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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm packing my sunscreen


It's high time I used up some of the vacation I banked for travel in 2009 and headed to somewhere warm. Booked it. I leave Friday at 7am for Los Cabos. Sun, sand, surfing, slurring (OK maybe just a little), sleeping.... that oughta cover it. Checking out for a week of R n' R. Promise to return in a better mood :)
Ironically, the song "everybody's free to wear sunscreen" came up on my iPod today and it's a good one for me to keep in mind as I recharge and change my focus. It's on the play list here so if you haven't heard it before... un-mute the music - it's really worth listening to.

Adios, Ola, hasta luego or whatever they say in Mexico besides "Dos Cervezas Por Favor"
Stacey

Friday, November 20, 2009

----------When Helmets aren't enough---------



I am this girl - I have my helmet and training wheels but should have also taken a HUGE dose of gravol and at the very least worn some protective gear for my elbows, knees and most of all heart. I have made some decisions recently in terms of contact with my agency (who I am pretty sure has been on here at least a couple times) so they won't likely be disappointed to hear this. I have come to terms with the fact that calling them serves no purpose other than to rile me up and ultimately make them defensive and mad. I have run out of sunshine and skittles in my endurance in this journey and all that is left is determination, grit and fumes... which come out in frustration. We don't see eye to eye on things - they indicate they are doing everything they can... I see a program director running 2 programs on a part time schedule. I don't understand why it took so long to offer options to families registered in regions that they knew were not going to have children available but those changes take time from a program development and relationship stand point and peraps there needed to be more staff to make that happen. I am frustrated at the time this is taking and the lack of proactive communication and the difficulty gettting live contact with my social worker at the times she is scheduled to be in the office. They see a challenging and changing environment in Russia causing the delays. I see other Canadian agencies bringing home healthy infants and children in under a year operating within that same environment. I see clear communications regarding what I can handle as a parent and I also see that perhaps my agency doesn't quite understand what healthy means to me. They see an increasingly impatient, difficult, demanding, curt, frustrated PAP, I see 14 months of waiting (22 in total) for a boy older than most people are hoping for go by and wonder what else anyone would expect? Pregnant women are "allowed" to get cranky as they get bigger and more uncomfortable... and so I am exercising that same feeling. This is getting bigger and more uncomfortable, I'm getting more irritable, moody, and can burst into tears at any given moment... so yeah... I'm over due. I'm good and ready to get this over with. I dont' want to talk about it or ask more questions... I just want to hear the doctor say - it's a boy. Welcome home.

Oh yeah, the conversation closed with some potentially hopeful information regarding the urgency to get registerd families matched with children but there is no warm fuzzy "soon" at this point in the game for me. I have started exploring domestic foster adoption options - the knot at the end of this rope might not hold me for much longer.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Settling back in


So it's the weekend... thankfully. I have laundry to do, a house to tidy, and breath to catch. PJ's and coffee (with caramel Baileys) is the order of the day. What can I say about this week? How am I doing? Well, in a word - exhausted. In another word - OK. I don't know if I've gotten better over time at dealing with hard life "stuff" or maybe I've somehow learned to be objective and protective of my heart in so many ways. I hurt hard, deep and fast... and then I cope. I figure out the rational details of "things" and then do my best to move forward. Life is interesting... nobody said it wasn't going to be hard... but it's my job to find the beauty in it... so I sit in my PJ's thankful for flannel and for my amazing dog who sat close and licked lots of tears away. But more than being thankful for flannel and my dog, I'm thankful for everyone who emailed and reached out with words of comfort, advice, support and just to commiserate. I didn't take a lot of calls - because I had to figure out what I felt and what I wanted to say... all without the courtesy of a backspace button or time out for random fits of tears. So please don't think it's personal if I didn't pick up the phone. To the ones who decided just to show up on my doorstep to give me a hug... I'm so thankful for you too... silent tears and a hug go together like PB&J. Sometimes there are no words that need to be spoken - a hug says it all. So what now? What is on the horizon? Not sure. I spoke to my SW and maybe in the end I will be able to give some honest feedback on how to make this process better but for now, I take the high silent road. In terms of "how long" - I'm back to the silence and basically the you'll know when you get a call. I'd like to say that I don't think it will be long... but I have no reason to say that other than hope and I'll continue to do that - Hope... it's what I have to hang onto.

In great region news, one family is returning from Khab after meeting their 12 month old girl and my friend and her husband left this morning to meet their 18 month old son. Things are moving there... I have that confidence. So, if I hear nothing from my agency in the next week, I'll hear from my friend after her journey and maybe have new things to think about if nothing else. And that is that - back to the wait in silence.

Again, thanks for the emails, thoughts, prayers and friendship - you guys make this roller coaster ride bearable. Still hangin' on tight.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I am learning to maybe keep my hopes under wraps until I know for sure but after consult last night with one of the most respected International Adoption physicians my fears were confirmed. Dr. Bledsoe’s opening comment (loaded with the most kind and caring delivery based on heartfelt understanding of the weight and situation) was that, “I am so very very worried about this little boy”. She reviewed mostly his growth charts and told me that they become worried when a child is more than 3 standard deviations from the norm. My babies very best measurements were 3.5 SD from norm and his worst were 4+. She also reviewed the markers for FAS features and while he is adorable he displays features that she considered stereotypical (especially his eyebrows). Her very strong recommendation was to not proceed with going to meet baby R and to wait for a more healthy referral. She told me that there is a 50% + chance that he will not have the capacity to live independently and be severely academically and life challenged. At 19 months he is the size of an average 9 month old child and stopping just short of begging me not to move forward with this referral she offered to do a pre consult for my next referral.

So… I've sat here and had a big old fashioned cry… a cry for a beautiful little boy who I very much wanted to bring home and love back to health and a little boy who will always stay in my heart. In just over 24 hours, I fell in love with his sweet face and somehow was even looking forward to changing diapers… I’ve learned to be patient and rational… even in affairs of the heart. I have the support of my agency in making the right decision for me and they told me that it will not be looked upon negatively by them or the Ministry of Education in Russia as they move forward to find me a healthy little boy. I’ll be fine… my heart breaks for this little boy that I’ll forever wonder if I did the right thing and pray that he will find a family to love him and help him with all of the things his broken little life will need.

I wanted to let you all know now before I had to say it out loud if you called… I sent the email to my SW and she compassionately understood the challenges associated with raising a special needs child as a single mom by choice and told me to take the time to grieve this loss and she'll call me on Thursday. Thanks so very much to everyone for your support, comments, emails and excitement - it's a hard balance. I prematurely shared my excitement and was given the gift of your friendship and celebration and now, although there are big parts of me that wish I could put a lid on my emotions until things are sure... I need you guys now more than before to lean on. So, I guess in the end, it was OK... I got to be deliriously happy if only for a short while. The crashing hurts though... beware of the landing.

I used to like roller coasters.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

:-( Love the IA doctor... not the message


Will update more when I get my head wrapped around everything... but the news isn't good.
What a roller coaster...
Stacey

Monday, November 9, 2009

REFERRAL!!!


Well I guess that's exactly what "soon" means!!! I got up early today and headed to a meeting at the hospital. On the way there I realized that my cel phone only had one bar of power left. I made a mental note that I NEEDED to go home to grab my charger. After I did I headed on my work day. I got out of a big clinic building where I had spent about an hour to see that I had missed 6 calls... and in that moment... about 20 heart beats. I checked my call history and saw a "780" number which is where I expected a call from the provincial government. It took forever to get through the messages and to the one I was waiting for... THE CALL!!! My sister came to be with me as we sat outside of Starbucks and read the email together, took a big deep breath and opened the pictures... WHEW!!!

Skip to the juicy part: Boy: 19 months old, 15.5 lbs, beautiful big dark eyes and brown hair, walking, cruising, babbling, says "mama" "a man" "give me", likes musical toys, plays shy when someone talks sweetly to him by hiding his face, eats and sleeps well, no major scary medical diagnosies (that I know of yet). They don't know how long he's been in the baby home nor what his exact birthday is but when I looked at the photo listing I found a picture of him as a TINY baby so I'm assuming he's been there from the start. I have put the call in to have him reviewed by an IA doctor and the only thing of concern for me right now is that he is such a little peanut. He was born 4 weeks early so I'll subtract a month off of "his real age" for that and if he's been in the baby home for 19 months and "they say" that there is an expected delay of 1 month for every 3 in the home that could account for another 6 really??? So... is he really that small for his "age"??? time will tell.

What does my gut say? He's just little. I am praying that he'll be fine... just needs lots of love and high fat foods!!! He is beautiful to me - he looks proportionate and strong... just little... and beautiful... and like he'd like to be my son.

What else can I say??? I'm exhausted but not to tired for a great big
WHOO HOO!!!!
Thanks to Darla and Carala for coming over to celebrate my joy and excitement! Thanks to everyone who's called and emailed and cried with me. I can't wait to meet him and be able to officially introduce him... This feels amazing :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wild Wild Roller Coaster Ride

Everybody get ready to board the roller coaster with me... Put your seat belts on, remove all loose objects from your pockets (except wallets and large unmarked bills - if they fall I'll have my people collect them on the ground :) and put your hands way up with your fingers crossed in the air.
What a change a week and a melt down can make. I'll skip the details in between where we clarified some details and get right to the juicy excerpt from an email from my SW this evening, " just received confirmation from our facilitator in Khabarovsk that we will continue to offer proposals, as she is confident we will be able to meet court requirements. Another Canadian agency works in Khab and is able to get through court, so I am confident we can do the same. So, we have decided not to withhold or delay any proposals from the region.
Good news for you...who I do expect may receive a proposal soon...stay tuned! Have a great night!"

Now I don't know what "soon" means exactly but my agency doesn't say "soon" unless they know something we don't and have reason to believe that there is a happy phone call in my foreseeable future. Wow... this could all become very very real very very soon. Wow. Fingers crossed for a happy, healthy cutie who wants nothing more than to come home to Canada with his mama (but he just doesn't know it yet). Will certainly be posting updates as they come - praying for everything to be wonderful!
YIKES!