Sunday, December 30, 2007
1) I am a class 3 whitewater river guide. I am also a sea kayak guide. I volunteer with and organization called Environmental Travelling Companions. and we take people with special needs whitewater rafting, kayaking, and cross country skiing.
2) I spent a week trekking around the Karen villages on the border of Myanmmar in Thailand, and loved every minute of it. We stayed at each of the village leaders homes (it's customary for them to let guests stay even if you come unannounced and can't speak the language). Luckily, we had our mountain guide with us so we were able to communicate and ask a bunch of questions. We also climbed to the top of Ti Lor Su Falls. Scary but so worth it.
3) I am an opportunivore, meaning that I am not a picky eater whatsoever. You can take me anywhere and I will find something to eat, seafood, meat, veges, other unrecognizable food stuff, you name it, I will eat it (at least once or twice). And yes, I am willing to try the Kyrgyz "national drink", that fermented mare's milk. I can't wait until trip 2 when I will have more time to check this out and will have a few days to recover in case my digestive system decides to show me who is boss. Mala warned me but I am too curious and stubborn.
4) I have crocheted 6 baby blankets over the past year (most are for gifts). I found out that this relaxes me, so now I guess I am taking "commissions" from friends so that I don't end up with a hundred blankets.
5) I study a martial arts style called Kajukembo which originated in Hawaii and combines karate, jujitsu, kempo and Chinese boxing. I'm not all that good but I love the workout and the knowledge. D will be enrolling as soon as he is old enough.
6) I have had 2 ACL replacement surgeries, one on each knee. The first one from skiing in Utah and the next one from martial arts but not during a fight or anything. I was just doing roundhouse kicks with an advance. It's entirely possible that I should just stay home and watch TV since I seem to be dangerous to myself. But I may only live once (depends who you ask) and I may as well live my best life.
7) I was born in the Philippines but I am mostly Chinese in ethnicity. I moved to the U.S. (San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles) when I was 12. Therefore, when I am hanging out with my sisters, the Valley Girl accent usually rears its ugly head. "Like, oh my gosh, that is sooo grody and like, soooo embarassing!"
8) Since I was a little girl, I loved to draw and paint. I've always thought I was going to be an artist. Instead, I ended up in business school and now, I work as a director of finance in the telecom industry. Far cry from being an artist, but surprisingly, I really like that too. And I still paint from time to time.
Phewww!! I was worried I wasn't going to come up with 8 things which would lead me to explore other crazy stunts to perform, like chasing lions and bears!
Now, I tag Channing!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
A few days ago, I responded to the email from my internet friend telling her I was really sorry I didn't find her baby. I really hated sending that email. Then, I sent the photos of the older baby to Karen at AA. Today, I got an email from my interent friend asking if I was the one who took the photos of baby K that Karen at AA sent her. Of course, looking at the email forwarded to her, I saw that it was the exact email I sent Karen and those were the photos I took. She was her baby. I don't know how the age got mixed up but who cares? That was her!!
I guess I should have known that it was too strange that I found a girl with the same name, but I didn't know for sure if that name is very common in Kyrgyzstan. That name could have been what "Jennifer" is to Americans.
Anyway, my internet friend, if you are reading this post, I loved getting your email and seeing that it was her after all. It really made my day and I am very very excited for you.
So now I find myself at home and unable to maintain my 9 - 5 because I REALLY wanna nap in the afternoon. Fortunately I took three weeks off and don't have to be back to work until Jan 2nd. I have been awake all day - since 10:30 - and am trying to stay awake until at least 11 pm. Hoping I can sleep through the night and not be wide awake from 2:30am to 6am. If D had come home with us , that would not be such a bad thing - but I can't maintain this schedule until he gets here.
Yesterday I was trying to make it all the way through the day but I was watching videos of D and he was yawning and falling asleep and , well - I didn't make it.
But tonight I will, and tomorrow I will wake up at a reasonable hour - before 1pm - and reaquaint myself with the whole day.
We were shopping today for baby stuff - of all those babies they use as models, only one or two are as cute as Dylan (well, yes, I am biased, thank you). I was thinking he could pay for his own college fund, Ivy immediately poo-pooed that idea. OK - daddy rule one - no hawking out the child for income. Wonder how many other rules there are? Ivy will let me know I am sure.
So, Ivy and I were wondering how long we wait until taking D boating. I am sure the whitewater has to wait until he is at least 6 or 7, same with scuba lessons, but we can take him seakayaing earlier. He can sit on my lap if we go in calm water. Sailing we can do sooner - larger boat, much harder to get (fall) out of. Then we had a shocking moment of trepidation - what if D doesn't like water? There is a big lake in Kyrgyzstan, but otherwise the place is landlocked. I don't think the orphanage gives him baths - just showers. DANG!!! OK - too soon to panic. We'll take baby strokes - like doggy paddle - in a half full sink, work him up to laps in the bath tub. See how he likes that. What if he doesn't like the outdoors at all? What if we loose him to the gaming rooms - holding his blankie, playing Dance,Dance Revolution for quarters? Or worse, hawking Skee-Ball tickets for toys. AHHHHhhhhh - the nightmares are starting already.
First the blankets, then the bottles, then the safety stuff, then the clothes, then the diaper bags, then the furniture, then the diapers. And we hadn't even gotten to the toys. After hours at BabiesRUs and then Target, we have lots of stuff added to the list. I just kept adding stuff with the assumption that I'll be deleting stuff online later on.
All this is just in time for all our family, friends and co-workers who keep insisting that we register so that they know what we still need. They want to throw baby showers for us so at this point, I think we have 4 baby showers lined up. One at my work, one virtual one with Bill's co-workers (he works from home and his coworkers are all over the country, most of them he has never met in person), one in L.A. with my family, and one here around home that MK is co-hosting with a couple of our friends. I think all this in context with the fact that neither one of our families have had babies around for a very long time, so everyone is very excited about D. And our friends have been there during our fertility disappointments and know how much this means to us.
So anyway, back to the shopping. At first, I was telling everyone that it was easy to figure out what to buy for us. We have nothing but a crib and a hand-me-down baby car seat from my friend Isabel, so everything should be ok to buy. But now that I actually got to the shopping and the choosing, I remembered that I am picky. I have very distinct taste so why would I think that this wouldn't apply to baby stuff?? Duh.
Once we got started, it was very easy to get carried away. It was easy to get lost in the hype of all the marketing. It seems that we need each and every little thing. Who knew you needed to have a special pillow for feeding the baby, and special diaper pails that keep odors in, and special bags for diaper disposal? First of all, I never remembered my mom having any of these special things and we came out ok. Did we really need all of these? And the one thing that I think keeps coming back to me are wipe warmers. Are cold wipes really that unpleasant?
What I enjoyed the most was looking at everything and imagining how D would look in them or how he would like or dislike each item. The truth is that I couldn't bring myself to commit to the baby things prior to meeting D. I didn't want to "count the chickens before the eggs hatched", given the IVF circumstances earlier in the year where my eggs actually didn't "hatch". I just couldn't face more sadness and loss so I armed myself with denial. I was so afraid to be disappointed if we lost the referral. I guess I really needed him to be real first and now that I have held him and saw him for myself, and have fallen in love, none of that old stuff matters. Right now, D has captured my heart and I am ready to be his mommy forever, even if that means shopping till I drop. Oh the sacrifices mothers make :-)
Ded Moroz (pronounced Di-yed Mor-Oz) = Grandfather Winter. He is dressed just like Santa Claus but he has no reindeer to speak of, doesn't shimmy down any chimney's and I'm not sure about Mrs. Claus. However, like our Santa here, he distributes gifts to children as well.
Yolka (like Polka but with a Y) = Christimas Tree, except they don't celebrate Christmas so I'm sure that is not a direct translation. These are just like ours, decorated with shiny christmas balls, tinsel, garlands etc. I also didn't see gifts under any of them.
Young and some not so young adults are very fashionable Moscow style. Nice winter boots, skinny leg jeans, or mini skirts, or high heels walking around in Bishkek, sometimes in the snow. I on the other hand with my big lugsole Uggs, was slipping and sliding on the icy sidewalks in true California girl fashion.
Young adults listen to rap and rock. Yes, they know who Fifty is and even understand his lyrics. I live here and I don't!! Go figure that out.
There aren't very many new cars in Kyrgyzstan. Too expensive - although we did see some SUVs, even a Lexus that looked fairly new. Most are used cars that are imported from Japan, Germany and US.
They use sand to de-ice their roads and drivers have little regard for lane dividers.
The mall (Zum) is filled with individual merchants, unlike our big corporate store type malls. Bill thinks the US should adopt this model. It would be good for small businesses and we would have so much more variety than just the Gap, Macy's and Pottery Barns.
Diet Coke is not super popular but regular Coke is. And they only offer the huge 1-liter bottles when you order a Coke at the restaurants.
Good brewed coffee is hard to come by. They use instant. They probably think we are crazy for wanting to spend the time and effort to brew our fresh cups every day. If only they knew how much money Americans spend at Starbucks.
The Temir Komuz or Jews Harp is a favorite instrument to learn. Kids are taught how to play this instrument in school. Of course, Bill bought one. It is a rather cool looking thing. Here's a link to a YouTube video of someone playing one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPTWQnEMEjg
I'm not sure if medical insurance even exists in Kyrgyzstan but if it does, most people don't have it.
Ski slopes are an hour away from Bishkek. I wonder if we can swing this on the next trip. Not a priority but it would be very cool.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Vermont Document Certification from the Secratary of State for our Marriage License: finally received by The Assistant Stork yesterday and our dossier is now at the state department. Yay!! Now they just have to do what they need to do so we can get those docs to Kyrgyzstan.
I-171 approval: Now this is a little more challenging. We never received an acknowledgement with a case number after we submitted our application. The only thing we have received is a packet containing the 2 fingerprinting notices and a letter that lists a bunch of boxes that if checked, we will have to supply. None were checked. The receipt for the $830 fees we paid was attached but there was no case no. That's when Bill figured out that we were missing one piece of paper that holds the golden numbers. Crap, now we will have to figure out how to get that number. We called Dr. Woo for help and he suggested we called the FBI to see if our fingerprints have been sent to the CIS office. They were sent on Dec. 8. So now, I don't know what the next step is. We will need to wait for Dr. Woo to call the US-CIS office in San Francisco to see if he can find out where our paperwork is in the process.
International Post Placement Agreement: We will need to sign and get this doc notarized so we can send it Adoption Alliance.
Bills to pay: Paid the remaining AA fees, plus the doctor consult with the University of Washington. Hmm, I wonder how much more moolah will be required until we get D home.
With Eyes Wide Open: Oops, we never actually completed the online classes. I'm almost done so I guess I'll get this going again this weekend and finally get the certificate of completion. It's not that I wasn't reading anything else, I was actually on to the baby books. Pressure is on from our family and friends to start the baby registries so I've been trying to figure out what new parents need.
Well, I am going to be an adult and deal with the not so fun tasks so that I can go on to the more exciting stuff, like baby shopping and minor home remodeling. Not the most exciting post but so it goes.
Monday, December 24, 2007
As we checked our bags at Manas International Airport in Bishkek, the lady at the BMI counter asked us where we would like to retrieve our bags. We told her we would like to get them at Heathrow because we have an overnight layover. She confirmed that this is what she is putting into the system. So would you believe me if I told you that when we got to Heathrow, our bags never came down the carousel? Then, what if I told you that the BMI employee looked it up and said it was tagged to go to San Francisco... on tomorrow's flight? And what if I told you that in order for us to get our bags for the night, we would have to wait 4 hours while they track down our bags at the storage/holding area and they don't recommend we do that? And what if I told you they offered us another couple of bloody overnight kits and had nothing but apologies? And what if I told you we got into Heathrow the next day and were told we could only carry one bag onto the plane per person and had to check in another bag that we fully intended to have with us on the flight? And what if I told you that when we finally got to SFO, they didn't send one of the bags on the plane and now we still have one lost bag? Oh yes, it's no joke. This really happened.
And now I am telling you that we are NOT flying British Airways or BMI through Heathrow again on the second trip, or maybe EVER.
On Friday, our 3rd and final day of our visit, our luggage finally came. I was ecstatic because I was able to give him the crocheted blanket that I made. We were also able to leave the couple of small toys. Although I know that these things may not be there when we come back for him, I was OK knowing that he may have enjoyed them that day and that in his baby understanding of the world, I hope he knows we love him and will be back for him soon.
Our afternoon visit with him was magical . It had been snowing all day and the light and the trees outside framed by the window was just perfect. It was such a tender moment for us and it took my breath away a little bit to watch Bill holding D by the light of the window as both of them looked out. I'm really a sucker for unintended portraits and even though I can't quite post photos of him yet until the paperwork is finalized, you'd have to trust me on this one and then wait a few weeks to see the actual photo.
Since the afternoon of day 1, D has gotten comfortable falling asleep in our arms. On the afternoon of day 3, he was showing all the classic signs of fussiness that comes before the nap. I was getting very choked up as this was happening because I knew we were saying goodbye for a few weeks. I think he felt this vibe from us and would not allow himself to go to sleep. I just held him and he kept yawning and smiling at me and I just kissed him while tears streamed down my face. I think I actually felt my heart tear when I followed him into the baby room where Gulia, his orphanage mommy put him down and motioned for me to come put the blanket down for him. I guess the tears streaming down my face gave it away. Gulia looked like she understood and just gave both Bill and me a hug, as if to say he is in good hands until you come back for him.
And so the end of the 3 days with D passed in a blink of an eye, or more like a pair of puffy tear soaked eyes.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Things certainly got much better. Kuba, our driver picked us up and took us to the Bishkek Baby House. First of all, there couldn't be a nicer person who speaks perfect English. We felt like we were in good hands. Then, we get to the baby house and met our coordinator Saule for the first time. She is this kind of petite lady and she was very sweet and very warm. She brought a couple of boxes of gifts for the caregivers and she explained to me that they love this cake so she brings these to them when she comes.
But let me digress a little before I tell you about D boy. when we told them about our luggage being lost, first thing Kuba asked is, "Was it BMI?" I guess this is a pretty common occurence with BMI trips to Kyrgyzstan. Note to self, do we want to use them again for trip 2?
The Bishkek Baby House in December has no children playing outside. They have several brightly colored gazebos (for a lack of a better word) scattered along the path to the buildings. Rightly so,it is literally freezing. It didn't feel that cold when we were walking through but I couldn't imagine that they would be letting the kids play in that kind of cold and damp. But I imagined that in the summer, the toddlers may be taken outside for some playtime. I hope so anyway.
As we walk in, I tried really hard not to show how nervous I was about meeting D. We went up a couple of flights of stairs and Saule finds the doctor whose name I can't remember or say correctly and forget about spelling. I think it starts with a G. I think I should try and ask again for sure later. And I may even write it down this time. We talk to her a little bit. We talk about our language skills. She speaks very little English and we speak absolutely no Russian. Off to a wonderful start. We walk down one flight of stairs and into this big room with a playpen in the middle where the older babies play with each other. There are some cribs lining one wall and another community crib where the younger babies are put next to each other.
Then there he was was being held by one of the caregivers!!! Dr. G says his name, and the caregiver hands him to me. I didn't know if I was shaking or what. I must have been. He is so much smaller than I imagined. And he was not as animated as I thought babies were. But he was so cute and precious. He didn't show any opposition to being handled by a total stranger. He was fascinated by some cotton balls on a string hanging from the ceiling. And maybe the shiny Christmas decorations also hanging all over the ceiling. I don't know for sure but the world around me disappeared at that moment. I don't know where anyone or anything was. I don't even know where Bill was. I was just holding D and gazing at him and nothing else mattered just then. I didn't cry like I thought I was surely going to though, maybe because I have run through this moment a million times in my head and I teared up each one of those times.
He was bundled up in another big PINK sweater and some pants with the built-in feet things. Then there was a big swathe of a diaper wrapped around his waist. They don't use diapers like we do. They kind of do a hybrid of cloth diapers and no diapers. They basically put on a cloth diaper that is not secured by any pins. And then, they put big pants over them and then wrap the waist, not unlike a geisha with the large sash around her waist.
A few minutes later, the room came back and I realized Daddy hasn't held him yet so I handed him over to Bill who was just as enthralled by him. We got to visit him for about an hour and a half in the morning and then the afternoon. Between Bill and me, we just played musical baby and never put him down. Bill sang to him and played a little harmonica.
As for development stuff, which was a huge concern for us, he seemed to respond well to sounds. I think he actually responds to sounds better than he did visual stimulus. I was a little concerned about the staring at the ceiling thing. He was very determined not to lose whatever he was looking at out of his sight. If I moved him around, he turned his head as much as he could to follow the object he was gazing at. I'm not sure if this is normal for his age. He's eleven and a half weeks old. His chin also quivered a little when he was first handed to me. Then again when I handed him to Bill. It only happened a few times and it stopped after a couple of seconds but nevertheless, I emailed Dr. Bledsoe about this.
I left Bill with D for a little while so that I could visit the other baby rooms to look for 2 other children at the request of their mommies waiting to take them home. The rooms where the individual cribs were had about 4 to 5 cribs to each room. Each baby in the crib has a small paper tag pasted on the way with the name and dob of the baby. I found one of the 2 precious girls I was looking for and she was adorable. I guess she is a little bit older than D, about 5 months or so. She was such a happy girl. I played with her and held her for a while and made faces at her. She was cracking up at me. She had a strong grip and she was noticeably heavier and longer and just plain bigger than D. I just kept thinking of her her mommy at home and how she would just love to hold her right there and right then. We took several photos of her to send home. I wonder if they will let me play with her again later today when we go back.
Back to D. I walked back into the room and Bill looked so happy and content to just be holding him and moving him around the room. It was really wonderful to see this. He was making faces at him and as we held him longer, he started to smile and gurgle at us. His favorite was when he spit up and we were wiping his chin. He seems to like this a lot!! He also let out the biggest belch I have heard from a baby. What a trip. Such a big sound coming from such a small guy.
As long as I am on the topic of natural bodily functions, I may as well tell you about our fist stinky adventure. No, not No. 2, just No. 1. Naturally, with the way they have the diapers on, there is no leak proofing. In my case, D was on my lap as we were sitting on the rocking chair and he leaked onto the only pants I had at the time. The whole time we were holding him, I was a little concerned about him being so warm against me. I couldn't tell if that was warm or wet. Well, I just found out there is a diference. The wet kind leaves a stinky wet spot on you. But at least, it's just pee. Bill chose to make this a sentimental moment and memorialize my first pee stain with a photo.
After a few more minutes, then they told us it was time for him to nap and they took him away from us. They told us we could come back at 2 if we wanted to. Are you kidding me? Do we want to?
I went shopping for a few new clothes to change into and then had a wonderful lunch. And then back to the baby house to hang out some more.
D fell asleep in my arms today. He was getting squirmy when Bill was holding him. He was sleepy but I think he just didn't want to miss all the action so he tried not to fall asleep. He didn't want to but I just held him laying down until he gave in. After 2 big yawns, he closed his eyes and finally fell asleep. I can't begin to describe this moment. I have never cradled a baby to sleep before. D was so fragile and tender and so helpless. He needs his momma and daddy to take him home so he can be cradled to sleep every day. He doesn't like to be held in a laying down position but I realized if I held him closer to me, snuggled more against my chest, he gave in and stopped fighting.It is very very sad to leave the orphanage without our baby, and a few others. I'm looking forward to our time tomorrow.
First of all, we get to SFO on Monday evening and we realize we never made arrangements to get from Manas Airport to the hotel. And Bill doesn't have the number or email to Asia Mountain. So I sat there minutes before boarding the plane and emailed my Kyrgyzstan Adoption group on Yahoo. This is about 7 pm or so PST. It was a long shot. I sent out the email in hopes of getting some ideas on how to resolve this. Lo and behold, Cindy and Mala immediately respond. Then Marnie! Holy cow don't we do anything else but check out our emails and postings?? Thank goodness we are all blog, email and group addicts.
Then, I look at Bill and just by chance asked if he has the info for our reservations at Heathrow on the way back since we have an overnight layover. Nope, no printout and he can't remember the name of the hotel. What's next?
OK, I shouldn't have asked that. Because next, we get into Heathrow a little bit late and our connecting flight is soon to leave. We make it to our BMI flight to Yerevan / Bishkek, but our bags don't. The luggage had not been unloaded from the previous flight and never made it onto our plane. So, we were told this at the gate and then confirmed again by the flight attendant after they close the cabin doors. Wonderful. I am now about to freak out but thought better about it and asked myself. If I had been told that our bags were definitely not going to make it before the closed the cabin doors, would I have said, forget it, I'm not flying without the bags? Oh hell no! I was going to Bishkek, bags or no bags. Bill also would have nipped that in the bud right then and there and reminded me I'm losing my mind.
So more adventure in Yerevan. We land in Yerevan and had to wait almost another hour of schedule delay because they had to spray the wings with this anti-freeze solution because it had been snowing and apparently, you can't fly a plane with snow or ice building up on its wings. Now, not only were we delayed again, I also realize that the big triple goose down coat I brought with me is inside the missing bags. Great. What else...?
Then we get to Bishkek. And decided to follow Mala's advise about grabbing a cab. We haggled a little bit with a cab driver and settled on $20 US dollars to get us to our hotel. We get out onto the parking lot and get into his car without a taxi sign on top. We sit in the cab thinking about the worst things that could possibly happen. We especially think this when he goes down this road that looks like it dead ends onto and alley. Then he takes us down the alley... Apparently, this is an actual road and our hotel is just off it a little ways down. Good thing because thoughts of how between Bill and me, we were going to beat the shit out of this guy, crossed my mind during this ride. Ha ha, what a relief. We pay the guy and we check in without anything bad happening to us.
Then, everything just got much better. Sure we still had no idea where our bags are but at this point, I stopped caring because I called Saule and she informed me that Kuba was coming at 10 to get us and take us to the baby house. Yes, things are looking up.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I suppose I should have expected this. I haven't been sleeping or eating well. I'm all nerves about the trip. I'm so excited, I can barely function. Everything I have done in the past month has been all about getting ready for the day we meet D. It has taken me everything I got to stay focused and keep up at work.
My body is throwing a temper tantrum, yelling at me loud and clear. But timing is just all bad. Couldn't it have tried to tell me this last week or something? Well, I guess I wouldn't have listened anyway. This always happens. I go and go and go, then when I have a chance to slow down a little bit, that is when my body decides it wants to teach me a lesson. I should know by now to be better to myself, but hindsight is always 20-20, and I am a knucklehead. Good combination.
It's not so much that I am worried that I will be travelling while sick and be feeling miserable during the long flights. I'm sure that will suck, but the thing that really worries me, is that I will not get over this before Wednesday, and I don't want to be sick and be around the babies. What if they don't let me hold D?? Oh the anxiety just never ends for a worrier.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
There was only one minor hitch which we uncovered today. And really, it was easily handled. Our original copy certified Marriage License from Vermont still has to be Secretary of State certified. I thought certified meant certified, but I guess not. And I thought if something was printed on State Embossed letterhead and says "certified", then we were golden. Guess not. But our facilitators are super helpful. They are going to get this one document state certified for us for a very reasonable fee. So, instead of using my mommy card (which by the way didn't work with the sheriff who pulled me over for speeding ticket last week), and grovelling to the Vermont Secretary of State office myself, our document facilitator will be doing that for me. I think that is wise, considering they have over a decade of experience doing this, plus my recent track record using my mommy grovelling skills isn't so impressive.
Anyway, nothing is going to get me down, we are going to be meeting D a week from today!! Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The only thing that can be even more exciting is if we could take him home. Nevertheless, we think this has to be one of the best Christmas presents we have EVER received. Only to be topped by next Christmas when we can spend it with D.
Just to keep the cuteness going, here is another sneak peak at D. I guess he is about eight weeks here.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
In the meantime, we contacted the University of Washington to schedule a review of the referral. I sent them the photos and told them we would send the medicals as soon as we got them, which we thought would surely show up by Tuesday.
By the time we got the medicals on Sunday, Nov.18, over a week after we received the photos, I have worked myself up to a panic that the reason the medicals weren't coming was because there was something seriously wrong. I've also managed to antagonize the nice coordinator at the University of Washington because for some reason, I thought they should hold our spot to review the info with Dr. Bledsoe even though all she had were photos. I know, I know, not my best moment. Thanks to Bill, he took over the communications with everyone for a while so I can chill out.
When the medicals showed up, I expected scary stuff. We saw nothing but measurements. APGAR score, head circumference, birthweight, etc. and then the measurements again at 7 weeks. No medical diagnosis. What??????? How is that possible? I thought all kids coming from the former Soviet Union got these scary medicals? Now I thought they were ommitting stuff because there were things too horrible to disclose.
Fortunately for us, Dr. Bledsoe became available to talk to us prior to us leaving for Connecticut for Thanksgiving. We had a conf call with her the morning of the 20th and she felt really good about our referral. She had other questions but given the info we had, she was very optimistic about him and thought it was a good referral. She said if it were her, she would travel to meet him.
So, we accepted the referral. And we had the best Thanksgiving ever, as we certainly had a lot for which to be thankful.
At this point, I told her we were not completely done wth our dossier. In fact, we had just submitted our CIS application a couple of days prior. How could we possibly be ready for a referral? Karen reassured me that I can keep working on the dossier and that the CIS stuff doesn't all have to be ready before trip 1. Her real hesitation is that we may get attached if we had the photos and if the medical came back with some terrible things in it, we would be in a very difficult situation. She called me because she was excited for us and he is super cute. She could not help herself from contacting me since we were next in line.
Well, I jumped at the opportunity and I convinced her I can handle it and so can Bill. Of course, at this point I had not even talked to Billy but I knew he wouldn't want to miss this either. She agreed to email the photos in the next 20 minutes or so, except... I was on my way out of the office for an all-afternoon fun team event and would not have access to my email. I spent the afternoon anxious to see him. Luckily the lady at the spa where we were scheduled to spend the afternoon relaxing was kind enough to let me use their PC.
At about 4 pm on Nov. 9, I had the privelege of seeing our munchkin for the very first time. He is adorable and tiny, and in PINK. But he was just cute. Karen was right and my heart was soaring. So for all of you who are not in my family and have not yet seen him, I'm sorry that I can't quite post the full photos yet, but here is a sneak peak.
So anyway, since that day, everything has gone nuts. Things have moved very very quickly and I quickly got behind on my promise to update this blog at major milestones. Milestones at this point is a hilarious concept. It's been one major milestone since that day. It just keeps going. Stay tuned. I'll keep posting...
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
1) We just green light to submit our CIS application. It's been a long wait and our social worker finally cleared us to go ahead and mail it in. Believe me when I say that this will be happening first thing tomorrow.
2) The other good news is that our social worker also told us he would have our homestudy ready this week. This means we will need to step it up on the Kyrgyzstan dossier. As soon as we get the CIS clearance, the intent is to have the dossier ready to go and sent to Washington to be submitted to Kyrgyzstan.
3) Not only did we make some headway with the homestudy and CIS application, our placement agency social worker who I will refer to as "K" also told us that she didn't think we would have to wait long for a referral. Now I know that it doesn't mean anything because these are just her thoughts and nothing is certain. And truthfully, I'm trying very hard not to feel like we are racing against the clock because so many more families are catching on to the Kyrgyzstan program, jumping ship from their China application due to the ridiculous wait times. But her words were encouraging. We can only do our best and hope that we come home with our little one sooner than later.
So, today really is a good day on the adoption front, best one yet so far...
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Until today, not much had really sunk in. It didn't sink in when we paid for a homestudy. It didn't sink in when we submitted a bunch of paperwork about the most minute details of our lives to our agency. It didn't sink in when we officially applied to a placement agency who will be working on our behalf to find our baby in Kyrgyzstan. It didn't even sink in when weI sent another rather large check to yet another agency. It didn't sink in when we got the email containing a draft of our California homestudy.
It sank in today, as I read our homestudy draft and emailed our social worker in regards to some minor details that needed to be corrected. It sank in because I realized these details mattered because this homestudy will define us in the eyes of the CIS. It sank in because it is the same set of words that will be translated to Russian, so that the Kyrgyz government can decide if we are good enough human beings worthy of being entrusted with a precious little life for love and support. It sank in because when I read about Bill and me on these pages, I see two people who are ready for this journey, this responsibility and this privelege. It sank in because for the first time, it stopped being surreal, and became real. It sank in...