Wednesday, September 15, 2010


We've been home a week and a half, but I've been a little busy...
Our week in Ethiopia was wonderful, but we didn't get out much. The first day we arrived, we were on our own, so we stayed at the wonderful Oziopia guesthouse. Abebe was the best guesthouse manager I have met yet. He took us around in the blue minibuses (that was a thrill! and only 2 birr each, unbelieveable), and he even suggested the once a month bazaar at the International Evangelical Church. They only have it the last Saturday of every month, but it was the best place to shop! When I post photos, I will put up a photo or two from there. We went to the agency guesthouse that night, and the next morning we traveled south to meet birth family. The drive south was so beautiful and it was priceless to see all the families outside of their tukuls going about their day to day lives. We even passed a soccer game with a huge ring of people watching. Meeting the birthfamily was difficult and wonderful and priceless, and I'm very thankful that I was allowed to record it. It was a long full day, and we fell asleep at 6:30 pm that night. The next morning we saw Child #4 and she was wary of us, like I expected. Just for reference, she is fifteen months old and weighed 16 pounds when we picked her up. She took to me easily again, so I was thankful for that. We didn't have her in our care full time until the next day (embassy day). I was really nervous about that, but she was fine as long as she was attached to me. We were at the embassy four hours and she didn't really cry. Rather unheard of in our family. We stayed at the guesthouse three more days and she started to relax a little. I still couldn't set her down though. She hated the guesthouse bedroom. She tensed up and cried everytime we went in there (maybe because it was small, dark and quiet?), so we stuck with the outdoors and dining room mostly. She slept through the night very well and still does.
It's been interesting to see the progress we make with Child #4 every day. In Addis, she was fine as long as I was holding her, but she didn't smile much at all. The plane ride was about as long as I imagined it to be, but it wasn't quite as awful as it could have been. Sure, I'm not positive I had more than two hours of sleep during twenty eight hours of travel. And sure, I ended up arriving in Houston with a giant mustard colored poop stain on my jeans and twelve various milk, banana and drool related stains on my shirt. But she didn't cry as much as other kids. Actually, she really only cried when she was tired and trying to stay awake. I will admit that I almost burst into tears in the Customs and Border Patrol office at the Houston airport where we sat waiting after already being in line for over an hour. All I wanted was to pick up my luggage and go home and see my kids and sleep, but the agents behind the counter were joking with each other and in absolutely no rush. That was the closest I came to crying during the whole trip. I was thinking how nice it was to finally be back in America with our efficiency and routines, but they were apparently running the office on Ethiopian time. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Anyway, I somehow lasted through a half hour there (in retrospect, that is still far shorter than the four hours we spent at the embassy), and we finally got to go home. I was a bit nervous of what Child #4 would think of our other children, but there was no need to be concerned. We had a brief mishap right after we got home. She was fast asleep in the car seat, so hubby set it on the floor when we got inside, unbeknowist to me. I noticed the same time as our sweet timid little dog started licking her toes thereby scaring her awake and into screaming, crying mode. She was in hyper vigilant mode for a little while after that, but she quickly warmed up to Child #2 and even let me walk four feet away while they played. The hardest part has been holding her all the time. She will occasionally have an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening where I can set her down as long as I sit on the floor and don't move while she explores within an eight foot radius. If she is hungry, tired, etc. then I have to be holding her and standing up. Although, she let hubby hold her the first couple of days, she has been wary and scared of him since. It's not uncommon, but it is difficult for both of us. Last Thursday was a horrible day, probably because she had just had shots and a double ear infection, but Friday was much better. I have to focus on the baby steps that we make each day. Count every smile and laugh and remember it during the bad times. Notice the moments of independence and exploration and remember it when she won't let me put her down. Today and yesterday have been great as far as her exploring more without me, and she's been smiling more often than not lately. On the other hand, we found out she has Giardia, and I'm having the dickens of a time trying to get her to swallow the medicine. Out of seven doses (only 1 ml each), I'm not sure I've gotten even a drop down her throat. I've put it in every manner of drinks, sugary syrups, fruit. I've used a medicine syringe to push it right at the back of her throat. But without fail, she has spit it on me, her clothing, the floor, dribbled it out the sides of her mouth and down her neck. I don't blame her, if it tastes half as bad as it smells. We've been relying on YL DiGize, and thankfully, that seems to be helping quite a bit. She has even gained a pound this last week! I'm just paranoid of having Giardia go throughout our family of six and making a permanant residence here. So now I carry a bottle of Purell with me everywhere. Today, we went in to have blood drawn (six tubes!) and she had the skin prick for the TB test. It was just awful, and I don't think she liked it much either... Hopefully, there won't be anything to worry about there.
I'll try to get around to posting some photos of our trip later...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahh, but its been a week and a half, and you are making progress. You even told me she took about 15 steps today, so things are looking up! And I will be back to visit
Thanksgiving, so by then I am sure there will be improvement. Can't wait to see you! Grandma.