Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bad Dreams

I had a horrible dream last night. We were in China and they gave us a baby. For some reason it didn't register until the next morning that it wasn't Coralie. I kept thinking that she looked so much older in pictures (man, how clueless are we in dreams?!?!). Then I realized that she didn't have any teeth and according to Coralie's report she has 18. I pulled up her shirt and there was no omphalocele. I absolutely freaked and went the the person in charge who happened to be this woman who used to work at Gymboree who was always really rude to me. She was acting strange but wouldn't tell me anything until a designated time. Then Jeff took me somewhere in a car (yes, he was driving in China) and didn't get me back in time. I was sure that something had happened to Coralie and they were trying to appease me with this cute baby. I don't want just any baby-I want Coralie! At that point I woke up frantic but so thankful it was just a dream. Funny thing is that I really thought I was doing a good job of not dwelling on her too much because it is too hard but apparently she's weighing on my mind in spite of my attempts.

How can it be that we are only on day 9 of our wait for LOA? It seems like 109 at this point. I have to get that LOA before I start dreaming that Coralie turns into a dog and runs down the street like I did when we were waiting for Allie.

Please Pray for Chrissie!

I can't read this blog without drowning in tears. Please join me in praying for Chrissie.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

We are the Truth Adoption Blogger Day

From the JCICS (Joint Council on International Children Services):

We Are The Truth

A Campaign and Call to Action

The outrageous treatment of Artyem by his adoptive family has rightfully resulted in outrage by the Governments of Russia and the United States and all who care about children. The tragedy has cast a light on intercountry adoption that says it is not safe, the system failed and adopted children cause insurmountable problems. The heartbreak of Artyem Saviliev’s abandonment has once again elevated a singular incident to a level which may result in the suspension of intercountry adoption. Suspending adoption, even temporarily, will only cause thousands of children to suffer the debilitating effects of life in an orphanage.

You, the community of adoptees, adoptive parents, adoptive grandparents, child welfare professionals and child advocates know that the outrageous and indefensible actions of one parent are not indicative of how children are treated by adoptive families. You know that families who encounter difficulties do not simply abandon their child. You know that help is available, that solutions are found and that families can thrive. And you know that suspending adoption does not protect children but only subjects them to the depravity of an institution…and an entire life without a family.

You, the adoption community know the truth.

You live the truth.

You are the truth.

Join our campaign to bring the truth to light and help children in need find a permanent and safe family.

We Are The Truth – an adoption blogger day: To ensure the world knows about every successful adoption, on Thursday, April 15, 2010 blog about your adoption or the adoption of someone you know. It doesn’t matter if your adoption is with Russia, domestic or otherwise international. Let the world know your truth!

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Here's the truth from me. :)

In the mid to late 90's God started to lay adoption on my heart. At the time, I thought it was crazy-not because I didn't think I would love a child that wasn't biologically related to me but because I was sure there was no way we could get through the paperwork and the homestudy. I have ADD and struggled all through school getting my work turned in-even assignments I had done would sit in my locker. I have never been Martha Stewart, I had been a teen mom, a college drop-out. Who would deem me worthy enough to give me a child? God kept on pressing and finally I started mentioning it to Jeff. He thought I was crazy and so I'd push it to the back of my mind. God continued to press and then started laying China on my heart. After many years, Jeff finally said to me that he was ready to adopt. I think when we got on that plane to go get Allie, it finally hit Jeff that we were bringing home a child. I know people hate the sunshine and rainbows adoption stories but if I had to use one word to describe the day we got Allie it would be 'magical'. The morning after we got Allie we were eating breakfast at the White Swan buffet and Jeff looked at her and said, 'Everyone should do this at least once'. I knew then that we would be coming back to China for another child. Six months later we started the process to bring AnnaClaire home. We had some twists and turns in her adoption process which were very hard emotionally. When we got her, she was smiling and her whole body moved with excitement. I was actually worried because she seemed so happy to be given to us but AnnaClaire's transition was even more seamless than Allie's. Then came Brady. :) Brady was 23 months when we brought him home. He had been in orphanage care for 17 months and then moved to foster care for the last 6 before we adopted him. The trip to adopt Brady was the worst 2 weeks of my life. He raged, kicked, screamed, threw things. I was sure we had ruined our family by adopting him. I called my mom from China crying that my life was over. The months after we returned home with Brady are a blur. Every morning when I woke up I had two thoughts, 'Do I really have to live through another day?' and 'Who can I give this kid to?' It was a real struggle for everyone in the family. But we had made a commitment to this child and he was ours and we weren't giving up. I bought every book I could find on parenting hurt children, attachment, bonding, post adoption depression. I joined support groups. I prayed. I talked with those who were going through similar situations or who had been through them and gotten to the other side. I had read so much before we got Brady that I really felt prepared for behaviors he might exhibit and I think I was prepared for those behaviors. What I wasn't prepared for was MY reaction to those behaviors. My head understood why he acted the way he did but my heart was deeply hurt by it all. It's been almost 3 years since we adopted Brady. He still struggles with behavior issues but the progress he has made has been awesome. I truly believe that he loves us deeply and that's something I thought would never come. He is such a funny and smart little guy (and crazy cute, too!). I can't imagine all we would have missed if we hadn't buckled down and done what we had to do to help him understand we were his family and he was safe with us. Last fall, God started placing adoption on our hearts again. At first I was very scared because I never again want to feel those emotions that we felt after we got Brady. But I consider Brady a success story and I feel that we have learned so much after going through our trials with him. God has given me a peace about it all and if we have a similar situation with Coralie, we know we can make it though.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

LID!!!!!!!!!!

We have our LID! Today~4/13/2010~my mom's birthday! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Omphalocele

I debated on whether to post this or not because it's personal for Coralie. I decided to go ahead because when we first had her file I couldn't find much on any of my waiting children adoption boards about her special need. It was a bit overwhelming and I was starting to feel like maybe this wasn't something we could handle. Finally I did a search on Rumor Queen and found one poster asking if anyone had adopted a child with this special need. I contacted her and she was so nice and shared so much about what she had learned about Omphaloceles since she had been matched with her daughter (at the time they hadn't traveled, but they are now home with their gorgeous little girl). I felt such a peace after talking with her and I want to be as open so that if someone else is presented with a child with an Omphalocele, maybe Coralie and I can be an encouragement for them.

This is Coralie's Tummy

*pic removed*

We don't have any pictures of her as an infant but you can click below to see a picture of what an Omphalocele looks like at birth. WARNING: it is graphic so view at your own risk.

Omphalocele at birth

What is omphalocele?


Omphalocele (um-fal-o-seel) occurs when some of the internal organs normally located in the abdomen of a baby are pushed out into the base of the umbilical cord. The abdominal cavity itself may be small and underdeveloped because the organs normally contained in it developed outside of it. The organs pushed out into the umbilical cord may be covered by a membranous sac, or the sac may be ruptured before, during or after delivery. Omphaloceles vary in size from very small to "giant". Small omphalocele's occur in 1 out of every 5,000 to 6,000 births. Large or "giant" omphaloceles occur in 1 out of every 10,000 live births. A small omphalocele involves only a small portion of the intestine outside the body. A giant omphalocele is very large and may have other organs such as liver, spleen and intestines herniated into the umbilical cord. Giant omphaloceles may have a more guarded prognosis.

Up to 50 percent of babies with an omphalocele will have an associated anomaly or birth defect including: cardiac (most commonly seen, found in 19 to 32 percent of cases), neurological, skeletal, chromosomal, urinary tract, or Beckwith-Weidemann syndrome. Omphaloceles associated with other anomalies may also have a more guarded prognosis. Omphaloceles are seen more commonly in mothers over age 35. We do not know the cause of an omphalocele. We do know that during fetal development the intestines will move outside the body for a time and then move back in. For some reason there is a failure or a disruption during this period of development and the intestines fail to migrate back into the abdominal cavity. We know that omphaloceles are not caused by anything the mother ate or did during pregnancy.

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Because the medical information from China is so vague and because some things just don't translate well in the medical files, we really don't know much about Coralie's omphalocele. What we do know is that she is able to eat and defecate normally which are very good signs. What we also know is that we have peace about this adoption and that can only come from God. With Him we can handle whatever comes our way.

We Are the Truth

Petition

We Are the Truth

Recognizing that the tragic abandonment of Artyem Saviliev is an isolated incident and is not at all indicative of the thousands of successful adoptions between Russia and the Unites States, we, the undersigned:

- Respectfully call on President Medvedev and President Obama to lead an effort to ensure that the rights of children are protected and that every child’s right to a permanent and safe family is not interrupted due to the suspension intercountry adoption services.

- Respectfully call on President Medvedev and President Obama to ensure that their governments aggressively prosecute any individual involved in child abuse to the fullest extent of the law.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Prayers for Safe Travel for our Friends

This is Nora...



isn't she just adorable? Her mommy and daddy waited a very long time to bring her home. They recently traveled to get her and things are going very well-an answer to much prayer on their behalf. They are leaving China to come home soon and would very much appreciate prayers for safe travel. Nora's sisters and brother didn't travel to China so it will be a very exciting homecoming for her and for them! :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

DTC!

Even after 4 adoptions, it still surprises me when our dossier arrives at our agency and I have actually done everything right! ASIA received our dossier yesterday afternoon and it was sent to China today. I am so excited and feel very thankful that God has allowed everything to happen as quickly as it has so far. Coralie, we can't wait to have you in our arms!

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Zoo

Last week AnnaClaire asked me if the zoo was real. After I got over the guilt that my child didn't know that the zoo is indeed real, I decided we must visit...and soon. So we packed up and headed to Knoxville on Saturday.







Sunday, April 04, 2010