August 24, 2009
After discussing Mekonen's sickness with Gail, AAI's director in Ethiopia, she suggested we go see the orphanage doctor. That was on Friday, so we had to wait until today, Monday. We saw the doctor today and he said that Mekonen had a ruptured eardrum. He said he needed to see an ENT right away when he got back to the states and that it needed to be surgically repaired. What?? Poor little man. I feel so bad for him and just want to make it all better. I wonder who was there when he was sick and if they comforted him, or what happened. These things are terribly painful. They wouldn't give me an antibiotic for his ear, which I was very upset about. The goo was really thick green stuff. Hello! Infection! But I'm assuming they ration out antibiotics for "more serious" things although small things like ear infections untreated lead to more serious things. We found out later when we got home that untreated ear infections lead to tonsilitis (which he had on his medical record), which untreated, can lead to pneumonia. That brings us to his breathing. At the time, I couldn't understand what the doctor was saying about the breathing, but he did give us some medicine. He didn't say it was pneumonia. However, when we got home, Mekonen got a chest x-ray and it was confirmed that he had pneumonia. It's a good thing we got there when we did, otherwise he might've ended up in the hospital. This is what makes me so sad. This issue does not have to do with AAI's lack of care. They do a great job. It's just the harsh reality of life in an orphanage in a third world country. Medical care is not like it is here. That's why so many children and adults die of preventable diseases. So incredibly sad.
Today we also met Donovan and Julie Witmer in person! We have all been keeping in touch over the internet throughout this process. Our babies both came from the same town and arrived at AAI on the same day. They've been together in the orphanage ever since! How sweet. (We have already arranged their marriage too. hehe). We had the awesome privilege of watching as they met Noemi Sosina for the first time. It was incredibly sweet despite the fact that their little girl was really sick. They arrived at the orphanage only to be whisked away to the doctor's office where they were handed their baby girl as they said they thought she had measles. Poor baby. (After they took her to a Danish doctor a couple days later, they found out she had such a bad case of strep that she developed a bad rash. Poor little thing was so sick).
Here are the Witmers meeting Noemi Sosina, affectionately called "Sosi" (So-see). Later that afternoon we had a nanny come to the guest house from AAI so that we could go meet up with our new Ehtiopian friends Yemamu and Bisrat. (We had to get a nanny because we are not allowed to be in public with our newly adopted children). Yemamu, Bisrat, and others started a ministry in Addis Ababa to street children called Children's Hope Chest. We took a tour of their place, met some of the kids, and talked with an American who works there. It was neat to hear about their ministry. We were also served traditional Ethiopian coffee. It was really, really strong. Then there was a huge hailstorm that lasted a really long time. The American Joe ended up driving us back to the guest house. Who would've known... hail in Ethiopia?
When we got back to the guest house we went out to dinner with Donovan and Julie Witmer at Archibello. Rosemary, another adoptive parent, watched Mekonen for us, who was already fast asleep for the night. We had such a good time at dinner. We connected so well with them and had a great time talking about our interests, and of course the impact that adoption has had on our lives. We really wish we lived close to them. Like I said, our babies are getting married someday. :)