Saturday, March 19, 2011

In Which Connor Is Still Sick And I Answer Some Questions About Ellen

Connor started off the morning without a fever and then slowly developed one during the day.  Other than the seizures we've seen no other indication that he's sick, making me wonder if he's picked up a UTI or some other bug that wouldn't involve congestion.  He had seven or eight seizures today-- Jer and I lost count between us-- that lasted between ten to twenty seconds each.  It's difficult to know whether or not he's having the seizures because of his fever or because he's having a reaction to weaning down off the Trileptal, but we'll let the neurologist's office know and they can take it from there.

It was a beautiful sunny day outside, and I spent part of it out in the yard weeding the front garden, which has been sadly neglected because of Connor's shenanigans.  I had to take a break and go clean out my hummingbird feeder (which has also been sadly neglected over the winter) because one persistent little hummingbird sat in our flowering cheery tree and scolded me for an hour or so until I gave in and got her some food.  Evidently she thought I was out there to cater to her.  My guess is that she had hungry chicks to feed; the breeding season for the hummingbirds around here runs from December through May so she probably had some demanding, hungry mouths waiting back in her nest.

Hummingbirds will be one of many new experiences Ellen will have when she joins our family; they don't live in Thailand.  I have a group of five or six regulars who are downright cheeky; they often congregate around the feeder in the spring and fall months and drink out of the thing as I'm refilling it.  Connor loves to watch them, and I'm looking forward to seeing our daughter discover them for the first time!  I'm also hoping she'll want to help me out in the garden.  I really enjoy gardening (though you wouldn't think it if you took a look at my yard the way it is now) and it would be a fun mother-daughter activity to share. 

Our agency took off for Thailand today, and so the countdown for new pictures and information begins!  I've had a lot of questions asked about our adoption process recently, so I made a quick list of the ones we get most often and I thought I'd address them here.  Some of these questions will probably seem redundant to you regular blog followers, but I'll go ahead and put them down anyway since I get asked them so often.  Eventually I'll get around to updating the blog since it's not really just about Connor anymore, but I'm sort of lazy and I don't know when that's actually going to happen.  So here's what you get in the meantime. 

So who the heck is Ellen anyway?
"Ellen" is the thirteen year old girl we are adopting.  She currently lives in an orphanage near the city of Bangkok in Thailand.  She has cerebral palsy that affects her lower legs-- particularly the left leg-- and has spent almost all of her life in an orphanage.

Ellen isn't a Thai name!  Are you changing her name?
Ellen is the alias we're using for our daughter to protect her privacy and to make sure we respect Thailand's wishes in regards to publicly sharing information about a child in the adoption process.  That's also why you won't see any pictures of her here for the time being.  It is not her real name, which we will be keeping.  We'll also probably give her a chance to choose an American name, and she can choose which one she wants to use.  That probably won't be Ellen either, as the name is kind of hard for Thai speaking people to say. 

What's her birth story?  Why is she in an orphanage?
That's her own story to tell, not mine.  Sorry.  You won't see it end up here unless she chooses to share it.

How much does it cost to adopt a child like Ellen?
Less than you'd think.  Basically it ends up being a bunch of money up front, but in our case most of it should be refunded through grants and the tax credit that the US currently offers for adoption.  Also Ellen's adoption fees are substantially lower because she is an older waiting child and harder to place.  Also I would like to point out that no, we are not buying Ellen, thank you very much.  We are paying for the background check, paperwork processing, travel, visa application, etc.-- not for our child. 

When will she come home?
Not for a long while yet.  While we're hopeful that the process may be speeded up a bit because of Ellen's age and her special need, we could be easily looking at between a year to two and half years before we bring her home.  We'll keep you posted!

If I answer any more questions right now than this blog post is going to be ridiculously long, so I'll save the rest for another day.  It's a start, anyway.  If you've got a question you want answered, let me know and I'll see what I can do!


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