Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Medical Update & A List of Where We Are Today...

Medical Update:

Yesterday we took Sophia to the heart specialist and her appointment went very well. The doctor said he would love to know who did her surgery because they did such a magnificent job. He said that Sophia originally had two holes in her heart, asd & vsd. They both were repaired. She will not require any further surgery. Her heart is a little larger than it should be though due to all of the extra work it had to do for the three years prior to her surgery, so they have put her on some medication for six months to help it relax some and get used to working properly. We will go back in six months to make sure the medication is successful and hopefully discontinue using it and then we'll go back to visit once a year.
This was a huge weight off of my heart. We never truly knew for certain what was wrong with her heart, the information we received from China was very vague and we received nothing pertaining to her surgery at all. I was just overwhelmed with thoughts that something would be terribly wrong with my baby. I cried when we walked out of the office, all of the anxiety just washed out of me. I cannot live without this girl.

Our Progress:

Sophia is learning English at an amazing pace. Every day she has new words and sentences for me. On Sunday she traced the rim of my coffee mug and said, "Mama, this is a circle". I was just stunned. She has learned to find a way to say or communicate just about anything she wants to get across to someone. She understands pretty much everything we say to her and now the words are quickly coming back at us.

She is so brave. I am in awe of her inner strength. She is very eager for new experiences and loves to meet people. She does not cling to me at all. She keeps an eye on me to see where I am, but she freely explores new environments. She has embraced us as her family and really focuses on showing love to each of us. She and Eli are perfect companions and truly brother and sister. Their days together are filled with hugs and disputes.

She has gained almost 4 pounds since we got her the second week in June. She eats very well, but no over-eating or hoarding food.

I was very nervous about going back to work. I eased her into daycare. We went to my daycare persons home several times while I was home with Sophia. She cried for 10 minutes the first day I went back to work and that was it. I saw the relief on her face when I came to pick her up that first day. And she seemed to understand from then on that I would always come and get her and Eli. She now looks forward to going to see Miss Lynn and enjoys her time there. She has lots of hugs and kisses for me when I come to pick her up and jumps into our van eager to go home.

She is incredibly loving and affectionate. She tells me she loves me probably 20 times a day and I can't get enough of it. You can see in her face that it is truly from her heart. She gives hugs and kisses too. We haven't had any issues with her showing affection to strangers or people she doesn't know well. She seems to understand clearly who her family is.

She is very smart, I mean very smart. Her little mind absorbs everything. Before we brought her home, I had decided that I would probably keep her back a year behind Eli for preschool and kindergarten. Now, I believe she is ahead of him on many levels and that I would be doing her a disservice by not letting her go. I have decided with quite a bit of input from people around us to enroll Sophia in preschool with Eli this fall. They will be in separate classes. If she has trouble, I will take her out and wait until January, but I believe she will thrive. She is exceeding every expectation I had. Truly, she is gifted.

Sophia is still sleeping in the toddler bed next to ours in our room. I don't see this changing anytime soon. I think she will be with us for at least a year, maybe longer. I just know that this is her vulnerable area. She is happy and filled with confidence all day long, but when bedtime comes, there is great anxiety if she isn't near me. I don't know what exactly causes this change. She becomes afraid and helpless. So, I stay with her until she falls soundly asleep every night. She sleeps well and we have no night terrors. But I have to be with her for her to fall asleep.

I feel blessed. So amazingly blessed. I love being close to her. I love watching her become closer and closer to me. She believes in me and she trusts me and that feels so amazing. She was so afraid when she came to us. I strive to memorize everything about her. I now can recognize her a mile away like I can Eli. I know her walk and how she bobs her head back and forth when she runs. I find her exquisitely beautiful. I don't know how anyone could have ever given her up.

Today is her birthday and I have been thinking about her birth mother. She kept her for nine months. I wish I knew her story. I imagine that it was excruciating to leave Sophia behind at the hospital. I have heard that in China you have to pay up front for medical care and that heart surgery would cost 5 years average wages. It pains me to think she had to leave her daughter because she could not pay for the surgery needed to save her life. I wish I knew what happened.

And I truly wish I could reach halfway across the earth and bring her some comfort today. I wish I could tell her that Sophia is loved and growing and healed. I am certain that today she thought about the child she gave birth to and loved for nine months and had to leave. I want her to know that she is ok and that somewhere in the world, her birthday was celebrated. And somewhere in the world, a woman thought about her and whispered on the wind words she hopes will bring some peace.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Sophia Jane!

My kids

Grandpa Larry and Bob (Poopy)

Sophia and my Dad

Z. and Dan (Tyler & Eli's Godfather)

Sophia didn't know what to do with her presents at first, but she figured things out really quickly!

I'll have to get Tim to work on the red-eye, but I like this picture of me and Sophia.

The icing on the cake was supposed to look like real water....well, it acted like real water too and moved the letters around. Our 'morphed' Little Mermaid Cake.

Sophia and close buddy Katie.

Sophia and Daddy.

Sophia and Tyler.

Sophia and Zach.

Zach trying to free the Barbie from all of the plastic bands holding it to the package. Crazy how well those things are secured!

Birthday Girl with her Disney Princess Dolls. She loves the Princesses!

Sophia and Grandpa Gary. Yeye

Sophia and Great Grandpa Foster.