Friday, September 25, 2009

Annabelle’s schedule for surgery

Hello all, we are doing well over here.  Annabelle is doing very well.  We’ve had many Doctors appointments lately and wanted to give you an update.  Today was a very stressful one.  She has to get some lab work done so, we went to the local Corona hospital lab where they had to take 8 tubes of blood from her!  Poor thing.  They had to go into both of her tiny little arms.  Daddy held her while mom was in the other room . . . crying.  She was a very good girl.  She did not fight it.  So far, she has seen a pediatrician that specializes in internationally adopted children.  We will also see him at 3,6 and 12 months from now on to keep track of any development and attachment issues that could arise.  He is very good and we look forward to reporting her progress.  We’ve seen our regular family practitioner , just to keep them up to date, as they will be handling all minor/regular health needs.  We’ve also been to and are finished signing her up with the California Children Services.  That way we are able to start the process of correcting her cleft lip/palate.  AND we’ve already seen the Dr.’s from her cleft lip/palate team, including her plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will be performing the repair.  She is very nice and we’ve seen a book with some of her past surgeries (before and after).  They look real good.  She has travelled to several countries around the world, donating her time and talent, so she has worked on children from infancy to teenage years.   Also, all three pediatricians that she has seen noticed that Annabelle has a slight heart murmur that has, so far, not seemed to have affected her growth and development, but needs to be checked out. 

So here is a list of her upcoming doctor’s appointments:

  • Sept. 30th – an echocardiogram (to check her heart murmur)
  • Oct. 16th – ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat specialist) to clean her ears (she has so much wax in there, they cannot see her ear drums clearly) and to run a hearing test.  This is to see if she needs tubes placed in her ears during the surgery.
  • Oct. 21st – pre operative appointment (paperwork and family history-hahaha-like we have any)
  • Oct. 29th – surgery to correct her cleft lip and palate (so we will be able to see her real smile)

Please keep her in your prayers !  She has a lot to go through, but with everyone’s prayers and support…she will be just fine….better than fine!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

We’re back!! FINALLY!!

We arrived late Thursday night around 9 PM.  We are still on China time but recouping rather quickly.  Annabelle too is adapting well to the time change.  We are still very exhausted both physically and mentally.  That is the main reason we are so late in posting anything about our return.

The flight back was so much better than going to China.  The food was decent enough, the service was much better too.  Since we left China at around 6 PM, we were able to sleep most of the 12 hour flight back.  In fact, Annabelle slept about 9 hours of it.


Annabelle on the flight back with her Heffalump doll.


She slept well.  We did OK.  She only screamed a couple of times during the night.

We really do appreciate all the wonderful comments we received while away.  It helped us more than you know. 

Annabelle has adapted very well to her new home.  She loves the dogs and the rabbit.  She fit right in with all the changes as if she had been here before.  She is an amazing little girl.  We are very blessed to have her.  We are still stressing over the major change that bringing a new child into your life gives.  Any parent would understand the changes that occur.

A big thank you to Rebecca’s dad, Ed and his friend Nina for picking us up at LAX.  It was such a relief when we saw their faces.  It really felt like we were finally home.  My sister Jennifer and Duane were at our house to greet us and Annabelle of course.  A nice very welcome.


Annabelle got comfortable quick to her new home.  She took up her play stroller and cruised the house.

The dogs were so very excited about us coming back home.  They gave us lots of kisses.  I can imagine that they wondered if we would ever return.  Or if they thought they did something wrong to make us leave.  They seem to really like Annabelle.  Especially the two corgi’s.  They follow her around hoping for food to fall, which often does.  Our little vacuum cleaners!

One of our family members told us that this type of travel will change our lives forever.  Yep, she was right.  Are we glad we went?  Absolutely.  Would we go back to China? . . . . .  . . right now, we would say, no.  Maybe when Annabelle grows up.  Not anytime soon.

What a crazy mix of emotions we all went through, and are still going through.  The flights, the travel, time change, getting a new daughter, meeting strangers who now are taking you everywhere, dealing with bad water, language barriers, expenses, etc.  But the love.  The love we have for our Lord and His love for us endures it all.  We still need your prayers to help us all adjust; to be able to pay back the funds it took for this adoption; but mostly for Annabelle’s future surgeries.  That is what makes me, daddy, so concerned.  She may have to have multiple surgeries and/or stay in the hospital for up to five days or more recovering.  That is the most stressful thing we still have to go through.

Here are a couple more shots of our final days in China just waiting for time to pass until we can go home.

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