Starting Our Summer Break
We were so excited to receive the great news in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago! When we got home, Jian had a 3 hour physical therapy appointment scheduled in Birmingham. She was re-evaluated based on her current level of function, and we established new goals for her. We went back again last week for another 3 hour appointment. She had 2 different people who came to fit her with braces. One will go from above her knee down to her foot. It will prevent her left knee from collapsing when she stands and walks. It will also keep her left foot pulled up to prevent her toes from dragging the ground. She will have to wear this one until March when we go back to Baltimore to the Kennedy Krieger Institute. If they are able to activate her quadriceps and dorsiflexor muscles in her left leg, she will then have the ability to walk without the brace.
Another gentleman came to bring and instruct us on using a dynamic knee flexion brace that Dr. Standard had ordered. It is a big, bulky thing that has one side that fits around her calf and the other side that fits around her thigh. She sits with her knee bent. There is a knob that we turn to make it gradually tighter and tighter to allow her to bend her knee more and more. She is to wear this brace 30 minutes, three times per day at home for probably 2 months.
Finally, we got her some new shoes and are having a small lift added to the bottom of it, which will make her legs the same length. She was NOT happy about this. We have compromised, and she has agreed to work in her therapy sessions with the brace and new shoe and go to school with her crutches, just like always. I told her it was up to her when she decides to do anything differently. Her therapist is so surprised that she has already been released to full weight bearing and normal activities. He said that usually the opposite is true, as his patients are prepared to be released on a certain date, but the surgeon adds another 6 weeks of healing after viewing their Xrays. He feels sure that all of the prayers that were said for Jian made the difference.
After her appointments, I took her to The Red Pearl, her favorite local authentic Chinese restaurant. She talked me into ordering her the Bubble Milk Tea, which she sees on the menu and always thinks it looks good. I’m sure it is full of caffeine, so we usually don’t order it, but she loved her little treat!
She has gotten back into the groove of going to Bible Class and church, and everyone has been so happy to see her and the progress that she has made this summer. There is such a noticeable difference in her confidence, and she is so proud of herself for being able to cross her legs!
I have tried to work a good bit the past few weeks to play catch up financially, so as of this past Saturday, Jian and I had 5 days to actually begin our summer break. We have spent lots of time together at home playing and going to the swimming pool. We are building lots of lego creations. We got her stocked up with new school clothes, and she agreed to a new back pack this year after insisting on taking the same one for the past 3 years. She is just slightly nervous about starting 4th grade, but we are very excited about her teacher, and I know that she will be just fine after a couple of days.
Exactly four years ago, we had just received Prior Approval for her adoption, and I remember the excitement as we watched the Summer Olympic Games. This year, Jian is enjoying watching them with us. She is excited and cheering for China. She is talking about how she would like to be in the Olympics, and I reminded her that her instructor said that she could train for horseback riding in the Para-Olympics. She is planning on signing back up for her therapeutic horseback riding lessons this fall, and is very excited.
In some ways, she feels like she missed out on a fun summer this year, but on the other hand, what a life-changing summer it has been! I think Romans 11:36 sums it up:
For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever!