Friday, April 27, 2007

Farms and kids

I have to admit I have been reading a blog for a while that I haven't posted on my links because it has totally slipped my mind. It is by a woman who lives on a farm and just brought home 2 little cutie pies from Kyrgyzstan and I love the farm stuff she puts on her blog in addition to obviously loving the kid stuff. I grew up in a small town in Kansas - although I never lived on a farm, there is something about reading her blog that reminds me of being in kansas again...strangely I mean that in a good way.

So check out the top fave over to the left!

We are getting ready to move into a new house tomorrow - my parents bought a new house and tomorrow is moving day. i will be post call and exhausted and I haven't had enough time to pack. It should really be fun (and that is sarcasm!).

I tried to start Zeb's lifebook on Wednesday and I got as far as the Martha Stewart craft aisle at Michael's Crafts. Too many scrapbooking acid free design stamped stickered papers to choose from! I definitely have to buy something to keep a travel journal in though before I travel in 2 weeks! UGG Speaking of travelling - it looks like I have to change airports in London. Could that be possible - I need to look into that!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kyrgyzstan Adoptive Parents Rule

I am well into my 20th hour of being awake and working (very hard I might add)....I am a little delirious and more than a little overwhelmed today by the sheer magnitude of work I had to accomplish. Now I am sitting down to look at all of the super cute pictures I have gotten of Zebastian in the past 2 days. I can't wait until I can post one of two of them....just a couple more weeks I hope! It is hard to believe that I will be holding him in 19 days.
I have to take a minute to write about how happy I am to have met a bunch of really great people throughout this process! Everyone is totally willing to help other families by bringing items, taking pictures and just a simple....I saw your son and he has personality...that is so great. It does take an effort to do those things. Not everyone would go out of their way to find your child...to ask about him, ask to take a picture. Especially when there is so much to do with your own new addition. Thank you Shannon for doing that for me! I wish there was a way to repay the favor.
I am so excited to be travelling soon and just so happy to be involved in this process with such a great bunch of people. Clearly Kyrgyzstan adoptive parents rule.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lifebooks

So probably the two posts in one day clues you in that I am on call at the VA today. I have been spending today reading about lifebooks and thinking about the lifebook I will make for Zebastian. Of course I am excited, optimistic and basically very positive in all of my posts....but adoption is also sad. How understated is that?
Ever since Hurricane Katrina, I have tried to shield myself from sad and I have tried to shield my daughter from sad. It has been hard - particularly with her father and I divorcing. I suppose it was not as hard for her since her dad was mostly absent her whole life....that is sad too.
I worked with a woman after Katrina in one of the hospitals in New Orleans. She told me that she had taken her 2 teenagers to work with her the day of the hurricane. Workers in the hospital during natural disasters can bring in their families and usually there is even a place to bring your pet. When the power went out in the hospital her 13 year old and 16 year old took shifts bagging ventilated patients. In the big picture of human sufferring this isn't a terrible thing for kids to witness - but the woman was so upset to have put her kids in the position to see disease and death.
I want to protect my kids from sadness so it is hard for me to think about what I am going to put in his lifebook. I think it is really important - how can he own his past if it breaks my heart.
While I am kind of going on about it....all self-absorbed about my sadness for him...I know that it is about finding the right words and the right "lens" to view the experience. I don't know what the end point is though. If we find the right words in his lifebook will it stop him from feeling sad and empty? I think that simplifies things...
There is loss in adoption and there is sadness. Yet, I have chosen to deliberately expose myself to this sad....because the payoff more than compensates.

Travel dates!

Yeah! I have my first set of travel dates! I am leaving May 12 - arriving May 14 at 515am. Staying for 3 days and leaving 845am on May 17th....talk about a short trip. It seems crazy to literally travel half way around the world for 3 days....but it is so much better for me that it is a short trip. Now if the second trip can be short too - i am so in luck!
I am travelling on British Airways. It is about $500 more than the cheapest Aeroflot flight - but there is no layover in Moscow. In fact there is a stop in london and then a quick stop with no plane change in Tblisi. I get meals, a little tv and free drinks. The free drinks thing is not a big deal since I don't drink - but it is the prniciple of the matter! The flight home I have an overnight layover in Philadelphia...c'est la vie! I will get home on Saturday and have an entire day to recover.
My daughter is going to stay with her dad for 2 weeks - so I will have lots of sleeping time when I get back (outside of work!).
I feel so lucky that another famly with my agency is travelling at the exact same time as me for their first trip. our kids are about the same age at the same baby house. We are taking different flights because I have to drop my daughter off in Dallas, but we will be arriving the same day (5 minutes apart) and will be staying in the same hotel. Additionally, another one of my friends is travelling for her gotcha trip at the same time! I am so excited to meet her face to face and look at all of the great clothes she bought at www.comfykid.com! Seriously, I am very excited to hang out with her and meet her beautiful new daughter. I think she is coming into town the same day - she is staying at the fancy hyatt though so I am totally crashing her amenities!

It is so exciting to have something concrete like a credit card bill for $2100 representing my first trip to meet my son. I also had to send my country fee to my agency on Friday. I almost hyperventilated as I wrote a check for $11,500 for my cashiers check. Seriously. I know there are people that this is not a lot....I hope to be one of those people one day....but yesterday I was one of those people who hyperventilate when they write a check for $11,500. I am glad I didn't have to carry it in $100 bills....i would have been hyperventilating the entire trip!

Also exciting news is that one of my friends is on her way - right now as I write - to bishkek to get her son. There is so much going on around me and now I actually feel like there is something going on with me! Yeah....I have had a very rollercoaster-y week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Randomness

I talked to my coordinator today and she starts off the conversation asking if I was home by myself. That can never be a good way to start off a conversation - right?

She tells me that yesterday the 2 year old that has been in the babyhouse for 14 months was picked up by his mother. She just showed up and took him home. Now I am sure you are wondering how I reacted....I must say my reaction was strange. I was sooooo relieved that she came to get him. Can you imagine if she had tried to come find him and take him home after I had adopted him and brought him to the US. She never would have found him. I was planning on leaving a letter with contact information in case she ever came looking for him. How wonderfull that he is with him mother and 3 siblings. When Karen first called me with the consult, my first question was what if she comes back for him. I had read that many times kids adopted internationally wonder if is was a mistake is there birth mom looking for them and can't find them. The thought of that happening is heartbreaking.

So that little cutie on the golden road to samargand is now with his mom and 3 siblings. That little 5 month old is still patiently waiting for me to choose him and come get him. Now if I could figure out this whole travel thing and now there is word of an additional legalization process that I am not sure I have on my dossier documents...so this could take a lot longer than I had initially thought. The 5 month old may be a toddler by the time I can get him home!

Isn't life funny.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Growing up

Growing up is so weird sometimes. Today at work I pulled out my ipod to listen. It has literally been out of batteries for like a year. I have been carrying it around for about a month to recharge it in my car - and voila- one of my coworkers brought in a home ipod speaker/charger thing for our call room. So I plugged that baby in and started listening to some of my old tunes. And I immediately remembered why I don't ever listen to music anymore.
(Insert fade to flashback sequence!)
When I was in college I worked at the college radio station, I played in a band and music was my life - especially that girl punk rock that exploded in the early 1990's....bikini kill, K Records. I loved it. I spent years (1993-2001) between college and medical school playing in a little punk rock band. That is how I met my ex-husband....our bands played together at a super sleazy bar in New Orleans. it was called Monaco Bob's and I am sure noone reading this has ever been to it. In kind of a metaphor of my life - it is now a gentrified upscale restaurant/bistro.
(back to the present)
Whenever I listen to my old music, I feel very wistfull and sad. I am very happy with my life. When I was playing in a band and working at a coffee shop or the casino - I was not happy. The only time I was even close to happy was when I was actually performing with my band. So I am not actually sure what I am pining for in the past. It took me a really long time to grow up and I am very glad to be here now...but I listen to my old music and I just get sad. Maybe I miss the fun, punk rock girl who was not afraid of anything and could scream at anything or about anything. Youth has its own excitement I suppose - especially when you are first on your own.
Growing up is weird. You just turn around and need green tea extract under your eyes! I actually have a vivid memory of coming home from college the summer after my freshman year and looking at myself in the memory and saying to myself "I wonder when I am going to look grown up".
Time gets away from you. Have to remember to cuddle more with my daughter before she grows up!

Oh the joys of waiting

I still have absolutely no idea about travelling. I was supposed to hear last night about what the new process is going to be for my agency.....but I got nothing! Strangely though, I am OK with that. I will just wait it out. I was hoping to maybe be able to go for my first trip around mother's day and I found a pretty good flight. I will just wait.

Now I must vent about the CRAZY people I have to work with! I don't usually talk about work much - although I kind of intended this blog to have some posts about being a surgical intern and a single mom....there really aren't that many of us out there! Although I am going into anesthesiology next year, so I don't REALLY count as a surgery resident! I had a feeling going into this year of surgery that it might make me a little more....ummmm...bitchy really is the word. There is a lot of work to be done and not a lot of time to do it. I have a low tolerance for people who are not clear and concise in their requests of me. Tell me what you need, give me all of the information and I will get it done. I don't think that is asking too much on a professional level! There is a woman physician who works with one of the medicine teams where I am now that is working my last nerve!!!!! She calls me for consults - in other words, she is taking care of patients that she feels have surgical issues. Her job is to work up the patients and determine what medical problems they have - if during that work up she finds a surgical problem - she calls me to evaluate them. She has been calling me for the last 2 days on patients that she doesn't know any information on that have not had appropriate testing and that DON"T have surgical problems. She is wasting my time and making me very bitchy.
I don't like being bitter and angry at the incompetency of others...particularly because I know that I am also very inexperienced and there is much left for me to learn. The annoying incompetency of others makes me angry and stressed out and makes me long for this year to be over!!!! Maybe I will place a countdown clock.
I feel I must say, though, that I have really, really enjoyed doing a surgery intern year. I have learned a lot and highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

twinkle baby



This is the little bonding doll I have been trying to stink up for the last week! One of my friends is heading to pick up her son next weekend and is kind enough to take a couple of things for Zebastian - such as this doll and a little photo album of me and my daughter. Since his medical does not have any kind of size info - I am hoping that she will be able to eyeball him for sizes too. Although, now that I have to do 2 trips...I will see him first hand before I get to bring him home....yippee...2 - 3 extra months of my son living in an orphanage. Still, I am super glad that the country is still open - especially with the closing of Russia this week. I really am starting to bounce back to optimism. I have no idea how the 2 trips are going to be packaged...if it is 2 weeks each trip....well that could pose a real problem for me. Of course I will find a way to do it. If it could be one week each time...well that actually would be better for me that one 2 week trip. My daughter now wants a pink twinkle baby so this one will have a sister. I have to primp now to take some pictures for my little sassy teething photo album for Zebby.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It IS a small world

So Kyrgyzstan is going to a 2 trip process for all! The process for me and my agency is still a little unclear. Our in country coordinator is talking to "the man" on Friday and I should know what hoops I will be jumping through by Monday! I have had a very trying couple of days. I found out about the change to 2 trips 2 nights ago and have been worrying and obsessing about how I was going to find the time off of work, and someone to watch my daughter. I was so emotionally exhausted this morning I started considering withdrawing from Kyrgyzstan and considering Uzbekistan - I even joined the Uzbekistan yahoo forum and called some agencies for information. When I say I was seriously considering it...I mean it.
Then, I got Zeb's medical which is remarkable in it's complete healthiness. I noticed that he had been in the baby house since February 2006 - so I emailed Amira (of golden road to samargand fame!) to see if she knew him. I got the most wonderfull emails full of information about him and after more than a few tears - I was filled with rejuvenated energy to make this work. There is a picture of a one year old blond, blue-eyed little boy on her website in the babyhouse category who is sticking out his tongue...all I am saying is ...isn't he supercute?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Abandonment

As I am sitting at the VA medical center on Easter sunday....all alone....on surgery call....I am pondering abandonment. Things that come to mind:
1. What will he remember about the actual process of being abandoned - I totally remember things from before I turned 2.
2. What was his life before he was abandoned - is it possible that a mother who could leave her baby alone in the street could have loved and cuddled and provided a warm and nurturing infancy? Is it possible - maybe but I just don't think it likely. I could be way off and I could be making assumptions and judgements that I have no right to make. I can imagine the best case scenario but I am much more likely to believe the worst....what mother doesn't imagine the worst.
3. How do they determine his age? I am a doctor so you would think I have some sort of insight into something like this...my best guess is teeth and developmental skills...seriously I have no idea.
4. How in the world do I phrase his adoption story to him....I know there must be books out there with advice on that subject...I am just not there yet on my reading list!

I wish I knew a little bit more of what to expect. I wish I knew more about him.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Toddling along

I received the picture of the toddler referral that I have been obsessing about for the last week. He is truly adorable....caucasian, blond hair and looks more than a little impish or maybe a little scared I can't decide which. I am still waiting for the medical.
When I started this process I wanted a 2 year old....I requested a 2 year old girl...but I love the toddler age. As soon as I got the call that there was a 2 year old that had become available....I knew I would probably choose the toddler. I am still waiting for the medical to make my final decision.
I have experienced something very new to me.....nonsupportive feedback from my family. Since sharing with my parents that I am leaning toward the 2 year old....my dad related worry that if Zeb has attachment problems he might hurt my daughter, my mom just keeps talking and talking about eye contact and told me that I wouldn't have enough time to dedicate to helping him adjust. My daughters father actually said that there must be something wrong with the little guy for someone to have abandoned him. Another example of why he is my EX husband.

I just read The Weaver's Craft and it isn't terrifying. I had read a review of it that said if you read it - you will change your mind about adopting a toddler. It didn't make me want to change my mind. It makes me worry a little. I am a single mom who obviously can't quit my job and stay home with my kids. I have to worry that I might not be up to the worst case scenario and I always plan for the worst case scenario.....it is part of my charm. I think I can do it though.

One of my online adoption friends who is on her third international adoption says referral time is the worst time....you think it would be the best most exciting part. Maybe it is for some people...for me it hasn't been. I have had a lot of mixed feelings and a lot of choices to make with what seems to be inadequate information or at the very least incomplete information.

Monday, April 2, 2007

toddler clothes


So I think it is pretty clear that I am moderately obsessed with shopping for my new son. Since I do not know for sure if he will be 4 months or 22 months old - I have spent my down time at work today combing the internet for some cute toddler boy clothes. It is not as easy as you might think. I am not a big fan of cutesy dress clothes for toddler boys....I prefer a more of a rough and tumble style. I found a couple of cute things at Baby Gap and Hana Anderson. I even found some cute things at Sears. But I hit the cute toddler boy clothes jackpot at www.tuttibella.com. I worked at a coffee shop for years before my stint as a craps dealer and before medical school......and let me tell you....sugar in the raw is where it's at! There are a bazillion cute shirts, jackets and pants. I highly recommend it!

so funny

http://www.earlifts.com/index.html?directLoad

I am on call at the VA and it is a little slow. I am probably driving everyone crazy emailing them over and over! I am also running CNN as background noise and the funniest tv commercial came on...so I tried to find a picture on the website to post her....but there isn't just one picture so if you want a giggle - check this out! There is a video too.

Sometimes there is downtime in a surgical prelim year!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

When it rains it pours...

I talked to Dr. Chambers at UAB International Adoption Clinic on Friday night. She has some of the same concerns I did. There was a short 5 sentence paragraph that seemed to be describing assymetrical weakness - that along with the weird twisty-turny picture was a little concerning to Dr Chambers...she didn't feel like she could really stratify this little guy into a risk category. So I asked my coordinator to try to get recent measurements and a new picture of him in a neutral position. I also wanted her to ask the coordinator in country if he seemed to move like other babies - symmetrically with spasticity...that kind of thing. Anyway, he really is super cute.
The pouring part....before I got the consult with Dr. Chambers, my coordinator called to say that there was another little boy who will be 2 in May that just became eligible for adoption - was I interested in seeing him as well. If you have read earlier entries - you will know that I initially went into the process hoping for a toddler. So I am very excited about seeing his medical info and his picture. I have done a lot of reading in the past about toddler adoption and some of the unique issues that accompany it - but I kind of flushed all that out of my brain when it seemed unlikely that I would get a toddler referral. Now I am frantically trying to relocate that info and get more on toddler adoptions. As soon as I get the medical and picture of this new little guy, I will have Dr Chambers look at it - then it looks like I will have a serious decision to make.
I would greatly appreciate any online resources any of you might have out there on toddler adoptions!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power