Yep, I haven't mentioned it lately, but both girls still have Giardia. They've been treated 6 times with different medicines, different combinations and yet it still remains. Can I tell you how tired I am of collecting samples? ;( Ugh... I'm so tired.... Luckily, they do not really have any symptoms of Giardia, just the positive results indicating that it's still within their tiny system. Even the doctors at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia said this is, by far, one of the most extreme and longest case they've had. They are working with infectious disease doctors right now to come up with a plan for the entire family. (Yes, they want to treat all of us -- oh joy). And, I told everyone else in our family, they are responsible for collecting their OWN samples. Momma ain't doing that -- that's where I draw the line.. :)
Other than the Giardia, the girls are thriving and growing, gaining weight and getting taller and talking up a storm. They play so well together -- it's so fun to watch and listen to their interactions. Ellie is still getting services through our Early Intervention program, so she's currently seeing a speech therapist and a behavior specialist. She is very quick to please, so she's doing wonderfully and her behavior specialist has dropped back to only 2 times a month. Speech is coming along too... especially considering she had no language when she came home 7 months ago and she has made huge strides in just the last 2 weeks.
The rest of the family has had their share of weird ailments too -- lets see... we've had colds, strep, strange heart palpitations, weird viruses, one concussion, and mystery virus I had for 6 weeks that secluded me to mostly bed rest. Fun times here, but yet we continue to persevere. We just roll with it...
As we prepared to talk about our adoption journey for Orphan Sunday, we were asked by a few people if we were going to address the 'down' side of adoption.' I've heard that terminology before, and always wondered what people were talking about -- you know.. life after the airport. I'm still wondering what people are talking about. I guess there are people out there who adopt and then think it was a mistake...something I can't really understand... Don't get me wrong... there's been a time or two that I've thought, "oh my gosh.. this is really hard..." and sure, our life has been super crazy, but I would never change our decision to add Ellie to our family. I guess all of our appointments for Ellie (and our other 3 kids!!) and our therapies for speech and behavior (mixed in with sports) probably looks overwhelming to most.... not to mention that I'm a working mom who travels one day a week... but I would not change our decision to adopt EVER. I can only see positive things in adding a sweet little girl to our family and she continues to teach us things (about ourselves) as well as how to put ourselves aside to serve someone else (her)!
But, craziness and all, we are exactly where God wants us. No, it hasn't been easy, but it's been our experience that anything worthwhile is NEVER EASY. It's EASY to ignore; it's EASY to do nothing and it's EASY to walk away. But, God can't change and mold us by asking us to do easy things all of the time. We knew going into the adoption process that we'd have a season of busy-ness and would probably be looking at some support services for Ellie --- and we are ok with that. And although the waiting period was horrible, it really helped us practice our patience and trust in God -- all things He knew we'd need to effectively parent Elliana.
So, although to the outside world our family looks a little crazy from time to time, (and yeah, I might have missed your birthday... or your get-together) our family is exactly how God created it to be... Giardia and all!!