A Very Brave Boy

Imagine being 3 years old. You're whisked away from your native language, food, and surroundings by a (nice) white man and taken to America. Once in America, you meet your new mom, brother, and sister. Your first 48 hours are a whirlwind as you take in new sights, sounds, and smells. And then you start to feel really, really sick. You're so sick, in fact, that you cannot eat or drink for 4 days. You go to the hospital, where people who do not speak your language stick needles in your arms, draw blood, hold you down when you're screaming, and stick tubes up your nose. Can you imagine that? I can not. I watched Zinabu go through it, and I still have a hard time grasping what that would feel like. Thankfully, all that is behind us now. Zinabu is a little weak and tired, but he's so happy! He ate a great breakfast and a great lunch, and right now he's taking a much deserved nap. He played hard in the sandbox most of the morning, and threw a bit of a fit when I told him it was time to go inside. How wonderful.

A huge hooray for all the nurses who took care of Zinabu. Most of them were outstanding. The bummer was they all wore special masks and gowns and gloves whenever they worked on him, so he could never see them smile. But they were gentle and supportive. They used Amharic when I gave them certain words to say, and that helped. A huge boo to the ER doctor who was a complete jerk--but I won't waste any time going there.

I consider our family very blessed. What Zinabu had was a serious virus that is completely preventable here in the United States. He was exposed in Ethiopia. We are thankful he did not get sick in Ethiopia, or on the plane with David. We try not to worry about "what almost happened." It's like a very bad dream that I still can't believe happened.

The good news is that Zinabu is very attached to us now. David and I took turns holding him 24/7, and Zinabu was comforted by this. He knows we love him and that we take care of him. Although I wish he had never been sick, his illness really speeded up the attachment process. Zinabu is a very happy, very sweet boy. He loves our family and he loves being here. The only times of day that are a little rough are nap and bedtime (an anxious time for lots of 3 year olds) and changing clothes. In the care center, all the clothes are communal. No child has anything of their own. So Zinabu, once dressed, is reluctant to take any clothes off. I HAD to give him a bath last night, and he really fought me. It wasn't until I figured out he didn't want to take off his new jacket that I was able to reassure him. I kept telling him "Zinabu's" as I pointed to his clothes. After a few seconds, he had a huge smile. We even spend time in his closet pointing out what is his and telling him over and over it belongs to him. Still, when I put him down for a nap today, he was wearing 2 shirts (he loves them both) and that jacket. So cute.

I look forward to all the fun posts I get to share in the future about Zinabu. It will be so nice when this past week is just a distant memory.

Lily coloring with Zinabu--who is wearing the infamous jacket.


Swerl said...

What a trooper he is! I can only imagine the complete shock to his system, going through all this in a week's time! What a brave guy!

He is lucky to have such brave parents, as well!

Glad your family is together and on the mend!

Stacy said...

Cathy ... I am so glad this is behind you. Please keep healthy yourself! He is just so adorable! I am glad you have some background and understanding about the situation with clothes and personal belongings. He's just going to understand more and more every single day. I can't wait for more happy stories as well.

Heather said...

I am so happy to read this post that I have tears in my eyes. God's timing is so perfect, as He already knew the things that could have been. Cheers to good days a head!

Brooke said...

been praying for you guys. how wonderful that Zinabu knows without a doubt that you and your DH will always care for his needs, no matter what they are! glad you going to have a chance to do "normal life" now.