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Nine-ish Months

We recently passed the nine month mark of Ephraim’s adoption, what a whirlwind these past months have been! (Ha, apparently a whirlwind because we are actually closer to the ten month mark by the time I actually got around to posting this.)

To be honest, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of time we’d spend dealing with some medical issues with Ephraim . . . overall he’s healthy but he’s had quite a few smaller things that add up to approximately 21 doctors appointments, one ambulance ride and one night in the hospital in the last eight months (with more appointments in the future and surgery in the next year or two). He came home on month four of six for medication for TB (of which two months worth were lost in our luggage by the airline), had appointments and skin tests at the TB clinic, he’s had three seizures, updates on immunizations, specialist appointments for his eyes, allergy tests and has currently done three rounds of medication in an attempt to remove a parasite.

As far as the bonding goes and the overall transition I’d have to say it’s gone better than I ever could have imagined. I can’t believe that 10 months ago Ephraim didn’t know any English and he now says some pretty cute sentences and is definitely on par for the average kid his age. He’s actually really quite smart (shapes are his specialty, he especially loves to point out hexagons as we are driving) and I don’t think it will be long before he’s quite advanced for his age. In some ways that makes me a little sad, I wonder where he’d be if he had more attention for the first 18 months of his life, but usually I’m just excited to see where this bright little boy goes.


He can currently sing his ABC’s and enjoys doing the classic Melissa & Doug wooden alphabet puzzle and recognizes a few letters, he can count to 12, knows most shapes, has started learning his colors (orange is definitely a favorite), will sit through about 15 minutes of reading (about 6 or so board books) and loves music and singing.

He has developed past the parrot stage and has a lot of things to say and questions to ask, and he finally answers questions instead of just repeating the questions back (much more helpful).

He continues on with his helpful attitude, emptying the dishwasher is still a favorite, and now he likes to help set the table and will put away just about anything you ask him to.

Physically he’s doing pretty amazing, he shot up over 2 inches from his birthday (May) to August and is just under the mark where Raeca was when she turned 2. At his 2 year check up he was in the second percentile for height (in a group of 100 kids he’d be the second shortest), but I suspect he’s surpassed that now.

All in all, it’s been a good 9 months, I can’t believe how far he’s come.

In some ways I feel like I’ve crawled into a bit of a hole this year and haven’t seen some of my friends as much in the past nine months as I’d like to and then I think about all of the above (mostly the medical stuff) and realize why. Now I finally understand why so many friends I had made online before they finalized their adoptions kind of gave up on life online afterwards, even when things are going well over all, it still a state of crazy.*

I am looking forward to November when we hit the one year mark, I can’t wait to have a little celebration. 🙂

*For those who have friends who have adopted, I’d urge you today to take a moment and reach out to them, it might feel like they’ve forgotten you, they haven’t, they are probably just swimming so hard to stay afloat they don’t have any extra energy to reach out to you.

P.S. Here’s his 6 month update and my series on supporting adoptive families.

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  1. Your family is so lovely! Thank you for finding the time to post updates. My husband and I really want to adopt someday; your posts (and family) inspire me to work toward that dream and give me a more realistic picture of what to dream about.

  2. Hey Chantel,

    Look at how they’ve grown. What a wonderful family you have.

    I just wanted to mention that we went a natural route with Manasseh to get rid of parasites. We did Black Walnut and then also saw the Homeopath in the area. He did give us some stuff. It seems to have helped. Send me an email if you would like more information. I remember Nikki saying that with their Son adopted from the Congo that they went through many rounds of Antibiotics but as soon as they did the Black Walnut it took care of it, and the Dr. was even surprised that it was able to take it away. I’m not a Dr. But thought I would mention it to you, as it’s helped many.

    Take Care!!


    P.S. I love your updates. Now I need to do my own.

    1. Thanks for the info Krista! What kind of parasite did Manasseh have? Ephraim has giardia and as far as I know there isn’t any kind of natural way to get rid of them, maybe I’m wrong but from the research I’ve done they seem to be tricky to get rid of even with non-natural medication.

  3. Thank you for your post Chantel. We are always so encouraged by your journey.

    We are in SA right now and are anxious to get home and get our life started, but also nervous about the reality of adding a toddler into the mix!

    How did you know he had a parasite? I remember in our adoption classes they said most kids come home with something.

  4. Hi Chantel,

    I have a lot of experience with giardia I can share – if you share your email address with me I can send you info on what meds worked for me!


  5. It’s so cool to have been following your journey before Ephraim and now after. It’s good to see the reality of life after adoption and hear how difficult (and beautiful) it is. I just love the pictures of him and hearing how far he’s come-no doubt thanks to his dedicated parents and sister! 🙂

  6. Hey! You’re at the 10 month mark! Trust me, it does keep getting “easier”. I use that term loosely, cause one certainly does adjust and bond, and all that other crazy stuff that makes it all so worth while…even though it can still be very difficult. Let’s get together for coffee/playdate one of these days.

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