Thursday, June 13, 2013

CHOP and Cheesecake

Today went really well.  I can't say enough about the International Adoption Division of CHOP, specifically Dr. Lockwood.  While she scared the dickens out of us back during our 72 hour referral process, we know she was giving us the "worst case scenario" so that we could prepare for it when we chose to accept Mercy's file.  And while that worst case really threw us a curve ball at the time, God was so much bigger than our fears and He continued to lead and guide, which made today all the more special.  In Dr. Lockwood's words "Mercy is AWESOME!"  We certainly didn't need a doctor to tell us that, we agree 1000%. 

The family therapist that was present was nothing short of amazed at Mercy's progress as well, both from an attachment standpoint and progress in her development.  She gave us many great tips for continued bonding, as well as working through sleep issues.  She was a wealth of knowledge and we were thankful to meet her and know we will be seeing her again (next Thursday to be exact).

Mercy is severely anemic.  Her iron is so low it does raise concerns about certain forms of Thalassemia.  We are hopeful that is not the case and just due to poor nutrition in the orphanage.  We will start her on iron supplements and also through her diet.  She's a good eater so this shouldn't be too difficult.  She will have blood drawn again in four weeks to see if there is any improvement, if not we will go from there.

The down side from today is we didn't really walk away with any concrete medical information.  While it was great to have them see Mercy play, interact with us, and give her body the once over there are still many very important things lingering.  She had blood drawn today to determine what type of Albinism, but we won't have the results for a few weeks.  We also won't have the results on Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome for a few more weeks as well.  We meet with the ophthalmologist in July, so while Dr. Lockwood agreed with us that her vision is better than expected, we won't truly know for another month where she really stands.  So we look forward to that day with great anticipation.

We are so confident she does not have any hearing issues, but we will visit with an audiologist in September.  We could have gotten in a little sooner, but since it really is of little importance to us we decided to make the appointment the same day as dermatology so that we only have to make one trip.  So in early September we will see audiology and dermatology on the same day.  Dermatology is routine for a child with Albinism because they are so sensitive to the sun.  It's important to have their skin checked over and it's also important to get a baseline for the future. 

Lastly, the Occupational Therapist was ill today, so we will now see her next Thursday.  She will play a key role in assessing Mercy's development on all levels.  We were so disappointed that she was not there today, but we are also very grateful that we only have to wait one week because she "fit us in."  So while we didn't get an accurate developmental assessment, here is what we did walk away with.  According to Dr. Lockwood Mercy was stuck between a 9-12 month old in her development.  After Gotcha Day we really agreed with that as we got to know Mercy.  Today is exactly one month from Gotcha Day and I'm beyond happy to say that as of today Mercy's development is now between a 15-16 month old!  Praise God!!!  Dr. Lockwood and the therapist said all this little girl needed was a loving family, and what a difference that is making in one month's time.  It's so easy to love her and we are still amazed and so unbelievably grateful that we get to be that loving family she needed!  Honestly, we needed her too.

We ended our day at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate.   
 Happy One Month Gotcha Day Mercy, we love you to the moon and back!!!

Smiling even when woken up early in the morning.
"Haha Daddy, I got your pen!"
Tapping the pen to the beat of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playing the background.

As quick as the hat is on, it's off.
Listening to the sound of the thunder.
"You want to do what with this?"
"And what do you do with this end?"
"Wait a minute, there is no cheesecake on this fork!"



  1. Such a good update! I love how thorough they are and how helpful the developmental information is. It sounds like a really good day for you all :)

    I don't know about you guys, but I feel like every good update comes with a whole new set of questions and things to study up on or investigate. It's a lot to take in - so glad I'm not having to do all of it alone... btw the IA clinic and my friends like you, who GET it, it makes digesting information easier for sure.

  2. Good to read all of this today...

    Keep looking up!! God is so Good! All of the time.