Malaria.

This week has been filled with a lot of ups and downs…

I went with my mom and daughter to Salt Lake City for the week.  I’ve never been so desperately in need of a vacation.  I needed some time to relax and restore, some time to stop clicking “refresh” nonstop on my e-mail throughout the day, and just a break from all the lesson planning and article writing that has been so nonstop since the school year started.

The evening of our second night in Salt Lake, I decided to plug in the computer just to see if I had heard any news from our agency. I was both excited and nervous when I saw I had about a half dozen e-mails from them.

The first few were detailing some changes — yet again — in the Congo adoption process. The length of stay required when a parent travels to Kinshasa has changed — yet again. This is always worrisome to me, especially because requirements have changed several times since we began this process in May and I worry that it is going to continue to change time and time again before our process is complete. One of the reasons we chose Congo is because the travel requirements involved met the needs of our family financially and also emotionally, since we have a young daughter at home.  I am praying that there are no more changes with this process.

The other change is that our monthly orphanage donation for Baby Boy’s care has gone up. Since we are pre-paid through mid-February, this won’t affect us unless he is there longer than February. But it does affect many families who are on the wait list for a referral, and my heart is sad for them. I do realize, however, that our agency works very hard to keep costs low and that they still charge less for orphanage care compared to many other agencies.

Then I saw an e-mail with Baby Boy’s birth name in the subject line.  I was so excited, hoping that it was a picture or some type of news regarding our adoption of him.  But it was an e-mail that our case worker had sent that morning letting us know that he was in the hospital with malaria. I completely broke down and was an absolute wreck.  I know malaria is common in DRC and I realized that this was probably coming, but there was really nothing I could have done to make the news any easier on my heart.  I immediately felt guilty that I had spent the day at the aquarium with E, laughing and having fun, while Baby Boy was sick without his mama in a hospital. E started whining about her blister on her heel and I was feeling completely unsympathetic over her tiny blister, and then feeling like a bad mama for that, too. I’m never one to e-mail people and ask for prayer requests, but I did immediately e-mail a few close friends and also post on my Congo Facebook group and ask for prayers on his behalf, too. I was so grateful for the bits of encouragement we received. And the Lord heard our prayers–just a few hours later, our case worker called Joel at home and told him that Baby Boy had been released much sooner than expected. They caught the malaria very early and even though he will still be on meds for a few days, they felt he was doing much better.

So thankful our son is being cared for by dilligent workers who noticed his symptoms and got him to the hospital right away. He is so little and fragile and it scares me to death to think about the ways illness could affect him. But, he is in the care of a Father who loves him even more than I do, and can care for him even better than I can.

My heart calmed even further when we received seven new pictures that night of Baby Boy that were taken in September. He is still on the tiny side, but his skin looks healthier and he looks as beautiful and sweet as ever.

So, it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster this week. But we are thanking God for watching over Baby Boy when we couldn’t, thanking God for our agency, orphanage and their care of him, and thanking God for the friends and family who keep Baby Boy in thought and prayer. And we really had a wonderful vacation that was special in many ways for many reasons, but I’ll write more about that later. For now, time to unpack!

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