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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Houston, we have a walker!

Have I mentioned how incredibly awesome parenthood is? Well, it is awesome. My favorite part is all of it. Okay, so that isn't completely true. I didn't really like the part last week where Marcus kept peeing on things. One of my favorite parts is watching Marcus learn things. This week his development has just taken off. He is learning all kinds of new skills and new words. It is literally happening overnight.

He loves his shape sorter toys for all new reasons this week. Last week he played with the shapes and Greg and I would point out where the shape fitted and he could get it in. For two days he amazed us with one of his toys by placing circles, triangles, squares, and stars into their respective holes with no help. Because that just wasn't enough challenge, he quickly moved onto a different shape sorter that has 10 different shapes. Without hesitation he went to work and put all of those shapes in their respective holes.

Then there is his language. I can't believe that two months ago we were worried about his language development. Two months ago he had one word. He probably has at least ten now, two of which just crossed his lips in the past 3 days. On Monday he spent our entire grocery shopping trip pointing to round objects and saying, "Ball!" His favorite word is still "woof". He has super hearing and will hear a dog bark from three streets over and respond with "woof". He even made up a sign for banana. I have done the sign for banana several times and his sign isn't close to my sign, but it is now our sign for banana.

I predicted on Sunday that by the end of this week, we would have a walker on our hands, or floors. Marcus is exceeding my expectations. Yesterday his one day care teacher said that they "tortured" him all day by encouraging him to walk everywhere. Today she said there wasn't much torturing going on because he was voluntarily walking where he wanted to go. This evening, he spent probably 90% of the time getting from point A to point B by walking. Actually, most of the evening was spent with him going from here to there and then when he got there he could come here again. He is just so excited that he is walking that he is doing it all the time!

Now I just have to get him to learn to quit bringing all those day care germs home to me. I am sick AGAIN! I am running out of sick days at work but there is no way I can go in when I feel like this. I was looking at pictures today from our trip to Guatemala to visit William. I never stop missing him and wanting him home but today even more so. Tomorrow is 5 weeks in PGN this time around. Please please please approve us soon!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Let's Talk About...

Urination!! Otherwise known as peeing. It is a perfectly natural thing to discuss. Everyone does it. I am willing to bet you do it multiple times a day. Besides, it will be great one day for Marcus to read this and see how embarrassed he gets since I talked about him urinating on the internet. Not that he actually urinated ON the internet, but you know what I mean.

After a series of misfortunes, we decided to try something new these past couple nights. I am not counting on it having any long term effects (positive or negative) but for now it is helping to keep my laundry amount reduced ever so slightly. Our nightly routine usually involves me stripping Marcus down to his birthday suit while on his changing table, covering him with a towel, and then taking him across the hall to the bathroom where I promptly place him in the tub that Greg has already filled with water. That was before we had reason to talk about urination.

Let me give you a brief history. As any mom of a little boy will tell you, we get peed on. I am quite grateful that I could count the number of times this has happened to me on one hand. Despite the shock of cool air upon removing a diaper, Marcus just doesn't seem prone to this type of peeing. However, here is a brief time line to explain Marcus and his urination habits over the past few days:

Day 1: Marcus peed as soon as I put him in the tub, which was followed by a draining of all bath water, a cleaning of bath toys, and a refilling of the bath.
Day 2: Marcus peed while still on the changing table, after the diaper was removed and he was covered with a towel, resulting in getting pee on the changing pad as well as the towel. (Of course this was a time when his backup changing pad was in the laundry room awaiting its weekly wash.)
Day 3: I removed Marcus's diaper only slightly while he was on the changing pad, waiting patiently for him to pee. He started to pee. I covered him up. When he was done peeing I removed the diaper and covered him with a towel, at which point he started peeing more, soiling the towel and creating a giant puddle on the changing table that was without a changing pad because both changing pads were still dirty.
Day 4: Stripped Marcus down to his diaper. Took him into the bathroom and set him on his little potty seat that fits onto the toilet. Removed diaper and waited. Marcus cried a little but Greg and I reassured him. After a minute there was no pee and I put him in the tub. He didn't even pee in the tub.
Day 5: Kept the diaper on Marcus, placed him on the potty seat, removed diaper. He cried. Greg distracted him by running some water. Our porcelain throne was quite a cold seat with the a/c blowing on it. Marcus peed. Greg and I cheered wildly. Marcus looked at us thoroughly confused but decided to cheer anyway since that was what we were doing.
Day 6 (today): Marcus went back on the toilet prior to bath. He didn't want to be there until I gave him an ultra-cool hair brush to play with. The a/c was blowing and soon enough, Marcus was peeing. Greg and I cheered and I kept repeating, "You are peeing!" in an attempt to get Marcus to understand that there were words to go along with what he was doing. He totally ignored us, completely engrossed in the ultra-cool hairbrush for another moment, before handing the brush to me and giving the sign for "all done".

So no, I am not potty training my kid who is so far ready from being potty trained. Instead I am trying to keep myself from having to clean up pee on a changing table, wash changing pads constantly, and do extra loads of towels along with my laundry. If Marcus picks up on the fact that there are words to describe peeing, so be it.

In next week's edition of "Let's Talk About..." maybe we can talk about pooping! Just kidding!


Sunday, August 26, 2007


I looked and looked and can't seem to find a picture of our lovely game room, the one that we had a few weeks ago. Trust me, it was nice. We had a nice plush pinkish carpet with light blue walls. We decorated the place with lots of sports stuff. Also, there was a great bar there, void of bar stools since we never got around to getting those. We had a nice big TV down there with digital cable and surround sound. Sure, some of that stuff is still there, or at least in the garage, but this is what the room looks like now:

Just as our game room is... err... progressing, so is Marcus. He is working on his walking skills. He is doing a lot more unprovoked walking. He will just randomly use his walking skills to get from place to another instead of sticking solely to scooting or crawling. The kid is just so much fun! I'll be sitting on the floor and over he will walk, with a huge smile on his face, and give me a great big hug. His laughter and smiles are just so contagious.

Yesterday was Max's first birthday party. We had a great time hanging out with friends and watching Max try to figure out what the heck he was supposed to do with a birthday cake. Marcus zonked out in the car on the way home from having so much fun. Oh, and Cara, I hope your ass is okay!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Last Case Update

I decided today that we won't be getting anymore case updates on William's adoption. Part of the reason is because it is just too stressful and part of the reason is because we just won't be needing them. When we adopted Marcus we had to wait for weeks to get an update, much like now. However, when we got approved by PGN someone from our agency called us that very day. From that point on, we never really got anymore case updates, just information that we would need in order to travel to pick Marcus up.

Today I went into work to find sitting right there in my email inbox a case update. My heart sank. You might think that after months on end of checking my email every 30 seconds to see if we had an update I would be excited. Not this time. I figured the case update could only say one of two things. It could either say that we were still in PGN or else it could say that we were kicked out. It would not say that we had been approved because that would have involved a phone call (or at least capital letters in the subject of the email!). I wasn't even sure I wanted to read the email because I was too scared that it would be bad news. I dove in and thankfully it was no news. We are still in PGN. It has been 4 weeks today. People usually find out one way or another after 6-8 weeks in PGN so hopefully we don't have much longer to get that wonderful phone call announcing that we have been approved. I've been carrying my cell phone in my pocket constantly just in case it should ring and our agency is on the other end.

Back when I was a preteen, I became very curious about all the changes in life I was going through. I asked lots of questions and read endless books about puberty trying to get to know what I should expect over the next few years. It was quite exciting to learn about all the growing I had to do (even if it meant growing in odd parts of my body). Although I can't remember back that far, I am willing to bet that when I was just a little kid, a toddler even, I was excited about getting bigger and growing up and changing. I was lucky enough to have a big sister and a big brother to observe so I knew just what to expect. Marcus doesn't have that. Fortunately, he loves to read and found just the right book to satisfy his curiosity of his rapidly changing life over the next few years. By the look on his face, I am thinking he is quite excited about what he learned!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Clean up! Aisle Two!

Marcus has been feeling a bit under the weather. Finally yesterday he started acting like his old, crazy self. He spent the entire evening holding onto either my hand or Greg’s hand so he could walk around the house. I am so ready for him to start walking on his own more than just a few steps at a time. I am ready to start chasing him instead of following him everywhere. He not only insists on walking to get from one end of the house to the other, but if he wants to get a toy that is five feet away, this requires him to first come to me or Greg, get our hand, stand, and then walk to the toy. I’m tired.

Yesterday after work I was sitting on the floor with him and thought I would attempt to read a few pages of What to Expect: The Toddler Years. Sometimes over the course of an hour I can read a page or two. Sometimes not. Yesterday Marcus saw my book and kept pointing and saying, “Abu.” Apparently this is his new word. (Abu = A Book in case you were confused.) I got an idea and asked him if he wanted to go to his room to get his own book and then we could read together. Hand in hand we walked to his room and selected a book. We walked back to the family room, settled down, and started to read. Marcus flipped through his book a few times and then started pointing in the direction of his room and saying, “Abu.” Back we went to his room to get another book. I could foresee a long night of abu, pointing, and walking back and forth between his room and the family room. This time I got smart. In the past we have had to keep books away from Marcus because he would eat them. He is finally getting through that phase and is now obsessed with flipping through them. So, I grabbed about 25 of his board books and Marcus and I walked back to the family room, found a nice low shelf for them, and sat down to read abu.

We ended up having a bit of a rough evening. Marcus went to bed just like normal and I was just getting settled down and thinking about bed myself. Marcus started crying. He doesn’t usually wake up at night so I waited a few minutes to see if he was just crying in his sleep. I decided to go in and check on him. He was just laying there, crying like he was awake but didn’t want to be. I rubbed his back for a few minutes and he calmed down so I left. Of course, this upset him. He kept doing this whining crying thing, still acting like he was just awake and didn’t want to be. I headed into my bedroom and heard this lovely coughing-yacking sound followed by a really upset crying. I headed back in to find Marcus’s bed with a nice layer of half digested snack on it. I picked up Marcus and yelled to Greg, “Clean up! Aisle two!” I started getting Marcus cleaned up and out of his sleep sack while Greg changed the crib sheets. During that process more of Marcus’s snack ended up on him and on the bathroom floor and probably on me too but I really didn’t have time to check. It took awhile to get him settled. He was quite happy sleeping on me but that wasn’t going to work for the whole night. He is fine again today, just tired from the night before.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Busy Busy Week

What a busy week this has been! We are still, sadly, drying out from the storm. It is looking like our game room carpet isn't going to make it. This mostly makes me sad because we don't have any financial means of replacing it at this time. The storm hit last Thursday around 3:00 pm, at which point our power went out. Our power didn't come on until Saturday around 7:00 pm, 52 hours later. Things really weren't too bad without electricity. I got out of the house last Friday to go see Dave Matthews Band. On Saturday, even though we were still powerless, we started to attempt to clean things up the best that we could. Our yard looked like this:

Our garage looked like this:

Perhaps it is a good thing that William hasn't come home yet because his crib was housing Greg and my other babies.

Greg even started to try to get our retaining wall in order but we still haven't gotten that put back up yet either. Since we weren't able to keep anything refrigerated for quite some time, we were reduced to eating whatever bad for us food we could get our hands on. I even let Marcus have something unhealthy for a snack. He quite enjoyed his cookie. I bet you can't guess what color the icing was!

On Sunday morning Marcus and I went to North Park with another mom and son to play on the playground. Then while he napped to met some friends at Panera for some good conversation and knitting.

I took the day off of work on Monday and Marcus and I headed down to spend some time with my family. We played at my parents' house a bit, Marcus napped, and then we headed to the pool where we met my sister and her kids. My niece and nephew had a great time showing off for Marcus. It was a great day but quite exhausting.

Tuesday it was back to work. Thursday morning I had to head out to Harrisburg for meetings and spent the night there because I had another meeting Friday morning. It was the most time I have spent away from Marcus since he came home. I felt guilty for not feeling guilty. It was nice to hang out all alone in my hotel room after the meetings watching bad TV. Greg said he and Marcus were doing just fine without me. Figures!

I got back home on Friday around 3:00. Apparently Marcus had been doing fine, until he woke up from his nap at 2:00 with a low grade fever. He ended up being just miserable all night. The nice part was that instead of being insane, he was all cuddly, something that he is normally way too busy for. Here it is Sunday, and he is still under the weather. His fever was 104 at one point but has mostly stayed in the 100-101 range.

Last night was my 10 year high school reunion. I was all excited about going, even though after checking in with all the people I had kept in contact with since high school only one of them would be attending. I decided to flip through my year book yesterday morning to check to see who else I might see there, and hopefully give me a refresher of names since I am so horrible with names. After looking through the faces of my classmates my senior year in high school I realized that there were very few people I cared to see. Greg and I dropped Marcus off at my parents' house for the evening and we headed out. We ran into my friend Abbie in the parking lot with her husband. There were lots of familiar faces there and a lot of confusion over exactly who people were. We talked to several people and some of those people I hadn't talked to since middle school but apparently we were supposed to act like long lost friends so we did. One guy even said hello to me that I never talked to in my life. One of the few people I was hoping to see there was Brooke, a girl that I worked with at this fantastic after school job and took karate with. In she walked with her boyfriend! Brooke, Abbie, and I chatted away. We were all quite disappointed that despite the large chunk of money that we had to drop to attend the event, the only food to eat was cheese, veggies,and Swedish meatballs. So we blew that popsicle stand. Abbie, her husband Jason, Brooke, her boyfriend Jason, Greg, and I all headed to T.G.I. Friday's for some more filling food and some margaritas. It ended up being a great night hanging out with old friends.

One other fantastic thing happened this week. I saved it for last because if you have made it this far, you deserve some reward. We FINALLY got a medical update on William. It was quite an emotional week with our adoption because I found out some devastating news which could just be a rumor, on top of us being a month behind on getting a medical report. On Tuesday I emailed our case worker and told her that it was completely ridiculous that we still hadn't gotten our medical report and I have been very dissatisfied with the service we have been receiving. She responded and said, "Please understand that I will give you the medical report as soon as I get it." I responded to that with, "Please understand that I will continue to ask where our medical report is until I get it." We got it on Thursday. William is doing great. His insect bites are finally healing. He is growing well, working at sitting up on his own, and his hair is filling in a bit. Take a look at the cutie pie yourself!

We also heard that our adoption person in Guatemala did get the package that we had another family take down for us and the package was given to his foster family.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cookbook Deadline: Friday

Don't forget that this Friday, August 17 is the deadline to order our cookbook. We have sold 115 so far, still working towards our goal of 200.

Thanks so much to everyone for your support!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wild Weather Day

This blog entry was written on Friday, August 8, 2007:

One of the books that Marcus and I like to read is called Wild Weather Day. It talks about different weather conditions all with a fun plot. Okay, so it isn’t that fun of a plot. Yesterday was certainly a wild weather day here, minus the hail and the rainbow that show up at the end of the book.

There were two big storms that came through the city and surrounding areas yesterday. The first occurred while I was already at work and was the lesser of two. It was just after 7am and although the sun should have been shining, it was as dark as night outside. One guy at my office was on his way in and was talking about how traffic was moving at about 20mph on the interstate, several cars were pulled over, and he kept looking at his clock thinking he accidentally was leaving for work in the middle of the night instead of in the morning because it was so dark. We were listening to the radio at work and people kept calling in to talk about all the roads that suddenly flooded, most of them right around the area of town where I live. Then as quickly as the storm started, it was over and the sun was shining again.

I went on with my day and had to travel to a few projects and ended my day about 15 miles from home. As I was headed out of the office, a man working there was looking at the radar. All I saw was a giant blob of yellow and red. He said to be careful, the storm was here. I was convinced if I could just drive fast enough that I could make it to Marcus’s day care and hide out there. As soon as I stepped out of the office I had my doubts that I would be able to make it. The sky in the north was black. I jumped in my car and hit the gas.

For the first two or three miles I was driving a bit faster than normal. Then the wind starting blowing and small tree parts were flying and my car was being pushed around. It was time to start driving slower than normal. The road that Marcus's day care is on had flooded in the morning. This isn't just some little low-lying road. It is a six lane road with businesses and strip malls lining each side. Although I wasn’t sure at the time, I assumed if that road had flooded, than so did the road I use to get to that road. I headed down the long winding road to get to the road that led to the road where Marcus's day care is. Apart from having to drive around a small fallen tree, things were still good. The bridge at the bottom wasn’t flooded but just down stream there was a giant tree stuck in the next bridge, likely leftover from the morning when the road had flooded. The creek was still in its banks but the road was starting to fill up with water fast. Just as I pulled onto the road where Marcus's day care is, the sky became a constant flash of lightening. I was scared! His day care is only about a half mile up the road but I was beginning to think I wouldn't make it. I nearly hit a sign that had blown into the road but did make it to the parking lot of the day care. It was too scary to get out of my car but it was quite scary just sitting in my car too. I waited a few minutes and the lightening strikes seemed to subside from about 10 strikes a second to two strikes a second so I made a run for it. I was completely soaked by the time I reached the door.

All the kids and teachers had been moved into the long, narrow hallway of the day care. Many of the kids were crying and I didn't blame them! There were tornado warnings out all over the county and since all the classrooms have windows, they needed to get into the hallway. I sat on the floor and Marcus came right into my lap, confused and glad to see me. I decided just to hang out in the hallway with everyone else because I was not about to go back outside in that mess!

A few other parents came in, picked up their kids, and left. I figured the worst of the storm was over but I wasn’t ready to face flooded roads. At some point the lights went out. Then the backup emergency lights went out. Marcus and I just hung out for about 30 minutes and played ball with a few other kids in the hall. Finally we were ready to face the world.

It was still raining a little bit but the wind had stopped and the tornado warnings had been lifted. A township vehicle was blocking the entrance onto one of the roads we usually take, a road that floods during huge storms, so we had to find another route home. I was afraid of what I would find when I got home. At first everything looked fine.

I tried to open the garage door but quickly realized the power must be out. I instantly knew our basement was flooded. Our basement has flooded in the past, but we invested in having internal drains added and a sump pump to pump out excess water. Only problem is, the sump pump runs off of electricity, something we didn't have. So far this hasn't been a problem. Marcus and I came in through the front door and I figured I would take some time to get us settled before I bothered to check out the basement. What could I do about it anyway? I went to let the pooch outside but decided it was likely not a good idea to head out the front instead because the patio was flooded (all the water from our patio runs right down the back of our house and into our basement) and covered in mud. I started to turn so I could take the pooch out the front door when I noticed it.

Our house is on a hill but our backyard has been split up in two level parts, separated by a retaining wall and some stairs. This is what the wall looked like on the left side of the steps:

Pretty normal, just wet. That isn't what caught my attention. What did catch my eye is what the retaining wall looked like on the right side of our steps. It looked like this:

It seems that all the water from that side of our yard, from our neighbor's yard, and from yards of the people behind us runs right down that area of our yard, through the retaining wall, across our patio, and into our basement. I guess the retaining wall was just tired of retaining.

I called Greg at work to let him know the bad news. He thought at first that our pool exploded. (The pool only slightly exploded. It overflowed, pushed down one side slightly, and drained out about 8 inches of water into our yard before recovering on its own. The area where our pool is doesn't drain into the collapsed retaining wall though, just added to the water that was on our patio through another route.) I still hadn't checked the basement. It was dark down there since we didn't have power and the flashlight was out of batteries. Of course the spare batteries were in the basement. Looking down the steps I didn't think it was dry. I didn't recall leaving two laundry baskets in the middle of the room. I was correct in thinking they floated their way there. I creeped down the steps in my bare feet in stuck in a toe, then a few more toes, then about half of my foot. Not bad, only about 2-3 inches of water in our lovely, finished, carpeted basement.

Since our basement has had an issue of water issues in the past, thankfully we have taken precautions. All the electronics are off the floor and most everything in our storage area of any value is on shelves. The water in the storage room didn't even get very high. All the empty cardboard boxes on the floor are destroyed, but no big loss. I did have one box of Marcus’s clothes that he outgrew on the floor but those are all washable. The big loss was all my art, craft, and card making supplies. I am estimating that there must have been around $200 worth of card stock, scrap booking paper, stickers, and who knows what else in there that are all a pulpy mess. There were three boxes that I attempted to move out to the garage where it was drier but the bottoms just started to fall out. Instead I floated them out there but I really don’t think there is going to be much to salvage. Marcus's lifebook was in the one of the boxes but it was resting nice and dry on the top.

It is 8am a day later. I didn't go to work today. Our power is still out. Yep, about 17 hours after the storm and not even a flicker of electricity. I doubt that Marcus's day care is even open since they likely don't have power either. I don't really have anyway of finding out since we have no TV, no internet, and I haven’t attempted to try to locate a battery powered radio yet. (I'm not sure how much longer my laptop battery will last!) I just hope everything in our fridge and freezer doesn’t spoil, or at least most everything. I have some meat in the freezer which is probably well on its way to defrosting. I guess if we ever get our power restored I'll be cooking that up. When I called into work this morning I was told that there was a chance that everyone was going to be sent home anyway because they didn't have any water. I am pretty sure by the end of my phone conversation that issue was resolved though.

Marcus is sleeping in. Greg is at work but is going to come home either this afternoon or if we get power restored. There really isn't anything we can do to help out our basement at this point. The water has mostly receded and is just hanging out in the carpeting. We can't shop vac it up or even run a fan because we still don't have power. This is definitely the longest I have ever gone without power. At least it is all a distraction from worrying about our adoption for once!

We talked to some neighbors last night. Someone a street down said their basement was also flooded because their sump pumps couldn't pump. They said someone down the hill another street had three feet of water in his basement! I would take 3 inches over 3 feet any day! I didn't bother to take any pictures of our flooded basement. It looks just like a normal old basement but with water on the floor.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Slides, Stairs, and Escalators

I've been having dreams lately. I wouldn't call them reoccurring dreams because each one is different but has some of the same themes. They all involve me needing to get somewhere but to get there I have to follow an exact path that involves going up stairs, up and down escalators, following moving walkways, and going down slides (or even up slides at one point). There are signs to follow, somewhat complicated signs, but as long as I pay attention I am okay. Sometimes it doesn't make sense, like needing to go up and escalator and then right back down another one, but unless I follow the right path, I am not going to get where I need to go. Eventually, I always get where I need to be.

And that brings me to the adoption process. All I have to do is keep following the path, whether it makes sense or not, I must stick to it. It will take some time but eventually I will get right where I am headed. I'll probably be tired and dizzy when I get there, but I will get there.

In the past when I have had reoccurring dream themes, the dreams always stopped as soon as I took the time to figure out what the dreams meant. That was not the case with this theme. Last night I had another dream about stairs. I was with Dylan McKay (you know, Luke Perry's character from Beverly Hills, 90210) and we were merely trying to get to the second floor of a building. We headed for the stairs but they were narrow and had no handrail. Marcus was with us in his stroller and I was really struggling to make it up the stairs. Dylan suggested we take another set of stairs. The next set that we came to were falling apart and we didn't think they would support our weight. We were off to the third and final set of stairs that led to the second floor. As I approached, two men that supposedly worked for my company were blocking the way, refusing to let me go. I tried to force my way but they stood their ground and I couldn't get where I wanted to be. I started screaming at them and panicking but they didn't budge and I woke up.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Yep, that is right, after a mere 1 month and 4 days of waiting, we actually got an update on our case. As mentioned before, we got our PA on July 24 and thankfully our case was resubmitted to PGN on July 25. No clue why it took 2 weeks for us to find this out. This is the news that we were hoping to hear but it just took too darn long to get to us. I would explain all the waiting we still have yet to do but I don't even want to think about it so let's just live on the good news that our file is back in PGN.

Unfortunately, friends of ours did not receive such good news today. My heart goes out to them and if anyone has any spare prayers for Jennifer and Jason, they could really use them. They got their PA a couple days before us and their file is still not back in PGN yet. They were told that the file should hopefully be resubmitted this week. It should have been in there two weeks ago! I am thinking about you guys and praying like crazy that this is the LAST hold up you have. Karla wants to come home!

We are still waiting for our July medical report and pictures, something that should have been taken care of around July 19 when William turned 7 months old.

I emailed Greg and asked him if Marcus and I could move to Guatemala to foster William until this is all over. I didn't get any response. I guess I have to assume that means no. What do you think is cheaper? Living in Guatemala fostering our child or paying to have me institutionalized for going crazy over all this? (hint: you should pick the former or else I might go crazy on you!)


Monday, August 06, 2007

They Don't Know

The day started out just like any other Monday, headed off to work with grump written all over my face. It wasn't too long into the day when I received an email from our case manager. In conclusion, no one knows a single thing more about our adoption today than they did a month ago. I am pulling at strings for positives these days and about as good as I can get is that we actually got an email at all saying something, even if that something was that they don't know anything. The normal sequence of events involves me just stalking my email and seeing nothing. I am trying to view this as process.

I also got an email from a fellow adopter from our agency. (Sorry I haven't written you back yet!). I wish I could go into more detail about the email but the main thing is that they don't know anything about their case either. Their last update was the same day as our last one, July 3. Everyone keeps telling them to trust that the attorneys are doing the right thing, and like them, we just can't trust anyone at this point. It is really sad that it has come to that. I also found out some interesting tidbits about our agency that only begin to explain why they have completely dropped the ball. A lot of it comes down to a single person in the agency attempting to handle way too many cases. Our agency pretty much works like this:
1) Get people to sign contracts, and pay the contract fee of course.
2) Make promises and give clients the sense of hope.
3) Collect all fees from client.
4) Go back to step one.
The idea is to get as many people on board with the agency as possible to maximize profits. Once the profits are collected, it is time to move on to gathering more clients. No one yet has realized that it would actually be more profitable to hire more staff to service the current clients and keep them happy so they tell everyone in the world how fantastic the agency is. I am currently in contact with three other families adopting from my same agency. Every single one of them is having serious issues with our agency. Maybe I would understand if it was just one of us. Nope. Four for four is not good odds that there is a fluke.

On a lighter note, I had an amusing conversation today with someone who didn't know. I'm glad I am not all sensitive about certain things and I can realize when people just don't know things and when they are being rude. Marcus and I were at the post office, waiting in a really long line just to drop off a package. This woman in front of us was smiling at Marcus, just doing things that weird people often do when babies are around. Then she asked me, "Is he yours for keeps?" It was such an odd question and one that I wasn't really expecting that I couldn't even come up with some witty comeback. Instead I just slowly said, "Yeeesssss." Then she said, "I assume you got him from somewhere, right?" It was then I was sure that she just didn't know. She wasn't trying to be rude, but quite the contrary. Sure, she was being very bold but I think she was trying really hard to ask intrusive information politely, so I kinda give her points for that. (Greg said I should have told her we got him from Ikea. He was inexpensive but we had to assemble him ourselves.) I said with a smile, "He was born in Guatemala." I had hoped that was the end of the conversation but instead we ended up exiting the post office at the same time and the conversation continued. She said, "I have some friends that got themselves some little Chinese girls." Seriously, she actually said that. I was visualizing these friends of hers heading off to the local Chinese Girls store. This woman went on to tell me all about how horrible the orphanages in Russia are. I said, "Nice talking to you," and started to walk away. It was then that, just in case I hadn't realized it already, she really let me know that she didn't know. She yelled across the parking lot, "I just wanted to thank you for adopting! You are doing a service to the whole world!!" What? When? Last time I checked I was just being a mom to Marcus and gearing up to be a mom to William. Perhaps if I was solving some global environmental issue or creating world peace, then I would be conducting a service to the whole world. Really all it comes down to is Greg and I having love to give. Doesn't everyone have that? How is that a service to the whole world?

In the hour that Marcus and I were doing errands today, we had three people come up to us and comment on how cute Marcus is. Obviously we are well aware of this but it is still nice to hear. I asked Marcus in the car why he thought that today everyone was talking about how great he is. He decided that it was likely because he was wearing a sleeveless shirt and showing off his guns. I agreed.

Last thing, and then I swear I am going to bed. Last month at Marcus's 15 month doctor appointment the doctor was slightly concerned that Marcus only had one word. His only word was "up". Although no action was necessary at the time, we agreed to talk more about it 6 weeks later and if things hadn't progressed, we would have him assessed for a language delay. I was hoping that he might pick up one more word over that time. Now this is his list of words. (Please note that mommy and daddy are not on this list! Obviously he loves the dog more than us.)

All Done (this is really one word that is more like ahhdaahh)
Papup (roughly translated this means Peyote, which is the name of our dog, this is not to be confused with the name my niece called my dog when my niece was little which was Pap-poo)
Woof (the sound that Papup makes)
Burr (what you say when the a/c starts blowing on you)

Pretty good! I know I don't add six words to my vocabulary over the course of a month!


Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Weekend

It is still only Sunday afternoon but we had an action packed weekend. We all just hung out on Friday. On Saturday Marcus helped me pay some bills.

We had dinner plans with Melissa, John, and Grant. Melissa and I decided to treat the men in our lives to dinner at Hooters. The company of friends was great. The service and food was awful. Poor little Grant didn't even seem to enjoy the waitresses much!

This morning we were going to have breakfast with Greg's family but we had to cancel. Greg's parents were going to participate in a "fly in", flying into a nearby airport and we were going to drive to the fly in to meet them. Unfortunately, weather didn't permit them to fly anywhere. Instead we went to the mall. The stores weren't open yet but we stopped at the play area. Marcus was the only kid there most of the time and had a great time climbing and sliding and crawling and scooting. (We can't convince him that walking is a quicker way to get places.) It was a great time until he did a face plant right into the corner of a wooden trashcan. There was blood. There was screaming. Then he forgot all about it.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Completely Ignored

I had enough. I never call our case worker for our adoption. We just "talk" via email. I ask questions through email and get very few answers. I complain through email and get very little response. Mostly I sit and wait to receive email telling me that something is happening. On Thursday I called our case worker. Enough was enough. On Friday it would make 1 month since we have heard anything about William and our case. (We did hear about the PA but that was directly from the US Embassy with a follow-up email from our agency.) I was calm. I was cool. None of that mattered one bit. I spoke with our case worker for about 15 minutes. Five of those minutes was me telling her how upset I am with the service that we have been getting, how discouraging it has been because we don't hear anything, how maddening it is because medical reports haven't even been sent our way. The remaining time on the phone was spent listening to her talk in circles. I really don't even have a clue what she said. I know what she didn't say. She didn't even acknowledge the fact that I am not the least bit happy with our agency and the service they are not providing. I did hear that the Guatemalan program director is currently on vacation but she would try to contact her and get back to me. Our case worker also informed me that she "assumed" our PA had been picked up and our file was back in PGN. I told her I didn't want assumptions. I wanted to know facts, and that is exactly what has been lacking during this whole process.

I got an email from our case worker on Friday saying that she did not hear back from the program director yet concerning our case. Can't say I was the least bit surprised. According to our case worker, updates are due out next week. Then again, she told me two weeks ago that case updates were due and we still haven't seen that update yet. A fellow adopter who I will keep nameless to protect the innocent said that pretty soon all these "out of office" replies that we get because everyone from our agency takes an obscene amount of vacation are going to start counting as updates.

Guatemala has officially added a second DNA test to the process of finalizing adoptions. This is only supposed to add 1-2 more weeks onto the process. Oh good. I was worried because this process wasn't taking long enough already.

That is about all going on around here. I work. I play with Marcus. I am sad and upset and short tempered because I don't know anything about William.

Marcus is slowly gaining another skill. He is pretty much only allowing Greg and I to witness it at this point. I think he is waiting until the skill is close to perfection before he shows it off to the world. We out smarted him though and caught him practicing the secret skill on one of our hidden cameras.