Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Azlan moment of the day.

All of our children are doing so well in school. Chazano and Zunduka are almost through their learning to read program which is amazing for where they have come from.  They have really struggled but are doing awesome. Zunduka LOVES school. He told me this morning that "school makes me feel so calm on the inside" :)

Azlan is the struggle for school. I've blogged about this before. The deafness combined with the severe cleft he had repaired...he has a few things against him in the speech department.  Reading is hard for him. I refuse to let him fall through the cracks.  He's not going to be 'pushed through' he is going to thrive.

Dean and I watched the movie Gifted Hands a few nights ago. It was so inspiring. I've read the book years ago, the movie was very well done.  When Dr. Carson's single mom said "you can do and be anything....ANYTHING" I could feel the passion and it was something I wanted to pass on to our children.  You can do anything. You may have to work harder, study more, and apply yourself more than other children your age...but you can be anything.  So this morning we talked about what we want to be in life.  Azlan said he'd like to be a doctor that helps children with cleft lips like him...and be a train engineer as well :)  So I told him he absolutely can be that...so let's work harder today in school.

His project was to read words and then draw it in a box.  I almost started crying at the end..I was so shocked to see how he read and fully understood each word.  My friend Sandie who was a Kindergarten teacher said this was pretty impressive for any 5-6 year old. That was encouraging to hear since Azlan does have some pretty big hurdles to overcome...and...he wouldn't even be in Kinder yet in the public or private system b/c of a September birthday. So he's actually a year ahead.

Here's what he did today in school with NO help whatsoever.  When he read the word...you would never know what he was saying. I was so excited to see him draw what it really said.

Azlan...you beautiful little gift.

The act of remembering.

Memorial day.  This year as we drove through the cemetery we told the kids to imagine that each American flag was a soldier who died.
 Each one was someone's son.
Somebody's brother.
Somebody's husband.
 Somebody's Daddy.
Each flag...a soldier.
Each soldier...a sacrifice.
Memorial Day.
Never forget.
Choose to remember.






We were invited to our friends house for the day. It was finally a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun. I love how Izrael is the most scheduled baby and yet if we mess up her schedule she rolls with it.  She completely missed her 3 hour afternoon nap and she was the happiest baby ever.  











 Tirzah was beyond excited. In fact the day before she came to me and said "mommy...I heard daddy say the best thing ever to me ... in fact it was so amazing...I'm scared I dreamed it!...Are we really going to our friends house tomorrow?" :)  She LOVES this little friend. I'd write her name but I don't want to misspell it :)

What a bliss little Izrael was all day. She LOVES the swing. On my lap, in the baby swing...she doesn't care...she loves it.  I will say "Izrael want to swing with mama?" and she'll come toward me and say "weeeee":) Loves to swing.





Azlan...who just so happens to LOVE Angry Birds ;)


Azahria Peace.  Beautiful baby girl.


So around dinner time, a huge bbq and potluck meal was served.  Tirzah asked to eat with a few of her friends.  Much later...we sat with a few friends and enjoyed dessert. One of the couples intro'd themselves to us as a Pastor and his wife. He asked if Tirzah was our daughter.  What he told us was the cutest thing ever. He said while eating dinner, Tirzah was at his table. A full table, mostly adults.  Just as everyone was digging in, Tirzah said "is anyone going to pray before we eat?" He said he looked at her and said "well, you are right. Someone SHOULD pray". She said "I will". Trying to save her out of a very awkward situation he said "I can pray if you like" she said "oh no, I'll pray" :)  He said she got up and prayed and went into detail about how there are so many orphans in the world needing a forever family and safety.  She prayed for Taizi, Zihao and sat down.  He said he was blown away but this sweet 8 year old girl who had no hesitation to pray in front of all these adults. It was pretty precious.

We had a wonderful day even though all of the small chat was extremely out of my comfort zone ;) We had a great time and love the friendship with this wonderful family. The same family that has offered to care for our 7 children when we go to China. 

:)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lifesong for Orphans

We were notified today that we have been granted a $2500 matching grant for our adoption.  What is this...? It's not just a gifted grant...we have to raise donations and Lifesong will match at 100% up to an additional $2500!! So on Friday of this week I should have the information to where donations can be sent and the details.  We are very excited, grateful and humbled.


Monday, May 28, 2012

oooops.

Jenny just checked Zihao's file and his birthday is May 25, 2009.  Our file says May 29.  Both are fine...but Taizi's is June 29.2009 and we thought "sweet a month apart...easy to remember"...um...no :) Can't wait to see pictures of him with his gift!

Baseball, kites, anniversary...Oh, My!

It has been a simply wonderful weekend.

Dean sprained his ankle. I know that's not a good thing..but the good news is we had him home and he delayed his work schedule til next week. (It was playing basketball...tsk, tsk). :)

Yesterday we took the kids to play baseball.  So cute. So funny. And I ran as much as they did. You know...because when you are 4 and 5...and 7...you get distracted easily...and well it's so easy to run from second base all the way home... :)  So I would grab Izrael in my arms and run with the child that was 'off base' and get them where they needed to be.  Honestly...it was fun and we have some decent little hitters! Chazano has a very strong arm and can really throw a ball!

There was a big playground nearby so we all went there and played.  Izrael climbs everything with the 'big kids' and is so cute when one of them surprises her around the corner. We watched them play Robin Hood (Walker-kid-version) and all sorts of fun, energy-burning, silly games :)







Today was our 12th anniversary.  That's a pretty big deal and we treat it that way.  When most marriages are crumbling by year 4 and 5...(and ours was no exception) every year is a celebration.  Where we are today is a "Joseph story".  God has taken our brokenness...something I wasn't sure could ever survive and not only saved it...but made something extraordinarily beautiful with it.  That...is redeeming love.  We have both learned what love really is and what it really takes to make a marriage work.  Yes...12 years ago today I vowed "no matter what".  We had no idea where that would take us. Never ever would we have believed you had you told us 12 years later we would be waiting for baby number 8 and 9 to come home from China.  I thought I loved him that day 12 years ago...I know I do today.


Today after church and Izrael's very long nap...we went to the soccer field to fly a kite.  It was so windy and so beautiful.  The kids just ran and ran and ran. Dean and I sat on the grass with Izrael and took lots of pictures.  These are the moments where memories are made.  You know...we took our family to Disney in 2009.  Tirzah was 6, Zion was 4 and Azlan was 3.  I don't know if I've ever heard it mentioned from them since. Not even once.  But I still hear lots of stories about the day before we went to Disney and we played in the ocean for hours.  We still hear about our summer Saturdays in the "jungle" (aka park).  We hear lots about summer swim parties at friends' houses.  And we definitely hear about when we took them a few blocks away to fly a kite.  Oh...I love Disney and the big trips as much as anyone.  But it has struck me as a parent...how it's the every day moments that make a lifetime of memories.  Don't let a day slip.  






Just as we were ready to leave the fields we decided to take a few more pictures of the kids.  I love when their personalities shine.  The pictures of our 4 boys are beautiful.  All are very close friends.  We go to a birthday party and they stick together. They like each other. They comfort each other.  They are friends.  More importantly...they are brothers.  They see no difference. I don't hear color mentioned very often.  Every now and then Chazano will say he wishes God made him the same color as me.  We quickly remind him that God created him just the way he wanted him. With beautiful black skin.  Perfect.  This time next year...we will have photos of our 6 little boys.





Today we had pizza for lunch.  Chazano came up to me in the kitchen and said "Mama, the pizza was great today. I loved it.  The only thing I love more...is...guess...." I looked at him and said "I'm not sure...what do you love more than pizza?" he smile and said "you, Mama. I love you more.". 

Oh I'd do it all again.

Anything...Any...thing...worth having is going to be a lot of work.  Marriage. Parenting. Adoption.  
Somewhere in my life I decided that whatever I was going to do in life...I was going to do it all-in.   "whatever your hand finds to do...do it with all your might". (Ecc. 9:10.)  


I'm so excited to post new pictures of Zihao!  I received an email this morning from Jenny with a few pictures of him with his birthday cake. (They received his gift, he just hasn't opened it yet).  We can't wait to scoop him into our arms and welcome him home...yet are so aware of the reality of all he will be saying good bye to.  His foster family. His life.  We were struck by the love between them in these photos.  







 





Saturday, May 26, 2012

:)

We received a letter in the mail yesterday stating we were awarded a $1500 adoption grant from a local organization!

Never once...did we ever walk alone...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Just in case patience isn't a virtue of mine...

I found a voicemail on my phone from early this morning...from a grant organization. Stating "we have a decision from the director, please call me asap" and .. well... yah...I found this after business hours today. On a weekend. On a long weekend.

So...what did I do? I laughed. Only me.

Only. Me.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Changing the Game

Azlan is doing exceptionally well. I had to leave town for 5 days and Dean was doing IV meds and wound care. At one point he texted me a picture of Azlan's head and I couldn't believe the difference. The skin was so clean and clear and the 'hole' was filled in a lot!  Yes, my husband is awesome to stay with the kids solo for 5 days!

Our home health nurse came yesterday and removed the PICC line. I watched the process as long as I could but really....my stomach was flipping :)  Our nurse was amazing. She let Azlan remove all of the dressing and he never cried once. The moment we would try he would scream in pain.  How many nurses would take the extra time to let a 5 year old remove an enormous amount of rediculously sticky tape so that it didn't hurt as much...? We loved her!  She told us yesterday she was so excited that we were on her schedule that her boss said "didn't you just meet this family?" she said "yes but I love them!" :) She kept commenting how our home feels like you are stepping into this international place rich with culture.  I was laughing at her.  I got her number and we plan on meeting for coffee and staying in touch.  She begged us to invite her over when our babies come home from China.  :)


Zihao's birthday is May 29!  He turns 3 years old and we sent off the cutest birthday gift ever.  Jenny told me they have a big cake and celebration so I just sent the gift.  I can't wait to see the pictures of him with it.  You know you bought the right thing when the other 7 kids are wanting to rip it open and play with it :)  A few days after I sent it I received his personalized tee shirt in the mail. Totally forgot about it...rrrr. So mailed it separately. It's so cute. Says Zhong Hua and a big number 3 on it. :)

My friend Heather Brandt re-designed the blog for me and I love it! The hugest shout out and thank you to YOU, Heather!

We received word yesterday from Show Hope that we did not get a grant. My heart sank a bit...and when I looked at Dean he was smiling.  He said "don't let that bother you...you know God is going to provide every single bit of it" and instantly the weird feeling was gone.  Peace.

We are now day TEN on waiting for our LOA :) Who's counting...? Honestly I just had to look it up because I refuse to let one day slip by let alone 60 or 100.  We are working hard and very focused on changing the game for our family before we ever step on that plane to China.  I have helped so many moms reach their goals in the last year~and this year we are going to help many more.  Four years ago with me as a stay at home mom and Dean as a contractor...we were inches away from bankruptcy.  We chose to change the game.  I worked around our kids' schedules and very quickly matched Dean's income with no daycare expenses.  We are very focused on doubling his income in the next 3-4 months allowing him to be home a lot more and our life to be a lot more flexible (which would be awesome having 9 young children, 3 of which with special needs).  Every good gift comes from above and we pause daily to thank God for bringing my friend Sandie into our life to not only give us hope 4 years ago...but to completely change the game for our family.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Azlan update

Azlan is doing really well. We are doing really well. This whole IV thing has brought me to tears several times but thank God for a good friend that lives just a few miles away (just so happened to deliver 4 of our babies...) that's a nurse! I've called on her a few times :) Now that I know how to 'prime the line' and do this all without feeling the overwhelming need for 12 hands instead of 2...we are doing gooooood :)

Yesterday his wound was bleeding. Ahhhh. Just when I think it's healing...it does something weird.

People are writing me asking about the surgery and if it needs to be reversed. The plan is no...we are taking an aggressive approach to this infection to heal it quickly and save the implant. So far, so good.

I'm going out of town from Wednesday to Sunday ... yes and leaving my child with a PICC line in. :( But Dean will be here 100% of the time (no babysitter) and he's been doing the IV's taking turns with me.

I'm so torn on Azlan's hair. I keep his hair super short and we are trying to grow it out. He has amazing hair. It's soft and just awesome to cut and to 'do'.  (Zion's is stiff and really hard to work with, funny how different they are).  But I'm soooo tempted to cut it. I'm hating this in-between stage it's in right now.  I cut it Saturday but just trimmed it and it's looking super cute. If anyone can pull of a long shaggy beach boy look...it's Azlan. Dean asked me to let it grow a bit more before throwing in the towel on it :)  He has a very mis-shapen head (emotional subject b/c I wish I had stuck to my gut when he was a baby and went for the helmet :(...and this will help conceal his new 'ear' (baha).  We'll see how long it lasts.

We are going to jump in and learn sign.  It just may be the missing link to his speech.

Regarding adoption...pray with us that we get our LOA quickly so we can choose a Oct / Nov travel date.


We are LID!

Having seen so many China adoption blogs, I think we took the longest from DTC to LID...?  Anyway, we are logged in to China and the countdown officially begins!! 


Thursday, May 10, 2012

I think my heart just skipped a beat! Honest...!

Our precious little Zhong Hua.  Yes I said Zhong Hua...because his name may be changing. :) We will come to a conclusion soon. I'll keep you posted. For now..we'll call him Zhong Hua (Zihao)

How beautiful is he...? I immediately had a hand over my heart and my mouth open when I opened my email.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I really don't want to do this :(

Tonight I go to start Azlan's IV meds. I swear I listened like a hawk today and took mental notes but really it takes more than 1 hour to teach nursing students the art of using an IV and I was taught in an hour.  And then left alone to really do it on my child.

I messed this up big time. I can't even tell you all of what I did wrong but there was blood pouring out and I freaked. I put the stop on it and called home health. The nurse parked on the sidewalk and ran in my door...yah...it was a really bright moment. He looked at me like 'seriously...? blond!" well. Not really but that's what I was feeling. The blood was clotted and it took him 2 things of saline and 1 of the other stuff (see...?) to clear it.

He left and I cried. Maybe I can't do this?  I feel like a total failure that I messed it up and yes ... my expectations for myself are always high...and I'm quite transparent about what I'm NOT good at....blood is one of them.  I can never look at a needle or IV or an open wound. Dean has shown me his cut hand and I've had to hold onto the chair or I'd faint...  so in saying all that I'm really stepping out of my zone here!  I'm cleaning this wound which is awful for me to look at ... I'm pushing saline into my child's body when I know that tubing goes directly to his heart...and ... I'm...well...doing it.

On a lighter note...I love this boy. The unexpected gift of the infection was 3 nights and 4 days completely uninterrupted Mama and Azlan time.We colored, giggled on the bed, told stories and made movies.  It appears as though it's not serious but it could have been. That's all you need to get your focus onto what really matters and how life can turn upside down...in a moment.

In one conversation ... laying on Azlan's hospital bed, he told me something and I was really trying and said "ok say it again" and he looked at me and said "mama...you aren't listening..." I laughed and promised him I was but it was hard for me to understand what he was saying. I asked him to say it again and I'd try harder.  He was so cute.  I asked if it's frustrating that sometimes we don't understand what he's saying and he said "wellll....it's not frustrating that you don't understand me...it's frustrating that you don't listen.  Especially Daddy...he doesn't listen".  Ok I'm now really laughing. He was so sincere and had the cutest smile.  I assured him we are trying and will try harder ;)

Later last night we were hanging out on his bed and he asked for a snack claiming he was 'starving'.  I went and got him a snack and when I came back he looked up at me with the cutest grin and said "i just can't believe you got me white milk! Mama...white milk is for cereal ... I wanted chocolate milk!" the nurse was laughing. Yah..I guess 4 days in the hospital he was having chocolate milk around the clock...and no longer was interested in the boring stuff ;)

When he was getting his IV I told him "you are awesome" as he was starting to cry. I said "am I awesome...?" he said "wellll..sure." I said "hey...what do you mean...? and if I am why don't you just say 'Mama you are awesome!' " he was so cute. I was trying to distract him from this awful IV insertion...he was like "welll...sometimes you are awesome. But not all the time".  Straight shooting from Azlan. He tells you like it is.  He used to always say "I like your shirt" and if he didn't like it, he'd say it too :)

Tonight we have a little boy on the mend.  He's a gift.  This little boy opened my eyes to true love and I just adore the gift of Azlan Honor.



We are home!

Late last evening, Dr Husein came in with "good news"! He said the culture from Seattle grew STREP so it was not MRSA! He has no idea why he got this infection when he was on oral and topical antibiotics to prevent it, but was so thankful we were dealing with this instead of MRSA.  So he switched our antibiotics again and cleared us to go home for 14 days on IV meds.  He took another look at the wound and again said how in doing 10-12 BAHA implants a year for 4 years, he's never seen one get infected.  He re-emphasized how huge it was that we went into the ER b/c this thing was raging and eating away at the skin around his implant.  It looks like we will be able to keep the implant in as long as the skin starts healing.

We were discharged from the hospital around 9:30pm and were home close to midnight.  So very very thankful that we caught this nasty infection and seem to have things under control.

For all of your concern, love, support...and most importantly ... prayers on our behalf...a humble thank you.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

So sorry

For all the horrific spelling errors and lack of paragraphs in my last several posts. I'm posting on an iPad and it won't let me do paragraphs. And well typing long posts on here is kind of a bear so I'm not paying attention to spelling.

Monday, May 7, 2012

And I am so grateful for "it"...!

So we woke this morning- well I woke. We woke Azlan at 8:35:). A team of ENTs were standing over his bed talking in full volume... I guess tere are some perks to deafness...;) The looked at his infection and stated the head ENT would be back later. They all came in and I was beyond thankful that the doctor was acting as if we have never met:). Yah it wasn't my favorite moment when he mocked me...and my "gut feeling" that something was really really off with his hearing. I was right, though. He stated how he was leaning towards thinking his infection was MRSA. He said there were several plans of action to consider but that we had a choice. If we wanted our ENT to work with him..he would discharge him to drive directly to Spokane. Or we could stay and have some options in Seattle. He said "you were 100% correct in coming in-- you don't mess with this and honestly I've never seen an infection with the BAHA. ". We opted to go to Spokane. 5 hours driving later--dean had cleaned te entire house where we stayed--even washed all the bedding!!--we were in Spokane. In fact Dr Husseins office closed at 5....we arrived at 5:05:). Ahhhh. That was interesting. Let's just say this - he disagreed with about 90% of what the head ENT in sette said. Yes...lovely. Nothing like feeling totally confused. Seattle: bandage at all times! Spokane: get that bandge off, you are slowing healing!! Seattle: if you stay we do surgery and clean wound. Spokane: what?! What?! Surgery??? Are you sure that's what he said?? Yes it just kept going. So my ENT is great. He's passive and quiet though. Yes...though. I like a very proactive, authoritative approach in medical care. So I had to say"I'm a realist. Let's talk straight. This is getting worse after ring slammed with the big guns in Seattle. What's your plan? Why is the infection still raging? What if it fails to respond? Lay out the plan. If it doesn't work...then what will you do?". Yah I think I annoyed him. However he laid it out. That's me. I need to know and accept it up front and deal with it head on. So the plan. He thinks it's MRSA. He was frustrated that Seattle said the culture didn't grow anything because he says MRSA takes 5 days to grown in a petri dish. It had been 30 hours. He laid out why he thinks that. Azlan had surgery ten went on oral antibiotic for 10 days. On day 10 infection started. He sas it takes about 10 days for MRSA to show post surgery. It makes sense bc the antibiotics he was on do not treat MRSA. Te skin has a huge hoe because the infection just kept destroying the skin as it spread. He sees no sign of bone infection. He said the original implant is rock solid. He thinks we may be able to keep the second implant as long as we stop this infection. He admitted him for IV and wound care and booked the OR in the morning for a central line to be put into his arm so we can go home on IV antibiotics-doubled up. Our room is small and cold in many ways. But the nurses are super warm and loving. IV was horrible but it was one try and in. Azlan screamed but never moved. Moments after his chocolate milk he was snoring. Poor boy. The nurse just came in and said his procedure is for noon and he can't eat or drink 6 hours before. Wonderful:). Ok- dean is in a hotel with 6 kids and all are sleeping soundly. I was able to run in and shower and bathe azahria and Izrael before we came in. That shower--bliss. I'm once again sleeping in dress clothes. I never wear sweats but I just might spend my first 24 hours at home in them :). From our cold, dingy room in Spokane tonight...goodnight friends. Thank you for praying. I'll end with this. My audiologist friend texted me this tonight: "I think you did a heck of a job getting to the point you are now, frankly. This could have gone in an entirely different direction had you not paid attention to your gut. The doctor is lucky you are the parent! I sure would love to see the abutment stay after all this but most important thing is to kill that infection!!" So--that thing that I never know what to call---was right again for Azlan. Dean said tonight:" just so you know I didn't think it was serious but the moment you said you couldn't shake the feeling that something seriously was wrong-I was very concerned". Moms--trust it. It's God-given. There's the update

Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's ok.

Whatever "it" is....is ok. Inst the most beautiful part about the Christian walk ...surrender...? The fact that in the end of all my trying ... I'm simply not in control. You can have a complete break down because things didn't go as you planned... Or you can do your best... And surrender to God. We just did the wound change tonight. I'll be honest I felt like I was just kicked in the stomach. There was a lot of pus. All around the screw. Azlan wants to see it everytime we change the bandage...which is great because it makes my awkward picture taking... Not so awkward. I have this totally tracked by photo progression because he wants to see it. My heart sank. I laid my head on his feet in the bed. The nurses finished the dressing. They left the room and I walked to the window -- looked up to the heavens and cried. This is my dream. Our dream. Don't You know I've fought and advocated for our son for 5.5 years for this...? This is our dream for Azlan. To give him a world of sound... At such a critical age for speech development. For making friends. For social development. For learning to read in school. This is it... I even blogged about that a few weeks ago. I surrender. This is out of our control. We went above and beyond what we were told to do in post op care for Azlan. He still developed an infection. Even now this weekend... My ENT said its fine. Relax. Come in Monday. We pushed. We did it right. We are still here. It's ok. It's really ok. There's a baby in the next room with Spina Bifita. We walked into the cancer ward by mistake today. This reminds of the story about Zion last week. How he prayed that he knew it was a small thing in light of what God sees and hears everyday... Yet it was a big deal in that moment to him. Well that's me tonight. And in the end... It's ok. He's ok. I'm ok. We're ok. It's ok. I'm a realist. Straight talk. I need to accept tonight that we may have to remove the implant and surrender that dream for now. It's ok. Sure... There's chance things turn around by tomorrow. And if so... I'll be thanking God. But here's the truth.. If not...I'll still be thanking God. It's...ok.

I've learned to trust it.

Whatever "it" is--I believe God gave it to me. Intuition...gut feeling...nagging thought.... We came to Seattle for business on Friday. Usually we come and go all in one day- leaving the kids home with a trusted friend. This month-- our friend was unavailable. So we packed the family up and decided to make a weekend out of it. On the way here Friday...dean was in a gas station and I started talking to God, out loud. "is this fear...? It doesn't feel like it. I don't feel anxious... I feel confident that something is wrong. I have this nagging gut feeling...something is just plain wrong". I texted my friend and we talked about it. I called my ENT in Spokane. I even texted a photo of the incision site to him. He said "ooooh ok. Apply the antibiotic ointment every hour and come see me Monday". Friday night Azlan started having pain. He's tough. But he was hurting. He would shudder then say "mama---it really hurts". We were at our friends house and I laid him on my lap and he fell asleep there. On Saturday morning I went to apply the ointment and I just knew something is really really wrong. I called Cochlear and spoke to their Audiologist. I called my friend who is an Audiologist. I told her to give it to me straight. I can handle it. She said "ok Janice--you are right. This is not ok. Please call your ENT". So I reach the ENT on call and I ask if I can text him a photo. He says sure. He calls me back 15 minutes later and says " ok .... This is bad. It's...not good. I'll call in oral antibiotics and come in to see us Monday". He explained how they thinned out the scalp and there is always a risk of the skin caving in and that appears to have happened here. He said its the reaction we know can happen but explained he's never seen it. He said its highly likely the implant may need to be removed and hopefully the screw in skull doesn't need to be removed. So we carry through the day. He got a fever. :(. On pain meds every 4 hours. Wound is oozing--I'll try not to be too graphic but it was not pretty. I called my friend who's dad is an infectious disease doctor. He said to go to Childres ER ASAP. So dean dropped me off around 8-8:30 pm. With Tirzah :). Azlan wanted her there:). We didn't even sit in waiting room, we went right back and were seen very quickly. I requested a culture of the discharge, per my friend's dad. ENT came in and said she recognized me from February 2007. Funny. Not that I was excited about that- because this is the same team that told me they suspected 20% hearing loss and once they discovered his complete SSD ( single sided deafness) said they had nothing to help him. However she took photo and texted her boss. She came ack and said we had a choice. Be admitted for 8 hours IV antibiotics or drive straight to Spokane and do same with our ENT team. so we checked in. I clung to Azlans legs as he flailed in pain as they made three attempts with the IV. He screamed...I cried. When I te dean outside for him to give me things for my stay-I hugged him and just cried on his shoulder. It breaks my heart to see this infection and the pain he's in and the possibility of having to reverse this implant we have waited 5.5 years for. I crawled into his bed with him at 1:45 am this morning. I'm longing for something a tad more comfortable to wear. I'm in business dress clothes as we can for a business event. Yes--I guess I packed dress clothes for the return trip as well. While it is my comfort clothes at home- not sure about sleeping in it in a hospital bed... Azlan slept from 8:00 pm to 8:30 am with only waking to scream during the 3 IV attempts. He kept screaming for Tirzah. too:(. He ate a full breakfast this morning. The ENT resident (who grew up in Richland) came and talked to me. Te wound is crusted over so he felt it was healing. My analogy was an icicle. It's hard to measure how much water is leaking because it's slowly growing. Knock it off and see if a new icicle forms and you can measure the drip. He scrubbed the wound down and I felt faint. It was --- really... Awful looking. There's a hole in his skin that he said clearly was a pocket of pus. He followed it down to the screw. He said it looked a lot worse than he thought. Now we can measure the drainage. He bandaged it all up with ointment. He said we definitely have to stay til tomorrow at the very least and see if the drainage slows. If not we need to be discussing removing the implant. If we are discharged tomorrow it's with the advice to drive straight to Spokane so our team of doctors can make a decision. Scott and Kristina Meyers kindly offered to bring Dean and the kids lunch and asked how they could help. I said watching the children for a few hours would be great so Dean could come for a few hours would be wonderful. So thankful for friends with generous hearts. Azlan and I walked down to the gift store. He has a new coloring book and a toy. His antibiotics started again at noon and his wound will be cleaned in a few hours. I'm 95% sure I just saw Mark Driscoll and his family walk into the next room with gifts and balloons. I'm waiting to see them come out- I would love to say hello! :) Thank you for praying for Azlan. He has such a perfect name for who he is. The lion. I'm thankful for whatever it is God has given to me--deep inside ... Because it has proven to be very accurate in knowing when to push further for Azlan.

Friday, May 4, 2012

My heart ... hurts.

Azlan Honor.  I am so thankful for ... you!

This morning during school...I walked away and cried. Dried my eyes...and came back to sit down beside Azlan.  You see when you can't hear (I know ... that's all about to change...but for 5.5 years he has had complete SSD ... single sided deafness) and you were born with a level 3 cleft palate...you are just at a disadvantage when it comes to school.  Because...if you can't hear the sounds clearly...and don't have the ability to say the sounds...then when you say the name of the picture you are looking at...you can't tell which letters you are saying...and....

Azlan Honor....

...may you always have someone in your life that has a very soft spot in their heart for you.

So today we are learning the "J" sound.  He has a page in his school work with lots of pictures.  He has to color the "J" sound words.  He says all the words ands starts coloring several.  None have a "J" sound.  So I sit down beside him and he goes through them again.  A picture of a sunshine.  He says it out loud. "sun".  He says "dun".  He looks at me all excited "I hear it I hear it!" and starts to color it.  I come closer..."watch me..."ssssssun"....he looks at me puzzled.  "How come when you say it I don't hear it but when I say it I hear it?".  I told him to write his name on the top of his page while I went away and cried in the bathroom.  God...help me teach him.  Help me find a way to jump over this hurdle...I don't understand how to cross over the you-can't-say-it-or-hear-it-properly to but-you-must-know-it-and-learn-to-read.  He's doing so well. He reads so well in school even though it's so hard for him. It's only b/c I know when he says "dun" that he's saying "sun" and yes we work hard on that..and no we can't get an 's' sound out of his mouth...but we don't give up.  We give high 5's and cheers and kisses and tell him he's awesome and secretly in my heart ... I cry...and I pray.

He never complains that he can't hear or talk properly ... yet knows it.  Dean asked him for the broom a few weeks ago...and he asked Daddy a question that daddy couldn't understand so he said "hold on..." he came back with a drawing of the broom .. .complete with dust pan attached...and the swiffer mop and said "which one?"  Melt my heart.

Tonight he asked what was for dinner so I told him that I was making chili.  He said "I don't know what you are saying....hold on..." he came back with a pen and paper and said "draw it".

Ahhh...Azlan.

Tonight he was in the bath with Izrael and I sat beside them and as I washed his hair...I was wiping the tears away.  His scar from his BAHA is...not looking nice.  It looks infected to me. But then again..I'm no professional. It's red. Oozing and the skin is caving in around the screw. It's the biggest lump in my throat to look at it and clean it up.  Dean thinks it's just the swelling going down therefore we are seeing it as it really is...caved in...as they thinned the scalp. We called his ENT and surgeon and he said it sounds normal and we are still applying antibiotic ointment 4x a day. He had his full round of oral antibiotics.

A lady I work with is an Audiologist and she has helped several BAHAs be implanted though version 1 and 2 (this is version 4).  I texted her a picture tonight of Azlan's head and she said it looks ok to her but that "this was a humongous surgery in your baby's head...and I know how hard it must be as his mama to see this".  I had a lump in my throat reading it.

So...we will keep learning the "j" tomorrow. Even if he can't say it...he can read my lips as I say it to him and watching the excitement on his face as he says "I heard it I heard it" is simply the best.  Today we were practicing and all of a sudden in the middle of his toughness...his lip quivers and he said "Mama...I just can't do it...I'm trying my best".  I wasn't pushing him...we were just really emphasizing the sound and he was doing really well but inside...he's panicking.  I feel I can look into his huge eyes and read his heart..."why can't I just talk as I can...? Why can't you all understand me and I you and we just live without all this therapy and effort...? Why can't we all just be happy with how I am...?" and my heart breaks.  It's a long road baby boy.  I will love you forever.