Monday, March 18, 2013

Appointments

       Today Levi received cast number three - green at Caleb's request.  The doctor is happy with how things are progressing so at this point the outlook is pretty positive that the casting will be successful.  Today was the first time that I went alone with him for the cast change and I was a little nervous about having to hold him  still.  It turned out that he was incredibly calm and still throughout the entire process of taking the cast off and putting the new one on.  I guess it's already "normal" to him.  He watched their every move turning his head from side to side as they worked...ahhh he is just so precious!

      Last week I received a call to schedule Levi's MRI.  The orthopedic doctor had said there was no rush, and I wasn't too eager to make the appointment so it caught me a bit off guard.  In reality it will be good to know one way or the other what the cause of his clubfoot is....but also in reality is the thought of him being sedated and going into that machine, which makes me cringe.  Thankfully, despite the abundance of appointments this little boy has, this should be the worst of it....unless the MRI shows that his spine is the cause of his condition, but we'll take it one day at a time.

    Many of those days will mean more appointments.....next week we'll go for a hearing test (he hears fine...more of a ruling out purpose...) and then back to the pediatrician to check in on how he is doing and to address one last concern.  Our local agency will be coming to begin work on post placements reports and we should be hearing back from early intervention anytime to schedule our first real "meeting."  Last week Levi was evaluated by two wonderful women and he blew me away.  They told me in advance that they would have to present him with tasks that may be above his ability so not to worry if he couldn't achieve what they were looking for. (On a side note, I am not in the slightest bit worried about where he is at, but felt that if the service was being offered and I could learn additional ways to help him I may as well give it a try!)  Anyway....over and over again he was able to do what they were asking of him.  I know that sometimes he probably didn't understand their words, but he made the visual connection as they showed him what to do.  I've seen from the beginning that he is one smart little guy, but he still surprises me daily with all that he is able to do!  For me that evaluation proved to me a whole lot more of what he can do than what he can't do.  I was so proud!

    All of these appointments have given me a new found respect and compassion for those families with children who require frequent medical care.  Our outlook so far shows that this will be temporary, but for many it is not.  I'm that much more grateful for our health and for the medical care that we do have access to.  I'm also thankful for a wonderful husband who often sacrifices sleep to come with us so that I am not alone with two very active toddlers as we waaaiiittt in the many waiting rooms, and also to hold Levi in the more difficult appointments.

     This whole journey has truly opened up my eyes to a whole new world on so many levels.  It's so easy to put ourselves in a little box and to remain unaware of, or simply choose to ignore, the needs, struggles and reality of others.  And if you're anything like me you may not even realize you're living your life with your eyes half open.  I've been reading a book called "One Thousand Gifts" and joined others in a 30 day challenge for the month of March.  For my challenge I chose to focus on reading this book and putting into practice the wisdom the author shares about being thankful and living your life fully right where you are.  As ridiculous as it sounds, I'd find it easy to complain about the many appointments we have and how busy it is (and I'm sure I have).  But really if I step back and think about it....I couldn't be more thankful that I'm able to go to these appointments....that my precious boy was able to come home so that I can take him!  That I'm home with my children and able to bring them....that we are provided for with wonderful medical insurance and care...  And when I begin to see this reality, my entire perspective changes.  I'm reminded of words from the book..."we don't have to change what we see.  Only the way we see."  I'm sure I still have a lot more to learn and a lot more to become aware of, but I'm praying that God will continue to show me what I need to see.....from the right perspective.    

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mmmmaaammmaa

            I am amazed daily by this little boy.  It is so easy to forget that he has only been here for (almost) six weeks....only six weeks in an entirely new country....new smells, new sounds, new voices, new language, new routines, new foods, new...new...new.  I so often resist even the slightest change and this little boy has just endured some of the most significant changes anyone could ever face.  And yet he is so full of joy....thriving, learning, loving, taking it all in!

            I've often said that one of the great joys of being a parent is watching a child experience everything for the first time.  Their eyes are so full of wonder and curiosity!  Levi tries so hard to catch everything....he is always watching in wonder.  So many things he has learned in such a short time.  He learned to clap....and oh how he loves to show everyone his new skill!  He quickly learned to maneuver around with his new cast (although he has had experience with this before!) and it hardly holds him back.  He learned to feed himself and takes pride in doing so.  He learned how to place plastic toy balls in an octopus....come on this is exciting stuff!  I made sure to get that one on video....it takes serious concentration and for the first few weeks he just chose to throw them instead!  He learned the word no.....and did exactly what Caleb did when we would say it.....laughed! : )  He's learned many words actually...including his name!  He learned to point to my eyes, nose and mouth and listen as I say what they are.  He is beginning to learn that we are not trying to torture him when we change him or his diaper.  He learned to blow kisses.  So many things he has learned......one makes me melt a little more than all of the rest.....he learned to say Mama.

         He has often followed me around saying meh, meh, meh or mah, mah, mah trying his best to say my name, but these past few days he has really begun to say mama.  It is always when he wants comfort, is tired, or upset.....and it is the most wonderful thing to hear.  It amazes me still that God chose us to for this precious boy.....that I get to be his mama is truly humbling.  And the way in which it all happened leaves me even more in awe.  I can't say enough what a blessing this journey has been, and I am so excited for the many more things I will be able to add to the list of things that Levi has learned!