Time in Kigali Rwanda

Monday, December 28, 2009

Here's to 2010

Wishing everyone a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Its so good to be home!

There really is no place lilke home. We got here late Friday night. Espy was really sick on the flight from Ethiopia (we changed 19 diapers between Addis and Spearfish... those poor flight attendants who had to deal with the soiled blankets etc!). The good news is that she slept in between nasty diapers and therefore got right on our time zone when we arrived. She has been sleeping pretty much through the night with a couple of short naps during the day. She is such a blessing... soooo happy!!! Our boys are having so much fun with her.

We went to the doctor on Monday for a check up. The diaper messes have subsided, the stool samples collected were negative for giardia (Yeah!!! Thanks Dr. Rwanda for the meds before we left!)... and we ran another malaria check (still waiting for results). Our doc here says she is well.. not on the growth chart for weight but makes the bottom 5% for height :) Lil' pipsqueek! She's eating a lot so will likely catch up weight and height wise before we know it.

Some advise for adopting families:

1. Make an appointment to see a good doctor in Rwanda after you get your baby. They do some checks at the orphanage but it is always a good idea to get second opinions. Having her on meds for malaria, giardia, and fever for almost two weeks before we headed home helped alot... and got her on a fast track to recovery in the US. The doct appointment, tests, and meds were very reasonable (about $35 each).

2. Bring extra extra clothes for the plane ride home. We ran out after yucky diaper number 10 and got some weird looks from passengers for not having our baby clothed! :)

3. Make copies of papers you get from the embassy(s) if possible... you might need them later and they have a tendancy to keep everything.

4. Bring about $500 more than you planned... I didn't realize her visa from Addis would cost $400 and we needed an extra sum to rearrange flights to get home early.

5. Dont' settle... negotiate for driver/room etc. We found a really reasonable driver ($35 per day... sorry my POA has contact info so I can't provide it) and wish we would have told the hotel to put us in another room in Rwanda.

6. The mini safari was nice... but long... too long for a sick baby to endure. She made it but for her benefit we probably should have choosen an activity with less time in the car. Consider other options if your child is not well.

7. Little Puffs are awesome!!! Espy looves the little mini puff thingies you can buy in the baby section at Walmart. They were a lifesaver during long waits.

8. Take a baby carrier (baby hawk is my fav), if you have older kids consider an umbrella stroller... there is a lot of waiting and kids get heavy after awhile.

9. Be prepared for small kiddos. the pics from the orphanage can be deceiving. Espy is 15 months but fits into 6-9 mo clothes. I didn't bring hardly anything that fit.

Hmmm... well thats enough for now.

Thank you all for your prayers, love, and support!!!! We are truly blessed beyond measure!
Merry Christmas...

Friday, December 18, 2009

we're home...almost

We made it to Denver.... now to drive our exhausted selves 6 hrs home. more later

Monday, December 14, 2009

More from Ethiopia...

The is probably the one and only update from Ethiopia. The internet at our guesthouse is not working at all and now I am paying $10 per hour to use the internet at the Hilton (which still has a subpar connection and this is the only night we will be coming here).

I was sick today. Not sure what I have but slept all day while Buster took Espy to her medical appointment and the first embassy appointment. I am feeling a little better tonight... still pretty weak though. I think it was a good day of bonding with daddy and daughter... :)

The pediatrician at the embassy said Espy seems to be recovering well. Her fevers are becoming less and her chest cold is improving. Slowly but surely. She had another round of blood drawn today. Results will be ready on Wed. We are praying that everything shows up clear so she is ok to travel.

Tomorrow we will drive 2 hours to Adama to Look Development and do some things there. (That's the project that my friends from MT help run).

Wed is our Embassy Interview and Friday they will issue Espy's American passport/visa to travel home. We are looking forward to being back in the states. Four more days to go!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Update from Ethiopia

Alisha and Buster called home this afternoon to let us know that they made it to Ethiopia. The internet connection in Ethiopia is not good so we don't know how often we will hear from them.

They will be going to the US Embassy tomorrow and will have Espy seen by the Embassy Physician as her fever is still coming and going. On a happy note, she is adjusting well to being with her new mommy & daddy - which is great!

As of now they will be interviewed on Thursday and are supposed to get their travel visa on Friday - returning to the US on Saturday.

Please pray for Kelton and Oliver, as they are missing their mom & dad. Pray for healing for Espy and that their return trip goes as planned.

Espy walking - Buster says he taught her...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Prayer Request from Rwanda

Alisha, Buster and Espy had a crazy day today. They went on the safari this morning... said it was nice but way too much driving.

When they returned from the safari Espy was running a fever so they took her to the doctor. She tested positive for malaria and giardia (parasites in her intestine). The doctor prescribed medication and told them to pray that she is not immune to it. If she is they will have to go to the hospital in Ethiopia and have her put on an IV. She also has an eye infection and high fever.

Alisha is asking that you would pray that they would find creative ways to get Espy to take her medication as she has refused to take any of them (the malaria meds are in pill form). They also ask for prayer as she will need to undergo more tests in Ethiopia before they can get her travel visa to come home. As you can imagine these tests are not fun to watch. :(

Alisha has also asked that you would pray for Kayla (who was going to be watching the boys) as she lost her father to a heart attack this morning.

Please keep them in your prayers over the next several days, I have asked Alisha to keep us posted as much as she is able, but the internet connection isn't the best in Rwanda.

Updated by Lynn

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More from Rwanda

Another busy day! We got Espy's passport... with the cutest passport pictures I've ever seen! We also went back to the ministers office and showed off Espy. We then went to the orphanage and saw the two rooms that Espy has lived in her whole life. It was hard to see but I was amazed at how well run the place is an how much the nuns and caregivers sacrifice to take care of the children. While in the room Espy had just been, in someone suggested that we try to set her back in her crib... the attempt failed and she clung to me like glue. I think this is a good sign that she is ready to be with us :) There are a lot of beautiful babies being cared for at the orphanage. Beautiful babies that need families (hint hint to everyone I know who is still capable of raising a child... A LOT of you!!!) There is also an organization just getting off the ground that raises support for the orphanage (http://four4-more.blogspot.com/) started by a family who adopted earlier this year).

Tomorrow we are taking a drive to the National Park here where they offer mini-safari tours. Should be fun. Pray for health for Espy. She has been sick with a chest cold for over a week and has a rotten smelling diaper. She seems happy and we are not too worried... just want her to be well for our long journey home.

Love to you all!

Update from Rwanda

Buster & Espy napping while Alisha gets ready :)

Things going well! Espy had a much needed bath today and now smells like baby shampoo :) We had a blowout diaper early am and she smells great now but the room still does not! ha ha. Espy and Buster fell asleep while I got ready. Too cute. Today we will get some more paperwork done, go back to the orphanage to see where Espy's crib was, and maybe take a tour of the genocide memorial.Alisha, Espy and POA Bonita

Still pretty tired today... hopefully I can perk up with some good Rwandan coffee!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We made it

Well it was a whirlwind the last severl days. We started in a car, driving to denver on Saturday. My dear friend Kristen gave us a ride on Sunday to the airport. Our flight was delayed due to snow but we made it and then got up at 5 to leave DC via Ethiopian airways... Got there and the flight was delayed over two hours. Got on an overcrowded cramped plan and endured the forever flight that included an extra stop. Thought we missed our connection to Rwanda but that plane was also delayed two hours. After a stop between Ethiopia and Rwanda we finally made it!!! As soon as we got here we headed straight for the ministers office praying they were still open to issue our travel letter so that we could go pick up Espy and not have to return her for the night. God was with us!!! The right two people hadn't left yet for the day and we signed for the document that allowed us to go pick up Espy and not have to take her back!
Then we stopped at the hotel to dump our immense amount of luggage and reload those items to be delivered to the orphanage. (Two suitcases of shoes, formula, and children's medicine)... Buster and I both freshened up a bit and dashed to the car to get to the orphanage before they closed visiting hours.

We made it... waited in a tiny room for ten minutes and then saw the most beautiful nun carrying the most beautiful Rwandan baby straight for us!

Everyone was amazed at how well she took to us... I think God has been working in our spirits since before we knew it :) She was tired though and fell asleep after only an half hour in my arms. As I type this she is still sleeping soundly in our bed at the hotel. Buster is crashed as well and I should be... I'm super tired, but my spirit is dancing at the miracles of God!

Please pray for Espy... even though things seemed well today this is such a tramatic change in her world. Everyone and everything she has known for the last 14 months changed in an instant and will never be the same. I cannot imagine the emotions and feelings that will consume her in the next days weeks and months as she processes all of this... Even though she won't be able to communicate with us I am certain there will be feelings of loss, confusion, fear, etc. etc. Pray that our Lord will give her peace that only he can and that Buster and I will have the wisdom we need to parent this gift in a way that honors her past and gently leads her through her future.

Blessings all. Thanks for your prayers thus far! Sooo sorry... I tried and tried to get a picture to upload but it wouldn't cooperate. Hopefully tomorrow will work better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In DC... next stop Ethiopia

We are in DC tonight for an overnight layover. Tomorrow morning we board Ethiopian Airlines at 9 am for our 9:30 flight to Rome (fuel stop) then Addis (2 hour layover) then Kigali!!!! Next post will probably be from the hotel in Kigali after we meet Espy.

Please pray for our travels in the next 32 hours.

Our God is an aweseome God!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

She's being adopted by so many

As we get closer to the day we will hold Espy in our arms I realize more and more that this adoption is not just about us and our family. Last night we had our small group meeting and were blessed AGAIN by our wonderful church family... we also received a special blessing from our parents which was unexpected and awesome!

So many people have given so sacrificially to make this adoption happen... we are amazed and in awe at how God has used this adoption to expand His Kingdom and show others how much He loves. We are so thankful for our family, both our biological family and our family that is united by our love of Christ. We are so lucky to not just be adopting this little girl as a Vincent but as a part of our much wider extended family of Christ. Thank you all for your love and support.

Soon you will all get to hold sweet Esperance Eliana Vincent... (Hope)(God's Gift to Us) Vincent. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5 days to go

We will be holding our daughter in 5 days.

Lots going on around here. Packing, laundry, cleaning, kids' schedules, and I have to finish working on stuff for the courses I teach before take off. We want to do something special with the kids before we leave too so am trying to figure that out as well.

Days are passing quickly, but in a good way!