Friday, March 28, 2008

So much to consider..always the same outcome

Wow—a lot has gone on since my last post and there have been so many things going through my mind.

About 2 weeks ago quite a stir was caused in the Kazakhstan adoption world when an announcement came out that Kazakhstan was closed to adoptions from the United States. This of course sank many hearts, mine included. The next day we found out that it was really a temporary suspension that only affected dossiers that were not sent to Kazakhstan yet—those already there would continue to be processed. Big sigh of relief—this meant that I was okay but still sad because many people I have come to know through the blog world were affected. Now we have heard that the suspension is lifted and all is continuing on as before. Again—big sigh of relief for all who are in process. I have to say that I harbor a little uneasiness yet because this makes me realize that anything can happen during this time I am waiting. My really big sigh of relief won’t come until I am home safely with my daughter.

I have also seen on TV or read in books or magazines a lot of stuff about adoption—maybe I’m just tuned in because I am now in the midst of it but it seems there is a lot of information out now. I will list the things that stuck in my mind and try to express some of my opinions and thoughts.
• A TV segment where a couple adopted a daughter from the Ukraine when she was 4 and she is now 10—the Mom was at her wits end and wanted to send the child back because they just haven’t been able to bond and to learn to love each other. The Dad and the rest of the family did love the little girl and couldn’t bear to think about sending her back. The solution they came up with was to get the mother some help—both in taking care of the child and house and in learning how to bond.
• People magazine had an article about a woman that ran a ranch and took in adoptive kids that were having a very hard time adjusting to their new live and acting out. She sounded very loving but had strict rules and chores for the kids and you could say “ran a tight ship”. Parents who were at their wits ends would send their kids here—most would return home when they were doing better but some ended up staying at the ranch and never returning home. One featured girl was 16 now and adopted from Kaz-she was one that never went back home and loved living at the ranch. It did sound like she was an amazing woman but too sad that a place like hers had to exist.
• My sister told me about a friend of hers that adopted a boy from Russia and he had severe attachment problems and several people advised her to give up and return him because it was disrupting their family but she did not listen—instead she quit her job and did intensive home therapy with him—it started out where she was with him nearly every second even sleeping, in the bathroom, etc. and holding him whenever he started to act out. I don’t know how long this went on or what the whole progression was but now she has a teenage boy that is doing very well in school and at home.
All of these stories broke my heart in many ways. Most of all for the kids who just want to be in a good loving home. My heart also hurt for these parents that felt they weren’t able to give the kids what they needed. I know that things may not always be easy but I also know that I want this more than anything and I could never give up on it. In hearing about my sister’s friend I thought “Bravo for her”. I don’t know of any parents that would give up on their biological child and plan to send them back. An adoptive child is no different—we need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to give them a successful life, just as if they came out of our womb. We also need to realize when we need to enlist help and use our resources. Our goal shouldn’t be to have a child love us but rather to give love to a child whatever the outcome.

• Another waiting parent and blog friend (Lisa) wrote “Can you miss some one you have never met?”
She nailed it exactly. It is truly amazing how every day my thoughts turn to my daughter and every day I miss having her. I try to tell myself that the wait is long and I shouldn’t spend so much time thinking about it but that just doesn’t work. As the days go by I can only think about it more and more—it practically consumes my thoughts and is certainly the main consideration in any future plans I make. “If I have to travel then…” or “When my daughter is here…”. Etc.

• I read an article written by a man who was adopted as a child and as an adult went back to his homeland—the first place he felt at home. He wrote about how children shouldn’t be taken away from their country and their culture—that it denies their birthright and forces them to live differently than they were meant to.
I think that in a perfect world all children would be taken well care of by their original families and in their own culture and all who wanted to be parents would be able to have children but…since we do not live in that world, we need to have solutions. To me bringing together a loving parent with a child who does not have that is a good solution. I have really oversimplified his article and my response as the intricacies of both do offer a lot to think about and it is clear the topic is not black and white but has a lot of grey.

Through all of this musing, I remain steadfast in my plan and desire to adopt a daughter from Kazakhstan. It just feels so right.

Friday, March 14, 2008

update on my dad

Hi all,
Dad had his third chemo treatment yesterday and he seemed to tolerate it well. After the last one he was nauseated for a few days and couldn't hardly eat anything so this time they started the nausea treatment right away to hopefully prevent that.

The hematology NP (Nurse Practitioner) and MD were happy with his blood results--it appears the leukemia is responding well to the chemotherapy. They are planning the next treatment for April 3rd. That will be his fourth and they are hoping to complete six treatments. He does not need any blood transfusion at this time but will need another gamma globulin infusion in about a week and they plan to do that in Jackson on the 24th. They will also continue to watch his platelet count and may need to give platelets if the count decreases anymore. He has kept his weight up and they are happy with that--in fact, Dr. Zent said Not to worry about the eating--he still has plenty of weight on him.

I asked what happens after these six treatments are done. Basically he will start to feel better and hopefully have a 2 to 3 to 4 year remission from these treatments. The Leukemia is never gone and he will continue to need to be followed here at Mayo every three months for the rest of his life. It is likely that it will flare up again at some time and he will need some type of treatment again. You can never tell how long the remission will be but hopefully he will get a few years.

David and Teresa (my brother and sister) came over and sat with him and Mom during the actual treatment which last about 5 hours so that was good--I think they appreciate having some one with them and it makes it easier for me to go back to work.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Just a quick note to let you know that I added my timeline to the sidebar--it seems to be one of the most important pieces of information in the adoption world.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Do Dreams really come true?

Yesterday started out with kind of a let down. I received a weekly update from my Agency that gave the current statistics. We have 32 dossiers at the MOE and 18 at the MOFA, which is where mine is. This means that there are at least 32 families ahead of me. We have had only one family travel to Kazakhstan in the last two months. The math just does not add up very great at that rate. I was kind of down for a while and started thinking about how long I would wait and if there was a cut off point at which time I would abandon my journey to motherhood. It is so hard to think about. However I quickly realized that I absolutely did not want to abandon this dream and I had full trust in God until this point so I will definitely not give up but keep praying for speedy processes within our agency.
Our agency also said that they are working to develop relationships with more baby houses and hope to complete more adoptions this year so that is encouraging news.
We have heard about so many kids in need of good homes from those who have already traveled and seen the baby houses and from the great ladies that operate "Two Hearts for Hope"--see the link on the right hand column. It is very hard to understand how it can be that way and yet be so hard to adopt one of them. If you are reading this please pray for all the waiting parents and waiting children to be brought together in loving homes.
Now--this morning I felt a little more hopeful. I had a dream about my adoption last night that I actually still remember and I usually never remember my dreams. In my dream our agency sent us a picture of several children at a baby house. In the picture all of the children were holding a sign with the name(s) of their prospective parent(s) on it. Right in the front and middle was a very lovely little girl with dark hair smiling big and holding a sign with my name on it--not only was she in the front but her sign with my name on it was the biggest one there and my name was all in glitter. Now I am not sure if dreams just represent what we want to be true or if they can foretell the future but I am sticking with predicting the future theory for now.
It is so weird how this journey can consume your thoughts and be so up and down. I have never been terribly emotional so this is sure something new to me.
On another note--I tried a new exercise class this morning called Zumba Dance. It is a form of latin dance/exercise. I have never shaked my chest and hips so much before. Not only did I get a good work out but the endorphins were really flying as I laughed at myself through most of it. I am not a dancer so I was quite a sight as I did butterfly arms and all those fast hip shakes. Most fun I've had exercising in a long time.