today’s milestone: first visit to the pediatrician

Today was a day I had dreamt about for a long time: Cora and Elias’ first doctor appointment. It was nuts. I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here that the kids do not like the doctors. At all. They have some traumatic memories associated with medical care, and every time we set foot near someone with a stethoscope around their neck (even minus the infamous white coat), the tears start flowing. This is why I have put it off a few weeks since our arrival home. I really wanted to give the kids some time to adjust without putting them in a situation where they had to be afraid. Time’s up!

We get to the doctors office and I’m greeted with 2 stacks of paperwork to fill out. The kids play happily with the toys and I start filling out the papers. All is well, I think. But the doctor is fantastically timely today and less than 5 minutes into my paperwork, the nurse comes out and calls us back. Then it begins- measurements, examinations, poking, prodding, and the grad finale, some vaccinations. I’m still trying to fill out the papers, but the kids are really upset and this is my chance to comfort them and establish more connection by meeting their needs. Paperwork loses and I’m on the floor, two crying babies on my lap. Doctor, perched on chair, talking through vaccination catch-up, circumcision quandary, and developmental milestones. It was unlike any previous appointment I’d had. We leave (babies comforted and quieted by now), and it’s my turn to cry. Thinking about these two, their crazy medical history, and the care they have needed but have been unable to get, is overwhelming and has been a point of sadness throughout our process. To be able to provide that care, is something quite wonderful (even though they hate it).

Today I’m thankful for that mess of an appointment- for the screaming babies, the vaccinations that made them cry, and for the oh-so-patient doctor and nurses who somehow managed to get high-fives from the kids on their way out…  it’s another thing that has been re-framed for me in this season and something that one of you dear people will need to remind me of years down the road when preventative care (for myself or for my kids) is something that feels inconvenient.

elias on the scale

Elias on the scale. Both kids have gained 5 lbs already! Elias is in the 10th percentile and Cora is in the 2nd. At the rate they are growing it won’t be long before they are right on track.

post shots

I call this the “I survived my first round of vaccinations” photo. Pictured is the good-natured nurse (in her cowboy costume for halloween) who gave them their shots. #snacksmakeeverythingfeelbetter #sodohugsfrommom #butmostlysnacks

home.

Feeling thankful, humbled, taken care of, energized and something slightly past exhausted. Thank you to our community of family and friends who made our homecoming so special. I literally am at a lack for the right words to describe just how much your love, care and support (expressed in so many different ways) means to us during this time. Thank you. I’m excited to share more of our homecoming story with you later, but tonight’s priorities are in getting settled and prepped for the rest of the week. It’s a big day tomorrow- Macy and Owen’s first day of school! These two have been such troopers for these last 7 weeks, making so many sacrifices without complaining, that I’m making their first day back a little extra special this year. The table is decorated and the red plates are out. I can’t wait to have some fun celebrating their first day. #reallifefeelssogood #returntonormal

the post i don’t want to make

This won’t go down as my favorite post to make, but it’s necessary.

As we wrap up our time here and look at where we are at financially it is evident that we need to do one final fundraising push.  A few unexpected expenses that have already occurred and a few that will occur this week have us in need of one more ask to complete our goal.

The good news is that we are almost home, and almost done with the paperwork, fundraising, planning, etc that has consumed so much time and energy these last two years. We get to focus that energy on our family and loving 2 more kids. That sounds so much better!

Thank you to all of you who have helped us so far. We are more than grateful. We wish we didn’t have to make this post, and we hope that you do not feel pressured to help.

Here’s the link to donate (tax-deductible) if you’d like to help out: www.adopttogether.org/theludwigs

Humbly,

Jess

how sweet he is

It has been decided that Owen has the sweetest blood in the family. Somehow he always ends up covered in bites when the rest of us are not! The other day I counted 13 bites on just his back alone. Still, he doesn’t complain. He says he is thankful for his medicine (Malaria) so that they don’t make him sick. He also expresses thanks every time I kill a mosquito. “If that one were going to bite me, I’m glad you killed it. Thank you.”

Aside

To the women who shopped for our snacks: THANK YOU. We had no idea how important those were going to be, but with zero control over our schedules, never-ending car rides, and the twins’ need to have food in hand 24/7, our lives would be MUCH more difficult right now without them. Last night in a panic I counted the number of fruit leathers we have left so I would know how many we need to limit ourselves to a week in order to make it. #thesearemyconfessions #thankyou

Word to those adopting who have not travelled yet. Bring lots of portable snacks. You won’t be sorry.