"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. " Philippians 1:6

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Results thus far!

All in all every test has come back great. I highlighted next to each item what the diagnosis is or where we are at in the process. But things medically speaking could not be better for the cupcake!
  • Gracie has been referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist where she will get glasses ASAP. March 3rd is appointment 
  • She most likely will require two eye surgeries; one for her droopy eyelid and the other for her blocked tear ducts. This will be determined by the ophthalmologist. March 3rd is appointment 
  • She is being referred to a pediatric ENT where she most likely will be needing surgery to have her very large tonsils and adenoids removed. Yep, I was excited about that one after dealing with Bryson's recent 10 day tonsil ordeal!!! March 7th is appt as the last appt she covered her ears and refused to cooperate for audiologist!! That's my girl!
  • She is seeing a pediatric specialty dentist where she will most likely need to go under general anesthesia to have all her needed dental work done. She will have two teeth pulled on Monday in the office with nitrous. She has no cavities by looking as she would not cooperate for xrays!
  • She is being referred to a pediatric cardiologist for a heart echo cardiogram to make sure Gracie does not have any unidentified heart condition that is common with Down Syndrome. She has a perfect heart, but I could have told you that prior to me taking her to a doctor!
  • She is being referred to speech, occupational and physical therapists. In process!
  • She is having a cervical and spine xray to rule out a common vertebrae deformity in kids with Down Syndrome. This is the one I did not know about and does sound frightening as if she has this vertebrae deformity, she has a higher likelihood of fracturing this vertebrae. For now, no more of her cute somersaults until we confirm she does NOT have this deformity.  Her spine is as beautiful as she!
  • She is being tested for leukemia that is common in kids with Down Syndrome. This will also give them a baseline of her blood counts so they can monitor her more closely. She does have knee pain that scare the bajeebies out of me. Truthfully, this is my biggest fear out of all that was discussed at this appointment.  All lab results are good!
  • She is being tested for every parasite known to man, lead and all the other international adoption fun stuff. No bugs here!
  • She is being tested for thyroid conditions that are common with Down Syndrome. We did go see the endocrinologist as her thyroid number is 5.6 which is a little elevated for people without DS and normal for people with. We will have labs every 6 months to make sure it is not rising.
  • She is going to be tested to determine whether she has Mosaic Down Syndrome or just Down Syndrome. The doctor was very encouraged by all of Gracie's abilities and would not be surprised if she does not have Mosaic Down Syndrome. The only difference between the two is that with Mosaic she could have a higher IQ and perhaps function better later on. It really doesn't matter to us, Gracie is perfect just the way she is! Her blood does not test positive for Mosaic, but doctor said that doesn't mean if they didn't test her brain cells that she would not have Mosaic brain cells. No need to test! She is perfect! Let me tell ya, every specialist we have seen so far has been AMAZED with her cognition.
  • She had her first breathing treatment in the office as she has been sick since I got her and was wheezing at the appointment.  Perpetual runny nose but nothing else!
  • She received three shots in her leg that have left her miserable and with a fever.
  • She is in the 70% for height and 30% for weight for girls with Down Syndrome.
  • She has an inherited skin condition that can be relieved with a special lotion.
  • She was such a good girl for spending two hours in one room at the doctor's office!
  • She is my girl!!!! None of this stuff can get me down! Well, maybe the tonsillectomy as the memories are so vivid in my mind right now!!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow Fun!




 It was snow fun until it became NO fun!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cinderella, Cinderella!!!!!

Look at this sweet girl making her bed....
stretch, tuck in the corner
and a perfectly made bed my a perfectly made girl!!!
She folds clothes like the best of them
See that little pile of clothes by her feet? She folded all her clothes and then started towels with Bryson.

Gracie not only is doing household Cinderella chores, but is saying quite a few things on her own such as:
  • "Go to bed, Baba!"
  • Bryson, Marissa, Gio, Lulu, mama, baba
  • Grandma, grandpa
  • I love you!
  • Go to sleep
  • No crying
  • Help me
  • More please
  • Noodles, ice cream , yogurt
  • School
  • Maggie (our dog that she finally has become friends with)
  • See ya later
  • Good-bye, hello
  • Rote counting 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Sings "Happy Birthday to you"
  • Thank you
  • She also tells us "No Gracie Mae Mae, Gracie!" All while shaking her finger at us with the no and patting her chest when she says Gracie. So we only are allowed to call her Gracie and no more Gracie Mae Mae without a good scolding in Chinglish!
  • and more that I am not thinking of right now
  • not to mention she repeats almost everything we say in English
  • And she receptively understands almost everything we tell her to do especially "make your bed" and "fold the clothes!" Just kidding!!!
Oh how we love this girl!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

One Month of Lovin'

Wait did I go to Russia or China one month ago?
A cute little Chinese girl with her Russian look!
Marissa says, "I don't care if you are Russian, Chinese or Dutch!
You are my bestest little sister ever!"
Building with Lego's at Bryson's Lego Birthday Party


That is Gracie in the first window. She started school this week and today she took the bus home. She LOVES her new school. Last week we spent an hour each day in her class together, slowly transitioning her to school. Then this week, I took her the first day and she cried when I left. It broke my heart. I texted Robert telling him and his MANLY text back was "It is a natural process." Yeah, like I didn't know that! Thanks Mr. Sensitive! I love you too! Anyhow, I called the school when I got home and she was no longer crying. YES!!!

The next day while driving to school she tells me between her 3 C's; Chinese, Chinglish and Charades that she was not going to cry and she was going to kiss me at the door.

And sure enough, she didn't cry...she kissed me at the door...and said "see ya later" with a big smile on her face!!!

I know the class very well as it was my class last year before I moved to the high school. I know the staff well and she is in excellent hands, not to mention only 8 kids in the class.
She was very proud of her bus ride home!
One month of lovin' this treasure and yet it seems like she has been here forever and at the same time it feels like how can we have already been home 3 weeks today? Gracie' adoption has been one of the smoothest transitions. I think China made a mistake when they listed her on the special needs list!! Don't cha think???

Anonymous Comment- Please Email

Whoever left this anonymous comment this morning, please email me at sally4kids@gmail.com so I can specifically pray for you and walk alongside whatever has happened. If not, know that I am praying for you knowing that God knows your circumstances and will bring peace to you.

"Your blog makes me smile! Gracie's smile is contagious! Received heartbreaking, devastating news yesterday and had to come over here to have something to smile about. THANKS!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Fun and Resistance!

These two were meant to be sisters!!
"I refuse to cooperate for any more photographs!"
I have to say those are the cutest darn buns ever!!!!
Makes me want to just squeeze em' especially when there is attitude!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Adopting Gracie - Part One (x-post)



Probably one of the most common questions I get asked these days is "How are you doing? You must be exhausted!"

My answer brings mixed responses from "You are crazy" to "You are an angel" to unspoken words that include politically correct smiles to genuine teary eyes.

My response??? "I have never been happier in my life!"

Those are honest words, not words intended for a good blog post, but words from my heart. I truly have never been happier (and for the record, I am generally a fairly happy person and sometimes even known for my humor!). Gracie has brought something out in me that has given me an increased confidence in living life for Him and not for things of this world, a sense of peace, a sense of spontaneity, a desire to laugh more, a desire to take things less seriously than I have in the past and this intensity of love for all my children even more than I have loved before!

Adopting Gracie is yet another defining moment in my life!

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gracie WILL!!!!

Remember to pause playlist at the bottom of her blog before watching this incredible video!!!

Be still my heart watching this video!!!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gracie CAN

  • Trace her name.
  • Make an "A", "I", "E", and "C" when modeled.
  • Set the table.
  • Put the silverware away.
  • Put her laundry away.
  • Match 9 sight words with 100% accuracy in 4/4 trials!!!
  • Understands the concepts of 1, 2 and 3. So from a pile of crayons if I ask her to give me 3 crayons. She will give me 3 crayons, no more, no less!
  • Understands almost every thing we ask her to do at home; such as go get your shoes on, go put your pajamas away, go brush your teeth, go set the table, go find your hair clip
  • Sing karaoke like the best of them!
  • Can give orders like a Chinese nanny rounding up many children at the end of her shift!
  • Can imitate almost anything she observes, such as when mommy is texting, Gracie's calculator quickly becomes her phone and she starts texting! So darn cute!!
  • Be very shy when she meets new people.
  • Be confused for a little old lady at times!
  • Play mama against baba and vice-a-versa like a teenager wanting to use the family car!
  • Convince you to buy her an ice cream every time you are out running errands!
  • Snuggle and snuggle and snuggle!
  • LOVE like no other child I know! Seriously folks, it is amazing how she loves!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Amazing Gift!



I really don't know how to properly thank my dear bloggy friend, Carol, for her labor of love in making this quilt for Gracie. Carol started following Bryson's blog just as he came home. She has stuck around for two more adoptions since then, but in between Carol and I have exchanged numerous heart felt emails and a few little gifts to each other through snail mail from California to Canada!

When we first were considering adopting Gracie, she was one of the first persons that I sought out advice from. Over the last few years of knowing Carol, I have admired her and respected her opinion on many topics. However, when she mentioned that she would like to make a Sun Bonnet Sue quilt for my cupcake, I was humbled and so grateful for her friendship. There are not too many people who would take the time to make a handmade quilt for someone they have never met in person. I guess it is a testimony to the friendships that can be formed through the bloggy world for kindred hearts - both our hearts break for orphans.

The best part of the quilt is that I know the hours Carol spent constructing this beautiful quilt that she also spent genuinely praying over our family and our sweet Gracie as she stitched.

Thank you Carol! Your friendship is a treasured gift to me!


Monday, February 7, 2011

We Haven't Told Them....


..the littles that is that Gracie has designer genes. It is not that we care obviously or afraid to tell them, but we purposefully wanted Gracie to come home and just be loved for being Gracie not because she has something special about her.

We have read books to the littles prior to her coming home about siblings with Down Syndrome or other disabilities. We just have yet to sit down with them to tell them that Gracie has Down Syndrome.

I know the time will come sooner than later, but for now I just like them seeing her for being Gracie with no other identifying names attached except her bajillion nicknames we are all coming up with already!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Big Doctor Appointment

Where do I start? Do I categorize by upcoming surgeries or what I didn't know about kids with Down Syndrome or by all the speciality appointments we will be going to in the next few weeks? Hmmm.. maybe I will just bullet my thoughts as they come!

  • Gracie has been referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist where she will get glasses ASAP.
  • She most likely will require two eye surgeries; one for her droopy eyelid and the other for her blocked tear ducts. This will be determined by the ophthalmologist.
  • She is being referred to a pediatric ENT where she most likely will be needing surgery to have her very large tonsils and adenoids removed. Yep, I was excited about that one after dealing with Bryson's recent 10 day tonsil ordeal!!!
  • She is seeing a pediatric specialty dentist where she will most likely need to go under general anesthesia to have all her needed dental work done.
  • She is being referred to a pediatric cardiologist for a heart echo cardiogram to make sure Gracie does not have any unidentified heart condition that is common with Down Syndrome.
  • She is being referred to speech, occupational and physical therapists.
  • She is having a cervical and spine xray to rule out a common vertebrae deformity in kids with Down Syndrome. This is the one I did not know about and does sound frightening as if she has this vertebrae deformity, she has a higher likelihood of fracturing this vertebrae. For now, no more of her cute somersaults until we confirm she does NOT have this deformity.
  • She is being tested for leukemia that is common in kids with Down Syndrome. This will also give them a baseline of her blood counts so they can monitor her more closely. She does have knee pain that scare the bajeebies out of me. Truthfully, this is my biggest fear out of all that was discussed at this appointment.
  • She is being tested for every parasite known to man, lead and all the other international adoption fun stuff.
  • She is being tested for thyroid conditions that are common with Down Syndrome.
  • She is going to be tested to determine whether she has Mosaic Down Syndrome or just Down Syndrome. The doctor was very encouraged by all of Gracie's abilities and would not be surprised if she does not have Mosaic Down Syndrome. The only difference between the two is that with Mosaic she could have a higher IQ and perhaps function better later on. It really doesn't matter to us, Gracie is perfect just the way she is!
  • She had her first breathing treatment in the office as she has been sick since I got her and was wheezing at the appointment.
  • She received three shots in her leg that have left her miserable and with a fever.
  • She is in the 70% for height and 30% for weight for girls with Down Syndrome.
  • She has an inherited skin condition that can be relieved with a special lotion.
  • She was such a good girl for spending two hours in one room at the doctor's office!
  • She is my girl!!!! None of this stuff can get me down! Well, maybe the tonsillectomy as the memories are so vivid in my mind right now!!!!
Can't have a post without a cute cupcake photo!!! Here is a photo that shows her pure joy at being in our family. Tonight was Marissa's 8th birthday. Gracie belted out the Happy Birthday song to her new sister. It was adorable just as she is!!
Life simply doesn't get any better than this!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Too Cute for Her Own Good!!!

This is how I found Gracie when I returned this morning from getting my cup of coffee! She found my reading glasses and was making a shopping list! Don't mind her bed head! It is just part of her personality!! Oh my goodness, I just love this photo of her! I just laugh each time I look at it. This is so Gracie!!!
Sneaking some Kimbap from her big sister!
Celebrating her first Chinese New Year as an American Citizen!
Gracie had a two hour doctor appointment today. I will summarize it in a post for tomorrow. For now, I need to take my jetlag body to find my pillow and try to get some sleep before Gracie-cakes calls for mama to come bring her to our bed!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sorry We Have Been Too Busy To Blog



We've been bonding with baba as he takes paternity leave and plays Polly Pockets with me!
We've been finding food that I will eat in America!
Chopsticks seem to help!
We've been swingin'
And Swingin'
We've been doing homework! I mean really mother, I have only been home 72 hours!
(Actually Gracie is the one wanting to do her own homework with the littles. Honestly, I would have waited at least until next week!)
We've been playing dress up!

Looking like a gorgeous tattered fairy!
Loving life as a sister!
Gracie is loving having her own family. It has been so much fun to watch her come alive in our home. She wears Marissa's little high heels shoes every day click-clacking around the house barking out orders to everyone! Truly, it is as if she has always been here. Life could not be any sweeter than it is right now! Thank you Jesus for delicious designer cupcakes!!!