Sunday, November 25, 2018

Saturday November 24, 2018

Saturday November 24, 2018

Saturday was supposed to be a low key morning at Hope for Korah.  Meron was supposed to get her hair braided after I did a quick check on the elderly man (Ato, a word for Mister) that we helped yesterday.  Then we planned an afternoon meeting with Meron and Hermela’s birth relatives.

When we arrived to check on Ato, our plan went right out the window.  He needed to see a doctor right away for a procedure.  So, we loaded him in our driver’s van and affectionately named it the “ambulance” and took him to a nearby clinic.  He was in tremendous pain which made the trip a bit difficult.  Thankfully, we were able to get him the procedure he needed, but he would require daily follow up and skilled nursing care, so the doctor referred him to the hospital to be admitted.

I was relieved that he would be in the hospital because it would mean that he would receive the care he needed.  However, when we arrived, we were told that the hospital only admits patients Monday through Friday, and today was Saturday.  Surely this could not be the case. 

We went into the emergency ward (a room about as large as an average classroom) and the said they could not accept him because he had a previous surgery.  They sent us over to the surgical ward instead where we were told again that they do not admit patients on the weekends.  We were a bit baffled by this and asked where else we could take him.  Well, because he has previously had leprosy, this was the only hospital in the city that would treat him, even if it was an emergency.  We were told to return on Monday to wait in line and see if he could be admitted.  They would weigh the needs of those who showed up and possibly admit him if there weren’t other patients needier than him.

We stood there and tried to work out an alternate plan.  In my opinion, he needed IV fluids and antibiotics, pain management and close supervision until he was out of the woods. There weren’t any staff members at the Hope for Korah compound trained to provide the care needed to help Ato.

At this point, we were out of options.  We made the decision to return to the clinic that had sent us to the hospital and get the prescriptions and supplies to care for him the best that we could at the compound. I would visit in the morning and evening until Monday to provide the necessary care.  You have to marvel at God’s timing to have our team in Korah for these past three days to be able to care for Ato.

Of course I want to provide the best medical care possible, so it was hard for me to realize that although we had done everything we could do to get him proper care, we couldn’t provide it for him. We had to move on to plan B, knowing it may not be the best treatment plan, but it was the best we could do in these circumstances.  We went to the pharmacy and then returned Ato, who was exhausted and in pain, to his bed.  I was finally able to give him some pain medicine but would have to return to complete his care later as we were supposed to meet with Meron’s birth family that afternoon.

While we were away, Meron had her hair braided and she and Caroline played games and soccer with the kids at Korah.  We headed to the soccer field to pick up Meron and head to the birth family meeting.

Because of the way our morning went, we had to push back our meeting with Meron’s family.  This turned out to be a blessing because it allowed Hermela to join us on facetime.  Had we not been delayed by our morning tasks, it would have been 4 am at home and Hermela would have missed the chance to see and talk to her brother and extended family.

Meron has long anticipated a trip to Ethiopia and reunion with her remaining birth relatives.  We knew we would be meeting with her older brother but didn’t know if any other relatives were close enough to also come.  As we drove towards our meeting place, Meron was visibly nervous with anticipation.  It’s understandably stressful to meet up with people who are your family, but who you do not know, do not speak the same language as and that you haven’t seen for nearly 9 years.  Will you laugh? Will you cry? Will it be totally awkward? Probably all of the above. I’m sure she has played out this moment again and again in her mind over the years.  I think children that have been adopted often fantasize about such a meeting and I was just hoping that it would answers some questions for her, meet her expectations and satisfy that deep longing that she has had to know them.

We had been notified that her brother had been hit by a car while walking across the street two months ago and had surgery to place pins and repair a broken leg.  So, when he arrived, he was assisted in on crutches and looked to be in pretty bad shape compared to the last time we had seen him.  I know that our girls worry about their families, so it was hard to see him unwell. 

While we were greeting him, an uncle of their mother arrived as well as three cousins.  This helped to break the ice a little bit and even better was the fact that one of their cousins spoke English.  

We were thankfully able to get Hermela on facetime so that she could be a part of the meeting.  It was a bit overwhelming at times, but everyone was so happy to see each other, and the girls got many of their question answered.  It was fun to see Meron pick out features in her relatives that looked like her. It provided that long awaited feeling of connection that she has so desperately wanted for so many years. We were also able to work out a plan to help their brother with his situation and we plan to see him again Thursday before we leave.

We returned home emotionally and physically exhausted, but with a sense of peace about what God had done in our interactions with Ato as well as the kids at Korah and with the family that we were able to connect with.  We thank God for going before us to so graciously align all of the events of this day.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

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