Friday, May 25, 2012
We've Come a Long Way, Baby
I am looking forward to the break in schedule as I feel as though we are running behind this year and I am not certain why that is because I have been given the gift of an extra month. I guess its true that if you are given more, you will fill it.
I do have a lot to share with you this time so this could get a little long. First, we finally got into physical therapy (PT.) The evaluation was on Monday and her first therapy was Wed. I could have cried it went so well. The PT could not believe how strong she is. Her left side was only a 4+ while her right side was a 5. That is really not much of a difference. When she first came from China the left side was a 2-. We have come a long way, baby! Her therapist did not like how she was walking so began to stretch her to find out why she is so tight. We were able to put our finger on the issue and now I am a full time therapist. I massage her tendon that runs underneath her foot 3 times a day. It hurts her greatly but I see a difference after a full day of doing it. She was carrying so much swelling on that side and the PT explained why. When her surgery was done, the scar tissue cut off the 'dump station' behind her ankle so her foot does not naturally move the waste fluids out. This can be rectified by massaging the back of the ankle and then deep tissue massaging the ankle, foot and underside. It is working! I wish I would have thought of doing that earlier. It is hard to believe that I missed it with all of my time spent on making this work.
Jacie still struggles with the confidence for walking. She is scared that she is weak though the eval showed that she wasn't. In her defense, her knee conformation is different now and she is not sure how to use it. This will come with time and hard work. You know how much she loves hard work...
Bart said, "Should we bribe her?"
I replied, "Yup."
Hey, I'm not above bribery. She has had to relearn how to walk 2 times in 13 months...
So she is working toward a certain toy that she desires. If she hits her goal, she should be walking without any form of assistance within the next three weeks. I'll bet she'll do it because she really wants this particular item.
The other monumental news is that Wednesday Jacie came into the kitchen and said, "Mom, I remember my China Ma's phone number."
Yeah, just like that. I couldn't believe it. I have been trying to pick her brain for the almost 2 years she has been here for any information she could give. Names, places, numbers. Nothing. Ever.
She said the number to our exchange student in Chinese. I have NEVER heard her say anything in Chinese and she gave the whole number. Ying was amazed because she said that the way Jacie gave it was correct for the way that the Chinese set up their phone numbers. Later that night, Ying called the number. It was Jacie's foster mom, China Ma (as we call her.)
Of course, China Ma only speaks Mandarin so the only one who could talk was Ying. She said that China Ma was very emotional and cried a lot. Then China Ma had Ying call the daughter. The daughter was also very emotional. Jacie did recognize the daughter (she saw her on Skype) but did not want to talk to her. Bart and I spent a lot of time reassuring Jacie that this did not change anything but we were just letting China Ma know that she was okay. Jacie seems okay but does not desire to communicate with them. They are all traveling to the daughter's house to Skype on Saturday night. They might be disappointed by Jacie's lack of interest but at least they can 'meet' us and see that she is well.
Here is her story. It is so different from the one that Beijing gave us. I am not certain why...? According to the sister, Jacie was in a village orphanage when China Ma found her. I am not sure why she was 'looking' for a baby. I want to ask that. Anyway, she found Jacie at 3 months old. She was 4 kilograms (8.81 lbs.) The workers said that she was dying. They had given up on her. China Ma took her home and bought powdered milk (which is big because it doesn't sound like there is very much money in the home.) She dripped milk into Jacie's mouth and Jacie threw it every time. China Ma wiped her up and did it again. 24/7. Jacie eventually grew stronger. At that point, Jacie had not had surgery. Her feet were flipped up on her legs. They saved up the money and paid for her first surgery. WOW! That was at the age of 5 and 1/2. By 6 and 1/2 the Chinese government came in and took her from them. They had not been able to legally adopt her... I do not know why except to say that things are different in China.
The sister said that they tracked Jacie to the orphanage that she was in and tried to visit her. They would not let them see her. They brought her snacks and clothes. Jacie never saw any of it. They tried several times but never were allowed access to her. The last visit they were told that Jacie had been adopted by Americans. Obviously, they did not give them our information. The family was devastated.
I have to admit, this has been a little overwhelming for me. I am not worried about Jacie and I's relationship- it just makes it feel a little dirty. I know that we did not take Jacie from them. Deep in their hearts, I think that they know it too but wow... the pain that they must have felt has left me with an ache in my heart. I did have Ying stress to them that we found Jacie on a national database listing. We were not in the picture when Jacie was removed from their care. I suppose I felt as though if they knew that they could deal with us a little easier. All shots in the dark. I am not qualified for any of this. Really.
That is my pity party. Now I go on record saying that God's hand is all over this. First, China Ma said that two days prior, she had a dream about Jacie. AND Jacie randomly remembers her phone number almost 3 and 1/2 years after being removed. Coincidence? No way.
I am still processing the latest part of this journey. I can say with great certainty that I am blessed to be where I am but I have to admit the waters are a little more murky than they were before. Thanks for your continued prayers. We covet them.