Family Pic Nov 2015

Family Pic Nov 2015

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Alive and well-adjusting....

 
Today was our first fun family outing that we have braved since coming home with Avery.  We have been trying to keep Avery home as much as possible or only going out on errands where I take only her with me, one on one!  She is unpredictable, curious, handsy, ventures away from us VERY quickly, cries inexplicably, and is unaware of danger and personal boundaries with strangers. 
 
We have made a major decision to put Avery in school.  Though we homeschool our other children, it has been a humbling experience for me to realize that I am not qualified to educate Avery. We have also been looking at sending Julia to school, but don't yet feel its the right time for her.   Currently, we are looking at the possibility of next year, after another year of various therapies are under her belt.  But at this point with Avery, we all (doctors, therapists, teachers, us) agree that she is functioning at about a 2 year old level, is non-verbal, and needs one on one, intensive language immersion/therapy.  They predict she is going to continually FLY passed her goals FAST : )  The speech therapist believes that she will be able to talk in full sentences within months!  This was incredibly encouraging to hear.  She has been picking up sign language with us very quickly, but through evaluations we believe that this method of communication will most likely only be used until she can communicate verbally.  They have noticed, as have we, that she is a sponge....wanting to learn so much.  She simply needs to be in the right environment to do so.  Our county has a great special education program and over several meetings it has been heartwarming to see how delighted the staff is to have her. It's been a wonderful experience working with them and we are so excited to see all that Avery is capable of.   Tomorrow is her first day and we will be starting with a half day.  We are not anticipating any apprehension on her part.  During our visits to the school, she has seemed very comfortable with the environment and the teachers.  We pray this will be the case during her adjustment this week. 
 
On another note, in these pictures you will notice another adorable little girl amongst our crew.  Her name is Rachael and she is now living with our family.  We have petitioned to have joint custody of her, shared with her grandparents (a church family we have known for 14 years), who currently have sole custody of her.   The circumstances surrounding why and how long she will be living with us is something we will not be sharing here on our public blog.  She is a beautiful, sweet, helpful, and smart 8 year old girl.  We have known her since she was a baby.  She has always had a special place in our hearts and she is welcome to live in our home and be a part of our family for as long as God has planned. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 









 



















17 comments:

  1. how so beautiful that Rachael is with you too! :) and I am thrilled to hear that Avery is like a sponge, ready to learn... I can't wait to hear about her progression (if you are led to share in your blog). I notice that Julia has some kind of arm-straighteners (I don't know what they are called), I guess it is to help her arms flex fully?

    You have beautiful children! :) Love so much that the Lord has blessed your nest! :D

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    1. The "arm-straighters" are not to help her arms flex fully. I do not remember exactly what they are called, but as Leah explained below, they are to keep her arms straight so she cannot get her hands in her mouth. She has her hands in her mouth constantly (obviously from her oral needs not being met during infancy) without them on. This was causing two problems....one, she was making her hands raw and developing soars that would bleed and two, it inhibits her from learning/playing with toys. Occupational therapy recommends these for children with these types of problems. Julia is one smart and persistent little girl....she has been able to get them off even when put under her sleeper at night. We call her Houdini : ) One other BAD habit Julia has is putting her hands down her diaper when she has pooped. If we don't happen to notice/smell that she has a dirty diaper immediately, then she will make a huge mess. We thought these arms wraps would help with this problem too....but sadly they have not. She can still manage to get her hands down her pants. At least her hands can't get directly in her mouth, which is what used to happen. Now the poop just gets all over her toys, clothing, play mat and play pen. Its quite yucky!

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    2. Carey we like to use the "snuggle wraps" verses those paticuler ones julia has. We have used both kinds, and the snuggle wraps are more breathable and dont make there arms so sweaty. and we get the medium size so that way his wrist and hands are free, so just like julias is just gos over the elbos. They will also come in good use when she starts to walk with a walker, it helps keep there arms in place and they can focus on keeping there arms on the walker instead of there hands in there mouth.

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    3. Hi Leah! Thanks for the tip...I looked up the snuggle wraps on line and I like what I see. But so far we have not had a problem with sweaty arms and these don't cover her wrists and arms. She can still flex at the wrists and use her hands.....in fact, she can get out of them, even if they are under her sleeper. These snuggle wraps claim they are tapered so they can't slide off. This might help us in this area. Thanks again!

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  2. Wonderful update.I'm still just in Awe every time I see sweet Julia.You have such a beautiful family.I was wondering about the cuffs on julia's arms too.Nice to see Aaron walking across the bridge by himself.Warm Blessings!~Amy

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    1. Hi Amy, there just no-no's on julias arms. Lots of special needs parents use them, usally to help so they dont bite at there hands. And they are used in the hospitals on babies and children so they dont pull there IVs out or other stuff.

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  3. Is that Aaron upside down on that swing?! What a daredevil he is!! Such a cutey!

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  4. Your update is wonderful ~ everyone looks fabulous! I admire your big hearts! You are very blessed! Julia takes my breath away!

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  5. God Bless your family! You have such big hearts for the orphan. It is amazing to see Julia and Aaron and the amazing transformations they have made in such a short time. Praising God today that a family from my home church congregation has taken in four foster children who they plan to adopt when it is legally possible. God is so good!

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  6. Regarding the hands down the pants issue with Julia, try onesies (even under their clothes). That has worked like a charm with my toddlers.

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    1. I just ordered some 4T onesies. They will be a deterrent, but when she was smaller and we used onesies, she just put her hands down her pants (outside the onesie) and got her hands in the diaper from the crotch instead of the top.

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    2. where did you order the 4T onesies?

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    3. Kiddie World (through Amazon....eligible for Super Saver shipping). Btw, I ordered one of the snuggle wraps you suggested for Julia's arms. I think they are terrible. Much more uncomfortable for her than my other ones and not enough velcro to keep Houdini from getting them off. She had them off in no time!! Other ones stay on for long periods of time as she has to work and maneuver to get them off.

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    4. You can also get larger onesies at bodysuit.com. I worked with a young lady who had the hands in the diaper issue so bad that we would use spandex shorts under the onesie to prevent her from getting it. It was extreme and definitely not ideal but it did the job.

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    5. I'm sorry that site is for adult body suits but for other children's sizes here is the website... Great company! http://www.essentialwhites.com/

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  7. Your kids are adorable and I'm so glad to see how well Avery is doing. She was one of the first kids I donated to on RR and I am so glad to see her in such a wonderful loving home!

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  8. I'm glad to see you all doing so well! I nominated you for a blog award, feel free to come by and get it if you want: http://givingherallshesgot.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/an-award-for-lil-old-me/

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