July 17, 2013

Growth Chart

We spent some time in the doctor's office today. Much more time than I would have preferred. But, we had to see her and she just happened to be on ER call and about 15 minutes before our appointment I heard ambulance sirens and thought, "oh great." Kind of a selfish thought, I know. If my kids had been with me I would have been reminded that we should pray for the person who needs the ambulance instead.

My instincts were right. We arrived on time but our doctor did not. No fault of her own, but still, an inconvenience. Thankfully, she has a very sweet nurse who helped us pass the time for a while.

And then the hand sanitizer entertained us for a long time. Meili's hands were very, very, sanitized. I'm not exactly pro-hand sanitizer, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Then we discovered a chalk board! How had I missed this? Meili doesn't know how to draw or color much yet, but she does know "dots" and "lines." So we drew lots of those.

Of course, no trip to the doctors office is complete without a few spins on the stool...

And I'm not sure what happened after that because at this point we had waited almost an hour and a half so Jon came to relieve me so I could get back to work. (Jon doesn't go everywhere with his camera, so hopefully you'll forgive me not-so-great iPhone pics)

One good thing did come from all that waiting, though. Each time we're in the office, I make an effort to have her weighed and measured the same way on the same scale so we can get an accurate picture of her growth. Obviously if you've met her, you know she's tiny. She came home from China extremely malnourished and was classified as "failure to thrive." At 33 months she was 20 pounds....not even on the standard growth charts used in the US.

TODAY, she weighed in at 24 pounds 14 ounces and is ON THE CHART! Don't get me wrong, I don't measure my children's physical well being by a point on a chart, but for Meili, this makes me happy. While it seems like 4 lbs 14 oz may not be that much, it's nearly 25% of her pre-USA weight, gained in the last 4.5 months. Keep in mind, she also runs around about 10 hours more per day than she used to. Putting weight on her has been a challenge, and I have to make an effort every day to make sure she's getting enough good quality fats and proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals. It can be difficult, especially since she's not used to being full. Sometimes she eats well, and sometimes she eats like a bird. So for today, the point on the chart feels like a small victory.

See that!? Three percent! Or maybe even slightly above. She's grown taller too, but she's been hovering around the 1-2% mark on the height chart since we came home. The weight just feels like an accomplishment.

The reason we were in the clinic today was for a pre-op checkup. Meili is scheduled to get tubes in her ears early next week. Several people have suggested we try alternative methods first and believe me, under most circumstances, I would all about the alternative methods. We really debated for a long time with this because we aren't the type to rush into any medical procedure or prescription, but it really comes down to her hearing. It appears she isn't hearing well because of fluid build-up and this is delaying her speech. We need to get this fixed ASAP so she can continue to learn english correctly and to communicate with us. Sign language has been helpful, and we plan to continue, but we just want to get her communicating as well as possible, as quickly as possible.

Tubes are an extremely common and simple surgery and we aren't worried about that at all. However, she will need to be under anesthesia and there's always a risk with that, especially for a child with a heart issue. We'd appreciate prayer for this procedure, but even more so, please pray that this will help clear up her hearing issues so that we will start to see some real progress in her language development.

We'll keep you posted!


  1. I will be praying for Meili and for you and Jon. I had tubes in my ears twice when I was little and they were extremely helpful. I can only imagine that they would be even more helpful in her case.

  2. Wonderful to hear of the steps of progress Meili is making. Good luck with the tube surgery and know my prayers are with you guys.