April 30, 2007

Planet Earth

Has anyone been watching the HD Discovery Channel Planet Earth series? They are by far the best earth documentaries I've ever seen. There are 11 episodes and I didn't catch the first runs. I am now desperately trying to DVR whatever I can. They must have spent a ga-zillion dollars producing it, visiting 62 countries for filming. There are a few animals eating other animals scenes where I have to do a partial-eye watching from behind my hands and knees, but overall it is the most beautiful footage of our planet. Sigourney Weaver narrates the series in the US-run versions and there was a funny bit where a parasite was protruding out of an ant and she described it using an alien reference.

April 28, 2007

Tacky Shirt!

Someone on an adoption chatgroup posted a link to an adoption t-shirt that a major retailer is selling. I have copied the picture from their website to this post. Some people thought it was funny. I personally think it's extremely tacky. Someone said that the retailer took it down after receiving many complaints, but I heard the t-shirts are still on their store shelves.

My Heart Breaks

My heart breaks for my sister that is continues to be sick with a condition called Fibromyalgia. It’s been 2.5 years since my sister was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Her illness prevents her from working and she is on constant pain medication. She is very strong and is currently making the best of it, focusing on her love for her son and family. My friend’s husband has also been diagnosed with this condition and also is not capable of working now. Many people have never heard of Fibromyalgia. Here are some quick facts about this condition:

1. Symptoms can include muscle achiness, muscle spasms, nerve pain, chronic sleep disturbances, cognitive overload, “brain fog”, myofascial pain syndrome, chronic paresthesia, physical fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, genitourinary symptoms (such as those associated with the chronic bladder condition interstitial cystitis), dermatological disorders, headaches, myoclonic twitches, and symptomatic hypoglycemia.
2. Fibromyalgia is occasionally mistaken for lupus.
3. Possible causes include genetics, prolonged stress, dopamine abnormality, dysregulation of serotonin, trauma, major surgery, disease and sleep disturbance (not getting REM sleep). Some evidence shows that Lyme Disease is a common trigger. However, there is currently no known strong correlation between any specific type of trigger and the subsequent initiation of symptoms. My sister was very stressed before the onset of her fibromyalgia and started to get severe migraines. My friend’s husband believes it may have been a heat stroke that triggered his fibromyalgia.
3. It affects more females than males, with a ratio of 9:1.
4. Fibromyalgia is seen in 3% to 6% of the general population.
5. There is no universal cure for fibromyalgia. The treatments mainly consist of pain management, sleep management and psychological support.
6. As many as 30% of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are unable to maintain full-time employment.
7. Fibromyalgia is often referred to as an "invisible" illness or disability due to the fact that generally there are no outward indications of the illness or its resulting disabilities. The invisible nature of the illness, as well as its relative rarity and the lack of understanding about its pathology, often has psychosocial complications for those that have the syndrome. Individuals suffering from invisible illnesses in general often face disbelief or accusations of malingering or laziness from others that are unfamiliar with the syndrome.

April 18, 2007

Excuse Me? What Did You Just Say?

Somebody said something totally inappropriate to me today that prompted me to vent and post this entry to my blog. Since we announced our adoption, we have been receiving inappropriate comments from some people. I don’t think they realize the impact of what they’re saying so I usually give them the benefit of the doubt. But there is such thing as being sensitive and thinking before you talk. The following have been the most memorable comments (keep in mind that most people know that Bryan and I tried to have a child biologically unsuccessfully):

1. “Oh, you’re adopting. You are so lucky that you won’t have to go through a pregnancy. My pregnancy was so hard.”…while this may seem well intended, this is especially a cruel statement when you have tried very hard to have a child biologically.
2. “Now that you’re adopting, just wait, you and Bryan will get pregnant right away. I have a ___________ (fill in the blank…friend, cousin, sister, brother) that applied for an adoption and that is all it took to get pregnant.”…this kind of implies that having a child biologically is still superior to having a child through adoption and that we should still be holding out for a biological child.
3. “I bet seeing all these pregnant people around you makes it that much harder for you.” Or “I’m pregnant Kristen. I’m so sorry that it took me longer to tell you. I was afraid to mention it given your circumstances.” ….Do people really think that I hate all pregnant people and that I am automatically jealous and envious and can’t be happy for them? Sheesh!
4. “You are doing such a good thing by adopting. You are so generous and charitable.” …this is a very nice thing to say. However, this is not even close to why we’re adopting. We’re adopting out of purely selfish reasons to try to fulfill our goal to build a family.
5. A family member of Bryan’s, no mention of names here, said, “I want to have a biological child for our family since you can’t.” …I can’t even respond to this.
6. “I know this child that needs a home with several health problems (and these are usually major issues). Why are you on an adoption wait list when you can just adopt this child? …just because we can’t have children biologically doesn’t mean that we are obligated to adopt a child with special needs. Why doesn’t the person asking this question adopt this child?
7. “Oh, you’re adopting from China. That is the popular/in-style thing to do now.” And then, they often compare us to Angelina Jolie …What!? Do people really think that we’re that shallow to adopt a child because it is the popular thing to do and we aspire to be like Angelina Jolie? Our child is not a hand-bag or some other accessory that is a fad!

Am I oversensative? Probably. But I think some of these comments are over the top. Don’t get me wrong, most people are very supportive and friendly and I can not survive without them. Plus, our family and friends that we know love us can say anything that is offbeat because we know that they mean well and don’t mean to hurt our feelings.

Just had to vent….

April 15, 2007

Adoption Wait Update

China sent the April batch of referrals for parents with log-in-dates ("LID") through 10-26-2005. Bryan and I have a LID of 6-14-2006. This means that there are approximately 8 months worth of families with LIDs who will receive their children before we do. This does not mean that we have 8 more months to wait though because China is issuing referrals at a super slow pace. China releases referrals just about once per month. In April, China only referred 2 days of LIDs (10-25-2005 and 10-26-2005). In the past 6 months, China has referred an average of 13 LIDs per month. What does that mean for us? That is the ga-zillion dollar question! It really depends on China's future "productivity" and you would have to possess a crystal ball to know this. Using a productivity of 13 LIDs per month, Bryan and I will not receive our referral until November 2008. This would represent a wait of 29 months between LID and referral date and we already have waited 10 months, so we would have 19 more months to wait.

If their productivity increases to 15 LIDs per month, Bryan and I will receive our referral in early September 2008; a productivity of 20 LIDs per month would get us a referral in April 2008. Some people believe that the China's productivity will continue to slow down before it gets better. The wait truly depends on the available number of "paper-ready" children that China's orphanages make available for international adoption.

I have included my tables and graphs below that I update every month when China releases their referrals. I am such a nerd!

April 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Chad!

Bryan and I went to Chad and Sandra's house on Saturday for Chad's birthday celebration. It was fun! Chad and Bryan enjoyed playing a guitar game on the Playstation. Attached is a humerous picture of them before they rocked out to Guns and Roses, Sweet Child of Mine. Too Cool!