Monday, October 27, 2008

My Bday is This Week

Celebrating my bday this week. I found this pic from my bday about five years ago when I was still hanging at clubs and thinking me and my girls were too cute. Now I can't even stay awake pass two a.m.

Friday, October 24, 2008

In Public in Addis

Someone posted this today about not going in public with your adopted child. I'm sure it's very upsetting for some of the people who live there, and understand that it has to be limited. My friend went to China and she thought it was alarming to see so many Caucasian couples walking around with Chinesse children. She thought it was really sad that China wasn't doing more to take care of its own. I could see the ppl of Ethiopia feeling the same way and souring towards adoption.

October 22, 2008
Joint Council Policy Recommendation
Cultural Sensitivity Regarding Adoptions in Ethiopia

Every adoption is like a rollercoaster for the adoptive parents. There are always obstacles to overcome and hoops to jump through. But in every adoption there are also many highs. For most adoptive parents the biggest high is finally being able to travel, meet the child whose photo you fell in love with long ago, and holding them in your arms. It is the moment that every adoptive parent longs for and dreams of. Adoptive parents want to spend every moment with their new child, learning every little piece of their personality and spirit. Adoptive parents want to show their new child(ren) everything that the world has to offer them. This being said sometimes it is necessary for an adoptive family to be respectful of a country’s local culture and hold off these magical moments for a few days. Joint Council feels that this is the case in Ethiopia.Very often adoptive families stay at an international, national or local hotel in Addis Ababa. And fulfilling their long held desires, families often bring their newly adopted child to the hotel during their stay in Ethiopia.. Many times the adoptive family also goes shopping or sightseeing in Addis Ababa or another local city or village.This overriding desire, which is very normal and certainly understandable, often results in unintended cultural insensitivity to the Ethiopian government and citizens. With over 3,000 adoptions expected in Ethiopia this year, hotels and other common gathering places such as shopping areas often see relatively large numbers of families with their newly adopted Ethiopian child.Given that the vast majority of American and European families adopting from Ethiopia are Caucasian or other non-black, the adoptive families and their Ethiopian child are easily distinguished and are often a point of curiosity among Ethiopian citizens. Understandably, due to misconceptions about adoption some Ethiopian citizens even look upon American and European adoptive families with suspicion. Cultural differences in parenting and child behavior are contributing to this suspicion.The large number of adoptive families combined with the curiosity and suspicions of Ethiopian citizens and with cultural differences in parenting and child behavior, is unfortunately causing unintended yet very significant concerns among some Ethiopian citizens and the government. Subsequently these unintended consequences are weakening the work and services being provided in order to ensure permanent families for the children of Ethiopia. Without exaggeration, this may lead to the elimination of intercountry adoption as an option for ensuring that every Ethiopian child has a safe, permanent and loving family.During Joint Council’s trips to Ethiopia in June and July, concerns regarding the large numbers of adoptive families, including the Ethiopian child, staying at hotels and traveling throughout the city were expressed repeatedly by the Ethiopian government. Significant numbers of Ethiopian citizens have contacted the government with questions and more significantly with complaints.During a Joint Council presentation to adoption service providers from the United States, Italy and France, Joint Council addressed the very important issue of cultural sensitivities. All adoption service providers were strongly urged to refrain from utilizing hotels and restricting in-city travel for adoptive families. Supporting Joint Council’s recommendation was the Network (a large association of adoption service providers in Ethiopia).Most adoption service providers that recognized the issue of cultural sensitivity are following the recommendation. In fact some have instituted cultural sensitivity policies regarding lodging and in-city travel prior to the Joint Council recommendation. For example, increasing numbers of adoption service providers have established private guesthouses for adoptive families. Unfortunately not all adoption service providers have chosen to be proactive and implement cultural sensitivity policies. Just as unfortunately, many adoptive parents are insisting on staying at hotels and going shopping in Addis Ababa despite repeated requests from their adoption service provider, reputable advocates such as the Network and the Ethiopian government.It is essential that adoptive parents and adoption service providers demonstrate respect for the country in which they are respectively adopting and working. Without demonstrating respect for the country and its people, the adoptive family is in turn disregarding the culture of their child(ren). Similarly the adoption service provider is disrespecting the children they seek to serve.It is for these reasons and more that we urge adoption service providers to encourage adoptive parent to please refrain from staying in hotels and venturing out in public with their newly adoptive children. With respectful deference to cultural sensitivities in Ethiopia, to the Government of Ethiopia, and to the people of Ethiopia, Joint Council strongly urges all adoption service providers to immediately implement policies which incorporate the following principles. Adoptive parents are similarly requested to respect their child(ren), their birth country and culture and abide by the following principles and the policies of their adoption service provider.Cultural Sensitivity Principles and GuidelinesPrinciples1. All due care must be given to demonstrate cultural sensitivities towards the country, people and government of Ethiopia2. Full recognition of the questions, concerns, curiosities and suspicions must be given to the Government of Ethiopia and its citizens3. It is recognized that adopting an Ethiopian child is a ‘privilege of giving’ bestowed by the citizens and government of Ethiopia4. It is recognized that every Ethiopian child has a right to a family - every family does not have an inherent right to an Ethiopian child5. Actions and behaviors which may not appear to be offensive to U.S. adoptive parents, may in fact be extremely offensive to Ethiopian society6. Actions and behaviors seen as culturally insensitive damage the institution of intercountry adoption and thereby limit opportunities for children in need to find a family7. Actions and behaviors seen as culturally insensitive significantly contribute to the possible elimination of intercountry adoption in Ethiopia and thereby eliminate the right of every Ethiopian child to a safe, permanent and loving familyGuidelines1. Adoption service providers will incorporate these principles and guidelines into their contractual or policy relationships with potential adoptive families2. Adoption service providers will disclose the contractual or policy limitations related to cultural sensitivities to all prospective adoptive parents prior to approving an application from the prospective adoptive parents3. Prior to taking custody of their adopted Ethiopian child, adoptive families may reside in a hotel during their staya. It is recommended that adoptive families utilize Ethiopian Guest Houses or a lodging facility operated by an adoption service provider during their entire stay in Ethiopiab. Adoptive families who have not taken full custody of their adopted Ethiopian child may choose to utilize a hoteli. In such cases the adoptive parents may visit their adopted Ethiopian child daily at the child care center4. Upon taking custody of their adopted Ethiopian child, adoptive families will utilize Ethiopian Guest Houses or a lodging facility operated by an adoption service provider5. Adoptive families will refrain from in-country travel with their adopted Ethiopian childa. Exceptions to this guideline (#5) are limited toi. The visa appointment at the U.S. Embassyii. Other adoption related eventsiii. An emergency situation6. Adoptive families will refrain from pressuring their adoption service provider or in-country staff to violate these principles, guidelines and/or agency polices representing these principles and guidelines

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm in the News!!!

Well my trial is at least!!!! It's so cool to have a news article to show off!!! I'm a govt attorney so they can't print my name without permission from DC, but it's still cool to know it was me who tried the case.....

Here's the article...

NLRB orders nurses rehired at Oak Lawn nursing home

October 17, 2008
BY MIKE NOLAN Staff writer
The owner of an Oak Lawn nursing home has been ordered to rehire three nurses fired earlier this year after they backed a union's efforts to organize employees at the facility.
A National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge also ordered Regal Health and Rehabilitation Center to begin contract negotiations with the Service Employees International Union.
Michael Lerner, president of GEM Healthcare, which operates Regal, said Thursday he would appeal the NLRB decision, which was released earlier this week.
The judge agreed with the union's assertions that Regal supervisors interrogated employees about union activities, threatened to blackball workers who engaged in union activities and unfairly fired three nurses because they supported the union's organizing efforts. Some employees were promised rewards if they spied on pro-union workers, according to the judge's decision.
The judge ordered that a notice spelling out key points of the ruling be posted inside the nursing home at 9525 S. Mayfield.
Lerner denied that workers were dismissed because of organizing activities.
"Absolutely not," he said.
At hearings earlier this year in Chicago on the union's charges, one nurse who was ultimately fired said her supervisor threatened her with termination if she joined SEIU. The supervisor told her that Lerner "would not tolerate the union and that anyone involved in the union would be terminated," according to the judge's decision.
The employees were fired in January and March, and the NLRB judge ordered Regal to reimburse them for any loss of earnings "suffered as a result of the discriminatory discharges

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Statement of Reasons to Adopt

I completed mine. I thought it would be hard to write, but I finished and then had to shorten it to keep it on one page. Not sure if the agency will have edits, but I think it turned out well.

Today there was a bit of bickering on my adoption board. I backed out of it very quickly. I have to get over the feeling that because I'm single I should just be grateful that they accepted me. I don't want to rock the boat and have them say no because of it.

Don't get me wrong, my agency is great and have never done anything to make me feel this way, I just think all of those "no singles" i got from the domestic folks has made me overly appreciative of someone who said "yes". If that makes sense at all?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Okay, I told myself I wouldn't do this, but I just couldn't resist. I purchased this mobile for Eden. It's so cute with her butterfly theme. I have to get things under control with the shopping. I set a budget, and I think I will stay under it, but it's so hard to keep track. These things just keep being delivered from Ebay and sometimes I don't even know how they got to my house :).

Friday, October 17, 2008


I just found out that I won a huge trial. The judge's decision was 71 pages, so that gives you some idea of how big a case this was. It lasted 6 days!!!!

The case involved a group of nurses who were fired for trying to start a union. They were all very excited to learn that they will soon return to work.

As for Eden, nothing new to report. I'm just in the paperchas and hoping that things go smoothly.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Revised Birth Certificate

The revised certificate finally arrived!!!!! Very happy that I can send in the i600 application tomorrow. Things are finally moving along. I still have at least two months before homestuday approval, but at least there is finally some movement.

2nd Home Study

The visit went well. She took a little background info and we discussed the expected completion date. It's looking like late December. The actual home visit will be on November 4th.

I finally ordered something from mamabargains, thanks for the heads up tami!!! I ordered a Jessica Messenger bag and saved about one hundred bucks. I really love a good deal. I have to relax on the spending though, the visa bill was not pretty this month.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Black Catholics

Last night I went to a small dinner for young black catholics and it was really nice. I met a woman who is doing a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases. She and I ended up talking for about two hours. She volunteered to review Eden's medical report. I'm going to pay someone to look over the docs, but it's nice to have a second opinion as well. Apparently, there are only about one hundred docs who are in her specialty.

She and I got into a long discussion about innoculations and autism. I'm nervous about innocs but I also believe that we are responsible for oursleves and each other. I would never forego innoculations but I will do a revised schedule that does not combine the MMR. The new doc friend was telling me horror stories that she runs across from those who don't innoculate. Anyway, it was nice to pick the brain of an expert for two hours.

I have my second homestudy visit on Tuesday and I still do not have the birth certificate. I will call again on Monday, this is so frustrating.

Monday, October 6, 2008

One more

here's the other side of her nursery...i live in an old chicago house so the rooms aren't that big...

my baby pic

here's my baby pic that i'm posting according to robbin's tag request...i just snapped them with the camera so they're not great.....i think i was around 6 months but not really sure...i sort of look the same...

nursery pic

Here's the first one. Tons more to do, but you get the basic idea....

Update and Tag


Looks like I have all my ducks in a row. Signed up for my adoption training. Have my next homestudy appt scheduled. My social worker is Tara withLuther Child and Family Services. She's a total sweetie and very organized. I'm really happy with the work she has done on my file. Only two more sessions and the homestudy should be complete. Tara says that Illinois has a crazy rule that all homestudies must be approved by Springfield before approval. That adds an additional month to the timeline before I'm on the waitlist. UUUHHHHHH!!!!

Eden's room is just too cute. I put her bedding on the crib, couldn't help myself. Will have to post pics soon.

I was tagged by Robbin, so here goes......

Okay so of course I get to "pay it forward" and tag me some other folks, here are the rules
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the taggers know when your entry is up.
So I tag the following people

1. I eat cookies/dessert EVERY night.
2. My favorite color is blue but I don't own many blue clothes.
3. I'm an only child.
4. I have about 3 best friends.
5. I've been trying to grow my hair back, but it's taking forever.
6. My favorite hobby is reading.

Okay, I'm not much of blogger so I don't have anyone to tag, but I did enjoy playing. Will get a baby pic up as well