Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Home Happenings

Here are some things going on in our life right now:

Blake's prosthetic leg has been causing him pain the last several days. He has been readjusting it at school constantly or asking to go to the bathroom to fix it.  Needless to say, this is causing a disturbance in the classroom.  Went in to see the prosthetist. Had some adjustments done.  Hoping it will be more comfortable for him. It is so hard to tell whether or not Blake is in real pain.  Blake is our family drama queen, so I never really know how much something is bothering him.  He is also fidgety.  So readjusting his leg could just be a way to deal with not being able to sit still.  He is still much slower in his leg than he is on his crutches.  Blake does not like to be slowed down or held back at all.  So he could be complaining about his leg just so he can use his crutches.  The prosthetist is skeptical that the leg is causing him any type of severe pain.  I believe it is still somewhat uncomfortable for him and it will take some time to get use to it.  I pray he is not in a lot of pain and I am making the right decision to keep him wearing his leg for most of the day.

Emery loves going to school.  She is actually upset if we have to run up there for something and it is not time for her to go to school.  The teachers are great with her.  She is going to be evaluated by a speech therapist at school that has had training in Prompt - a method of treating apraxia.  I cannot even explain how excited I am about this.  I have requested that Emery have two sessions per week with the school speech therapist since she is at our school twice a week.  Praying this request is granted.

I am fighting battles with two different insurance companies right now.  Our old insurance company and our new one.  Frustrating and time consuming to say the least.  While doing this, we have decided to continue Emery's therapy for half of her 60 minute sessions.  We simply cannot afford to pay for full sessions while waiting on insurance appeals.  I am hoping our initial denial for one more year of covered therapy will be overturned.

I thought once we reached September, things such as medical appointments would slow down a bit. That has not happened yet. Between speech therapy, physical therapy, activities, school, dental, orthodontic, optometrist, ophthamologist, prosthetist, and pediatric appointments, I get very little else accomplished.  I consider it a good day just to get dinner on the table, get everyone where they should be on time and not forget to pick anyone up!  I do manage to keep up on laundry, but keeping the house at a preferred level of clean, just doesn't always happen.

Since June, I have been going through some personal life changes (by choice).  It has been a long, lonely and very challenging time.  Unfortunately, it has not only been hard on me, but on those I love the most.  I am hanging on to the hope that I am near the end of this journey and the long-term benefits will out weigh the short-term costs.  I could start a blog about this topic as well.  I continue to pray that I am on the right path and will soon reach my destination.

Ashley's volleyball season is in full-swing.  There are still issues going on there that go completely against everything I have always believed and thought to be true.  But, Ashley loves the sport and continues to play.  Despite Ashley's sweet, demure nature, she is one strong young lady.  I am so proud of her for holding strong for something she loves. 

Nicole is off to a great start in high school.  The majority of her classes are honors and AP courses, so she has a tough load.  But, this is the path she chose, and I have every bit of confidence that she will be successful.  Nicole is and always has been an independent thinker and she thrives when challenged.  I am still very disappointed that she did not pursue any sports this year.  However, she needed to make that decision for herself.  So hard to let go sometimes!

Our house and many of its contents are in dire need of repairs and updates.  It has bugged me forever.  I have now excepted that there just isn't money available to keep up with everything.  Maybe once we have Emery in school full time I can go back to work.  I have no idea who will do all the running to appointments and activities, however.  I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it!

Well, that is it for now. We are having our family portrait taken next week. I am excited to have a professional family picture taken with the twins. It's about time I got around to doing it!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Day of School - finally some pictures!

School began Tuesday the week before Labor Day for all four of the kids. It was in the 90s and very humid. Definitely not the best weather to end the lazy days of Summer!  But all went well and we now have a few weeks under our belt and our school routine is off to a good start.

Emery began kindergarten. We started with just one hour per day and will slowly increase from there.   It went fairly well and she was very excited everyday to go.  She loves having her own back pack!  The morning kg class was cancelled at our school, so she is in afternoon kg.  I would have preferred morning, but at least I did not have to change her standing Thursday morning therapy appt.

It will be nice when she can stay the entire afternoon.  I will then pick her up with the the other kids. For now, I am making 4 trips back and forth each day to the schools, and I do not even have to do morning drop off (Bruce takes Nicole to school and my sister takes the others).

Here are some 1st day pics!

My 2nd Grader

My Freshman

My 8th Grader

My Kindergartner

Adoption without the rose colored glasses

Most of my posts revolve around our general life as an adoptive family. We have have been blessed many times over.  Our twins have completed our family and we are enjoying life as a family of six.

As many know, life as an adoptive family has some unique challenges. I thought I would write a post about some of the "not so rosy" things in our life.  

The twins have been home with us now for over 16 months.  At times, some of issues that we are still dealing with really frustrate me. I know in my mind some of these issues will resolve over time.  But sometimes progress is slow and it all seems so overwhelming. 

Emery still is not talking.  Sure she says a handful of words and can repeat a few others.  But, the fact of the matter is that she cannot talk.  On a day to day basis, this is not an issue because she has found other ways to communicate with us.  But she cannot communicate with people who do not know her. And what does her future hold if she cannot talk?  We are currently considering other speech therapy options.  Unfortunately, we are awaiting approval from our insurance company on a several issues.  It is an ongoing battle with health insurance companies when you have a child with special needs.  I can barely keep up with all the correspondence. Worrying about making the best choice for your child, on top of insurance issues, really takes a toll on you.

Blake is basically a happy, fun-loving kid.  He is also a mouthy kid.  I am just not use to dealing with such an argumentative child.  I think Blake had very little discipline in his orphanage.  This has led to challenges in family life.  He does not like to accept no for an answer and he does not like to follow
directions.  I understand he never learned about respect and it will take time to get there.  It is a
constant, ongoing issue.  By the end of the day, I am mentally exhausted.  Blake has an 8:00 bedtime
during the school year not just because he needs a solid 10 hours of sleep, but because I am in dire need of a break by then!

Both kids are behind educationally. Blake is probably 3 years behind and Emery even further. Thinking about this is so disheartening and overwhelming for me. I have decided to accept that catching up to their peers is not a realistic goal. Rather, my goal for them is continued progress in all areas. Some areas progress is slower and others it is moving along. They will eventually get where they need to be and focusing on their level of progression rather than catching up, seems to be a more feasible goal. Their education started late. All I can do is help them to reach their full potential, no matter what the pace and no matter what their age. 

Another thing that I still deal with occasionally are inconsiderate comments from others.  These comments are few and far between, but they sting just the same.  First I am shocked by them, then angry, and ultimately they just make me sad.  Now by the time a blog about them, I can at least be somewhat humorous.  Here are a few of the more recent ones and my wishful responses, just to end this post with a little sense of humor:

"you still have to deal with cleaning up poop with an 8 year old!"

Yes, occasionally my sweet, good natured daughter has a poop accident. Never mind the fact that she spent the 1st 7 years of her life in an orphanage, nobody potty trained her during that time period, and oh yes, she can't talk!  She knows when and where to go potty.  But if she is in a place where there is no bathroom around, she has not yet mastered the ability to tell me in time that she has to go.  So sorry to have inconvenienced you.  Oh wait, you weren't inconvenienced, that was me.

"is your husband in a bad mood because dealing with the 'adopted' twins is too much?"

Yes, my husband and I only ever are in a bad mood because we have adopted kids.  It must be so nice  to never be in a bad mood because you don't have adopted children.

"well, you chose to adopt kids"

Yes, we chose to adopt two kids and have two kids by birth.  I'm so sorry for joining in on the parenting conversation.  I didn't realize your kids were just left on your doorstep and you had no choice but to deal with kid issues.

Of course, in reality I would never respond this way.  But, secretly, I wish I had the nerve to!

Despite the issues, adoption is a wonderful thing.  God led us to these children.  My heart has been humbled and opened in a way I never knew it could be.  For this, I am grateful.   I will carry on my day to day life, just as every parent does.  Enjoying the good and muddling through the rest.  In the end, it is the good that counts.