Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Another Day in the Life

So we finally had Mayerly and Claudia's annual visit to the pediatrician.  Mayerly is still a little on the small side, the doctor wants to recheck her again next year and thought we may want to consider growth hormone if she is still in the 2nd percentile next year.  Not sure I'm on board with that, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it - if we come to it.  Who knows, maybe she will shoot up this year.  Claudia's growth was more in line with what the doctor expected.

Mayerly got one shot, Claudia got two.  Those weren't as bad as last year.  One unexpected development, Claudia had a bead stuck in her right ear. It was kind of odd that she hadn't done very well with the hearing test (in her right ear only).  I was a little concerned, but then it all made sense when the doctor actually looked in her ear and found a little white bead lodged in there!

The nurse put drops in first and then used a huge syringe with water in it to try to irrigate it out - neither worked.  So finally the doctor had to take some instuments and pick the bead out.  I have no idea what would possess her to stick a bead in her ear, but after having to have it picked out (with me and a nurse holding her down as the doctor picked) - hopefully she won't do something like that again.  The doctor tried to reassure me that she has had to pick foreign objects out of many of her patients.  I remember sticking a bean up my nose when I was little, so I guess she could be right about that.  I just can't believe Claudia didn't tell anyone that she had a bead stuck in her ear... who knows how long it had been there - I suspect it was any time within the past 2 weeks, that's went Diana got a beading kit from her vision therapy doctor for therapy "homework".  The pediatrician gave us the bead in a little cup as a "momento" of our visit today...

While I was at the doctor with the younger two, my mom had the older two (the girls' school is out today for some reason, so we sent Diana to Grandma's house with Oscar this morning).  After we were finished at the doctor's office we went to get Diana.  We took her and Oscar and Grandma and all went to lunch at McDonald's (they don't love the food, just the toy in the happy meal).  We had a nice little visit with Grandma and Oscar and then dropped them back at Grandma's house so they could continue Oscar's lessons.

Next, we came home and Claudia fed the dogs (her daily "job").  After that we turned right around and took Hank to the vet to have blood drawn from him to send to MU for the chemo drug study.  Hank hates the vet and will usually sit on my foot in the waiting room and just shake until we leave.  We thankfully were not there very long, and Hank was never so happy.  All this before 2:00 in the afternoon...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Photo and Hank Update

Above is one of the professional photos of the kids
(left to right) Claudia, Diana, Oscar & Mayerly
Photo courtesy of The Portrait Gallery

I took Hank to the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO on Thursday.  We enrolled him in a chemotherapy drug study for his cancer at the veterinary school there.  We have to pay for some lab work and some blood work, but the drug is free.  Our local vet can do the work-ups and the university will mail us the drug as long as we continue to send in the log reports we have to do for the study.  He started the pills on Friday, so far so good.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Recognition of Foreign Adoption Hearing

We have now completed the next-to-last step in finishing up our adoption-related paperwork etc.  Today we finalized our "recognition of foreign adoption".  Woo-hoo!  We only have one more post-adopt visit and then we are free from all our obligations regarding adoption paperwork.  I can't wait (no offense Nikki, we love you, but it's just one more thing off the agenda - you understand I'm sure)!

Thanks to the folks at Krigel & Krigel who helped us knock this one out!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good News and Sad News

We'll start with the good news.  I consider myself an pragmatic optimist (is that an oxymoron?), so we'll start happy...

Tim and I decided today that we will be going to the CHI Reunion this summer for sure.  (I still need to send in our reservation).  Some friends (my friend - from when I worked in Mexico - and her husband - from the states) are planning to join us there.  They are not a CHI family, but are seriously considering adopting a baby from Colombia.  They have a 4-year-old daughter adopted from Guatemala as a baby and would like to adopt another baby now but can't go back to Guatemala (because, as some of you know, that country is currently closed to adoption).  I keep trying to get them to consider special needs adoption, but I know that isn't for everyone :-).  CHI said that they would love to have them and we are excited to be going this year.

Last weekend we had family pictures taken.  We went to an actual photographer this time instead of going to a department store.  I wasn't really pleased with our department store photo experiences.  I always feel rushed to make a decision and they don't tend to photograph large groups of people very well (bad composition, bad lighting, rush rush rush).  We spent over an hour with this photographer just for the shoot.  We then got to come back and spend another hour with her looking at and selecting the proofs (in a slideshow of digitals).  Much nicer experience and much better pictures to choose from.  I hope to be able to post one soon.

Yesterday the kids were out of school for Good Friday so I was home from work and had scheduled appointments with the pediatrician.  Oscar and Diana both had their appointments yesterday, Claudia and Mayerly go on the 30th (when school is out again).  Oscar went from the 12th percentile in height and weight to the 25th percentile.  Diana went up a little in height percentile and down a little in her weight percentile (which is good because she was a little chubby - said the pot about the kettle - when we first came home).  Hopefully her height will catch up with her weight at some point.  Dr. Kirby-Diaz said to keep doing whatever it is that we are doing and that she was very happy with their progress this year.

Yesterday was a busy day.  We also had our 3rd post adoption visit with Nikki, our social worker.  We had a pretty good visit.  We also discussed our up-coming "recognition of foreign adoption" hearing that is next Friday.  She gave us a run-down on what to expect, so we will be more prepared.  We started this process back in October, but had to wait for a copy of the original adoption decree (the Spanish one that we did not have a copy of - we just had a translated copy) from Colombia.  We finally got that at the beginning of March but couldn't get a court date until April.  I'm just happy to be marking one more thing off our list of "post adoption things to do".

Now the sad news.  We took Hank (our dog) to the vet last week to have a bump on his front leg looked at.  Turns out it was a tumor that was growing very rapidly.  We had it removed (also yesterday).  The vet said that it was not a "good" tumor either (the kind that is encapsilated and just "pops out" in surgery).  It was growing around the main artery in his leg and into the skin and pretty much everywhere.  We decided to have it biopsied to see if there is anything we can do that won't cost too much.  He more than likely has cancer, we just need to know what kind of cancer before we decide what to do next.

We have to keep poor Hank in a kennel for a day or so (which he is very put out about).  He has to wear a "cone" (the vet calls it an "Elisabethan collar") to keep him from licking his stitches.  We had to go back to the vet to get him some tranquilizers this morning because he would not calm down after we brought him home yesterday until after everyone (including Tim and I) went to bed last night.  He's still freaking out - even with the tranquilizers - but it's not as bad as last night.  It's very sad and hard to watch him have to endure all this.  He has had to have surgery before, but it is harder now that he is older and we have four kids and another dog.  Too much activity (that he wants to be a part of) going on...