In addition to being a very good baby who is not a fan of baths, Elvie is also likely suffering from marasmus. The first night I took off her shirt, I fought hard not to cry, as I saw her ribs in stark detail, just beneath her skin. We knew she was too small, but we had no idea how bad it was. The next day, when she vomited all the formula we'd given her, erasing the day's caloric progress, I changed her clothes again and couldn't hold the sobs in. All this time she has been in group care, her whole entire life, she has been losing body fat. All this time, she has been in line with many other babies to have her needs met, when she really needs to have her needs attended to all the time. All this time, we were in the US, convinced that getting on a plane to go to her immediately was not the right decision. And maybe it still wouldn't be, but it's hard to look at our baby's ribs beneath her thin skin and think anything other than that we should have been here sooner.
She is a fighter, and we believe that she will recover and do beautifully in time. She has been eating like a champion, and we have started giving her higher calorie formula as well as vitamins. She has been cleared by the doctor as healthy enough to fly, so we will. We are now considering coming home early to have more resources for meeting her needs. Zinashi's family is scheduled to be in Addis this weekend, and we are hoping to have Elvie's visa by Monday. If we can get a flight that will still allow us the family seating we need to make the trip manageable, then we will come home earlier than planned. If we cannot, we will depart July 6, as scheduled, and get home on the 7th. We need to have Elvie's visa in hand before we can officially make a decision, so we are working on that.
We so appreciate everyone's lovely comments on our post introducing Elvie. You are all gems, truly. With you standing by our (virtual) side, we know we can get this baby home and get her the care she needs. Thank you so much for being here for our family.