Any young mom that has ever had to take her little bundle of joy to the doctor's office for his/her immunizations knows that the child usually comes back unusually whiny. Not just from the pain of the shot, but because the immunization usually causes some discomfort and a mild fever. This makes for a whiny, uncomfortable baby. Or...in my case...TEN whiny, uncomfortable babies. As I was running around the orphanage yesterday evening, trying to shove Tylenol down them as they screamed at me and spit it back up, I realized that I can't wait to have my own whiny little immunized baby...it will be easier than 10 or them! Praise God that we have immunizations though, and Praise God for Renee who is so capable and willing to handle them with the orphanage kids. These kids are healthy because of the technologies the clinic donors and other orphanage donors have brought to the farm. I am grateful for that.
Yesterday was also blood test day. This isn't a normal immunization occurance, but a very special one. Right now, there are 12 kids in the orphanage who tested HIV positive upon admittance. For many reasons, (mainly because of being off the breast, which allows the mother's antibodies to disappear out of the body and the child's to take over), at least half of them later tested negative. Because they're all taking HIV medicine, we can never quite know for sure which ones are REALLY positive. This is a problem, because it's dangerous and expensive to keep kids on medicines they don't need. SO, the Lord led us to a place in Lusaka that has a grant-aided, one year program from Johns Hopkins...this program actually has the machine needed to test the DNA for the virus...in Zambia for one year only! Problem is, they needed about 5 ml (one tsp.) worth of blood on a card for the test. What's the easiest way to get 5 ml of blood out of 12 children under 6? There isn't one. Sal bravely got out his tiniest syringe and searched their dark skin and skinny arms for a miniscule vein, often going by feel. At the end of the day, we got them all! Only one child (the chunkiest one, ironically) had to have his finger stuck. Okay, it was actually 3 fingers and a heel before we got enough for the card. And he screamed the whole time and will probably never come to me again, as I was the one holding him down. But, this test could definitely save the lives of the ones that are taking medicines unneccesarily...and so it will all be worth it! I should know sometime next week...so you can look forward to the update! We may have 6 LESS HIV positive children!
I am working on manners with the older kids. Not interrupting, not screaming for no reason, sitting still while I'm reading a story...that kinda stuff. The oldest ones are two weeks into grade 1, and they seem to be doing really well. It's amazing to me how much they know compared to the village kids, who haven't ever been to school before. These kids have a big advantage with having a school room and a teacher from the time they were 3, they are also the only ones that can speak fluent English...now they've just gotta work on Tonga a little bit!
Ringworm seems to be breaking out again...stink. If I come home with a shaved head for all of my best friends weddings, you'll know why. Let's just believe God that He'll keep me from getting ringworm even though it gets smeared all over me all day! Speaking of getting sick, I blamed Jake for the fact that my nose is a little runny and I have a cough. He said, "Jessi, I have a sinus infection, you have probably kissed 100 snotty faces in the past week...whose fault is it?" I guess you just don't think about it...they're too cute to stay away from!
That's all for now, just a normal update about the kids. Send me any suggestions you have about manners...I need all the help I can get.
Love you guys!