Friday, February 27, 2009

Let's Get It Right for the Wrights

There are so many past posts where I mention John Wright and his incredible family who do so much to restore hope to the underpriveleged in Kyrgyzstan. They do so much for others (including so many adoptive parents)and have rallied to raise money to help those in need.

For them to continue this work, they also need to cover their own expenses (this part they are not so great at asking). So, I figured, the least I can do is use my blog as a forum to help them raise the funds they need. They need to raise a minimum of $50,000 to be able to go to Kyrgyzstan twice a year and cover their expenses both over there and at home in Canada.

If you are interested in making a donation, it is very easy. Here is how. Go to JOHN'S Blog and hit the button on the top right hand side of the blog it is for the Wrights….support.

You can also watch the work they do on that site. Once you start following it, it is easy to get hooked and follow along, like your favorite soap opera, but better.

I have met many of the orphans and trust me when I say, they light up when they see the Wrights. It is so special to watch. I hope you decide to reach deep down and find a way to contribute.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Recovering From All Sorts of Stuff

We have been on a month-long recovery plan. No, no, I'm not talking about the stimulus package. I'm talking about our month-long recovery from being sick.

Bill has had a cough for about a month now and is on the tail-end of that awful thing. He was very sick a day or so before his 50th birthday celebration.

I have been trying to kick the same bug, although it didn't hit me as hard.

The most terrible thing is that Dylan got it too. He didn't seem to suffer as much from the bug at first but on the second week of having this cold, I thought he had an ear infection for sure. I was right. He was on 10 days of antibiotics only to develop a very high fever last Wednesday on day 10 of his meds. Try 104.5!! I came home from a business function and went into the room to just look in on him and touch him goodnight. He was burning hot. Between the time dad put him to bed and the time I came home, he developed this scary high fever. He woke up around midnight and acted like nothing was wrong. He was in a good mood and ready to play.

At midnight, after having been on the phone on hold for 20 minutes for an advise nurse, I finally got on the phone with a live person who spent 20 minutes just telling me to give him Tylenol or Motrin and sent a message to Dylan's doctor.

Fast forward to the next day. Mom and Dad were sleep deprived and had to stay home from work because we didn't want to take Dylan into daycare with his fever still soaring as soon as the Tylenol started to wear off. We finally get an appointment for 4:30 to see his doctor. We get there and the nurse takes his temperature and sees it is still ringing in at 102. She proceeds to tell us he is hot. No shit, really? And then she proceeds to ask us why we were there...

After the doctor examined him, we found out that he still has an ear infection in one ear and that this particular strain of bacteria has probably become immune to the first anitionbiotics. Hence, a stronger and different kind of antibiotic was prescribed. I am not one who loves antibiotics but ok, if it is necessary, here we go again.

Fast forward to 3 days later (yesterday) and he all of a sudden develops a rash on his tummy. We suspect it was a reaction to the new meds. A quick call to the advise nurse and we are off the antibiotics, on Benadryl and another message to his doctor.

Today, Bill had the day off and took him back for another exam. He no longer has an ear infection so off the antibiotics to see what happens.

OK, we are exhausted. Here is to a better week/month/quarter of better health.

On a sweet note, Dylan has developed this love of dancing with mommy. From time to time, he wants me to hold him and bounce around like we are dancing together, mostly to the Jack Johnson Curious George album. It was meant to be a fun activity. Instead, it relaxes him and he sometimes will fall asleep while we are dancing. He would press his cheek against mine, suck him thumb with one hand, hold his froggie with the other and then will doze off. He has now learned to point at the iPod and the player when he wants to dance with mommy. Tonight I danced with him for about 20 minutes (thank goodness for the Ergo carrier because after 10 minutes, my arms start to slip and go numb). He didn't fall asleep while dancing but he was so relaxed that when I put him in bed he went straight to sleep. What a great privelege to be his mommy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Far From Religious but Near to My Heart

In the last few weeks, I have been working a ton of hours and haven't posted anything new. Really, life is just humming along for us, in a good way. Bill and I both have good but very time-intensive jobs and Dylan has a routine that he seems to like which includes his days at his fabulous daycare. We spend our weekends doing normal family stuff around the house, and have managed to spend a little time with friends and family . It is just nice to have this normalcy after the excitement of the holidays. I felt that for weeks, I have had nothing to blog about, or more like I have had no energy to even consider writing a blog post.

However, today, I am sick with a bad cold, but oddly motivated to write this post. Bizarre, but I'll go with it. While I am sick again with a bad cold, Bill is getting over a 2-week long cough, and Dylan is on antibiotics again for his second double ear infection since getting home, we are home together. We are just your typical American family, with its joys and its challenges.

What is really on my mind a lot more than I have admitted is the adoption situation in Kyrgyzstan and how the adoptions have been stalled for the past few months. I feel like we just eeked through the cracks and got Dylan home by no more than a tiny ounce of luck. Some people have said things like, "this was meant to be", or "it was in god's time" or "it was destiny". I don't know exactly what it really was. I am neither religious or superstitious. I am just very appreciative that it happened for us when it did.

At the same time, there is a bit of guilt that we are home enjoying every happy, exhausted, trying, exhilarating, hilarious, sweet time with Dylan. He is definitely an active boy. He is also very bright, which makes for a challenging toddler. He is the classic text book example of one who pushes the boundaries to see where they are. He has also developed a healthy attachment to us and knows the difference between mom and dad versus everyone else. He is developmentally right on track, babbling a few words, running, starting to climb, dances, kisses, gives high fives, knows a few body parts, and all sorts of fun other toddler shenanigans. He is also very sweet at times yet contentious at others, just like we all can be. He is certainly developing into his own complex little person and being challenged by his new understanding of the world. For all those things, I can't be more thankful.

Yet, I can't live in this bubble of bliss alone. I can't help that my heart aches every time I think of all the other families who have spent months waiting to bring their precious kids home. Their stories cling to me and I follow along on their blogs, watching the group posts, just waiting for the good news that they can go back to Kyrgyzstan to finally take their babies home. I find myself unexpectedly shedding tears on my way to work while thinking of how they must feel. I feel a deep empathy, likely because I know it was excruciating for me when we spent 5 months being told of one delay after another. I knew in my heart I could not have spent another minute without seeing and holding Dylan. I can't imagine what it is like for those who have been waiting much longer. These families are near to my heart.

While I am not religious and I don't answer to a higher being called God, or Yaweh, or Allah or Buddha or whatever, I feel like the universe gives you back what you put out so I live by those moral rules for myself. In that vein, the other Kyrgyz thing I follow is the story of John Wright and his family. While his motivations are coming from a different place, I spent a considerable amount of time with them while in Kyrgyzstan last summer and found their work with the disadvantaged people of Kyrgyzstan (and believe me that there are lots of them) to be nothing short of phenomenal. I am talking literally, John is a phenomenon in Tokmok, possibly even Bishkek. More people there know of him than you would think. His work is far reaching and truth be told, he is probably more memorable because he just doesn't have the ability to blend into the Kyrgyz crowd, even if he gave it his best shot. And that is a good thing. But I digress...

Since coming home from Kyrgyzstan in June, I noticed that my perspective has changed about needs and wants. I noticed that I tend to be less concerned about wants, perhaps because I see that so many others cannot even get their needs met. Now, I was really never one to keep up with the Jones' to begin with but I like what I like and if I had the funds to spend, I would spend it without much hesitation. Fortunately, my wants are never that pricey and we lived pretty modestly even prior to this trip to Kyrgyzstan last May/June. I searched for ways I could cut some luxuries (like my Peet's sugarfree non-fat vanilla lattes) out of my life so I can use that fund to help someone in need, whether an orphan who needs to be sponsored in order to go to school, or an elderly who needs care, or kids who need dental work but cannot afford it. I have questioned why I care so much about the people of Kyrgyzstan when there are those who suffer right in my backyard. I don't really know the answer right now. Perhaps I feel a closeness because I feel EXTREMELY grateful to this country that allowed us to have one of their own to call our own.

The nice thing about having a bunch of luxuries is that there is a lot to work with when you need to cut something out. Since I didn't have that much to start with, I am now scrambling to cut something else out. I have cut out Netflix, lattes, fine dining (though this is a natural consequence of having a toddler but I'll claim it), ski trips (ok, this one too is driven by circumstance), expensive shoes, expensive teas (not entirely but we buy a lot less). The economy is suffering so I know I won't get a salary increase this year. So what else can I do to help?

What I really want to do is have 2 of me, not because I think I am great. Nothing like that. It is because I love my life with my family, but at the same I feel like there is a great big magnet pulling me towards Kyrgyzstan so that I can offer my help in whatever capacity needed. As circumstances would have it, this isn't possible right now. Dylan is way too young and we are still entrenched in too many commitments. I am hoping that one day, this dream will come true for me. In the meantime, perhaps the best thing to do is to share how anyone who wants to help fulfill some dreams can help. I am not one to affiliate with a religious organization. You'd fine me screaming naked into the night before that happens (ok that kinda sounds like fun) but John puts it best when he says, "We are not missionaries ... we are philanthropists...." I buy that!

Now go check out how YOU can help. I swear to you, giving hope and fulfilling dreams is addictive. Maybe you too will find yourself giving up a small luxury to become a philantropist.