Sunday, November 11, 2012

Andrew's 6th birthday and October neurologist visit

This July we celebrated Andrew's 6th birthday.  This year we were unable to do his traditional "crazy" hair picture since he prefers his hair cut so much shorter so that he can look like his daddy.  He is doing so well and we are so proud of him.  He is half way through Kindergarten and is learning how to read short vowel, 3 letter words.  He loves school. 

Andrew was born with hydrocephalus, water on the brain, and at the young age of 6 months they did surgery in Bulgaria to put in a shunt to control the extra fluid made in his brain. 

September of last year, Jen noticed something different about Andrew's valve and the tubing that runs from it.  We called the neurologist to see if we should be concerned.  They asked if there any signs of dizziness, nausea, or disoriention.  We told them that there were none and they told us it was probably something normal that we didn't notice before.  We were welcome to come in for an appointment if we were concerned, but we weren't and considering the 2 1/2 hour trip to their office, we opted against a visit.

We went to our normal scheduled appointment in April.  They did a CT scan and x-rays.  The neurologist looked over the scans and told us that the shunt had malfunctioned and that everything looked normal on the scans.  He then scheduled an appointment for this October to check and see if anything had changed.

Sure enough the shunt was still broken and his scans still showed everything was normal.  The neurologist then scheduled an appointment for a year from now where he will check one more time and then schedule surgery to remove all the parts of the shunt.  He told us it appeared that he had outgrown hydrocephalus and that keeping the shunt in could cause problems in the future.

A year and a half ago during our first visit to the neurologist, we asked whether Andrew would ever outgrow his hydrocephalus and we were told not to count on it.  He said it was a 1 in a 1,000 chance that he would and that there were only 2 ways that we could tell.  One would be that he removes the shunt to see, but he won't do that because he ends up having to put them back in because the patient did not outgrow it.  The other way would be if the shunt malfunctions. 

Looks like God wanted to really make a statement.  He healed our son.  The main reason we were able to adopt him was because he had a special need and now here he is without this need.  Our son is the 1 in a 1,000 and we are so thankful to Jesus for His work in our son's life.

Bulgarian Reunion 2012

At the end of June we drove to Cincinatti, OH for a reunion of families who had adopted, or are in the process of adopting from Bulgaria.  It was a great weekend for both us and the kids.  We were finally able to meet many of our online friends in person and see the children whose stories we had followed. 

During the day there was a splash pad for the kids, minute to win it games and plenty of play time to meet new friends.  At night there were pot luck dinners, traditional Bulgarian music and dancing, and time spent listening to each other's adoption stories.  This was a great weekend to learn Bulgarian culture, talk to other adoptive families and simply spend time together as a family.

The kids spent most of their time together in the cul de sac of cabins.  They were different ages, nationalities, backrounds and special needs.  The thing that really impressed us was that the kids were so well behaved. They were all polite and respectful and there was not a single incident or fight during the entire weekend.

We stayed a couple days longer to visit the Creation Museum.  We all enjoyed it but it was a bit much for our 8 and under kiddos.  Lots of reading, and while some of them can read, they didn't read a full priced ticket's worth. But they all loved it and we're glad we went.

We can't wait to go to the reunion next year.  We look forward to time with our new friends and meeting the new family members that have come home from Bulgaria (and other countries) since June.

We are so thankful to Yvonne and Viviane for their hard work in making this reunion such a great success.

On  our way home we stopped in Kentucky to meet other online adoptive friends, the Waggoners.  We met them way back when we were in the Albania program before the agency closed the program.  The Waggoners adopted their 2 kids from Albania and are in the process of raising support to move to Albania as missionaries.  We were so glad to have met them in person.  They are an amazing family and we are looking forward to spending some more time with them when they come through Georgia on their support raising venture.