Thursday, May 7, 2009

Novokuznetsk Day 1 Afternoon

We left the orphanage around noon and went back to the hotel to sleep. It was the first real sleep we'd gotten in 31 hours. As we fell asleep we talked about the boys - how they were exactly what we expected.

We primarily discussed the medical information. We expected that there would be some developmental delays, both speech and motor skills. After talking with the doctor, and putting pieces together, here is what we know about the medical conditions of the boys.

Sam has some significant motor development delays of the right side of his body. We noticed this the second he walk into the room. He has a slight limp on the right side, and reached for things with his left hand. He uses the right hand, but it's not as strong. The doctor said that initially he did not use his right side, arm or leg, at all, but he has made vast improvements, and she expects that to continue.

The doctor said that Rowan has some motor development delays, but nothing significant that we could see by the end of the visit. He is walking well, and using both arms and hand equally and as expected. He does have some significant speech delays. He did not talk at any time during the visit.

Both boys were born with syphilis. The doctor said that when the boys were taken from their mother, they were taken to a special hospital to treat syphilis. Both boys have been treated. Syphilis is a bacteria that, if left untreated, can cause delays in development in children. While it is not know, our best guess is that the boys were not treated until they were taken from their home, which is probably why Sam has more significant delays that Rowan.

There were also some minor findings that are considered normal. Overall, all the medical conditions are treatable. Thankfully, I know a guy who happens to work at a children's hospital. The other thing we kept in mind is that these are the boys God picked just for us, and he knew their medical conditions before we did.

At 3:45, we headed back to the orphanage for the afternoon visit. This time Rowan didn't cry when he saw Steve. Steve spent most of this visit sitting with Rowan, getting him used to being around a man. They mostly sat by themselves and played with the bunny, the trucks and the balls. Eventually, Rowan allowed Steve to pick him up and hold him. Steve took him off to the side, away from all the hustle and bustle of the room. He said that immediately he was much more focused and less timid. Our theory is that Rowan is an overstimulated child. Often, children in orphanages experience so much that their little brains can't process it all, leading to over excited reactions, or shutdown reactions. When in all the chaos, Rowan shuts down. When by himself, he becames more able to function.

Sam continued to be his fun loving, active self. He went from playing with the balls, to playing with the bubbles, to reading books, to trying to climb all over me, to looking outside, to kicking the big balls, giving hugs throughout. At one point, he became suddenly fascinated by Steve's beard. He reached over and gently stroked the hair on his chin, and started laughing. He was please with his new find.

During one of the book reading sessions with Sam, I was drawn to the back of his head. While his hair looks black in the photos, it is actually black with quite a bit of red mixed throughout. Just over a year ago, when we decided we were going to adopt from Russia, I had a dream. In the dream, God clearly told me that the oldest boy would be named Samuel, that he would be 3 years old, and he would have red hair. In that moment, while holding my son, I realized that by the time Sam comes home, he will be 3, and he has read hair. One day, I'll write down all the "God things" that have happened throughout the adoption.

At one point in time, the "head caregiver" came in to play with the boys, and meet mom and dad. Sam understands Russian pretty well. He speaks Russian jabber really well, and has the basic words. The caregiver looked as Sam, and asked the equivalent of who is poppa. She pointed at Steve and said poppa, which ironically enough, is Russian for dad. After repeating this a couple times, Sam looked at Steve and said "poppa." I cried. Sam called Steve poppa. Whether or not he really understands the concept is a different matter. He called Steve poppa, and my heart melted. She also pointed at me and said momma to Sam. Sam repeated the word, but wasn't really looking at me when he said it. Such is life.

Soon after it was time to say goodbye for the evening. We would have a few more hours the next day with them.

We headed back to the hotel, and then out for the great Roman adventure...but I'll let Steve tell that story. More pictures in another post.


melanie said...

I'm just so happy for you guys!

Genny said...

Awwwwwww...I get teary eyed every time I read a new post. Sooooo awesome!!!