This is the angel I'm hoping will be my son!

Monday, January 23, 2012

New position

Sorry for the long wait. I've had a busy week. I started a new teaching position today. I'm now teaching in a Pre-Kindergarten, self-contained LID position. This position was unexpected and came about really quickly. In fact, it was the fastest turn around on a job ever in the history of Clarke County, with 10 hours from the time they got permission from my boss to steal me away to board approval. That is impossibly fast considering it usually takes about two weeks. I was originally told it would be mid-semester if at all this year.

So, for the next two weeks I am in with another teacher, learning the ropes. It's almost like student teaching again. Just with really small students. Most of these kids are non-verbal students with significant developmental delays. So, that is what we work on. The kids are pretty darn cute I have to say!

I will keep you updated as I go!

On a different note, Clarke County is in desperate need of foster parents, so if you know of anyone, please send them to DFACS.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Been a while

So, it's been a while since my last post.

I'm sitting here with a glass of wine watching switched at birth. Why do I watch a teen drama show? Well, because 2 of the characters are deaf. It's actually really good and for authenticity it has Marlee Matlin in it! It's been a rough week.

I found out I couldn't adopt Mark, or anyone for that matter, such is the hazard of being SINGLE and DEAF. I sprained my ankle at work (this was minor compared to everything else that happened). A student stole my wallet, however he admitted to it. Oh, and I have Fibromyalgia, so I have a life time of pain management to look forward to. Sorry, folks, I appear to be having a pity party for myself. I promise it won't last too long. They never do!

Now here is what I am grateful for. My family!!!! I won't go into details because my family likes to maintain their privacy but I have the most amazing daddy on the planet! Dad if you're reading this, I love you so much and thank you for listening! To your wife who I will not name, I love you too! To my friends who have listened thank you as well.

To the one who is always there and I don't always remember to thank or praise, God, thank you for surrounding me with some amazing people!

As for Mark, he is in my thoughts daily and there was another family interested in him so I think he will be okay. If I hear anything I will let you know. To all those out there who open your hearts to kids with special needs, God Bless You! It takes a special person to do that and we need more of us out there.

God Bless,


Saturday, January 7, 2012

A time to vent and a time to cry

I have to admit I'm angry. It seems like no matter what I do in my life my hearing is an issue with someone. I am so sick and tired of it being an issue. In fact it pisses me off. I can't help that I was born with nerve damage. I can't help that my hearing got worse over 12 years and I sure as hell can't help that I lost it all 3 years ago. All I can do is accept it and move on. But for them to tell me that I can't adopt because I am single and deaf is complete and total bullshit! I am telling myself that it wasn't meant to be and that Mark will find a home. I just wanted his home with me. See in a way I identified with him. I know what it's like to be different. The great thing about kids with DS is they are just the sweetest kids I have ever been around. So, I'm heart broken right now. Why is it that society has to treat those of us with disabilities like lepers? What are they so damn afraid of? That it's contagious? Get over yourselves! Do some research and stop being ignorant. Just because we are different and have a disability doesn't make us inferior. It makes us better. I don't mean better than other people in a superior way. We're just better for it.

I was meant to be this way. I don't know why exactly, just that God felt it would do some good. For whom exactly I'm not sure. Maybe me or maybe you. Maybe to make me the very compassionate and sensitive person that I am. I don't know. All I know is between the deafness and all of my never ending health issues I feel like I need a break. Yes, I'm in kind of a pity party mode, it won't last long. I have too much to be grateful for. There are people out there who have it way worse than me and some of them I know personally and love them dearly. I just really wanted to be Mark's mom.

I watched the movie Dolphin Tale tonight. If you haven't seen it, it is a must. If you don't own it, it is a must have for your movie library! If you have kids with disabilities then you definitely need to have it because it is so very inspiriring. I laughed and cried throughout that entire movie. Thankfully, the movie has a very happy ending. It is my new favorite movie.

I know this is kind of a random post, but I needed to get it all down. Thanks for reading.


Friday, January 6, 2012

A glitch in the plan

I emailed my adoption coordinator last night to ask her if Eastern Europe would even let me adopt as I am deaf. I can only hear when I wear my cochlear implant. She emailed me back with a list of questions saying she would meet with a panel to review the information and talk to their counterparts in Eastern Europe to see if they would even let me adopt and get back to me. So, far now the adoption is on hold. Please pray for Mark that he finds his forever home. I want it to be with me, but God may want him somewhere else. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pampered Chef, 31 and book sale!

Well, it's been a few days since my last post so I thought I would take a minute and update you. I have submitted my application for the home study!! So, please pray that it gets approved and that it goes quickly and well! I think the next big hurdle is the dossier, so for those of you that have done one I would appreciate any advice you have to give.

I want to thank everyone that has offered their prayers and support in this journey. God is truly miraculous! I have been blessed to meet some new people who have adopted through RR and it has been very moving to hear their stories! I am also grateful to those who have offered to help me with fundraising. So many people have reached out to me and offered to help and I am truly touched! People have offered to hold Pampered Chef parties and donate their commission! Talk about a kindness! Everyone who is willing to host a 31 party for me my commission is going directly into Mark's adoption fund! I will also have a book sale for you book lovers. I love to read and have about a thousand books. I have some (maybe a couple hundred) that I am going to sell. I haven't finished weeding them out yet. It is so hard for me to get rid of books, but it's for a great cause!

That's all for now and I will keep you updated! Thank you for your support and prayers!

As always thank you for helping me bring Mark home!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2012! It's going to be a great year! I hope you all had a fantastic New Year's Even and a great first day of the New Year! I myself took today to relax and do nothing! I go back to work tomorrow, so I took one last day of...wait a minute it wasn't a true nothing day. I did a lot of cooking! Not just NYD food, but I also put a beef stew in the crock pot. I'm not sure how it will turn out as I realized as I was putting everything in there that I didn't have any beef stock, so I used beef consumme and a half cup of Marsala wine. We'll see how it turns out.

Since I go back to work tomorrow I probably will not be posting every day, but I will keep you updated! There isn't much I can really say until I find out about the home study. So, I will keep you posted!

As always thank you for helping bring Mark home!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

About me

Many of you reading this blog don't know me from a hole in the wall :) So, I thought I'd take a beat and tell you about myself. The first thing you need to know about me as I am honest, in a very blunt way. My friends and family love me in spite of this :) This may be a ong post so grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and settle down for while. Take a peek into my life.

I was born August 23, 1976 at 4:16 am in Atlanta, GA. My labor went on for 2 1/2 days. Clearly, I liked to do things my way even when it came to making my entrance in the world. I weighed 5 1/2 pounds and was 21 inches long. In my baby book my Gran was quoted as saying "I'm afraid to touch her she's so little she looks like she'll break!" Well, I didn't break and a grew to be 5'7" tall and I won't mention my weight because well because I'm not happy with it write now, but more about that later.

I have an older brother whose name I won't mention (my family is huge on privacy so their names will not be mentioned in this blog) who has a great wife and 4 amazing kids. We had a pretty nice life growing up, we got to travel to some places that many peoiple never go to. We went to an elite private Christian schoo, not only the best in Georgia but some say the best in the country. We were raised to believe in God and to love him as well as praise him. I don't always do as good a job of that last one as I should, but I'm working on it.

My dad is truly the best dad on the planet and from how he treated my mom and treats my step mom I'd say he's a great husband as well. My dad is my best friend and yes, I am a total daddy's girl even at my age. He has been with me through some pretty tough times and has loved me unconditionally through all of them. They say daughters marry someone who is like their fathers. I don't know if that's true as I have never married, but if I found someone who treats me the way my step dad treats his wife and his kids I would consider myself well and truly blessed and marry him before he could change his mind :)

My mom's side of the family has some weird DNA. If you can't tell by looking at my profile picture I'm albino. Yep, the hair is natural, made by God and my parents but worn by me. Being Albino comes with some well let's see say interesting health issues. Why am I telling you this? Well, it's entirely possible that I won't get a favorable outcome from the home study for two reasons. The first being because I'm a teacher and even though I have a Master's Degree we don't make a lot of money. The second being for health reasons. I will say this, none of my health issues is fatal or life threatening. They are just chronic, which can be quite exhausting to say the least. I mean their is always something going on. I have joked on numerous occassions that I need a full body transplant! Like I said I'm blunt, and I am more bluntly honest on myself than anyone else.

Once I hit my twenties in when I started experiencing any real health issues. Although, at the time I was not aware that a lot of them had to do with medication that I was on. You see I had ovarian cysts since I was eleven years old and went on the pill to control them. I started getting headaches daily after that, although I never chalked it up to anything since my mom always had headaches as well, espeically Migraines. I would get a Migraine here in there but when I hit my twenties they started coming more frequently. I would get them twice a month for 10-14 days each time. So, basically I had a migraine all the time. It was countless Migraines later, several hospital visits, medications to treat/prevent migraines, MRI's and almost a dozen years later that I learned birth controls were the cause of it all. I happen to be unusually sensitive to hormones of any type. Once I went of the pill, the migraines slowly went away and now it's very rare for me to get them. When I do get them they are nowhere near as bad and last no more than 3 days. I much prefer them like this. I can live like this, I couldn't before.

I have gotten a head of myself, so let me back track to some important information. When I was 2 1/2 years old my mom noticed that when she talked to me from my left side I couldn't hear her, but on my right side I could. This was cause for alarm for her, especially since her sister was deaf. So, my parents sent me to an ENT and after having tests done my folks learned I was completely deaf in my left ear (they believe it was nerve damage) and had 80% hearing in my right ear. This type of hearing loss is known as a sensironeural hearing loss. I had a hearing aid for my right ear, but quite frankly they are not comfortable at all, and kids tended to make fun of me for it. It was bad enough that I had brown hair that started turning white when I was 7 years old in the form of a white streak straight down the middle of my head, but combine that with needing help hearing and it was too much for me to take. So, I never wore it and all in all I did just fine without it. I mean sure, people had to stay on my right side or talk to me face to face to really understand them, but people didn't know I was deaf in one ear unless I told them. To this day I hear that from people when I tell them about my disability and other than saying "I never would have known if you hadn't told me" the next thing out of their mouths are "you don't talk like a deaf person." My only reasoning for that is when my family would talk to me when I was growing up I would focus rather intently on their lips (yes I lip read, much to my students chargrin!) and when I played music I would play it over and over and over until I knew the words. In fact, I still do that! My hearing stayed stable until my Junior year in college when I lost 50% of it in 5 weeks. Talk about freaking me out! That is a long story and best saved for another time, like for the book I've been trying to write for 3 years about hearing loss and how to cope with it. But for 12 years my hearing got steadily worse until finally July 6, 2008 I lost all if it in 2 days. I knew at this point in time it was permanent. There was no freaking out, except when a major storm hit 2 days later and the power went out and I realized I had no way of knowing if a tornado was coming, but I got through it. It took 3 months for me to have my cochlear implant surgery which was a smashing success. Pictures are on my facebook page. My surgery was Oct 2, 2008 and on Oct. 13, 2008 my implant was "lit up" which is what they call turning it on. It took about 6 months to really get my hearing back with lots of help from my family and friends. Their is homework involved in getting your hearing back and that is what they helped me with. I found out I got between 84-92% of my hearing back depending on whether I was being tested on single words or sentences.

I'm not going into all the details of my health issues but I will hit the highlights. Prior to losing my hearing about two months before I had a videolaseroscopy to remove endometriosis. This was my second surgery for endometriosis in four years. That surgery was painful and took a long time to recover from.

After I went off the pill my ovarian cysts not only came back but they started rupturing as well. If you've ever had this happen you know how painful it can be. The first time it happened I literally ended up on the ground in the fetal position crying for two hours. My doctor told me that my options were birth control pills, Hormone Replacement Therapy or a hysterectomy. Well, I knew I couldn't be on bcp and since HRT is a stronger form of hormones I felt that wouldn't work and I wasn't ready to give up having children at the age of 30, so I just sucked it up and dealth with it. I ended up in the hospital a couple times when a cyst would get particularly large and rupture, but other than that I took mild pain pills when I needed it. The doctor(s) I saw more than one about this all told me I had the same options and the ER doctor told me when the pain got bad enough I would get the hysterectomy. Well, October 3, 2010 I finally did. I had spent the whole summer essentially in bed because cysts were rupturing right and left. I was at lunch with a dear friend from high school when one ruptured during lunch. Needless to say I had to cut that lunch short since I felt horrible. A few weeks before my surgery I had 3 ruptures in one week. So, when it was time for me to have the surgery I was more than ready for it. That doesn't mean it was an easy decision for me to make, because it wasn't. The way I had to look at it and the reason I was able to do it and not have regrets was I had always planned to adopt. Yes, it would have been nice to get pregnant and carry a child to term and bond with the baby like that, but that wasn't meant to be for me. Besides there are hundreds of thousands of kids out there that need homes and I knew I could give them one. Depression runs in my family and I have had it most of my life. I wsa off meds for years until 2009. You see my beloved Gran died May 1, 2009 and even though she was 85 years old it was hard to let her go, not just for me for all that knew her. However, I was the one that stayed with her in the hospital every night and in hospice when she died. I did it because I couldn't bear the thought of her being alone. Gran became more and more withdrawn every day and she lost that thing that made her Her. It was just really difficult to go through. I was still coping with that four and a half months later when on September 17, 2009 I got a call that my mom had died that morning at the age of 58. I freaked out! I was in a restaurant with a friend for lunch and I started screaming and collapsed on the floor. It took a long time for me to heal from that. Truth to tell I still haven't. But a few weeks after my mom died I went to a psychiatrist and went on anti-depressants. Thank God for anti- depressants.

I went to college at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa! Roll Tide Roll! I have met some of my closest friends there. I was going to take the world by storm. I was going to major in Marketing (Bama has a great business program) and minor in Psychology, after all to be good at sales you have to use Psychology. However, my inability to understand or even grasp the basics of calculus derailed that plan. So, I made Psychology my major and Criminal Justice my minor. I wanted to be a profiler with the FBI but they wouldn't take me as an agent due to my hearing disability and I understand that. So, I ended up going to grad school in Atlanta and getting my Master's degree in Psychology. I met one of my best friends during my internship! I worked as a therapist for a while but most of my clients had a hard time dealing with a therapist who couldn't always hear them well. I didn't know sign so I couldn't work with the deaf community. I put my thinking cap on and tried to figure out what I could do that would allow me to work with kids and help them. So, I went to Georgia State University to be a certified special education teacher in Behavior Learning Disorders (BLD). I loved my time at GSU and had a good experience there and made some good friends. Not to mention found the job I was meant to have. I love being a teacher.

You've heard a lot of background stuff and I hope it hasn't been too boring for you! So, let's talk about the adoption. I'm a bit of a dreamer. I tend to jump before i look. I am not always practical and my dad would be the first one to tell you that, but he would do it in a kind and supportive way. I know all the reasons why I shouldn't adopt now as I stated in the first post. Not only is it expensive to adopt especially internationally, but it's expensive to care for a child. Especially a child with special needs. I have thought about this and this is how I look at it. It will take a number of small miracles and a giant miracle for this adoption to happen. It will be a small miracle if the home study is favorable based on financial and medical history. So, that is why I won't do any active fundraising until the home study is complete or until they tell me it's favorable. However, for those who have already donated money, on the off chance that the home study is not favorable that money will go to Mark's adoption fund on the RR site. So rest assured you are still helping him find a home. I believe I am meant to be Mark's mom. I want to be, I hope to be and I have Faith that I will be. It just feels right, but it's not up to me. It is up to the home study people and the government were Mark lives and more importantly it is up to God. His time may not be my time. But I sincerely hope that His time is now and that Mark is meant to be my son, because I love that little boy. I dream of meeting him, bringing him home and watching him grow up. I dream of crying with him if he gets sick, sad or hurt and laughing with him over anything. I dream of watching him grow up. You see, thanks to my hearing disability the best sound in the world to me is a child's laughter. So, I take immense joy in hearing a child laugh.

My friends and family are supportive of me adopting a child. Even my dad is supportive he just wants me to be practical about it which I am trying to be. But like I said there are a lot of small miracles that have to take place for me to get Mark. I have a great support system of both people I know and those I don't. To all of you, I say thank you!

For those of you that worry that my disability would be too difficult with a child who has special needs or any child. Rest assured they make products for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. I already have a strobe light smoke and CO detector. They make baby monitors that work like that as well or you can plug it into a lamp and the lamp will flash when their is noise in the room. So, I have it covered and you can rest easy on that point.

Now for some fun stuff. My favorite color is blue, dark sapphire blue to be exact or the color of the ocean on a stormy day. Reading is my favorite past time and I own a LOT of books. I have two favorite books that if you haven't read them, you should, trust me you won't regret it. They are "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. This is a true story and it is a great life lessons book. The second is "The Shack" by William Paul Young. This book is about forgiveness and it changed my life. I love different TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, House, One Tree Hill, Revenge oh and Tori and Dean's Home Sweet Hollywood. Tori and Dean's show is really funny! I like how real it is. I like most movies except the hard core horror films like the Saw series. I like both Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston and yes I know that's a faux pas in Hollywood standards but I don't live in Hollywood. I hate absolutely hate to clean and put it off as long as possible as long as my house isn't a pig sty and trust me it isn't. I love Matthew McConaughey, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis and many other actors. I love the Harry Potter books and have read them several times and I own all the movies. I read the Twilight books but didn't care for them, but if I had to choose between Jacob and Edward I would choose Jacob both in the book and the movie. Oh and being a girl, of course, I love The Notebook as well. Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors.

Whew, that's a lot of writing for me to have done and a lot of reading for you to do. Now you've gotten a glimpse of me and I hope you like what you've read.

As always, thank you for helping me bring Mark home!