Friday, September 23, 2011

The early days

The early days of bonding with and caring for newly adopted children are exhausting.

There is honestly SO much to do...medical appointments, picking up prescriptions, GIVING medication, dealing with messes and tears and everything else that comes along with a child joining your family.  Add to that the jetlag, and attempting to maintain some sort of normal family schedule and, yeah, it's rough!

I know, once we're settled, that we're going to look back on these early days together and wonder, "How did we survive?"  I know that because we've been through this before.  In early 2006 we brought twin 16-month-old boys home.  And went from one to three kids.  Life felt kind of chaotic for awhile.  But, then, somehow, we adjusted and now it's all a distant memory that we cherish with fondness and a little bit of pride, because we made it.

But Wednesday was hard. 

Doctor appointments for the girlies that included some horrible blood draws and vaccinations.  Mekdes cried.  Tigist cried.  I cried.  (Well, my eyes got teary--I was able to mostly hold it together because I didn't want to further scare the girls.)  In fact, after the appointments were over, the three of us sat in the car and shared a candy bar and cried. 

Then it was off to the gas station (after nearly running out of gas) and eventually the pharmacy to drop off prescriptions. 

Due to a scheduling mistake made by my doctor's office staff, I missed my big kids' soccer games.  (More crying.  From me, not them.  They are so incredibly sweet and gracious and I think that contributed to my sadness over missing it.)

I had to get Tigist out of bed at 10 pm to administer some of her meds. 

I found out some of their meds wouldn't be ready until yesterday because they're compounds.  (But I'm not complaining, because as all parents of internationally adopted children know, Flagyl is basically liquid gold.  For reals.)

As for the girls?  They're doing amazingly well.  Sweet and kind and just so very cute.  Lots of adjusting going on, but overall?  They're doing great. 

Many dear and generous friends have been bringing us meals, for which we are incredibly grateful.  (Seriously.  We are so blessed!) 

And, for the record, my house is a mess, and we still need to unpack, and oh my goodness adoption is not for the faint of heart--even with the sweetest of kids--but I'm trying to remember that these are the life-changing days, the ones where you're trusting moment-by-moment that Jesus has you in His hand.

And the truth is, part of why you have that faith is because of your two new daughters.  The ones with Down syndrome, heart defects, parasites, scabies, burn scars.  The ones who survived relinquishment and institutionalization in a developing country. 

When I look at them, I see two precious little ones who survived against all odds.  Two daughters with sweet, tender hearts and gentle, beautiful souls.  If they are not a testimony of God's grace, provision, and faithfulness, I don't know who or what is. 

So yeah, it's hard.  I feel totally disoriented, I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to go to Ethiopia without bringing home some sort of intestinal stowaway, and I have no clue how all of this is going to come together.  Life is all topsy turvy right now. 

But I'm all kinds of proud to be Tigist and Mekdes' mama.

And mama to Tigist and Mekdes' five siblings. 

And, in spite of being tired and out of sorts, I honestly feel like I have a front row seat to one of the best stories ever being told... right here in my own little, messy house.


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