Friday, January 4, 2013

In Which We Have The Internet Again And Things Are Great

Hi!  We have Internet again!

Everybody is fine, I swear!  Things are just a little crazy right now as we run around trying to get Ellen enrolled in our insurance, the military's various programs for dependents, school, swimming, etc.  I'm sure over the next few weeks everything will settle down.  Thanks for all of your well wishes and prayers; I've got a ton of e-mail to catch up on.  Having the Internet at home is going to help with that for sure!

So it's 2013, which doesn't seem possible.  This will be the first year we'll have our girl home!  I think it's going to be pretty awesome.  Ellen is adjusting better than we possibly could have hoped.  We've seen some grieving in the past few days, which is absolutely understandable, but she's kept her sense of humor and is weathering all the huge changes in her life with grace. 

I'm so enjoying finding out all the little things about my daughter; things I'd wondered about before she was here.  Things like how she likes her hamburgers (mayo and lettuce, hold the mustard and tomatoes) and what her favorite bands are (no one you'd know-- they're all Thai).  She's extremely helpful without being asked, and she seems to enjoy spending time with me right now.  I'll take as much of that as I can get before she discovers moms aren't cool!

I feel really privileged to get the chance to see her encountering so many new things here and to be able to watch her take it all in.  She was delighted to walk out the first morning here and discover that she could see her breath in the frosty air and that the car was covered in ice.  Our fireplace was a marvel and the bathtub proved an instant hit.  I can't wait to see what else I'll get to see with fresh eyes through her excitement with this new world.

I've already developed Mother Bear syndrome with her, as well.  Ellen's shy with new people and her English is still relatively poor (though much better than we were expecting) and that combined with her CP seems to be making a lot of people jump to conclusions.  I was on post getting some of Ellen's paperwork taken care of, and at one point she needed to sign her name.  Ellen can sign her name in Thai right now, but not in English-- probably because the English spelling has changed about six times.  The woman behind the desk said, "Oh, it's okay, you can probably sign for her.  Is she incap?" 

I thought "incap" was some military program and told her I wasn't familiar with the term.  "You know," she said, glancing at Ellen and lowering her voice.  "Is she incapacitated?" 

I was surprised by the strength of my initial reaction, which was that I wanted to punch her in the face.  I suppose under the circumstances it was a reasonable question, but to my mind it was completely obvious that Ellen was in no way incapacitated and was in fact, pretty dang smart. 

So I just gritted my teeth and told her that, no, Ellen just didn't understand a lot of English yet.  She looked kind of uncomfortable and told me that Ellen could just sign her name in Thai, then. 

Oh well.  As Ellen learns more English and can speak for herself, hopefully it will be less of a problem.

Connor, I'm sad to say, is having some issues.  It's not with Ellen-- things are great there and the kids are getting along just fine-- it's with seizures.  He's having a new kind, which we think are possibly simple partial seizures.  But they've got new symptoms and are occuring more frequently, so we're trying a medication adjustment and may end up with an EEG being done soon to see what's going on.  We sent a video of the seizures to the neurologist, and hopefully we'll hear back in the next few days as far as what he'd like done.  Thankfully the seizures haven't been lasting very long (though he's been having two or three a day) and they haven't needed oxygen as he breathes quite well through them.  But of course it's worrisome to see a change like that.

Otherwise he's doing well!  He went back to school yesterday, and is loving seeing his friends again and getting back into his routine.  Hopefully his seizures will improve over the next few weeks as we work with the upped medication, and we'll get things back on track.



Chloes Mom Mary said...

Welcome home to Ellen and you guys :-) I'm so glad to read the kids are getting along great and that Ellen is adjusting well. You now have two amazing kids! I hope that things calm down for Connor and the seizures.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home Ellen!

(Also, the "incap" story is jaw-dropping. If you don't punch the woman in the face, can I?)

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