Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We've definately had a fun filled weekend! Noah & Laurel had their birthdays together on Saturday at home. We had a huge party with a moonbounce and lots of family and friends. She had a blast. When I think of the difference in her life now and what it was I get tears in my eyes. I also think of all the children left behind with no Mommy or Daddy's to kiss them. No birthdays and no room to just run an play and be kids.
Yesterday I took the babies to my Grandmothers house (about 2 hrs away). She hadn't met Laurel yet and was very eager to. They loved seeing the cows, walking on the farm and seeing the peacocks.
We have a somewhat slower week this week. Our coordinator with the CDSA is coming to enroll Laurel for services on Wed. and that's about it in the way of Dr.'s appointments. However we'll make up for it in the next 2 weeks.!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


At the Fair
Laurel ate her corndog and half of Noah's!

Practicing for one day she can show a horse

So what can I say about this week?? Oh my- busy busy busy. Friday night we went to watch Aunt Rach and our cousin Cole show at the State Fair. Rach also won "Best NC Scene" with her picture of Noah running through the tobacco field. Congrats to her. That's a HUGE deal.
Then Sat. we took the babies back to the Fair to ride a ride, eat some food and see the animals. What we were thinking taking 2 two year olds to the Fair , I have no idea!! But, we still had a good time. Then, Sunday evening Noah got his first throw up stomach virus. Poor child, but thankfully it only lasted a few hours. Monday, Laurel had her visit with the eye doctor to check on her strabismus (crossing eyes). Well, Praise God, she DOESN'T have it and no other eye problems that she is very prone to due to her premature birth, age, condition and a whole host of other things. So that is one less thing we have to do. We'll recheck with that doctor in 4 months to make sure she is still on track!!
Then, early Tues. morning Mike and I both got the horrible stomach virus. We thought we were going to die but God was good and the kids were really easy that day. We definately couldn't have made it w/out our families that day. We were worried Laurel would get it but she's a tough Ukrainian girl and she hasn't so far. By Wednesday morning, we were better and off we went to get Laurel's hearing test under sedation and tubes for her ears. We had to wait 2 hrs. past our appt time due to the fact that a girl in a group home swallowed a laytex glove and a pencil!! I would have like to have been a fly on the wall in that surgery!!!
So...... here's the diagnosis..... Laurel has "Auditory Neuropathy". Basically this means that her nerves are not sending the sounds to her brain. B/C of this diagnosis, they could not tell how much she could hear. This can only be done with a Behaviour test which Laurel really does not cooperate with. They did see a little fluid so they did put tubes in also.
Today, we went back to UNC to get yet another Behaviour hearing test. Once again, she failed it b/c they couldn't condition her to look at the screen when she could hear or feel a sound. They say it's pretty common for 2 yr. olds to not be interested in the screen and toys. So the Dr. won't put hearing aids in her ears until she passes one of these tests. We have to keep going back until they get some idea of her level of hearing. We are scheduled to go back in November to get the test again and to meet with the ENT again and schedule and MRI. So we are just at the beginning of this journey but the Audiologist really believes that we will be able to do SOMETHING to help her hear. Our only concern is getting the devices as quickly as possible b/c they have told us that ages 2-3 are the CRITICAL times to get language in a child so they will be able to speak. But that didn't get past God and he has chosen that our journey to have Laurel hear will take a winding path and go a little longer. Thank you all for your prayers and concerns. We have a peace that God will work this out and do what is best for our little girl. She's tough I tell you (and smart to I've been told) ;) I'm very proud of her already.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Mmmmm..... chocolate cake!!
Big brother giving Little Sis her birthday present

Laurel with her new baby stroller, and diaper bag
Here are some pictures of Laurel's first birthday home. We had Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles over for a small party. We sang to Laurel (don't think she heard us) but she looked cute. Noah had to help her blow out her candle. She couldn't quite get the hang of it. We got her a baby stroller with a baby doll and a diaper bag. She pushes that thing everywhere.
Laurel had her 2 yr. shots and check up today. All of her titers came back great which means that the orphanage did a great job with her shots and her immune system took all the shots well. She needed 5 shots to get up to US standards so she had 3 today and 2 in a month. She also had her TB test today. All of her other bloodwork came back perfect..... except she's a little anemic.
Anyway, the day was pretty tiring for little girl. She melted down and went to bed with a slight fever at 6:30pm. I find myself missing her when she's not around.!!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Laurel at 1 yr. old
Laurel when she was born

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREL!!!! Today Laurel turns 2. I had to post some of her Ukraine pictures. The top one is when she was about 1 yr. old. Sorry it's blurry but we were shown it at the SDA and were allowed to take a picture of the picture but not take it. The bottom picture is of Laurel and her adoptive "Babushka". She worked at the orphanage and was SO good to Laurel. She taught Laurel to shake hands and cried when she left. She told Mike that she was a good child. We prayed for Laurel even before we knew her that God would send someone into her life that would show her love. This sweet lady did that. We are also so lucky to have her baby picture. It also had to stay at the SDA but they graciously let us take a picture of it. 2 years today Laurel was born. She was born "Anastasia" and only at 30 weeks. She is a fighter let me tell you. She wants to live and thrive and Mike and I will do everything possible to help this little girl do that. It is her 2nd birthday but her FIRST real "birthday". Tonight we'll have a small party with cake and will celebrate her and Noah's birthday's together in a few weeks with a bigger party.
When we found Laurel, my dream was to have her here by her 2nd birthday. I cannot believe it really happened and she is sitting here on my lap as we speak. God is so good and His plans for us are GOOD plans. We are so blessed to have Laurel as part of our lives. Happy Birthday my baby girl! We love you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


So we started our day early to make it to Laurel's Audiology appt/hearing test and an appointment with the ENT. She basically flunked the hearing test, not because she couldn't hear so much as they really couldn't condition her to tell them when she was hearing or feeling something. She wasn't interested enough in the flashing lights and animals to care if she was feeling something. They said it was very typical of a 2 yr. old to want to run around and not sit and watch the lights. Anyway, so here's the good news....... The ENT examined her and saw fluid behind BOTH eardrums. Also, her right ear (which is the ear we think she can hear a little out of) is completely ocluded (hope that's the right word) with ear wax. I know that fluid behind the ears is not usually considered good news but to us it may be an answer to prayer. The Dr. said that best case scenario is that we get tubes in her ears and she be able to hear immediately. Now, we aren't counting on that but we can always pray!!
He also said that even if she has NO hearing whatsoever that they would still be able to do something to help her. He has patients that are completely deaf and have 2 cochlear implants and can hear and have normal speech. Who knew! He really is an advocate for getting her evaluated as quickly as possible, finding out exactly how severe her hearing loss is and why and then getting her fitted with a hearing device. The major reason he wants to do this quickly is because she is so young and in order to help language development it is critical we do this by 3 yrs. He was so positive about the whole situation and actually said "don't worry, we will help her hear!" PRAISE THE LORD. Thank you all for your prayers and don't stop praying.
We scheduled the sedation hearing test for the 21st. They will put her under general anesthesia and then do an indepth hearing test. Then they will put tubes in her ears if they still think it is necessary. We will find out that day their recommendations as where to go next to help our baby hear. So......... that is all for now. Next up, we are meeting with our Developmental Coo. from the CDSA on Friday. Then her 2 yr. checkup and shots next week. The next week will be insane. She has an Eye appt. for her Strabismus, then she gets evaluated by the CDSA, then her sedation. All in the same week. Poor baby, but she is a trooper.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Doctors and More Doctors

I had to have a picture to match the one of Noah
My beautiful, sweet girl

So she won't keep her sunglasses on but she'll wear mine

What can I say about this past week? Exhausting, excillerating, hillarious, silly and complete happiness! I LOVE my little family. This little girl was meant to be here with us. She is so much like Noah- even in looks! Laurel has done really well this past week. Granted we've had tantrums and meltdowns (don't take the girl's shoe's off or change her diaper). :) But all in all in has been a very easy transition. I know, I know, it will get harder but I'm treasuring these times. I feel like I did the first weeks when Noah was born (minus the complete exhaustion and extreme pain) :)
This week has been insane as far as Doctors appointments go. We had to go up to do Laurel's parasite test on Monday. She does have 1 kind but they are shedding out so not to worry. It was from contaminated water. Then, Tuesday, Noah got an awful ear infection so back to the Doctor. Then Wed. we spent most of the late morning and early afternoon at the hospital getting all of Laurel's blood tests. She was a trooper!
Laurel is signing about 10 words now. It really helps with the frustration of not being able to communicate. I really think she can hear high tones but we'll let the Drs. decide that. She'll eat near about anything you put in front of her. She's a prissy little thing. She is really doing well with sharing attention with Noah. We still have trouble if I hold him but we are working on it. She actually has been initiating hugs with him. She is a really quick learner. She LOVES outside and animals (see, I told you she was meant to be ours).
Please be in prayer for the next 2 weeks for us. Laurel sees the hearing specialist and has a hearing test next week. We also meet with her Developmental Coordinator next week. Then the next she sees and eye specialist and has her 2 year check up with all her shots. We also have an appointment to get her evaluated for services with the CDSA. We'll be busy for a while but it'll be worth it for her. Thanks for your interest and prayers!