Monday, May 20, 2013

Drew's surgery

When we received Drew's referral, we were told that he had an issue with his left leg.  We were able to see medical reports and talk to an English speaking doctor who had examined him. 

Shortly after he was born, he developed a staph infection in his left knee.  The infection was treated properly in a hospital, but it left the growth area weak.  As he grew, the ligaments did not keep the lower bones lined up properly so they rotated and caused his leg to be bowed.  The doctors said it would be a simple procedure to correct the leg.  Luckily, the bones were straight though.  In June, after we came home, I took Drew to a local doctor who referred us to Scottish Rite in Dallas. 
Drew was accepted as a patient and his surgery was scheduled for January 8th.  I wanted to avoid the holidays since he would be in a wheelchair after the surgery.  The surgery would involve cutting the 2 lower bones and inserting rods that would hold the leg straight and afterward, he would need to wear a full leg cast from his hip to his toes.  He would not be able to put any weight on it for 6 weeks.

While he never seemed to be in pain nor did he ever complain, the doctors told us that it needed to be fixed before his knee cap hardened into bone or it would be inoperable.  He would have had hip, knee and ankle problems for the rest of his life.

Drew did wonderfully during surgery - there were so many unknowns when the nurses were asking me questions!  The doctor was very pleased with the procedure.  Drew never complained during the next 6 weeks.  He still went to school and since it was winter he didn't miss much outdoor time. 

We had the cast removed on February 19 and hoped that would be the end of it!  But the doctor said it was still a "soft heal" so he put Drew in a short cast and gave us a walking boot so he could start putting weight on it.  He had to wear the short cast for 4 more weeks.  Because there were pins in his leg while he had on the full leg cast, Drew had to be put out when they took off the long cast.  During this time, the doctor injected a dye into his knee to view the cartilege in an XRay.  The dr said that the cartilege looked better than he had hoped and was very pleased.

Finally!  On March 22nd (which is actually the 1 year anniversary of us leaving Hungary) I took Drew to have the short cast removed.  He was so excited!

Drew's leg is much better.  He will probably need another surgery when he's done growing and there's a chance that he might need limb lengthening surgery as well.  The growth area in the knee was damaged and there's nothing that can be done about that and so there are still some unknowns about his lower leg.  However, he has the best doctors available and will have 2 checkups every year.

Based on the creases in the backs of his knees, you can see that his left leg is shorter than the right.  If it's a small enough difference, he might wear shoe inserts or if it's too much, he might need the limb lengthening surgery.  Only time will tell!

Finally updating!

Finally updating and like most people, I can't believe how quickly time has passed.  We are 2 weeks away from school being out - how is that possible!

All the boys are doing really well!  Gus has changed so much this year.  He ran track in the spring. 

He ran distance and hurdles.  Because his school is small and he's in 6th grade, he usually ran against 6th and 7th graders.  At the District meet, he ran against 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
Drew and Sam continue to make us smile and laugh. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Funny things

I enjoy the boys conversations and words that they can't say quite right yet.

Drew saw me packing his bag for our trip tomorrow and he went right over to Sam and said "Sam, I'm going on trip.  You gonna miss me?"  So sweet!

packpack = backpack

lellow = yellow

Where you are?

The boys have started playing hide n seek with each other.  It goes better than when Aaron tried to teach them a year ago, but Sam just can't wait quietly.  As soon as Drew finishes counting, he yells "Where you are?" and Sam yells back "Come find me!"  Drew goes straight to where Sam is hiding.  Sam then proceeds to accuse me of telling Drew where he was hiding.

The other game they like to play is the Quiet game and I'm all over this!  They will talk 90 mph and then one of them will say "Let's play the quiet game.  Starting now."  They are actually pretty good at this game, and surprisingly, Sam wins the majority of the time.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

One year ago

One year ago, we were given custody of the boys and went to pick them up for the last time from the foster home.

One year ago

What a difference a year makes!  It hasn't always been easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is right?  We love these boys so much!


We continue to teach the boys good manners.  They are pretty good at saying Yes m'am/sir, no m'am/sir, please, thank you, God bless you, etc.  They have taken this to the point of saying "Mom (or Dad) thank you for cooking this" when we sit down to eat.  They also say this to friends so I know they are getting the message.

They are also learning to encourage others.  Today, Sam said to me "Mom, you did a good job cleaning your room."

The boys are doing really well in school. We had a conference with Drew's teacher and she said that he is right in the middle of the other kids who will go into kindergarten next year.  This is really an accomplishment since he's only been in America for less than a year. 

Sam is learning to play baseball.  He gets really excited about it, but sometimes forgets that it's baseball and he'll say football or basketball.


Finally updating after 3 months away.  I'm blaming the holidays and life flying by for not keeping up with my posts.  I'll try to go in order.

School Christmas play - even though the boys are in different classes, Sam was seated behind Drew.  Drew's teacher told me that it wasn't planned.


Drew frosting his own cookie at school party


Sam opening a gift in his class

The boys decorating a gingerbread train


Sam meeting Santa Claus - also called Ho Ho. 

Sam was so excited when Santa Claus came to grandma's house.  He wanted to be the first one to sit on his lap.  He was not shy at all.

Drew meeting Santa Claus
Drew was very shy around Santa.  He held onto my leg when he first saw him.  Drew was the last one to sit on Santa's lap.

Christmas morning
The boys didn't know what to expect!  They slept in until 8:30 and only woke up because we let Gus wake them up.  I hadn't put any presents around the tree and they were so excited to see the stockings and presents.  I'm sure next year will be a very different experience.

We all went to Midnight Mass at our church.  Gus was an altar server.  The boys were very well behaved and stayed awake the whole time.  It was our first time at Midnight Mass since the new church was built.  In previous years, we had gone to the earlier children's mass because Gus was in the choir.


My favorite present
Aaron and the boys had a big surprise for me.  Aaron had made this metal cross.  Gus told him to weld 'Jesus lives in Family' on it.  Then he welded flowers, vines, and all our names on it.  Lastly, they all painted it.  The little boys used their thumbs for the flowers and leaves, while Aaron and Gus did the more detailed work.  I cried like a baby!