Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. It's sparkling apple cider, honest! Cheers!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Cara is all bundled up and ready for her first sledding adventure. Her biggest problem is the animals outside. That's why she's not really looking at the camera. She's more worried about the dog getting too close to her than having her picture taken. We will see how long this lasts. I came right into the house after snapping these pictures and by the time I had them uploaded to blogger she was already back in the house. She's back outside now but I bet she'll be back inside in less than ten minutes.
We got a call from the IA clinic today with the results from her blood tests and titers. Her iron levels are a little low; in the normal range but on the low end of normal. Dr. Davies wants her to take a Flinstones multivitamin with iron for the next 3 months. She showed antibodies for all of her vaccinations except for mumps and chicken pox. This means when she goes back to the clinic in mid-December she will have to have another MMR booster and a chicken pox booster. Not too bad for Chinese vaccinations! The best part was that the TB blood test showed no active TB cells. The test actually read, "TB not likely." This means for the time being, Cara will not have to take 9 months of antibiotics for TB. We will just keep watching her chest x-rays and see how it goes. I'm sure Dr. Davies will give me more information about it in December. I was pretty happy with her test results. I think the Shanghai SWI took pretty good care of her.
Tonight we have our first 4-H meeting of the year. That means we'll have a lot of people in the house (she just came in from outside ;) I knew it wouldn't last!) that she doesn't know. We'll see how she does with that.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Yes, that's right, Suri Cruise has got nothin' on Cara Funk! She has been home one month today and is already wearing glittery, feathery heels and HAD to have me take a picture of her wearing them. She's been up for two hours today and has changed her shoes four times. Not sure why shoes are so fascinating, but they are. She refuses to wear socks, though, which is going to be a huge fight since it's below freezing here and snowed last night.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Today Cara went to the babysitter for two hours. She met the lady who will watch her earlier in the week and she suggested I leave Cara for a couple of hours today to see how she does. Cara stayed with her from 10:00-12:00 and did fine. She did so well, in fact, that I'm a little worried about it. She took her diaper bag/backpack with her. It had a couple of her favorite toys in there and a few snacks. I helped her take off her coat and she went to put her juice in the fridge. I only stayed with her about five minutes and then I left. She didn't cry or anything. When I came back at noon she was busy playing kitchen on the floor with the other little boy this lady watches, who is also 3. The lady (I will refer to her as C from this point forward) said Cara never cried and was fine the whole time. She ate whatever was offered to her and went potty in the potty chair. I let Cara know it was time to go and helped her clean up what she was playing with and that was it. I asked her if she had fun playing at C's house and she said yes. I guess I'm worried because it went so well. We have been working on attachment since we got her a little over a month ago and I know it takes a long time for healthy attachment to occur. I guess it was a wake up call for me on how far we still have to go since she wasn't too concerned that I was leaving her with someone new. She won't start daycare until November 30th and even then she will go 4 days a week. We are fortunate that my husband only works 4 days a week and I work in education so I will have 2 weeks with her at Christmas, spring break, a chunk of time in the summer, etc. I just feel like things have been going so well with her and I realized we definitely have work to do in the attachment department. She came home and is completely fine. No tantrums or anything. One of her cousins came over and they fed apples to the horses, collected the egg from the chicken house, and drug out all of the toys from the toy closet. When her cousin left, she went in and took a nap like normal. After her nap she found my sunglasses and was hamming it up for the camera (pics posted above). We'll see if there is any fallout from today at bedtime! ;)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wow! One short month has changed all of our lives...especially Cara's. The first picture at the top was Gotcha Day. It shows her emotions perfectly. She is nervously biting her lips and is sweating so much her hair was wet. I can't even imagine ever being as brave as she was at that moment. I never, ever want her to feel that kind of fear again. Look at her now! She dances with Hi Bao (Shanghai Expo mascot) while watching Glee, she is making friends with Tiger, the cat, and she gets to go outside whenever she wants.
She has gone from living in a room of 20 children with approximately 9 nannies that rotated in and out to living in her own home with a loving family. She has gone from living in a city where most of what you see is gray concrete and no animals to living in the country where there is lots of trees, green grass, and she is surrounded by animals. She has gone from a place where the sky is almost always gray to a place where the sky is almost always blue. She has gone from living in a city of 19.3 million people to living close to a town with the population of 2,198 (we just got our first stop light this year!). She has gone from having no family/relatives to having 2 grandmas, a great grandma, a grandpa, 3 loving aunts (2 close, 1 in Spokane), 1 uncle who gives great piggy-back rides, 3 fun cousins, a sister, a brother, a mommy and a daddy.
She used to wear whatever was clean and it wasn't necessarily hers, or matched, or fit. Now she has lots of clothes with matching bows and shoes (the baby Uggs are in the mail!). Every morning she looks at herself in the mirror, pats herself and says, "Mei li," which means beautiful in Mandarin. I'm so happy she sees herself as beautiful and seems so happy. She likes to kiss, hug and cuddle. I asked the orphanage director a couple of weeks ago if she was always so kissy and huggy and she said no. I can only hope that she feels the love we have for her and wants to return it because she finally has a family of her own.
I am so filled with happiness and joy over this wonderful addition to our family.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
We have had a busy week with doctor visits so far. Cara had to go to the Department of Health in Yakima on Monday for her TB test. It was pretty uneventful; the nurse just took down our contact information and said she wanted another chest x-ray. I asked her why, since the one I brought her was taken on October 16th. Then she decided she would wait for our appointment at the University of Washington International Adoption clinic on Tuesday and see what they say.
Cara's appointment was at 10:30 in Seattle. She saw Dr. Davies, who I thought was wonderful. I wonder how old he is, he seems young but also like he knows his stuff. He had a student doctor with him, too, who was also very nice. Dr. Davies thought Cara looked good. She is in the 10th percentile for height and 25th percentile for weight. He listened to her heart and said she had a "standard VSD heart murmur." He took the chest x-rays down to the UW radiology department and they accepted them and scanned them into their system, so the x-rays must have been ok from China. Dr. Davies gave us a referral to see a pediatric cardiologist, ordered a lab work up for Cara, and said he'd like to see her back in 1-2 months.
For Cara's lab work he wanted to do something called titers, which is just a blood work check to see if her immunizations are all in effect. He also wanted to do some sort of blood test to check and see if she has TB in her system. If that test is positive, she will have to start a course of 9 months of antibiotics. If it's negative, we can just watch her TB class B result rather than start on the antibiotics. We went down to the lab for the blood draw. Cara started to tear up and cry the minute she sat on her daddy's lap in the chair. She knew something was coming and it wasn't going to be good. They couldn't get a vein in her left arm, so they had to poke her again in her right arm. They took a lot of blood! I didn't count all of the vials, but I know there was a MINIMUM of 6. She was a trooper, though, and got to pick two prizes for the two pokes. She picked star sunglasses and a bright yellow bracelet. The picture above is Cara leaving the doctor's office. She doesn't look too happy. Now I just need to wait for the lab results and make an appointment with the cardiologist.
Side note: The Carnival ship that had an engine room fire and has been floating adrift off the coast of Mexico has my parents on it! We can't get in touch with them, but we're sure they're OK. I can't picture my mother eating Spam, Pop Tarts, and other Navy rations, but I guess if you're hungry, you'll eat anything! I hope to hear from them soon.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Ok, so that's how this works. I upload my pics in reverse order of how I want them to appear and they come out right! Ha!
We didn't take Cara trick-or-treating because she had only been home a little over a week. We felt taking her around to ask strangers (strangers to her, not us) for candy was probably a little inappropriate.
Instead we took her over to my parent's farm to go through the straw maze and down the slide. She wanted nothing to do with the maze. I couldn't even snap one good picture. She loved the slide! By the end of sliding time, she was climbing the straw stack unassisted. Not quickly, mind you, but by herself. I thought that was pretty amazing considering her lack of muscle tone a few weeks ago.
She gets stronger every day and we fall more in love with her every day, too. Next Monday she goes to the Department of Health so they can check her chinese chest x-ray and let us know if we need to do anything for the TB class B result. On Tuesday she goes to the University of Washington International Adoption clinic to get her first check up. I will post more then when I find out what the doctors have to say.