I wanted to tell you all a little bit about our new babies and an update on how things are going. I know I haven’t given a lot of information yet. Due to the whole climate surrounding adoptions in Uganda, I kept a lot of the details private. Now that we’re home I can start to share a little more about our new little ones!
Benja is our new, amazing, sweet little son. He is 18 months old and just a love bug! Our little Benja has been a bit of a medical mystery. He has so far been diagnosed with microcephaly, Pierre Robin Sequence (with related cleft palate, small/malformed mandible, and retraction of the tongue), microtia (underdeveloped outer ear) a VSD heart condition and is significantly developmentally delayed. He has been tube fed since he was a young infant and is still only fed by NG tube. The orphanage where he lived thought he was going to die multiple times. His first year or so was very rough but thankfully he is doing much better, is stable and making progress developmentally. Benja is scooting himself all around and wants to crawl. He has started trying to pull up on tables/couches and is putting much more weight on his legs. He bounces and screeches when he gets excited and will clap his hands. He has the most adorable little smile and charms everyone that meets him. He loves to throw toys and to put blocks or toys in and out of boxes or cups. He loves plastic cups and will play with one for hours. He enjoys watching Baby Einstein DVD’s, diaper changes, grabbing whichever sibling gets closest to him and trying to pull out his NG tube. Benja is very much still a baby. His developmental testing placed him at 8 months old. We are confident that with the proper medical care and the love and support of a family he is going to make amazing progress. Benja is being admitted to our local children’s hospital tomorrow for some intensive testing and diagnostics. We are hoping to find out what the plan is for the various surgeries he needs and hear what our options are. Benja will start physical, occupational and speech therapy soon as well.
Jovia is our gorgeous little princess girl. She is 18 months old as well and is a diva! Jovia was born a congenital quad amputee (she has no arms or legs) but she one determined little girl and she doesn’t let her lack of limbs slow her down! She rolls everywhere she needs to go, and gets there quickly! She can pick up most items by gripping them between her shoulder and chin. She uses her arm stumps to push buttons, play the piano, turn pages in books and give high fives. She amazes everyone she meets by how resilient and resourceful she is. Jovia is learning to sit up on her own and practices every day. She enjoys sitting in the exersaucer and pushing the buttons to get sounds. She loves phones, playing the piano, books and shoes. If your shoes are near, Jovia will get them and put them on her arms. She loves to play peek a boo and to be tickled. She can be shy with new people but once she gets to know you she is a silly and loving little girl. She is terrified of doctors and of animals. Jovia is talking a lot now and new words are coming out every day now that we’re encouraging her to use words when she wants something.
We plan for Jovia to be followed by a nearby Shriners hospital which specializes in children with orthopedic issues. We hope that she will be able to get prosthetics at some point and look forward to finding out what equipment we can provide for her to help her become as independent as possible. We know that she is going to do wonderfully – she has such spunk, determination and is such a joyful child. Jovia will start physical and occupational therapy soon.
These babies are so amazing and we are thrilled they are now apart of our family. The idea of adopting two special needs babies was obviously overwhelming, and frankly even scary at times. We knew we were supposed to do it, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have our doubts as to how we would actually be able to do it! Those fears seem to have just faded away and we are so grateful for how well everything has gone so far. It has really felt quite easy (minus the medical aspect and the stress of being in Uganda!) so far. Yes, everything takes twice or three times as long but other than that, these are some very good, easy babies. Mayer has his moments of jealousy, but he has been a dream big brother and is adjusting beautifully to having to share his parents with two new little ones. Being home with our three babies seems so natural and we are feeling so very blessed.
A full car. My first time out with all of the little ones today. We were stopped twice in the parking lots before we could even get into the store to tell me I had my hands full and talk about our family. Is this a sign of whats to come? I can’t imagine what people with really large families have said to them.
Hanging at the doctors office, waiting for the doctors to come in.
Pull out my NG tube? Who, me?
Oh, its good to be home!