Gaining Weight & Doing Great!!

26 Aug

YOU GUYS!!!!!!

I just got an update from my agency– Theo is doing great and gaining weight in the hospital!!!  I received 4 new photos and the original report from his visit to the doctor last week before he was admitted to the hospital.  The report doesn’t say much, it is just a one page form with his name, age, gender, weight/height/head cir. and his diagnosis, which is “acute severe malnutrition”.

Theo is 21 months old.  His weight upon admittance to the hospital was 14.7 lbs, length was 24 inches.  I’m excited to see how he grows in the coming weeks!!

The doctor wrote on his report that Theo needed to be admitted to a “feeding center”.  What he meant in an orphanage (technically, they are called a “feeding center”).  The sad thing is he didn’t realized the Theo had already been in a “feeding center”.  That’s how bad the malnutrition was.  SO thankful he is in the hospital now.

The pictures of him are glorious. SIMPLY GLORIOUS!!  I wish I could share them because he is, indeed, the cutest baby alive.  Ever.  Cutest baby to ever live.  NO I’m not biased.  He is smiling in the pictures and even resting his head on a woman’s leg all cuddly-like in one of the pics (I’m assuming this lucky lady is his nanny).  I’m SUPER jealous of this lady, but glad she is there to snuggle my boy when I can’t!  He looks so much better already.

Feeding Tube

24 Aug
On Saturday morning I got an update from our caseworker on Theo’s condition.  Our in-country staff is not working on the weekend but they called the doctor directly to get an update so that I would not have to wait until Monday.
The doctor says he is doing “fine” but they had to insert a feeding tube.  He is too weak and/or too sick to eat and the doctor did not want to risk fighting him to take a bottle. The feeding tube is pumping nutrients directly into his stomach and when he is stronger, they will try to get him to take a bottle.  The doctor also said that when Theo has recovered and is strong enough to be discharged, he is happy to continue to let Theo stay as long as we want, as long as there is room and they don’t need his bed for another sick child.  That is all we know for now.  My agency is working on getting all the other details about Theo’s condition, what he’s being treated for, how long the doctor expects for his recovery, the estimated cost of his care, etc, etc.
I hate to think about the fact that Theo was wasting away in the orphanage and none of us knew.  If Robyn hadn’t asked EVERY DAY to be taken to visit him a few weeks ago when she was in country, we wouldn’t have known.  And the orphanage wasn’t forthcoming with any information, that’s for sure!  We have never gotten any information about his weight or health from them.  Because of this, I am feeling SUPER cautious about getting frequent and thorough updates on how he is doing.  I’ve emailed my agency a list of what I’m expecting in the realm of communication from now on:
1. Weekly updates on his health progress and weight gain, height, head circumference.
2. Photos (with the weekly updates) of Theo in his diaper, including a photo of him hooked up to a feeding tube right now.
3. 100% complete unfiltered transparency about his health and situation.  If the truth is ugly, I want to hear it.  Please DO NOT try to “spare” me any details that you think will upset me too much.  I need to be prepared to care for him when he gets home and am already consulting with the International Adoption medical clinic here in Seattle.  The more info I can give them, the better they can prepare us for what Theo will need when he gets home.  There are no international adoption specialist in our health insurance network, but if I can prove the need for a specialist, our health insurance will cover the costs of an IA Pediatrician after Theo comes home.  So the more info I have now, the better.
4. Permission for missionary friends and other adoptive families to visit Theo in the hospital.  I have two missionary friends there who would love to visit Theo for me.  Also several families will be traveling for Embassy in the next couple weeks and all of them are willing to visit him for me, if possible.  For me, the more people who see him in person, take pictures of him and can just let me know how he’s doing — the better!
5. Any and all medical reports from the doctors, including the one from his doctor appointment on Tuesday (still waiting on translation???), the assessment of his condition after being checked in, etc.  I want to know EVERYTHING he is being treated for and every part of his diagnosis.
6. A current report on his development milestones.  For instance, can he stand up? Crawl? Walk?  No one has been able to tell me this but it should be obvious information to anyone who spends more then two minutes with him.
7. Lastly, I want to be alerted immediately if his condition takes a turn for the worst or if he is not getting better.  At the risk of sounding paranoid or fatalistic, I need to say this.  If he is not going to get better and his life is at risk, I want to know immediately and will be traveling at once to be with him in person.  I just need to get this on the table – if he is going to die, I want to be by his bedside holding him when it happens.  As unlikely as this scenario may seem, we all know it is possible and I just have to say that.
I will keep this blog updated whenever I get new info.  Depending on the cost of his medical care, we may set up a Care Fund for those who would like to donate.  Several people have already asked me about this.  We have NEVER asked for money during this adopting process.  We have done a couple of small fundraisers (garage sales, the Skirt Sale I did in the spring, cape fundraiser) that raised a small fraction of our adoption costs by selling products that people wanted to buy.  Josh and I knew we wanted to adopt before we got married, so we’ve been saving since the day we tied the knot.  Through a lot of hard work, sacrifice and budgeting we have saved the majority of the $30k+ we needed for this adoption, but this medical care is an extra cost that we didn’t anticipate.  For that reason it may be necessary for us to set up a Care Fund and humbly ask for support from anyone who feels led to give financially. I will let you all know if we get to that point.
Again, thank you so much for the outpouring of love, encouragement and prayers during this time.  It has been a very stressful season.  Many of you have asked how I’m doing.  Well….I’m doing about as well as you could expect for a mother who has a child in the hospital, hooked up to a feeding tube, in another country.  Some days I am seriously fine and am resting in the confidence that Theo is getting the care he needs from an excellent doctor.  Other days you can find me sobbing in my car in the parking lot of Joann Fabrics, trying to pull myself together long enough to walk into the store and buy Seahawks fabric for the skirts being ordered off my Etsy site.  All the while my extremely empathetic 2-yr old in the back seat is asking in a concerned voice, “Mommy??  WHY you crying?  Are you sad, Mommy?  Mommy, why you sad?”   I’ve gained 7lbs in the past 3 weeks from stress, so that is really cool too.  This is extremely frustrating to me because it’s taken me all summer to lose 3lbs (YES, I am still trying to lose the baby weight from having Giselle over 2 yrs ago) BUT if I needed to go through that much stress and chaos in my life in order to get my baby in a hospital and SAVE HIS LIFE, then you know what I say? Bring on the fat pants.
Because, adoption.

Protected: About the “good news” I got earlier….

19 Aug

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Taking a Deep Breath

19 Aug

I just spoke with our case worker once again about Theo’s condition and I got some more details that have greatly comforted my heart.  We are still waiting for the doctors full report but we know that is condition is not as dire as I had feared.  Praise God!  One of the main reasons he is being admitted to the hospital is because we know that we cannot hold the orphanage accountable to get him healthy.  They COULD feed him the high nutrient formula that I sent over with another traveling family this week and get him to a place of stable health but there is no way to guarantee that.  The orphanage director is very defensive, not open to outside input and very hard to work with so it is best for him to be removed from there and be in an environment where his care can be better controlled.  Our agency pushed to have him admitted to the hospital so that what the doctor prescribed for his care WILL happen.  Having him in the hospital will give our agency staff better access to him so they can get me update a couple times a week on his condition.  He will also have one-on-one nanny care, which is something we all want for him as well!!  He can’t get that in the orphanage but in the hospital, it is policy.  My case worker also assured me that my agency has had many children in Theo’s condition admitted to the hospital for better care over the years, and all of them have come out thriving and gone home to their forever families.

Thank you for the outpouring of love and prayer, please keep it coming!  I will keep you all updated when I know more.

Protected: Court Date & Our Son’s Health

19 Aug

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Protected: Its official. Officially heart breaking.

6 Aug

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Anti-climactic Update

4 Aug

This morning our court document was scheduled to be redone.  In case you missed the last post, MOWA lost our court document weeks ago but failed to inform our adoption agency.  They waited until the last minute to fess up and make an appointment to have the document redone.  Without the court document submitted by MOWA, we cannot receive a court date and travel to meet & adopt our son.  We’ve been waiting on pins and needles for this day to come for the past week and I did not let my phone out of my site all morning, hoping for an encouraging update that our case has been submitted to the court and we’ve been given a travel date.  I just talked to my case worker and here’s what she said:

What we know:

  • We know that the court document WAS redone today.  Yay.  Sometimes appointments like this are made and people don’t show up, so we can thank God that everyone showed up and the document was redone.
  • We know that the court has not released a new schedule of court dates yet.

What we DON’T know:

  • We don’t know if MOWA has filled out and submitted our document to the court. (We know they got the document redone today, but don’t know if they actually filled it out and handed it off to the court.  I REALLY HOPE THEY DID THIS and that they aren’t dragging their feet for any reason).
  • We don’t know if MOWA will inform us when they submit the court document (typically they don’t inform us and we just hear that we have a court date some time after they’ve submitted the document).
  • We don’t know if the court is still issuing court dates for August.
  • We don’t know if the court will give us a date for October, in the event that there are no more August court dates.
  • We don’t know when we will know more information (hopefully tomorrow?).

A few other families from my agency had prelim hearings today so the in-country staff is vigilantly checking with the court to see if/when they will issue court dates for all of us.

Please continue to pray, pray pray!  There is still time for God to move.  Pray for mercy and urgency and good old fashioned compliance in the hearts and attitudes of ALL those who will be part of the decision for if & when we get a court date.

I already have all of our orphanage donations packed.  Tonight I will pack our suitcases because if we get a court date, we will have about two seconds travel notice.  I want to be ready so it’s not more stressful than it needs to be.  The worst thing that could happen is we don’t get a court date and I cry a thousand tears while I unpack my suitcase.  Just a day in the life of an adoptive mom.

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