Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Someone is nesting...only it isn't me!!!

Nesting.  I have blogged about this before, be it the time I felt the immediate need to have sippie cups on hand in case the babies would come through the door at any moment and would have no means of hydration unless I had the cups on hand, or the time I had to have baby bottles because I needed to be ready to go to Haiti on a moment's notice and I was going to be prepared.  Then, there were the nights after recieving Grace's referral when horror struck and I couldn't sleep until I knew everything there was to know about her hair care products.  This too led to an urgent shopping trip to Sally Beauty Supply.  I suppose in retrospect, none of these things were urgent, but once again I felt that I was being proactive in being prepared for the babies to come home.

Today, brought with it a different kind of nesting.  Actually, I should say it really started a few days ago.  First, there was the web search, then, the drive by, then, the test drive, then today, what arrives in my driveway?  A new suburban.  Yes, Tim bought a new car.  I must admit it was with a bit of nostalgia that I bid  a fond farewell to the old suburban.  It has seen us through six years and 200,000 miles.  I remember buying it.  It was the summer of 2006.  Our paperwork was done, we were waiting to get a travel date to Russia.  We were waiting on our adoption of Zachary.  Tim was so insistent we "needed a big car".  So, he found this suburban that looked like a big red bus.  It has taken us to Florida, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Chicago, Kansas City....on and on.  Many trips have been made in that with many memories.  Probably my favorite memory was on Thanksgiving Day 2006.  We were met at the airport by the big red bus as we held our new little toddler in our arms for our whole family to meet.  They had brought the bus because we all fit and everyone wanted to ride with Zachary.  As we drove home we shared lots of stories and enjoyed the love of our close family.  Two of those family members have since passed away, perhaps that is what brings on my nostalgia. 

However, as all good things must come to an end, I somehow think Tim's zeal for the new car was his way of nesting.  It was his way of preparing for the next chapter to begin.  He excitedly talked about how he was going to get the DVD player installed "for Grace and Alex."  Not just any DVD player mind you, the headrest DVD player,"they need that."  He said, with just a little twinkle in his eye.  I must admit, I am not a huge car fanatic, but somehow seeing the shiny big silver bus in my driveway and hearing his excitement, made it sink in that I was not the only one missing the babies, and ready for them to come home.  Tim is ready too. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Blessed Diaper Rash Update

Ok, this mama spent the morning taking care of Grace's rash. Many thanks for the wonderful invention known as email. Whitney emailed me the picture of the rash and between her amazing ER nurse skills and my clinical skills we were able to spitball through the differential diagnoses yeast, versus contact dermatitis, versus impetigo. We settled on contact dermatitis to be treated with a combination of desitin and antibiotic ointment to stave off secondary infection. Through this I learned something valuable about my Gracie. She is potty trained already throughout the day. So proud of my little girl. I also found out potty training there is a bit different than here. Gracie wears a dress each day and squats outside or in a little bucket. I have a feeling our ginormous toilet with that huge suction and running water will scare her to death. Note to self...buy a kiddie potty prior to the babies coming home.

This reminds me of a funny story. When Zachary came home, he had an intense fear of running water. His first bath in the Marriott in Moscow consisted of a screaming toddler clawing at me to get out. His fear lasted quite some time. We went through a period where we finally pushed him to flush the toilet when he was done. This became a rather funny thing in our house as he tried to conquer his fear. He would get off the toilet pull his pants up, check the hallway to be sure it was clear, flush and run. We had to get him to the place where he could stand to be in the bathroom with the bathtub running, this took a while too. He kept saying,"I'm gonna sink out!" we never quite figured out what this phrase meant, but it is one we use at times even now as a huge source of family humor. Even Zachary laughs about it. Who knew swimming would be his favorite thing in the whole world? Ah yes...fears of orphanage children. I wonder what Grace and Alex's will be? One thing is for sure, two if our children were afraid of water, one was afraid of never having food, and one had a huge fear of thunder. So, if it is any of those we are prepared. Anything else will require on the job training. I think we are up to that challenge!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Diaper Rash, Such a Blessing...

I know, a strange title. How is it a diaper rash is a blessing? Well, it probably has not gone unnoticed that my blogging has not been as regular as before. I guess that is mostly due to the complete lack of interesting information. No updates on the adoption, just torturous waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more. I really cannot impart any words of wisdom in that situation let alone try to celebrate it or convey any magical joy. So, I kept my dismay to myself. Then, today, a diaper rash.

Whitney, who is living in Haiti and checking on my beautiful babies a couple times a week emailed. Grace has a diaper rash. She gave me her thoughts and promised to send me a picture if I was ok with that. Being a nurse practitioner, yes, I need to see it. I was able to throw on my clinical hat and get busy throwing out treatment options. There is lotrimin for yeast, or talking through diaper wipes versus water if it appears to be a contact dermatitis, or the benefits of zinc oxide versus a and d. Yeah, that's right, I was going to beat back this diaper rash. So, here i sit waiting til morning to get the picture so between Whitney, my nurse friend and myself we can treat this effectively.

Through all of this, I became acutely aware how excited I was. The dulldrom of an awful wait as one day bleeds into another, the sadness that seems to come in awful waves as I miss these little people I quite honestly barely know, all suddenly broken by a diaper rash. An awful painful diaper rash. I get to make my baby better. I get to figure it out and monitor her progress through my angel Whitney's eyes, and just be momma. It dawned on me this is what us momma's do. We treat diaper rashes, we wipe snotty noses, we clean up late night puke, and wipe the boo boo's. There are a lot of days I scoff at the unglamorous side of being a mother, but today, I got to be an unglamorous momma to Grace for the first time. So, yes, a diaper rash truly is a blessing to me.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mother Nature

Last night, my world was turned a bit upside down as the news of another earthquake hitting Haiti ran across my computer screen. The news said it was a 4.6 magnitude quake. I knew the big one was a 7 but still. My thoughts went to Grace as it occurred to me that in her just over two years on the planet she had already been through two earth quakes. I suppose at this point her world rocking and rolling is somewhat normal. At first, I was angry. Why another quake? Why would my children go through this again? I learned the quake was in fact, right where they are. Then, I found I was angrier. How much would they have to endure before they come home?

I then spent some time thinking about the big quake. At that time, I felt God had another child for us. I was frustrated as we are completely infertile and there didn't seem to be other opportunities and I couldn't understand God's message to me. Then, the quake hit. I watched the footage night after night. I saw the children in the streets and wondered if one of them was to be mine. I started looking at Haitian adoption. It seemed the wait times were four and five years. As drawn to it as I was, it just seemed impossible. Little by little though, the plan came into focus all leading me to this point. I suppose I have the first earthquake to thank for getting my attention, despite the devastation it left. I am having a hard time processing this earthquake though, it makes me restless and worried about my babies. The good news is, they are fine. I am now just praying that the papers keep moving so that my babies do not have to be rocked by mother nature, rather by this loving mama who misses them so much!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Empty Arms

I realize it has been a little bit since I blogged last. I suppose I was waiting on some sort of divine inspiration. The reality is, it just wasn't coming. I felt the emptiness of my arms as this paperwork drags on, and our court date just doesn't come. This is the dark side of the adoption process. The times nothing seems to be working and the thought of waiting more months becomes so insurmountable I can hardly breathe. However, God being God, would not leave me in this place for too long. Today, I reached out to Whitney. She is the missionary living in Haiti who visits my babies every week.

I was in luck! She answered me right away. She saw Grace and Alex today. Alex kept her entertained with his smiles and easy going personality. Grace was clingy and a bit tentative about sharing with the other children. This always worries me. In her pictures she looks sad. I have heard about her clingy issues before. Until now I was able to chalk it up to grief. She lost her family on that far away mountain top and is now in this strange place. Although she is fed well and well cared for, it must be so confusing. Different groups come in out with little consistency and lets face it, none of these white American adults look like her. I have spent evening s worrying and worrying. Would she be ok here? Would she bond? What is it going to be? It adds to the frustration in the wait despite all of my research on attachment strategies. Then, Whitney gave me a simple reminder. She pointed out that Grace being clingy meant she wants someone to hold on to. It means she has attached before, so my job will be to remind her how to do it again. Again, a happy thought. I thought about the gift that my work has become. A new hospital, a better schedule and a very generous maternity leave to cocoon in with my baby girl, and her beautiful brother. I guess I have no real adoption news, and it doesn't make the process any quicker, but I have renewed hope that all will be ok. As I mulled all this over, courtesy of Pandora, well I would actually like to give the credit to God, I was reminded,"strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord."