Hannah Claire Shi Lin

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blog Hackers

They've done it again!  If you've noticed some strange posts lately on my blog, they weren't from me.  I was just as surprised as you to discover posts about repairing credit, etc. this morning, when someone commented on one of the posts.  This is not the first time this has happened to me, and I immediately changed my login info.
Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.  It's been so long since I've posted, I've needed to do an update! So here goes...
Things are still going great!  We're homeschooling again, using the Charlotte Mason method, which I LOVE!  Hannah is at times speaking full sentences, and we're working on learning the alphabet and numbers. 
I started working from home again, this time as a representative with Miche, and am LOVING that as well, although it is a challenge to homeschool and work from home.  But I'm learning to balance it.
We saw a specialist about reconstructing Hannah's left ear a few months back, and have another appointment next month to discuss it further.  We're planning on scheduling her first surgery for January.  We were told it will be about an 8-month process, which is WAY shorter than what we had expected!  Once the reconstruction surgeries are over and Hannah's healed from them, then they can do the surgery/ies to open up her ear canal to hopefully restore normal hearing.  I can't express how much what these surgeries mean to me for my daughter.  Don't get me wrong, she lives a very normal life right now, with normal hearng in her right ear, but it's the little things that will change.  Her speech is being affected by her hearing, so that should improve when it is restored.  And things like being able to wear a pair of Disney Princess sunglasses is hard for Hannah, because her left ear is so little, it can barely hold them up. 

She's mostly not self-conscious about the appearance of her ear, but children do ask her about it, and try to touch the skin tag on her jaw, which is related to the microtia, and she gets upset when they do. And I've already thought about the day when she wants her ears pierced.  It would be difficult to pierce her left ear, and wearing earrings on it would only draw more attention to the fact that it’s different. 
Hannah is absolutely beautiful the way she is right now, but I know she would eventually deal with confidence issues related to her ear.  I hope I don’t sound like I have superficial and vanity concerns; I just want my daughter to live as normal a life as possible, and have the confidence it took me so long to find.  I believe this surgery will be such a blessing for Hannah.  I ask for your prayers in advance for her safety during the surgeries, and for the success of the surgeries, and for quick healing afterward.
That’s all for now!  Here’s to praying that no one else hacks into my blog!  It’s hard for me to believe people actually do things like that, but those unsolicited posts on my blog are proof.  God Bless those of you who faithfully follow this blog.  Until next time!

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Been a Year!

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted on here!  Things have been crazy for us since December, to say the least. We moved into a new house on January 15, then began remodeling our old house to rent it out.  Miles started a new school and Hannah continued in Mother’s Day Out, which she LOVED.  Chip was struggling with his job and desperately searched for months for a new one, which he did find, and will start in about a week and a half.  But before he found it, he was depressed and it affected all of us.  I also was still depressed, but miraculously came out of it, after about 10 months (thank you, God).  Yes, I am finally out of that dark time that began last year, and it is wonderful! My brother’s wife had their baby last Thursday, and are temporarily staying with us. They’re going to rent our old house from us after we’re done working on it.  So anyway, we have been busy, busy, busy!
We celebrated the one year anniversary of Gotcha Day in May.  It’s so hard to believe it’s been
a year already!  I was looking back the other day at some pictures of Hannah from last year, and she seemed so much smaller.  Her language is improving, but she’s going to need some speech therapy. We went to see a specialist for her microtia a few months ago, and will be going back in about 3 more months to get things started for her reconstruction surgery. 
Things are so much easier with Hannah after a year.  She is still very energetic and loud, but she’s
not quite as destructive, and she’s learning to be polite and respectful.  She loves Miles so much, and looks up to him.  She wants to do everything he does, and gets excited about things because he is. Right now, Miles is into Bey Blades, so I had to get Hannah one too.  They are getting along so well.
Hannah loves having my brother’s baby staying with us.  She asks to see her a lot, and to hold her.  She’s just fascinated by her.  Having that baby around has been bittersweet for me.  It brings feelings and thoughts to me that surround the fact that I didn’t get to have Hannah with me as a newborn, and that makes me sad.  I wonder what things were like for her when she was so little like my niece, realizing there probably wasn’t anyone to hold her and talk sweetly to her all day, and no one to take their time with her while she slowly drank a bottle while going in and out of sleep.  But it has also been good for me, almost like therapy.  I kept the baby with me for two nights to give my brother and his wife a break, and I ended up LOVING it!  It’s almost as if since I missed out on caring for Hannah as a newborn, I now have a chance to experience just a little bit of what it might have been like.  Sometimes when I was holding her, I imagined what Hannah would have looked like at that age. I know she was just as precious and sweet.  And I do take a little comfort in knowing that even if there was no one there to do all those things a mother does for her baby, God was there with my little girl, comforting and protecting her.  He had to have been there, because Hannah is so well-adjusted and loving and happy, in spite of her past.  I’m so thankful for that.
It has been a truly amazing year—full of sadness and despair, but also joy and thanksgiving, and life-changing in the best of ways.  I am so thankful God chose me for this adoption journey.  I look at Hannah every day and think what a miracle it is that I, of all people, went all the way to China to bring back a little girl to be my daughter.  I never would have done it on my own, but did it because God told me to do it.  He really does know best.  I look forward to
all the future blessings he has in store for us with our daughter.