Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanks, Dad

I had a new experience yesterday - I took a friend's teenage daughter out in my car to practice driving. She has her learner's permit and her mother had no qualms about sending her out with me, so I figured it would be cake. I knew to force myself to be calm and to try not to barrage her with technical information.

She did a great job for only having driven on the road once before - which I didn't know until after we returned home.

I think I learned more in that 20 minutes than she did. She may have learned that she needs to pick her speed up quicker when she gets around a corner and that it's possible to put on your turn signal too early but I learned that there are some situations in which you can't even fake yourself into believing that you have any control.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

She says it well

When talking about the first year of having Kevin with us, I often say something like, "I knew it would be hard but I didn't know how much I would hate how hard it was."

This is a paragraph from a long article on (reprinted from Redbook magazine.) I love the last sentence.

Quote from Jen Nickel, adoptive mother:

To help get the boys ready, we made a video of ourselves showing them our home and things like the table where we'd eat — with places set for them. Then we spent a week in Missouri getting to know them. They'd been with their foster mom for three years; even though she'd prepared them well, their first year with us wasn't easy. Greg had a breakdown in a restaurant, crying that we'd stolen him. It took Eric longer to show his grief, but he was processing a lot of pain, too. We loved the idea of our kids even before we were matched with them, but loving the reality of your children — that's a process, one that's both wonderful and hard.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Leaf Wars

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Embarrassing, but could've been worse

At the doctor's office today....

Doc: What brings you here today?
Me: My ear is bothering me. I have a cold, otherwise, but that in itself isn't a problem.
Doc: Does your ear hurt?
Me: No. It feels and sounds like there is fluid in there. It's bothered me since August but seems worse right now so I thought it might be from my cold.

[usual round of "do you feel dizzy," "what medications are you taking," "does anything make it feel better or worse," etc.]

Doc: Let's take a look. Hmm... I think we can take care of this easily.
Me: Why, what is it?
Doc: Wax.
Me: (inside my head) Ewww! I'm disgusting!
Doc: Do you use Q-tips?
Me: Yes, every day.
Doc: You shouldn't. They push wax farther into your ear canal.
Me: Eww, I have that much wax in my ear??
Doc: Let me get a nurse and we'll clean it out.

Public Service Announcement #1
Did you know that instead of the bulb syringes they used when we were kids they now have a contraption that hooks up to the faucet, has a long tube and a trigger on it? Don't be scared, though, it feels very much like the bulb syringe.

Doc: (speaking to the nurse while both are peering into the cup under my ear) Do you know what that is?
Nurse: I have no idea what that is.
Me: (inside my head) Oh my word, what the heck is it? Something worse than wax? A bug?
Doc: That's the fuzz from a Q-tip.
Me: Phew!
Doc: Remember what I said about Q-tips?
Me: Right, don't use them inside my ear!

Public Service Announcement #2
When people tell you not to put anything inside your ear canal, don't laugh them off as not knowing what they're talking about because cotton swabs have never caused you any problems. They can and they will.

Guatemalan Adoptions

Sally asked in a comment on a previous post whether there's something that people can do to help the situation regarding adoptions to the U.S. from Guatemala ending in the near future.

There is so much news on this situation and it changes daily so I've been hesitant to say much, but it certainly won't hurt to bring it up.

There was a recent campaign of emails, letters and calls to various representatives and organizations to "grandfather" current cases of children who have been referred to families in the U.S. even if their cases don't complete by the cutoff date of January 1, 2008 (that's effectively Dec 1, 2007, as the Guatemalan government shuts down for almost a month around the Christmas holiday.) The campaign was successful in helping those with power see that they need to enact legislation to grandfather existing cases. Nothing has been made official yet, though.

In the bigger crisis of all adoptions from Guatemala to the U.S. ending, progress is being made as well. Granted, this all needs to be noted in the context of a history of rules, laws and constitutional amendments changing faster and more often than one usually expects, so nothing is set in stone until it is set in stone. Even then, there's no guarantee that 6 months from any point in time, things won't change. However, there is a positive statement issued from the Joint Council on International Children's Services which states:

We can now report that members of the Guatemalan Congress, including numerous party chiefs, have submitted a new legislative proposal which;

-includes a strong `grandfather' clause,
-designates April 30 2008 as the effective implementation date of the Convention,
-allocates $5 million Quetzales ($650,000 USD) for the creation of the Central Authority,
-allocates a percentage of the total government budget for child welfare services,
-creates a new government entity to act as the Central Authority in Guatemala,
-provides for private non-profit accredited entities to provide services to children,
-allows single potential adoptive parents to apply for adoption,and
-creates a functional process by which children can find a permanent, safe and loving family

This is very positive news. I don't know of any particular way in which people can offer assistance through emails, letters or phone calls at the moment but I will try to include such information as it arises in the future.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

School picture


The school portrait flyer suggested the kids dress in bright colors but I didn't need to mention that to Kevin as he had his plan already worked out.

The same day he had pictures taken at school, he also had them taken at his before/after care place. Andy saw the background and said that it was a fall scene with leaves and other earthy tones. I doubt we'll want to buy those.
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Monday, November 05, 2007


Washington Post editorial on the status of adoptions from Guatemala to the U.S.

Slamming the Door on Adoption

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sleepless in Ellicott City

My allergies have been bad for the past month or so and I have gotten tired of just taking Mucinex so I took 2 Benadryl the other night. When I take decongestants I can't sleep, but I've never had a problem with antihistamines - until this time.

About 1 1/2 hours after I went to sleep, I woke up. I couldn't get comfortable and as soon as I fell asleep again, I woke up. I'm sure it felt like less time than it actually was, but it was typical of how I feel when I can't sleep because of decongestants or caffeine. The restlessness continued until about 2:30 and I don't remember much after that so I must have slept better.

The next evening I apologized to Andy for keeping him awake with my restlessness (he's a light sleeper) and he looked at me kind of weird. Then I said, "I was so restless, I'm surprised I reacted that way to the Benadryl - I mean, I took two!"

He laughed and said, "Welllll.... do you remember anything about waking up? Like maybe, this feeling?" and then he pushed me in the arm. Of course I didn't know what he was talking about - I just knew I kept waking up feeling uncomfortable and having to roll over.

Apparently, taking 2 Benadryl makes me sleep so well that I snore. And my snoring keeps Andy awake. So Andy was rolling me around trying to get me to stop snoring and that is what woke me up - not the medicine. At least, not directly.