Monday, November 4, 2013

a long awaited update! :)

It's been awhile since I have posted anything, ok, 2 1/2 months.  :)  I've had many, many people ask about us and I'm so thankful that people care and want to know how little Miss Chloe is doing! :) So here it goes, I'll try my best to do a recap. :)

The first few weeks home were spent going to many doctors appointments and settling in to life as a family of 7.  We are in awe of the love that our other children have shown to Chloe.  They welcomed her with open arms and have continued to love her, play with her, carry her, etc.  They can't wait to get home from school to see her and she feels the same.  They have never once seemed jealous which is a natural reaction for kids, but we feel tremendously blessed with the ease of her arrival into our family.

Once we were settled into a routine we were given referrals for a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and feeding therapist.  I was devastated when I called our insurance company and they said they would not pay for speech or feeding... NOT AT ALL!!  I was once again blessed by my sweet friend that found someone that was willing to help us!  Therapeutic Interventions is working with us and treating her in ALL 3 areas!!  What a blessing to know that she is getting the treatment that she needs!  And honestly, I wasn't expecting to get "therapy" myself, but each of the 3 ladies there have blessed me beyond words!  I actually LOVE going to her therapy appointments too! :) We go there twice a week and Chloe really enjoys going!  Through the therapy we have realized that Chloe would probably really thrive in school, and that being around children her age would not only help her language, but also help socially.  

Let me back up just a little more.... for the past month or so, we have seen a new little personality come out in Chloe.  She is still happy, most of the time.  Some say she has gotten comfortable! :) ha!  She has times where she gets upset and starts screaming, often times like a 2 year old would when they don't get there way.  She thinks if she has signed please or more, or any other sign, than she should get it!  There has been a few times where she got upset and we couldn't figure out why, but sitting in her room for a short time to calm down is the only thing that helps and she has learned that she can't scream so she often decides she will stop before we even get to her room.  Since we have been home, she has learned  about 15 signs and can understand short commands like sit down, go potty, put on your shoes.  She says more, mama, dada, bye bye, help, eeeee (for eat :)), happy, keen up (clean up), gurple (purple), and go.  She is doing great eating and chewing her food and LOVES vegetables and fruit!  Her favorites are avocados, hummus, bananas, grapes, applesauce, greek yogurt with blueberries and strawberries, and cheese.  And don't come between that girl and her food!  (probably why she has gained 7 pounds since being home!) She is serious when it comes to eating! :)  oh and neat too! If I open up something and put the lid or paper on the counter while I mix it, she grabs it and puts it in the trash can.  She will even try and make her bed and she sorts her toys when putting them away!!  Oh, she IS my child! :)

The school process....  the process, oh the PROCESS, it's long and frustrating, and trying to decipher what is truly best for her has been exhausting.  After many weeks of discussions with different school personell she was finally tested last week with the special needs pre-K team and now we wait some more for a meeting to find out what assistance they can/will provide for her.  In the meantime, they suggested that we go ahead and put her in kindergarten, at River Ridge where Parker & Grayson attend.   As well as she has adjusted, she has a long, long way to go.  We knew before we got her that there were many possibilities as to what she would be capable of, would she ever speak, etc.  Some days I don't feel like she is 'learning' anything new and other days I feel like she has made some improvements.  She still requires prompting when spoken to, and visits her "own world" as I like to call it.  She does hum at times and is much like a 2 year old (or younger) socially.  With all that, when they said KINDERGARTEN I felt overwhelmed, and not for Chloe, but for that poor teacher!  I expressed my concerns, and told them that I thought Chloe would be fine, but she requires so much extra attention that it wasn't fair to the teacher or other students in a class of 21 kids!  She doesn't even know how to properly hold a pencil, she can't color inside lines, open up her own lunch, and could wonder out of the class at any moment.  So, I'm praying that it is a temporary fix (for the sweet teachers), but for now, she will go to kindergarten at RRE.  They don't have a special needs class there for her so if I can get her in special ed, we would change schools, but it would also mean a smaller class size which would be MUCH better for her!  In the meantime, she has a teacher that I dearly love (2 of my other kids had her), and she is experienced in special ed so she is very knowledgable with children that are different and her parapro is wonderful too!  They make a wonderful team... did I say we are blessed?  :) After meeting with the teacher and principal,  they felt it would be best to start her off gradually so she wasn't scared and so that I can assist in some of the sign language until she is more comfortable.  Today was her first day! We planned to stay for only about 30 minutes and she did great!  She walked with them in the line and even put her finger over her mouth for "hips & lips".  She sat in her spot on the carpet while the teacher read a story, then through calendar time, weather, and then her favorite... A few songs!  As soon as the music played she jumped up and started dancing. :)  She tried to do the motions that the other kids were doing and laughed and laughed.  We then said good bye to the class but not before she signed "thank you".
I get asked all the time, "how is she doing??"  I'll be honest and say often times I don't really know how to respond.  I'm not sure if people mean is she talking yet? is she "normal"? has she adjusted?  I don't mind the questions at all.  I'm very open and honest about her and I'm not ashamed or worried about what the future holds in terms of her 'abilties'.  Do I want to know? sure!  Does it matter? no but I do think that the sooner we find out if there is some type of genetic disorder, sensory problem, etc., the faster that we can provide the services that will equip her for a brighter future.    So if you are asking if she is happy?  YES!  Has she brought us much joy?  YES!  And are we a normal family that gets frustrated and discouraged?  ABSOLUTELY! :) I'm thankful that God chose me to be Chloe's mother. There is no doubt that she belongs with our family!

Thank you again for everyone that has prayed for us and followed along with us in this journey.  I stand amazed ....

Blessings to you!~
Katie :)

P.S. - for all the typos and errors, sorry... I was only interrupted 101 times... ha ha

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