Friday, October 30, 2009

Big Big News!!!

The following is from CNN this evening:

Obama to lift HIV/AIDS travel ban
October 30, 2009 5:23 p.m. EDT
"If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it," President Obama said Friday.
"If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it," President Obama said Friday.


Washington (CNN) -- President Obama announced Friday that he will lift a 22-year-old ban on entry into the United States for people infected with HIV/AIDS.

The administration intends to publish a new federal rule next week eliminating the ban by the start of 2010, he said.

"We talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat," he said at the White House. "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it."

Obama said that lifting the ban is a "step that will encourage people to get tested and get treatment. It's a step that will keep families together, and it's a step that will save lives."

The United States, he said, is one of only a dozen countries that still bar the entry of people with HIV.

Obama made the announcement shortly before signing legislation extending federally funded HIV/AIDS treatment for hundreds of thousands of underinsured, low-income Americans.

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act authorizes a 5 percent annual increase in federal support over the next four years. Funding under the law is scheduled to rise from more than $2.5 billion in fiscal year 2010 to nearly $3 billion in fiscal year 2013.

Among other things, the law helps ensure continued funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative, designed to address "the disproportionate impact of the disease on racial and ethnic minorities," according to a White House statement.

The measure easily passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives last week. Similar legislation first passed almost 20 years ago and was reauthorized in 1996, 2000 and 2006.

An estimated 1 million people in the United States have HIV, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost one-quarter of them are not aware that they are infected, the CDC says.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bummer


So...I had hoped to have fun pictures of all of us having a good time at the local pumpkin patch and apple orchard this weekend, but instead I am stuck at home with a couple of sickies. Bummer.

Poor Peanut has a confirmed case of H1N1. Yuck. Yesterday he came home from school not feeling very well. Took his temperature and it was 100.3. At that point I suspected he probably had "the virus" that is all over the place. He got some extra hugs and cuddles...some Sprite and pudding for dinner...and got to sleep on a cot in mom and dad's room. At 6:00am I took his temperature and it was 105!!! Yikes! He got some children's Motrin and some cold apple juice in him...and hour later it was down to 102.6. I made some phone calls to my mom and First Nurse...and it was determined I should try to get him to the clinic this morning. When the clinic opened at 8:00am, I talked with the nurse. At first she said there really was no need to bring him in unless he starts having a hard time breathing, becomes really lethargic, or we can't get his fever to come down. Then I mentioned Jellybean's chronic illness and she said "bring him in - leave the other one at home". Poor kiddo.

Peanut and I headed to the clinic an hour later. We sat there for quite a while waiting - and the waiting room was pretty full. All the kids were wearing masks. Poor Peanut was so sad he had to wear a mask. He didn't fight it...but when we sat down, he just hung his head and had big tears streaming down his face.

The doctor wasn't our normal pediatrician, but he was really great. The nurse tested Peanut for the flu (so NOT a fun test - poor Peanut cried and cried and cried when it was over). The test came back positive. And because Jellybean has Sickle Cell disease, we were given special treatment. A round of Tamiflu for both Peanut and Jellybean. Hopefully it will keep Jellybean from getting it...and help Peanut get over it quickly.

Z also seems to have a touch of "something". Probably H1N1. Great.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep myself healthy - at least until everyone else is better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

This is going to be a mish-mash of a post, but that's kind of where I am right now.

First, things at our house are just never dull these days. In fact, it seems as though we've just been inundated with icky stuff to deal with lately. First it was the mystery rash, then the communication issues with a Kindergarten teacher, and this week I discovered that a certain (really hairy) fur-kid has the dreaded flea. Ugh. In a house with lots of fur-kids, fleas are a MAJOR problem. Our pets get lots of people attention, so I hope that we caught them early. Only one fur-kid has fleas (or evidence of fleas), but EVERYBODY got treated just the same. And last night we did a top-to-bottom cleaning of the house in hopes of stopping the invasion right where it was. I'm praying this is the last we see of fleas. Its yucky. And embarrassing. Ugh. Our neighbors have pigeons...I'm pretty sure that's the source of our flea problem.

The "Kindergarten Issue". We've determined that the Kindergarten teacher is probably very annoyed with us at this point. We don't really care about that so much...but we've decided that now that we've told the teacher what our issue is and what our expectation is (that she start communicating with us more effectively) that we will give it a couple weeks to see if things start improving. They improved a bit last week...so we'll see how long it lasts. If it doesn't get better or if it gets better and then gets worse again, we're going to bring in the Principal and hash things out until we are more happy with the situation. I honestly don't think this teacher is a "bad teacher". I just don't think that she using the "right" strategy for our Peanut. Hopefully things get better and stay better.

Adoption news. Nope - there's no news. (Ok...its not COMPLETELY true that there's NO adoption news. We recently got our I-600a approval, so there has been some news). I'm struggling a bit with how I feel about the lack of news. I don't really EXPECT news at this point...but I also really wish there was something to report. We've been at this for so long, it feels like there should be SOMETHING. I hesitate a bit to put this in writing, but I am getting to a place where I no longer BELIEVE this adoption is going to happen at all. And even if it were to happen, my idea of "the perfect child" for our family right now is changing. On paper, we are requesting a child under 5. We've told our adoption coordinator we'd like a girl under 5. But the truth is...my heart is really longing for a baby. I know that this is very likely the child that will complete our family. Z has always wanted 3 kids. I've always wanted 3 or 4 kids. I'm not sure that Z will ever want the 4th child. Maybe. We are approved to adopt 2 kids (in the event there is a sibling pair that captures our hearts), but we are both hoping a single child is who captures our hearts this time around. But all of that means that this next child might be my last chance to have a baby. I've never really felt that pull before...but lately, my heart just longs for all things little. I don't know what that means in terms of our adoption. Do we switch to a program where babies are available? I don't know. I'm honestly really tired of thinking and rethinking and overthinking everything in terms of our adoption process. I'd really just love it at this point if "THE ANSWER" just fell into our laps. Unlikely, I know.

The internet. I've been cutting down the amount of time I spend online lately. I don't visit the online groups that I am a part of as much...I don't spend as much time reading every email that gets sent from yahoo forums I'm on...I don't spend as much time blogging...I don't spend as much time "playing" online as I used to. It just got to the point where things were getting too hard for me. It was too hard for me to be reading about other people's good adoption news - that terrible jealousy bug bites hard sometimes. It was too difficult and scary to read about other people's bad adoption experiences. It was getting to the point where I was spending so much time dwelling on that "stuff" that I didn't have the time I needed to do things that help renew my spirit. So I shut the computer off.

I've been spending more time with my family - and actually being PRESENT (instead of my mind being somewhere else). I started trying to teach myself how to crochet (just because I didn't know how). I think I have the very basic stitches worked out, but I am clearly missing a stitch every time I change direction, because what I am working on is looking more like a triangle than a square - but I don't really care at this point. I'm just doing it for fun. I'm sure I'll figure out the problem and be off and running. I went up into my sewing room and actually started sewing. Over the weekend I started a quilt and got about 1/2 of the quilt top done in one day. It was HEAVEN. It made me feel so wonderful to just get started again. I just pray that I someday have a little girl to wrap in the purple and green quilt.

But, I guess that is all to say that if you don't hear from me all that much in this space, that is why. I'm still here. I still read the important things. I still get the gist of what's going on in my yahoo groups...I just am not putting in the time and energy that I used to. It was/is just too hard. Maybe someday I will be able to read about other people's adoption journeys and have their news not affect my mood regarding our adoption journey. But right now, its just too difficult to compartmentalize.