Friday, June 29, 2007

Poor Tommy

Today he got the drainage tube removed from his neck and he is in much better spirits (I will not post pictures, but I will say he was/is quite a sight). We will go back to the doctor on Tuesday and hopefully get the stitches removed. Tomorrow Nicole leaves for Thailand! She signed a two year contract, so I hope we will be able to make it out there to visit and explore. Nothing new as far as our adoption, but I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Introducing ANABELLE!

We went to THE POLICE concert last Wednesday night AND I have a new horsey named Anabelle. She is very sweet and loving and just perfect (if she would just stop knawing away my favorite pieces of furniture. I'm hoping that coating our home with the bitter-anti-chew-dog-stuff is going to save our relationship). She also is not too keen on the stairs and takes quite a bit of coaxing (and pulling) to get her up them. As I write this, I fear she has found some close-to-my-heart, passed-down-for-generations, piece of furniture that she feels needs a corner freshing ground. But, I must take a ten minute horsey break!
Not much new on the adoption front. I picked up my notorized letters of employment and wrote another hefty check today. Hopefully, since I am not doing much else of a productive nature this summer (except for my national exam, which I am really looking forward to), I will be able to complete all of the adoption paperwork. Tomorrow is Tommy's surgery :(

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the day Scarlett decided to beg (and even sit) for veggies*

Today was a busy bee day. I woke up at 5ish and have been groovin' ever since. Work is busy because I only have 1 1/2 days left. wooohoooo!!! I had a FIVE hour meeting after school (with lawyers which is always a blast...the treasures they are have a fancy way of making five hours seem like a million**) and I phone interviewed with an SLP for the hours I need (he was great, I will hopefully start next week...I guess against my better judgement, I will consider sticking with this profession)...AND we had our last homestudy meeting (I barely got home for it due to the meeting), which was painless. I can't believe we are all done with that part of the process. It seems too good to be true (I'm singing in my head, are you? Important note: I am not tone deaf when I hear it in my head. Well, I really didn't want to brag, but I am actually pretty darn good when I hear it in my head. I'm just not sure how to profit from it...yet). Back to our social worker...The last time she was over was in January, which really puts into perspective how long we were on hold for. So, we just need to visit our doctor, collect some more paperwork, notarize everything, wait for the homestudy report, get our fingerprints done, authenticate the documents, send $, wait for a referral, and then begin the next phase of waiting for Ethiopian court fun! See, we are almost there! Nothin' to this whole adoption gig!

*she previously was not fond of veggies. Therefore, we are obviously in search of a deeper meaning to explain her new passionate consumption of carrots and broccoli. She does not usually sit upon command, even for bacon. She finds it humiliating.

**although I do enjoy the company of a cute sister lawyer who does not make me sit in 5 hour meetings without wine.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Home Stretch...

We met a lovely greyhound girl last Sunday. She was very girly and LOVED Scarlett. She was a kisser too. Generous with her sugar, which is how we like em.
The good news...
The paperwork update: we laughed REALLY hard today. My method of doing paperwork so far: I try to figure out how to do a document, then I ponder, which results in a pinch of confusion and a bit of lost sleep. This is followed by an email asking our agency the basics, and another email or phone call asking about the details and just-to-make-sures. So, today I did something huge. I wrote our agency (who has always responded very quickly and in a friendly manner) and asked if there is somewhere I should have this information. She quickly wrote back a heartfelt apology and the DIRECTIONS. With DIRECTIONS this whole adoption thing just got A LOT easier. We were laughing because we were trying to figure out how to do the paperwork ourselves. Now the paperwork list appears easy and without challenge. With directions, I feel like I am again part of a brilliant and competent duo.
The bad news...
School: I need about 150 hours working with adults. Yesterday, the chair of my department called and asked if I would be willing to drive TWO HOURS EACH WAY to a Speech and Language Center that specializes primarily in pediatrics with Autism. According to him, I could get 80 child hours and 20-30 adult hours. I explained that I don't need child hours, just ADULT and I need 150 hours, so 20-30 won't help and it is TWO hours aways from my home. He said "well, yes it would be better if it was around the corner." GRRRRR...I think he just had to pretend to place me somewhere (even though he know it wouldn't help me) because it is his job to place people.
I have been signed up for this ADULT clinic for 2 1/2 years! I have already tried to assign myself, but to no avail. When I asked him about my placement a few months ago, he told me not to worry, he would place me somewhere great. GRRRRR
So, it looks like I will not graduate in December, because I will still need 150 adult hours! I can't do it in the fall because I am already overbooked (school during the day and clinic in the evening).
After the conversation, I decided to call everyone I know that works in, or basically has been to, a hospital...then I threw myself on my bed and cried on and off for 3 hours while watching old Friends episodes (because it is important not to overreact people). But, my husband is amazing. He came home, took me out to a romantic dinner (because I needed a change of scenery), told me I am not a failure, etc. But the cutest part is what I found out he did after I told him. He started emailing people asking them to help me. He even emailed the PRESIDENT of our state organization and SHE WROTE BACK. She can't help, but it was a nice email. Funny stuff. Isn't it funny how boys just instantly feel compelled to try to solve the problem? I would have been just fine with an ear and a glass of wine :)
Our last homestudy visit was rescheduled for this Thursday. She mentioned that she wants to talk a lot about adopting an Ethiopian child (our social worker is from Jamaica, so she may have valuable insights to share!). I'll let you know how it goes!
I started reading "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla" and am enjoying it so far. It includes research about when and how children begin developing awareness and ideas about color, race, etc. It's interesting.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Clean or what will the people think???

Today I took the day off of work! Yay for me!
Instead of going to work, I wrote a letter to the Ethiopian courts regarding why we want to adopt from Ethiopia, how we will be good parents, etc. Writing is not a personal strength, so it took me a lot longer than I had anticipated. It's not due to lack of material. I have a ton of stuff to put down, it's just how to word it all and what to include. I want to make sure that it is culturally appropriate, etc. Tommy helped by saying it was "great!".
Now I need to start cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! The social worker has been to our house before, so I don't know why I feel the need to over prepare. I KNOW that she is not going to bring out the white gloves, but I will be a freak about it anyway. I like to overdo most things and this is a perfect opportunity to exercise those skills.
We also found out that Tommy will have his little surgery on June 27th (I write "little" in an attempt to make it seem less alarming to anyone reading, but be assured that in my head/heart it's not "little" and is actually closer to medium in size and most definitely panic worthy).

Monday, June 4, 2007

Greyhounds and Guesthouses...

Scarlett met a few Greyhounds and continues to be open to the idea of getting a new BFF. They were beautiful! I fell in love more than once. How can you really choose? Saturday the Grey Save Greyhound adoption representative will come over and make sure that we are Greyhound worthy. She's going to bring her Greyhound too. So, if we are approved she will recommend a couple of Greyhounds for us and then we will go check em out and choose a friend for Scarlett. That's the process. I feel really good about getting a Greyhound. They are special.
I still feel overwhelmed! On Friday, our social worker Karen is coming over for our last homestudy visit. She hasn't been here in months and months. This week I need to make sure we have all the paperwork we need, which is a MUCH bigger job than it sounds (and I will clean our house a little bit better than I usually do!). Lisa from CHI sent out an email to us today. She just got back from Ethiopia and sent a ton of new pictures. The children are absolutely beautiful. I have a sneaky suspicion that we are going to meet some cuties, come home, and start the process again. Lots of boys and older children need homes! She also sent pictures of the brand new guest house. It is just a few blocks away from the Thomas Center (the place where the children are cared for before the adoption) and looks really nice. It's also less expensive than most hotels. Since I am obsessive I had already found a few hotel choices I was interested in. The Damu hotel seemed like it was located in a really neat area. Hmmm...I'll have to think about it??? She also mentioned that the guest house was a bit noisy, which is NO problem for me, but I'm not sure if Tommy or baby will like that...We will have to ask some questions to get a better idea. The guest house may be a neat option for meeting other new parents as well.
Speaking of our babelicious- NAMES? Names are really hard. Ethiopian? Family names? Our favorite names? She will have an Ethiopian name to consider too. So, we cannot make our final decision until we find out her name. Seeing her picture may help also! We like Violet and Maya, the Ethiopian name Ayanna, and many, many more. It's very fun to think about names!
I'll write soon to let you know how our final homestudy visit goes (on Friday evening) and how Scarlett's Greyhound adoption goes (on Saturday).
Oh, I've been very concerned about where I'm doing my internship this summer. I THINK that I'm going to be placed in a hospital that sounds like it would be a great learning experience, so please keep your fingers crossed for me that I get it!
Oh #2, I haven't heard any updates regarding when Tommy is going to get his surgery. I'll let you know when we hear something.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

To descramble or not to descramble...

Last night was a Bunco Babes night (Tommy is not an official member of Bunco, so he was not present) and I told the girls about our exciting news. They were SO wonderfully supportive and, after a glass of vino or two, I was even offered "babysitting EVERY single day"...not too shabby! That is really going to make this whole parenting thing a lot easier :) Today, Scarlett (our Whippet) is going to meet potential BFFs. She feels really good about this and is keeping an open mind. Tommy's descrambling abilities are fairly perceptive. He was able to decode that I wanted a mini vacation, but urgency was not dually noted. I would like his company on a mini vacation in the next few weeks (e.g. camping over the weekend, a day in Santa Barbara or Laguna, etc.). Let's see if he can decode that :)