Our Baby

2 years and counting......

Friday, October 7, 2011

It has ben a while.............

As most of you know, Autumn had her surgery June 1st, and since, is doing fantastic! She is eating just about everything, most consistencies, and is doing great! We hardly ever see any choking problems- which was a very minor issue before the surgery. She has also really picked up the drinking. She has never been one for drinking liquids- but now she is really doing better. She will only drink water, but at least she is drinking more. As for talking - she was a little slow at first, which had me worried. Six weeks after surgery, she saw Dr. Ray. He thought that she'd just take off with the words. Well, it took a while- I think the biggest impact on her talking has come from daycare. She graduated to an older class Mid-August and since, she is talking so much more. We cannot always understand her, and pronunciation of some words just don't make sense- but we praise her for trying nonetheless. Tomorrow, gonna try tumbling class. She is still doing great with her gross motor movement. I think she will have fun with it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cleft Palate Surgery done!

June first Autumn had her cleft palate repaired! She did much better this time in terms of the Emergence Delerium. The nurses did a great job staying on top of the pain medication, she pretty much slept for the first 12 hours. Then it was just cranky and frustrated anytime the nurses came in. Her blood pressure was a little high the first day and over night, but was better when they let us go. Today is post op day 5. Problems and issues- she is not wanting to eat well. She has to have pureed food for 3 weeks - no finger foods, and we have to feed her. I think this has her frustrated. She has shown interest in what we are eating (obviously she can't have it) so we have decided not to eat around her. This just adds to the frustration since sh can't have what we eat. And I have tried to mush up what I am eating- she knows the difference! She is not wanting to drink either. She will take about 3-5 sips per day from her cup= otherwise, we are having to give her liquids with a soft tip syringe. She hates this. We try to do it after she has finished her food in order to somewhat clean her mouth. The other thing she hates is the arm restraints. We are with her all the time, so we can watch her hands. However, naptime and bedtime, she has to have the restaints. I think though that she is getting used to this. It keeps her hands out of her mouth. We have to do this for 2 weeks. She is a finger sucker, so this has been very frustrating for her. But getting better. Lastly, we took her to get her picture made prior to the surgery. She did a wonderful job!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Playing Catch Up!!!

Oh my - I have not updated our blog since December- where has the time gone? Day to day life now that we have Autumn is so busy! She is doing so well everyday, and we try to take advantage of every second we have with her because she is changing and growing so fast! But it does no leave much time for computer emails and updates. Well, since I last wrote, we celebrated our first Christmas with Autumn. She loves to jump on pillows, flip, and such, so we thought the perfect gift for her would be a bean bag. We found a small one, that is made like a flower, with a small ladybug on it. She loved it. Additionally, she got some books, which is probably her favorite. One of her books allows us to record the story, so when she turns pages, she hears our voice. She was pretty amazed by that, and it did not take her long to wear it out. She also got lots of gifts from family and friends. The most special thing about Christmas though was just being able to be at home together with our little girl.

Soon after Christmas, she had her first surgery. We went to Knoxville the night before, to be a the hospital bright and early January 4th. Surgery lasted about 2 1/2 hours. Everyone was very nice, and kept us posted with every detail. Autumn emerged later - a changed little girl. It was a little sad for me I must say, because I got so used to her cute smile - and how big a smile she had with her cleft lip. After surgery, she really looked different. On top of that, she had a reaction to the anesthesia- called Emergence Delirium. That was very challenging. She cried, well, screamed, banged her arms, legs and just was inconsolable (unless I held her and walked with her) This went on for about 12 hours, with a couple of one hour breaks due to morphine they gave her. She was so bad, that she got her incision to bleed, and I really thought they were going to have to take her back to surgery to stop the bleeding. But, she calmed down with the morphine and the bleeding slowed. The next day we took her home, and she got better and better. Once the swelling started to go down, it was amazing the job Dr. Ray did to fix her lip. It looks very natural, and symmetrical. As days pass, it is neat to watch her learn to use her lip. It is not only aesthetic, but functional too, as she eats and forms sounds. She will go back on June 1st for the palate repair. In the meantime, we continue with speech therapy twice a week. I can't say enough about her speech therapist. She is one incredible lady, that seems to love our little girl. Autumn is also making some progress with her fine motor skills and gross motor skills. She will be re-evaluated by occupational therapy next week.

We also celebrated Autumn's second birthday, with her first birthday party. We used Chinese New Year as the theme, since it was also around the same time. She was a little scared I think with all the people at our home. We had a good mix of family and friends, children and adults. Mike made Autumn's favorite meal - spaghetti. Our friend Clara Chay fed Autumn her dinner- and she ate an adult size serving! She was so happy and laughed out loud when we sang her happy birthday - like she knew it was all about her. She was not interested in birthday cake though- she cried when I tried to feed it too her and instead, ate some applesauce. Not a bad thing I guess to not care for sweets. For her birthday, we got her a toddler trampoline. She loves it so much. However, sometimes she gets to jumping so fast that she can't stop herself and she cries. But then, she goes right back to it. Her favorite birthday toy - a ball.

So day to day, not much else happening. We are looking forward to Easter - so many cute outfits for girls! I can't wait to go shopping! Also, looking forward to a long weekend in Charleston in April. Autumn has never seen the ocean so that will be a first for her. Mike and I will be attending Bethany's information meeting April 1st to discuss our experience with international adoption. Perhaps looking forward to another experience? Thinking - still a little soon to know for sure. As for Autumn, she has now mastered climbing the stairs and is starting to feed herself some. Feeding herself and her speech has been her biggest issue. She has a small vocabulary "Hey" "MaMa" and "uh-oh" She can point and make different sounds to express what she wants. She is becoming more loving, will give and accept hugs and kisses and is learning to do the same for her dolls and stuffed animals. She has really turned into a very loving child, and it is such a good feeling to be on the receiving end of her hugs and kisses.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas is here!! December 23, 2010

Our first Christmas with Autumn is finally here! So much is happening- so much going on- where to start. Since the last update, Autumn had her church dedication on November 28, 2010. She did so good. She was so quiet and patient. I think she enjoyed the attention. Our friend Allyson sang for her- a wonderful song by Steven Curtis Chapman, "Love Takes You In" Here are the words- it speaks volumes I think of our journey:
"I know you’ve heard the stories
But they all sound too good to be true
You’ve heard about a place called home
But there doesn’t seem to be one for you
So one more night you cry yourself to sleep
And drift off to a distant dream

Where love takes you in and everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in

And somewhere while you’re sleeping
Someone else is dreaming too
Counting down the days until
They hold you close and say I love you
And like the rain that falls into the sea
In a moment what has been is lost in what will be

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart

And this love will never let you go
There is nothing that could ever cause this love to lose its hold

When love takes you in everything changes
A miracle starts with the beat of a heart
When love takes you home and says you belong here
The loneliness ends and a new life begins
When love takes you in it takes you in for good
When love takes you in"

Other updates: January 4th, Autumn will be having her cleft lip repair - I am worried, happy, nervous, all of these emotions. While I know it will help her so much, she is going to look different. She is so sweet and cute like she is now, I can't imagine her changing. I am trying to remind myself that this going to help her in so many ways, especially speaking and eating, not just aesthetics. She is doing well- her gross motor development just amazes me every day. She is a little slow still with the fine motor- speech therapy is working with her and probably after the new year, she will start occupational therapy to help with her fine motor. We are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with her- she is enjoying the decorations, and we plan to attend this afternoon's Christmas party at her daycare. She loves going and playing with the other children. We have also gone through her first illness- bilateral ear infection, GI bug- all at once. She is a trooper. Anyway, I will try to update more later- but here are some new pics - courtesy of an old and dear friend- Ryan Bumgarner Photography. Merry Christmas!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

November has been a busy busy month. Autumn is doing great! She is running, jumping and really doing well with her gross motor. She is catching up quickly. Her fine motor skills are still somewhat behind. She is not feeding herself, but she eats great and is growing. I don't think it will be much longer for her to catch up there too. She had her first daycare day. We have her at First Baptist Asheville. Those folks are just angels. They are really loving and kind to Autumn, and seem to have a genuine interest in her doing well. She spent her first 1/2 day on November 16th. She did well. I was nervous leaving her, but felt much better after I saw how well she did. The second day, she ended up there all day. Mike had to go out of town. She seemed to have a really good time. She ate all her food we packed. However, she did not nap. She went to another class while her class napped. Hopefully, she will get used to this. She naps good at home, but did not want to nap there. Anyway, that night she was so tired, but insistant on more and more play. She absolutely crashed when she went to bed. The early intervention folks came out to see her, and hopefully, she will be starting some speech therapy soon to help with her talking and eating. This weekend, she will have her church dedication. We are looking forward to this. One of our dear friends is coming from Charlotte to sing. Here are some of the latest photos we have - enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!!

Mike and I LOVE Halloween! I enjoy being at home, handing out candy and seeing all the kids- which is what I am doing now as I update. Autumn went to two houses, dressed as a bumble bee. That is about all she could take. Hopefully, will have those pictures up soon.
The last few weeks with Autumn has been AMAZING! She is such a sweet little girl. She goes everywhere with us, and seems quite at home whether we are at Church, Target, a restaurant, just wherever- she is happy to be there.
We have had our checkups with our Pediatrician, Dr. Chu- everything checked out well. He did a slew of labs, repeated some vaccines, and thought overall she looked good. He referred us to the NC early intervention program, and we met our caseworker last week. She was very nice, and Autumn qualified for their services, since she has a cleft lip and palate, and has some mild developmental delays. She recommended that we begin some speech therapy and occupational therapy also. So that will start soon. We also registered for daycare last week. I am so thankful that she will start at First Baptist Asheville. We looked at several, and I really was pleased with the compassion that they showed to Autumn. She also got to meet her classmates, and play a while on the playground with them. She had a ball, and cried when we left- I was sad/happy about that. We also had dinner last night at the neighbor's= she did great! She just takes it all in. Such a good girl- here are some new pics. We have about a 1000- hard to decide which ones to post! :)
We took Autumn to the Biltmore Estate- Antler Hill Village- she has a pull behind for the bike - she fell asleep during the ride! I think she likes it.

Autumn and me - her first time going to Church.

Autumn received her first "Steeler's" attire from her grandparents in the mail. CUTE!

Autumn and me at her first visit with Dr. Chu.

Autumn's first time on a swing - she LOVES it!

Autumn in her Halloween outfit! LOVE the skirt!

Still in her Halloween outfit- gotta find another reason to wear the skirt! She is so cute in it!

Probably the cutest pic I have- All my girls watching Daddy on the front porch!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Finally Home

We have now been home a week with Autumn. We have been quite busy, which is why I have not updated our blog. Mike and I have had a hard time adjusting to the time change from China, as well as jet lag. The jet lag was the worst. I am sure Autumn felt it too. We had over 24 hours of total travel time between the actual flights and airport layovers. Autumn did OK, considering she is so young and not used to any type of travel. She has done well at her new home. We were worried about how she'd handle the dogs. Her first sight, her little eyes were so big. No tears though. She lets them smell her and even accepts a lick or two. Initially, their barking scared her and she whimpered a bit, but is even doing a little better with that. She has explored all of the upstairs. Just a few days after arriving home, she really started to crawl good, and then, she stood up by herself. Wednesday, she really started walking. She is quite unsteady and falls down a lot, but at least she is trying. She is doing great with eating. We are trying a variety of things, and likes it all except for potatoes and Lima beans. With the weather being so nice today and yesterday, she has spent time on the porch and seems to enjoy being outside. She is not saying anything yet, but does a lot of laughing, smiling squealing with delight. She seems to be a very happy child, and I am so thankful for that. We had our first home vist yesterday with our social worker, and I think that went well. Autumn is our daughter, but we'd like to re-adopt her now that we are home. This will give her an American birth certificate, which down the road will help her tremendously. This weekend, she is playing host to Mike's family and has really put on a great show for them. Anyway, here are some updated pics. Enjoy - will try to add more later.