Tag Archives: Dr. Spokane

Brace Face #5



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This week Brandon joined the ranks of brace-faced kiddos at Patchwork Farm. For the next two years he will wear his orthodontic grill with pride as it moves and molds his smile into the grin of his dreams.

When Brandon moved in two months ago one of our first appointments was to the orthodontist to have him evaluated for braces. The orthodontist confirmed what we already suspected, that Brandon’s bite needed some major adjustment, so plans were made to add him to the ranks of past and present McCleery “Brace Faces.”

Grace and Rusty both needed braces and received orthodontic care through Gulland Orthodontics.

In the last 6 months, Tyler and Ozzie both began their orthodontic care at Spokane Orthodontics, an orthodontist 40 minutes closer to home who also accepts their insurance.

It was at Spokane Orthodontics that Brandon was evaluated for orthodontic care and found to be in need of braces.

Last Wednesday was the big day and he was very excited!


Brandon is self conscious about his smile and was thrilled to find out he was approved for braces. His appointment was scheduled for Halloween. We arrived at the office at 8:00am for his appointment and for the next two hours his teeth were cleaned, dried, glued, and wired until I was called back to see the finished product and we received instructions about the care and cleaning of braces.

Luckily, I am an old hat at the braces thing, having parented 4 other children through the unique dietary restrictions and hygienic care of brushing, flossing and caring for teeth shrouded in metal…

Despite having never worn braces myself.

Brandon was eager to show off his new smile.

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After his appointment, but before returning him back to school, we made a quick stop at the grocery store for soft foods and pain killers. I’ve learned that the days following the application of braces are painful ones and chewing is near impossible, so we loaded up on soups, mashed potatoes, smoothie ingredients and ice cream, and then made sure he had Advil in his system before I took him back to school.

By the time he arrived back home he was hurting but managed to rally enough to enjoy our Halloween festivities,


And he even faced the candy restrictions (that come with braces) with happy acceptance. As the kids dumped their candy and began the beloved tradition of sorting and divvying up the Halloween treats collected during trick-or-treating, Brandon, Tyler and Ozzie laid claimed on the chocolate treats that were braces-friendly.

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It was a monumental day for our newest addition…

His first Halloween at Patchwork Farm AND braces.

It was an October 31st for the memory books!

Brace Face #4


On Monday our day began with an early morning orthodontist appointment. Ozzie was the next in line for braces. Like Tyler, he will be a patient of Dr. Spokane, due in part to the closer proximity and thus greater convenience  than our beloved Dr. Gulland who was the orthodontist to Grace and Rusty, but mostly because Tyler and Ozzie’s insurance is accepted at Dr. Spokane’s.

Ozzie approached this pending appointment with the typical mix of excitement and anxiety with anxiety winning out as the stronger of the two emotions. He was nervous that the procedure would hurt or something would go terribly wrong resulting in the accidental loss of some of his teeth. Speaking to his siblings who had experienced braces and lived to tell the tale with no major dental calamities, lightened his worries a bit.

The part he was most excited about was the acquisition of the office t-shirt and the resulting monetary rewards that come from wearing it to office visits.


He was also excited about getting to pick the colors that would go on his brackets and decided before arriving that his first decorative color scheme as a new orthodontic patient would be purple and pink. He felt they were good summer colors.


We arrived and they took him back to begin the 90 minute appointment while I filled out paperwork and waited to be called in for my website tutorial.

Dr. Spokane’s office relies heavily on its online portal for communication and appointment management. One of the gals walked me through logging into the patient portal and navigating the site. From the portal we can confirm appointments, look at the boy’s before and after x-rays and photos, and watch his reward account grow with points earned through good brushing, good grades, on time appointments, etc.

Ozzie was excited to hear about their reward system which allows their patients to earn gift cards to 100 different stores through positive orthodontic (and life) choices.

After my tutorial I returned to the waiting room to wait for Ozzie’s big reveal. I was soon called back to see Ozzie’s new brace-face as they went over the rules and guidelines of orthodontic care. Ozzie was taught how to brush with braces and was given his list of restricted foods. We were soon sent out the door with instructions to get ibuprofen in him as soon as possible and stick to soft foods until the initial pain, that accompanies new braces, passes.

It was a big day for Ozzie. He left Dr. Spokane’s office excited to show off his new grin to the other kids.


We made sure to keep on top of his pain meds all day because he had an evening of fun ahead of him. All of our recent visits with Tyler’s biological brother, Brandon, has left Ozzie missing his biological sister so we made plans for a get-together. I let Ozzie plan the evening and he threw himself into the planning whole heartedly. He decided he wanted to take his sister to our local fireman’s fair to ride rides together. His plan was to begin their get-together with dinner at Brighton Hot Dog Shop. He loves the hot dog shop and wanted to share the place with his sis in case she had never had the pleasure of dining at one of their locations before.


The kids filled up on hot dogs and fries before heading to the fair.

(Not the best planning on my part!)


Carnival rides tend to only spin in circles…a bad motion following a hot dog dinner.


Ozzie approached the first ride with unbridled enthusiasm but after a few rides was looking a little green and opted to watch his sister ride while his stomach settled.



Eventually he recovered enough to give it another go and spent the remainder of the evening soaring and spinning with his sister.


It was a monumental day for Mr. Brace Face, the great and powerful OZ!

Hold on Tight!


(Beware: Photo Dump!)

Life has been crazier than normal this last week as preparations for camp come to a head, while corresponding with basketball camp for Tyler and house preparations for a visit from CYS on Friday to clear us for overnight visits with Tyler’s biological brother, Brandon. I feel as though I have been moving at a clip comparable to a bullet train, holding onto my seat for dear life.

Next week the girls and I are off to camp for the week and I am looking forward to the slower pace, the quiet and the peace I always find at Girl’s Camp. But until Tuesday arrives we will keep on keeping on. Here is a look at some of the moments that have filled our days this week…

1.We always know when summer has arrived because the dining room begins filling up with camp supplies. In the weeks leading up to Girls Camp, stacks begin appearing on the table as I think of things to pack or finish projects that will be part of my 7th year girls’ experience at camp. There are camp store piles, craft supply piles, post office supply piles, pillow treats and free time activity supplies and we haven’t even begun packing our own personal gear for this week away.


2. In the midst of preparations for our CYS home inspection and girls camp preparations, I found myself on the run every afternoon this week, taking Tyler down to Monaca for a summer basketball camp at Central Valley High School. One of Tyler’s buddies from church is a CV student and extended an invitation to join him at camp for the week. I was surprised and delighted when Tyler showed interest because it is really a testament to how far we have come in the last year with his anxiety struggles. The fact he agreed and even looked forward to joining a large group of boys he didn’t know, to learn a sport he isn’t familiar with, made me sing songs of praise for the healing Tyler has found this past year.


The week was a success. Tyler learned that he really enjoys basketball and more importantly, he learned that he can stretch himself and do things that are scary and hard.

3. Grace has now been enjoying life as a Subway sandwich artist for almost two months. When she was hired the manager made it clear she wanted to hire Molly as well but had to wait until a few of their current employees left for school, freeing up spots for new hires. Well, last week Molly got the call she was hoping for and was told they were ready to begin training. This past week she began her new job with three evenings of training at our local Subway. Molly was thrilled to discover that for her first day of work at this new job she would get to train with Grace. We now how two sandwich artists in the house.


4. Speaking of Miss Molly…I don’t know if you have heard, but our sweet Molly is headed abroad in a couple weeks. She is preparing for an adventure to Costa Rica.


About 6 months ago Molly approached me. In some research she was doing about colleges and the Peace Corps, she stumbled across and opportunity offered  to teens. The program is Global Leadership Adventures and offers teens opportunities to travel to locations around the world and serve in remarkable ways. Molly felt called to look into the GLA further and began prayerfully exploring their different programs. She has often expressed a desire to serve in the Peace Corps when she is older and thought this would be an awesome way to try the experience on a smaller scale.

For months she researched the various service programs and the various countries available, knowing that she wanted to serve in an area with a focus on environmental protection and animal conservation. She finally decided on Costa Rica where she will spend 10 days working with the Sea Turtle conservation program. Once she received personal confirmation that this is where God was calling her to serve she began saving all her paychecks to pay for this GLA experience.

She is now just two weeks away from stepping onto a plane by herself and leaving the country for the first time…EEK!

She is over-the-moon excited and we are all thrilled to see her chasing her dreams in such a bold and brave way. She is one who is destined to change the world.

5. Tuesday night was Tyler’s last baseball game of the regular season. Tyler was very excited for this particular game because rather than taking place at the normal time slot of 6:00-8:00 pm, he was playing a late game from 8:00-10:00 pm. This meant he got to play ball under the lights. He was very excited, expressing that playing under the lights makes him feel like a professional baseball player.

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Mimi Joy was able to meet us at the ball field and we enjoyed watching Tyler team take the win. What started as a dark sky in the distance, eventually became a rain shower over our heads, but we didn’t let that dampen our fun.

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After the game we took Mimi Joy out for ice cream at Berry’s, ending a fun night in a sweet way!

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6. This week we also managed to fit in an afternoon of bowling with friends. A few months ago we has a school-planned field trip to Sim’s Bowling Lanes. It was a fun day with two other families from co-op, but because of miscommunication between the school and the bowling alley we were overcharged for the event. The result was a certificate for us to return another day for two hours of free bowling.

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Last Wednesday we met up with the McCready family and the Caylor family to use our bowling certificate. The girls were both working at Subway that day but the boys and I enjoyed meeting up with friends, visiting, and engaging in a little friendly competition at the bowling alley.

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7.  This week also entailed a trip to the orthodontist. Tyler has had his braces on for 6 weeks now and was due to go in to have his wire changed and things checked and tightened. I scheduled Ozzie for the same time to be evaluated for braces. While in Harborcreek he was seen by an orthodontist in Erie who recommended braces. We opted to put that recommendation on the back burner until he returned home so that he could be seen by someone closer. So, while Tyler was having his gear tightened and checked, Ozzie was seen by Dr. Spokane who agreed that Ozzie does in fact need braces as well…

So now we wait and see if his insurance agrees. We could have two “brace faces” in a few weeks.

8.  This past Friday we continued with our plan to meet our Family Based therapy team away from the home to see if that lessens the anxiety Ozzie is feeling about family based therapy. This week we met at Brady’s Run park for some fishing fun. All the kids were able to attend, although only four of them fished. Molly chose to watch. Her tender heart struggles with the idea of a hook piercing the fish’s mouth and it suffering at her hands.

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The other kids, however, had no such qualms and jumped right into the task of prepping their lines, choosing their bait, and casting out with hopes of catching a big one.

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Tyler ended up being the only one who had any success, catching a couple blue gill, but everyone had fun soaking up the sun, connecting as a family, and enjoying the beautiful views on a perfect summer morning.

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From our Family Based therapy appointment we headed home to meet with Washington County’s CYS to have our home checked and get approval to be able to pick up Brandon without a social worker supervising our visits and have him be able to stay for overnight visits.



After a crazy week of prepping for this inspection in the midst of A LOT of running it was good to close out this crazy week by passing our inspection and receiving approval to visit with Tyler’s biological brother without supervision.


What a week!






Brace Face #3


Well it is official, we are on to our third child in braces.

This time it was Tyler’s turn.

When we adopted Tyler I was tempted to check out his bite, much like an old time horse trader. Having just stepped into the world of orthodontics with Grace I knew how expensive a cute but crooked smile at age 6 could end up costing at age 12, but despite the potential orthodontics seen in the tarot cards we took the plunge, fully and completely smitten with that little man and his crooked smile.  😉

Tyler, now down to two baby teeth left in his mouth, was ready for an evaluation at the orthodontist office, and while Dr. Gulland has been our go-to orthodontist in the past we found ourselves in a different situation with Ozzie and Tyler because their health insurance (the health insurance they brought with them as previous foster children) does cover the cost of braces, but only through certain orthodontist offices. This gave us the financial incentive to consider someone other than Dr. Gulland for the boys’ orthodontic needs. I hated to say good-bye to the incredible staff at Dr. G’s office but couldn’t justify staying, simply out of loyalty, at a cost of $6000 per kid.

Luckily one of the approved providers on the list was Dr. Spokane, an orthodontist just minutes from our house. Two months ago we made our first visit to his office and found the 8 minute drive far more convenient than the 45 minutes we drove to our Dr. G appointments in Hermitage.

That appointment confirmed all that our dentist had been saying. Tyler, indeed, was a candidate for braces. In fact they deemed it medically necessary due to two impacted adult upper canine teeth that are turned sideways and unable to come down on their own.

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Once the treatment plan was sent to the insurance company and approved we scheduled Tyler’s appointment to become Brace Face #3 at Patchwork Farm.


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The “Before” picture

Yesterday we arrived at his appointment at 11:15 am. He was excited and a bit nervous as we waited for him to be called back. The days leading up to the appointment were filled with inquiries as he peppered Grace and Rusty (the braces experts at our house) with questions about what life would be like as a “brace face.”

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He was then called back and while I waited a staff member went over all the information I needed to know as a Spokane family. She walked me through the appointment reminder system, showed me how to navigate the website, and explained the reward system they use with patients that allows the kids to earn gift cards by making good decisions during their orthodontic journey. Much like Dr. G’s office, they are rewarded for things like good oral hygiene, arriving on time for appointments, and wearing their Spokane t-shirt. They also are offered other fun incentives to earn points that collect and can be cashed in for gift cards to places like Amazon.

I was soon called back to check out Tyler’s new smile and boy was he cute!

The staff member then went over the guidelines and directions for braces care with Tyler and I and gave him his kit of supplies that held things like braces floss and wax to place on the metal where it rubs in his mouth.

We left with our next appointment scheduled for 6 weeks out, when Tyler will return for his second appointment, and Ozzie will be seen for the first time for his initial evaluation.

When we left Tyler was feeling great. The doctor encouraged us to grab some lunch right away before Tyler’s mouth started hurting and to get some pain medication in him at the same time.

As we drove home Tyler kept admiring himself in the mirror, loving his new colorful smile. (He chose red and white bands.) He informed me that he now matched his buddy Carter and that his other buddy, Jonathan, would be getting braces soon as well.

“And then we will all be Braces Bros,” he declared with a grin.

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The “After” picture

By nighttime he was feeling the effect of having a mouth full of metal pulling on his teeth. Dinner consisted of a milkshake, as chewing was too painful. Grace and Rusty were helpful and encouraging as they explained that the pain and drooling would be short lived and in a few days his mouth would get used to the braces. After a second dose of pain meds he was able to finally fall asleep.


Another monumental day at Patchwork Farm packaged in pain and drool!