Finally.......Forever a Family

Friday, July 4, 2008


Well, Many have commented that I haven't posted enough pictures lately.................I don't know how to make this a "private" blog, so that's why I created the other for her pictures................but I figured I should just go ahead and post them here anyway. These are the latest, though they are from about 2 months ago..................I'm not quite the photographer that my Uncle Rich and his daughter Stacey are! :):):)

Health wise, Isabelle is still considered "failure to thrive" because of her weight, but she is totally proportional and is tall and skinny..............:):):) something probably never said of she's almost caught up to others her age in everything but the size. At least she's on the American charts now for height and head circumference................we're not worried about it in the least. We were actually told by our nutritionist to ADD OIL to her liquid foods............yep, just like Jack Sprat, we can eat no fat and she can eat no lean! :):):) Her personality is so fun! Those of you who haven't met her or haven't seen her in a while, we need to meet up as soon as the gas prices start to stabilize! :):):)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Growth and Recovery

As my wife post many of these blogs, I wanted to post this update. Isabelle's surgery on her lip is healing quite nice. It is amazing how enduring of a smile that she has through the struggles of dealing with cleft lip and palate. I am reminded that no matter the circumstances in life that an enduring smile can be contagious and can encourage others even from one such as this little one.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lip Revision Surgery

Well, we've decided to make the blog more of a "big moments" type thing........and put the new pictures in a new blog area,

Today was Isabelle's lip revision surgery. We had to be there at 6:30, yes, I actually had to be out the door by 6 A.M.!!!!

We got there and Isabelle was SO FRIENDLY with everyone in the waiting room............then she went on in and played peek a boo in the individual exam room! She was blowing kisses at the nurses and keeping everyone in stitches..............and that was BEFORE the versed!!!!! (versed is the medicine that they give you to help you not feel or remember anything while being put under anethesia)

We were told it would be a 1.5 hour surgery. About an hour into it (a little after 8:30), we got a call saying that everything was going well and they were continuing to work on it....................... no worries.............................then about an hour later (yes, I said an hour later) I started was going longer than we were told and no one was updating us anymore. At almost 2.5 hours, the dr. came out and said she was a "new person." He said that her lip was more attached than he had realized, so they went in a totally redid her lip and worked some on her nose as well. Needless to say, I was nervous about seeing her then and Gary was out running errands without his cell phone on!!!!

About 30 min. later, they let me see her. I had just reached Gary, so he was coming back to the hospital. I went in and she was SO different. Her little nose and mouth are really swollen right now, but her nose isn't symmetrical in shape anymore (though both nostrils are about the same size now) she DEFINITELY looks different. She slept for quite a while in the post-op room before we finally left.......................we let her have a little milk right before taking off and that was a HUGE mistake. She threw up shortly after Gary started driving...................yes, all over the car seat, nighty, and other stuff.......................I took off the nighty (didn't have another one with us either) and decided to carefully hold her on the ride home (please don't report us :):):), this is NOT typical and God really blessed us on the rest of the trip).

She's currently sleeping on my lap ~~ don't know exactly how WE are going to sleep, but she's got it all under control from her side! :):):)

It'll be another 3 weeks in arm restraints, but it's so worth it in the end.......................................

I'm waiting until the swelling goes down to take more pictures................but I'll post a couple here when I have them.

Thanks for continuing to follow us! :):):)

Terri for the Casebier's

Friday, December 14, 2007

Update after surgery!!

Hi everyone,

Isabelle had her palate surgery on the 4th and it was quite an ordeal afterwards. She is finally getting some sleep (as am I wheew!!!!). She had a 105 degree fever right after being let out of the hospital, so we went back, but they just told us to give her tylenol/motrin and to go back home................that/along with actual recovery took a couple days for her to get over, but she seems to be right back into things now.

She had her 1st follow up visits yesterday and all is WELL on those fronts.

Her ears (tubes put in) will only be checked every 6 months now, with the tubes taken out in about 18 months.

Her palate looks WONDERFUL!!!! The dr. said he left a small fistula (hole) behind the cleft in the gumline for future surgery help and I can't even see it!!!!

She doesn't need to see the dentist/orthodontist for another year and a half, so that's good as well.

The only other thing she has coming up in the near future is her lip revision. I can only imagine that this will cause her just as many problems sleeping/eating as the palate surgery has.

She is still wearing the no-no's (arm restraints) so that she won't put anything in her mouth, but we're allowed to take them off if we are watching her closely. Well, she doesn't put things in her mouth really, but does touch her lip/nose when we have to put the no-no's back on after the lip surgery, I think we're going to have a much harder time!!!!!

I think I'm having a harder time recouperating this time than Isabelle has!!!! She's doing so well................but we have to wait til Christmas (3 weeks from surgery day) to leave off the no-no's and start giving her some of our foods again (she'd just started eating solids during T-day weekend).

Her lip surgery will either be during Spring break, or right at the beginning of summer so that I can be with her for the 3 weeks afterward.......................

I'll update more as things happen.

For now though, I've decided to open a picture only blog so that those just wanting to see new pics can go there without thumbing through all this stuff.............


Terri for the Casebier's

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Isabelle's dr. reports and update

Hi everyone...........

I just wanted to let you know what is going on with Isabelle's health.

1st ~~ We have seen an ENT and her hearing is good, though there is fluid behind her ears (VERY common in cleft palate). So, we will be having tubes put in her ears during her palate surgery next month.

2nd ~~ Her cleft palate surgery is scheduled for noon on Dec. 4th. Before then, we have to get her off the bottle and off the pacifier. These are the only 2 items she really has from the orphanage still, so she'll be losing her "comforts"........please pray that the transition gets going and is fairly easy.

3rd ~~ Speech therapy has started because Isabelle has quite a few "feeding" issues. She doesn't like to put anything EDIBLE in her mouth (other than through a bottle), only those things that aren't edible. We need this to get her off the bottle/pacifier.

4th ~~ She has had her OT evaluation and, though we have seen a TON of improvement in the last month, she will be starting occupational therapy soon. There are some sensory integration issues and some developmental delays that we will be working on through this.

Isabelle is SO smart and LOVES to explore!!!! She's not too afraid to put her hands in things, as long as it doesn't stick to her hands...........:):):)

She is really doing well. She still doesn't walk or cruise around things (other than her playpen), but she has SO much going for her. I THINK she's gained about 2 pounds just since she's been home AND her little legs are getting a lot stronger (through walking with us letting her hold our fingers).

We also have been able to get pictures done for our adoption I'll post them soon.

Well, it's hard keeping up now because she continues to have problems with schedules................just now she woke up again..............

I will post more later.

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!!!!

Terri for the Casebier's

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Update from home

Hi everyone..............we got home last Sunday and things have been a blur since then.

In Russia Isabelle showed me what she learned from the orphanage.........they have them sit on the potty after changing them, so each time I changed her diaper, she would go pee again right day she peed 4 times on me........that's right, on me..........and all her clothes. Boy I must LOVE this

She stayed in a playpen while we had her in Russia and she was fine with it. The moment we got back, she refused to use a playpen. Gary was up most of the 1st night with her (she'd slept a COUPLE hours on the plane AND had a 10 hour time change). He finally got her to sleep (after waking me up 2-3 times when he tried to put her in the playpen and she'd wake up) about 5 a.m......................

Going from no children to 1 that's on a major time change AND a toddler is hard...........she doesn't sleep as much as the orphanage noted and DEFINITELY less than a newborn.............and needs EVERYTHING!!!!!

Tuesday I took her for her 1st well baby check. After getting 3 shots and having to get blood drawn twice, as well as give a potty sample............she's got to do it all again in another month..............they have to update her shots, do another potty sample (she's got a bug right now), and give some blood again.........I'm not looking forward to the fussiness again.

Monday (yesterday) we went to our 1st cleft dr. appointment. He said that she immediately needs to get off of the bottle (she'll only eat by bottle) and the pacifier before she can have her surgery..............the bottle and pacifier are her only Russian comforts left. I wanted to get her on solid foods, but then I thought about how she's going to have to be on liquids for 3 weeks after surgery............SO, we have to change her diet only to change it back!!!! Add stress so that later we can change that back.........and then back again!!!!!! YUCK!

The cleft dr. said that we should be able to have her surgery in Dec. or Jan.......he also said that we shouldn't do ANY daycare in the meantime..............we need to have it in Decemeber (not just because it's earlier and better for her, but because I have to go back to work soon, esp. if I can't stick her in daycare before surgery).............

Well, his scheduler called today and told me all the details of the surgery........then asked me if I wanted surgery in Dec. or Jan. when I told her Dec., she promptly told me that she didn't have any 3 hour surgeries in December...........she told me to call back later though.

I just called back and got a surgery scheduled for December we'll have to keep her up on the 3rd til midnight or that when she wakes up (hopefully around 10 am) she won't be up as long without eating...............but usually she's STARVING when she wakes up.

So, let me recap prayer requests:

1. Transitioning her off the bottle and pacifier
2. Her food eating sensory issues (appointment on this Thurs. afternoon)
3. Ear dr. appointment not scheduled yet(most cleft babies need tubes put in and we
need to see if Isabelle needs this)
4. Surgery on the 4th of December!!!!! and the recovery time (3 weeks, yes, that's
Christmas day!!!)

Thanks for following on our journey with Isabelle.................
Terri for the Casebier's

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Russia Update

Hi everyone!!!

Isabelle greeted Stacey (my cousin) and I warmly on Sunday afternoon. Our flights (except a couple hiccups) and our road trip to the orphanage went well. Everything (at that point) that I warned Stacey about went just the opposite of my warning (like the Moscow customs line that's usually VERY hard to get through and long, had no line at all basically, though they were still slow and I was the 2nd to last to get through...........:):):) ).

The road trip back from the orphanage was a bear though. It took us at least an extra hour to get back to the city and hotel. That night we tried to feed her, but she wouldn't eat. We couldn't figure out the formula/baby food combinations, but tried. I figured she was just tired and put her to bed. A few hours later she was up again and still wouldn't eat. I got concerned and tried to call our translator, but her phone number wasn't available. The next morning she still would not eat, though she was VERY hungry and fussy by then. So, I tried to use a a spoon with the baby food (like we do in the States) and she was so hungry that she let me do that for a little bit. We finally figured out that it was possibly the nipple on the bottles that was bothering her. She wouldn't even let me put the bottle in her mouth, though she would look at it longingly.

We headed to the store and got some more bottles and a couple other small items and went back to try it out. She was still apprehensive, but "aunt" Stacey held her arms and made her try it. She wasn't fussy very long at that point. I think she'd just got to the point where she didn't trust the nipples and that's why she wouldn't try out the new ones. The American bottles are not what she's used to, and the Russian ones don't touch her cleft palate the same way. Up to this point we hadn't seen any bm, but thanks to Whitney (Stacey's sister in Colorado) we knew we were ok with just the formula for now (she won't eat the babyfood unless we mix it somehow with the formula).

Last night she woke up again late (but I was up anyway) and she went back to sleep laying on top of me, then beside me..........................from which point I eventually was able to move her into the playpen. She seems to be bonding very well to me AND to Stacey. I think the real test will be when we see her around others (esp. women) and if she'll cling to me rather than just going off with anyone.

Today (Tuesday) she is an absolute pistol. I was concerned yesterday because she was being so quiet in her crib. I was concerned that she'd learned not to cry because it did her no good. Well, she's quite over that!!!! She's not only crying, but babbling up a storm. It's hard to get her to nap on the orphanages schedule.................but she's finally down for a little right now.

We head back to Moscow in a couple hours. All of our paperwork here is done (as of today). Tomorrow I get to hear her full lung capacity at the dr. office..........yuck! Then Thursday we are at the US Consulate and Friday at the Russian, I sure am going to be well versed at these government things now. We're in Moscow til Sunday morning and will be back home in the evening Sunday.

I miss everyone and hope to hear things are going well.

Terri for the Casebier's
Forever Family Day 10/09/2007