Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Aliyah update

WOW! Sorry everyone for not updating on Aliyah in a really long time. Things overall are going great and Aliyah seems to be adjusting well.

The good news is, that we finally have her ear infections under control. She had a tube placed in her left ear as well as it suctioned and cleaned in the operating room in September, and that combined with more antibiotics has so far done the trick! She has been antibiotic and ear infection free since early November.  She also has had a hearing aid since mid November and is hearing at almost normal level now--yaaahoooo! The funding for that was a HUGE answer to prayer as her hearing aid is not a covered insurance benefit and costs about $6000. We thought for sure we would have trouble getting her to keep her hearing aid on, but we don't. She loves it! She doesn't touch it and she even asks to have it on. We hope to have her hearing aid surgically implanted when she is a bit older- closer to 5. We have not talked much about reconstructive surgery for her ear, but we have a long time to think about that. That is not usually done until the teenage years.

Aliyah's first day with her hearing aid.

We have been working hard every week with 2 therapists, one for her hearing loss and one for speech. In October her language/speech skills were very low. She tested at the 0-2 month range. Meaning she had the skills of a 0-2 month old. We tested them again in mid December, one month after getting her hearing aid and she tested at 12-14 months! We knew she had made a TON of progress after she began to hear at almost normal level, but a years worth of progress in one month--amazing!

I have been struggling a bit parenting Dane and Aliyah. There are times where it is very hard to not compare or automatically assume Dane can do something because Aliyah can.  Although Dane is a year older he functions much younger than Aliyah and that has brought some challenges for me as a mom. I sometimes find it hard to balance Aliyah's needs as a new child and Dane's needs developmentally.

Aliyah is a very smart girl. Almost too smart. She continues to amaze us as she is such a sponge! Everything she sees or hears she absorbs. She catches on to things very quickly. All I have to do is show her something once and shes got it. She is a climber and gets into everything! She loves to know how things work and how they come apart. She is queen of throwing tantrums and knows exactly what she wants and doesn't. There is no telling her what to do and she takes absolutely no "guff" from her siblings! She is quite the firecracker! Despite her feisty side she does have a sweet side too. She loves to look pretty and loves hair bows. She is in love with every baby doll we own--You will usually see her toting one around. She LOVES to be hugged and carried. She still prefers her daddy, especially at night, but she has warmed up to me really well too. She adores her siblings, most of the time, and is liking the dog more and more. She is nothing like the quiet, clingy, lethargic girl that would not eat or drink, that we met in Ch*na. She runs and jabbers and eats everything you give her now. So thankful that she feels safe and comfortable enough to show us, a bit more everyday, of who she really is!

Aliyah and Dane- partners in crime!

Overall, she is doing really well. She is a great addition to our family and we are so blessed to have her home!

Our beautful children.

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"Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you... For I am the Lord your God..
~Isiah 43:1-3