Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stool Samples

I have been putting off "specimen collection" for about 6 weeks. Every other good adoptive parent seems to have "collected" as soon as they got off the airplane, if not before. I dutifully gave the deworming medicine while in Ethiopia. I gave the Flagyll for parasites as soon as we got home. Still, the stool sample thing nagged at me. I couldn't be sure the girls were free from parasites until someone had looked at their samples. Confirmation of this nagging feeling came from a doctor I spoke to at church who said, "There may still be cysts of parasites." Now there is a sentence that gives one pause. And makes even Subpar Adoptive Parents like me call the doctor, get an appointment and pick up a Stool Sample Collection Kit.

On Wednesday morning, as the feeling of doom threatened to permeate the day, I decided to drink a second cup of coffee and dive in, so to speak.

I read the directions which oddly told me time and again not to drink the preservative that was in the vials. The other fascinating aspect of the direction sheet was the number of languages into which the collection process was translated. Cambodian, Laotian, German, Hmong, French... Then I thought about whose language wasn't included, like the Russians. Are they particularly impervious to parasites? Or does specimen collecting come naturally to some but not to others?

All of my musings did nothing to help me do what needed to be done. Unscrew the three lids, use the integrated lid-spoon, scoop out the required amount of "specimen," check to see that the undrinkable liquid reached the red line, screw the lid back on and "shake vigorously."

I did it. And there was absolutely nothing about it that I found even remotely satisfying. There are many things I don't like to do (clean the shower curtain; vacuum the van; pry the lids off abandoned dirty sippy cups) but I am nonetheless satisfied after I have done them. Specimen collection? Still not over it.

Tomorrow I will take Lizzie and Sadie to the doctor. They will get their first round of shots and hate me. They will have their ears checked and their weight checked and their poop checked. And when they are done, I am going to Caribou. I will buy a double shot Lite White Berry Latte. I will probably drink it before I get to the door. I will congratulate myself on being so responsible. Then I will make everyone my slave for the remainder of the day.


  1. Oh what adoptive parents do for their kids! Bring suckers to the doctors office for after the shots and Lizzie will love you for it. Also make the nurses hold them down while you just watch then you can be the hero to sweep in and rescue them from those evil shot people:)

  2. All I wanted to say to this post was EWWWW but I was totally sucked in to your funny way of words and read loads of older posts as well. Congratulations on your two little girls, they are precious and what a glorious gift from God. How is the rest of your family? Would love to see a photo of all of you! Enjoy that coffee, soon I'll be needing far more than one cup a day.