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Temporary Blindness

1 Oct

Welcome, baby!
Welcome, baby!
courtesy of Bethany Ann Khan

Two weeks ago Don and I got an e-mail from our agency with the subject line, “Can we show your profile – BABY BORN”.

It’s not the first time we’d gotten a request to show our profile to a birth mother outside of our APQ, but it was the first time that the baby had already been born.

I was at Johns Hopkins visiting my eye specialists when I read the e-mail. I was between appointments and walking to the coffee shop when the email came so I quickly scanned it. What I first saw was baby girl, a budget number that didn’t make me freak out and the baby’s birth date. September 11. The same day we lost my cousin to lung cancer.

I called Don and we talked through the things I had not wanted to see on my first review of the situation. Scary things that needed consideration. Like the fact that the birth mom was an IV-drug user, was positive for Hep B and C, had received no pre-natal care and that the baby had been born at home.  The baby’s temperature was elevated, she was on antibiotics and she had tremors when startled. None of her tests results were recorded yet.

I called our adoption specialist and asked when the test results might be in. She said it could be up to two weeks for some of them. I asked if the baby had been born at home because the mother was using at the time of the baby’s birth. Angie said she had definitely used drugs on September 11, though it was unclear how long before she went into labor she had shot up.

I blame the eye doctors for my case of temporary blindness that day.

We passed on the opportunity. Angie told me three other couples had said yes so I didn’t have to worry that this precious little girl wouldn’t find her home. She is someone else’s daughter and they will love her. By now, they already do. By now they might know some of the medical issues she will face in life. She has a name. She has a mom and a dad. She has birth parents who will be part of her life as they are able and if have the desire. And someday, she will hear the complicated story of her birth.

I’ve been thinking about that little girl a lot and hoping for the very best things. She deserves an amazing life.

Just Needed to Relax for a Minute

31 Aug


I have shingles. Again.

As I mentioned last year when this happened, they are caused by stress or other factors igniting the dormant virus that lives in the systems of anyone who has ever had chicken pox.

In my case it’s a combo of stress and increased prednisone doses when I have a fare up of my eye disease.

So to relax a little, I took an unplanned week off and headed to the beach. It’s hard not to be calm when one is starring at the ocean.

See you after Labor Day.

I Just Haven’t Met You Yet

13 Apr

For a whole bunch of reasons, I’m feeling anxious today. It mostly has nothing to do with the adoption.

Well, I guess that’s not entirely true. I think when you reach a certain point in the game EVERYTHING is about the adoption.

We’re so so so close to activating, but there’s still one outstanding piece of paperwork and then we’re live on the site and waiting to meet our birth mom and our baby.

And I know someday that it’ll all turn out
You’ll make me work, so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, that I give so much more than I get
I just haven’t met you yet

I might have to wait, I’ll never give up
I guess it’s half timing, and the other half’s luck
Wherever you are, whenever it’s right
You’ll come out of nowhere and into my life

Yeah, I have Michael Buble on a playlist. So what?

Our baby is coming. I don’t know when, but I can’t wait.


Shame and Shingles

5 Nov

Several days of intense pain followed by the appearance of a small rash drove me to the doctor on Thursday. The verdict? Shingles.
As I have mentioned before, I have this totally weird and rare eye condition that does better if I keep my immune system suppressed. As a result, I get a fair share of bugs – normally of the not-so-serious kind like colds and stomach viruses.

My shingles are definitely the result of a low immune system. However there’s some decent evidence to show that shingles are brought on by stress, and I have a little bit of that going on currently.

You already know we’re working on our home study process right now. You probably don’t know we’re involved in a major house renovation process as well. Major as in we tore the roof off our house and gutted the second floor. After we ripped off the roof, the DC area experienced an earthquake, a hurricane and then what is now being referred to as thousand year rains. The temporary roof (plywood and tarps) couldn’t handle the stress. The kitchen ceiling leaked, the dining room ceiling leaked. Parts of the living room ceiling ended up on the floor of the living room.

Since we gutted the 2nd floor, we had to remove everything upstairs. All that stuff – two bedrooms worth of stuff – is in our living room and dining room at the moment. It looks like hoarders live in our house. Plus we’ve been living in the first floor guest room since we moved in a year ago. I really, really miss our bed.
Want to see my shame?

This is what our dining room looks like right now. There is furniture everywhere - our mattress and box spring, two dressers, rolled up carpets - plus everything from our closets.

I mean, look at that. There’s a narrow path for walking and the rest is furniture piled on furniture. The plastic sheeting at the back is covering the place where we ripped windows out of the wall to make room for a sliding door.

The living room is not much better. Sections of wall board are missing and all of our bathroom fixtures are piled in the entry.

Our bathroom is in our living room. That's not as handy as you would think.


So, it’s crazy around here. I’m also really busy at work.

AND - our social worker is coming for the home visit in less than two weeks.

She’s assured us that she understands we’re remodeling, but we’re leaning hard on our contractor to make significant progress in order to make some of this craziness go away.

If they tile the shower stall and get the floor down in the bathroom we could at least move all those fixtures up there. She’s going to understand that the bathroom has construction materials in it, but she needs to be able to enter the house without falling over it. If they put in the sliding door, we can remove the plastic barricade. Again, she’s going to understand if the wall is missing the floorboard molding. Not having floorboard molding doesn’t make our house unsafe for children, but huge sections of plastic on which a child could suffocate might.

So, there’s some stress. On the other hand, we have heat in the house now for the first time in weeks (months really, but we didn’t need it back in September). Progress is being made. I’m so excited for our new second floor which houses our remodeled and larger master bedroom, a bathroom of my dreams and a room that (provided our social worker doesn’t run away screaming) will one day be our cheerful little nursery.

What do you think? How much progress can we make in this short period of time? What should be our priorities for preparing for the home visit?

Lost in the Mail?

13 Oct

Flickr photo by Images_of_Money

Well, I should have know when almost two weeks passed and we didn’t get our social worker assignment that something was wrong

Today, I called our agency to make sure they had received our home study questionnaire. Take a guess what I learned.

You guys are smarties. They didn’t get it.

That means that our very personal application with our names and socials and birthdays and a credit card number is floating around in the post office somewhere. Nice.

We did a quick check on the card to make sure there were no weird charges, but I guess we need to run credit reports to make sure no one is trying to open new accounts and assume our identities.

Fun times.