Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Of Examinations and a Delay

When I was in college and law school, people told me that I had more free time then than I ever would. I felt like I was so busy and had a hard time believing them. Then I married and started working, and I was busier than ever. Still I heard that I had more free time then that I would once we had children. While recognizing that children would make life busier, I found it hard to believe I could be more busy than before. Well, now I understand. :) Perhaps it’s not necessarily more busy – the time is just filled more than ever before.

Case in point – I just “had” to run take a picture of the boys – posted below.

And then I had to mediate a dispute and render discipline, take one boy while the other had his diaper changed, etc., and am only now back to this blog entry – for yesterday, for which there was no time yesterday, either.

(Giving you the play-by-play, Calvin just crawled off into the kitchen for some privacy, it seems, to take care of some important business. Let’s just say both boys must be on a similar schedule. :) Due to diet changes, we have had an inordinate number of dirty diapers to change. Patrick holds the record so far with seven in twenty-four hours!)

Thinking back over yesterday, at first glance there doesn’t seem to be much out of the ordinary and, if you can call it that, the routine (with all the changes of lodging, activities, etc., “routine” might be a bit of a stretch). But we did go to the International Clinic for the boys’ first doctor’s visits since they have been in our care and for a blood draw for an HIV test. The nurse took their measurements and then it was in to the doctor for an examination. There were few surprises and we really liked the doctor. Patrick had a terrible attitude and screamed and cried for the whole visit including just being weighed. Calvin did better but didn’t like being examined either but did much better overall. (She seemed to be impressed that Calvin recognized Alaina – his face lit up when he saw her when she came up to him on the examining table.) We think the doctor is from South Africa and spoke with their delightful accent. She did give a number of pieces of advice helpful for their care, so we really appreciated that.

Then it was on to the blood draw. Neither of the boys had been on their best behavior for the exams, but Patrick was in hysterics for the blood draw. It was only a pin prick on his finger and a little suction afterwards, but you would have thought they were drawing liters of blood through a huge needle.

Calvin, whom I was holding, thought he was really in for it and was quite upset himself. But when it came for his turn, he sat quietly on my lap, looked surprised at the pin prick, and then was silent for the suction. “He’s very brave,” the nurse said. We were proud of him.

From the Clinic it was on to a photo studio for passport photos for the boys. Neither cooperated readily, but the photographer was able to get satisfactory photos more quickly than either Alaina or I expected.

We had thought we might go to get our tickets changed in the afternoon, but that never materialized. Dinner was uneventful and both boys went down relatively well to bed. To our delight, both boys slept though the night (except for one brief outburst from Calvin, when we didn’t have to pick him up or anything, and he went right back to sleep) – which meant we did, too! Praise the Lord!!

Calvin’s doing better, especially as we have figured out that it’s best just to ignore his fits (per the doctor), but he still has fits sometimes for which we can see no explanation. He’ll be playing one minute, throwing the fit the next, and playing happily a moment later. We don’t fully understand but think it may be the only way he would get attention at the baby house; we trust they will decrease as he recognizes that when he isn’t throwing fits he gets lots of attention.

We’ve learned a number of things about the boys. Patrick likes to chew on his shoe laces. He loves doors and thinks it is so cool to open and shut them. He likes power cords, but is learning – slowly – that he must not play with them. Patrick thinks bread is the greatest to the point of eating crumbs off the floor and we figure it will strengthen his immune system. :) He also loves to spit/sputter.

Calvin loves hats. He’ll bring his outside hat to us and want it to be put on. Alaina gave him a little beret, too, and he’ll wear it for hours. He likes building things and gets very frustrated if it falls down before he wants it to (he does like to knock his towers over, too!) Calvin also likes to crawl into “tunnels” (under our coffee table, under chairs, etc.) and to climb up onto things.

There were rumors that we might go up into the mountains today, but as of 11:30, we haven’t heard anything about it yet. We definitely have to get our tickets changed, and hope to do some shopping either today or tomorrow.

Well, I was just interrupted again – this time by the doorbell. It was our coordinator here. Alaina asked if everything was okay, and she said no. Then she pulled out her cell phone and said we needed to talk to Almira, our translator in Uralsk. My heart almost stopped as Alaina took the phone. Both of us feared the worst – that somehow we were losing one of the boys (we had to promise in court that, as a condition of the fifteen-day waiting period being waived, we would bring the boys back if parents showed up in that time period). To our great relief, we learned that it was a paperwork/signature problem in Uralsk (not our fault) with the result that we’ll have to stay an extra couple days: we’ll now be leaving on Saturday instead of Thursday, it looks like. We’ve never been so happy for a delay – we’d much prefer that to what we thought it might be! Our coordinator, Nadya, felt so terrible but we assured her we could manage another couple of days…it’s probably good it happened today after a very good night’s rest. :)


Jen said...

Praise God for a good night's sleep.
Thanks for the reminder that life only gets busier from here on out :)
It is sad that you won't get back until Saturday, but I am happy you are still coming home this week and that it wasn't anything worse. Praise God. :)
Can't wait to see your family of four next week (unless you brave souls venture out on Sunday in spite of Jet lag.)

steph said...

Glad to hear things are improving with the boys. Now you'll have a few more days to adjust before your long flight home. Although I am sorry you'll be delayed, but selfishly, now when I'm in Canada I won't be thinking about everything I'll be missing upon your return. :)
You continue to be in my prayers. Thanks for another picture...so cute!
Love you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that is a better delay. My heart sank for a second. Hang in there, you are almost finished. Prayers for you and your family daily,

Ryann, Counselor and Darren

Jen said...

Adorable pictures!

Andrew I laughed about the "time". It's all a matter of perspective I guess. :) But give yourself a little grace...you are have two instant children (almost like twins), you are in another country, and you have been moving around a lot. I think you all are doing GREAT!

liz said...

what a cute picture!:) i'm sorry to hear about the delay, but i kind of have to agree with steph. i miss you guys so much, though, and can't wait for you to be home. it's weird not to have seen or talked to you in so long. glad to hear things are going well. i'm so excited to meet the boys! love and miss you.

michael l. said...

Thought-provoking entry. Maybe we really don't get any busier as we move from school to marriage-and-career to parenting: rather, with each transition, more of our busy-ness is about other people's needs and less about our own busy pursuits. Even though we carry the same amount of busy-ness, when more of it is about other people's needs, it *feels* busier to us. Just a thought prompted by your entry.

The apartment looks pretty nice from your photo of the boys at the window! (As if I could really tell from that small a peek.)

I am running a backup of my hard drive as I check your latest posting. I've been postponing buying a backup hard drive for several months (though really needing to do so -- I just hate spending money on computer equipment). But I finally ordered an external drive on Saturday, which arrived today. So this evening, I'm getting things backed up while checking email, etc.

Take care. See you soon!


Grandma Judd said...

I was so happy to see the journal entry this morning. What a precious picture of those little boys. They will bring you so much joy. Your statement of "I had to mediate a dispute and render discipline" seemed a most appropriate thing for their Daddy to say. You'll have fun doing that, right? I so much enjoy the descriptive way you talk about each little boy--their personalities will be so much fun to see develop. Your journal will be great to share with the boys many years from now. I was very disappointed to know that you will not be able to leave until Saturday, but so grateful that the delay was due to paperwork. God gives us the strength to meet the challenges of each day and your attitude was great in the acceptance of the delay. We are all so anxious to have you home. Miss you so much. Can't wait to see you and those two little precious boys.
Love you so much,