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WAITING FOR NOODLE

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye! So Long Farewell Good RIDANCE to 2009




And that is all I have to say about that!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009






When ZHU Zhu's Attack!!!

Molly and the Zhu Zhu's

A new photographer is born!!!

Jazzy and the presents
Ruger

Noah, Paul, and Theresa

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I am going to not be sappy, I am going to not be sappy, I am going to not be sappy!!! LOL. I don't want to make my mom cry again ( and I know you are reading this!!!) So I am not going to post my usual man I wish the kids were home for the holidays sadness. Instead I will reiterate what I have said both on facebook, and to my waiting friends.
Merry CHristmas everyone! Peace to all my fellow waiting friends. love to all my family, friends both new and old, Joy to all the children and the young at heart. My CHristmas wish for Santa is to bring me an end to the journey I have started. Thank you to All for being along on the path.And comfort to our kids while they are waiting. (here I MUST insert a message to a friend of mine VK you know who you are. And yes I am antagonizing you! But I don't care what you, or anyone else says these 65 kids are ours in our hearts, our souls, our whole being so I WILL call her my daughter on this CHristmas Day and forever. Whether she becomes legally ours this year it is not our time to know that yet. But rest assured our group will not go down without a fight.)

Last week Santa in Kg sent a nice suprise. photos. More stripes!! I swear Miss Noodle when you come home you will never ever ever wear stripes again!

Then Christmas Eve morning I received great photos and updates from our friends at www.actofkindness.blogspot.com The donations from the Pie Challenge have been sent to the teams all over the globe. The shopping has been done and the parties have begun. Over the next few weeks the kids will be met by numerous fun gifts and suprises. ( and to those wondering... I am having a video issue with my Pie video... I promise it will get done... As soon as I resolve my technical difficulties!)
For this Christmas morning I leave you with the words of Tiny Tim in the Muppet Christmas Carol. And a peak at our photo of Noodle. " Life is like a journey, who knows where it ends?" and

God Bless us ... Every one!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

7 Days before Christmas

Twas a week before Christmas....
The emotions are stirring....
I want to be happy, I want to be glad
So many things but instead today I start sad.

sigh... I look back over
this year that has gone and
we are still in the same place one year later.

Really. I could just repost all the posts from last year every day from now until Christmas and the emotions would be exactly the same. We are no closer today one year later to being parents of Noodle then we were one year ago.

But Christmas will come and we will visit our family and friends. Its been a very rough and emotional two years. I sure hope that an even year of 2010 can offer some more even emotions. We are facing some difficult decisons. (don't worry none involve quitting the Kyrgyz program. I will stand outside the orphanage when she is 16 if I have to) Hopefully those decisions will bring about some good changes for the rest of our lives.

On a good note there was a new Kyrgyz article written last week by our friend Laurie Rich. Lisa B and myself were quoted. There are some plans being laid for the beginning of the year for our Kyrgyz "friends" (thats a bit sarcastic). Check back mid January and early February on that news! In the meantime here is the article.

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav121409b.shtml

Friday, December 18, 2009

EURASIA INSIGHT
KYRGYZSTAN: ADOPTIVE FAMILIES LOSING HOPE AS KYRGYZ CHILDREN REMAIN STUCK IN CENTRAL ASIA
Laurie Rich 12/14/09

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US lawmakers intend to press the government of Kyrgyzstan to expedite the adoptions of 65 Kyrgyz children by American families. The adoptions have been stalled as Kyrgyz officials mull changes to the Central Asian state’s adoption framework.

Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) are preparing a letter to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev concerning the 65 stalled adoptions, according to a spokesperson in Sen. Brownback’s office.

Despite encouraging signs earlier this fall that the situation might be resolved, the Kyrgyz Parliament failed to take action on new adoption legislation in a mid-November session, as had been expected. The parliament pushed off further talks on the issue to February 15, citing a need for "deeper study," according to the parliamentary press service. The latest delay is causing some of the prospective American parents to lose hope that they will ever be allowed to bring the children to the United States.

"Every time we think we’re right there ...something changes in the government," said Ann Bates, a Pennsylvania pediatric nurse who has been waiting since June 2008 to bring home the four-year-old girl with mild cerebral palsy she was matched with. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

The prospective parents thought they had achieved a breakthrough back in September when Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov promised senators Brownback and Casey that he would urge parliament to expedite the pending adoptions. But three weeks later, Chudinov resigned in a governmental shakeup by President Bakiyev. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

It was Chudinov who instituted a moratorium on international adoptions in February of 2009 amid allegations of fraud and child trafficking on the part of orphanages and adoption workers. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. The government has been investigating those claims, and, with the aid of UNICEF, is developing a new adoption framework.

The 65 US families had gone through the often year-long process to be matched with an adoptable Kyrgyz child and were in the final stages of adoption when the Kyrgyz officials stopped processing applications. Many of the children have disabilities, including one girl who has become blind and deaf and has incurred brain damage during the wait because of late-diagnosed hydrocephalus, a problem that likely would have been treated immediately in the United States, the girl’s prospective adoptive mother, a Florida pediatrician, believes.

"The human costs of these delays are so enormous," said Lisa Brotherton, who has been waiting to be handed the baby girl with whom she was matched since 2008. Brotherton, who visited Bishkek last August, believes the baby has Cerebral Palsy and is malnourished based on diagnoses she received from doctors who examined photographs of the girl.

"For her to continue to be victimized by languishing in a place where she can make no life-long bonds adds insult to injury," said Brotherton, who worries that the adverse psychological effects -- like attachment disorders, depression and PTSD - will affect their children.

The prospective parents are well aware of an ongoing Harvard Medical School study called the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, which has shown that children in Romanian orphanages had significantly lower IQs (65 versus 103) than children living in the community. Those living in orphanages also have a much higher rate of mental illness than those living in the community, the study also shows. Those placed in foster families made dramatic recoveries in mental health and language acquisition - but the success rates were significantly diminished for those who were older than two when they were put into the foster homes.

The US State Department has tried to intervene on behalf of the families, raising the adoption issue in meetings with Kyrgyz diplomats, according to a State Department official. The US government also brought a group of Kyrgyz MPs this May to the United States to discuss the adoptions and to meet with some families.

"The Department of State has urged the Kyrgyz government to complete its criminal investigation and resolve the pending cases so that eligible children can be placed in permanent homes," the official said in an e-mailed response to EurasiaNet’s questions. "The Department will continue to engage the Kyrgyz government on this issue."


Editor's Note: Laurie Rich is a EurasiaNet staff writer.

Posted December 14, 2009 © Eurasianet

Sunday, December 6, 2009

3






Today Noodle is 3. I hope that in years to come I can look back at this blog with Noodle sitting next to me and tell her that she was loved, thought of, prayed about, every single day from even before I knew anything about her. Over the last 18 months I have watched from afar as Noodle has changed from a baby into a toddler. Although she is not legally our daughter, she is my daughter in my heart from the day we met. I hold her close every day and every night. So today I say Happy Birthday. Last year we celebrated together. Last year we made sure every child in her orphanage had a little something special. But this year all I can do is pray that next year will not be the same. If when we are reading this you can learn anything from what we endured waiting is the never ending love, and passion so many people had for each and every one of the children who are waiting. You are loved and you are longed for.

мой дочь, я Вас люблю. с днём рождения

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Only a few more hours for PIE


Happy Thanksgiving to All. This year I am thankful for everyone who stands beside us while we patiently (andsometimes not so patiently) wait for a certain Central Asian government to let the children we love become a part of our families. I am thankful for my friends, my family, and for all my new found friends. This has been an amazing year full of heartache and tears. But also full of new found wonder at the how the kindness of others can affect so many... There are just a few more hour in our PIE Challenge. Help CIndy reach $500... or any of us reach $1000.... Tell your friends, post and cross post. Just $5 a piece!!!! Thank You John and Julie for all you do. Thanks to Kyle and Sergey, Anya, Larissa, and Jengish and so many others for giving of themselves so many others will have HOPE!!!
http://www.actofkindness.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shout it OUT.

I no longer intend to stay quiet! I will get the attention of someone, anyone and everyone who will listen. If you are reading this feel free to send it to your Senator, your Congressman, your local newspaper. Hilary Clinton, ANYONE who we could get involved. We are at an impasse. And we have nothing to lose. SHOUT IT OUT for our kids. and for all the kids in any orphanage where their GOVERNMENT believes they are better off. I have seen things in those institutions that would make your toes curl! It is abuse and neglect! And someone needs to help!

Good Morning,
As you are all aware I am one of the 60 plus waiting families in Kyrgyzstan. This morning (Nov 13) the latest news out of Bishkek states that Parliment has put off the state of International adoptions until February of next year. I do not believe that some of our children have this time to spare. I have seen photos of some of the waiting children. There is obvious neglect in this situation. The human rights of 65 children are being totally violated. There is a child with such a severe cleft lip and palate that it is preventing her from getting enough nutrition to grow. At the age of almost two she is the weight of a 3 month old child. There are kids with Cardiac defects that are not being evaluated by cardiologists. Children with Cerebral Palsey that are not getting the necessary intervention to provide them with the opportunity to have a normal life. Children who are being denied the love of a family while political parties can't decide their fate. I intend to become very verbal in this fight against the neglect that is going on. Kyrgyzstan is just one country and one example of children's rights being violated by foreign politicians who have no education in the field of child welfare. I believe at this point the only thing that will save our children from many more months of institutionalization is gaining the support of a higher authority in our government. Please pass this along to every level. I believe that the 65 cases could be resolved but not without intervention from above. I appreciate everything that JCICS and the Department of State has done and is doing to help resolve this. I send out those words of gratitude over and over. But we have come to an impasse where we need even more help. Please, Please help us help our kids. February 15 is just another date in a string of 2 years worth of dates.

Ann BAtes





Ryan & Ambassador:

If there is no word tomorrow (NOV. 13) that the Kyrgyz Parliament is going to immediately release the 66 children who have been waiting

for their adoptive families almost 2 YEARS, is it possible for Secretary of State Clinton's office to make direct contact (phone call) to the

Kyrgyz President to request the lifting of the moritorium on THESE 66 adoptions????

The families and agencies have waited and waited for almost 2 years now. It seems no one --- not the new Prime Minister nor the

Kyrgyz Parliament has the will or courage to do the right thing and release these already referred children to their families. This issue

should NOT be linked to what Kyrgyzstan wants to do about international adoption in the future..

We will encourage families and agencies and any other concerned parties to contact your offices hundreds of times a day, if needed, to

stress to you that your high level contact with the Kyrgyz President is now our only hope for the immediate release of these 66 children,

many who desperately need surgery and other medical care.

Please do NOT put this issue off until next month or next year. This is a case of the human rights of orphanaged children being abused.

Immediate, strong, direct action is a must now. We are depending on you.

Thank you for your involvement

Madder then a hornet!

Ok so this am we got the news we thought we would get... Another date to wait for.

This from 24.kg. Basically the same info:

Consideration of the transfer of children from Kyrgyzstan on international adoption postponed until February 2010

13/11 08:25, Bishkek --IA «24.kg», Ayzada Kutueva

Consideration of the transfer of children from Kyrgyzstan on international adoption postponed until February 2010. This decision was made today at a meeting of the Jogorku Kenesh following consideration of the actual implementation of the LCD of the CD on the transfer of children left without parental care, for adoption (adoption) to foreign nationals.

Thus, the deputies have enabled the new government to understand the existing legislation and to take adequate measures to address this issue. Recall that last year set up an interdepartmental commission has identified a number of violations in the area of adoption of children by foreign citizens and the problems in the legislation governing this issue.


URL: http://24.kg/ parlament/ 51927-2009/ 06/16/114991. html

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pie in Your FAce Christmas Challenge


Every Year in Central Asia there are orphans and others who know what Christmas is. But it is only because there are folks who care and make a difference in their lives. Just think, what would you do with $5? Buy a starbucks coffee? In Central Asia that same $5 will allow a child to attend a day ful of Christmas activity lunch at a favorite local restraunt an activity with adults who care and a Christmas gift that they will cherish the whole year. Not to mention years worth of positive memories. This year I have joined my friends to help with this Christmas Challenge. I am partnering with my fellow waitng families. My Challenge is to come up with $500 in donations. For each $500 I will be taking a PIE in the FACE for the children. I am sure my fellow PAP's would love to also partake in this. My pooches will really be happy for every Pie In MY face there will certainly be 7 happy pups will to catch whatever hits the floor!!! So my first challenge is to generate $500. My second challenge goes out to all my fellow PAP's..... send this out to all your friends.... All your friends' friends and family.... For $5 lets see how many Pies we need to come up with.
All right so how do you donate???? Follow the link to John's site...
http://actofkindness.blogspot.com/2009/11/one-for-kids-pie-in-face-challenge.html

Go to the donate button and then be sure to choose Ann for all the PAP's !!!!! We will be credited for the donation.

And for the record... In just one 24 hour period. we have already received $200. GO PAPs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be The Answer Day




Ok so I have not posted for awhile. Not really anything to post... But figured would jump in here on a fellow blogger and friend and PAP's challenge and see what we can whip up!! Feel free to copy and paste and send all over.
As everyone is well aware Joint Council for International Children's Sevices has been a HUGE advocate for not only our Kyrgyz adoption but for all PAP's and countries dealing with issues in international adoption and children's affairs. On Facebook There is a Causes page and Causes has come up with an American Giving Challenge. Each day causes will be eligible to win $1000. And at the end of the year $50,000 will be won. The challenge is to get donations sent to the Cause we are supporting. This is link to the pledge page!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Follow up articles

Two follow up articles from our angel reporter Laurie Rich of Eurasianet

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav092309b.shtml


Thursday, October 8, 2009

EURASIA INSIGHT
KYRGYZSTAN: US AND KYRGYZ LEGISLATORS SEEK WAY TO END ADOPTION DELAY
Laurie Rich 9/23/09

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The 65 American families whose adoptions of Kyrgyz orphans have been stalled for more than a year are picking up political support in both the United States and Kyrgyzstan, as they hope to bring their ordeal to a quick conclusion.

US legislators became active on September 18 in trying to broker a solution. Eleven members of the US Congress sent a letter that day to the Kyrgyz Embassy in Washington, DC, requesting a meeting with Prime Minister Igor Chudinov during his stay in the United States in connection with the UN General Assembly. An embassy spokesperson said on September 22 that the congressional request was under consideration.

The catalyst for congressional involvement was US Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Other signatories of the letter included; Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS); Mark Kirk (R-IL); Maurice Hinchey (D-NY); Gerald Connolly (D-VA); Roy Blunt (R-MO); Tom Price (R-GA), K. Michael Conaway (R-TX); John Salazar (D-CO); John Linder (R-GA); and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

"As a former foster mother to 23 children, I experienced first-hand the importance of every child being placed in a stable and loving family," Bachmann said in an email interview with EurasiaNet. She is familiar with the issue both because she has a constituent who is affected by the moratorium, and is a member of a Congressional group on adoption. "In this case, 65 children have been blessed with families who want to provide this wonderful experience, and it is imperative that they are united as soon as possible."

Chudinov placed an official moratorium on international adoptions last February to restructure the nation’s system and investigate alleged corruption, though the processing of adoptions had effectively been frozen six months before that date. Since then, the 65 American families have been caught in a state of limbo. They had already been matched with - and, in many instances, had already met - adoptees during in the summer of 2008. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

In early September the US State Department said that there is no known timeframe for when the new Kyrgyz adoption regulatory framework will be submitted for parliamentary consideration. US diplomats noted, however, that a special court ruling would be sufficient to enable pending adoptions to be completed. These days, adoptive parents’ anxieties are compounded by the special needs of many of the children, who, according to the families, could benefit from early medical intervention.

On September 17, Kyrgyz MP Damira Niazalieva raised the issue during a session of parliament, citing the waiting orphans’ special needs. She called for the rapid completion of pending adoptions by Americans, according to the Kyrgyz News outlet 24.kg.

"They suffer from very serious diseases: hydrocephalus, cleft palate, cerebral palsy. Operating on these children requires a lot of money, which is lacking in Kyrgyzstan. That is why these children should be joined as soon as possible with new parents who can pay for their operations," 24.kg quoted Niazalieva as saying.


Editor's Note: Laurie Rich is a EurasiaNet staff writer.


******************************************************************

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav100709a.shtml

Thursday, October 8, 2009

EURASIA INSIGHT
KYRGYZSTAN: PRIME MINISTER CHUDINOV PLEDGES ACTION ON STALLED ADOPTIONS
Laurie Rich 10/07/09

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Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov has promised US legislators that he will urge his country’s parliament to expedite the adoptions of 65 Kyrgyz orphans by American families.

The 65 cases have been held up for more than a year amid a Kyrgyz government effort to overhall the legislative framework covering foreign adoptions. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Chudinov met with US Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Bob Casey (D-PA) in late September in Washington to discuss the pending adoptions. The Kyrgyz prime minister was receptive to the legislators’ requests that the cases be processed, according to the offices of both senators.

"It is my hope and belief the Prime Minister will work to grandfather in these adoption cases and the families in the United States will be able to proceed with their adoptions," Brownback said in an e-mailed statement to EurasiaNet. "I thank the PM for his willingness to work with us, and I stand ready to help as the process continues."

Chudinov told the senators that upon returning to Kyrgyzstan, he would meet with the members of the Kyrgyz parliamentary committee that is in charge of overhauling adoption procedures. Chudinov pledged that he would tell committee members that there is no need to keep holding up these 65 cases, senator Brownback’s office reported.

The Kyrgyz prime minister also agreed to put this pledge in writing, although Senator Brownback’s office had not received any documents regarding this as of October 5. The senators said they would follow up on the status in the next few weeks.

Chudinov introduced a moratorium on international adoption in Kyrgyzstan last February, amid allegations of corruption in the system. The Kyrgyz parliament has been working since then to draft new regulations, providing no timeframe for the completion of the process. In-country UNICEF officers who are working with the government on the issue said on October 6 that the legislation and amendments are finished and are under review by different ministries. As soon as the ministries sign off on the amendments, officials promise to allow for public debate on the proposed changes. Only after ample time for public discussion will the legislation be submitted to parliament. That process could take another six months, according to UNICEF.

Caught in between the old laws and the new are the 65 US families whose adoptions were nearly complete when the system entered into its holding pattern. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Senators Brownback and Casey both have constituents whose pending adoptions remain stalled. Brownback has four families waiting in Kansas, while Casey has five in Pennsylvania. Brownback has taken a particular interest in the case. The senator is the father of two children adopted internationally. "I know how difficult it is to wait to bring home your child," he said.

Before meeting with Brownback and Casey, Chudinov briefly spoke with two of the families enduring stalled adoptions. They told the prime minister about the little girl they were each waiting to bring back with them to the United States and showed him photos. The two families said Chudinov was courteous and offered assurances that he expected a swift resolution to the pending cases. "I was touched ... by his sincerity," one prospective parent said. "It gave me renewed hope that the wait will not be much longer."

Shannon Fenske, a Wisconsin woman who was matched with a little girl with a severe cleft palate in July of 2008, heard about the meetings and feels that real progress is finally being made.

"The fact that the prime minister was so generous with his time and talked with the senators and agreed to go back and address the issue, I have great faith that he will keep his word and do that," Fenske said.

A quick resolution is especially important for the child Fenske and her husband are in the process of adopting because of her cleft palate. As she ages, surgeries become more difficult and offer a diminished chance of success. The family originally thought they would be able to bring the girl to the United States at about four to five months in age and met with surgeons to plan the child’s operations. At that point, according to Fenske, the child would have needed three to four surgeries right away, and five to eight in her teen years. At 14 months the child is now looking at five to seven surgeries to start off, and many later on, Fenske said.

"She has a brightness about her, she still smiles," Fenske said in an early September interview about the pictures she’d recently seen of the girl. "But she’s 14 months old now and we have a very, very long road ahead if we’re allowed to adopt her."


Editor's Note: Laurie Rich is a EurasiaNet staff writer.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Eventful two weeks


Wow! My last two weeks have been crazy. First, on the adoption front I want to thank all my familiy, friends, fellow bloggers, the 60 ish other waiting families and our Senators for this last rally. There is not a lot I am free to share openly but we are hoping we have raised voices loud enough to be heard in Bishkek. We are hoping the mountains in Central Asia are shivering and amazed at the power that we have yielded. Shivering enough so that they may be moved this Friday (Thursday night our time). Hopefully this will be a turning point day. Thursday night my candles will be burning, my prayers being sent out across the miles.

But while all that is going on behind closed doors, and all our folks are working with and for us; life has been quite busy. Well eventful at least. After a few days of my poor coworkers thinking I had gone crazy (hot cold hot cold for two straight nights) I was off again last week for yet another CT scan which landed me back in the hospital for 5 days. Yuck again. This time an abscess maybe or maybe not related to my first surgery. Who knows, but three attendings, 3 CT's and a drain later I am discharged (drain still intact yuck yet again) So I have another unplanned vacation from work. Slowly loosing my time I was supposed to have for when I brought Noodle home. We are going to have to be a bit creative here soon.

While I was in the hospital the new puppy came home! Yeah!! He's so cute. But I guess I am biased. Today was my first full day with him. He is going to be fun. He visited me twice for a few moments while I was in the hospital, then today he had his first outing. He attended a football game. He had some of the kids wrapped around his little paws! My nephew plays football for the Junior High team of my old alma mater. So very cool. The Mifflin beat Muhlenberg this afternoon. Go Stangs!

Anyway here are some fun photos raw from the day. Maybe I will go play with them in photo shop. Enjoy

Football photos






Ok so my last post got a bit mixed up and the photos decided to all leave. And I am being lazy.... So instead I am just posting the photos here! Sorry.






Thursday, September 10, 2009

News Article


Wooohoooo. Well last week myself and a few others were contacted to tell the story of our waiting kids. Pass this along to everyone you know!! We are also hoping to gain audience with the Kyrgyz Prime Minister when he visits the UniteD States next week!! Pray this happens because I do honestly believe it is our last hope of getting our kids home in any kind of timely manner. If this does not happen it could be anotheryear before all the red tape is ironed out... Sad.

oh and check out the photo! It is not credited to protect the person who took it!! Guess who?? I won't hint. Anyway enjoy and pass along...



http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav091009.shtml

Please share this and circulate it.
We really need the plight of these children to be spotlighted. We would like every member of congress to receive it. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, President Obama, former presidents, whoever you can think of, please consider joining this campaign. I personally will be using every form of media (email, phone, fax, and snail mail) to get this issue embossed on the hearts of anyone I feel might be able to be a voice for these children.
http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign relations from Kyrgyzstan are due to visit DC soon. We want this to be fresh on the minds of ANYONE that might come in contact with them.
Thank you!
The 65 waiting American Families


http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav091009.shtml


Eurasia Insight:
KYRGYZSTAN: ADOPTION REFORM LEAVES KYRGYZ ORPHANS, AMERICAN FAMILIES, IN LIMBO
Laurie Rich: 9/10/09


Last November, Suzanne Boutilier was sitting outside a Kyrgyz orphanage, cradling the slight 6-month-old baby girl she was set to adopt.She sang to her daughter-to-be and kept returning to a Carly Simon tune with the refrain "Lovin' you is the right thing to do," and every time she came to the chorus "Even though you're 10,000 miles away," she would sob.
In a few days Boutilier would be back in California, and the baby she had been waiting five months to finish adopting would remain at the orphanage.
Now, more than a year after she was first matched with the little girl by an international adoption agency -- and told she'd likely be able to bring her home in eight weeks -- she is still waiting.And by all accounts, there is no telling when her wait will end.
Boutilier's saga is one of approximately 65 cases in which families in the United States had in-process adoptions put on hold by the Kyrgyz government. The government halted all international adoptions early this year as it pondered ways to overhaul regulations and means to root out corruption in the adoption system.With the government still mulling the issues, 65 American families are stuck in limbo and losing hope. Meanwhile, 65 Kyrgyz children -- many with special needs -- who could have homes, instead sit in orphanages at a time when, developmentally, every day is significant. "We are trying to be very patient, because we know [the Kyrgyz government is] doing their best to make sure everything is legal. And we wouldn't want it any other way," said Ann Bates, a Pennsylvania pediatric nurse waiting to bring home the three-year-old girl with mild cerebral palsy she was matched with in June 2008.
The Kyrgyz government hasn't given any indication when or if the adoptions will be allowed to go through, according to the US State Department.The Kyrgyz Embassy in Washington did not respond to EurasiaNet's requests for comment. The State Department told EurasiaNet by e-mail that an official in the Kyrgyz Prime Minister's Office said the government is still working on new adoption regulations, but did not know when they would be submitted to Parliament, or how long it would take for Parliament to approve them. If approved and then signed by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, it would take at least three months before they were implemented, and more for adoption agencies to be accredited under the new regulations.
It's unknown how a new regulatory framework would affect the 65 pending American adoptions. According to the State Department, the adoptions could be grandfathered in under old laws, if Kyrgyz courts intervene. American adoptions from Kyrgyzstan had been rising steadily since 2004, hitting 78 in 2008. Nine US-based international adoption agencies had programs in the country that year. Prospective parents were attracted to Kyrgyzstan by the relative speed and smooth flow of the adoption system.Agencies listed that the full process would last eight to 12 months, while in China and some other nations, the process was lasting up to five years.
A slowdown in the Kyrgyz process began in the late summer of 2008. Families who had accepted the children they were matched with, whom many had visited, realized that they weren't getting the requisite appointments to finalize the process. They then contacted the US government and international adoption organizations.
In mid-November, the State Department cautioned individuals and agencies about beginning adoptions in Kyrgyzstan.The 65 families whose adoptions were nearly done continued to wait. Some, like Boutilier, an advertising copywriter, returned to Kyrgyzstan to visit their intended children. "There was that little fantasy in my mind -- what if things happened when I was there?" she said of her hopes the process would start moving again during her November trip.
But nothing progressed. In January, the State Department released a statement that no new adoptions from Kyrgyzstan should be started "because of serious, ongoing problems in the country's inter-country adoption process."UNICEF, the UN's children's agency, held a retreat in January for Kyrgyz legislators to discuss inter-country adoption. With the quick uptick in adoptions from many nations in the past few years, the agency was urging the government to review and restructure its system so that "potential bad practices" did not arise. UNICEF officials also intimated that some had already occurred, according to a written summary of the discussions. The summary recommended that Kyrgyzstan suspend inter-country adoptions while it created a central authority for adoptions and considered signing a Hague Convention agreement on adoption practices. The UNICEF summary also stated that "cases where contacts between prospective adoptive parents and child to be adopted have already taken place should be allowed to be completed."
On February 2, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov placed an official moratorium on international adoption. About the same time, stories of criminal behavior at orphanages began emerging in the Kyrgyz press. In February, the 24.kg news agency reported that an orphanage was accused of child abuse and of illegally transporting children from the country using false documents.Rumors arose about local adoptive families being denied children so that lucrative international adoptions could occur.
Throughout these months, some of the 65 adoptive families received sporadic updates on their matched children, like pictures, measurements and health updates. At the end of March of 2009, Suzanne Bilyeu, a Florida pediatrician, received a picture of the little girl she and her husband were paired with the previous June and panicked. The child's head was gigantic. Immediately, she suspected that the girl had hydrocephalus, and had had the condition for quite a while.
Hydrocephalus is a buildup of cerebral spinal fluid in the skull. The pressure of the excess fluid can cause brain damage, a host of other complications, and, if left untreated, death. With the help of her in-country adoption coordinator, she was able to get the child seen by a local neurosurgeon and eye doctor. They confirmed the diagnosis.The child needed surgery immediately to remove the fluid from around the brain, according to Bilyeu. She needed a shunt, a tube implanted from the brain to the abdomen, to drain fluid to the abdominal cavity.
It took two months to get her into a hospital, and then another two weeks once there for the surgery to occur.The operation in May was successful, but the child is deaf and mute and has permanent vision loss, according to the local doctors, as recounted by Bilyeu. Based on the CT scans she was sent, and the fact that the child at 16 months cannot sit up by herself, crawl, pull to a stand or walk, she said brain damage is likely, but only time will tell.Bilyeu agonizes over the child's condition and feels the lasting effects could have been prevented.
"This was a child that, had she been home with us, she'd be toddling around my house right now. She'd be in the pool with us today," Bilyeu said. "She would have had a shunt as soon as there was any change in her head circumference ? and she would have been OK."Bilyeu's story increases the anxiety of many of the other families. Some prospective adoptees with issues like cleft palates and cerebral palsy would benefit from early medical intervention. And according to studies, all would be helped cognitively and emotionally by living with a family versus being in an institutional setting.
In May, a Kyrgyz governmental delegation traveled to the United States and met with five waiting families and 11 who had already completed adoptions. It was a meeting organized by the US State Department and child welfare organizations. MP Gulnara Derbisheva and Damira Niazalieva, along with Ekatrina Khoroshman of the Prime Minister's office talked to the waiting families about the children they were hoping to adopt. When the MPs returned home, they held a news conference calling for the 65 cases to be resolved. They also sent a letter to the prime minister requesting that he lift the moratorium so that these cases could be processed. In June, the Department of State sent a US adoption expert to meet with Kyrgyz officials.
Since then, the 65 families have heard little. According to the State Department, the criminal investigation of alleged corruption is still ongoing, and two adoption coordinators affiliated with US agencies were arrested and released on bail.The families continue to wait."I don't regret my decision to adopt from Kyrgyzstan because that decision lead me to the child I now love. I'm daily amazed and inspired by the depth and vastness of the love I feel for her, even after having spent only 45 hours with her over the past 14 months," Boutilier said. "While there are days that I believe that my heart could not be more broken over this turn of events, I'm certain that my heart has never been more full."



Editor's Note: Laurie Rich is a EurasiaNet staff writer.

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav091009.shtml

Thank you,
EurasiaNet
http://www.eurasianet.org

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Loooooong weekend




Labor Day weekend... The end of summer. And traditionally a long weekend. Well this truly was a long weekend. Every week for the lst year and a half we 65 look for answers to our same old . Every week for the last year and a half (almost two for some) comes and goes without the actual answer we are looking for. Friday comes and we get no news. So we look forward to the next week.. And hope for the best... This friday we got an update from the Department of State. Again not really any news. It dd send us 65 reeling for what to do next. Over the weekend frantic emails were sent. What next, what is our plan, who do we engage next.But with the long weekend we had no one to answer some of those questions, so we did what we have done best... We wait! This next few weeks if we do not see anything on movement from the "other side" I believe the movement on "this" side is going to take on a higher tone.

But on a happier note.. Labor Day wekend is for picnics and familiy gatherings. On Sunday we did our traditional once a year picnic grilling up Kabobs (in Kyrgyz this would be Shasleek!!) YUMMMM.
On Monday we headed north to the Pocono Mountains. Mt Pocono and the waterpark known as Camelbeach. A bit cool for swimming in the early part of the day but the tubing fun in the afternoon (well for me anyway) was worth the wait. My mom gets some free passes every year to this park. So the family enjoys a day of complimentary fun in the sun (err clouds). Mom and I headed even further up. We headed up the ski lift to the top of Camelback Mountain. While there I silently sent up some prayers for the mountains in Kyrg to be moved. Hearts to be lifted. And movement to be made to release the kids from the orphanages. From the Mountaintop of the Poconocs to the Mountain/ Valleys of Bishkek hopefully soon the distance will not be so great.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Going for a blog record

Well I think I am up to like 7 different blogs that I am maintaining right now. Not that I am doing a great job at keeping any of them except this one up to date. Well as if I had nothing else to do I started yet another. Ok so maybe I am copycatting. But I have been asked many times over to see some of my photos. My longest running hobby is taking photos! I got my first camera as a prize for selling candy when I was five years old. I eventually will try to get some of those old photos scanned. I have done many weddings, action, kids, etc. over the years. One of my friends from 7000 miles away asked me to put photos online. So tonight I have started. Just a start... I'll try to get more up soon. www.photosbymeamb.blogspot.com

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trades/Craigslist/and a cool idea anyone want to do this also?

A few months ago I was watching TV. A show came on about a man who started out with a paperclip and traded his way to some big stuff! Hmm, "I thought to myself" I wondered if this could work.... So I tried. A few weeks ago I posted an ad on Craigslitst ( I am addicted you see) I had a hot pink frisbee that my dog had won at a toss and fetch competition and would anyone want to trade for a good cause.. (I'll get to that in a bit) Anyway.... Just a few days later I was the proud owner of a golf club! So I listed the golf club...... and waited, and reposted... and waited.. well I am now the the owner of a Zeiss Contaflex camera circa 1957!! ( and the golf club) I made my golf club swap this morning. The owner of the camera promtly said " I own a golf course in North Carolina. I have about 50 cameras sitting around my house. This golf club will do me no good, please take it back and relist it for your cause!!! Yikes!!! serious??? I was ecstatic. So I have another person who was already interested in swapping the golf club with me. So now I am not swapping one thing I am swapping TWO for a "cause". I am going to take some photos with this camera and actually get them developed and will post them here soon. Supposedly the type of lens that is on this camera is superior to any lens made to date.
And what about the "cause"? Well anyone who knows me knows where my heart lies. ( I am going to be a bit vague here because there are some key words that I am going to try to avoid for various reasons.) I am hoping to swap up several more times until I have something that will hopefully be worth auctioning off. The proceeds to help our friends at http://www.actofkindness.blogspot.com/ . I so can't wait to see what happens next. I already have some bidding on swapping for the camera! So exciting!!!
Part three... This project takes some time... and patience.. But would be very cool to have some others playing along with me, and see what we can come up with in the next month. There are soooo many people that a few hundred dollars would change/ save their lives in our beloved central asian country 7300 miles away!!! But all you have to do is find something relatively worth nothing that you are willing to part with... post what the cause is for and (filter out the spam) wait.. and then go swap!!! Its fun. The people I have met are not really interested in what they are getting...... They like the "cause" and they get to be a part of the game!


Friday, August 7, 2009

A Beautiful Portrait!!


Just after my sweet Ripley dog died, Emma started offering to do portraits to help support her trip back to Central Asia. She wants to stay longer on her next trip and is hoping to do this by using her talents as an artist. I first saw her work back in January at the weekend of Hope in Ohio when she had a portrait with her of one of the children who has been adopted. I have always wanted a larger version of one of my favorite pictures of Ripley and Ryott together. Just never got around to it. But now thanks to Emma.... I have an absolutely amazing 11 x 14 painting of my two beautiful blue boys. Everyone who sees the painting is just in awe. And to think this was Emmas first try at animals. I think she did a marvelous job. I made Ryott pose next to the painting. Emma's work is found at http://www.customportraits.blogspot.com/ . Thanks Emma I absolutely love the portrait!!!! I can't wait to get it framed.

155th Annual Reading Fair



Ever since I was a little girl one of my favorite times of the year has been fair season. I can remember going to all the different fairs in and around Berks County. The grandaddy of all fairs (well in our area that is) is the Reading Fair. The fair has changed over the years. The original location for the Reading fair is now a shopping mall. Back then I can remember going not just one night to the fair but several. Either with my parents or with my grandparents. We were always there. Cotton Candy, Funnel Cakes, Candy Apples, Sammy's french fries, Pizza, Games, Prizes, Rides. The sites, the smells, the food, the games... they have not changed much. But the location sadly has. Although the new location seems to be a great improvement to the few years that they attempted to squish everything in the parking lot of the mall that took over its location, or Kutztown which seemed all wrong. (Kutztown is like 30 minutes north of Reading and seemed just wrong to have the Reading Fair no where near Reading) The last few years the fair has been held just slightly north of Reading an awesome location appropriately close to the Reading 4-H building.
Tonight we continued the Reading Fair tradition with my niece and nephew. The kids had a blast. I am still walking quite slow, so it took us pretty long to get through the whole fair. All the old favorites were there. I could not really ride the rides, but Theresa and I were able to get on the Ferris Wheel. This was the longest ferris Wheel Ride I have ever been on. We rode for at least 20 minutes. At one point I told theresa I thought that we were being held hostage! But we had a blast.
We took a quick trek around the original intention of the Reading fair..... the agricultural section. Cows, Sheep, Pigs, goats, rabbits, fruits and veggies... I hope that when Noodle comes home and gets a bit older she will want to do 4-H. I would love to partake in the fair as exhibitors of whatever choice animal she decides we should raise (well except pigs!!)




Well we had a great night.. enjoy the photos!