Day at Children's

It was a surprisingly nice day today at Children's Medical Center in downtown Dallas.  We went early this morning, expecting to spend about an hour and a half there, getting the boys each a physical exam then referrals to various needed specialists.  We ended up staying five hours, seeing not only the pediatrician, but getting blood work done, and seeing an audiologist and ENT.

The two middle Brownies visited their Nana and Pappy's house while Hannah stayed with us for the appointment.  We were met in the parking garage by Liz, the lady we've been communicating with since first registering for the international adoption services.  She took us to the pediatrician's office.  A sweet volunteer, known as the waiting room "grandma" was in there, ready to help us by playing with the kids while we filled out paperwork.  She was super sweet and we enjoyed visiting with her.
Having fun with a magnifier. 

Each boy got a full physical, then were observed for their developmental level.  They did so well!  They didn't fuss at all during the exam and they participated nicely during the observed playtime.

Listening to the heart
Travis' scars seem to be from chicken pox.  That's reassuring to us as we found ourselves imagining the worst.  We don't have the full report regarding the boys' developmental levels yet, but it seems Tian is pretty close to being on track and Travis seems to only be behind with language, but we aren't worried about that.  He is adding new signs every day and is very smart.

Next, we headed over to the lab for bloodwork.  They will be testing for infectious diseases, lead levels, and a few other things.  We also got the cups to take stool samples.  Fun times, I know, but we do want them checked for parasites.  Giardia is a common parasite picked up in China, so they will test their stool for any of that business.

Tian had fallen asleep on our way over to the lab.  He was groggily waking up when the nurse began cleaning his arm.  He didn't shed one tear!  Travis cried a bit, but the nurse had to poke a few times before getting a good flow from his arm, so who can blame him.  As soon as the needle was out, Hannah was there with Skittles to help ease the owie.

It ended up that the audiologists had an opening, so we headed upstairs to see them.  Both boys' eardrums aren't moving.  That may be due to the fluid in their ears from the ear infections.  During the hearing test, Travis didn't respond to any noise.  They cranked the sound up to 95dB, but he "didn't even flinch", as the audiologist put it.  Not surprising to us.

Tian certainly heard the audiologist's voice over the speakers.  He looked whatever direction the sound was coming from and even copied her saying, "Uh-oh!"   When it came to some of the sounds though, he didn't respond.  I think some things he simply didn't hear, but I also believe some of it was because he wasn't getting a response from me.  In the beginning, he would hear the sounds, look at me and "gasp," wanting me to say something to him, acknowledging that I heard it, too.  I was not allowed to respond to him.  After about 10 times of turning to me, excited by what he heard, and me not giving him any feedback, he sunk back, burying his left ear into my chest and ignoring any sound coming from the speakers.

Due to their eardrums not vibrating and the infections, the audiologists wanted to get them to an ENT. The ENT there had an opening, so we went down the hall to see him.  He said it appears Travis has had chronic ear infections.  They also commented that, after 7 days on antibiotics, the boys' ears should look better than they do, so he decided they both would benefit from tubes being put in their ears to help with the draining.  While the boys are under anesthesia, they will have an ABR hearing test done.  An ABR simply tests the brain's response to sound (using electrodes stuck on their forehead and behind each ear)  while the kids are sleeping or under anesthesia.

Why all the hearing tests if we sign anyway?  Well, first of all, we would like definitive answers as to what they can and can't hear.  We're pretty sure Travis is 100% deaf, but with Tian, he can hear some.  We will utilize whatever hearing he does have.  Secondly, in order for the boys to receive early childhood services and other medical services, we need a valid auditory report.

Tian has mictotia and atresia of his right ear.  We are curious what's behind his closed ear.  His entire middle ear could be un-formed; it could just be his outer ear, we don't know.  We do not plan to do any "repairs" on that ear, but still want to be completely informed.

The people at Children's were friendly, informative, and helpful.  They seemed genuinely interested in our family and our boys.  The facility itself is not only HUGE, but beautiful.  It's so colorful and family-friendly.  We were impressed and pleasantly surprised.  (Soon, I'll post about our plans for the boys regarding their language, literacy, etc.)


  1. I am so glad the day went well for all of you. I am thankful there are people in Dallas who specialize in treating children who have been adopted from various countries. Such a blessing.

  2. Sounds like a very productive day....


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