Monday, July 21, 2008

Future Posts

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following us on our journey to our newest B. Your prayers and words of encouragement along the way have been priceless to us. If you'd like to continue to keep up with us, you can check-in on my Keeper of the B's blog.

For anyone considering adoption...have you considered an older and/or special needs child? So many still WAIT...

I've watched my friends go home from here,
To their families, one by one,
Yet here I stay through all these years,
Waiting for you to come.

I know that I'm not perfect,
Yet they tell me that I'm bright,
I just wish that you could only look,
Past what is wrong, to what is right.

I've watched my friends go home from here,
I dream of how that'd feel,
A pair of loving arms to hold me,
Will this dream ever become real?

I know that I would be home by now,
If not for fears of the unknown,
Yet I have many of my own you see,
In that you are not alone.

I've watched my friends go home from here,
It's happening to a friend today,
But wait! Her Mama has something for ME,
I take it and don't know what to say.

With trembling hands, I open the book,
And peek at what's inside,
A picture of a family,
"Can this be true?", I cried!

I've watched my friends go home from here,
It's my turn now, It's true!
I linger at the gate for one last time,
Then bravely walk on out with you.

Happy 8th Birthday!

Today (July 20th) was Brock Ji Hao's 8th birthday! As I prepared and decorated, I couldn't help but remember how, during the agonizing wait, I longed to have Brock here at home in time to celebrate his birthday. I am so thankful we were able to do just that!

Because Brielle's birthday is just three days before Brock's, he was able to watch all the pomp and circumstance related to Goodrich family birthdays. We explained to him that his birthday was just three days away, and that he would be turning eight years old. He seemed to understand and proceeded to point to Brielle's b-day signs, crepe paper, etc., stating "Ji Hao" with each point. He also held up eight fingers and repeated "eight" over and over. So, when his big day arrived, he was definitely ready!

I've been reading, reading, reading to Brock, and he has really taken a liking to Curious George. So, this Curious George Rides a Bike is quite appropriate for the occasion!
Just unveiled..........
(Do you think he likes it???)

When we went to pick out Brielle's cake, Brock saw the Cars cake and excitedly pointed to it and then to himself. Sooooo, Cars it was!

Happy 8th Birthday, sweet son!

We are honored and so very blessed to be able to share all your special days and moments... and forever!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fiesta Texas!!

Last week, we took Brock to Six Flags Fiesta Texas for the first time!

This photo pretty much sums up his experience...

Like his big brother, Brant, Brock LOVES Six Flags!

Much to our surprise, he wanted to go on everything...including the Scream (oh my goodness!)...

He was too short to ride the Scream (phew),

but he enthusiastically rode many other things, from kiddy rides to BIG kid ones...

(Brant, Brock, and Daddy are in the second seat from the back...)

Yes...he rode the Boomerang (yikes!)
Post-Boomerang SMILES!

Sisters waiting, waiting, waiting while their brothers ride, ride, ride...

Can we go home now????

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Custom Made :o) !

Have I mentioned yet how incredibly blessed we are????

I am seriously, overwhelmingly AMAZED when I pause to consider how beautifully our newest B has blended into our family. The other day, I was telling a friend about Brock Ji Hao's characteristics, and then I said, "He is custom made for us". How providentially true that is!

We have been home for almost two weeks now, and - Praise God! - I can't imagine things going any more smoothly. Brock Ji Hao has slept through every night without a notable trace of jet lag. Last night, I went in to his room to check on him, and couldn't help but smile as he lay comfortably sprawled out on his big bed, snoring loudly but peacefully. He is definitely not a child who is fearful and grieving. He honestly seems to be glowing and basking in the reality of having a home and a family. Each time we leave our house and then return back home, he gets so excited about seeing our house again. He starts rattling away in Mandarin, then points to himself and says "Ji Hao", and continues to point and name each family member. Yes, sweet son...YOU and the rest of YOUR family live here TOGETHER forever! Such sweet unpredictable rewards we are receiving day after day!

Brock is so very low maintenance. He keeps himself constantly occupied and is having a wonderful time with the seemingly endless supply of Legos, puzzles, Lincoln Logs, train sets, etc. Brielle loves to join him in whatever he is doing, and he is so sweet to her. They run around playing and laughing to my ears! This has been one of the most pleasantly surprising things about our transition, as we were prepared for some rivalry between the two of them. Instead, with Brielle occupied with her new playmate, my life seems to have actually gotten easier - all so amazing!

One morning, I went upstairs to Brock's room and found him awake and building these...

Playing with Mei Mei...

Many people have asked us how we are communicating with him. It might be hard to believe, but communication has not been a problem. No, we can not yet have a conversation with this little guy (I can't wait for that day!), but you'd be surprised at how much we can get across to each other using gestures and words that are becoming more and more meaningful every day. I can actually tell him a series of three or so directions, and he will complete them all. He is using some English words (all done; eat; drink; car; thank you; bye-bye; night-night; hello; Brittany; Brant; Brielle; 1, 2, 3, 4...) and repeats a lot more. As a matter of fact, tonight I was reading him a story, and it was hard to keep going because he kept repeating everything I read - so cute!

Exciting news and big decisions...

Since being home, we have taken Brock to three doctors:
Dr. Wang - Medpor outer ear reconstruction
Dr. Perry - hearing doctor; atresia repair and/or BAHA
Dr. Bonilla - rib graft outer ear reconstruction

We were very excited to learn from Dr. Perry that Brock's inner ear is completely normal, and with the help of a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA), he will hear 100% NORMAL (not 50%, nor 90%, but 100% NORMAL)!! At this time, we have decided to go with the BAHA versus atresia repair (surgically making an ear canal), because the BAHA yields sure results while the atresia repair carries more risk with less effective results.

Below is a picture of a BAHA. How does it work? ... We receive sound in two ways - by air conduction through the ear canal, eardrum, etc. and by bone conduction. Bone conduction transmits sound directly through the bones in the jaw and skull to the inner ear, bypassing the outer and middle ear. The BAHA is based on this bone conduction. A small titanium implant is surgically placed in the skull bone behind the ear. A sound processor is then connected to the implant in the bone, creating direct bone conduction of sound to the inner ear.

Brock will have an implant and processor placed on each side of his head. It is an easy, less than 2 hour, outpatient surgery. We hope to have it done within a month so that he can have optimal hearing ASAP!

The other two doctors we saw deal with the reconstruction of the outer ear. They both use different methods to reconstruct, and we are currently leaning toward Dr. Bonilla and rib graft reconstruction. His website was the one I "happened to" stumble upon the night I was researching the-little-boy-who-tugged-on-my-heart one year ago. It was on Dr. Bonilla's website that I first read about microtia/atresia and the fact that these kids usually have normal inner ears. His was the website that brought me to tears when I read that this renowned doctor lived right here in San Antonio. It was exciting to finally meet him!

We now face the decision on when to begin the surgical reconstruction. Right now our focus is not at all on the cosmetic aspect of this. We just want to maximize his hearing, let him continue to bond with us, and go from there. However, Dr. Bonilla likes to minimize anesthesia and optimally wants to work with tissue that has been untouched. SO, he suggests we do the BAHA while Brock is under anesthesia during one of the rib graft stages. This would mean getting the reconstruction sooner than later. Right now, our gut is telling us to stick with the "later" plan.

Something I forgot to mention....When we were at Dr. Perry's office getting Brock's hearing tested, the woman who did the testing really liked Brock (he was very adorable sitting in the chair with big headphones on!). She asked why he wasn't adopted sooner, and when I mentioned that it might be because of his special need, she said with a surprise, "Are you serious? This is nothing! It is so easy to take care of." So...for those of you who might run across a sweet waiting child with microtia/atresia, please remember her words!

First Picnic and Nature Walk

Eating with Mei Mei...

Brock helping Brielle with her chopsticks (which she insisted on using)

At the park...

A boy and his shadow...

Two extra photos (just because they're cute)...