Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Emails from Amy

Here are some excerpts from some emails from Amy that I have gotten over the past week so everyone can get a feel for what she is going through. These may not all be in chronological order.

Hello. Well, Mr. Noah is officially with me. We went to get him this morning and I recognized him right away in a room full of babies. He is the absolute happiest baby. Either smiling or laughing, no fussing since we picked him up at about 11am. He belly laughs when you tickle his tummy. He has the toothiest grin. Already have several really good pics of him.

Just laid him down for a snooze. Thought id write alittle more about him. he is definitely a little delayed physically. He is tiny with a huge belly (intestinal parasites i would guess). He crawls in a army crawl, doesnt really get his legs under him, and he loves to roll over like crazy (good thing we have a crib in the room). you may want to get the boppy out. He doesnt balance too well sitting up. He is so alert though and babbles dada and other things all the time. He seems to be a really happy boy.

Well, this place has already made me appreciate what i have. Herds of goats and sheep running down the streets, people living in little metal shanties. it is eye opening for sure.
i can hear the koran being read and songs being sung in my room twice daily. definitely not in the usa. will be ready to get back home. i stick out like a sore thumb, especially now that i am carrying him around. everyone stares. some smile, very friendly, others not so much.

Our guest house is really nice. Nice lady running it. Weather is beautiful. 70s with bright sunshine today. Gets COLD at night though and no heat in our rooms. UGHH!

Getting ready to head off to bed. your boy is quite the ham tonight. laughing and smiling. he is so funny and SO happy. Tomorrow at 9am shimellis brother is coming to get us to take us to the nuns orphanage. i cant wait to meet hilena.

there are dogs everywhere. they were barking all night last night. mangey looking things. hopefully they will be quieter tonight.

Hi there. noah went to bed about 45 minutes ago and i am on my way. exhausted and on the verge of tears all night long.

we ended up going to the nuns this afternoon. the house is way up on the mountain, a path we have not taken yet. i am telling you it was like being in a different world. people laying in the streets and in medians. children swinging dead chickens, skinny donkeys running in the road, sheep tied up waiting to be slaughtered. animal carcasses everywhere. i understand that is their food source but feel kindof sick to my stomach to have to witness it.

hilena was at school when we got there so we had to wait awhile. the nun is very nice. she got into a heated conversation with vivis mom and Shimellis's brother (our driver/escort for the day). left grace miranda and i feeling really emotional. i am hoping we passed her "criteria" for letting these children come to america with us. when hilena got home i was waiting in courtyard and spotted her right away. she is so tiny. smaller than i thought. Shim brother explained to her who i was and she very shyly gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek. she was definitely not outgoing with me which made me really sad. i told her i would be back and as we were pulling out she was waving at me with a big grin on her face. i am worried i will leave here without having any really good contact with her. i know i need to give her time but it makes me sad. i am also tired of being stared at and talked about all of the danged time. so many nice people here but so many that only stare with hardened faces also. i just feel really isolated tonight. i know that i need to get some sleep and then i will feel less emotional.

noah is doing so good mike. he is the most happy baby i have ever seen. always smiling or laughing. content to sit on my lap and pat my hands or play with my hat for hours on end. i strapped him in a baby harness today and he loved watching everything and everyone. he is already hitting toys together though (another all-boy i think). tomorrow we are going shopping and to pick up my luggage at the airport (came in today thank goodness).

hi there. it is 4:30 am here. slept fairly well for maybe 4 1/2hours. some people from finland came in at 11:30 am and the drivewayis under my window. also, dogs bark pretty much all night. usuallyjust one or 2 at a time but sometimes 6-8 will get going at once. itis out of control. am shocked all the noise doesnt wake noah but he sleeps right thru it (lucky duck) I am hoping for a better day here today. am going back up to bed fora little while. not sure if i will sleep.

monday is the ethiopian christmas and at noon we are invited to the faith home (shimellis's orphanage) to their celebration and then in the evening we are going to genawas house for their celebration. according to grace he said he will not be bringing us back until about 2 am on tues (big celebration evidently). we need to buy a baby gift for his five day old baby girl and a hostess gift for his wife. he has been so nice to us. he goes above and beyond. i feel like he is family of sorts.

so like i said the time with hilena and the rest of the kids this morning was too cool. when i got there she was peeking out the doors of their bedroom and when i waved at her she smiled. she got her hair done (she looks like the medusa from little mermaid with her hair down. its hilarious) next and i gave her the blanket while she was sitting. when i got out the camera a little later and started taking pics with her she came to life she kept trying to grab my camera. i let her take a pic of me. all of the kids (and caregivers too for that matter) are COMPLETELY fascinated by the camera. they all crowd in to get their pic taken and then make you show them on the screen afterwards. we will need to get her that fisher price indestructable camera for sure. she kept coming up to me and pulling my arm. she had me sit in a big chair with her. she just smiles most of the time. she started chattering at me in amharic (you are going to have to learn some of the important words) and just came "alive" before my eyes as the morning went along. handing out gifts is complete chaos. boys want lipgloss. girls want matchbox cars. they dont care what it is, they just want it. kindof sad. the nun was very obviously touched by our gifts and thanked us through genawa.

did i tell you that our sons name isnt even a name. it is the phrase "its possible", not a name that means "its possible". helen helps families find out the history on their adopted children and she has agreed to see what she can find for me. he was again an angel today poor guy has bleeding diaper rash. even through that he barely if ever fussed. i gave him some tylenol and mylicon (he was so gassy) and by this evening he was abviously feeling better. sat on my lap for an hour chattering non-stop. "dada, tttt, cluck, cluck" all sorts of sounds. he squeals with laughter at times for no reason. he already has more muscle control of his arms. can push himself straight up with his arms when on his tummy. he is going to flourish for sure. fell asleep about an hour ago without issue.

forgot to tell you a funny thing. this morning i was telling rob mickelson over breakfast how i was really missing eating popcorn while here. when the nun served us tea, cookies, etc today she also served a huge bowl of maize (thats right...popcorn). rob and i laughed about it as popcorn is one of his favorites too. i will start calling popcorn maize now:)

actually took twizzlers out on the balcony last night at about 11pmand threw them into the road for the dogs to eat to try to get them tostop barking. there are 1 or 2 right in front of our guesthouse thatbark and then they get the others down the road going.

noah is such a happy boy. smiles and laughs all the time. thismorning he had diaper full of diarrhea that smelled so bad i almostthrew up and he was smiling and laughing the whole time. YUCK forsure!

Hi all. better day to day for me. we went to get food to take to the nuns for their christmas celebration tomorrow and then went to the hospital to visit fitsum. evidently she is running a fever again and will not be going home with grace until at least next wed. grace and miranda are going to stay with her at the hospital tonight so noah and i are "on our own". the mickelsons from idaho just picked up their 2 kids from shimellis's orphanage yesterday and they are staying here also so i will have company.

noah is doing well. woke up really happy again today. is taking a nap right now.

i am trying to take lots of pictures. still feeling like i stick out like a sore thumb. we are going shopping for souveniers tomorrow after we visit hilenas orphanage. the ethiopian christmas is monday and genanew (shimellis brother) has invited us to his house for lunch with his wife and newborn baby girl. he has been really nice to us here (nice to have a friendly face) and i am excited to go.

i am off to rest while noah sleeps. i am completely fed up with the dogs barking all night long (no exaggeration) and am worn out. of course they bark little to none during the day. its like sleeping in the kennels at work. maddening.

its 4 pm here and i think i might have to take noah back to the childrens hospital (where fitsum is right now too). the diarrhea is now pouring out of him. cant keep clothes clean. went through about 5 outfits today. it is really watery (almost mucoid from swallowing all the stuff coming out of his lungs maybe). i am worried about him. praying that he will not have to stay and that they can give him something to help.. just want to come home mike. slept some this afternoon but felt almost worse when i woke up. just worn out.

got back from the hospital. doctor today did not speak as good of english as the one the other day. he was sitting in the lobby watching tv when we got there. evidently not very busy. he said it may be the amoxi but wanted to check a stool sample and sent me to the lab. the lab guy saw me coming (he too was sitting in the lobby watching tv) and after i paid my 10 birr (1 dollar) lab fee went down to the lab with him. he gave me a container and sent me down to the bathroom which had 2 stalls and nothing else. hmmmm.....i am going to lay him down to check his diaper where? alas, no stool so we went up to visit addis. she has a nasogastric feeding tube now so she has had more food today then probably ever. i guess grace said someone asked her if she (addis) could swallow a pill. hmmmm..... i am telling you it is so surreal being here. people carrying their sheep and goats home. dragging them, carrying them on their shoulders, on top of their cars. all will be slaughtered for the christmas celebration tomorrow. i may have to put my my mp3 player in tonight and tomorrow am to ensure i dont have to be privy to what is to come. makes my stomach sick to think about it. helen says they treat the animals here horribly. really upsets her. i told her i know that it is an important food source and thus vital but dont want to have any part of the process.

noah is as always in a fantastic mood. laughing and rolling around on the floor. gave him some pedialyte so hopefully this will make him feel better. hasnt affected his appetite any.

i will be going to bed early tonight. helen has a night guard she hired today who will be out there at night throwing rocks at the dogs if they start barking. oh nellie, i dont think i am in kansas anymore.

Hello there. how are you 2 doing this morning? I am totally wipedout today. slept for maybe 3 hours last night. dogs barked until midnight. went out on the balcony and through a bunch of twizzlers at them in hopes of shutting them up. Addis was crying and woke me up at2. couldnt go back to sleep until 4 or so and noah was up at 6 withthe foulest smelling diarrhea up his back. i dont gag easy but oh man was it bad. he took a 2 hour nap this morning and just had another blowout through 3 layers of clothes. i had to put him in the tub which totally ticked him off. the boy has a set of lungs when hewants to use them. he continues to be happy as a lark when he has clean pants.

i am going to helens protestant church service at 11:30. it is in english. i am excited to go (and need to go). hopefully noah will not have diarrhea while we are there. addis got re-admitted to the hospital (the one noah went to) thismorning. she is malnourished because she will only eat a few mls at atime. luckily the hospital is 2 blocks away. we can walk down to visit later.

slept better last night (pure exhaustion i think). i listened to my mp3 player for an hour or so (they were playing muslim music all night over an intercom somewhere) and that helped relax me and sleep. nice to even hear something familiar like my favorite music.

noah is still sleeping. he was pretty gassy last night but slept well. i was thinking this morning that i am in survival mode. This is how kim bruyns a sweetie who posts on our hope yahoo group said her husband described it when he was here to pick up their son. all of this is just so overwhelming, the sites, smells, sadness and joys. i will never be able to adequately explain it to anyone. everything is very "intense". total joy, total sadness. wow. add to that the fact that i am getting a taste of what a single mom with literally 0 support system goes through each day. so thankful that god knows my limitations and has blessed us with a baby with a sweet and happy nature.

we are off to faith house for their christmas celebration today and then to genanews for the evening as long as miranda is up for it. grace said she isnt going and i am not going by myself so we will see. glad the next few days are going to be busy. make the time go faster.