Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In the club {foot}

FYI if you are in the medical profession, I recommend that you don't say this to a parent: 

Huh.  I've never seen anything like that...  

As you look perplexed, interested, and confused.  

Or this:

I just learned about Amniotic Banding Syndrome in a class I took years ago.  I've never actually seen it.

It turns out that in addition to an extremely tight amniotic band on her leg, Julia Mei also has a severe club foot. 

The foot cannot be treated until we address the band.

Her band will require 2 surgical releases.  
The first procedure will release the front half, and the second will release the back half. 

About a month after the 2nd surgery, we will start the casting process.  Julia Mei will get new thigh high casts weekly for about 6 weeks.

After that we will schedule a pretty complicated surgery called a posterior and anterior release.  This is not all that common since most babies born in America will have casting done shortly after birth.   

She will have a brace at night for years...and multiple surgeries as we go along.  
Bones will have to be moved around.

Even so, there is no guarantee that any of it will work enough for her foot to be functional, and she still may face an amputation.

However this goes down, she is worth it.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What should you do for a mama friend that recently adopted? Ideas here!

I get it.  You DON'T know why your friend is adopting. Is it infertility? Is it a religious thing? Why would she PLAN to adopt a child with special needs...and from another country when so many local kids are available? Doesn't she have enough children? You aren't quite sure what to say.  Or how to act.  Or how to ask questions without seeming rude.  If the child has an obvious physical disability, you aren't sure what to expect and how you will react when you see the child. So...you might just avoid your friend for a while.

In case you are reading this and want to know what your friend needs, please know the following:  your adoptive mama friend needs you.  Now more than ever. Is she a first time mama?  Remember when you held that little newborn in your arms and you were excited, scared, exhausted and overwhelmed all at once?  Yup, she's there right now.  Add on to that a big case of jet lag and in so many ways...adoption is harder than coming home with a newborn baby. Does your adoptive mama friend already have 4 or 5 kids?  It doesn't make this time any easier in her life.  This is a tough transition on her, her newly adopted, and the rest of the members of her family. So please, please, please don't ignore your adoptive mama friend!

Here are some suggestions instead:

-call her
-text her
-bring her a meal...or 2...or set up a meal train {reread this particular suggestion please}
-wash and fold her laundry
-if she says she is cocooning...look it up and don't be offended
-write her a letter expressing how happy you are for her
-get her take out
-get her a spa gift card
-offer to babysit when she is up for it
-hang out at her house 
-ask her questions about her new little one
-ask her about the adoption process
-ask her what she needs
-clean her house
-walk her dog
-pick her kids up from school or bring them to their activities
-take her other kids out to play
-offer to go grocery shopping for her
-buy something special for the new little one
-get her chocolate...or wine
-throw her a baby/kid {adoption} shower
-take her to the movies when she needs a break

or...you can do what my friends did...and throw her a Chinese New Year Adoption Surprise Party!

  {Try to top that for your adoptive mama friend--I seriously dare you}

Decorated and ready to go
Dessert and drink bar
Egg rolls!
Do you see this handmade card?!
Make food that she likes--even if you have no interest in tofu
The food area
Handmade Chinese lanterns and fortune cookies
Don't forget the party favors
Oh yes...more handmade amazingness
Congratulate her on her good fortune!
These ladies went all out
Handmade.  Would you take the week off from homeschooling just to make all of these fantastic decorations?  My friend did.  She doesn't even have a Pinterest account and look what she did. 
More handmade love
Please translate what this fortune means...
A straightforward fortune
I suppose I should add this one in.
*feel free to warn your friend and not surprise her...
she might want to do her hair or put makeup on...
or get dressed for the day*
[Note:  I was dressed thank goodness}
Well wishes!
Handwritten notes!
Adoptive Mama= Happy Mama
The fun continues
The party was here
and these ladies are absolutely amazing
and I love them for putting so much thought and effort into this most perfect night.

I have been home for a month and this was my first night out without at least 1 child in tow.  It was needed. SO needed. 

If you can top this for your adoptive mama friend, please let me know what you did to support her!  Even if you did not top this, please consider any kind gesture of love and recognition that your friend has added a new one to her family.  She needs it right about now.  

Sending out a HUGE thank you for your love and support!!! You have clearly gone above and beyond and I am BLESSED! 

THANK YOU Bonnie, Kim, Karen, Erin, Sarah, Micheleen, Jenn, Julie, Jen, Dee, and Amanda

Happy Chinese New Year!

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