Friday, August 29, 2008

Why's it so cold out here?

If this doesn't make you cry, you are dead inside.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Poor Pierre. He struggled at the horrible breeder's house, where he never even learned to stand, he struggles at our house as he can't be with his lover at all times, he struggles at the vet where he is today, getting a fractured lower mandible repaired. He's just a tiny, fluffy blue ball of woe.

Fritz and Pierre love each other, passionately. However, they fight terribly when in the same cage, so they each have their own apartments. But, as we are terribly permissive parents (enablers), we let them sleep together. If they aren't separated before they fully awake, though, they fight. They must have had quite a throw down on Saturday morning, left together longer than usual while we lazily slept in. Fritz had a bite on his eyelid, but Pierre seemed fine. However, yesterday morning, I noticed that he hadn't eaten many pellets, and he seemed far meeker than usual. I took him off his perch and saw that the lower right portion of his beak had been completely broken in two unevenly sized halves and that blood had filled his mouth. I threw on my clothes and ran him to our vet, only to see that they were closed on Monday. I ran him to the emergency vet, where they charged me $255 to give him fluids and a pain killer, and then told me to go back to my vet today. I took him home, made a little incubator for him, fed him warm, mushy food and watched him try to understand why he couldn't use his beak properly. It was tragic to watch him attempt to preen but stop in confusion, and then shake his head, as if to try and dislodge whatever was bothering his bite.

He's back at the proper vet now, where they are wiring the two separate beak pieces back together. He could grow it out, he could lose the piece altogether, we just don't know. We simply cannot allow the little birds to be together anymore.

Wow, this is surprisingly like parenthood.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How old am I?

When I was about 20, a doctor told me that I had the health problems of an 80 year old. When I was 29, I had an appointment with the surgeon who removed the ute, and he said that I had the worst hemorrhoids he'd ever seen in someone my age. When I went to the doctor today to have my physical for the adoption home study, it was discovered, during the manual exam, that I apparently now have a stricture of the poop chute variety. I'm hoping that, by getting all of these absurd problems out of the way now, I'll be perfectly healthy as a 90 year old.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


We were accepted into our agency of choice, so bring on the babies! Well, one baby. Bring him or her on! Not that we have a gender preference, so bring on the baby of either gender! And race! We don't care! Baby, baby, baby!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Responding in Kind

Ah, the internet.  The home of more inaccurate and spurious opinions and badly-stated personal manifestos than any twelve survivalist compounds could read in many lifetimes.  And now, I've found a whole webring of sites I wished had never burned holes in my retinas.  I knew that, when starting the adoption process, we would be forced to listen to opinions on co-sleeping and international vs. domestic adoptions as well as be an unwitting audience to horror stories of adoptions gone wrong.  What I didn't expect, but should have, was the huge number of websites dedicated to the desire to abolish adoption, and that any search for information regarding adoption would lead me to these innocuously named sites.  

These pages forward the opinions that every pregnant woman should parent, that adoptive parents are thieves, that agencies are human traffickers, that all adoptive children end up abused and suicidal and that these same children will never lead full and successful lives until they are reunited with their "real" parents.  And, I'm reading this all while starting to write our introductory letter to potential birth parents.  

I admit that I did write the webmaster/founder of one such website.  She did not quote one documentable source, one article or book published in the last fifty years, one traceable researcher or research project or any opinion that wasn't proffered by a frequent visitor of the website, to substantiate her raison d'etre.  Her primary sources seem to be those who found her site by searching for the best way to treat young, pregnant, frightened women like their choices are not their own, that because one woman was victimized by whatever unscrupulous individuals coerced her to surrender her child, all women who choose an adoptive family for their child are victimized.  

It's no wonder girls are confused.  They are being told that the sex is wicked and evil but that they should never think of or use contraception as it's going against God's will.  However, if they do get pregnant, their choices are limited to none, not even the choice to decide that their child might just have a better future with a family who not only wants that child, but can provide for and love him or her.

So, how do we know that the birthmother who chooses us is doing so with proper counseling and forethought?  How do we know that both of the birthparents are mature enough to make a decision like this?  I know that this is why we use an agency, why counseling is mandatory for any birth mother through that agency.  It's also why open adoption plans are vital, which I understand now, so the birth mother can continue to have contact with her child, if she wishes it, and know her child is loved and healthy and successful.  It will also enable parents to ensure that their child doesn't feel as though they are separated from their past.  I sincerely hope we are up to this, and that we and our child can make the relationship with the birthmother work, so we can all be the best family possible.  

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Funnest Parents

When did having fun become the raison d'etre for eschewing common sense, safety and responsibility? Have Americans always been such hedonistic assholes? Why am I suddenly sounding like a parent? I'll tell you why: today I attended a presentation on ATV injuries in children, and my response to that presentation is, "holy shit."

What kind of imbecile would reassure their intubated child, struggling on life support in the ICU, that he shouldn't worry, they'll replace his Artic Cat when he gets out of the hospital? And why do even journalists covering events such as this still, after visiting our Center to learn about the risks of ATV use by children and the need for helmet use if one persists in being foolish enough to allow their children to ride, still color their stories with their own personal beliefs that helmets impede the fun? Why does any parent put their own unfulfilled youthful dreams before their own child's well-being? Just because your parents didn't allow you to ride in the abandoned quarry on Toothless Joe's four-wheeler didn't mean that you should allow YOUR children to do so, and merely because ATV parks with jumps and water hazards exist, that is no reason to frequent them. Contrary to a widely-held belief, one does not have a child so one can relieve ones childhood, this time getting to do everything one didn't get to do the first time.

I know that parents have an extremely difficult task in determining what amount of risk-taking behavior is acceptible, and that a certain element of danger can prepare a child for facing real trials later in life. However, this does not mean that activities that are categorically hazardous and almost guaranteed to cause bodily harm should be encouraged merely because allowing them will make one "cool".

And right now I'm realizing that I'm making a mental list of non-allowable activities for our own child that will make me the most reviled parent around. But at least my kid will live to twelve.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The New National Champion

Congratulations, Christian! You're the new Master's Track and Field Shot Put Champion for your age group! Even though you were the only one in said age group, I'll only mock you a little. You wear that medal with a sense of accomplishment.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Nothing Like Expected

Our house has never been this clean, nor will it will ever be this clean again.  For the past week, all we've done is scrub and dust and vacuum and organize and scrape, and our house is utterly gorgeous.  Was it necessary?  Nope.  Our social worker said that everyone cleans, but that's not what concerns them, and the kind of people who ask for a home study aren't usually the kind of people who need to worry terribly what others will think of their home.  While I knew that, really, there's no way I could have gone into the home study any other way.  

Nancy came over last night to start the process.  It only took two hours and was considerably easier than what I expected.  As we've already started our agency application, much of the information she needed was already completed in our profile, and she only needed to ask us questions not covered or ones we hadn't answered yet.  We now must each write a comprehensive autobiography, detailing everything from our childhood impressions of our rearing to our employment history and how we feel about our own roles as parents.  All of this information will then be compiled, along with medical histories and our letters of recommendation, into one profile to be submitted to each state and our agency.  While our personal histories will only comprise about 3/4 of a page, we are free to expound upon our personal virtues and failings as much as we like, to be condensed by Nancy.  I actually feel a little guilty about how much I'll inevitably write.  I mean, what if I leave something out that I find terribly important and that the birth parents will latch onto as the reason for choosing us?  As Nancy said, we have to view the massive volumes of information we provide as it will be viewed by a young woman and, possibly, her mother, grandmother, aunts, siblings, cousins, brothers-in-law, everyone, so we'd better make ourselves as vibrant and transfixing as possible. While I have endless faith in Christian's boundless virtues, I will incessantly worry about my own.
So, it's a damn good thing our house is clean.