Thursday, May 29, 2008
Before Miss P came home, N was 8 and A was 3 and I had more time to be Not a Mama. I was back to my quilting and had time for my book club and I had started running and I was feeling pretty good about where I was in life - as a mama and as me. Once P came home, obviously the focus shifted. Not only did I have to be there constantly for P while she figured out her new family, but I also had to spend more time with A and N to make up for the months of neglect while I was obsessing about the adoption (me? obsess? nooooooooo). And to praise them for being the best big sisters in the world, of course.
But it's been six months now and I have been starting to yearn for those Not a Mama moments. At some point, you have to separate a little from your kiddos and do the things that you enjoy doing for YOU. Otherwise they all head off to college and you're left staring at your husband thinking, 'Hmmm.... now what?'
The nifty thing about this upcoming surgery (scheduled for June 30th by the way) is that I will be forced to focus on me. In order to recover the right way, I'm going to have to sleep and take short walks and rest on the couch. I'll have time to read new books and catch up on a few movies I've been wanting to see. I've already been figuring out which of my quilting projects will be in shape to work on while sitting in the chair with my feet up on the ottoman. And I'm hopeful that my recovery will go smoothly so I can slowly work my way into running again. Because the pounds have been sneaking up on me. Must be all of those Pop Tarts.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This is the email we sent to JCICS to advocate on behalf of the A Child's Right campaign. These emails of support need to be sent by May 30th, so get crackin! And be prepared to write, email, and call your Senators and Congressmen/women next week. If you don't know what I'm talking about, crawl out from under the rock and go here.
We are writing in support of A Child's Right Campaign.
Our beautiful daughter, P, was born in Vinh Long, Vietnam in January of 2007 and joined our family in November of 2007. I have watched the situation in Vietnam very carefully for more than two years and am convinced that there are adoption agencies doing 'the right thing' in Vietnam by providing much-needed humanitarian aid and refusing to contribute to unethical practices. There are also adoption agencies who are the main contributors to this mess we find ourselves in. The JCICS recommendations do a service by providing means to continue ethical adoptions (and the humanitarian aid that stems from international adoption fees paid by prospective adoptive parents), while stopping the tide of abuses to the system.
The adoption agency we used, Dillon International, has supported five orphanages in the southern provinces of Vietnam for more than a decade. Since the reopening of U.S./Vietnam adoptions, new baby beds and mattresses have been provided where once infants slept on wooden slats. Medical care has been consistently available. Schooling has been provided for older children. New, safer, larger buildings have been purchased. And playgrounds are being installed thanks to a fundraising campaign by adoptive parents. Without the additional money provided by international adoption fees, many of these projects will slow or stop altogether, in order to ensure the basic care of food and shelter continues even if adoptions cease.
We are writing in support of A Child's Right campaign on behalf of not only the children who are available for adoption, in order that they might find homes with families who will provide more than the basic needs, but also on behalf of the children who are not available for adoption. There are children who live in orphanages due to the extreme poverty of their birth families, but who have not been relinquished - whose parents still visit them when possible. None of Vietnam's children living in orphanages should suffer through another shutdown, when an ethical solution is possible.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone with our adoption agency program director. I called because I'm obsessed... ummm... highly interested in the possibility that we'll adopt again and I wanted to chit chat about our options.
N was at school but A and P were bee-bopping around the living room while I was having the typical 60 minute conversation with Jynger on topics ranging from the mess in Vietnam to the upcoming Vietnam Family Reunion to whether I should buy oak or cherry flooring for my living room (we tend to get off topic). As you might imagine, keeping two active kiddos busy while I'm on the phone for an hour is practically impossible, which is why I uttered the statement that should win me the Worst Mom Ever trophy hands-down.
"A! Leave P alone and let her play in the dog food."
Uh huh. WHILE I was on the phone with our agency director. BEFORE we've even had our final post placement visit.
Friday, May 23, 2008
So either today or Tuesday, the doctor's office will call to schedule the hysterectomy, hopefully in early July. In the meantime, my sister and her family are here and we're off to do fun kid-related stuff now that the last day of school has finally arrived.
Have a great weekend everyone! I know I will.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I've decided I'm truly okay with the hysterectomy. Honest Abe, I am. I can deal with the surgery and the recovery as long as it means I don't have to worry about cervical cancer ever again. But if the stinkin' bad cells are cancerous, I'm could lose my biological fertility and my chances of adopting again all at the same time. And that I am not okay with. Seriously not okay with.
Ring phone, ring!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Short version of my obstetrical history: Miscarriage, pregnancy with N, two medically-documented miscarriages (two others suspected) with one D&C, pregnancy with A. Successful pregnancies = three months of throwing up, Zofran, and a 20 pound weight loss before hitting the second trimester. Pretty much five minutes after having A, my doctor patted me on the hand and said, "Let's not do this again." Hence... P :)
I'm of the mind that one more family member would be nifty. My husband isn't quite on board but isn't saying no. Adoption would be the most likely method of family adding, but we wanted to have the bio method available *just in case*. In the meantime, I needed to figure out a new plan for birth control because I'd been on Depo Provera for too long and was risking bone loss, blah blah blah (insert scary medical jargon here). After much debating and discussing and getting opinions, we decided to go with the Mirena IUD. I was scheduled to have it done yesterday.
Instead, I found out that I had an abnormal pap. Again. With the highest grade of abnormal cells. Again. Two years ago, I had this occur and ended up with a LEEP procedure (NOT fun). Supposedly, there's less than 10 percent chance of recurence but guess who got lucky? Within a few minutes of breaking the news, my doctor handed me a brochure on hysterectomies. Definitely not what I'd planned on hearing. We went from 'let's do an IUD juuuust in case I want another biological baby' to 'no more babies for you' in about 15 minutes. Oh, and let's throw in 1-2 days in the hospital and 2-4 weeks of recovery before I can drive, pick up my children, etc etc etc
I'm doing better today. Numero Uno Most Importantly, it's not cancer yet. So if we do the hysterectomy, the problem is gone and I can kiss the possibility of cervical cancer bye-bye. Who needs a uterus anyway, right? So I'm going to look at the bright side and thank goodness that I've been following my annual exam schedule and that we caught it. I still have to wait for the second pap and biopsy to come back (sometime next week) before we schedule the surgery, but we're trying to figure out when to fit in 2-4 weeks of inactivity and no driving during our busy summer. Being the practical sort, my mind also went immediately to the truly critical problem - what am I going to read during my 2-4 weeks of recovery?
Which is where you come in. Begin suggestions.... now.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Mostly, I'm just so sad.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Anywho, one of the first things my Dad said was 'Did you hear Vietnam is closing adoptions?' Since the majority of our relatives were at the house at some point or other, I also heard it from my Aunt June and my Aunt Barb. And I'm probably going to be hearing it a lot more, because now the questions that have arisen about ethicality and legality and bribery are going to affect our children for the rest of their lives.
Like every parent who has adopted from Vietnam, I want to think that we adopted P through 'one of the good agencies'. Because of the amount of time and energy I've invested in advocating for ethical adoptions and watching the unethical practices, I'm confident that by using Dillon International we can look our child in the eye and tell her that the circumstances of her adoption are as 'up and up' as we can possibly hope for.
The problem is this. Every parent who has adopted from Vietnam is hoping the same thing. And many, many of those parents won't be able to back it up with a long record of humanitarian support in Vietnam, an agency that has far more relinquishments than abandonments, and an agonizing wait for families hoping to adopt infant girls. In fact, in the Spring of 2007, Dillon stopped accepting gender requests. At that time, I think there were around 15 families on the waiting list for a little girl. Five or six of those families are still waiting. And may be waiting as of September 1st when adoptions shut down.
I hurt for the families who are still waiting. I hurt for the families (including ours) who hoped to adopt again from Vietnam. But mostly I hurt for the children who have already come home (including ours) who will forever have questions about their adoption circumstances. And for the children who are still waiting in the orphanages and who may not have a chance to find their family - biological or adoptive - because of this mess.
Coming soon: My rant on responsibility. Because let's face it - a lot of people are to blame for this disaster.
Until then: Go here and write some letters. Let's try to come to a solution to keep ETHICAL adoptions an option between Vietnam and the U.S. It's way easier than your dossier paperwork - I promise.