We are now the legal parents of Ruthie! We went back to the Civil Affairs Center for adoption this morning, answered a few questions, handed over a few gifts and that was that. Really quite simple.
Now……we’re having a really hard time. Our sweet little bundle has started grieving terribly and we aren’t sure if she’s in pain or just grieving. She had night terrors on and off all last night and nothing we did comforted her. She woke up screaming this morning, but finally we managed to give her a bottle and she drank about 4 oz. At breakfast she continued to push everything away, but took a few bites of strawberry yoghurt and drank a little apple juice from an open cup. There are lots of adoptive families here and it’s comforting to see the ones who’ve had their children for a week doing fairly well. They give you the look of sympathy and the “it’ll get better” look, but when you’re in the middle of this, it’s absolutely terrible. Ruth and I both cried together this afternoon (this is Carrie by the way). I knew this would be a reality with the adoption process, but its heart wrenching to go through this. We want her to be happy and when the screaming goes on for 45 minutes straight, it’s hard. We’ve given her Tylenol twice now and she seemed to calm down about 30 minutes later. She’s sleeping right now. When she’s in a good mood I’ll try to take a peek in her ears to see if she has an ear infection. One of the orphanage workers who came yesterday said she just started getting a cold and that she gets sick easily. I haven’t seen real evidence of a cold.
AND, the fun part (not)…..is that she has scabies and what’s the one thing we forgot? Yep, scabies medication. Thank goodness for wonderful adoptive families who are so sharing and we have our hands on cream now. It looks very toxic, but we need to get rid of those suckers. So, we’ll have a Tucker scabies slathering party later this evening. You have to leave in on for 8-12 hours and then rinse off. So, tomorrow we’ll be sending our clothes off to be washed and getting new bedding.
From me, the medical person, here are some real concerns we’ll be addressing at home: she’s probably never had her teeth brushed and her gums are so swollen and inflamed. We attempted brushing her teeth today and you can imagine what it was like. Due to her ventral septal defect, she’s always been a slow eater and due to lack of staffing (per the orphanage staff yesterday), no one has had the time to work with her to learn to chew. She gets 5-6 bottles of formula with rice cereal daily, along with congee (like a rice, meat soup) and other soft things like egg. She regurgitates everything she does eat – possibly from habit of hunger in the orphanage?? We attempted giving her banana last night and although it was just about pureed, she vomited it up (at least she was in the tub!). She has a grade 3/6 diastolic heart murmur, which is louder than I expected considering her heart defect was supposed to be quite small. I’m concerned that it’s worse than originally thought. However, she is developmentally behind for several other reasons – institutionalization, nutritional deficit, lack of love/attention. She followed this one nanny (or maybe she’s the assistant director??) around throughout the orphanage and she even took her home on occasion. So, it is reassuring that she’s made some bonds and hope she can do that with us too. Its heart breaking that she was in this condition for so long before we were able to come get her. She also is not talking, but she can hear. Of course the worried parents we are we did the clapping thing behind her back to see if she’d turn around. J All in all, she’s about the stage of a 10-12 month old. She toddles like a new walker.
On a better note, she has started bonding with me. She was not happy when I took a shower last night and tried with all her might to get in the shower with me. George had to hold her up to the glass so she could see me and then she was happy. I left the room earlier (to hunt down that scabies cream) and she went to the door apparently and plopped down. Hopefully she’ll start bonding more with George soon – after all he’s the goofy guy who doesn’t stop blowing bubbles for her. Yesterday evening she was soooo sweet, playing with her toys and balloon.
We went grocery shopping after the Civil Affairs Center at “Trust Mart” (really a kind of Wal-Mart) to get diapers that fit (nope, she’s not potty trained), diapers for the orphanage, more formula and rice cereal, snacks and more water. The kinds of food in the stores are quite unbelievable to a Westerner. I think we’ll bring some things back for the shock value and to show we’re not full of bologna. I saw a lady dip a live fish out of the water with a net and they butchered if for her on the spot.
It is apparently safe to brush your teeth with the water here, but I am still using the bottled water. George has used the tap for brushing his teeth twice (I know Patty from church is cringing reading this! J )
Tomorrow we’ll go apply for her passport at the police, but for now we’re sticking close to the hotel and trying to not cause her to be overwhelmed.
Our Cantonese Princess is awake!!!!! Please pray everything will get better! Bonding, health, and for our sanity.