Monday, December 29, 2008

WARNING: May offend, aggravate, incite, etc...just so you know...

Just know you were warned.

However, I'll appologize in advance, as I feel it will probably be needed. And, for the record, this is directed to NO ONE IN PARTICULAR. FOR REAL.

Please let me start by saying that anyone and everyone who has ever said a kind or uplifting thing to me has been truly appreciated and valued, and I am thankful for the blessings of friends, family, and even *strangers* I come to know who think of me and pray for me. The thought behind the encouragement is genuine and priceless. I really, truly, totally and undeniably cannot say enough thank-yous or give enough merit to what your words deserve.

That said...I really think that the next time someone tells me that I need to just keep a stiff upper lip, I will go postal. Seriously.

I understand things like that are said to raise my spirits, and to try and help me be hopeful by saying encouraging things.

Here's the thing...How many years have to go by before SOMEBODY finally acknowledges that the record is BROKEN and maybe, just maybe, it might be okay to say so? Seriously--I need to work on my attitude or the IVF will not work? W*H*A*T?????

Explain why the two + years of stupid Basal charts, clomid, yucky ultrasounds, hopes UP, upper lips stiffed EVERY FLIPPING MONTH and smiles on my face DID NOT WORK?

Explain what it was about the next several years of MORE drugs, hospitalizations, charts, invasive procedures, inseminations, AND AN EXTREMELY HOPEFUL (and expensive, might I add) attitude that failed me?

How about this? How about all the smiles, excitement, dreams, nervous anticipation and things bought in preparation for the Walter Reed IVF program we qualified for? Why wasn't my faith and my attitude good enough for that possibility to be a reality?

Or, now my all-time favorite? What about the ROOM full of things I have upstairs? Friends, I am talking ROOM FULL of things--baby things I have spent the last nine+ years buying, compiling, dreaming about and WAITING to use? The bassinet? The mounds upon mounds of clothes for a baby girl from birth to 3 years? The HUNDREDS of books? The toys? The flipping bedding and nursery theme, for Pete's sake? How, I ask, HOW DOES THAT NOT SCREAM THAT I AM HOPEFUL? THAT I BELIEVE? THAT I STILL, after all these blippety-blipped years, I STILL think that it could happen? HOW can that not be the epitome of HOPE? Maybe not draped in flowery words and cliches, but still, HOPE--stored in a room I can't even walk into without crying...

And as for my attitude about this whole adoption? Yes, recently, it's been not so optimistic. But let's face it, folks, can we agree that optimistic and realistic are not always best friends? Actions have been speaking SO MUCH louder than words, and have I been disappointed? You betcha. That doesn't mean that even though I really believe the odds of it happening are slim to none, I would not hop on a plane yesterday if things got moving and we got a referral. Do I still hope that there is such a person as Emma Jane? Of course. But, I also hoped I would grow taller (never even broke 5 feet--4' 11)...and it never happened. I don't think accepting that possibility means that I'm a glass half-empty gal.

I go to a job (that to be truthful, is NOT what I saw myself doing in life) where daily, I have sweet, wonderful children hug me and love me and even *accidentally* call me "Mommy" and I stay upbeat for them and positive for them, and LOVE them as much as I can, while inside I cry and cry because I'd give my eye-teeth (and John's too) to just take ONE home with me!!! Talk about rubbing salt into a wound. Yet, ask anyone that works with me to describe me, and I guarantee the following would be named: always smiling, always so happy, polite, mannered, so upbeat, positive, yada yada. Heck, some people even call me Mary Sunshine (and I love that, by the way!) for Pete's sake. How's that for a positive attitude? And, folks, that's where I spend the majority of my time, so I think they'd know.

So, now with the IVF--the doctor, though nice enough, told me, "We attract to us what we think." Sorry, folks, I am pulling the BS card on that one. I have wholeheartedly, faithfully and DESPERATELY spent so many YEARS of my life thinking, "This is it!! I know it!! THIS IS IT!" that if I had a nickel for every pregnancy test I took I'd be on the coast of Italy right now. If you believe that, and it works for you, fabulous. I just know that I have believed, believed and BELIEVED and nothing. I have prayed. I have done it ALL...upside down for an hour after (you know what I am talking about), supplements, diet change, buried the saint in the ground (don't ask), exercise, read the books, gone into major debt, planned the big vacations (and then ended up taking them, because OF COURSE, I was NOT pregnant), you NAME it, I bet I've heard about it, had it suggested to me, thought about it and/or tried it. Most of the time, with a good, hopeful and expectant (pun intended) attitude. NADA, friends, NADA.

So, forgive me if I think I will literally just scream the next time someone tells me that my attitude may be the reason nothing has been successful. Pardon me as I pop them. Excuse me if I bite your head off if you, lovingly, of course, tell me that I'll never (insert and take your pick--get pregnant, adopt internationally, adopt domestically) unless I (again, insert and take your pick--pray more, have more faith, eat better, sleep better, exercise more, have more hope, think positively, keep my chin up, rub the get the message). And, God help the poor, unknowing, well-meaning person that tells me ONE MORE TIME that I will end up adopting and immediately get pregnant. I fear for his or her life...I really do. Because the reality is that for every ONE of those stories you hear about, there are NUMEROUS women that NEVER HAVE THAT (sadly) HAPPEN!!! It's sort of like air travel--it's statistically safer than driving, but all you ever hear about are the plane crashes or incidents, so everyone automatically associates plane travel as unsafe. I'm sure someone will disagree, and that's fine, but the bottom line is those lucky people who spend years trying and then finally give up and adopt and then get pregnant are statistically the exception--the happy exception that everyone wants to talk about and swap stories with you over, but still.. the exception.

Again, let me reiterate that I know these words--all of them--are meant to help give me hope, and trust me, just knowing someone cares enough about me to worry and feel the need to encourage me means the world to me. It really does.

But, please, stick a fork in me. I'm done.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The tears, they were a-comin'...., one of my (few) Christmas wishes was to go see Marley and Me on Christmas Day. We don't live in the mecca of movie theaters, and the one we felt was worth going to (although, in hindsight, NOT!) didn't start the movie until today. So, we trucked out there, spent our adoption fund (almost, even at the matinee!), and settled in to watch Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston live the lives of John Grogan and his wife as they lived with and loved their Yellow Lab, Marley. What was I thinking? When the book came out, I couldn't put it down--until the end--when I knew what was coming and just didn't want to finish. I KNEW the movie would end the same way, so, I guess I was asking for it. As you may know, not only am I an animal lover (dogs, in particular) and sap, I also am still in mourning of our dear, wonderful Flat-Coated Retriever, Random (we lost him nearly 3 years ago) AND the mom of Dixie the Diva...who, in my opinion, is The World's Worst Dog (Marley's title) and destroyer of much. So, this movie held lots of relative semblances to my life, and/or things I have lived with dogs.

Which, of course, made it all the more sad for me at the end. PITA (as Dixie is affectionately known) that she is, Dixie is the living, breathing proof of love that 21 six-year olds had for me, their undeserving but ever grateful teacher. She is the apple of her daddy's eye, and a barrel of laughs (and purposeful disobedience while she's at it) and I hate to think of the day something happens to her.

Raleigh, our old, distinguished, formerly abused and thankfully rescued sweet heart grows whiter by the day, and watching this movie just gave me a glimpse of the road I hate to think we will have to travel with him.

Mostly, it was a sad and all too true reminder of our last minutes with my beloved Random, as Random's end was very similar to Marley's. Three years later, and it still seems like yesterday that we watched his sweet brown eyes look up at us--not understanding what was going on with him, but trusting us and our love for him.

It's hurt like this that makes one wonder if it's all worth it--knowing that the end is certain...period. And then, one look at our goofy balls of fur, and I know that as much as it hurts to say goodbye, the time for which we have them and share their lives is priceless.

The critics didn't think the movie was all that great. If you like animals, you'll like it. If you like dogs, you'll really like it. If you love dogs, you'll love it. In any of those scenarios, though, bring tissues. And lots of them.

My beloved, sweet, wonderful, Random...the kindest dog heart in the world...

Our old man Raleigh Bear...he's enjoying the creature comforts more and more...

Dixie Belle the Diva...looking mischievous as usual...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thank you, Lord...

Though times are tough...thank you, Lord.

Though my heart is often heavy, I am blessed...thank you, Lord.

Though we were not worthy, you came...thank you, Lord.

And Lord, thank you for the hearts of people I have come to know this year...hearts that opened and gave to the most innocent and deserving...thank you for allowing me to be part of it and rejoice in your love shown in others...

To see what I am talking about, go HERE...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Welcome back...or not.

Well, today we officially rejoined the world of infertile couples looking to medical technology to build our family. As things are not going as quickly as I'd like (or even at all, really) with the adoption, I just feel it irresponsible to not even look to IVF--about the only thing we have not tried.

We went for our consultation today. Our doctor was wonderful (ha ha, OUR doctor...more like mine, let's face it...)and very reassuring. I am wondering what he meant by 'prescribing' the book "Happiness For No Reason" about 15 minutes after meeting me, but...actually, I asked him if I looked unhappy, and he unequivocally answered, "Yes. You can never give up hope. You look like you've given up hope." about this? I am about at the end of my hope strings, if you pardon the pun. I find out today that we probably wasted several years of going through needless things and should have been IVF after 2-3 years anyway--and HAD we, we may have come across the stuff found today--the ovarian cysts. Yep...apparently, I may be in the throes of ovarian failure, though right now I am just at probably ovarian dysfunction. My right ovary has cysts that are 6 cm. For reference, that's pretty big. "Do NOT start Clomid today," he tells me. "Start Birth Control today," he tells me... (how ironic and sad, to make infertile women take BIRTH CONTROL...) "We need to get those cysts under control before we can do IVF," he says. As all this goes on, I think back to the years of other doctors (good ones, mind you...or, so I thought...) who SAW these cysts--for years--and didn't do anything (save one who decided to use seeing them as a reason to do laparoscopy to "explore" and found endometriosis)--UGH. Just aggravation. Now, after a morning, this doctor has a different game plan, an aggressive game plan, and it seems as if it is almost going to be too late because I'm older....of course, that is me; he feels that, "2009 is going to be your year of the baby," but as stated...I'm tired of hoping, hoping, hoping and then being disappointed, disappointed, DISAPPOINTED. After nearly 10 years, eventually one gets to the point where she is NOT going to keep beating her head against the same useless wall. And, I am not going to apologize for hitting that proverbial wall. I realize that frame of mind makes a big difference in just about everything. I am working toward a better attitude.

So, as I sat there this morning, I was nearly in tears. I know many who are adopting or trying to adopt have infertility issues and may have been down the IVF path--so I'm sure my pain is felt. For anyone not, it is not fun. Sitting there, looking at all the hopeful faces, knowing what boat we are in, dreading the toll all this is going to take...I just teared up. Then, listening to the doctor, tears. Riding in the car, tears. I sort of mourned the little JohnandLori that never would be when we decided to adopt. This opens all that up again, and puts me in the middle of a stressful, uncertain path down the road to be a mother. AGAIN. AT THE SAME TIME.

Welcome back indeed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No news is...well, to be expected, I guess....

Yeah, so no report from our Friday message from our agency. No worries, though, because I got quite an in-depth report from another agency, so I at least know what is going on. Sad, huh, that I get more info from another agency (and don't even know HOW I am getting it, but am SO GLAD!) than I do my own? What's up with that?

In any event, what is going on is not what I want to be going on. I have to say, though, in the last couple of weeks, I have been coming to grips with the fact that I do not think we will end up adopting from Kyrgyzstan, or any other country for that matter. Not for lack of trying, mind you, but just what my gut is feeling. If in vitro doesn't work, then we will get on our homestudy agency's wait list for domestic and just wait. And wait. And wait.

That's just how the cookie seems to be crumbling. And, strangely, I am resigned to to be okay with that. What else is there to do?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Don't bother...

So I get an email today from the really nice and talented lady who was going to make the E * M * M * A letters for the nursery...telling me she was about to start them. Yeah, well..."Don't bother," I told her. I don't see an Emma coming to this house any time soon, if ever.

I thought I would be buying nursery furniture for Christmas. Instead, I am wondering how long it will take me to get over the money I've lost and could have gone into something more stable (though, do those programs even exist?)...wondering how to gather the courage to go through MORE fertility treatments...wondering if people I've met will EVER get their babies???? I thought I'd be painting a very full-of-little-girl's things bedroom a bright and sunny yellow. Instead, I can't even open the door, and when I do, it is very cold and drafty. Oh...what I thought...

And, what is.

Rather, what is NOT. There is NOT a reason to paint, buy furniture, have letters made, buy stockings, stock up for next year, etc...There is NOT a hope that this is the last Christmas without a child. There is NOT a lot of optimism for what is coming in the next year. There is just NOT a lot of joy right now...and I hate that because this is truly a time of year that we are reminded of the unmatchable gift we've been given and should be reveling in nothing but that wonder and amazement.

And now you probably see why this is called "Don't bother..."--it really isn't worth reading, and I hope that for my own sake, I get back to the point where I start kicking my butt to get out of this funk. These days, it's just too easy to ask, "Why bother?"

I DID finish Christmas shopping last night, though...I am happy to say that there will be 4 more dentist visits, 5 orphans celebrating birthdays, a couple of blankets for the cold, several sets of supplies for invalids, and a couple of 'runs' to the Kyrgyzstan dump--to give food and help--and all of these things are in honor of friends and family members for Christmas gifts. Hospice care, Toys for Tots, Lupus research, Susan G. Komen and Mama Lupita and her orphanage in Mexico also will be receiving gifts in honor of friends and family, and I have to say that this has been the easiest and most fulfilling Christmas shopping I've ever done. It really is the season of giving, after all...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rainy Days and Thursdays always get me down..., here's the latest from the state department, issued yesterday:


Adoption Alert

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

December 10, 2008

The U.S. Department of State does not recommend that U.S. citizens consider adoption from Kyrgyzstan at this time because of serious, ongoing problems in the country’s intercountry adoption process. A number of prospective adoptive parents have reported that their cases are not being processed. The U.S. Embassy has requested official clarification, but no formal response has been received.

According to local experts, no cases are being processed at this time. Further, the government of Kyrgyzstan appears to be making moves to strengthen its internal controls of and develop new legislation on adoptions. It has been reported that Kyrgyz citizens may have been denied the opportunity to adopt during the past year, even while some intercountry adoptions by non-citizens were being approved. At this time it is not clear what action will be taken on pending cases or if the Government of Kyrgyzstan will accept any new cases

The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor the situation and will provide clarification as soon as it is received.

I just won't comment on it right now, other than to say I am not surprised (any more) and can't wait to hear what my agency thinks of it all...I know two agencies are being very responsible in telling potential adoptive parents that Kyrgyz is not a good choice right now, and I agree. At the risk of ruffling feathers, if you are reading this blog because you are interested in adopting from Kyrgyzstan and want a young baby within the next year or so--DON'T. At least not now...I in no way, shape or form want to discourage anyone from adopting internationally, and specifically from Kyrgyzstan, BUT in my own personal, humble opinion--based on my own personal, humble experience, now is just not the time. Okay--I guess I did comment.

So, in an attempt to keep things somewhat lighthearted these days, I took the *tag* from Maria's are the directions:

List these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as a link to their blog Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I was the first person out in the 1987 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. My word was germproof...which is ironic as I am a little OCD--especially about GERMS! I was scared to death--there in the front row watching me were Ronald and Nancy Reagan! my nervous haste, I started off saying, "j-no, g-e-r-m-p-r-o-o-f," but because I had already started with the 'j' sound, they rang the bell. Official rules, so it was fair and square. Taught me a valuable lesson--THINK before you speak. (Or, try to!) Also told me that being FIRST out on such an obviously easy word ROCKED because then there was NO pressure--it was NERVES I got out on, not my actual inability to spell a word correctly (ok, technically, it was, but you get the drift) and I had a great time for the rest of the week. In fact, I think that may be the time I was officially dubbed, "The perky brunette" for the first time...

2. John and I once got into a GINORMOUS fight because he flushed the toilet while I was brushing my teeth. I did not care that my civil engineer boyfriend (who was in the middle of building a waste water treatment plant for his Master's) told me that the pipes were in NO way connected or co-mingled. It was a VERY ugly fight...for the record, I realize the ridiculousness of that whole fight, and now the toilet flushing doesn't bother me. (Yes, it does, I just don't make a big deal about it!)

3. I was an obsessive, nerdy, short, frizzy haired, big teeth, hyperactive little girl in school (in hindsight, I realize not too much has changed, I'm just old enough to wear that all a little better :) )...I obsessed over one boy from 3rd grade to ninth grade. I'm talking obsessed...the same boy--who had absolutely NO interest in me whatsoever (with good reason--as I said, I was pretty nerdy and probably very annoying) and then obsessed over a different boy--checking out his middle school year books from the public library, cutting his pictures out and then returning the yearbooks (I know, I know...ROTTEN)--seriously...the best and most ironic part of all this? Twenty years later, that second boy turns out to be Yogi the Pug's dad ( and is planning on coming to visit my kids for their Christmas party next week-with Yogi and some little stuffed animals (don't tell, it's a secret!!!) to surprise them!

4. I didn't get baptized until I was 19 years old, though I became a Christian when I was 7. I was afraid of the water. I am not a strong swimmer, and don't like to be under water without having total control of the situation...umm, yeah...God finally got tired of that lame excuse and gave me the courage....12 years later.

5. Some of my biggest regrets? Not going to law school (now I am too old, tired of school and unwilling to be in any MORE debt!), not being involved in drama in school--I would LOVE to be an actress (and think I would rock at it!), not keeping up better with foreign language study (four years of Spanish and I can ask where the bathroom is??? Geesh!), being short. Okay...can't change that one, but I REALLY hate it sometimes...I am REALLY short--and while that is most of the time a cute little quirky thing about me, in honesty, I hate looking at pictures of me with other women and seeing how RIDICULOUSLY shorter than they are I am!!

6. I live for musicals...ever since I was little (my mom said my first musical was Camelot when I was 6 months old) I have adored them. In fact, if I could change one thing about myself, it would be my voice--I want one that can SING! I sing--just not well. Even more than being tall, I would love to have a good singing voice--one that doesn't need a choir to blend in with in order to be acceptable! Seriously, The Sound of Music is my all-time favorite...I love the King and I, West Side Story, Camelot, Cats, Beauty and the Beast--heck, put some great sparkly costumes on and throw some to-die-for voices and I am HOOKED on just about anything!

7. I am not a big fan of chocolate. I know, I know...what kind of woman am I? The kind that doesn't live for chocolate. I like it WITH Reese's (more peanut butter) or Rollos (more caramel) or chocolate chip cookies (more cookie)...but wouldn't cry if chocolate fell off the face of the earth.

So, there you have it. You are supposed to tag 7 people. Maria left that tagging opportunity up to those of us who read and feel so inclined, and I like that, so...feel free to be tagged!!!

In doing spellcheck for this post, the word germproof came up! The suggestion is for it to be two words. Hilarious.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blessing or Curse?

Well, after checking out Maria's blog...and the ones she linked to-- Janiece and J-Momma, I'm opinionated enough on this topic to post something about it. It will probably not be too politically correct, and for that, well...stop reading now. These are my thoughts and opinions and you can take them and $1.63 (YIPPEE!!!) and buy a gallon of gas.

The post was a very honest one about adoption not necessarily being a blessing as it is more a solution to a problem that we can't really solve in this sinful in which things work out for the better, but maybe not necessarily the best. I appreciate the obvious Christian foundation behind the thoughts, and I think that makes them even more brave for her to say.

I can say, and did in her comment section, that, "Interesting points...I appreciate you noting that it is because of our sinful world that any of these points even get thought about or brought up.

I can say, and only for myself, that in all honesty, I have NEVER wanted to be part of the 'culture' to which, were circumstances different, I would be...the sperm donor, as I call him, left my mom high and dry...and in doing so, left me that way too. No worries though, because I SO got the better end of the deal when my mom met my DAD six months later and then married him a year later...nothing particular against the culture itself, but more a desire to have nothing to do with an ethnicity simply because that is the blood that runs through my veins...I don't feel slighted, I don't feel cheated. I guess to a degree, there is some curiosity, but it is fleeting, and had been for the last 25 or so years. The culture I am part of is the culture I was designed and destined to be part of. The family I was raised in is the family I was divinely given to. The circumstances that surrounded it...written before the world even existed. I guess my feelings are that if I claim to have faith in God and His plan and purposes all working for the good, then I need to be okay with the events that led up to them--whether they are life or death, birth or not..."

I don't think some people really even realize that even being born to your natural, birth, biological mother, you can be subjected to the same racism that is spoken of. My mom was as blond and blue-eyed as they came. The sperm donor, Indian. As in from the other side of the world Indian, not the Native variety. I look like...well, just about anything. I have gotten all sorts of suggestions--lots of Hispanic/Latin, a fair amount of Italian or Greek, Jewish, even African-American (like they have the run on curly hair?)--words like exotic and unusual have been used to describe my 'look.' I am constantly asked where my parents came from, what they were, what I am...I mean seriously, if it isn't obvious that I have a complex from all of this, it should be. combat that, I tell people my mother was from Etchasketchistan and my father was from Trashcanistan so I am Etchasketchatrashcanistani. Most of the time, people rude enough to ask, "What are you?" (and I am talking random people just asking that question as if I was part of a chemistry set) don't know how to respond...and my mission accomplished.

Based on that complex, to be truthful, I just want to be...left alone. I don't WANT people asking me what I am or where my parents come from. When they find out the origin of my birth, I don't want to hear about how nice Indian skin is (try telling mine, by the way...I thought puberty was OVER!) or how they love Indian food (ummm... seriously, don't think loving Indian food is a prerequisite to having Indian ethnicity) or how Indians DO have curly hair (for real?)and I DEFINITELY don't want to talk about a culture I don't have much actual knowledge on just because of the blood in my body. I like the way Maria thinks of Ellie--an American with Kyrgyz descent. I am an American--with Welsh, Scottish, English and Indian descent...I realize that others are trying to be complimentary of me when they say that I have such nice coloring or whatever...but honestly, it all just makes me uncomfortable and does nothing but remind me that there IS a difference in the way I came to be than what one would consider "should have been"--I HATE THAT. Like I said...if the world works the way it was designed to (for better, for worse and ours is not to reason why) then things that happen ARE the way they should be and that's that.

I was never legally adopted by my dad. By the time I was told about all this, I was at an age where having my name in the paper for the legal notice would have been horrifically embarrassing and I didn't see any reason to do anything that would NOT change my life. I had my dad's last name, I knew no other dad...what was the purpose of adopting (save, now, I wonder if that would have been advantageous for my parents for taxes, but anyway....) me officially? For all practical purposes, though, I am an adopted child--at least partially--and maybe the fact that I DID have my mom's heritage, family customs, quirks, etc...made it LESS needful for me to even be concerned with the sperm donor's. Not to mention, I had my DAD' was freely given to me as my own, and on no basis of anything like blood but love.

I understand blood is thicker than water to some. It is not, nor has it ever been to me. As for me, and for adoption being a blessing or a curse? If that's how I end up with my child, then there are very few things I would consider greater blessings. If it is not, then I still consider it a blessing for those children who live lives otherwise not lived and those parents and families who do the same. Curse? Sure...for the mothers (and fathers) who, for whatever reason, wish life was different and their babies would be happy, healthy and safe with them--but know it wouldn't. Heart wrenching, actually, if I think about how it must be for some birth moms and dads. But, I also know that for some birth moms (and dads)adoption is probably a blessing too...because though I can't imagine it, there are people who just don't want to have children and are thankful to not have the responsibility or obligation--thanks to adoption...sperm donor's position is definitely that. And of course, there are those birth parents who are simply selfless in their love of their child, and though pained to do so, see adoption as a blessing for the life it gives to their child that could never be with them.

I guess it all just depends on what side of the coin you are looking at...but either way, the coin definitely has two sides, nonetheless.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What can you do? some circumstance that I am going to call divine intervention (and leave it at that) lately I have been coming across things that have given me some direction, or at least I am hoping they are forms of direction for me. These are things, pieces of information, pieces of advice, what have you, that have certainly NOT just randomly come across my path and I am desperately trying to piece together to make sense of what I should be doing to build our family. In any event, something that was thrown at me today is something I feel may make a difference and hope if you have a few minutes, an envelope and stamp, you will use those things and take a step toward trying to help children find homes and people like me become parents. Whether you supported her or not, whether you support her or not, Hilary Clinton is our next Secretary of State. As such, she can be instrumental in influencing the attitude toward international adoption, specifically how other countries view adopting their children out to those of us in the United States. The following is a suggested template for a letter to Senator Clinton, encouraging her to stand up for those of us who are touched by adoption...and my guess is that if you are reading this, you ARE somehow touched by adoption.

Friends, many signs point to international adoption as becoming more and more a difficult thing to do...and this is neither good for those of us desperately trying to build families NOR those children--worldwide--who would so benefit from being part of those families we want to build. Please, if you feel so inclined, send a message. Lord knows lately I have been privileged to see the power of a few--imagine what else can be done!!!!

Hillary Clinton will be our next Secretary of State. She has been a strong advocate for children. She will be the head of the US Dept of State. The US Dept of State formulates policy on adoption. Let's make her a strong advocate for international adoption. Whether you are in the process of adopting, are an adoptive family or are considering adoption... write to her NOW. Say something along these lines, your own story, your own words...

Dear Honorable Senator Hillary Clinton,

Congratulations on your appointment to become Secretary of State. I am writing because I am touched by adoption. My family (or dear friend/family member) is (adopting or has adopted or wants to adopt or wants to adopt again)

This past year the world of adoption has become very difficult, to the detriment of orphans and families. Much change is for the good, to ensure that adoptions are done properly and legally, but the overall effect is that hundreds of orphans have been caste into limbo as bureaucracies become ensnared in red tape, multiple layers of oversight, and protracted negotiations with the US Dept of State.

The country we (or our friends/family member) (adopted from or want to adopt from or are waiting to adopt from) is currently ...

You are probably aware of the suspension of adoption in Guatemala and Vietnam, too, and the difficulties families adopting from other countries have faced. The most important consideration is the children. The children who wait for families live mostly in institutions, without adequate caregivers. Often these children could be home in loving arms rather than waiting in cold orphanages.

It will be so important to the adoption community to have your voice speak on behalf of orphaned children and to hear you take pride in the U.S. families who want to share their lives with these children. It may be hard for an "outsider" to understand how difficult and heart-wrenching it is to know that your child is waiting, for months, inside an institution without proper food or medical care, and to be informed that there is yet another bureaucratic "paperwork" delay.

If you would please consider us, and set a tone in your administration that advocates adoption it would be a bright light on the horizon for thousands of children.

As adoptive families (or friends/family members of), we (are or plan to be or know our friend/family member will be) loving parents and members of a world-wide community. We are "international" families. Please help us open doors for orphans who need families to come home. Your voice is very powerful and we appreciate your life-long commitment to children and families.

Senator Clinton's Washington, D.C. office address is below. If she gets a raft of letters, it will make an impression. Send a few photos, too, if appropriate for your family.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4451
General Fax: (202) 228-0282

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Well, moping doesn't make it better.... I might as well try a different tactic. Before I do, though, I can't say enough to the people who commented on the last post. This is all miserable, but to know there are complete and total strangers, for all practical purposes, who have become like family to you and CARE for you is really a blessing and one I am thankful for. Thank you to all who didn't judge my rants and prayed for my heart. I felt it and it helps.

So, anyway, checked Jes's blog and then Maria's and both had this little list, so figured that was a sign...who needs to get sleep anyway? So...apparently, you copy this list, then highlight what you have done. So, here's mine:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (BUT I SO WANTED TO!!! Everyone else said too much $$)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Hmmm...fairly interesting...y'all know me, though...I had a hard time withholding my commentaries on the items (okay...the Gondola one I couldn't hold back on because I SO wanted to do it!!! We were in VENICE for Pete's sake!!!) but interesting nonetheless....

As I copied from Jes and Maria, feel free to copy from me. I'm curious.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I never cease to be amazed.... the generosity of people. SO many days I see things where I just wonder where human compassion has gone, and then, "Tada!" I see it still exists...go here and here to see what 7 days can do for over 250 children!

Thank you John, thank you Cindy and thank you to any who may have read these last few blogs and found it upon your heart to give so generously to these innocent and special children. I am truly proud to say I had even a little part in making such a big difference across the world. And all God's people said, "Amen."

As far as the adoption front...well, after some long heart to hearts with family and friends--especially ones who have been there and done that (and are kind enough to be very honest with me in their thoughts) we are still...stuck.

While I believe Kyrgyzstan may end up being a stable situation once the kinks are worked out, I am also under the belief that Kyrgyzstan may not be where our child comes from. If that is the case, well...that's the case. I am big enough (or try to be) in my faith to know that God's plans for our plans are for HIS purposes...and if Kyrgyzstan was placed on my radar for no other reason but to become aware and to help if possible with His children, well, so be it. I hate it, I won't lie. I want to bring a little Emma Jane from Kyrgyzstan home so badly I can taste it. But... I don't know if that is to be. For now, we are waiting and seeing what the meetings planned for December will bring (though I don't imagine much as it is holiday time for most everyone in some sort) and see if anything becomes clearer. The bottom line and consensus among most is this--"Be prepared to wait." And, with that being the general gist of things, while waiting, we are exploring other options. Now realize that financially, our options are slimmer as many eggs have already been placed in the Kyrgyz basket! However, my goal in all of this was to build my family, and that is still my focus. We are unsure of much right now, but know that we are probably going to pursue domestic as well through our home study agency (probably a 2 year wait as well, just financially a little easier) and IVF at some point in the next year. We are also looking at preparing a dossier through our agency for another country, but in truth, most countries these days are battling the same wait issues, so we are not sure about that.

What I AM sure of is that my heart hurts. Yet another year with a Christmas tree and no baby to keep away from the ornaments. Yet another year of stockings for me, John and the DOGS (though God knows I love my fur-babies!) Yet another year Santa won't need to visit our home and yet another year of no sweet little Christmas outfits, giggles or adorable Christmas cards. Yet another year I wonder if I was really and truly meant to have children. Just because we WANT something...just because we'd make it our WHOLE WORLD...just because we think we'd be great at it...none of that matters if it is simply not in the plan.

Lord, in this new year coming, please give me peace. I want a child, but I need peace. My heart just hurts too much without it.