Friday, December 21, 2012

An Update

Last week we met with the International Adoption pediatrician who reviewed Olivia's file when we first received it.  The meeting we had was to discuss travel plans as well as how we would proceed with medical treatment when we arrive home.  Dr. Walker wrote us prescriptions for antibiotics to bring to China as well as suggested a few over the counter medications such as Tylenol, Motrin, Benedryl and Cortisone Cream.  She also suggested we take scabies and lice treatment.  We had already planned to do this because one of the realities of international adoption is that these kids are living in close quarters which can lead to bugs.  I am hoping that we will avoid these bugs at all costs and I already had one of Brooks's teachers tell me that she has been praying specifically for "no lice and no scabies" for Olivia. 
In addition to making a game plan for routine check ups upon return  to make sure there are no additional health concerns, we discussed treatment for her special need.  I wrote on this blog initially that we decided to go the Special Needs route for our adoption.  We have chosen at this point not to discuss her special need because honestly, that is not who our child is.  We never want her to be labeled by what makes her different.  To us she is our beautiful daughter, chosen for us by God however, she just so happens to have a smaller right ear and hearing loss in that ear.

Olivia has what is called auditory atresia and microtia of her right ear.  As Dr. Walker said, this is nothing that is of immediate concern.  She will be able to learn, talk and thrive just as any other child.  However, as she gets older there are treatment options that may allow her to hear and can cosmetically let her ear look more like her left one.  These are all options we will explore later but, our priority when we get her home will be to love her and help her to grow into her new family who has been waiting so anxiously for her.

Please never hesitate to as Brad and I questions about Olivia's microtia.  We are happy to answer any questions we have.  However, we do ask you to be sensitive about discussing it around our other children as well as Olivia.  As I said before, this is not what defines our daughter and we never want her to feel singled out or uncomfortable because of how she was created. 

So...onto the good part of this post.
Because we never had a good picture of Olivia's ear and we were mainly going of Chinese medical reports, Dr. Walker suggested we request some pictures of the ear.  On a Thursday afternoon we contacted our agency and requested the pictures.  The agency suggested we also write a list of questions for the nannies.  By Monday evening (mind you this is record speed. Thank you God) we received three photos and a beautiful description of our daughter.  According to her caregivers, Olivia is walking.  She can say "mama and papa".  This made us so happy thinking they are showing her the photos we sent and teaching her about her family.  She enjoys watching cartoons and is quick to giggle.  She plays with other children and calms down easily when upset by picking her up or handing her a toy.  We were also given height and weight measurements however, I am certain they were inaccurate because they claim she is 35 lbs which is more than Brooks weighs.  Overall, we couldn't be happier to hear how our little one is blossoming.

We can't wait to get you sweet girl.  Mama and Papa will be there soon! (Our Article 5 which is the last step is supposed to be picked up on 12/26.  Then begins the offical travel approval wait which is anywhere from 1-3 weeks)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It's been quiet on this blog for a reason.  I have written this post many times in my head but, each time I couldn't articulate it quite right.  I think I am finally at a place to get my thoughts and down really, I just want to look back on this journey and remember each step: both the good and the not so great.

I love the holidays.  Christmas has always been my all time favorite time of year.  But, this year it's been hard.  It is a strange feeling having your child half way around the world during a time where family means everything.  This year we had to talk about whether to hang 4 or 5 stockings.  If Santa would bring Olivia presents or if we would just go on as a family of 4 in anticipation that next year would be so sweet.  We had to choose not to send Christmas cards this year.  It didn't feel right sending a family picture when a member is missing.  These are all thoughts I never thought I would have until this process began.  I don't think anyone but, an adoptive parent could understand these feelings.  They are hard but, they are real and they are just part of the process.  I want to feel them because as I do, my love for Olivia grows that much stronger. 

To top off these emotions, we heard from one of our agency representatives in the early part of December that she does not expect us to travel until the end of February.  Chinese New Year is Feb 8th this year and no adoptions will take place for 2 weeks after the New Year.  We had our hearts set and our children prepared that we would travel in January.  I spent the following weekend an emotional mess and in a puddle of tears.  At the advice of another adoptive mommy friend I contacted our agency and stated that we would like to make it to China in January if at all possible.  I was then contacted by our usual representative who assured me that they would do anything to get us to our child as soon as possible.  She knows, and I know that China is in control of how fast our paper work moves.  But, untimately God is the navigator of this journey and here is where he stepped in.

Our pastor decided to spend the month of December preaching on the gifts of Christmas.  His first two sermons were about Hope and Peace.  The Hope sermon occured on the weekend I spoke of before where I hit my "adoption wall".  David preached that without Hope we have nothing.  We must trust God and have Hope that his plan for us is greater than any road we could pave.  We left that sermon and Brad asked me if I had thanked David for preaching to me that day?  Ha.
The next week, I was feeling better but, still not myself.  To top off the emotions regarding the holidays and the adoption, the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy had just taken place.  This week David preached on Peace.  Peace David instructed is the opposite of anxiety.  During worship I was able to cast all of my anxieties regarding travel dates and the who remaining portion of this adoption on HIM.  Why waste my time being anxious and worried when I know He is in control?  He is the same God who has orchestrated every step of this adoption process more beautifully than I could have ever imagined.  He is the same God who hand picked our beautiful children just for us. 

So now I rest in the beauty of the holidays and can honestly say that I am truly at Peace with God's plan whatever it may be.  I am thankful for those broken moments I had because they not only allowed my love for Oliva to grown, they allowed my trust in the Lord to grow as well.

"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.  For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.  And always be thankful"  Colossians 3:15

"Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you" Job 22:21