Tuesday, February 28, 2012

we have progress, folks!!

Progress is good. It's very exciting to see- especially after 8 months!! I have been wanting to post for a week or so, but was afraid to jinx it. Good thing I waited! Today was the BIG day! Neylan walked into daycare, whimpered some. I put him down on the step to take off his shoes with Grayson. He did, then got up and walked away. NO tears! Their babysitter and I just looked at each other in amazement at what just happened. This was the first day that has EVER happened. He usually just cries and cries and hangs onto me for dear life. But as soon as the door shuts, he turns off the drama! But today, no drama, no tears, just ready to start playing! YAY!!!! That's BIG! We've also been having a good time dropping off at church and at the gym. For the past 2 weeks he has just walked right in and not looked back. Woo Hoo!!!

On the other hand- the congestion, the drooling, the milk. Geez! Where do I start? I wish I had fabulous progress news to report on this front, but I don't. I mentioned in the last update post I that we had switched everything over to soy. But upon going back to my great team of co-workers, I found out that the proteins in dairy and soy are so similar that you have to avoid both because 25% of people who are intolerant to dairy are intolerant to soy as well. Grrr! All soy?? Not sure if I'm ready to go there. That will elimiate so many more things- all crackers, all cookies, cereal, on and on and on. Soy is in EVERYTHING! So, we have now switched to rice milk and are still monitoring everything he eats as closely as possible. We had a few good days last week with no congestion, no runny nose, and no drooling! Excited that we might be getting somewhere, but then bummed that it might be the dairy, which selfishly don't want to have to eliminate forever. But then over the weekend, everything came back in full force. Congestion so bad he couldn't breathe at all and drooling buckets. What in the world is going on?? I know it can take 6-8 weeks to rid the body of all dairy proteins and we are only on week 4, but come on. Let me see a little progress if this is the issue. We have one more week before going back to the ENT. We are still making it, but Adam and I are hungry all . the . time. Dairy provides some good protein which helps you fill up and stay full. I'm also starting to get some major cravings- bigger than any during my pregnancy! I just want some pizza or lasagna or something covered in cheese with a big bowl of ice cream for dessert! Adam and I are going to have to start sneaking off for some dairy-licious food!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Winter Jam

Adam and I attended our second Winter Jam concert on Friday night. We were once again volunteering for Holt, Int. to encourage people to sponsor kids from all over the world as they wait for their forever family. It was once again a sold out show. For some reason, the bands seemed louder and harder to me this year. I guess I'm getting older and could have really benefited from some ear plugs. We had a great night, got to meet another adoptive mom who lives down the street from us, and got to see kids being sponsored. Events that promote adoption are often too much for my heart and they make me want to do more and more. I can confidently say that we are not done in the world of adoption. I just can't say what it will look like for us in the future. Could just be a sponsorship, could be prayer for the orphans, or could be another kid. Don't know. But the passion continues to grow!

Kari Jobe


Santcus Real


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two weeks down!!

We are two weeks into our five week reduced-dairy trial for Neylan's congestion and drooling. And so far, I HATE to report NO progress!!! I know it can take a while to get everything out of his system, but I really thought that if this was the problem, we would at least be seeing some reduction in mucus or drool. Bummer! So, we continue on. . . The doctor asked us to cut back to 14-24 oz of dairy per day, trying to stay on the low end of that. So, I think I've managed to cut him back to no more than 5 oz per day with no progress yet. We are all adjusting fine. He does love his milk and asks for it all the time, so we have switched him to soy and are limiting that. We have given him soy yogurt and I am using soy milk in any recipes that call for milk. So, really not a bad adjustment at all. So, if dairy is not the problem. . .??? We may have to investigate reflux! Will keep you posted

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What a relief!

So glad to have this HUGE step done. It feels like such a weight has been lifted off. So, here's hoping good things come in the near future. And really hoping this process doesn't take as long this year as it did for most families last year. And, simply, very grateful for the adoption tax credit, which made it possible for us to begin this journey!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friend for Adoption {Jan}

Julie and I are trying to get back on track after a busy holiday season. So, although we sent each other's gifts at the very end of the month, we're trying! I keep forgetting to take a picture of what I send her each month, but I gave her some Mary Kay vanilla-mint hand cream and a vanilla-mint lip balm. And she sent me this great book! She has read it and said it was a must for moms of boys. I'm so excited to have it and get to reading. I wonder if any of the conversations are about obeying your parents as a toddler!! That's what we need to discuss!

Having a friend for adoption has been great. If you are interested in partering up with someone on this journey, check out the button on the right of my blog.

we're on the road

Neylan has been home for 7 months and we are starting down the road to find some answers for a few of the issues that still plague our little guy. When we met Neylan in Korea he was drooling like a faucet. His foster mom had bibs on him and cloths stuffed down his shirt. It was that bad. She said it was just him. He was also teething at the time, so we considered this issue a horrible side-effect of his teething. He was also congested and wet sounding in his chest. When he saw the doctor in Seoul, he was diagnosed with bronchitis and given an antibiotic, which we gave him with no success. So, here we are, still dealing with the drooling and congestion- 7 months later!!! The teething ended just before Christmas. And now we realize that these two things, along with the mouth-breathing were not a side effect of the teething. BUMMER!!! Now, we have to figure out what is really going on. I am blessed to work with a wonderful team of OTs and Speech therapists, who after hearing all that is going on recommended that we see an ENT.

So, we had our first appt on Wednesday. I got myself prepared on Tuesday by writing down all of the issues and each of the areas that needed to be looked at. We saw the nurse practitioner first and I ran through my list giving her lots of info. When I told her that we needed to look at a milk/dairy allergy or intolerance, she told me that that was definitely not the problem. We would have seen something obvious if there was an allergy. She took a look at his tonsils and said they were tiny. First thing ruled out!!

Then the doctor came in. I knew when we made the appt that she was Asian and was very happy about that. The first thing she asks is how much dairy he is getting each day! I believe she was a little shocked by the amount I told her and said that was way too much, especially for an Asian. A HUGE percentage of Asians are lactose intolerant, hence the reason I wanted this looked at, but was told it was a non-issue by the nurse, and was told it was a BIG issue by the doctor! She took a look at his adenoids through a scope in his nose and determined that they were not large enough to be a concern. Second thing ruled out!!!

So, with tonsils and adenoids checked and looking good, we are now discussing the dairy and reflux issues. Fortunately at this point the nurse walks back in to listen. As the doctor is talking about the how much dairy affects your gut and your sinuses, especially in Asians becuase they don't have as much dairy in their diets, the nurse says, "wow, I never knew that"! Good, glad we were able to teach her something today!! I completely agreed with the doctor that  dairy does effect Asians in a different way and it can quickly cause nasal congestion, which causes you to breath out of your mouth and then drool. At one point she said, "you've done a great job with him and he looks big and healthy and strong. So, now you need to back way off of the dairy and I think that will fix the problem". I agreed, glad the nurse had learned something and we finished our visit promising to cut way back on the dairy and follow up in 4 weeks.

As we walked out of the building, it hit me! She's under the impression that we caused this! I believe she thinks that his congestion and drooling were caused by him switching to an American diet. NOT SO!!! He came home in this exact same condition, on his Korean diet, and he was HUGE. We didn't feed him a ton to fatten him up like some kids who are adopted need. He's always been big and "healthy". So, then I felt really dumb that I missed this when I was talking with her. I had explained this to the nurse, but the information never got transferred to the doctor. After going back and forth trying to decide if I needed to call the doctor back and let her know that in every single picture I have of his infancy, his mouth is hanging open, he is drooling, and he has been congested since before we left Korea, I decided to go with her plan and reduce his dairy intake significantly and see what happens. This is probably a good plan for us. We consume a good amount of dairy and if there's a possibilty that we are headed toward being completely dairy-free, we at least have 5 weeks to start cutting way back and getting prepared for it. So, after doing this for 3 days, we are doing well. There are lots of recipes that are dairy-free, his daycare provider is willing to help us and is writing down everything that he eats so I can adjust at night for him (14 oz is our limit- solids and liquids). This may be just what we need to get our whole family eating healthier! No more cooking with cream soups, cream cheese, sour cream, cheese, less bread, ect. So,we'll keep you posted. I'm hoping to see some results. If it's not the dairy issue, it may be a reflux issue that will need to be treated with meds. We still have a long road ahead before we know for sure. Today was a hard day for Neylan becuase he simply could not breath. It affects his eating tremendously as he is trying to chew and breath through his mouth at the same time. I know I hate that feeling and when I am congested, eating takes so much effort.

So, all in all, it was a good visit. We ruled out some big things and we are running with Plan A. We shall see!! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Celebration Continues!!

Last weekend we had the opportunity to celebrate Lunar New Year with some adoptive families in our area. Most of our children are from Korea, so it's really fun to get all of the kids togther. We had a great potluck dinner of mostly authentic foods, the kids got to make a dragon craft (since it's the year of the dragon),

then they got dressed up in their hanboks and had a parade

and a quick photo shoot

We have always enjoyed meeting other families who have adopted. I am finding that the adoption community is very supportive of each other and friendships develop very quickly because we all share a passion that is huge. I found it interesting that at this event two kids tables were set up for the kids to be able to eat together. Naturally, the boys took one table and the girls took the other. Most of the kids were older, but Neylan just gravitated towards them, especially the boys. He did not want to sit with us and kept getting out of his chair to go socialize with the big Korean boys. He was the youngest boy there, but not afraid or shy at all around the other kids.