Saturday, September 29, 2007

There are good posts and not so good posts. Guess which one this is?

NOT GOOD! I found out yesterday that her MRI was scheduled for OCTOBER 9!! Yes, that would be 22 whole days after we requested it. Not a happy camper here.

I haven't posted all the details on her medical condition basically because I didn't want to type that much. She has a mild form of spina called "spina bifida occulta" which means that there is no hole on the outside of her back, just on her vetebrae. I guess up to 40% of people have this and they don't know it until adulthood and get an XRay on their back. Only 5% of those people have what they call a tethered spinal cord, which means the nerves at the end of her spinal cord are tethered in a ball. If that is the case, she would need neurological surgery to untether the ball. There is a chance it would grow back into a ball. This tethering could cause problems with her growth, her gait, and her bowels.

Yesterday I asked the social worker if they would classify her as special needs if she does have the tethered cord. We want her. There isn't any doubt in our minds about that. But the orphanage "donation" for a non-special needs child is substantially more and that is money we would need for the many operations she will require. I said that if we knew they would do that, we'd accept the referral right now. And she said that we should absolutely not accept the referral until we get the results back. To me it's just a delay. We can't make travel arrangements until we accept. So if the MRI is scheduled for October 9, they don't think we'll get results until around the 14th, which is Sunday. So I'm guessing the 15th. Which means we won't leave until November 5 at the earliest.

I wish they would have just done the MRI on their own before they referred her. It would have given the adoptive family much more information. But, like Rob said, then they would have had to pay for it instead of us.

So instead of being down there by October 1 like we had orginally hoped, she will be a full month older.

In other news, our new administrative assistant started on Monday and man, are my days looking better! :) And if we don't leave until November, I'll have more time to teach her all she needs to know. Or at least all I know. Lucky girl.

Friday, September 21, 2007

When does it hit you?

When do you fully realize "this is my child"? Whether it is a child through adoption or by birth, does it take a while? Do you feel "it" when you first hold them? When you first see their picture? I've been staring at her picture for a week now but I think it hit me yesterday when I saw the picture with Rosa. I counted ten fingers (I couldn't see her toes) and started to cry. That is my daughter. I still haven't been calling her by name. She's "the baby". Because she's been "the baby" for over nine years. I looked at a picture of Rosa with another baby from Los Pisingos when he was adopted back in April and cried. This woman did so much for so many children in Colombia and families all over. I wonder if she knew the magnitude of my appreciation, as well as that of many others.

Luann told me yesterday the medical tests would cost $250 and wanted to know if we still wanted to proceed. I'm a little disappointed because I thought they would proceed after our conversation on Tuesday but I suppose she needed to ask about the cost. So I doubt the MRI has even been done. We decided that, at this point, there's no way we could say no, so on Monday we are going to officially accept the referral. I already have our visa packet and have sent in the form to the state to be apostilled. So we aren't too far behind the Anderson's, who actually heard AFTER we did. We're hoping to fly out on the 8th, the same day that they are. We will only be there with the Springman's for a few weeks but I think it will be great to be there with two other SD families.

I've washed all the baby clothes and started organizing what I'm going to take. She is just getting into 3-6 month clothes and will hopefully be in them for a while. So between getting ready to go and unpacking our house, we've had a busy day. We were supposed to go to a wedding in Highmore tonight but just didn't feel that we should take the time away. As I've said before, so much to do, so little time.

Yesterday was my niece, Hailey's 11th birthday. She is the youngest grandchild so there will be quite an age difference. Maybe my niece, Katie, that just got married...she's 22...will have a baby soon so Murphy will have a cousin that's close to her age. Otherwise, Christy better get in gear! :)

I hope all of you know how much we appreciate your support. We've had emails, cards, hugs, well wishes, much to be thankful for. I have a big "love ya all" shout out to my Internet friends. Most of these are adoptive parents; quite a few whose children were born (or will be born) in Colombia. This is such an awesome experience and these people know exactly what we're feeling, thinking, and preparing for.

I have to show you the family I married into:

I could let you think he dresses like this all the time but I suppose I should tell you it was homecoming. Nice, Shawn. Really nice!

More pictures!

The first picture is of Murphy and Rosa, the director of the orphanage who passed away last week. The second picture is of Murphy and a nurse.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No real news yet

We are still (impatiently) waiting on the pictures. I heard back from the doctor at the International Adoption Clinic in Minneapolis. She wanted an MRI and an Ultrasound done so I called the social worker back. She is going to call down and order them today. Hopefully they'll get those done quickly and we can get some answers. We'd like to be able to accept the referral this week.

A couple from Watertown also received their referral yesterday. So it would be kind of neat if there were three couples from SD there.

We are still not quite out of the old house. We just have to clean the kitchen and the basement. I seem to have a little problem with boxes. I thought we'd need some good boxes to use when we moved. So I kept taking them home. Unfortunately Rob broke down about 100 boxes tonight that we didn't use. That was like two whole years of hard work collecting boxes and it sort of bothered me to see them go away. What if we need them? They were nice, thick boxes. You don't just get them anywhere. He did let me keep a few Dell boxes and some HP. Otherwise, they're all gone!

I'm posting a couple of pictures here and the rest are going on the flickr page. Mostly from the wedding.

I guess they're all from the wedding. At least we look good!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

OK, all the good details!

I've been trying to make the blog more "pink" looking, but it isn't working well since I have no clue as to what I'm doing. So I better stick to the story.

I'll back WAY up and do my usual babbling. We stayed home over Labor Day and packed. It wasn't an overly exciting weekend but we did get a lot done. On Wednesday the 5th we had help from lots of neighbors and moved all our furniture. We blew up the air mattress but by Thursday morning my butt was on the floor. Obviously I didn't blow it up enough! Or the other obvious butt is too big. Rob had slept on the floor beside the air mattress so I can't even blame him. Thursday night he decided I had enough air in it that he'd try it. That worked until the middle of the night when he'd roll over and roll off the mattress. So he just rolled all the way off and slept on the floor again. We moved the rest of the stuff on Friday. Rob had guards that night, Saturday and Sunday, so my parents came and helped. My dad did handy man projects for me and my mom unpacked boxes while I moved them to the new house. Rob and some other guardsmen helped move boxes over lunch and when they had a break. We didn't get everything moved that weekend but we've slowly been at it. I'm really quite tired of moving and could easily just leave everything else over there. I won't because I'm cheap and then I'd have to pay for something twice but it has crossed my mind!

I got the FBI prints back on Monday. The same day I got another hepatitis shot. I don't know which one. Q I think. I've had so many. They went to the state and back and then on Thursday I FedEx'ed them to Luann in Minneapolis. I left her a message and remembered that she was in Colombia. I just told her to call me and tell me she got the package.

I didn't have a great week last week. I was wrestling with some demons that really got me down. Scratch that. Just one demon. I really struggled with some decisions that I have had to make and still don't know what will happen. Wednesday night I went to the old house and sat and bawled. Thursday night I went to the old house and sat and bawled. Rob walked in and thought something was terribly wrong. Part of me is really struggling with leaving the old house because I feel like we're leaving Bob there. I know that isn't true, but it hasn't helped. Plus the OTHER issue has me so frustrated. This week was homecoming and Wednesday was "Pride Day" where the kids and local volunteers helped spruce up the community. I helped paint the fairgrounds. I'm not sure what I was smoking when I got dressed that morning but I put on my good jeans (the only ones that fit) and my nice jacket from school. Hello! You're painting! I know...not very bright. Rob's cousin Morghan was chosen as Homecoming Queen so that was pretty exciting. I had to work at an ethanol promotion day on Friday out of town and Friday was also the parade. So as I ran around like a basketcase that morning trying to get everything ready, the dam broke. The parade theme was "movies" so our float was "Field of Dreams". We used Rob's pickup and put corn stalks in the back and threw candy. I needed my flower pots from the loads of boxes that were stored in the garage. I was carrying a load that might have been too big and I tripped on a box and dropped the pots and cut my hands on the broken glass. As I said, the dam broke and I bawled and bawled and bawled. It wasn't the broken pot (it was a really nice pot, though) or the blood all over my hands. It was the aforementioned demon that reared it's ugly head. If I say what the demon is the demon will get worse so I can't say it out loud. I'll telepathically tell you though! In the end the ethanol promotion and the parade went fine. I had this wedding rehearsal on Friday night and then I got up early to go practice on Saturday morning. Rob and I went back to the other house then to shampoo carpets. Oh, first I should say that I tried the new coffee shop in town and I'm going to have to limit myself to once a week. So anyway...I had to get home and get ready so I left Rob at the old house about 3:25. There was a voice mail from Luann, which I didn't think was odd because I had told her to call me. She said she did have a package but what she was really calling was to tell us Congratulations on our new little girl! By this time, I'm running late so I'm taking clothes off while trying to listen. That stopped me in my tracks. So I called Rob's cell phone so he could come home and I think he was shampooing carpets and couldn't hear. So I was simultaneously listening and dialing. Luann said to call her so I did and she said that she had gotten to hold the baby and that she was very small and dainty and very beautiful. She has a mild medical concern that we will review with the doctor on Monday but we really aren't worried about it. I knew I had to get in the shower and get ready but it KILLED me not to check my email. I knew the referral was there but I knew it could wait and the wedding wasn't going to. So I hurriedly got ready and read through it. Rob got home just as I was leaving and he converted her weight and length and did some research on her medical records. After the wedding, I stayed at the reception for a while then called Rob. He said his sister was at her parents house so we could tell them together. It was 7:00. So I left the church and immediately started calling my parents. No answer. I had a little pattern going on...home phone, cabin phone, his cell phone, her cell phone, home phone, cabin phone... I couldn't believe it. Nothing. Until 9:45. My poor little cell phone didn't know what hit it. It was definitely overworked that night. By the time we got to his parents' house Christy was gone so we just told them. Rob went to poker night and I continued trying to call my parents. In the meantime, I went to the wedding dance and asked Christy if she wanted to go with me to get a drink. We walked to the bar and I got two real girly shots and said "Here's to your new niece". She said "what?" so I said it again. I had to say it three times because she didn't get it! Then she started to bawl which made me tear up. Rob was still at poker. So then I kept trying to call my parents. When I finally got a hold of them, I knew I wouldn't have much time before everyone went to bed. So after I told them the news I called my brothers, nieces, and two of my aunts. And my best friends. I knew I couldn't stay out too late since I had to play for church so I came home about 11:00 something. I don't know what time Rob came home. It could have been five minutes after I got home and I wouldn't have known because I was already sleeping. I went to sleep fine and slept all night. Until 6:00. And then I was wide awake. I couldn't think of anything else. So it was an early morning for me. After church we went for breakfast with Rob's family and then we went to Aberdeen for some stuff for the old house. Like ceiling tiles since I let the bathroom sink drip for Kramer and she pushed the stopper thing in the drain and it flooded the bathroom and ruined the ceiling tiles. And also the drain extender that was somehow ran over when we were moving. I didn't know it was right in front of me until I ran over it. Oops. So since we were there we HAD to get some girly stuff. Pink is a little overwhelming for Rob so I got yellow paint for the baby's room. I don't know why...I still call her "the baby". I guess because I'm not used to saying anything else. I haven't called her "Murphy" yet unless someone has asked me her name. Rob got a shirt that says "My dad's the coolest". It's really cute except for the smallest they had was a 12 month. He tried to get one in every size so she'd never grow out of it but I wouldn't let him. We came home and went to work on boxes. Our goal is to get through every box we have. Even the ones we haven't unpacked for years and years. So far we have for sale: a small window air conditioner and four bar stools. Plus about three boxes of stuff for the Good Samaritan Center.

I don't know when we'll leave. Maybe the 8th. Hopefully we'll find out more tomorrow.

I'm worn out and the Chargers are playing horribly. So I think it's time for bed. So that's the story. I'm sure I've forgotten something so I'll post again when I read through all of this.

Have a great week!!!

Introducing...Murphy Maria

It's a Girl!

This is going to be in bullets because I have too many facts to write them into a nice sentence!

* We found out yesterday at 3:30
* She was born June 25, 2007
* She was five pounds three ounces at birth, 18 inches long
* She is now eight pounds 14 ounces, 21 inches long
* I am QUITE biased but she really is very pretty

Her birth mother named her Maria Jose. We are going to keep Maria and name her Murphy Maria Elizabeth. Our social worker was in Bogota this past week and was able to hold her and take pictures so as soon as I have them I'll post them.

Rob and I are ecstatic. It hit us out of the blue and the rest of the day was a blur. I have to play at church today so I'll post more about the day when I get home.