Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Three steps forward..two steps backward...

Hello there....

We have made it to month FIVE for being the parents of Tobiah Jianke Faile.  It has been a rollercoaster ride this past month with Toby experiencing a lot of joy and a lot of emotional pain.  We noticed in the past two weeks that Toby has been having nightmares and really having a hard time waking up while having them.  It is like he is pitching a fit, but he is still asleep.  It was really hard to get him to calm down.  Seeing him go through these emotions have made us love him even more.  We know that he has been damaged by the fact that he was abandoned and was taken to five different residences in just 2 1/2 years..  This would be a big prayer request for him as he is sorting through all these feelings of past trauma and confusion to his new life of love, structure, and even discipline.

 Toby is making strides in preschool.  He was tested with his hearing American peers and the teacher says that he is right on grade level.  We were so excited to see his progress.  Our little guy is such a sponge!  He remembers everything that he is taught and uses it in the right context.  He knows his colors, ABC recognition and all the ASL signs that go along with these concepts.   He is great at storytelling and having full conversations with us everyday.  This is truly a blessing!  He will have the summer off after May 29th.  We are looking forward in doing a lot of outdoor playtime and continue with the foundations that he is learning now.  Oh he also LOVES abcmouse.com.  He plays on it everyday and since it is not for Deaf children, I really have to sit with him and interpret every song and story so he can understand what is going on.  You should have seen his face when I was interpreting Little Red Riding Hood when the wolf was eating the Grandmother... Oh boy that was a challenge.. but at the end the woodcutters shook the wolf upside down and the Grandma fell out. haha   Can't believe these are classic fairy tales?

I also found another piece of Toby's history.  We had done some genetic testing and had an MRI done on his brain and ears to see if we could find out why Toby is Deaf.  He turns out that his ears and brain are perfect, but his deafness happened because he is missing a specific gene.. Connexin 26. (Isn't the medical science out there so cool that they could tell me this specific information?)   Apparently, his biological parents were carriers of this deficiency and when he was conceived there was a 1 in 4 chance that something would be wrong.  In Toby's case, he was born Deaf.  We are NOT planning on going the Cochlear Implant route at this time.  It is not a 100% guarantee and we don't feel comfortable with taking that risk.  So... Toby will be a Deaf child that can function just like any other person in society.  He will have a language and his intelligence proves that he can do anything that he wants to do in life.  Deafness and the inability to talk will not stop our boy!  Deaf people can do anything except hear!  We are so excited to give Toby all the opportunities that he can get to succeed in whatever God has for his life.

Below are some activities that we did this month.. Click on the pictures to make them full screen if you want .We are so proud of his progress and hope that improvements will be made in the area of his behavior everyday... (Prayer request #2).  He can be a rascal at times, but his cuteness far outweighs his misbehavior.

On Wednesday nights, Toby goes to Awana.  He is in a special class and learning verses and Bible stories!

This was the end of the year awards night!

Toby is also in Preschool Praise at church.  The video right below contains a couple clips of his performance! You've GOT to see this! He is a hoot.

Dr. Choo is Toby's Pediatric ENT who found the cause of his deafness.  Toby really liked him!

Sticker charts/positive reinforcement prizes work well for those areas we are working on.  Yeah Toby!

Love all my babies!  I am blessed to be their Mommy!

Mothers Day 2014 was very special for both of us this year!

We sent up a balloon to heaven to wish my Grandma a Happy 100th birthday.  

Strawberry Shortcake...  Toby LOVED it!

Last year (before Toby) our family won a video contest with Cedar Point.  The prize was a trip to Cedar Point (The BEST amusement park in the world) and we got to introduce the new rides for the 2014 season.  So on May 8, we were invited back to the Media Preview of the two new rides and we got to  ride them first.  There were TV cameras, newspapers, website representatives everywhere.  We were treated so kindly by Cedar Point and the funny thing was, we were even recognized by other people as "the people on the commercial."  Yes, we got to experience our 15 minutes of fame.. haha  First the commercial is shown from 2013 and then pictures from the Media Preview taken this month.

On our way to Cedar Point!

Toby didn't know what to think about all these huge rides.

Luke and Cassidy being interviewed.

Toby's first American ride!

I was more nervous then him.

Lake Erie Eagles.  We are standing with the Cedar Point Representatives that filmed the commercial.

He wasn't scared a bit to run next to these characters.  He almost knocked them over.

Toby thought this was Cailou with hair.
He kept trying to get Lucy's attention, but she didn't see him.  It was funny.

Big Sister and Toby

Little Sister and Toby

Toby's first rollercoaster.  He loved it!

It was a kiddie coaster and these two barely fit in the seats. haha

Cassidy was a bit more nervous.

Toby thought this character was Henry (the Bouchers "old" dog)

Linus, Toby and David randomly started skipping through the park.  He was so funny!

He was a squirrely boy today.  I forgot the stroller...my bad!

If anyone knows Chinese, let me know what this says.  Toby liked it!

Love my children! From 19 to 4 and everything in between.

Pipe Scream was the other new ride.
Cassidy introducing Woodstock's Airmail.

Toby on Lake Erie's beach. Can't wait to take him to the ocean.  He will love it!
Cassidy introducing Wilderness Run.