Praising God I was able to travel down to CHOP with Ella this week. We are thankful for their oversight. They do an initial developmental evaluation and also an initial physical exam. The first priority is all kinds of labs that give us baseline information, highlight any underlying issues and identify any communicable diseases. We also will do initial hearing and vision screenings as these would impact her development.
We then wait for three months, allowing her to deepen attachments and see what developmental gains happen within these initial months. Our doctors even attest to the fact that children flourish in families. After the three month wait, they will make further recommendations for therapy and further testing. Some bloodwork is already returning abnormal, but we are so confident in our care team at CHOP and locally.
She has significant gross motor and speech delays. We obtained some medical records that confirm her brain injury and will be likely doing further testing at some point this spring.
Our doctor described this season of parenting as deeply intense. I think that's a good description. This precious girl only knows how to live as an orphan. She wanders the house at times, falls to the floor in anger, protests when we care for other kids, screams to get attention and can turn this all off quickly. Heartbreakingly, she learned that people don’t respond to these cries for help, so she quickly stops. She can turn it off so quickly. This was survival for her. She has a lot of signs of neglect.
Our goal is to build connections. We are encouraged to have 10 minutes of one-to-one eye contact with her each hour, don't allow her to wander the house, engage with her when she expresses anger by crumbling to the ground or throwing, ensure all food and drinks come from us or the boys, not allowing her to find her own food in the house. This kind of parenting requires almost full engagement all of the time. This foundation is so important for her continued healing and growth.
We appreciate your continued prayers and support for our compassion, strength and endurance. She is worth every part of what this requires, but we certainly don’t have all that it takes within ourselves.