Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seeing Ella / Medical Evaluations - Updated with pics!

This is the updated version of this post including pics!

Yesterday morning we got to see Ella again!  We think she remembered us a little because she wasn’t as stand-offish as she was during our first visit in November.  But we still had to get reacquainted.  One thing we noticed right off was she walks kind of funny.  She looks like a cowboy who’s been on a long trail ride; her legs are bowed out.  I’m not sure if this is a hip issue, if she just needs leg braces, if it’s from rickets, or a combination, but we will certainly get this checked out once she’s home in May.  It doesn’t slow her down; she’s quite the active 2-year-old.  She also has a baby mullet, a lot of hair in the back and not much on top.  So we’ll have to get her a haircut when we get home or maybe just put her hair in pigtails. I’m not sure yet, but it’s pretty funny.

We played ball for a long time.  She’s got a great arm.  She may have softball in her future.  We also colored in an animal coloring book we brought with us.  I don’t think she had done that before, so she was quite intrigued.  She especially liked to take the crayons in and out of the box, but she also did a little bit of coloring, too.  Her marks started out very weak, but they got stronger as the day progressed.

She let us snuggle with her and seemed to enjoy it very much.  She would be secretly smiling over the shoulder of whoever was hugging her.  She had a limit though and would push away if she was feeling uncomfortable.  Since we hadn’t seen in her 5 months, we figured any snuggling was good! 

We brought goldfish crackers with us (the multi-colored ones), and at first I think she thought they were inedible like the crayons (she had tried to eat those, but we said nyet).   She fed both of us for a while, and then she finally ate a few herself after Sveta told her to eat them in Russian. 

Ryan picked her up and made her into a baby airplane, which she LOVED.  She and Georgia will get along great since they’re both dare-devils. 

Soon after they brought in lunch, which was the same as we remembered – mashed potatoes with little bits of meat and carrot, plus a cup of fruit compote.  We were very excited to see that she had learned to use a spoon!  And she was quite good at it!  We took turns feeding her as well to promote a bond with her, and she ate the meal quickly.  We gave her some Pediasure at the end to try and fill in her nutritional gaps.
After lunch we played a little bit more, and then it was time to go.  She didn’t seem all that sad about going back to her friends, which tells me she still doesn’t consider us Mama and Papa, but that’s ok.  It will come with time.

Then we left to go have lunch with Sveta and Dasha at a pizza place not too far away.  It was mediterranean style pizza and very good.

Yesterday we also had our big medical exam.  I was more nervous for this exam than for court  because of their concerns about the nodule on my right lung.  We went into this old historical building (no one could tell us what the history was though) with ornate tile and moldings all over the ceilings, big chandeliers everywhere.  It was really beautiful. 

We went into this big ballroom (would be great for a wedding!) with a long table filled with about 10 doctors all gesticulating wildly and talking loudly.  This made us a little nervous.  We were directed into another large adjoining room with yellow walls and curtains and more elaborate moldings.  There was an area on one side with two patient tables covered in paper, separated by a curtain.  Ryan went on one side, and I went on the other, and they said to take our shoes off. 

The doctors came in one after the other and asked us to stick our tongues, touch our noses while our eyes were closed, do a squat, and a few other things.  The dermatologist asked me to take my shirt off to look at the skin on my back.  But overall, it was pretty painless.  Then we put our shirts and shoes back on and sat at a little table in the room, where another  couple of doctors  came in to ask us questions.  One asked what we did on major holidays, if we spent them with family. We said yes.  I think he was checking to see if we were anti-social drug users or alcoholics.  Another asked us why we were adopting when we already had biological children.

After we passed these questions satisfactorily, we waited in the room with our translator while the doctors in the next room did more gesticulating and loud talking.  Dasha (our translator) assured us they were not talking about us.  Then we were invited back in, and they looked over our x-ray and CT scans.  This was the part I was most nervous about because of the nodule.  The pulmonologist looked at it for a while but said the nodule was very small, and she was not concerned about it.  Wooohoooo!  Talk about relief!  And we were free to go.  Waiting to pay, we realized there were 2 other American adoptive families in the big room at the same time as us, so we all got to know each other and realized we were all staying at the Vlad Motor Inn.  It’s so nice getting to know other adoptive families because they know EXACTLY what you’re going through.

Once we got back to the Vlad Motor Inn, we had dinner with another adoptive family, the Knolls, which was a lot of fun. 

All in all, it was a very successful day. Today we get to go see our Ella again.  Afterwards, we’ll do a little sightseeing.  And tomorrow is COURT at 10:00 am.  Ryan is the most nervous for this because he’ll have to do most of the talking.  We’re told it will last 1-2 hours, and this is our judge’s first international adoption case, so please be in prayer for us and her! 


  1. I love reading your blog. I am so happy things seem to be going smoothly and I will definitely say a prayer for you all that court goes perfectly and you get to bring your little girl home next month!

  2. So glad to hear that things are going well and that prayers are being answered! Praying for a great day at court tomorrow and that Ryan will have the words that he needs!

  3. Definitely will be praying. Anticipating court is a stressful time... Praying that you will both be at peace and can answer questions..unlike the first time we went and I blanked out on the very first question the judge asked me. :) Thankfully, she was in a good mood and just grinned and asked it again. Blessings to you!

  4. Sounds like everything is going well so far. I will be praying that the next couple days go as smoothly.

  5. What an amazing journey you have been through! We love you and are praying for you! P.S. I will have to make extra bows for that baby mullet!

  6. Praying for you!!! Loved the updates on Ella!!!