Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Friday, August 13, 2010

Can She or Can't She?

Hear that is.  Ever since we met Nadia we had concerns about her hearing. She wouldn't respond to us calling her, would rarely, if ever, blink or respond in any way to loud noises, and just overall wouldn't make eye contact with us when we were talking to her.  She also likes to put her hands on our necks to feel the vibration when we're talking.  All seemingly classic symptoms of hearing loss. 

Her first audiological/ENT exam showed that she had no movement at all in her ear drums and that she was a great candidate for tubes.  They also tested her hearing in the sound booth but the results were inconclusive because she was very inconsistent in her responses.

So, she had her tube surgery about 3 weeks ago and all went well with that.  We've noticed improvements in her responses to us and she'll  react once in awhile when our dog barks or other loud noises "startle" her.  We've always wondered if some of her lack of response/reacting is just the language issue since she's only heard English for 2 months as opposed to Russian for over 2yrs.  We also realize that spending 2yrs. in an orphanage might  lend itself to some learned "tuning out" behavior. 

We still get a lot of this "look" where she turns her head and purses her lips as if she's really concentrating on trying to hear us, so I wasn't completely surprised at her follow-up hearing test today when the audiologist said that she still couldn't say for sure whether Nadia is hearing in the normal ranges. 

She is definitely hearing and her ear drums responded during the tympanogram test! However, to what degree and how consistently is still a question mark. We will repeat the hearing test in 3 months and if the results are inconclusive again, then we may need to do an ABR (the hearing test done on infants). Because of her age she'll need to be put under anesthesia for this test so I'm praying for conclusive results either way in 3 months so we can skip the ABR.

Overall, we're pleased with whatever degree of hearing she has because I was convinced in the beginning that the princess was deaf! :)  Either way, she's still our princess and she's already learned the signs for "more", "please" and "all done". This smart cookie will have no trouble communicating with us...which is definitely the up side of this potential "down".


  1. Artiom had a sedated ABR, it wasn't bad. So don't worry about that. Maybe your little princess will need some hearing aids, maybe a baha like Toma. How are her eyes?
    Artiom is going to have to have a strap for his glasses and a strap for the baha's on both ears! How crazy is THAT going to look!? Oh well. What we do for love ;)

    Adorable pictures of Nadia :) And thanks for the home school advice. It helped!

  2. So glad to hear that her eardrums are responding! Such adorable pictures, too. :)

  3. Praying that the next 3 months clear up any questions and that she can bypass complicated procedures!

  4. I'll be praying, too, for God to restore her hearing. But that's fabulous news that her eardrums are responding!

    The pics are precious. She has so much personality in her expressions.

    By the way, thanks for putting my girls on the waiting list for the Ferguson boys. ;) And I know my boys would love to escort your beautiful daughters to a prom some day (what a sweet thought), that is if their protective brothers would allow it.

    So glad things are going well for Nadia and your family.

    Much Love,

  5. Stas will have an ABR when they put his tubes in I'm told. I am frustrated waiting to schedule the tubes. I sometimes mourn what he has missed out on as he also hears practically nothing. When I sing right in his ear he is noticing something. He gets excited. He hears snaps and loud claps.....

    I'm willing to except whatever it is that Stas will end up with for hearing, but I must say that I'm mad at 'whatever'...because I think his huge delay (like a 12 month old) has much to do with his lack of his environment responding to his actions, and vica versa....GRRR! Every day that goes by without the procedure is frustrating. I know Ricky has had enough sedation and the stuff they use now (propofol ??) has such a quick half-life that it is gone completely so quickly....so personally I wouldn't rule out doing that to get more definitive answers...just a thought.

    She is way cute....I recognize some of her looks...


  6. I'm glad that she can hear you now. And how cute is that look that she gives you, the concentration & pursing of the lips...CUTE! I'll keep her in my prayers for conclusive and positive results in 3 months.

  7. Oh my goodness, friend, hearing or not, that girl is just as ADORABLE as can be. What an angel the Father has blessed you with.

    LOVE the puckered lips. SWEEEEET!

    Love you too :)

  8. Will keep praying for Nadia to have normal hearing. Already learned to sign? That's wonderful. Not only adorable, but a smartie too!

  9. Oh yay! I knew I could tell some responses like when we would drop that yellow cup and she would turn to look. I hope the tubes take up all the fluid in her ears!

    Those pics are too cute! Love the one of her clapping!

  10. She is really a darling girl!

    I hope that her hearing is not too impaired and that it is as you say, perhaps some learned "tuning out." She might be able to unlearn that! God bless.

  11. I do hope that all is well and that Nadia is hearing just fine. She looks so adorable. I can't wait to get her bff home to play with her.

  12. I want her to teach me the 'tuning out' technique!! :) Her signing is amazing, she IS one smart cookie!!

  13. Just found your blog and love that you're my neighbor! How fun! Are you part of the TDSN? Email me at eburhans at hotmail dot com if you want to get in touch!

  14. Good Morning dear Friend! I LOVE your new blog look! You are so creative and I can see your love expressed for your daughter and family expressed thru this medium. Great pics of everyone! I am so pleased to know that Nadia is adjusting so well and that she has fit in so well to life in the Ferguson Family. Will keep praying for her ears and hearing. My prayer is that we all may have "EARS" that hear, and hearts that respond like yours and Jim's have. It is an encouragement to me every time I open up this blog and read and see what the Lord is doing in your lives! Keep running the good race my love! Thanks for this blog and letting me share in your lives! Hope your first day of school goes well too! Love and miss you bunches!!!!

    Your PNW friend, (Pacific North West)