Tuesday, March 28, 2006

About loss...and about found

As a select few of you out there know, I recently "lost" something of value. Well, valuable to me, anyway, but not to anyone else on this green earth! It's been ugly, but life goes on. Having lost that "thing" (and to be clear, that's just what it was. a THING. ), I have been thinking about something else I have also recently lost: my best friend. Something more of you know is that last April, my very best friend and I had a "fight", and parted ways. I do feel as though I've worked to correct this, I'd forgiven, and even forgotten a little, but well, she hasn't returned any of my phone calls over the past few months...so I assume it's over. Maybe it's been hard on her too, but it's been aweful for me. And even though I've not spoken to her for months, my first instinct was to call her yesterday to tell her this embarassingly aweful thing I had done by losing my manuscript (yes, the one I've been writing day and night. I "mis-placed" it...and CAN NOT FIND IT to save my LIFE. The worst was telling my major advisor "uh, yeah, so that manuscript you worked on all weeekend to correct, well, I sort of lost it...") anyway, I digress.

So, moving back to my point, I lost my friendship with someone I loved dearly. However, in the last year, I've made more new friends (and even lost a few of those!) than I had in years. I even looked in new places to find people that I REALLY wanted to get to know, and have continued to be friends with them. I LOVE these new friends. (Interestingly, 3 of them have names that start with B!!) And they are not my "usual" kind of people.
(I generally run with a more rough crowd. Nice? We hate nice.) Don't get me wrong, they are all VERY wonderful, which great big hearts. These ladies are all just SO damn nice. And just genuinly GOOD people. And I truely feel special to have them in my life. I guess by losing my best friend, it allowed me to reach out to (or accept) others, which I had not been doing for whatever reason before I lost Beth. Now, I have (found!!) these lovely NEW friends in my life. I am so tired of loss. I need to focus on the found. So, thanks. THANKS TONS for letting me find you, and not giving up on me. You are all wonderful people. (Now, if only one of you could find my manuscript... LOL.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ode ta Phil

So, one of my very best friends lives with us. Here, in our tiny house. And no, I don't mean Eden, my adorable fuzzy pooch (although Phil is fuzzy too). I mean Phil. I don't mention him much 'cause I'm trying to protect his privacy, but he was complaining the other day how I never post about him. So here is a post TOALLY dedicated to Phil. That's why I'm calling the post "Ode ta Phil". So, here are some facts you may not care about, or just don't know about Phil: (remember Phil, YOU ASKED FOR IT)

1. He is almost ALWAYS grumpy when he gets out of bed. It always makes me smile.
2. He hates cats, but I have a photo of him with Liza (our torti cat) sleeping on his chest.
3. I've known him since I was a freshman in high school.
4. I would like to erase from his memory the first day he saw me (Boy, was my hair big).
5. He used to live in Californina, and then more recently in Las Vegas.
6. He STILL has Nevada tags on his car.
7. I think he secretly loves to show off his tummy to company.
8. Our first date (in HS!!) had to include a 4 year old I was baby-sitting.
9. Our first date did not go well. Daniel "redecorated" Phil's new truck in a bad way.
10. He's REALLY smart, but likes to play dumb.
11. He talks about guns, but is secretly a hippy.
12. He is a MAJOR WVU fan.
13. He has an invisable fish.
14. He works at Elaine's in Chapel Hill as a cook, and really enjoys his job.
15. He can always be counted on to make us laugh.
16. He can not WAIT to be Baby Magic's uncle Phil.
17. He does a mean T-Rex impression. (ask him!)
18. His bedroom is pink and green.
19. He LOVES to play video games.
20. He is one of the few people in my life I can truely count on.

So, THERE. a post, all about Phil.

Something to think about

For those of you here because you are interested in our adoption or adoption in general, here's an article from The NY Times you may be interested in. It is called "Adopted in China, Seeking Identity in America". I think it's obvious what it is about, although it deals with older children, not toddlers. (It's from March 23rd, 2006 and written by Lynette Clemetson)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

And the FINAL medical bill rolled in today

So, the one we've been waiting for FINALLY showed up in our postbox today. THE bill. The biggie. That one where you go "was my husband's heart REALLY worth it?" (I'm totally kidding. They could have charged me at LEAST a few hundred more before I'd change me mind...hey, joking. Still joking here!!).

The good news first, we do have health insurance. Tod is getting better. He and I are healthy, happy, and our lights now work.

The bad news: The total hospital bill? JUST the hospital bill (not including all the doctors'
appointments, and tests done BEFORE the 25th when he was admitted, and SINCE he got out): the GRAND TOTAL for Tod's open heart surgery? (It's ugly. DON'T LOOK...)

Ok, you asked for it: $ 75, 466.55

It's not that bad you say? Well, sure, if it was a HOUSE we were buying...or say, this car:

Ok, ok. Perhaps this is in poor taste, but it isn't saying I'd value a really really nice, sexy convertable Mercedes Benz SL-Class SL 500 over my dear husband...Really. It makes me wonder about the state of our Health Care System in the US. Tod and I were lucky on many many levels. We had the money (well, ok, no we didn't, but we had a house we could borrow against). We had help (some help from some very good people). We had a lot of emotional support, and I didn't even have to take a leave of absence from work, so I got paid while I stayed at the hospital or at home to take care of Tod. It makes me wonder: What if we didn't? What if we were one of the thousands of working poor out there with NO health insurance? Thank you G.W. for NOT working harder to give us a national health care program, but allowing drug companies to grease your palm with ill-gotten gains...Oh, and for NOT allowing drugs to be made AFFORDABLE for those that need it most (the elderly, the uninsured, etc.)...

Ok, I'll get off my soap box. The number wasn't so bad, really. But why we are asked to pay 11 dollars for a single asprin while in the hospital (We bought I think 1000 tablets of asprin when we got home, for less than 11 dollars...). What is WRONG with this picture??!! Oh, sorry, I was getting OFF my soap box...
Done. I'm off.

But tell me, why is it we don't have a national health care system like the UK or Canada???? I thank my lucky stars we had insurance. I really feel for those out there who do not. (BTW - there's a really good book that relates to this topic and I suggest it to anyone who has an interest in this. It's called
"Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America". And if you want to read more, you can go here. Now, GO!

The joys of owning an "older" home...

Which could also be entitled: An ugly house, with crappy wiring. So, I've been attempting to keep up with this blog at least a few times a week. I've been late these past few weeks for a number of reasons, first of which I'm writting a dissertation. It takes EVERYTHING out of me and at the end of the evening, I can't STAND to look at the computer. Secondly, lately, we've been having "electrical" problems. Our lights flicker. Our computer shuts down (at random intervals), and gets grumpy when it has to start back up, only to go back out again 15 minutes later.... So, as you can imagine, it makes it difficult to blog. (And as an aside, yes, we have someone coming today to look at it.)

I spent an hour the other night working on updates, and such, only to lose almost EVERYTHING just when I was finishing up...So, I will say this, Tod DID have his doctor's appointment, and keeping it short and sweet, there's been little change, other than his pulse rate is VERY elevated, and he's been put on yet ANOTHER costly drug (in ADDITION to the others). However, they haven't mentioned the P-word again lately, so that's good (pacemaker, for those of you who don't know what I mean).

Basically, he's doing well. He worked for 5 hours at the Depot the other day, and came home to sleep for 5 hours as soon as he got home, but hey, he went, and there will be some money in it for us! I think he's going back this weekend for a few hours as well. He feels fine, but his stamina is still very low, as you can imagine.

As for the adoption stuff, our Home Study is officially done and accepted by our placement agency, and we are simply waiting (a word you will see A LOT in the next few months!!!) for the last of the paperwork to come in before we can finish certifying, and authenticating the documents. I hope everything is still on target for a DTC 'round about June 1st. Maybe even the last part of May...fingers crossed.

Me, well, I am scheduled to start my new job in the next few weeks...I haven't talked about it yet b/c I am afraid something is going to happen to it. The lawyers haven't finished the bloody paperwork yet, so there isn't an official job yet. Or an official start date...or a paycheck, come to think of it. But they want me working none the less. Go figure.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

And now for something TOTALLY random

This is so UBER lame, but hey, it's my blog, so I can do it if I want...(I swear, I'm avoiding my disserationa and THIS IS WHAT YOU GET!!!).

You Are 32% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blog decorations

Ok, I have a friend who always puts lovely pictures on her blog, and it got me thinking...I have only posted one picture, and it was icky. So, I was trying to deside what picture to post, just to add some decoration to my little blog page. So, here's what I came up with. This is Tod, recovering with lots of fuzzy support (Liza - cat, and Eden - my beloved pooch). You can tell, life is hard on our pets...

Viola, I have a picture up!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Adoption Update

I thought that since I haven't had much to post here about Tod's operation (now that he's doing so well!!), I'd maybe go back and fill some of you in on where we stand with the adoption. I'll give only a little bit of background(in case some of you care, b/c some of you might not know much about the process. Basically, we've only waited this long to get the ball rolling b/c to adopt from China you must be 30 years old. We were able to begin the process in December b/c the paperwork tends to take about 6 months to get together, and the paperwork all together (called a dossier "dos-ee-ay") can not go to China before BOTH partners turn 30.

We have been gathering documents since December, we finished our homestudy JUST before Tod's surgery, and now we have ALL our documents (which include our birth cert's, marriage cert, financial statement, employment letters, etc.) FIRST notarized, the we send them ALL off to be certified (at the state level), THEN we send them all to be authenticated (at the national level). We've been sort of doing it piece-meal, so we've got everything at different stages, but basically we're JUST ABOUT ready to send everything to be authenticated. After that, we have to have our fingerprints taken (for the second time) in Charlotte. Once that is done, we sit back and wait for a document called the I-171. (Somewhere in here, our agency has all of our notarized, certified, and authenticated documents translated). This is the final step before DTC (sending the Dossier To China), and is the US Government's way of telling us we are cleared to bring back an orphan from China. Lastly, I celebrate my 30th birthday by sending our completed dossier to a far away land.

We sit back, and wait to hear from China as to what our LID is (Log In Date). That's the official day our WAIT for referral starts. The current wait tiem is about 8 months. It's been as low as 6 months recently, and I am hopeful the wait time will not be 8 months by the time we are DTC. After LID, we will get frequent updates (well, once the 6 month period has passed!) about what we're looking at for referral. Now, a referral is when the CCAA (the Chinese Governmental Agency that matches us with a baby) chooses a baby for the Seth Carley family. We'll get a phone call that will tell us her name, and some sketchy info on her history, where her orphanage (Social Welfare Institute) is, and then they'll send us a picture of her. This will likely be around Christmas of this year. Possibly January. No one knows, and I keep making everyone here crazy by trying to guess when Baby Magic (AKA Baby Seth Carley) will be born. Every day I say "She could be born today!". Tod and Phil just groan, but hey, it keeps me going.

Anyway, this is the longest "brief" explaination in my blog history, but now if you are still reading, you must REALLY care!

If you are interested in Tod's current status, I can give it to you here briefly (HONEST): Doing well. Looking forward to going back to work. Doctor's appointment soon to address the arrhythmia. Still has a big head. (hee hee).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Starting to slow down, FINALLY

Hey, y'all. I haven't posted for awhile. We've been over-run (in a good way...mostly) with guests. We've been going non-stop with people, and I've been UBER busy with trying to finish my dissertation so that I can take on my NEW JOB!!!!!! That's right, I may actually become gainfully employed soon. "They" want me to start about April 1st, but I think that there's no way I'm going to be ready to start then. I really need to get said dissertation done before moving on to my next job (you know, the one that actually PAYS me to work!).

Tod's doing well, but still tired of being "not 100%". Last night we escaped to a lovely little B&B to relax for the evening, and we had a really nice time. We spent less time than I though out and about in the little town it was in, but that's b/c Tod was pretty beat. His energy is still pretty low, and a nice relaxing bed (with a cable TV), oh and chocolate covered strawberries, went along way to help him feel better (at least emotionally).

Anyway, that's that. He'd still love to ehar from any of you who haven't written, or are writting sparingly. Tod's email is: TodCarley@gmail.com, so write him any ol' time with good wishes and such. That'll give him somehthing to do that doesn't take too much energy. ;->

Last thing - Tod ahs a doctors appointment next week to meet with the cardiologist. We'll let y'all know how it goes!