Thursday, February 4, 2010

Charline is Home -- Sun 1/31

Sunday 1/31: We all went to church. I figured that since Charline still doesn't do that much, might as well go to church! Of course, she did great. She just let us hold her the whole time and didn't make a peep--except for her cough. And she didn't have a blow-out at church--yeah! Everyone at church had been keeping up with her situation and been praying for her, so it was nice for them to see her, they all loved it.

We had put together her stroller yesterday, so we brought that along and went to the mall to walk around to see how she likes riding in a stroller.

So far, she hasn't squawked about anything...the cold weather, being bundles up, wearing 3Xs the amount of clothes she's used to, the car-seat, car rides, hats, gloves, carpet, the crib (the dog she had a few issues with, but that's improving).

Anyhow, we arrived the mall way before anything opened (even Starbucks), so we walked and walked. She didn't mind at all! We finally went to eat at a new Mongolian restaurant in the mall, her FIRST time at a restaurant in America! I tried to give her her water out of a sippy cup, but that doesn't work. She likes water straight out of a regular cup or glass. She ate a few of her snacks, then I gave her some noodles all chopped up. She LOVED them! Then she had a blow-out. So after a change of clothes, she finished her lunch and we went to the store Sephora to get her some products that will be good for her hair and skin. It was a great trip.

--Once again, have to go, Charline just woke up--

Charline's Home--Thu 1/28 - Sat.1/30

Thu 1/28: We ventured out today to Taylor's Ballet class. Charline did great. She is still pretty inactive, so to take her anywhere is easy. As long as I'm holding her, she's perfectly content!

The kids absolutely LOVE Charline. They try and try to play with her. Taylor loves to pick her up and hold her. She will also play the piano for her and the first couple of days, it would put Ch. right to sleep on the living room floor. It was so precious. Jack loves to play with her and try to get her to interact. Their game is...Charline drops it (any object) and Jack picks it up. She loves that game with her big brother!

Today, she seems a little more alert, more curious. She also smiled a little today--at the kids!

After Ballet, I went to a children's 2nd hand store and got a 'sling' and a wipes warmer. She cries and cries b/c the wipes are so cold (she doesn't cry anymore--money well spent!) She also likes her new sling. It keeps her nice and snuggled in to me, so I can have 2 arms free! Works great for school-time too!

When Nathan comes home, the new trend is after supper, we get Charline ready for bed and Nathan holds her. He lays in the easy chair and she rests on him. She usually falls asleep like this. Nathan loves holding his new daughter and Ch. loves being snuggled in with her Daddy!

Fri 1/29
Charline tends to wake up about 1x/night hungry, so I get up and feed her and she usually goes right back to sleep. This morning, she was super tired, so by 9am, Jack is so anxious for her to get up, he HAS to check on her. Well, that woke her up. It was just so cute he was so ready for her to be up for the day. The kids absolutely love her!!!

Today, it snowed 6-8 inches, so we stayed in all day!!

Sat. 1/30
Our little newspaper (The Republic Monitor) gal came out to do an update on our situation now that Charline is home. She even took a couple of pictures, so we have our first family photo!! Charline even let her hold her. It was neat!

Nathan took Taylor and Jack to see the movie "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" then out to Steak and Shake for supper. They had a great time and said the movie was hilarious!

Charline continues to have stomach "issues" and I can't get it figured out. I've tried bananas, rice, applesauce and nothing seems to "bind". We'll keep trying.

--I'll write more later, time to get the fam up and going--

Charline's Home--Sun 1/24 - Wed 1/27

Sun. 1/24: Aaron, Charity, Elijah, Ayden and Evan came with us to the airport to greet Nathan and Charline. A couple of couples came up wondering if she was from Haiti, they were so happy for us. We hadn't told any reporters she was coming home, we wanted a simple, family reunion. I was so glad Aaron's were there with us, it was such a sweet time!

That night the kids all wanted to sleep in our bed with Charline and I (Nathan needed sleep bad, so he slept elsewhere). Taylor, Charline and I all slept together, Jack was too wound up to lay down, so he slept downstairs with Daddy. Charline awoke in the night b/c of a major blow-out. The first of SEVERAL. I had to change all of my bedding and throw in in the washer on the sanitary cycle. Taylor was up with me the whole time--she was so excited to have her sister home.

Mon. 1/25: Nathan stayed home from work still trying to catch up on sleep.
(Fri. we don't get the call til late, I'm at Wal-Mart about midnight getting diapers, etc. to send with Nate, so he only gets about 3 hours sleep. Sat. He's at the airport by 4:30am, in FL before Noon and waits all day, gets a call at 9pm that he and the other families are to drive 3 hours to get the kids, he returns to the hotel about 5am on Sunday. Naps a couple of hours, then flies all day home...very little sleep in about 48 hours).
Charline didn't do much but rest/sleep and eat a little. The kids tried to play with her, but she just didn't have the energy to do anything but lay there and have major blow outs!!

One fun surprise today was a bouquet of flowers! My friend from Alaska was so nice and sent over flowers and they are so beautiful and fragrant!!

Aaron stopped by to get a picture quick and Nathan tried to hand her over and she screamed. Not sure what she was thinking--being handed off AGAIN, but she wasn't having any of it!

Tue 1/26: Jack went to work with Nathan while I took the girls (girls...isn't that great!!!) to the doctor for Ch's first check-up.
Weight: 14.14 lb (normal for 13mo.old is 20-21 lb)
Height: 28.5" (I measured her in Haiti in June and she was 26")

She tested negative for TB and her Iron levels were much better (in the normal range) than when she was tested in Haiti! Yeah!
Even though she has a terrible cough (has had it since June at least), her lungs are clear.
Her ears are good, but she has had an infection that cleared on it's own (we'll monitor that)

After 2.5 hours, we grabbed some Arby's and came home. 30 minutes later, the dishwasher installer showed up, yeah! Taylor loves helping with Ch.! She gave her some of her curly fries and roast beef and Ch. loved it!! She was shoveling it in (she needs calories, right??) when Nathan called saying Jack was throwing up everywhere. We loaded up and went and got Jack. Poor guy was having a terrible time with this issue! We went inside for just a minute and Ch. let Marla hold her!! I was surprised, but it was so great! We only stayed a couple of minutes, then headed home...Jack stayed downstairs and watched cartoons b/c I didn't want Ch. or the rest of us getting whatever she had. If Ch. lost any more weight, she'd have to go in the hospital.

Jack dry heaved the rest of the day, but was able to keep down 1 tsp. at a time of Gatorade later that night. Yeah!

Wed. 1/27: Jack woke with a 100.2 fever, but remained fever-free the rest of the day and no more vomitting or dry heaving! He felt hungry, but i stuck to the BRAT diet quite strictly. It worked. He got better and nobody else got what he had!

Charline continues at this point to be pretty lethargic. She eats sometimes, not always. Likes a bottle sometimes, not always. And no matter what she eats, it all comes back out.... I am so worried she's not going to gain weight. Sometimes all the formula comes back out in formula form, what do I do??

CRIBShe likes her crib and after the first couple of nights, she is sleeping in her crib now. For a little while, she would start off in her crib, but wake up at night and wouldn't go back to sleep unless she was sleeping in our bed, usually on top of she can hear the heartbeat? It puts her to sleep everytime.

NAPS: She tends to take 2 naps/day, which is nice. I am able to get some school done and keep up with the laundry, although that's a daunting task because I've never had to wash so many sheets/clothes, plus wash them on the sanitary cycle which takes 2 hours each load!

Charline's Name

We have been spelling Charline's name "Charlene" for this entire time. I believe it's because when we got the referral from our U.S. agency, that is how it was spelled. However, in going through this process during the last month, we have realized that all of her official/adoption documents have it spelled Charline.

When we visited the doctor 2 days after she was home, they said it needed to be spelled the same as all of her official documents. I'm assuming it will have to be that way for Insurance and many other documents we'll have to fill out in the future, so we are now spelling it Charline, as it was originally spelled in Haiti to make everything so much simpler and to make sure no paperwork gets thrown out because of a typo.

I know the Haitian government will throw out/have you re-do paperwork for a simple typo, and I know we're not dealing with the Haitian government anymore, I don't want to take any chances with our government!



Charline has been home about 10 days now. I should've been reporting each day, but a) she needs held constantly, so it's hard to get computer time and it's hard to type so much with just one hand. And b) she wasn't doing anything for so many days. She was completely lethargic, wouldn't even lift her head off of my shoulder. Would barely eat, could only sit up for a few seconds, maybe a minute, then fall over. She had been so dehydrates and malnourished, she just didn't have the strength to do anything but sleep and poop, and cry when she wasn't being held.

We were terribly worried, but knowing a few things and knowing what she had been through especially the last 10 days before coming home, we knew she needed time to adjust to her surroundings and her body needed time to adjust to a new environment, new water, new food, etc.

She came home on Sunday 1/24. I called Nathan while he was in Florida, because I was looking at the calendar of when we found out about her.

March 22, 2009 we got an informal referral (meaning someone at the orphanage was so excited to tell us there was a baby girl for us)
March 23, 2009: Our agency gave us the formal referral for Charline.

EXACTLY10 months later...

Jan.22: We get a call from the State Dept. informing us Charline has the clearance to leave Haiti and come home.
Jan. 23, 2010: Nathan is reunited with our daughter forever.

God is good.