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Hospital Updates from Facebook

1 Mar

I was really awful at keeping up with journaling – so I am posting my facebook statuses from after we got home…

Feb 12:
We’re home! :) Does anyone have any Old Navy brand 6-12m shirts or sweaters we might be able to borrow? They seem to be the ONLY thing that fits her strange proportions.

Feb 13:
My body still wants to be on EE time. I couldn’t barely get my body to keep sleeping after about 3AM (even though I had only slept about 10 hours in the last 3 days) which was 9AM in EE.

I LOVE having a child that takes naps and sleeps 11 hours at night!

Feb 14:
If you could pray with us that Olive will take a bottle and use the bathroom after her second nap of the day – it would be much appreciated!

We having to take olive to Grand Rapids Area Pediatric Evening Service for dehydration and no wet or soiled diapers – please pray with us that this wont be too scary for her and that she will be ok. thanks!

So we were on our way out of the door after the kids got up from their late nap, and Olive pooped! She only took about 4 ounces since – but I’ll take it! We aren’t going to take her in to the after care center tonight as long as she stays happy and alert.

Feb 15:
Olive is on her way to an urgent ped apt with Karl because she is severely constipated. We thought we were good after last night – but now that she got all her gas out last night, you can feel that she has a serious issue through her belly – you can nearly SEE the issue. She is slipping in and out of their weird daze/half sleep, and I think it’s due to dehydration. If you could pray with us – that’d be great!

Karl is convinced that Olive is just extremely stressed out and over stimulated. So we are going to let her nap as long as she needs – she’s going on about an hour and a half now. And when she gets up we will see if she will eat.. if not we may be going to the ER tonight.

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things, the flight, the complete change in her food and schedule, the over stimulation of all the visitors, the vaccinations, and pokes at the doctors.. etc. I’m not so concerned about why it’s happening, more that the dehydration doesn’t get too bad. unfortunately there’s not much we can do about most of the stuff anymore – just try and give her a quiet couple of days.

Our doctor called – she said that Olive’s blood sugar is extremely and dangerously low and that we need to take her to the ER right now, and put sugar under her tongue. She said she doesn’t know why – it could be a metabolic issue. But we’ll find out more when they run tests on her there. The pediatrician sounded panicked. Which has me feeling panicked. Please pray for us!

Her sugar was 17. Now it is 35. They are going to check her again in a while. She was extremely upset and is sleeping now.

phone is going to die. sugars are coming up. were at 50. she’s awake and actually looks alive. contact me in Karl’s phone and look for updates in his Facebook.

I am on wifi at the hospital now. She is SO cranky, and SO tired, and SO hating every one right now :( Her sugars dropped significantly again – and they don’t know why. She has been getting glucose in her IV so they shouldn’t have dropped. That points to something metabolic unless it was just a fluke.

Olive has another blood draw in about 20 minutes.. praying it comes back normal!

she is at 52 still… waiting for the nurse to find out what’s next

they are upping her dextrose level to 10% to see if she responds to that.. its appropriate and not unreasonable since she is not eating anything still.
They have a TON of labs they are going to run in the morning, and still waiting for results for some tonight.
It’s still possible that it is just stress related. We’ll get a echocardiogram tomorrow, along with a speech therapist to help with the eating issue, we’ll also be seeing an endocrinologist too. They’re going to be drawing blood every 2 hours for glucose testing. please pray for her – as she is already not tolerating it well now.

as soon as I finally get her to sleep after her last sugar – someone calls the wrong number at 2 in the morning! And then proceeds to try and explain to me who they’re trying to get ahold of and get that number from me…. i try and tell her it’s a patient room and she needs to call the nurses station. She then asks me to give her that number… haha. I don’t know it’s 2AM and now I have a screaming baby on me! Olive’s last blood sugar was 89 – just above acceptable.

this blood sugar was 109. She hasn’t hardly slept at all yet. I am SO exhausted, and would give ANYTHING for an hour of good sleep right now. I asked if they could give her something to help her sleep… she didn’t think so. here’s to hoping.

that would be a no :( but we have added a GI consult tomorrow to our laundry list of things to do.

Feb 16:
Her sugars are responding well so far, she has been at 178 and 151. I’m hoping when they test her again in about 20 minutes that it’s not going down again. She didn’t sleep more than a few minutes per hour last night – and neither did I. Every time she would settle enough to get tired, they’d come back again and get her worked up.

This morning she had a horrible phlebotomist. I wish they would learn to listen to the mothers. I told him the vein he was going to try collapsed last night – and I didn’t think he’d be able to get enough from it (needed min 14cc) – and of course after 5cc it collapsed. He then proceeded to dig around to find the vein next to it. Mean while Olive is literally shaking involuntarily and has a HUGE BM from the pain. At one point she looked like she wasn’t there any more – which really scared me. He pulled out and I asked him to get a topical spray for the next one, because he was going in RIGHT next to the vein he just collapsed… and he wouldn’t. I was fuming. What do you know – that one didn’t work either. (listen to the mothers!). So then he proceeded to go in her hand. She got so worked up and upset it wasn’t even right – she was looking right through me, something wasn’t right. It was awful. After that, I swaddled her and thank God she went to sleep.

Her pediatrician came in and said that no one seems to be able to come to agreement on what it could be. No one feels confident in one thing over another – but they’re still leaning towards something metabolic because her sugars stayed so low for so low even with treatment. All labs are coming back clean right now -but they ordered a whole lot more this morning. I am praying that now that she’s finally A SLEEP, and she had the BM, that maybe she will take a bottle when she wakes up….
Doc said we’ll be here at least 2-3 days, and quite possibly longer.
Please pray for me to be able to handle all this – I am NOT good with needles and seeing my kids in pain.
And please pray for Karl who has to still go to work during all of this even though he wasn’t nothing more than to be here with us.
And please pray for our kids that they won’t get too upset that after just getting their mom and dad back, we’re gone again.

Olive’s blood sugar is back to 83. JUST above ‘ok’. But the nurse didn’t seem thrilled that in 3 hours she went from 151 to 83 still getting the same amount of sugar…

Olive’s sugar went back up to 108 – which is perfect. Thank you for praying! Here’s hoping she stays there for next time!

She ate about 4 ounces with out protesting! And her sugars have been ok for now. The plan is to treat her for Ketonic Hypoglycemia unless labs come back different tomorrow.

We’ll have to take her blood sugar frequently, have strict feeding schedules, and treat her according to her blood levels. If she refuses to eat, she will quickly go ketonic again -and we’ll be back in the hospital for fluids. So, here’s hoping she decides she’s going to eat again and not pull any more eating strikes anytime soon. She’s actually giggling with Karl and seems to be in much better spirits. Hopefully we’ll only be here a few more days. Unfortunately from thrashing all night long and all day today when they were drawing from her – she has dreaded about six dreads on the back of her head :(

Feb 17:
We have had a VERY busy day today. Olive had an ECHO today – and they found out her heart is worse than what we were expected. She has and ASD like we thought, but it WILL need to be repaired. She also has a PDA, but it’s not going to need to be fixed. They will try and repair the ASD with a patch, with a process that’s not super invasive (not open heart) and would only require a day or two in the hospital. The doctor who saw her said he’s done TONS of them, and it’s not a scary process. If the ASD continues to grow with her, and it’s not able to be fixed by a patch when they schedule her (she needs to grow) – then she will have to have open heart. We hope that won’t be the case.
We also got her medical report and it had different information than we were told. She was admitted at 18 months and not 8 months old. Also she was born with inter-cranial hemorrhages and swallowed meconium, and was septic. She also has an issue with her brain, being Asymmetric lateral ventricles,right 9mm,left 5 mm in the frontal horns. Which is Chinese to me – so a Doc will hopefully fill us in soon.
She is eating now and took 9oz tonight, and her sugars are staying level. So, if she continues to eat well, we might be able to go home tomorrow or the next day :)

olive took 10oz!

She is starting to be happier!

Feb 18:
Olive is going to get a Sedated MRI if they are able to fit her in to check for a brain abnormality that was documented but not followed up on in Serbia. If they can get her in, we’ll go home tomorrow. If they can’t – we’ll have to do it outpatient in a couple weeks, and we’ll go home tonight (assuming she eats well)

Olive is showing signs of being stressed today. She hasn’t stopped grinding, biting her fingers, and pulling on her hair since she woke up. I think what ever tolerance she had for all of this is GONE. I am asking the RN if we can just plan on deferring the MRI.

Well unfortunately they’re not going to push off the MRI. It’ll be done tomorrow sometime. She’s an add on – so I’m hoping sooner than later. As long as she does well they’ll let her go home once she’s recovered.

I have an amazing husband. He took work off tomorrow so I could go home and see my kids and sleep at home. I didn’t even hint or ask!

Feb 19:
they keep failing at getting an IV even with a nicu nurse. I am starting to get upset. if they don’t get it figured out soon I’m calling it off

I ended up telling them that they could not try again until they put her under the gas. Everyone said that she has the hardest veins. But its still not fair to put her through that. She’s having the MRI now. Hoping to hear she’s doing well and ready for us to see her in the next half hour.

she is doing well and we should be able to go back in about a half hour.

She’s back in the room with us. She’s eating. And I am praying they will send us home in the morning, and not bug her too much tonight. She’s had enough – and I’ve certainly had enough of seeing her stressed out.

Olive has eaten 21oz since about 4:30pm! Not bad!! We’ll find out the MRI readings tomorrow and will hopefully be going home in the afternoon.

Feb 20:
Doc Hoffman came in and said to let her go home!!!!!

Olive learned her 4th sign – she is now signing Daddy, Eat, More, and Up with consistency! She is going to be drinking Pediasure all the time – so if anyone has any left over that’s still good, we’d be happy to take it! Or if you have coupons – we’d love those as well! We’re waiting for daddy to show up, and we’ll be heading home! Yay!

olive is one HAPPY girl now that she is home! And we are SO thankful for everyone’s support. Truly!

Just poked Olive for the first time for sugars. Not bad at all. The needles that we are using are so tiny, she barely flinched. Whew!

Feb 22:
I am officially on my first day’s duty home alone with all the monsters. Things are going well.. having foster kids helped prepare us for life with 3. And taking care of the kids is not a big deal at all – but keeping up with their messes is! Re-training them that mom and dad don’t take the whining and persistent bugging is going to be a challenge too..

Meant to update that today Olive’s ped. secretary said that the MRI came back, and “it won’t require further medical treatment”. Not sure the details yet – but that’s good!


So sorry!

23 Feb

I am so sorry for leaving everyone hanging!

We had Olive in the hospital all week – and we are just starting to catch up enough to get our heads on straight over here.
I meant to have been blogging – but it’s just been too busy!
Hopefully soon!
Olive is doing well now – and I will update soon :)

We’re leaving!

10 Feb

We are leaving at 4:20 AM from the apartment to go to the airport.

Talk about EARLY!
But, I am SO glad to be getting home.
We have 4 hour lay overs for each one – so hopefully we won’t have to rush like crazy people like we did before.
But, I am concerned about Olive on the flights, and during that holding time for the lay overs.
Her patience for waiting rooms has gotten shorter and shorter every time we’ve taken her out – so hopefully she won’t view the airplane as one big annoying waiting room in her mind.
We’re praying that everything will go smoothly, and that before we know it – the traveling will be nothing but a memory!

Welcome home party!

10 Feb

email if you’d like our address :)

Not able to leave…

9 Feb

I am so bummed – we’re not going to be able to leave until Thursday.

There were flights out on Wednesday, but they were very limited, and they would have cost us about $360 more to leave (minimum). Not really possible.
The kids are at home with RSV, and I can not wait to get to them.
Ethan has been crying and overly sensitive, and Evelyn is not interested in seeing us on the computer much – so I miss her very much.
We are going to be doing the medical exam this morning, and then some legal documents at the lawyers after that – and then we have our embassy interview.
I am praying it all goes smoothly.
I’m praying that we’ll be able to find a quick (cheaper) flight out than Friday afternoon, because I am so ready to come home – and I can’t barely stand to be away from the kids and my house and family an extra hour longer than what’s needed to get our adoption done (which will probably be this afternoon!) I’m also praying that Olive will travel well.
She’s and antsy girl that does not like to be still for very long. I am not sure how she’ll handle the flight.

Praying to leave Wednesday!

8 Feb

Karl is going to get the passport with Jasmina right now, and we have our physical exam for Olive tomorrow morning at 9:15. I have been trying to get ahold of the Embassy worker to set up our appointment with them around 11:15 – but haven’t gotten through to him yet. Praying that we do soon! If he can get her Visa back to us same day (he said he was pretty sure he could) then we are going to plan on leaving Wednesday! Yay!

This weekend was a wonderful time of bonding with Olive.
Karl and I were talking – and we can both honestly say (and no, not just to put on a good face) that she already feels like our daughter to us through and through.
My heart melts and aches for her when she starts to pout, and I feel just the same about her as I did for my other kids shortly after their births. Her slobber and goobs don’t even bother me ;)
I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more that God would allow my heart to be filled with maternal love for her regardless to what ever issues she may come with – and He has been so good to us!
He has shown us His favor through out this entire adoption – and we are so grateful and hope that you will see HIS Glory and Power in our story. Because none of it was done on our own strength.
Most of all I pray that you will see that if WE can do it – anyone can, with His help.
Honestly, we have a modest income, we are young, we don’t have ‘all our ducks in a row’ (I wish!), we didn’t always have much support in our decision, we have young children, and no special credentials to make us superb adoptive parents – and yet we’ve done it. And we’ve enjoyed it!
I pray that people will see the GREAT need for orphan care and adoption – and that people will step outside of their comfort zone and do something to further the Kingdom and provide for ‘the least of these’.
I hope God will use our story to move people to change the life of ‘one more’ orphan at a time.
And I pray we get home soon!

Today is 2 weeks :)

6 Feb

Today is our two week anniversary of being in Serbia…
We have only known Olive for 12 days, but she already feels like my daughter.
It’s pretty neat. I think she likes us too.

Today is SUPER windy outside, 30 something mph winds – so we’re staying in.
Olive seems like she’s worked out a bit of her anxiety about being in the apartment yesterday, lots of lovely teeth grinding, snorting, and sticking her had down her mouth.
Today she’s doing much better – but it’s been pretty low key.

She still grinds when she’s bored though…
She gets upset when you don’t pay attention to her, or if you try and leave her in the room by herself even for a few minutes.
I think she will REALLY enjoy having siblings – she shows a lot of interest and excitement when she sees other kids.

We weighed her today, and she is 18lbs. She was last measured at about 31″ … She is the length of an average 18 month old, and the weight of a 7 month old. I knew she was long and skinny, but it’s strange to see it in those terms.

Oh, and one more thing – she is the FARTIEST baby ever!

We’re praying for us that Olive’s grinding, and over-stim behaviors won’t bother us. We’ve been just fine so far, but hope to continue to be. And obviously, one step better would be for her to cope well, and not need them.

Now here to the pictures:

Playing on the floor the first night ‘home’

This picture is a little hard to look at, because she’s so tiny. But I wanted a picture to have reference of where we all started together- and to celebrate her chubbs when she gets them!

First shower :)

Pretty girl

Giving TaTa a RARE kiss

She still loves to slap daddy’s head

Signing to be picked up…

Being silly on the couch..

Video :)

5 Feb

From the first night here :)

Olive is making emotional leaps and bounds!
She has learned how to cry when she misses one of us, or doesn’t like what we’re doing.
It’s the saddest face I’ve EVER seen.
She also has learned that if she likes something, she should smile, laugh, or ask for more.
One thing she still hasn’t gotten, is to cry when she is hurt.
She gave her self a bonk on the head this morning on the hard wood floors, and even I would have cried from it.
But, no response from her at all.
I’m confident she will learn that soon too.

She has been eating pretty well.
She refuses to eat if it’s not pretty warm though.
We learned that the hard way, after we wasted two bottles. :)
We’re going to take her out the first time as ours!
We are going to get an early dinner, and do some exploring.
We haven’t had time to do that yet.
We have been too busy to do much of anything so far – but this weekend will be a wonderful time to catch up!

Karl got pooped on this morning! lol.
Olive pooped for the first time for us, and she has newborn poop in every way. And just like newborn poop – it leaked out of the top and sides of her diaper. Ohhhhh the days of having a ‘baby’ again! We did find out that size 4 diapers are HUGE on her. They looked ok until the poop. When I folded the diaper to be the right size – and she definitely wears a size 1, or 2.
We brought cloth diapers for her too – but those are most certainly too big. Maybe if we super, duper, super stuff them.

Olive got extremely mad at me this morning… I brushed her teeth, put her in the shower with me, and then cleaned her ears. She was pretty good while it was going on – even giggling in the shower. But when it was all said and done, she was way over stimulated, and cried when I looked at her… it took a nap and some cuddles to get her to ‘forgive’ me. But she’s all smiles again.

She’s here with us!

4 Feb

Today was a LOOOONNNNGGGGG day!
We had the ceremony, and did a ton of running around and waiting in different offices to get the paperwork done.
We were ‘this close’ to not being able to bring her home with us tonight – but thank God I pushed a little, and our facilitator let us bring her home!
She had A GREAT start and did very well.

She seemed like she was making herself right at home.
But this evening as things wound down, and we tried to get her ready for bed – the teeth grinding started.
It’s obviously related to anxiety, and hopefully it won’t be a major continuing issue.
We tried laying with her to put her down, but she wasn’t having it.
We learned tonight that she need to fall asleep by herself.
We will slowly try and adjust her to accepting more snuggles during bed time.
But didn’t want to push it her first night.

There is A TON to catch up on.

Things have just been so busy, and I make a mental note to be sure to blog about this or that – and then forget!
I need to start writing it down.

So here are some things that come to mind:

There is a very nice restaurant behind the orphanage. It’s a diamond in the rough. Jasmina can point you to it from her office window. It’s literally up some steps, turn left, go down a few steps, and there it is. It doesn’t even look like a restaurant. But it is, and it’s so reasonably priced, and has wonderful wait staff and food.

Also, if you wanted to stay in the apartment we’re in – which is very nice now that they figured out what was going on with the crazy electricity – let me know. I can give you the personal contact information instead of the agency contact information you’ll find on line. It will save you 35% because you won’t have to pay the booking fee. It’s a GREAT location. We absolutely love it. And I would say it’s worth the few extra bucks/night to be in this spot. You’re about a 2 mile, easy walk to the orphanage, and if you don’t want to walk – there are two taxi hubs with in a few blocks, and it’s only about 210 dinar for the ride (about 3 bucks).

As far as sleeping arrangements and driving with your new little one – forget about what you’re use to. Plan on bringing a play-yard if you don’t want them sleeping in bed with you, or in an adult bed. Personally we’re having Olive sleep in bed with us if she’ll tolerate it, for bonding. Mind you she’s developmentally like an infant…
As far as the car rides – it’s not against the law to not wear your seat belt, and if you’re riding in a taxi with a kid, they don’t have car seats – and that’s just the way it is. We have rode in the car quite a few times with Olive now with out any child restraints – it feels very weird (and is probably not safe at all) but that’s just how it’s done.

We got the tour of the orphanage yesterday. It broke my heart. There are some nurses who REALLY love the children, and don’t do the job for the money (if there even is any to be made). They are wonderful, and you can see it in the children’s faces. But there are also some not so loving nurses, and you can most definitely see that in the children as well. There is SO much to say, and so many emotions. But, it’s so hard to get it out in words.
I guess I saw what you’d expect to see from an orphanage with very little funding, not a lot of outside aid, in a country that doesn’t accept children with special needs, and who allow the children to be in their cribs for the the first few years of their lives for 20+ hours a day…
It is survival of the fittest, and if you learn to crawl, eat, and walk early – or have a nurse take you under her wing – you’ll do FAIR at best. If not – you’ll spend the next several years in a crib 90% of the time with little or no stimulation.

Bottom line – I feel the church needs to step up and take some responsibility for the situation.
I’m not saying that EVERYONE is called to adopt.
But, how many times do you as a church stop and pray over them? or advocate for them? or give monetary aid? or send missionaries to help? or send gifts for the children? or do ANYTHING really?
It’s not right that forgiveness is mentioned approximately 50 times in the bible – and preachers spend weeks and weeks of every year preaching on it.
And strangers, widows, and orphans are mentioned 60 something times, and you’re lucky to have a sermon dedicated to them once a year. It’s awful.
It seems to me that God thinks they are pretty important to mention them THAT many times, and they’re not mentioned lightly – but as a church we just don’t seem to get it.
It’s not right…

Alright – so off my soap box now.

Back to Olive.
She has been such a trooper. She is going to fit right in with our family.

She is so incredibly tiny – much smaller than we thought!
You can literally see every bone in her chest and every vertebrae in her back.
She is SO skinny, it’s kind of scary.
Any advice on fattening her up the right was, fast!?
She is in 9 months clothing right now at 3 years 7 months.
She is incredibly long, and insanely skinny. She could probably wear 24 month clothing for the length to fit her right – but they would be humongous on her.
The shoes we brought for her were size 5, and they are most certainly WAY too big. I am guessing a 3 or 3.5.
The hat and gloves we brought for her were a 12-24 months, and those are definitely way too big too. I’m again guessing probably 9-12 months.

Our process right now is that she is officially ours as of today!

We have to get her Passport on Monday (which her social worker should bring to Belgrade from Ruma) and we are hoping to get her medical exam that day too.
If not, it will be Tuesday (meaning we would probably leave Wednesday)
If we’re able to do that, we will call our Embassy worker, and schedule our appointment for Tuesday. He said he would try to get us the Visa the same day. If he’s able to we MIGHT be able to leave Tuesday. (praying!)
If not, then it would be Wednesday again.

Our kids are sick at home – and it makes me so homesick!
Evelyn has her first ear infections ever, and to top it off she has a double ear infection with an upper respiratory infection.
And Ethan has an ear ache in one of his ears, and a low grade fever.
They’re on anti-biotics for the first time, and Ethan is having a little reaction to it.
Oh, how it kills me to not be there with them right now!
I am ITCHING to get back to them.

When we skyped with the kids, they seemed to receive Olive well.
Evelyn kept calling her ‘my my baaabbbyyyyy’ – that’s a good sign!

Hopefully she feels the same when we get home!
And Ethan totally recognized her and seemed very excited to finally see her with us!
Olive was more concerned with pressing the buttons on the computer, but I think she will love them too.

Olive is stunned at being in a car!

The mittens we bought her are HUGE! lol. She was very interested in watching out the window. She didn’t act excited, but more concerned. But, today (two days after) she giggled the whole time she was in the car.
This is Olive’s favorite past time in mommy’s lap. She likes to pull my hair out of my ponytails.. and in general just make a huge knot of my hair.

Day 11 coming to a close…

2 Feb

My brain is a little mushy right now because I have a headache and it’s been a long day…
Today we got word that we aren’t going to be able to have our ceremony until Thursday morning.
I was REALLY hoping for Wednesday -but no such luck.
That means that we are likely to not be able to leave until Wednesday afternoon, and considering it costs $150 bucks to reissue tickets, I’m not sure what we’ll do.
Right now I’m feeling like I would give anything to go home a few days early though – so hopefully things will go exceptionally smooth and fast from here on out – and we can leave early.

Today was a stressful day for everyone.
We brought the gifts to the orphanage in the morning, and tried to has out a potential schedule with Jasmina and the center social workers, and for the rest of the time we’re here.
By the time we got all that sorted out, it was about 20 minutes to lunch time and so Jasmina asked us to wait for the tour until tomorrow.
We would have been able to do it this afternoon -but we had to take Olive’s Visa pictures.
So tomorrow morning at 10:30 we are going to get to meet all the kids – and I double checked with her that she will allow me to take pictures of all the kids – and she said yes.

Olive did pretty well WHILE we were traveling and getting her pictures taken – but she definitely showed signs of being stressed out and over stimulated later. When we got back to the orphanage to finish our visit for the evening, she started shoving her hands down in her mouth, and even started teeth grinding. We had never heard that before – so we really knew she was stressed. We had a very quiet and un-stimulating rest of the visit – and she seemed MUCH better by the time we sent her back to her room for the night. Hopefully she will sleep it off, and be back to her peachy self tomorrow.