Saturday, March 2, 2013
I'm going to get to Scott's time in Congo with Kai...the gotcha day pictures and his almost two weeks in country. But I wanted to post some recent updates first as the past four weeks since we brought Kai home has been a whirlwind!!! Some of you may know we relocated to South Jersey (which should be classified as a whole different state apart from northern New Jersey...and because somebody always asks..no it's not like the tv show, the Jersey Shore) for my hubby's new job as a civilian fire fighter working for the Coast Guard. We said adios to active duty military, hola to civilian world. It's pretty nice. We're feeling pretty free, but the transition for our family of six.... has. been. pure.
Now to a more important topic then all of our chaos. Kai is doing fantastic! He's gained 4 lbs since he's came home and is such a ball of constant energy. I haven't posted this yet or these pictures. After Kai came home 6 days later we went to a check up at our family doctor for what we thought would just be a physical before our move to NJ where we would take him to the international adoption clinic at CHOP. The doctor did the normal check up and he wanted to run a couple of blood tests while we were in the office. Something didn't look right when the blood test came back and they asked to run it again. His hemoglobin was 3.5. The average persons hemoglobin is 12. Anything under 8 is considered dangerous. The doctor called for an ambulance and I rode with Kai to Centro Medico. If you ever are in Puerto Rico and need to go to the ER, don't go to this one. The doctors came in and asked background history. Which of course we knew nothing. We did know that Kai may be possible sickle cell. While he was at our agencys transition home he was administered to the hospital and had a blood transfusion for what we thought was for malaria. He did have a test done for sickle cell. One test came back positive. The second time the test came back negative. So it was a thought in the back of our minds for the past month that he could possibly have sickle cell anemia. The doctor felt that his spleen was very enlarged and she said it felt like it was sickling and they needed to do blood work right away.
|Mama and Kai in the PICU room during second transfusion.|
|starting to feel good!|
|He's a trooper, and of course keeping it cool in the PICU with his hat. He wanted it backwards;)|
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Christmas surprise! Photos of our little man on Christmas Eve AND Christmas day!!!!! whoa!!
It was so wonderful to see that the children at the TH had a Christmas party! It looks like they all had a lot of fun! There was also a photo of the food table and it looks like there were some plantains and yucca. We call plantains "amarillos" or another kind "tostones" in Puerto Rico and that was what we made on Christmas Eve with a traditional PR meal...rice, pink beans, pollo..yum! A lot of the PR receipies have African roots so it was neat to see some of the same foods that they were eating at their Christmas party.
|Christmas Eve in Kinshasa!!|
|We saw the break was his right arm. Another mama that was there said it didn't seem to bother him but he would sit down to rest when he got tired.|
|Merry Christmas Kai! Looking all handsome and in an outfit and shoes that we sent!! They dressed all the kids up in their Christmas outfits for the party.|
|The transition home all decorated for a Christmas celebration.|
We are really counting down the days now!!!
Friday, December 21, 2012
A day after the last post I wrote (on December 15th) we thought that Kai would have been well enough after the one night hospital stay to go home the next morning. Turns out he had to stay a second night and he received a blood transfusion. There were two amazing women who stayed with him all day and donated blood for him, C & J. For them I will forever be grateful they did this for my son. There is no blood bank in DRC so in order for Kai to receive the blood transfusion, blood had to come from somewhere. They are also ran some blood tests on Kai. As of an update yesterday we are still waiting to receive those results from the hospital in Kinshasa. Kai was feeling great after the blood transfusion and he was able to go back to the transition home that night. So thankful. We cried, prayed, and worried so much over this little boy. So many people were praying for him. We were so glad to hear that he was doing well and out of the hospital!
We received another email last night from our caseworker. First line, "well....I don't know why this always happens with your family."......that worried me to read....then it went on to say that Kai is feeling SO GOOD that for the past 36 hours he has been running around like crazy at the transition home with all of the other kids laughing and having a good time. He decided to climb up on a chair and jump off. In doing so he landed on his arm on the hard tile floor and fractured it. Our poor little guy! Back to the hospital for Kai. They were waiting for the swelling to go down so they could cast it. Our case worker said, "I want you to be prepared for two things..he's coming home in a cast, and he's all boy!" She also wrote that the nannies said ever since his blood transfusion he is like a completely different child! Scott and I can't help but find this situation slightly comical. Only slightly because I do feel so bad that he broke his arm, but he just got out of the hospital, was having a good time, and found himself back at the same place again! He's also the first out of all four boys to break a bone, and he's two yrs. old. I think when he gets home him and Keane are going to be good buddies.
We can't wait to get him home and we will be flying very soon. His embassy appointment was Tuesday this past week. We sent off our visas last week. We should be getting ready to fly about a week or so after Christmas. We wish he was already home and our family was all together on Christmas day, but we are leaving the tree up and all of his presents will be waiting for him to open when he gets home!! I can't tell you how much I LOVE this little guy already!!! Can't wait to watch him jumping around and wrestling with his three older brothers. We love you Kai, and we wish you a Merry Christmas!!!
Friday, December 14, 2012
Yesterday we got news that I dreaded. Our caseworker called us around 3:00pm telling us it was nothing to worry about but they had to take Kai to the hospital because he had a fever and flu like symptoms. No wonder the nanny said he was feeling so weak in his update a couple days ago. She told us that he most likely had a relapse of malaria. I had that devastating sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wanted to go be with my son. To have a child an ocean away in a hospital and not be there with him. I did what I could only do. Something much more powerful then any medicine. We prayed. Our family stood in the kitchen held hands and we prayed for Kai. The sweetest most faithful words came out of my 3, 5, and 7 yr. old. They know what malaria is. They walked this road before with baby Kembe Marc. They prayed for the bad mosquitos to go away from Kai and that God would make him feel better. The simplicity of a child's prayer. We also had a lot of other families from our agency praying for Kai yesterday. God heard our prayers and he answered them. At 7:00pm we got a phone call that he was doing better. They wanted to keep him overnight, but he should be feeling much better by the morning!! Right now at this time, he should be out of the hospital and back at the transition home. I'm so thankful he had access to a good hospital in Kinshasa.
Malaria....this is also how baby Kembe Marc left us to go be with Jesus. Sadly I've known too many kids that have died from malaria this year alone. We've decided to donate to Nets for Life Africa every year to help fight malaria in memory of our son, Kembe Marc. This Christmas would you be interested in purchasing a net for a child in Africa as well? For just $10.00 you can give one net through Nets For Life Africa.
- Over half a million (655, 000) people die from malaria each year, mostly children younger than five years old.
- There are an estimated 216 million cases of malaria each year.
- Although the vast majority of malaria cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the disease is a public-health problem in more than 109 countries in the world, 45 of which are in Africa.
- Approximately 3.3 billion people live in areas where malaria is a constant threat.
- 90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Malaria costs an estimated $12 billion in lost productivity in Africa.
- When insecticide-treated nets are used properly by three-quarters of the people in a community, malaria transmission is cut by 50%, child deaths are cut by 20%, and the mosquito population drops by as much as 90%.
- It is estimated that less than 5% of children in sub-Saharan Africa currently sleep under any type of insecticide-treated net.