Thursday, March 17, 2011
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.