Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm back!

Phew…I’m back! What a whirlwind trip. I wanted to sit down and write a little about my trip to Salt Lake City.

First, I need to thank Wayne for making sure that I continue to attend the National EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention) conference. He knows how important it is to me and makes sure that we find ways for me to get there.

So, you’re asking yourself…Why did Melissa go to Salt Lake City? Well, it was for the National EHDI conference! EHDI is the program that instituted the UNHS (Universal Newborn Hearing Screen). Anna’s hearing loss was identified by the UNHS and it’s so important for me to share our experiences as a family with all the professionals that attend the conference. Anna went with me in 2005 when it was in Atlanta. She loved meeting everyone and she is a shining example as to how well the system can work. Had Anna’s hearing not been tested at birth, I doubt that we would have known that she has a hearing loss. Anna has bilateral sensorineural hearing loss that is mild to moderate in range. It’s a congenital birth defect and at this point, we don’t know what caused it. We may never know. There is genetic testing available, but we aren’t rushing to do it. Anna may or may not have the gene that causes hearing loss or she may have a gene that hasn’t been discovered yet that causes deafness. There are too many unknowns about the genetic testing that we feel that decision should be left up to Anna when she gets older.

Anyways…back to my trip! I met some very incredible women while I was out there. Molly from Indiana was a just a peach and we had a great time having lunch and getting to know each other. Then, there’s the clan from Wisconsin that I just love. Renee, Chris, Elizabeth, Laurie, Lorie, Sharon, Dr. Schumann, Sharon, Rachel, Kelly, and Ann (no particular order…just trying to remember how we sat at dinner at the Red Iguana) were so much fun and so sweet. I had a great time going to dinner and hanging out with their “cool kid’s crowd”. Not to say that the Michigan girls aren’t as fun, but I just clicked with Badger women. Being the lone Spartan at the table was no treat! Haha!

But on the serious side, I did get a lot out of the conference. I listened to a few sessions on genetics (as you can tell from above!), the North Carolina EHDI program (which has the Beginnings program), and course anything that had to do with families. I had a great talk with Dr. White again (the super tall guy from the pictures below). He's just so impressed with Anna and her knowledge of the whole Newborn Hearing Screening. Well, I thought it was important for her to know how we found out about her hearing. After talking to Janet DesGeorges about the presentation that we wanted to do for next year, I think that Anna needs to come and present. I’m going to start a power point this summer and see where it goes.

I did a lot of walking around in Salt Lake City. We ate at a few cool brew pubs and they were good. Squatters and Red Rock were the two that people seem to hit most. I ate lunch with Janet and two other moms at an authentic Austrian bistro and that was excellent! All in all, there are plenty of good eats around the downtown area of SLC.

There are quite a few neat places too. Obviously Temple Square is the most interesting. I was amazed at the gardens inside the square. I’m not going to comment on my feelings about the Mormon issue. I feel like those are personal beliefs and this is America and we are entitled to believe as we please. Enough said. I did a little shopping at an “Artist’s Market” of sorts. It was located across the street from the hotel and I got some fabulous earrings for me and Anna there. They had tons of neat things there. I could have spent plenty there, but didn’t!

After three days, I was good and ready to come home. I missed Wayne and the kids. No matter how great the bed was with all the pillows, I apparently enjoy the cramped bed at home. J There’s nothing like having a sleepy Anna crawl in at 4:00am and settle in for a few more hours.

Oh yeah. For those of you that really knew us, we lost our beloved cat Buzz (aka Percy) this past week. I had no idea that he would be going so soon, but he began to lose weight and I didn’t want to admit it. I can now look at the pictures that I took on his last day and see how sick he really was. He knew it was time, we knew it was time and he passed away. We will miss him greatly as he had been with us for nearly 13 years. Now our only pet is Riley Jean. She will be 13 next month. People still ask us if she’s a puppy because she doesn’t act like the senior citizen that she is.

Well, time to get off of here and get some dinner going. Many hugs!

Monday, March 26, 2007

My walk around Salt Lake City

A cool reflection in the glass

Another view of the Temple Square

The Art Center


This is me and Dr. Karl White....Anna loved the "big tall guy" in Atlanta and so he posed with me for a picture. :-) Karl is the Director of NCHAM (National Center for Hearing Assesment and Management @ Utah State University) and the sweetest man alive.

This is me in front of the Rose Wagner was 72 degrees!

Pictures of the mountains

Looking up the street near Temple Square

More pictures from my hotel

This is our group from MI...Left to right: Me, Erin, Lorie, Juli, Juday and Anita
The Temple at night

The cranes at work next door to the hotel

This used to be a mall!

Another view of the construction site

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Room with a VIEW!

This is looking...umm...right (not sure of the direction!) from my window!!

Same direction, different view!

Looking left out my window!

This is my room. This is my bed!! 7!!! PILLOWS just for me!! I've died and gone to heaven!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

2 years ago...about this week...

We saw Julia's picture for the first time. We saw this tiny, bald headed baby girl who had mishapped ear. I'm sure you've heard of people speak of "love at first sight"...well, that's exactly what it was. There was something in those dark brown eyes that caught me and whispered, "Are you my mommy?". The picture of above is the exact picture Wayne and I saw for the first time. As we get closer to the date that we got her info, I will post the other photos we have of her. But, this is our Love at First Sight.

I find it interesting that now, two years later, there isn't a picture of a little child who doesn't speak to me. They are all asking the same question. "Are you my mommy?" From what knowledge I have gained in the past two years; being around other adoptive families, most of us moms feel that way. We all have the desire to parent, love, nurture and care for a child who doesn't have a family to call their own.

I'm still amazed at how this has all played out. God is incredible and I am in constant awe of His ability to change lives.

From China comes a tiny plea
Won’t someone come and rescue me
I long to see a mother’s face
To feel warmth of her embrace
My heart is longing for a home
For a father I can call my own
As I wait …I whisper a silent prayer
God, please can’t you find them
I know they’re out there…

Author Unknown

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More new pictures

New Pictures

These are pictures that were taken at Anna's birthday party at the bowling alley. :-)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wanted: MOM

POSITION : Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Ma

JOB DESCRIPTION : Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES : The rest of your life. Must be willing to behated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willingto bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the Next. Must handle assembly andproduct safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT &PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job isto remain in the same position for years, without complaining,constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those inyour charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis. : Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment isdue when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left.The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS : While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007


My friend Tim has a quote on his profile page at Yahoo that says, "There are many ways to measure success; not the least of which is the way your child describes you when talking to a friend."

I overheard Anna telling one of her friends that I was a good mom because I came in to help out in her classroom a lot. :-) And I was a good mom because I let her use my iPod. LOL!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Giving Up

As much as I hate to type this, we have decided that WACAP is not the agency for us. The have some very unethical business practices and we can no longer go through the heartache. They have a family that applied for YP after we did and because that family will get their paperwork in before us, they will "win" the race and be able to adopt him. We cant't work with an agency who doesn't see what's wrong with that picture.

We appreciate all the support that our family and friends have given us and we hope that YP finds a loving home, it just won't be with us. So, for now, our adoption journey is on hold as we struggle with what to do next. Only God knows what the plan is and we give everything to him.

Melissa & Wayne
Cameron, Anna and Julia

(This was posted on our Chopsticks for 6 blog as well.)