I am growing up so fast!

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Amanda's age

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Thursday, June 25, 2009


Random pictures from a year ago, and the last couple of days.

Posts from last year:

24th http://ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com/2008/06/zen-baby.html
25th http://ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com/2008/06/we-are-proud-to-announce.html

Daddy walking Amanda out of our apartment in Tallinn on adoption day. She was frightened poor baby.
The courtroom in Tallinn, Tom and I sat on the left, Tom was holding his Amanda in his lap. I remember vividly when Igor told us he already saw a change in Amanda. Maybe she knew she finally had a family of her own.

First thing this morning, after breakfast of course :o) Amanda is not happy until she has had her food. LOL

Amanda does not like getting her picture taken, in fact, most of the time she either ducks her head or turns away from me. Little stinker, this morning she was so happy, giggly, hugging us, think she knew it has been a year since we adopted her?

Amanda in the van waiting for Tom to fill out his embassy paperwork, he was leaving the next morning to America.

Outside after a day in the pool. Her hair is even white that it was now, all that sun.

Such a stinker, I took so many picture of her trying to get her to smile.

Getting in her pool, hard to keep her out of it.

What a face, she is such a funny little girl!

Our beautiful and complex little girl, she has come a long way, but has a ways to go to catch up. We are very proud to call her ours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gotcha Day-one year ago

As I mentioned, we were concerned that we would not be allowed to see Amanda before her adoption day, which was the 25th of June. Thankfully Igor was able to take us to her orphanage. We watched her being fed while laying flat on her back, some broth and sugar water, kind of explains why she cannot move food back using her tongue yet, no lateral movements, and always with a sucking motion. They do the best they can in the orphanages, this is a common practic during meal time from what we have heard and seen, but it makes me sad for Amanda (and all the special needs orphans fed this way), who must be fed soft foods to this day, she is progressing but slowly.

You can read about her gotcha day here, our post from last year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Second day- reminiscing about Amanda's adoption

http://ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com/2008/06/we-are-here.html What we wrote last year

This time last year... Tom was out and about later that evening, seeing Old Town and marvelling over it, and I was sleeping off jet lag. Our first meal in Estonia? MC Donald's!

Amanda loves to do two things, play in the wading pool and rock on her doggie (uhem, Kara's doggy)
Being out in the sun every day has brought about some changes in Amanda's skin, we just call her Surfer Girl, she looks like a little beach bum! Who would have thought that our blue-white daughter could get such a dark tan?

When Amanda saw the geneticist, he asked us if we were concerned about her slight build and weight, we told him no, not really, but everyone else seemed to be. We know how much the little mite eats, and believe me when I say, it is A LOT. Thing with Amanda is, she never just sits, if she is sitting on the sofa, she is rocking and bouncing off it. She rocks outside on the rocking dog, or sits with her legs in the air and her arms waving about. She is in constant motion. Watching her is like watching some one do aerobics for 12 hours. She likely burns off too many calories, she eats organic food, healthy food, and we do not give our kids junk food with the exception of all natural cheese puffs and organic corn chips. Though he said we could "fatten her up" with a calorie dense (spelled high fat) diet, he said that he would not recommend it, nor would we do it. Subcutaneous fat does not equal health. So in a round about way I am saying, we accept it is who she is right now. I WISH I had her metabolism.

We have decided not to take her to any more developmental specialists in Tucson, they know absolutely nothing about post-institutionalized children, and it is a waste of our time and of the money. The developmental pediatrician, while a sweet woman, did nothing at all to enlighten us in terms of behavior or their development. We got a You are doing a good job with them", and since we already had therapy in place for Amanda in areas where she needed the most help, the doctor did not recommend anything but the autism screening. Today was the day Amanda was to be evaluated for Autism, the insurance mess was never fixed, and frankly, what good would it do? This is the same office where we have seen all the specialists and we know that as a team, they are not knowledgeable about our kids from orphanages.

We all agree Amanda does have some emotional issues, I know that every adoptive parent reading this will say "Maybe it is RAD?" and I cannot say no, absolutely not, but again, I do not think so, but who would evaluate that anyway? The doctors we saw knew of no one that was knowledgeable about RAD in our area. The only doctor I found on the west coast to help us with post-institutionalized behaviors is in Bakersfield CA. I do not believe Amanda's (or Kara's) are severe enough to warrant a trip there. Autism comes up a lot, and possible petit mal seizures have also been mentioned (just last Friday). So yes, she will see a neurologist to rule that out, though not one of the doctors who have seen her has seen anything pointing to epilepsy. Her yearly physical is coming up in July, we can ask about referrals then. She does have plagiocephaly therefor epilepsy is a possibility, though we have not noticed anything resembling a temporary lapse in consciousness or awareness. Amanda's ST thought she noticed some nystagmus the other day. Amanda does have a partial expression of Aniridia, the nystagmus could be part of that diagnosis and not point to epilepsy at all. Answers to more questions...

Amanda's health history is a puzzle to us, we do not have detailed information about her health or development. We got a booklet with medical information jotted down in Estonian, I have no idea what it says, though the doctor we saw for Amanda's exit medical went over it with me and indicated that is merely listed her immunizations and each time she saw a doctor. I have not felt an urgent need to get it translated. She is healthy, she got a runny nose this winter when the rest of us were sick with multiple flu's, strep and Fifth disease (Kara). She is happy, and so giggly, and finds so many things intensely amusing, especially the 5 kittens who frolic and play with her daily. All of our cats adore Amanda, and she is loving towards them.

We think she is adjusting well to life in a family, yet she has a ways to go too. She continues to prefer to be alone more than in the mix of things, but then so do I, and so does her brother. Some of us do not like to be around a lot of people (yes, even someone that taught group fitness for 25 years can dislike being around big groups of people). I would be more worried about that if she did not seek attention and cuddles, but she does. She loves to be held, and she loves her daddy most of all.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Last year on this day

Tom and I were on our way to meet Amanda for the first time! Can you believe it has been a year? I will be doing some reminiscing over the next 19 days, the length of time it took us to adopt Amanda and bring her home. I cannot believe how fast the year flew by!

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once