Friday, June 29, 2007

Cheaper Than a $2 Hooker

Yeah, I know I've got it going on.

I see you checking me out as I sashay to the front desk to announce my arrival.

You've got that smirk on your face as though maybe this is your lucky day. I see your come-hither look and heard your 'howse you doing?' moan as I walked by.

Yes honey, this just might be your lucky day. You sit tight and let me check in. I'll get back to you and maybe we'll exchange digits.

This is after all, the frigging Free Clinic. A place where you want to pick up a little action. Dang, dawg... get a life.

But nevermind... I'll play along.

'Next!' motioned the receptionist for me to sign in.

"I have a 2pm appointment," I proudly announce.

"You're here for TB, right?" the receptionist asks in a soft whisper.

"That's right," I answer in my normal voice to balance the volume.

I can feel your eyes burning through me so I turn around to smile and wink at you. You nod back and grin from ear to ear. Oh man, this just might be your lucky day. You sit tight sugar and I'll join you in a few.

I look through my papers of other tests I need to have taken while I'm here. I'm not the least bit happy that I've got to drive all the way out here but my HR person called last week to say that my it will hurt my insurance 'credit' or whatnot if I request a series of test, even for adoption purposes. So I do the desperate thing and go down to the Free Clinic.

"Oh, I also need an HIV test," I say.

What's the matter sugar? You ain't smiling at me no more.

"You know, you don't need an appointment for that. We do free testing from 4-7:30 here," the receptionist mouths to me with no sound.

"Well," I basically yell to make up for her lack of voice. "I think I need an appointment. It's not just HIV but I need a syphillis test too. The entire STD package."

Sugar? Sugar! Where you going?! How come you're running out the door? Don't you want to sit with me and chat while I wait for the doc in the box?

Awwwww dang.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Holy Crap

This dossier process is leaving a permanent wtf? expression on my face. There are some people in this world that I just don't get.

Seriously, what carny truck did they fall out of?

By now you know more than you'll ever want to know about the process and how everything has to be notarized and all that fancy-schmancy stuff. If not, you can read about it here and here for starters.

Soooo... I go to a local bank where I know a teller is notarized in my county. I waited 20 frigging minutes until she finishes with her first client. I finally get to her and asks her to notarize something and after another 20 minutes of chatting, she won't do it because I'm not a bank client and she needs to account for every minute of her day. WTF?!!?? You just spent 20 minutes bs-ing to me and now you can't spend another 20 seconds just punching your little stamp on a piece of paper? I offered to pay a couple of bucks and she said she couldn't. For everyone out there... KEY BANK SUCKS. I went to Charter One and they were more than willing and helpful.

Yesterday, after a month of waiting for my doctor's appt., the nurse tells me that there was a mistake on my appt. notice and that I was just scheduled for a TB test. I said... 'Nooooo. I made it perfectly clear to the receptionist when I called that this was for an adoption and I needed a physical done so the doctor would sign off on my papers.' At this point, they already have my weight, height, blood pressure and medical history so all the doctor had to do was get his stethoscope-thingy and make do with some pushing and prodding and asking me to breath in and out. Any 5-year old who has ever played 'doctor' can do it. Just go through the motions, doc, and sign the papers. It's simple and takes only 2 minutes.

Well.. he wouldn't do it because it wasn't on his schedule book. Damn. The next available opening is August 23. WTF?!?!?

I left in near tears and called the Cleveland Clinic and fortunately there's a brand spanking new doctor there that has no patients so I am scheduled to be seen on July 3.

It's the stupid medical that is holding up my homestudy and dossier.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

This Says it All

"All children come from God; for some, the journey home just takes a little longer." -unknown


Please click on the ads in the right margin. I have them there to earn money to pay for my baby's passport and visa. There is usually 2-3 ads on the top and they are mainly adoption-related. There's one on the bottom right under the Playlist.

Please click on all of them. You will be directed to the site of the ad. Just click the back button to return to my blog and click on another ad.

Many thanks!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Reality Revisited

I had such a blast having my godchildren visit me this week that I couldn't wait until I bring my daughter home and the three kids can get to know each other, play together and just have a good time making memories.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My child is already alive. She's probably a year old and is living in a babyhouse. All the attention and love given to Eddi, who's 9 months old, is such a huge part of his development and happiness. Then I got this sickened feeling thinking of how alone and understimulated my baby is.

I now feel guilty allowing a few days to pass without concentrating on my dossier. I'm giving myself the luxury of dilly-dallying around and perhaps somewhere in Uzbekistan my baby, during the most important development stage of her life, is without daily stimulation, cooing, tickling, peek-a-boo playing and proper nutrition.

It makes me wonder about fate. Has my daughter, by a higher power (meaning God, not the Uzbekistani government), already been assigned to me? If I get my paperwork into Uzbekistan a month from now, would it be the same child as if I were to get my papers in Uzbekistan tomorrow or four months from now?

I don't know. I don't even know how to feel about this. I remind myself daily to have faith - have faith in the adoption process, the Uzbeki government making this adoption go smoothly and to have faith that I will be a good single mom - but how can I convince myself to have faith that the speed in which I'm moving in this adoption is going to be okay to my baby? Did fate put us together from the day I decided to adopt from Uzbekistan? Does it happen when my paperwork gets to Uzbekistan?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Like Taking the SATs

Remember in high school when you were crammed into a dark and damp auditorium to take the SATs? The one and only test that would determine the rest of your life. The test score would determine whether you were destined for blue collar struggles or white collar grandeur. Whether your future would consist of a vocabulary of words like 'chief executive officer', 'international managing director' or 'chief fry cook', or 'international house of pancakes shift director.'

The SATs are, at that point in your life, the most important 5 hours of your life. It's make or break time. It's do or die time. Do you have the cajones to make a better man of yourself? The dossier is the same. It's the most important 5 weeks or 5 months of your life. It's make or break time in adopting. It's do or die.

Whereas the SATs is about having paid attention in class for the past 10 years, the dossier is all about having stayed out of trouble the past 10 years.

Here are the pararells between the two:

SATs: Hmmm... damn, did I bring enough #2 pencils? Wait, this isn't #2! Ohgod.. there's no number on this freaking pencil. Jiminy Cricket.. this eraser isn't working. Agghhhh... now it's a big smear. Shitshitshitshit.

Dossier: Ohgod.. did that document say black ink? Is this black? No wait.. it's navy blue. Shit. Is navy blue going to work? Okayokay.. calm down. Let's start over with another form. OH SHIT.. my printer is out of paper!

SATs: A,B,D,E,B... what the..? ... Johnny's on page 5 already!??! How did that happen?!?! Okayokayokay.. don't panic.. just read faster. Concentrate. focus. Con.cen.trate. C'mon, you can do it. Oh cool.. this answer column looks like a snake. hehe. I like snakes. If I were a snake, I'd be a cobra. No, I'd be a rattlesnake and live in Texas. Ohh.. I'm hungry. I could go for a Texas burger at the burger shack down the street.

Dossier: Birth certificate? Check. Marriage certificate? Don't need. Ohhh less paperwork. hehe. Family photos? Check. Oh. I don't like the way my living room looks in this picture. What if I moved the couch over there and the piano here? Hm.. no. Let's see. Maybe a different color wall. I'll check online for color ideas.
Uh? What? The Moleys have their paperwork in Uzbekistan already!?!? Oh my god, the Smiths' dossier has already been apostilled?! Ohgodohgodohgod... how did they get ahead of me?!?!

SATs: Mary is riding in a train going 60 mph heading east and John is riding his bicycle heading north at 33.5 kilometers per 90 minutes. How long will it be until Mary and John meet at the coffeeshop on the 164 degress latitude?

Dossier: Melissa is filing for her 600A to be processed by the US Government that processes paperwork at the speed of 5.7 words per document per hour. If Melissa submits her forms before the passport is authenticated and her secondary document is notarized, how long until she gets her dossier completed?

Lots of Fun, Good Cause

and in my neck of the woods. All good things

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Where In the World Are You?

I like this feature so it will be at the top every day. For updates on the adoption, start at the entry below this one.

Just click on the 'Add Yourself' icon and type your name (optional) and location (a must). That's it! It's easy.

Outline of Development of Adopted Children

A few things covered at an adoption workshop I attended. This is adapted from a handout developed by Parenthesis Family Advocates, Columbus, Ohio.

0-3 Years
Adopted child does not realize difference between themselves and non-adoptive children.
Strategies for Parents:
* Collect as much concrete information as possible (goodbye letters from birthparents and pictures are helpful).
* Develop "LifeBook" for child, including these concreate bits of information (pix from orphanage, pix of town, etc.).
*Begin talking comfortably and positively with your infant, family, and friends about adoption.

3-7 Years
Child asks a lot of questions. Loves to hear his/her adoption story. Can repreat it verbatim but has little understanding of the concepts.
Strategies for Parents:
* Encourage questions and answer honestly. Difficult issues may be omitted (but never changes) until the child is older.
*Tell Adoption Story as a favorite bedtime story.
*Use and add to LifeBook.
*Reassure child that he/she will not lose adoptive family.

8-12 Years
Child understands concept of adoption. Begins grieving process. May stop asking questions as part of denial. Realizes that he/she had to lose something to be adopted.
Strategies for Parents:
*Don't force child to discuss issues but let him/her know you are open and comfortable when he/she is ready.
*Let child know it is understood that he/she can lobe both sets of parents. He/she does not have to choose.
*Ask if child has quesions or feelings he/she would like to discuss.
*Let child know you are not threatened or angry about questions regarding birth family and/or past history.

12-16 Years
Child enters anger stage of grieving. May resist authority and try on new identities. May be angry over loss of control in his/her life.
Strategies for Parents:
*Allow child to exercise control whenver possible. Provide opportunities for decision-making.
*Child has a right to his/her birth information. Help child access and accept information.
* try to keep from responding to child's anger with more anger. understand that much of his anger is directed at the birthparent.
* Be firm in limit-setting. Establish preset consequences for broken rules. Allow child to experience natural consequences of behavior.
*Continue to let child know that you love him/her no matter what.

16-19 Years
Young adult may be depressed and over-react to losses. May be anxious about growing up and leaving home.
Strategies for Parents:
*Let child know he/she may remain at home after graduation if he/she chooses.
*Be alert for sadness when relationships with peers fail or during anniversary reactions such as birthdays or Mother's Day.
*Continue to keep adoption topic open within the home.
* Provide supportive opportunities for independence and freedom.

Important Information

Adoptive Families Magazine
2 years (12 issues) $39.95
1 year (6 issues) $24.95
Tons of great information.

Application for Reimbursement of Nonrecurring Adoption Expenses
This is state money from a federal adoption subsidy which provides up to $2000 per child for adoption-related expenses such as legal fees, homestudy fees, transportation costs,'etc. This is basically earmarked for domestic adoptions but worth applying for in international adoptions. The catch is you must apply before the finalization of the adoption but after the referral. You can appeal up to two times.

Post Adoption Special Services Subsidy (PASSS)
You apply through your county's adoption subsidy department. PASSS is available for a child's special needs not covered by insurance or other subsidies. PASSS is especially helpful for children whose special needs may not have been identified at the time of the adoption.

PASSS is a unique subsidy designed to assist Ohio families after the finalization of their adoption. Adoptive families must apply for, and be determined eligible for PASSS. The subsidy is available to adoptive families, with the exception of step-parent adoptions, regardless of the type of adoption (international, attorney, public or private agency). The child does not have to meet either the federal or state definition of special needs.

The program is implemented on a State Fiscal Year (July 1st and ends June 30th).

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Tons of information and a template for companies to incorpoate an adoption assistance program.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Crushed Rose Colored Glasses

At my homestudy workshop this weekend (12 hours long, two days) I learned the following things about what to expect when I get to the babyhouse in Uzbekistan. The information was compiled from other parents to adopted from Kazkhstan and it's assumed that I can expect the same in Uzbekistan.

1. The babies will be purposely dehydrated. (There's a shortage of diapers.)
2. Because of the diaper shortage, babies are tied (not for evil purposes but for support) to a crib post and positioned on an enamal pot to learn how to pee. This is at age 4 months.
3. The ratio of babies to social worker is 30:1.
4. The building is usually all white inside (no playful colors or play area that stimulates touch, sound, sight, etc.) with a large rug in the middle. The babies are put on the rug.
5. No toys.
6. The cook doesn't arrive until 6:15am. So if the babies are hungry during the night, they learn that crying isn't effective and resort to thumb sucking and rocking to stimulate themselves until it's feeding time.
7. Because there is little furniture, infants do not develop their gross motor skills in a timely matter. They don't have anything to pull themselves up or to lean on.
8. Babies generally have giardia, lice and scabies.
9. Babies are generally malnourished. The babyhouses are not subsidized by the government. Their diets are usually gruel and porridge. Money for fresh fruits, vegtables, proteins and meats is just not in the budget.

We focused a lot on #6. In a 'typical' infant's first year, he is constantly held and touched. When being fed, he hears the cooing and sees mom's face making expressions. This is the same when being changed, burped and rocked.

There's the cycle on which the child's mind functions. If he's hungry, he cries and is fed. He has built that trust and communication with his mother. Children in babyhouses learn that they can only trust themselves to ease their need.

I need to expect that my child will have had no stimulation or bonding. So it's imperative that for the first four months I am constantly holding her, having skin-on-skin contact, stimulating her sounds, sights and touch. My social worker stressed that I do not use a stroller and invest in a shoulder/hip sling. She also insisted that I be the absolutely only person to feed, carry, bathe and rock my daughter. This will solidify the bonding process and render the loneliness from her first 18 months as a distant memory with no lasting effects.

Overall it sounds horrible about what to expect but everything is treatable. There are antibiotics for scabies, giardia and lice. A few months of proper nutrition and hydration will do wonders for her weight/height. I can expect some challenges in getting her to eat the foods as they will have a different taste, texture and smell to what she's used to.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I've Got a Groovy Feeling

I just added the playlist feature on the right side. If you click on 'get music tracks' in the black box, another winder will open with the list of songs I streamed. You can listen to the songs (you control what you want to hear) after you leave my blog (if you keep the playlist open).

If you don't want to hear music, click the pause button in the black box.

I tried to find songs of a variety of genre that has something to do with my adoption journey.

Here's the list of songs:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwo)
What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Desperately (George Strait)
Imagine (John Lennon)
Back in the USSR (Beatles)
A Thousand Miles from Nowhere (Dwight Yoakam)
Bless This Broken Road (Rascal Flatts)
Mockingbird (Toby Keith)
Always on My Mind (Willie Nelson)
Landslide (Dixie Chicks)
I Got You Babe (Sonny and Cher)
Love Will Keep Us Together (Captain and Tennille)
Get Down Tonight (KC & Sunshine Band)
Free Falling (Tom Petty)
Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World (U2)
What's Going On (Marvin Gaye)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Debunking the Myths

Myths While You Are Expecting
(which I am... it's just that she won't be coming out of my woowoo area)

Science and education have done much to debunk many myths about expecting a baby. However, many myths are still handed down from generation to generation. Here are the myths from and my personal observations.

1. It is a myth that you can tell what gender your baby will be by the way you are carrying your child.
Uhhh... duh. When I start carrying her, I'll know it's a girl. I mean I have eyes after all. But I will admit that I carry boys the same way as girls. I tend to favor my right side although piggyback works too.

2. It is a myth that holding your hands above your head will strangle or wrap the baby’s umbilical cord around his or her neck.
Whew… you had me scared there for a minute doc. First of all, I don’t know when she was born (probably a year ago) so I can’t recall how much stretching I did at that point in time. Do you think the umbilical cord is still around her neck? It’s not like I really care but I have a weak gag-reflect and a rotted cord is not something I want to see in 6 months from now.

3. It is a myth that having sex while expecting harms the baby. Expecting women are encouraged to continue sexual relations. Your doctor will inform you if there should be a change in your sexual activities.
Good to know! And by ‘change in activities’ do you mean I need to ditch the S&M chains?

4. It is a myth that taking baths or submerging in water is harmful for the mother and baby.
My co-workers were beginning to complain about my lack of cleanliness. I’m relieved that I can go back to bathing. It’s been a while.

5. It is a myth that harm is brought to a baby if the mother sleeps on her back.
See # 3. I’m confused already. I thought I was encouraged to be on my back.

6. It is a myth that if an expecting woman has heartburn that her baby will have a head full of hair.
I’m going to have a gorilla at this rate.

7. It is a myth that a woman who has wide expanding hips while expecting will have a girl.
It’s the chocolate. And the double scoop ice cream. What do you expect?! I’m eating for two.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dealing with Rejection

Every guy knows that after a half dozen phones calls and numerous mailed invitations to swanky soirees and she doesn't return your calls and declines your invitations - you ain't gonna get any. Period. She just isn't into you. Baby found junk in another trunk. Her caboose is riding another train. She closed the door on you and threw out the key. So stop ... just stop bothering her.

99.99% of the male world gets it. They cut their losses and move on. They close the book on her. They say sayonara, adios, au revour, ciao bella.

It's like the country music song by Steve Holy: I got a brand new girlfriend

she said, "i need sometime to find myself,
i need a little space to think.
maybe we should start seeing other people.
baby, things are moving way to fast for me."
so, i, i picked up what was left of my pride,
and i put on my walking shoes,
and i got up on that high road,
and i did what any gentleman would do..
i, um...
i got a brand new girlfriend.

Okay.. you get the picture?

Then why is it that the adoption agency EAC just can't get it? Today at 3:45pm I got yet another phone call from them (my 7th since I attended their seminar last Fall and my 7th since I told them that I wasn't interested). I mean, if EAC were a human male and the seminar had been our first date, he would have understood that there just wasn't any chemistry between us. When he leaned in for a kiss and I ducked away, I assumed that he got the drift that there was no 'us' and he could stop daydreaming of 'us' having kids together. It just wasn't going to happen.

And the calls, now bordering on stalking... I told him as kindly as I could that I wasn't interested. How much nicer can I be? In fact I told him that I 'found someone else' and together he (now I'm referring to my current agency as a human male) and I were having a beautiful girl together. I mean, for god's sake .. I'm having another man's baby. Erase my number from your speed dial, delete my address from your little black book and for god's sake.. stop Googling my name. It's creepy.

I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I was interested. I mean, I was at first.. that's why I went on that first (and only) date with you. But my gut feeling was that you're a bit of a player. You'd wine and dine me and make me feel super duper special like I was 'the only one' and then after I surrendered myself, you'd toss me aside like yesterday's news.

And honey, I'm too classy for that.

Trust me... I'm soooo over you.

So please... stop lusting after me with your leery eyes.

You. Ain't. Getting. Any.


Click on the Google ad that's on the upper right hand margin of this home page (above the 'about me' blurb). Or.. anywhere on this blog where you see a Google ad.

I get paid for every click. I'm going to use the money to buy baby stuff.

So get clicking.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chicken or the Egg

It's like having that emergency earthquake kit in your closet. You know it's going to hit but you just don't know when. That's how I felt today when I went to register my unknown daughter for daycare. The owner of the center must have thought I was a mental case when I went to apply.

Her: Do you have a son or daughter?
Me: I don't know. I asked for a daughter.
Her: How old is she?
Me: I don't know. I don't even know who she is.
Her: When do you want her to start daycare?
Me: I don't know. But, let's register for starting in January

I read where it took 2 years for one family to get their child last year from Uzbekistan because their paperwork sat on someone's desk for 18 months. Yet, I'm still hanging on to the belief of what most agencies have told me: an average of 6-9 months from starting the dossier process to 'gotcha day.'

Guilty Pleasures for Fast Food Lovers

Title: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Date: June 16-17, 2007
Time: All Day
Location: Every Wendy's restaurant
Notes: Please consider going to Wendy's Father's Day Weekend, June 16 - 17. 50 cents of every Frosty product purchased will be donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Friday, June 8, 2007

Got Milk?

From La Leche website:

Can I Breastfeed My Adopted Baby?
How wonderful for you and your new baby that you want to breastfeed. You can read stories from mothers who have breastfed their adopted babies. Each situation is unique so it is important to educate yourself as much as possible about this exciting endeavor.

Most mothers are able to produce at least a little milk. Whether you have been pregnant before or not does not affect your ability to produce milk. Adoptive mothers may be able to induce lactation by using a breast pump every 2-3 hours, either before the baby comes or after. Some also use a device such as the Medela Supplemental Nursing System or the Lact-Aid Nurser Training System. These both enable you to feed your baby while he is at your breast. This way, your baby gets enough milk while stimulating your body to produce your own milk. The key to all this is that the more stimulation your breasts receive, either by pump or baby, the more likely milk will be produced.

Mothers who have breastfed adopted babies often say that having achievable goals for inducing lactation helped them feel successful in the long run. They also say that breastfeeding has numerous benefits in addition to nutrition.

Mothers who induce lactation vary widely in the amount of milk they are able to produce and in the amount of time required to produce milk. All agree that inducing lactation is a process that takes patience, commitment, diligence and education. Even mothers who have breastfed previous babies may not ever be able to fully breastfeed an adoptive baby. A sensible goal, then, might be to try to provide some, or maybe most, of your new baby's nutrition yourself, while fully enjoying the closeness and bonding that breastfeeding brings. Even if your baby does not breastfeed, you can still hold him for all his feedings (and lots of holding in between!) and foster the same kind of attachment that all babies have for the mommies and daddies who love them.
Attend a La Leche League Group meeting in your area for additional information and support. To find a Leader of a local Group, check out the section of our Web site entitled "Finding a Local LLL Group".