Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Still somewhat in the dark

Hi all. Biruk's surgery went well today. From the looks of things, not official yet, but it appears it is not cancer or infection. Waiting for test verification but looking good. Which leaves us with the obvious question: What is it??? Loosely, it is bone fibrosis, and we are still in the dark about what to do about it. The Doctor will call me Friday or Monday, after the cultures have time to cook, and then he will discuss with me his thoughts.
Overall I am happy with today, but still rather frustrated.
I'll share more as info trickles in.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Wednesday morning bright and early, Biruk and I will be at Children's Memorial for his biopsy. I will post as soon as I can. He is chipper and kind of excited to see what will happen with this mysterious procedure: "surgery". He didn't know what surgery was. It took some time, but we finally figured out he knew "operation."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Did I make it?

I was so close. Scott had to call for backup and get a ride to church. I really almost made it. I have driven downtown many many many times, but not to Northwestern and I chose to follow the directions rather than my instincts. Rand McNally listed the wrong exit and I ended up on 55 south in stand still traffic for 25 minutes until I could turn around. The good news is I got the xrays where they needed to be and the assistant ran down to meet me and I didn't have to park!
Naturally the day didn't end there. While I was making my way down Michigan ave (do you know how many people are walking downtown on Friday at 3:30? It's madness!) the bank called. They forgot to have me sign one of the forms. Could you get back here before 6:00? Sure- as we know, I am not bound by the confines of time or space. I picked up Scott and the boys at the church at 4:30 and got to hug the girls before they left. Made Sveta sad that we couldn't wait until the bus left- had to go to the bank, and drove away as she stood at the end of the sidewalk with a forlorn look on her face and her arms stretched out toward me. More on that in a minute.
Picked up drive-thru for the boys on the way to the bank, signed the paper, stopped home to get baseball gear, and went on to practice. Before I left for practice, Scott had the audacity to tell me that "he was beat". Really? You're tired? How can I make it better? Yeah, he's beat.
Picked up 2 movies at Redbox on the way home, put the boys to bed and finally I started to relax. 10 minutes into The Changeling, the phone rings. It's Sveta. She just got there and she is homesick and hurt by the other girls who are making an imaginary line in the room and dictating who can cross it. She just really misses us.
Who's phone are you on?
My councilor's.
Let me talk to her.
She is standing next to Sveta while she is talking to me and lets me know that she thought everyone was having a good time, this was the first she had heard of the "boundaries".
Why don't you look into that.
At this point, Sveta is back on the phone and I hand it to Scott. I have nothing left. I knew from the look on her face when I drove away that Sveta would be manufacturing some drama tonight. She is suffering right now as she navigates her adoption story and creates different ways to get fulfillment from us. It is difficult for me, because nothing is going to fill this void for her. She has to embrace her story before she can move on. I know it will take a while and there isn't much I can do to help. I believe she is a strong girl deep down, but this pre-adolescent to adolescent stage takes it's toll on even the strongest who don't have the additional weight of adoption baggage. We all know women who have never recovered from it and are trapped there. I pray constantly that Sveta will make it through and I fret over her choices.
Take the imaginary line situation from above:
Here's the problem- nice girls like Sveta and her friends don't know how to handle people who are mean. They respond most of the time by being pleasers. They think if "I do what they want, they will be my friend and everything will be ok." But it's not. The mean girls are still mean, and she is restricted to half of the room. She doesn't understand that if the girls wanted to be her friend, she would already be on the other side of the line. (of course I wouldn't want her on that side...) I have talked to Sveta since kindergarten about the fact that nobody has power over you unless you give it to them. She struggles with it because she can't understand the meany's motivation.
How do you teach your child to have backbone? Because she has bought the bill of goods that says that girls are supposed to be "nice", she hasn't yet figured out how to be nice without being a doormat.
This is how strong I want Sveta to be. When this situation happens, I want her to be able to say, "You know, that's not nice. I won't be playing this game. If you girls wish to limit yourselves to that half of the room, feel free, but I will be going where I like." And walk on.
Here's the problem. Because she is seeking to fill that void inside, she is choosing to be victimized for validation from us. I worry that she will get stuck here. Someone I love very much is trapped at the age of 12 because she couldn't/wouldn't accept her story and move on. I am sure Sveta will get through this, but what if she doesn't? I am a fixer and I can't fix this.
Needless to say, I didn't sleep last night.
I tend to lean on my own understanding here and forget to rely on my Heavenly Father for His strength. Please pray for me and pray for Sveta and Biruk and Andy and Mel and Hanna... most of all, pray for Scott, because after all, he's beat.

(OK, that last part was snarky. I just thought is was funny. Please pray for him too. He is distressed as well, it just doesn't wrap the post up with a smile when he's not the butt of things.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The low down

Ok. We went to the doctor today. The good news is that the blood work doesn't show an infection. The bad news is that the blood work doesn't show an infection. His problem is not presenting typically for infection or cancer or tumor. It is a mystery. Therefore, just like I thought, he wants a biopsy. He can schedule it for the 30th, but first, he would like to see another xray to see if there is any bone change since last month. Great. No problem. Well, small problem. He is on the north side of Chicago, and all xrays need to be taken in Tinley Park. If that had been included in the last Doctor notes, we could have had them done and brought them along. Instead, we have to come back to Tinley Park. Pronger Smith wants the doctor notes before they will okay the xrays. I found a way around waiting for approval of doctor's notes. I made an appointment with Dr. Marcus who will call for the xrays. We go Friday morning at 10:40. Then I have to drive them to Northwestern (Dr. Yasko's other office) so he can read them and schedule the biopsy. Before I can take them downtown, we are closing on a refinance at 1:00. Then I will run downtown. I need to be back in time to take the girls to the church where they go to GEMS at 4:15. They are going to a camp in Wisconsin for the weekend. I have to do all of this because Scott can't drive. On top of that, we have a 9am breakfast birthday party and if I don't get all the info to the doctor in time, it will be 2 weeks before we can have the biopsy done because the doctor is going out of town again.

To recap, this is the schedule for Friday:
9:00 birthday party
10:40 Pronger Smith for xrays- but not Tinley Park, I have to go to Blue Island (one of those places that is difficult to get to, in a vortex so to speak)
1:00 close on re-fi at the bank
2:00ish take family home and go to Northwestern in Chicago
4:15 Girls to Church for camp drop off
6:00 Baseball practice until 8
I had a doctor's appointment at 5:45, but I canceled it
After all of that, they may not approve the biopsy in time for the 30th.

Deep breath, it will all get done and what will be will be.
That's all for now.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Guess who thought he could play soccer with the Ethiopians, like the Ethiopians (no shoes).
Guess who was wrong.
That's right. Scott. He is the winner of not broken bones, but major soft tissue damage!
The word surgery was bandied about, but after 3 rounds of x-rays, a cast was settled on.

It was a tough game, nearly all of the kids (22) and 2 adults were in a fierce battle to dominate the field. After a number of near misses and shouts of "Please put your shoes on!" Scott was down. His toes folded under his foot as he ran across the yard. He hobbled off the field as the children cheered their victory.
Scott chose a "wait and see" attitude even as his foot continued to swell. He elevated his foot that night, suffered through church the next morning and finally admitted defeat as I drove him to urgent care. A follow up visit with the orthopaedic and the splint confirmed a diagnosis of O-L-D syndrome. You guessed it, folks. Scott is old.

(If you're wondering where this picture was taken, it's in my basement. Don't get me started.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I was walking past the bathroom and stopped in the doorway. Biruk was in there with the door half closed. He was washing his hands and singing,
"Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love tomorrow."

I waited for him to see me. He smiled.

"What's tomorrow?"

Big smile, "I get my cast off!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The hair photos.

Ok, so I'm not wearing any makeup and it is getting late, but I will share the bad hair with you. (I used the crystal eye web cam. Really fun!)
Tiny rant:
How hard is it to stack the back?! I think she thought I said hack the back.
Look at the last photo, everyone knows the front is supposed to be the longest. It was before she started cutting. It isn't even even.
Let me just also say, Dude do I have a big nose!
Now, make me feel better please. About the hair, not the nose. That's not her fault.

Friday, April 10, 2009

In the palm of God's hand

"He's got the whole world in his hand..." We all know the children's song. It was always fun to sing. But here's the thing. We really are in His hands. Every once in a while, if your looking for it, you will see his hands move to your benefit.
It is very evident that Biruk has something seriously wrong with his lower right leg. The insurance has been very good about quickly referring him to where ever he needs to go. This latest referral has been a little bit more of a challenge for them to refer him within network, but we got the call yesterday that they made him an appointment at Children's Memorial Hospital for the 23rd of April and that they would be calling us.
A woman named Maryanne took the call for the appointment. She worked in orthopedics for 7 years, but when she turned 60 she downsized her position and moved to appointments. When she arranged for Biruk's appointment, she was unhappy giving him an appointment so far out (Dr. Yasko is on vacation). She felt that a child who fell off of his bike and broke his arm, but complained of leg pain, needed a little extra intervention. She did not want him to wait. She felt that he NEEDED to be seen by the doctor that she used to work for. He went to Harvard, Stanford, and Northwestern. She made the call, and Dr. King agreed that Biruk should be seen as soon as possible. Biruk's appointment is now Monday the 13th. He and Dr. Yasko will be taking care of my son together. From what I can find out, they both are brilliant.

It is not hard to see God's hands at work. He is constantly working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. He called us to Biruk and made us his parents. He will take care of my son.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Let's rant, Shall we?

lets start with the small stuff and then get to the big stuff.

First, what is it about hair stylists that makes them go out of their way to disregard what you have asked them to do? I got my hair cut last night and watched, astounded, as she did everything I asked her not to do. Before she ever began cutting, I told her what I wanted. If she couldn't do it or didn't understand, she should have sent me elsewhere. Instead, she began cutting. And cutting. And cutting. It was clear to her that I was becoming less and less pleased. At one point I actually said, "please don't cut that." She paused, snipped, and said,"What? Oh, did you ask me not to cut that?" Yep, I did. Before you ever began cutting, and then one second before you did.
I finally said please stop now. She wanted to know what could have happened differently, how can she fix it. I told her it was entirely my fault. I should have gone to the place that originally did what I wanted. I walked in to this place and said, "don't touch the front, and take the back off." For $7.99, she did it. Really, $7.99.
I'll stop now. Believe it or not, my hair is cute. Just so very not what I asked for. I don't get it. Every other woman I see has a variant of this cut. I have had it on my very own head! Maybe it's better that it's an original. Whatever.

On to rant #2

What is it about a simple command from Mom that makes every kid ask "Why?"

Get your shoes and coat. Why?
Get in the Car. Why?
Get your finger out of your nose and use a tissue. Why?
Stop talking. Why?
Be nice to your siblings. Why?
Eat dinner. Why?
Set the table. Why?
Get the fire extinguisher. Why?

I think you get the point. I have a number of problems with my children asking why. I understand curiosity, but when they ask, there are a number of implications behind the seemingly innocent question.
When they ask the question, they are making a value judgement about what you are telling them to do. Like there is an option. Maybe they don't have to do it if they don't deem it necessary. The bottom line is it doesn't matter WHY. There is a hierarchy in the family and I am the boss. It sucks to be the boss, but it is true. Someone must be in charge and it is me.
When they ask, (about absolutely everything) it says that my position as leader is in question. It is wrong and offensive. They don't realize that that is what is happening, but I do. I have children in the home who do not have a foundation in this family. It really is imperative that everyone understand how the family runs. If I am not in charge, who is? Where is their security? How can I protect them if they don't have to obey? That really is the bottom line.

Additionally, if anyone else asks me "Why", I really do think my head may explode. I actually gave the kids this advise: "When mom tells you to do something, just say 'yes mom', and then do it.

so the answers are:

It's cold outside and we are going somewhere. (quickly followed by the question "Where?" like maybe they don't have to go if they don't want to...
Again, we are going somewhere. See answer 1
Hello, it's gross!
I do not argue with my children. Therefore, stop talking.
It is the law.
Dinner is ready.
I told you to.
GET THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have more, but I am sick of complaining. I will save more for another day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

revisiting the sick leg

You may recall that I was concerned that my children would catch the flu and/or strep from me recently but that the only thing that got sick was Biruk's leg.
I had a great laugh about that when it happened, however it turns out Biruk's leg really is sick.
In the past month, Biruk has had x-rays, a bone scan, and an MRI. The x-ray showed nothing, the bone scan showed something, and the MRI really showed something.
What specifically, is inconclusive at this time but seems to be infection or cancer. We are now being referred to a specialist at the University of Chicago.
I am confidant the we will be in good hands at the hospital, knowing that we are always in the best hands of God.
I don't know what it is, but I am so glad that Biruk is here with us so we can find out. Please pray for guidance and healing and I will keep you posted as we learn more.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I removed this post

I removed this post. I did some searching and Snopes as well as other sources disclaim it. I just found it interesting and something to think about. I don't want to waste people's valuable time thinking about something that is a sensational rumor.
You are officially absolved from giving this another thought.
In the future I will keep things centered on my family and the jumbled state of my brain.
Have a great day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Glimpse of the future?

So we all went to Wal Mart yesterday. Scott did a head count and got anxious because he only counted five.

We only have five.