Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our princess visited the Castle

The day finally came that I had been half dreading and half anticipating- Quinn's initial evaluation at the Spina Bifida clinic at the Sanford Childrens Hospital, or The Castle, as it is called.

Quinn in front of the statue and fountain at the Children's Hospital

Since we began the process for a special needs adoption, we had been researching the challenges of various disabilities so that we could be prepared by having the resources available for our new daughter, and also by being emotionally ready to handle the challenges that came with that disability.

Spina Bifida often scares people, but after raising a child that has physical AND developmental disabilities, low IQ plus autism thrown in for good measure, the challenges of a physical-only disability didn't seem as daunting to us. We knew there could be mobility issues and bowel and bladder functioning issues, but that most SB kids have normal intelligence and could function well as adults without alot of help from us.  As older adoptive parents, that was a concern and something we had to consider as well.

At the Castle, we met with various teams at the hospital, including urine and bowel management, orthopedic and mobility, nutrition and dietary, OT, PT, and speech therapy, and a coordinating doctor that specializes in special needs children, who orchestrates all of the necessary follow up and puts together the team's approach for what Quinn will need to have done. 

The doctors were all wonderful and so very impressed with Quinn! She was a rock star and more than impressed them all- they couldn't say enough wonderful things about her.  To think that she left in an orphanage less than 4 months ago, and was doing so well physically (gained 10 lbs and grew 2 inches in height) and emotionally really surprised them. They had expected her to be more withdrawn and not as friendly and receptive to them as she was.   And frankly, it surprises me almost every day!   Her ability with receptive language is already amazing- she tested in the 24-36 mo range when tested by the OT and speech therapists, stacked blocks, and picked out the correct shapes, colors, and pictures when asked. She even taught one of the doctors the sign for "more" when she used it to ask for more juice.

I'm guessing that if I was dropped in China for 4 months that my receptive language abilities for Chinese wouldn't be half this good.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that no less than 2 of the staff that we met with that day are now contemplating adopting from China after meeting Quinn.  I know that I spoke with the OT therapist for at least 15 minutes answering questions about the SN adoption program in China, and she said now that she has met Quinn, she's not afraid to do it!  Yah God for planning that meeting and yah Quinn for being so adorable!!

Waiting for our next team of doctors to arrive

I won't bore you with alot of medical details about the day, but the bottom line is that she is doing SO MUCH BETTER than we had expected, and for her sake, we are thrilled.

She will be having a urodynamics test, which tests the ability of the bladder to work correctly, and she will have an MRI later this month.  Then those results will be used when she travels to Mpls to have her surgery sometime this summer for her meningocele, which is the fatty lump on her lower spine.  This surgery is done with lasers and is very delicate, so as not to damage any of the spine or the nerves that function in that area.

"Done for the day- whew!"

And did I mention that she was a trooper all day?  Not one bit of fussing throughout the xrays, ultrasound,  poking and prodding, and being kept up WAY past her naptime. 

Yes, this girl is amazing.  But then it didn't take someone with a medical degree to tell us that :-) 

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