Where has the time gone! It feels like only yesterday that we were asking for your support in bringing two of the most beautiful girls home from a country that had no desire to see their potential or worth. It’s been 3 long, but fast months since we have brought our sweet daughters home! Elsie (RaeAnn), and Lottie (Perla) Miller came to us on the 4thof August. They came to use shy, quiet, concerned, and very malnourished and sick. Their demeanor was inquisitive to say the least, as each minute with their new family was an absolute new experience. We remained in country for the next 4 days, taking the first flight home after obtaining the required documents to travel to the US. On the 8thof August, we were US bound!
The next 19 hours would prove to be some of the most difficult in all our years of having children. Lottie has never been on a plane, much less ever been confined to anything that she could escape from. She did not much care for seat belts, for being strapped to anything, and made every chance at escaping the keen watchful eye of her mommy and daddy. We found that food and snacks were the way to her heart. We just did no realize that a child with such a small stature could make such a noise when she was out of puffs! Elsie however, began to show us just how truly sick she was. On an 8.5-flight from Paris to Atlanta, her precious 14 lbs 2 oz body began to break down all that we had strived to complete. We hade been giving her new baby foods and formula, and all of that was being expelled into her diapers. She was becoming more and more sick each mile we flew through the sky. With the help of the in flight Wi-Fi, we were able to touch base with our amazing medical team her in the states, and begin to formulate a plan.
We arrived back to our home state of South Carolina around 8:30 that night. By the times we landed, we had plans to head straight to the children’s hospital for an evaluation and admittance. This was delayed thanks to the mishandling of all of our baggage remaining in Paris. Elsie and Christian were finally able to get to the hospital, and she was immediately admitted. Her labs were all over the place. She was beyond the normal realms of dehydration so much so an IV took multiple attempts by some of the most skilled professionals. There, Elsie remained for the next week. Her first week in the US, with her new family, and she was laying in a hospital bed fighting for her health. She was diagnosed with severe malnutrition, severe dehydration, and re-feeding syndrome. All of these had a positive prognosis being that she was now with a new family who loved her unconditionally. The medical team responsible for her care was adamant that another month in country, without the appropriate care, and our sweet Elsie would more than likely not be with us. The coming days, weeks, and even next month were pivotal with consistent appointments, weigh-ins, and “selfies” taken with all of her medical professionals. We were not only battling the current issues, but a lifetime of health check ups never performed while in country.
Elsie had another instance that landed her in the back of her daddy’s ambulance, the ER, and PICU. After an episode of apnea, she was evaluated and found that she has a congenital issue with her airway. Being as small as she is, and the lack of formidable care in her past, her body is still trying to adjust to what most would consider normal behavior. She has a plethora of specialist whose hearts she has stole, all concerned with her precious soul. There has not been a single life she has come in contact with that she hasn’t touched.
Lottie on the other hand, was beginning to stake a claim in the Miller Family. She was doted upon by her siblings, and grandparents, and was found exploring every inch of the new place she would call home. She was no longer in a proverbial prison, she was free of loneliness and boredom and was free to show the world who she truly is. She is a little girl who knows no bounds. She is very quick to love, giving kisses to virtually anyone who will accept her love. She loves to walk, giggle, ride her brother’s backs, and be the first to get her lunch or dinner! Lottie continues to amaze us each day with a new face, an ability to learn, and blows us away with how fast she picks up on task. She consistently finds something new, and has taken everything she can in with out missing a beat.
Elise and Lottie have rapidly stolen the hearts of each and every person in this family. With minimal effort, these girls have been more of a blessing to us than we may seem to them. We are blessed to be given the opportunity to love them, cherish them, and ensure that they never again feel alone. They are beginning to come out of a shell that they placed to protect themselves mentally and emotionally. While we are dealing with their trauma, it has been a journey that has brought so much joy and happiness in not only their lives but also all of ours. These girls have been prayed for so long, that it’s amazing to see the interactions from our tribe with them. We cannot thank you, and your organization for your prayer and financial support in bringing these sweet girls home. We look forward to continually sharing their progress now that we are better settled, and not spending weeks at a time in the hospital. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for these special girls!