Friday, July 29, 2011

Surgery- Take 2!

Maya’s surgery this past Monday went well!  It only took her surgeon 1.5 hours to finish repairing her palate and also do a procedure called a pharyngeal flap.  We hope this will help with her speaking and allow her to pronounce consonants better!  Only time will tell!  Dr. Shaheen said if this doesn’t “do the trick” he would have to reconstruct her entire mouth.  This is NOT the road we want to go down so we’re praying this will be her last surgery for a while.  She came out of anesthesia pretty much the same way she always does…madder than a hornet!  She was hitting, kicking and pinching me.  Now that we’ve been down this road a few times, I am fully prepared for it.  I wear no jewelry because she tries to rip if off me and I told every person on her medical team that she would be like this when she wakes up so I need to be with her pronto!  She also likes to pull the IV out of her foot, so the nurses had it taped securely to her.  Once she calmed down and we get her home, she slept for a few hours in our bed.  Madeline and Will are the ultimate big sister and brother.  Madeline came to the hospital with us and helped calm her down post-op.  Once we got home, Madeline took charge of the house so I could lay with Maya while John took Will to a movie.  She did the laundry and fielded phone calls…what a girl!  Before Will left for the movie, he sat with Maya holding her hand and kept telling her he loved her!  On day #2 you would never even know she just had surgery the day before.  She was playing, smiling and asking if she could watch her beloved Olivia TV show!  She doesn’t love her liquid diet but she’s handling it well.  I’ve been making her mashed potatoes diluted with chicken broth so it’s more like a thick soup.  It seems to sustain her longer so she’s not hungry.  She still doesn’t like milkshakes or smoothies but will drink Pediasure chocolate drinks!  Go figure!  I took a sip of her Pediasure and almost gagged. 

On another note, we’re having a fun summer.  Madeline is getting excited to start her high school at Marian.  For any of you not from the area, it’s an all girls’ Catholic high school right across the street from my sister’s subdivision in Bloomfield Hills.  No boys you’re thinking?  Brother Rice High School is right next-door, which is the all boys’ Catholic high school.  She got her uniform, ordered her books, got her schedule and made some new friends via Facebook.  My niece Alex graduated from Marian so she is super excited that her cousin is following her footsteps.  William starts the 4th grade this fall.  Yikes!  Where does the time go?  I can’t believe it.  He loves school for the social aspect, but not the homework!  Hmmm..Imagine that?!  Maya will start going to preschool in the fall too.  Next week I’m heading to the Montessori preschool Will went to so I can meet with Ms. Connie.  She also wants to meet Maya.  We should have a busy schedule this fall with school, sports, speech therapy and whatever else seems to pop into our schedule every week! 

Maya is quite a little dare devil.  Her favorite thing to do up north is ride on the tube.  Do you believe she yells at John to go faster every time?!  And the bigger the waves the better.  I’m thinking we’ll have her on water skis in a couple years.  She finally went swimming in the deep with us last weekend.  As long as she can hold on to someone, she’s happy.  She finally figured out her life jacket would keep her floating.  I’m waiting for her to jump off the boat next with her brother and sister!  I’ve had to yell at her a couple times after her surgery to stop jumping off the living room furniture.  I keep envisioning her hitting her mouth on something and making a mad dash to the ER.

Maya’s resilience and positive determination to overcome difficulties that most children never have to endure humbles us.  She takes these surgeries in stride and always has a smile on her face the next day! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

We are really behind on blog posts...

Wow! I know we have not posted in a while- it has been a CRAZY month. Maya had her third birthday party! It was Olivia the pig themed (Maya LOVES Olivia!) We had over 50 people at our house but the party was a LOT of fun. We took our annual 10 day vacation up north where Maya celebrated her 3rd birthday on July 6th. We had another small party with more cake and presents :) Then we took a small vacation while on vacation to Mackinac Island. Maya was in awe of all the horses, (for our non-Michigan friends, Mackinac Island is an island in Lake Huron -there are no motorized vehicles allowed, only horses and bikes!) Tomorrow Maya is having another surgery done to fix the holes in her palate and repair her pharyngeal flap so she doesn't sound so nasaly! So please make sure Maya is in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow! I know it will be a long recovery but I'm sure Maya will bounce back quick.

One of Maya's "BFF's" Cassie :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy 1st Referral Anniversary Maya!

Today marks Maya’s 1st referral anniversary! She has changed SO much, as Madeline stated in a Facebook post…
“Last year today I saw my sister’s picture 4 the first time ever. The adorable little baby with chubby, rosy cheeks wearing a pink and yellow snowsuit has turned into a beautiful almost 3 year old. She has eyes that sparkle, a personality that can make anyone laugh, and a smile 2 die for. She has a family now, a house, a closet full of clothes, and toys. Her life has changed for the better so much. I love u Maya!”
Here is our referral story that we will be telling Maya forever…
We had been looking through the Waiting Child list for a long time. None of the wonderful children on the list seemed to be a good fit for our family. We knew one day we would have a wonderful little girl that would be part of our family, but we just didn’t know when. So after a long day on June 25, 2010, we had some of our family and friends over for a fun night outside. Unfortunately, John was stuck in Baltimore due to flight cancellations! After the fun night, Madeline and I were cleaning up. It was about 11 pm and the phone rang. Who could that be? It was Cori from our adoption agency! Madeline and I both looked at each other, and Madeline said, “Mom! I think you should answer it!” I answered the phone and Cori said “Hi Kris! I’m sorry I’m calling so late, but I think I found you a little girl! I locked in her file for you! She has a repaired cleft lip and a cleft palate, she will be two soon. Do you want me to email you her file?” I was breath taken, all I could say was “YES! Thank you so much Cori!” I screamed “WOOOO!” And Madeline and Will already knew that this was the big day! We waited what seemed like years for her file to get here. You’d think after almost 2 years of paper work, and other nonsense a 20-minute wait would be simple. Not at all! I got the file and I yelled to Madeline “Her name is Ji Zhou Lu!” Madeline ran in and we looked at the list of many files sent to us. “What should I open first?” I asked Madeline. “The pictures of course Mom!” (Duh Mom!) J We opened the file and the first picture we saw of her was…well not a good picture at all. It was blurry, her head was turned and it was “mug-shot” style. We scrolled down and saw the beautiful picture of our gorgeous girl with her beautiful smile. It was an amazing day that will ALWAYS be remembered. And my friend Lisa Silverman will always remember this story too!  She was with me the day after when I made the call to Cori that we were accepting Maya’s referral! 

Our sweet girl’s 3rd birthday party is tomorrow!  50+ people have been invited.  Am I nuts or what?!  YES!  Completely insane John will tell you.  And yes I had big bashes for both Madeline and Will’s 1st birthdays!  Fair is fair!  J

The referral picture!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Maya's "Minor" Surgery Day 1!

Hey it's Madeline! Today Maya had surgery to fill her 3 cavities and she got 4 crowns as well (they put her under of course.) I wasn't there today because it was my last day of school :) The dentist said her teeth aren't formed right and its a birth defect. He also warned my parents that her face would be swollen and poofy until Sunday- it is! When she woke up from surgery she was NOT happy. She was screaming, thrashing, hitting, and pinching. She is MAD. Once my parents got home they took her upstairs hoping she would stay asleep but instead she woke up just as mad. It was not fun holding her down with my dad while my mom tried to give her Advil. She still looks cute as usual even though she has chipmunk cheeks :) We'll post pictures later!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our May Update!

FINALLY!  I am getting around to a new posting on the adventures of Maya!  And yes, every day is an adventure with Maya!  She had her first trip up to our cottage in northern Michigan over Memorial Day Weekend.  She LOVED it.  She fits right in with all the craziness up there.  She went on boat rides, made a trip to the sand bar to play in the water and had a campfire at Grandma & Papa’s cottage.  And of course got some mosquito bites too!  Our neighbors up north were so excited to meet Maya and they all got a kick out of her silly personality like everyone else does the first time they meet Maya!  Maya will be having a bunch of dental work on Friday, June 10th (the last day of school for Madeline and Will).  She needs 4 crowns and 3 cavities filled.  Holy Moly!  Of course they’ll be knocking her out completely for this procedure.  My poor baby is all I keep thinking!  But, we know all of this is necessary.  Maya has been enjoying her time at Miss Jen’s house every week.  Jen is my friend from the school district who runs the BEST day care out of her home.  Thankfully she had room for little Maya.  She goes 2 days/week for 4 hours.  She was a little nervous in the beginning but she’s fallen into a good groove now and loves her friends there.  Jen is one of the few people I can trust my little one and I know she’s in great hands while she’s there.  I’m sending her there so she gets some interaction with other kids and it also gives me a little alone time to run errands and get some things accomplished that’s almost impossible when I have my little firecracker around.  I am beyond thankful to Jen for taking Maya those 2 days every week!  As the weather has warmed up in Michigan (hard to believe), Maya has made the great outdoors her new obsession.  I swear she wakes up every morning and the first word out of her mouth is, “Outside!”  She loves going for walks, playing in yard, drawing on the cement with her sidewalk chalk and getting in the way of her big brother and his friends while they play basketball in the driveway.  She also cracked up when she saw Lola catch her first snake (personally it grosses me out).  Maya really has enjoyed going to Madeline’s track meets.  She goes from one mom to another seeing what kind of snacks they brought with them.  She also loves to cheer on Madeline and her friends!  We had our first visit to John’s office.  Maya acted like she was running the show (what’s new?).  She went right in John’s boss’ office, got on his chair, picked up the phone and studied charts like she was making some big decision.  Once again, Maya got a lot of laughs from everyone.  We got to eat lunch with some friends there and they even put a cartoon on one of the projectors for her in the conference room.  I think Maya was more interested in visiting people in their offices and cubicles!  Maya has been doing great in her speech therapy!  She loves her speech pathologist, Cecilia.  She also loves to make Cecilia run in circles at some of her sessions!  I think Cecilia is looking forward to some rest this summer!  As the school year winds down and the summer is finally approaching, it’s hard to imagine that Maya has been with us almost 6 months.  She’s come so far and she fits right in with our family, friends and community!  What a lucky girl…and how lucky we are to have her in our lives!