Lucas had his doctor appointment yesterday and the doctor was very pleased with how well the wound is healing and with how clean it is. There is no sign of infection. He will need to wear a brace on his foot to help stimulate circulation where he was burned. He doesn't need one on his arm just yet, but they'll keep an eye on it. His lower back no longer has open burns on it and is no longer painful to the touch. His shoulder and upper arm are where the deepest burns occurred, and even they are looking very good. Tonight when I changed his bandages, his upper arm had actually completely closed up so that it is no longer open. The shoulder still has open wounds on it, but it is healing very well. The doctor was still not ready to completely rule out surgery. I think that he is just playing it safe and doesn't want to give me a definite answer until he's completely healed. Lucas returns in two weeks for another check up. So, the news is very good!!!!
I can't believe how many cards, gifts, emails, phonecalls, etc. this little guy and our family have received since this whole ordeal started! Today I got a package from some of the families that have adopted kids from our agency. I was especially touched by this, as we haven't really had contact with the families since we were removed from the agency's yahoo list. When I got the box in the mail, it was so nice. Yosef and Mihret were so happy to see that some of their friends' families had sent packages. I think it helped them to feel connected in knowing that people from Ethiopia and their American families cared about their little brother. A family (not from our adoption agency) even sent Lucas a special lightweight outfit that will cover all of his burns (minus the foot) with a special SPF fabric that acts as a barrier against the sun's UV rays. This is really important, as a deep burn takes an entire year to completely heal. As the body is re-creating the skin, if it is tanned or burned at all, it will permanently alter the color of the skin. If we can keep him protected from the sun, and take very good care of that new skin, then there is a good chance that the skin will eventually be the same color as his not-burned skin. I haven't had to cook a meal since we got home from the hospital, as our church has completely taken care of our meals for us. It's really been a refreshing time for our family to be able to spend more time bonding as we settle back into a routine.
As far as bonding is concerned, I had been very concerned about what effect it might have that Avery and I had to leave for such a long time, so soon after bringing Yosef and Mihret home from Ethiopia. A friend and I spent quite a bit of time praying together about that very thing. We asked God to protect the bonding that had already occurred. I was so happy to get home last week and find that God had answered that prayer. In fact, things are now even better than they were before the accident happened. Yosef is becoming so affectionate toward me. He truly loves me and is feeling more free to express that. Mihret is obeying very well, a concept that wasn't easy for her to grasp in the first couple of weeks! Lucas truly missed his brother and sisters, and was therefore quite happy to be with them again. Kaitlyn had struggled quite a bit with finding her place after we all got home from Ethiopia. I had a lot of time in the hospital to think, pray, and reflect on that situation. And I have a better idea now of how I can help her to adjust. Since I've been employing some of these new strategies, things have been so much better for her. She's finally finding her place again. So, all of this, just to say that things are really good!
As far as taking care of Lucas is concerned, the only really hard part is his daily bath. It must be excruciatingly painful for the poor little guy. It takes one person to hold him down while I focus on washing his wounds. I can't really blame him for trying to get away from me- I think I'd try to escape a bath of open wounds too! His physical therapy exercises were very painful for him at first, but he's doing a lot better with that now. And the bandage changes twice a day aren't as traumatic as they used to be either. As the wounds are starting to heal over, they're not requiring a bandage any more, so there is less area to cover. Therefore, less pain to endure!
Though I'm taking a 40 day break from my blog, I will keep it updated as we find out more about Lucas's condition so that people can know specifically how to pray. Thank you all so much!