Guatemalan Sisters

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Happy 3rd Birthday Beautiful Girls

Yesterday was Katerine and Kimberly's 3rd birthday. They are celebrating in Guatemala with their foster family and we'll be thinking of them here. We've hit week 5 in PGN and we're still waiting patiently for word. Not expecting that any time soon though. Cases seem to be taking around 3 months right now so we've got a long ways to go. There was some movement in a number of cases today so that's good news. For those of us stuck at various stages in the adoption process, any movement is good news.

Yesterday we attended a Portland area picnic of families who have adopted children from Guatemala. It was really nice. Jayden made some new friends and was still talking about a little girl named Ellen tonight. She kept telling me Ellen "was just like her." It seems Ellen likes the monkey bars too. :) It was a too hot for everyone's taste.

We also had my company (Knowledge Learning Corporation) picnic on Saturday. One of our primary owners, Mike Milken, attended. I have worked with him off and on since the merger. I've read about his career. I can't speak to what I've read because ultimately that's second-hand. I can only speak to what I've seen since the merger. This guy, and the rest of the Milken family, are so incredibly dedicated to children, education, and our company. We feel it every day at work. We feel it in every decision they make. He is always focused on doing the right thing - for children, for employees and education. It's such a great place to work!

Taylor is registering for classes at PSU tomorrow. She's thinking about taking Chinese as her language requirement. (Something Mike Milken said stuck in her mind.) She's still looking at doing PSU's 5 year MBA/Accounting & Finance degree. Seems she actually enjoys the numbers.

I'm off but have a great week.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

4+ Weeks and Waiting Patiently

Happy Sunday!
We're 4+ weeks into PGN and waiting patiently. It seems things are still moving slowly within PGN. If you can believe all the posts, it sounds like there are many files simply waiting for the Director's signature and they are just sitting on his desk. His desk must look like my in-box. :)
There has been progress for some people - good and bad. Dawn finally got the DNA and family court social worker interview on Emilee but little Berali's birthmom has taken her back. That type of situation is always a double edged sword. You're happy the birthmom has chosen to parent their child, but you hurt for the adoptive family who is experiencing the loss. Some cases have actually come out of PGN. Most seem to have been waiting since March, April and May so it's good to see they're finally coming out. I figure we've got another 8 weeks or so to go. No science in that number but a guess just the same.
Devin came home from Russia this past Wednesday. We are all happy to have her home. Really happy. There were too many plane crashes in Russia while she was gone. Her photos were a lot of fun to look at. Since she's been home she had lunch with a favorite high school teacher and has been spending time with her boyfriend and friends. We even see her now and then.
We've been doing some cleaning here. I'm still trying to figure out how to turn Jayden's room into a room for three girls. We had originally figured Devin and Jayden would share a room, since Devin is at school most of the year. However, Jayden is absoltely insistent the she and the twins all sleep in the same room. She tells us they'll be lonely and afraid when they first come home so it's better if she's in there with them. I figure that's an "out of the mouth of babes" statement and she'd know better than anyone. However, I still need to figure out how to do it. Add toys and clothing for 3 little mind just gets fuzzy.
I watched a show on the Duggar family and felt ashamed. They have 16 kids and are the most organized people I've ever seen. Their children are perfect children. They pick up after themselves, don't talk back to their parents and even help out around the house. It's impressive. As I said, I am ashamed and need to get more organized.
I must also confess that I've spent a few too many hours at Nordstrom's since it's their anniversary sale. This sale is usually a big thing for our house and this year is no exception. I found a great bag for work that actually holds my laptop and doesn't look anything like a laptop case. Jayden and the twins made out pretty well too. Jayden is a skinny thing and Nordies has the best jeans for her since they're adjustable in the waist. Taylor talked me out of a couple of pairs of shoes.
This week promises to be a good week. Work will be fun and my new Director of Benefits starts on Friday. I am so happy to have filled this position and the person I've hired has great experience. Now I only have one vacancy left to fill.
Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Some Rambling Thoughts

Hola! We have now officially hit week three in PGN. What does that tell you? Pretty much nothing. The wait in PGN is long these days. I am choosing to believe the changes in the internal PGN process, delays and other things within PGN that are causing the slowdown are simply because they want to make the process more uniform and better. There are MANY MANY families ahead of us in the PGN line and they have been waiting a very long time. I will hope and pray that these children all come home soon. As for us, the girls will come home to us when it's their time. Plus the memories they're building in Guatemala will help them as they get older.

Jayden is now in week 2 of KinderCare Summer Adventures Camp. It's similar to her regular Kinderare kindergarten but involves more outside play, water and costumes at least twice a week, and ZERO naps. I'm go with everything except the zero nap part. She's small and busy enough that she needs naps. She was sobbing tonight telling me she wasn't tired but yet could barely stand up or keep her eyes open. Too funny.

Devin called from Russia today. She couldn't talk long but it was good to hear her voice. I've been worried about her overnight train trip to and from Moscow. I've been worrying about train crashes and terrorists. OK, so I'm a Mom. I worry about really stupid things now and then. OK, maybe more than now and then when it comes to my kids.

Work is good but continues to be busy. I think everyone has come to realize or understand that the pace won't likely be decreasing post merger/integration as they thought. I'm not entirely sure why they thought it would. I've been extemely busy now for two years - due diligence, pre-merger, post merger and now as we grow. Personally, I'm having a ball at work, which is the way work should be. We have the most incredible leadership, starting at the top and moving through the organization. I truly feel lucky to work there. And for the record, no one at work knows about this blog so I can be honest here.

My niece Heather and my nephew Chris have both added children to there families in the past few weeks. Our family now welcomes Heather's son Zeke Martin, who had to fight a bit after arriving early, and Chris's daughter Tessa Armstrong. Beautiful babies everywhere!

So there's been a lot of posting about a situation in the China adoption circles involving a family that just traveled to China to meet and finalize the adoption of their daughter. The short story is that after spending 4 days with her, they felt her health was too weak and they were not equipped as a family to deal with the likely unknowns about this child's future. What they say is that did not ask for a special needs child, have another daughter at home who is also adopted from China, and after meeting with health experts, their agency and Chinese officials, a "rematch" was made. The first child was taken into custody by Chinese officials.

There is much speculation about what will happen to this child and whether or not she'll be eligible for adoption in the future. I don't know this family at all. On the surface, it looks like the family made an educated decision for their family and that decision was supported by their agency, medical doctors and Chinese officials. I've read various posts about what horrible people they are for "choosing" to decline the first child. Plus, this is an experienced international adoption family.

Unfortunately, I can't line up with the people who want to lynch this family. Various countries have different processes for "selecting" a child when it come to international adoption. In China, they assign you a child and you can accept/decline from photos after the end of a wait that is likely in excess of a year. When you arrive in China, you meet and finalize the adoption. I have to wonder how many rematches occur quietly that are only heard about in the specific travel groups. (This one got public fast after the family posted the rematch on their blog.) In Guatemala, you get photos, medical information and could even choose to travel down and meet your child before you accept the referral. (Most don't.) Ultimately, I have to line up with parents making a decision that they feel is right for their family and the daughter they have now. I have to HONOR a parent's decision to be honest about what needs they're capable of parenting.

OK, flame away on this one but this is just my opinion.

Well, I'm off. Have a great day!