Thursday, January 29, 2009

Velopharyngeal sphincter reconstruction for VPI/VPD

We had our (I say "our" which is kind of funny, huh?!) nasal endoscopy yesterday (she was such a CHAMP!!!!!!). They found that VeeGee has an enlarged adenoidal pad, which actually works in her favor, strangely, because she is not closing the gap at all. Her soft palate is raising a bit, but the muscles to either side (I can't find the name for them anywhere) are not moving at all. SO, she is not going to be a good candidate for a pharyngeal flap because that would still leave gaps on either side of the flap. The SLP suggested a sphincteroplasty instead. Problem is, that would require removal of her adenoids, which are currently helping her.

I'm not finding much info on it at all. We're supposed to be meeting with the plastic surgeon again on Monday (ANOTHER 3 hour drive to Nashville) and I'm wondering if that's really going to be necessary since he's the flap guy and our other ENT/Otolaryngologist is the sphincteroplasty guy.

I hate the idea of another surgery, but, at the same time I do want to keep pushing ahead with the things that are going to increase her speech abilities. Also, I'm uncertain about our future insofar as jobs/insurance/location go and I'd really like to take care of as many things as I can as soon as is feasible/desirable in case we don't have access to these doctors and this hospital that we love so much in the future.

Okay, that was a total ramble . .

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sharing Mommyhood

I didn't exactly come to adoption expecting anything at all (it was an emergency kinship placement, of three weeks "gestation"), but my feelings about my place and my daughter's birthmother's place in her life have changed, and are changing, over time.

I was very angry at first and unwilling to share any bit of mommyhood. I totally think that that is normal. But, as I've grown into the role of mommy, I've begun to understand that my feelings about her birthmother are kind of unimportant insofar as what she actually is to my daughter. She is my daughter's first mother. That's a love it or leave it kind of issue - can't change it. And it used to just feel beyond crappy to not have that place reserved for myself. But, I now have an understanding that this is just a part of adoption that exists, whether that adoption is closed or open, domestic or international. The adopted child will always carry a piece of his/her birthmother with him/her and vice versa.

Now, does that make it a bad thing? No. It is what it is. My reality is that I have a daughter who LOVES me, adores me and whom I adore. I am Mommy. A real mommy. All the other stuff really just has started to fade. There may (probably will) be times when it will surface painfully again, but I'm trying to lay a foundation for myself and for VeeGee, and even with her birthmom, where we are comfortable talking about it and dealing with it.

The heart is an amazing thing. I'm findin an ability to be accepting of more openness than I'd ever dreamed possible. For me, this has been nothing short of a miracle, and I'm truly in awe of how being a mother has changed the way I see things.

Monday, January 12, 2009

On Being an Adoptive Mom

Notes to Potential Moms:

As time passes I find that I feel more and more confident in the permanence of my role as VeeGee's mother. And I find that I am more comfortable with her birthmother's permanent role, though that is an evolving relationships to be sure. But I can't tell you that it's easy looking into the future and believing that there will most likely be hurdles that just can't happen, for better or for worse, when the adoption is closed or international.

The thing is, I don't think that international, domestic, closed or open really changes the feelings that you as a mother are going to feel about your position in the "mother continuum" and the fragility of the bonds that hold you to your child. That is simply one of the aspects of adoption that makes me truly believe that counseling must be a component of the process. If you're worried about this as you're confronted with the possibility of an domestic-open adoption, I think that can be a good signal for you that you might have some of those sorts of feelings regardless of the nature of your adoption. And it's a good thing to be thinking about. Certainly, it's not a thing that would/should/could derail your plans, just another issue that you now have advance notice of.