Thursday, September 18, 2008

Help From Our Social Worker

Below is the reply from the email that I received from our social worker and my email that I wrote is below that. I thought this would help explain what we are going through and I hope it can help other families. My friend Becca also met a new friend that might have some contact information for us about a local therapist where her children go who are also adopted from China and have similar things "going on" like Sophie Wei. Can't wait to looking into it!

From our social worker who I adore and respect!
"I think she is experiencing the stress of being in new home and also having recent surgery that has traumatized her. She is likely having some nightmares and needs extra assurance. Do not let her "cry it out" she needs to know you are there for assurance. When she wakes up, be there as soon as possible and touch her for comfort. Do not leave her to cry it out when you put her down. That is just interpreted as rejection for a child from an orphanage, and especially one who is experiencing recent medical trauma and change to their bodies. If she has improved, then got worse from surgery, that is likely the latest trauma that has her focus. Crying for that long is a child who is just grieving heavily and does not understand now why she is trapped in a cast.. sleep near her if it helps her, or let her sleep on a mattress in your room. At this point, she needs as much touch and reassurance as possible from the both of you. It will help her move beyond this "stuck" point and attach faster. The extra attention will not interfere with her development, it will actually strengthen her coping skills, and now she needs you more than ever! Remember, at her age, the trauma of adoption and surgery is more pronounced and signficant.We can talk on the phone if needed as well..Zia"
Email from me to our social worker. Subject: Advice
"Just checking in with you to see if you have any advice about Sophie Wei. When she wakes up she cries and is very upset. For example, today she was fighting a nap. Fell asleep in my arms for maybe fifteen minutes. Awoke crying. I tried to settle her back in by rocking, carrying her, etc. Finally I came down stairs to put a movie in and she fell asleep while I was fixing the DVD player. She was asleep for maybe twenty minutes. Awoke crying and then never stopped for 50 minutes. She was hysterical. FYI - She has done this in the past but not enough to warrant some help. She has done this a lot lately. She just had her surgery on Sept. 10th. She is in a full spica cast (just below nipples, all the way down the right leg and to the knee on the other leg.) Any ready material or advise. Is there some techniques we can try? Thanks, Michele and Rick"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Adjustment At Home

Coming home is a blessing but hard all over again. Sophie Wei wants to slide on out of our laps and go play. She is even saying, "walk." It is an adjustment and we are trying to figure out how to work things at home.

My Mother In Law Maureen and Nephew Brandon came up to visit and help on Sunday. That was nice and Simone stuck to Brandon like glue, she adores him.

Today Becca and Sara came over to help and my Mom arrived this evening for two days to help us figure this out.

Sophie Wei is doing well with her medicine. Her speech has regressed and she does a lot of whining, etc. but that is to be expected. She is also having some anxiety when ever Rick or I leave the room.

Rick brought out our baby stroller that we had for Simone and that works well for Sophie Wei to sit in and we are able to put the safety belts around her. We also do a lot of carrying her around and making sure her foot is elevated, etc.

This is very hard, I do a lot of crying.........Well all of the girls in our house are......We are thankful though because this too shall pass in time. It just does not seem like it right now.

We see our surgeon on Friday morning for a check up. We pray that Sophie Wei is healing well. One of the nurses told us that she because she had her bones worked on it takes a little longer for recovery.

I better get some sleep while I can. Sorry there will not be many updates right as of now because we are so busy taking care of our little ones. Sorry this update is so late but that is because I have had no time to do so. We did not mean to worry anyone.

Once again thank you everyone for your emails and prayers. Sorry I have not responded to them all but I am sure you understand.

One thing I know for sure is that this experience has changed me in more ways then one, for the better........that will be another post some day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We Are Home

We Are Home as of this afternoon!
I was told by the nurse at 5 am this morning that Sophie Wei needed to go to the bathroom and if she did not they would have to give her fluids through her IV again and put her catheter back on. This is standard that after you have the catheter taken out you need to go to the bathroom with with in six hours or so. I told him that she does not normally pee at night and I was hoping she would. Luckily we were given twenty extra minutes and she did!!!!!!! FEWWWW.
We feel blessed that we are going home together as a family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day Three Surgery Update

I really should NOT be posting because I need the sleep. I think after I posted last night we only had an hour and a half more of sleep???? The Nurse just came in to check vitals and I said, oh, awe....She said, you can tell me you don't want me to. I said really, well then please don't do it now because she needs to sleep and just explained what we just went through with the new iv having to be put in by the Panda Team.

I am back. Sophie Wei was just fussing again so this will be very short.

We have had some good times and ruff times today.

I will update this post later to give more details.

Her epidural was taken out this evening, spica cast had to be cut and put pack together to get it out. She FREAKED out, started to revert to the first day/night/morning behavior that made me start to remember it and I cried, had to sk the nurse to get another nurse to help becuase I had to leave the room. SOphie Wei's doctors were here to do that. Her doctor could not get the epidural out and did not want to pull it so they had to get the saw to open it and then repair it. THEY ARE AMAZING and so caring.....A blessing to us all. The nurses and support staff are amazing as well. What a great team here.

Then this evening around ten when it was time for the meds through the IV we learned that it had many kinks in it and could not be saved. It was saved once today and another time already. So our RN, Jason, called in the Panda Team. Michelle and Josh from the panda team were wearing Red shirts with Pandas on them and black pants. Our other RN, Beth, said that they are so amazing. They sit here at the hospital and when needed go pick up critical babies and children when called. they leave by helicopter or ambulance. Since Sophie Weis arms are both "done" they had to use her left leg. The IV has been in her right but the left is bruised from surgery.

The Panda Team was amazing!!!! They even gave Sophie Wei a panda!! They used small warm pads to help her veins appear. What a blessing but it was tuff on "Sophie Wei.

Simone is here tonight. Wanted to be with us so she is. Scoot, Becca, Sara, Emma, Jeni and Reagan came to visit us tonight so that was nice and a blessing.

No time for spell check again. I need my sleep, even if it is for ten minutes or an hour.

There is a slight chance we will go home tomorrow evening but if we have another night again like last night or the others we WILL NOT be going home until every thing is manageable.

Today we made very special bracelets. I will cherish them forever. Simone had to finish mine because Sophie Wei needed out of the art room and put a very special blue bead on the end for me along with Becca's help.

I am praying that Robbi's advice will come true tomorrow and tomorrow will be the day. The best one yet :O) So I will pray.

I also want to pray for all of the other children and families here. We could have it much harder than what it is. One Mom told me today that she has been coming her since her son was two weeks old and he is now a teenager. He has been riding his wheel chair around here since we have been here. Today he was coming full steam ahead and one of the doctors got down like a football linemen. The young boy said, "I WILL RUN YOU OVER!" And kept on going, the doctor safely got out of the way and smiled. So did we as the boy peels away down the hall continuing on his mission.

Quick Update

Sophie went to sleep around 8:30.

It has been a much, Much better afternoon.

We went to sleep at 9:15 after she had falling into a deeper sleep, waiting just to make sure she was ok.

Rick woke up with her around eleven. Vital check around midnight, Sophie Wei still up.

I take over at 1am so Rick can sleep a little, Sophie Wei still awake. I have been here with her watching Singing and Dancing with Mei Mei....over and over again but that is fine with me because she is sleeping. It is now 4 am. I went out to get some hot tea around thirty minutes ago and the nurse asked about her and I told her she was still awake. She came in to give her some strong teylenol and the other nurse checked her vitals again. She has been fussing, around a three on a scale of ten. Yesterday, last night and this morning was around a 100 on a scale of 10....I did just almost ask them to push the button for the extra meds but she just went back to sleep....Oh, I hope she can sleep, she needs it so much!!!!!!

There is talk of possible going home on Saturday? Her Doctor came by this afternoon and said he will take her epidural out tomorrow some time because someone else said it would be hard and they might need to split the cast to do it. He said that he will take care of it so that was comforting.

The truth is this has been the hardest thing in my life. Robbie has assured me that it will get better. This is just my opinion but if I could help any other family that is going to go through this same thing is just to hang in there and pray.

Having our daughter that we love so much bite, hit, pintch, scratch, scream even though her voice is gone and watch little eyes look at us saying please help me is so painful. It is so hard to even write about. Watching her itch her self like crazy made is hard too. Especially with her right hand that has her iv going into it. She does have engough room to suck her favorite fingers though! The itching is a side affect from the meds.

We have been meeting so many wonderful families here and learning about their stories. Each one is unique and special. Looking into other families eyes there becomes this unspeakable bond, understanding and love for a stranger that I never have known before. Rickey left today as he bounced back from his surgery fast and his Mom Katie came over to give me her contact information and I can't wait to catch up after all of this is over.

I need to get to sleep now. It has been almost fifteen minutes. I think I am safe to get a little bit more sleep.

We are starting to also get more confident in moving Sophie Wei. Both Rick and I are more affraid of messing up all of the wires that are attached to her, still.

Please pray that her bone graft continues to stay connected, hip stays in place and her femur grows together with out problems and that the plate does not bother her.

We received this email from our friend Sue and it brought tears to my eyes as they all do when we read the emails or comments. Thank you all so very much. We will be saving them for Sophie Wei to read when she is older so she knows how much she is loved. For my new blogger friends that have posted for the first time, thank you too and can't wait to read your blogs when Sophie Wei is doing much better.

Here is Sue's email:
"God tells us "be still and know that I am God". He is in control and created and loved Sophie from the very start. He has a plan for her life and has promised to be with her every step of the way. Wow, and then she has all of you that love her to pieces! She will be in a cloud of love throughout this whole process and what more could one ask for. Praying you all have moments of peace today and that you are comforted by little acts of love"

Enough said.

I miss our little Simone. She has been such a big trooper through all of this. My heart aches as I look at her confused face and then at the same time see her playing happily in the outside play court yard. We are so thankful that our girls have each other. Simone has been so good and so flexible, more than we could ask for.
No time for spell check, I need my sleep. Once again thank you everyone. The love and prayers are felt......It has been twenty one minutes of sleep for Sophie Wei so I think I am in the clear to go to bed. better take time for it what the opportunity arises.

Time to go say my prayers and be thankful.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Turning the Corner?

We may be turning a corner.

We were at a loss because Sophie Wei is maxed out with her meds. but there are other options now that it has been 24 hours past surgery and other meds/drugs will not interfere with bone growth now.

Around one they put me in a wheel chair, Sophie Wei on me, brought the IV/Med. Cart and went for a walk. I think my Mom or Becca had to hold that seems to be keeping her busy and Has HELPED.

This is so hard.

Occupational therapist came in this afternoon and taught us many things like diapering, picking up, car seat. We have a Britax Marathon and Britax Redgant and that would work possible put because Sophie Wei is in a more laying down position we will borrow the Spica Car Seat from the hospital. We will sign papers promissing that we will return it....No problem there :O)

Things are looking up.. Sophie is smiling, talking and telling us what to do.

Trusting in God. Being together as a family helps.

Simone stayed with my Mom at our house last night and they took care of our dog for us. Tonight Simone with go to Scott and Beccas, My Mom will go to our house, take care of Lew for us and then leave very early in the morning so she can get up and drive back to the beach by the time her works starts at 7:15.

Need to go, Sophie Wei needs us. Just wanted to give an update and say thank you for praying.

This has been an experience!

No time for spell check.


We had a ruff night last night. The hardest night ever. This will be quick. This is my first time out of the room. SOphie Wei is resting on Rick for the first time and fell asleep.

They had a ruff time getting Sophie Wei's pain under control after the surgery along with we are pretty sure that she was upset about the cast, every thing.

I think everyone was stumped and I could tell they were concerned.

Lots of tears.

Lots of deep breaths.

Lots of prayers.

lots of frustration

Lots of tears.

We, along with the pain specialist and anesthesiologist decided to wait and not push the pain med. button until she fusses. Which is hard because of yesterday and last night. When we waited too long it got out of control. BY doing this they will be able to reevaluate, adjust, etc.

Everyone here is professional, caring and amazing. We are in such a great hospital.

Simone is outside playing with my Mom. Becca helping Rick. Sara Anne just pushed some buttons on the other computer and it is beeping. I should probably go tell someone. Oo's.

Just did asking for prayers for us to get SOphie Wei's pain under control.

They did cut her femur and have a plate to hold it together. The bone graff on the pelvis area looks good. Hip in place

Love Us

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sophie Wei is in Surgery

We have been here at Dornbeckers since around 7:10 am. Rick, Sophie Wei, My Mom and I arrived. Sophie Wei bonked her head on the ceramic floor after trying to fall down on her folded blanket for fun. She now has a big shiner on her forehead.

Simone went to Rachel and Brian's house to be with Holt. Rachel then took her to preschool. She was such a good, sweet girl when we brought her to their house. I was ready for her to fuss and cry but she was excited to be there which made it easier. On the way to their house Simone said, "This is a Great Story. I love Julia (Julia is a friend from preschool who also is adopted from China.)"

Becca arrived just before Sophie Wei went in and shortly after she had her sip of comfort medicine. Becca will be going to pick Simone up from preschool when Sophie Wei is ready.

Everyone here is WONDERFUL! When the surgical nurse started to explain how we would be able to walk her to the Surgery Room I started to cry and worked so hard to stop by taking deep breaths because I did not want to upset Sophie Wei. I also was pushing on my eyes, by doing so I messed up my right contact. So when the Medical Student Resident came in he probably was thinking and wondering what I was doing to my eye. The Surgery Nurse Danielle was holding Sophie We as she visited with us.

Sophie Wei started to scream and cry as they walked her away. The nurse reminds me nicely to not let her seem me upset because it will make it worse for her.

We visited with two families. They are so kind and friendly. One is here for their 4 year old son to have his cleft palate fixed, hopefully for the last time and the other has a sweet little girl who is 2 that is allergic to food, eats by a feeding tub and is having more testing done (they just left and the Mom was crying as she is walking out. I just want to go and give her a BIG HUG!!!)

Sophie Wei went in around 10:15 am. We received a phone call update from the Surgical Nurse at Noon that they started the surgery part around twenty minutes ago. She is doing ok. I might post more later tonight?

Keep the prayers going.

Love Michele and Rick

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Please Pray for Sophie Wei's Surgery Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Sophie Wei's surgery.
Please pray for her, anesthesiologis
t and her doctors.

We will arrive around 7 am. Surgery is scheduled to start at 9am but there is an older little boy that needs to go first due to an stress fracture protrusion and the doctor has another surgery later(hope I got that right, praying for him too.)This afternoon we put pre-wrap on Simone and Sophie Wei's dollies.
(I found this idea from Bobbies blog.) It was good because it brought up a lot of good conversation. Sophie Wei kept saying "O" after I would tell her very simple words about her surgery and cast.

Tonight while talking to the anesthesiologist I had to take deep breaths and write down my notes so I could remember every thing to tell Rick. He had to be at school tonight for an open house. I am so glad that my Mom is here because I had the girls in the bath so she took over.

I feel such at peace with how things are going. The anesthesiologist was so easy to talk to. She did do most of the talking tonight but I did ask a few questions. She did her research and looked at all of Sophie Wei's medical information before she called. She took her time with me and was very sensitive. She was in no hurry to get off of the phone. When she told me about when it is time for Sophie Wei to go into surgery they can take her from the prep-room and roll her bed down or I could walk her down the hallway to the doors and kiss her good by? I just started crying as I visualized that in my head and then I thought to my self pull it together because there is more to talk about.
Sophie Wei you are such a sweet, silly, fun, lovable,
resilient little girl and we love you very much.
We are so blessed to be your Mommy and Daddy.
Every day with you is a blessing.
Wa I Nee.
One of the last things the anesthesiologist said to me was,
"We know she is a survivor."

Thank you Jesus.

The Ache In Your Heart

I received this from my friend Roxx and wanted to post it here so it does not get lost in the comment section:

"The ache in your heart is the ache of a mother. Powerlessness when we cant just make the problem go away with a snap. The journey you are experiencing is STRESSFUL for sure, but you are going through it with your daughter. I am so grateful she has your arms to hold her as she goes through this healing process, and look forward to the say it is a story in the past as we all watch her run through fields and kick soccer balls like nobody's business (her mama is a pe teacher after all! :0).

On another note, I heard this best upcoming artist this weekend… our church hosted Jason Gray… he was incredible (!!!)… he deals with a stuttering handicap, but sings better than anyone… if you link below & click on the left where it says “Launch Juke Box” you can hear one of my favorite songs he sang called, “Losers”… it’s whimsical and incredibly meaningful all at the same time… happy Monday!!!



How lucky are Rick and I to have so many WONDERFUL, LOYAL friends! We appreciate the comments and emails. We might not be able to respond to all of them in the next few days but we will try.

I will also try to update photos from the hospital.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hip Baby Yahoo Group

(Sophie Wei on August 30th, 2008 playing at her Cousin's Birthday Party.)

I have been thankful to find a very supportive Hip Baby Yahoo Group. I have learned a wealth of knowledge from these parents and people who have been through hip issues. Through this group I am able to receive emails of support, ideas and information. They even have tons of files that I have been able to read through and gain information from. I have also been able to see many photos of children in a Spica cast so that helps makes it more familiar and not so scary.

After recieving many emails today I sent this email out to everyone in the group:
"thanks again everyone for sharing... I am reading these posts with tears as we wait and anticipate Sophie Wei's surgery on wed. This does help reading this. I appreciate you all!"
~Michele Sophie Wei (surgery on Wed.)

This is an email I received from Bobi in reply to the above email that really touched my heart and brough lots of tears. I need to keep it:
"For me the time up to surgery was BY FAR the worst part for me. I was sick to my stomach, tearful and felt anguish inside- I couldn't imagine all this happening to my sweet daughter, let alone after waiting so long to finally get her home! There have been tough moment, just like life in general, but it has NOT been anywhere as bad as I had feared. I worried about diapering, holding her, picking her up etc. I can say all that is easier than I had thought. Not that my body doesn't hurt from picking her up and holding her and caring her, but it is doable.

My approach has been like another mommy mentioned about how she helps her child during this: love, attention, affection, holding, playing, and time together! Boy am I glad you all cant' see how goofy I am with her, and how much I enjoy it and adore her humor, fun and creativity! I do believe there are blessings that have come out of this hip journey, and I would not have imagined that
before the start of everything.

I felt like she/we'd be missing out on so much, but I have found ways to do nearly everything and we've found things that i would not have had she not been in the Spica. I am sill amazed and in awe of how this hip journey has not had a negative affect on my daughters personality, lovingness or disposition- not that there are not moments (like there would be if she wasn't in the Spica) but I must say the hip journey is survivable, doable, and Gracie is still thriving, not just surviving, while in the Spica.

We're 10 weeks into a 6 1/2 month Spica time frame and today I can say though I don't like it for her, or for us, I know that we can make it and I believe this is in her best interest and we do this out of love. I can't wait to tell her all about how amazing she is during this, along with so much more I can't wait to tell her all about!

Sending warmest thoughts and prayers for things to go the very best they
can as you prepare for surgery Wed! Please know that any questions you have, concerns or frustrations are always welcome here- there are so many who have helped me so much when I needed them- I can't imagine this without everyone here!

I am so grateful for the hope, support, information, encouragement and warm wishes---- they have meant the world to me and have helped me so much!

Bobi- proud mommy to hip baby Grace, 16 months (Dia. @ 11 mo.)
Congenital Dislocation and Developmental Dysplasia (L): AI 44 degrees
Closed Reduction with Adductor Tenotomy 6-23-08 @ 14 mo., dislocated-
Closed Reduction 7-8-08. Cast changes: 6-21-08 (too tight/ridges), re-do 6-28-08. Rx Spica cast for 6 months.

After reading her above email I felt to my self, WOW I needed that and she has so many of the same feelings I am having before the surgery. Here is the email Bobi sent me after I asked her permission to post her above email on my blog:

"Hi Michele,
That is fine with me, I too hang on to special posts from others that really helped me and touched my heart, they still bring hope and tears when I reread them. I know it was hard for me to believe when others shared that the wait before hand was the hardest part, but I have come to know it was true for me too- and I hope for you and your sweet little Sophie Wei. Please let me know how you guys are doing afterwords, when you have time. Know that you are not alone. Always with hope,"


Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Last night Sophie Wei had been fussing uncontrollably so many times through out the night that we both agreed to take her dennis brown bar off!! We both felt that we all need to have sleep before the surgery and there has been too many days in a row with her having a ruff time at night. This is the first time we decided to do this since we have had it but her surgery is getting so close that we want her to be rested.

After we took it off she went to sleep and so far tonight she is doing good.