Saturday, November 14, 2009

Transformation # 2

Well, figured I'd continue on w/ the kids' transformations.  I spoke of Alyona last time and now will talk about our youngest...Nik.  I have so much to say about this one.  So much.  I can not wait to share it all with you.  Now that you know the story of Alyona, I will talk about Nik.  We originally went into this adoption journey for one more child, Alyona.  Got approval for 2 however, just in case they found us a "little one."  Always dreamed of having a baby.  Always.  Well, we were to travel in October but in September I got a call from the agency saying they needed to place a 3yo boy(ready to turn 4yo in October) immediately or he'd be sent to an institution.  Would I be interested in seeing a picture?  Sure, send it on over.  My email back stated " I don't care what's wrong with him, he is our son!"  Got his medicals later that said he was mute due to trauma.  Fine, we can handle that.  Flew the next month to meet these two.  Nik was just as I pictured him except much, much smaller.  Wore size 18 mo clothes.  It was nuts.  And developmentally, he was 18 months old or less!  Warren looked at me and said  well, you wanted a baby, you got one.  I admittedly was indeed nervous.  Would he catch up?  Would he be able to do anything on his own?  Would he be loved by his siblings for his differences?  All these questions.  After awhile though, I started to observe more.  Thinking to myself, is this kid deaf?  No, they tell me he can hear.  LOL.  Tell you why I'm laughing later. Long story short, went home from trip one, came back & brought them home.  We learned quickly in the hotel room that Nik was going to be a quick learner. 

At home, we had many, many medical appointments.  I am deifnitely going to abbreviate for the time being as going through the entire diagnosis and such would take about 2 days in writing.  Not kidding or exaggerating about that.  Anyhow, we learned Nik was Deaf due to Auditory Neuropathy.  Not your typical deafness for sure.  What shocked us more than that was Nik's eyes.  In the beginning  we were told Nik most likely had Ushers Syndrome.  Deaf/ blind.  Ironically, when we filled out our adoption papers, two of the ONLY things we said we couldn't handle would be a deaf or blind child.  Here we were, getting both at once, totally unexpectedly with our new son.  We were heartbroken, angry, disappointed all at the same time.  I know that sounds awful but being honest here.  After much thought, we said this is our son, we love him to pieces and we can get through this together.  And, we have.  Nik has done astonishingly well.  Passing everyone's expectations.  This little boy has an academic gift like no other I've seen.  He is smart as a whip, eager to learn, creative, motivated and just plain cute.  Nik has a cochlear implant now on his right ear which helps him to hear.  His receptive language has exploded.  However, his expressive still is and probably always will be lagging behind.  So we all made the conscience decision to use ASL.  He is signing like crazy, has an interpreter at school, has friends, & people love him to pieces.  His behavior is excellent(outside the home of course!).  We could not have asked for a better outcome.  Many thought he would not be able to do a thing being deaf-blind.  NOT true.  Our eyes were truly opened with Nik being in our family.  We have met so many amazing deaf people since he came into our lives and have realized Nik easily fits into this family and will definitely reach his fullest potential.  At the orphanage, he would have been dead by now or at best, tied down to a crib daily.  Now, he's trying to learn to read, he's tying his shoes, artistically inclined, knows his entire alphabet, and the list goes on.  I can only imagine what the future holds for our dear Nik.  I will admit, this kid is spoiled rotten b/c everyone loves him too much.  That is his one major flaw.  We'll take it.  He shares, plays with the kids next door okay & is in regular classes.  Sometimes, God takes us to "uncomfortable" places for a reason.  Had we known he was deaf-blind, we would have never taken his referral.  Can you imagine what we would have missed out on?!  Thank God for unanswered prayers for sure.  Nik is our cuddlebug.  He comes down on the weekends & crawls in bed w/ Warren & I to cuddle before going on w/ his day.  Nik does almost everything on his own.  He is Mr. Independence.  Nik will not leave for the bus until he has given me at least two kisses and a hug every morning.  Nik loves to swing, swim and jump on the trampoline.  He loves anything scary.  He loves to tease his siblings when he gets a chance.  He is a mommy's boy through and through.  I don't mind not one single bit.  This lump, lifeless, deaf, underweight little boy was rotting away at an orphanage waiting for his chance at life at transformation.  We were the lucky ones to give him that chance.  It was the best chance we ever took!  It was a total leap of faith.  I knew nothing about deaf children or where to even start.  We started somewhere though and it worked.  It is as though he always belonged with us.  I have no doubt Nik will live on his own, go to college and have a career.  No doubt.  It would have been ashame to throw this much talent away.  So many other children sit there waiting for someone to take a chance on them.  Take that leap of faith.  There is no turning back nor would we ever want to change the course of fate.  I truly believe there was a higher reason that Nik came into our lives.  He opened us up to more disabilities and that people can accomplish so many things despite those disabilities.  I am ashamed to say I didn't feel that way before I met him even w/ a son at home that also had disabilities.  This was a whole other level for me and I am thankful for this opportunity and experience I have had parenting Nik.  I would not trade it for the world.  Well, maybe all the stupid screaming that comes in the beginning.  Phew, those days were rough.  Worth it in the end though.  Just want to say there is no doubt I love this little boy and can hardly wait to see him transform into an amazing young man.  Okay, so I can really wait.  LOL.  In the meantime, here are some transformations from him at the orphanage to now. 

Nik had just turned four years old in the picture above.  Only weighed 21 lbs. I believe.  Wore size 18 months clothes and they were a bit big on him.  Look at the size of my hand compared to his body. 

Not much pleasant areas around the orphanage for sure.  This is Nik & I on our last day from our first trip visit when we met the kids.  He was w/ his group, saw us pull up and ran to us!  I knew then, this kid was going to be okay.  I was hooked. 

Got to love the pink tights they put on him--LOL.  Not a smile in site.  Common in an orphanage setting.  Not much energy or light in his eyes.  That blank orphanage stare we see in all of them.  It disappates soon after being home and being loved. 

This is a recent one of Nik.  He's doing archery of all things!  He definitely has a light in his eyes now & is ready for anything that comes his way.  He has found his forever family here.  We are so proud of Nik and how far he has come in life.  The transformation of this one is nothing short of a miracle.  To think he was considered retarded and just a throw away in Russia.  Not here, not ever, no how no way.  We love you Nik Nak!  And to leave you with one of my favorite pictures:

Reason this is my favorite...the flowers are for me!  He picked all the daffodils in our yard and said they were for me.  They looked beautiful on the table.  He is that considerate.  How lucky an a mom be?!  Yep, I see no blank stare here, do you?  Tell you of more transformations this coming week.  Hope you are enjoying them. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi!... I have to tell you that right now, I can´t hold my tears no more!... This little cute is amazing!!!... I´ve arrived here -to your blog- from Deaf Adoption group; and I read your kids transformations and they are all amazing ones; but this one touched me so much!... My wife and me would like to adopt a kid ...and I would like a deaf-kid! and I hope he´ll be as special and cute as yours!!!... Thanks for share your -and his- story with us!!!... Regards & God bless your beautiful family!!!... Emmanuel from Argentina. (emmanueldec from Deafadoption).