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!