Sunday, February 6, 2011


No  blog posted over the past couple of days, but that is a good thing.  We have been busy signing paperwork and staring at our daughter.  I'll never forget when my good friend Laurie brought her daughter Libby  home from the hospital, she said, "She's so beautiful I'm actually frightened I may take a bite out of her."  I thought that was a little weird at the time but now I totally get it.  If all goes according to plan, we should be home by the end of the week.  If it wasn't for this blog and Skype, I think I would have jumped off a cliff by now.  This technology is a good thing and makes me feel connected to all of you Olivia fans.  We feel so blessed to have all of you in our lives and can't wait to get home to see (most of) you!

When we were signing our paperwork at the agency, the social worker taught us a new word, beshert.  It is Yiddish for "destiny" or "meant to be."  I feel so fortunate to see this clearly.  All the pain and disappointment of the past months has pointed us here and brought Olivia into our lives.  I am asking all of you to remind me of this sentiment when Olivia is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, or begging to have her ears pierced at age 5, or puking with the stomach flu.  :)

Thursday night Olivia got invited to her first party.  Our Indonesian landlord made satay for the Chinese New Year and invited us and our neighbors next door, Matt and Tracy (from Ft. Walton.)    It is traditional to wear red on the Chinese New year, so off to Target we went to find Olivia the perfect outfit.  Matt & Tracy are really fun, and Margie is a total trip. We laughed a lot.  Olivia enjoyed herself too.  (Who are we kidding?  She slept through the whole thing.)

Today was our first day off with the baby- our second freeway free day.  We finally got it together and left the house about 2 PM.  (Hey, it takes awhile to construct the appearance of being a "hot mom" who has the diaper bag packed with every little thing her baby may need and her own lip gloss and sunglasses.)

Our first stop was the Pacific Diner to see Vicki and the gang, as promised.  The girls oohed and ahhed over Olivia, who was sleeping, of course, and Vicki cried.  Best omelet I've ever had.  Then we cruised down to Pt. Fermin Park, one of the coolest places in San Pedro.  See video #2 below.

Tomorrow Olivia will enjoy her first Superbowl.  (Or sleep through it.)  I think she's decided to root for the Steelers.  She would have a much easier time cheering for Pittsburgh if she had a terrible towel to grasp with her little fist and swing around her little head (hint, hint, Auntie Margie Caughlan!)

All for now...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Waiting on Test Results, the Poop Tsunami, and MORE OLIVIA!

I  have been told that you people don't really care about trash day here in San Pedro.  So, as I am waiting for more Olivia video to upload, I will update you on the events of the past 24 hours.

Upon leaving the hospital, we were promised sickle cell test results on Wednesday (we were actually told the results would be in Monday, which is why we were so late in leaving the hospital.)  This was the only thing that was holding up our adoption.  Since people with sickle cell cannot live at altitude, the agency decided that they would not let Lindora sign her relinquishment paperwork until the test results were received.  So we waited anxiously.  And Olivia slept peacefully.

11:00 AM:  Our first call to the hospital.  No test results.
1:00 PM:  No test results.
1:30 PM:  The Poop Tsunami.  Jeff starts to change Olivia's diaper and starts to yell "Get wipes!  Get wipes!"  as he is changing her astronomically large poopy diaper.  The question- can she squirt me with pee like a boy?  Well, no, but we did learn it's more like a small water feature.  Then the poop continues, oozing out as we are trying to get more wipes.  Laughing hysterically, and three diapers later, we are thankful for the comic relief.  Olivia smiles and waves her hands in the air.  Gotcha, Mom and Dad!
2:00 PM: No test results.  We are told they will be ready at 3:30.
2:30 PM:  We attempt to upload the photos and video of Olivia taken in the hospital on Jeff's camera and realize they are gone.  Poof.  I talk Jeff away from the ledge and try to keep him from throwing his camera into the nearest brick wall.
3:30 PM: No answer.
3:35 PM: No answer.  Olivia sleeps peacefully.
3:36  PM: No answer.
You get the idea.  Finally, at 4:20 (no inappropriate jokes, please) Jeff speaks to the nurse.  She had the results! Positive or negative?  Positive or negative?  Positive or negative?  The nurse couldn't (or wouldn't? we still don't know) interpret the results.  They needed to be read by a pediatrician.  But she would be happy to fax the results to the agency.  I don't know if you know this, but there aren't any pediatricians that routinely hang out at our adoption agency.  So they couldn't interpret the results either.

Now, loved ones and Olivia fans, I had held it together pretty well until this point.  You would be proud.  But I absolutely lost it at this point.  My knees became weak and I had to sink to the floor so I wouldn't drop the baby.  Actually putting her down was not an option.

4:30 PM:  Jeff and I both jump on our cell phones.  Olivia sleeps peacefully. 
He calls our friend Shannon Garton, a family practitioner in Vail, and I call Norm Numerof, my internist and pal from my mountain rescue days.  I phoned him at home, and in the process of telling our story to his wife Karen (also a friend from mountain rescue)  I broke into tears.  Norm wasn't home but was expected shortly and she promised us he would call as soon as he walked in the door.

Shannon tells us that if Olivia had tested positive for sickle cell, they would have called us back to the hospital immediately to start treatment.  There is no cure for sickle cell, but early intervention can lessen the symptoms throughout life. 

4:45 PM  I emailed Ted Vickerman the test results, whose wife is the amazing and wonderful Dr. Susie Vickerman, Olivia's soon to be doctor, explaining our story. Ted and Susie have 2 wonderful boys whom I have had the pleasure of teaching some math, and I'm not lying when I say that they are 2 of my favorite students (it's the apple/tree thing.)

5:00 PM: I call my friend Kendra while Jeff called our friend Bev to get names of their pediatricians in the area.  Their doctors had either left for the day or wouldn't help us without an appointment.

5:30  I talk to Norm and he tells me that he is going to do some research and contact a pediatrician friend of his and will get back to us.

5:45 PM  Dr. Vickerman calls and assures that the test results are indeed negative and a pediatrician has already looked at the results- his name is right on the results that were faxed to the agency!  Now, I'm just a math teacher, but after Dr. Vickerman explained how to read the results it was VERY straightforward and understandable.  I guess we are the first people in the State of California to adopt a baby or have one tested for sickle cell.  I am still baffled why the nurse told us she couldn't read them.  In a litigious society, I'm guessing the reason was CYA.

6:00 PM:  Jeff talks to our attorney here in California.  Olivia sleeps peacefully.  The attorney has contacted a doctor friend of his that he helped to adopt a baby 18 years ago.  It turns out her son's pediatrician is the doctor that signed off on the results at the hospital!  Call it Kismet, or Karma, or just plain faith...

6:30 PM  Momma pours  a glass of wine and melts into the couch.  The neck and back pain she was feeling and thought was a result for holding the baby has miraculously disappeared.  Olivia sleeps peacefully.

Ok, this is the last one!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011