Thursday, January 24, 2008

A change for the worse

One of the reasons we chose to adopt from Ethiopia was that it's one of the few countries that has open international adoption, in which the birth family is known and you have the option of staying in contact. There are various levels of open adoption--what we really wanted was the ability to write back and forth with the birth family, to send pictures to them so that they would know that their son was being cared for and was loved and happy, and to hear about their life so that our son would retain that connection. Through our research in adoption, we've learned that the complete "blank slate" of the past for adoptees is one of the hardest things for them, and we wanted to avoid that if possible. Therefore, we chose a country that allows open adoption and an agency that actively facilitates that process. CHS.FS makes the children placed for adoption a lifebook and DVD of their village, and it often includes the birth family. They have a trip to the south in which there is the opportunity to meet with the birth family. And, from what we understand, if the birth family is known, you're expected to meet them. It's one of the things we were most hoping to be able to do.

Unfortunately, adoptive families with our agency received an e-mail yesterday saying that they are suspending meetings AND continued contact with birth families, effective immediately. There is some question about the true definition of an orphan associated with it, and some pressure from the US Embassy. The e-mail stated that CHS.FS believes that having to suspend these meetings and the contact is doing a disservice to adoptees and their birth families, and that they're actively working to reverse that right now.

To say that I'm disappointed is an understatement. This was one of the major factors in choosing Ethiopia, and in choosing CHS.FS--the ability to meet our son's family (if known) and to keep in touch with them. I'd already thought about the meeting. The things I wanted to ask. The things I wanted to say. The pictures that we would treasure forever. And, unless things change soon (which they never do when international politics is involved), we won't have that opportunity.

I am saddened and angry, and especially hurt for all the birth families who were promised contact by the people who adopted their children--and may now never know that the family had no choice but to break off contact. All they may know is that they met the adoptive family, the adoptive family promised to keep in touch, and now they've broken that promise. What a huge betrayal of trust, and what a devastating thought for the birth families. The post-adoption placement reports will still be available to them, but they have to actively go for them. It's not anything like being able to send a personal letter and pictures to the family. These families will likely go from eagerly anticipating word of their children to baffled confusion, disappointment, and anger that the promises of contact are not being fulfilled. It makes me so sad on so many levels.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So far, 30 is not all it's cracked up to be

Because I have the fluuuuuuuuuuuu. *moan, whimper*

Patrick got sent home from school on Friday and we thought it was just a cold with a fever, though he did complain of a headache. He slept a lot all weekend and didn't eat much, and though his fever finally went away on Sunday, we kept him home yesterday to be sure he was fever-free for 24 hours before going back to school. Jason got it the same day as Patrick. At that point, we still thought it was a cold with a fever. Not me, though. I stayed healthy all weekend until yesterday, right at the beginning of the work week and on my 30th birthday. I woke up feeling meh and by 10 a.m., it was all I could do to sit on the couch with Patrick and watch Super Why. I took him with me to office hours and then Jason picked him up while I taught my lab in the afternoon. By the time I got home, I seriously felt like dying might be a better alternative to living and feeling like this. Even the black spray-painted roses that Siobhan and Aaron (Thanks, seestor. Really, I mean it.) sent didn't make me feel better.

I was in bed by 6 p.m. and stayed there with my 102.3 degree fever (it went up to 103 at one point). I had a horrible night's sleep--up every couple of hours, thirsty, coughing so much that I was gagging, feverish and either sweating or freezing. It was miserable. When I woke up, my fever was down to 101--then again, temps are always lower in the mornings. I have a lecture to give today and a lab, in which I will infect many more people. I hate having to be in like this but since it's college, either I'm here or we cancel class and they don't get a chance to make it up. Since they have to learn to use the microscopes today, it's kind of an important lab.

Blurgh. I'm at my desk sweating and shivering, even though I've already taken Ty.lenol. One of the nursing people took one look at me and said "Go home. Go home now." Would that I could.

Work ethics suck. And 30 is not exactly starting out well, either.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prayer requests

For an acquaintance who is good friends with many of my friends (does that make any sense). Her son was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. They're at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis for treatment and just got more bad news that the tumor is more advanced than they thought. They really need all the thoughts and prayers that you can spare.

Pray for Joseph

We are praying for them everyday, and hoping they're home soon with a healthy Joseph.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A few quick pictures

Since I've been remiss in posting pictures of Patrick, here are some from the previous few months!
My boy is a born horseman! (Now, to convince Jason that we need a horse...)

He was also the cutest little Darth Vader for Halloween that you've ever seen--or couldn't really see, as it is.

Patrick loves the zoo, especially asserting his dominance over the lions.

He had a fabulous time at joint birthday party at Imagym with two of his friends--and the other 15 kids in the class, as well as assorted other friends. (I would post more pictures, but I don't want to post the other children without their parents' permission.)

Naturally, he had to have a Darth Vader cake. Should I be worried that my son has already chosen the Dark Side?

The big hit for Christmas was the radio-controlled car that Santa got for Patrick and Jason--Santa sure knows what her...ahem, his people want! It took another 10 minutes before any other presents got opened. Go, Santa!

Patrick had a great playdate at the Botanical Gardens with two of his friends last week--and all of us mom's had a great time, too!

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve and that 2008 is beginning on a positive note!