As any regular reader (or HDA volunteer) knows, an enormous amount of our time is spent on medical needs in the homes. More than once my Dad has wondered aloud if SEDEGES, the child child welfare department, enjoys sending us the “lemons”! I maintain they do not, partially because it just seems that an extremely large percentage of babies here are born “special" in some way (for example: all 3 sets of missionary friends of ours currently adopting have discovered medical issues or had issues in their newborns).
A few minutes with a baby is simply not enough to reveal everything...or anything. How many times have we stared at a new arrival and thought they were the image of perfection, only to find out within upcoming days, weeks, or months, that they have a congenital illness, or brain damage, or have a lazy eye, twisted legs, reflux, and so on--or all of the above!!
Here’s part of my to do list from a recent day:
~morning: check on pending health issues (Baby Home)
~tell staff that baby J goes to the surgeon with me in afternoon
~call HDA II to tell about E’s check up with surgeon
~call lab about baby E's skin fungus results
~ask volunteer to take baby E to dermatologist checkup
~make appointment for J (post lazy eye surgery check up)
~coordinate new physical therapy evaluation for S
~make neurologist appointment for S
~schedule L’s special kidney/bladder test (must go in person)
~call HDA III to tell when N has check up with ENT
~make appointment with audiologist to clarify about B’s hearing aids
~schedule hearing exam for R
And that’s minus all my other work as director, which that day happened to include calls about new kids, talking to several lawyers (one for adoptions, another for visa paperwork, another about his client’s daughter-at-risk coming to us), obtaining a plumber for HDA II, asking my Mom to make a birthday cake, and talking to a single father about a transition plan for him getting his 2 ½ year old son back. At any moment I have dozens of emails needing attention (current number: somewhere over 100). Of course I delegate what I can, but if I got down to just working 8 or 9 hours a day, I would be taking WAY too much time from the administrator and social worker who have many important responsibilities, including those relating to adoptions.
And so with no further ado, I am relieved, grateful, and pleased to announce that Katrina Culmer has stepped up to the plate to assist me in this nearly overwhelming area of the work. She is a longtime MK (missionary kid), speaks fluent Spanish, knows Cochabamba like a native, and has time to offer apart from her long distance video studies! She is starting to get her feet wet by helping me take kids to appointments and today went to one on her own, which gave me some much needed time tending to urgent tasks in the office, and later she helped me take two (tired) babies to the ENT....a visit that went until 9 something pm.
Welcome on board, Katrina!!