Wednesday, September 26, 2012

sweet Linnea bug...a long awaited update!

I cannot believe it has been six months since we brought this sweet girl home!!    She has changed soo much!!  Since we have been home she has gained about 4 lbs. and gotten a wee bit taller.  She eats just about anything we put in front of her.  She is particularly fond of soft drinks and sweet things and she LOVES all things girlie!! She can identify mommy, daddy, Nathan, Luke, Ethan and even Abbie.   She can show you her eyes, nose, ears, mouth, thumb, fingers, arm, feet and hair.  She is still going to speech twice a week.  Her vocabulary knowledge is increasing and her sign language has come such a long way!!

she LOVES shoes!! of all kinds!!!

 Linnea had her adenoids out a few weeks ago and while she was under general anesthesia she had an ABR which is an Auditory Brain Response Test.

before surgery and ABR
This is the most accurate hearing test a person can undergo.  She had been given a hearing test in China and again when we came home - both of these hearing tests showed that she had some mild hearing loss particularly in the right ear.  The ABR was able to tell us everything we needed to know about her hearing loss.  She does indeed have a mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears and is need of some hearing aids.  We are scheduled this Friday to go and pick up her hearing aids.  So next time you see this cute munchkin she will be sporting glitter ear molds and translucent purple hearing aids.  My has technology come along way!! And I must mention here how THANKFUL I am for good insurance!! We were told that insurance normally doesn't cover hearing aids.  Again I am so thankful for CFA insurance.  The good news is that her hearing loss is not related to nerve damage but to the damage to her ears from having perforations in both of her ear drums.  What we don't know is will her hearing loss get better.  It is possible that she will only need hearing aids while she is young - but it is also a possibility it could get worse.  She may also have to have her eardrums repaired at a later age one at time.  Only time will really tell.  Whatever the outcome we are so thankful to have some answers to some of her communication problems.  She does have some motor planning issues as well - basically this means that she knows what she wants to communicate but can't get her brain and her mouth to work together.  I can say that I have learned so much about language and communication and hearing in the last few months!!

Because Linnea has a documented hearing loss which has delayed her communication severely she could be eligible for preschool special education services in our county.  Last week we had her IEP (individualized education plan) meeting.  I am so thankful to my friends Laura and Christa and Linnea's SLPs (speech therapists) for helping me to navigate my way through that meeting with goals and expectations.  I am also thankful that the Lord had me go into Education that background has been more useful than I could have ever imagined.  It was at this meeting that her eligibility for services was decided upon.  So it turns out she is eligible for the preschool services five days at week from 8-11 at Crabapple Lane Elementary - where she will basically get speech everyday for free.  While I am so thankful for this -Linnea needs this-  it was has been a hard pill to swallow for this mama!!  Last Sunday night my stomach was in knots over this - I was on worry overtime!  Can we say HUGE lack of faith on my part oh yes I can and I can tell you how God was so faithful!!  And I have to tell you how He worked all the details I was fretting about - He is to be praised.  So Crabapple is less than 5 minutes from the boys school this is really important to know.  Here is how I worried - I should confess these were all selfish but was is most notable is how God worked in these circumstances and ever so patiently with me.

  • how in the world am I going to send my baby to school four days a week - she has only been home 6 months and I don't even send Ethan to school!! Plus Luke is home on Mondays with Ethan b/c his kindergarten program is only 4 days a week. And if I don't send her 4 days she won't get all the speech she needs. I had decided early on I didn't want to miss Bible Study on Tuesdays so she was just going to go 4 days - but clearly I am having trouble with that too - then we went to the park on Monday - and I really felt like there was no way I could send her four days.  Give thanks to the Lord for HE is good!!  The nice thing about all of this is I am the one who decides when and how often she will get these services.  So while she will not get the designated 2 hours of speech that they would offer I am only sending her 3 days a week - Wed., Thurs., and Fri.  After coming to this conclusion and feeling best about it - I get a call out of the blue from GA Pines.  And no this isn't the library system.  This is an early intervention program for the hearing impaired that is part of the education system - they typically on service children until their 3rd birthday much like Babies Can't Wait.  The lady I spoke on the phone with wasn't sure how she got Linnea's information and she realized that she was quickly approaching her 3rd birthday - but her supervisor wanted to offer her services anyway - at least for the next six months.  They will come to our home 2x a month and give her therapy for FREE!!  I LOVE how the Lord provides and gave me confirmation that I was making the right decisions.  I know GA Pines doesn't know how in the world they got Linnea's information but HE knows!!  Can I just say Praise Him!!!
seriously how cute are they - I love my Mondays with these three!!
  • how will she transition - I can't just drop her off and leave her - but I can't stay either - I have two other kids that have to be at school at 8:30 and the school has a policy that siblings can't come in the classroom what would I do with Ethan? (I actually called her teacher to find out if my social worker could call and get me permission to have Ethan with me because I can't really just drop her off I have to transition with her) This has probably been my biggest challenge because I know she can't be treated like every other child in her class - she's not - she has had soo much transition and she has only been home for six months and attachment is going well so I don't want to disrupt that!!  Give thanks to the Lord for HE is good!!  It occurred to me at some point in the middle of Sunday night that my friend Elizabeth who has children at Crossroads lives very close to the school (she is also in the process of adoption) I wandered if I might could drop off the boys at her house on my way to Crabapple and then she could take the big boys to school and I would be able to at least stay with Linnea and not have to run off and leave her. So thankful that the Lord brought to mind this sweet friend and that she said YES!!  She didn't even have to think about it.  So thankful for you Elizabeth!!!  Then yesterday afternoon the county school nurse for the special ed. program called me.  You won't believe one of the first things she asked me - "what province is Linnea from?"  now I thought that was kind of odd because thats not just the first thing people usually ask me - but she's an adopted mama - and from China no less!!  God is soo good to me!!!  I was able to express my concern to her over the transition, what was I to do with Ethan and what happens when Linnea does cry longer than 5 or 10 minutes and how I want to be called and I want to be the one who comforts her and she UNDERSTOOD!!!   She has been in my shoes!!  She totally got what I was saying - especially concerning the attachment and bonding part!!  She was going to go over to the school and talk with Linnea's teachers.  And if that wasn't enough the Lord provided more - last night when I was at a meeting at school - I found out a fellow parent of a CCS student works as a director for Childrens services in Fayette County.  I got to talk with her about Linnea's teachers and she was able to give me great insight on the program and her specific teachers.  God is infinitely good to me!!  Praise be to Him!!
  • she will get out at 11 and the boys don't get out til 12:30 what I am going to do for an hour and a half - I don't want to go home for just 30 minutes.  God provided carpool!!  I love that He knows the value of time in our lives.  I will only have to stay one day.  There maybe some weeks where I have to stay two days but for the most just one!!  HE is the great provider.  

Linnea is bonding so well and I am so thankful that she knows, loves and trusts me as her mama!!  I often times look at her and get so overwhelmed.  I often think of her birth mother and really can't begin to imagine the void in her heart or how she must feel or what she must think some days if  not everyday.  I pray that the Lord will make himself known to her.  Linnea has been such a blessing to me, well to all of us really.  The Lord has used her to stretch me, grow me, and make me more dependent upon Him.  And as you can see I have sadly lacked faith at times and He has shown Himself to me over and over again.  Just like we pursued Linnea and now we are pursuing Abbie in adoption - HE pursues me even when I am not trusting Him and I am thinking I have it all under control - or I want to have it all in my control!!  But that's another post for another time.  I am just thankful for His love and patience with me.

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