Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A New Season

Hi everyone...I've been needing to write a blog update but have been so busy with life, medical trips, and single-parenting the boys over the weekend. I really do want you to know how things are going and what is coming up so you can be praying. The slower season for adjustment and attachment with Henry in his new home and family is passing as a season for school and medical care takes its place. Tomorrow morning, Henry begins his first day of preschool with his gear and Lightning McQueen backpack. We will have a care meeting with the teacher and nurse first thing to make sure everyone is on board concerning his health while at school. I will get to introduce Henry to his classmates before stepping out until time to pick him up. He will attend twice a week for two and a half hours in the morning. He has been SO excited but tonight he was wondering where I will be and how long, so we will see how the first day of separation goes.

Now, on to the medical season...first, check out Henry in his new glasses! He already can see better and feels pretty comfortable in them. They are green, his favorite color, and we think he looks so handsome and grown up in them. 

We had a really important visit to Shriner's last week. Henry did very well with his MRI, though he is really scared of needles and was upset about the IV put in his hand. However, he fell asleep immediately when the medicine was given and had no problems during the MRI at all. He just didn't want to wake up when it was over:).

View of Portland from our room
Our overnight stay at the Shriner's guesthouse went well and then, after a couple of x-rays the next morning, he saw the spinal doctor. I was quickly informed that Henry's cervical spine in his neck is at extremely high risk of damage causing paralysis or even death if he were to have a sudden, sharp movement of his head forward or backward. He was put on the urgent list for a CT Scan, appointment with the OHSU pediatric neurosurgeon, follow up with the spinal doctor in one month, and then neck surgery with both of those doctors as soon as both are available. I don't know all the logistics of the surgery but the doctor said something about spinal fusion and metal rod insertion. Due to a cancellation, Shriner's called today to tell me that Henry has a CT Scan and neurosurgeon visit scheduled for Friday morning, after which I should know a lot more. We will head back to the guesthouse Thursday evening. 

As a result of Henry's neck and spinal instability, he was immediately fitted with a cervical collar that he must wear at all times, except for sleeping, bathing, and eating at our discretion. The car is the most dangerous place for him, but any type of mobility puts him at risk. Henry has worn it like a true champ from day one with very little comment about it, except to say it's a little tight or that I need to take it on or off. His level of trust, understanding, and cooperation amazes me. We are so blessed and he is much happier with such an ability to go with the flow and make the best of things. We could learn a thing or two from him!

As you might can imagine, this is pretty serious time for Henry's medical care and your prayers are so needed and appreciated. I tend to not look to far ahead and worry, and certainly do not have the brain space or energy to do so right now, but the reality of this kind of surgery on Henry is hitting me. We are beyond thankful that nothing has happened to Henry so far, as active as he has been and with the falls he has already had. God has truly been watching out for this sweet boy from the get-go. One of the Bible verses and songs we just learned is from Hebrews 13:6: The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid. It is times like these that we see so clearly how He helps us and has helped us when we didn't even know it. Henry often wonders why he can't see God or where God is, so we talk about how He is SO big and so strong that He is everywhere all the time, holding everything is His huge hands...including us! And that He comes to clean out and live in our hearts when we ask Him. These truths can be so trivial to those of us who think we have it all together and don't need God; but they become so important and real to the one who knows that every breath and every day is a gift. I want to live in this constant awareness, and if it takes my son's health needs to remind me, I gladly accept it.

Glasses and neck brace do not slow this boy down!
I'd like to close with some sweet things concerning Henry, even as I ask you to please remember him in prayer. He has such a personality and was in silly mode most of the day today. I actually had trouble telling if he was joking or not at times:). His English is improving so much and he now says "Where's Daddy?" instead of "Where's the Daddy?" for example. He is learning that males are referred to as "he" and "his," while girls are "she" and "her." He continues to ask lots of questions and make incredible observations about his surroundings. He also is learning the appropriate time and way to ask questions, use his manners, or express his needs and wants. We have had multiple conversations about China and New Day. He will say, "At New Day, we did (such and such)," or "I did not eat/do that in China." It's fun to see his perspective on things and it is obvious that he was well loved and cared for prior to our getting him. For that, we will be eternally grateful.

So, if you are reading this and had some part in praying, giving, and/or caring for our precious Henry...THANK YOU!!! 

By the way, Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
How about some green Chinese dumplings made especially for you by Henry?


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