Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I seriously think we will again make another snow record. Last year Madison hit the 100 plus inches of snow--new record. I think this year is going to be the same. Of course, I am old enough to remember the winters of 77, 78 and 79. Back before the warnings about snow tunnels and snow forts--my sister and I were really good at building those in the HUGE drifts we had.
Ted already blew the driveway--and it's already starting to blow shut. The kids put on their snowpants and went out to "help"--meaning they dug Grinchy (our Santa Grinch decoration) out of the snow. Later, I'm putting them in the backyard to shovel off the deck and play with the dogs---who are in snow heaven. Belle got herself stuck in the snow--casting my mind back to when Callie did that as a puppy. She couldn't get over the huge drifts in my parents backyard and I had to climb over the drifts and snow and lift her out. So, Belle is just like Callie--did that stop her?? Heck no! Loki and Belle are tearing up the backyard throwing snow at each other--just covered in it!
I'll head into work later--I'm essential personnel. Does it bother me--not a bit. I'm in town and it makes more sense for me to come in then someone who drives from an hour away--and that's when the weather is good. Besides, I'm the freak that likes work!
HAPPY SNOW DAY EVERYONE!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I would also like to mention to adopt author, I am pediatric nurse and some of what I've seen in the foster care system still scared the crap out of me. God bless those that do adopt/foster out of the US foster care system.
Adopt Author if you had read any of my previous postings you would note that while Julia was not what we originally expected (thought healthy and a boy), for our next two adoptions we sought out special needs children. And while you mention people state they did adopt internationally for less red tape or for younger children---we did neither. The red tape we dealt with was ridiculous--and we are a licensed foster family for the US--it's required for us, so we dealt with double the red tape and our children obviously weren't younger.
I understand why people want families to adopt from the US foster care system. Perhaps someday we will now that we are experienced parents. Perhaps not with 3 very busy children. I encourage people to look at all options and make the decision on their own. There ARE issues with international adoption, just as there ARE issues with the US foster care system. An educated choice is a wise choice. Our reasons for international adoption are complex and personal, but we felt it was the best choice for us. And yes, I have read many articles,including a few you mentioned. It was still the correct choice for us. A child in need is a child in need, despite their location. Our world is growing smaller every day and the US is made of many nationalities. As I put in my previous posting, I can't change the world, but I can change a child's life--1 child at time. And I have been blessed to be able to parent.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
First of all, Julia's adoption is the direct result of infertility. Our desire was for a child--not a pregnancy. IVF was never pursued--the appointment was made and I cancelled it about 3 days before. Told Ted my body had enough. The decision was made to adopt--and after we had a baby then we would decide if we wanted to do IVF or not. The result was Julia. And we never looked back. I have had many things happen in my life that have changed it for the better and the infertility was just one--and I'm grateful for infertility.
Now, what some of you might not know is Julia's birth parents were married and she was their first child. Due to her medical needs, she was placed in the orphanage and made available for adoption. Most likely, Julia has full-blooded siblings in Russia. As a nurse and a child advocate, I'm disgusted that the medical system in Russia sucks to the point that this was the choice her birth parents made. My opinion was and always has been that the needs of the children come first. I am sad that she will grow up away from her native culture. Be that as it may, I'm damn glad she's my daughter. Like Maria mentioned, Julia is like me---I'm an American with Scottish, Irish and German heritage and she is an American with Russian heritage (with a little Buryat thrown in). Rauan and Alihan are Americans with Kaz and Krygz heritages. This is a country of multiple heritages and our home is such. Come into our house and you'll see Russian items, Buryat items (yurts and such stuff), Kaz items and Krygz items. As the children learn about their heritage, so will Ted and I. It's a family project. And perhaps, with us learning about each others cultures together we can foster respect for the cultures.
Now is it a blessing?? Yes, I think so. Again, it's sad that their native lands couldn't provide medical or cultural understandings for single mothers (Rauan's situation besides the cleft--Alihan's is unknown), but it's a blessing that medically we can provide some of the best medical care for them in the world. It's a blessing that their mom is a bit nuts and searches for the answers and gets them the best of the best medically. It's a a blessing that their mom and dad love them enough to find the best educational opportunities for them. It's a blessing that their mom and dad want to give them sports opportunities. For Julia, it's a blessing that we recognize that she is showing signs of a learning disability and her parents will (and currently are) rearranging their lives to make sure that she learns to the best of her ability. It's a blessing that, no matter what happens, they have a family that loves them and will care for them no matter what--and they have a large extended family that loves them and will care for them also--no matter what. It's called unconditional love.
Is it a curse? I guess that's what you view as a curse. It could have been. But, we live in a sinful world where people view children as a commodity. Until that changes--and it hasn't in all the time that humans have walked the earth--we have to make the best of it. It would have been best if the children could have stayed in their biological home situation--and their wouldn't have been medical issues and cultural issues. But, that wasn't to be. So, the next best solution was adoption. I can't change the way of the world--but I can change the lives of these three incredible children. It's a start.
What can I say? We have many members of our family that are adopted. One of my oldest and dearest friends was adopted. In my life, adoption wasn't a strange thing--it was a common place thing.
Was our adoption situation divinely meant to be? Perhaps. Now after we've completed 3 adoptions, I've found IVF would have never worked for us. The night before I received a call about Julia, I had a dream about a baby. I woke, described that baby to Ted (who wanted to know what kind of wacky weed I had been smoking--p.s--I'm a total drug virgin!), described that baby to my co-workers and when I saw Julia's picture I just about fell over. Divine intervention? Who knows? There were other strange things that happens with the boys--but I'm already getting long winded. One thing that I think is important is I've always seen myself as a mom--even as a young child I mothered everyone!--but never pregnant. Ever. Did I somehow know? Again perhaps.
The only one who can answer the question if adoption is a blessing is the child. It's their unique experience. Will my children feel that they were blessed to have me and Ted as their parents? I hope so. I know I am blessed. I am blessed to have had awesome parents, wonderful sisters, an incredible husband, great in-laws, and wonderfully blessed to be able to parent 3 incredible special delightful children who enrich my life beyond measure. Only time will tell if Julia, Rauan and Alihan feel that they were blessed.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
List these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tage 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as a link to their blog (that ain't going to work for me since the right clicker is still broken--Santa-HELP!!) Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. Favorite food--Ted's steaks hands down. Although as I drove to Middleton cycle today to get Rauan's present I saw a Sonic being buildt. I let Ted know that I'll go to Middleton cycle anytime but I will have to make a stop!
2. I'm totally uncoordinated. Total loss at sports, can't dance to save my life (even when drinking). I can walk (hike) and bike and that's my limits.
3. Grew up with a dalamation then a black lab(Lady). Lady was a total bed hog. She took 3/4 of the bed and left with an edge.
4. I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was little.
5. I'm a lousy cook. I love to bake but only around Christmas.
6. When I met Ted, I was checking out hospitals in Georgia--thinking about moving.
7. I'm one of those weird people who sings in their car. I'm a superstar while I'm driving. Thank goodness my children love me for me and not my voice!
Ok, I'll tag Hilary, Mala, Stephanie,Marie, Lisa, Elizabeth, and Emily. I know I can't link them--but just go to my blog list. Now off to leave comments!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
So, I'm kind of a "blog stalker". I check certain blogs daily and this one www.confessionsofj-momma.blogspot.com (my right clicker isn't working!) caught my eye and made me think. So, please read and give my your opinions. I try not to judge and I ask no one else does--this is just opinions. I do confess that I feel the children leaving their culture behind isn't best--but I think Ted and I give them so much--particularly a family that loves and adores them and unconditional love. Adoption isn't easy--but then neither is parenthood, biological or adopted. My work has shown me! So, please thoughts, opinions etc. I would really like a discussion on this issue. Gives me something to think about besides the kids destroying the house and wrestling each other!
Hopefully I'll have pictures to add later. The snow is coming down and blowing. YUCK! Why do I live in Wisconsin??
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Speaking of the kids--Miss Julia spent most of yeasterday with an on and off bloody nose. She work me up at 7:15 with a bloody nose--just dripping. Got that stopped, then around 10 am I hear Ted saying"you were warned to stop screwing around--go get mom" (yeah--you notice the get mom part). She had been wrestling with her brothers and broke the scab loose. That happened 4 times yesterday. You would think she would learn--but oh no--she'd rather wrestle. I was so thankful to go to work yeasterday. Good job, good money, people I like, my children not wrestling and getting bloody noses or other bloody parts, no whiny husband. Yes, Ted has my flu. And we really really need a second bathroom. So much for a shower by myself when my husband has the flu.
Hospice called again today. We've rescheduled the shadowing for this coming Tuesday. I had to reschedule Chewie's flu shot, but as I told Sarah(Hospice) I want to get in there and get started. I'm eager to get things going. Maybe it's silly, but Lauren loves working there and when I interviewed the atmosphere was just so perfect--I can't even put it into words. It could be that thing that I look forward too---and I get paid for it! I still haven't given up on the craniofacial clinic--but after 2 years of volunteering with the hope for a paid position--well, let's face facts--it ain't happening. So, I'm always going to be there if they need me for a consulting issue--but I have to do something else to get paid. Might as well be something I like.
The first bit of Christmas lights are up. I'm not climbing on the roof until Ted is better and able to hold the ladder for me. Hey--I do a 2 for 1 deal. String up lights and clean the gutters. Efficient huh?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Report card: Chewie--teeth look good. Couldn't get xrays on his back teeth (yep he's a gagger), but otherwise looks good. He even let the hygienist scrap some tarter off. Dr. Allison was talking about the underbite and what might be done. Mentioned pushback procedure (my understanding is Dr. Del is dead set against those) and the Le Forte procedure when he has achieved full facial growth (15-17). That involves moving his mid face forward through distraction. Very successful. Again, we'll see how his face changes. I've seen changes just in the 6 months he has been home.
Rauan--teeth great. Xrays showed we're going to have to do an implant of 2 teeth not just one. We'll have to replace one where the cleft was--but on the exact opposite side, where he has double baby teeth--no adult tooth. Bummer! So, we're looking at a bone graft and then implants for him somewhere around age 11-13, depends on when the adult teeth start to drop. He also has his first loose tooth on the bottom (sniff sniff)!
Julia--awesome as always. Still watching a molar for decay. One of her front teeth has a cavity but that will come out in the next year or so. So no worries. Dr. Allison talked with Julia about her "sweet" teeth and how she has to be extra careful with brushing them. Yep, again not genetically my child but she somehow got my soft teeth. Poor kid. And she has her third loose tooth.
All in all a successful visit.
Came home to a package on the doorstep. Candy from my in-laws. Yum.
For our exciting anniversary dinner, Pizza Hut. The kids were wild and the boys were fighting yet again when Ted got home. I was just not in the mood for going out to eat with wild children. My tummy has only handled small meals so far anyways. I did manage 1 piece of pizza and 1 piece of cheese bread (my favorite). So that was a positive. Julia ate some of the candy. I didn't think my belly was up that yet.
I'm planning on going to work tonight. Back to the normal routine for me. But first, I'm going to try the grocery store. If I can make it through Woodman's on a Saturday--I can do anything!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Julia's first surgery is scheduled for Feb. 19. About 6 weeks after that is spring break. We had planned to travel to Missouri to see Chari and her family then. I'll have to see how everything times out. Benefit--less school missed. Dr. Del also wants to check her palate while she is out. Where the repair was done is a crease and it's impossible to tell if there is a fistula there or not. I've never see food come out of her nose--which is usually a tell tale sign. We'll see.
So, for those keeping track--January and the first part of Feb. is devoted to Chewie. Starting in February through April is Julia. Quiet winter for us? I think not. Good thing Bubba is so easy going (most of the time).
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Ted was just finishing up the third group of initiation players. I gathered up Julia and Rauan and took them to the concession stand (yeah I'm easy) for nachos and slushies. Julia started running up and down the hall with some other children. As wild as they have been lately--I encouraged it--use up that energy! Chewie, being Chewie, joined in. All of the sudden he went into the bathroom. Ok--no problem. Then, hysterical crying from the bathroom. Mom to the rescue. "Momma I poop". " You have to poop sweetie? Ok, (shit!), let's find daddy to get this equipment off". So, off I go to get Ted to take off his breezers and all that other hockey crap that I have no idea how to undo. We get to Ted, who is undoing his skates and I ask him to take off the equipment. So, he starts to while Chewie is still crying. Then the smell hit. Now--ok I have a pretty fricking strong stomach, but that about knocked me over. He crapped his pants. Double shit. Literally. So, let's get him cleaned off. Ted had Chewie's socks off(those knee high ones the hockey players wear) and all the sudden I (and the rest of the skating arena) heard "Je--- C----T there's shit running down his legs!" Sweet mother of God, it's a poop fest. So, I ran to get paper towels so Ted could wipe off his hands and we can wipe off Chewie's rather stinky legs. Not much we could do--the breezers were holding the majority of the poop in. Thank God, one of the other coaches (Thanks Jim!) had some plastic grocery bags. We covered up the car seat, loaded him in and went home. Into the shower--hockey gear and all. Ok, I get paid a good amount of money to deal with poop and I also have gloves. I really wish I had gloves here. By the way, the washing machine works really good!
I've found a new hiding place for the clementines. Limit: 1 per day. Until they find the new hiding place. Yes, this is why Santa does layaway and Grandma's holding house.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I go in to shadow a nurse next Tuesday then we'll set up my orientation schedule at Hospice. My sister is coming up next Monday to take her kids to the doctor, so she's going to take Alihan back down to my mom's for an overnight visit. Then on Tuesday I'm going to rush down to Janesville, pick him up and rush back for hockey. Bubba is going to Mr. Dave's for an extra afternoon (and he is thrilled---he loves Mr. Dave!). Ted will pick Julia and Rauan up after school and take Julia to skating. Good thing he is still in practice for lacing up figure skates! I could pay for childcare--but I'm going to avoid that until I'm actually getting paid! Which will start with orientation. The nurse I'm shadowing makes visits to hospice patients in long-term facilities and that's where they would like me to go. And the hours are fairly flexible. Can you say heaven??? There are some benefits to a flex position (no insurance and all that but hey--got that at the U). It will be great to work with Lauren again too.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Poor Julia--I think she's starting to realize how involved I am with the cleft stuff. There was a resident there who I have worked with besides the nursing assistants, multiple nurses, speech therapists and nurses, social worker (who I've known for years outside of work), genetics, audiology, dentist. Just tons of people. Everyone is saying how much they miss me and glad to see me, yada yada. God I hope I can get back there soon. I miss the clinic. Anyways, as we are walking out, I get the hand on the hip and the look from Miss Julia with the comment "do you know EVERYBODY?" with that 6 year old attitude. All I could do was laugh. Funny thing is Ted has said that to me to in the past. Hummmmm.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tomorrow is the big day for Julia. As I had mentioned, she's hyper nasal and speech therapy wasn't really correcting it. So, she's going in for the big craniofacial clinic appt. to evaluate her for further palate surgery. There's a couple different techniques and I'll let you know what is decided. I'm nervous for Julia. She informed today that she didn't want to have the "bubble gum mask" and go to sleep again. I reminded her that mommy was there holding her hand when she fell asleep and I was right there when she woke up. I won't let anything happen to her. I think that helped a bit. Sometimes I think because she is my first child I worry more about her. Of course, between her cleft and her amniotic banding--her issues are more complex then the boys. I'm just a normal mom--I want to give my kids the best chance I can. Even if that means working long crazy hours so that I can have the money thats needed, but still be there when they need me. I'm a mom--it's what I do.
So, everyone say a prayer tomorrow. Dr. Del is awesome and I know the decision will be the right one.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Do you know that in 2006 China had the largest number of international adoptions with Russia coming in second (a difference of about 2000)? The majority of international adoptions are infants and toddlers. There is also a higher preference for girls.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Anyways, please start saying prayers that there are no snotty noses, snowstorms or anything else that holds up this surgery. He needs it--and really needs that nostril straightened out to help with his breathing!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Ted's previous post. Humm what can I say--especially since we have replaced almost every single appliance in this house! I do think Madison has an unfair division. All one has to do is read the paper and the west side certainly gets more pluses--the schools on the west side are ranked highly and get the "bonus" monies available. It's an unfortunate set of circumstances. And to be perfectly honest--while it would benefit the children in their sports to move to the west side--I really can't see the benefit to me and Ted. And let's be honest--are the children really going to make their living at sports?? Possibly but not likely. My concern is for their education. That's how they will make their living--getting a good education. Now, is staying on the eastside going to benefit them? Who knows? We don't have to make a decision on that for a few more years--St. Dennis goes through 8th grade. And--who knows what is going to happen to the economy and Ted's job? Let's be honest--I can work anywhere. Ted can't. His job is very specific. If something happens--we have to go where he can be employed. Anything can happen. As we have found out with our appliances!
The eastside has some wonderful features. We are close to the lakes and their benefits. We are close to Woodmans--and with the boys I frequently am at the grocery store! We are close to both Ted's work and the interstate. That was important to me when we moved here. I can be on the interstate and in Janesville in 35 minutes flat. With the majority of our family there, and in particular with the recent health issues, that's a priority. And, with the exception of one neighbor, we are blessed with some incredible neighbors. Common, normal, saying poop (or the other term) when you step in it neighbors. No one tries to out do the Jones here, we're all just living our lives to the best of our ability.
So, back to Ted's original post--is it fair and free in this country? No--it isn't. But it's what we have and what we make of it. Freedom isn't free--but it's alot better then the options--some of which could be total chaos. Compromise is what it all about and that's what we do best.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I have noticed a bunch of people lurking again, some in Madison even. What do people think, am I wrong? Do we think that all these rules will somehow yield a better child than others from another country?
Oh yeah, I took over the blog again...........
Sounds like Aidai will be home soon, hopefully her mother had a better trip than the nightmare from HE-double-hockey stix I had with the facilitators..............
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
A few pictures to enjoy. Chewie enjoying his first hay ride--literally hay, horses and a really bumpy ride--to the pumpkin patch. We met our friends Michelle and her children Levi and Colton there and made our way through the farm. There's a HUGE corn maze which we made our way through and the children played and played. All, except me (the driver) fell asleep on the way home. Now, if we can just not have rain on Tuesday and Friday--then everyone can do their class pumpkin patch visit!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It was deary here today, so I called Ted and after I picked up the boys, we went out to lunch. Times it right--Tumbleweeds(it Tex-Mex) does kid's meals for 99cents on Wednesday! The boys loved it.
Julia recovered--school today and no problems with skating. Mommmy driving on the beltline is another situation although. Now I know why I work an off shift job! I told Ted if we move and the skating continues--it's going to be close enough so I don't have to drive that awful beltline!
Back to work tomorrow. I'll get some hockey pictures up later!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Elizabeth and Maria have picked up their baby girls--ok Aidai isn't a baby, but once your child always your baby! I'm so excited for them. I remember that thrill --combo of excitement and nausea--when I got Julia and Rauan. We all know Ted's feelings with his "birthing" experience (there was a loud very unlady like snort from me with this statement!). Alihan is sending a present to his orphanage buddy and he is so excited.
I have to comment, Hilary has noted the compassion in her children. Last night, while holding feverish Julia, I was reading a magazine and there was an ad for Smile Train with a lovely girl in the picture with a rather large cleft. Holy moly, did I get the questions then! She can't understand why the parents didn't fix the girl's lip, why is the medical system bad, etc etc. From the mouths of babes! Do you think it's because our children have been exposed to this other part of the world--the not so innocent part? Julia asked me again this morning about the little girl and wanted to know if I could go and fix her. I can only wish. Someday. Right now I feel very powerless. I want to do something, but what, how, where, when. I hope the answers will show themselves.
Monday, October 13, 2008
P.S. And Ted is the better parent. Together we are a great team.
P.S.S. And some photos of the darlings. Rauan was sacked out on the couch but Miss Julia posed in her skating outfit and Alihan showed off his shoulder pads, jersey and breezers--six years ago I would have no ideas what breezers were!