Friday, December 28, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
100. when i was 17 I cut my long brown hair short and dyed it black before a school dance and a bunch of boys asked me to dance because they thought i was a new foriegn exchange student
99. When i was a senior in High school, I snuck out of my house to fly to Houston to see the band The Cure
98. I chose my college because of it's cool logo - for no real reason that makes sense - it was Smith College in Northampton, Mass.
97. I was an college music junkie in college and was the music director at my college station
96. my picture was in rolling stone magazine once with dave grohl and chris noveselik from Nirvana.
95. I never drank any alcohol during high school
94. In college I was a research assistant for a sociologist doing women's studies research and learned that up until 1976 a woman who didn't take her husband's last name was not allowed to vote in the state of texas.
93. I was a sociology major and originally wanted to go to Bowling Green for grad school in pop culture studies.
92. I bought a guitar somewhere in Indiana and decided I wanted to be in a punk rock band when I was a sophomore in college.
91. my band booked our first gig before we knew any songs or had amps (or a drummer)
90. I had my navel pierced from 1992 until I had my daughter in 2003
89. I have a 6 inch dragon tattoo on my right arm (over my biceps-ish)
88. I have an MBA that I got from the university of phoenix while working in new orleans.
87. I was a craps dealer for 3 years
86. Even though I am old now - I still kick ass at Galaga.
85.I have a really hard time keeping friends long term - I hear from one high school friend every once in a while, no college friends and no friends from my missing years in New Orleans.
84. I actually loved eating MRE's after Hurricane Katrina
83. I was once robbed at gunpoint
82. I never had to wear a bra until after I had my daughter
81. I breast fed my daughter until she was 3 yo....yes that is totally 3rd world - I know.
80. In 2001 and 2002 I sponsored a little girl in an orphanage in Ust- Kamengorsk, Kazakhstan by sending her little gifts and pictures. She aged out of the orphanage in 2003 and I still have all of her pictures and letters and keep hopelessly believing that someday I will be able to find her and see if she is OK.
79. I want to someday write a novel - maybe next November I will do the novel in a month thing.
78. I used to dance in an Isadora Duncan Repertory Theatre company - which I totally loved.
77. I want to go to law school someday (after I pay off my student loans)
76. I was strangely attached to a gold fish named terrence that died near the same time as my grandmother and I will never again have fish as a pet.
75. I grow my hair ridiculously long and straight and every 18 months I cut it off for locks of love
74. I bite my fingernails - in fact, I am biting them right now
73. I totally love the jewelry that my husband has given me and don't care how retarded expensive it was even though I should be furious about spending that much money
72. Bikini Kill is still my favorite band
71. i can't believe that anyone is really reading these random 10o things about me
70. I was bullied and beat up when I was in middle school and it really sucked
69. I was a girl scout until high school
68. I went to girl scout camp in missouri at Camp Mintihama and it totally ruled - if I hadn't moved away I would have been a girl scout forever to keep going to that camp.
67. When i get a cold I cry at ridiculous things on tv - like dog food commercials
66. Babes in Toyland is still my second favorite band.
65. In high school, my friend Kate and I would drive to Wichita to play a video game called Truxton that had previously been at a convenient store in Emporia - but that had been moved. I later bought a sega genesis because they had that game.
64. My dad once gave an exboyfriend of mine a car so that he would leave.
63. That exboyfriend also took the sega genesis and the truxton video game!
62. I wear scrubs everyday to work and never wear make-up.
61. I am a total cinna-melts junkie (the McDonald's cinnamon roll treat)
60. I cried when I figured out who the newest members of the Lajoy family are going to be
59. I went to 3 different Kindergardens
58. I got the chicken pox on April Fool's day when I was 5yo - it was a great way to wake my dad up that morning!
57. My favorite christmas movie is Holiday Inn
56. I am a total science fiction junkie - but my husband is a bigger one
55. I was in debate and forensics in high school and though I don't really remember being any good at or even liking it that much - I still did it all four years of high school.
54. I didn't decide I wanted to be a doctor until after I graduated from college - so I went back and took all of my med school prerequisites at Washburn University in Topeka, Ks and then at the University of New Orleans.
53. I went to an osteopathic medical school becuase I thought I would really like to do osteopathic manipulation.....but I don't.
52. I truly hated living in the desert.
51. I have tried to send out christmas cards every year for the last 7 years and have yet to actually get it done. This year we even got pictures taken - but didn't get them ordered in time!
50. I have had pets almost consistently since I was in 3rd grade and don't have one living with me now....and I love having furniture that doesn't smell like dog. I know it won't last too much longer - but I love it.
49. I was in a ponderosa commercial when I was like 3yo - I think it ran once!
48. I hate all vegetables....except ketchup!
47. I believe in birthday week - you get to celebrate your birthday for an entire week.
46. I like to read Martha Stewart magazines and real simple magazine - although there is absolutely no evidence of their influence in my surroundings!
45. In college I worked for a vintage (second hand) clothing shop for store credit and had the hugest cheapest and coolest wardrobe.
44. I also had purple hair and my favorite - pill box red hair.
43. I had a super cool electric blue 1979 mg midget in high school - that ran about 40% of the time.
42. The first records I ever bought were in 1981 - the Grease soundtrack and Donna Summer's greatest hits.
41. I had super cool tennis shoe roller skates in 1981 and roller skated all of the time. I haven't been roller skating since 1994 - but I am ready to go!
40. I met my husband on eharmony.
39. we actually bought each other almost the exact same christmas present this year and had to return one.
38. I love feng shui and used to have my old house totally in tune with it - but I haven't had time to apply it's principles to this house.
37. I used to only drink Coke but I converted to Diet Dr. Pepper last year....it really does taste like regular Dr Pepper. Sometimes I try the caffeine free diet dr pepper....but that just tastes like swamp water.
36. I love Italian food and could eat pizza every night of my life and be happy
35. When I was applying for medical school if I didn't get in my alternate plan was to go to the big cat training school in Oregon that had some ridiculous reality show on the animal planet in 2001. I think I knew I was going to get in.
34. I love to shop at Ann Taylor - even though I literally wear scrubs everyday.
33. I have 6 toes on my left foot.....just kidding I am just running out of things to write.
32. I have reached the age where I totally want a mini van...I want the one with cool captain's seats that turn to face a table and sattelite tv.
31. Even when the kids aren't here - I still like to watch the cartoon network - I love Foster's home for imaginary friends and billy and mandy.
Seriously, I just can't think of 100 things. I wil try to think of 30 more things but I am tapped and it has taken me like 3 weeks to come up with these! Ithink everyone who blogs that I follow has already been tagged so I don't tag anyone.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I love christmas, by the way. I love all of the things that so many people hate about christmas. I love the cheesy christmas music station, I love the christmas movies, I love the lights and the decorations. I love going to visit Santa at the mall. I also love wrapping presents - it is fun to get cool paper and ribbons....I love ribbons. I am revisiting my new found cake decorating skills with some christmas cookies and a gingerbread house later today.
Just thought I would admit my christmas addiction to all of my close friends this afternoon while my daughter is taking a little nap! We had to get up early this am to take Z to the doctor's - he got 4 shots and a tb test. Lucky Z! L got his lollipop though - it doesn't seem fair. I don't know if I mentioned before that we went to the audiologist and he has mild hearing loss but it could have been associated with some fluid in his middle ear and a flat tympanogram....so we treated him with 10 days of antibiotics. The pediatrician today said that he didn't appreciate any fluid so yeah! The concern was that he may have been having recurrent ear infections in the orphanage and would not be able to clear the fluid without tubes, of course the other worry is that the mild hearing loss isn't due to the fluid. Right now though, the working hypothesis is that we just happened to have our audiology exam when he happened to have an ear infection and everything is normal. So we have a followup audiology exam to schedule!
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I find it somewhat funny that women who are anti-feminist have all of these outrageous ideas about what it is. Evidently if you are a feminist it means you want to kill babies and destroy families. I have found this anti-feminist craziness while perusing large family blogs. Which is ironic because one of the staples of feminism - especially the early feminist movement is to raise awareness of the value of the stay at home mom.
When I was in college, I thought I would have one child and probably be a single mom with a nanny and a demanding career. That was just what I imagined. When I ultimately went back to medical school it was after months of researching adopting from Kazakhstan and realizing that I needed to be able to provide financially for my child. Even then, I thought one child for me and I would be done. When I had my bio daughter in medical school - I still felt a strong desire to adopt internationally. I thought I would do that once and then my family would be complete.
Then I went to Kyrgyzstan and my ideas about my family changed. I think it is safe to say that it is going to be a whole lot bigger than I thought 5 years ago.
One of the things I love about the internet is that you can google and do blog searches and find someone who has things in common with you. It helps you feel a little less alone. I will tell you though, there are no blogs I can find by women with large families that work full time and don't homeschool! (Please don't take that to mean I am against homeschooling) I am a feminist who wants a large family, who wants to work full time in a moderately time-consuming industry. I suppose if there are women out there like me they just don't have time to blog.
By the way, I don't feel there is any conflict between being a feminist and wanting a large family. Working towards equality and working towards creating a culture in the US that values motherhood is part of what feminism is. Working for fair maternity/paternity leave practices, working towards access to childcare, de-stigmatizing a woman's choice to leave work early to go on a field trip with her daughter is part of the work of feminism.
I think all working mom's can see the truth in the following story: a man leaves work early to see his son in a play and the boss says.....oh what a good dad he is sacrificing a couple of hours of work to see his son in a play. When a woman leaves work early for the same reason the boss says.....she is just not serious about her job always leaving early she needs to decide if she wants to be a mom or a worker.
So if anyone knows of a blog by a working mom with lots of internationally adopted kids give me a link!
Monday, November 12, 2007
I was just writing an email and starting rambling on a little bit about how different my life is now and how different the adoption process is now as compared to when I was single last year.
When I first met Keith - it was always funny when one of us would start to talk about something totally obscure and the other one would immediately remember all of the details of some tv show or book. When we were driving from Arizona to Alabama there was an abandoned box car about 100 feet from the interstate...which reminded me of a book I had read in elementary school - the boxcar children http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boxcar_Children....so being little miss free association....I started to tell him and he basically finished my sentence and proceeded to tell me his favorite part of the book. Of course, lots of people have read this book. Noone has ever talked about it with me.
It is so nice to have an idea and to be able to tell him and to know that he isn't going to fight with me about it or think I am crazy. In fact, usually he likes my ideas. I feel like we feed each other's ideas and dreams in really beautiful way. I have always had a crazy idea of a project I want to complete in my life.....it has been hovering amorphously on the edge of mind for about 6 years and every time I talk with Keith about it....it becomes more and more solid. It starts to crystallize into a more defined thing. Someday, I hope it will be real.....but it is still in the being defined stage. He gets excited and caught up in my dreams too and that is something I haven't experienced before.
A lot of you may be familiar with Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan's Purse. We took our older kids to Walmart on Saturday to make shoeboxes for it and we are working in the distribution center this Wednesday. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/OCC.asp?MPGID=1
At church on Sunday they played a video about the project which showed children all over the world opening christmas shoe boxes. Here is where I totally embarass Keith.....I looked over and saw him with those 'I-am-trying-to-fight-the-tears' tears. He told me later that all he could think about was that one of those kids on the screen could be one of our kids waiting to come home.
WARNING.......CHEESE ALERT..........TO ALL THOSE THAT HAVE KNOWN ME MOST OF MY LIFE YOU MIGHT WANT TO SIT DOWN..........
I am cynical, I have been cynical most of my life. I never, ever believed in the whole soul mate thing. I do now and I am OK about telling it to the world.
I seriously have a crazy story for every occasion....so I have started trying to write them down in a coherent way so that someday one of my kids might want to read them and say.....dude....mom was totally insane.
Now, Keith wants to know who will play him in the movie. I told him Admiral Chegwidden.....he had never watched JAG....I am horrified. I once called in sick to work at the casino becuase there was a JAG marathon on and I HAD to watch it. I love Chegwidden....and Keith totally reminds me of him. I have been having a lot of trouble putting pictures up on my blog....but here is a link to chegwidden http://www.jagteam.com/aj_chegwidden.htm
As you may have read...the state of Alabama won't approve our homestudy until we have been married one year. So we are just waiting around for a while. I should just wait patiently, but I have been thinking about all of the timing and trying to piece together some way to so some things sooner. I don't actually need the 171H until court which is (according to the tentative timeline) about 2-3 months after referral. I do need a homestudy for a referral - but since I don't need the 171H for a referral.... So shooting for homestudy done near the end of April is my goal so that it will dated within 6 months of submission to USCIS and we can start waiting for our referral in April.
The referral - so I feel like I have mentioned this before on a post...but I am not sure where....we are now a little boy heavy in our family, so our referral request is for a little girl less than 5 years old. We are open to siblings (up to 2 other siblings) and minor medical needs or surgically correctable issues. Adding 3 kids to a family with 3 kids already is advanced parenting for sure! I have read several blogs by mom's of large families....but I have yet to see a blog or meet any working moms with that many kids! I think our nanny would need a raise and a helper after school! We are definitely going to get approved for 3 just in case....but our official referral request is still a work in progress - unfortunately, we still have 3 months to discuss it! No mom, I am not insane.
Our preliminary application went in today we were waiting on a family picture to send it in. We sent in one of our wedding pictures. We are getting an official family picture on December 8th for Christmas cards/adoption stuff. I am looking forward to watching the training dvd's. Although I am sure it is very interesting and informative - it is no battlestar galactica....but it will have to hold me over!
I know the older I get the faster 3 months goes by.....but when you finally make the decisions to go forward with an adoption - the last thing you want to do is hurry up and wait for 3 loooooong months. We are still going to send in our application to the placing agency and start our mandatory dvd training - which will probably not be as entertaining to watch as battlestar galactica....but we just finished the ipod downloads of season 3 so we don't have anything to watch until the Razor miniseries and the next season starts!
I think that if an agency is licensed by the state to do homestudies - the state should let them do them and not stick their big fat nose in my business. My husband (a lifelong Alabama-n) says that other states look to Alabama to see what not to do! He may be right. Of course, I am very judicious and see the logic of their law....but I am opposed to a state organization that doesn't know me or hasn't seem my family making decisions based on a number. Especially when a local, licensed, accredited organization can evaluate my family based on criteria that really matter to the welfare of children!
OUCH - I just fell off my soapbox and stubbed my toe.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I was on call on Halloween, but the monday before halloween the kids dressed up (by kids I also mean Keith too!) for cub scouts. Z was a lion which was soooo cute. It was one of my daughter's recycled costumes when she was 3 months old so it was a little tight on him....but he kept the hat on like a champ! My daughter was a pumpkin fairy. She was very matter of fact about the whole thing. Whenever someone who ask her what her costume was she would say "can't you tell I am a pumpkin fairy?" like something was wrong with them for not immediately knowing. It was funny.
Monday nights are a total fiasco in general and getting everyone into costume made it more crazy....so Keith and the older 2 left before Z and I were ready. Evidently, my timid little girl spent the first 10 minutes of cubsouts terrifyingly screaming and burying her head in some random woman's shoulder because of the scariness of the the costumes! I didn't even think of that - I guess I should have been prepared for that.
She did bounce back though and won the costume contest. All of the kids had a turn to walk across the stage and show their costumes and my daughter walked out and did a little ballerina turn (arms in 5th position and everything) and then did a little 4 yr old arabesque - i think there was a little curtsy too before she ran off of the stage.......it was 100% irresistable.
I am pretty sure Z was her only real competition for cute costumes - but he didn't enter the contest!
O - the little cub scout (who is actually probably the same size I was my freshman year in high school!) - was one of the Fet's...ok it was Boba Fet I think.....of course, I have no idea how to spell the star wars character's names...I admit it! He loved his costume and was so confused why he didn't win the costume contest. I loved that he loved his costume so much. There were so many star wars character costumes I didn't really realize how big starwars is for kids these days. I was 2 years younger than O is now when I saw Star Wars for the first time at the drive in in Emporia, Ks!
Now my husband's costume is another story....I know you are reading this keith...sorry. He has a flight suit that he got for one of his jobs and he decided to wear it as his costume. One of the mother's turned to me and asked me if that was a costume or some eagle scout uniform thing. To which I responded "it is a costume....if it were an eagle scout thing he would have a kercheif". I really am not sure why I find the kerchief on men so funny....it just is.
On halloween night, the kids went to a fall festival celebration at church and I have some pictures that our awesome nanny took of that too. It was lots of inflatable bouncy things and I imagine running around with friends from school and that precious 4 year old screaming thing. Our neighborhood is really new and there are literally 15-20 houses and like 7 or 8 of them are occupied and there are houses still being built around the corner. Next year I am hoping for some good trick or treating!
I am going to have to figure out how to add the pictures -because everyone was sooo cute.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I wish that I would have started my blog when I started the process instead of waiting until December. If I had done that I could have gone back and seen what I was doing and thinking on the day Z was born. How cool would that have been?! I suppose I could go back and look at the emails I sent on November 28th and see what was up in my life....I think I will do that...hold on..
ok I only have 2 emails received on Z's birthday. One was from Tina through the yahoo forum - she was explaining the timeline of waiting for her referral and waxing poetic about her homestudy visit. I bet she was also baking a cake for her daughter! I did not post a single thing on the yahoo forum that day! Amazing....the way I blather on these days! I also have an email from Fed Ex saying that my shipment (eyes wide open) had shipped. However, I did see that I opened my yahoo account on October 21st last year. I did it because my previous email address was way toooo long and complicated!
HAHA - there is also an unsubscribe me email from the other kyrgyzstan adoption forum because I had decided to adopt from Guatemala....hahaha. The day my son was born I decided to adopt from Guatemala - that is funny. I guess I am real glad that didn't work out.
Now I am rambling.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
We went to a different park in the afternoon and a woman came running up to us asking where our son was from. She also had a 2 year old little boy from China. So I got to gab international adoption again! She was also very impressed at how plump he was. Yes....my son can eat with the best of them. While we were talking a man overheard us and had used the same agency as the woman I was talking with to adopt domestically.
I did my homestudy for Zeb in Tucson with Commonwealth and went to their giant family picnic last year right at the beggining of my process. It is coming up again in 2 weeks and I wish I could go back for it. I know there won't be any kids from Kyrgyzstan there - but it would be fun. Now if Adoption Alliance ever invites us for a family picnic - I am totally going. I know adoption options has family picnics and I am tempted to crash one! I am still holding out hope for the disney cruise. Does anyone have a timeline for post-adoption disposable income rebound?
Friday, October 19, 2007
Look at those chubby cheeks! He is sooooo much fun! He is totally into everything - all of the time. It is great. He is constantly squeaking up a storm too. Our awesome nanny has been working with him on waving bye - bye and today was the day they unveiled it. He was soooooo cute. I am going to have to get a picture of it.
Unfortunately the camera is on a cub scout camp out.
Monday, October 15, 2007
My husband is pretty geeky - oh and the boy scout thing is not the half of it! He obviously loves all of the time he spent doing boy scout stuff and every single thing he does with his oldest son is some kind of requirement for some badge, belt loop or whatever. There is a great big wall at the boy scout office that has a list of all of the eagle scouts from this district....Keith's name is on it, Keith's dad's name is on it and I know that some day his oldest son's name will be on it and so will Zeb's. Have I mentioned how much I love geeks? Although I could probably do without the kerchief.
This weekend is a camping trip - my daughter is so sad to be missing another chance to go "tenting", but there is no way I can live in a tent for a weekend with a 9 month old....I am too weak! So my daughter is going to go visit her dad for the weekend....hopefully ( which I say because she doesn't get to see her dad that often) and Zeb and I are on our own. It will be the first extended time we have been able to really spend together alone...I am really looking forward to it.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
When I think back at that day (which I have written about before) I couldn't possibly imagine my life as it is right now.
Today we took my daughter to a birthday party for one of her school friends at the friend's grandmother's house. They had ponies for pony rides...it was so much fun. I wish i would have remembered my camera! She had such a great time...it is a matter of weeks before she starts asking for a pony. With a daughter, I think they all ask for a pony at some point! I have a great house (ok I have 2 great houses....one that I wish would sell!) with a great swing set. We have next door neighbors (3 and 9 yr olds) that my daughter loves to play with and they keep her preoccupied outside on the swingset all the time! I know it may be silly, but it makes me sooo happy to pull into the driveway after work and see my daughter and a couple of neighborhood kids playing on my backyard swingset. It may be some kind of suburbia brainwashing.....but my daughter has really settled down and is really happy. My son is happy and probably the easiest baby ever to take care of. I have an absolutely wonderfull nanny - seriously - she is the best ever. I have a job I love - I should totally read more about it before I hurt someone....but still it is fun.
I was talking to my ex-husband the other day (we do have a very, very good relationship by most standards) and he asked if I was happy. I am soooo totally happy it amazes me. Anyway - I am rambling...but it is really nice to look at your life and feel like you are being rewarded in some way for something. I must be being rewarded...how else could I explain having a husband who is as excited as I am to jump into another international adoption so soon!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
This month i am working at the preop assessment clinic so my hours are normal business hours of 9am until 5 - ish. Yesterday, I woke up at 630, got ready for work, woke up my daughter got her dressed and set her down for breakfast. Our nanny gets to our house around 730 and I head to work. At the end of the day - I head home around 445 (I got out early) make it home in time to wake my daughter up from a late nap, feed her, Keith and Keith's son, Owen, some frozen pizza and we head to cub scouts. I feed Zeb a replacement dinner at the cub scout meeting. Then we get home at 825, I put dd to bed by 845 while Keith feeds Zeb his real dinner. Then I clean the kitchen, take out garbage (ok make Keith take out the garbage).
I can fit everything in as long as I am in maintanence mode....but we have a lot of extras to do right now and it is slooooow-going trying to get the garage full of my stuff filtered into my new house! We did move my refrigerator and washer and dryer in - hurray. I love my appliances!
My house is being shown - although i don't have a key to it to put in a lock box. I thought maybe the person that looked at it last week might put in an offer. The looked at it twice and asked for a survey to be emailed to them. I haven't heard anything yet though - so I think it is a pipe dream!!! Our life will be a lot easier and closer to running in the black if we could sell my house and the car we have for sale!
Today at work I am going to plan my block party. I finally met my neighbors this weekend and they have a 3 year old and a 9 year old. My daughter played with them all weekend and I feel just terrible that my anti-socialness cost my daughter 2 months of not playing with her new best friend! So I am going to meet my neighbors if it sucks every last bit of strength from my soul! Ok that was a bit dramatic. But I am planning a block party with a jumping castle.
Friday, October 5, 2007
How in the world did I come to Liberia...seriously. When I was in Kyrgyzstan getting Z and even visiting Z for the first trip - I became completely dedicated to Kyrgyzstan. In my mind, I thought of when I would adopt from the bishkek baby house again or possible from the older child orphanage in B.
Then 2 weeks ago I started thinking about a blog I had read many months ago. I don't remember what blog it was or why I was reading it. The title of the post was something like "Asian - the other white meat". It discussed how the white parents of asian adoptees sometimes fooled themselves into not pondering transracial issues and that it was easy for white adoptive parents to choose asian countries because they could justify not tackling those issues. I wish I could find that post again and reread it. I think i started thinking about it because my daughter made a comment about how Zeb was white and her step-brother was red. (as an aside - that is right I do in fact have a red-headed step child).
When I was first starting to research adoption, i briefly looked at Ethiopia and dismissed it quickly. Why you might ask was I so quick to dismiss a program that was running smoothly, relatively inexpensive and a country that had so many children orphaned by AIDS. I am embarassed to say that it is because I was afraid of caring for a little girl's hair. There it is - the real life un-abstract reality. There is an observable, palpable marker of racial differences.
So - I started researching everything I could find on white parents and african american hair care. I was surprised to see that this is actually a very important topic and was so happy to find so much information on it. I also started googling books and websites about transracial families - mostly those written by adoptees.
I will be honest, with my adoption of Zeb - I never googled transracial adoption, I never investigated or read about race issues....I did just like website said - I learned about Kyrgyzstan, but I never once thought about race.
As african hair care became demystified, I found myself googling minority domestic adoption. Keith and I talked about domestic adoption for days - we may someday adopt domestically, but my heart belongs to international adoption. We settled on Ethiopia for about 2 days until I found the website for Acres of Hope.
That was it - the story of children in Liberia, the pictures of the orphanages and the strangely persistent introspection on racism that had been playing in my head for weeks. I just started to have the familiar gut feeling about Liberia. In the midst of my researching the adoptive parenting forum ran the topic "adopting again - second adoptions".
We are starting our homestudy in December and I look forward to sharing my experiences on this blog. I feel a little bit like a traitor to Kyrygzstan - although i still adamantly recommend Kyrgyzstan and Adoption Alliance (they rule!!!!). It just doesn't feel right for us to adopt there right now.
For a doctor - i sure do rely on gut feelings a lot!
There really is nothing overwhelming in my life....Z is doing great, my job is lots of fun, Keith is just a retardedly awesome husband. My daughter has some off and on behavioral issues which overall are improving. I am just moody. I am snapping at Keith for no real good reason and I am a little unmotivated. I wonder if i am having some sort of post - adoption depression.
I don't feel particularly depressed, I suppose I have never been really depressed so I don't know exactly how it is supposed to feel - although I certainly can diagnose based on the DSM-IV!!!!
I think I should do some research on post-adoption depression and see if I fit the criteria. After the birth of my daughter, my mom sent me a book on post-partum depression just in case.....she is a psych nurse and her best friend wrote a book on it so i think part of the gift was to send me her friend Linda's book! I didn't really have any problems - but I read the book and am really applying its criteria to post-adoption depression and I really don't know if the 2 are comparable.
I am also mostly happy - I have just been moody. i guess one of the reasons I think I am in adoption process withdrawal is that I have started researching my next adoption....I am not sure if this is some way to deal with post adoption depression or if my next child is really out there waiting for me. I don't know how you can really be sure - it all seems like a gut feeling thing.
I have to say though, there is a single mom who has been researching Kyrgyzstan for like a year and I am so impressed by her thoroughness and her commitment to her timeline - shout out to Suzanne! I started researching for 'next year' and was knee deep in a homestudy within 2 months.
I am researching now and I don't know if it is to fill some sort of adoption forum and process void or if it is because my next child is out there. I suppose I should say that Keith and I want a very large - ridiculously large family and so the idea of starting our next adoption seems very reasonable - especially when it will take over a year to complete it. Z will be almost 2 before any siblings would come home.
I have been up since 5 am and sit here pondering this issue in my usual sleep deprived state. My blog has been so dead lately - I don't even know if anyone peruses it - but I would love to hear if anyone has similar episodes of moodiness after coming home with their child or if they feel the abscence of "something" since the process is completed.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
How cute is my daughter?! She was the best flower girl ever!
We had so much fun at the wedding - granted I am posting this like over a month later - but I have been busy! The wedding was soooo stress free. The planner at the bed and breakfast we held it at handled everything. The musicians were great, the flowers were beautiful. The photographer was a little cheesy - ok a lot cheesy and I still don't have the pictures yet! So basically I have like 4 pictures from the wedding right now. Oh well. My daughter and I got to be princesses for a day so it was fun. She did such a great job! I highly recommend her for any flower girl duties - if anyone is looking for a flower girl. I also recommend Keith as a groom and husband - he also does a great job. However, his calendar is booked!
We are still trying to merge our homes - it is very hard to do - he has a lot of stuff (ok I might have a whole bunch of stuff I don't need too)! My daughter is handling the transition pretty well - she started having some real behavioral issues right after the wedding - but we went down to visit her dad last weekend and I think it really helped her to see her dad and Keith meeting. I think she maybe was feeling guilty - I don't know. Her dad came up to visit her this weekend too - which she is loving! It is hard for him to commit to dates to come visit her - but I think it really helps for her be able to look at a calendar and say "I am going to see my daddy on this day"
Zeb is doing awesome - he has doubled his weight in the last month and a half and is crawling - ok mostly it is the combat crawl - but he is up on his knees a couple of crawls and then down on his belly and off! He talks up a storm in a super high pitched squeaky way and he is almost always happy with that huge smile you can see on his pictures. I am finally printing my pictures for Zeb's life book - I have like a million pictures of him from bishkek and am really going to get it done.
I sent in my kyrgyzstan embassy registration - the form (with a passport size picture), his passport, copy of the adoption certificate with translation, adoption decree and translation, old and new birth certificates and the prepaid return envelope. It was free as was discussed on the yahoo forum!
I also met with an agency here in alabama about my first post placement and his readoption. The agency was Villa Hope and I met with the director and she was super nice. She also gave me some contact information for adoption organizations here. I haven't checked them out yet - but I will give a full review when I do.
I am kind of having international adoption withdrawal and have been looking for a way to start my next adoption....it will definitely take a lottery win! Anyone else already thinking about their next one!?
Friday, August 31, 2007
Really the only con was that it was soooo smoky - our bathroom must have adjoined to someone smoking like a chimney - we had to keep the door closed with a towel under the door to keep the smoke out of the hotel room.
One morning we were in the elevator - I was carrying Z and keith was standing next to me. A man got into the elevator with us and in broken English asked keith if baby was boy or girl....Keith said boy and the man said "he has your face". It was really funny. Keith could not be more blond/blue eyed!
The drive from the border to Almaty took forever! It was soooo hot once the sun came up! The traffic was terrible in Almaty and the pollution was not very amenable to wide open car windows. I would say this was the worst part of our trip - but the food poisoning in Newark, NJ and subsequent 2 hour flight to Birmingham sucked!!!!
We finally made it to the SOS clinic around 9am. We saw the doctor almost immediately. It was a man from Australia who I could not understand for the life of me. It was his first day at the clinic and was jet lagged....I totally commiserated on that level. During the exam - Z was naked on the exam table and BAM - let loose with a huge watery bowel movement that literally shot onto the doctor's pants. Now how is THAT for your first patient at your new job! He still got a clean bill of health.
After we met with that official - we went on a little sightseeing tour with our in country coordinator. I was a little unprepared for the hot 3 hours we spent walking around bishkek. We went to Ala too square. there was a wedding party there - they were actually getting married I think. Our coordinator said it was good luck to be there with a wedding party - yeah us. It was not good luck at that particular moment. While we were there - Zeb had a major diaper blowout. Keith (who is the expert poopie diaper changer in our family) took him back to the car to change his diaper and literally - stuff flew out when he opened the diaper....then the fountain of pee shot straight into the air. It was a huge mess in the 100 degree back seat of our taxi. It was hysterical. Keith kept his cool though!
We also went to a park that used to have an eternal flame in memory of all of the soldiers from Kyrgyzstan who died in WW2....however, the eternal flame was out. The park was kind of in disrepair - but there were a lot of beautiful stone statues and flowers.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Kuba took usto a really cute baby store after we picked Z up and we bought some new bottles, formula etc.
We got to Bishkek around 5am and made it quickly to our hotel. we are staying at the Ak Keme and I totally miss the Asia mountain guest house!!! This hotel isn't bad at all - i just like the other one better.
Kuba picked us up around 10 and took us to buy 3 cakes and exchange some money - then we headed to the baby house.
I brought layers of clothes for Z - I would just like to brag that I actually brought clothes that were too warm! I was chastised that my hat would keep his head too warm! I took lots of pictures...well, Keith took lots of pictures and then we headed back to the hotel for a couple of hours.
I am mostly unphased and just in everyday mommy mode and then I will be overwhelmed by the situation...that Z is sitting on my lap and he is staying with me. I see Keith playing with him or burping him and I get a liitle overwhelmed by seeing how much Keith loves Z and how happy he is.
Yesterday afternoon we headed to the US embassy to pick up a sealed manilla envelop that goes to the adoption unit in Almaty. This afternoon we head to the Ministry of Education meet and thank some people there - and late tonight we head to Almaty - evidently the border is closed except the wee hours of the morning. That is perfect for me in my current jet lagged state!
Z is being a total angel - i actually recall some talk about a honeymoon period that is slated to end like any second.....so I figured I better get my post in now!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The flight was nice....it is so much more fun to travel with a companion versus alone! I am especially looking forward to actually sleeping on the next leg of the journey to Bishkek. It is soooo much fun to look at my countdown to Zebastian and see no more days only hours. Everytime I think about putting him in that super cute little red mouse hat that I bought last March I come really close to crying. It seems like it has been such a long time that I have been waiting for him - but thinking about him has just been on hold with all of the crazy life changes I have had in the last 2 months. Now that I am on my trip to pick him up - I am just thinking about him and it is a little bit overwhelming. It doesn't help that I still don't have an actual crib at home....although there is one on order and paid for at babies r us. We do have a glider ( it is in the box....but at our house nonethe less!) We are also still working on childcare....boy do I sound completely unprepared or what?!
It will all get done and I can't wait. Off to get some starbucks....mmmmm.
We did finally get a hotel in Almaty and will be staying at the hotel grand eurasia....hurrah!
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Work is beating me down for sure - i feel like an idiot about 98% of the time I am at work and that sucks.
My daughter is going to her dad's tomorrow for the next 3 weeks. I am going to miss her terribly - but I am going to have time to get some stuff done at the house and actually start preparing a nursery for Zeb! I am anticipating nursery by Wednesday. I am such a dreamer.
I have so much more going on - I will blog about that during my 9 hour layover in London in a week...OMG I am soooo unprepared for Zeb to come home. you would think I would be totally prepared. My move and all of the changes has really thrown me into a tailspin. UGGGG.
I will remain calm.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I did, however, finally make my reservations for travelling to get Zeb! yeah!!!! We are taking British Air to Bishkek on August 4th (arriving Aug 6th). We are staying in Bishkek that night - although we have not yet successfully booked a hotel for that night - the Asia Mountain Guest house is full.....sob sob. I am hoping that the Ak Keme has rooms. Early Aug 7th we drive to Almaty and start that part of the trip. I think we are going to stay at the Hotel Otrar - the other family that is travelling at the same time as us wants to stay there and I have heard at least one good review....if anyone has heard terrible things about it - let me know tout suite! We are heading home on August 10 on BA from Almaty. We have to stay that night in beautiful Newark, NJ. So another weeklong whirlwind trip half way around the world for me! I am so excited to carry my son back in the cute little hotslings I purchased like a million years ago (at least it seems that long ago!)
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
I can not believe how many toys my daughter has. It is completely insane. I have to pack them today. I am going to stage it. I am going to do all of the toys I haven't seen her play with in a week....otherwise known as all of the toys that are actually put away. Then I am going to separate out the toys she plays with a lot and keep them in a rubbermaid container. Then I am going to pack everything else. Undoubtedly the first thing she is going to say when she gets home from school is that she wants to play with the very first toy I packed!
I want to get everything done before Friday because my supercute and really great boyfriend is flying into town Friday night and he is going to drive with us. I don't want to waste prime saturday miniature golf and bookstore time packing - yuck! I am on call on Saturday so I have to stay in town until early Sunday morning. Probably around 6am - ish.
It is going to be a long drive with a 3 year old! I am thinking short-ish days (8-9 hours of driving) and hotels with good swimming pools for wearing her out!
I just love the pictures that Sloan sent me....Zebastian looks good in bright pink. He looks so strong holding his little torso upright. I can't wait to bring him home. My life is soooooo totally fantastic right now.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Everybody likes the agency they are working with - they are all good agencies and people pick them for various reasons. I am not trying to diss anyone's agency choice or trying to make anyone feel bad. I am just trying to represent the process as I am experiencing it and I am just trying to keep information in the forum about the process with adoption alliance and what little I know about Nightlight (that uses the same coordinator at the specialized children's home in Bishkek).
Maybe the slow down is related to the new rule that adoption alliance enacted about being in the same state as the adoptive family that Frank did not adopt. Maybe Adoption Alliance just hasn't been informed yet that their adoptions are going to be put on hold. I don't know - I am just trying to contribute and I am tired of my experiences being marginalized and contested. So I am done posting on the yahoo forum for kyrgyzstan adoptions. I will probably keep reading it and will PM people who have questions about adoption alliance or my experiences - but I am too busy to deal with the negativity - Life is too short!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I did meet up with a fellow adoptive mom on Saturday to do some serious babies r us damage! She lives about an hour and a half south of Tucson and came into town for the afternoon. Her new daughter is in Zeb's orphanage but in the other baby room - we share the same court date for finalization! It was so much fun to have a real person to gab with about the process and the kids and all of the crazy emotions this process creates. This is written by someone who started crying over hamburgers while talking about one of the kids at the babyhouse! I would be totally lost without the awesome online community for kyrgyzstan adoptions (read kyrgyzstanadoption yahoo forum!), but it was soooooo wonderful to make a real live connection. I hope that down the road I can make more real life connections with Zeb in tow....I am coming for you Tina! haha. Shannon - you can run but you can't hide!
This month I am working at a private hospital in Tucson and it has been pretty nice. The hours are much better so far this month and I am hoping those hours continue! My daughter comes back from New Orleans today so I can give her lots of hugs and maybe get some sleep - finally!
I am hoping she gets here in time to go to the miniature golf place. Their flight was delayed so I am not 100% sure when they will get in.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I am on call tonight at the VA and then on the first I start a super cushy rotation at a private hospital in Tucson. I have 6 calls next month - unfortunately I am on at least one day of every weekend this month so I don't get a weekend off all month! The good thing is that it is home call which means I don't have to be physically present at the hospital for the entire 24 hours - i have to round and I have to come in if there is a consult or an emergency of some sort. I have heard from other people that it is a pretty nice month. Plus, my last day is a post call Sunday.
I actually did this particular surgery rotation as a medical student and it was pretty nice. I had a great intern though...he was a super cute, laid back, blond, outdoorsy guy from McGill who was going into Radiology. Can't remember his name - but he was a total babe. So needless to say, I am hoping to spend lots of time with my daughter this month. We have to start packing - we already have a full house of toys in Alabama and at least another full house of toys here...It is going to be a real challenge to try to whittle my daughter's stuff down to a manageable amount!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I heard from the family that is adopting the little girl I wrote about in previous posts. I am so happy that she is going to have a family. I guess I am off the hook for winning the lottery. I did buy a lottery ticket today - but I am on call and can't check the numbers until I get home....maybe I am a millionaire right now .....if so ZUTANO'S for everyone!
Today is Thursday - and the way I undersand it....adoption petitions get issued on Thursdays. So I am crossing my fingers that today is my day. Once I hear the adoption is official - I will be able to breathe at least a half of a sigh of relief.
I have planned out my big move to alabama - which will get me to Birmingham around the 26th of June and give me a couple of days to try to get settled before I have to start work. I spent a lot of time working on a decorating plan for my new house and researching shrubbery that will grow in zone 7. My front and back yard are huge with no landscaping at all or a fence or anything. I am way over my head in terms of lawncare! I am trying to plan some kind of fence/hedge thing. So instead of studying for my new job - I am writing down how to plan my hedge. I am sooooo easily distracted.
If my adoption becomes final today - I am posting my favorite Zebastian picture!