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zdnyom razhdyeneeya!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My little girl became a big girl on Wednesday.
Where did the time go?! ;>)

It seems like just yesterday I was meeting her for the first time.
Oh yea. ;)
Sorry...I couldn't resist. I've said it for my other three kids. I can't leave Maddie out! :)
What a day we had.
If it were any other kid...the day would have stunk.
But for Maddie...it was perfect.
Well, almost.
She started out the morning waking up to find her room full of balloons...or bayoooooons, as she calls them. It's a tradition at our house to fill the birthday kid's bedroom full of balloons after they've gone to bed for the night. We've had some close calls in the eight years we've been pulling this off...but so far haven't gotten caught! :)
She LOVED the balloons and would have played with them all day, but we had places to go, people to see.
We came downstairs and let her have her BIG birthday present. The others would have to wait until after dinner. When she saw the bike, she let out a squeal, flew across the room, jumped on and promptly motioned that she wanted a push.
So, of course, her big brother, Alek obliged. That kid will do ANYTHING for Maddie. It's so fun to watch. They made several hundred trips around the loop between the kitchen, living room, den and hallway before I finally got them to stop long enough to eat breakfast.
After breakfast we took the kids to school and then came home to get ready for the stinky part.
The doctor's visit.
What was I thinking, scheduling this thing on her birthday?!
In my defense I have to tell you that the international adoption clinic we were taking her to only has hours every other Wednesday and by the time the next Wednesday came around I would be back at work.
So, the poor kid had to go to the doctor on her birthday.
But first we had to make the two hour drive to Omaha. (Sorry, Steve and Gail...there wasn't any time to give you a call. The next time we're up there though we'd love to get together for lunch!)
It wasn't so bad really. Maddie did great. She sat and sang to herself, ate raisins, took a nap and generally kept herself entertained for the two hours.
Hallelujah! The kid can ride long distances in a car!
We got there just in time for our 1 p.m. appointment and went straight in to meet with the specialists. They took her history (what history there is) and did a general exam, hearing test, blood tests and a developmental screening.
As my husband would say... There's good news and bad news.
The good news is Maddie is generally healthy. We still have to wait for her results to come back, but she looks good according to the doctor. She's in the 25th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight...not too shabby considering Anya and Nick weren't anywhere near that when we brought them home.
Developmentally speaking I was pretty pleased. She scores as a older four year old on gross motor skills (dressing self, personal hygeine, ect.) and fine motor skills. She's low on communication and cognative, but the psychologist didn't seem to think there would be any long term issues. She thinks once her language acquisition comes along, she'll be just fine.
Good!
Now for the bad news.
Her hearing is worse than we thought.
The orphanage told us that she could hear everything but whispers...and while it appears that way when you interact with her, it is definitely not the case.
She has a moderate hearing loss.
It was so difficult to sit there and listen to the sounds coming out the speakers and to see my baby girl just sit there without any recognition at all.
It broke my heart.
Thankfully there was some great news to go with this though.
The inner ear is working perfectly. When they put the bone conducting hearing aid on her, she could hear perfectly.
Sooooo...
Maddie is getting a hearing aid.
Even though she doesn't have any ears.
It's kind of cute, really. It's a head band that goes on her head with a hearing aid that sits part of her skull. The skull acts as a conductor to the ear drum...and wallah...she hears.
Unfortunately, our insurance isn't going to pay for it. So while I duke it out with our H.R. department, we're going to see if we can get a loaner from the children's hospital we went to.
It sounded like it was a possibility.
Hopefully someday soon, Maddie will be able to hear everything that is going on around her.
What a day that will be.
In the meantime, it was time to head home and get ready for her birthday party...family style. We traditionally let the kids pick where they want to go for their birthday dinner. Most of the time we end up at Chuck E. Cheese, T-Rex or Rainforest Cafe...but since Maddie doesn't have a favorite yet and certainly can't communicate it, we picked for her.
Maddie and I met Shad and the other three kids at Ryan's...our local all-you-can-eat. The kids love it. I have to remember that.
Then we went home to open the rest of her presents.
We saved her cake and ice cream for this weekend...she seemed to be getting a little overwhelmed.
I don't blame her.
She'd had a long day.
Zdnyom razhdyeneeya big girl!

9 salty messages:

lookingforgeorge February 15, 2008 at 10:51 AM  

Okay, you were there, so you know the hearing tests better than I do, but I'm just wondering if there is a possibility that she heard the sounds but just didn't care, or didn't understand that she was supposed to let you know she heard them? The only reason I ask is because when I was a baby a Dr. told my mother I was profoundly deaf because I didn't respond to sounds they were making for some kind of hearing test. But I wasn't even slightly deaf, I just didn't care and was too young to understand that they wanted me to respond to the noise when I heard it. I realize hearing tests are more sophisticated these days, so maybe I'm being stupid or overly hopeful for Maddie, but I just thought . . . maybe . . .?

kitzkazventure February 15, 2008 at 12:43 PM  

Funny first line. I said something almost word for word on Nick's first day of preschool....I just felt the need to ponder as other mother's do when they first send their kids off to the big bad world! ;) I love the balloon idea...Nick's celebrates his first birthday with us in US soon ....I may borrow your idea! Enjoy your cake and ice cream!

melinda February 15, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

Wow, what a day for Maddie and you, too. I hated hearing the bad news, but rejoice at the good news! It was a big day for a "big girl." I loved the picture of her in her little bed with the "bayoooons" all around! - Melinda H.

jessy February 15, 2008 at 7:43 PM  

Oooh, that burns me up that the insurance doesn't want to pay for the hearing aid. There is a dark place in hell for insurance.
Happy Birthday Maddie!

Tina in CT February 15, 2008 at 11:26 PM  

I agree with Jessy's comment. I hope you win over the insurance company. It is horrible that something like that (durable medical equipment) is not covered.

Such good news that she received a good health report on the rest of her check-up and that the hearing aid will make a difference.

I can just imagine her shock and joy when she saw her new purple bike. What a thrill for a little girl. I bet the cute baby doll was another big hit. I can't remember if she turned 3 or 4.

Enjoy your birthday weekend.

Mark and Courtney February 16, 2008 at 9:32 AM  

I totally understand about the insurance. When I called, they told us they wouldn't pay for a hearing exam unless the boys had a hearing problem. Huh?!? How are we supposed to know without an exam?
Very exciting that her inner ear is working so well!

Dave February 16, 2008 at 1:26 PM  

Wow, the opportunities she'll have being a part of your family!! Can't wait to read your blog about when she gets her hearing tweaked. I didn't realize you live so close to Omaha--we're practically neighbors. We're so blessed to have international adoption clincs here in O-Town. We've made contact with Dr. Kolb who will consult us when we're in Ukraine and help us once we're back.
Thanks for keeping us posted!
Gina

Tina in CT February 16, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

Adorable new layout. I have a problem viewing your new blog though as the writing is coming too far to the left and a part of each of the letters on the left edge are cut off. To the right of your writing, there is a large white space before your right column. Is it just with my computer or is anyone else getting the same thing?

Rachael February 19, 2008 at 10:01 PM  

The balloon tradition is a great idea! So glad she got to be home with you in the U.S. to experience her birthday. Did she turn 4 or 3?

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