We have now had our sweet baby for six months! Our agency in California said that they will be sending consent for us to finalize her adoption soon! We have sent our paper work to the adoption attorney. Each step gets us one step closer to finalization! Wahoo!
The following three pictures are of Joy in her swing, Joy doing her dreaded tummy time, and Joy in her jungle.
Today was our follow up appointment with the Pediatric Plastic Surgeon. We were visiting to see what to do about Joy's flat head. A lot of babies have a flat spot on the back on their head because of laying down on their backs. Joy's is from the middle of the back of her skull to her right ear. The left side of her skull is nicely rounded and the right side is at a 45 degree angle. In August her forehead was protruding on her right side. Today there is marked improvement with her forehead. It still sticks out a little, but not bad. What's bad is the back of her head. That is still the same. So the recommendation is for a helmet to round out her skull. The drawback to this wonderful device is it's cost. It's $4000 and it's considered cosmetic by insurance companies. So we should know by Monday if our insurance company will cover it or not. Sigh
Joy hates a couple of things - pacifiers being one, but tummy time being her ultimate dislike! Today during tummy time, she was so mad she rolled over! I rolled her back to her tummy, and she rolled over again! Miss Joy does not like her tummy time! :) But - SHE ROLLED OVER!! Yeah, Joy!
Our Joy continues to develop and grow so beautifully! She is smiling now all the time. These precious smiles fill our hearts with warmth and such wonderful love! She is the "Joy" we were looking for! How we love this sweet, sweet girl!
During this Holiday Season, I wanted to share this video a fellow adopter put together. Be forewarned - it's beautiful and made me cry.
I am thankful that Joy has brought such love to our family!
Joy has OT - occupational therapy to help her with her development. She works so hard. She is the best little baby! She needs "tummy time." She has to develop those neck and shoulder muscles. She has a problem (on top of everything else) where she leans her head to the right and holds her head at an angle. You can see it really well in the 3rd picture of the July Pictures below (the one with Becca). This could be a problem later on if we don't work hard to correct it now. Today I'm including pictures of her working with her therapist. Yeah Carolyn!
I have been trying to get a good picture of the five girls together. Here is the latest attempt:
And, happy days, Joy is starting to grin and coo! It just melts my heart. We are seeing some of her wonderful personality begin to emerge. We love you Joy!
Joy is now 1 month old and is the pride and 'joy' of the whole house. She is fairly content and does not cry much. Still feeding a couple of times throughout the night but we are all happy to have her here.
Joy is now at home and adjusting to life. She went to the doctor and got 4 referals to the pulmonologist, Down Syndrome clinic, Early Intervention specialists, and another ultrasound for her kidneys. She had her second PKU screening also.
After a whirlwind day, we received our ICPC, had Joy discharged from the hospital, checked out of the Ronald McDonald house, had an apnea monitor ordered and delivered (complicated by multiple states and insurance plans), meet with the biological mother again, returned the rental car, and boarded an airplane for Houston. An exhausting day! Our last day in the NICU!!
These are some of the nurses, the social worker, and one of the respiratory therapists at Glendale Memorial Hospital's NICU. They are wonderful people who love our little girl very much. We are truly in their debt!
When I learned we had our ICPC and could be released that very day, I did do a happy dance in the NICU - there were witnesses, I am ashamed to admit. :)
We flew with a 2 week old, brand new graduate of the NICU in a plane that was totally full - not a single empty seat. It was crowded and we are insane to expose her to all those germs, but we had to get home. Here is Joy at the airport.
Joy is now at home. She is the youngest of five sisters. She is a granddaughter of two sets of loving grandparents. She has many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Today she was introduced to some of the many family members that love her so very much! What a blessing! Our plane flight left LAX at 12:30 AM on Tuesday morning and arrived in Houston at 5:51 AM. This is Sammi and Lizzy greeting us at the front door bright and early Tuesday morning!
Meeting Grandma Ball, Uncle Nathan, Aunt Mandi, Aunt Cyndi, Uncle Jeremy, cousins Andrew and Jacob. She also meet Grandma and Grandpa Turpin who picked us up from the airport (thank you!) I think I was too tired to get pictures. She also meet Aunt Marissa and cousins Megan, Grace, and Aidan. Despite what it looks like, we are trying to "look, and not touch" - at least not much! :)
What do the big girls think of Miss Joy? Let's just put it this way, We have to divide every chore - you can wipe the baby, you can put the diaper rash ointment on the baby, you can fasten the left tab of the diaper, and you can fasten the right tab of the diaper. Every task of tending to a newborn must be divisble by four so that each girl can help Joy. I'm not kidding. There were tears because "she changed more diapers than I did" today. It probably won't last, but I am so glad that they all love their new baby sister. Here we are getting ready to change a diaper :)
Thank you everyone. Thanks for your prayers. We know we aren't anyone super wonderful or amazing. We are just a family trying to do what the Lord has asked us to do. The Lord truly has provided the way. Jason told me that more than anything he has been taught that when the Lord asks us to do something, He provides the way. We have seen it demonstrated in every aspect of this adoption. We appreciate your prayers so very much!!
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. (1 Nephi 3:7)
On to more pictures, better than my rambling any day... Jessi and Joy - Jessi loves that both of their names start with "J"
Becca with Joy and monitor
A tired Sammi and Joy
Happy Lizzy being "helped" - poor Joy
Becca learning to feed her sister
Just staring.......................We love you Joy!!!!!!!! A beautiful beginning for our family
Joy is almost ready to leave her warm and cozy NICU. They have removed her feeding tube. She is allowed to eat when she wants - provided that she eats every 3 to 4 hours and takes the required amount. :) Her diaper rash is healed. Have I mentioned that Joy is on Soy Formula? It smells nasty, but it's nicer to her tummy and bottom than the regular stuff. We are looking to be released tomorrow.
Jason and I are now staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Pasadena, CA. It is a wonderful place. Ronald McDonald House has entered into my top favorite charities. They do wonderful things for families.
Today's prayer request: Please pray for a SPEEDY ICPC!! We are ready to come home to Texas!
I have to acknowledge the many blessings and miracles we have seen and received with bringing sweet Joy into our family. Our Heavenly Father has been very kind to us. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. Hopefully soon, we'll be home and be able to post a complete family picture! :)
When we arrived at the hospital today, Joy had a beautiful red bow in her hair. She is so cute!
She was doing so well, that the nurse and doctor decided to allow her to try to nipple ALL her feeds!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And guess who stepped right up to the challenge? She ate so well. We are so proud of her! Next steps: continue to eat well, gain weight, pass a sleep test And then she can go HOME!!!!!!!!!!
We are still waiting for Texas clearance for the ICPC. Since they don't work weekends, it'll be Monday before we hear anything back from them. We are hoping that the ICPC and the release from the hospital will all happen about the same time.
Today we all signed documents that give us the custody of Miss Abigial Lili Joy Turpin. This has been an emotional roller coaster of a week. Last Wednesday we received a call about a baby that had been born. Today we signed all the papers to make her ours till we can finalize. Six months are required before she is totally 100% adopted. We should finalize her adoption around Christmas time. Yeah! Then we can bless her and seal her to our family. I know what I'm getting for Christmas this year! :)
Miss Joy is beautiful today. Here are some pictures and videos: