Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Surgery Update

Just wanted to expand on Michelle's post from yesterday to tell you a little bit about what Jack's surgery day was like.

The surgery was scheduled for the morning, and we had to get to the hospital by 7:45am, so no breakfast for Jack! We basically woke him up and got him dressed for the trip to the hospital. We felt bad for the little guy because he was playing and having a grand old time in his car seat and had no idea what was going to happen shortly. We got to the hospital without any problems, checked in and played with some toys in the waiting room for a few minutes before being called back to a prep room.

The prep nurse had a great New England accent. I wanted to ask her to say "my car is parked at Harvard" (i.e.- "my CAH is PAH'ed at HAHVAD) but I let the urge pass because we were there for serious business. This nurse (as well as all of the hospital staff ) was great! She couldn't have been nicer to Jack or more understanding that his apprehension had nothing to do with her. Sometimes we meet up with medical professionals that seem put off when Jack cries, like he is able to control his fear of white lab coats or something. Anyway, in the prep room they took his vitals and we spoke to the anesthesiologist about what was going to happen before/during/after surgery. We decided that we would like to have Jack take a mild sedative even before he received the anesthesia because we wanted to make sure he was eased into the process. We didn't want to leave him when he was fully "with it" so he wouldn't be terrified when they came and got him for anesthesia. The sedative made him look drunk, and he had this goofy little grin on his face from that point on.

After the sedative had been given time to fully kick in, the nurses came and got Jack and we said our "goodbyes". Last night I told my family that there can't be too many things tougher to watch than seeing your child walked down the hall away from you toward an operating room. Both Michelle and I had lumps in our throats at this point, but the sedative was doing its job so Jack was kind of out of it and didn't realize we had stayed behind.

The surgery took about an hour or so, and then the Doctor came out and gave us the good news that everything had gone according to plan and that Jack's eyes were now straight. I know that this is a "routine" surgery, but when is surgery ever truly "routine"? When we heard the Doctor say that everything was okay, that was when we finally exhaled for the first time in an hour.

We went back to the recovery room and saw our tiny little Jack on a regular sized bed. He looked so small! His eyes were a little swollen, and he had an IV in his arm, but other than that he just looked like he was asleep. He woke up after about 20 minutes and we took him to a different recovery room to feed him some juice while he continued to get his IV fluids. We were told we could leave when the nurses were satisfied with his fluid intake, and so we set out for home. Jack fell asleep on the ride home, so there wasn't too much fussing there. Once we got home, he had some ice cream (don't tell Russia), and other than being a little drowsy looking, he seemed like his normal self. He took a long nap yesterday afternoon, but seemed to feel fine last night. We were giving him Baby Tylenol every four hours for the pain, and he has some antibiotic eye drops (he HATES these!).

Last night he was awake and crying from about 11pm to 1am. He actually fell asleep a few times during that span, but when we would go to put him in his crib, he would wake up and cry all over again. Eventually, we were able to get him down, and I slept on the floor in his room to try and maybe ease his fears a little. Maybe that worked because he slept from 1am until it was time to get him up for breakfast.

So far today he has been his normal self. We have already done his eye drops twice today (with two more times still ahead of us today). He is napping now, and hopefully we'll have an uneventful evening.

As far as the success of the surgery, his eyes are currently straight, but it will take about 6 weeks to see if his brain will "accept" the surgery and retrain itself to look straight. Hopefully this surgery will take and we won't have to do it over again. It's almost strange to see his eyes straight for our brains, so we know his brain must be having an adjustment. I know we got to the point where we pretty much didn't even notice his crossed eyes anymore, so now when we see him we almost do a double take.

We just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. We also wanted to thank so many of you who we heard from regarding Strabismus when we were contemplating accepting Jack's referral. We can't imagine our lives without Jack, and so many of you told us that Strabismus was such a correctable condition that we should definitely accept the referral for this little guy that had it (although we would have accepted the referral anyway). While he was in the OR yesterday, we couldn't help but think of those of you who convinced us that we would be able to correct his condition. THANK YOU for helping us accept the most beautiful little guy into our home with your words of advise on that topic!

In case we don't post between now and Christmas, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from the Curran family OF THREE!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Just a quick post to let everyone know that Jack is home from surgery, and is doing well. Thanks for the warm thoughts and prayers!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2 months today

July 09, meeting Jackson in Russia:
Dec 09, Jack is now an avid UT fan! Touchdown!!
Taking a walk with Dad and Mom:

Decorating the tree for Christmas:

It has been 2 months today since Gotcha Day, and we are amazed every day at the changes we see in Jack. Just looking at the pictures above, you can see a huge difference. During our first week in July when we visited him, he just sat quietly with very little movement, a flat affect, and stared at his hands. His Doctor at the Orphanage told us he was probably retarded, and basically had failure to thrive. On trip 2 in October, he maintained the flat affect and little or no movement unless encouraged. By the end of our second trip, he was starting to interact with us a little and showed us that he was somewhat interested in the world around him.
Fast forward to today,and you see an entirely different child. He is engaging, smart, laughs, plays with toys and shows more and more promise every day. If Daddy does it, so does Jack. He is attaching to us as parents more and more. Although he tends to "Mommy shop", he seems very attached to Daddy and doesn't seem to want to trade him in.

We do have a couple of concerns, such as poor eye contact and sometimes when we discipline him, he laughs at us (cute now, but won't be soon). His language development is slow, he only says 1 word, but we have a team of specialists that will further evaluate him on January 5th as he has qualified for the Infant and Toddler Program.

Tuesday he has eye surgery to correct the muscles in his eyes. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. His Pediatrician seems to think he is a healthy little guy, and he hasn't even had a cold since he has been home. He is even officially caught up on his inoculation's!

I traveled last week for the first time since we brought Jack home. I was gone Sunday - Friday. I didn't want to travel so soon, but didn't really have a choice in the matter. I cried when I left him, but when I got home - he was waiting at the door with the sweetest hug I have ever had. It made me cry again! I don't think I will have to travel for the next couple of months, but am being told that I will be gone most of May - August. Not sure what we will do about that, but I can't spend the summer away from my son so early in this process.
I guess that's it for the updates for now. We will post again after his surgery and let everyone know how it went

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Believe it or not.... A new post!

Hello again from Curran Land! Sorry we have slacked off on the postings lately. Ever since Michelle went back to work, we are both too exhausted to post anything at night. Jack and I tire each other out during the day, and Michelle is working long hours at her job. Being a housewife is the toughest, most exhausting job I have ever had. How come Wilma Flintstone made this look so easy? I am better looking than she is though.

Anyway, there really isn't too much to report on our end. Jack had his follow up appointment with his pediatrician this week, and he is now officially on the charts on height, weight and head size! He is around the 8th percentile on all three areas, and the Doctor was impressed a the gains Jack has made. He even said something like "I take it Jack doesn't have any trouble eating does he?". All of his blood work came back just fine. Because Jack still has diarrhea from time to time (too much information, I know) he wanted to take another stool sample, so Jack and I returned to the doctors office today to drop off Jacks Christmas gift to the lab. We are getting good at collecting samples. Probably a little too good.

In other news, Jack was evaluated for some help with his developmental delays and he qualifies for some services! Starting in January we will meet with some developmental specialists once a week to work with him on his speech and other areas where he is delayed. We are happy we will be doing this, and we should get some good pointers on how we can work with him to overcome his delays. He is so smart, we feel like once he starts these sessions, he will take to the help like a fish in water.

When we are not filling up specimen jars or working with developmental specialists, we are just enjoying being a family. The Christmas tree is up, and Jack loves his Frosty the Snowman doll. My sisters family sent him a Nativity set (Thanks Chris, Scott, Megan, Katie and Amanda!), and he loves playing with it. He was carrying around Baby Jesus today (though admittedly, Baby Jesus spent most of the day covered in Jack's drool). We are really enjoying our first Christmas season as a family of three!

I guess that's about it for now until we have the energy to post again. I'll leave you with a recollection of a conversation Michelle and I had the other day after Michelle opened a package that had been packed with those foam packing peanuts. I think this conversation would make the Russian court system proud of how we are looking out for our son:

Michelle: "Bill, come help me pick up these foam peanuts. I don't know if they are poisonous and I don't want Jack to touch them"
Me: "Those things aren't poisonous"
Michelle: "They could be, now get over here and help me"
Me: "Why would people be allowed to wrap their packages with poisonous things?"
Michelle: "Are you going to help me or not?"
Me: "I'm still wondering what makes you think they are poisonous. I guess the only reason people use foam peanuts is that it's more cost effective than wrapping up their packages with live King Cobras"
Michelle: "Never mind, I'll pick them up myself..."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Back to work

Since Monday, I have been fantasizing over the possibility of winning the lottery because I had to go back to work. When I started with this company back in March, I made an agreement with them that I would take a total of 8 weeks off. Honestly, 8 weeks just didn’t seem that long to me. We were in Russia for a month, then home for a month. It seemed much, much shorter. With that said, I am thankful that I have a job in our current economy after being laid off earlier this year. I am also thankful that Bill is still able to stay home with Jack and is not expected back at work until January.

Bill is doing a great job at home with Jack. Every day they are working on something new and I know that he is getting the care he deserves. I feed him breakfast, lunch and dinner (I come home at lunch) – as well as bathe him at night and put him to bed. Bill does the rest. We are trying to share duties as much as possible because Jack tends to only be interested in whichever one of us he is with the most. When I get home in the evening, Bill prompts him and he is always standing there with a big smile and a squeal for me. He truly warms my heart.

Jack wanted to give a shout out to Grandpa Tony. Happy Birthday Grandpa Tony! I am ready to meet you and love you already!

Check out the picture of Jack in his new car. He loves to be pushed around in this box and drive using Bill's Nintendo Wii steering wheel!