Saturday, May 31, 2008

I don't think we are in Kansas

Although I know we aren't in Kansas, it is 1:50 AM and I am a wide awake because the tornado sirens just started going off a few minutes ago.  My house is all lit up as I am looking out windows (yeah, yeah, I know but there aren't any lights on in any of my neighbors' houses and I find that very strange).  Evidently the tornado(s) is now in the northern part of the county and is heading south-east.  I, of course, live on the south side so I'm trying to stay alert.

Surgery update: Mom is going in on June 24th.  Send some prayers to my parents.  Their wedding anniversary is the next day and I feel really bad that they will be in the hospital.  I'm really hoping they can slide her into an earlier slot.  My mother has never had surgery, never had anesthesia so I'm praying she handles it ok.

I have a couple of serious posts coming up about some things that have been rolling through my head.  Some of these thoughts have been simmering since I started down this road two years ago and other's are new "ah-ha" moments that I am having post-Mom cancer diagnosis.  Because they are personal I don't want just anyone reading them.  I have gotten to know the people that regularly leave comments on my blog (because I read their blogs too!), but the majority of people reading my blog never say a thing.  That's their prerogative, but it's creepy to think some dirty bird 60 year-old man might be sitting in his basement in the dark reading this.  Eww.  Chances are the majority of readers are APs or PAPs also, but you never know.  I will probably post the link to my WordPress blog tomorrow.  If anyone wants the password to those posts, now is the time to speak up.  You can email or comment, but either way I will need your email address.  

Cheers and hold on to Toto.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A note from my mom

                love sign

My mom checks my blog on a semi-regular basis and here is what she wanted me to tell you today:

You can let the people know on your blog that I appreciate all the concern and prayers for our family. I read the comments and the people were so caring. My life feels much more normal so I think I have adjusted to the cancer news or it could be the peace of God that I'm getting from all the prayers. I believe it is God answering prayer.

So, straight from my mama's mouth, thank you.  Contrary to what we were initially told, they did not call to tell us when her surgery is scheduled yesterday.  They said they would call us on Friday to let us know when she is having surgery. 

Despite all this, I continue to think of my son.  I pray that the week my mom is in the hospital that we receive some updates from the agency.  I know that would do the whole family some good.  Every time I update them on a number change they all cheer!  It's rather exciting to hear and see.  I'm so glad they are every bit as excited as I am.  Or, as my dad said this weekend "I don't think you realize how excited or the extent of my excitement about getting my grandson home".  Wow, I hope this kid lives up to the hype (joking!).

For several months now I have had this feeling that I know where and when he was born.  I'm looking forward to the day I get the call because I want to know if my feeling is correct.  Has anybody else had that experience, and if so, were you correct?

Monday, May 26, 2008

What does this do...?

I've sat down at the computer the last few days, checked my e-mail and wondered...what else do I do when I'm on here? Yeah, I've been a bit scattered and unfocused. I haven't been keeping up on your blogs as much--I'm sorry. I've been wanting to write...and not wanting to write. I realize that what I put out here may be read by people that don't know me and interpreted differently than intended. I am also aware that my mother reads this blog too, but at least she knows me and likely knows my intent. Having said all that, I'll say that a cancer diagnosis in the family doesn't just affect the one person. It affects the entire unit and that is where things get hard.

On Friday my mom had her appointment with the specialist. After a couple of hours my sister and I start shooting emails back and forth "have you heard anything?", "no, me neither", "what is going on?", etc. Finally my father calls around 12:30 and says "Well, they are going to clean her out like a Christmas turkey!" You'd have to know me or this family to understand that in this family, that is appropriate talk for "she's going in for a radical resection".

My parents were scheduled to come down to my house long before we received this diagnosis and they stuck to the plan. I'll admit, I was concerned that I was going to dissolve into tears again the minute I saw her. I kept reminding myself "Nothing has really changed. Everything is the same". I think people confuse the tears and think I am planning her funeral. Quite the opposite--I'm planning the rest of her life with all the changes in it. I'm just very sad that she has to go through this at all. She has never been sick, never had a surgery, never been hospitalized except for when she gave birth to my sister and me. I know that she is now going to have to get screened for recurrent cancer outbreaks. it's not like the old days where they used to tell you after five years of remission you are cured. New research shows that people fall through the cracks after 5 years and die at 8 years when cancer returns. My mother's goal has always been to live until 100 and I'm going to help her in any way that I can to meet that goal.

The other part of this diagnosis is knowing more intimately how it may some day affect me. I have never had biological children and I am overweight. These things make me a higher risk. My mother's sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer about 15 years ago. She was still in her early 40s.

I think everyone in my family is getting a wake-up call. I'm going to the gym here shortly to work on my wake-up call, my dad is planning on seeing an internist once Mom is recovered and my sister, well, she is planning on getting pregnant one more time.

Thank you for all your kind comments and your prayers. We have really felt them the past couple of days.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bad Day--send prayer

Do you ever have one of those horribly bad days that you know that every detail will be etched into your mind forever? I've had a handful of those over the years and now again today.

My mother called me just after noon. Normally I don't keep my cell phone so openly on my desk, but I was actually waiting for a call back from my doctor to schedule some testing (that's enough for a whole other post, but I doubt I will put that one out there). She sounded a little somber, like the voice she used ten years ago when she left a message on my answering machine alerting me that grandpa had died the previous night.

She didn't beat around the bush. She came out and said it: endometrial cancer. I couldn't help but cry on the phone and that made me feel bad. I want to be strong for my mom, but to be honest, she has always been the strong one.

I'm saddened--not because this is a serious disease, but because we all make plans for living. You don't plan on factoring any illnesses into it. Although they have medical insurance, this will certainly impact their finances. Even if she only needs surgery, she will be off work for 6-8 weeks. Will she be able to go to Pigeon Forge for the annual family trip? Will she be ready to go to Vietnam this fall? Will she be strong enough to move into their dream home next year?

My mom is a fighter. She already told me she considers herself a cancer survivor. I have been harping at both of my parents for years to get physicals and be more pro-active with their healthcare. My mom is the kind of woman that could have gangrene and a limb hanging by a thread and say "it's not that bad".

I'm angry too. I looked up the symptoms and she has had most, if not all, the symptoms for at least 3-4 years. She has even asked me about some of them. Of course, my answer was always a short "go see your doctor". I'm guessing it has been slow growing or she would have been far worse off than she is.

Right now, we don't know much. She has an appointment with a specialist tomorrow morning. Obviously, for privacy sake I will likely not be posting all that occurs because it is ultimately her story, but I may be putting it on my Wordpress blog where I can password protect things. I'm not really sure at this point.

Please pray for her and for the rest of our family.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Letters to my son

Even before I began this blog, I began writing in a journal for my son.  There are so many gaps in his early life that he will never know and I will never be able to explain.  I wish I could give him the answers to those missing chapters, but I can't.  While I realize this journal will in no way make up for (nor is that my intent) what is missing, it will at least give him the birth story as I know it.  In writing I struggle with some amount of guilt--for me, there has never been another.  I have never tried to get pregnant, he and his his sister were the children that I imagined.  For me, it is all gain.  For him, it is all loss.  He is losing a birth family, a natal culture and language.  I am excited--I can't wait for him to come home, but at the same time...I don't know how to express it which is why I generally write it in the journal and not in this forum. 

There are some big gaps in my journal, same as my personal journal.  To be honest, when it is bad, I don't want to have to record it.  I don't want to remember how painful the experience was--I just want to move forward.  Sometimes I wait until the pain isn't as fresh and the tears no longer flow before putting pen to paper.  I am glad for it--when I look back I am amazed at what has happened so far.  It is amazing to see how resilient the human heart really is, how much heartache and loss we will take in our attempt to leave our imprint on this world.  Isn't that what children are to some degree...a legacy?  I may not ever make policies that change the nations nor solve great equations or discover cures, but I will raise good children.  I will set them in the earth to take forward what I have taught them.  I can only hope that they will make an impact and impart the good that I have taught them and learn the lessons of my mistakes. 

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This house is...

Do you remember the scene from the Poltergeist movie when Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina) announces that "this clean"? Zelda Yeah, well this house... is complete.  Yesterday Kristen and I painted the very last room of my house that hadn't been painted since I moved in.  Or as I like to call it, Haven's room.  I bought the colors well over a year ago when I purchased the colors for my daughter's room.  I didn't know at that time that I would actually need it as soon as I did!  I just wanted to get it painted because I figured I would be too busy once she arrived to paint another room.  So much time has passed since I bought the paint that I really wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I do...I really, really do!

Kristen has been such a great friend.  There are very few people that truly understand what it is like to go through this process and wait and wait and wait some more for your child.  Not only that, but we like all the same things.  How hard is it to find someone you have that much in common?  It's very hard! 

I love her visits for many reasons, but primarily because she encourages me to shop, which is something I just don't do.  I'm so focused on saving, saving, saving.  Honestly, if it weren't for her, neither of my kids would have any clothes or toys in their rooms.  This time she saw the cutest little thing...I couldn't pass it up.IMG_0386 It's a name train!

IMG_0387 It's ma and babe matching socks.  My fondest memory of my grandmother was of her jewelry box, especially her dragonfly jewelry.  For some reason it fascinated me as a child and although she has been gone for 10 years, I think she would have really enjoyed sharing this journey with me to see her great-grandkids.  So, now I collect dragonfly items because it reminds me of her. 

And now the room before:


The bed is actually a futon that I had folded out for Kristen to sleep on.  I plan on leaving it in the room when Haven comes home.  The bookcase is going to stay (after I have it bolted to the wall).  I will keep this toys and books on the lower levels and I will have little baskets on the upper levels for his clothes.  The desk I will be selling and I will try to find a small crib to put in there instead.





Although you can't see it in the photo, the ceiling is actually a lighter shade of the wall color.  It really is gorgeous.  It now feels like a very warm room and other boyish nursery colors (like brown and green) will easily fit into the room.  I'm still planning on doing a jungle theme, but I haven't figured out exactly how I want to do that.  I'd love to do a mural at some point, but I'm not sure I have enough talent for that.  I'll keep you updated, but at least I have the first (and biggest) step out of the way.

As I told promised Kristen, this is the last room of mine you'll ever have to paint! 

I also got one final finishing touch for my daughter's room.  You'll have to check her blog later today to see what I added.  

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Having a good time

Just a quick note to let you know I'm alive and well.  Very well, in fact.  The cellulitis is resolving--I'm just waiting for the last of the pink alligator skin to peel off.  It does not appear to be MRSA (thank God!) and I have stopped eating sticky buttered comment about the sour worms. 

My very good friend Kristen is visiting this weekend and today we are painting Haven's room!  I promise pictures of the big day as soon as we are done...but here is just a glimpse of the fun we are having.

two old ladies I'm the short one on the right and Kris is the hottie in the blue. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The plight of children everywhere

I think when you adopt your eyes are suddenly opened to the plight of children everywhere...not just your own country or the country you are adopting from.  Nationality is not important, race and religion are not important--the needs of these children are.  Once you have seen the suffering that exists, you can never turn away and go back to a life before knowing it. 

The media focuses so much on crime, war, and pop celebrities compared to these other needs (not that Britney Spears and the Iraq war aren't deserving of our attention).  Last week we learned of the devastation to hit Myanmar and the Red Cross is estimating that 128,000 people might be dead as a result of the cyclone that hit.  It's hard to fathom such numbers and harder to fathom a government that is incapable of providing aid to it's people (I'd like to think this is different than what our own country suffered two years again in the Delta, but I may be too forgiving).  While they may have already lost 128K, the fallout from the cyclone will kill even more.  Starvation, disease, soiled water--all will further break down the country and the will of the people.  It's shameful that they won't even accept help to distribute the goods across the country.   

On the heels of that disaster, China was hit with with 7.9 earthquake that rattled all the way to Vietnam.  So far there are nearly 15,000 confirmed dead, and another 18,000 missing or buried.  Entire schools collapsed crushing many children.  Others, lost their entire families.  I can't help but think of my children when these tragedies occur.  Haven is sandwiched in between two countries that have now suffered devastating loss, but what of my daughter?  and her birthmother?  Chances are my daughter hasn't been born, but her mother is being forced to experience this. I pray that both these countries find the resources they need to recover as much as they can. 

And while I will never be confused for a Republican, I have to agree with Pres. Bush on at least one item he is planning to veto.  A farm bill is going before Congress this week that ultimately would divert money that could be helping the children in less fortunate countries to give subsidies to US farmers that are now enjoying the boon of high crop prices and incomes (forgive me, I nearly plagiarized that entire sentence from my newspaper--it's from an AP article).  As the bill is currently written, only 1% of the total bill ($300 billion) assist the starving in other countries.  According to the article it hurts poor countries that are trying to produce their own food.  Just last week there was an article about starving Haitians.  People have begun eating dirt because of the high cost of food.  We complain about food costs here, but we have social services that protect most people from starving.  Other countries are not so fortunate. 

There is no good way to conclude this post.  When I read these stories I'm thankful that I have been blessed, and I try to figure out the best way that I can help.  I guess that is the least that we can do. 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

First, an apology to my mother and Kristen.  Until I received Kristen's Happy Mother to-be Day Card on Friday I had no idea that it was this weekend.  Well, at least I won't be disappointed when my own children forget.  So, on Friday I called my mom to apologize for not even remembering to send a card.  You can imagine how I felt when I pulled a Happy Mother-to-be Day Card from my mailbox yesterday--from Mom.  Wow, I have to admit, I teared up with both cards.  I just wasn't expecting it.  Thank you both, it meant a lot.

At church today I knew I had to face a certain amount of Mother's Day rah-rah.  At one point during the song service the pastor asked for all the women to stand and for the men with them to stand (what the heck?--are they like ties?  Do you have to wear one to get through the door??).  He wanted all the men to sing a song over the women--the men were supposed to sing it to their wives, mothers, daughters--whomever was attending with them.  So I stood there with no one to sing a song to me and although it stung a little bit, I realized that I am my kids' mother and father and that seemed pretty cool to me.  Which segues me into the second half of my day...

...guess what I did for Mother's Day?  I bought a gas grill and repaired a kitchen sink!  Whoo ahh!  My neighbor, who also attends my church, is going to be picking up my new storm door (thanks Dad!) and either he or Michael's mom's van will be picking up the grill.  I'm so excited and I can't wait to fire that bad boy up this weekend when Kristen comes for a visit!  Can you tell by the number of exclamation points how excited I am today!

Here's my new Bad Boy:

grillIsn't he cute?

And while the sink repair isn't nearly as exciting, I still got a thrill in fixing it myself.  It is reassuring to know that even though I don't have a husband or boyfriend or anyone else around that is capable or willing to do home repair, that I am still able to do some of it. 

Even though the repair went well a few sour worms didn't make it through the process.  It's weird, yesterday I stopped eating myself out of house and home but all I want to eat is buttered sticky rice and sour worms.  A friend that also happens to be a nurse asked me about the arm today at church (she saw it when it was all gross on Friday).  I told her I was on steroids and the first thing she said is "do a low carb diet!  Eat only leaves and protein!"  Yeah, right.  I'm normally a huge meat eater and I'm currently trying to choke down a little chicken.  The smell and taste seem off.  All I want are carbs, darn it!  I'm still pretty jazzed up--I'm still talking too fast and going from thing to thing, but I do think the steroids are finally wearing off.  My house looks pretty awesome though! 

And in case I forgot to tell you....

                         HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bring on the 'roids

The shot I received at the doctor's office yesterday afternoon was a combination of short acting and fast acting steroids.  It was supposed to begin working quickly and last up to 3 days.  Perfect.  I try to avoid steroids because I always gain wait and I tend to get weepy. 

Last night I'm sitting on the couch and I get this overwhelming feeling to munch.  I tried some yogurt and then an apple.  No go.  So at 9:15 pm, I'm hauling myself to the nearest CVS while wearing my jammies.  I tried to convince myself I was just there to pick up some dressings (since the elbow was draining I didn't want it getting on my clothes or couch), but I knew the real reason I was there: sour worms.  That's right.  And while in the checkout I grabbed a bar of dark Dove chocolate--just in case.  The dove made it through the night, but I'm afraid the worms were exterminated shortly after I returned home.  Laura--I thought of my resolve and realized I had met my match with the steroids.  I'm hoping today is a better day.  On the positive side, I have LOTS of nervous energy.  I only slept a few hours and I was up and cleaning.  Yippee!

Now that I am #4 (in my mind I keep thinking I'm actually lower than that for some reason) I have started thinking about a nursery.  I actually bought the paint for the room in early '07 when I bought paint for my daughter's room.  My daughter's room is done, except for the mural I want on the wall.  My son's room, well, I haven't even started.  I haven't even painted.  My hope is to do a jungle theme and fill the room with lots of jungle type stuffed animals.  I think I will wait until I am officially matched before having friends and family over to help.  I say help, because the oak desk in here is too heavy for two women to carry (my mom and I struggled to move it when I moved in--and she is incredibly strong).  I will need someone to build me a desk in my living room and I have just the nook for it. 

It's amazing, when I look back at the last two years things have fallen into place so wonderfully.  When I bought my house two years and two weeks ago, people asked why a single girl needed a 3 bedroom/2 bath house with a huge living room.  The only thing I could say is "if you buy it they will come".  Somehow, I knew God was going to fill my house with kids.  I just didn't know when that would happen.  I knew the corner of the living room that I wanted the desk built into, I started planning (in my mind, not in check book) for an extension onto the back of the house.  I didn't want to cut down some of the good climbing trees in the backyard because I thought the kids would enjoy them.  It's exciting to think of what might be around the next corner!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The good, the bad, and the weird

Do you ever have those days where the good and bad were kind of intermingled and you weren't exactly sure how to feel about your day? Yeah, I had one of those days. Let's start with the good:

  • I am officially #4 on the agency list! Whoo hoo! I was initially concerned because the info that Kelli had initially received made it sound like we wouldn't have another referral until August--which didn't make much sense. Evidently that is when they are expecting the next status report. I decided I also needed to check in with my coordinator and this is the e-mail she sent me:

We had a few matches yesterday which will move you to #4. We expect more matches late May and more in June. I'd guess your chances are very good for getting a match before the shutdown. I'm not positive about your dossier, but XXXX emailed me at least a week ago needing your photos - which indicates to me it's being filed. I'll check on it, but typically we just don't know the dates.

That's awesome news, right?!?

  • I got off work early! Yippee! I met a former co-worker for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Normally I would have had a margarita (they are the best in the world, I swear. It's like liquid Valium. I have one and I'm ready to be tucked into bed).
  • The bad news. I have cellulitis along my left arm and elbow and the doctor is concerned it could be MRSA. As you recall, last weekend my family came to visit and we did a lot of yard work. What I didn't tell you was that I was exposed to a bird. Now, I realize that doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but for me, it's like Kryptonite. I have such a severe allergy and have horrible hives as a result. I had a really bad (but brief!) bird exposure nearly two years ago. It took 2 rounds of high dose steroids (and I gained 30# thank you very much), multiple creams and ointments and finally an around the clock dosing of a pre-op sedative (have you ever tried to carry on a normal life while on a sedative???) before I finally began to improve. It took 8 weeks and at the end of it, I developed a mild case of cellulitis over my upper arms. My skin didn't blister, but the skin did peel off. Cellulitis tends to be a chronic condition. Once you are develop it once, you are at much higher risk any time you have a break in the skin integrity. So, the hives that have spread across my arms, chest, abdomen and knees gave the infection a perfect place to grow. The doctor put me on an oral antibiotic and a topical antibiotic and gave me a steroid injection to curb some of the intense itching. Hives don't sound like a big deal to many people, but severe hives are very painful and very itchy. Last time I had them it just felt like my skin was on fire. So now I have a fire-engine-red arm with swelling and drainage (yeah, that's the best part--nothing like a bacteria river flowing down your arm). That's my bad news. I'm hoping that a long weekend at home will improve them.
  • The weird news: At first I thought I had a turkey in my yard. Noooo, it's a turkey vulture. That crazy animal is bigger than my cat! Just to get an idea of scale--the thing in it's mouth is a dead bird.


Despite the bad news, at the end of the day I'm going to sleep better knowing that I am number 4!!!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rambling Thoughts

Yeah, that about sums it up.  I'm not sure I really have a lot to say adoption or otherwise. 

I have been really excited lately...even more than before the big fat embassy announcements regarding referrals.  It's kind of ridiculous actually.  I'm number 9 on the list and I should be at or near number 4 by the end of the week.  I came home this afternoon and saw a number that I didn't recognize on my caller ID.  Even though I know that I'm not going to get the call this week, somehow, I felt really excited.  Of course, my excitement waned a bit when I learned it was just someone from the Obama camp reminding me to vote.  Can you guess where I live?

I attended a lecture this morning about encouraging diet compliance with our patients.  It was really good!  So good that I decided to attend the lecture this evening that was open to the community.  Joe Piscatella was the presenter and he has been on talk shows, news shows and several PBS specials talking about obesity and tools that everyday people can use to get healthier.  He has a truly remarkable story.  It's of special interest to me for several reasons: I'm heavier now than I have been in years, I'm planning a big trip to VN this year and need to be in great shape, I want my kids to have good eating habits, I'm a single parent and I need to stick around, family history and personal history indicate that I need to be even more diligent than the average person.  This need for change has been building for months now, but I've had a couple of recent ah-ha! moments lately and decided it was time to act.  Sometimes you can keep on cruising by with things as they are--even if your weight hasn't changed, the distribution changes.  This is way too much information so feel free to skip over this part, but I've become a bit, uh, top heavy of late.  Unfortunately, the girls gotta go.  I have a feeling a good portion of it is hormonal since the same thing happened during the first new months of my first adoption.  It would be great to see if any studies have been done on women who are adopting vs. women that are pregnant.  So, my theory is that the exercise, especially the weight lifting, should increase my testosterone levels and balance out the other hormones.  I'm short and short waisted so everything is bunching up in the middle and my clothes have started looking really funny.  My company also has a health improvement plan that pays for various screenings and we receive gift certificates for working towards improving our health.  I decided to take advantage of a free registered dietician consult.  Years before I started hanging with the IS folk and their brand of geek (I say that lovingly since I have now joined the geekdom) I hung out with a rowdy group of dieticians.  Fortunately, I'll be meeting with one of the rowdy ones on Monday.  I'll let you know how that goes. 

In the meantime, enjoy the weather!  I'm looking forward to returning to regularly scheduled naps--I swear, every nap I have attempted over the last month has been interrupted by one of Clinton's crew.  I'm so looking forward to curling up on the couch tomorrow for a quick 15 minute nap!  I may still hate bedtime, but I LOVE nap time. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Lately, I've been listening to a lot of music, especially if it somehow reminds me of my kids.  Here is one such song--please forgive the video.  Evidently the artist has not recorded a video to go along with it and you know how the you-tubers are....

Family Day

I have had a wonderful weekend. My entire family (well, by entire family I mean parents, sister and her family) came down to my house. It was my dad's B-day and we (I) decided that it would be a good yard work day. I've only lived in my house for two years and when I moved in the yard had not received any care for years decades. So, it's a work in progress.

It was just so awesome to spend time with family. My family talked of Haven a lot. My dad calls him Haven Duc, my mom just calls him Duc (we are pronouncing like Duke). She said "he's probably going to be a small guy so a name like Duc should help". My dad told me he is saving up his vacation time so when we go for Haven's sister in China, Haven can stay home with Opa. A couple of weeks of just "the boys". As they were preparing to leave I realized that next year we will likely have two birthday boys (Opa and Haven). Wow. And as they were pulling out of the drive my said "next year when you stand there waving to us, it won't be just you anymore". I love that he is as real to them as he is to me and that they are including him in their plans for the future.

My family is waiting as anxiously as I am for that first photo. It sounds silly on some level I realize. I know that my son is alive in the world now, so he is real to me. But there is something about having that tangible link. Most people say that the wait following the referral is the hardest and I believe them, but this is also difficult.

My weekend started so awesome. A friend that I met during my China (we share the same LID and are with the same agency) journey e-mailed a couple of months ago to say that she and her husband were in the process of adopting from another country. It was funny to learn that we were both doing the same thing--just in different countries. She e-mailed on Friday evening and she has a referral! I am so excited for her and her son is soooo beautiful. I would post a blog link, but she hasn't updated her blog with this information and without her permission I would feel strange about it, but I am so excited for you both!

Pics of my niece:

IMG_0316First Twinkie. IMG_0310 She loves the toys in my daughter's room.

IMG_0303 She loves watching the fish on my monitor. This will be Haven's room someday and I swear the mess will be cleaned up by then!

Addendum: I received the ok from Shasta and Chris to link to their blog. You can read all about the day they received the call. I'm so happy for both of you!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Gift of Life

Last Friday morning I was excitedly sharing my DTV news with a good friend oblivious to the report the US Embassy in Hanoi had just released.  Although I should have told her what was going on on Monday, to be honest, work kind of felt like my safe zone.  I didn't want to have to think about it and work has kept me so busy that I really didn't have time to discuss it with her.

Today we finally connected and had a few minutes this afternoon.  We ran into each other in the lunch line and all she had to say was, "I read..."  and she gave me a hug.  No words were needed fortunately.  Somehow I managed to avoid crying last weekend, but when Michael called on Tuesday (when the article hit the local paper) to say the same thing and offer prayers and support, well, I finally cried.  Strange how something that feels so awful can be so cathartic.  I was glad I had that behind me or I'm sure I would have broken down crying again.  It's amazing the power of asking "how are you really?"

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty awesome right now and I thank you for all your prayers, thoughts and support through the last week.  I'm waking up excited each day expecting to hear good news. I know God has a plan even if I don't always understand it.  I was quite touched when I read an anonymous comment the other day that some one had left saying "i just get this feeling that Haven will be one of the last referrals from vietnam".  To be honest, I was kind of thinking the same thing.  My children already feel like such blessings even though they aren't home.  A big part of that is just being able to trust that God will carry through with His promises.  I barely made it in China before the cutoff eliminating singles (and a lot of other folks) and I think the same will be true of Haven. 

Ok, back to the focus of today's post--my dear friend knows how excited I am to become a mother.  While I won't go into all the details of the conversation because we both need our privacy, I will say she offered up perhaps the biggest gift a person can give--the gift of life.  Years ago she underwent IVF and still has several frozen embryos that she has no intention of implanting.  Rather than be wasted, she would like for them to go to someone that wants a child.  I was speechless.  It was a deeply emotional and touching moment for both of us, but I'll be honest, I hope I never feel that I need to take her up on the offer.  It's a tricky subject certainly.  It's not like adopting a child--it would be embryo adoption and I'm not even sure what kinds of laws govern things like that.  Not only that, but this would be her child.  In adoption, even with open adoptions, I don't think most people are in near-daily contact with the birthmom.  Since we move in some of the same social circles, people might make the connection especially since all her other children are the spitting image of her.  Plus, I'm not sure she could separate herself from the child.  I'm quite sure I wouldn't be able to let go.  Every time I saw that child I would think "there goes my baby".   Since I would still need to find surrogate (anyone seen Baby Mama yet?  I did and it was pretty cute!), well, I'm not sure how I would explain that to my child.  Well, you were created by Mr. and Mrs. John Doe and you grew in this other lady and then you came home to me.  I don't know...

I don't puts me in a weird frame of mind.  What she offered is a most incredible gift, no doubt about it.  I can not think of a bigger gift two people (let alone friends) can share, but I really hope I never have to ask.  Does that make sense?

In the meantime, I'm just waiting for Haven.  While I had planned on getting a tattoo for Haven--for me, not for him--I had thought I would wait until I have a referral.  Honestly, I'm not sure I want to wait now.  I plan on living with expectation from now until I get the call.      


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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