Thursday, August 30, 2007

Our Internet is Back!!!

I got a digital scrapbooking program to use when we do our adoption profile. I've been playing around with it and decided to try and publish a page. It is pretty neat. I don't think I'll start doing all my pages digitally, but a few here and there will be fun. It let me blur out the things in the picture that might identify us like the school name and our last name on the sign in our front yard.

Charity, I guess I can put off getting wireless for a little longer!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Our Weekend & C's New Obsession

I know that some of you are logging on in hopes of seeing a picture from the first day of school and I'm sorry to disappoint you. Friday night I created a digital scrapbook page to post to my blog and as I was transferring it to Photobucket our internet went down. We still live in the stone ages and have dial up internet that uses our main phone line. I can hear it connecting, but can't pull up any web address. We need to call the service dept, but that creates another problem since being connected means we can't use the house phone and our cell phones don't work in the house. Hopefully we'll get something figured out so I can post those pictures later in the week.

This is the first Saturday that I have stayed home since June 9 (the day after C's surgery). I thought C might need a day to wear his jammies all day and play with his toys. By 1:00 p.m. he was "bored". I started dismantling my house for my fall cleaning. I'm doing it a little earlier because of the homestudy on the 6th. I try to take everything apart and reorganize drawers and closets plus clean every square inch of the house. It always makes me feel so much better. I do this every six months and each time it seems a little easier to do. I was able to get quite a bit done this weekend so I'm off to a good start on getting the house ready.

C now has two new obsessions. The first one is Salad Spritzer salad dressing from Wishbone. He ate almost an entire bag of lettuce this weekend. He'd pick up each individual piece of lettuce, squirt it with the dressing and then eat it. He was at the table forever Friday and Saturday night eating. Either school is making him hungry or he's getting ready to grow again because he really put the food away this weekend. We measured him the first day of school and he grew over an inch since his birthday.

His second obsession is the History Channel. I know people think we let C watch too much TV, but you really don't understand how he operates. He doesn't necessarily watch it, he just likes it on for background noise. All weekend long he wanted the History Channel on. Something on it will catch his eye and then he'll want to start playing that. Yesterday morning Last of the Mohicans was on and the next thing I knew he had his three cornered hat on and was playing like he's a solider. I really think the TV has helped his imagination. He sees something and then he starts imagining and building on it. It is funny to watch. We had bought him a bear when he had his eye surgery and he had never named it. Last night he decided he would call it Mr. George Washington. J said we'll keep letting him watch it, at least he's picking up a few things. He's started to get interested in the Civil War and Saturday he asked me about World War II. The only problem was yesterday there was a 2 hour program on Evel Kenievel. I hope C doesn't start playing that!

Friday, August 24, 2007

I forgot to add to the last post....

The social worker that will be doing our Homestudy called yesterday. Our first interview is scheduled for Thursday, September 6 at 6:00 p.m. She seemed very nice and willing to do it in the evening because she knew C had just started school. I know we could use everyone's prayers because I have a lot I want to do around the house before then, but I'm not going to be home much between now and the 6th. Also, she wanted to make sure that C would be there, so that could be interesting. I have a feeling that every toy from his room will be in the living room by the time the night's over or worse yet, he'll lock her in his room. Mom and Sharon have both experienced that. Hopefully she won't think C is so starved for attention that he has to lock people in his room!

Cute Sayings From Our Boy

I can't believe this, but I forgot to post the picture of C first day of Kindergarten yesterday. I'll do that this weekend, but since it's been a few days since I posted I wanted to write down some cute things he said.

This one was one of my favorites:
I took him and Mom to a work conference on Mon and Tue. Mon night we had a social hour so I took C with me so Mom could get ready. He was sitting by a co-workers wife and just chatting away. She asked him if he had any brothers or sisters and he said "No, I'm just going to adopt one". It was pretty sweet.

At School yesterday I helped him get his breakfast and then I asked him if it was okay for me and dad to leave he said "You can leave after you open my milk".

After school yesterday he said there were a lot of new kids there (isn't every kindergartner a new kid?). I said "they didn't got to pre-school or summer school?" He said "No, they were just home having a good ole' time".

Sunday, August 19, 2007

In honor of the 103rd picnic I thought I’d make a list of some favorite memories of the 31 or so picnic’s that I’ve attended (I may have missed one due to Mono in 1981, but I’m not sure). I don’t know if it’s because the events of the 2007 picnic are fresh in my memory or if this was just an eventful picnic, but several of these are from this year. It’s going to have to be something really special to top the memories from 2007, especially #1. I’m sure most of you have already guessed what the #1 memory is. If there is anyone else who has been to a picnic and want to write down your favorite memories just leave a comment. I know we’d all love to read everyone’s memories

10. 1986(?is that the year Charity ran), 1988 & 1993 – These are probably some of the picnic’s where Mom and Dad were relieved that it was over….Hi I’m (insert one of our names) and I’m running for (Mini Princess, Princess or Queen) would you like to buy a ticket?

9. 1985 – Mamma’s favorite memory of me because she knew the judges and they’d remind her every time they’d see her….While running for princess (against Leslie who probably told the judges she wanted to be an accountant) I told them my future plans were to be a lifeguard in the summer and work at McDonalds in the winter. I wonder why I didn’t win….

8. 2003 – It was HOT, HOT, HOT and C was an active 17 month old. The cheerleaders had and Ice Cream Truck, which J got to drive and everyone’s tempers were SHORT, SHORT, SHORT.

7. 2007 – Charlie the Wonder Dog…He can ride on truck bumpers going down the highway at 70 miles an hour and is fearless enough to bark like crazy at a goat about his same size.

6. 2007 – Jay deciding to audition for demolition man on a new show by the producers of “Trick My Truck”. It will be called “Put a Hole in My Mustang”. If the shows anything like the audition, it may be rated R due to language from the Mustang owners.

5. 2007 – The X-Rated looking elephant jumping toy…or should I call it an Elepoo….

4. Leslie was it 97 or 98? – A shriner pulled up in his little car and asked Leslie how to catch up with his group because the parade had already started. She quickly told him to drive down the sidewalk in front of the funeral home (this was before it was fixed) and cut across once he caught up with his group. We’ll never forgot how he looked bumping down the sidewalk. As Leslie and I brought up the tail end of the parade we saw the shriner still on the sidewalk with a flat tire. He never met up with the rest of the group.

3. 2007 – Dad locking a lady in the Community Building. Guess she should’ve been playing BINGO….

2. My first 28 picnics – Always knowing that Mamma and Pampa would be sitting in the same spot and that Grammy and Granddad would probably win the Longest Married Couple.

1. 2007- The appearance of that feared little boy outlaw – Poop Hand Cade from the X-Rated Elepoo! (thank’s for the nickname Charity)

Hope you all enjoyed the picnic. Here are a few pictures from our family.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Heading to the Picnic

I have edited this post for spelling errors since J pointed them out to me. I don't think Blogger has spell check, at least not like it is in Word.

We left home to head to the big picnic on Thursday. We brought Charlie with us because it's so hot and we didn't want to ask any of our neighbors to take care of him. Last night after we left the picnic J and I were going over everthing that had happened since we left home on Thursday and hopefully today will be somewhat uneventful after the last two days. It all started on Thursday when J got a call from one of his students who said "S______, your Corgi's sitting on your bumper". Somehow Charlie had managed to jump over the tailgate and was sitting on the bumper. We don't know how long he'd been like that. He's fine, but it scared us. Our big picnic experience (up to this point) ended last night with the most disgusting thing we've ever had happen. I won't go into the details here so if you want to know just ask. Most everyone at the picnic probably knows what happened anyway. I think I might be permanently damaged from the experience.

Last night we took Charile into the Pets on Parade and as soon as we got there he spotted a goat and he lost his mind. We've never heard the dog bark so much. It was like he didn't know how to control himself. J ended up having to hold onto him because C couldn't. The dog was nuts. C took him up on stage and they asked him some questions. C told him that Charile would bite him. After seeing how Charlie acted last night everyone probably thinks we have a mean dog. We entered Charlie in the Funniest Looking category and the Prettiest category, but he didn't win either of them. We still think Charlie's a great dog even if he didn't win. As soon as we get home I'll post some pictures of them.

I'm off to the races (literally) and baby show today. Leslie and I are in charge of the baby show so I've got to get some stuff around. Hopefully it will be a little cooler today.

Also ETA: Avery won 3rd place in the toddling race and 3rd place in the Baby Show. C entered the bike race, running race, throwing contest and turtle race. Unfortunately it looks like C got mine and J's athletic ability so he didn't win any ribbons. If only the picnic had an FFA contest...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Have You Heard About the Toy Recall?

We saw this Thursday after hearing all week about Mattel toys being recalled due to lead paint. We had to stop and take a picture.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Leaving Comments

I've had some questions on how to leave comments so I left one this morning to see how it works. At the end of each post to the left there is the date and time that I posted it (which usually isn't correct for some reason) and then next to it is a line that most of the time says 0 comments.
1. Click on 0 comments
2. The next screen will show a box on the right side where you can leave a comment
3. Below that box are three choices to choose your identity
4. Choose the middle one that says other
5. You can type your name on the next screen if you want, if you don't just click on publish your comment. Your comment will attach to the post and I can view it.

When it says 1 (2, 3, etc)comments that shows someone has left a comment. When you click on it you'll also be able to read all the comments that have been left.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Statistics from our Agency

Here are some statistics that our agency gave us on Saturday. These are thru June 2007:

6 Adoptions
2 Africian American
3 Caucasian
1 Special Needs

4 placements in July (2 Caucasian, 1 Bi-Racial, 1 African American)

2 if the 6 families already had children

The pregnancy counselor has had inquiries from 45 birthmothers and has worked with 31 of them. Out of the 31 16 decided to parent, 6 were placed for adoption and 9 haven't delivered yet (3AA 3BR 3Cauc)

3 of the 6 adoptions were cold calls. That is where the agency received a call from the hopital after the baby was born

Out of the 31 cases 3 were under the age of 20

Waiting Families:
8 childless couples
4 parenting families
1 couple in the minority infant program

Families is Assessment:
4 childless couples
1 parenting couple (this is us)
3 minority infant program

Embryo Homestudies - 2
Babies born via embryo adoption - 2

International Program Statistics

Our agency currently works in 14 countries

Placements in our state:
Guatemala - 7
China - 4
Philippines - 1
Kazakhstan - 1

Families with referral but waiting to travel - 7

Families waiting a referral - 9

Families in assessment/dossier process - 6

Please keep these people in your prayers. There is a lot involved in all of this, from the birthmothers who make a choice, the agency workers who pull everything together, the parents who are waiting, the country officials who make the decisions in international adoptions and those who have been able to adopt, and most of all for all the children.

This Past Weekend

By the time I got to work today I think we drove my car over 1,000 miles this weekend. We started out going to a wedding Friday night and it didn't end until yesterday afternoon at 4:30. We had a training session with our adoption agency Saturday morning. It was good. There was a family there that had adopted a girl from China and they spoke about their experience. Even though we aren't doing international adoption it was still interesting to me to hear about what they experienced. The most interesting part of Saturday was listening to the person who counsels the birthmothers. She says the best part of her job is meeting these strong women who face a hard decision and then sitting back and watching God make these matches. She compared these ladies to Jacob wresting with God. They will always have a limp from their struggle. I think this part was good for J because he developed a different point of view on birthmothers. I think we tend to stereotype birthmothers into being teenagers or druggies or they are too selfish to care for a child, etc. This just isn't true. I've always thought that maybe part of why we are going through this is to redefine what we call "family". I think for both of us our definition of family has been two parents, one sibling, four grandparents, 8 great-grandparents. We may have a chance to open our lives to another person who may not have had all of the great influence that J and I had growing up. Maybe we are supposed to be an example for this birthmother and become somewhat of an extended family. Right now we don't have any plans on making this a completely open adoption. I don't know that I want to have them over for every major holiday, but maybe some day... When this child is old enough to want to know more about his past I want to be open to it. I don't want to miss out on something that could be a great opportunity for all of us because we are too scared to step outside the box and possibly redefine our definition of family.

Also on Saturday we decided to go to a Cardinals game because we were so close. It was so HOT that day. We spent part of the game in the outfield with the sun beating down on us. I don't know how we managed to not get burnt but we didn't. Another funny story about Saturday is that you all know how I feel about sports. The game lasted 2 1/2 hours and looking back on it I have no idea what I did with my time. I hardly even looked at the players. I guess maybe I stared at the people around me more than I realized? I wasn't ever bored, I'm just not sure what I did during the game. I did get up and walk around in the shade some. I don't know anything about baseball but Rick Ankiel hit two home runs on Saturday. This is significant because he had been a pitcher and then he went back to the minors for several years and now he's back and is a much better player. J could give you more details, but I think that is the jest of the story. Anyway these two home runs have been replayed on ESPN several times and it made the list of the biggest events this week (or something like that). I was at the game where this happened and I missed BOTH of them. I was wandering around the concession stand area (which I think the first one I was buying J a hotdog). J keeps bringing it up that I missed both of them, but I think I'll survive!

We ended the week yesterday by going to the state fair. The last time I had gone was three years ago when C was 2 and J was showing two heifers. I remembered yesteday why it had been three years since I had been there. It will probably take me another 3 to forget why I don't like to go. I think C pretty much had the same feelings as me. It didn't take much to convince him to leave and J had already been there last week and will be making another trip on Sunday so he was ready. I don't know if C has quite the love of fairs that J has. Once C starts showing things could get interesting.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Insight Into the Life of an Infertile Person

To start out with it needs to be said that the infertile person is really going through the grieving process. Some people may look at them and think “what’s their problem, they haven’t lost a (child, spouse, parent, etc.) No, they haven’t lost a specific person, but they have lost a dream and their innocence. They are realizing that what they were taught in health class all those years ago isn’t working for them. Also instead of being able to deal with one traumatic event and then start to move on, this grief is revisited month after month, year after year. It is a cycle that has no end, they feel like they are stuck on a merry-go-round and they can’t get off no matter how much they want to.

In the book On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross she identifies 5 stages of grieving for those diagnosed with a terminal illness.
These stages are also applied to those going through the death of a loved one. I think these stages also can apply to anyone going through infertility. An infertile person may not go through these stages in this order, they may not even go through a particular stage, they may spend months or years in a particular stage and a short time on another phase. I am thankful to say that I’m finally in the acceptance stage. This doesn’t mean that I’m completely over our infertility, but I can at least deal with it now. Even once a person reaches the acceptance stage they may still have times they will back track through another one. I’ve heard infertility being referred to as an old friend, most of the time you don’t hear from them but every once in awhile they decide to make an appearance, good or bad.

Some other feelings of grief addressed by Dr Roberta Temes in her book Living With an Empty Chair are:
These are feelings that the infertile person could be dealing with along with the other 5 stages of grief. The infertile person lives for what day of their cycle it is. They know what day they are on before they even know what day and month it is. This tends to lead to a feeling of complete disorganization. When they start to only focus on one part of their life, other things quickly tend to suffer. They may not be able to concentrate at work or at home, they may not want to balance their checkbook or clean their house, doing anything outside of something related to achieving pregnancy is put on the backburner. Because of this, then it starts to feel like their whole life is spiraling downwards and they can’t get control over anything. But there is also a part of the infertile person that is so numb from the pain and heartache, they may not care that their house is a wreck and their checkbook is in even worse shape.

Another feeling that the infertile person is dealing with is longing. I don’t like to use the words envy or jealously because those are too strong words for what the person is going through. They long so much to have what they see others having that it hurts. They have a hard time being completely happy for someone who is or has had a baby. They also may have a hard time being happy for someone even when it’s not related to a baby like a wedding or a new home, etc. They look at their life and feel like nothing happy has happened to them, their world is stuck in a heartbreaking cycle, while others are happily moving on with their lives. This is a hard emotion for the infertile person because they don’t want to feel this way. They want to be happy for others, they know the bible says “rejoice with those who rejoice”, but they just can’t seem to move on. There is this part of them that no matter how much they pray or read their bible or try to be happy for others, they can’t. It just takes time for this feeling to go away.

You can see how all of the emotions can make an infertile person feel worse and worse, it appears to be a never ending cycle that they feel they will never regain control of. Some may think that infertile couples just need to get over it and move on. Would you ever tell that to a person who has just lost a loved one? Hopefully not. The same compassion needs to given to those struggling with infertility. They are grieving and they have a right to feel these emotions. They need your support during these times more than ever.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Facts about Infertility

Since the main purpose of this blog is to keep everyone updated on the process of adoption, I thought I should devote a few posts to what got us to this point. I have gotten my information on this subject from reading, listening to/reading what others have to say and personal experience. I don’t want anyone to feel badly about anything that I might put in this blog or spend any time trying to remember if they did or said something to us during our infertility struggle that might have hurt our feelings. Not everything that I type will be something that I experienced, but maybe something that someone else went through. The purpose of this is to educate you so if a situation like this should happen to come up with other people that you know, hopefully you’ll know how to respond to them in a way that will let them know someone cares about what they are going through.

Infertility (IF): The inability to conceive and/or carry a child to full term in one year.

Primary Infertility (PI): Has never been pregnant or has never carried a child to term.

Secondary Infertility (SI): The ability to achieve pregnancy and carry a pregnancy or pregnancies to term, but then can’t conceive and/or carry another pregnancy to term.

Unexplained Infertility: There is no known medical reason for the couple’s inability to conceive.

There is some debate in infertility circles on what is considered true SI. In my mind I see it as having one or more uneventful pregnancies and then having the inability to have another one. Some people who had a hard time conceiving their first child will consider themselves to have SI after they can’t achieve another pregnancy. In my opinion that is more PI coming around for the second time rather than true “SI”. Still no matter what title you put on yourself infertility is something that is extremely heatbreaking for those experiencing it.

Quick Facts:
About 10% of couples of childbearing age are infertile

Out of that 10% about 1/3 of them are due to male problems, 1/3 are due to female problems and 1/3 are unexplained infertility

About 2/3 of couples who seek treatment go on to have a successful pregnancy

Only about 5-10% will actually need the high-tech method of In-Vitro to achieve pregnancy

Only 13 states require insurance coverage for infertility, a large portion of testing and treatments are paid out of pocket by the patients or other more expensive procedures are done because they are covered by insurance

Infertility affects all aspects of a person’s life - emotionally, physically, financially, etc

Many times a persons work performance and other relationships will suffer because of infertility

Friday, August 3, 2007

Catch Up

Here are a few things that have happened this past week:

1. I've changed some setting on the blog that I didn't know were there. You should be able to leave me comments now without having a Google account. Could someone please try it to see if it works?

2. Avery and Charity stayed with us last weekend. Here are a few pictures.

Here she looks like an evil elf, and that's after we gave her her souvenier from NYC

Avery wanted to ride in the Gator, but C didn't want to give her a ride so Charity did

We finally got C in the Gator, but he would only give her a short ride

3. We were going through old pictures for our family profile and found these old ones of C. I forgot how big his head was.

He was 6 months old in this picture. It looks like the weight of his head is about to make him fall over

Does anyone remember how terrible his first haircut looked? I had forgotten until I found this picture. J and I had a good laugh over these two pictures Wednesday night.

4. J bought 4 embryos at a silent auction this past week. Yesterday he was sick so I brought C into work with me for a few hours (which he was really, really good). I heard him telling Sandra that his daddy bought Oreo's and he was going to put them in a calf and then we'd have baby calves. It took me a minute to realize that he meant embryos. He overheard me telling J about it and he got upset with me because I said cow instead of calf. C may hate to color, but I bet there won't be too many kids in kindergarten that know about cow embryos.