Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Achievements

To celebrate his birthday, Teddy started sitting up. He is now able to support himself in a sitting position for a few seconds (too short to catch in a photo,) and then he props himself up on his hands, and can sit like that for a fairly long time:



He is very pleased with himself, and so are we!



Matilda and Philip helped make jelly fo Teddy's birthday, and he also had a cake.





What do you think he thinks of his cake?



Come on Daddy, get on with it!



Now, one of Teddy's challenges is eating. He seems to need his food to be smooth, and of a certain consistency... Too thick and he chokes, too runny and he can't figure out how to move it in his mouth and swallow it. We've been trying quite hard to find food that Teddy will eat, and his solids diet is still pretty limited.

On his birthday, however, we had a breakthrough.

This is Teddy's cake face:



The important thing in this picture, is that his mouth stays carefully closed. Teddy appreciated his cake so much, he wouldn't risk losing a mouthful. What you can't see is that he actually made chewing movements, and swallowed bite after bite of sponge cake. Result!

Here's another shot of the cake face:




So starting today, we're taking a different approach to feeding... Trying actual bits of (soft) food. Here is a video of Teddy trying some jelly, and some buttered bread. Make sure you watch it all the way, it gets really funny at the end.




I love this close up of Teddy's eyes... You can see their beautiful shape, and his Brushfield spots (the star-burst pattern around his iris... fairly common in people with Down's syndrome, and absolutely gorgeous!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

365

One year ago, in a hospital somewhere in England, a baby boy was born. His name was George. Soon after he came into the world, the doctors noticed there was something different about this baby... He had Down's syndrome.

One year ago, the baby's parents were devastated. They didn't think they could parent a child with Down's syndrome, and decided to give him up for adoption. Baby George stayed in hospital for almost a month. He was very small, only but he was healthy and strong.

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As soon as he was ready to leave the hospital, the little baby moved in with a foster family... Elaine and Joe. They loved him very much, but couldn't keep him.

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We first heard about George when he was 3 months old. It was January, and we had been waiting to find our third child for 10 months. His social worker visited us, and we all agreed that baby George was our "meant to be baby." This is the first photograph we saw of him. (He was 4 months old.) We decided to call him Theodore George, Teddy for short.

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We had to wait until March to go to Matching Panel (where an adoptive family is officially matched with a child, and allowed to meet them.) I will never forget pacing up and down in a side room, waiting for the Panel's decision. I cried when the yes finally came... We had jumped through all the hoops, and we could drive to meet our baby that very day for the first time.

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He was almost six months old, and big for a baby with Down's syndrome. He was very sweet... Incredibly interested in people and faces, but his muscles were quite weak and couldn't really hold his head up. We had to support him like a newborn.

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But oh, the difference, when he met his brother and sister for the first time a few days later! Matilda and Teddy really hit it off right away.

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And Philip walked right up to him and started singing "Twinkle Twinkle little Star" to him.

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Teddy was so besoted with his siblings, he started really trying to sit up and support his head, so he could watch him. You could see his little muscles trembling with the effort, but he would complain if we laid him down. He wanted to be in with all the action.

By the time he came home two weeks later, he could hold his head up quite comfortably.

Tired Teddy snuggles up with Mummy.

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His first feed in his new home...

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After just a couple of weeks in his forever home, he had gotten much stronger

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And although he had always been a contented baby, he was changing in to the smiley giggle bucket he is today!

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Don't let me go mummy...

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Look, I'm 8 months old and I'm growing hair!

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In July, we moved to a new house... And Teddy loved the carpets.

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In September we got ANOTHER new addition to the family!
Bingo the Labradoodle

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In October, just a couple of weeks before his first birthday, Teddy was able to appear before a judge and finally become officially, irrevocably and permanently part of the family. (Until then, he still had his birth parents' last name and we weren't allowed to share photographs of him on the internet. Hence the long blogging absence.)

Teddy celebrated the day by cutting his first tooth!






The Judge was very taken with Teddy and has asked us to email her the photos from the day so that she can remember him.

So here we are. 365 days ago a little boy called George devastated his family with the news of his extra chromosome.

Delayed. Disabled. Dissapointment. A burden that they couldn't carry.


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365 days later, tomorrow, Theodore (gift from God) George will celebrate his first birthday with his forever family.

Happy. Determined. Cherished. A gift and an asset to our family.

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