Why it’s all worth it…

May 30, 2006 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is why we navigate through all the pain of fertility treatment and now embark on the ups and downs of adoption. For this reason right here….

My personal Jurassic Park…..

May 27, 2006 at 11:38 am | Posted in Adoption Updates, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I love Michael Crichton books and have read all of them I think.  One of the most popular books was Jurassic Park featuring the character Ian Malcolm who is a mathematician specializing in Chaos Theory.  Chaos Theory, in a nutshell, is finding order in disorder.  In the context of Jurasic Park, the slightest change in initial conditions can drastically change the long-term behavior of a system. 

This is also sometimes referred to as the butterfly effect.  The flapping of a single butterfly's wings produces a tiny change in the atmosphere.  Over a period of time, the atmosphere actually changes what it would have done had the butterfly not flapped its wings.  So a tornado that may have devestated a certain geographical area doesn't….or maybe one that should not have does.  It's hard to say.

When we started on this path to adoption, one of the reasons why we selected the Korean program was because it was running so smoothly with relatively short wait times for referrals.  Plus the added attraction that we could use an escort to bring our son to the U.S. versus traveling abroad with our 2-1/2 year old daughter.  So as referrals continue to not come into our agency, we wonder what sacrifice we should make to the adoption gods to get things moving again.  We never expected things to change but I guess some butterfly somewhere had somewhere important to go and just had to flap its wings.

Patience and strength

May 23, 2006 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Infertility | 2 Comments

While we were in the midst of our fertility treatments, a friend of mine told me that she used to pray to God for a baby.  She thought, at one point, that perhaps that was too much to ask for so she instead started to pray for the patience and strength it takes to survive infertility. I adopted patience and strength as a mantra because its application is so broad.  I did pray for patience and strength while we were in treatment.  It makes so much sense…when things are so crazy and out of your control….to please, please, please someone just help me hang on. 

 And we did hang on….and now we have the most amazing creature sharing our lives.  And the pain and heartbreak of infertility recessed into the shadows of my mind as I embraced the insecurities of parenthood.  We settled into a routine (yes, Sue's I know I'm regimented but look at how well it paid off) and really began enjoying life again.  I was happy…I was, truly.  Then I got greedy…..I wanted another.  I figured it worked once, my body knew what to do, this was gonna be easy.  And it wasn't….it was even harder the second time around.  And then it started….again.  Slowly….the insecurity, the impatience, the crabbiness, the resentment of the life I was supposed to have, the withdrawal from friends…and the piece of my heart scarred black by the emotional damage of infertility began to grow once again.  I knew I had to walk away while I could salvage what was left of my broken life.

We took some time, researched our options, and decided on adoption.  We talked to people who had adopted to learn about their lives and how wonderful the experience was.  And that black spot on my heart started to heal…again.  We picked an agency and started the paper work and were rolling full steam ahead.  I was "pregnant on paper" even though my belly would never swell, my heart would fill with the hope and joy and love to share with another child. But we were warned when we started this journey….things can change at any moment.  Nah, not for us.  It couldn't…we've been through too much.  The program is reliable, steady, so many children that need homes…..and it did change. 

So here I find myself once again revisiting my patience and strength mantra while we wait.  Waiting for referrals to come in that are healthy (K, I know he is out there and coming soon).  Waiting for our Social Worker to answer our 100th email of the day about whatever detail I seem to be obsessing over at the moment. Waiting for another day to pass so that I can wake with the optimism of a new day that has yet to disappoint me……

What the heck is the Hague Adoption Convention and why do we care?

May 21, 2006 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Adoption Updates | Leave a comment

This is what I've been able to decipher from what I've read on-line.  The Hague Adoption Convention, in short, is a multilateral treaty approved by 66 countries in May of 1993.  It is establishing minimum norms and procedures for international adoption to protect children, birth parents and adoptive parents  involved in intercountry adoptions.  The first three countries ratified the Convention in May of 1995 (Mexico, Romania and Sri Lanka) and currently 68 countries have joined the Convention.

The United States signed the Convention in March of 1994 noting its intent to proceed with necessary steps to ratify the Convention.  In 1998, in-depth analysis of the Convention and its provisions to both houses of Congress for advice and consent to ratify.  In 2000, both houses of Congress passed bills for implementation of the Convention known as the Intercounty Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA) which President Clinton signed into law in October of 2000.

Since then, our government has been in the process of issuing Federal regulations to meet the guidelines established by the Convention. This includes accrediting adoption service agencies compliant with Convention guidelines, specifying the standards for accreditation, and establishing procedures for international adoptions into and out of the US that are subject to the Convention and IAA.  Depending on what sources you read, this process could finalize some time in mid 2006 to early 2007.

So that's what it is….why do we care?  Countries that do not sign and ratify the Convention will not be able to participate in intercountry adoptions.  South Korea did not sign the Convention initially in 1993 and has no intention to sign it.  Their approach to their orphan "situation" is to educate their people of the benefits of domestic adoption and keep their children in-country.  The down side of this means families all over the world who are able and willing to provide homes for these children will not be able to.  Foster familes in Korea may have more than 1child placed with them and the use of orphanages may increase. 

So, we're not really sure what may happen to us in this maze of legality intended to protect us all.  I guess, like everything else, we just have to wait and see.

Check it out..

May 18, 2006 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My friend Melanie sent me a link to this hilarious video.  Get your dancing shoes on and keep track of the songs/dances you remember doing!

Guilty pleasures…a series of ongoing confessions

May 17, 2006 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Guilty Pleasures | Leave a comment

So I have to admit that I enjoy reality television – not all reality but some high quality reality is good for me.  One of my obsessions, The Amazing Race, is airing its final episode tonight.  For those of you who don't watch the premise is this: teams travel around the world while completing physical and intellectual tasks in a race for $1 million dollars. 

So tonight it's down to three teams: a couple who are dating that are kinda bland but work well together, 2 guy friends who look like "frat boys" and 2 guy friends that are stuck somewhere in the '60's.  I'm not quite sure who my favorites are but you can check it out at the CBS website for all the details.

Edited to add:  So sad to see the hippies won…all because the frat boys, who confessed to being college drop-outs despite their nick name, didn't know the flags that corresponded with the countries they visited.  Not that I would even begin to pretend to know these things….

Korea adoption process

May 16, 2006 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Adoption Updates | Leave a comment

What's nice about the Korea adoption process is that you don't have to submit a dossier to get started in the adoption process.  In our case, we submitted our application to Lifelink in Bensenville, IL and that effectively put us on the waiting list for a referral.  It's been nice because we haven't felt the pressure to rush through any documentation preparation or home study meetings because we didn't need an approved home study to begin the process.

Our application was logged in with Lifelink on December 22, 2005.  At the time, our agency was receiving an average of 3 referrals a month.  They had a really busy November in which 7 referrals were received.  In the Korean adoption community it is no secret that the Korean government wants to eliminate all international adoptions in the near future.  This has resulted in a decrease in the number of visas issued for orphans each year.  Our agency received 60 visas last year and although they expect a decrease in number for this year, they don't feel the number will be significantly less.

Since March, our agency has only received 4 referrals.  Two of these referrals were of infants with health concerns – not terribly significant health concerns but health concerns none the less.  We were offered the opportunity to review the medical information of one of these infants but after doing some research on some of the preliminary information we were given, we decided not to pursue the referral.

What does all this mean?  Well, more and more couples in Korea are coming forward to adopt domestically which is excellent for the children.  I think most couples waiting to adopt from Korea would agree that the best situation is for children to remain in-country.  However, this means fewer children are being referred for international adoption and those that are have health concerns.  We don't know exactly where we are at on the list other than we have not quite cracked the top 10.  So if referrals coming in occur less than 1 per month, our wait could be significant.

So the real question is this: how long to we hang in there and hope and pray that our dreams of bringing home a brother for Sophie will happen?  Do we abandon the Korea program and effectively start from scratch with a new program?  Do we walk away all together and be grateful that we've been blessed with Sophie?  For now I guess we hang tight and see how things progress over the next couple of months.

I pray for patience and strength to get me through these next couple of months…..

Oy Vey

May 15, 2006 at 7:04 pm | Posted in What the hell? | Leave a comment

So I came across the picture of Britney Spears below on one of my favorite celebrity gossip websites Dlisted.  (If you click on the picture it should open in a new window much larger so you can see the detail).  I wonder why I continue to be amazed at what this woman does to endanger her child.  I mean, really now.  If it isn't bad enough that Britney has Sean Preston in a convertable with the top down, he is in a front facing car seat (even though he is only 8 months old) and he is slumped completely in half!  Amazing that she is pregnant again considering, in my humble opinion, she seems to have difficulty keeping one child safe.  Why are people like this able to reproduce and thousands of other people are not?

 Edited to add:  According to Dlisted, California code states she cannot be punished if endangering acts are caught on camera.  They have to be caught by a law officer…..does that mean if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to see it, it didn't really fall????

Check out this blog

May 15, 2006 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Check out this blog | Leave a comment

If you get a chance check out the blog PostSecret.  It's an interesting project that encourages people to anonomously share secrets by writing them on a post card and mailing them to PostSecret.  Writers can share happy, sad, mean, funny any kind of secret so long as it hasn't been told to anyone before. 

As a somewhat voyerestic society I find it an interesting place to visit.  It can make you laugh, sicken your stomach or bring you to tears.  Mostly, it makes you realize that despite our vast differences, we are all human beings with flaws.  Although we try to segrate ourselves into families and neighborhoods and clickes, we are more alike than we probably care to realize.

Happy Mother’s Day

May 14, 2006 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sending wishes of happiness to all mothers – especially those first time mothers.  There is something magical about partaking in these somewhat silly card holidays when you've joined the motherhood club. 

 Special wishes out to Beth G who is anxiously awaiting travel dates to hold Eva Lin in her arms for the first time.

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