Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In record time!

So we officially sent off our homestudy and USCIS application about 2 weeks ago...actually the homestudy left our agency's office on it's way to the DHR office that has to approve it on February 10th. We got our fingerprint appointment notification last Monday for an appointment on Feb 27th.....which of course I completely couldn't make.
So I was postcall on Thursday and Keith and I decided to just show up at the fingerprint office in Birmingham and see if we could knock it out...and they were more than happy to oblige. I had been warned that this office was notoriously bad for making people come at their appointed time...but we didn't find the workers there to be inconvenienced at all...everyone there was super....duper nice. I don't mean to sound mean....but it was like it wasn't even a government office!
Today I got an email that our Homestudy was approved by the state of Alabama last week and our homestudy forwarded to Atlanta last Friday. I know we are a great family and are perfectly suited to add more kids...but I always worry everytime I have to be approved for something. ..so I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Our dossier has started the translation process...as soon as we get that pesky 171H we will get certified at the county and state and then off it goes for authentication at national and Kyrgyz Embassy.
I am sure right now there are very few documents getting authenticated at the Kyrgyz embassy...so that part will move pretty fast I hope!
I am excited to be through DHR...I was worried it could have taken 2-3 months. The Atlanta USCIS page says that it is 5 months behind in processing i600A's so I hope I am pleasantly surprised by them too!
Tonight Lilianna and I will be baking little king cakes to celebrate Mardi Gras...I will post what kind of disaster abounds!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Super Awesome weekend

Friday morning started out sketchy at best...I was running late and had a tire blowout about 5 minutes from home on I59. Keith had to get all of the kids up at 530 and come get me...however...he decided to get everyone ready for school first so I sat on the side of the road for 40 minutes while everyone ate breakfast bars. Keith is just used to getting everything done...it probably didn't even occur to him that I was actually capable of getting the kids ready while he changed the tire....maybe I am not capable of getting the kids ready...I don't even know for sure. I am sure I am not capable of changing my tire!
I finally got to work...walked into my OR just as my attending was basically starting my case all by himself...I felt like a jack ass. I did call at like 545am when my tire blew...but didn't get to work until almost 9am...very bad beginning of the day.
I worked a little bit of overtime on Friday..about 5 hours worth then headed home.
Keith had bought Swiss Family Robinson and we watched that movie...I had forgotten how funny it was.
Saturday I was supposed to go to a review coarse...but instead I stayed home and had such a relaxing weekend. O had a basketball game at about 8 am so I stayed home with the other kids while Keith went to the game. When they got home around 10am...I had the house cleaned, the laundry 90% done and Lilianna was knee deep in time4learning. It was soo relaxing. Later some neighbor kids came over and harassed Keith downstairs for a while. We watched a movie Sat night with popcorn.
It was just a super relaxing weekend with a clean house....making it from stressfree. I had a really good weekend even though the Friday did not bode well.
It makes me that much more anxious to get out of my residency program and find a real job..where I get more than one weekend a month off.

It is such a super stressfull time thinking about what is going on in Kyrgyzstan - it was just nice weekend of stress-freeness.

We have the pinewood derby next weekend but other than that I am off again....yippee. Although I definitely need to pick up some overtime...baby needs a new pair of shoes!

I am on call today...so in New Orleans tradition I will be staying up all night for Lundi Gras....Pardi Gras brah! haha. Another carnival season has passed with no King Cakes for me...I miss you Randazzo's King Cake!

Friday, February 13, 2009

H..only like the best letter...the extended remix

I can't believe how lucky I was to get the letter H...it is truly the best letter. There are so many great things that begin with H and so many that are relevant to my current adoption journey.

1. Home - that is so much more than just house. My ex husband, Lilianna's dad, said to me that he thought Lilianna should come live with him because he knows what it is like to be from a broken home. That is true...all he knows is how to live in a broken home. This difference was really at the root of the end of that marriage. All I have ever known is how to live in a healthy, supportive home. I was so lucky growing up to have a wonderfull family that showed me how to provide a real home to my children. Ithink there is a language of family and home...like English. I grew up listening to well - educated people use the English language appropriately...as a result...I have a feel for what the right word choice is or how to correctly conjugate a verb even though I may not intellectually know the rule that I am following. It is just a feeling that it is right. I do take some liberties with punctuation...so sue me! Children that grow up in an environment where they are not exposed to a supportive, loving, functional family don't inherently know the rules to creating that for their own children. I don't think it is impossible for them...it is just harder and they have to learn how to do it and work harder at it that someone who grew up and learned it by osmosis. I guess there are lots of different areas that is true....religion, morality, human kindness, eating vegetables (haha).

2. Hugs - I have an abundance of hugs at my house. Lilianna has a way of completely melting onto you when she gives you a hug. She just gloms on and the way she is able to balance on you she becomes as light as a feather. it is really amazing - it is like she weighs nothing. Zeb is a little hesitant at first...you say "Zeb, can I have a hug?" and of course he says NO because he is 2....then trepidatiously leans in with just his head...when he gets about 4 inches from your shoulder he throws his whole body at you and it becomes more like tackle...and he wiggles and wiggles as if he is trying to get as super close as he can. The closest Benjamin comes to a hug is when he falls asleep on my chest...which I love. I imagine that Benjamin is completely comfortable, relaxed, and feels safe and warm listening to my heart beat. Which is the same way I feel when Keith hugs me. I have a wonderfull sense of rightness with Keith's hugs - I could go on all day about how so totally right it is that Keith is my husband...but that is a totally different H word!

3. Happiness - I was probably a little more angst ridden in my teen years than most. A little anger and a little insecurity mixed with the meanness of teen girls leads to a very, very long road to happiness. I am not sure I can even define to myself when I first became happy. I am 100% sure it was after I realized that I was not the person I was trying to be in my 20's. It is funny, when I was in college I decided I wanted to be this rock and roll person ...but I never really felt comfortable around all of the crazy rock and rollers I met and hung out with. I always felt a little bit like I had multiple personalities...my studious good samaritan self and my angry guitar playing, irresponsible punk rock self. These two personalities dualed more than once. At different points in my life I favored one over the other and found some happiness with each one...but there would always be moments of conflict. Finally I reached the point where punk rock therapy was no longer helpfull and only allowed me to dwell on my negative experiences in life. I really started on my way to happiness when I started medical school...doctor heal thyself! I have to say, I can't believe how happy I am today. Happiness is one of the best H words in the world.

4. Husband - when I was in high school, I always imagined myself as a single mom. I had a very specific idea of who I would be when I grew up...I suppose most teen agers do. I was going to be a single mom, businesswoman with a daughter named Samantha and a nanny. I had even imagined I would live in an apartment where the door was actually the elevator opening up into your foyer...I was 15 yo and I had a plan..haha. When I divorced Lilianna's dad...once again...I was going to be a single mom...I even bought a house and adopted Zeb. This whole husband thing was not for me - i was sure. Sometime between October and June - my whole life changed for the better. I was very disillusioned and didn't even believe in real love....you know I thought it must be a construct of the media.... Sleepless in Seattle, Hart to Hart (my favorite tv married couple ever)...I thought it must all be made up. It is real though and I never would have found it on my own...insert plug for E-Harmony here. I thought Iwas happy before I met Keith...in fact, I was the happiest I had ever been...in retrospect, my life was so hard. It is kind of scary for me to be so in love with my husband because there is finally the acknowledgement that I really can not do it all on my own. My husband has made my home the happiest it has ever been.

5. Honesty - I don't really have a lot to say about honesty because it is a great big beautiful word...but the truth is that the truth is different no matter who you ask - right? But I love the idea that there is honesty out there. I always try to be honest with myself and honest with everyone I interact with...I may be a little blunt but the more words you use the easier it is for the truth to get lost or misunderstood.

6. Higher power - I believe there is a higher power and I believe that there is something looking out for me and for you - I think it would be very pridefull to say that I know what or who that something is. I don't believe in hard core predetermination, but I do believe that if things are meant to happen they will happen. But you have the choice to put yourself out there for things to happen to you.

7. Hope - it springs eternal.

8. Health - this is something that is so easily taken for granted. After spending the last 2 months at Children's...I am not taking it for granted. I feel really lucky that my children are healthy and that the rest of my family is healthy.

9. Haiku - by far my favority form of poetry. I still remember my favoritest Haiku ever... which i will recite for you:
Disco Chicken Dance
Chicken bust a tricky move
Groove with ME chicken

10. Hershey's chocolate - I am not a fancy person, I like chocolate for the masses. I do like some fancier chocolate every once and a while...but my favorite is Hershey's dark.

It took me a super long time to finish this and I know I wrote way too much....so a quick recap for those with attention spans equal to mine and couldn't actually read through all of this writing!

10Hershey's chocolate

I have posted late...but if you want in and don't have a letter yet leave a comment.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Children's hospital

Today is my last day at Children's Hospital...I am sooo sad to leave. I have had such a great time coming to work for the last two months. Now I have to go back to UAB uggg. Working here is so laid back and fun - everyone has been so nice.
So, my little study break is to list all of the little things I will miss at Children's hospital:
1. Donuts...there are delicious, free donuts everyday in the OR physician's lounge.
2. Coffee...there is a flavia individual cup coffee maker thing that is awesome and they have unlimited little french vanilla creamers
3. Lunch..there is a physician lunch room with free food (ok most days it is not so appetizing) there is always free diet dr.pepper.
4.Sleeping on call...needs no explanation..although we are on call every 4th night...it could be so much worse.
5. Attendings who have social skills....oh did I say that out loud. Seriously, there are some very good attendings at UAB..however, there are a couple that are soooo horrible they completely cancel the good ones out.
6. Cute little patients that when asked how they broke their arm reply.." i was pretending I was a monkey on a tree like this ooh oooh aaah...aaaah"...so cute.
7. You know how some people, myself included, love little baby feet or baby fingers...well I have to give a shout out to baby epiglottis-es...they are so tiny and bright pink...they are sooo cute. Of course in the wrong situation it is a little terrifying when that is all you can see. Yes...I know it is completely crazy but grown up eppiglotisses are all dark red and spitty....not cute at all.
8. I don't have to be here until 630-ish and I still have time to eat a donut or two before the first case.

So I will miss you Children's Hospital...I will be back sometime next year for 2 months and I can't wait.

Friday, February 6, 2009


So in my new spirit of optimism I had prepared all of my paperwork for notarizing on Wednesday when i was post call...I got everything done...I mean ...everything was notarized and I was just waiting for my notarized homestudy so I could go next week to get things certified in my county and then for the state certification. Then Wednesday night I got an email that I needed to get another child abuse clearance for the state of Louisiana...which I hadn't officially lived in in the last 5 years. I was furious and I totally lost it.
We had been just sitting on our hands for 6 months while we waited for 6 months to pass since Benjamin's birth. We had gotten all of our other clearances done so that we would be ready to go...I ranted and I raved for hours....I couldn't get to sleep that night. I was just beside myself with frustration....it really isn't like me to lose it that way about something like this....but I did.
Then I filled in the request and Keith faxed it to the homestudy agency Thursday morning...the day our homestudy was supposed to be sent to the state of Alabama for approval. He also faxed it to Louisiana. I settled in for a wait...you know....i figured getting clearance from a state would take a week at best. By 320pm, I received an email that my homestudy agency had received the clearance and were mailing out my homestudy.
So, the moral of the story is....boy am I an idiot for having a totaly come apart and losing an entire night of sleep over something like that !

Monday, February 2, 2009


So I have been feeling very optimistic the last week. On Friday we got our dependent care refund check...yeah extra money...our homestudy is done (and now actually paid for), our I600A is en route to Atlanta. On Saturday, I worked an extra shift and 2 of my patients were named Aaron. Today, one of the kids I saw preoperatively at the children's hospital had the same birthday as Aaron...and then at lunch time I got a somewhat unexpected email with 3 new pictures of him and ...get this....a video is on it's way to me. I am feeling just so super optimistic. I can't believe all of the pictures, now a video and 2 people who have met Aaron and talked with him (via Kuba). I feel so lucky to be able to hear about him. So my cup is definitely half-full.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power