TB Free, Way to Be!

Hey Friends. If you read my post yesterday, you know it was a rough day. What you don’t know is that the SECOND I hit publish, Noella woke up for the first of 4 (or was it 5?) times throughout the night, each time crying and whimpering for at least a half hour. And, Mercy again had 3 massive diarrhea blowouts, this time getting poop all over her back and even in her hair. Fun times. So our terrible day yesterday was followed by a terrible night. All of us only got maybe 2 hours of sleep before waking up at 5 to get ready for our Day 2 Medical appointment.

I decided this morning that we were giving up on restricting Mercy’s diet. Clearly it wasn’t doing a whole lot cuz she was still exploding diarrhea everywhere each night. It was just such a struggle to keep her from eating that we thought we’d see how it goes if she ate what Noella ate to see if she she could keep it all down. She did great with the food – no puking, but she did have a couple extra BMs than she previously had. It’s absolutely worth it to clean up a bit more diarrhea if it means not having to keep her in a state of hunger.

This morning we struggled again with some behavioral things and pushing boundaries. Normally the girls love to be helpers, but Noella decided that not wearing clothes was hilarious, so she made it extremely difficult to get out the door in time for our appointment. There was also some spitting and shouting “OYA!” which means “NO!” After the rough day we had yesterday, no one getting any sleep, and the tough start this morning, I was feeling pessimistic about how today would go. Thankfully, we hopped in the car in time to make it to our appointment, and the girls were chill for the 30 minute car ride to the clinic.

We arrived at the clinic, got in line for security, and began pulling out our documents. It was then we realized we didn’t have the girls’ passports, which they had made very clear was required for our appointment. I nearly lost all my marbles right then and there. Every last marble – gone. We quickly called our awesome driver Frederick to turn around and come get me to go back to the hotel and get the passports while Blake went into the clinic with the girls. We knew Blake would have to sit and wait for a while, so we were just hoping I could get back in time before he needed to show the passports. While it only took us 30 minutes to get to the clinic, on the way back to the hotel, we had to sit in traffic for over one hour. By the way our hotel is like 11 km from the clinic. It took that long to go less than 7 miles. The whole car ride, my anxiety was through the roof. I couldn’t believe we had been so careless (meaning sleep deprived and distracted by these 2 crazy humans we’re trying to keep alive) to forget the passports. Thankfully, Frederick and I chatted and it kept my mind off of what might be going on at the clinic with Blake navigating the doctor visit with both girls by himself.

We got to the hotel, I grabbed our passports, and we headed back out to the clinic. I wasn’t sure they’d even let me in by myself because I didn’t have any documents proving I had an appointment (since Blake had them). Praise the Lord no one cared and I was allowed through. I found Blake and my 2 girls just being sweet and still in their stroller. He said he had JUST gotten to the stage of the process where they needed the passports, so it was no big deal! AND he said the girls had been well behaved (meaning shell shocked and silent) the entire time! Praise. The. Lord. That was all a straight up miracle, y’all! A miracle that they let me in, that I got the passports to Blake in time, that the girls were easy to manage for him, and several other little miracles along the way that I don’t even have time to share. That whole situation was totally out of my hands, and God took care of it.

Soon after I met up with them, the girls got their physical exam. The doctor was SO kind and gentle with them. It was obvious that they were nervous, but they were very brave and didn’t freak out at all. Noella’s exam went great with no issues. Mercy on the other hand, had a reaction to the TB skin test. As a result, she had to have a chest X-ray to determine if she really has TB. So that meant we had to stay an extra hour and a half (on top of the 3 hours they’d already been there). Noella and I hung out outside and she dozed a bit in the sunshine while Mercy was getting her X-ray with Blake. He said she was SO brave, and even though the machine was very scary, she did a great job of staying still. Both girls definitely earned their suckers today! We got the X-ray results, and Mercy does NOT have TB, so we are cleared for our visa appointment tomorrow morning at 8! Praise God!

This afternoon, we came back to the hotel to have a very low key rest of the day. We ate lunch in the room and played with blocks, which the girls LOVED! That was by far the best they have ever played together. They were quiet and sharing well, and they were totally engrossed in the activity instead of being all over the place. Blake and I actually didn’t have to be right on top of them the entire time, which did WONDERS for our energy level. That was the first time they have not demanded our entire attention at all times. Thank ya Jesus, thank ya Jesus! We hope this was a window into our future once the girls are home and better trained in how to play together and share together.

Then we had nap time, which actually went pretty well, cuz everyone was so exhausted from not sleeping last night that they didn’t fight sleep long. Blake and I were even able to catch a nap with them for about an hour, which also did wonders for our energy level. The only sour part of the afternoon was that Noella woke up while Blake and I were in the other room with Mercy (it’s not actually another room, just one U shaped room, and the girls sleep around the corner from one another). Noella came into the area where we were and was whimpering and crying. We’ve always tried to make sure that one of us is there when they wake up, cuz it can be terrifying to them to wake up alone. This was the first time no one was there when she woke up, and I think it scared her to death. I picked her up and her little heart was just racing. From that moment on, for the rest of the day, she was quiet, lethargic, sometimes weepy, irritable, distant, and totally uninterested in any toys or activities. Definitely not the same clingy, smiley girl we had gotten used to. I felt terrible because while we are working so hard to tear down those walls of defensiveness resulting from trauma, our not being there when she woke up just built back up another wall. She had retreated back into her shell.

In spite of Noella’s attitude, we had a good afternoon of just taking walks around the hotel, watching some soccer on TV (because it mesmerizes them), and playing with blocks. It was definitely the calmest and most peaceful few hours we’ve had since arriving in Nairobi. Praise the Lord for that answered prayer! This was also the FIRST day/night that Blake and I both got to eat lunch, that we got a nap too, that both girls got a {much needed} bath, that both girls got their hair moisturized, and we even had Bible reading time. Then, they fell asleep within 30 minutes, which is awesome for them. When I say we had planned out a routine all along, THIS is what it was supposed to look like. One out of 7 days ain’t bad…right?

TOMORROW IS OUR LAST FULL DAY IN KENYA!!! We have our visa appointment at the US embassy at 8. Even though we have an appointment, we’ve been told to expect to wait 3 hours before our interview (which should only take about 15 minutes). We’ve also been told that they don’t allow food, which will make it much more difficult to keep the girls happy. After the appointment, we might go to a park for a bit to let the girls have some outside time. They haven’t actually gotten to play outside since we got them a week ago, and y’all know 2 year olds need some running around outside time. Whether we go will depend on how the girls are doing and on the traffic. The park is less than 2.5 miles from our hotel, but that doesn’t mean we won’t sit in traffic forever to get there.

If you could pray for the following requests, we’d so appreciate it! Thanks to those of you who are praying and encouraging us!

Please pray for us to all sleep through the night tonight! No waking up repeatedly and no poopy blowouts! Please pray for healing for Mercy’s tummy issues and for me as I’m still feeling under the weather. Please pray for our wait at the embassy to be short tomorrow, and for our interview to go well! Please pray for continued bonding and attachment with the girls, that they would grow more comfortable with us each day. Please pray we spend our last day in country wisely, whether at the park, in the hotel room, or somewhere else, that we are attune to what the girls need!