Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 2 with Addison

Hello everyone and thanks to everyone's encouraging and excited emails and comments. It is so nice to be able to stay in touch even though we are so far away.

First, for the baby. Again, we got to spend two hours with her and when we arrived she was all dolled up again, they let me feed her and gave us a lot of space. Addison was a little out of sorts today and seemed to not want to be held as much so overall today was a mixed experience. Of course, it was 90 degrees out and she was dressed head to toe in two layers. I was steamy hot today holding her and I think that she was too. Of course,growing up in an orphanage does not neccessary allow an infant to be cuddly. They have to learn how to soothe themselves, as sad as that is. She has not smiled for us and we asked the ophanage staff about it and they said that she does but "seldom". Again, I know that this environment is FAR for perfect but it makes me so sad to think about it. I just have to keep believing that we will be able to tackle any attachment and developmental issues once she is home. I would just love to see at least one smile before we leave. I was able to get a complete, naked exam on her today and a new set of measurements and luckily that all looks good. I was also able to meet with the orphanage doctor and learned a little more about Addison but of course, not as much as I would have liked. I noticed today that she had a needle stick on her hand that was not there yesterday. I also noticed some IV medicine in the baby room. I of course, asked about it and apparently she is getting a 10 day course of some sort of medication for her "encephalopathy". Encephalopathy is a very common diagnosis in Central Asia because their belief is that all babies start out with brain problems because of their inherent delays. Luckily, Addison does not meet our US definition of encephalopathy. The mystery medicine was ordered by a neurologist and it is standard for all babies to get a one time course of this. I specifically asked if she was getting it because they were worried about her and the orphanage MD said " no, she is doing well." The medicine somehow increases blood flow to the brain. I have not the foggiest idea what that could be. I was able to confirm that they use a new needle each time which was good but I hate not knowing more about it. I have sent out an email to an Internation Adoption pediatrician tonight and I am hoping to learn more. Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do to stop it since she is not officially ours.

The reality of orphanage life really hit home today. Yesterday, we were just so excited to meet Addison and today we had to acknowledge that she is not where she needs to be. The women there are clearly doing the best that they can with the little resources that are available to them. Today, there was no fresh running water and they had to have some delivered. The workers came out of the buildings in droves with buckets and to and from they went. I also got to interact with more of the babies and some are just doing a lot better than others. It is just so hard to wrap your head around how tough life can be for these little ones and yet again, how lucky we are to live in the land of plenty. I just hope and pray that we can have our little one home sooner than later. I pray the same thing for all the other precious little ones. It was a bad day to be a pediatrician.

As for the Kyrgyzstan experience, it is incredibly unique. You can tell at one point in time that they were doing well economically but tough times have certainly hit and they are struggling. We took an hour long power walk this morning and only found one intact sidewalk and that was infront of the White House. Many buildings are disserted and falling down or started but never completed. People are doing the best they can but sweeping dirt off of a dirt sidewalk is not going to fix anything and we actually saw that several times bright and early this morning. We did have some wonderful local cuisine tonight and we did surprisely good ordering blind. We were also able to visit a historical landmark outside of Tokmok and hope to get a trip to the mountains tomorrow. What an experience!

Take care everyone and send out a prayer for all of these priceless children!


  1. Suzanne,
    It gives a whole new meaning to "ignorance is bliss", huh?
    I imagine that many of their sweet faces will last a lifetime in our minds.
    Addison is so beautiful. As you know, when she is home with you and Craig and the kids, she will perk up and thrive. That is the image we need to focus on, it will come to pass.

  2. Congratulations Suzanne and Craig! We are very happy for you all! We can not wait to meet our new little neice in Nov. Take care and enjoy the time you have with her. Try not to dwell on what you see around you....I can imagine it's nearly impossible. Focus on each visit and the time spent with your precious little baby.

  3. Love the photos and your great updates Suzanne! Good work!
    We too pray for all the little ones, here and around the world, who deserve more. So happy Addison will have such a wonderful family and home with you!

  4. Hi Suzanne,
    Sounds like it was a difficult visit today, yet Addison is as beautiful as ever! I can't wait to see all God has in store for her and her new life with you in the States.

  5. I'm just catching up with the blogs tonight. Addison is gorgeous!!! What a great experience you have going to see her while she is sooo tiny! Glad you were able to do the exam. Can you believe how dressed up those little ones are? Enjoy your time there!!

  6. Suzanne and Craig,
    Thank you so much for sharing all of your story with us! Addison looks beautiful. We are so excited for you and can't wait to see you all. Addison's Brother and Sister will have her giggling in no time! You are in our thought and prayers.
    Much Love! Jill, Dave, Camden and Libby

  7. Hi Craig and Suz,
    Wow, what an experience you are having. I can't even imagine. When I hear about all the babies and the help they need it makes me sad that the process to adopt one of them is so long and difficult. Addison is very blessed and will have a wonderful life as a Bilyeu. You're all in our prayers.