Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adoption update

I figured it was time for me to tell you how little I know! Just kidding. We are still waiting for anything real or meaningful, but we do have a bit of information.

According to our agency, according to the Bulgarian agency, the Bulgarian courts ARE back in session. Well, that's a step in the right direction. We have not yet been scheduled on the docket. Boo. However, our Article 5 letter is complete and the file has been sent to the courts.

They hope that we will have a court date by next Monday. Not that we will have been to court, but that they will have scheduled us for some other date in the future. Sigh.

So much for expedited cases.

At any rate, there's a good likelihood that we will have to wait one month following the court date until we can actually go and get her. Our "end of August" goal has slid, and now it looks like Halloween may be a wash, too. Come on, Thanksgiving!! Of nothing else, I want her home by December. She needs to be with us or her birthday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Confessions of a Cloth Diapering Mama

I have a big confession to make. It's about cloth diapering. All those Flip diapers and covers that we bought  for Baby Girl before and after she was born. The big diaper pail and the Penguin wet bags. The Imse Vimse cloth wipes and the cute carrying case my friend made from a disposable wipes container. The Jack's Magic ointment and the Allen's Naturally detergent. All of it... is out of use. For the past month and half we haven't been using any of it. Baby Girl has been wearing Huggies. I wrap the dirties in a plastic bag (either a leftover bag from the grocery store or one of those awesome scented bags I get at Target) and toss it in the trash can. I have fallen off the cloth diapering wagon.

Why? Two reasons. First, convenience and second, diaper rash.

Convenience. Ahhhhh convenience. Trust me, this wasn't just a matter of waking up one morning and saying "Dude, I hate laundry. I'm going to the grocery store. This experiment is oh-vah!" It was a sort of series of small cracks that brought down the dam. First she had a terrible diaper rash (more on that later) and I had to put her in disposables while it healed. It was so much easier, but I was sticking to my guns, so when her butt was better, it was back in cloth. Then another diaper rash, another small package of disposables, another period of feeling spoiled by not having that extra load of laundry every three days. Still, it was short lived. Repeat a couple more times. Then, seven weeks ago, we had some unexpected house guests who came to stay with us. A lot of them. We suddenly had a family of five in our basement (I wish that were an exaggeration, but it's not) and with all of the extra work and running around of suddenly becoming a party of nine, there was no way I could keep up. Baby Girl got a diaper rash just before all of this started and was back in the disposables as a result, and because of the sudden avalanche of busy-ness she just stayed in them. They moved out last week and I'm still not back to cloth because we're back in the magic window for our adoption. When our new daughter comes home, it will be another crazy and wild time. Do I want to put the extra effort of cloth diapering on top of that? No, I'm sorry to say, but I don't.

Then there's the diaper rash. I know the claims of cloth diapering, and to a degree they are totally valid. One of the greatly touted benefits of cloth is that your child will have less diaper rash because they will spend less time sitting in a wet diaper. That's true. Totally true. But, unfortunately, in our experience when a baby in cloth diaper does get that rare rash, it's a DOOZY. Baby Girl had maybe four cases of diaper rash in her almost-year-and-a-half of cloth diapers, but each one lasted over a week and was near impossible to get rid of without switching to disposables to allow her skin to heal. I know a lot of people will smugly say "Well, you must not clean your diapers properly. It's your fault." But they can, frankly, shove it. I cleaned them meticulously. I used only Allen's Naturally - and a very tiny amount of that. I rinsed them fanatically, sometimes six or seven rinses to get the water totally clear (our washer is old and inefficient). I dried them on the line when I could and the rest of the time I was certain that they didn't get any sort of dryer sheet or anything thrown in. I stripped them with boiling water from time to time, just to be certain. I took damned good care of those diapers. After her third run-in with the incurable diaper rash, I started periodically bleaching the little suckers to be sure. I used ONLY cloth diapering butt ointment, and I even put a flushable, biodegradable diaper liner between the ointment and the cloth, just to be sure.

Someone else might say "Well, how long were you letting her sit in the wet diapers?" Again, shove it. I change my daughter as soon as I realize she is wet, and in cloth it shows up right away. I wasn't leaving her for hours sitting in a dirty diaper, like some deadbeat parent. And the fact that I wear my baby, carry my baby, and generally hold my baby all day means I find out she's wet pretty darned quick.  For some reason, when my daughter gets a diaper rash it gets out of hand very quickly in cloth. She actually has a scar on her butt from the last rash she got wearing cloth. I am not kidding or exaggerating on that one. Every time she has gotten a diaper rash while in the cloth, it refused to go away until I switched her to disposables and A&D ointment.  Since she's been in the disposable the last month and a half, she's gotten two diaper rashes. Each one went away in a day, pretty much within one application of the ointment.

Logically, this seems to make no sense on the surface. She almost certainly sits longer in the wet diapers now than before because 1- it's harder to tell when they are wet in disposables and 2- she's walking now so I'm not always holding her. Plus it's disposables, loaded with chemicals and such. But I think the difference is in two places. One, the ointment. A&D is some heavy duty stuff. Jack's Magic is great, but it's just not the same thick barrier loaded with zinc. Second, and this is counterintuitive, I think the fact that each disposable diaper is brand spanking new makes a difference. As meticulously as I cleaned my cloth diapers, it would seem that they were still able to retain some bacteria or yeast or something that caused a huge infection as soon as the skin degraded even slightly. Perhaps it's the fact that I was using the microfiber inserts - maybe microfiber is harder to get thoroughly clean. Perhaps all those crazy wonky fibers trap bacteria in a way that straight cotton doesn't. All I know is that those bugger should have been CLEAN. Like, sparkling and spotless. I should have been able to bring them into a clean room and use them to buff solar panels on a satellite. But somehow, as clean as they "should" have been, they were still hanging onto something that made my poor daughter's butt into one giant festering sore.

Is the cloth experiment totally over? No, I don't think so. I think that, when she's ready to potty train, they'll come back out. I'd rather potty train her in cloth than put her in some franken-diaper that has "cooling" chemicals added to it. But for now I think she, and her new sister, will be in disposables. I hate to say it, but the cloth experiment doesn't seem to be truly working for us. Unfortunately, it took a scar on my poor daughter's @$$ to figure it out. It's a shame, too, because now she has nothing to hold up her pants. I miss the cloth badonkadonk.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The not-so-magic Bullet

We are back in the "window" again. After an unplanned wait (booo hiss) our adoption journey is about to start back up. The Bulgarian court vacation is ending sometime soon (if not already) and our case will, hopefully, be right at the front of the line. There's a good chance that our case could go to court this week. 

So what does that mean? Hard to tell. I don't know for sure what day the courts start back up, where we are on the docket, etc. I also don't know how long it will be after the big court date that we go to bring our daughter home. But here's what I do know - I am going to become insufferable again. :)

I can guarantee you that, until we get the call, I will be obsessed. I'll check my email about 400 times a day. I'll freak out every time my phone rings. I'll freak out double if the area code is from another state. I'll be eager and anxious until about 11:30 every day, then I'll chill out and be a bit down that today was not "the big day." I'll Google. A lot. All sorts of things about Bulgaria. I'll want to talk about my new daughter, and I'll cry from time to time in my frustration and impatience. 

Actually, Friday was sort of a weird day for me. See, when we went to meet our little girl, we got the call on a Friday. I was at my neighbor's yard sale when it happened. For about the week prior, I had been getting call after call from telemarketers... all with out-of-state numbers. So when the people form Omaha Steaks started harassing me last week and that same neighbor set up a yard sale for Friday, I have to admit my hopes went up. Unfortunately, Friday was not the big day and we are still waiting. sigh. 

Also, my obsessive Googling is not helping much. I found a blog that said the Bulgarian courts would re-open on the 15th, but couldn't confirm. Then I tried a bit of my own research and only confused myself more. For those who didn't know (everyone?), the courthouse in Sofia houses two court branches - the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) and the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). I have no idea who handles what, although it seems that the SAC acts kind of like our Supreme Court - reviewing lower court rulings and haggling over-arching policy and interpretation. So I think we'll be in the SCC docket. Bulgarian news outlets are reporting on cases that appear to have been before the court on the 15th... but I can't tell which court they fall under. One appears to be an SAC case, but I'm not sure. 

Of course, my attempts to get an update from the agency have been fruitless. Or at least, one week later I have nothing to show for them. sigh. I suppose the obsessing continues. I have a feeling that we won't get any sort of useful update until we get called to pick her up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spin Spin Sugar

Ten points if you can name the band who made the song in the title. :)

So I have found a new crafting hobby. As if I was running out of them or something, right? Our family went to the totally dawesome "What If?" festival in downtown C. Springs and there was a nice little booth for the 4H. I saw it immediately because they had two wonderful little sheep with them and I immediately wanted to shave the little buggers. Note to self: start bringing cordless clippers to any fairs or festivals. Never know when you might need them.

So it turns out that our friends in the 4H were teaching people how to use a drop spindle. I shoved a couple of small children out of the way and joined the group lesson. Ten minutes later I had a cute little chunk of handspun yarn and a new obsession. My husband gets the tab. Love you, hun!!

So I went to Hobby Lobby and shelled out $7 to get all the parts I needed to make 4 or 5 drop spindles, then went over to Green Valley Weavers and bought $13 of wool roving. I have made about 25 yards of a bulky single ply so far. I've decided to roll with it, and I'm going to keep going and use the yarn that I make to create a felted coat for Mera. Note to self 2: Keep having babies. They're fun to knit for.

Of course, this does nothing for my giant pile of UFOs. Every time I think I'm getting somewhere with that, I find some new craft to be in love with. I have KADD... Knitters Attention Deficit Disorder. Unfortunately, my support group does nothing to help me get better and everything to make me worse!! I love them for it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's Been A While

Lots has been going on and I scarcely know how to share it all, so I choose not to. I know, it sounds like I'm being difficult but I'm not trying to. It's just hard to tell everything. Trust me.

So, on the adoption front, we had some set-back news and I haven't blogged it because it breaks my heart. Our paperwork didn't get to the courts on time. They decided to start their court vacation early (lucky them) and we didn't get on the docket before hand. Last I heard we were still waiting for a letter from the MOJ and then we have to get on the docket when the courts resume. I was told 20 September, but other interwebs scuttlebutt indicates the 15th. Who knows? All I know is that I miss my daughter so very much and it break my heart that she's not here with us now.

The hardest reminder is her clothing. I bought her a whole wardrobe of happy, fun, summer-y clothes because I truly believed she'd be home in time to wear them. Every time I sit in the chair and rock our other daughter, I see those size 4 dresses hanging up on their pink plastic hangers and I just want to cry. I tell myself she'll wear them with leggings and get at least a little mileage out of them in the fall, but it still hurts. They're like a monument to the waiting. That horrible, interminable waiting.

Sometimes the hurt of it hits me like a wave, or like some giant rock that falls on me. They prayed over us at church, partially for our adoption and partially for some other crazy stuff, and I bawled my head off. I want to hold her again. I just pray she knows we are still coming and we love her.

Other things have happened that have made me very sure that there was a reason for this wait. I know it wasn't random. In one sense I'm glad for it because of what it has become. All the same, I'd give anything to hold my girl in my arms. I just want our family to be together.

In the good news, our boy is home again and is he funny! The things he says... Oh, and he's brilliant. Montessori kindergarten is amazing. I can't believe the work he brings home. My little man, growing up so fast. These kids are incredible, I feel so blessed.