Saturday, March 31, 2012

Q & A time (part II)

Gee, time's flying by lately.  I realized I never finished the last Q & A session.  Hmm, maybe that's why I don't do those too often.  So, time to get back to them.  Here's some more that came up:

1.  What is your family's favorite recipe that feeds your whole family?  They all love baked meatballs.  We do too.  Easy to make.  We use 5 lbs of hamburger meat though.  We serve it over rice.  
For the meatballs:

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. hamburger, 1 egg, 4 to 5 pieces of grated bread, salt & pepper, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.  Mix altogether and form into balls.  Kids love helping w/ this part.  They do this while I get the sauce ready.   

For the sauce:

1 Cup ketchup, 3/4 cup water, 1tsp. mustard, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. vinegar, 1 Tbsp plus Worcheshire sauce.  Mix together.  Pour over meatballs.  Top with onion slices and green pepper slices.  Bake at 350 for an hour.  

I always cover mine and then take it off about mid-way through.  Don't have to though.  Mine take about an hour and a half to cook b/c we triple this recipe to feed us all.  Kids love helping w/ the meal and eating it.  It's really good on a cold winter day w/ lots of flavor. 

2.  For the kids you brought home from Bulgaria, how did you introduce American food to them and when should you worry if they're not eating? Well, since we can't cook Bulgarian food, they get introduced as soon as we come home.  We don't do anything special to introduce our kids to new food.  It does take some longer than others though as it is so new to them.  All my EE kiddos though loved fruit, veggies and yogurt so that is always there when they first come home.  I never get too worried if they're not eating right the first week or two home.  My Russian kids were SUPER thin.  Alyona was 20 some pounds and was 7yo.  Very thin.  Boys were very small as well.  4yo and in 18 month clothing to give you an idea.  They all adjusted fairly quickly.  Shoot, in Sofia, Logan and Reni refused to eat Ramen Noodles.  Now, they want it.  Same w/ Nutella over there.  They still love salad and fruit which we eat everyday.  The first few days home, we leave a platter on the table full of tomatoes, cucumbers and the like.  It's there all day and replenished as needed.  This is to let them know that food is always here.  They do not have to worry about being hungry.  It helps prevent gorging which some orphanage kids do.  My Bulgarian kids did NOT do this.  They were fed at their orphanage.  My Russian kids though needed this concept.  Bojan was also well fed where he was so did not do it w/ him.  Kids need to know their basic nutritional needs are going to be met.  We did this simplistically.  Other than that though, we go on cooking like we usually do.  They all have favorites of course as any kid would. 

3.  What is a good food to stock up on for when I bring our little boy home?  Yogurt.  Seems to go over well w/ kids fresh out of orphanages. That, and all mine loved fresh veggies.  Now, youngest we ever adopted was 3yo.  So, if it is a younger child, may go with baby food. Keep things simple in the beginning. 

4.  What are the CPS references?  We are actually in the process of adopting and I heard horror stories from adoptive families w/ special needs kids about issues w/ CPS and was just curious about your story & what you're willing to share.   We were investigated by CPS last year.  Obviously, unfounded.  However, it turned our lives inside out and upside down.  It was like walking on eggshells.  Every single one of my kids' grades dropped that semester.  Every single one.  PTSD came to the forefront. Everyone was living on edge.  Memories of their past were rekindled after finally being buried for years.  Stuff NO kid should have to endure.  It was horrifying and I'm sorry but workers who are NOT familiar w/ RAD or FASD have no right in this business.  (my opinion).  After we were accused, we found out just how many other people have been accused as well.  It was unreal to me.  Many of these families had kids w/ special needs.  I was just stunned.  I'm getting ready to put the CPS posts all back up.  I had to take things down last year during our adoption.  Next few days, they'll be back up. 

5.  Could  you tell us how Irina is doing w/ her new job & being out of school?  Irina is doing AWESOME!  It was by far one of the best decisions we ever made with her.  She is working for a company that cleans out homes after they've been foreclosed.  So, Irina cleans houses, does office work and computer data entry work.  A variety of things and definitely more than what they were going to have her do at the school.  Her demeanor has changed as well.  Just positive all around.  She is being homeschooled.  Need to get her busy finishing that Junior paper.  Keeping w/ what they were doing since it was mid-year anyhow. 

6.  have you ever blogged about Alyona's arm and the surgery that messed it up? If so, where? If not, will you share?  I have blogged about her arm before but not sure where.  Give  you the short of it a bit.  A few years ago, Alyona had surgery on her right arm.  Both her arms are affected by radial articulation.  Supposed to be an easy surgery.  We even asked if it was safe given her delayed bone growth, failure to thrive, FAS, microcephaly, suspected dwarfism and the other long list that affects bones and healing.  Doc said yes, easy surgery.  Alright, Bojan and her had surgery the same day, one right after the other.  I had a gut feeling something was wrong.  Told the nurses there to check on her.  She said she's fine, I'm sure.  I said it's not supposed to take this long.  Shortly after that, doc came out and said her arm was not pinking up so he went back in there.  There was a nerve that had got caught on a piece of bone so he fixed that up and sewed her back up.   He said she'd be in more pain but that would be normal.  She was screaming.  I was running back and forth between her and Bojan.  Horrible.

Went home.  After a week, I called back the doc.  Was told to keep her moving her fingers.  I said she shouldn't be in this much pain.  Something's wrong.  They said, no it's normal. I kept calling back.  They kept reassuring me.  normal. Went in after a couple weeks to get their casts off.  When they cut hers open, I screamed "OMG!  You broke her arm!  How could you break her arm?!"  Nurse turned to radiologist in the hallway and sternly said "go get Dr. M right NOW!"  He came in, looked and said "hmm, it's not supposed to look like that is it?"

They x-rayed.  Told us to go home.  I kept saying you KNOW our home and the behavioral issues there.  You can NOT send us home w/ no protection for her.  He sent us over to OT/PT for a brace.  The poor lady knew this was wrong of him.  She was almost crying saying "I'm so sorry.  I'm so sorry."  Nothing we could do.  Nothing.  Told it would heal.  Now, went home and called our prosthetist.  He told me "Stephanie, you are no longer dealing w/ bone on bone.  This is metal on bone.  It pops through, she'll bleed to death."  I called everywhere.  No one would take her case.  No one.  Too much liability even though I said I'd sign anything.  I just wanted her arm fixed and not to be in pain.  I'll give you a glimpse of what it looked like.  No good pictures so a bit blurry. 

This is her right arm after the removal of the cast.  They would not recast it.  

The bump is the broken bone & the metal plates coming through.  Horrible.

 It's covered w/ some gauze and such.  Underneath it, there is a brownish part.  On top of everything else, it was infected.

 Her normal arm for comparison.

This was on top of that bump. It's the infection.  Now you can see what we were calling everywhere to get it fixed. 

Her arm was like this for awhile while we tried to locate help.  Well, she fell on the bus one day and I took her straight to the ER.  Told them to be prepared for what they'd see on that x-ray.  I peeked out the room and there was a circle of docs standing around the x-ray.  What I didn't know at the time, was they pulled the original doc out of the OR.  I'm not sure what transpired but I'm sure there was umm, a huge discussion on the series of our events.  I think the hospital realized at that point, they were the liable ones.  Was told we'd be contacted at home.  Shortly, the original doc that preformed the surgery called.  Said he wanted to do right by us, by Alyona and that the ortho group would pay for any care.  Our insurance pays for it ALL so not sure why this mattered.  To the doc, it was still about the money.  To us, it was about our little girl.  Surgeon called us on a Friday night and Monday morning, she was in the OR again.  It was fixed.  There is still permanent damage years later.  That's the short story version.  There were MANY things happening in between. 

this surgery at Duke was to take out the old plates.  Also, he excised the big scar she had.  Alyona will love that part.  Dr. Fitch at Duke is great. Knows his stuff and has fixed many mistakes from other surgeons before.  They even had a room reserved for Alyona in case she needed it.  However, she got to go home.  Now, she's only complaining of itching this go around.  Finally, normal.  Though, that arm will never ever be normal. 

I know there were more questions but honestly, I have totally forgotten them or misplaced them.  Feel free to ask more questions or send again.  It's just been so hectic here lately.  Much more to come as usual as there has been a bunch happening here the last few days. 

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is OH. MY. GOODNESS!! Poor girl! It aounds like that dr got chewed out for letting her go home like that. Sighs!