Friday, January 23, 2009

Round One Goes To...

The Dentist!!! Woohoo!


After close to six hours of being at the pediatric dentist last Thursday, we walked out with a little bit of bling-bling in Nastya's mouth and one of her teeth in my purse :) Katya had at least six fillings done but at least none of hers needed crowns at this point. They survived getting about half of Katya's cavities filled and at least a third of Nastya's cavities filled. The girls had to fast from all food and water that morning, and then when we arrived at the dentist they were given a little orange cocktail with Valium and a few other ingredients. They watched movies while we waited for the medicine to take effect. It was pretty humorous to watch it take place. Katya fought the effects and was determined to not sleep. Nastya curled right up and could barely walk after thirty minutes. Since it hit Nastya harder and because she is just a tough cookie, she handled the dental work pretty well. It was difficult for Katya who seems to really have a lot of fears about dentists and doctors. I can't say I blame her considering the time she had to spend in hospitals in Ukraine - not fun!! But I think she made the dentist and assitants earn their money - it was hard for her to stay still and to relax... But they did get it done!

Nastya has the most dental issues - lots of bad decay, some weak teeth structurally, and even some permanent teeth that are just missing (they never formed in the first place). But the good news - it is getting worked on, we will get it all fixed, and she will one day have beautiful, healty teeth. When we think of what her dental situation would have been in just a few years had she stayed in Ukraine, it is with great thankfulness that consider the opportunity to get our girls this much needed work. I hope that one day they will also be thankful for it! Actually, as much as they hate it, we have explained what would happen if these cavities were left unfilled. Nastya is a little upset that she has all these problem, but they both take the neccessity of dental care and good brushing very seriously now. Katya might brush her gums off in order to get those teeth clean if we don't watch her :) I do hope they keep up good brushing and flossing forever because they will always be at a greater risk for developing more cavities due to weakened tooth structure.

Very soon we will be getting two root canals done on Nastya's back molars and then back to the regular dentist for round two of basic fillings and crowns. After that we should be done with decay and move into maintenance and cosmetic work. No problem right! Well considering that I just had a filling fall out and had to have a crown put on (at an enormous cost) and considering that we have no dental insurance - it is not exactly painless for us either. We are spending just about all our time and money at varying dental offices! But like I said before, we are just truly thankful we are to be able to get all this done - for the girls and that the rest of us have always had the blessing of good dental care.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cardiac Pediologist...

Oh I mean Pediatric Cardiologist :) The last few days have been filled with lots of initial doctor visits and scheduling appointments for more. We went to a wonderful international adoption clinic and did all the basic lab work and testing for the girls. Their medical records from Ukraine were translated and recommendations were made for a few follow-up visits. Basically, we got a lot of very good news. Labs all came back looking great, the therapist was really impressed with how they are adjusting both behaviorally and emotionally, and the academic assessment pretty told us that although they are behind academically - they are smart and are more educated than a lot of the kids that they see coming out of Eastern Europe. All pretty amazing and says a lot about the orphanage where they were. They received better food, education, and, most importantly, emotional support and love than most children are offered in EE orphanages. We are so very grateful to the people at their orphanage who continue to go the extra mile to love these children and to do the best they can with very limited resources. Now this by by no means that it is all smooth sailing and we have plenty of trials that we are facing, but it is nothing compared to what could have been. We are just incredibly grateful for how God has provided for them in the midst of despair and of how He has protected them physically against the odds.

On the down side - we did discover that Katya has a very small kidney on one side while the other kidney is enlarged to compensate. This is not necessarily a big deal and all tests showed that she was having normal kidney functions. However, we will visit a nephrologist to make sure that all remains healthy and that there are no other concerns. Katya also has a diagnosis from Ukraine of an undetermined heart condition. There are no signs that indicate a problem and more than likely this was due to panic attacks. However, to be on the prudent side, we will be visiting a pediatric cardiologist, which I continually refer to as the cardiac pediologist. There are just too many 'ologists' to keep up with!!

Nastya of course is very small - not even on the growth charts. But what she lacks in size she more than makes up for in energy, love and wit :) She is very healthy in every other way and was blowing away the academic assessment person with her comprehension on some things. Her body may begin to grow on its own but if it does not then we will be visiting an endocrinologist in about four more months. Yet another "ologist"...

Here we are eating breakfast just before all day at the clinic. My mom was so sweet to go with us so that everything could be done in one day. They loved having their Rere with them!!

We are glad to be back home and have one more step done in the area of medical concerns.

Leslie, if you are reading - sorry about totally falling off the wagon on being tagged for new years resolutions. I honestly tried to make some but feel like it is hard to make any firm commitments right now... Hopefully soon I will be able to get to that point. For now we are just still in survival mode of adjusting and still having a ton of interruptions that make weekly routines challenging! If I could commit to it they would definitely include exercising at least 3 times a week, reading through the whole bible, and memorizing two scriptures a month. Oh and blogging at least once a week. But I'm not sure I can honestly commit to all that right now so we'll see!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas in Pictures!

As you can see we have been having way too much much to stop and write about it! The holidays have been such a special time! Here are a few photos...
Here are our two clowns showing off as we kicked off the Christmas season by decorating the tree.
We first celebrated Christmas with Zach's parents and brother's family. It was so much fun with special gifts, great food, and just a sweet time for the girls to get to know their extended family a little better. They loved it and were as delighted to give gifts as they were to recieve. We were also able to go to the State Championship game for Zach's highschool team. And they won State!!
We celebrated Poppy's (Zach's Dad) birthday at the same time!
Fun times openning gifts!
Just before Christmas Eve service.
Nastya finding out what type of goodies were in her stocking!
Jadon received a new castle and lots of knights and other creatures to go with it.
Benjamin is flying around now in his new scooter!
Katya loves all things princess and was delighted to be a princess herself on Christmas with her new Aurora dress!

Allee absolutely adores her new Elsie doll. She has read all the books at least three times each and has been wanting the doll for sometime.

My mom was very surprised by a new bike from my dad!! Since his frightening heart attack, he has taken exercise and healthy eating very seriously. Bike riding is his new favortie pastime and now my mom can join him! Go get 'em guys!!

The kids ventured outside to play - no coats needed since this Texas Christmas was almost like summertime!
One of the favorite gifts for the big kids (like my sister) was rollerblades!!! They've got wheels! A few injuries but everyone is quickly mastering this sport and loving it!!

So a few days after Christmas we tried our ice-skating as well! It was lots of fun and finally we were cold :)

One of the nights after the kids went to bed the adults tried out our new present - a microphone that works with an ipod. We had a couples' sing-off and my parents won!! Ahhh! So sweet!
What a memorable and fun Christmas we had! Thank you to the One who makes all this possible and gave us the gift of Jesus and of our precious family.