Friday, August 12, 2011
This Point In Time
We are in the middle of a wonderful phase right now. Jie Jie is really falling in love with me. Tonight when I tucked her in, she showered me with kisses, something she's never done, all the while holding me tight in a perfect, sincere, HUGE hug. She had a period where I could pop upstairs or out to the yard and she'd be fine, but now she really needs to know where I am at all times, but not in the same way as before. Before, it was newness, fear, not knowing what to expect. Now, it's attachment, she wants me with her and misses me, and wants to know everything I'm doing, wants to emmulate me, knows we belong together.
Her English is exploding. Her manners are fantastic. She learned "excuse me" early on for burping, now she knows she must say it if she wants to interupt me. She has made friends with the best of my daycare kids and enjoys entertaining a certain baby sometimes. She can still assert herself as the leader and will sometimes play a little rough, like games involving pushing or holding hands for ring around the rosie then turning it into a game of Whip It. When caught doing what she isn't allowed to do, she gets a guilty look and will cry if it's something she really knew not to do, so she has a good conscience and sense of remorse. She will say she's sorry on her own if she knows to do so, and also if I ask her to do so. The first few times, she was too embarrassed and jealous to apologize to a daycare child, but not any more.
She has good table manners, something we started working on in China. Chewing with a closed mouth was first, using a spoon or fork properly (coloring helped with this tremendoulsy) and even a knife. We pull out the chopsticks as indicated, too, but I've always done this.
She has a natural sense of organization and the high level of awareness I would expect for a child raised in an orphanage, but she would not be called hyper-alert or hyper-aware by adoption standards at all. She appreciates cleanliness and beauty, from a clean toilet to a beautiful sunset or flower.
Physically, we are taking it easy this week. She has a mild cold that one of my daycare kids brought in. She's got a mild runny nose, a low-grade fever and sore throat. She also has a bacterial infection, picked up by the recent lab work and is on antibiotics and probiotics for it. We did retest before starting the antibiotics just to make sure the sample wasn't contaminated. It is something that might prove common due to her special need so I'm not surprised, but resentful of the insurance mess I was in since she could have had this infection from the moment I adopted her and been treated four months ago. Likewise, she also has Giardia, non-symptomatic other than a foul stool odor like no other. This is VERY, VERY common in children adopted from China. She has probably had this most of her life and it contributed to her malnutrition. She will take an antibiotic for this, as well, but only after the other antibiotic is finished and she's had at least 5 days to replenish her intenstinal flora still with the help of a probiotic. The risk of transmission to me is low. Her doctor doesn't even recommend I get tested unless I show signs of it, and I don't. I'm comfortable with this recommendation.
Jie Jie's pediatrician was quickly overwhelmed by the number of specialists we need and the time needed to sort them all out and has already gotten us a case coordinator. So far, I've not had to fight for anything medically related, meaning getting specialists, and referred out of Kaiser (they just don't have what we need). The doctor told me I'm a good mom and has agreed with everything I proposed. This has been very reassuring since I really did my homework on my daughter's special need before deciding to adopt her.
Jie Jie's nutritional status is excellent, other than the parasite, which helps itself to the nutrients she ingests. The doctor did bring up vitamins early on, but understood my fear of the iron in them and the potential for constipation. Since Jie Jie's special need mainly concerns her intestines, constipation can be life-threatening, much sooner than with a child without this condition, as can diarhea. After the labs came back showing great levels, the subject of vitamins didn't come back up.
Even if the scale and measuring tape didn't show growth, her clothes are showing it. She'll be out of size four leggings by the holidays and out of size three trousers. She'll wear her shoes out before she ever outgrows them.
Her dental work is scheduled for the first week of October. She's looking forward to it since she now understands that she won't have such pain afterward (I've talked to her about the pain she'll have for a little bit after the procedure). Now that I know her kidneys are functioning well, I feel more easy about the general anesthesia. She will also do well with the prep, as she proved with the bloodtest. In fact, she's eager to show off her bravery. I can't remember it all, but we're looking at four extractions, one particularly messy, four crowns, at least four fillings and four spacers.
I will be continuing with her chiropractic care. It is free, thanks to the generosity of my friend who is a student at the chiropractic college. With new data supplied by the orthopedic specialist we saw this week, I will be insisting on a re-evaluation and change of treatment. The treatment Jie Jie has had so far has been helpful, but we need to change the goal now that the true diagnosis has been made.
We still need to meet with 6 other specialists, have an MRI and several other invasive tests that I'm truly dreading, but must be done. I have a meeting next week about financial programs to help with the high expenses of all of this. It will determine whether we start full steam ahead now or wait for January 1, 2012. I will not put her through anything that will tarnish our very first holiday season together.
The good news is that once we get through the next year, my beautiful daughter should be able to live a perfectly normal, healthy life, like any other girl, with very few modifications. I am so thankful for the miracle she is. Remember when I was praying for her file? She is worth it all!