Sorting Photosby Angie

12 Sep 2008
11:09 am

Since we learned that one of the adoption application requirements is to make a photo collage, I have procrastinated, whined, and avoided to the fullest extremity. I finally decided  two days ago that it was time to jump in and start. “Starting” happens to include actually finding pictures of us to use in the scrapbook, so yesterday I began to collect, consolidate, and sort every single picture we have on the four hard drives in this house. I spent eight hours solid staring at a computer screen… clicking, dragging, typing, comparing, renaming, deleting, etc. etc. etc. I ended up with a headache that has persisted through the night, but have brought our photo usage space down from 14 gig to about 10!  I’ve also found lots of great pictures to use, as well as several videos that I had forgotten we ever made (lots of those are on facebook now).  I’ve included some of my favorite photos here for your enjoyment (click on each pic to see the full version).  Sorry they’re pretty random, and that I haven’t successfully figured out how to do captions!

Adoptive Couple Interviewby Angie

15 Aug 2008
1:08 pm

Today was the next step in our adoption process:  Jean came to our home and had an interview with both of us together.  We also gave her a tour of our condo and introduced her to Jaquie.  We did a preliminary safety checklist, and she talked about what sorts of things we need to take care of now, versus what we need to be prepared to do around the time of placement (i.e., buying a second fire extinguisher versus installing a baby gate on the stairs).  We’ll be meeting with her again sometime in October.

We have Jim’s interview and some paperwork left to do, and also the project that is most nerve-wracking of all (to me): our photo collage.  We need to put together several scrapbook-ish pages of pictures with fun captions and stuff.  Unfortunately, neither of us are very concientious photographers, so we have very few from the last five years.  If any of you happen to have pictures with us in them and would be willing to mail/email us a copy, we’d really appreciate it!

Stressful Testsby Angie

9 Jul 2008
7:07 pm

Well, folks, it’s mostly good news today.  I braved commuter traffic to reach Stanford at 9am for an echo, a stress test, and a clinic appointment with Dr. Murphy.  The echo went fine.  My function is down a little – 35% – so they’re going to keep an eye on that, but everything else looked normal.  The stress test was definitely successful in stressing me out.  One of the nurses commented afterwards that my heart rate only got up to 118, so I was feeling a little dejected – like I’d failed or something.  When I met with Dr. Murphy, though, they brought in the results for him to look over, and he commented, “Well, I’m glad to see you’re not a faker.”  I asked him how he could tell, and he said there are numbers in the results that can indicate pretty decisively whether a patient was really pushing themselves to their limit.  He said I probably went “beyond the limit, in fact.”  So I felt validated.

We talked about the results from my second CT Scan:  The swollen patches are still there, unchanged.  He intends to re-present the case to his collegues, but they’re probably just going to check them again in six months.  The clotting they noticed in my artificial conduit last time is gone.  That’s my favorite news, because it grants me a six month reprive from the Coumadin issue.  Then we talked about adoption.  He is hesitant to sign my physician form.  He said he’d like to read through the paperwork and think it over.  I presume he’ll let me know when he’s made a decision.

First Adoption Interviewby Angie

3 Jul 2008
12:07 pm

I drove up to Concord yesterday to have my personal interview with Jean – our LDS Family Services case worker.  She is so spunky and darling.  I love her already.  Anyway, it was really fun.  I was a little nervous going in, because I didn’t really know what she was going to ask or talk about, but we pretty much just chatted about life and families and the adoption process in general.  We talked about the many steps ahead of us, and also about what we can start doing already to, as Jean put it, “find our birth mother.”

It was very encouraging and we’re excited to be moving forward!  I meet with Dr. Murphy next week and, hopefully, will get his approval on things.  After that, our next step is our home study and couple interview in August.  We appreciate everyone’s prayers and support, and will keep you all posted!

Adoption Orientation Meetingby Angie

9 May 2008
10:05 pm

We drove up to Concord this morning to attend our first adoption orientation meeting! They gave us an overview of the whole process and we had the chance to meet a couple who have adopted twice through LDS Family Services, as well as amazing young woman who placed her daughter for adoption earlier this year. Hearing their stories was pretty powerful. The birth mother shared some of her journal entries from various points in the placement process: she is an amazing writer and expressed herself beautifully.

The initial application process generally takes a few months; I have several medical appointments scheduled between now and the end of July, so it will take us at least until the end of summer.  Actual placement can take anywhere from months to years. In the mean-time, there are lots of forms and questionnaires to fill out, background checks and home studies to complete, and even first aid and CPR courses to take. What an experience this is going to be!

Meeting my new Cardiologist…maybeby Angie

15 Nov 2007
10:11 pm

Well, today was wild. Jim left work at noon and picked me up so we could drive out to Palo Alto for my first appointment with my new Cardiologist, Dr. Anne Dubin. They asked me to be there at 1:00, but what with registration and long lines in the clinic, we didn’t actually see anyone until about 2:00. They took me back and did an Echo. The first sonographer told me that I was considerably easier to study than the two-year-olds she was usually chasing around the room. Unfortunately, my grown-up body doesn’t image as well as a two-year-old’s, either, so the Echo took a very long time and two sonographers before they got all the images they wanted.

After another brief stint in the waiting room, we finally got to meet Dr. Dubin. She is really very nice and friendly – I was not at all surprised that she and Dr. Etheridge are friends, because they are very much alike in personality. However, we had a talk with Dr. Dubin and she told us that, while she is perfectly willing to take me on as a patient, she actually thinks I will be better served going to a fairly new Adult Congestive heart clinic over in the regular Stanford hospital.

This was a bit…well…discouraging. I’ve already spent hours on the phone talking to different people to get cleared with our insurance to see Dr. Dubin at LP Children’s Hospital. I know the Stanford hospital won’t be in our approved medical network, and the thought of starting the whole appeal process over again for new doctors in a new clinic is a little overwhelming. Well, I’ll worry about that later.

Anyway, the good news is that I am otherwise fine – ok Echo, perfect EKG, nothing too weird in the pacer check, and fairly decent lab results. My recovery is progressing as expected. The bad news, especially for those of you who are hoping to hear adoption updates, is that Dr. Dubin has designated next summer (at least a year out from my surgery) as the soonest we should consider anything as demanding as adopting children.

SO, the results from today are 1. More phone calls, and 2. More waiting.