Thursday, November 27, 2014

Immediate Moratorium on Inter-Country Adoptions

I'm sorry to have to update after so long with such devastating news. I've been scrambling all day to get as much info as possible - not much is known.

Please say a prayer for those in process, in country - fostering their children.

Cabinet - No more foreign adoptions - Daily Nation

Press Statement

Feel free to lend your voice on LAN's page:

or send some fan mail to Mr Kenyatta

Friday, October 17, 2014

Change in rules Kenyan Foreign Adoption

Just a quick note, as I know many of you don't do Facebook.

Today I have learned that some families have been approved with the age stipulation of between the ages of 4-6. With some further digging, I have heard the following:

  • Applicants over the age of 40, will only be referred a child over the age of 4.
  • International adoptive parents will be eligible to place and application for a second child from Kenya after 3 yrs period from the first adoption order.
  • Only one child should be given to an applicant at a time unless the children are twins. 
  • Foreign individual applicants will be placed with a maximum of two children. 

My question is - What about regular siblings!? Why maximum of two? There aren't enough orphaned children available?! Come on. So sibling sets of 3 (it does happen!) will have no hope...?

... and a quick picture to prove we are all still alive. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014


OH, it's gonna be another BIG party!!

 I believe I said last year's party was big as we were making up for missed birthdays. Well, I have no rhyme or reason now, other than she deserves it, and we have so much fun doing it!

Stay tuned, we have some awesome plans in store for her


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where have I been??

Exciting news and updates!

I apologize for my long absence. I hadn't even stopped in to check messages prior to today, so I apologize for not returning your comments and questions.

Things have been busy, particularly on my end. I have taken on a new role at Linked Through Love as Internet Marketing Coordinator, which means I am in charge of web design, editing and blogging in addition to some Facebook stuff. So basically, any free time I would have used to blog over here, has been utilized over there. Which is okay, as this moment in time I feel my time is more valuable in assisting and supporting children from there.

Zahra is doing amazing, growing like a weed and steadily advancing in all areas. Quite frankly, things have been so low key, there really hasn't been anything that I can share to help you all along in your adoption journeys. I'm sure we will reach some milestones and stumbling blocks in the future that will have me back in this space, now that the LTL website is complete. Check it out by the way and tell me what you think! (Take it easy on me, I'm not a professional. ;) For those who want to follow via Facebook, you can find us here.

Some exciting news is the completion of the Mogra Playground. My smile is big, and heart is full knowing how much joy this will bring to every 123 children at Mogra. Also exciting is Mogra is in full swing of their adoption program, having processed over 20 children for adoption now!

We are also working in the DRC, on a few orphan care projects. We have fitted out a couple orphanages with shoes to keep them from getting Jigger infections. We are also still working on treating the children who have Jigger infections (which is sadly, most all of them in our partner orphanages). Yes, it's extremely nasty... and we have some photos and more information here if you have the stomach for it.

And, last but not least, we also got a new puppy. (Just in case I wasn't busy enough!)

Don't give up me, I'm sure I will be much more available come fall!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mom of the Year - 2014!

Yep, that's right. This year, I didn't even have to be nominated. It was hands down, no contest.

To make a long story short, and cut straight to the embarrassing facts...

I dropped Mister Man and Zahra off to spend the afternoon at the 'FAIR', but in reality, I dropped them off at a FUNERAL!

Fair, funeral - similar right!? Good Lord!!

I made arrangements with a friend to drop the kids off at the indoor 'fair', where she would keep an eye on them for the afternoon. I pulled up front to the kids' school and took their jackets before shooing them inside. There was a lot of activity and cars out front. Seems normal for a fair. I drove off.

My poor son, after living with such a courageous, outspoken, older sister, he is not used to handling 'situations' on his own.

Shortly after arriving, the somber tempo and crowd of elderly folks dressed in their black funeral attire, was a clear indication that they were in the wrong place. The office phone was locked up, so he couldn't call me. They had no jackets, so they couldn't walk home.

He finally mustered up the courage to enter the school gymnasium (where said funeral was taking place) and asked someone if they had a phone. He miss-dialed my number twice. Tried Dan, who purposely didn't answer the 'strange' number twice. Third attempt, Dan answered and Mister tried as best he could to hold back his tears as he asked Daddy to come get them.

The folks at the funeral shed pity upon my children, giving them juice and cookies to make up for their Mother's stellar parenting.

As it turned out, I obviously got the venue wrong. Funeral was at the school, Fair was at the church. Makes sense right? Ha.

Fair to Funeral - the only thing that could have possibly made this worse, is if they walked into an open casket!

Now top that!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Disturbing Trends - Kenya adoption update

I really don't even know how to begin. Quite frankly, I am feeling like this program, that is obviously so near and dear to my heart, is on an inevitable track to derailment.

Please know that everything I am going to speaking about below is here-say, and my thoughts and opinions. It has not been formally or officially communicated or published by the NAC.

I have always refrained from posting 'here-say' here, and much of my information comes days, and sometimes weeks from me hearing it because I want to validate it before posting. I know how emotional this journey is, and I really don't want to add unnecessary concern or stress. However, it is also a juggling act for me as I know most of the information in adoption is not published or official, but rather information gained in our adoption networks, and important to our journeys.

As you all know, we are seeing some very disturbing trends since the new NAC committee has been formed.

We have heard about 3 rejections this year alone, and I believe there is more. My heart goes out to these families. This is a new trend. I myself, have not heard of families being rejected prior to this.

If we look at the reasons that were given for the rejections, in addition to comments that were made by the CD representatives at the US adoption meeting I referred to in my last post, in addition to the experience of others in country, and of our local agencies, there is too much evidence to support the following synopsis.

  • Childless couples with infertility have priority
  • Couples with NO fertility issues are not a priority and may be rejected
  • Adopting a third child is not favorable and also may be rejected
  • Having previously adopted from another country is not favorable
There have been some very random statement and actions that simply indicate the NAC is unpredictable and may be acting out against international adoption in general, as many have indicated for months now. 

Please visit JoEllen's blog, where she posted a recent memo from her local agency, that also indicates the above.

Key points copied below:

- NAC meets once a month, as previously

- Max 10 applications for inter-country adoption is approved per meeting
- Childless couples have priority
- NO to adopt a third child
- Infertility certificates shall be included in the dossier . The reason for adoption must be clear. NAC wants to understand why you want to adopt a child from Kenya, and if one can smoothly get biological children, they are not a priority.
- An update to the consent investigation (home study) is required if the investigation is over a year old when the file is sent to Kenya
Waiting times at the NAC
With the current situation it is very difficult to know how long our applicants must wait before NAC can get an answer. NAC has many applications waiting for answers and they have not yet had time to go through all the applications received from October 2013 onwards.

Onwards and upwards. If you already have a dossier submitted and fall into one of these unfavorable categories, keep your chin up and stay positive. Some families in these situations are still being approved, whereas others are not. 

If you have not submitted your dossier and fall into one of these categories, I suggest you consider the risk upon entering this program. Much of it simply feels like a crap shoot...

Personally, I would be investigating Zambia adoption. I think this it is a program worth keeping tabs on.

At the end of the day, I am very sad. I'm sad for all of you. I am sad for the orphaned children of Kenya who are being raised in orphanages instead of families. Selfishly, I am sad for my daughter knowing the impact this will have on the growth of our Canadian Kenyan adoption community.

My heart sinks knowing, had we waiting one more year, we may not have been approved, as we fall under both unfavorable categories of having no fertility issues, and having 2 children. I assure you that we did our best to defend our position while in country in a way that would hopefully bring forth an understanding of how our culture differs in our acceptance of adoption. In the end however, the program is being governed by new people now. Perhaps they are simply exercising their power, and hopefully they will soften and come to a greater understanding of international adoption within time.

I think it's important to stress to all those in process to please proceed with care and respect. You are representing every international adopter that comes behind you. You have an obligation to conduct yourselves in manner that leaves the officials with a good impression. Wear your suit and tie, skirts/dresses, over-dress your children on court day, be sure to care for their hair (no natural fros or dreads), be polite and respectful and try to convey as best possible, your desire and ability to love a child who not only adopted, but also from a different race/culture. 

2 of our 4 adopted Kenyan Canadians. So thankful for them in our lives.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kenya Adoption Update - Backlog

Unfortunately, many times in the course of our adoption journeys we are told many things that simply don't happen. Policies change, programs change and people simply change their minds. We have to remember that we cannot project our home country service standards (which are not without their own share of problems) to the bureaucracy of the countries we adopt from. Hence, some of the highs and lows that make up some of the bumps in this roller coaster ride.

The NAC did not meet in the beginning of March as was slated. They have decided to resume their regular 'monthly' meetings and not hold an extra meeting per month. March's meeting was scheduled for today, the 25th. We have not yet had confirmation that it did indeed take place. (*EDIT - The meeting took place March 18th.)

Last week, on the 20th, there was a US embassy meeting on adoption with two members from the Children's Department in attendance. They said the NAC IS still seeing US applications and there is a backlog of  approximately 40 total applications (from all countries). They confirmed they are seeing 10 cases each month.

This leads me to believe that there is at least a 6 month backlog for those who submit their dossiers from this point forward.

There are quite a few families with dossiers submitted between Sept/Nov 13 that have still not been seen.

My thoughts are with those of you who are still in waiting... Maybe this will provide you some comfort, and I'm sure a tear or two. Hang in there you all - it will happen!!

Post Placement Report #3

43 months

Celebrating 9 months in Canada!

The largest change we saw this term, was her growth. Literally flying out of size 4, into a 5. I am pretty certain the absence of parasites is the cause of this growth spurt.

She is now rocking the scales out 38.6 lbs and 40.5 inches, reaching a percentile of 86% in both height and weight! Did I mention her shoe size is 11!?

Her punctuating is improving and her vocabulary growing every day. The word of the week is 'Delicious!'

She has also found her independence, wanting to do almost everything by herself. Butter her toast, walk downstairs, up a hill etc. without a hand, getting dressed...  "I do it Mommy!'

She is also breaking free of her shyness. She now greets people with a 'Hello', or 'Bye', and very rarely buries her head into my leg (hip now!) anymore. The restoration crew that has been working on our house, has been getting a kick out of her. They can't believe how talkative and energetic she is. I explained that this is all new, although I don't think they believed it for a second!

Pictures from the last few months. (Some new ones, and some old ones from FB for those of you are not FB members.)

Ladybug painting

Zahra with 'B'.

First time skating!

Crafting machine at Strong Start

Mommy allowing me to jump on the couch.

Fashion/weather conflict - caught in the snow.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Whiskey and Gold

This is a Leprechaun Trap 

I realize not every child is aware that the Leprechaun has a hankering for Irish Whiskey.
But, according to my children, they love it almost as much as they love the gold.
The signs read 'Have some Whisky', and 'Free Gold'.
What Leprechaun could resist?
Any smart Leprechaun would follow the trail of pennies, err.. gold, catch whiff of the whiskey (not yet there, as we don't have any left in the house. Darn Leprechauns!), sight of the gold and would sprint across the top of the box, to where he will meet his demise, fall into a hole and get stuck to the sticky tape at the bottom!
Today is the first day of spring break and as you can see, the kids are enjoying themselves. We are looking forward to 2 weeks of sleeping in, pool time and fun projects.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


This week has been a little chaotic due to a flood we had in our house on Saturday.

Unfortunately, it has resulted in damages to our recently renovated laundry room and kitchen. Why not in the bedrooms, where the carpet desperately needs replacing, or the living room where the flooring is tired? No, we get damage in places that inconvenience us the most and don't need fixing up. (Just to aggravate the situation I'm saying...)

So while we are living in the chaos of a home that is really upside down, it is all too easy to get depressed, annoyed or frustrated by the fallout implications of this, and our daily living situation.

Dining Room
Laundry Room

For the most part, we are just going with the flow, but at the end of many nights, we fall back on a bowl of ice cream or glass of wine, to somehow pacify the situation. Even Dan, who is the forever optimistic, has been caught saying, 'No good deed goes unpunished.'

So while it's a slippery slope down to the pit of despair, we keep reminding ourselves that these are first world problems. Insurance, washing machines, ovens, kitchen sinks, dishwashers etc., all first world luxuries that we take for granted.

We try to take things in our stride, reminding ourselves of the good, trying not to dwell on the bad.

Today, I came across the 100 Happy Day Challenge, which I thought could really help me look at the positives in our lives, the big things I take for granted, and the small things that I often overlook.

The challenge is simple. Sign up, and submit a photo every day of something that makes you happy. Photos are submitted through hashtags via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. At the end of the challenge, you can receive a book of your 100 happy moments.

People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:
 - Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
 - Be in a better mood every day;
 - Start receiving more compliments from other people;
 - Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
 - Become more optimistic;
 - Fall in love during the challenge.

I challenge you to join me. 

I will be submitting photos via my personal Facebook page, but I will be making the posts public. Feel free to follow my 100 Happy Days, and if your interested in accepting this challenge, please shoot me a message, or leave a comment so I can follow your Happy Days as well! 

Day #1

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Love of a Child

A heartwarming piece on a Canadian woman who fought the Kenyan legal system to adopt her Kenyan son, 7 years ago.

I really enjoyed this piece, but found it unfortunate that it ended without giving a nod to the current international adoption situation in Kenya. It would have been a great way to raise awareness about this great adoption program available to Canadians, and dispel any presumptions viewers may have after watching this. IE. International adopters cannot pre-identify their child as per Hague rules, and they cannot adopt a child under 12 months as per Kenyan policy. 

Kenyan children are few and far between in the adoption community here in Canada, so we are excited to learn we have one more! 

I have watched this a couple times now, taking in all the sights and sounds, fondly missing our home away from home. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Black Beauty

I'm sure you all know Lupita Nyong'o, a Kenyan actress who just won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her role of Patsy in 12 Years a Slave?

If not, it's time to put her on your radar. This young woman is not only an amazing inspiration to women around the world, but an incredible role model for our Kenyan daughters and African daughters in general.

Lupita recently gave an acceptance speech on Beauty at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon that left the audience speechless. 

A must watch. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Perfected Pout

She has perfected the 'Pout' ladies and gentlemen! 

In all fairness, I don't think she was feeling well. Her entire morning seemed off. 
This is not normal behaviour for her, and she was SO dramatic about it, of course I had to take photos! 
(Secretly though, she thought I was texting.)

What is this all about? 
She didn't want to listen to the playgroup rules and hold Mommy's hand down the stairs to go to the library. 

My reaction?
'That's fine. We will wait here until you decide you want to follow the rules.'

Her Response?
As seen above. Only she kept doing the 'Huff', and dramatically changing positions, and forcefully crossing her arms.

She played this game for a couple of minutes, and then tested me further by attempting to go down the stairs by herself. That resulted in me lifting her up and carrying her back to the playroom, losing her library privilege. Not saying a word, I quietly placed her on my lap and she had a little cry/cuddle until she got distracted and got up to play.

She was sad at the end of the day that she didn't have any books to leave with, and at this point we discussed why, and how we could correct it for next time. 

I love easy, pivotal parenting moments like this. 
No skin off my teeth to miss out on library, but a great opportunity to teach a lesson in listening and consequences in a way that will have great impact on her, as she really enjoys library. 

I don't think it will happen again. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Poop Diaries. Giardias Lambia in adopted children.

Warning: The following DOES show graphic poop photos and details. Finish your lunch first. This is a must read for all of you with children from overseas.

Disclosure - I am not a Doctor. I am research driven adoptive parent with more experience on this matter than I care to have.

This parasite infection has been quite a journey for us. Over a year long in fact. While I don't really like the idea of publicizing my daughter's medical (or poop!) details, I believe it's an important message.

Fact is, I have seen many photos of your children's swollen bellies on blogs and Facebook, and I happen to know there are many of you who have not gotten your children tested because you see no symptoms. Well let me enlighten you and gross you the heck out.

Honestly, I believe it to be very rare for any adopted child from Africa (and other third world countries) to be free and clear of parasites/worms. Many orphanages 'deworm' every 6 months, but let me tell you, this only kills some infections, and many others are simply building up resistance to these commonly used meds. A general dewormer (typically Albendazole) is not very effective against Giardia and other protozoans. In fact, Albendazole is known to be as little as 35% effective. I do not understand why it is so commonly believed and trusted to kill everything. Some parasites can, will, and do kill children, and yet they are completely unsuspected because the children are dewormed every six months.

I know, I know... your child is fine, no diarrhea, no stomach cramps. Heck, being the diligent parent you are, you even had him tested! (Big pat on the back for being proactive, seriously, but it's not over. Read on...)

Giardiasis does not always present itself with symptoms, and HAVING A NEGATIVE FECAL TEST DOES NOT MEAN YOUR CHILD DOES NOT HAVE PARASITES. You must test clear for a minimum of 3 tests!

Now for the mumbo jumbo technicalities...

Giardia Lambia is also known as Beaver Fever here in North America and is the most common parasite infection among adopted children. Because of this, I believe it is quickly becoming resilient to mainstream medicines.

Giardia, as with many parasites, coat the lining of the small intestines, blocking nutrient absorption, possibly causing lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome. This is a worse case situation for a child living in an orphanage setting. Often, these children lack great nutrition as is, so it is important that they can absorb as much nutrients as possible. Secondly, many babies are put on cows milk early due to the cost of formula. I cannot tell you how many illnesses and rashes we have seen due to lactose intolerance in Kenya.

What are the symptoms?

According to Wikipedia, symptoms include the following:  loss of appetite, diarrhea, hematuria (blood in urine), loose or watery stool, stomach cramps, upset stomach, projectile vomiting (uncommon), bloating, excessive gas, and burping (often sulfurous). 

However, many times children will not show any symptoms, or the symptoms may be so insignificant, it goes unnoticed.

When we first got Zahra, she was a big healthy girl.

She certainly didn't display any signs of malnutrition. However - the very first thing I did was take her to the lab for Fecal testing.


1. She was big and healthy, but also sported this bloated belly. Z will always be curvy, it's in her genetic make up, but I had suspicions that this belly was a little bigger than it should have been.

2. Her stools were pale in color, thin and 'greasy' or soft. Now I believe this to be a key symptom to watch for, even if you child displays no other symptoms. I also believe that this is likely the most over looked symptom of this infection.

First time parents do not always know what color the child's stool should be, texture or consistency. Especially if the child is still on milk bottles and/or wearing diapers!

The answer is simple, the child should have stools like a healthy adult. Once a day is normal for a 3 year old, well formed and medium brown in color.

If your child is still in diapers, but on solid food, the stools should be the same. Actually, stools should be formed well enough that they can roll off the diaper into the toilet. Diaper explosions may accurately describe an infant with Giardiasis. Again, the key is to make note of the color.

I cannot stress this point enough and don't think I can get the point across without a visual. I apologize in advance, but you need to see this to know what I am talking about.

This is what we have lovingly coined in my house 'Parasite Poo' vs normal poo.

The key differences are: Parasite poo is softer, 'greasier', and pale in colour. It usually is not as well formed as it is in this picture, but more thin. (Sorry, didn't have a selection of photos to choose from.) It also usually stinks more, but hey - poo is poo and it all stinks, so you can't really rely on that.

It is not diarrhea, It is not grey, and it could easily pass by a unsuspecting parent as 'normal'.

Zahra went from passing a bit of stool every time she went pee (at the height of her infection), to having this stool once - twice a day.

3. My child was born and raised in a developing nation that struggles with clean water and sanitation.

Giardia is passed in Feces (poop). Typically found in untreated water, and therefore contracted when ingested. HOWEVER, It does not matter that your child came from the best orphanage, with world class hygiene, and clean drinking water. The problem is that many of the children (and staff) who come into the home are not from places that have clean drinking water sanitation, or good hygiene practices. If they have Giardiasis, it is very easily passed on in orphanages.

Giardiasis is contracted by swallowing Giardia picked up from surfaces such as bathroom handles, change tables, toys, handshakes, swimming pools etc. I simply do not know how any orphanage can be free of this risk. Most orphanages bathe multiple children in the same bath water. Many orphanage staff workers will change several poopy diapers before washing their hands.

All it takes is for a microscopic trace of poo on the caretaker's hand, she grabs the hand of the next child to change their diaper, and the child later sticks his fingers in his mouth. Also, we all know children are germ spreading, filthy creatures. They will stick their hands down their pants and then finger all the toys... they don't care. How many orphanages have the children wash their hands with soap before they eat? Many do not have the resources to do so before every meal or snack.

You get my point. Almost impossible to prevent, and almost a guarantee that your child has it.

4. Zahra would periodically complain of tummy pain, particularly after eating. I didn't necessarily link it to an infection, in fact I was starting to wonder if she had sensitivities to dairy, but it was still a possible symptom of parasite infection.

Zahra tested positive on her first sample in Kenya. We immediately invested in a lot of hand sanitizer and became religious hand washers. (Although truth was, we were before as we knew the risks were high.)

Prevention is key. We were lucky that none of us contracted this parasite from her. No bath sharing, and lots of hand washing... (also a quick introduction to potty training) is what kept us healthy.

The Doctor in Kenya prescribed us a seven day course of Flagyl, also known as Metronidazole.  This was absolutely a horrible experience for us as Z did not like sweet things and the medicine was compounded to taste like bubble gum.

I had to hold her down, plug her nose, fight her kicking and screaming to administer it! (The electrician actually came up to our 5th floor apartment one day to ask why she cries so loud. Then one day he witnessed it himself... and went away tsking and shaking his head.)

It was awful! If I knew then what I know now... I would not have treated her at this time. It was too early in our bonding period.

After treatment, she was better for 1 week until the symptoms returned. Months later, we repeated the treatment with the same results. I had a Canadian pharmacist confirm the doses, and the medicine was obtained from a Western Doctor in a upscale hospital, at a very reputable pharmacy. There was nothing wrong with the dosage, or the medicine - well, aside from the fact that it is not effective! (Doctors in your hometown will automatically assume that your child was not 'properly' treated due to the perception of lack of quality med care. In some cases this could be correct, but in the case of Kenya, it is not.)

Upon returning to Canada, we immediately had her tested again. She tested positive again as we suspected. Our Doctor wanted to subscribe her with Flagyl again. I refused. This medicine is not pleasant stuff... administering it, and on our little one's bodies. I refused to have her go through that again for nothing.

Our Doctor consulted with a pediatrician at the Children's Hospital in Vancouver for an alternative medicine. He simply recommended Flagyl. Once again, I refused.

Where the heck are the adoption specialist Doctors? I have yet to hear of a case of Giardias in an adopted child successfully being treated by Flagyl!

So I hit FB and the message boards to get an answer from the experts - Adoptive Parents.

What I discovered was many of them had similar stories! In fact, friends of ours had a little one (Baby 'B') who was treated twice in country (after 2 negative test results!!) and was referred to a specialist here in Canada who had him treated two more times with Flagyl before they would even consider other alternatives! 1 - 2 - 3 - FOUR times this 2 yr old was treated with Flagyl in one year, with no effect! (And did you catch it - he tested negative twice before being tested positive. This is a sneaky bug folks.)

What IS the effective treatment?


This is what the parents were telling me, and my research confirmed it. Article after article listed Tinidazole as the most effective treatment. Why they continue to prescribe Flagyl is beyond me. Some articles even cited the effectiveness being 90% vs 35%! in Flagyl

Unfortunately, it took me 2 months to get my hands on this as the pharmacy later told my Doctor it was not available in Canada. I will not bore you with the details, but after contacting a compounding pharmacy 12 hours from me, I discovered this was not the truth. This drug is absolutely available in Canada. However, it is not available at your regular pharmacy. You must obtain it from a Compounding Pharmacy. In our case it took a couple weeks for them to get it in and compound it.

We were told it tastes like chocolate as that masks the flavor of everything. Wrong. This stuff has to be the most vile tasting medicine in the world. I tasted the smallest amount on my finger, and it was equivalent to chewing an entire bottle of aspirin and then swishing. However, it is only a single dose.

Zahra being older, and more trusting of us, it wasn't as nearly the painful experience as her other treatments. The reward (big buttered piece of bread - yes, she still loves her bread!) was worth swallowing this for.

Within a few days, we started to notice changes in her stools and eventually her belly came down.

She lost 1.75" around her waist, which is a considerable amount for her 21" inch belly!

She also now eats a fraction (1/2) of what she used to eat in the orphanage a year and a half ago, but yet has literally grown through 2 clothing sizes within 3 months of being treated (50% to 78% on the growth percentile chart)!

*Update - Baby 'B', who first charted under the growth scale, was finally charting at 15% after one year (and a lot of effort on the parent's end). However, within 3 weeks of being successfully treated, he gained enough weight and height (3.5 cms!!) to be charting at the 35% mark!

In many of our visits and work with orphanages, we always wondered how on earth those babies could eat SO much, but yet remain so tiny! It all makes sense now... malabsorption. Food literally going to waste.

So there you have it, our poop diaries.

I hope this post will not only help you identify possible infection, but save you time and grief as well. Please, have your child tested 3 times upon returning to country. Giardiasis is typically not fatal, but many other parasite infection are and can also go undetected.

If your child is 3+ and has been diagnosed with Giardiasis, don't be afraid to ask for Tinidazole right from the start.

Baby 'B' was 2 yrs old and therefore was prescribed Nitazoxanide (Alinia).

I know poop isn't a glamorous topic, but it's important that we share this information. I couldn't find any blog posts on this topic when we were going through this, which is why it was important to me to write about it.

This is an important issue, one that all adopting parents should know about! Please share this with your adopting friends.

See the CDC page for information on how to minimize the risk of contracting and spreading Giardia infection.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kenya Adoption Update - Back on Track


Typically the NAC meets once a month (usually the 3rd Wednesday), but due to the backlog of many pending cases, the committee has announced that they will meet twice monthly until they can consider all pending applications and either approve the applications, or request additional information to make a final determination on the approval of the case.

The meetings have been set for February 11 and 25 and March 11 and 25th. Scheduling a second meeting in April will be determined after these meetings, depending on the number of pending files.


We were hearing of approvals arriving as early as February 14th, after the 11th meeting! This is unheard of! Hopefully this is a new trend, as we have always typically seen results trickle in around 2-3 wks after the meeting. 

I cannot tell you how relieved I am that things are back on track, I honestly was quite concerned about the future of this program!

Looking forward to hearing about some more approvals this week! Fingers crossed for all of you!

Here is the Half Year Report from LAN, that you may find interesting. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mogra Baby House Complete!

I would like to present to you - the result of your hard work and determination. Many people chipping in has resulted in this amazing Baby Suite, literally changing the quality of these children's lives and providing a home to many others!

Thanks to the assistance of the Linked Through Love Foundation and some super awesome people across Canada, we were able to raise over $7600 to complete the Baby House at Mogra! This is over the $2600, that we raised while we were in Kenya!

The new baby unit has allowed Mogra to separate the babies from the younger children, allowing the babies to safely have floor time where they can learn to sit, crawl, walk, and stimulate their minds. The children are no longer forced to share beds with up to 5 other children at a time, and the caregivers are also given adequate sleeping quarters as well. Hygiene has improved, making it easier to isolate and reduce the spreading of illnesses. Best of all, it means that Mogra is able to accept more children, saving more lives.

The cloth diaper collection that I started so many years ago is finally in full swing. The donation of some washing machines, and the funding to finally be able to install them, means they can easily implement cloth diapers in their routine. This not only saves money, but it also means that they are not needing to burn those diapers, poisoning the air they breathe.

One year ago, this project seemed way over my head! We started with baby steps, collecting diapers, purchasing Kenyan goods for Dan to take back to Canada to sell, slugging bags of mortar up those stairs (okay, well... Dan did that!), etc. Then, when got our feet back on Canadian soil, we were so fortunate to be approached by Linked Through Love. We got to work, spreading the word and organizing fundraisers. People from all over jumped on board. Silent auctions, dessert events, face painting booths, birthday parties, Christmas card sales... you name it. We all came together and made it happen! I am so proud of what we achieved together! Thank you all so much!

Enjoy these pictures of what you helped create... and the happy faces that resulted from it!