Friday, September 27, 2013

Speech & Language Evaluation

Piper has been getting speech since February after her first palate repair.  I love her speech therapist!  She is the sweetest thing.  Piper was doing really well with speech but lately has not been doing well.  She is extremely strong willed and if she doesn't want to do something....It just isn't gonna happen!!  She holds strong.  3 weeks ago she really was not budging.  She spent a good amount of time on the step and then finally came around when her sister came and was enjoying some games and activities with our speech therapist.  The last two times she has done AMAZING!!  Hearing her say the alphabet and hearing her put 2 and 3 words together has been so neat.  At night when I put her to bed she has been singing Jesus loves me and you are my sunshine.  It is the sweetest sound to my ears hearing her precious voice.  The challenge with speech has come because her palate is still  not fully repaired.  Our speech therapist is not sure what to do with her so she has been working on placement, vowels, picture recognition and similar words that have most of the same letters but a different ending sound.  We decided that it was a good idea to have her evaluated by a speech therapist at CHOP who deals with cleft lip and cleft palate on a regular basis.  We wanted to get her take on where Piper is with speech and make sure that we are doing everything we possibly can for our little girl.  She is so young and they learn so quick.  I just want to make sure that we are utilizing every possible avenue we can to help her with speech.  I know we have a long road ahead so it my job to do this. 

Today we went to CHOP for a speech evaluation.  Her receptive language is very well.  She understands so much.  If you give her directions she can mostly figure out what you are asking and then do what you tell her.  Her speech language is very weak.  It is hard to understand her.  I know her lingo and her 2 year old noises and I can figure out what she wants or needs.  I had really thought she was doing well with communicating until I actually paid attention.  Some of what she says is a noise or a gesture.  It is not always a word.  They recommended increasing speech to 2 times per week instead of the 1 we are doing now.  She recommended working on placement to get where your lips and mouth move in order to make the correct sound.  When her mouth is fully repaired then she will know how to say it.  She has also been saying the alphabet.  She recommended reading some repetitive books to her and having her try to repeat the part that is being repeated.  She recommended us trying to do play to show possession, show under the chair/over the chair etc.  She also recommended her going to a peer play group.  She recommended showing her picture cards to help her develop more words and being able to put the two together.  She also recommended signing with words.  We have done some of this already and it has really helped.  She would sign what she was trying to say first then when she learned the word she would say it and sign it.  Now for some things she just says the word and I know what she is trying to say.  I could see this being beneficial for her for sure.  All in all it was a good visit.  It was definitely helpful to have this evaluation.  We will be seeing her at our cleft team appointment in late October. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our BIG Announcement & the Start of Our Journey

Well, it is time to let you all in on something big that is going on here at our household.  We are ADOPTING AGAIN!!!  We are truly really excited and are once again stepping out in faith following the path that God is leading.  I will tell you how we got to this point in our lives and how God has led us over the past months.


Last July, before we brought Piper home, I was in my house and I prayed to God.  I prayed and told him that we do not even have our daughter home yet, but I would be willing to adopt again and reuse our paperwork if that was part of his plan for us.  The one thing that was hindering us was my husbands income.  We were just at the max of what Ch*na requires.  I told God that there was nothing that I could do about that.  I prayed and let it be in his hands.  A month later, my husband was called into his managers office.  They were changing his position and giving him a decrease in pay.  With my cleaning one day a week, we were still making what he had been only I needed to clean.  Where as before this money faithfully went into the adoption account.  He called me and I was upset but I had a peace that I just cannot explain.  A few days later, he received a call from a guy he had worked with years ago.  He told him he had heard what had happened and that there was a position open at his work with exactly what he does.  Jon got his resume together and sent his application in.  While this was all going on, we were waiting for the final travel approval and steps of our adoption to be able to get the green flag to get on the plane to get Piper.  We had delay after delay.  I was so ready to get on the plane and get to Piper but I had to embrace the delays anyway, even though it was hard.  God had every bit of the delays as part of his plan.  Every delay we had it was for a phone interview, or a call that came in for an interview.  Jon was interviewing both Monday and Tuesday before we left for Ch*na last September.  They told him not to worry and to check back in when we got back from Ch*na.  When we got back, Jon checked in and they arranged for another interview.  He then received an e-mail saying he was going to get an offer.  We waited for a week for the offer to come through.  I will never forget when he opened up the e-mail with the offer.  It was EXACTLY what we needed to adopt again.  I was completely speechless!!  I didn't know what to say but I knew what that meant.  I knew he had opened the first door for us.  O how God knows what we need and when we need it.  I firmly believe God moves mountains and has a special place in his heart for orphans.  Time has passed and Jon has been with his new company for 10 months now.

Jon and I are trusting and praying.  We ask that you join in and pray for us during the pursuit of this adoption.  At this point we feel we are going to adopt a boy with special needs.  We are also not quite sure of the age yet.  We are praying and waiting for God to reveal this to us.  We are going to act on faith and let God put that special one in our paths.  He already knows who our child is.  It is hard to fathom that.

Our dossier went off to China this past Friday, which means we are officially DTC as of 8/30/13!!  This means that our agency can start looking for a child for us.  It’s hard to imagine that our child is alive and in an orphanage in China waiting for us.  It’s hard to believe that we are doing this again.  Please pray for our family as we wait to see what the next chapter of our life is.  We will keep you posted as we continue our journey.

"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do.  God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act."             Proverbs 24:12