Monday, December 12, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day

We got news today that our letter of approval (for our homestudy) from Victoria is going to arrive tomorrow. So tomorrow I have to drive out to the agency to pick up our entire dossier and then go to the UPS store to ship it overnight to Toronto. To say the least, I am nervous. Anytime I handle the dossier I feel nervous. What if I dropped it? What if it got wet? What if the plane it goes on to Toronto crashes? Yes, silly concerns when you consider how big God is but when you have poured so much love and work into that stack of papers you just can't stand the thought of something causing any delays.
Anyways, would you please all pray that our dossier arrives in country by the end of the month? It takes that long because it has to be notarized, authenticated, and legalized. Thank goodness that our agency in Toronto is going to drive it to all of those locations themselves and not use any couriers. Less chance for problems!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prosthetic Arms

I am in no way an expert on this topic but I wanted to share what we know so far. Being born without arms is a condition called bilateral upper limb amelias. According to the Dr. we are in contact with, Ivan most likely also has proximal femoral focal deficiency. What this means is that his right leg is short and lacks a knee cap. If this is his diagnosis he would have abnormalities in his hip and pelvis as well. 

The point of all this is to say that he most likely is not a candidate for arm prostheses. Unless of course the technology advances which I am sure it will. Here are some reasons why it is difficult for people with bilateral amelia to use prostheses.

"The technical difficulties in dealing with bilateral upper amelia are tremendous 3,6,7,10 . A few of the major problems are 1) lack of movement to power the prosthesis, necessitating either external power or severe body contortions to create movement, 2) the absence of switch-activating sites for externally powered prostheses, 3) the lack of bony and soft-tissue anchors to hold the prosthesis in place, 4) the nearly total lack of sensory feedback to the patient, and 5) the need for complicated harnessing and power systems beyond the level of understanding of the young patient with amelia."

There are many types of treatments available for improving the function in his right leg but what option would be right for him would not be known without an evaluation at Children's Hospital if he was to come to Canada.

That is all we know for now.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We are getting SO close!

Thank-you to all who contributed to Ivan's grant fund!

On Monday we went to the States to get our blood test and by Tuesday morning we had the results already. Now that is fast! Jason's fingerprints came in the mail today so I hope that means that mine will come tomorrow. Then we see our Dr. on Monday and hand in our papers to our agency on Tuesday at 10 am. By Thursday the papers should be safely on an airplane making their way to Ontario. There they will be checked by our other agency who will help facilitate the adoption in country. Then the papers will be translated and sent to Eastern Europe. Hopefully once the government opens from their Christmas break our papers will be at the top of their list! Hopefully they will allow us to come and meet him.

When I woke up and realized it was December I was so happy because I felt like we were just that much closer to getting Ivan home. At the same time I felt sad that he would not be here for Christmas. We have a stocking for him and he is surely going to be getting lots of presents even though he is not here. Just today I received gifts for him from some friends. Everybody can not wait to meet him!!!

We are busying ourselves with learning all that we can about children without limbs. We want to know everything there is to know. We want to be his advocates and provide him with every opportunity.  We've made contact with the head of orthopedics at BC Children's Hospital and they are ready to take him as a patient should he come to Canada. We ares so lucky to have the Children's Hospital so close to us. Ivan is not "sick" but he may need some surgical intervention for his right leg if it could improve the function of his foot. They say he may not be a candidate for prosthesis but it is not a for sure thing. There is a lot that can be provided to help him achieve a high level of independence.

We can't wait for Ivan to be home!  Jason would get 6 months of paid leave from work! Yes, I did say paid!!!  That is the biggest blessing when you are trying to bond as a family.

Once our dossier is successfully handed over to our agency we will put up our Christmas tree to celebrate. Not until then. We cannot celebrate until we know we have done everything we need to do to get Ivan home.

Thank-you so much for following along on this journey!