Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Friday, June 20, 2008


As many of you know, either personally or through reading this blog, Hannah is a very special, smart little girl, with a few unusual quirks. Because of these particular quirks, Hannah's doctor sent her for specialized testing through the local early intervention program that serves infants and toddlers. Through this testing we have learned that what we believed (or rather had hoped) were just quirks are actually a medical syndrome called hyperlexia. Hannah's letter and number obsession, strong visual and auditory memory, sensitivities, and social difficulties with peers are the hallmarks of this particular syndrome. With early intervention this should have a very good prognosis-not a "cure" per se (I wouldn't want to change my little girl's personality anyway!), but the therapy she will receive should make her much less anxious in social settings, teach her coping skills for when she feels overwhelmed, and give her a much better chance at succeeding in school. One interesting thing we learned through this testing is that we received confirmation of what we believed was Hannah's exceptional intelligence but had always wondered if we were just being the typical parent who OF COURSE always thinks their child is brilliant. They did not do an IQ test on Hannah (they are considered unreliable on children of her age), but on the four cognitive development tests that they performed Hannah tested at a 4 or 5 year old level on each one! That's my smart little girl. Hannah will begin developmental therapy for 1 hour a week every week for the next year and at that point she will be reevaluated to see if she needs to continue. At 3 she will have aged out of the First Steps program (the early intervention agency), but if she still qualifies for services then we can start services through the school system. We haven't met her therapist yet, but I've talked to her on the phone and she seems really knowledgeable and nice. She has 2 other clients who are currently diagnosed with hyperlexia so that makes me feel like she knows what she's doing. We'll know soon enough. If we don't like her for whatever reason at all, we have the right to request a new therapist until we find someone we (and more importantly Hannah) click with. The therapist will do Hannah's therapy out in the community so that she can be around other kids to practice her skills and in August when she starts preschool the therapist will do her therapy at preschool. I'm very pleased about that because I have been pretty nervous about how Hannah will transition into preschool. At least this way I know she'll have support for at least one hour out of the 5 she'll be in preschool each week.

Another new development that actually goes along with her hyperlexia diagnosis is that Hannah has started trying to sound out words in her books. I guess now that she's mastered all her letters and their sounds she needed a new challenge. Besides writing the letter H, she has also taught herself how to write C and sometimes A. She is so proud whenever she manages to write a new letter. She's getting much better at recognizing some of the 2 digit numbers she's been learning and she's managed to learn to extend the number pattern of the 20's and 30's all by herself! She just started saying the number that came next when we were counting out loud one day and as far as we know she'd never even heard the numbers said out loud past 20 before! She's also really into to talking on the phone lately and has been having lengthy conversations with pretty much anyone who will talk to her. One day she was talking to Pap while walking around the house giving him a tour! It was so funny to hear him trying to make sense of what was going on without him having the benefit of seeing what she was pointing to!

I have LOTS more updates, but I'll save those for a new post so that you don't have to read a novel.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Recent Pictures

Here are some random pictures from May. The first set were Mother's Day weekend planting the flowers Kyle got me for Mother's Day.

This middle group is Hannah sleeping in her car seat after a hard day hanging out with Kristie and riding Jake, Hannah visiting with Mamaw, and reading books with Daddy.

This group is Hannah with her birthmother Tiffany and her sister Kayla at Chase and Kayla's 5th birthday party and hanging out with Becky and Aunt Heather later that day at a cookout for Aunt Myrna.

These last 2 pics were taken at SMWC when I went to visit for reunion weekend.

I Woked Up

Hannah has been quite the precocious little girl lately (really what's new?) and has been coming up with all sorts of phrases, song lyric remixes, and stalling techniques that really keep us on our toes. One of her current favorite lines is "I woked up." She uses this when she wakes up from a nap or in the morning as well as when she's been supposed to be napping, but doesn't want to and is trying to get out of her room to do something that she's been told she can ONLY do after she naps. She's also started knocking on her door to ask to get out of her room. That is pretty funny/cute, but also awfully hard to ignore when you'd rather be sleeping! Tonight when I was putting her to bed she started singing along with me as I was singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to her and each time we got to the end of a line she would shout the last word. It was so hard for me to keep a straight face and keep singing like nothing was wrong. I knew she was just gearing up for a confrontation that would postpone bedtime, but it was funny none the less because it was clever and a new trick in her arsenal. Speaking of singing, lately Hannah has been inventing new words to songs she already knows all the lyrics too. She's not accidentally misquoting the lyrics, she's deliberately singing something different because she thinks it's funny. For example, she knows all the words to the ABC song and recently she started inserting random words/names of people into the middle of the song. The song goes something like this, "ABCDEF Daddy HIJKLMNO Mommy QRSTU tree WXY and Kevin. Sometimes she uses the same word for all the interludes, sometimes it's a different word every time, sometimes she starts back up with the next letter and sometimes the missing letter is actually replaced by the inserted word like in the example above. It amazes me that she can think up a word to insert, remember what letter or line of a song she left off with, and pick back up with the correct letter/line of the song after the new word all without missing a beat or pausing in the tempo of the song at all. My favorite of them all was Twinkle Twinkle little Mommy :) My little girl makes me smile so much!

A new academic skill that Hannah is beginning to pick up is identifying the letter a word begins with just by it's sound. I bet I quizzed her with 30 words the other day while she was sitting on the potty (I tried to mix it up and use words we have used as examples of starting with a certain letter, words we've never mentioned in conjunction with letters before, and words that I thought she might never have even heard before) and she correctly identified the beginning letter of at least 20 of them. A few words she missed she had the right sound but wrong letter. Sun and jelly for example she said started with c and g respectively. Another new thing I found her doing the other day was playing with her Little People A-Z Learning Zoo all by herself. Don't get me wrong, she plays with it all the time by herself, but this time I came in to find her to have correctly placed about a dozen of the 26 animals on their corresponding alphabet circles on the zoo mat.

Up until now, Hannah has had no interest in naming any of her stuffed animals, toys, dolls, etc, but all of a sudden she decided to name her 3 Breyer horses that Aunt Heather gave her. I've tried to trick her to see if the names are set in stone or if they would change every time, but so far she's been resolute and doesn't like to be questioned much about her decision! She named one of them Mia and the other two are both named Jack-o. She has been playing with them constantly and always makes me be the same one of the Jack-o's even if I ask to be a different one.

One exciting milestone Hannah had was her first nap that she woke up dry from. That particular day she went the entire day without a single accident even while sleeping. I was so proud of her, but she didn't seem to be all that concerned one way or the other. She's getting much better about telling us when she needs to pee, but she's still far from telling us every time and we still have a lot of accidents after about 2:00pm or so. I'm not sure if she's just tired and doesn't notice or if she's just fed up with paying attention! Either way, our track record for staying dry while awake after say about noon is drastically worse than before noon.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Sorry it has been such a long time since I last posted. I thought things would calm down a bit, but really they didn't! The biggest news (although not happy news) since I last posted is that Hannah has been diagnosed with asthma. We weren't completely surprised since Tiffany has pretty severe asthma and Chase also has some breathing trouble too. Hannah's had frequent pneumonia and her colds always seem to linger on well past when they should so we kinda figured it might be a possibility someday. She has what's called cold induced asthma (not cold weather, but the virus) which is sometimes also called cough variant asthma. This basically means that she only shows her symptoms when she has some sort of respiratory infection or is having trouble with allergies. The doctor said it could develop into classic asthma as she gets older, but we hope that doesn't happen. Right now she's on an inhaler and she does pretty good with it. She knows exactly what she's supposed to do although we do have obedience issues with it just like we are having in every other area of her life right now!

As far as more fun updates, Kyle introduced Hannah to running through the sprinkler yesterday and she had a blast. I got some awesome pictures! I love our camera. Hannah kept calling the sprinkler rain which I thought was funny. She'd run up to it and touch it, but then run away quickly as it started to come towards her. Last weekend we took Hannah to the Indianapolis Zoo. We decided to buy a zoo membership for Hannah's birthday gift since she loves zoos so much. She really enjoyed our trip and we had great weather for it. It was crowded since it was a holiday, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.

School continues to go well. We will be starting week 12 tomorrow. I can't believe we have been at it for 3 months. Hannah now knows all of the alphabet and all but a few sounds. She knows about half of the lowercase letters and is getting really interested in learning how to write the letters. Every now and then when she is scribbling away she accidentally makes something that resembles a letter and she gets all excited and says, "I wrote a _____" Last night she was really having fun with that. We've finally made it past the 13 hump in counting and she can now go all the way to 20. She really likes it when I pretend to get stuck while I'm counting and she tells me what number I forgot. :) One of her new things is that she has taught herself to count in Spanish. I've had people ask me if she watches Dora or Diego or any of the other kids shows that teach other languages but she doesn't. She has some maracas that count in Spanish, but that is pretty much it. She just learns things on her own. It's pretty amazing. She can go up to 7 (siete) consistently by herself and up to 10 with a little bit of prompting. I thought she was just memorizing the pattern, but didn't really know what it all meant until one day she just started counting shoes as she was moving them from the treadmill back to the entry way (vacuuming day again!) and she was doing it in Spanish instead of English. She was moving one shoe at a time and each time she would go back for a new shoe she would pick back up with the correct Spanish number. She made it to 7 before she started back over with 3 again! I was shocked. Sometimes I'll just hear her counting to herself in Spanish when no one else is around. She just really likes to practice things and has always been obsessed with numbers. I guess I'm going to have to learn the Spanish numbers past 10 so I can keep up with her once she masters 1-10!