Friday, February 27, 2009

Do you have 4 minutes to spare?

As I was going through the list of blogs I follow I came across this video. For such a short video, it speaks volumes about the orphans in this world. Please take a few minutes to watch this and pray for those who may never find their forever families.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Turning Point

I think we have finally turned a corner with Miss Mylee. Yesterday afternoon was the last time we gave her any pain medicine, and she has not complained since. And to top it off, this morning she seems to be back to her spunky, happy self. She is up playing, crawling around, laughing (it has been awhile since we have heard a laugh from her), and smiling. She is even bossing everyone around again. I am so thankful that she is getting back to herself. To be honest, I was worrying that having the surgery had triggered something from her past in China because of the way she was acting. But after seeing her this morning, I am confident that she is fine and on her way to a full recovery. The only thing that really stinks is that we have to go back next week for round two. I am just hoping that after this trip, she will not have to go back until the casts are taken off for good.
Please continue to keep her in your prayers especially next Wednesday as she is going back under anesthesia.
Please enjoy the pictures. They are not the best quality, but her smiles sure make up for it.

She was cracking herself up here.

This is going to be Mylee's bed soon. She and Emma will share a room. She is so excited to sleep in a bed like Emma.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Settling In

Again, sorry for the length of time between updates. Mylee is doing well, or at least as well as can be expected. This weekend she was pretty grumpy and in quite a bit of pain. She would wake up in the middle of the night complaining that her knee hurt. Once her medicine kicked in she would go right back to sleep. As long as she is getting her medicine, she is in pretty good spirits. We can tell when it is starting to wear off because she will stop playing and just lay around.

She will go back next Wednesday to have her left leg stretched. In order to do this, Dr Loder will put her back under anesthesia and cut off her cast. He is going to pull, push and bend her left to try to get it to stretch some more. After that, she will have her cast put back on. The good thing is that she will not have to stay over this time but, it is probably going to be a very long day.

Below are some pictures from her stay at the hospital.

Finally getting her PINK casts on. That is all she talked about.

The nurses fell in love with Mylee and continued to bring her toys and dolls. Mylee was head over heels when they brought her this baby and play doctor kit. She was so funny to watch. She would put the latex gloves on before she did anything to her baby. We may have a future doctor in the family.

These last two were taken shortly after her morning dose of medicine. At first she is pretty low key, but after about the first 10 minutes or so she is off playing until it starts to wear off.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Sorry, not pictures with this post, I just wanted to let everyone know we made it home safely. We were discharged from the hospital around 12:30 this afternoon. Mylee slept the entire way home. She did wake up about five minutes from home and seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. As soon as we got in the house, I gave her her pain medicine and within 20 minutes she was perking up a bit. She couldn't wait to show everyone her pink casts.

Since we have been home she has played and eaten a little, but is still not at 100%. We were told to expect her to be in a great deal of pain the first 48-72 hours and continue to push the pain medicine even if she doesn't seem to need it and then start back off by Sunday. She is sleeping right now and I really hope she is able to sleep through the night for her sake and mine. I am wiped out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Update #2 FINALLY

This was taken shortly after she was in recovery.

Sorry it has taken me so long to update, but we have been in post op since 12:30 p.m. and it is now 6:45 p.m. and we are just getting a room.

The surgery went well. Dr. Loder said that "she has a very weird anatomy." By that he means that he has never seen anything like the inside of Mylee's legs before. Apparently where our thighs and knees are there are tendons and muscles. Well, Mylee has no muscles in that area and the muscles that are in her legs and ankles have fallen down. He said that she definitely did not have club feet or dislocated hips. And that he really doesn't know what her diagnosis would be. He said that the right ankle turned out really well, but he is going to need more work on the left. She will return in two weeks so he can take off her left cast and stretch her legs and muscles more. To do this she will have to be put out with anesthesia again.

Once we were able to go back to the recovery room, she was awake and asking for me. She did not appear to be in too much pain. She was able to keep fluids down, had some ice cream and even some crackers. We should have been taken to a room right away because she was doing so well, but the hospital is so busy that we had to wait on a bed to open up. So, we sat in the recovery room for six hours. Mylee was so good and quite the entertainer. All the doctors and nurses were really taken with her and kept coming over and talking to her and basically spoiling her. Of course she did not mind one bit.

Once the caudal (pain medicine that was injected into her back) wore off, she was a totally different person. It started wearing off around six, so that is when they started giving her some torodol and morphine. By that time, it was time to be taken back to her room.

I ordered her some dinner because she said she was hungry, but she took maybe three or four bites and she was done. My sister stopped by and brought me some dinner and some gifts for Mylee and she seemed to perk up some. She was even playing with a pretend cell phone for awhile. Once my mom and sister left, Mylee fell asleep. She is now in and out of sleep. She has frequent muscle spasms and they cause her a great deal of pain. The nurses are doing everything they can to make her comfortable. When she has a muscle spasm, her left knee begins to shake and she will wake up screaming. They are giving her Valium often to help relax the muscles.

As for tomorrow, she will go down to the casting center in the morning to her the fiberglass wrapped around her casts. She has been talking about her pink casts since we walked in the door of the hospital. After that, we will meet with a case worker who will measure her for a wheel chair since she is going to be so sore. Hopefully after all of that she will be discharged and can go home. They have already gone over the home care as well as given me a stack of prescriptions for pain.

Since she is finally sleeping pretty well, I to am going to take this time to catch a few z's. I will update again as soon as I can, but it probably will not be again until we are home. Thank you to everyone who has called to check on Mylee and for all the prayers that you have all said. I am sure that He has heard them because despite all the pain she is in right now, she is doing pretty well.

5 minutes after morphine.

Within 10 minutes of being in the room and after a bit more pain medicine

Update #1 Pre Surgery

Last night turned out to be a late night for all of us. Mylee did not go to bed until after midnight and we had to be up at six, so we are all pretty tired. Anyway, Mylee got up this morning asking to go see Dr. Loder and get her pink casts. Unfortunately, she did not really know what was going on. Once we got her all checked in they took us back to a room where they changed her into hospital attire, took her vitals and went over all the necessary information. After all of that Dr. Loder came in to talk with us and explain what was going to happen. When Mylee looked up and saw him she said "hi Grandpa!" She does this every time she sees him because he has gray hair. Lucky for us, he has pretty good sense of humor.

Dr. Loder explained that they are going to cut the heel cord tendons in both legs, stretch them and then sew them back together. He will do the same for the muscle in her left knee. He is pretty happy with the progress of her right knee and has decided not to do anything to it. He will also have a plastic surgeon in the operating room with him to try to minimize the scaring. Once he is done, he will cast her right in the operating room.Since they are working on her legs, they are giving her a child's version of an epidural to help keep the pain down. We asked him how much pain she would be in and he said it all depends on her and how well she handles pain.

They will do the best they can to manage the pain.Just before they took her back, they gave her a medicine to relax her so she wouldn't be scared. The nurse said the medicine was pretty nasty so they gave her a tiny bit of apple juice afterwards. Mylee liked the medicine and asked for more. The nurse said she doesn't hear that very often. About five minutes after taking the medicine, Mylee became very limp and very silly. She got the giggles so bad, she couldn't stop. Once the nurse came to take her to the operating room she was ready to go.

The nurse just came in to give us an update and so far so good. She said Mylee is doing great, they got the IV started, the epidural, and have started on the right leg. The surgery is supposed to take about 3 hours so she will be back hourly to update us.

This was taken after the medicine had taken affect. She was so silly!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Prayers Please

Just a quick reminder to everyone that Mylee is going in for her surgery tomorrow. The surgery is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. and we have to be at the hospital at 7:30. If possible, please say a quick prayer for Mylee that everything goes well.
Originally I had planned on staying in a hotel, but as I was packing the van, The Ronald McDonald House called to let me know they had a room open up if I wanted it. Obviously I said YES. So, after getting lost (thanks for the wrong directions Y*Hoo), we finally made it here around 9 this evening. It is really a nice place to stay and it is right across from the hospital. My mom came up to Indy tonight and is staying with us. Unfortunately, Mylee is having some trouble sleeping in a new place. She is laying here next to me with her thumb in her mouth saying "Mom, I wanna go night night at home."
So, with that being said, I am going to lay with her until she goes to sleep (it may be a long night).

Again, please keep us in your prayers tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Nanjing Sisters"

Yesterday brought much excitement around here. For starters, it was Mylee's 3rd birthday. And if that wasn't enough, she was in the Sunday paper too. A few posts ago I mentioned that our local paper was going to run a story on all the girls adopted from the Nanjing SWI and how we have started a support group as well as a play group. We were really pleased with how the story turned out. The other moms and myself have formed and incredible bond with one another. We get together one evening a month (no kids) and just talk. We talk about everything adoption and then some. It is really nice to have other women going through the exact same issues as me. There are also two women who come who are paper chasing. I would have loved to been apart of a group like this during our wait for Mylee. Some of the stuff we talk about probably scares them to death, but it is all truth. I know they appreciate all the information they are getting because it is going to help them in so many ways while they are in China as well as once they are home.

I encourage you to check out the article here. One of the goals of doing this article was to try to raise awareness of SN adoptions. Our hope is that a family who is considering adoption reads our story and sees the joy that these girls has brought to each one of their families.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Look Who's 3!

Miss Mylee officially turned 3 today after a week of celebrations. Last Saturday we had the friend party with a Dora theme, on Thursday her preschool class sang Happy Birthday to her, and yesterday we had the family party. At this rate Mylee is going to think that everyday is her birthday or at least evertime she hears "Happy Birthday," that someone is singing to her.

Seriously though, she had a great time at both parties and we are so thankful for all of our family and friends who were able to attend. Mylee was so excited that it was finally her birthday. She has seen both of her brothers celebrate their birthdays as well as Emma this past December. On the morning of both parties she awakened and the first thing she said was "Mylee's birthday."

Today was a bit different than Mylee's birthday last year. I remember the day so well. I remember being so sad that our daughter was spending her birthday alone. We did send her a care package as well as a cake, but it still wasn't the same. We celebrated at home with a cake in Mylee's honor as well. Inside my heart was breaking for her to have to spend "her" day alone. I was overjoyed to receive pictures and video of her on her birthday with the package we sent and the cake. I remember thinking she looked so sad and somber. This year those sad, somber looks have been replaced with a smile from ear to ear and a sparkle in her eyes.

As we celebrate Mylee’s birthday, it is hard not to think about the people who made it possible for us to have her in our family, her birth parents. As I think back on this week of birthday celebrations for Mylee it brings tears of joy and sorrow for me. As joyous as today was for us I can only imagine the heartache her birth parents are going through. Today may be a difficult day for them and I think that it is important to honor their great sacrifice. Because of the information we have about Mylee and her finding spot, it is obvious that someone loved her and wanted only the best for her. As a mother, I cannot imagine what her birthmother had to go through three years ago today. The agony she must have felt to walk away from her daughter, to not know what her daughter's future held, but to have hope. Hope that someday she would have a family to love her as much as she did. It seems so unfair that what causes us great joy may cause another tears of grief and loss. I pray that her birth parents have peace in their hearts and know that their daughter is well taken care of and loved beyond measure.

In the short months that Mylee has been with our family, she has brought so much joy to our family. She is an amazing little girl that continues to amaze us. Mylee has a wonderful personality. In the few short months she has been with us she has touched so many people. Everywhere she goes, she lights up a room. She is beautiful, happy, healthy, spunky, stubborn, smart, sypathetic, funny, loving and so much more. She is truly a blessing and a gift from God. God has blessed Matt and I with four great kids and we thank Him everyday for that.

Below are some of the professional pictures we had taken of Mylee today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mylee's 1st Day of School

Yesterday was Mylee's first day of school. She was so excited. The night before the bus driver brought the bus over so Mylee would have an idea of what she needed to do on the bus. After she left, going to school is all Mylee talked about. Even when I put her to bed she said "Mylee go to school morrow." Thursday morning Matt and I got up early so we could get her ready before we got Blake and Emma up. School doesn't start until 8, but the bus has to pick her up at 7 to make sure they get to school in time. Anyway, she was SO tired. I felt so bad. But once she realized she was going to school, she perked right up. After breakfast and a few pictures, the bus pulled up in front of the house, and Mylee couldn't wait to get on it. Because she is not able to get up the stairs by herself, we have to put her in her stroller and she rides of the wheelchair ramp that way. It seems like so much work, and would be so much easier if I could just carry her on the bus and put her in her seat, but there is a liability issue with that. Once she was buckled into her seat belt and ready to go, I told her goodbye (waiting for her to have a meltdown). She seemed to do fine and even waived as the bus pulled away.
I have to admit it was really hard putting her on that bus yesterday morning. I was very relieved when her teacher called to let me know that things were going great. She said Mylee jumped right into the routine of everything and was doing great. She even said Mylee was going potty on her own. Having the teacher call with an update helped to put some of my worried aside.
School lasts from 8 until 11, but because of the bus ride, Mylee doesn't get home until almost 12. When I went out to get her she kept saying "I go to school." I tried to ask her what they did, but she was more interested in getting something out of her backpack. I thought maybe she had something to show me. Yeah right! They had their Valentine party during school and she wanted her backpack so she could get the M&M's out of it.
All in all, she seemed to have fun and did well. She will go back again on Tuesday, but will miss next Thursday because of her upcoming surgery. At this point, we will wait to see how her recovery goes before we decide when she will go back. We do already have everything in place for when she returns to school in her casts.
I know I promised pictures from her party last weekend, but I am still working on them. We are having a small family get together this weekend, so I will post all the pictures after that.

Have a good weekend and enjoy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Warning Sign

The above picture was taken without my knowledge. This was taken shortly after Mylee's birthday party (I will post more on that later). Those of you who know me, know that I NEVER take a nap. As a matter of fact, if I am home, I am rarely on the couch. Usually I am up cleaning, doing laundry, organizing, or doing other mom stuff. Not that I am complaining, I am just not one to sit around. If there are things to be done (and there always is), I cannot relax until everything is in order. I know, OCD! Anyway, after everyone went home from Mylee's party, my sister and I both laid on the couch and were talking, the next thing I knew, I was waking up to the telephone ringing. I was probably asleep for at least an hour if not longer. Looking back, I should have know something was wrong. Yep, that's right, I got hit with the FLU. I don't get sick often, but when I do, I am usually REALLY sick. I woke up Monday morning around four feeling a bit nauseous. By five, I had my head in the toilet, and by six, I was on the toilet with a plastic bag in my lap (if ya get my drift).
Needless to say, I had to take the day off, and spent all day in bed. Not only did I feel horrible from being sick, but I felt so bad for Gabe and Mylee who were couped up in my room most of the day. Lucky for me, Mylee takes great naps. So, while she napped, Gabe sat in bed next to me watching cartoons and playing his Leapster. He was so good, and did a great job of "taking care" of me.
I ended up taking Tuesday off as well, and I am glad I did. Now I am back to work, and back to my OCD habits (sorry Matt).

I will post some pictures of Mylee's party later this afternoon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009