Friday, June 20, 2008

It Has Been Awhile

I have been meaning to post forever. A lot has gone on since I last posted - the boy's field day at school, mother's day, Ava's 4th birthday, Ava's christening, etc... I keep meaning to post and then when I get behind, I feel to overwhelmed to even start it!

I did take Ava for her 6 month follow up at the adoption clinic. I did not have a very positive experience. The evaluation with the social worker went well. Ava is attaching very well and I think that we will continue to see progress in that area. She has come a long way. The OT visit didn't go as well. They think that she should be farther along developmentally then she is. I don't think they see much improvement over her initial visit. She thinks that her development doesn't match her history. Her history being that she was in her biological family for the first year (which we can only assume b/c she was not abandoned until she was a year old) and being in foster care for the majority of her life before us (she was in the orphanage for about 6 months, during that time she had heart surgery). I look at that short little life as having quite a few traumatic events...who knows how that affected her. I saw a different doctor this time and I wasn't crazy about her. I think she must be a new graduate (I looked this up...finished residency 2007). She almost acted like Ava wasn't even in the room except for the physical exam...even then, she didn't really interact with her. I didn't care that much because I knew this was a one time visit. What bothered me, was that she wanted to get an MRI and do genetic testing. They made me feel that Ava was mentally deficient and that I shouldn't expect much from her. I don't know if they meant to come across that way, but they did. I calmly left their office and when I got in my car I immediately called the director (she is also an OT) at the treatment center I take Ava to in Atlanta. She is also the person that did her initial evaluation and has treated her until recently. I tried to stay composed, but of course, that didn't happen. She was really surprised by what the adoption clinic had to say and said she really didn't agree with this. Neither she nor Ava's PT (who was next to her when I called) felt there was any urgency to get an MRI at this time. She also brought up the fact that Ava has had a nut shell in her nose for who knows how long and just had adenoid/tonsil surgery two weeks ago and how this could've been affecting her. I felt so much better after talking to her. I know that she is not going to tell me things to make me feel better. In fact, that is why I called her first...not Derek. I am not paying her to be my friend. I know that if she thought that Ava would not get "better" she would tell is her job. It was a very long and emotional two hour drive home from the clinic. No matter what happens with Ava's development, which has come a long way, I love that little girl and I am so glad she is my daughter.

The day after our trip to the clinic, Ava had her regularly scheduled OT and speech. I asked them if they had heard about my phone call, but they hadn't. I told them about my experience and they were really surprised. I have been working with the same speech therapist for awhile and she really thinks Ava is doing well. In fact, last week I was feeling a little down and I said that I was worried that Ava would never talk and she reassured me that she would. She has told me every visit since her surgery how much better she is doing in therapy. She really thinks that her hearing has improved. Her new OT also thinks Ava is doing well. She said that they see a lot of kids and they usually know when kids are going to be ones that take off. They really feel positive about Ava. And again, I am not paying these people to be my friends!

Well, that was a lot longer than I expected and I should probably re-read it, but I don't feel like it. Just keep my sweet little Ava in your prayers.

On a completely different topic....many of you have probably already heard , seen on Oprah or Diane Sawyer of Randy Pausch and his Last Lecture. If you haven't, watch it on You tube or listen to it on your I-pod. He is very inspiring and entertaining. He also has a great time management lecture, which I know the title doesn't sound very enticing, but it is really good.

I also just read a great book, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, by child psychiatrist, Bruce Perry. He is an MD/PhD that specializes on brain development and children in crisis. It is a book explaining how trauma or stress affect a child's brain and how he has helped treat several children.


These pictures are from Spring Break - this is Ava with her cousin Sera and Uncle Jim (Sera was not crazy about Ava being on her daddy's lap.

Peter and Sera at the beach

My three kiddos

Ben is such a sweet big brother

Ben "helping" at the Gulf Shores Zoo

This beach thing is exhausting

Mom and her first born...both NOT morning people


Peter at field day...Abigail, his good friend, is next to him

Ben and one of his best (and sweetest) friends, Leo


Daddy and Ava at a birthday party
Ava and Peter having fun in a hammock


Peter got two second semester awards: The PE award and an award for having his artwork displayed at the annual catholic school art show
He got The Responsiblity Award for the first semester...I'm not sure if I posted that so I thought I would go ahead and put it here. He loves school and is such a good student.


Ava having fun with some of the gifts

Happy mom with her family

Grandmama with most of her grandkids (Terry was celebrating his anniversary in the Bahamas)

The grandkids with there favorite aunt...Donna!


Ben was happy to have a "job"

Ava with her grandmama


Beautiful girl turns 4


Before Valium

After Valium (you need to check out one of the videos below)


I just think she has the cutest bottom in this picture

fun with dad


They put up butterflies all around Hapeville....they are beautiful.

Video one is the soccer game that we played at the end of the season with the kids. It was parents against kids. I finally found my playing level...U8 (kids 6-8)

The next one is of Ava blowing out her birthday candle. Ben being shirtless can be explained here.

The last video is Ava on Valium before her surgery. The doctor said that she was giving everyone high fives in the operating room.


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