Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My husband and I drove to Chicago. We are celebrating great friends who are willing to take some of our children for the weekend and wonderful grandparents who are willing to take the rest. Oh, and we are celebrating 20 years of marriage.
On the way to Chicago, I found a few things particularly fascinating:
- I can have a complete thought.
- Joel and I can have a complete conversation.
- We need to order only a small pizza for supper.
- The Wall Street Journal has a sense of humor even if they don’t know it. Here’s the quote I read today about France and their new law against wearing burqas:
“ It forbids concealing the face in public--with exceptions for motorcycle riders, surgeons, individuals wearing carnival or Santa Claus costumes, riot police, metal welders and others.” WSJ; July 14, 2010
For our 25th anniversary I am going to France dressed either as a metal welder or Santa Claus. Not sure just yet.
The International Adoption Clinic gave each of the girls a TB mantle. 2 days later I was supposed to go to my clinic, have someone look at the spot, measure it and fax it back. The nurse I got, at 8:30 am, looked all of about 13 years old. She took all of 7 seconds to inaccurately measure the bumps on the girls’ arms.
“They both have TB,” she announced authoritatively. “Are your other kids coughing yet?”
“No. And I need to see the doctor right now.”
“Really?” she wonders. “Are you on the schedule?”
“No, I’m not on the schedule. I need him to know what is going on.”
“Well..... I’ll see what I can do.”
I took iPhone pictures of the girls’ arms. I emailed them to my friend Beth. I called her no fewer than 3 times. I marched everyone upstairs and told the receptionist my story. I saw the doctor. He remeasured. Lizzie’s measurement is half of what the 13 year old nurse measured. Sadie’s is a bit higher but not by much. He amended the form and faxed it in.
I called Beth to tell her about getting a doctor . “You did the right thing,” she says, not knowing I’d crafted a Voodoo Doll Nurse that I planned to cough on.
Ethiopian daughters who were formerly Ethiopian orphans need to be taken to the doctor. Daughters who have smelly ear drainage need to be taken to an ear doctor. A daughter who, according to the ear doctor, “might have latent TB in her ear,” needs to be taken to the International Adoption Clinic.
We have just the place at the University of Minnesota. I found myself finally in very capable hands, particularly when I met Beth, an RN and my new best friend. Trent, the travel agent from Velocity Tours who made the trip to Ethiopia possible, has been replaced. Beth makes being home from Ethiopia with two daughters possible. She told me, as I tried to relate my long story of woe from one failed doctor visit after the other, that she would “be there for me all afternoon.” I burst into tears.
I made my clinic appointment. The appointment person was not Beth. It was Someone Who Needed to Follow The Rules Rather Than Think. Our conversation went like this:
Me: I need to make an appointment for two girls.
Her: We don’t make appointments back to back.
Because one appointment takes a long time.
Ok. I’ll start with the sickest one. Her name is Elizabeth.
How old is she?
I think around 3.
What language does she speak?
Ummmmmm. Nothing really.
Well, the doctors want us to have a translator there.
That’s great, but I don’t know what they would translate.
(slight detection of exasperation on her end...) What language did she speak in her country?
They spoke Amharic at the orphanage but she didn’t.
I need a language, mam.
Where is your daughter from?
How do you spell Ethiopia?
At this point, I couldn’t spell it. Gone was my confidence. Gone was my “I’m finally in good hands” feeling. I finished this most painful conversation and called my new friend Beth. Again.
Hi Beth, It’s Marty... I made an appointment.
Well, I have a couple things that went wrong. First, they won’t let me schedule both girls.
Call them. Tell them Beth says she wants them both here.
Thank you. Also, the girl asked me how to spell Ethiopia.
Oh..... ok. I’ll deal with that. Anything else?
Yes, one more thing. They insisted that I have a translator.
OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!! Ok. Yes. I just...yes, I just cancelled the translator. Anything else?
No. That’s it. Thank you.
It was a long visit. It was a thorough visit. It was a good visit. They knew the girls’ history before I got there. They knew what to look for and what to tell me to do and what to do to undo what hasn’t been done or done incorrectly. Beth and Dr. Kang. Great people. Phone lady? Didn’t have to meet her. That’s also good.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
"Here, Levi," she said. We turned around. She was holding both hamster/hamster balls, one in each hand.
"Oh, Lizzie. We don't need them yet," I say in my Sweet Teaching Toddler Voice. "You can go put them back in the hallway."
3 seconds later: THUNK!!! THUNK!!!!
Me, in my I'm Now Tired Of Toddlers Voice: "Levi, go see if the hamsters are dead."
"She could spin around!"
"And spray everyone!"
"With spray from her armpits!"
She loved the attention. And I think she's still too young to know about self esteem.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
My daughter is really good at posting pictures. She is watching Singing in the Rain. My husband is good at posting pictures. He is at a meeting.
The good news is we have pictures. And they're not of Lizzie crying (like most of the pictures we had) and they're not of Sadie with her eyes closed. They're coming soon. And they're worth the wait.
2. I find myself wondering, how will the deworming medicine that I gave my daughter work? I asked a farmer. He deworms cattle. He assured me he doesn't see worms coming out. I am going to take that as transferable information.
3. I don't mind the dogs barking as much now that I know they are barking at the hyenas that are prowling this area.
4. Feeling conspicuous has taken on a whole new meaning.
5. People can thank God and give me their blessing while I stand in their 1 room house made of dung, mud and straw. Raw sewage ran outside. And the woman who blessed me is HIV positive.
6. Drug companies would be much more popular if the side effects for pediatric medicine were sleepiness and a sense of calm. Instead, I get the following side effects for Sadie: irritability, restlessness and excitability. Curse the childless drug researcher who thought this one up.
I brought the girls back to the guest house. Lizzie is trying so hard to not cry. She is absolutely gorgeous. Sadie looks like a man. She is congested but happy. She cries when she coughs.
No smile from Lizzie today though we got close during her bath.
Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you for our girls. They are absolutely unbelievable.
I'm getting our children in 2 hours.
I'm getting coffee in 2 minutes.
February 20: My last night without the girls. Amazing. Two empty cribs tonight. Two little sleeping girls in them--clean, in pjs, in a diaper for the first time. I can't believe it. Thank You. Thank You. I abound in thankfulness. I am where I thought I'd never be.
While I was waiting for the bathroom, I made small talk with a man who was holding his 9 month old daughter. "How is she doing on the flight?" I asked. "Oh. My wife deals with most of it," he replies. "Oooooohhhhhhhh," comes my long, drawn out politically correct response to a completely politically incorrect situation. I find myself again grateful for my husband who is at home with 5 children dealing with not most of it, but all of it.
Good news--it looks like we've passed the Middle East. 8:14 Friday, February 19.
Arabic coffee is really strong.
I thought about how to blog while in Ethiopia. I did it the old fashioned way called Write Down Thoughts On A Piece of Paper.
I have some catching up to do but first wanted to say thank you; we're home; we're tired; the girls are wonderful.