Saturday, June 09, 2007

So Mel...what's going on with...

1) Humphrey? Well, if you noticed the last post and the giant gap of time between posts I guess you've figured out that we lost our precious Humphrey. On the 17th I received news that *my* liver was just fine. On the 18th we received news that not only had the lymphoma spread to Humphrey's liver but he also had the start of fatty liver disease. There are NO words to tell you how badly this whole situation SUCKED. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone but even his oncologist used the same terminology. So, on the day after what we had always considered his birthday, we said good-bye to our boy. I can still hear Hopie screaming, "But Mama! I want to keep him!" Me too too.

All in all he was NOT a good cat! LOL He wasn't known for his good behavior. But as I told all of his doctors...

"That boy was such an anus…yes…I said anus. We used that word to describe him every single day. 'Humphrey stop being an anus!' 'You’re such an anus!” 'Stop anusing about!' You get the idea. That boy had not one single solitary shred of impulse control. If he wanted to do something he did it…repeatedly…for years. Yet the cat who destroyed more breakables than all of my other cats together, was the same cat who sat next to his brother Horatio until Horatio’s seizures would pass. The cat who would find the highest perch in our bedroom at 2 a.m. and yowl like his toenails were being ripped out, was the same cat who would awaken me in the middle of the night kissing my face. The cat who would get behind furniture and chew electrical cords was the same cat who would walk me upstairs to bed every single night…and perhaps that’s when I miss him the most. He would hear me getting an allergy pill…yes…most cats come when they hear food…he came when he heard my allergy pills. He’d appear from wherever he’d been…and God only knows what he’d been doing there. He’d meow, raise that two foot long tail straight up in the air, I’d take hold if it, and he’d lead me up the stairs."

I miss him more than I ever imagined I would. The house is too quiet...I have much more time on my hands now that I don't have to keep an eye on his activities 24/7. Do I want another one like him? Absolutely not. Would I take *him* back? In a heartbeat.

I played "what if" for weeks...what if I would've noticed the lump sooner...what if we didn't let them get the idea. It was pointless and all it did was make me feel guilty...I believe I've read it's called survivor's guilt. I also spent a great deal of time being more angry than I ever thought I could be at God. For the life of me I still can't figure out WHY He'd want Humphrey back. One night in the shower (and you know that's where He does all of His talking to me) I was sobbing and basically saying what I just did here. I said, "What do you want me to do!!!???" Loud and clear I heard, "Trust me." I think I went certifiable right after that. "TRUST YOU??? ISN'T THAT EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING??? AND YOU STILL TOOK HIM AWAY FROM ME!!!!" For those who haven't known me for darn near all of my life, I trust no one. Honestly, I think The X-Files snagged my tagline. So to be asked to trust? He knew He was asking something major. Oh mercy...I've got a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

Long story short, I'm going to trust Him. It ain't easy...but I guess following His plan for our lives isn't. I choose to believe that something good will come of all of this. I don't know...maybe Hopie will grow up and find the cure for feline lymphoma...or human lymphoma. I would never ever say that to her though. If she's meant to do that I want her to go in that direction ON HER OWN.

2) Mel? My MRI guided biopsy went well...or so we thought. The results came back benign and we celebrated with pizza and donuts! And then several days later we got the radiologist's report that said something to the effect of "I'm not confident I biopsied the right spot." Well isn't that special? In the meantime the spot he *did* biopsy became infected. So I spent ten days on antibiotics every 6 hours...even set the alarm to go off at 4 a.m. so I wouldn't miss my early morning dose! AND to top it off, this radiologist is the *only* guy in these parts that does the MRI thing. SO, at the end of the month I have to go BACK to him and he is going to insert a guide needle/wire into the spot (please pray he gets the right one LOL) and then I will be wheeled into surgery where MY surgeon who we trust completely will remove WHATEVER this little blip is that is causing so much concern. She (my surgeon) said she truly thinks it's nothing but with two small kids at home that depend on me, she's not taking any chances. Soooo...what was that message that I got about trusting? ")

3) The state of Chinese adoptions? Aye carumba...please pray for everyone still waiting. The CCAA just last week completed matching parents with LID's up to November 7, 2005. YES I SAID 2005!!! People whose papers were logged in two months after OURS are just now seeing a picture of their baby's face for the first time. CCAA has also told at least one country to expect the WAIT...that's AFTER you send your papers to be up to THREE YEARS. My heart ACHES for these people.

4) THE Agency? Don't get me started. This is a MAJOR challenge for me to try and remain even the slightest bit positive. I have so much anger and bitterness directed towards these folks. I work every single day to let SOME of it go. Eventually I pray that with God's help I can let ALL of it go.

We are required to send monthly progress reports for the first year after returning home with Claire and then quarterly for the next two years. We are also required to send pictures with the reports. the dutiful servants that we are we signed everything the agency gave us and sent everything we were supposed to for Hope. We later found out that the 4-5 pictures we were sending each and every month were NOT going to China as we had been told verbally. The pictures were being used in all manner of the agency's publications both in print and online. We were never notified when our pictures were used...and by the way each and every picture we ever sent them has our name and address printed on the back...we found out five different times by accident. The first couple of times it was kind of flattering...then it just got creepy. I mean, how many pictures do they receive each month and they've used us five times that we know about? How many other instances DON'T we know about? Hope's face was plastered on every single page of the China portion of their removed thank heavens! There are too many creepy folks out there that I don't want having unrestricted access to my girls' pictures.

So when the post placement packet arrived for Claire and I opened the booklet...there was Hope's face staring back at me again. I literally went ballistic. This is a new publication and they are still using her pictures. We haven't sent them a new picture of her since February of '05. Upon further reading there was a waver that we were told to sign basically saying that we give up all rights to our photos and this adoption agency can use them any way they want to. Again...ballistic. Hormones in overdrive I vowed I wasn't going to do ANY post placement save the two visits with our social monthly reports, no pictures, NOTHING! After I let that eat at me for about a month I decided I couldn't do that and remain healthy. So, I've been doing two months worth of reports at a time. Along with the reports I send one page of thumbnail photos printed off of our computer. At the bottom of this sheet is this statement:

"The Hageman Family requests that (insert the agency's name here) NOT use our photos for any reason without express written permission from us. We will not be signing the release included in the post placement packet. We feel as if (your agency) has overused the photos of our oldest daughter, Hope. While we are flattered that you think she is so photogenic, we would respectfully ask that you stop using her likeness in all new materials. (Your agency) receives countless pictures from parents who would be thrilled to see their daughters’ faces printed in the agency’s materials. Regrettably, we are not one of those families. We feel very uncomfortable granting strangers carte blanche with our daughters’ likenesses.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter,

Snarky? Probably. But honestly folks, we've had enough. Not only don't we like not knowing when and for what purpose our baby's likeness is being used, but we don't want anyone to SEE those pictures and think we endorse the services they are about to receive from this agency. I pray with ALL of my heart that no one else has to go through what our family went through with this place. And I'll say it's not just this agency! There are problems with many other adoption agencies.

Garry called the probate court to ask a few questions about readopting Claire. Yes, we have to readopt for our COUNTY. The gal he spoke to said, "Your agency should be helping you with this! Who are you working with?" He told her. She said, "Oh...I've heard they're not very helpful."

On Friday, May 25th we received a letter from said agency. It was full of legalese and basically the only thing I could get out of it was that our home study was going to which I thought, "big deal". However as you read further there were statements saying, "You will lose your status as an adoptive home!" "You must sign and return this by May 31st!" And what was I seeing in my head? "YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE YOUR DAUGHTERS!"

On the verge of throwing both girls in the car and heading for the state line I called Garry and read it to him. He couldn't make sense of it either. He called the agency and actually got the person who had sent it out. Ok, get this...all it was saying was that if you think you're going to want to adopt AGAIN you need to sign it and return it before the end of the month when your home study expires. If you don't do that then you have to start all over again. He assured her that we would never completely lose our minds and want to go through the process yet again. When she complained to him that she had been fielding phone calls all day over the letter he suggested that perhaps said agency should include a cover letter that EXPLAINED the legalese as she just had.

Yet, in true agency fashion, the letter was dated May 18th...we received it on the had to be back in their hands by the 31st. That was Memorial Day it couldn't have gone back out in the mail before the 29th. If we DID want to do this again there was a sentence at the bottom of the form saying that $1000 would be needed for the update and if we wanted to use said agency they'd need another $1000 for post placement. Hey y'all...I don't know about you, but we always have an extra $2000 or so lying around.

Done...stepping down from my SAID AGENCY soapbox now.

5) The girls? They are FABULOUS! Absolutely the reason I get out of bed each and every day. Claire is cruising the furniture like nobody's business and eats like a linebacker! That kid will eat anything...and I do mean anything...doesn't have to be food! LOL She lights up like a Christmas tree and squeals with delight when she sees her sister each morning. They are starting to interact with each other and it is just a joy to watch. Of course, with that interaction sometimes comes conflict...not so joyous...but normal!

Hopie finished her first year of preschool and is already looking forward to going back in the fall and being in "The Big 4 Year Old Class" as she calls it. Realizing that she will be starting Kindergarten next's simply a terrifying thought! LOL She's excited about going to Vacation Bible School for the first time at the end of the month. Her favorite activities include eating outside on the patio at her new picnic table, playing with Play-Doh, and anything having to do with Disney's Little Einsteins.

Claire's favorite pastimes? Taking off her pants when I'm not looking, ridding her feet of those accursed socks, pulling the barrettes from her own hair AND her sister's, and calling Gus..."Ki-ki-ki-ki". For those of you who don't speak 14 month old that's "Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty"! ")

Speaking of kitties...we're going to go meet a prospective new furry member of the family tomorrow evening. He has his own story which I will share later. Let's just say that Hopie has already named him and in true Mel fashion, once I saw his picture I knew he was mine.

Until next time be blessed...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails