Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Seven Months!

It's been seven months!  The boys are doing really well.  I'll give a brief run down on both, if you're interested.


Finn's PTSD is improving.  When he first got home, if someone touched him in his sleep he would scream.  Now I can pick him up and move him while he's asleep and he doesn't even wake up!  He has severe nightmares almost every night, and night terrors as well, but while he's awake he seems to be doing much better.

Jake is still working on emotional regulation, but we don't see nearly as many hysterical meltdowns as we did when he first got home.  He's learning that we try to be fair and he doesn't always have to fight.  This means a lot to him and he's relaxing.  He's a good kid most of the time, and tries hard to help.  Sadly, he's a big of a dyed in the wool misogynist, which is likely the product of years being raised in China.  He's pretty open about his disdain for girls, and we're hoping that goes away before he's old enough to date lol.  Americans just aren't as accepting of that in a person as the Chinese are.


Finn is doing so much better, it's almost inconceivable that he's the same kid.  His spleen has shrunk to the point that it is almost nearing the normal range.  We aren't yet to the point that we can move transfusions to three weeks apart like most thalassemia children, but we're getting there hopefully.  Last month, he had 16 teeth removed, all baby teeth, that were rotted to the core.  We had hoped that would give him more sustainable hemoglobin levels, as he was riddled with infection, but so far, we aren't seeing that yet.  His iron levels in his liver are very, very high.  Honestly, they are at twice the level where doctors worry about permanent cirrhosis, and the meds we are using aren't doing the job as well as one might hope.  We can't raise his medication dose, because his kidneys are feeling the burden.  We're trying to get him on a second medication for iron chelation, as well as staying on the first medication, but the insurance company is making it very hard to get approval.  Overall, Finn's condition is so much better than it was, but it's still a long road to get him healthy.

Jake's condition has honestly been a non-entity in our lives.  I know it effects his self confidence, but the effect on the way he lives in negligible.  We couldn't get in here in New Mexico, so we drove up to Colorado Children's in Denver, where the neuro team was able to easily conclude that he doesn't have hydrocephalus, nor has he ever had it.  So he was shunted for no reason.  While this is technically good news, as he can't suffer the side effects of something like shunt failure, it's a problem to decide how to handle all the pointless hardware in his head.  Hardware can get infected and it's dangerous, but brain surgery when the situation is not emergent is also dangerous.  That's one we haven't decided yet.  We were told he was paralyzed on the left side.  That's turned out not to be true, as well.  He has hemiplegia cerebral palsy, which means his left side is weak, but not paralyzed.  He probably could have had normal function with proper physical therapy.  We're hoping therapy now will help to at least improve muscle tone in his left arm so he can use it to stabilize things in his other hand, hold open a door, etc.  Of course, he'll never have complete function with his left side, but we hope he can use it for a few things.

The Family:

We're all doing very well.  For a few months, I wasn't writing, but I am back to work, and those awaiting names in books to give to friends and family, please continue to have patience.  They're coming.  Mike's job is always the same, but he did just reach a new pay grade and with two new children, of course that's much appreciated.  Seth is about to start high school in the fall.  Evie and Jake both graduated from 5th grade the other day, so that means middle school for them.  I prefer to homeschool through middle school and I really wanted to help Jake become a better reader before letting him continue on with public school.  He desperately wants to go to school with his friends, and leaving he and Evie in a position to compete with each other probably isn't the best idea.  So he will be going to school per his request (every single day pretty much) and Evie will be homeschooled.  Finn graduated from kindergarten last week.  He actually has ten adult teeth, so in all likelihood, he's much older than 6, but we have no intention of aging him up.  He's very small and emotionally fragile, so we want him just where he is.  He'll be going on to first grade next year, and baby Gillian will be starting kindergarten.  Where does the time go?  Cue weeping mommy here.  We weren't planning to move forward with another adoption quite so quickly, but we found our daughter, so we are.  Sometime in early 2016, we expect to travel for our new daughter, who will be 3 by then, and whom we will probably name Elizabeth.

The Future:

We hope to spend some time meeting with Jake's friends from his orphanage during the summer.  It means a lot to him to remain in contact with his China "family" and we love to encourage that.  We thought we would be spending the summer in Texas, but that is not currently the plan.  Finn was approved for Make A Wish, and he wants to go to China again, but I'm not sure if that's a possibility.  We'll see what they say!

Thanks for dropping by and checking in!



  1. I wish all families stayed as updated as you did here! Love it!

  2. Love the update! Blessings on your family and adjustment for all your kids. :)