Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Psychiatrist, Take 2

So, today was our SECOND try at a psychologist appointment. We met with Dr. Markin, who was really nice. This was SUCH a better experience than when we met with the psychiatrist. We talked with him about our history and about why we wanted to adopt. He said that it was their policy that we needed to meet with a psychiatrist as well. I have to admit, I had a quick, "Oh no, not again" thought, but Dr. Markin was so much nicer than the last doctor that it didn't seem like as much of an issue. Luckily, they were able to squeeze us in to see Dr. Walt later that same afternoon. Of course, that meant that Scott had to miss even more work, but we were really glad that they could get us in that day since Scott is going to Las Vegas next week.

We went to McDonalds and then stopped at a local farmstand and bought a pumpkin and then it was time to go back to the doctor's office. I talked to the psychiatrist myself first. I have to admit that it felt a little strange to talk to her about how I felt God led me to this adoption. She wanted to know about the details of how I felt this leading. She kept asking questions like, "So, did you actually hear God speak to you?" and "Why did you feel that you needed to adopt? Did you need to feel more special?" I was starting to think that she might say that I was crazy after all. I just tried top answer the questions as honestly as I could without making myself sound like a loon. I felt better by the end, though. She basically said that sometimes "miracles" do happen and God leads us to do things. I was so glad to hear that she didn't think I was just plain crazy. After she talked to me, she had Scott and the kids come in. She asked Scott about his reasons for going along with the adoption, and I think she just wanted to see the kids and get a gauge for the fact that they're healthy and happy. Amazingly, they were very good - neither of them had had ANY naps that day and they would both have normally been sleeping at that time.

This evening, Scott and I went to our sign language class and we were the only two people there! It was kind of fun to have our own class. We ended up spending a lot of the time talking to the woman who's kind of in charge of the program about what does and doesn't matter in the "real" world of ASL. She basically told us not to get hung up on the details of word order, etc. She said that most things are accepted and that there are no hard and fast rules. She also mentioned that even among Deaf people, there are lots of arguments about what is "right." It made me feel a lot better about our chances of being able to really communicate in ASL.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Working on Another Psych Appt

Today, I spent a lot of time getting a psychologist appointment. Scott and I decided that we should just go with a psychologist instead of waiting weeks to get in with another psychiatrist. I called ComPsych (which is the program with CDW) and got referrals for a few different psychologists. Then, I called them all and managed to get an appointment with one on the 18th, which is just 5 days after we get back from our trip! I can't tell you what a relief that is. I was so worried that I would have to wait weeks and weeks to get an appointment.

Other than that, I just worked on my to do list for the trip. Getting things together, working on the babysitting instructions, etc. I can't believe we're leaving in just a couple of days!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Psychiatrist Woes

Well, my day can pretty much be summed up by this post that I posted on the Haitian Angels board:

So, I know many of you have had "issues" with finding a psychiatrist,etc. I just thought that I would vent about the problems that I've been having with this.

First of all, my home study social worker recommended that we get an appointment with a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist. She said that she had some people who were adopting from Russia and they decided to change the rule to only accept a psychiatrist - those people had to get their psych letter re-done when they were already halfway through the process and it held them up. This sounded like good advice considering the fact that Haiti's elections are coming up and who knows if the new people in charge might decide a psychiatrist letter is needed.

Little did I know how hard it would be to get an appointment. Most offices told me that it would be a month or two before I could get in. I found one psychologist who (after not calling me back for a week and then playing phone tag for a week) said that he could have a colleague do this for me very soon. He said in one week, or at the most, two. We got the appointment for two weeks later, but the doctor ended up being sick that day. We rescheduled for tonight (one more week later).

Well, the appointment was a disaster. Basically, the guy that I talked to hadn't told the psychiatrist anything about why we were coming. When we showed up, the doctor was downright hostile toward us - he said that he didn't understand why the Haitian government would want this and that it was ridiculous for us to want him to give us a "stamp of approval" to adopt a child. While we were sitting there, dumbstruck, he called the psychologist who had set this all up and apparently he told him that we would need to have a bunch of psychological tests done (which I know we don't need - other places had told me we could do this in one meeting). By the time we left, I was about ready to cry - the whole thing was a huge waste of the six weeks that it took me to get the appointment! I felt so stupid because I KNEW that I should have triple-checked ahead of time that they were NOT going to force us to have a bunch of tests done. The doctor said (with real attitude), "Well, you'll have to get all of these tests done and by the way, they're very expensive, but nobody ever said that adopting a child was cheap." As if we don't know that! Obviously, we'll pay what we have to pay to get our son home, but now we'll probably have to pay for this ridiculous non-appointment AND pay for another doctor (who knows if insurance will cover any of it - especially if they get a claim from two doctors).

I'm just SO frustrated because this is the last piece of paper that I need to complete my dossier (well, I'm still working on the NOTARIZED bank letter that BOTH of my banks are refusing to give me) and now it's looking like it's going to be over a month before I can get it. I don't know how you guys who have been waiting for so long can stand it. I just want to get my little boy home and start teaching him sign language. I know that every month that I am delayed in getting his dossier to Haiti is another month that he has no language to speak of. Sorry for my very long rant. Just a bad day - I know you all understand. On the plus side, I'm going to be visiting my little sweet boy in just four days, so I really should count myself lucky.Nicole H.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Sign Language Class

Tonight we had our second sign language class at Center on Deafness. We had a sub who was Deaf, and it was great to "talk" with her. It was interesting to hear her perspective on growing up oral/signed English and then learning ASL later in life (when she was a teenager). The class was really good and we were glad to talk to her. We also talked to another woman whose daughter got a cochlear implant when she was one. This class is great because we're able to connect to people with real experience with deafness (whereas most people that we were in class with at Harper were just there to try and work toward an interpreting career or because they were curious about sign language).

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Noah's 1st Birthday

Today was Noah's first birthday. It was hard to know that we're missing it. We had a little birthday party for him. We just put a candle in a piece of cake and sang Happy Birthday to his picture, but it was still nice to do something. And, of course, Jaden was very excited to celebrate.