Benjamin Jonah Estes was born on April 03, 2002 and, due to feeding challenges, was hospitalized for his first eight weeks. Our adoption of Ben was unexpected, but once the wheels were in motion it was crystal clear that embracing him into our family was most certainly 'meant to be' - a perfect sibling for Max (RTS - born '97), ZoŽ (born '88) and Devin (born '85), and a precious son for his parents, Janet and Jeff. How did we ever get along without him?!
Those early feeding challenges are long gone and Ben's health has been excellent. He does have blocked tear ducts, but we have successfully avoided infections through daily massage of the ducts. Ben will likely require surgery for his one markedly angulated thumb. His testes are undescended, but are low and present in the inguinal canal, so his urologist has recommended we don't intervene. Ben has mild eczema, which has been easily controlled with the occasional use of prescription cream. In the near future, he will undergo a sleep study, due to suspected sleep apnea.
Ben is the most easy-going little guy! He is cheerful and silly, engaging and contented. If all babies were as laidback as Ben, there'd be a population explosion! He is extremely social, but also very content to entertain himself. Ben began crawling at 20 months and can now pull to a stand with ease and has just recently (since Sep '04) started cruising along the furniture. For now, he is non/pre-verbal. Ben loves music, his Jolly Jumper, going for walks/drives, playing in water, watching videos, swinging, looking at books and cuddling.
It is a joy and a privilege to watch Ben unfold and to watch his relationships with his siblings evolve, particularly with his big brother, Max (also born with RTS). It is our hope they will be great buddies and lifelong peers to one another. They are already quite the duo! Life is good...