Well....we're back home, obviously. Parenthood and jet lag have kicked in full force by now so the past few days we've been dragging from waking up until laying down at night. Amy's currently feeding Joelle more oatmeal in hopes that we can get her to poop a little more! Let me explain:
We took Joelle to the doctor on Tuesday for her first check-up. This one is super important! The doctor we visited is from out of the country and we've been told she kind of specializes in international kiddos. She said Joelle looked great on the outside! Joelle....she wasn't feeling the doctor visit at all. She cried from the moment we walked in until we walked out. That seems like a failure to most people I'm sure. But those are the moments where we see how her attachment to us is going. She clings to us, and looks to us for protection....this is a really good thing!
So now we are heading out to get some blood work done to make sure all of her insides are working well, and that nothing is wrong with the baby who looks so perfect on the outside! You can pray for these tests! This includes 3 tubes of poop. Talk about weird. We met this girl a week ago today, and now we are saran wrapping her toilet and carrying her poop around the house....scooping it up and refrigerating it. Needless to say, she thinks we may be a little weird. Luckily she can't tell us because her English is still pretty short!
Joelle walks around the house and copies everything we do. If we move our arms, she moves her arms. If we say something.....well, she tries. It's pretty cute! And one day, I'm sure it will be pretty annoying.
So that's what's going on with us right now. Doctor visits, blood work, and collecting poop.....our lives as parents....on Valentines Day! And we wouldn't change a bit of it! Especially the part where Amy came hauling it into the restroom to dry heave after trying to collect a stool sample!
I'll let Amy finish up on how things are going in a later post. I wanted to share a little about the city that Joelle came from. Amy and I have been blessed to travel to quite a few places in our 8 years of marriage. We've visited some really nice resorts, but also some life changing mission fields. And I can honestly say, even after traveling to one of the most poverty stricken countries in the Western hemisphere, there is nothing quite like the DR Congo.
The people were amazing, as always. There really wasn't a time we felt unsafe while we were staying there. I think we look at all of Africa as a tribal place where it's kill or be killed...and while that may be the place in some areas, Kinshasa was good to us. So many folks were worried that something would happen to us while we were gone, but we never really found ourselves in a spot where we were fearful. We'll give God glory on that one as well though....when He calls you to something, He's so faithful to see you through it! I'll admit....there may have been a gunshot or two on our last night there....still....it just wasn't as bad as most people think it would be.
What was so crazy was all of the people. When I say all of the people, I mean A LOT of people. Millions and millions of people EVERYWHERE. All of them are walking....about 2 feet from where our driver was driving. And let's just say our driver....well....that was an experience of our own. They walked to the market, they walked to get water, they walked to get out of the house, which compared to most, wasn't much of a 'house' at all. Our hearts broke for these people. We never really heard anyone complaining, but you could see it in their eyes. While we feast on fast food and complain about diet cokes being bad for you, they are struggling to survive. And when I say struggling to survive, I don't mean they are hungry and thirsty. I mean that the little food and water that they have is incredibly inadequate and unacceptable when you compare it to the wealth of the United States.
I mean to say that these are a people who live in one of the most mineral wealthy countries in the entire world, and yet they are one of the most impoverished on planet earth! When you look at statistics, it just doesn't seem right. They've been infiltrated with war after war. Someone told me that 300 or so people die each day....just in the city of Kinshasa. The life expectancy is low, and the life quality is even lower.