Archive | April, 2018

An Angel at our Appointment

18 Apr

We had an angel at our appointment today. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, we got great news! I’ll get to that in s minute too. Ha! Today was our meeting with an oral surgeon about the missing bone in his mouth.

It took us 2.5 hours with traffic to get to Vanderbilt and 15 minutes to find an open parking space. Ugh. In the waiting room I google translated with Malachi hoping it would help his nervousness. The only response I got was “teeth” and him pointing at his mouth. So, he understood that much. 😝 He was more interested in the fountain he could see from the waiting room. Once we were called into the office they wanted an X-ray of Malachi’s mouth. He was immediately frightened of the machine. It was the type that you place your chin on the plastic thing and then this big machine rotates around your head while making scary noises. He cried and moved. No good. I got google translate out again to try to explain. It went better but once the machine got noisy he moved and cried. Poor thing. We gave up.

As we were walking up someone mentioned that a resident was there today that speaks Chinese. They asked me if I would like it if she came by. YES!! Please!! We met with the doctor next. By the time Malachi needed to sit in the dentist chair the Chinese resident was in our room too. She explained to Malachi all that the doctor was going to look at and he let the doctor look all in his mouth and did a great job. But, just like in China he would not respond at all to any questions. Not even a nod. She kept asking me if he really knew mandarin and I assured her that he does. The boy just does not respond for some reason. I noticed that he was squirmy and asked if he needed to use the restroom. He shook his head yes. The bathroom was attached to the room. We walk in and shut the door and the kid became a chatterbox, “light mama”, “pee pee”, “all done”, “wash your hands”, “hot?”, etc. We walked out and they said they could hear his little voice talking up a storm in the bathroom. Walk out and it is total shutdown again.

The doctor said he really needed the X-rays and if the they could try again with the translator (our angel). Of course. So, it went great. They got their X-ray first try! I told her to tell him he would get some ice cream for being so brave. She asked him if he wanted vanilla or chocolate. He nodded for chocolate! Finally a nod! But, we usually get him vanilla. Oops.

The doctor came back in and told us he does not have missing bone. What he has is 3 really decayed teeth on the right side due to poor oral hygiene at the orphanage. They are all baby teeth and will need to be removed. Bad news that he will have to have them removed but great news that he doesn’t have bone loss. He has periodontal disease. The doctor said it will improve over time and that he should be fine once he has some dental work and continues with better oral hygiene care.

The nurse asked me what doctor was doing his surgery. When I told her she said, “I am so glad. He is such a good man. I loved working for him”. I am glad she said it. Maybe God knew that we needed a little more assurance that we have the right doctor and are making the right decisions for Malachi.

After the appointment we went for some Mongolian Barbecue for lunch and for ice cream.

Surgeon Appointment

14 Apr

We went to Vanderbilt Children’s today to meet the surgeon that will be doing Malachi’s heart surgery on May 8th. We wanted to meet him in advance, get to know him a little, talk through the procedure, etc. Kevan’s cousin gave us (via Nana) a few dress up items for the boys. Among them were his favorite characters/superheroes! Catboy, Owlette and Gecko from PJ Mask. So, before we left I showed Malachi the catboy mask and cape. He didn’t take it off and wanted to wear it all day. I think it gave him a little extra courage today. He never seemed nervous at all and no vomiting! Yay!!

The meeting with the surgeon went well. Kev and I both liked him. He seemed very humble too. We found out that he thinks he can do this shunt surgery without using the bypass (heart/lung machine). This is amazing news. So, it is considered closed heart surgery, not open heart. He will still have his chest cut open which scares me and makes me feel so bad for him but because he won’t need the bypass (if all goes well during surgery) then he may get to come home from the hospital sooner. He may only need to be in the hospital 5-7 days. He wants Malachi to see a pediatric oral surgeon ASAP to make sure there is no active infection in his mouth or potential due to his bone disease.

Before we met with the surgeon we met with a bone specialist who is also an endocrinologist. She said she has never met a child with a bone disease like him where they have missing bones in their mouth. 😔 She believes it is congenital. She did some X-rays to determine whether he had rickets and he does not have it. He is very Vitamin D deficient but he doesn’t have rickets. Praise God we have some good news! She knows an oral surgeon and is referring him to see if he can help shed some light regarding his bone disease. His Vitamin D when tested didn’t even register so it is VERY low. Poor thing. He gets drops now at lunch each day (I sneak it into his juice).

After the appointments we took Malachi to Sonic for the first time and we got him an Oreo Blast. He loved it! He ate the whole thing.

After we got back to Nana’s house (she was caring for Josiah) we wanted to do something with the boys because the weather was so nice and we missed Josiah. We took them to a park. I didn’t get a single pic of them at the playground but I have a couple of them on top of the big mulch pile. Lol

Josiah’s favorite part was throwing mulch. He loves dirt. 😃 Now, I need to get off this blog and get some sleep. The boys now get each other up in the morning, around 5:30am (😭😭) and run to our room giggling to get us up. It is adorable but I really wish they would do it at 7 or 8am instead. 😴

Thank you to all those that are following this journey and praying for Malachi.


12 Apr

I forgot to add this to my post yesterday. When we first met Malachi he wanted us to do everything for him….get him dressed, bathe him, help him go potty, carry him over steps, etc. I was surprised that the orphanage didn’t teach him to dress himself but they taught him how to properly brush his teeth (brush, spit, rinse). It was good for bonding that he let us do all these things for him. We are realizing the last few weeks that he already knows how to dress himself, bathe himself and go potty himself. 🙂 He is becoming more independent and is wanting to pick out his own clothes (he says NO! if I pick socks or a shirt he doesn’t like), dressing himself, wanting the door closed to go potty on his own and he knows how to properly bathe (I still help him). I’m giving him options for his clothes now and letting him choose. Today he chose Thomas the Train.

As for going up steps (even just the 2 from our garage), I don’t think he could do this before or do this at all without help. After the cath we’ve been trying to help him do it himself. He didn’t want to at first. I think he was scared and didn’t (doesn’t have the muscle tone to feel secure). We started with having him try one step. He is doing so much better now. He goes in and out of the garage by himself now. We have a small slide in the house and he didn’t like climbing it himself. He loves it now and I’m so proud of him. At the playground he is doing so much better getting up to the slide. After about 3 times alone though he will need help. He gets tired. I am so proud of him though. I can see that he loves to be able to do things on his own once he tries and realizes he can do it.

We are having a beautiful day today so we took the boys on a trail (Malachi would walk, jog some (lol) and then get in the stroller when he was tiring, playground and had a picnic. Great day.

5 Weeks: Learning English

12 Apr

Malachi has been with us for about 5 Weeks. This includes our time in China and the time we’ve been home. He currently speaks about 65 words. He understands way more English than he can speak. I’ve listed the 65 words at the end of this post just to give you an idea. I’m amazed. I think he is doing so well. As many of you know, we decided to homeschool him for now and for at least a year. It is what is best for our family to bond and for us to have the flexibility to take him to the doctor, fun outings as a family, etc. Many that have adopted told me to wait a year to start schooling, but this kid absolutely loves to learn. He gets so excited when we sit down to learn colors, letters, numbers, etc or just to read. So….we’ve been doing different projects each day to try to help him learn. It isn’t traditional schooling but he is learning and it is so fun. Today, I was going through the alphabet with him and he wanted to write out the letters. We only did a few, but he did I, X and Y perfectly. For a child that only knew Chinese 5 weeks ago…I was amazed. They are probably the easiest letters to learn, but I was so proud.

I have learned that he does NOT like to get something wrong or to mess up. He will give up and not want to continue so I have to push him a little to see if he will continue. If not, I’m not pushing it just yet. One of those times was today. We were trying his “scissor cutting skills” and I was showing him how to do it. He said “I know, I know!”. Lol! I didn’t realize he even knew that phrase. So, I let him try. It did great on straight lines, but he wanted to try another one with curved lines. Once he messed up he didn’t want anything to do with it and he got quiet. I could tell it upset him. One step at a time little Malachi. You will get there. Funny thing, if he doesn’t know a word he will say “cat boy”. Cat boy is his favorite PJ Masks character. I don’t know why he chooses that word, but he loves it. He sang his first Chinese song today. Just a little bit of it, but I loved that he did it. He starting to talk more. In English and in Chinese.

This boy is such a ham. He is starting to make these grumpy faces. Then, I do it back to him with my face and then he cracks up. We had a lot of laughing today together. Unfortunately, Josiah is still moody and I am hoping it is just his molars coming in. He will be playing really well with Malachi and then all of a sudden bite him. Today he smacked Malachi really hard with a wooden spoon….I don’t even know where he got the spoon from. It hurt. Malachi cried real tears and I had to make Josiah apologize. It breaks my heart because Malachi just wants to play and Josiah keeps hurting him. I don’t know if this is a normal 2 year old being jealous or what is going on. It makes my heart sad.

I bought Malachi an “add on” purchase on Amazon. $3 lego kit. I wanted to see if he knew what legos were and if he could do them on his own. During Josiah’s nap time, first I showed him the instructions and let him try. He had a very hard time, so I helped him finish the first item. Then, the 2nd item in the kit I let him try a few times and then if he couldn’t get it I helped. By the last one he was doing it on his own with just a little help here and there. He loved it. I’ll have to try to find some used ones or some more add on ones. I’d like to have some for when he is recuperating after his open heart surgery in May.

We took the boys to the library today and it ended up being story time and they had fun art time after too. Both boys were shy with the other kids so I’m going to start going regularly so they can start warming up to other kids.

We will meet his heart surgeon on Friday along with the bone specialist to see what the cause of his missing bones is. Praying all goes well and for wisdom.




Bye bye






Sheepa (sheep)



Killy cat (kitty cat)


Teddy bear (any bear)





Daddy or Baba

Siah (Josiah)

Play it again (Alexa)



Where is he?

There we go



1-10 (he can count too)

Uh oh





All done

Brush teeth



Hotta (hot)

Pee pee

Poo poo

Wash hands


Night night







Thank you

EIEIO (old MacDonald)




I know

I sorry

Unexpected Dental Appointment

6 Apr

I took the boys to the dentist today. Nanny Tiffany came too. The waiting room was great and the boys didn’t want to leave.

Josiah did really well considering it was his first appointment at the dentist and his teeth looked great. He’s doing a good job brushing. Also, the doctor confirmed that he’s getting his 2 year molars. Bottom ones are almost in. Top ones haven’t broke through yet. 😞 I didn’t get a good pic of them working on Josiah. But I think he did great and it explains his crabbiness lately.

Malachi needed a check up before his upcoming heart surgery to make sure he didn’t have any infections. He was doing real well at first.

But he cried a lot during the X-ray portion and then wasn’t happy at all after that. No more happy pics. Also, the doctor informed us that Malachi has some type of bone disease. She’s never seen so much missing bone in a child’s mouth. 😢 She showed me his back teeth and how much missing gums and bone he has. I am so sad for him. It looked like it hurts. She said she couldn’t confirm there is no infection so we are being referred back to Vanderbilt. 😭 He will need to be put under anesthesia while they investigate, clean his teeth and maybe do some procedures. Now he may not be able to have his surgery yet due to the chance of infection. Prayers appreciated for doctor to have wisdom on what is causing his bone loss and how to treat it. I’m praying that it is treatable and not serious.

Lastly, we bought the boys cots to stay at Nana’s house since we stay there when we go to Vandy and to have one in our room. Malachi has been waking us in the middle of the night and I don’t get any sleep if he’s in our bed. We’ve been putting him on an adult cot and he goes right back to sleep but it takes up too much room. The boys loved them. Hoping they work well. Malachi will outgrow his very soon unfortunately.