It is hard to believe that we brought Lexi home from China just over a year ago! We have had a very busy and wonderful year. Lexi has adjusted so amazingly well to being a part of our family. She is an engaging, loving, and happy little girl. She is also very bright, clever and stubborn, so she is keeping us on our toes! She loves to ham it up, whether it is in front of the camera or a group of people. She has the cutest smile and an infectious giggle.
There is a belief among many parents in the adoption community that a child is matched with the family that they were meant to be with. We feel this to be so true with Lexi. There were so many uncertainties we faced as we were waiting for her, but now we couldn't imagine our life without her and are so glad that we took the leap of faith. When we talked about adopting again, we weren't at all thinking about adopting a 2 year old girl who was deaf. For reasons I will never know but can only believe it was part of God's plan, Lexi was brought into our life. We feel so lucky to be the parents of two beautiful, amazing little girls who bring us so much happiness every single day.
As far as Lexi's hearing, she is doing better than I ever could have imagined. Amazingly, Lexi started saying her first words soon after her first cochlear implant was turned on at the end of March. Lexi loves to hear and constantly pointed out new sounds. She received an implant in her other ear in July, and I swear she understood that she would now hear with two processors. She did great through her surgeries and she quickly adjusted to the second implant. She requests her processors first thing in the morning- she doesn't want to miss a thing. She said "I love you" back to us for the first time in July, and I can tell you that it made all of the waiting and the appointments and the hard work so worth it.
Lexi now understands so much of what we say, and she can say close to 200 words. She can hear very soft speech, and she is constantly talking in 2-3 word sentences. Her speech is getting clearer each month. She is so eager to learn, and she is trying so hard. She definitely wants her voice to be heard. She has been in pre-school since August, and she knows her shapes, colors, can count to 10, and she knows quite a few of her letters. She is still doing well with her sign language, although we mostly use sign now only at bedtime or in the shower when her processors are off. When she was tested in November, she had progressed to about a 2 year old level with her speech and comprehension. When she first came home, she tested at a 6-9 month old level, so we are ecstatic with her progress. It has been wonderful to watch Lexi's language and personality bloom right before our eyes. I am in awe ever single day. She tells me when my phone is ringing, she can hear me call her at a crowded playground, and she can even hear the ballet teacher call her name when she is in dance class with 12 other 3 year olds and the music on. The only thing more amazing than watching Lexi learn to listen and speak is to watch the sisterly bond form and grow between our two daughters. Mia has had to learn to share everything from her toys to our attention, and she has done very well. She truly loves her little sister, and she is always eager to help her with her speech therapy, and reads her a book almost every night. It makes us so happy to know that they already have a special bond. We are so excited to see what the New Year has in store for our family, and we are thankful for our many blessings, the most important being our family and close friends who have always been so supportive. We are also especially thankful for all of the staff at the University of Miami Kids Hear Now Family Resource Center who are brilliant and really love what they do.
We wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year's!