Meet Susanna. She is a beautiful six year old girl. She has spent
all of her six years confined to a crib. She was born with Spina Bifida
and she has NOT
received surgery. She has an opening in her spine and hydrocephalus.
Susanna has formed a bond with the boy in the crib next to her. Their
beds are one next to the other and they exchange toys and “talk” to each
other. The caregivers explained whenever the girl starts vocalizing,
the boy joins her. They have seen her reach out through the bars of his
bed and try to “fix” his clothes the way the caregivers do. Whenever the
boy is taken out of the room for some reason, she watches and waits for
Susanna is shy with strangers but responds to all requests by
familiar people. She obviously distinguishes between familiar and
unfamiliar people. Susanna is able to follow instructions and urges and
laughs when she is tickled. She responds with a shy smile to praise.
Despite deprivation and medical neglect, Susanna is a happy little
girl. The staff at her orphanage treat her fondly and she shows good
attachment to them.
Susanna is able to sit up and balance and move around her crib. She can reach for toys but has lower limb paralysis.
Because Susanna has spent her 6 years of life in this same crib she
becomes scared and anxious when she is moved to a new room. As a result
the staff does not take her to the playroom and she spends her days in
confinement. Seeing how inquisitive and sharp she is and what she has
learned in her confined environment, I can hardly imagine how far she
can go with the potential she surely has when she is introduced to the
world and its numerous stimuli. The family accompanying her in this
journey will be privileged to see this happen. For more information on
how you can adopt Susanna, please contact Nina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I haven't written much about fertility on this blog as it focuses more on our family, adoption, and life with B, but it's an important part of our story and I'm not sure how much our family and friends know about it, so I figured I'd share a little...
had always hoped to welcome children through adoption and birth into
our family and when Ababa and I got married, even though it wasn't
something he had ever considered before, he heard me and after processing it all thought that was a great
idea too! (have mentioned before how awesome my husband is:-)
When we didn't get pregnant our first year of marriage (which was a painful surprise), we
decided to welcome our first child through adoption and were blessed with the most incredible son, B. We are grateful for this season of challenges if for no other reason than it was one step God used to bring us and B together.
Ababa and I both always envisioned our family with many children. We love being parents and very much want B to grow up with siblings. Ababa is one of 6 children and I am one of 3 and we can not imagine our lives without our siblings. We have been considering whether to start another adoption. We both wanted more children, but were at an impasse. I was ready pretty much as soon as we got home from Ethiopia, Ababa wasn't. So, we have been waiting to see what happened and/or when we were both on the same page. I'll be honest, it is not easy to be on different pages and it is even harder when you are struggling with infertility too.
I have had some issues that
indicated my hormones might be out of whack a little (or a lot) so I had a
surgery this summer to remove a uterine polyp that turned into a full
D&C as well when it turned out my whole uterus was lined with tiny
I've been going to accupuncture approximately
every other week since to help restore and rebalance my system, have been through several rounds of chinese herb
therapy since the summer, and am trying to take better care of myself
(more sleep, less stress, better food, more activity). It is really,
really hard to do that and juggle my responsabilites as a wife, mother,
employee, and student, but I have to say, it is helping and I LOVE accupuncture, I would go everyday if I could! Often B comes with me and plays on the floor:-) It's not quite as relaxing that way, but it still works.
Even with all that, we are still not pregnant and it has been over 3 years. So, I went to see a leading Reproductive Endocrinologist who ran a host of blood, ultrasound, and other tests specifically for fertility.
We are not interested in pursuing aggressive medical measures to get
pregnant, but wanted more clarity regarding the challenges.
got some test results this week that indicate, while it is still
possible, our likelihood of getting pregnant is very low. That was sad and sobering news to hear. Several other tests came back much better than expected and...since it only does take one sperm and one egg...well, it's always possible.
We know that if God wants us to get pregnant, we will. We are trying to just live our life, take better care of ourselves and our health, and see what happens. We do not want to miss out on life by being trapped in the infertility spiral of obession, treatment, and often disappointment. Plus, since our insurance doesn't cover any treatment, if we are going to pursue another child for our family we would rather put our emotional and financial resources into an adopting a child who needs a family.
I am going to start taking more supplements as advised by my accupuncturist and RE, I am going to try and be more consistent about doing yoga and taking care of myself, I am going to explore the healthiest and most manageable nutrition options for me and we are going to keep thinking about starting another adoption (our dream would be to welcome more children through both adoption and pregnancy but we'll see how life unfolds).
In the event we adopt, we'll probably wait until at least the summer (maybe later) to start the process for logistical, financial, and scheduling reasons. Plus psychologically, Ababa will be entering his final year of post-bac classes and I will (hopefully) be done with my MBA which will make a HUGE difference for us.
So, we'll see.
I know that God knows the plans He has for us. I know He loves me. I know he knows my pain, my tears, my questions, my uncertainties, my doubts, my fears, my desires...He knows me, totally and completely. He is in control. Somehow, the plan He has for me is better than my own.
It is scary and hard and sometimes sad, but it is also awesome and I can't wait to see what He has in store for me and my family!
In the meantime, a certain fabulous 4 year old is growing like a weed (aka the toddler bed is not going to cut it much longer) we are nesting and envisioning a life with two or more children, and B is over the moon excited at the new bunk beds that should be arriving next week (we found them for basically 50% off and free delivery so jumped on that deal).
More on the big boy room later...but here's a peek at the bunks. Aren't they so pretty!?!
Could one of these children be yours? Head on over to see the children Andrea is advocating for from Latvia and the Ukraine. These kids have just spent time in the US through a hosting program so there are opportunities to talk to their host families (and in some cases even meet the kids!) before making your decision to move forward.
In case you are wondering why I haven't called you back in the past few weeks, it's b/c my phone battery can't hold a charge (even when plugged in). Hopefully, that will get fixed over the weekend, but no guarantees b/c...
we have the flu...and it sucks!
Well, to put it more accurately I have the flu...since Monday. I thought it was a head cold with a random fever, but a trip to the Dr. yesterday when my fever was still fluctuating between 99 and 102 after taking max doses of advil and he said he thinks it's the flu.
B seems to be healthy, I've tried not to hug/kiss/snuggle him but our apartment is pretty small so it's not like he's been in a bubble.
Ababa has taken great care of me, but today he woke up on the wrong side of bed, totally surly which is not like him at all. He has been a grump all day and Mr. "I never take naps" has been napping for the past 3 hours, so I think he might be next (but am praying that he's just tired).
Oh yeah, we're dog sitting for a friend and we have a car and live in Manhattan so whomever is healthy has to take care of two dogs, moving the car 1 everyday to avoid street cleaning, B, and the sick spouse. Ugh!!! I am finally getting better, but am so not ready for that.
This has hit me like a truck. It has been several years since I was this sick. The good news is, I think I lost all the holiday weight, bad news, I now have a weeks worth of work to catch-up on (in addition to everything that piled up while I was on vacation for 2 weeks).
So, once my phone is fixed and I can talk for more than a few minutes without getting tired (this post took a while to write!) I promise, I'll call you back. In the meantime, even more so than usual, email might be your best bet.
ETA: ...and it just got better...B had a "kaka accident" that he tried to wipe up, resulting in him clogging the toilet, me throwing away a pair of his pants and socks, a pre-dinner bath, and a disinfecting of the whole bathroom.
So, I think that today is Wednesday:-) We are on vacation at my inlaws and the days are blending together in a major way. After nearly 2 weeks of a constant diet of shrimp po boys, pickled okra, pecan pralines, king cake, smothered cabbage, red beans and rice, onion rings, crawfish etouffee, and salted kale chips (my attempt at adding a little more nutritional value and fiber:-) Our clothes are a little tight but we are finally starting to feel relaxed and are not quite sure how we feel about returning to NYC this weekend. It takes about 2 weeks to start to detox from the insanity of our life in the city right now and when we start to think about how much we are doing it can really start to feel overwhelming. 2013 is the final push for my MBA and the more challenging hump for Ababa's post-bac program, so we are enjoying the last few days of vacation and then will be back in the trenches.
But, enough about us, it's my favorite day of the week...WAITING CHILD WEDNESDAY.
On Wednesdays we are raising awareness re children who need families.
Please advocate for (and consider adopting) these children. I am not
endorsing any of these agencies or these children's cases. Please do
your own due diligence in that regard.