GI Department

Hi everybody – just a short update to let you know that we took Daniel to the ER early on Sunday and were finally admitted to the GI department in the afternoon. Daniel is getting a medicine called GoLytely, the same stuff you take before a colonoscopy. He has been getting it since 11pm last night and hasn’t had a bowel movement yet. He’s getting fluids, electrolytes and sugar through an IV. He’s been sleeping most of the time and we’re a little concerned about that. His glucose levels were very low (50) yesterday afternoon and he isn’t taking anything by mouth right now. The doctors are concerned about refeeding syndrome so it’s one step at a time as we try to get him stable and on the path to healing. We’re learning for the first time how to juggle hospital stays with Jordan unable to go to a babysitter and the three girls gentle, loving, but bored after awhile. Thank you for praying!

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Home sweet home

Everybody is home and tucked into bed. The flights went miraculously well. Daniel and Maggie slept. He drank enough that we are not in emergency mode. Thank you Father!
I’m so happy to have all my charges under one roof for the night.
Pray for a good nights rest. We will reevaluate Daniel’s health in the morning.
-Brian

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Leaving for home

Hi Folks – Rachel and company leave Sofia at 9 tonight our time. We’ll be picking them up in Seattle on Saturday afternoon and then take Daniel to Doernbechers. He’s getting enough fluids for now, but there is concern about dehydration if he stops accepting them. He’s still impacted.
Mama is very tired and they have a gruelling journey ahead. She won’t be posting for a while but I’ll try to update when they get home. Thank you everyone for following and praying for us. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated.
-Brian

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Wendesday in Sofia

It’s Wednesday afternoon here. It’s a full week since “gotcha day.” Daniel’s health is much more stable now that he is eating and eating more. I’m alternating between feeding him pureed fruit or fruit/cereal baby food and yogurt. I water them down until they can run off of the spoon a bit and feed him bite by bite. I offer him a large serving (maybe 6 ounces) about five times a day and most of the time, he is eating the entire amount. He fusses while I fix his meal and scoots over to eat it calmly and slowly, little bite by little bite. It is my great pleasure to put this food into him! He is having plenty of wet diapers now and his lips are no longer noticeably chapped. He hasn’t had a bowel movement though, yet, so this afternoon is time for suppositories. I tried to find milk of magnesia, but I didn’t have any luck. I have some at home that I decided not to bring… wish I had! I’ll be home Saturday!

Today we decided to walk all the way up to the city center and see some of the sights. It was a long walk, but we saw some fountains on the way and a fancy garden… then we enjoyed lunch and a souvenir shop in the much loved “walking district” of Vitosha Blvd. We saw a couple of the famous buildings there near Vitosha, but we were all too tired to do more at that point (it was 2pm and we’d left before 10am). So we hailed a taxi that looked like it said “OK” on the side for a ride back. Turns out, it wasn’t actually part of the nice OK taxis and he tried to charge us about 40 leva for a ride that should have been 7-8 leva. I got out, waited til Dad and Maggie were out and handed him a 10. When he asked for forty, I told him no and turned my back. I’m not sure how mad he was, but he got a tip for a dishonest ride. Maybe I should have given him a 5 instead… but then he may have yelled at us instead of just giving us the stink eye and driving away.

So the rest of today I’ll be resting and seeing about that suppository for Daniel. Hopefully once this insides start moving it won’t be too painful. I want to give a “thank you” right here to my friend Vanessa who is sharing her experience as a nurse freely with us. I appreciate your generosity and am thankful from the bottom of my heart, Vanessa. Thank you.

Tomorrow is a busy day with a medical appointment to check Daniel’s TB test, which appears to have gotten a false positive. (It’s a skin test that is often a false positive due to immunizations received) So we’ll have to do an xray too, which may be challenging if Daniel doesn’t hold still. After that’s all finished, I go to the embassy appointment. I’m pretty excited about that, because it’s the last step before we get our exit papers! While I’m at those appointments, Dad and Maggie are going to be tourists for the day.

Pictures to follow for more detail on our sightseeing today! Daniel was a trooper… he tolerated being carried for extended periods, he was still able to eat even though he was stressed out and he even was playful. What a different little boy than my Jordan boy! I miss my kids at home a lot and my husband and his hugs so much. This experience has been valuable to me, but not much of a vacation! 🙂 Maggie is getting a little tired and my Dad has made everything a million times easier.

Okay – pictures!

Yesterday, Dad was tired and laid down for a nap. I was busy with something, so he set Daniel there beside him and rubbed his head. Daniel liked it!

Daniel stayed with dad while he napped for a good 20-30 minutes. <3

The beginning of our walk! Maggie doesn’t need to be encouraged to stop and smell the roses. Or to climb on stuff.

She promised me she’d be careful and she walked nice and carefully as she walked along the stairs to the subway. She mentioned that she hoped an ant didn’t scare her so that she wouldnt’ fall in. 😮

Where Jordan is averse to touch, or at least finds it difficult, Daniel leaned his head against me for long periods while wetwalked! Made my heard melt!

We passed a small smoothie shop that had multiple women ordering. I took that as a sign that they made good smoothies! We got a strawberry/banana/yogurt/honey smoothie for her and it was delicious! The man poured the extra into another cup and handed it to us “for mama.”

The water fountain park was really nice!

Selfie! Daniel didn’t cry much, but he wasn’t especially happy until I fed him lunch later. He was curious about everything!

Hahaha –

Wwe got lunch stir fry style on Vitosha Blvd and this funny and skillful cook made our lunch for us. We took it across the street to the McDonald’s where we bought Maggie’s lunch.

Fed, souvenir’ed and across from the lion statues…. Daniel’s emblem.

The cathedral.

There was a funeral in session, so I went behind everybody to snap a quick picture without disrupting.

All for now! So glad things are going pretty well here. I will be really happy to be home.

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Week Two in Bulgaria!

Yesterday we went to the grocery store with Daniel. It was cold, but dry and I needed to try some carriers and practice finding out what does and doesn’t work with Daniel in terms of him tolerating being carried around. The moby wrap is a no go, since the only holds I know with it require shorter legs or legs that bend. I tried the carrier (forget what it’s called) that my friend loaned me (thanks, Kelly!) and a normal ergo carrier hold was the most comfortable. Yay! Daniel was content if I kept walking with a regular pace. If I paused or stood still, he quickly began to be unhappy and cry. So I did more walking than shopping at the grocery store, but still managed to spend 70 leva. 🙂

Today (Monday) is our last down day and tomorrow we will take Daniel to a medical exam, including a TB test. The better TB test to do is a blood test, which will not have the risk of a false negative and further testing. But… a blood test is more traumatic and Daniel is small and dehydrated. I’m anxious about tomorrow and wish I could prepare Daniel somehow. I am used to having a nonverbal child, but it doesn’t make this kind of thing any easier.

We are beginning to talk about our flight home… that will be a difficult process, I’m sure, but at the other end is HOME and my HUSBAND and ALL my children in one place. I am looking forward to it so much. Brian has been getting our home ready for Daniel – putting in outlet covers and rearranging the bedroom/schoolroom/office so that the cords are out of reach and Daniel has a bed next to ours. Brian has been working hard – rearranging, playing with the kids, putting in work hours, homeschooling, and trying to keep warm at night without a wife. The last is probably the most difficult. hehe

Last night Daniel cried more than a little bit for the first time after I put him to bed. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong… I think probably he was tired, restless, and wanted the bed and people he is familiar with. It is hard for such a young person to be somewhere new and with strange people. I am looking forward to a month from now when we are no longer strange to him and when he will understand some of our words. Please pray for him as it’s hard work for him!

I discovered that he does not like to eat immediately after waking up. I will try again mid-morning. Yesterday he ate best then and in the midafternoon… snack times for Maggie and me.

I think of Daniel’s first mother often and pray for her as the wound of losing her son is new again. Please pray for her also. Also pray that we find a good way to communicate. I have been sending a few emails and I don’t think google translate works well, but I don’t want to ask for translation help from a person so frequently. I’ll figure it out, but so far, I don’t really know what I’m doing.

Okay, friends, that’s all for now. I need to shower and figure out what we’re doing today.

Leaving our apartment to walk to the grocery

Peek a boo!

Sure is good to be with my son.

Yes, he’s unhappy here. He was done with the grocery. He’s still cute.

It was nice to find a big, fully-stocked grocery.

He’d kinda “had it” by the time we walked home. He wanted to lean way over, so I gave his head extra support and he seemed to like that. I’ll adjust the carrier some and see if I can get it just right. Might try a toddler sized Kinderpack, but his bum is so little, I worry he’d be lost in the pocket. Hmm.

His favorite cord is the laptop charger.

This is the “you’re going to get into trouble if you play with my camera, Maggie” look.

We pulled out some playdoh yesterday. Daniel was averse to touching it at first. Then he figured out he could “plug in” his charger into the dough. Then he learned he could touch it with a knife. Then he touched it long enough to throw it. It was a pleasure to watch him discover!

Maggie made lots of cool things! She is a wonderful big sister. I’m so glad she’s with us.

Even though he doesn’t eat much, I’m pretty sure his tummy looks fuller than when we picked him up. He eats slowly, but I have all the time… slowly by slowly, I hope to see him grow strong!

Pleased to be given a cord when he wakes up.

Morning time!

I know that Daniel was paid attention to in the orphanage. Where Jordan was passive and didn’t react or respond to people, Daniel cries when he wants something, cries when he wants out of bed, lifts his arms to be taken somewhere and even knows to throw a tantrum if he is told “no.” I’m thrilled with his ability to communicate. He is nonverbal (he may understand some Bulgarian, but does not speak it) but I think he will be speaking soon, because he imitates sounds and has specific things he wants. I’m going to enjoy watching him discover the power of speech! (He imitates words, but doesn’t seem to assign meaning to them yet)

Playing with playdoh

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