I’ll start with the cuteness… enough said.
I have been in Congo for almost a week and not a word has been written to the ole blog. It has been quite a crazy trip so far, and there is much that I want to say, so I’m going to try to break this up into a couple of posts to keep this from being the longest one in history.
On April 7th, after a full 24 hours in the air, I arrived to the Kinshasa airport for the second time. My stay in Congo began at a hotel with really bad internet access which makes it hard stay connected to folks back home. Aside from that, this whole mothering an infant thing has kept me pretty darn busy. I met this little, baby precious on Sunday evening, for the first time. April 8th, Gotcha Day. 🙂 It was a very emotional introduction. For months now I have been dying to get this child in my arms, to care for him, to love on him, to get him the medical attention he needs. And now, he is here, snuggled in my arms.
He is prettier than a picture, inside and out. And just like his sister, he was obviously adored by his foster family. His Congolese name is Junior Taylor, but like Mila, his foster family gave him a nickname. Mila’s was “Jenny Balola“, which means Jenny dances, and if you know Mila, you know how she got that name. They called Hudson, “Papa Junior”. Haven’t got the story on that yet, but even the other foster children living in their home are calling him “Papa”. Maybe they think he looks like a little old man, or like his foster father, who they all call “papa”. I’m not quite sure, but one thing I do know, is that he was well loved, and it did not take me long to see why. He has the greatest personality. He is not a complainer, and he loves to smile, coo, and giggle. He will give you the biggest toothless grin you’ve ever seen, and then tell you about how great he thinks you are with a loud “Aaaaaaaaaa”.
Within a few minutes of meeting the little guy, I noticed a cough that concerned me. I figured this may have something to do with the on again, off again, illnesses that have been plagueing him for the past few months. I asked our translator/escort if we could take him to the doctor, and was told we were going to be taking a couple of the kids on Tuesday. I was fine with that. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day with our Embassy visits, and I’ve learned that trying to get more than one task done here in a day is pretty impossible. If you’re not familiar with the term, you’ll quickly learn the meaning of Africa time here.
Monday, April 9th, our group, consisting of 4 parents, 7 (yes, I said 7) kids, and our translator, walked down the street from our hotel, to the Embassy for our appointments. (I feel like a total wimp in this group of seasoned adopting families. I am the only one not adopting 2 at the same time, on this trip. My job right now is pretty easy in comparison to these folks.) The appointments went really well, and I got news that our visa should be back this week!
During the night, Hudson woke at 3:3oam, and it was not just to eat. He had a 103 temperature, and was fussy for the first time. I Skyped with his Daddy to let him know he was getting sick again. During this adoption process, every time we would get news that Hudson was sick, the only symptom we ever got was that the baby has a fever. Now I know why. A couple of hours later, around 6 a.m., Hudson woke again with a 105.4 fever. I was freaking out a bit, no, I was freaking out a lot, I am not gonna lie. I knew what to do, and did it, but I was really scared. I got some baby Tylenol in him first, and rushed him to the shower for a cool rinse. He loved that, let me tell you. He was screaming, I was freaking out, and I couldn’t call anyone to help. They don’t exactly have 911 here or even a phone in the room for that matter. I ran down the hall, and knocked on one of the other adopting family’s doors with no answer. I grabbed Hudson, and took him downstairs to another fellow momma. I know there is really nothing else I can do at this point, other than what I was doing, but I needed someone to be with me. Hudson starting have a febrile seizure, just the eye blinking kind, not a tonic clonic (full body shaking) seizure, but still, it was very scary.
His fever began to come down slowly and we made it to the doctor later that morning. We saw Dr. Sharrief, the Godsend that saw me on my last trip to Congo. Can I just tell you, I love this man. An English speaking doctor, trained in the States, that lives in Kinshasa, DRC, and is as kind and gentle, as any doc I’ve ever seen. He has been an oasis for this Momma, twice now, in a dry and weary land. When I walked through his door for the first time, I knew I was in good hands. This time he reassured me that he felt Hudson would be fine. Labs were drawn and a chest xray was done. Hudson was so good. The kid was smiling and cooing while being stuck with a 21 gauge needle. Are you kidding me? I ask for the butterfly needle (23 gauge) when I get my blood drawn, for the love. Obviously, he has been through a lot and is used to being uncomfortable. 😦 He just grinned at the nurse as he drew the blood. It was insane!
We returned to his office later that afternoon for results, and all the labs looked good as far as all the big, bad, chronic stuff. Of course his white count was up, and he is very anemic. The chest xray showed pneumonia, which explained the cough and high fever. We were given a few prescriptions, and were on our way. The relief I felt is difficult to put into words. For months I have known my baby was sick. For months I have wanted answers, and some sort of diagnosis. For months I have wanted to be able to be his advocate, his Momma, and get him the care he needed. Now… I know what’s going on. Now, I am able to be the Momma he’s needed. This does not mean that he will always be well, or guarantee anything past this moment in time, but for now… I can exhale. So I did, and cried tears of joy. And praised the Lord for His grace in this little baby’s short life.
It is getting really late and I need to get some rest, so I will try to catch up the last couple of days, tomorrow. But here’s one more pic of His Royal Cuteness.