Friday, June 27, 2008

A follow up

I will share this man's name and all associated names as soon as I have Ahren in my arms. Even though he is legally ours, and even though I have a burning need to OUT all the bad people, I also have fear. This man has to finish several things before we bring him home. Frankly, the system is set up so that the adoptive parents have no rights, the children have no rights, and the people in charge have all the power. And believe me, some of them are not above retaliation.

We went ahead and paid ONLY the fees we legitimately owed. There were some threats of not finishing our case if we didn't and frankly it just isn't worth risking Ahren to keep the moral high ground at this point. We were not asked to pay any additional 'unknown' fees, but I know many others have been hit up with these types of requests. A thousand dollars to bring in the birth mother to be interviewed, a thousand dollars for vague paperwork issues, etc etc. and no progress on the case until the fees are paid. There are no new adoptions starting and these people are getting desperate. Desperate people cannot be trusted.

So the lesson is, it is, well hell, what is the lesson? I don't know. I do know that I will continue to do everything I can to bring about change in this system. I have talked to the people at Dateline and given them info that went into their story that aired a few months ago, I have talked to people at the US Embassy, I have talked to local news stations, I have talked to individuals all over the world. Want to know a secret? It's not just Guatemala, and it's not just international adoption. The problems run much much deeper.
Thank you for listening, for understanding and for supporting me. We started this journey to grow our family never intending it to become our crusade. But hey, see a need, fill a need! And a special thanks to Ana's Mom for defending me!
Love to you all!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I hates them all....Updated at bottom

This is a string of e-mails between us and the attorney in Guatemala.

Good afternoon,
My husband and I would like to suggest something. We know that money has been tight for your hogar lately. We also know that soon our case will be approved and we will begin the final process to bring him home. How would it be if we decided to pay a portion of our final fees at certain milestones in the final stage? Maybe $2500 at the new birth certificate, $2500 at the DNA test and the last $5000 once we receive the Pink appointment?
Thank you,

The response:
thank you veryu much, I apreciate it very much.

yes I accept it. thank you

yes your file will be appruved very soon.

Then, after we wired the first payment, we get this:

you told me you want to help me so I understood you want to send me the money before the process finished. but if the adoptino finish the way you can help me is sending us the full amount.

Followed by several more along the vein of:

tell me what is happening with my peyment. it is taking so long.

So my sweet hubby tries his hand at explaining this:


It was our understanding that you had agreed to our offer to pay you when certain steps had been accomplished. On June 16, the Monday after our son's case was approved by PGN, I wired you $2,500 plus $189 for immunizations and DNA testing, and later the same week my wife sent another $1,000 by Western Union. If you have not received these 2 payments, please let me know so that we can track down the money.There are still things to be completed before our son can come home to us, and as soon as they are completed, you will be paid. That was our offer to you which you accepted. We appreciate all you have done, but your work is not quite done.

The response:

no this is not correct at least I did not understood like you say now.

your expresion was we know you have economical problem so we want to help you sending you money. so I undestood you want to send me money before your adoption was finished with this you could help me.

but you never told me you was the one who need the help. if you send the money in drops I am helping you and not you to me.

sorry but I have to pay a lot of things also the lawyers in charge of your process and without money they will not give one step to finish your process.

so I need that you send me my fee as soon as tomorrow so we can finish your process.

another family who finish yesterday they already paid us without all those problems and e-mail that you had sent to me.

At this point, my sweet, sweet hubby let loose:


I am sorry that you did not understand our offer.

I am very sorry to learn that we have to pay a ransom to get our son’s case completed. When a life is involved and money is demanded, that is a ransom, it is not business.

We have invested our hearts and waited for 2 ½ years to get our son, and the only hope we have had for all of this time is that good people were taking care of Darien, and that these people cared about Darien as a person and not just as a way to make money.

I know that we cannot bring Darien home until the process is complete, so your collateral is safe. All we have is your word that you will complete your job.

I will wire the money to you today. I hope your lawyers stop hiding behind a 2 ½ year old child and do their jobs.


He got this response back:

The lawyer told me yesterday she sent the file to the city hall to get the birth certificates with your surname.

and this office take 5 days to issue the birth certificates.

Is it wrong that I hate them all so very, very much???
We got one final e-mail yesterday, after wiring all of the money (which supposedly is not due until the process is FINISHED)

Take a deep breath and read on.....

I do not want go deep in filosophy and I do not want to continue talking about the same thing for ever.

but you are paying us for the legal adoption process we do sell children. so my part of the process is to keep safe and healthy your son and we did it perfectly, and your part of the process is to pay for all the expenses.

so please do not say you are the victim because you are not.

also understand the lawyers have not love in the procedure they work and now they want their fee.

also we love the children but we can not pay with love milk, diaper, doctors, medicines, inmunization, Ect and we can not wait until you decide it is time to pay.

please understand and do not answer about the same thing again. for me we have finish with the subject.

we have not the money yet in our acount so I can not aceverate (confirm) that you paid.

Note: I have been paying the foster family directly for a year for medical care, food and clothes. It was the only way we could insure Ahren stayed in that foster home and received good care (which he most certainly has had the BEST care!!!) We have also donated supplies and money to this man's hogar (orphanage) And these lawyers who need to be paid? They are the same ones who screwed up the original paperwork so badly it took us 18 months to get his original birth certificate.

The definition of peace: seeing this man's face in my rear view mirror and never, ever, ever giving him a thought again, as long as I live. He and his 'values' and 'love for the children' are not worth one single bit of my energy. Amen!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Party like it's 1999

Last Monday was Katie's birthday, the day after father's Day. Yesterday was Chris's birthday and next Monday is Levi's birthday. This 2-week span is a non-stop celebration around our house. This year I decided to throw a party. A triple-whammy birthday party.

So what kind of big party can you throw in late June in southern Texas and not kill the guests with the heat? A beach theme party! I rented a water slide/bounce house combo, a big tent, some fans, and tables and chairs. I have several little wading pools for the smaller kids, water guns, super soakers, water balloons, and anything else wet I can get my hands on. I have beach balls and decorations. There will be 3 cakes, balloons, hot dogs and chips. We will crank the AC down low and let people wander in and out at will to keep cool. Heck, if it goes really well Chris may even give tractor rides! (Let the Redneck games begin...)

I am deep into the planning, buying and organizing for this event. It is really pretty simple. Easy menu, entertainment, tent and tables/chairs to be set up and taken down by rental company, invitations were all sent via e-mail (If you didn't get one consider this your invitation now) Oh, and no presents. Instead, we are accepting donations for our friends in Guatemala who run an orphanage. (Lost and Found Ministries is their charity name and they work at Casa Angelena) They don't know we are doing this. I want to surprise them!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Levi spiked a fever Thursday afternoon, and it continued all day Friday. It ran 102-103 and was so hard to keep down even with a Tylenol/Motrin combo and cool compresses. He didn't have any other symptoms except the fever. I took him to the clinic first thing Saturday morning and he has strep throat. He felt a little better yesterday and by last night was getting back to his usual self, although not eating. That's the worst thing about when he gets sick, his little body just doesn't carry any reserves. Luckily he was drinking enough fluids.

Katie's photo shoot went really well. It lasted 7 hours and she had 8 outfits, all original designs by the wardrobe guy. There was the photographer, his assistant, a make-up artist, a hairdresser, the wardrobe guy, her Dad and her manager. I wish I had been there. Her manager said she did an amazing job. At one point the photographer took a shot, paused to look at it on his camera and said, 'Hello New York'. I can't wait to see the shots. Of course I will share with all of you (except the swimsuit shots...that would be just ewww for me to post. You perverts out there will just have to deal with it!)

New photos of Ahren. Hopefully the next ones will be taken by ME! The second pic really shows his personality. He is a delightful little imp. Oooh, I just want to get my hands on him and never let go!!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lessons in Frustration

Lesson #1:

After Katie's car accident, the insurance company for the driver began working with us to settle. As part of that, they will re-pay our health insurance provider everything they paid in medical bills related to the accident. This is called a 'subrogation claim' (no idea if that is how it is spelled but I am too lazy to look it up). We are about to finalize the settlement, so I need to know what the total subrogation claim amount is and supply it to the auto insurance rep. Sounds simple, right?

First came the phone tree, one of those voice-activated ones. After repeatedly saying 'other service' and on the verge of getting a live person, someone walked into my office and said something, which the auto-directing system misunderstood and they sent my call to the wrong office. That woman wanted to help me, but ended up putting me on hold for several minutes and then forwarding me on to another person. In India. Who had no idea what I was talking about.

I explained, in short words, that I needed to know the amount of money the medical insurance had paid out so that the auto insurance company could re-imburse them. I said it slowly, loudly and carefully. She interrupted me numerous times. She then decided that since she had no record of anything I was talking about, she needed to create a new claim. For 10 minutes I answered questions. They started out fine. Name, SS#, group #, etc. Then the date of the accident, where the police report was filed, etc. Then it got bizarre. She wanted to know what my daughter's injuries were. I gave a brief outline. Then she asked me, 'Did she have bruises all over her body?'. She also wanted to know the names of the other passengers, which seat each person was in, and were any of them on our insurance. She asked many more questions, all seemingly unrelated to how much the claim would be for. I stopped answering them after I began to get a really uneasy feeling. Seriously, why would it matter how bruised she was? Freaky.

When this process was complete, she told me she would turn it over to the people who handle it and they would do their part. Yeah, I really have faith, lady. So I called the original number back, navigated the phone tree yet again, got a live person and told them this story. The poor woman at the other end was laughing so hard I could hardly understand her. 'She asked you WHAT?'

Needless to say, I am going to need to follow up on this one.

Lesson #2:

When being helpful and attempting to make travel arrangements for other people, certain very picky other people, who want you to use their favorite travel site and not yours, do not be surprised when it comes around to bite you in the derriere.

Katie and her Dad left this morning for LA. Unfortunately, when they arrived at the airport, they found out that I had booked an 8:30 PM flight and not the AM flight I intended. Doh! I got a call from Katie in which she spoke half the words above the audible hearing spectrum. It took a minute before I understood what had happened. I had to tell them to go to the ticket counter, tell the person that their travel agent is an idiot, and to get onto an earlier flight. They are on their way now and will be arriving 30 minutes later than expected. Tragedy averted. The photo shoot is all day tomorrow. Good luck Baby Girl!

Lesson #3:

PBJ's file was resubmitted to PGN, and immediately rejected AGAIN! They are demanding a second review of the investigation. The courts cleared the case, cleared the attorney of any wrong-doing and cleared the birth mother issues. But PGN still wants yet another review of the file before they will accept it. Either there is something we don't know about, or PGN is full of insane idiots who spend their days thinking up new and bizarre ways to keep babies away from families and cause more grief. I bet it's the latter of the two. At least I know I will be seeing her soon!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The dreams have begun...

I have very vivid dreams that I usually remember every day. I can remember dreams I had in the past, way back to my childhood. I even have favorite recurrent dreams that are like old friends to me. But I also frequently have anxiety dreams. You know the type. You are at work and realize you are not wearing pants. You have a test but you can't find the classroom. You are being chased but your legs are made of lead and you can't move. The classics.

I have begun to have anxiety dreams about picking up Ahren. Last night I dreamed I was at the hotel and I had him and PBJ there with me. They were both asleep and Katie had a high fever. I needed to get her some medicine, so I left them in the room and went to the pharmacy. I couldn't make the pharmacy understand what I wanted. Finally, I wrote it on a piece of paper and they understood and I got it. When I got to the elevator to go back upstairs, a man in a wheelchair fell over in front of me and I had to stop and help him. Then I couldn't get the elevator to come. Once I got off on our floor I couldn't find our room. Finally, I found it, but the door was ajar. When I went in it was a mess and no one was there. I saw blood, then I heard crying. I finally found Ahren and PBJ on the floor behind the curtains, only they weren't kids anymore, they were cats! (Ahren the cat still had curly hair) That's when I woke up.

I hate dreams like that! I know it's just anxiety (and maybe a bit of psychosis...) but they leave me unsettled all day afterwards. Arghhh.

Good news is that the attorney picked up Ahren's file, the birth mother signed off and they have submitted for the new birth certificate. We are cooking right along. I also should find out soon a little bit on PBJ's case. The attorney on her case who had been in trouble with PGN had the final hearing last week and they were supposed to have dropped the charges and resolved the issue. That would mean her case could be submitted back to PGN right away. That would be fantastic!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Super Sweet Sixteen

Yesterday my sweet sweet girl turned 16 years old. Impossible! My adorable bald-headed baby girl 16 years old? No way. Someone stop time! Arghhh!!!!
I have to tell you a story about Katie. This is a peek into the heart and soul of this child of mine. Last week she was at christian camp, the one she goes to every year and loves. On Thursday morning, after a week of staying up late and getting up early, she decided to get up extra early (4 hours of sleep kind of early) and attend the morning 'boot camp'. This is a session on the beach where they flex their bodies, share some worship and stop to take a deep look into themselves. The lesson that day was about worries. They were talking about how worrying about things can drain you and how wonderful it is to just be able to turn those worries over to God. They each found a stone, thought of something that had really been worrying them, then placed the worry into the stone and flung it out into the ocean, releasing it to God. Katie thought about Ahren. About how long we have fought to bring him into our family and how at every turn things went wrong. She placed that worry into her stone and flung it as far as she could. She turned it over to God to handle. The next day as my tired and happy girl came off of that bus I was able to run to her, grab her in a huge hug and tell her Ahren was ours. When she shared the story of the stone with me, we both had tears in our eyes. She is truly beautiful inside and out.
Speaking of beauty, she has her first photo shoot in LA this weekend. Her dad is flying out with her this time. These will be the foundation of her portfolio and what will be used to shop her around. (Geez that sounds bad! Visions of Pretty Woman flashed thru my head.....) She is cool as a cucumber. Her Dad is a tad nervous. This will be his first photo shoot. I predict it will be a long and boring day for him. At least he doesn't have to concern himself with make-up, hair or wardrobe. The stylists take care of all of that. (How cool is that?) Her Dad's job is to be visible all the time and be sure nothing unacceptable happens, like photos that are inappropriate for OUR 16 year old. (What is OK for some 16 year olds is up for debate...)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Happy Father's Day to all of you who are fathers!!! I know blog-land is heavy on the female front, but you Daddy's out there need a shout out!

So, Ahren is really coming home. I still can't believe or understand that in the full sense of it. We were going to bring home an 8 month old boy. Then later adopt a toddler girl. So much for well laid plans! Now we are bringing home a little boy. A child with his own ideas, own thoughts, own language. Can you feel the shift? I can. A baby is so different than a pre-schooler. Maybe I am lucky I have experienced 3 pre-schoolers before. But none of them are the same. Not really. I understand the underlying pre-school psyche allright. But a preschool psyche torn away from everything he has ever known, different language, strange home, stranger people? Whole different ballgame this time. 

We spent all day Saturday working on being ready. Carseat - check. Clothes - check. Pajamas - check. Shoes - check. Diapers, wipes, sippy cups, bottles, socks, toys, bed, etc. All Check. Physically we are set. 

Levi wanted to buy so many things for Ahren and matching things for him. We bought lots of matching shirts, boots, toys, shorts, outfits. He wants Ahren to be just like him. I keep telling him how Ahren may cry, throw fits, etc and he just says he will be there to hold his hand and let him know it is OK. How sweet is that? He says he loves his brother and wants t help him. 

I think we are getting there emotionally. All of us. The last crazy ride on the roller coaster...


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

Today I have a riddle for you.

What takes *2 years, 5 months, 4 days, a million tears and a billion prayers and ends with a festive banana?


Ahren is out. He is now officially and legally our son. It will be 4-8 weeks, depending on the american side of things, and we will go bring him home. I wish there were some tears left to cry, happy ones this time......
*from referral of a 9 day old, 5 pounder to OUT.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

We interrupt the previous announcement

to bring you PBJ updates. At the beautiful age of 20 months our little princess is standing (with a little support) creeping around furniture, and took 4 wonderful wobbly steps! Woohooo!!! You go girl!!!!

Professional Help

I have thought for a long time that I should probably seek out someone to talk to about the stress of the 'adoptions from hell', layoffs and re-organizations at work, car wrecks, teenagers, modeling careers, step-parents, etc etc etc. I mean, I am only human and how much can one person handle before requiring a white jacket with long arms and rubber wallpaper? The only problem is.....who in the world could truly understand the unique stresses of my life? I need someoneone who gets it. Not someone who offers solutions (which there are none) or advice or platitudes.

I searched and searched for just the right person to dump, I mean share, my problems with. Finally, I found him. He sits for hours and listens, he never offers advice or tries to solve my problems. He never judges me even when I share the ugliest parts of my inner being. He doesn't bat an eye when I tell him I give up. He never gets tired of hearing the same things over and over and over again. He lets me cry and rant and whine and be completely unreasonable and he never seems to mind one bit. He has heard me say ugly, nasty things about others, and I meant them! It doesn't phase him. He is absolutely the perfect listener.

Please meet Dr. T. Bear

Monday, June 09, 2008

Ha Ha Katie!

Katie left for church camp on Saturday. As part of her preparation, she was supposed to fill out a questionnaire about herself, her relationships, etc. The counselors use these to start discussions in their small groups. 

Katie procrastinated, and waited, and ignored it, and never got around to filling it out. 

Soooo, I filled it out for her! She can thank me later. 

What do you enjoy doing?
    Eating, scratching and olympic belching.

In your free time, where do you like to be? 
  Anywhere but jail.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
  My mom. She is the best. I love her so much. She is the sweetest, kindest, funniest, prettiest, most loving person I know. My Mom rocks!!! She is the inspiration for me to be great. She has shown me how to be the best person I can be, and she is always there for me. I love my Mom more than anything!!!! She is the wind beneath my wings. (there might have been more ....continued onto the back of the page)

What do you want to be when you are grown up?
  Umm, taller. Older. With money. 

What is a goal you have for yourself?
  Gradiate from hi sckool

Maybe next time she will complete the paperwork herself. If not, I have her back!!!!

Mom ;-)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mom of the year!

You know, the other day I felt like such a failure, but today I look back at this week and all I see is greatness. Monday evening I came home, scooped up kids and dragged them to the grocery store with me. By the time we got home Levi was starving so I let him eat some gummy worms and by the time dinner was ready he wasn't hungry anymore. Gummy worms for dinner. Hey, at least they are fat-free!

On Tuesday evening, he was helping me water the plants when he announced he needed to pee. I pointed out a nearby bush and let him have at it, right there in the front yard. Human urine helps keep the deer away from my landscaping. Bonus!

Wednesday evening I was baking some Amish Friendship bread and he informed me that he fermented starter smelled like wine. How proud was I that my 4 year old has the nose of a future sommelier. 

Thursday evening I was preparing dinner when I realized I hadn't seen Katie. I called her phone and found out she was at a friend's house. She claims she told me the day before but I have no memory of it. She's almost grown, so losing her for a bit here and there is just practice for sending her off to college. 

Friday I stayed late for a party at work, tasking my dear hubby with kid duty. Woohoo! Free beer and wine. What kids????

Saturday I worked in the yard a lot, with my little helper Levi by my side. He started out with a shirt on, but shed it at some point. It was only later I realized how long he had gone topless when I saw his pink shoulders. My son's first sunburn. Nice. 

Today we worked some more in the yard, got cleaned up and then went to a movie. I fed Levi popcorn and candy for lunch at the movies. Hey, the snack-pack is the best value deal. Besides, they were out of nachos. 

I am still patting myself on the back for this stellar week of super-mommyness......

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Thanks everyone for all the kind words and support. I definitely have my days! It feels like the closer we get to bringing a child home, the more pressure there is. Funny, though, I am not afraid of bringing him home, I am terrified we WON"T bring him home. Every time I get my hopes up they get smashed to smithereens and I just can't take anymore.
I just want to get to the point where I am actually able to really plan and do something, not just think about it. I want ACTION! I want to dig in, make lists, go shopping, get ready! But I can't do anything until I know for sure. Limbo. No worse. Purgatory. That's what this is!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Why do I feel like a failure?

No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try and no matter how accomplished my kids are, I feel like a failure. Mothering is the most important thing I have ever done, and the one thing I feel like I am the worst at. Why? Why do I feel like this? Is it normal mother-guilt? Is it some inherant flaw in my psyche? Am I just a failure??? Why???

 I know that being a mother (not a father) is filled with guilt. I realized that very soon after my first child was born. The overwhelming guilt became my close companion. I felt guilty about everything and people all around me fed that guilt. Was my baby eating enough? Were her diapers wet/dirty enough, did she sleep, poop, cry, smile, etc etc etc when she should. Everything about her had a comparison. Luckily, she was a superstar baby, exceeding all 'normal' curves. I was so confident. Then baby #2 came and all my confidence was blown away. 
By the time Levi was born, I was older, calmer, more experienced, and yet, the guilt was still with me. Why??? I don't know.

And now, with the new kids coming, I have no confidence. I am a mess. Again, WHY???? I am an intelligent,  compitent, well-educated person. Why do I doubt myself so much??? 

Right now, I hate myself. Weak, wimpy, guilty me. Ughh!!!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A New Baby

Don't get excited, we aren't adopting another one, or expecting (yikes) For weeks we have been watching the very pregnant does waddle around our neighborhood, waiting to see the tiny fawns first appear. Yesterday was the day! The first impossibly tiny, still wobbly fawn was spotted. If the number of large-bellied does is anything to go on, we will be seeing many more fawns this spring. I wanted to sneak out and snag this one away from it's Mama and squeeze it to death it was sooooo cute. I resisted, but I don't know how long my willpower will last if more show up. Is there anything so wonderful as babies, of any kind????

Bambi, come back here! Please let me squeeze you????

Thank you everyone for the advice on our first weeks with Ahren. I don't know why I am so nervous. Maybe because it has taken so long, or maybe because I didn't think it would ever happen. Or maybe it's because this is one of biggest things I have ever done (the whole adoption process) and is so very important. He is so important and special. And worth every bit of it!!!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Dreaming and planning

If/when we get to bring Ahren home, what are we going to do? 
Obviously the crib we originally set up for him is not going to work (almost comical to picture trying to put him in it!) This photo, above, was taken in the crib the hotel provided for us last July.  This kid is a moose-boy. He is even bigger now. Luckily, we planned ahead and there are two twin beds in Levi's room (always intended to be the boys room) Levi sleeps better in bed with someone, I wonder if Ahren is used to sleeping with someone? When we visit, he sleeps in bed between us and does very well. Maybe we should put a full sized mattress on the floor and have them sleep together at first? 
Between all of us we speak about 10 spanish words, not including those used to order at a restaurant. We had thought we would be bringing home babies, not a little man. I need to find some info on basic spanish kid-speak. We have a large hispanic community here and we have many friends who speak spanish. We also have one dear friend here that is from Guatemala who has offered to help. Knowing Ahren's easy-going personality, I don't think we will have major problems in this area, but I still want to be prepared.
This child eats everything. Plus, I have been sending care packages with American kid-snacks every month so that he is used to what he will get here. We will keep things simple at first and stick to what is the most familiar. Then we will follow his lead and branch out as he is ready. Last summer I would order him a full-sized breakfast with eggs, black beans, fruit and tortillas and he would eat the whole thing! Again, in this area, I don't expect a problem, but will be prepared. 
Potty training: 
He has started potty training, and depending on how far along he is we will either continue or put it on hold. There is going to be enough going on in his little life that we don't need to put this added stress on him. 
We will minimize how many people he is around at first. Let him get his feet under him and let him show us how he does. There will be plenty of time later on to introduce him to all our friends and family. In this area we will not budge. He needs to attach to us and feel secure before he can branch out. He is a very social child, loves to go go go, so once he is settled I am sure we will be out and about a lot. Until then, we will stick to our home base like glue. 
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE his curls, but his hair is now down past his shoulders. If you stretch out the curls, his hair reaches down past the middle of his back. He will be getting a trim, and those curls we cut off will be saved in his baby book. If his hair is shorter, more like last summer, it will still be very curly but not so hot or in his way. I have no fear he looks like a girl, although he is very beautiful, he is just too big and masculine.  I will be getting lots of long-hair pix before we trim it. This isn't something that will happen Day 1, but when he seems comfortable. I may even try and trim it myself, if he will sit still for it. A professional can even it out later.
Doctor appointments: 
We will need to schedule these right away. We can't risk any little critters tagging along and infecting the whole family. Our pediatrician has experience with internationally adopted children and we have talked about it several times. Initial exams will be focused on immediate needs (not shots, or development issues) Infections, parasites, anemia, etc. We can wait a while to look at other issues, as needed. We will also take a peek at his teeth and he can see our dentist (what a wonderful dentist we have!!!) if it looks like there is something that needs immediate attention. 

I think this covers the basics. If I have missed anything major, please let me know. Although I have 3 kids already, they all came to me as squishy pink bundles after growing inside of me for 9 months. I am heading into all new territory this time!