Friday, February 3, 2017

Lots of Docs

Before we left for China, I scheduled all sorts of appointments for Johanna for when we got back, knowing that it's better to just knock those out early and be done with it. Here's a report on the ones we had this week!


Johanna weighs 30 pounds and 8 ounces, putting her at the 12% mark for weight. She's 40.5 inches tall, so at the 63% mark for height. Tall and skinny, as we suspected! The doctor said she looks great and had no concerns at all. She's going to be in touch with the International Adoption Clinic to figure out what bloodwork needs done and a good plan for immunizations. But no pokes for her yet!


As we already suspected, the bumps on Johanna's face are molluscum. It's a common viral skin condition in kids. Jonas had these on his chin area when he came home. They aren't dangerous or anything, and they would eventually go away on their own, but that can take up to a year or two. We're going to try to get that down to a few months by putting a prescription cream on them each night. She's got a big one on her forehead and a few on her nose and near her eyebrows. They aren't the prettiest things, so we're hoping they go away soon.

Child Find Assessment

This appointment was a bust. Their intake coordinator shouldn't have even let me schedule, as they basically wouldn't assess Johanna at this point. They said it's way too early to tell if she has any sort of learning disability or simply needs to catch up in learning a second language. We have to come back in a few months if we have concerns, although they might still be hesitant to say she needs a special education plan.

That makes sense, but I was kind of hoping this assessment would be similar to the Early Intervention assessment we had with Jonas. They were very willing to mark him as behind in language (duh!) and give us weekly visits from a speech therapist for free before he started preschool, which he now attends for free (and gets speech therapy there even though he's basically caught up!). I guess the services offered to kids under age three have a different source of funding, and kids ages three to five are being evaluated for a true learning disability (versus just being developmentally behind). Oh well, I guess we'll look into private speech therapy in the near future.

The one positive thing about this appointment was that they had a translator there who spoke Mandarin. She ended up playing with Johanna as I talked to the psychologist. It was interesting to see Johanna come out of her shell a bit and really start interacting with the lady. You could almost see the comfort on her face as she heard a language she understood. She slowly moved away from me a bit and listened to the lady's instructions about how to work the toy. Though Johanna never said anything, she did whatever the lady said in Mandarin (hold up the red key, put this animal inside that door, etc.). And whenever the psychologist or I would start paying attention to what Johanna was doing, she would basically shut down and not play anymore. Anyway, I think it was a good "brain break" for Johanna to hear some Mandarin!


This appointment was a big one. As I've mentioned before, every child adopted from China now has some sort of special need or needs. It can be something minor or more severe. Johanna's special need was her heart condition, a VSD. If you missed my blog entry about what that is, you can check it out here. On December 1, 2015 (when she was almost three), Johanna had her VSD repaired with a surgery in Beijing. Today's appointment was to see if her heart is looking good.

Children's Hospital did a full EKG and echocardiogram to check it out. And the great news is, her heart looks perfect! The cardiologist said the surgery was successful, everything looked good, and she basically has a normal heart. She should never need another surgery, she has absolutely no restrictions on activity, and we'll only have to do follow-ups every year or so to keep an eye on things. It was the best news possible-her "special need" is basically a non-need and we have a totally healthy little girl!

The other interesting thing is that the doctor said they normally don't do the type of repair she had done in the United States; it's more common in Asia. When I asked what they would have done here to repair it, she said it would have been open heart surgery! She said the type of repair Johanna had (through a catheter) can sometimes lead to heart block, though in her case it didn't. So I'm kind of happy she had the surgery done in China, as she has no scar at all!

Over the next few weeks, we've got plenty of other, speech assessment, ENT, hearing test, ophthalmologist, etc. But we have no concerns about our little girl's health at this point, and we feel very lucky that she's doing so well. Of course, that's her physical health. We're still working on the poor sweetie's emotional health at nighttime, but that's a whole different story!

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