Monday, October 29, 2007

More from the Kindergarten Diaries

C has really been coming up with some funny things lately. One particular story isn't probably appropriate to post, but it is one of the first times he truly embarrassed me by something he said. If you want to know e-mail me or call me and I'll be happy to share, I just probably won't do it on the blog.

J called this afternoon and told me something that C had said this morning. Our school has an afterschool program. When they first started it we decided not to put C in it. A couple of weeks ago C started talking about it and wanted to be in it because all of his buddies were in and and they were doing Karate. We talked about it and finally decided we'd see about getting him signed up. On the way to school today J told him what we were doing. C told J that he really didn't want to do the after school program. J said that we were just going to check on it. C said "Dad, I really don't think that's going to work" I guess there isn't room in his afternoon schedule of computer games at the high school for the after school program. Luckily for him the program is full and not taking any more kids.

Another funny thing he's said is what he told Sharon on Friday when they were driving to eat lunch. She was asking him some questions and finally he told her she just needed to concentrate on driving him to lunch. He also told me the other day I needed to concentrate on my driving, but we were headed to a bathroom rather than to lunch.

I can tell he's really started changing since he started school. He says some really funny things, but it also is a little sad. He just keeps getting more and more mature. He also keeps growing - he's grown 1/2 inch since school started. He's not our little baby anymore.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We are on the Website!!!!

If you go to look to the right of the page you'll see a button that says Family Profiles. Click on it and then go to our state. You can see our Dear Birthmother letter and see our pictures. Yeah!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Parent/Teacher Conference

Last night was our very first Parent/Teacher Conference. It was nice going and knowing we didn't have any problems. We just got to hear how good of a student C is. His report card looked very good. In Kindergarten they get graded on more personal skills than anything. They get a + if they've mastered it and a / if they are working on it. Mrs L said she's not very giving on + for the personal skills in the first quarter because that is what Kindergarten is all about. They were graded on 9 skills and she gave C a plus on 6 of them. The three that he's still working on are Taking Care of Personal Belongings, Completes Work on Time & Works Independently. We're still working on taking care of personal belongings at home, so that wasn't surprising. He has a hard time completing his work on time because he's a perfectionist. He tries so hard to make everything perfect that he doesn't always get it done on time. Mrs L said C is harder on himself which slows him down. That also isn't surprising. He's just learning Time Management, which is a trait most of us are still working on. The third thing he needs to work on is actually pretty funny - Working Independently. J knew what Mrs L was going to say before she even said it. He is the pet of the teacher's aide that spends a few hours a day in the classroom. He asks for her help because he likes her and she likes him. He doesn't really need the help, he just likes her. Mrs L laughed when she was telling us about it last night. J's had the teachers aide's kids in school so he knows them really well. I guess she had been telling J about helping in the classroom. C is used to getting someones full attention so if they're willing to give it to him of course he's going to take it.

He did very well on his Reading Readiness skills, he has mastered everything and he can recognize all the upper case letters and most of the lower case. He's still having problems with d's and q's, which is common. He is still working on his Motor Skills which includes Writing Neatly and Plainly, Colors Neatly, Cuts Neatly with Scissors and Glues Projects Together Neatly - once again we weren't surprised. The other things he's still working on is Knowing Right from Left, Art and P.E. Knowing how I was in school those also aren't surprising.

C started out looking so much like J that I always just assumed he would have his personality. In the last 6 months or so he's becoming more and more like me. Sitting there last night I realized how much he is starting to develop more and more of my personality quirks (good and bad). She was telling us a lot of stuff last night, but we both thought she said C was at the top of the class in reading. Who does that sound like?

The highlight of the night for me was getting his school pictures. For the last few weeks I've asked J every afternoon if his pictures were in. I know I shouldn't say this about a boy, but I thought they were really cute. We need to Ooh and Ahhh over these because if my school pictures are any indication, they're all downhill from here!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and by the way - school photos are a lot fancier then they were when I was in school. We got to select the background color and pick a border for the picture. There was a lot of thought put into ordering these pictures.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friday Night Lights.....With Smoke in the Air

Friday night was the last Varsity home game. Of course J and his teaching partner, Lyle, were in the concession stand. Jania, Lyle's wife) and I were sitting on the opposite end of the field from the stand. There was some excitement in during the game. Since I don't pay attention to the game, I'm not sure what happened. All we knew was that Harv, the coach, was out on the field yelling so we stood up to get a better view. At that same time a huge (and I mean huge) cloud of smoke wafted over the field. Jania asked if the guys had caught something on fire. I told her who knows with the two of them. A little later Lyle came and told us the story...
They have a designated kid called the "Fry Daddy" who is in charge of the fries. They use the big pots that you can fry a turkey in and there were two pots going Friday night. The normal Fry Daddy wasn't there, so they had a substitute. One of the pots caught on fire. That's when J and Lyle realized there wasn't a fire extinguisher in the concession stand. Lyle grabbed a plastic trash can and tried to smother the fire, but the trash can melted. So J and Lyle jumped in Lyle's truck and drove across the street to the school. They left the kids at the football field with the fire, by themselves. J and Lyle ran into the school and one went to the shop and the other went to the kitchen to get fire extinguishers. Then (this is my favorite part) they had left Lyle's truck running while they went into the school. Instead of getting back in the truck they just ran back to the field. By the time they got back they were both sucking wind, but they got the fire out. After it was out Lyle realized his truck was still running over at the high school. It is a wonder the concession stand didn't catch on fire. I just keep imagining the people doing the announcing having to jump out of the top of the stand. I think J's going to mount an extinguisher to the side of the smoker. I wish I had been over there when it happened. I would've loved to have seen the two of them running from the high school. What's really funny is that the concession stand hides the smoker and friers from the field. No one else probably even realizes what happened that night. They think us getting beat by the other team was the worst thing that happened that night...little does "Santa Claus" (as J called him) know how bad it could've been!

Friday, October 19, 2007

More evidence supporting the post from earlier...

Yesterday while C was home sick we watched Pearl Harbor and

Gone With the Wind

He was a little upset because the Blue Coats didn't have a larger role in the movie. I tried explaining it was a movie about the South, but he didn't seem to really like my answer. He was also a little disappointed because there weren't quite enough battle scenes to suit him. I asked if he wanted me to turn it off but he didn't. He watched it almost to the end and then he fell asleep. I don't think J's even watched the entire movie.

It's Official...

We have a history nerd in our family!

On Tuesday C came home with a picture of a penny that they had colored, cut out, glued together and put on a string to wear around their necks. He told J that he had told Mrs L that Abraham Lincoln was alive during the Civil War. When I got home I asked him about it and that was about all he would tell me about what he told his teacher. I reminded him that Abraham Lincoln was President during the war. He looked at me like I was stupid and said "I know that Mom".

We kept him home today to make sure he's over the flu, so Sharon is watching him. J talked to Mrs L today so we could make sure we haven't missed any important notes or anything. She told J more about what happened the day the kids made their pennies.

She started talking about the penny and C told her he knew all about Abraham Lincoln. She invited him to stand up and share what he knew. He told the class that one night Abraham Lincoln went to a theatre (pronounced thayter) and there was a bad guy in there that went BANG (I'm sure he acted that part out) and killed Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was our 16th President and he was the President during the Civil War.

No wonder he looked at me like I was stupid the other night, he knew he was the 16th President. I wasn't even sure what number he was. We did see Ford's Theatre while we were in DC. If only C would've developed this obsession a month earlier he really would've enjoyed seeing that and Gettysburg while we were on vacation.

Mrs. L told J this story in front of Miss B the other K teacher, who happened to be C's summer school teacher. Miss B said C is always telling her some history fact. Mrs L agreed and said he's always telling her something and then she'll Google it to make sure he's correct, which he is. A couple of weeks ago C met a substitute teacher at the high school and they talked for a long time about the Sultana explosion. It was a steamboat that was overloaded after the Civil War that exploded. I watched that on the History Channel with C one day and he's never forgot it. I on the other hand just had to Google Steamboat Explosions to remember the name of the boat.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Changing Our Adoption Language

I'm home today because C has the stomach flu. J got it Monday night, C got it Wednesday night, things aren't looking good for me tomorrow night. I am so tired of someone in our house being sick. I think someone (mostly me and J) has been sick every week since the end of August. It hasn't been this bad since C was a baby the fall of 2002. I'm wondering if C is carrying a bunch of new germs home and infecting us? I hope things turn around here quickly.

The family that we heard on Saturday had a letter included in our notebooks that the agency gave us. It had some good ideas on how to handle questions from others about adoption. She also shows how to change our language to make adoption positive and not something that sounds negative. None of us are familiar with this process so we need to be educating ourselves as much as possible. We have an opportunity to become advocates for adoption and adoption educators every time we discuss this situation with someone else. Most people have good intentions, they just don't realize how some of their questions/comments come across. This is our (when I say our I mean our entire family Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, friends, etc)chance to educate them on what a miracle adoption is.

My and J's goal is to have our children (including C) grow up knowing how much of a blessing they are and how blessed we are to experience the best of both worlds. I think the hard part for me will be wanting to tell everyone my child is adopted just because of how great it is, but yet not making adoption be the first thing someone thinks of when my child is mentioned. It's going to take some work to figure out the balance.

Ways to turn negative into positive or just to avoid uncomfortable situations:
The baby is given up or put up for adoption.....Say the baby is placed for adoption or the birthparents made an adoption plan
What about her Real Mother/Father.....Say, you mean Birthparent
Birthparent kept the baby.....Birthparent chose to parent the baby
Natural Parent....Biological parent
Where did all that red (black, brown, etc) hair come from.....Say it runs in the family
Do they have real siblings....Say you mean Biological siblings. C will be their brother, any biological siblings will be referred to as biological.

This next one is a big one for those adopted and adoptive parents. People are just curious by nature. A common question is what is the baby's story. People will want details on how the child came to be placed for adoption. This is something that is very private and not everyone needs to know the full story. We will even have to sign an agreement with our agency saying we will keep this information private. Once we know the whole story J and I will choose what others need to know. The rest will wait until our child is old enough to understand then it will be their decision to share their story with who they want. It is important when you are asked by others to explain that every baby has a story and once ours is old enough they will share it with who they want.

On Saturday the 16 year old girl was asked how she felt about adoption and she summed it up this way. If her earthly family loves and accepts her this much even if she isn't their biological child - she knows how much greater her heavenly father loves and accepts her.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Adoption Triad

In adoption circles you hear/read alot about the Adoption Triad. This is a triangle used to describe the role that birth parents and adoptive parents have in the life of the child. The triangle is labeled with the child at the top and the two sets of parents at each end on the bottom. Putting the parents an the equal plane at the bottom represents that they are both equally important in the child's life. One is not higher than the other, they are both equal.

Birth mothers are more than just a 9 month incubator. They are not to be regarded as someone who found having a baby to be a disruption and therefore "gave it away". They should be looked at as someone who loved their child so much and wanted more than they could provide for their baby so they decided to make an adoption plan. They have chosen to make one of the hardest decisions in their life for what they feel is in the best interest of their child. The father of the family we heard on Saturday had a good analogy to use when he was asked how could someone do that. His response is, how could God send his only son to be raised by someone else and then crucified to save a world who doesn't always appreciate the sacrifice? He did it because his love for us is so much more then we can even begin to comprehend.

J and I have a little different opinions on how to approach our adoption. We are both in agreement that we would like it to be semi-open, but we have been differing on what exactly that means to both of us. We are both completely open to sharing pictures and letters for the entire life of the child. We are also open to exchanging gifts on holidays and birthdays. I'm also open to having agency facilitated meetings with the birth mother, depending on the situation. J is not quite as sure about that. We compromised and said we would agree on those terms on a case by case basis. It also would depend on how the child would react at those meetings. If it is stressful for them, we obviously would have to look at doing things differently. The family from Saturday has never met their birth families. The parents would love to meet them, but so far the birth families haven't wanted to. The mom and dad said they would love to meet the families so they can tell them thank you. You could tell by listening to the family how much love and respect they had for the birth parents.

When we've mentioned semi-open adoption we've had some people inform us that we'd have to meet the birth parents. We've done our research and we know what it means. The birth parents are not someone who should be feared in an adoption. Sometimes they get stereotyped as a big monster just waiting to swoop in and take the babies back, which isn't usually the case. I know there are TV specials that say differently, but remember those are a small part of the total number of adoptions that take place. The birth parents are someone who will always be shown respect in our family. When our other family members speak about them, they need to be referred to with respect. If it weren't for the birth parents we would not be able to be a part of this wonderful experience.

Another thing we all need to remember is that an adoption is one of those happy/sad times. We are happy because we are getting another member in our family. The birth family is experiencing one of the saddest times of their lives. They are placing their child with someone else to raise. This will create a huge hole in their lives that will never totally heal. For being willing to do this, they deserve our admiration and respect.

The family from Saturday also told us how their daughter handled the traditional family tree project at school, which really sums up the Birth Family/Adoptive Family roles. The adoptive family is the branches of the tree and the roots of the tree are the birth family. The tree couldn't survive without it's roots and it can become strong and beautiful with the support of both the roots and the branches.

Monday, October 15, 2007

More Adoption Thoughts

I think sometimes when people hear about families who have gone through infertility and then adopted their first instinct is to feel sorry for them. I can say I'm 100% sure that those families don't want you to feel sorry for them. They want you to know what a blessing those children are and how blessed they feel to be their parents. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for us or feel like we "deserved" to have another biological baby. We are way past the stage of grieving the loss of "what might have been" and are looking forward to the day we get the call from our agency. I've always said that I wouldn't wish the feelings of infertility on anyone, but now I wish everyone could feel how we feel now. We feel that God has blessed us by letting us experience two of the greatest miracles a person can have. The first one is C - I'm so lucky to have been able to experience a pregnancy and the miracle of his birth. The second one is the miracle of adoption. I am so thankful that God is allowing us to experience the best of both worlds.

Adoption is something that most don't think about until they become directly involved in it. J and I talked this weekend about if we had ever in our lives thought about adoption before this point. J had never thought about it at all. I on the other hand had given it some thought when I was younger. From a young age I always wondered if I would be able to have children, I'm not sure why, just a feeling that I had that it may not be so easy for me. I remember thinking that when I turned 30 (because at 14 that seemed so old) if I wasn't married or didn't have any children I would adopt. I also remember in High School seeing a 20/20 special on orphanages in Romania and I wanted to get on the next plane and bringing all of those babies back. I think God placed those early feelings for adoption on my heart at a young age for a reason.

Lack of education is a large problem when it comes to adoption. I think that is in someways why a persons first reaction may be to feel sorry for those who couldn't have biological children. I know lack of education is what held me back from domestic adoption in the beginning. I was scared of birthparents being able to come back at any time to take the baby. I learned after our initial meeting at Bethany that was false. There are a lot of adoption myths floating around that keep people from knowing what a great God thing adoption is. The myths then tend to cause fear in those who don't understand it. I know that our families are hesitant about our adoption because they don't want to see us get hurt when an adoption falls through. Notice I say when and not if. We are prepared to have at least one adoption where the mother decides to parent, it is normal for every family to experience at least one loss during the adoption process. We are prepared for that loss because we will know that was not the child God had in mind for us. I'm not saying we won't be upset and that there won't be any tears shed, but we will remember that God does have a plan. We've seen his plan unfolding up to this point and we know he won't let us down.

I'll finish this post with a neat story from the family at the training on Saturday. When they were waiting for their second child they had an adoption loss. They actually had two birthmothers decide to parent within a month, but this story is about the second one. They were supposed to be picking up the baby that day when they got the call that the birthmother had decided to parent. They had everything ready and had even named him Matthew James. Of course the family was devastated. The mother spent some time deeply upset and just mad about it. One day her mother-in-law (the grandma at the meeting) told her that she prayed for Matthew James every day. It hit the mother then that her mother-in-law may have been the only one praying for Matthew James. The mother wasn't praying for him, she had been upset and only thinking about her loss. She realized that God gave them that loss so that little boy would have someone to pray for him. They knew the situation he was in wasn't a good one and if they hadn't had that loss Matthew more than likely wouldn't have had anyone praying for him. Within a few months the family was able to adopt their second child, which was the child God had in mind for them.

Thoughts on Adoption

At our training this past Saturday we heard from another couple who adopted two children. The children are now 16 and 12 and they seemed to be great kids. This family was the best part of both of the sessions that we've been to. J and I could've listened to them for the entire 5 hours we were there on Saturday. They also brought along one of the grandma's so we got to also hear some comments from her which was great. I wish everyone in our family could talk to them because it just reinforced our decision to adopt. J and I feel so strongly about what we are doing and even though our families are both supportive we wish you could hear this family. It's hard for me to describe everything that we feel about this experience and this family managed to put it all into words. Adoption is a calling from God. It is nothing short of amazing to be in a room with 15 other Christian couples all in different stages of the adoption process. Some are adopting Internationally, some are adopting Domestically, but all of us know in our heart that God has a special child in mind for us. We're just waiting for His perfect timing to be matched with him or her.

I want to devote some posts to adoption and try to explain some of the feelings that led us to this decision. I was going through some of the information that our agency sent us when we first contacted them. One of the things was a checklist to see if you were ready to adopt. Here are some of the things we considered in the very beginning:
1. Are you losing energy to pursue further fertility treatments - YES
2. In many ways would it be a relief to stop trying to conceive - YES
3. Have you tried every medical option with which you feel comfortable, yet experienced no success - YES
4. Are you willing to make yourself vulnerable to someone else's judgement - YES, this one took some time to get used to
5. Have you grieved the loss of the child you had hoped to conceive (vitally important question)- YES, we spent two years doing this
6. Do you find yourself spending more and more time thinking about and talking about adoption - YES
7. Do you and your spouse both feel adoption is a positive option - YES
8. Can you look over the following list of wrong reasons to adopt and conclude these are not the reasons you want to adopt - YES
We will be doing the poor child a favor, Other children will have a playmate, We have been through a difficult infertility experience and we deserve a baby, Raising a baby will help our marriage, Having a baby to love will make me feel completed and loved

All of the answers to these questions were YES for us. I was thinking yesterday that I don't really think of us as being infertile anymore. There was a time where it consumed almost every thought that I had, but there are days that go by now and I don't even think about it. I've said in previous posts that I don't want to forget about it (which I won't), but it's nice not to think about it quite as much.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

....and the wait begins...

Today we had our last training meeting with our agency. We received a certificate saying we had completed 10 hours of training which certifies us to be our baby's foster parents. It also completes the requirements of our agency to be able to adopt. We took our profiles with us and delivered them to the agency. That means we are officially waiting. There is nothing else for us to do except read a few required books and figure out how we will pay for it. We found out today there will be some extra expenses involved that we hadn't counted on. You might add that to your prayer list, I had the actual adoption fees figured out, but this extra is throwing me. Especially since there is no way of knowing an exact amount until it's time to pay them. It just includes legal fees and other expenses like if the baby stays in another foster care home before we bring it home. Things that are necessary, but I just hadn't thought about them.

So I guess our official wait time begins today. It's kind of hard for me to determine an actual wait time, because we really have been waiting for a long time already. Of course you can find anything on the web, so I found a ticker to commerate our waiting time - I just don't know which one to use. The first one is our wait time since we've turned in the profile.
Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

This ticker is counting the days since we found out we could start the adoption process.
Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

This ticker is how long it's been since we attended our first adoption meeting with our agency.
LilypieWaiting to adopt Ticker

This ticker may explain why I almost crawled over the counter at Kinkos. This is how long this whole process of adding another child to our family has taken. I look at this and remember the times I thought the pain was never going to end, but in a way it's hard to believe it's been 2+ years. In another way it's hard to believe that it's only been 2+ years. I think I've forgotten what life was like before we decided we wanted another baby.
LilypieWaiting to adopt Ticker

Parts of this whole journey have drug by and other parts have flown by. If I'd have known back in June of 2005 what was ahead I don't know that I would've been able to go through it. There were times in the middle that I didn't think I'd make it, but somehow I did. That was such a painful time, but now I wouldn't change anything about our wait. We still have plenty of waiting ahead of us, but for me it's a different kind of wait. There are times that it is probably going to seem pretty long, but I know someday soon I'll look into my baby's eyes and all of this won't matter. I'll know I waited x number of years for that baby. I won't ever forget the wait, and I don't want to , because it was all part of this wonderful journey that God allowed my family to be a part of.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Our Profile

I got a call from our Social Worker yesterday - our profile has been approved. Last night we made 10 copies of it (8 to give to the agency & 2 to keep). We got to Kinkos and the little copy man starts thumbing through the pages telling us he can't copy it without a release for the professional pictures. I got so angry at myself because we had a release and I mailed it to the agency and hadn't thought to make a copy. Then I got really irritated with the guy because he was inspecting each picture trying to decide if it was professional or not. I got pretty snippy and told him there were only 3 professional pictures in the profile. I thought I was going to implode right there at the Kinkos counter. I looked up the definition of implode and I think that's what I was going to do rather than explode. It was like after all this time we get to the last step and once again someone or something is standing in my way. The copy guy was really nice and I know I was hateful but I was so irritated. Also C was in a really annoying mood last night. We call it LaLa Land. He just spaces out and moves really slow and can't focus on what he'd doing. He had drug in all of his Civil War guys in his tackle box and had them lined up on one of the tables. J and I were trying to decide what to do and we both told him to pick up the toys which he did at a snails pace. We went out to the car and looked through our paperwork to make sure there wasn't something that we could use. Finally we found something that we thought might work and we tried to go back in to Kinkos. C got distracted by a realtor display that looked like a house. I thought my head was going to pop off. J told me to let him handle it so I sat down with C and J got them to make the copies. It took FOREVER for the guy to make the 10 sets of copies that we needed. C kept touching things and wandering around and saying can we go, I'm hungry. Anyone who saw us last night would've thought we didn't need another child, we were even beginning to wonder. We were almost done and J decided to get C in the car while I got the last of the copies. Since J was with me I had left my purse in the car. J comes back in Kinkos and says that one of our doors had been left open. I'm standing at the door yelling at him to make sure my purse was still in there, which it was. Then I yell at him to make sure my wallet and all my cards are still there, which he couldn't hear me so I had to yell louder. Finally I just told him to forget it, I'd check it when I came out. I went back in collected my copies and went out to the car. I'm sure everyone in Kinkos breathed a sigh of relief when they saw us get in our car and drive away. I had assumed that it was C's door that had been left open. With him in LaLa Land for the evening it sounded like something he would do....But it wasn't his door, it was J's. It's a wonder someone didn't pull in the parking lot and take our door off.

After Kinkos we went to Sam's to get stuff for the concession stand. C was just as annoying in Sam's as he was in Kinkos. J had gotten one of those big carts so C was running around on it calling it his train, sitting down and letting his feet dangle so we'd almost run over them, moving all around so it was difficult to push, playing on the chip boxes like it was a set of drums...I think you get the picture. I had to leave the two of them for a moment so I could collect myself. I was wanting a trip to LaLa Land by this time. For those of you who don't know, I drive a Pontiac G6. If you've ever looked at one you'll notice they aren't a large car. In fact the trunk is so small that all of my bags for just a weekend trip can fill it up. J had to get 6 large boxes of tortilla chips and 1 large box of Fritos, plus some other things. I thought we were going to have to put C's car seat on the top of one of the chip boxes. I already had some stuff in the car so trying to add the food to it was entertaining. J was trying to beat the boxes down into the trunk. We couldn't have fit one more thing in the car if we had wanted to.

So our car's loaded down with chips, C is saying over and over how hungry he is, I'm thinking how lucky we are that my wallet didn't get stolen and J decides to give me some words of wisdom...He had heard a speaker say one time, he thought is was at one of my employee conferences, that you can get people to do things for you if you're nice. If you're mean they'll be less likely to help you. It's a good thing I wasn't driving because I might have been so shocked by this revelation that I would've stopped in the middle of the road. He knew I wasn't very happy at Kinkos so that's why he decided to take care of it. I told him thank you, that thought had NEVER occured to me. It's a good thing I have him around. I don't know if he bought it, I'm pretty sure he knew I was being sarcastic. That's when he asked if I was going to blog about our adventure and I told him of course. Our crazy night was another step in the adoption process and I don't think we'll ever forget the night we copied the profiles. They will be delivered tomorrow when we go for our final training session! J said the box holding all of the finished profiles was the most exciting thing he's seen in awhile. I have to agree.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Failed Another Test....

I went to the doctor today about my throat. It was actually feeling a little better this morning, but because of the crazy weekend we are going to have I wanted to make sure it wasn't strep. He looked in my throat and said he thought it was more viral, but he checked it anyway. I was pretty sure at that point that I didn't have strep and I was a little disappointed. Not that I wanted to be sick, but it was one of those times I just wanted it to be something definable and treatable. He brought in the test and swabbed my throat and he left it sitting in there for 5 minutes. I got up and looked at the test to see if a second line was appearing. The test reminded me of a pregnancy test and all those times I waited for the second line that never appeared. If I stared at it hard enough and long enough I could almost make a second line appear, but in reality it was as blank as a white sheet of paper. The doctor came back in 5 minutes later and joked with me by telling me I wasn't pregnant. I said that I knew, I never pass any of those tests. I never get a second line. He laughed and sent me on my way telling me to take my Allegra and call him if I don't get any better. I think there is something in my body that doesn't allow it to make a second line appear on any test. If they would create a test of something I could pass - like the worry test or the obsessor test, I could probably create second lines all the time. But since those don't exist I'm stuck looking at tests that never have a second line appear. At least I could laugh about it today, because it was funny. A year ago I probably could've laughed, but it would've been a laugh to keep me from crying. Today it really was funny.

Another humurous part of my doctor visit today was that everyone (and I mean everyone) asked about the rash. The nurse, the doctor, the lady that checked me out. All were curoius about what J and C had found out on Tuesday. When the lady up front asked about it everyone at the front desk stopped what they were doing and looked at me while I explained what we found out. I'm sure they felt better when I told them it was contact dermatitis and not something contagious. I'm sure they all felt relieved to know they hadn't been exposed to leporasy on Tuesday. We really made an impression on everyone in the office. This could work out to our advanatage - they'll probably start taking me seriously if I ever call about a rash again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Story of the Rash

I had posted sometime last month about J's illnesses that he had seen the doctor about that day, but still managed to pass his Bus Drivers Physical. Well the rash hasn't gotten any better, in fact it's gotten worse. On Monday he called our doctor back and they made him an appointment with a dermatologist and called in another prescription. The dermatologist appt wasn't until January, so we had to try a different one in the larger town to our East. They couldn't get him in until November. At this rate J was going to have scratched down to the muscle or his arm was going to rot off. I picked up the $40 prescription Monday night and took it home to him. Since he had a ballgame he didn't get home until about 10:00 so he did what is becoming his normal routine and soaked in an oatmeal bath and then used the new cream. I had problems of my own Monday evening - I felt like I was getting strep throat, so I didn't much care about his itching. At 12:30 Tue morning he got me up because he feels like he's on fire. He wanted me to see if his rash has gotten worse. I was a little cranky because my throat hurt so bad and he woke me up. I didn't think it looked any worse so I told him so. He went and took a Tylenol PM and then laid back down. He tossed and turned and sighed for quite awhile. I was quickly losing patience so I told him to take another bath. At almost 1:00 a.m. J drew himself another oatmeal bath. While he soaked I laid there trying to decide what I was going to do about my throat - gargling warm salt water didn't help, chloraseptic spray didn't help. I wanted to take Tylenol PM, but decided that both of us didn't need to be knocked out. I finally decided on Alleve and threw in a decongestant for the heck of it. Jay got back into to bed and both of us were wide awake so we watched some of one of the Rocky movies (the one where Rocky fights the Russian). We were both so miserable that J said we were going to need an ambulance escort to the adoption training this weekend. I tried to laugh, but my throat hurt too bad.

Yesterday morning C wakes up and says he's itching like daddy. I went to look at it, thinking it was going to be a mosquito bite, but it wasn't. He had a weird looking rash all over his ankle. I called our doctor first thing yesterday morning and begged the nurse to get us in, which she was able to do. She is much nicer than the ladies at the front desk. The doctor looked at both of them and he didn't have a clue what we should do, except that J didn't need to use the $40 cream anymore. Dr S called the dermatologist himself and got both of them an appt yesterday afternoon. The Dermatologist said J has Contact Dermatitis, so he is allergic to something he came into contact with. The question is will the higher dose of steroids get rid of it, or is it something that he's coming into contact with on a daily basis? If it's not better in a couple of weeks J will have to have some allergy testing. They said it could be anything from gas fumes to elastic on his waistband. He wasn't so sure about C's rash, he told us just to use the cream he was giving J on it to see if it would help. So after $30 there and another $30 on prescriptions we managed to spend $100 in about 24 hours on a rash. That's our luck.

We were quite a site yesterday, I could hardly talk, Jay was scratching his arms non-stop and C kept having to stop walking so he could scratch his ankle. It makes you think twice about touching the door handles at stores doesn't it. You never know who's been scratching something before they touched that door...and I was worried about lice!

Our Civil War Solider

C has become obsessed with the Civil War. I'm sure I've posted about that previously, but I have to mention it again. His obsession is definitely a trait that he gets from my side of the family. Once my family gets started on something, they can't seem to quit. I don't know how many hobbies & activities my family has gotten obsessed with over the years, like dad's BBQ and mom's stamping. C is just another one in a long line of obsessors.

This past weekend we went with Jim and Sharon to the Civil War battlefield near our home. They were having a Ghost Walk that evening. We loaded up on shuttle buses and drove to a spot, watched a reenactment, walked to another spot and watched another one and then loaded back up on the bus. They drove us to another spot and we watched three more scenes before we got back on the bus and headed back to the visitors center. I think we were all a little disappointed because none of the scenes involved shooting. The first scene was the man who had owned the land that the fighting occurred on complain to a Confederate General that his men were stealing his stuff. The second scene was of two women spies reporting to the Confederates what they had seen. The third was of a group of Union POW's, the fourth was of a surgeon and the last one was of a Confederate burial. Even though there wasn't any fighting it still was neat.

It was dark and the trail was lit with lanterns. We were supposed to be quiet as we walked along the trail so it would set the mood. I was afraid C would have a problem with that, because in the truck that evening he had talked non-stop about the war. His new favorite line is "Did you know...." He also kept calling the Confederates the Confedery. There was a large church group that had taken up several of the tickets before, during and after our tour. They were the ones who had a problem with the no talking request. I know it's terrible to talk about other church members, but I had to control myself to keep from asking if they understood what no talking means. There was one women who seemed to be physically unable to be quiet. I had to try and get away from her while we were walking because she got on my nerves. C on the other hand was great. He was in awe of everything going on so stayed really quiet. I was proud of him, especially since he's only five. The 30+ year old woman could've learned a thing or two from C that night.

Sharon bought C another set of plastic Civil War toys from the gift shop. Mom had bought him some earlier but somehow we lost those. That's strange because C has his toys inventoried and knows when one little bitty gun is missing from his army toys. He had the toys on our family room floor all day Sunday and I stepped on one and broke it. I thought the world was going to end right then, he was so distraught. He also got a pin of two swords crossing to put on his Union hat. He was so excited about it.

Last night J had a football game and I stopped by to pick up C and he was wearing his Civil War hat at the football game. I wonder what people think about him when they see him with that thing on. Kinda like in DC when he kept wearing his three cornered hat, even though we weren't at Mt Vernon anymore. When we got home he said that he let Nielson wear his hat. Of course I cringed, I don't know how many times I've given him the don't share hats lecture (I'm so afraid of lice). I knew that C had been by Nielson's mom so I asked what she said. She told Nielson not to put it on, but C assured her it was ok so Nielson wore it for a little bit. Great, if Nielson ends up with lice they'll think it came from us. What a way to start out kindergarten, we'll always be labeled as the "lice carriers" in their eyes. Since the lecture didn't seem to be working anymore I had to resort to the scare tactic. I hate to do that, but sometimes it's the only way I can get through. I explained to him that he could get lice and that they were little bugs that itch and we might have to shave off all his hair if he gets them. I think maybe he finally understood, he doesn't want to be bald so maybe he'll finally quit letting other kids wear his hat. Not that I can totally protect him from everything...J's rash is not getting any better and this morning C had it on his ankle. At this point maybe lice wouldn't be that bad. At least we'd know what it was instead and could take care of it. Unlike this unidentifiable rash.

C finally got tired of me stepping on his toys so he moved his our bedroom.

The Graycoats as he likes to call them otherwise known as the "Confedery" have drawn their lines on my footboard.

The Bluecoats, which to C are the good guys, are stationed on my dresser.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I've Been Left Alone in the Office Again....

Those of you who have seen my office understand what I'm talking about. It is really just a large square room that is surrounded by 4 doors. Two of these doors lead to offices, one leads to the conference room and one leads to the breakroom & bathroom. Due to staffing issues I've been left alone in the office numerous times since the first of the year. It's like 2-3 days a week of being trapped in a white wall box. Things have been a little slow so the phone isn't ringing much, so it's just me sitting in complete silence. For those of you who know me well, sitting in complete silence is never a good thing for me. My mind starts to wander...usually to some disease or illness (I usually can resist the temptation to get onto WebMd, which is a good thing).

Last week was another one of those weeks. I've been alone more than I've been with another live body in the office. So my mind wandered. I'm sure the CEO of the company would love to know he's paying for a wandering mind. I was trying to figure out why I've been dragging my feet on the profile this week. We are this close (hold up your thumb and pointer finger about a quarter of an inch apart). That's how close we are to being done and I can't seem to get it finished. Why is that? We could potentially have birthmothers looking at our profile in under two weeks, but I'm dragging.

I (without the help of WebMd) have self-diagnosed myself. Since May 30, when we found out we could get started, I've been protected from the hurt of wanting a baby. It's like all the paperwork formed a protective bubble around me that other's pregnancy and birth announcements couldn't get through. I was safe, I wasn't worried about each month being "the month". I knew that I had to do xyz before there was any chance that I would be getting a baby. I wasn't just waiting anymore, I was actively doing something to move us along. Now that xyz seems to be done, we go back to waiting. You'd think with as much waiting that I've done the last few years, I would be better at it, but I'm not. When you are trying to have a baby all you do is wait. You wait to ovulate, you wait two weeks to take a pregnancy test, once you find out it's negative you wait to start the whole thing over. Once we started treatment, the waiting got even worse, wait to start the clomid, wait to see the doctor, wait to see the doctor again, wait for the IUI, wait the two weeks, and then wait to start the cycle again. Now we go back to waiting, but rather than waiting in two week increments, it's one big long wait stretching out in front of me.

I know there's always the chance that we could be picked early on, but I have to treat that the same way I treated trying to have a baby. There is a fine line between having faith that God can do anything, but yet keeping yourself realistic. I couldn't go around thinking all the time "I'm going to get pregnant this month" because I could almost convince myself that it was true. When I knew that it wasn't, it was devastating. Worst case scenario will be 3 years, I don't know how I'll cope with that. I've already made it through 2 so if I have to I can do it, I just don't want to. I guess that's why I'm dragging my feet with the profile.

I did finally get everything done this weekend. The packet is ready to go in the mail tomorrow. Once we get the profiles officially approved we will be waiting. I guess it's time to burst my protective bubble and start waiting, even though it's so "comfortable" in the bubble. The only problem is that the bubble not only keeps out the bad stuff, it also keeps out the good stuff. I know I have to burst it to start letting the good stuff in, it's just so hard to do that. No one wants to feel pain and hurt, even if we know its for our own good.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Last Weekend

Now that the weekend is almost here again I'm finally getting around to posting what we did last weekend. J and Terry had another football game last Saturday so we all went to Nana and Granddad's to celebrate Nana's birthday. This also provided an opportunity to have a new picture taken with J family for the profile. It was either that or use one from when C was a baby where J's head was cut off. It's a good thing we got a new picture. We decided to spend the night after the game so while J was at the game C and Nana decorated pumpkins. We all had a good time last weekend. Here are a few pictures.

We are having a quiet weekend at home. I'm going to finally get my house clean and laundry done all at once and get my fall decorations out.

Have a good weekend! This week has been a little slow, so maybe I'll have some more exciting stories to tell next week.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Heard from our Social Worker

Our Social Worker, Ivy, e-mailed me yesterday. She liked our profile and only suggested one minor change. I've also found a few other things that I want to change. I tried to correct it last night, I even sat down at the computer, but I just couldn't make myself fix it. We are so close to getting the final draft sent to the agency, but I just couldn't do it. I'm so tired of working on that thing, but I'm going to make myself finish it tonight. It's going to be a relief when we we get to the point of only waiting. I've seen adoption T-shirts that say "Pregnant on Paper", how true. This paperwork has been about as hard on me as the physical discomfort of pregnancy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Got Homestudy Yesterday

Yesterday we got our homestudy (along with the invoice for the fee that means we are officially in the program). It was about 10 pages long and is a combination of what we wrote in our earlier paperwork and what we talked about the night Pam visited us. It also had quotes at the end from the reference letters that were written for us. It talks about how Melody described C in her letter and she said that he could always converse with adults at a very young age. Pam also noted that C didn't have any problems carrying on a conversation. Big surprise! It was pretty interesting. It also goes into detail about our physical appearances like coloring, height and weight. Since it lists my weight I think I'm going to hide it away now. I don't know what's worse, having complete strangers read personal things about me or know how much I weigh. Right now, thanks to my past fertility treatments, I'm leaning more towards the weight thing as being worse!

I have also just e-mailed our social worker a copy of our profile. She is going to look over it and make suggestions before we even send the draft to her. I was so happy when she said she would do that. I told her I was having a hard time trying to decide how to refer the baby. You can't really say our baby or my baby because it's not ours. That can be offensive to the birthfamilies. I don't know if I should say children because technically we don't have "children" we have a child. Saying children means I'm implying their baby would also become our child. It's hard because you want the birthfamily to know how much you would love this baby, but yet still honor their positions as parents (and possibly grandparents) because until their rights are officially terminated the baby is theirs. I need someone else to look at it to make sure I haven't said anything to upset the birthfamilies. That's the last thing we want to do with the profile. J and I truly admire these birthfamilies and we don't want to say (or do) anything at all that might hurt them. I'll be so glad to get this thing done.

Monday, October 1, 2007

About the Tickers

I know, it looks like I went a little ticker crazy yesterday. At lunch yesterday I decided I'd try to make one and they were so easy I just kept making them. Once we finally get to the "officially waiting" part of our adoption I'm going to make one to count the wait. If you've never seen one before they're pretty neat. You put in a date and the ticker updates the countdown each day. I'm not a big Halloween person, we do let C dress up, but I was just in the mood to make tickers yesterday. Only 2 months, 3 weeks and 1 day until Christmas!