Prayerful Monday
Monday, July 31, 2006
I awoke in the night (4:30 a.m.) and instantly this verse came to mind out of nowhere.

Jeremiah 33:3 - "Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know."

Whenever I awaken in the middle of the night, my time calculation skills automatically kick in to decipher what time it is in Russia at that moment. Kind of like when I was in school and my math skills were so sharp in the midst of sleep as I would figure out exactly how many snooze sessions I could hit before I absolutely HAD to wake up! So, in Russia, it was 1:30 in the afternoon when I was awake last night. I prayed like crazy.

It is so hard to understand where the good could be in this wait. What is the good in this for Baby V? It's certainly no picnic for us either. I promise, I am trying to find something good in the midst of it. Here are some of the things I'm trying to see the good through:

  • D starts Kindergarten in 15 days. So, I'll be able to fully concentrate on her big day and focus on her exciting time.
  • When D starts Kindergarten, I'll have all day to get my house prepared for Baby V to come home. All the deep cleaning that is impossible to do with a 5 year old constantly in motion.
  • I can read a little more on toddler attachment and adjustment as V will be a good bit older than D was when she came home (at least 8 months older than D was).
  • I can have lunch with a few friends (while D is at Kindergarten) before I become housebound with bonding time with V.
  • Since D will already be in Kindgergarten when V finally gets home, V and I will have special one on one time right from the start.

We had fun today buying the final bit of D's school supplies . I've always loved buying the supplies and D is just as excited! Her teacher was very specific on brands and such. A few things I'm so surprised we had to buy, copy/printer paper and dry erase markers? Thanks to the Robin Hood plan I guess :o/

till later . . .

It is confirmed
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Barring a miracle, we will not be going back to Russia until accreditation has been reinstated. The earliest this could possibly occur is September, and that is if everything falls perfectly into place. Although most regions allowed that families who had made their first trip before accreditation lapsed would be able to complete their adoptions, our region is not allowing for this scenario. No accreditation - no court date. Like I said, barring a miracle.

I believe in miracles.
Questions for Pediatrician Interview
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I know many who read my blog are awaiting the arrival of their first child. I wanted to share the list of questions I used when I interviewed our pediatrician before D came home. We LOVE our pediatrician. If anyone is in the Longview, TX area needing an awesome pediatrician, I reccommend Dr. Carla Hunter!

We chose a female pediatrician because our post-institutionalized children are more familiar with women than men. Generally the only man they may have ever had contact with (before their Daddy arrived in their lives) would have been the male doctor at the orphanage. So, that was our basis on chosing a female pediatrician.

We made the appointment for our pediatrician interview after we made our first trip. We had much more medical information to share with her at this point than we did right after referral.

***Let me add now that I have no idea where I found the basis of this list of questions. It did not come from my own brain - if I could remember nearly 5 years back to where I got it I would acknowledge the original author. But I'm just re-copying it from the scribbles in my adoption journal from D's adoption.***

General Questions for Interviewing a Pediatrician:

  1. Are you a board certified pediatrician w/3 years specialized training?
  2. Do you currently or have you ever had any other Internationally Adopted children as patients?
  3. What is your availability in case of emergency?
  4. How will you support us on feeding choices? (ie: reverting back to bottle)
  5. Do you have a certain area of expertise in child care?
  6. What are the office hours?
  7. What do we do after hours?
  8. How can I reach you by phone and when?
  9. What do we do in case of an emergency if you are unavailable?
  10. Can we talk to you on the phone with questions not requiring an office visit? Is there a charge for these consultations?
  11. How long is the typical office visit? (you want it to be at least 15 minutes)
  12. Do you have a copy of the physicians red-book to translate diagnoses from another country?
  13. When we return home with our child will we be able to get an appointment ASAP (w/in 72 hours) even though our arrival date will be unknown?
  14. How do you feel about us having our child concurrently being evaluted by an International Adoption specialist? We had planned to take D to Texas Children's Hospital IA Specialist when we came home, but the need was not great enough. We trusted our Pediatrician to deal with our issues.
  15. How comfortable are you with guiding us through developmental issues and getting us connected with Early Childhood Intervention in our town/county.
  16. Are you set up to test her eyes and ears in this office or will we need to see a specialist. If a specialist is needed, who would you recommend?
  17. Are you familiar with Sensory Integration issues?
  18. Will you supply us with the neccessary materials for bringing a sample of our child's stool to check for parasites at her first visit?
  19. Will you recommend starting over with vaccinations or running Titers to verify the validity of the previous vaccinations.

How we did things:

  • We called the regular appointment number and explained that we wanted to have an interview with the doctor for our soon to arrive from Russia daughter-to-be. The appointment was first thing in the morning - before the sick children began arriving.
  • I took a friend with me who was a "seasoned" mother. She helped me come up with even more questions than I would have never even thought to ask.
  • The doctor gave me the guide book for parents of newborns. It has been a lifeline for me, we still use it and D is 5 years old. Ask if there is something like this available for you. Let the doctor know that although your child will come home as a toddler or older, you are still a newborn parent!
  • Ask about feeding advice. Such as formula, etc. Remind the doctor that your child will be coming home with compromised nutrition.
  • Take whatever medical information you have on your child including vaccination records. We started all over with vaccinations on D with zero complications.
  • If your child has had the TB vaccination make SURE the pediatrician is aware of this. I believe most children coming from Russia will have had this vaccination already by 9 or 10 months old. Also, just FYI the Polio vaccine D had been given in Russia was oral.
  • Ask about medications to take with you on the second trip which your child may need. Ask about dosage amounts. A US 2-year-old and an18 pound post-institutional 2-year-old will need different dosages!
  • I brought pictures of D taken during our first trip. I also brought a video and left it with her if she wanted to watch it at a later time. I don't know if she ever did or not.
  • D was her first Internationally adopted patient and became the star of the doctors office anytime we visited. They always have remarked, still to this day, how amazing her transformation has been since she came home. Now Dr. Hunter has several IA kids in her practice!

That is all I can think of right now. If you think of any further questions, feel free to put them in the comments section and I'll see if I can remember back a few years and answer your questions.

Psalm 39:7
Monday, July 24, 2006
"What am I doing in the meantime, Lord?
Hoping, that's what I'm doing—hoping."
Psalm 39:7 The Message Translation
Why didn't I think of that??
If you are inclined toward scrapbooking even a little bit, listen up! This great idea is in the August edition of Creating Keepsakes Magazine in Ali Edward's Studio A article.

You take postcards from a special trip (she used 6) and adhered special photos to the backside of the postcards. One of the postcards is the United Airlines Postcard (with a hula girl picture on front) from their flight to Hawaii, a reminder of how they got there. She used a corner rounder to make all the corners uniform. She punched a hole in one corner and joined them all together with a silver binder ring with ribbons knotted on the ring to add color. A very cute and simple idea! These would be cute and original brag "books" for grandmothers and Mommies too!

If anyone makes one, share a picture!!

Till later . . .
Jenn? Is that you?
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Or might it be Ghenya? I've had a few views from the Moscow area in the last few days on my blog. So, just wondering if it is you. This is only the second time I've had visitors from Russia!

lovely, lovely day
This has been a beautiful, gorgeous, splendiforous RAINY, CLOUDY, GRAY, Saturday and I love it!

It has been soooo hot in our part of the world. I don't know how many straight days of over 100 degrees. It is nearly 2 p.m. and only 80 degrees right now. Beautiful!

So, when it started thundering around 5 a.m. this morning and the rain started, I was so glad. It's rained off and on most of the day, and boy did we need it!

Till later . . .
It's working now . . .
Youtube doesn't like me much! I finally got it to play, but it wouldn't let me type words plus the movie at the same time so here it is. It's pretty blurry, but kind of cute. Enjoy!
Sesame Street in Russia
Not much to say . . .
Friday, July 21, 2006
I know I need to post to the blog, but there just really isn't much to say. We still have no news as to progress for our court-date. It is agonizingly slow moving. Every weekend I think the same thing, "Maybe next week." The accreditation lapse has slowed everything down. We cannot get any updates on baby V because the accreditation has lapsed. The way I understand it, our agency has no rights to the information at the moment. Our case just got stuck in really bad timing.

I had a really tough day yesterday. Thursdays are the hardest for me it seems because the week is almost over and when we still haven't heard anything at that point it becomes a big downer. We are moving into the 20th week since we left baby V.

I'm sorry to be such a party pooper, but it's really the pits this waiting.

Till later . . .
18 months ago today . . .
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
18 months ago today a lady in Russia gave birth to a baby girl. The lady named the tiny little girl Baby V.

Happy 1 year and a half birthday Snuggle Bug! Mommy and Daddy are coming just as soon as we can and oh what a celebration we'll have!

That 1/2 a year is a big deal, just ask D, your big sister-to-be!

Till later . . .
Wonderful news for a bloggy friend!
I checked the computer yesterday afternoon and no big news. Then we went to a dinner meeting last night and I didn't get back on until this morning. And what did I find??

Hooray for Jen !! After waiting just eons, they finally got a referral for a little 18-month-old girl in the region she so hoped for!! I am so excited for them! The hugest (is that a word?) news is that they only have 3 days notice to travel and all the Visa and air-fare stuff is killing them! But they'll make it! I just ask you to pray for Jen and her family as they race to meet "Pineapple."

Till later. . .
Another Blue Monday
Monday, July 17, 2006
It's getting harder and harder to just "wait." We are in our 19th week of this waiting for a court-date phase of V's adoption.

I feel like I'm drowning. I feel like I've come up and down out of the water, gathering a breath and then going back under. Now, though, I'm at the point of just letting myself go under. I don't have any more fight in me. It's so hard, too hard.

If I had conceived a baby the day we met V, I would be at the point already that we could tell the gender of the baby in an ultrasound! I'd be in the fifth month of pregnancy. I'm just in one of those "it's not fair" places today.

It's just not fair and I'm running out tears.
Thinking Back . . .
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Steve over on A Dad's Journey brought up the idea of "bulking" up a bit in order to carry around a toddler who will probably be around 20 pounds at the time they come home. This got me to remembering back when D came home. D weighed 15.5 pounds when she came home at Eleven-months-old. But it only took me a week or so to realize that was WAY more than I was accustomed to carrying for prolonged periods of time. After a week or so I began to have terrible pains in my wrist area. It got so I couldn't pick her up the usual way, using the area between my thumb and forefinger with my thumbs as leverage. It took me a while to realize what had caused the pain. When new moms (and dads) come home with a new baby the usual way, that baby starts out around 6-9 pounds and you are able to work your muscles up as the child grows. But starting out with a baby/child over a year old, well, that child is just going to be bigger. So, although I don't know what to reccommend for priming your "picking up" muscles, I did want to share that so you can be prepared if it happens to you.

In order to try and forego this problem when V comes home, I've just been continuing to pick D up whenever she asks. She weighs 38 pounds now, so I ought to be pretty strong, right!? People laugh at me for carrying D still, but I'm of the mindset that one day she is going to quit asking and I will have picked her up or carried her for the last time. As long as I'm physically able, I'm going to do it.

Till later . . .
It's fun to be five - revisited
Sunday, July 09, 2006
On the topic of "It's fun to be five." Last week D decided that it was her Blankie's birthday and that he needed a special party. She spent all day making invitations and decorations for Blankie's birthday. It was so cute that I encouraged the fun by making Blankie a birthday cake with D's help. Blankie really is a huge part of our family. D received Blankie as a gift a few weeks after she came home from Russia. He came from hubby's uncle and aunt in the mail in a square brown box. Although I had all these really beautiful and soft blankets that I assumed she would attach to, D chose this blankie as her special one. There is one corner of Blankie that is her favorite and even in her deepest sleep she can find that one corner (which is very raggedy by now). So, when Daddy got home from work, we had a birtday party for Blankie.

For your viewing pleasure, my first attempt at YouTube and the Blankie birthday party...

***Edited: I finally figured out how to the YouTube thing, but then when it was finally up, I realized the D and I speak her full name out loud and we can't put that on this public site :o(. Sorry you missed the very cute video. I'll find another soon to put on with no names mentioned. So, as a second option, here is a plain "still" photo of D and Blankie at his birthday party. Note the chocolate frosting under D's left eye and Blankie's raggedy corner :o)

Till later . . .
A couple of things . . .
I heard this "saying" this morning and I thought it was really good. It is also applicable to all of us in this adoption rollercoaster ride of a lifetime with all our many ups and downs.

"If you’ve had a good day, take those thoughts with you to your dreams, if you’ve had a trying day, then leave those in today and start fresh tomorrow!”

Ok, the second thing. Has anyone found those disposable bibs? I took them with us on our trip to adopt D in 2001 and I cannot for the life of me find them in 2006! If you know where I can find them, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Till later . . .
Good Information
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Check over at Happy Beginnings and see all the great info SoFlaMom has listed for learning a little bit of the Russian language! I especially like the livelaughlove one. You can *type (key?) in a word in english and it'll bring up the phonetic pronunciation of the word in Russian and then it'll let you hear it being spoken. Very cool!

*I guess I'm telling how old I am because I still always say type. I did learn to type in high school on an IBM typewriter! Of course at the time they were very old timey even then. But still, I can't seem to call it keyboarding (or whatever it's called these days). I guess I'm getting old!
Super Sunny Saturday Morning
Well, wouldn't you know it, the one morning that I absolutely have license to sleep late - I wake up at 6:50 a.m!! It is so sunny and bright today! I lay there for about 20 minutes longer hoping to fall back asleep but just couldn't. So, hubby is having a nice little sleep with the whole bed to himself.

D is staying with Grandma (& Grandpa) in Dallas for a few days by herself. Hubby drove her up Thursday night and he came back last night. She is having her one last fling (we hope!) as the only grandchild. She has stayed with them before while we've been on a trip or in the Dallas area for a conference and we stayed at a hotel. But we think this is the first time we have both been at home, together, alone, without her since she came home nearly 5 years ago. It was kind of weird!

So see, I could have slept till TEN-o-clock if I could have!

We went out to dinner last night and it was strange for me not having her with us. This is how it used to always feel before we had a child. I cleaned the house yesterday afternoon in lickity split time and then had all this time to just sit and read a book, play on the computer, whatever I wanted. Strange! I even got to go to the potty all. by. myself! But you know what? I miss her a ton! It's so quiet and clean around here.

She's going to stay till Monday at Grandma's (& Grandpa's). I'll drive up Monday afternoon and pick her up. I'll spend the night Monday night and we'll come back home Tuesday afternoon.

We are going to have a big date today/tonight! We're going out to the movies to see "The Lake House" and then out to dinner!

Till later . . .
Friday fluff & stuff
Friday, July 07, 2006
Ok, I've done something that I might not should have done. But I couldn't resist!

A few weeks ago I bought these matching dresses for Baby V and D. Then I came across some of those lacy cotton panties that you monogram on. So I had this brilliant idea to have V's name monogrammed onto these panties - in Russian! So, the little monogram shop here in Po-Dunk, Texas has attempted and succeeded at a first for them... monogramming on something in the Russian alphabet. Oh, I wish, wish, wish I could show them to you all - they turned out sooooo cute! But then you would know baby V's whole real name and that's not public information yet.

But, I'll add a picture of the two dresses for you all to
see the cuteness of them!

Till later . . .

It’s Fun To Be FIVE
Recently D has done quite a few things that have made me giggle. I’ve decided to try and capture them in pictures so that we can always remember this wonderful stage of her life. I know one day this fabulous five-year-old will be replaced by a surly sixteen-year-old and we’ll only wish for the days of such quirkiness.

So, I thought I would share some of these delightful moments here since who.knows.when I’ll ever get around to scrapbooking these precious memories.

Sparkly Shoes and Mickey Mouse Ears-
First for the shoes. D has had these "hoochie-mama" sparkly dress up shoes since she was about two-years-old. She never has shown much interest in playing with them, but all the times before it looked nearly like she was wearing MY shoes they were so huge on her. But she found them again a few weeks ago in the bottom of the toy box and they’ve been the fashion of choice ever since. They fit perfectly now, but will be outgrown in a few days the way her feet are growing lately! She wore these shoes to the Public Library and the grocery store on Monday. The clippity-clomp could be heard for aisles around. As we were walking down the frozen food aisle she said, and imagine the Texas twang here... "Woo, my feet are killing me. I’m going to have to put my feet in the water machine (foot massage) when we get home!" She got several smiles from the other customers choosing frozen pizza and ice cream, along with Mommy.

Now for the ears. For the last several weeks, D has decided that we need (not want - need) to do a "craft of the day." She’s kind of bossy and loves to do all the preparing for the craft, but then likes to direct the other participant (usually me) in how to do it just so. Martha Stewart, watch out! So, I found these mouse ears on and after coloring them in just so, punching the holes and stringing the twine through we had a successful craft of the day. So, when I decided to take a picture of her wearing her sparkly shoes, she said, "wait! I need my ears too!"

Jammie Time- One good thing about having a five year old is that they are becoming much more independent at this age. So, when I say, "D, it’s jammie time." She hops right up and runs to her room and gets herself ready for bed. The other night her choice was a little different than usual. She had chosen her Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer jammies and a knit stocking cap that Grandma had made last winter. Of course my first instinct was to declare, "what on earth do you have on!" But in choosing my battles I changed it to, "my what an interesting choice you’ve made tonight!" So, off to bed she went with hubby saying, "are we going to let her wear that to bed?!" Why not? What’s it gonna hurt? Around midnight I hear "Mommmmmyyyyyy" and a very sweaty D is ready to trade Rudolph for a short sleeved t-shirt and a nice drink of water. Remember, we live in Texas and it’s July!

Till later . . .
Blogger booger!
Stinkin' blogger just ate my very long and wonderful post! I just don't know if I have the energy to do it all again right now!

All By Myself (and lovin' it!)
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I'm having Mommy time this evening and it's been kind of fun. I haven't done one thing I planned to do - like cleaning D's room or scrapbooking my hundreds of unscrapped photos. Maybe before bed I will do something - at least pick up D's room a bit. Hubby and D let me sleep in this morning and in the process she pulled nearly every toy in the house out without putting hardly any of them back where they belong.

Hubby and D have gone to Arlington (Dallas area) to the Texas Rangers baseball game and the big fireworks hoopla to follow. This trip has been planned for several months. It was a gift to our Pastor's family in celebration of their 7th anniversary at our church. We didn't get a ticket for me because of course baby V would be home "by then" and it would be too soon to take her out amongst so many thousands of people. And then our Pastor's 16 year old daughter had her tonsils removed last week, so she and her Mama stayed home too. I was asked if I wanted one of the extra tickets, but I opted for Mommy time instead.

** I hear fireworks outside, I miss my doggie - it's his first July 4th/fireworks to miss :o( **

So, the church mini-bus left this afternoon at 2 p.m. On this fun trip is Hubby (he's the worship Pastor at our church) and D; our Senior Pastor and his 14 year old son; our Student Pastor, his wife and 5 year old son; our chairman of personnel, his wife, two sons and daughter; and the Chief of Police of our city. Hee hee, the chief and his wife are sweet friends of our church staff and he was happy to take one of the extra tickets.

The game was to have started at 7:05 and it was rain delayed until about 8:45, I'm glad I sent rain ponchos with them. Of course hubby grumbled about having to carry them, "where am I supposed to put these, I don't want to lug these all over the place, yada yada yada." When he called I had to ask, "aren't you glad I sent the ponchos with you?" Hee hee. D is having fun but getting sleepy. She had zero nap and is usually in bed by 7:45 on napless days. They won't be home till about 3:30 a.m. I sent a pillow and blanket for her to sleep on the bus on the way home. It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex from our fair city.

So, I have entertained myself by reading lots of adoption blogs and I watched a Matthew McConaughey movie, "Failure to Launch" it was pretty good, not the best Matthew movie. I've been looking up flights and airfares and trying to see what we might expect to pay. I was researching the link from Debbie's blog (Brown's Journey to Russia and Back listed at right) on the Northwest/KLM adoption fare. It looks like it may be a good possibility. I think I'll post that link too, Debbie.

I've also enjoyed looking at more of the China families' sites and reading about their wonderful good news of all the referrals! Speaking of the China family blogs, I had been reading one where the family was hoping for twins and I can't find it now! I was curious if they got their referral and if it was indeed twins! If anyone knows the blog I'm talking about, please leave it in my comments.

Ok, back to my surfing safari.

Here's to praying for wonderful adoption news this week!!!!!

Till later . . .

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