Sunday, January 28, 2007

An eventful week

I have a pretty eventfull week coming up....I am closing on my house....my first house ever. I am pretty excited about it. Unfortunately, I have to do it long distance, so it kind of loses some of it's excitement. It would be nice if I could close and then pull up in a moving truck and start my life in Alabama. No I am going to have to sign a bunch of papers and fed ex them to the lawyer. I am going the following week to move all of my stuff out of storage in Shreveport, La into my house. My stuff has been in storage since Hurricane Katrina - I couldn't find any storage in New Orleans and my stuff ended up 400 miles away. A little inconvenient! I am still working out the logistics of the move into the house. It seems the universe likes me to stretch my complicated planning muscles on a pretty regular basis. It will keep me young at heart!
My dossier officially arrived in Washington, DC at the assistant stork on 1/25 - I had one trip to the state department (less than 15 items), so that may be done. Off to the Embassy early next week maybe. The official time at the Kyrgyzstan embassy is 2 weeks, but I heard it is not really taking that long. That would be nice - in the grand scheme of things one week isn't really going to make too big a difference! I love being able to check something online to monitor my process - the fedex.com tracking website is great!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bon Voyage to le dossier


Yes......I finally mailed my dossier to the assistant stork for all of the Washington, DC rigamarole. It was a weird feeling to let go of this little thing I had been working on for so long. It is funny, the first informational meeting I went to at Commonwealth a woman who had adopted from Guatemala talked about spending July through September getting her dossier together - I though to myself "I think I can get it done much quicker than that"....well I couldn't! Kyrgyzstan's dossier was much simpler and more straight forward than Guatemala's! And there is no giant, invisible monster known as PGN. It is funny there are probably 3 items that in my dossier that I didn't have to redo at least once and I was really trying to be carefull. Once I had everything and had it all notarized - it became some irreplacable treasure. It is very difficult to let go of it....inside the fedexkinko's and wach it get tossed into a bag of envelopes - but it was very liberating to walk out the door and realize you have sent it off to bring you back a child.
The guy working at the fed ex counter was telling me about a friend of his in Phoenix that had recently adopted a sibling group from the Ukraine - they started with the intention of adopting 2 sisters and ended up bringing home a group of 5 sisters! Wow. Small world sometimes.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SNOW in TUCSON!

My goodness - it snowed in Tucson. 2 inches of snow on our cars and one happy 3 year old throwing snow balls at me! She jumped up and down screaming "Snow, Snow, Snow - look mommy I have snow". Unfortunately, I did not have a camera...of course we did not have a winter coat either - but we did have gloves, hot chocolate and mini marshmallows and chicken noodle soup! I don't even think I can count the number of times my daughter said she was a snowman and had to go eat some soup to melt. Who knew that campbell's soup commercial had made such an impact!
Of course, on Monday the entire city was shut down because it was almost freezing and there was snow on the ground within the previous 12 hours....all of the bridges were closed. I could understand this reaction if Tucson was a place full of people who had never driven in snow but probably 75% of everyone who lives here now is a transplant from a snowy - wintery state!
I must admit - i was not happy about scraping ice off of my windows!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Home again!

It is nice to be back in Tucson with my little pumpkin. She did awesome on the flight from New Orleans - her dad was sad to see her go, but she is soooo happy to be back in her "favorite bedroom". It is going to be tough on her when we move to Birmingham - her bedroom there is going to be half the size. I will have to make up for it with a super cool backyard! The entire trip I kept thinking about what it will be like to travel home from Kyrgyzstan with my brand new pumpkin....thinking about what age she might be. How scary will it be for a little 3 year old who barely knows me and can barely understand a word I say to be traveling half way around the world...the noises, the busy - ness. In some ways, I hope my referral is younger so I can carry her in a sling right next to me the whole way. I guess, I carried my 3 year old most of the way - so it is doable. My 3 year old is a super cuddle bunny though and with all of the worst case scenarios I have been reading about attachment disorders that may not be the case with a brand new 3 year old daughter from an institution. So many unknowns - part of the excitement, I suppose.
I am looking for agencies in Birmingham to do my post placement - drop me a post if any readers have used any agencies there!
Oh yeah - I got my little hats that I ordered from Hip and Little...they are just as cute in person....but seem kind of big! Can't wait to see whether I am going to need the toddler one of the infant one!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

New Orleans

New Orleans is just like I left it - wet. We got some delicious seafood yesterday and a super delicious king cake. It has been cold and rainy since I have been here. I think it has been cold and rainy/snowy everywhere this week! My daughter was so excited to see me....she jumped up and down and yelled mother, mother, mother. It is kind of weird to hear a 3 year old refer to her mom as mother....I think she got it from Bambi. She just cuddled up to me like she was a liittle baby. It was funny she literally fell asleep within minutes of cuddling up on my lap at the airport. It was a little early for her to go to sleep - but sweet. We spent yesterday afternoon rocking in a rocking chair and watching videos. I definitely feel like I was missed!
On the adoption front - Since I am moving to Birmingham in July, my current homestudy agency doesn't feel comfortable signing the post placement report. I think that is great - I should find an agency in Birmingham, but I wish they would have told me that like a month ago. I was planning on having everything in my hot little hands of certification on last tuesday. It is always something, I guess. There is really no rush at this point, because I'm waiting for the final ok from my coordinator who is going over my dossier right now.
It is exciting to hear the reports of everyone traveling right now. I am a little jealous - I must admit - but mostly I am excited that everything is moving forward and I am so excited to hear everyone's travel stories. I hope people feel comfortable enough to post a little bit about their impressions of the orphanages and kids and well everything! Pictures would be nice too, but I don't want to hope for too much!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The cutest hat


How cute is this hat? Sadly, I spent many hours trying to find a cute hat to buy for my new daughter. I had a hat in my mind and it took me a long time, but this is the hat. I looked for so long, I was actually very close to trying to learn how to knit. Fortunately, I found a great website - www.hipandlittle.com - that had my dream beanie. Yes, that's right, my dream beanie. This website has lots of cute stuff.
I start my vacation today - yeah, I am so excited to relax for at least a couple of days.
I am closing on my house in 2 weeks and that is very exciting for me also. Unfortunately, my house is in Alabama and I am in Arizona so it will be sitting empty for quite a while. I have to put an alarm in it, and I am thinking about trying to figure out how to put a time on the lights so I doesn't look too empty! I wish I could move in February! Oh well, the theme of my life right now seems to be waiting. It is fun to have lots of time to make fun plans and lists.
On Tuesday, I am heading to New Orleans to pick up my daughter from her dad's. I am so excited to see her. I know she has had lots of fun, but I like to think she missed me at least a little! I can't wait to see her at the airport. I am looking forward to doing some of our favorite New Orleans things - the Audobon zoo is a great zoo, the children's museum there is also really great. I haven't been to the aquarium since the hurricane, but I am looking forward to checking it out too. Of course, I am looking forward to King Cakes. King Cake season started a last week and they are delicious. The best king cakes in town - Manny Randazzo's. Just in case anyone is heading that way between now and Mardi Gras! YUMM. I went there to pick one up a couple of years ago during my lunch hour and they were out with a new batch due at 2. I decided to wait - it was raining and a line of people started forming outside the door. Eventually a cheerleading team showed up to pick up some king cakes. They started making up king cake cheers and doing a full on cheer leading routine. It was really fun - about 35 poeple standing in the rain waiting for king cakes and being led in king cake cheers. New Orleans really is a special place.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A sigh of relief

So after terrifying me last week about adoptions going on hold at the end of January, my coordinator sent me a new email today saying there is not going to be a hold. I believe in the free flow of information so I had told several people what my coordinator had told me and am apparently responsible for a lot of unnecessary anxiety in our small adoption community. I know that nothing is a sure thing in international adoption, but I feel so much better. When I talked to my coordinator last week she was very "got to get things done" and I think she is more confident that there won't be any problems. They are trying to adjust some of the required paperwork in the dossier since now we have to have everything authenticated at the Kyrgyzstan Embassy for $50 a document (ouch!). So now that I actually have everything she wants me to keep it until they revamped their documents. That is ok...I feel less stressed about it. I think we are off the fast track vs derailment analogy and back onto the slow and steady track. I am nothing if not flexible!
Time to focus on my iminent home purchase. February first is the closing date on my first home purchase - which is exciting. I have been alternating between looking at cute pink baby clothes and fences for the back yard. Lots of shopping!

Officially getting excited

I am officially getting excited.....I guess the title of this post says it all. I actually started shopping this morning - I haven't bought anything yet....but I am starting to feel that shopping itch. The only thing that is stopping me (besides the looming 10K that is probably due in about 2 weeks) is that I don't know the age of my new daughter....less than 3 yo covers a lot of sizes! I think it was the email from my coordinator that said - relax one of the next three referrals we get will be your daughter. I know when I get that email with a little face attached to it I am going to freak out.
I have a lot of people to share things with in my life...it will be kind of lonely travelling over to meet my daughter face to face all alone. One of my good friends from medical school has talked about coming with me and I would love that, but it is a long trip and I will not be angry if the arrangements can't be made. It would be nice if other parents were over there adopting at the same time. That is one of the really nice things about the China program - parents travel in groups so there is a little community that experiences it with you. I know a lot of the people on the Yahoo message board have talked about travelling in April....I hope I can travel when some other people are there. I may be getting ahead of myself....I hope I get a referral first! I may have a little too much time on my hands right now to think about shopping and packing lists and travel dates. The thing I most want is a little girl's face and name to focus all of this excitement on.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Yippee

Yippee - my fingerprints are back and my homestudy is officially done. I will overnight that bad boy to USCIS and wait for my 171H....now if only Tina would tell me what color it is! I am post call on Thursday, so I can hand deliver it to the Secretary of State's office for its certification and then off to the Asst. Stork in Washington, DC. Thank goodness I can have it certified in Tucson - driving to Phoenix post call would just be insane....I would have done it, but it would have been crazy!
It seems that no other agencies have been told about the temporary hold...I am beginning to think maybe I dreamed it. Except another adoption alliance family has talked to me regarding the hold - possibly a shared delusion. Today is a holiday in Kyrgyzstan so this drama will unfold later in the week. Just really excited to have this stuff rolling - Now that I will have my dossier on the way to Washington, DC by the end of the week - I could have a referral by the end of January. Wow...I guess I need to cool off and refrain from counting my referrals before they hatch.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

I'm not nervous.....right?

I should probably be a little more anxious than I am right now - read previous post! I should be nervous that my fingerprints might not be back next week, if they do come back - that my dossier might get lost on its way to Washington, if it makes it - that the Kyrgyzstan minister will change his mind and close it down completely. Somehow though, I feel relatively calm. I think that everything is going to work out. If the process doesn't work for me right now, I will wait to see if the country opens back up. It helps to know that this same situation happened in April and that it passed and families came home with their new kids (thanks Jenn for sharing your story!). I guess I have made the decision to stick with Kyrgyzstan even if any of the above mentioned things happen to stop my adoption dead in its tracks. I just can't imagine which country I would switch to.
The next month is a big month for me! I have a vacation in one week (I can't wait), I will be picking my daughter up from her dad's house that week, I am closing on my new house on Feb 1st. and I will find out if this adoption is going to go through. Wow, I have a lot on my plate. I think this post has managed to work me up into a nervous tizzy. How funny!
I know what my agency is doing with this setback - I am curious to see what other agencies are doing. Next week is a big week.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Yikes!!!



So my coordinator called me today and left a message that said, rather ominously, I might add, that I needed to call her back as soon as possible. Always expecting the worse, I hesitantly called her back. Evidently there is a regime change. The current government is leaving on January 31st. So the referral process and possibly the entire process will go on hold at that time. The minister of whatever ministers international adoption has promised my agency that they will be able to do 3 more adoptions and I am .....number 2! Big sigh. However, that is based on my stinking DPS background check coming back before the end of next week. Let's hear it for hurry up and wait. I could have gotten that stinking thing started earlier too and I just didn't because I thought it would only take a month. There are 2 other things I am waiting on, but I know they will be done by monday. I will just go with the flow. The way my coordinator talked either my adoption is going to be streamlined onto the express track or it will derail. To top it off I am on call today - which actually may be a good thing because I will be so busy I won't have time to dwell. It is funny, I don't even have a referral or a face to put with my adoption, but I feel so committed to this country. I tried to google kyrgyzstan today to find out more info on the political happenings and can't find much - I didn't find much a couple of weeks ago when they had the earthquake either. I think I will go peruse some peace corp blogs!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Eyes wide open

Well, I just finished working through the Eyes wide Open workbook designed to make me think about a lot of the changes and loss my new little pumpkin will experience when she comes thousands of miles home with me. It is very daunting and so sad. I know it will be happy too. There are so many things I just don't know about the culture in Kyrgyzstan. I have read just about every internet website that pops up on google when you type in Kyrgyzstan - I have even misspelled it on purpose just in case some different websites pop up. The workbook asked questions about holidays and rituals and customs specific to Kyrgyzstan and I still don't have any answers. There is one web site I have not spent enough time on - it is the peace corps website for cultural competency of volunteers training for placement there. I need to call my friend's friends who worked for the peace corp in Bishkek. The workbook made me realize even though my dossier is done I have a lot of work left to do and a lot left to learn. It also reminded me that I am still scared. Scared that I won't be able to give enough and be patient enough to help my new little pumpkin attach and grow and be happy. That is the one thing, really the only thing I want for my kids is for them to be happy. Safe and respectful of others is right up there - but happy is important. I know it is normal for mothers to worry that they are being good mothers - especially working mothers. Somehow that doesn't keep me from worrying about it. I suppose a little bit of fear and worry keeps me motivated!
In any case - I highly recommend this workbook - Eyes Wide Open.

Christmas


I finally uploaded the santa claus picture. My daughter just sat right down and posed for the picture. She did, of course, ask for several presents after the picture. Then she asked if she could take more pictures. Santa Claus kept saying to me "she has star quality - she has 'it' - she will go to hollywood one day - you'll see". Her dad pointed out that Santa was, in fact, in the entertainment biz - so he should know. She does work a room. If there is something she wants to do she says "I have an idea...."then the idea, then "Is that a great idea?" She just looks up with those big blue eyes and it is hard to say that it is not a great idea.
I can't wait to go get my little pumpkin from New Orleans. She called the other day and asked how many more hours until I come pick her up. She is having fun though, I know she is. She is playing with all of the neighborhood 4 year old boys - I am confident her dad is keeping a close eye on her! I think he has decided that she can start dating at the age of 30.
Next year there will be another little pumpkin on the other side!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

No you can't do that

I am back to working ridiculously long hours. I started off the new year taking call which means 430am on january 1st to January 2nd usually around 10 am. I got out early today though at about 8am. Everytime I cover the trauma surgery service (like the last 30 hours), I come up with a list of things that I will never let my daughters do...sometimes it is a little ridiculous and I reconsider after I have gotten some sleep, but it is amazing the accidents that can happen to little kids. Sometimes it is amazing the things parents do with their little kids. Crazy things that I have seen include really an entire laundry list of trampoline injuries. Obvioulsy falling off can be bad, especially if you land on your head and as a 4 year old become paralyzed for the rest of your life. Also, just acting crazy and being a "bucking bronco" can evidently cause the blood vessels that run up the back of your neck to your brain to split and bleed. Not too mention the power of a dog bite...even a miniture dauchsand attack on a 2 year old. So I usually leave work with the idea that I could somehow wrap my daughters in bubblewrap and keep them safe from the world.
Then I sleep for 8 hours and wake up, take a deep breath and return to the reality that sometimes things happen to kids and I can't keep my kids safe from everything. However, they will never ride an ATV and will always have helmets on when they ride their bikes. Oh yeah, and even though I love my dog of 8 years and she is as gentle as a lamb - no child gets left alone with any dog ever in my house. Kids can push anyone's buttons - even a dogs!
Just a little look at my obsessive compulsive overprotective side!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power