Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
ACK...I don't even know what to do and it is Saturday so noone is in any office anywhere.
And...by the way....Parliament discussed international adoption yesterday in Kyrgyzstan and my 1600 might not even matter because if our case isn't officially already logged in we have to wait until sometime after October when they decide if they are going to ratify the Hague at which time I will need to file a stupid 1800A instead of the I 600A that I may or may not have approval for right now...and who do I have to obsess about this with...you guessed it...2 boys under the age of 3...and I am pretty sure the only thing Z cares about is more sunny D.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
I know I was depressed yesterday...and I maybe a little depressed today...although i think I am snapping out of it. All in all I am super lucky and I have so much to look forward to...my present is pretty great too. I started thinking about what in my life makes it so great.
I think it is that I have so many plans and things to look forward to. One of our favorite things to do is talk about the future and things we are going to do.....whether it is building our super house/compound or the trips we are going to take. Our lives right now are like the lives of children...we feel like we have so many options and opportunities. I haven't always felt this way...there have been times in my life when I felt totally helpless and powerless and futureless. Now that was not fun at all.
So sometimes when i get a little depressed about whatever...I remind myself that I have hope. Seriously. I sometimes get upset and a little wrapped up in the world of being stuck in the adoption process with no idea of when/if it is going to reopen.....I need to remind myself that I still have hope. The door is not closed and locked. Keith is a lot more levelheaded about the whole thing...I think part of the reason is he has no idea what is going on or not going on as the case may be. I know he thinks about it...but he doesn't dwell on it or read 50 emails a day from the Kyrgyzstan adoption forums (even thought I really like reading them!). The forums just aren't as fun when noone is bringing anyone home or getting new referrals or shopping and sharing cute pictures of clothes.
I can't wait until things get moving again so I can read some happy, hopefull blog posts. Hey everyone get off of facebook and update your blogs!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I read that Paliament in KG had international adoption on their docket for April 24 - so I had been feeling very positive. I guess I just don't know where we stand - I don't know if we are a pipeline family or not. Most of our dossier is not in KG, but some of the documents are there and I don't know if we are going to be waiting for years or not.
Honestly, if we didn't have a referral and if we weren't completely committed to getting Aaron home, we would switch countries. I guess we don't have a whole lot of options of countries anyway since Keith and I have been married less than 2 years and the newest addition to our family was less than a year ago. I know lots of people are working on concurrent domestic adoptions...but I just don't think that domestic adoption is for us. We are definitely called to international adoption.
We are waiting for Aaron, no matter how long it takes. I just don't know if there is another child somewhere we are supposed to bring home before we bring home Aaron. Maybe I just have a caffeine deficiency and everything will look better if I go get a delicious 2 pump mocha.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
For a mere $50 donation you can get this super cool necklace. I am hoping to get one for mother's day.....hint...hint.
we recently signed up with from hiv to home to walk to raise money for
I am not much of a fundraiser...seriously. I am the type of person who would rather write a check than try to raise funds. I think it stems from my shyness or my flawed over-independent streak (you know I don't need you I don't need anybody - type thing..insert slamming bedroom door here!). However, my family has signed up to participate in the walking kids home fundraiser because I really, really, really want to raise awareness not just money. Having HIV is NOT a death sentence, having an HIV positive child in your home does not pose a risk to your family as long as you act rationally.
We are not currently adopting an HIV positive child, I would not rule it out for the future. Even as a physician I had not seriously considered an HIV positive child before and I really was not familiar with the reality of raising an HIV positive child until I started researching it thanks to an internet acquaintance who is in the process of adopting an HIV positive kiddo. Through her blog and her experiences, it is something I would seriously consider in the future. So maybe there is someone reading this blog who thinks this necklace is cool (because it totally is) and will click on those links and learn a little bit more about HIV adoptions. Maybe if I can find someway to raise awareness around here, someone might talk to me, read the pamphlet and an HIV positive child might find a family.
I am still trying to figure out what I can do to start the conversation with people and raise awareness...I will update when I figure it out. If anyone has any suggestions I am all ears (or eyes in the comments section)
By the way, From HIV to home provides educational resources and helps raise money to help fund the adoptions of HIV positive kids. They create a community for parents who are interested in learning more about adopting HIV positive kids and they provide a community that helps you through the process and beyond the process.
I heard a PSA on NPR the other day..."don't almost give....give". You may have heard it before. I hadn't heard it before...but it is sooo me. I have good intentions and I certainly think big...but I haven't put nearly as much good in the world as I have intended to. I keep telling myself that as soon as my stupid residency is over and I have paid off my ridiculous bills I will be able to go big. Keith and I have even come up with this grandiose 5 year plan of getting everything in order financially so we can go on crazy mission trips. I think we can still plan big...but I need to do smaller, more doable things along the way. Yes, we do give money on a monthly basis to 3 different international children's organizations - but we can do more...I can do more.
Someone once told me I am too hard on myself and expect way too much from myself. Be that as it may....I want to somehow raise awareness on the total do-ableness of raising an HIV positive child.
Monday, April 6, 2009
1. To actually get off my butt and go to medical school. I was working as a table games supervisor at a big casino and in the process of getting my MBA. My husband at the time was mostly gone touring with his band all of the time, and I was just working to pay off our bills and try to save enough money to buy a house. I had wanted to adopt internationally and so I started looking up stuff on the internet - I was too young for China at the time and so I started looking into Kazakhstan. This was in 2000, so things didn't take quite so long there as they do now. I called and talked to some people and thought about it and decided I really wanted to adopt...so I called Catholic Charities about a homestudy and made an appointment to start a homestudy. like the next day, I woke up ...looked around by apartment. It was a super awesome apartment for a single 20-something in New Orleans...but not a place to raise a child. I started thinking about it and realized how completely dead end my job and life were. Yeah, I was making pretty good money and had health insurance, a good matching 401K. I wanted more for myself professionally and more for my kids. So, I cancelled the homestudy visit, signed up for the MCAT and started studying like a mad woman.
2. I chose my medical school because it was very, very family friendly and in a relatively affordable city. Durel was mad because he thought I should have chosen one in LA or San Francisco so he could live in a cool place where he had some rock and roll friends...regardless of the price or our ability to afford food after we paid rent. He also went immediately into denial that Iwas going to go to medical school and that I was leaving New Orleans - he refused to ever talk to me about it at all...so even though I tried to include him in the decisions he refused to be included.
3. After medical school you have to participate in "The Match". Where you send a standardized application to all of the residency programs you are interested in and if they are interested in you, they ask you to come interview. After you interview at all of your programs you make a list, all theprograms make a list and a computer matches your list and voila...you are contractually obligated to train at a residency program. I remember agonizing over my match list....first a new orleans program was number one, then UAB, then new orleans, then UAB. UAB is by far the superior program in terms of reputation, and training. Professionally it was the better program. I had spent several months in new orleans with Lilianna after Katrina and I can tell you that Birmingham was far superior for raising a family at that point...no question. I suspected it would be the complete end of my marriage if I chose UAB....I guess I kind of knew that it was over already. Perhaps my first clue was that after he went to an interview dinner with me in Tucson...on the way home he said "you can tell all those wives are totally psyched to be married to a doctor...I don't want to be married to a doctor".
4. After I matched to UAB, I didn't match to an intern year so I had to spend one day just frantically calling all the programs with a vacancy in an intern class..looking for a job. I got a couple of offers, but chose one in Tucson becuase i knew the only people who would actually help me with my daughter were my parents. Certainly not Durel or his mother - she always had an excuse of why she couldn't help. Of course, she was not obligated to help I don't believe that anyone is entitled to anything - including myself! If I wanted to make it through my intern year, I needed help and I knew Lilianna's dad wouldn't provide it. So I decided to stay in Tucson.
5. I had May and June off between medical school and residency. I had so much free time that I spent hours reading and looking random things up on the internet. This is when I started looking up international adoption stuff again. Myplan was to start information gathering and then when we moved to Birmingham start the process to adopt. The more i looked at my life, the more I realized that I could not bring another child into the dysfunctional and miserable marriage I was in. So I did what all good wives do in this situation...i issued an ultimatum. Move to Tucsan with your family and go to marriage counselling with me or I am divorcing you.....a divorce ensued.
6. More internet research, divorce finalized on Friday, October 13. Randomly in October I saw that Commonwealth was having an informational meeting about international adoption so I totally sprang it on my mom out of the blue and she came to meeting with me. I mulled it over for a couple of days and I remember when I made the decision to start the process. I was sitting in morning rounds in the surgical icu. I was exhausted and literally sitting on a swivelly bar stool thing outside one of the ICU rooms listening to someone present some patient and I just got this giddy feeling of super excitement and thought to myself "I am totally going to do this and maybe my new child is out there right now waiting for me". Boy there were a million reasons to talk myself down, but I just felt like it was right and I needed to do it and everything would work out OK.
7. Marrying Keith....Ok...that was all for me! I feel like Keith is some prize I got for making all of the hard decisions I made. Like all of those other decisions where I prioritized things I thought best for my family...got me to the finish line of a race and Keith was there with a trophy. Those decisions were hard, I agonized a long time about each of them and even though the choices I made were not immediately the apparent good choice - they turned out to be the best choices I ever made.
Change is good, hard decisions stink - but they can improve your life. I sometimes wonder what my life would look like if I had stayed at the Casino back in 2002 instead of starting medical school. I don't know what it would look like, but I am 100% sure it wouldn't be as awesome as it is right now. At least once a day I feel soooo gratefull for my life and I don't think I ever felt that way the entire time I lived in New Orleans. Well maybe once...I was at a crawfish boil at audobon park next to the Mississippi river, it wasn't too hot yet, there was nice breeze coming off the river and two barges sliding past each other on the river. The potatos were perfectly cooked and seasoned and I had no place to go or anything hanging over my head. I was just chilling out with some good food, my best friends and beautiful weather. Seriously, just that once.
The kids were playing rockband Saturday night, O playing drums, Lilianna singing, Zeb singing into his rattle microphone that we have to keep with the all of the playstation components so he can pretend he is playing and Benjamin combat crawling all over and happily squawking while Keith and I did the dishes and laundry, respectively. Somewhere, Bon Jovi's ears were burning as all of the kids sang "Wanted Dead or Alive".
"This is it, " I said to Keith"we are living the dream".