Sunday, September 19, 2010

a doctor's visit and a family getaway

Thanks so much for all the helpful responses to my questions about cleft palate repair. I feel much more educated and prepared now. I will keep you all updated about what the team says about Zoya's cleft palate.

Well we broke every rule in the adoption handbook and over-stimulated, over-exerted and over-sugared our newly adopted children this weekend. But they loved it! We had a followup appointment in Little Rock on Thursday and we decided to take the school kids out of school and go as a family. Fifteen minutes before we had to leave John said Hey-you know what-Why don't I just take off work tomorrow and we'll make a little family vacation out of it. We both flew through the house throwing things in suitcases and then carried sleepy children to their carseats at the crack of dawn. All went well at the doctor, then we stopped by to see the Lorraines for about an hour or so. Thanks Lorraines for having us!

One of the things I've always loved about my husband is that he will spontaneously pull the car over to enjoy the scenery. Here he saw a riverbank of rocks and thought the kids would have fun throwing rocks in the Buffalo River.
They did.

Jude found a rock shaped like the state of Oklahoma.

Liesel found a rock with a fossil.

Hope found a rock that looks like a quartz, she said. I have no idea where she learned the word quartz but it was not from me.

Simeon only cares about rocks that make a big splash. And of course Joseph doesn't care about rocks at all. You know what he loved. And yes he did get in!

It was our first attempt at going to Silver Dollar City as a family of 9. For as "normal" as I feel, we sure get a lot of double takes and gawks and stares! One of my more sensitive children noticed it too, and we decided next year we're going to have t-shirts made that say:
 "Stare if you think our family is awesome!"

Poor Zoya was too short for almost every ride.

But she can still milk the cow.....

.....and ride the Froggies with Liesel, Joseph and Ava. Over and over. And over. And over. Did I mention having a person with Down Syndrome in your family (or two) means you can bypass the long lines?

Here is a cute story. I was people watching as I love to do. This little boy innocently hollered out to his mother that he saw Santa walking by. His mortified mother shushed him but Santa stopped, knelt down, lifted his glasses and started to talk to the little boy. I was too far away to eavesdrop. I wonder what he said. How sweet is that! I couldn't resist taking a photo and was secretly hoping one of my kids would call him Santa too, just so that I could meet him! :)
I have really good  news! Zoya has gained a pound! Well 9/10 of a pound to be precise but close enough! The dietician said she is 12 pounds away from actually plotting on the growth chart! How tiny is that! But one pound is progress and the doctor and dietician both were very pleased. I am not sure how she did it, but she did and we are proud! And thanks to my friend Melanie and her mom, Zoya will have some pants that actually fit her this winter, without having to use safety pins and rubber bands to cinch the waist like she had to do at the orphanage. They came over today and took measurements and are going to be making her some pants that fit the length and waist at the same time. I'm quite sure this will be a first for little Zoya. Thanks Melanie and Mrs. Fisher!

Oh, and I almost forgot! On our way back through Springfield we met up with the Heflins for a late dinner of mexican food. I stole a couple of photos from her blog. As always it was great to see them. I am so crazy about little Addy! (who wanted Simeon to hold her.) :)

Oh my goodness I look like I've been traveling and hauling children around all day, while Cammie beside me looks so fresh and beautiful and youthful, ha! You shouldn't do that Cammie! Thanks ya'll for meeting us!


thedickinsonfamily said...

I love that about you guys. Just get up & go. Good for you. You need that time together as a family. Your making meaningful memories! Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Great times! Way to go. Will remember the Down Syndrome card if we ever go to Silver Dollar City!


JennyH said...

I never knew that about SDC. It has been years since I have been there.

Were you guys in Springfield this weekend? We were too. We are from there and still go there a lot. We live in the Kansas City right now but our families are still in Spfd.

Sounds like you all had a blast!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, that story about the Santa Claus man is so sweet! I'll bet he played right into it!
I love your idea for the T-shirts! I've always believed that we need to *own* our differences, our mistakes, and anything else that makes us stand out.
In my experience, I've found it's not the special needs kids that draw attention per se (at least, when you're dealing with DS, which is fairly common. Though I imagine Ava gets a bit more attention, especially since many probably assume she has cancer, not alopecia).
But I've found that the real attention getter is actually having several kids that look very close in age -- I think people are trying to figure out whether they're all yours or what!

I always use those settings as an opportunity to educate the public. Before I had children, I had special needs dogs and that's when I first realized the value of educating people. I had dogs with no fur due to alopecia and burns, a 2-legged dog in a wheelchair, a 3-legged dog who hobbled and a dog whose face was disfigured due to dog fighting. I'd take them all out at once and boy did we meet a lot of people! And I know that in several cases, I inspired people to take in rescues from the shelter.

Then, as a parent of special needs children, I found myself doing the same thing. (Though when they became old enough, I gave them the option to share their stories and all have continued with enthusiasm.) We were also inspired by a Discovery Health Channel show about a little girl with harlequin icthyosis -- she had business cards that she'd hand out to people who stared and gawked. The cards have a little bit of information about the medical condition and a little bit of information about the child, with emphasis on how they're just like everyone else except (fill in the blank -- i.e. "my skin looks different" or "I don't have hair" or whatever) There's also a little invitation to ask questions and the girl on the show had a link to her website.

My kids *LOVE* the cards; they love educating people, and they love providing would-be gawkers with an opportunity to ask questions and connect.
One of my girls has burns, and this frightens many kids, but with the cards, she's made many lifelong friends of kids who may have otherwise been too frightened to approach.

One of my kids put it perfectly -- the gawkers have a power over the child who's a target of the stares and whispers; the cards enable the child to turn the tables, regaining control over the situation. It's empowering for them.

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

Lisa said...

Looks like fun! I hope we can meet up some day--my parents live in Springfield :).

Cammie Heflin said...

Lol whatever!!! Such an awesome dinner!!! John said you will be coming back for Christmas in SDC sometime, we will do it all over again! Maybe before 2 days at SCD and hours of traveling!!! You looked gorgeous!!! HUGS!