Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yesterday it poured rain here, and Julia kept signing "swing" and there is one out in the back yard that she knows is there. We wondered, has she even ever been out in the rain. I got an umbrella, and we went out in the backyard, moved the umbrella away from her, thought she could become annoyed with the rain falling on her, getting wet. Nope, didn't faze her at all, didn't try to wipe the rain off her face or eyes, went to the swing, pushed her in it a few times, she played with some balls that are out in the yard. Only was outside for about 4 mins, had a fit to go back in, crying, flopped to the rug. Other things she has done, makes me thinking she is very hypo sensitive to nearly anything, her sensory system is off, extremely low muscle tone, and living in an orphanage for 6 yrs. She loves to play rough, We give her an old baby brush we found, and she loves to move this up and down her extremities, brings me back to "brushing" through Early Intervention with Matt. She fell in the backyard, where acorns have been falling, fell on one pretty good, becasue I saw the mark it left on her shin, no emotion, she has walked into hard objects, no emotion. The only things that really bother her is food, the obsession, anxiety and panic attacks over it, from cooking it, where she is right under your feet, right next to you wanting to get at the stove, and getting to the table. She needs help and either hand over hand, as she will want to shovel and than have a breakdown becasue the food falls off the spoon or fork. When we go out and she sees us getting our shoes on, goes frantically searching for her sneaks, or will plop down at the front door sobbing. Poor thing, we think maybe she's thinking we're leaving her again, like when our visits at the orphanage we're over and we left, where we were later told she would be hysterical after we had left, and it would usually would take over an hour before she would calm down. The kids start school on tuesday, so it will be just Julia and I from 9-3:15, until she starts kindy, hopefully be in Oct.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yesterday was a busy one. Julia and I were out of the house by 7:45am, heading to the International Adoption clinic appt at childrens-Boston. Getting there during the week can take so long with rush hour, somedays can be nearly 2 hrs, to go about 27 miles. Yesterday, no traffic, was 35 mins. The Dr was great. she has traveled numerous times to Ukrainian orphanages, hadn't been to Julias city, but understood completly about how I felt. sicne she has seen and taking care of the children herself at the orphanages. She felt Julia is doing well, has potential, despite her significant delays. We talked about everything medical involved, was glad that we have set up all of Julias appts, getting her into kindergarten, etc. We talked a while about the behavior, meds for Julia, and her inability to regulate herself. She will be starting a new med for this, Matty is on the same, so we know what took for regarding side effects. The Dr will be consulting with the Psych Dr. In th end, she gave me her card, pager #, don't hesitate to call her over the weekend if we need anything, and keep in touch becasue she wants to know how things are going, and will see Julia in 6 monthes. Left there feeling pretty good about that appt. I liked this Dr alot. After that we came home, Franks paernts were here for a visit, kids were happy to see their grandparents. We left about 2:45 to go to our friends sons b'day. the kids had a ball! they rented a bouncy house, had a water slide to a small pool at the bottom, and my friends husband blew up small baby pool for Julia, where she spent most of her time. As soon as Julia spotted the food table, she kept trying to get there, gave her snacks, but seems she was having panic attacks over it and kept trying to get to the table for about 40 mins, crying, having small tantrums. I finally distracted her. Later she had pizza, and probably her first peice of b'day cake, she was thrilled over that. Just wanted to shovel it, was smeared around her mouth, wonder if she would try to eat the paper plate it was on too. Ashley and Matt were to busy on the bouncey house and the water slide so I could keep an eye on Julia eating. The kids were wiped by the time we got home, just what I was hoping for.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Julia saw cardiology on Aug 12, NO VSD, NO heart defect!! She was examined first by the cardiac RN, than a Fellow, and than the Attending Dr, who we really respect. After she was checked and had an EKG, the Dr told me, no murmer, heart sounds great, heart rate is normal, pulses are normal, EKG normal. what a relief, sicne we were told she has a VSD (ventricular septal defect, hole between the 2 bottom chambers of the heart). The cardiologist did not see any reason to see him any time soon unless we needed him,. He is also Matt cardiologist, took a look at him, listened, despite not having an appt, and said he is doing so well from a cardiology stand point, Dr said no reason for Matt to see him any time soon, but isn't taking both kids off the cardiology service. Julia and I are going to the International Adoption clinic this saturday. I will ask this Dr to consult with the Psych Dr about meds for Julia. We don't have much left from Ukraine, and DO NOT want to have her go cold turkey as in July. Matt has been on 7 differant psych meds, so we are familiar with the side effects as Matt had with all but one. She will be seeing ENT, Childrens Hosp dentistry, Ortho, GI, Opthamology, Nephrology. I sent her history and consents to the SPED Dept yesterday for evals for school. Mattys took a while as I had loads of reports and knew his history when I filled out his school papers. Julias was easy, "unsure, unknown, and getting medical evalusation currently" were most of the answers. Guess I should get moving, get the kids ready for a beautiful New England summer beach day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yesterday was great, our first day trip to the beach in about 6 wks. A beautiful day, light breeze, blue sky, warm. Ashley and Matt like the beach, it's nothing new to them. We hoped Julia would like it too. When her feet first touched the ocean water she was a little stunned, than plopped down at the waters edge and didn not want to get out. think she just thinks water is for bathing, and nothing else. She really doesn't play in it (yet), but with wet hands she will wash her face and arms. After a few mins she was shivering, and we just had to pick her up from the water. She liked to play in the wam sand, sensory and low muscle tone, was good for her. Matt refused to go in, he on the other hand isn't a fan of beach sand, some days can be a handful to get him to walk in it. Ashley likes the beach, and can burn off energy there. We left at 6pm, and figured just stop somewhere and get something to eat, too late by the time we got home to cook. The 3 kids did well in the restaurant, Julias first time to a restaurant, something we take for granted here. By the time er got home, the kids woke up, had baths and to bed. Julia did well at the Developmental-Genetic Dr appt this past fri, she was mostly concerned with Julias right side weakness, and feel we should get Neuro on board as well. They will set up the Ortho appt, I will search for a Neephrologist (kidney) Dr, make her an eye, dental, appts too. I can't belive school for Ashley and Matt is 3 wks away.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bakc to the journey home: Stopped to get something to eat with Olga and Vadeem (driver) on the way to the airport. Julia loved black olives, ate everything, surprise. the airport was insane, probably becasue it was friday. the line was so long for British air, Olga walked right up front of the line, explained our situation, and a ncie woman with her son let us cut, got our boarding passes, loaded up the suitcase. Olga and I chatted for about 2 mins, said our good byes, sad knowing you will never see these people again, except through pics you have taken. I was chocked up, heard my name, looked over at her waving one last time, tears in my eyes, there was something differant, wved good bye, and bolted for passport control. Must have been 500 people in there, like 5 lanes of traffic, converging into 2. I saw people with kids wedge in towards the front of the line, so I just follwed them, sicne Julia was in a stroller. A ncie man let me cut, had to show her adoption documents, was getting stressed, seemed to take an eternity, but made it, security was easy. Ran to find the flight departure area. Great flights from Kyiv-london, London-Boston thanks to British Air. I cried as usuail when we finally touched down in Boston, US soil, and knew Frank, the kids would be there. Another emotional time finally seeing them. Great to sleep in my own bed, love being home! Julia is doing better, still medicated. Ashley and Matty are amazing. Frank was amazing holding the fort. So far, have registered Julia for kindergarten, she has seen the Pedi, today saw the developmental Dr, next weds is the cardiologist, thurs is ENT, and the 22nd is the appt with the International adoption developmental Dr at Childrens-Boston. She also had a ton of labs done today too. didn't do too badly with that. tomorrow should be a beautiful beach day, where we will be. Life is great, no place like home.
Our saga...I marched out of the Embassy rejuvinated, the fog was lifting, the process is over. Julia and I are heading HOME, which was July 31. I saw Olga, and told her, we're all set now, we're done and going home on the flight tomorrow. Finally back to the apt about 4:30pm, just dreaming about home, and reminiscing of from when we arrived in Kyiv to July 31. I organized our suitcase, went to bed early. We were getting picked up at 12:15 to head to the airport. Julia and I went for some short walks near the apt, found the Hyatt hotel, beautiful in there. Hoping to find a newspaper, no gift shop, bummer. All 3 kids are up, guess I'll really type more later.
Haven't been here for a little bit, our journey home from ukraine began last week. Weds the 29th, Julia, myself, and our awesome translator/adoption worker took the overnight train from Kharkov to Kyiv. I had given Julia her medicine per the orphanage Dr for travel, she fell to sleep pretty quickly, we stayed up talking to 1am. The train had 4 bunks in it, and a small table attached to the wall by the window, and the door locks, was comfortable. So happy to wake up in Kyiv, even though the day would be running to get the last parts of the adoption done, the med exam, and the Julias visa at the American Embassy. Since Frank, Ashley, Matty went home 9 days before, being alone, and when Julia was in her extremem states of irratability made me really pine for them and home. Julia and I went for walks, wasn't scared at all, we blended in like everyone else, but home is home, and thats where I HAD to be. I went into the Embassy about 8:30am, gave the woman my sob story about NEEDING to go home, applied for the visa, paid, appt at 2p to speak to the officer for the visa interview. Next on the med exm, see the Dr for Julia to enter the US. I was just looking around, and hear someone ask me a question, in ENGLISH, another woman, fellow American from Texas adopting a beautiful teenage girl. We chatted for a while about her daughter and Julia, they were great. The med exam was faster than the wait, listned to Julias heart, watched her play with some toys on the exam table, and that was it. Took about 5 mins, and the report stated Julia has "Dawn Disease" along with her heart defect. Guess "Dawn Disease and Down Syndrome, maybe coincide together, nice job. Than we got something to eat, dropped off our bags at the apt, where we would be staying in Kyiv just one night. It was nice, but stressed me out when Julia would try to push over the TV, the small frosted glass table, pull on the curtains, etc, didn't want to have to pay to replace anything. Next stop, drop Julia and I off at the Embassy, and say good bye to the translator/adoption worker Angelena. She worked so hard for us, she was great. she was catching a train to go home as the visa was the only thing left, and I was with Olga, our facilatator. We hugged and cried saying good byes, we have E mails so we'll keep in touch, Into th Embassy Julia and I go. As soon as I saw the Officer, think he was american, I started to cry, what else was new. He said, the visa could be here today (the 30th of July), or tomorrow, have to send the info to Washington, depends if someone at the visa office is on line to see the info etc..." I told him, our flight is tomorrow, (July 31), I have been gone a month, NEED to get back home to Massachusetts, PLEASE help me, can you call Washington, PLEASE! Maybe he thought I was the hysterical mother, becasue I had the same woman from the morning help me 5 mins later. I filled in some more papers, praying hard for God to help us go home and get the visa. Saw the same great mom and daughter in the Embassy from Texas, made the time in the embassy easier, thanks. After about 30 mins, the woman calls me to the window again, "Mrs Booth, can you come to the window please, I need to have you sign something, and give you back your papers, with your daughters VISA, you can go home now. Again, I burst into tears, we are going HOME!!I'm a geek, I'm crying as I type this, was a very emotional time. Kept calling my husband with updates, and gave him the ETA of when we would be landing in Boston. British Air was phenominal helping me, they went above and beyond on the flights from Kyiv to London, and London to Boston. time to stop, the kiddies are waking up. God Bless America.