Monday, September 26, 2011

An update, one week in

Well, technically we're about two weeks into parenting the girls, but as of last night we've been HOME with them a week.  And since we all know that parenting your children in a developing country (where you don't normally reside) is basically survival mode, I'm not counting that one.  (Though it was great!)

Anyway, one week in and life around here is maybe, MAYBE, slooowwwwwly shaping into a routine.  (Did I say maybe?) 

Some things are really, really easy.  As in, easier than I imagined. 

And other things are hard.

Mekdes is flourishing.  Thriving.  Feeling more and more comfortable in our home  She is sweet, funny, kind, AFFECTIONATE, and sometimes a little bit naughty (as any good four year old is.)  Still a huge language barrier but, who knew, you don't have to speak the same language to build a relationship.  She is a family girl, for sure.  Oh, and she really likes giving kisses.  As in, if you meet her, be prepared for one (or five).  :)

Poor Tigist is having a bit of a tough time.  That smily, happy-go-lucky baby we met in Ethiopia?  Yeah, her world has been rocked.  She is insecure, out of sorts, and not nearly so ready with her smiles.  That being said, she is one delightfully-huge bundle of cuddly, squishy sweetness.  Oh, those cheeks!  And that belly!  And while she's going through a period of adjustment and grief, she trusts us.  She looks to us to meet her needs.  And she's simply getting more vocal about them--which is ultimately a good thing.

So, what's been easy?  The girls, and their transition.  They are both just very sweet-natured, flexible and, dare I say, generally compliant?  My other kiddos have been SO incredibly amazing, too.  The family is fitting together so nicely.  A huge blessing, for sure.

As for what's been hard?  Tigist's issues.  Because of that sweet little tongue of hers, she pushes out nearly as much food and water as she takes in.  She doesn't seem to know how to suck.  And she doesn't know how to hold a sippy cup or bottle, even though she's developmentally capable.  The eating and drinking issues are related to Down syndrome, but some of her developmental delays are the result of being in an orphanage.  Nothing is a HUGE deal, but mealtime is MESSY, and she inevitably gets frustrated, and I'm ever-paranoid about whether or not she's getting enough to eat and drink.  Most of all though, she's not always very happy, and that makes this mama so sad.

And, jet lag and fatigue have been hard.  Mary deciding not to sleep two nights in a row has been hard.  Feeling like our lives have been completely turned upside down, also tough.

BUT, we're making it.  We're surviving and seeing far enough around the bend to know that this too shall pass. 

Now for an update on the medical issues:

We've treated both girls for giardia, and Tigist for scabies.  Oh the joys of institutionalization.

Mekdes has a cardiology appointment and EKG this Wednesday at Children's Hospital.  And, most likely, we will be scheduling heart surgery.  I'm still processing that one.  But I'm oh so grateful that she is home and we can work towards getting her well. 

Tigist will also have an EKG this week.  Her heart is most likely fine, but it'll be good to know for sure.

I need to call and make appointments with the Down syndrome clinic and International Adoption clinic, both located at Children's.

So that's that.  No fancy words or life-changing insights over here, just some updates about our girlies from an admittedly sleepy mama.

More to come soon!


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