Since I am supposed to be doing many, many other things right now, I will try to keep this post short--but informative! Yesterday was a busy day around this household, with an important appointment and a very important phone call. Let's do this chronologically, I suppose.
I don't know if I've owned up to it in any posts, but last week I slipped up. I did something I haven't done since I was in junior high. That's right, I did it when I had braces on and I did it just over a week ago. I mixed up days on a doctor's appointment! Not just any appointment; the developmental pediatrician that I was so excited for Julia to go see at the Child Development Clinic that I am sure we will become very familiar with. So imagine my disappointment when I showed up last Thursday, with the whole family rushing in to make it to our check in desk on time...to be told that the appointment was yesterday. Nevertheless, we were able to quickly reschedule and that brings us back around to yesterday.
Yesterday was my redemption appointment. We showed up on time AND on the right day! The appointment went so incredibly smoothly. Both girls behaved very well and Julia only got nervous a couple of times and was easily comforted. We met with the pediatrician, a speech pathologist and a gal I think I remembered being identified as a...student or resident of some sort. (So many titles to keep up with in the medical field!) They were all fantastic! The pediatrician was very positive and both girls loved playing with the student.
There was nothing that was too shocking to us. The pediatrician pointed out some characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Julia, which was not surprising. I'll admit that when I learned about how Julia originally was taken to the hospital by the authorities in Ukraine because her mother was drunk, it had immediately aroused a suspicion in me. Sure enough, there are some signs of it there and with all FAS, some are more prominent than others. My favorite part of the visit came after the pediatrician talked about labeling it as FAS when she immediately began talking about how it's not just a label and we don't just take it as a 'sentence' for her life. We take it as a piece of who she is and we do our best to maximize her potential. *sigh* What a long shot from how the doctors in her life a year ago would have approached it.
We discussed her activity and behavior as of right now and the team agreed that she is functioning more like a two year old right now. (*Just a moment on my soap box, but as someone who was initially scared of getting an 'older' child at first, it is more the reality that these children will largely come to you as toddlers, regardless of their actual birth age. So don't be scared! :) Bigger kids are fun too!) She was very pleased with some of the problem solving tasks she could complete and the parallel play she was engaging in with the student. I loved seeing these kind of doctors because it's so interesting to me that things like both Julia and the student playing cars together and mimicking actions like drawing on a paper can reveal so much about their progress in life at that point!
We got our laundry list of specialists to check in with and luckily it was not that different that the one our pediatrician gave us too. We're also to talk to the school district about getting her in a group analysis with a bunch of their doctors to take a look at the therapies she will likely qualify for and starting an Individualized Education Plan once we feel ready.
After the doctor's appointment, I had to immediately rush off to a long shift at work. About two hours into my shift, I got a phone call. "We got it." I was under a PA speaker and couldn't tell for sure what or who I'd just heard. "I'm sorry. I couldn't hear so well. What was that?" I asked. "This is Robert. They accepted the offer. We got it!" I dropped everything and made a beeline for the office.
Yesterday, we'd looked at a very cute house that we liked a lot. It was in a good area, it was clean and had a cute little yard, including a covered patio and plenty of storage space. Even more important, it was more than 900 square feet! :) We liked it so much and the housing market is moving so quickly out here, that we decided to put in an offer. Call it the curiosity of a realtor's son or the fact that he's probably never lived in a house so small, but Robert has constantly watched the housing market around us for years. He's seen how fast the good ones go and we'd had house after house go off the market while we were discussing it or wanting to go see it. So we acted fast on this one. The owners acted even faster. Last night, we decided we did want to offer, his dad came over and we signed the paperwork. The next morning at 9 a.m., he faxed over the papers. By 5 p.m. or so, we'd gotten the response that they'd accepted--24 hours earlier than the deadline even!
All in all, it was a pretty hectic but great day. We added a couple pieces to Julia's puzzle and for the first time ever, got to say 'Merry Christmas! It's a house!'. Santa nailed it this year!