I made it back home with no problems. I actually got home on Thursday, but have just been enjoying my family and trying to stay off the computer. Being without it for three weeks was hard, but nice after a while! We bought a new adapter so we should hopefully be able to get internet this coming trip.
I am still getting over the jet lag, waking up every morning at 5 am. I have been going to be really early too, around 8:30 or 9. There is a 10 hour time difference so it really seems difficult! The way there was not too bad, I was over it in less than a week, but I almost always had a difficult time falling asleep.
I was staying in a guest room (actually the old bedroom of the director of the children's home), with M. We had two twin beds pushed together. It had a bathroom and shower, and was nice to have some privacy. M. and I usually went to bed around 7:30 pm. She would fall asleep quickly, while I spent lots of time reading. Then we would wake before 7 am to take her morning medication.
As far as her health: I imagined the worse case scenario, and was happy she was better than I expected. Her needs are great, and there is a lot of questions about what her needs will be long term in my mind. But she is a happy, funny little girl who loves attention. She is very active, even though her leg turns in and is weak on her right side. She slurs her words sometimes and is difficult to understand at times. She drools sometimes when she is laughing or smiling. She sometimes makes some impulsive decisions. And she cries about things very easily. This is due to her medications we think.
M. had two big seizures on the day I met her. One right after we said our hellos. It was scary for me, and I was really thankful her caregiver "mama" was there to comfort her and love her during the attack. It lasted a very long time, and then M. was very sleepy most of the day. The second was after we drove a few hours to get to the home. Our room was being made up and bedding was being brought in, and she fell on the floor. That evening she ate very little and vomited twice before bed.
While I was there I was able to meet with our attorney twice, and he was able to secure our court date. The judge situation there is still pretty bad, but the judge assigned us a date for the 24th. Please pray that he will show up. A friend had a date a few weeks ago and her case was still not heard. We really need God to do big things for things to move smoothy!
After our court hearing, we will wait for a written ruling. Then we can apply for a passport and after that a visa. We were able to take M. to the medical appointment for the visa. She had to go in for chest x-rays after a positive TB skin test, but it is all fine. Just an extra trip to the capital. The doctor at the medical appointment was VERY nice and was able to explain many things to us after looking at M's MRI and CT images. He agreed to write a separate report for us to use in court if needed.
It was a hard decision to make about coming back home for a short time before returning. The cost is big, but it was worth it to see my other children and husband again. Three weeks is a really long time to be away. I was so glad that ticket prices have dropped almost eight hundred dollars since last time, AND we were so blessed by the yard sale our church hosted for us. It was a HUGE help. My mother in law was also able to take a break and go home and to her job for a week while I am home. School is starting up for the kids, and I am happy to be home to help them get into the groove of things.
I have been SO blessed by people, situations and circumstances in my life recently. Church yesterday was so wonderful and amazing. I was moved to tears and very emotional most of the time! I can believe how much God has provided during this process. We are blessed with wonderful friends who brought over dinner a few times. Blessed by our family who were able to care for the children. And blessed by other friends and family who have prayed with us during this journey, who have contributed financially, helped with the yard sale, and sent good thoughts our way!
My friend has set up a care calendar to help with things on the home front since BOTH parents are going to be gone for several weeks. If you would like to help in anyway, big or small, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the code to access the calendar.
Also, I am collecting donations for M's orphanage. There are 14 children there, from age 2 to 15. Most of the children there have special needs. I was so blessed to be able to get to know these children while there. They are all very special. If you want to donate to them, you may contact me or make a donation on the paypal button.
Sorry, no pictures of M. are allowed until after the court date. If you really are dying to see some, you can request an invite to our private blog. I haven't updated it yet, but will get to it soon.