Friday, January 23, 2015

Laila's First Four Months

 
Yesterday we celebrated four months of forever with Laila.  On 9/22 this little baby girl toddled into the room at the civil affairs office in Nanning and proceeded to show us how unwilling she was to be friends!!  She grieved SO hard in those first few weeks in China.  And while I knew that it would get better, I'd be lying if I didn't say it was still difficult.  Very difficult.
 
 
This little daughter of ours was so much like a one year old baby in spite of her chronological age of 3 1/2 years old.  She didn't feed herself.  She didn't dress herself.  She could barely walk.  She certainly couldn't run or jump. She didn't talk. She'd spent her whole life so far struggling to survive.  We knew we had a long road ahead of us with this little girl. 

 
Once we got home, she started feeling more secure.  She started trying to feed herself bites of her food.  She started sitting in her own seat at the table rather than on Mommy or Daddy's laps as she was spoon fed part of our dinner.  And she made great physical progress, learning to walk steadily and even run as she chased after that new big brother and big sister!!
 



 
 
And now here we are with four whole months of forever in the books...
 
She is now talking!!  Yes, talking!!!  And not just one word here or there, but actual short sentences.
 
"Let me see."  "Give me that."  "Mommy I hungry."  "I want water."  "Baby needs go sleepy."  and my favorite one of all..
 "I wan go go home."
 
She knows where her home is and cheers every single day when we pull back into the driveway after daycare!

She can undress herself & get dressed again all by herself!!  (though admittedly, buttons are still a wee bit tricky;)
 
She's also jumping!  And climbing!  She can climb up the rock wall of the playground outside all by herself!! 
 
She's almost completely potty trained!  We've had many days with no accidents all day long! :)
 
She's getting all the medical care she needs.  Her transfusions are giving her energy she has never had before!!  And all that great blood & good nutrition has caused another amazing thing...
She's growing!!  Over 2 inches in her first 3 months home!!
 

This adorable girl is very quickly progressing in so many ways!!

I'll be honest though... It's been tough.  Parenting a toddler is tricky already, but parenting a toddler with food issues, security issues, and developmental delays is even harder and more stressful than it was for a bio kid.  There are times when she screams and screams and screams and screams in ways that are beyond normal toddler tantrums.

Daycare transition was extremely difficult and so many times I felt like a horrible mother, leaving her there when I could hear her screams outside of the building.  I praise God everyday that she's gained the confidence and security to know now that "Mama always comes back."

And I still feel a little heartbroken when I see a "real" 3-4 year old walking around talking to their mama in Target and look at my sweet girl who has SO MUCH catching up to do.

But she IS making huge strides!!  Strides that are celebrated by every member of our family!!
Adoption is a beautiful thing to live.  We get to witness big & small miracles every day with this girl.  We get to see her learn to trust, learn to share, learn to listen to rules, learn to calm herself down, learn to accept love from siblings, and witness "first" after "first".

She is a little miracle and we love her so much!!

Once again, thank you to so many people who helped get Laila home!!!  We love you all and are forever grateful that you said "yes" to helping this sweet girl come home. :)

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Kate, Chengbin, & Miss Laila



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Two for Transfusions please! Thal treatment for two- An Update.

Last year I posted some great in-depth blog posts about Chengbin's thal treatment:

Port Surgery:
http://crazylifeofthewilksfamily.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-next-step-port-surgery-today.html
http://crazylifeofthewilksfamily.blogspot.com/2013/10/port-placement-transfusion-update.html

Transfusion Days & General Thal Information:
http://crazylifeofthewilksfamily.blogspot.com/2013/11/all-about-thalassemia.html

Medication:
http://crazylifeofthewilksfamily.blogspot.com/2013/11/exjade-finally-arrived.html

& Trips to the Thal Center in Atlanta:
http://crazylifeofthewilksfamily.blogspot.com/2014/06/doctors-animals.html

Since then I've been SO glad to receive A LOT of inquiries about life with thalassemia, kids available for adoption, sorting out insurance coverage, reviewing files to help families considering these kids, etc.  It has been AWESOME!!!  I seriously LOVE helping families find the child meant to take their last name and find their forever family.  And I LOVE thal kids!  Seriously, there's a deep love for these kids.  They are amazing, wonderful kids who have such a bright future ahead of them with proper treatment.  And sadly, such dire circumstances and a deadly fate await them without proper treatment.  My two thal kiddos are such an incredible blessing and so many kiddos are still waiting to bless the families they will be adopted into.  So it's about time I tell ya'll what thal treatment is looking like for TWO! 

We've done transfusions for them separately a few times and now together twice.  Here's the breakdown of our latest trip to the Infusion Center on Friday and how it all works now that we have two of them.

7am- Leave the house for Nemours.  It's about an hour away, plus this Mama needs Starbucks for sure before a day in the transfusion bay with two!  Before leaving the house we put on our lidocaine cream.  Chengbin gets it on his port, while Laila gets hers on both hands since we won't know til it's time, which hand is looking better for the IV start.

7am-8am Messy lidocaine gets ALL over Laila!  She manages to move the press & seal that is covering her lidocaine, so before we know it, her doll is covered in lidocaine, her toy cup has some on it, and she's wiped some in her hair, on her forehead, and on her clothes just for good measure! ;) 

8:10am We arrive and are brought back right away to access the kids and send their bloodwork off to the lab.  Some thal families bring their kids in a few days before to get their bloodwork for transfusion day, but given our distance from the hospital, we do it all in the same day. 


 
 


Chengbin gets his port "accessed" and then it gets sealed up and covered so he can play & be a kid while we wait for the transfusion.  This usually goes very smoothly, though every so often it'll be a rough access day.  This one actually was rough, but he is such an amazingly resilient little guy who just does his best to move on and be happy, no matter the circumstances. 

Laila just received a port this week.  Before receiving the port, the nurses decide which hand is looking best, warm it up, and then attempt to place an IV into her hand.  This didn't usually go well for Chengbin before he had a port, but Laila has had so few transfusions that so far the nurses haven't had much trouble getting her IV line in.  Thank God for this!  They then put her hand on a board and tape it all up so that she can play and not worry about knocking out the line.  I have no pics of her getting her IV line because she sits on my lap eating cool ranch doritos with one hand while they try to put a line in the other hand. ;)  I will say that she is an amazingly brave girl who is very patient and doesn't even flinch- as long as she can watch them do it & eat her snack at the same time.

We visit the hematologist and then wait for blood to arrive from the blood bank.  On this particular day we decided to go grab some food before the blood arrived.



At 10:45 our blood arrived and both kiddos were started up by 11:10.



Some playtime, okay- a LOT of playtime...  (Thank the Lord for Child Life workers & hospital volunteers who help to entertain these kiddos while we wait for blood to drip!! Haha)  Multiple trips to the potty... A couple snacks later and...







 

(This is the "Mama- help me get to potty" look!! Haha!!)

3 hours later they were all fueled up and ready to go!!

This was a best case scenario day!  We were out of the infusion bay and on our way home before 2:30!!  But even on our rougher days when the hospital backs up the blood bank and we wait longer for blood we are usually out by 3:30.

Another hour long drive back to the house and we were all set for another 3 weeks! :)

So that's what transfusions for two looks like right now.  As they get older, the transfusions will get longer.  They may not always be on the same schedule.  And when those days come, we will adjust as any family would.  But I am SO GLAD to have these two sweet blessings.  I am SO GLAD God brought them to our family!!  And I hope that this information will help other families who are considering whether or not they could handle a transfusion dependent thal kiddo.

We are SO blessed!  Email me with any questions at mepscoastie@yahoo.com.

Thanks for Stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & the Kiddos



Friday, December 19, 2014

All done!

Well, her surgery is complete and our surgeon placed her port in a 'girl friendly' location- which was important to us.  Thank God for a surgeon willing to hear me out and go the extra mile for our girl!


BUT... I would be lying if I said that this port isn't still shocking to see.  She is a tiny little thing and it sticks out and looks huge.  And while this was necessary and very well thought and prayed out, it is still very shocking to us how big the port looks.  Please friends pray for healthy healing and minimal scarring for our girl.

So grateful that God gave us this sweet blessing to love and care for!!

Blessings,
Fannie & Matt 

Surgery for Laila

Today is Laila's surgery day to receive her port placement.  This will allow her to have '1 stick' days during transfusions and make things more routine for her on her transfusion days.  Chengbin's port has been such a blessing to him, so we are sure Laila's will be the same.


Please say a prayer for our girl.  She just went back to anesthesia.

Thanks!
Fannie & Matt