Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lilianna's home...

We met Lilianna and her dad half way between here and New Orleans on Sunday and she is home! I was soooo beat this last week that I didn't get the house cleaned at all and her room is a mess!
We started to take stuff out of her room because we were planning on putting up the crib in there for Benjamin...so...basically....that means everything came off of her shelf and was put in the middle of the floor and then we never did anything with it....It is bad. Cub scouts swallowed up monday and tuesday nights and I am on call tonight, so my poor daughter is living in a truly unbelievable mess. Tomorrow we will rectify the situation!

L has also been going to ballet camp which she totally loves. She hasn't gotten in trouble once...that we have heard about...yeah! This Friday she will turn 6 years old. I totally can't believe it.

She has been doing pretty good since coming back from her dad's. To say that she is the center of the universe in New Orleans would likely be an understatement...so bringing her back to life with siblings has had its moments!

The biggest challenge is reminding her to be a first time listener. She will literally ignore you when you say something she doesn't want to hear...so reminding her that that is not an acceptable behavior has been great fun......(that is sarcasm). However, I must say, she has been doing remarkable well compared to some of the other times she has returned from NOLA.

I totally need to post pictures...I need to take more pictures actually! I will take some at Lilianna's birthday on Friday. We are not having a party - we are just going to Fox's Pizza with the neighbors and having cake.

Still waiting to hear from Beacon House about whether we are acceptable adoptive parents! Hope the answer is yes. They still need to talk to our references...only one of my friends has gotten back with her so far...move it guys! haha. Likely I will finish up all of the homestudy update stuff this weekend so we can get it rolling next week if we are approved. Then we can officially start looking for new bunk beds or loft things for the girls' room.

by the way...the boys are doing much better sleeping in the same room. At least I have been sooooo completely exhausted that I don't hear anyone crying at night.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

sloww down....

Dude...I am never going to try to fit that much overtime into one week again...I am still tired!

Today the brood went to the UAB international adoption clinic seminar for prospective adoptive parents. I pulled out my old school construction paper trifold and we loaded up the computers so we could pull up my two favorite HIV+ adoption websites (positively adopted and positively orphaned)...we had a couple of little handouts...and I even pulled up the Reeses Rainbow HIV Angel's adoption page and advocated for the little 4 year old boy in the Ukraine that I think is soooo totally cute.

I met a couple who is already in process to adopt 2 HIV+ kids from the Ukraine and I met a couple who has now added HIV to their acceptable special needs form for their adoption...and so i feel like today was successfull. Just to find one couple who would not have considered HIV if I hadn't done this is totally awesome. I really had just hoped to maybe plant a seed somewhere...I felt so lucky that someone shared with me that they had opened up their heart to allow for the possibility of adopting an HIV+ child. Now I am worried that I sound prideful...I am not trying to......

In other news....we moved the crib back into Zeb's room and for the first time in Benjamin's 13 months..he is sleeping in a crib and not a pack and play. We were going to put Benjamin in Lilianna's room with her...but since we have decided on adopting a girl this go round we will need the girls to bunk together. So Benjamin is in with Zeb. We wanted to avoid it because we thought they would keep each other awake. We are on night 2 of the Zeben all night cry-fest....turns out our first inclination about them keeping each other awake was pretty right on! I think we are going to give it another couple of nights and see if it settles out....part of it may be Ben sleeping in a new bed. We shall see!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

230 am in the OR

I picked up an extra overnight shift.....sometimes you sleep and get paid...other times you sit in the OR all night long....unfortunately I m sitting in the OR alllllll night looooong.

I am trying to earn some extra money before Lilianna comes home and brings the joy of trying to undo the unrestrained freedom of her dad's house.

I was doing a little moonlighting calculation on my way to work tonight. I worked ton in the last 3 weeks. The extra paycheck for the first two weeks of moonlighting will come to us this Friday and there will be 42 hours on it. This week I will have worked 18 hours of overtime. I feel like a total work horse. ...However, I was doing the math and here it is...
Monday i was on call so 7am to 7am tuesday (24 hours) then i went home until 11pm and worked 11p to 7a and then 7a until 3pm (16h). then I went home and I came back to work at 11pm and will work until 11pm tomorrow (24h). Then I go home and come back at 6 ish and work until 3 (9h)...so altogether I will have worked only like 70 hours. I may work extra on Friday...i am scheduled but i am trying to get rid of it.

It sounds like a lot...but it is like 10 - 30 hours less week than i was working my intern year and I am getting paid extra for at least 18 hours of it!

Only 20 more hours to go!

I know this post as ridiculously mundane! I may post again as I sit here bored to tears in a middle of the night arm revascularization.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Anything but work.....

My mind is swirling from all kinds of things today. Mostly I am reminded how true the addage "ignorance is bliss" really is. My life was so much easier and so simple when I didn't know how many children didn't have families and when I hadn't seen sets of little eyes looking into my eyes looking for someone to hold them and love them.

I would say probably everyone that reads this blog is touched by adoption and by orphaned children in some way...y'all know the statistics..every 18 seconds (or 14 seconds depending on your stats!) another child becomes an orphan. How do you wrap your head around that number.

I have come to a conclusion today...they can not all move into my house. That's right people....I can't adopt them all. We do not have enough bathrooms for 143 million kids to move into our house...even with another set of bunkbeds. So, I guess what I have to do is find a way to get more families to adopt some of them.

Tomorrow, Keith and I are meeting with the Pastor at our church to propose an adoption ministry. We have ordered books, veiwed websites, downloaded videos...there are some amazing churches with amazing people who are totally taking kids out of orphanages one kid at a time and making a difference.

His Kids, Our Homes - among other things finding homes for kids at Beacon House...
Project 127 - A ministry in Colorado that's mission is to find adoptive families for the eligible kids in their local foster care system and then support those families as a community
Here I am Orphan Ministries - I saw a video about this church's ministry and they were so successful raising awareness and interest in adoption..at one point the number of Russian speaking kids outnumbered English speakers in their children's bible classes...this is a small town in Texas
Show Hope - formerly Shoahannah's Hope started by Steven Curtis Chapman...most people in adoption know about his mission to help make adoptions affordable and many adoptive families I know have recieved funding from this organization.
Kingdom Kids - They have a great mission...encourage, educate and equip. How proactive is that?!
From HIV to Home- y'all know how much I love this ministry...paving the way home for kids with HIV.
Saddleback Church - You can always count on Rick Warren to have a take on something biblically based (like caring for orphan's really is!) and you can always count on there being an acronym.
Our Creator's Hope - Started by a couple who wanted to make a difference by helping families finance their adoptions...it is totally DIY and is a great example that anyone with a heart for adoption can do something to help kids get home.

Since, I have finally admitted that I can not adopt all 143 million kids...I suppose I really have to step up and do something about helping some of these kids find homes.

I found a statistic that 80% of people consider or think about adoption at some point in their lives, but only about 2% go through with it. Why is that? What can I do to change those numbers? What stops people from adopting? Awareness, money, family or community support...what exactly is it? So here is what I am thinking....

1. Provide easy access to information, education and make people aware of how awesome adoption is before they even get to the thinking about it stage. Constant and loud pestering...I mean ...awareness and educating at an informal level and at a formal level.

2. Fundraising for a central church fund to grant out to potential adoptive families and help each adoptive family fundraise...although I totally don't do garage sales...I am willing to bet there is someone at Clearbranch that is a garage sale genius.

3. Families that adopt and especially families that foster sometimes need help - how hard is it for a couple to go out with each other for a dinner and a movie if they have 10 kids...ummmmm...yeah they need a couple of volunteer babysitters! It is expensive to foster children and believe me...these families are not making money off of raising these kids. Maybe people who don't feel called to adopt or foster could "adopt" a foster family and help them out...support them with babysitting, taking one or more of the kids shopping for school supplies or a back to school outfit...maybe purchase a membership at the McWayne center or the Zoo for them.

I know a lot about international adoption and I recently met an amazing woman who is very involved with the foster care system here...that sounds like a team to me.

If any of you guys have ministries at your churches or non profits I would love...love...love...love suggestions, weblinks etc.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another shot....


We have officially decided to take another shot at international adoption. I find it very unlikely that anything will happen in the world of Kyrgyzstan adoptions for the rest of this year and into next...so we sent in an application today to an orphanage in Ghana (well the application gets sent to volunteer coordinators in the US actually) for an independent adoption. The orphanage is called Beacon House and there have been a couple of divine coincidences in our decision to adopt from there...which I will go into.....


There is a certain little girl we have in mind at that orphanage, but first we have to be approved by the orphanage director to adopt from Beacon House and then she will decide if this little girl will fit into our family.


You all may remember that we decided we were going to adopt from Ghana like 2 years ago...then we had to wait a year to get an approval from our state ( I hate you Alabama...did I type that out loud..sorry). Then we had Benjamin and decided to go back to Kyrgyzstan...mainly because we love...love...love Saule, our in country facilitator, and we felt very confident in her ethics, we also felt that the care the kids got there was really good and we felt good that any child Saule would refer to us would be a wonderful little kid. We already have a connection to Kyrgyzstan and that would just make homeland travel that much easier! haha.


Then the big M...the shut down and the waiting. Some people have been waiting so long it is ridiculous and they are on the official list. We are not even on the official and can't get on the official list to get our dossier certified....so I believe with my whole heart that we are not going to get through before Kyrgyzstan votes on the Hague and all indications are that they will go Hague. So we will be starting all over from scratch.


I have been perusing the adoption forums - Ukraine, Thailand, Russian, Ethiopia, special needs international adoption, HIV+ adoption...looking at the waiting kids on rainbowkids (there are so many wonderfull kids needing families there!). I have been on the Ghana forum since we initially wanted to adopt from Ghana - 2 years ago so I have been kind of keeping up. I know in the last 2 years other groups have splintered off that I don't have access to....orphanage and agency specific sites - but there was still a huge amount of information on the forum.


One day, when I was particularly thoughtfull on the subject of expanding our family, I saw a post from someone advocating for kids at Beacon House in Ghana on a forum other than the Ghana forum and it seemed very much like a sign.


I mentioned it to another online friend I have and she told me that she has a lot of friends who have adopted from Beacon House and a friend who knows a lot about the little girl we have in mind. What are the chances that a random person I know - albeit in the international adoption community - know multiple families who have adopted from this small independent orphanage in Ghana! People....Ghana adoptions are not hugely common in general...but all from this one orphanage...that is a coincidence.


Then the next day, I got an email from someone in Alabama who had seen my name on a forum about Ghana adoptions and she was asking me if I was still adopting from Ghana because she was starting an independent adoption from Ghana with a different orphanage...but how many people in Alabama have adopted from Ghana...I am thinking not so many. Now I have a local connection with others who are adopting from Ghana (she knows two other families in her church, I think that are also adopting from the same orphanage as she is).


Working in medicine has made me very superstitious and Cindy LaJoy has recently had a great post about Divine Coincidence. I can't believe that all of these coincidences aren't Divine.


Even more miraculous is the fact that Keith is on board..haha. He is very practical and cautious because he wants to be able to take care of us in the manner to which we have become accustomed! He had been a little not-on-board with starting another adoption with the crazy uncertainty of Kyrgyzstan looming over us. He has decided to take this risk and step out on faith...and he is all in so to speak. I love him so much it is ridiculous. Before meeting him I would have told anyone who claimed to be as in love as we are that they were ummm...how shall i put this....crazy and brainwashed. People...all I can say is join E-Harmony!


I digress...what's new!


So our application went off today. We can not adopt from Beacon House until we have been married 2 years which is not until August 26th. We sent it anyway - because the volunteers have to contact our references and check out our story. I will be honest, I have a couple of worries about whether or not we will be approved. Our length of marriage, the number of kids we have already, I am not a stay at home mom, the fact that we sort of have an adoption in progress. Although with the last item, we will change our current homestudy and I600A approval to Ghana so technically it will not be a concurrent adoption...but we will start the process again as soon as Kyrgyzstan reopens and our new daughter is home.


Our Pastor, Jerry, gave me some really good advice a couple of months ago. He said if there is an opportunity you feel like you are supposed to take...you should take it. If it is not what God wants you to do ....He will close the door. There won't be any doubt - He won't close it half-way. If you don't take the risk or take advantage of the opportunity you will never know if you were supposed to do it or not. So...we will wait and see if Beacon House approves our application!


In the meantime...check out the cute pictures I posted today of my boys out and about on the town today. We were very cultural!

Cultural Event day











Today a lot of the "cultural event" places...the museum of art, the Southern museum of flight, the zoo, botanical gardens...etc had a free open house for everyone that had a membership at one of them. We have a membership at the Mcwayne Science center and the zoo...so we were all over going to other places. We had a ton of fun at the Southern Museum of Flight...all of the cockpit pictures are from there. They had a ton of hands on things for kids...little airplane legos, toy airplanes to play on and flight simulators for the older kids. It really was fun. We may join there. Keith said when you are a member you can volunteer to help restore airplanes...I guess it is all done by volunteers there - i think my geeky boys would probably love that!
We also spent some time at Vulcan Park which has a huge statue of Vulcan you can take an elevator to the top and there is a really spectacular view of Birmingham. Zeb's picture is on a replica of Vulcan's toes.
Ben is really filling up that backpack...he was so ridiculously small when he was in it at Disneyworld! Ben is also tearing up the solid food....he loves peas, cheerios, mashed potatoes and of course, birthday cake!
We also went to the Museum of Art and saw a presentation by the Birmingham Children's theatre and a performance of Embellishments...the Hand Bell choir. We finished off our day with a brisk walk around the Botanical Gardens...it was super fun....exhausting but fun.
I think Lilianna would have really enjoyed the day...I can't wait until she comes home next weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CALL TO ACTION!

This is from the JCICS....seriously, y'all....I think this act will enable children to come home to families in the US.


CALL TO ACTION: Families For Orphans Act

Dear Friends and Families,

Anshula has recently come into an orphanage. She is four years old and alone. Where should she spend her childhood? In an orphanage? In temporary foster care? Or in a permanent and loving family?

The answer should be obvious: a safe, permanent and loving family. Unfortunately, the U.S. government and many aide organizations do not seem to agree. In fact, the U.S. sometimes spends millions of dollars, ensuring just the opposite. And while beloved organizations such as UNICEF keep millions of children alive, many believe it is better for children to live in temporary foster care than in a permanent family. The children of our world need your help to make a change. They need your help to live in a permanent family.

As a founding member of the Families For Orphans Coalition, Joint Council is proud to announce that the first step in making this much-needed change is upon us. In a bi-partisan effort, landmark legislation was introduced into Congress, which will ensure that U.S. government programs, policies and funding are directed towards a singular goal: a permanent family for every child.

The Families For Orphans Act (Senate Bill 1458 and House Bill 3070), sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) along with Representatives Diana Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR) demonstrates our collective commitment to the millions of children living outside of permanent parental care and proactively addresses a global gap in the most basic of human rights - the right to a permanent family.

While the introduction of the legislation is an important first step, there is much more to be done. Now we must ensure that the Families For Orphans Act becomes the law of the United States. To do this, your voice is needed. Speak for those to cannot speak for themselves by supporting the Families For Orphans Act and joining our Call To Action.

What can you do?

Sign the Families For Orphans petition, make three simple phone calls, and get the word out! Here are the details...

1. Sign our Petition!
Sign the Joint Council Families for Orphans Petition
The Petition will be delivered to the U.S. Congress
2. Call Congress!
On July 28th, 29th, and 30th, call your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives).
You can find your Representative at http://www.house.gov/
You can find you Senators' at http://www.senate.gov/
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff
For maximum effect, we are asking you to make these calls within this 72-hour window!
3. Get the word out!
Send this email to friends and family. Post to your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blog or website
What should you say or write to your Members of Congress?
This is an issue that is critical to children in need, so speak from your heart. Tell them why ensuring more children living in families is so important to you!
Ask your Senators and Representatives to become a Co-Sponsor of the Families for Orphans Act.
Please feel free to use the following text as a guideline when speaking with your Members of Congress.
"As a constituent of we are requesting that you support the Families For Orphans Act by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the Families For Orphans Act (Senate Bill 1458 and House Bill 3070)."
More Information

For detailed information on the Families For Orphans Act visit:
The Joint Council website (http://www.jcics.org/)
For minute-by-minute updates, see Joint Council's page on Facebook
The websites of any Families For Orphans Coalition Member (see below)
The Families For Orphans Legislation
On behalf of Joint Council, the Families for Orphans Coalition and the children of our world, we thank you for helping through your support of the Families For Orphans Act.


Rebecca Harris
Government Relations and Communications Manager

The Families For Orphans Coalition
Buckner International
EACH International
Joint Council on International Children's Services
Institute for Orphan Advocacy
Institute for Human Services
Kidsave International
National Council for Adoption
Worldwide Orphan Foundation

Joint Council on International Children's Services - 117 South Saint Asaph St Alexandria, VA 22304 - (703) 535-8045

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Busy...busy...busy

mmmmm I have been busy. Starting on july 1st i was able to moonlight again and I went a little crazy. Since July 1st I have worked 42 extra hours. I love the extra money...but hate the extra time at work...well I don't hate being at work I just hate not being at home.

Zeb is doing so good sleeping in his big boy bed! Every morning he tells dad and Ms. Dee (our awesome babysitter) all about how he slept in his big boy bed. We need to work a little bit on sleep hygeine...there is a big (I mean BIG) pile of toys in the middle of his room. My theory on bedrooms is that they are for sleeping and a few little books or toys. Bedrooms shouldn't be thought of as a place for playing or for punishment...but for sleeping. Unfortunately, I talk the talk but don't walk the walk. It is just soooo easy to send someone to their room for quiet time or when they are out of control to chill out. I have a long weekend this weekend and I think this weekend we are going to have to reevaluate bedrooms.

Zeb has also been very, very affectionate - he brings his 2 baby blankets over to you and wants to cuddle in your lap. I just love cuddling with my babies ...so I am eating up cuddlemonster Zeb. After his bath last night he wanted to rock in the rocking chair with me. The only thing cuter that cuddle monster Zeb is jedi-master Zeb. He does ninja karate moves with sound effects and sometimes grabs Lilianna's light saber (which is like twice as long as he is tall)..it is really the sound effects he makes that pulls the whole look together. I need to get some kind of video making technology to post it.

We are cleaning the toys out of Z's room...maybe not all of them...but a lot of them. We also have to rearrange Lilianna's room because we are going to set up the crib in there for Benjamin. Lilianna really wants to share a room with Benjamin....and I really wanted Benjamin out of the living room...so there we go! I would love it if the babies could share a room..but they would just wake each other up I think.

We have so much stuff it is ridiculous....really ridiculous. Lilianna is coming home in a little over a week. Then 2 weeks after that school starts! The summer is almost over. I am kind of glad because I miss Lilianna. The faster the summer is over...the faster this whole academic year is over and the faster I know where I am going to be after I finish my residency!

I have picked out a birthday cake to try to make for Lilianna's birthday...it is a princess castle. I really love to bake...I made some old school Nestle Tollhouse Pan cookies the other day...they were delish. I am working on scones sometime this weekend.

I need to take some pictures..because words are sooo boring...especially ones out of my mouth or keyboard.

Friday, July 10, 2009

To Ethica and Rachel...

I believe there must be a better way than to make our government the world's big brother. Families, agencies, birth countries have to step up and be made accountable. If agencies investigated thoroughly because of their ethics and not because of beuracratic requirements this discussion would not be happening would it. The US has become some sort of ethics dictator. Ethics are cultural and not black and white.

Obscure relatives looking for money, a misspelling on a piece of paperwork...all of those things will stop an adoption cold when there is too much bureaucracy - I think we all know that. If organizations spent more time, money, and energy doing things that directly benefitted orphaned children ...like setting up foster care systems, providing skills training, paying for needed surgeries and orchestrating the logistics instead of paying for legislative battles to create more obstacles or to hold onto obstructive legislation the lives of the children would be better period. Imagine John Wright with UNICEF's budget.

My view may not be popular, but if an adoption is legal in my child's birth country...what gives the US the right to tell me my child can't come home with me? I think if you want to respect the culture of native countries you have to respect their autonomy and it cultural process that approved your adoption!

I know there are some adoptions that have not been ethical and they have made it through the system. It breaks my heart to read of parents who learn years after the fact that their children were kidnapped and not truly relinquished. I believe unethical people will always know how to work the system...there are not enough restrictions and laws to truly stop unethical people from figuring out a way around them. It is, however, the ethical people just trying to help children that get caught up in the misspelled paperwork confusing guidelines...so confusing that often times the embassy personnell doesn't even know the paperwork...and recently, in Thailand...they hadn't even created the forms adoptive parents needed to fill out! THESE are the children that get stuck in an orphanage.

Don't lose sight of the individual child desperately trapped in an orphanage without a family because of some grand idea that you can make some utopian society of ethical adoptions based on legislation and bureaucracy set up by OUR government.

Have you BEEN to the DMV?!

You need to hold the agencies accountable and as parents you are accountable FOR holding your agency accountable. You can not legislate personal accountability.

I have a personal interest in this legislation because my husband and I are talking (mostly I talk and he patiently listens to me!) about trying to adopt an HIV+ girl from Ghana. After the court in Ghana issues the adoption decree you have to wait upward of 2-3 months for a Ghanaian passport, then starting July 15, you have to wait 9 weeks for a sputum test to culture negative for TB before you can get your child's immigrant visa. If the Face Act were to pass, children can come home quicker and get necessary medical testing and treatment at home. An extra 4-5 months for a sick child could be the difference between life and death......
So, I am for the FACE ACT.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More on the FACE Act

The following excerpt is from Project Hopeful.

Exciting things are happening! Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to promote equal rights for adopted children.
The Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE Act) has been introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives. The FACE Act will allow American families to bring their internationally adopted children home as American citizens instead of as immigrants.
What you can do:

Sign the petition. This petition will be delivered to the U.S. Congress and Senate.
On July 7th, 8th, and 9th, call your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives). You can find your representative at www.house.gov. You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at www.senate.gov. Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff. For maximum effect, we are asking you to make these calls within this 72-hour window!

What should you say to your Members of Congress?
This is an issue that is critical to children in need, so speak from your heart. Tell them why ensuring that internationally adopted children have citizenship rights is so important to you! Ask your Senators and Representatives to become Co-Sponsors of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act. Please feel free to use the following text as a guideline when speaking with your Member of Congress.

“We are requesting that you support the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act.” More about the FACE Act:
Spearheaded by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), the FACE Act simplifies the acquisition of citizenship for internationally adopted children and removes these children of American citizens from the immigration process. As it stands now, the internationally adopted child of a U.S. citizen receives U.S. citizenship once the child enters the U.S. to reside permanently. If enacted, the FACE Act would allow such children to acquire U.S. citizenship at the time their adoptions are finalized in the country of the child’s birth. The child would then enter the U.S. as a U.S. citizen with citizenship documentation in hand.

“Passage of the FACE Act will eliminate the need for an immigration visa for internationally adopted children and instead will treat these children as children of American citizens, not immigrants subject to immigration regulations,” said McLane Layton, President of Equality for Adopted Children (EACH) and a member of the Families for Orphans Coalition. “Additionally, the FACE Act classifies internationally adopted children as “citizens from birth” just like children born of Americans overseas, thus providing them with equal rights of citizenship, including the right to run for President of the United States.” “Under current law, the type of immigration visa an adopted child is given to enter the United States determines whether the child receives U.S. citizenship upon entry. Those children who do not receive U.S. citizenship upon entry and whose parents overlook the bureaucratic steps necessary to secure citizenship for their children are often later denied scholarships, passports, and the right to serve in the U.S. military. Most tragically, some young adults who have lived in the United States with loving, American families their entire lives have been deported to their birth countries..."

Please consider signing this petition and advocating for this act. At a time when it is becoming almost impossible to complete an international adoption - please do something to help kids make it home to families. The bureaucratic machine in most places couldn't care less if a child lives or dies...much less if they have the opportunity to grow up in a family.

This act makes sense...if Benjamin would have been born in Ghana or wherever to me...he would have been a US citizen. If I adopt a child from Ghana I have to wait an extra 3-5 months to get a Ghanaian passport for them after the courts have issued the adoption decree. Not to mention the whole visa medical rigamorole - which is getting to be a longer ordeal....particularly for children with HIV.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One year ago....

I can not in any way shape or form believe that Benjamin is one year old. I remember right after he was born....visiting him in the NICU with his little baby CPAP on...in his 4 pounds of glory. I remember looking at this timy little guy reassuring myself....in one year...he will be just another one year old having a birthday.

Now here he is....a one year old having a birthday....but he is not just any other one year old! He is my baby. I think he will always and forever be my little baby. I am going to be one of those crazy mom's that thinks of him as a baby forever. He will probably be like a 6 foot, 200 lb sumo wrestler ...and he will still be my baby. Even if we ever have kids younger than Benjamin, I think he will always be my baby.

I think I wrote about this a year ago....Keith and I really needed to slow down and Benjamin's early arrival slowed us down. It is funny, last night we were talking about it and realized...it is time for us to do some slowing down again. It may be that every year in July we will be reminded to refocus on what is really important and to slow down a little bit.

I love kids....they can be great teachers.

Before the cake...


The Cake...


In the cake....




after cake...


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson....the compulsory post..

Being born in the 1970's and having owned a pair of stirrup pants and those pants with zippers...I feel like I have to comment on Michael Jackson's death....actually I will comment on another exciting episode in MJ's life...



When I was in 5th grade, my friend Rose Stanley had a huge crush on Michael Jackson. She had all of his records, every picture ever printed in Bop! magazine, she even had every bubble gum trading card...oh yes....Michael Jackson had collectors cards with bubble gum in them. She LOVED Michael Jackson. One night, our friend Holly Amershak had a slumber party and we were in our sleeping bags watching Night Flight (because there was no MTV where we lived yet)..and they broke into the program to announce that Michael Jackson's hair had caught on fire.....OMG....the come apart that ensued .... a broken hearted, hyperventilating 5th grader ...the wails...the tears...the rest of us were like..."it's OK rose...it will be OK" the drama.....oh the drama.

In the end...she had to call her mom to come pick her up...how could she possibly be at a slumber party having fun when Michael was in the hospital. I kid you not....she wore black everyday for a week and vowed to not smile until she knew that Michael was going to be ok.

I wonder where Rose Stanley is today. I wonder if she is unboxing her Michael Jackson memoribila and thinking about her freakish 5th grade crush. I moved away in 8th grade...and for the life of me I can't remember if she was still all "I love Michael Jackson" when I left.

She was a really, super sweet girl...by the way....just had a weird crush object in the 5th grade.....I mean who in their right mind would choose Michael Jackson over Ricky Schroeder!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power