Hey everyone!

So sorry that there have not been many updates lately...things have been a little crazy in the Smith household! Seems like there has just been one thing after another that we've had to deal with in such a short amount of time. As you may have read in our last post we have been having some issues with Ellie having tantrums. Unfortunately those are still happening pretty regularly...but at least we're learning how to stay calm in the midst of her fits! Makes it a bit more manageable that way.

We took them both to the international adoption clinic in Charleston to get a check up and we found out several things about both of the kids. We wanted to pass all of this along so that you can be praying, but also in hopes that the other adoptive families reading might find the information helpful. Both kids have been on medication for several different things since we've been home...sometimes it feels like a full time job just trying to remember what medicine to give them at different points in the day!

We found out this week that both kids tested positive for giardia (stomach parasite). We treated them both for it while we were in Africa but it either came back or they picked it up again after we treated them. Hopefully once they finish with the medication they will get to feeling better. We're doing our best trying to make sure the house keeps clean so that the kids don't pick it back up after treatment.

We found out Ellie has ringworm and is on a 6 week antibiotic for that. Erin has been trying everything to get her hair to grow and be healthy...now we know why her hair hasn't been growing! :O) Ellie also has a G6-PD deficiency. Not 100% clear on all of the details yet but it's nothing too major...fairly common in African people. It means that she has a glucose deficiency and there are certain medications that she needs to avoid for the rest of her life, or they can cause her to be anemic. She also has had a sore on her arm since we got her from the orphanage. The doctor thought it was a staph infection but after a round of oral antibiotics and an antibiotic ointment, it still hasn't cleared up.

All of the blood work done on Elijah showed that his thyroid levels are low. This could mean a million things. Right now we are in the middle of getting more blood work and tests done to see what could be causing the problem. Please be in prayer that the issue isn't too serious and that it is something that can be treated easily. Poor little guy is also pretty behind developmentally. We will be starting both physical and speech therapy with him sometime in the next few weeks. He has also has had a pretty bad ear infection since we got him from the orphanage...we are on our third antibiotic to try to clear it up.

We also found out that, prior to getting the kids, both of them had chicken pox. And Ellie had Hepatitis A. Geesh!

Erin and I have also both been feeling sick. Erin has not fully recovered from being so sick in Africa and the kids and I have yet another round of colds. You can imagine our frustration with just wanting to all be healthy and have our energy back!

So much of this post seems negative but we really are enjoying the kids! They are awesome and we love learning more and more about their personalities each day. FUNNY kids! Elijah is still loving his food (I think he could play in the NFL as a linebacker already) and Ellie is still as girlie as ever. Truly quirky and hilarious kids...definitely Smith's. We know that all of these physical and emotional struggles with them are only for a season. We appreciate you prayers as we continue to try to get healthy. Pray for wisdom for Erin and I as we handle all of Ellie's emotional issues and try to make decisions about Elijah's physical health. There are days when it all seems a little overwhelming and then God reminds us the has been faithful all along - He's certainly not going to stop now!

We love you all and can't tell you how much all of your encouragement and prayers mean to us. Here are a few pictures since we promised them to you last time :) Like usual, just click on a pic to make it bigger.

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