Friday, February 29, 2008

My BMI says I am Brilliant!!

I knew there was a reasonable explaination!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


OK, that's it, I give. My foot has been hurting too badly to keep hobbling around pretending it's not broken. I normally have a huge tolerance for pain. After my c-section I didn't even take the pain meds, just Tylenol. But by the end of the day I am ready to 'cry Uncle'. So today I am wearing the boot cast. Oh My Goodness does it feel so much better! I figure a couple of weeks of this and I will be as good as new. Geez, what a big baby. In the immortal words of Monty Python, 'It's nobbut a flesh wound!'

I was able to track down the Publicist and confirm it is a real person (no details yet until I take this a bit further) I fianlly called the number the guy gave Katie and sure enough it went to the office of this person. I left a message and an hour later I was on the phone with them. This gentleman had already called the agent and told them about Katie. His words were, 'I met the most beautiful girl. You have to sign her.' So they asked if I could send some photos. I sent 3 candid shots late yesterday. Now we wait and see. It's a funny business. Even if the person is drop-dead gorgeous, if they already have a person to fit that look, they won't sign another one. If they did it would just mean competition among their own talent. Katie and I agree that even if we never hear a word back, it has been totaly a cool experience to have this happen.
By the way, this is the picture I told Katie I sent to the publicist. Hah ahhahahhhahahahahahah!!

When I got home yesterday I discovered that 'someone' had taken a purple marker and colored all the way up the baseboards on the stairs, a bit onto the carpet and a bit on the wall. I was not happy, to say the least. Luckily we only have washable marker in the house. I got a bucket of warm sudsy water and started cleaning. Just what I wanted to do the minute I walked in the door. The whole time I kept telling Levi, 'I am not happy'. He was silent. Then finally he looked at me with a perplexed look and said, 'Well I am happy!'. I think he was confused by why I kept saying I wasn't happy. We had a little discussion after that and then he got it. That and all of the markers went into the trash. He is now back on marker-restrictions. I told him he can't have markers or crayons until he is 5 years old. That's only four months.....Hah! Maybe I should have made it longer......

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PBJ updates and a Random Offer

Update at bottom:

First they were going to move her, then not, then yes, then maybe, and finally they moved her yesterday. These are pics taken at the doctors office where they switched her. The doctor said she looked fine, unlike some of the other kids he has moved for the agency recently. Today or tomorrow she is getting a full physical to assess her health and development. In these pics she looks very good, although very sweaty. She is always soaked with sweat. Maybe it has something to do with the 15 layers of clothes they keep on kids down there.

Can anyone recognize the toy PBJ is playing with, there in front of her? Why it's a model of the female reproductive tract. Do you think Fisher Price makes these?????

Last Friday Katie was out to dinner with some friends when an older man approached her. He gave her some information for an agent in Los Angeles and told her to have me contact them. My mommy radar went off and I assumed the worst, but the name he gave her appears to be legitimate, the website he gave her is legit too. Then again, anyone could look that up and use it. He didn't want her to 'come to his loft' or anything, just have her mom contact the agent. So I called the number. It went to the voice mail of a person with the right name. I left a message. If they call me back, I will then call the generic agency number and double check. I don't know how else to be sure it is legit. I have always thought she was adorable and she has done some modeling and runway work for fun, but a publicist? Scary!

I was able to do some research on this 'publicist' and the person is legit. I did a track-back on the phone number and it goes to the agency they said. I eventually talked to the director and they said the man who approached my daughter had already called them and told them about her. I am getting some info from other sources on the agency. I sent them 3 candid photos and they will get back to me. If they are interested I will do as one commentor suggested and contact the BBB and AG's office. (Thanks!!!) This is all so foreign to me. We have had other people approach her, people from local agencies and such, but this appears to be the major leagues. Gosh, how am I ever going to learn to act like a psycho stage mom???? (Maybe I can learn to channel Lyn Spears, Brittany's mom....) 

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I killed Steve

We must have the most confidant, relaxed turtle in the world. He loves to sleep laying on the bottom of his tank, head stretched out, arms stretched out, and back legs fully extended palms up. At least once a week, I see him like this and go running to his tank thinking 'I killed Steve'. And each and every time I bang on the glass and he lifts his head and blinks bleary eyes at me. What an odd turtle he is. But he is awesome. He has brought us untold entertainment, not to mention my weekly 'I killed Steve' moment. 

We have Pavlov's deer. Every evening as I drive into the driveway, I am met by a herd of deer (20-25) waiting in the edge of the woods for me to put out the deer corn. As I get the bucket of corn and walk out to their spot, their tails begin to wag and their ears perk up. As soon as I drop it an begin walking back, they are on their way to eat it. They get within about 20 feet of me, but no closer. I want to work to where they will eat form my hand, but it may be a while before I get there.
Today I planted a nursery of the bare-root trees I ordered. I planted them all close together and will fence them off from the deer. Once I know which ones make it and they get a bit bigger I will move them to a permanent spot. I got so busy and focused on planting trees I accidentally planted something else!

Pictures, finally

We re-scheduled our Disney World trip to April. There were several deciding factors. I didn't look at the cheer calendar correctly when I first booked it and it looks like we would have gotten home Friday night and had to be at a national competition Sat morning. Ugh. Then there has been the stress of adoption chaos lately. We both felt like we needed to stay on top of everything right now and not let anything slip through the cracks. And then to top it all off, I hurt my foot. I have broken it before and all of a sudden it swelled up and became very painful. The docs think it is a stress fracture or inflamed ligament, but either way the treatment is to immobilize it and rest it. If we had gone to Disney they would have had to cast it to protect it. The thought of hobbling around the parks for 5 days in a cast was enough to pull the trigger and re-schedule. Luckily I got the insurance!!

Ellie - I have some info for you about Angelo's bum, if you want it. I am here for you if you need help deciphering geneticist-speak! (We are an odd lot, so don't be shocked.....;-)

Candy - I really think the Guat Tot get together turned our luck around in a huge way! You cannot discount the power of Mommies, joined together in love and laughter!!!!

And now for more pictures. I was doing 3 other things while these were loading and I got them all out of order and am too lazy to fix them. That's the story of my life! hah!

Katie and Kya. These two really bonded. Soon after I took this pic Kya was in Katie's lap. (Note katie is texting.....gotta love those teen years)

Levi and Kaitlyn: Two peas in a pod. Not only do they look alike, but I swear they have twin personalities!
KK and Mina having fun dumping dino dig pellets on each others heads. After we got home I went to change Mina's diaper and all these black rubber pellets fell out. Eeeew! Still, it was better than poo-poo...
Caleb and Kya playing in the groceries. 
Katie, Levi and  Mina on an archeological adventure.
I am apologizing to all of you in the northern climes that are currently socked in with ice and snow. I planted tomatoes today. Sorry! (Hey, you can come visit if you want!!!)
Strawberries, itty bitty baby strawberries. I can't believe it. The deer are just toying with me. They will wait until just before these are ripe then mow down the whole patch. I just know it.
Zoe and Kya coloring. I am totally smitten with these girls. If I thought I could get away with it I totally would have taken them home with me! I loved talking to Zoe. She strikes me as an old soul in a young body. Wise way beyond her years. And Kya's dimples are to die for!!!!
I will try and upload more pics later. Right now I am off to get cleaned up to go out to celebrate our anniversary. Wohho to us!!! (And they said it wouldn't last......;-)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good News and Some Fun

We got independent confirmation that PBJ is definitely registered with the Central Authority. We also found out that they got a hearing in front of the judge scheduled for March. They will bring in the birth mom, a translator, the attorneys and the social worker.....and ME! I get to be there. I will bring my own translator so that I don't miss a thing. We will finally get to hear the truth and see it for myself. This is better than I could have hoped for. I will get to meet her BM and find out the truth for myself. I am over the moon!!!!

Last Wed. I got the chance of a lifetime. I got to meet a group of other Guat Tots and their Moms. These are people who I only knew thru the blogging world. Incredible women who know so well what it takes to adopt and survive, thrive and build a family the Guat way. 
From left to right:
Natalie from
Angel from
Candy from

Natalie brought her Guat tot Caleb, her mother (I think, forgot to pry and ask ;-) and her nephew Ty. Candy brought Kya Blu, her friend Cassie and her daughter Carly. Angel brought Zoe and KK, and I took Katie, Levi and our friend's daughter Mina. I hope I didn't miss anyone. Candy set it up for us to all meet at the Children's Museum in The Woodlands Mall. We had a wonderful time. The kids played, the adults talked (and talked and talked) It was fabulous to finally meet in person.

Her is Zoe and KK in the dino dig.
Precious Kya Blu, a little peanut with a huge personality.
The most dashing Caleb. Love his spiked hair. He is quiet and calm, even with all the girls around him.
I will have to post more pix in another post. Blogger is giving me fits. Watch for the next round of pics!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Not offended

Pat, (and others)
I was not offended at all by your comment. I do not get offended easily and I work very hard at being open m inded in all things. The truth is that we are very concerned about what is really going on with the BM and what will happen to PBJ. All of the reports we had up until just very recently indicated the BM was young, very shy, uneducated and didn't speak spanish, but that she had made the arrangements during her pregnancy to relinquish the baby. She travelled from her small village to a larger town to give birth in the hospital, and had a representative of the agency there with her throughout the delivery. I checked into this at the time of referral since I had by then discovered the truth about the corruption in Guatemala. It wasn't until January that we heard anything about her mental condition. Then huge red flags went up. We will do whatever is in the best interests of PBJ once we know some truths. As far as us being able to care for a special needs child, you can rest assured on that one. We have already lined up specialists here at Texas Children's. Her records have been reviewed by one of the nations top pediatirc neurologists. She is on the list for early intervention assessment as soon as she comes home. We have great insurance, luckily. We have a full time Nanny who is also trained in special needs kids. We are as ready as we can be to meet her every need. But, after saying that, I realized it sounded as though I was listing our resume to prove we are what is best for PBJ. What I mean is we will DO our best for her. That does not mean that we discount a birth mothers rights and feelings.
The people we have helping us are not AS. We used them in our first adoption and I know firsthand their limitations. Instead I am using someone private who can make calls and go talk to people. It is hopefully just a case of misunderstanding and will be cleared up (in a legit manner) soon.

By the way, my mother gives me her 'opinions' all the time and I just tell her I will listen but I may not take her advice. I usually think about what she says and learn from it. Only with an open mind and an open heart can we become the best we can be!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Great Point

This comment was left yesterday and it is definitely a great point.

If you want opinions, sounds like your case, PBJ's, may not be that clean as you would like it to be and for that matter, as all cases should be. Take the fact that you were told that the SW, doing the report, stated that she would be willing to change the report after speaking w/attorney, even though, she believes the BM is not capable of understanding what it means to terminate her parental rights.The question would be, are you willing to proceed knowing that someone may or will fraudulently fix the report so that the case can move on? Knowing that the BM may, indeed, not understand what is really happening to her child?Your heart is with those children, no question about it, but where do you draw the line?

I have asked myself these same questions many, many times. I wish I could talk to the birth mom myself. It would devastate me to think she really wants her baby and someone has tricked her out of raising her child. I am taking steps to have an unconnected party look into the truth for us. I know with Ahren's case the birth mom is still very supportive of us adopting him and that gives me great comfort. But PBJ? I don't know what is real or what is a lie. Can her birth mom even function well enough to care for her, especially now that she is a special needs child?

As difficult as the implementation of the Hague will be, I truly believe it is the best thing to ever happen to Guat adoptions and adoptions everywhere. I had no clue the depth of the corruption when we began this journey. In hindsight we would have made different decisions. And yet, the children of Guatemala need us even more because of the corruption. We need to push for the laws that will protect them. We need to embrace the changes that are difficult but so needed.

As for the future of one PBJ, I am taking it one day at a time. We will fight to know the truth and make decisions based on that information. I have to believe that we were led to these particular cases so that we could experience the problems firsthand and be part of the solution. (Either that or I did something really, really bad in a previous life....Hah)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Around and Around and Around

So late yesterday the agency for PBJ called and said we are now registered and gave me the number. It is dated Feb. 12th. I really don't know what to think about that. It's kind of convenient timing, and yet maybe when they said they submitted it without all the paperwork and then provided the documents later, that is how it really was. I will be checking to be sure it is valid.

How am I supposed to know what is the truth and what is not. Here are some of the things they have said in the past few days. You tell me if you can make sense out of them.

1) H. is bad news. H. is connected tot he really bad M. We do not trust H.
Who do you have handling things right now? H.

2) C. is gone. C. did whatever the really bad M. said so C. had to go.
How did you find the foster family? C. took me there.

3) The foster family did not move. C. took me right to their house. But then they said the foster family wasn't there. They live somewhere else around the corner now. (I thought you said they didn't move?)

4) In October we were told they spent all day in court with the birth mother, a translator and the judge and by the end of the day the judge ruled favorably. Then we were told the judge went on vacation from Nov. until Jan. Then we were told the social worker hadn't finished the report to the judge, but the SW had determined the birth mother was mentally impaired. We have also been told the birth mother is shy, speaks a different dialect and is listed as mute on her documents. But M. says she talks to her all the time. (M. does NOT speak the Mayan dialect....)

5) We were told the 2nd foster family quit becasue they were scared. The other family who had a child with them was told that foster family was fired. Now I was told they quit because M. wasn't paying them.

6) No one seems to know who the foster family was that had PBJ when she was injured. It's 'somewhere' in M.'s files..... What did they have her with, a pack of wolves?????

There is more. It's so confusing. They tell me all kinds of un-related stories and my head just spins. The attorney on our POA is the boss of the attorney who is working the case, but the real attorney who was in charge quit so they want to bring in another attorney. When I asked who had legal custody of PBJ they weren't sure. Great. They told everyone they had threatened M. with jail if she didn't help them to clean up this mess. Then they blamed my foster mom for telling M. that they were threatening to have her arrested. Shoot, I told our foster mother that if M. showed up to call the police.

I want off this ride. Please?????

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adoption Journey

How can such a simple wish turn into such a nightmare. All we wanted was to add a child or two to our family and to share the blessings we have with children. I find myself pondering these questions over and over again. How could it all have gone so wrong? Why us? Why these babies? Why 2 bad cases?

This was a very tough weekend. We learned that the agency will be moving PBJ to a new foster home immediately. They have many reasons but I think the biggest reason is that they are trying to distance themselves from anyone and anything associated with their former Guat coordinator. They made one good point in that if the coordinator did not pay this family all the money due to them the family could use PBJ as collateral to get their money. I don't believe they would do this, but I have no way of knowing for sure. I have demanded a new family that I can communicate with. One that has internet or speaks english. I have also demanded that the new family have the ability to continue with PBJ's therapy and visits to the neurologist. They tell me they are working to arrange this.

I also found out our case did not get registered with the new Central Authority. I got a lot of excuses instead. They told me not to worry because 1) they 'know someone' who can fix it, 2) the judge in the Court of Minors can fix it, and 3) they filed it without the right paperwork and it got kicked out but that holds a spot for us. To me, #3 is our only hope. The new law clearly stated that cases that did not get registered last week would NOT be grandfathered in under the old system. That would mean we would have to wait for the new system to be put in place and then start all over again. No one even knows what the new system will be or when it might be up and running.

As if all that wasn't enough, our lead attorney supposedly quit, the 2nd in charge atty is difficult and not cooperating, and the judge in minor's court has not ruled on our case. The social worker in court feels the birth mother is mentally impaired and incapable of understanding her rights. PGN feels the case is fraudulent because how did the BM pass the initial social worker interview back in 2006 if she barely can speak, is illiterate and mentally impaired? The US Embassy was told by PGN that they feel the case is fraudulent so they have that flagged in her file now. Great.

And through all of this, my mind and my heart keep going back to one sweet little guy who will never be coming home to a family. The precious little guy in the overalls I met on my first visit. The one whose family decided they didn't want him after all once his case was finished. He is essentially abandoned. The family had numerous offers to take him, they just had to finish the adoption and let him come to the US. People offered to repay them all the money they had lost and to help with his paperwork. They didn't want to do that. Instead, they sent letters to Guat declining the child, but not soon enough for him to be available to have a new adoption started before the laws changed. My heart is broken in a thousand pieces for that precious little guy.

And I continue to ask the questions with no answers. Why? How? For what?????

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A missing boy and a drowned rat

This morning I took a minute to stop in the bathroom and when I got back I couldn't find Levi.  I left him sitting on the couch watching TV. I looked in the kitchen. No Levi. I looked in his room. No Levi. The other bathrooms, our bedroom, the sunroom. Nope. I called his name and I heard giggles. Good thing the kid can't keep quiet! Want to know where I found him? I'll let you guess........

Joli was stinky, and muddy and there was something suspiciously like sucker stuck to her snout. It was time for a bath. She is up to 4 pounds so it took quite a bit of wrestling (not) to get her into the sink. Look how pathetic she looks. Poor little drowned rat!
She sure cleaned up cute, though! The bow lasted 2 minutes and then she got it off and tried to eat it. (Levi doesn't usually hold her in that death grip, he was trying to help with the picture) 
I guess we didn't traumatize her too badly. She seemed very interested in her human companion getting a bath too.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Kid Crazies

My kids are crazy. Or maybe we all are, but especially the kids. My phone rang this morning at work.

Ring: Hello
KT: Don't you love me anymore?
Me: Huh?
KT: Don't you love me anymore? Chris left me a Valentines but you didn't. You don't love me.
Me: I was going to give them to you tonight.
KT: Oh, good. Love you, Bye.

Periodically, they will come home from school with some news and I have to just shake my head. One day I was told that it is better to lick the toilet seat in Grand Central Station than to kiss your dog. There are more germs in a dog's mouth than the toilet. Well, maybe, but which one might have more pathogenic bacteria? I think I'll just stay safe and not kiss a dog or lick a toilet seat thank you very much.

And then there is the story that lip gloss makers put stuff in their products that cause you to be addicted to them and dry out your lips so you use them more. Oh right, I did read that story about the kids dropping out of high school to do gloss.....NOT.

My friend's daughter has recently become a vegan and has been on a mission to convert her entire family. She is full of stories about the atrocities perpetrated on animals in the name of food. Her latest wish is to change their dog's brand of food because it was tested on animals. Dog food, tested on animals. Who'd have thought? I wonder what they tested the vegan-approved brand on? Toddlers?

Katie got her permit last week. Amazing how easy the test is when you actually read the book! I have been letting her drive in the neighborhood and close by. So far I haven't freaked out and yelled at her or screamed in terror. I may need more heart medication, though. She is actually a very cautious and attentive driver. She is mostly just getting used to the feel of the car, the brakes and gas, accelerating and stopping, etc. We'll do this for a while before we venture out into serious traffic and maybe in a year or two I might teach her to get on the freeway. Or not. Maybe her husband can teach her that someday......

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Anyone have bail money?

This is what my son was playing today. Jail. He even has his harmonica. Seriously, what does this child watch on TV???

Answers to some questions from the comments:

PBJ is from the Peten region. Her birth mother is Mayan and PBJ is going to be a teeny, tiny little person. Ahren, on the other hand, was born in Guatemala City and looks very spanish. He is going to be a very big person. At 18 months old his rib cage was as big around as my 14 year olds. 

I am getting used to my new camera. I tried to read the manual but couldn't make any sense out of it. So I am experimenting and figuring out what I like. It has way more functions than I will ever use. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My cuties and a busy month ahead

You all crack me up! I love reading your comments. You are all thinking the same thing I am. These two kiddos look great and the transformation in PBJ is miraculous. I got the doctors report from the pediatric neurologist today and it states that all of the hydrocephaly (fluid buildup around her brain) is gone, she is rapidly progressing in motor skills and her prognosis is excellent. She is up to 22 pounds and 31 inches tall. That is a whopping gain of 8 pounds and about 4 inches since October. Yeah, tell me she is being neglected. If neglect means she is eating well, gets lots of attention and sees doctors regularly, then you bet she is neglected. Morons! 
The next month around here promises to be extremely crazy. Tomorrow Katie gets her upper braces back on to fix the drift of her teeth. This weekend we are going to try and get the 40 trees we bought planted, just in time to leaf out. In one week, we leave for DisneyWorld for vacation (Woot!) The day after we get back Katie has another cheer competition followed by her last competition the following weekend. And then 4 days later she gets her tonsils out. See what I mean? A busy month for sure. 

Katie seems to think that the day after she has her tonsils out she can go up to her dad's house (5 hour drive) and spend the week of spring break with him. I am sure he is fully capable of caring for her, but it's not going to be much fun. Unlike when kids are 4 years old and have their tonsils out, it is going to take her a full 2 weeks to recover. The first week will be a codeine-induced haze, not much fun. Plus there is the risk of bleeding, in which case we have to get her back to the hospital for surgery right away. The risk of bleeding at her age is much greater. I don't want to tell her she can't see her dad, she doesn't get to see him nearly enough as it is. But I don't think either of them have an inkling of what they are in for. I had my tonsils out at 19 and I remember it being worse than childbirth without an epidural! I would rather go thru childbirth again 10 times before I had my tonsils out. I guess I will just have to take it day by day. Maybe he can come stay a couple of days down here and visit. You know what, being divorced with kids SUCKS! 

This morning, Levi was lying on the floor when I let the puppy loose. She ran right to him, little nubby tail wagging like crazy, and he announced, "She found the Land of Levi" That kept me grinning all the way to work. 

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pictures times 2!

The guy from our agency called yesterday from Guatemala. He told me he was going to try and visit PBJ at her foster home. I told him not to worry about her because they talk to me all the time and send pics and medical reports. He then proceeded to tell me he had heard bad things about that family and that they kept the kids dirty, full of lice and neglected. I find that hard to believe given the fact she has gained 8 pounds since I saw her in October. All of the bug bites and scabs are gone, her finger nails look clean and cut, and she is sitting up on her own! They tell me she is close to walking and has been crawling for the past month. I think she looks mahvelous. Don't you?Sleepy girl.
She's my little Guatemelon!
Sweaty as usual. This little girl sweats a lot!
We alos got a bunch of pics of Ahren. He is losing the baby face and looking more and more boyish. Looks like I need to get down there and take him for another haircut, though!
He's never very interested in getting his pictures taken.
Get a load of those eyelashes. They almost look fake.
What an angel.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday.....oh yeah!

My strawberry beds are doing well. I have blooms already! Can you believe it? It's February and I have blooms on my strawberry plants. That's south Texas for you. It's very very odd.... By June/July they will be burned up and dead. I think I am supposed to plant tomatoes soon. 

Joli is growing. She is now up to 4 pounds of fluffy non-stop action. She is really sweet and is very smart. Potty training is going well, as long as people (ahem Katie) remember to take her out. 

We got to babysit this perfect little gerber baby today. She laughed and talked to us the entire time, happy as a clam. We were all entertained the entire time. We love us some Baby Holly!!!!
Ellie, I am privilaged to know you and your children! I'm sorry I made you cry, but I just adore you!!! Angelo is a dream baby, honestly. So happy and sweet. I could just eat him up!!!

PBJ's foster family called us today. She had a follow-up CT scan a couple of weeks ago and this week she was seen by the pediatric neurologist. He said she is doing great and her brain looks normal. No more fluid build up, no clots, normal size. Amen! I asked about her development and she is now sitting up with very little to no support, she is beginning to crawl and she scoots all over the place in her walker. She has also gained 2 more pounds. That is a total of 8 pounds since October. Well hello pudge! They are e-mailing me pictures, too. Placing her with them is the best decision I have made. She is positively thriving! 

Friday, February 08, 2008

Can't stay mad when there's a baby to hold

I did my venting and now my sense of humor has returned (just as twisted as before unfortunately) Last night I got to see some of the most amazing people in the whole world. That shook me out of my funk.

Let's go back to October 2006 shall we. Katie and I had travelled to Guatemala for the very first time and we were in the lobby waiting for them to bring Ahren to us. We got to chatting with 2 women who were also hanging out in the lobby. One already had her baby girl with her and the other was waiting on hers to arrive, just like us. The baby girl was about 8 months old and had the most adorable little piggy tails sticking up off her head. She was full of personality and I really enjoyed talking to her mom. Later, when we left Guat, they were on the same flight we were and we continued talking and sharing. Then she did the unimagineable. She let me hold her new daughter. The precious child she had waited and dreamed of for so long. She let me hold her. That meant the world to me and I tear up to this day thinking about how she shared her child with me because she knew how hard it was to leave mine behind.

We have kept in touch since then. Yesterday, she was on her way home from Guat with her new son and she had a layover here. I loaded up the kids and headed to the airport where we camped out like a motley crew of stalkers outside the customs/immigration exit. We had a lovely visit, and once again I got to hold her new child. He is the happiest most adorable little guy, just an absolute doll. I will let her post pics since it's not my child. But let me tell you, he is gorgeous and just laughs and smiles all the time. I am so happy for them all!!!!

So Ellie, Angelena and Angelo, congrats on being a family and we love you all!!!!! I am honored to have been there to share in your homecomings. I am sending you all big hugs and kisses!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rant Warning: Serious Venting Ahead

I e-mailed the agency yesterday to ask about an update. I haven't gotten any news in over two weeks, although I have gotten lots of 'promises' and 'soons'. They wrote me back, but there is no news. They have trouble connecting with the attorney, blah blah, blah. Then they go on to tell ME that this is dragging on too long and something needs to be done. Shit Sherlock, Ya THINK? The last they said was that they were meeting the attorney last night and would get info.

Then, this morning, I get an e-mail stating that they spent all their time working on getting the Visa's for the kids that are coming home and didn't get to ask about our case at all. And that's when it happened. With a horrific ripping sound my head flew right off my body and hit the ceiling. Wham! Or at least that's what it felt like.

So let's recap here. They stuck our baby in a foster home where she was neglected and abused, suffered skull fractures and brain damage. They didn't help me at all when I went down there to save her life. In fact, they hadn't paid the medical bills for so long she hadn't even seen a doctor in many months. I paid thousands of dollars for her care and follow up. I found a new foster home. I made all the arrangements. I contacted the US Embassy and enlisted their help.
The agency claims they were scammed by their coordinator who stole all their money and caused the kids to be in danger. They can blame anyone they want, but ultimately they are resonsible.

Our case was kicked out of PGN because the reviewers were not convinced the birth mother understood enough to know her rights. It is possible she is mute as well. They sent our case back to the Court of Minor's which is part of Family Court. The judge had another social worker interview the birth mom and this social worker feels the BM is mentally incapable of understanding the process. When the agency was told this, they assured me they can fix it and make the social worker change her report. WHAT? I absolutely, positively don't want to steal a baby away from someone who doesn't even understand the process. Then again, could she raise a baby? That can't be legal, and it sure isn't morally right.

I am ready to run away, change my name, join the witness protection program or maybe the circus. I am fed up with the garbage that goes along with this process. I am SICK of the people who are players in this charade. I am sick of the endless paperwork and re-do's and documents that always need updating. I want to make the people who hurt my baby pay for it, in painful, painful ways. I want to be like the old lady that went after the cable company and walk into their offices with a baseball bat and start smashing equipment just to get their attention.

And they tell me that this is taking too long and is ridiculous and that something needs to be done. Aaaaasaggghhgjgkk'''!!!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Subtle signs from God

Since last Friday, my internal anxiety level has been climbing. My dreams are becoming more disturbing and I find myself close to breaking into tears for no reason. Part of the problem is that I heard some thru-the-grapevine news on Friday that if true would mean very, very good news for PBJ. But, of course, I can't get our agency to confirm anything or even share info with me. It's the big black hole of info.

Last night I dreamed that they brought Ahren and Peri Brynn to visit us here for a few days. I had put them to bed, and when I went to check on them, Ahren was there but PBJ wasn't. Then I realized that she was only 3 inches tall and I had left her on the nightstand and she must have fallen off. There were piles and piles of junk all over the floor and I was desperately digging thru it to try and find her, afraid I might step on her by accident. I finally found her but she had fallen into a glass of liquid and drowned. I sat there holding her tiny, limp, wet body.....and then I woke up. My heart was pounding and I was sweating profusely. My interpretation of this is that I feel helpless in saving her. I am trying so hard but nothing is working, either in my dreams or real life.

Then this morning, on my way to work, the Taylor Swift song Our Song came on. The gist of the song is she tells her boyfriend they don't have 'a song' and he tells her they do, it's all the things they do together. I was singing along and thinking, Yes, we have a song too, it's The Broken Road. The words God Bless the broken road that led me straight to you. This is the song I always think of when I think of my husband (who I met later in life) and our journey to adopt these 2 kids. The Taylor Swift song ended and the next song came on.....God Bless the Broken Road. I about ran off the road. Is this a sign? Is today the day we finally get news on the investigation being done and our case back on track?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Cheery Monday

It has taken me years to understand competitive cheerleading. It's not like cheering at a football game at all. It's a 3 minute non-stop action performance, set to music that is loud and fast, and that has specific segments. Each routine has a dance segment, a chant segment, tumbling and stunts. (Stunts are lifting or tossing people in the air and building pyramids) Teams are divided into groups by several criteria. First is the age of the competitors. There will be a range of ages on a squad and that sets the level at which they compete. Showteams are the littlest kids, then minis, youth, junior and senior. Then the size of the squad counts. Small, medium or large. And lastly, the skill level of the team. Level 1 is no tumbling and Level 5 is performing fulls and arabians. So although there were 400 teams at the competition, there might only be 4 or 5 squads competing against each other.

Scoring is based on several criteria. Things like the difficulty level, choreography, facials (they make faces at the judges, seriously) energy level, mistakes, etc. The biggest ways to lose points is to drop a stunt or touch-down in tumbling.

On each team there are positions each person has. Katie is a back-spot. She is the person in the back of a stunt group responsible for pushing the flyer up into position and supporting her there. Backspots are the tallest, strongest girls. Flyers are the brave souls who go up or get thrown in the air. They are usually tiny and flexible. Bases are the two girls that each hold a foot of the flyer. The have to work in unison to make everything work correctly. A front spot is the girl in front who also helps support the flyer and is there to catch her if she falls forward. Then everyone tumbles and dances, etc.

This is Katie as she lands at the end of a tumbling pass. Sorry the pictures are blurry. I was using my new camera and figuring out what I was doing. Plus, the Alamodome is huge and our seats were waaaay high.
Starting a tumbling pass...
heading into her roundoff to begin her series....
coming around to set for her back handsprings....and then the camera stopped. I was using the burst function, taking 2-3 frames a second. And it quit. Ugh. I wanted to get the whole series.
Here is one stunt, a pyramid. Notice the men lurking around the edges? They are there for safety. If someone falls they are right there to catch them, and they do an awesome job. Of course they get to look up girls skirts all day long, too. Not a bad job!

Another stunt. Katie is on the far left bottom. Just look for the extremely long legs. That's her.
This is another kind of stunt. They put the flyers up at full-extension (arms extended) and the flyers do all sorts of cool positions, including things on one leg that require extreme flexibility.
Sunday morning, rise and shine sleepy head. We have to be at ther dome by 7am. Doesn't matter that we didn't get to eat dinner until 10:30 pm.

Hey, is that your uniform on the floor? Why yes it is. Le sigh.....

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Competition Results

1 tired cheerleader
2 days of competition
8 hours of driving
10 days of extra practice (because girls are injured and out)
400 teams
More than 7000 athletes
50,000+ spectators

Introducing National Championship Team Legacy Allstars Hot Pink!!!!!!!! (Sorry the pic is blurry. I took this from the nosebleed section) I will post more tomorrow.

Friday, February 01, 2008

It sucked to be Katie

Yesterday was NOT a good day for Katie. I picked her up early and we headed to the DMV (with ALL the right paperwork this time) to get her driver's permit. The place was swamped. I would have thought that after lunch on a Thursday would be a good time, but then I realized it was the last day of the month. Oh well. We waded thru the lines, got her all registered and they took her back to take the written test. I could see her from the lobby, but didn't want to make her nervous so I went and found a seat and relaxed. About 20 minutes later she popped out and across the room yells 'I failed'. Every head turned. All I could do was shake my head. I asked her later how she failed and she admitted that she had studied in Dec. when we were first going to get it, but just figured she didn't need to look at the stuff again. She said she figured it would be common sense questions. (I am still laughing about that!) She spent last night with her nose in the manual.

Then we headed to the orthodontist for a re-check. She has had her braces off for about 2 years. She lost her retainer a while back (turns out it was 9 months ago!) but she has a permanent retainer on the top and bottom front teeth. We found out her teeth have shifted and now the back teeth don't meet anymore. The front teeth hit, but that's all. They look fine, but aren't very functional. Guess what the solution is? You guessed it. Braces for 6 months. Doh! She had everyone at the office cracking up. The ortho asked her how she lost her retainer and she said that 'someone thiefed it'. He was laughing so hard and joking about the problems of retainer theft and the black market for retainers. I love him and his office. They are wonderful!

And the final blow. She isn't going to get to go skiing with her friend's family over spring break. Their plans changed some and that was kind of the final straw for me to pull the plug. We really should use the money to invest in a vehicle for her anyway. She was a bit upset at first, but she understood and accepted it. Now I need to get her to the ENT and see about those tonsils. It will either be spring break of the beginning of summer. I hate to ruin her spring break but the infections have got to be stopped. It's poisoning her whole body.

I have been tagged by Ellie, so here goes.

Seven wierd facts about me: (How do I pick just 7???)
1) I have almost no armpit hair. It just never grew. I don't know if that is from my Native American heritage or because I am blonde, but I don't mind!
2) I have an incredibly high tolerance to pain. After my C-section I never took any pain meds at all. I just didn't need them. Plus, I never got an epidural with my first two deliveries. I figured I would ask for one when I needed it, but ended up delivering both times before that point. (No brain, no pain????)
3) Before I had Lasik, my eyelashes always hit my glasses and drove me crazy and there were always little mascara smudges on them.
4) I am such a nerd I have a tattoo of a strand of DNA, but you won't ever see it.....
5) I used to sky dive. I have jumped out of all kinds of planes, in many states and over 150 times. I still dream about it. I stopped after I saw a woman die when her chute didn't open.
6) I remember my dreams every day. In fact, I can remember dreams I had as a child. I also have many re-occurring dreams (good ones) that I have had all my life. I didn't realize other people don't remember their dreams like I do. I thought everyone did.
7) I hate to drive, especially if I don't know where I am going. I don't mind riding along, but I hate to drive. Maybe if I had the Hummer with the 'bad-driver correction missile launcher' on the roof I would like it better.

I am supposed to tag 7 more people, but that would require that I actually had 7 friends, so if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. Gotcha!