Can We Go Home Yet?

Hey Folks. First I’ll start with some good news: last night Mercy slept all the way through the night, over 13 hours! We were nervous about how the girls would do with sleep, so this was a surprising blessing. Noella also slept through the night, except for when she woke up puking. So praise the Lord for that blessing of rest for our girls, even if Blake and I barely slept last night.

If you’ve been following us on Facebook, you know we have had a really rough day, especially for our sweet Noella and for her daddy. After I posted last night, Noella continued to vomit into the morning. She couldn’t keep down any liquids, including medicine, and was becoming dangerously dehydrated. So Blake took her to the hospital while I stayed at the hotel with Mercy. I’m so thankful for Blake’s willingness to take her to the doctor. He immediately offered, knowing that I was a basket case. I gladly accepted and was so relieved I wouldn’t have to deal with navigating that stressful situation at the hospital.

While Blake and Noella were gone, Mercy and I actually had some sweet 1 on 1 time at the hotel. We ate breakfast together which consisted of various fruits. I learned that she likes pineapple, mango, and banana, but she does NOT like watermelon. Then we got out a few toys and played. Yesterday, Mercy was totally listless, showing no emotion or facial expression, and she never made a peep (except for her 1 meltdown where she cried, but still no words). She also never really tried to move, walk, or crawl. She would just sit and stare, which was her way of coping with this transition into a whole new environment and family setting, so we were not surprised by these behaviors. Today, however, when it was just her and me, she really began to open up. I FINALLY got a smile out of her and discovered that she has ADORABLE dimples! She also started chattering away in Kirundi! We started looking at some pictures in a photo album, and she immediately recognized herself and her sister and started naming them! I taught her to identify Mommy and Daddy, so that was really sweet to see her calling our names, even if she isn’t totally sure what it means yet. Whenever I point to myself and say “Momma” she then points to herself and says “Momma”. So we’re still working on that. But it was just so great to hear her giggle and see her true personality come through.

Meanwhile, Noella was getting some fluids through an IV to help rehydrate her. They also drew blood and ran a series of tests. Pierre, our attorney/guide/translator, and Noella the Orphanage Director were there as well, and they did a great job of keeping her calm during the unpleasant business of getting stuck with needles! Blake said the hospital was nice and the staff were helpful, so that was encouraging, given the state of many hospitals in developing nations. All her tests came back negative, so we are thankful it isn’t malaria or something equally as serious. They did discover that she has anemia, so they gave us some iron for her. After she got fluids, she was feeling much better, and the doctors gave her some juice and fruit before sending her home. It turns out though, that the juice and fruit were a bad idea, because not long after returning to the hotel, she vomited it ALL OVER the place. Her fever was also still over 101. Then, she hit us with some MASSIVE diarrhea. We spoke to our pediatrician from the International Adoption Clinic, and she said that the diarrhea is actually a good sign because it means it’s probably viral instead of bacterial. The bad news is that with a virus we just have to ride it out.

Thankfully, she was able to keep down some acetaminophen which brought her fever down some. But she has just been sleeping for hours and hours and clearly feels miserable. Our pediatrician told us to just give her 1 ounce of juice every 4ish hours to keep her hydrated and that’s about all we can do. We’re also trying to quarantine Noella to try and keep Mercy healthy, which is not easy when we all share a hotel room. This evening Mercy also had some bad diarrhea, so please pray that that was a 1 time event and not a symptom of this virus. So tonight, Noella and I will be sleeping on a little loveseat while Blake and Clairia stretch out in the king bed.

I gotta brag on Noella for a minute. During all this, the vomiting, the diarrhea, the achiness and misery of a fever, the being stuck with needles, she has been a straight up trooper. She really hasn’t even cried. She just wants to be snuggled and sleep. The same cannot be said for her parents though, who have been weepy wrecks all evening. I’ve also gotta brag on Blake who had the incredibly difficult task of watching our sweet girl go through a great deal of pain at the hospital and had to try and figure out what was happening through a significant language barrier.

This parent guilt thing is for real, y’all. Blake is feeling like he didn’t do enough at the hospital to make sure Noella was taken care of (even though there was nothing more he could do), and we both feel like we just have no idea how to handle all this. We had a nice daily routine planned out in our minds for mealtimes, naptimes, bathtimes, etc. and y’all, it has all gone to pot. I feel like we aren’t doing a good job of caring for Mercy while Noella is getting all this attention as we are constantly having to cart her back and forth to the toilet and try to administer medicine, while Mercy just chills by herself. We are eating at random times, have no semblance of a schedule, and I haven’t even showered. We were ready for the obstacles of attachment and transition, but this virus just crapped all over our preparations (literally). Today, we have definitely experienced the type of prayers that we cannot vocalize, but we know the Spirit intercedes for us even when all we can manage are groanings.

Tomorrow, we will be meeting with the Central Authority (government officials who oversee matching adoptive families and filling out their paperwork). As it stands, one of us will stay here with Noella while the other takes Mercy to the embassy for the visit. Also, it was recently discovered that the girls have some relatives on their mom’s side of the family – some half siblings and an aunt/uncle. They have asked to meet with us to say goodbye to the girls so that will probably also happen tomorrow. We are VERY nervous/wary of this meeting because we have no idea what it might hold. Will they just ask us for money? Will they change their minds when they see how friggin awesome our girls are? Will this confuse the girls? We originally weren’t going to meet them because they live 3 hours away, but they were so insistent that they are finding a way to get here, even though the fuel shortage makes it very difficult to travel long distances (cars wait in line 3-5 days to get gas, and people pay others to sit in their car until it’s their turn). We are hopeful that we will learn some more info about the girls’ family history and get some photos of them that the girls will cherish in years to come.

We have quite a few prayer requests tonight:

Please pray Noella wakes up feeling totally healthy! No fever, no vomiting, and no diarrhea.

Please pray Mercy, Blake, and I stay healthy, and that Mercy’s diarrhea earlier was not a symptom of the virus.

Please pray for Blake and me to rely totally on the Lord for our strength and to not be overwhelmed by this situation or our guilt.

Please pray we are able to develop a routine with the girls to help them begin to feel safe and secure.

Please pray for our meeting with the girls’ family tomorrow – that it is a sweet, special time, and not one that is awkward for us or difficult for the girls.

Pray that the family will receive some closure and joy in saying goodbye. Pray that God gives us the appropriate words to say for such a meeting.

Read our adoption story and why we felt God calling us to adopt.

Check out other blog posts about Lindsay’s ministry and our adoption.

Read Lindsay’s testimony and learn about her work with World Orphans.

We were able to adopt debt free thanks to the help of this resource.