Thursday, February 18, 2010

Diving into NR, head first...hoping the water below is warm!

First and foremost, I'd like to thank all the comments below and all the private emails of those that suffer and still do from high anxiety and repeated stories of heartache. I put it out there because I'm real. It's what we deal with in life and through struggle comes beauty. Your stories were of great help to me to know that we're not alone and I deeply appreciate your words of encouragement.
So to give an Eme update, she's doing spectacular. If you were on the outside looking in, you'd say she's completely attached, bonded and happy. & had she not had that meltdown, I would have assumed that we were doing that great as well. I know we have our issues to work on, and she has really given 'us' a chance to reconnect this week. She has spent time everyday in the pouch and we have played lots of one on one eye contact games with lots of giggles and hugs. She is truly amazing.
So this brings me to our next challenge, NR.
We had her evaluation done last week in Orland0. & though we sort of knew what to expect and the issues that we believed Eme was facing, we were still blown away with all things neurological that helped us connect the dots with other issues. I'm so thankful that Alison has shared her knowledge with me, it gave us a chance to jump start Eme instead of waiting for all those things to be confirmed for us later in life. So many things take place between age 0 months to 12 months that make up the neurological system and when a child is placed in multiple sitting up positions (walkers, bouncy chairs, jumpers, strollers, high chairs, bumbo's, etc) the brain does not have a chance to develop properly. Babies need tummy time and lots of it. It helps to develop eyes, tracking, horizontal and vertical eye movement, cross pattern abilities. Crawling helps to align the body, align the ankles and helps give you the arch in your foot. I could go on and on, but these are the immediate issues that we see with our girl, so that is where we will start. After our 3 hour comprehensive exam, we came home with our marching orders
Eme has work to catch up on in the Pons and Midbrain level & some fun vestibular stimulation stuff.
These are the places where we see her clumsiness, her fear of the park, playground & swings, her inability to use the right and left side of her body, the inability to know her body in relation to space, her vertical and horizontal eye tracking, bad perception of cold, pain and hunger, her inability to all things with a cross pattern, & her prehensile grasp. Had we waited, I'm sure we would have seen some issues in the cortex section of her brain.
Exciting stuff eh?
This weekend we will spend lots of good quality bonding time and Daddy has his work cut out for him with a nice purdy crawling track that needs to be built. Eme needs work on creeping & crawling to help strengthen those things. We are really going back on some issues that should have been taken care of when she was 0-6mo, 6-9mo, 9-12mo & 12-15mo. I would highly suggest an eval for anyone that has adopted from China or any other country that doesn't give babies tummy time and is known for placing babies in upright positions a majority of time &/or
has been in an orphanage/foster care. There's just really no way to know the life that was lived before you arrived on the seen. It's really fascinating stuff.
I'm captivated by it all and I can't wait to watch her grow & change. And while we're having all sorts of pain in the arse fun crawling around on our tile floor, I hope we can see Eme work her magic and tackle some of these issues that will make her life a tad bit easier in the long run.
Gawww, I adore her.


Diana said...

I think this is the same thing you are talking about..check out this blog if you have not already..I think it is Dec 9th,2009.

t~ said...

Thanks for the link Diana! It is exactly what we are dealing with, except she worded it much more eloquently.

We are using a NR clinic out of Seattle that travels around the country and makes their way to Orlando every 3/4 months.

Anonymous said...

Is your daughter also possibly having the start of the "two's" stage, maybe that's partly it too. I find the one thing that we do in adoption which is good, is we try to make sure that our child is well-attached and secure but sometimes we forget a little bit that there are also issues of "normal" or "regular" child development and the "two's" stage is one of them. (I hate calling it the "terrible two's", because no child is "terrible", and two can be a great age, just like all the other ages!)
I would do everything you're doing, but also consider the stages of "normal" child development as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being so honest and open as well as educating and sharing your stories that can help others too. Looking forward to hearing updates on the progress and improvements. Hugs to your beautiful family!

A Beautiful Mess said...

Glad you got the info you have been looking for!

I spoke with an OT last week after linking her to the seatle people and much of what an OT does is very much the same.
I would recommend that if a family wasn't going the NR route to have a sensory profile completed.

3 Peanuts said...


You are the Mommy of the YEAR! I love how you go to the ends of the earth to help your kiddos...I try too also. We traveled to Austin this week to seek help for HArry in fact.

I find this stuff fascinating too. Ironically, Will, my oldest is the one that had all the NR problems in our family. We did years of therapy with him and he was on his tummy a lot.

Kate Ironically, did not have these issues. I only say that because some of this might be due to the lack of tummy time but is also could just be the way God made her. We are all wired so differently.

I always tell my kiddos the scripture that they are "fearfully and wonderfully made" just as God intended them to be.

Again, I love how you are meeting Eme's needs with such passion!!!!

dawn said...

I was wondering if your agency prepped you with all this info before you left. We had a mandatory meeting with a SW through our agency before we travelled and were given so much info. Also they suggested 6 weeks of what we called house arrest once we got home which we did. I wonder how many agencies suggest all of this stuff and how many just ignore it. Hope you don't mind me being nosey and you don't have to mention your agency.

t~ said...

Anon, Eme's physical issues that we face are not related to her age. The 2/16 post about her meltdown was strictly related to our weekend away and her inability to deal with the stress, anxiety and fears. We know what normal 2 year old behavior is and there was nothing normal about her rage, though I understand what you are saying, but to ignore her cries for help and brush it off as typical 2 yr old behavior would be nothing short of ignorant and abusive. Though I relate to what you are saying because I used to get very angry at the psychiatrist that would label all my foster kids with emotional issues when so much of it was just normal kids growing up.

Mare, much of what NR does is OT related. A huge part of her plan is sensory related OT activities, but NR also tackles the issues that cause many of the physical issues that OT does not. By pursuing NR, we are correcting it at the midbrain level, not just the physical level.

Dawn, As wonderful as our agency was, they did not prep us with any knowledge. Luckily, I had plenty of time in the wait to read all sorts of books and watch others through blogs and real life go through the process. A 6 week house arrest should be mandatory=0) I know Eme wasn't ready to handle life for the first 3 months of being home. We gotta give these little hearts time to adapt, adjust and overcome without throwing in more change. Kuddos for your SW for helping to educate those before they adopt.

~ Alison n' Mali~ said...

Wouldn't it be nice if agencies better prepared parents? Geez. I really thought I was prepared.

& I think that if you've ever parented a child that's been sorely neglected/abused or had any type of trauma in their past - most normal child development comparisons go right out the window. Although Mali exhibited many age appropriate behaviors, her underlying motivation was different from other 'normal' kiddos. For instance, her becoming aggressive with another child in PreSchool (which does happen with all kids) was normally the result of her lack of empathy, cause/effect reasoning skills, and a good signal that she was probably completely emotionally overwhelmed. In these cases, she didn't need a time out. She needed Mom to pick her up to help her self-regulate.

& when M would try to be "in charge" or demanding, it wasn't just her cute little personality or her attempts at being independent, or average child bossiness. For M, it was her attempting to be in control of everything - b/c that's what she learned was necessary for survival as a wee one. Many behaviors hide under the mask of normal child development.

& when these behaviors were exhibited, Mali needed them addressed immediately - in different ways than most 'normal' children would be dealt with - or she'd continue to unravel emotionally. She needed constant redirection, & constant reassurance - both verbally & physically. & most/all of it had to come from me.

In my humble opinion, it's best to deal with everything as if it is an 'orphanage behavior' - just to be safe. & if it's not orphanage behavior, no harm done. I think one of the biggest mistakes parents can make is to assume that issues will fade or that kids will 'grow out of' them. If not dealt with properly, they get much, much worse.

We're currently in year 3 of the terrible 2's =)

P.S. - Welcome to the NR club, where the hours are long, the fun is never-ending, we wear out the knees in all of our outfits, & the drinks are served strong.

Colleen said...

We need to chat.