh that rivals Eddie Murphy, who thinks it's hilarious to ask for eggs and poop for breakfast.  He's normal.  But with obvious and noticeable differences, I really need to work on appropriate, deflecting responses.   

Other than that, things are just plugging right along.  L is excelling at Little Gym, where he's making friends and is increasingly following directions.  We were out for a week when he was Mr. Snot Faucet, and when we returned he was met with lots of "Yay!  L is back!" from the other kiddos in the class, which made me happy.  He's a rough and tumble little guy, and I suspect can be overwhelming for other kids at times.  But apparently they appreciate his enthusiasm as well.  The other kids are also very interested in his arm and on more than one occasion a child has taken his arm and looked closely at it (he has several small finger buds).  He responds by picking up their hand and looking closely at it with a I don't really get what we're doing here, but I'm game look on his face.  Funny, and at least at this age the explanation that "he was born that way" suffices.  I know that won't last forever. 

We are continuing with preschool on Fridays in anticipation of him going on his own in the fall, plus have signed him up for soccer and are considering hockey (husband's childhood game).  We've been working L dressing by himself, and he's doing well--we are down from about 40 minutes to around 5 when he's focused.  Zipping and buttoning are still challenging, but he's getting there.  It was an exercise in teamwork--he and I figuring out each step together.  The limb deficiency does make a difference when pulling on jeans. 

And soooo, pictures!
First ride on a ferry! 

His preschool's playground space shuttle--perfection.
At the airshow--not really sure about this!

Changing the train line (on an old and unused track!) in Montana

All ready for surgery!



  1. Oh, he's so cute! Love the plane picture. glad to hear surgery went ok, hopefully all will be fixed.

  2. Wow, he looks great - happy and growing so big! I can only imagine him laughing hysterically at his own jokes (little guys LOVE poop jokes!) and actions.
    Seriously, people will say dopey things , especially when you have a little kid. Probably least said is the solution to the people who call you "saint". I always told people that I was the lucky one, being mama to my girl when people told me (!) how lucky SHE was. As he grows perhaps (?) people will focus more on him as a whole and less on his hand and hearing aids. WE can hope.
    I love that he is excited about exploring the hearing world with his new "ears". What a cool thing for him (and you). Life is unfolding right in front of you all. Magical. I am so glad you posted an update. I had been wondering how all of you were doing. Stay in touch, please. Best wishes.

  3. Best wishes for positive results from the surgery. I love the look on his face hearing new sounds. Awesome that he wants his hearing aid. His embrace of it is definitely something to be thankful for.

    The comments about taking on such a challenge and about how inspirational he is would annoy me, too. I mean, he's just your kid, right? Just like anyone else's kid. It reminds me of the woman in the grocery store who thanked me for adopting my sons. I told her, "I didn't do it for you." She said, "I know... you did it for all of us." I said, "No, I didn't. I did it for me," and walked away. Rude, but people need to stop and think that these are our children, not a charity cause.

    Have you read the picture book "Harry and Willy and Carrothead?" I had a student some years back who was missing a hand, and we had some good discussion in class after reading that book.

    1. Kyra - really? Someone said that to you? Egads, I want to apologize for her and I was not even there. Sigh. You are right - our kids, not a charity case. I doubt that anyone would say anything to you if you had what they assumed to be a biological child with a visible difference. Our choice to adopt internationally seems to make some people feel free to impose their own discomfort/sympathy/faith perspectives etc. on us. An on-going challenge and adventure, that is for certain.

  4. OMG that first picture brought tears to my eyes--of HAPPINESS! To just imagine the delight of hearing all those new sounds, so adorable and I'm so so happy for him as his world just continues to open up.

    And yes, people say the stupidest things. While our children do not have physical limitations, people always seem to assume we have done something 'saintly' by 'rescuing' them. I am usually too busy wrangling them to really give an appropriate answer.

    Thanks for the update! Maybe I will eventually update my blog, too :)

  5. I'm still reading! So great to see an update on your totally adorable little guy! It sounds like the surgery went well, and I love that photo of him reacting to a new sound. It's probably a whole new world for him now. I'll hope that the surgery did the trick, but it's wonderful that he's embraced the hearing aid so well.

    I'm sorry you're having to deal with the "pity stares." If only those people knew what an absolute joy and blessing your son is to you. He is nothing less than that.

  6. I have been checking sporadically...nice to hear again.
    Stapes mobilization...probably akin to his surgery if not actually it....I'm so proud of myself that I could pull that phrase out of my memory of the surgery my landlady in 1961 had to get rid of her hearing aids! At my age I'm increasingly thrilled when I can remember anything.

    How fantastic it is that he loves his hearing aid! And a big thank you to whoever invented those! My mother, your great aunt, was one of numerous relatives eventually needing them. Her last ones were so superior to her prior sets that she was amazed by hearing rocks hitting the bottom of cars going past on the street...they decided to readjust them! Those were the first ones she didn't adjust herself. They have come a long ways with them. I noticed she spoke less loudly when she had good ones...logical.

    After decades of teaching my guess is that kids will continue to react to his arm as curiously, sensibly, and acceptingly as they do now. It won't be his hand or hearing aid that matters to them. While they can be brutal the greatest acts of compassion I have ever witnessed were from children in cases, unlike L's, where that was of the percs of teaching. I suspect some of those adults making assinine remarks actually may be more happy for you and him than most because they've noticed enough to want to express something positive but, obviously, lack communication skills and, unfortunately, are sensitivity 'challenged'. I liked Anna J.'s response...merciful but it may get that person actually thinking.

    The pictures are great of all of you. Thanks for sending them. Difficult as going through the surgery, etc. was the progress being made with his hearing is thrilling. Great to hear from you. I'll look forward to the next one. Judy

  7. Oh my goodness. He is so painfully cute! It warms my heart to hear / see how wonderfully you all are doing. PS If you figure out how to deflect the well-meaning but ridiculous remarks, please let me know! ;) Thanks for posting. Maybe it's the push I need to up

  8. Wonderful news! Thank you for the update