Allen Tribe Owns Medicals

We’ve now been parents for 5 days. They’ve been full of puke, diarrhea, hospitals, hotels, airports, airplanes, and figuring out who these two little girls are, because each day they wake up with new personality traits that they didn’t reveal the day before. Needless to say, it has been a rough few days for the Allen Tribe, and did not start off at all the way we planned. BUT…TODAY WE KICKED BUTT!

We woke up at the crack of dawn for our 6:30 am appointment at the medical clinic. I was afraid the girls would be cranky waking up so early, but they both did great! Noella especially is super happy when she wakes up. As soon as her eyes popped open, she stood up on the bed and leapt with arms open to my chest. Mercy takes a little longer to wake up, but she was still super sweet and not cranky.

Noella now appears to be 100% after her bout with the stomach bug. She’s eating {a lot} of solid foods and having no digestive issues. Because Mercy has been having diarrhea, we were sticking to mostly just juice and just a tiny bit of solid food (the BRAT diet: Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast only). Well this morning, we had given her a bit of juice and half a muffin when she puked it up :-(. But, as Blake put it, “We aren’t the same parents we were 5 days ago when Noella first got sick.” And he’s right. We knew as long as she could hold down liquids, we could just keep her hydrated, and we’d go back to doing the dance of feeding one child in one room while the other child is in another room so they don’t get jealous of the food.

The one silver lining of this morning’s episode of barf, is that Mercy was wearing her bib (the kind that is silicone and has the cupped up bottom to catch food), and her bib caught all of the puke! Praise Jesus for his little mercies! We’ve already had so many clothes, blankets, etc. get puked on that it was so nice to have one time where the clothes weren’t soiled. And it’s a good thing too because we would’ve been late for our appointment if we’d had to change her!

We got to the medical clinic and stood in the line outside to go through security. I spent the time in line rehearsing my very persuasive argument for the two of us to go in with the girls and practicing my best “please have mercy on us” face. When we got to the gate, they just waved both of us through with no questions asked! I didn’t even have to use my 3-point argument! Praise the Lord for answered prayers! Since other families with 2 kids have been unsuccessful at getting access for both parents, I’m guessing it is just because our girls are so young, they knew it would’ve been impossible to just have one parent there. And it really would have been impossible!

After standing in line, going through security, and sitting in the waiting area, it was about an hour and a half total of waiting in their strollers. The whole time they were SO GOOD! The place was PACKED wall to wall with lots of noise and a few crying babies, but they stayed calm. Then we had to go to a “counseling session” where we were told in great detail about the clinic process for visa applications and sign waivers. I went in to the counseling session while Blake entertained the girls outside for another hour. According to him, the first 40 minutes of that playtime was great, but the last 20 there were some tears. Overall though, they really handled the waiting well!

The counseling session was interesting. The counselor was very kind and, knowing everyone there was nervous about getting approval for their visas, tried to put everyone at ease with humor. He made lots of jokes, including several about Trump, which was interesting to hear an international perspective. The counselor separated everyone into groups of people applying for visas to Australia, Canada, UK, and USA. For the USA group he said “I hope you know that Trump is president there now. I don’t know what he tweeted last night, but let’s hope that he will still let you in!” He also informed the group that they would need to purchase health insurance once they reach America, and then said, “but thanks to Trump it will probably cost you everything…so…just know that before you bother with going through this visa application.”
After counseling and signing waivers, we headed over to the lab, where we had to wait another half hour. The girls were tired by now and just kinda sat limply in our laps. Then they had to get the dreaded TB shot! They really did a great job though! I was SO PROUD of them! Mercy just whimpered a bit, and Noella let out some loud cries for about 15 seconds but that was it! They were pumped about their suckers too.

Our last stop was at the vaccination center. We did not do vaccinations here because we will do them in the States, but we had to get them to sign our paperwork. Thankfully, we only had to wait about 15 minutes. Then we just had to sign out, and we were done in just under 3.5 hours! I am SO proud of our whole crew for making it through the morning with no issues, especially in spite of more sickness this morning!

Next we had to run to a local mall to get some passport photos for the girls for their next appointment on Wednesday. We also grabbed a couple essentials, like Kleenex, cuz Mercy sneezes about a pound of snot roughly every 45 seconds, and we went through an entire pack of boogie wipes in like 2 days. Rookie parenting mistake: thinking one pack of boogie wipes was enough. One pack of boogie wipes is NEVER enough.

We got back to the hotel and put the girls down for a nap. Today, we finally timed it perfectly! The girls were just the right amount of tired and went to sleep better than they’ve done any other day. Plus they were wiped after getting up so early! Blake and I actually BOTH got to eat lunch today while they slept! That’s the first time that both of us have eaten a meal since meeting the girls because the sickness and travel made it impossible. Usually it’s just one or neither of us. So that was really nice!

After nap time, we had some great playtime too. We were feeling so good about how everyone was doing that we decided to venture out to have dinner with another adoptive family! They adopted a 5 year old girl named Rita who was at the same orphanage as our girls, and they are headed back home on Wednesday. Rita LOVED seeing the girls, and doted on them like a big sister. It was so sweet! I’m not sure if Mercy and Noella remembered her, but they seemed pretty chill with her, unlike most folks they meet. It was so great to spend some time with their family to chat and encourage one another in this adoption journey!

We came back to the hotel right at the girls’ bedtime. Our pediatrician told us we should test out giving them Benadryl in the hotel before we do it on the plane to help them sleep, because for some kids it has the opposite effect and makes them crazy hyper. So tonight was our Benadryl test run, and it was AWESOME! The girls were knocked out in only about 20 minutes! I can see why people would want to drug their kids every night. In fact..are we sure that’s not an option?

I am really looking forward to tomorrow. It’s our only day this week with no appointments, so we are going to sleep in a little bit, and then go to an animal orphanage! First we’ll go see some baby elephants and then we’ll feed giraffes! We have no idea how the girls will react to this outing, so let’s hope they enjoy it! Tonight there were some cats around the cafe where we ate dinner, and they were TERRIFIED of them. So I’m hoping that animals 100x bigger are not 100x scarier.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us! We have already seen SO MANY answered prayers, and we are so grateful to the Lord for his faithfulness and kindness. Here are some prayer requests for tomorrow:

Please pray for healing for Mercy. This stomach bug is impacting her less severely than it did Noella, but it’s still difficult dealing with her diarrhea, and I know she doesn’t feel well. (While I typed this post, she had a huge blowout, so that was fun). Please pray for us as we are having to withhold food from Mercy due to this illness, and that is SO difficult for a child that has serious food insecurities from orphanage life. She’s so hungry, and it damages her attachment to us when we have to tell her she can’t have food. Plus, it makes us feel terrible. Please pray for us to have a restful day tomorrow full of fun and bonding!