Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Li'l Empress Rocks!

We've had a couple busy weeks here, full of doctor appointments, evaluations and adoption-related stuff. It's been a while since I've shared an update and we've got lots that we've learned that we're still trying to process. I'll start with the most recent stuff first, and follow up later this week with more information related to the Very Big Day coming up for Li'l Empress on Monday, the 16th. (How's that for a teaser for ya?!)

First, I am happy to report that Li'l Empress had a wonderful 6-month post-placement visit with our social worker last week. Despite the fact that our house absolutely REEKED (more on that later!), we chatted for two hours about Li'l Empress and her adjustment to our home. We covered motor skills, sleeping issues, eating habits, language development, medical treatments, sibling relationships, and so much more. It was fun to brag on my girl to a captive audience for a while. Especially since everything that we talked about was something that had a mostly positive report to it. She is adjusting remarkably well and we don't take any of that for granted. I was especially excited about how well Li'l Empress occupied herself with her crayons and a picture of Tigger at her high chair while we talked. Those crayons have been a life-saver for helping Mommy get something done at least once a day!

The Boss came home that night and we finally pressured him into an all-out search for the source of the nasty smell. It seemed to be coming from our basement, so he geared up and headed down. He found it. A squirrel had somehow caught itself in a vent pipe leading out of our furnace to the outside chimney. And died there while awaiting a rescue. A slow and lingering death from the smell of things. Not a pretty sight. Or smell. It took two full days for the stench to clear out of here!

Last week, we also took Li'l Empress for her 18-month well-check. Of course, that meant more shots (part of the program to get her immunizations back on track for her age). Doctors are NOT Li'l Empress' favorite people, and she was quite happy to hang out on my hip for the entire visit. Daddy came along for moral support, but she's such a Momma's girl right now that she spurned his attentions for most of the morning. As a special treat, The Boss took us to a local Chinese buffet for lunch where our sweetie amazed us with her capacity for downing fried rice. Nothing clingy about that girl in the face of an all-you-can-eat buffet!

Yesterday, we had a lovely morning interacting with the gals from our local Early Intervention team. Now, I know my girl is a charmer. I know she's quick, and smart, and incredibly adorable. But these ladies left my house so smitten with this child that I could still hear them chatting in the driveway about "what a fun evaluation that was" and "how perfect it was to start the busy week" with a visit to such a "treasure." And that's not the best part of the whole morning.

The best part was how amazed they were at her ability to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. They were also impressed with her emerging language skills. While they played with her, they were putting her through a round of tests. Seems our girl is testing completely age-appropriately or better at every level. The services of Early Intervention will still be provided because she is hearing-impaired, but they will only need to come out on a monthly basis. It will be more about giving me information and training on how to better train our family to accommodate her hearing loss and create a good listening environment. They will also use play therapy to train her how to respond to the behavioral-based hearing evaluations that she will have every 6 months or so until she's school-aged.

I took the opportunities presented to chat with them about her story, our parenting style and our faith. I mean, they asked, right?! So I shared, weaving the Lord into all I said, and giving HIM the glory for the wonder that is Li'l Empress. It was so amazing, and I'm very grateful to the Lord for the chance to point four more gals to the face of my Jesus. How could they NOT see Jesus when they hear about my girl and all He's done to get her here to the Gang?! Finally, I ended the morning by "interviewing" each of them about their educational backgrounds and their journey to the positions they hold today. I could completely see their love for their work just shining through and I loved learning about the team that will walk with us for the next 4 -5 years while Li'l Miss is receiving services.

Finally, I got a call this morning from CHOP giving me the run-down of events and procedures necessary to prep Li'l Empress for her Very Big Day coming up on Monday. But the kids just came in the door from the bus and Li'l Empress just woke up from her nap. So you'll have to check back in later for the details on the Very Big Day. Coming soon. I promise!


Salzwedel Family said...

I can always count on you for a good cliffhanger :o)

Glad to hear the Lil' Empress is doing so well. And OF COURSE everyone was charmed by her! It's also great you were able to share your faith - what a great opportunity.

Classic MaMa said...

I love hearing about how well she is doing. I love even more that I got to see her in person over the weekend, if even from afar. She is so dear. Y'all are such great parents!!

Mervy said...

It's so wonderful to hear how well she is doing. Everytime I see her I just want to touch her. She is precious and so stinkin' smart.


Aus said...

Man don't you just love visits like that? We've had a couple too - and just LOVE it when other folks love our kids too! Of course Lil E is doing well - she's got a gang supporting her - with a little help from the Lord! So happy for you guys - and realizing the Blessings you recieved!

But - shame on you for a teaser! :>

hugs - aus and co.

ComfyDenim said...

If only you could see my jaw drop just now. CLIFFHANGER?!?! AAAAAAAAA!!

I just loved the stories. I loved all the goings on - and I'm so grateful now that we don't have many (if any) Squirrels in our neighborhood. *L*

Ron Smith said...

Hi Gang

It's so wonderful to hear how well Lil'Empress is doing. It doesn't surprise me in the least. From the day Bayley and I met her in Guangzhou, she was clearly a charmer and so very, very smart. Your thoughts on how the Lord's hand is in all of her progress and strength reminds me that even with the many struggles we have with Tommy's autism and Addie's many delays and needs, God's plan is good. Truly having special needs children has allowed our family to grow in our understanding of differences, our tolerance for chaos, and helped us reassess what truly is a priority life. Your post reminded me of this. As always thanks for sharing and take care.


We have our home study post placement tomorrow.

Wife of the Pres. said...

I so wish we could have met in GZ!!! You are an inspiration to me! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story. And I am SO SORRY I did not know about LM's tests this week. I have been so out of the bloggy loop. Praying though that she gets totally back to her precious self today. And it sounds like the tests went so well too. I know how hard it is to watch them suffer and look to us for why are we putting them through that? HUGS friend!

Wife of the Pres. said...

Oops … LE's tests. Sorry, I'm sleep-deprived! :) L