Saturday, May 23, 2009


I feel honored to have been invited to help represent the 65 waiting families at a meeting with the Kyrgyz Delegation on Friday, May 29, in Washington D.C. The meeting is planned for 11-12:30 EST and is being hosted by Department of State. In attendance will be representatives from 6 families with ties to Kyrgyzstan adoption, members of JCICS and the Kyrgyz Delegation. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute has also secured a meeting with Members of Congress which is scheduled to occur at 2:00 p.m. EST. We are hopeful that these meetings will put a personal spin on our plea and arm the delegation with resources and information to take back to Kyrgyzstan to present to key decision makers.

Please take a moment to read the Call to Action below issued by JCICS and consider taking time out of your busy schedules to make a phone call or two on Tuesday. I'm sure each and every one of our waiting children would be grateful for your support.

CALL TO ACTION: Kyrgyzstan

Dear Friends and Families,

As noted in Joint Council's President & CEO's communication yesterday Joint Council has worked closely with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) to secure a 15 minute meeting with Congressional Staffers and the six families traveling to Washington D.C. to represent the group. The meeting and will occur just before the Kyrgyz delegation meets with Congressional staffers. In order to ensure that as many Congressional Offices are in attendance at the two meetings Joint Council is initiating a Call to Action requesting the 65 families contact their Senators and Congressmen. Joint Council requests that all families contact their U.S. Senators and Congress persons on Tuesday, May 26th. The purpose of your call is to request they attend the meetings on Friday, May 29th. Please note that Friday, May 29th is during a Congressional Recess.

On Tuesday, May 26th we request that you do the following:

1) Call both of your U.S. Senators and your representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives:

You can find your Senators' phone numbers and email address at

You can find your Representatives' phone numbers and email address at

2) Include the following in your calls and emails:

"As constituents, I/we urge the Senator/Congressperson to attend the meeting with Kyrgyz officials hosted by Senator Landrieu and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute on Friday, May 29th."

If they have not heard about the meeting, ask them to contact the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute at (202) 544-8500 or Joint Council at (703) 535-8045.

3) Send an email to everyone you called:

The email is important, but the phone call should be placed first.

Additionally, feel free to forward this request to your friends and family, asking them to contact their Senators and Congress persons requesting they attend the meeting.

Thank you!

Rebecca Harris
Government Relations and Communications Manager

Friday, May 22, 2009


Five years ago today, I stood in front of God, my family, my friends and married my best friend. Today's post is dedicated to my husband, the love of my life.

I think it's pretty rare these days to find a truly healthy relationship. People don't believe me when I say we don't fight. Do we get on each other's nerves now and again, sure; do we disagree about things, sure; but one thing we do not do is yell, scream, or disrespect each other. We are different people living the same life and we strive to make it work. We have been through a lot in our 8 years together. We've had some incredibly happy, crazy times together and we've shared a lot of sorrow. We've been through two major moves, the loss of loved ones, 3 years of infertility treatment, 1 lightening fast international adoption and another stalled in process. We've dealt with a lot of financial difficulty as a result of all of the above. Any of those things could've resulted in us drifting apart, but instead, we have grown stronger as a couple.

Kevin is by far one of the most caring, compassionate men I've ever known. He is intelligent, loving, honest, hardworking and the BEST father E could ever ask for. He loves me unconditionally and reminds me every day that I am a beautiful person (despite my extra 40 pounds). He is supportive, kind and genuine.

So, today, my dear - Happy Anniversary! Thank you for always being there to support me. Thank you for loving me no matter what. Thank you for always treating me with respect. Thank you for being the most patient, loving and amazing father to E. I look forward to all the future will bring for us.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Really Hard Day

This is not a fluffy, happy post, so consider yourself warned.

Today I went shopping - alone. While I love my guy more than anything, I will admit when I have serious shopping to do, going it alone is a treat. My goal today was to find outfits for an upcoming wedding. I wear scrubs every day and cargo pants/T-shirts on the weekend. Esen is growing too fast and is too down and dirty to really have a "dress" wardrobe. Shopping for clothes is hard for me to begin with - I'm tall and not exactly svelte and I HATE to spend money on clothes. Scrounging through clearance racks of three stores I managed to put together a reasonable outfit for myself (for only $19 mind you-a savings of just over $60), so that was a small victory. Trying to find clothes for a rapidly growing, tall but very slim 3 yr old boy is tough, too. As I wandered through the infant/toddler sections I found it really hard to hold back the tears. There were racks upon racks of beautiful, cute little dresses that I should've been looking through for K. She was supposed to be home. She was supposed to come to this wedding with us, to this afternoon's birthday party with us, on vacation in August with us. She will not be with us. She continues to languish in an orphanage. She continues to grow older not knowing how it feels to be loved. She continues to change - physically - not receiving the medical care she desperately needs.

We had a conference call this week that brought more frustrating news. Adoptions will probably not be back on the agenda until after the elections in July. If anyone has followed the recent political turmoil I don't have to tell you what this means. For those who haven't, it means July will come and with it more excuses. If a new president is elected, who knows what the future will hold for our children. If the current president stays in office, there will likely be more political unrest halting the processing of our adoptions indefinitely.

We continue to be told that our cases WILL be processed, it's just a matter of WHEN. After all of the lies and excuses, I'm finding it pretty difficult to believe that statement to be true. Why would they lie about everything else, but be truthful about that.

Meanwhile, I go through the motions of each day. I get up, go to work, come home and do it all over again the next day. For the most part, I put on my happy face and hide my hurting heart. I don't know if I will ever bring K home, if I will ever hold her, fall in love with her, show her that she is important and valued. For the first time, I feel really hopeless. I have serious doubts that adoptions are going to continue in Kyrgyzstan this year. I don't know where this journey is taking us, but I do know that I will not give up on K until every last door is slammed shut. I know that we will trudge forward and deal with the daily disappointments. I know it is not over yet. But today, hard as it is for me to admit, I am weak and I am really, really sad.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

MY Day

So, people call it a Hallmark Holiday, but I will be the first to admit, I LOVE Mother's Day. It's a day when all the busy, sometimes under-appreciated mom's out there get a pat on the back for all they do. I know I grew up not telling my mom often enough how much I appreciated all she did for me. I know I gave her lots of gray hairs and many sleepless nights. I also know that without her I wouldn't be the woman or the mom I am today. So, to my mom - THANK YOU!

I feel so blessed today to be Mom to one of the coolest, most adorable little guys on the planet. In the business of day to day life when we're worrying about schedules and messes and bills (oh the many, many bills), we sometimes forget just how important people are in our lives. E is definitely by far the most important thing in my life and today I will hold him tighter.

I know today is a bittersweet day for many moms still waiting to bring their children home from Kyrgyzstan. It is for me, too. My heart hurts for K, but today, selfishly, it hurts for me, too. I want her home! To all of the waiting moms, my virtual friends, Happy Mother's Day! You are strong, loving women - moms already who are fighting for their children even though they are not physically with you yet. Hopefully this week brings good news for all of us!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oh Lord - my bestest Kyrgyz Adoptive Mama Blog Buddy, Michelle, has bestowed upon me the great honor "Queen of ALLL things Awe-summm". While I sure don't see myself as such, how can I possibly argue with a doctor, wife and mommy of four.

Now, I have to think of 7 things awesome about myself. Pretty daunting task for an average, working-class, Wisconsin girl, but I'll do my best.

1. I am mommy to the coolest, smartest, cutest, funniest kid in the world! Okay, maybe that makes him Awe-summm, but anyway.....

2. I am "street" smart. Yup - a warning to my children present and future: Whatever it is that's against the rules, DON'T do it and if you do, DON'T lie about it! I have been there, done it, lied about it and eventually got caught (for most of it anyway).

3. I am honest. Want to know something...anything...just ask, I will give it to you straight. Honesty can be pretty hard to come by in this world today and this is one quality I think DOES make me Awe-summm!

4. I'm determined. C'mon, tell me I can't do something - I dare ya'. Once I set my mind to something - it WILL happen.

5. I can multi-task like crazy! Whether it's work or home, I can always seem to get a million things done in half the time it would take someone else to do them.

6. I go to great lengths to preserve E's history. I keep all of his artwork, therapy reports, medical reports, special toys, party decorations, etc., labeled and packed away. I keep a scrapbook (although I'm many months behind on it) so that he has a record of his life. Perhaps one day he'll realize I'm just a big dork, but for now - it's pretty cool.

7. I know what is to love and be loved unconditionally - for that, my husband is the one who deserves to be crowned King of ALLL things Awe-summm!

I am supposed to tag seven fellow bloggers. I'm sure some have already been tagged because they are certainly all very deserving of this title. All are adoptive mamas - some current and some in process. All are intelligent, caring, hard-working women and 2 are fellow Wisconsinites.

Pamela; Kimberly; Ann; Jes; Cyndi; Janiece; Lisa