This morning we had an early start, being ready at 8:30 to help take babies to the dr. We were warned that the new babies were very tiny. So we went to gather 8 babies to go to the dr—some for check ups, some sick and 3 were new babies. We had to get bottles ready, babies changed and then out the door. With so many people, it did not take as long as I thought it would have—so with all of us with one baby in hand, we loaded up in the van. Now what a strange scene—all these Americans with little babies in the waiting room—but it worked. I cannot imagine how Ashli took 6 to the clinic, with just her and a nanny—but the wonderful drivers here double up on their job title as also a caretaker at times! All babies were weighed and seen by a doctor. The smallest of the bunch was about 4 lbs. But basically, they had some prescriptions written for thrush, ear infection, skin problems, but all around were seen as “OK”. Severely malnourished here and seeing their ribs and skin hanging off their body is alarming—but I guess not justification for hospitalization.
One baby was found in a church, another they estimate to have been sitting in a hotel for 2 days alone, not sure about the 3rd baby. Ashli did not have warning that the babies were coming, other than the director visited the orphanage in the south (where they feed babies out of their hands) and brought these 3 here. Thank God she did. Now the little peanut that broke out heart on the 1st day because he was so very tiny looks big compared to his new little crib mate. Two of the babies had labs (Sue had to scoop poop out of her babies diaper for a sample—pretty funny—and mine had to have his finger pricked 2x for blood and hardly cried) and all of this took under 2 hours! This would have never happened in the states—if I take all 4 kids to the doctor, I hardly get out in 2 hrs—let alone double that and put in labs!! It was an impressive place, nice and clean. It cost 110 birr (about $7) for each dr visit, plus labs and medicine. This is considered the best here and the doctors certainly seemed knowledgeable. Oh—and I am not sure how the dr knew this, without labs, but he said the little baby had sepsis—but nothing for that other than an injection of antibiotics for him and his thrush. Yes—they are treating the thrush with antibiotics. Maybe they don’t have the same medicine as we do?? Who knows…but all I know, is that a baby this size, having sepsis would be hospitalized. And he is being taken care of the best they can, with 2 nannies.
We then went to the pharmacy (which took a while) and then feed and change babies before we left to meet the rest of the team for lunch—it was already 2pm at this point. We were not able to sit with everybody else—but we were so tired and hungry, I guess it was ok. Talked with Sammy for a while and will go into his story later—but basically, he is very taken care of—Ashli is like his mom here and clothes him and feeds him. He has a mother and 5 siblings that depend on him and his livelihood as a street kid. Ashli is going to try to get him into a boarding school next year and go from there—working on getting the very difficult visas that are necessary to bring him to the USA. It was so nice to see how much he is loved and cared for and how much he adores and cares for Ashli, as well. Then I rode along to drop off the street kids back near the post office—didn’t understand a word anybody was saying, as I was smushed between kids in the van. We went to the big grocery store to buy supplies for the orphanage—mostly diapers and wipes and cleaning supplies. It was fun to go shopping and see all that they had. It was sort of impressive—the most shocking thing was cereal that was $8/box. Then we went back to the orphanage and helped with the babies some more—stayed there until about 8:30—nothing like a good 12 hour work day! It was such a great day. Heard that I missed a great service at the International Church, though—but I would not have been anywhere else other than the babies. And Kaye and I even got great smiles out of our little tiny baby (the original tiny baby). AMAZING!!