Monday, March 21, 2011


I have lots of little updates to share!

MARISSA:  We saw the general surgeon last week who agreed to do the VGB shunt placement as long as some pre-operative lab tests, a gall bladder ultrasound, and barium follow-through all proved normal.  Funny how we forget things, but Marissa had Cholestasis as a baby secondary to long-term TPN use which could've possibly left her with some gall bladder stones or other issues.  These tests will ensure that her gall bladder is as perfect an environment as possible for the shunt.  She has been.......irritable to say the least.  She does A LOT of random screaming, biting her hand, pulling her hair and throwing her head back.  While the last few days we've seen a slight improvement in her GI issues and attitude, she continues to be "off".  We'll see how the tests this week shake out, revisit the surgical plan next week and then make the final decision.  We know something needs to be done because she is just not herself and is simply not a happy girl.

ESEN:  His IEP is FINALLY in place.  Yes, it took five months (totally unacceptable in my opinion), but at least it's done.  There has already been an improvement in his behavior at school with some of the consistent routines implemented.  The therapists are seeing him regularly and hopefully we'll see some progress.  He is excited about his new brother and sister although still grieving the fact that Kamila is not yet home.  He continues to blow us away with his smarts!

KAMILA:  We received word last week that she is scheduled for her second stage surgery in April when the German craniofacial team travels again.  The US Government remains "engaged" (their words) although the speed with which they function is pretty unimpressive.  Our USCIS documents expire for the final time in May and with the expenses involved with our Ethiopian adoption, we will not be renewing until there is concrete evidence that travel to Kyrgyzstan is imminent.  We have spent over $30,000 on Kamila's adoption the past 3 years (oddly, the exact amount we need to raise to get B & H home).  IF the Kyrgyz Govt. ever allows adoptions to resume I firmly believe there will be another $10,000 or more involved in getting her home.  It's so sad to me that our childrens' lives come down to money.

B&H:  Good news and bad news.  The Ethiopian Government is taking steps to ensure transparent, ethical adoption processes.  This is good news overall.  The bad part is that it could result in delays to the process.  However, if it means safer and more ethical adoptions, then one cannot complain about it.  The really bad news is that the US media has taken this information and blown it so far out of proportion that the bad press could actually be MORE damaging to the process.  Good news - two families have recently travelled and we've been blessed by photos and video of the children!! They are SO beautiful!  Bad news - We thought both children were on ARVTs.  We found out that while B is on three ARVT medications, H is not on any.  It is good that she is maintaining her health, however, if she were here, she'd be on them to prevent her from becoming ill.  With resources limited in Ethiopia, she is simply not sick enough to qualify for ARVT medication.  Hopefully she will continue to do well until she can get home.

FUNDRAISING:  A HUGE thank you to the families who have contacted me and offered to do our 147 Million Orphans Fundraiser in your communities!  We are so grateful that there are people out there with huge hearts for orphans and adoption!  We're excited about this fundraiser because it not only benefits B & H, but the 147 Million Orphans Mission.  We would always love more support, so if you're interested, email us at

Fundraising for adoption is and always has been a very controversial subject.  Many feel it is totally unacceptable and that is definitely their perspective.  Many feel that if someone doesn't have the money upfront to adopt, they shouldn't adopt.  I could make the argument that if a person doesn't have $40,000 sitting in the bank ready to hand over to the hospital upon delivery of their baby they shouldn't get pregnant either, but that probably wouldn't be well received.  My great friend, Kim, recently wrote a reference letter for us for an Adoption Grant application and in it, she said:  "It takes special people to adopt special needs or medically complex children.   I think if they are willing to raise and love these children, the rest of the world community should help them however we can."    I was so touched by that statement.  It exemplifies how I feel about adoption and humanity in general and brings me back to the quote that started this all:  "If not us, then who?"  I keep thinking, hoping, praying, that there is someone out there somewhere who is perhaps extremely financially comfortable, who will be touched by our story and by our children and who will perhaps sponsor a portion of their adoption.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?  Until then, we will continue to work hard and pray hard!

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