This blog chronicles the miracles and struggles of our daughters, Emily and Olivia. Emily was born 15 weeks early and had many complications, but she continues to amaze us! Olivia, born in China with heart complications, is also beating the odds. She joined her forever family (us!) when she was four years old and has been doing wonderfully! UPDATE: We started homeschooling August 2009 :)

Thursday, April 19, 2007


In light of the Virginia Tech tragedy, my concerns are trivial, but I'm still ready for a new, more carefree day. Our day started out at the endocrinologist's office. There was nothing new or earth shattering revealed, only a long list of follow-ups to add to my already long list of medical follow-ups. I now need to take Olivia to one place for a bunch more blood work, another place for a hand X-ray (to determine bone age), and yet a third place for an ultrasound of her thyroid...and then return to the endocrinologist in six weeks with all the results. If lab results indicate it, she may need to take daily thyroid medicine for life. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but all this thyroid stuff is more scary, expensive, time consuming and inconvenient than I was anticipating. And we haven't even gotten to her known special need yet, her heart... The thyroid and anemia issues were extra surprises. Tomorrow I'll remember how blessed we are that Olivia's transition has been so smooth, but today my head is still spinning with all this medical stuff.

Moments after we got home from the doctor, still fresh in overwhelm, Emily's teacher called to share some concerns. I suppose there is never a good time to get these kinds of calls, and I am grateful that she cared enough to call, but now I'm doubly overwhelmed. Emily's issues trouble me more than the thyroid stuff that can be treated with medication. Her issues are nothing new (difficulty with focus and processing/comprehension), but at the beginning of the year she seemed to be doing so much better. Today's call was kind of a crushing dose of reality and a fresh reminder that repeating kindergarten didn't solve everything.

In addition to school work at home (that's been lacking since Olivia came along!) she's also been getting educational therapy to help her overcome some learning disabilities. All these combined efforts had seemed to be making a big difference for the better... but today is the first I'd heard that her teacher's noticed that Emily seems to be struggling more than before. The teacher wasn't sure whether to attribute it to all the transitions at home or if things were just getting harder for her at school as the year progressed. I'm also wondering what role sleep plays in this. Prior to going to China she was still taking a nap every day, and now, not only does she not take a nap, but she is getting to bed later because of Olivia. It's hard to pinpoint an exact cause but the end result is disappointing to hear. It brings back all the fears about what struggles her educational future may hold. She's come a long way from that fragile 1.5 pound baby who wasn't expected to live and we'll just have to keep on fighting to beat the odds. With some prayer and a good night's sleep, I'm hoping to feel more optimistic tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I know it must be hard to hear all this "stuff" at once, but hang in there! I'm thinking of you.
Jill G.

Caroline said...


I was traveling for work and I just read to post. I am sorry to hear what's going on with the girls. I think about the events going on around the world to help keep me grounded like you were doing, however, its perfectly okay to be overwhelmed by what's happening to you in your own little world.

You and Andy are more than equipped to handle any medical challenges that come up with Olivia.

I think you are on the right track with Emily and sleep. I find such a huge difference in Hunter when he doesn't get enough sleep. Adults even struggle to do their jobs when they are tired. Emily hasn't had the same rest or lifestyle since we flew to China. I know you are good with routines. Try making sleep a priority for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference.

We are keeping you in our prayers.