Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Have to Admit.........

.....that I lose all objectivity when I look into that precious tiny face.

Its the face that peers up at me with such trust & love in one moment........and utter mischievous and mayhem the very next!

Most of the time it greets me with dimples flashing but there are soulful moments too.......

No matter the expression, how fortunate I am to spend my days with this amazing little man!

Oh gracious my friends but I am SO behind on all things blogging, or rather at updating my own that is! I sat down last night to piece together a post and quickly became overwhelmed, realizing how much I have failed to share of late. I have done my best to keep up with all of you and just as always delight in following along with your families and adventures!
How strange it feels to be blogging once again in the middle of the day while little man slumbers (even though I should be doing laundry, sweeping, etc.). Back to school began for us late last week and after a crazy start, and two very overcrowded classrooms, things have evened out once again and with the hiring of an additional teacher, the classroom numbers are manageable (low!!) once again. How blessed we feel knowing what capable hands Lauren is in this year with her seemingly wonderful teacher.
And honestly Lauren took it all in stride (kids always do!) and was simply tickled to be a Second grader *gasp* with all the perks and responsibilities that it entails! LOL Every afternoon has been a whirlwind with after school play with her neighborhood buddies as they seek to capture these last lingering days of August and of summer. I'm so proud of her and was shocked to discover that it actually was not as difficult sending her off this year as each previous year/grade has been. Its hard to feel sad when her enthusiasm is so contagious. And when she was SO VERY ready!
Tyler on the other hand is missing her terribly. ( well, O.K. truth be told I am too....but knowing how much she loves school and her buddies helps tremendously). We are managing to keep our days very full with books, play, our walks and lots of outdoor time. If I thought the start of the school year would bring more downtown, I was mistaken. :) But its been wonderful showering a bit more individual attention onto Tyler and one his favorite times of the day is when he awakens from his nap, finds his shoes ( which he LOVES to put on himself of course!), takes my hand and says," time get La La?.....O.K. Go ". This is almost always followed by a loud hollering for Lexi dog to "come, get lish on". I cringe a bit if its not quite that time yet, but can usually distract him until it is! Poor Lexi pretty much cringes from his naptime on! ;)
And things are good......actually really good. I thank you all for your sweet thoughts and well wishes regarding Lauren's recent surgery. She has recovered beautifully, with no lingering ill affects and we made certain we hit that swimming pool often before school started to make up for that bit of lost time. She has a birthday coming up in Mid September ( oh glory be, she is already happily planning her parties) and soccer begins this evening. Scott was asked to coach her team this year and we were all delighted that 4 of the girls from last year's team will be remaining together for another season. AND their uniforms are purple this year, instead of green.........she's pretty happy about that! :)
I hope to pop back in again soon and wrap up our recent summer outings and activities before Fall makes her debut!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Band-Aids & Boo-gahs

There is something I have been wanting to share, but just couldn't pen the thoughts until now. Part of it has been a time constraint and the other......I simply couldn't; to have done so would have been to put to paper a tremendous fear and in essence to release the Mama Bear I was struggling to keep beneath the surface. And she was a furious Mama Bear.....spitting mad & scared, wanting no more than to stomp & tantrum, grab up her cub and race for the hills, following her instinct to keep her little one safe and out of harms reach. A Mama Bear that wanted to lash out, but had no clear target. Sometimes that is the most dangerous Mama Bear of all.

Instead, this past Tuesday I fastened on my poker face ( and its pretty lousy even in the best of circumstances), fought that Bear for strength and serenity and with Scott, accompanied Lauren to our local hospital to wait while she underwent a surgery for a recently discovered hernia.

And it all went fine. Better than fine actually, as she emerged from post op smiling and peering about for us, wondering aloud when she might be able to go home. We had been well prepared by the nursing team to possibly expect a tearful & frightened little girl, suffering from what they termed, "anaesthesia induced delirium or hysteria" which is commonly seen in children following surgery. Thankfully that just didn't materialize.

Instead she bravely underwent this outpatient procedure, made friends will all the nurses on Surgical and has steadily healed and gained strength each day since. Thank God!

I even suspect that in a day or so and following the release from her surgeon to resume swimming (the only thing she still can't do), it will be a distant memory........fading and receding just as her small scar will in time. But for me...............well, I'm still struggling a bit. I'm wearing my scar a bit closer to my heart.

Of course there is deep relief to have it behind us; absolute joy at her anticipated full & complete recovery and thank fullness that it was just outpatient procedure and not something more insidious or aggressive. How my heart aches for families that must face so much more; forced to stand by while a child or loved one suffers, who without a moment's hesitation would happily stand in and endure the pain for their child.....but cannot. We were lucky & I know that not everyone is ~ not all the time.

I wanted desperately to share this before hand and couldn't. As a Mama it was so hard to hand over the primary care of my precious girl and trust in the ministrations of others. There are so many decisions we make every day to ensure they remain safe or as safe as possible. Car seats, high chair straps, outlet covers, nighttime dashes and checks to simply make certain they are still covered by a blanket or have a cherished toy nearby should they awaken. Holding a hand for those first wobbly steps and later fitting them for a bicycle helmet; holding on to the back end of the bike once the training wheels are off and only letting go when you are sure they are ready. Nutritious meals, screening music, computer sites and movies...........thousands of tiny moments, little decisions each & every day to keep them healthy and from harm.

And we chose her Surgeon with care and had faith in both him and his skilled and conscientious team. All precautions were taken and we prepared her as best we could. She was frightened and oh gracious that was hard to witness. Her mood plummeted as the surgery drew close and she refused to allow us to refer to her issue as a hernia, instead insisting it be called a "boo-gah". A term that looks and sounds quite a lot like bogeyman and boo! No real surprise. She wondered aloud why her? Why now? Both Scott and I were wracked with guilt, concerned maybe it was something we had done or didn't do that caused the condition.

We were assured it was nothing of the kind. Hernias are passed down through families and are genetic. We were asked over and again by medical personnel if either one of us had a family history. We don't, either one, but that has no bearing on Lauren's biological family history. Not for the first time we felt the familiar pang of regret ( and grief) at not being able to provide a more complete medical background for our girl ~ felt helpless that we couldn't provide something more accurate; knowing that in all likelihood we will never be able to provide that for her or Tyler. I. Hate.That. ( There I said it.)

I realized throughout this too, that we have been fairly medically insulated. Our children have both been healthy, with only the occasional case of sniffles or earache. All routine pediatric ailments. We have been using the same Pediatrician since Lauren turned 2 and requested a "lady doc" ( yes, she really did) and we obliged. Our Ped. is wonderful, knows our status as an adoptive family and its almost become a non issue with regards to our kiddos routine care. Even the doctors who sub for her during an absence know us and when Tyler came home, he was welcomed with open arms by the entire team of nurses and doctors on staff. They waited right along with us and celebrated in kind.

But leading up to this past Tuesday have been weeks of answering the common questions associated with any visit to a new doctor's office. Routine questions yes, but not so much when your child's medical history begins at 7 months ~ or at least the reliable & documented stuff does. So over & again I stated that we were an "adoptive family" thankful I had learned to use that term as opposed to simply labeling Lauren as "she's adopted". For us adoption connotes great joy & the 2 most tremendous blessings in our lives; but medically speaking, it also means, different. Medically speaking it means there are gaps, incomplete sections on a form and boxes that just can't be checked off. It means an extra panel of blood work being ordered for a sweet & scared 7 year old to ensure she won't suffer under anesthesia. The caution is welcome.......extra needles not so much.

It means your little girl looking up at you with alarm and unmasked fear and asking if she's going to be okay. Asking if something might go wrong because she is adopted and we just don't know what dangers might lurk for her under anesthesia or if any unknown allergies exist. If there is a family history of anesthesia linked trauma. It means that my Mama Bear was chomping at the bit then........barely constrained too.

It means knowing in my heart that both my children will always find themselves leaving sections of those medical forms blank & incomplete. Sections of themselves that so many of the rest of us have the luxury of filling out maybe even without much thought and often in haste; checking off or purposefully leaving blank ( depending on the phrasing of the form) those little boxes in a row, sharing the routine history of ourselves~ our medical backgrounds. How I wish our children could have that same confident nonchalance.

And yet, I know how fortunate we are to have come through this ( and knowing that others face much more challenging ailments) and to see our beautiful girl flourishing once again. Kids are naturally resilient and throughout it all we were surrounded with so much love & support from our families. Their obvious concern and the outpouring of thoughtful gifts & gestures was so humbling; this would have been so much harder if not for their care......really, of us all.

So I dressed her in a clean pair of new Big Sister jammies (as instructed) for the trip to the hospital this past Tuesday because it seemed important they know she was someone's Big Sis. I had faith she would come through it and although it was a little piece of pure agony watching that tiny scared face wheeled away from me this past Tuesday, I believed she would be returned to me. To us all.

She was. Thank God.

Edit to Add:
For the time being I am going to make a change and enable the "comment moderation" function; for some reason my blog has become a target of advertisement spams and I don't know how to eliminate it. Any suggestions would be welcome and I hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone!! Hopefully I can figure this out and return to normal ASAP!!