We saw a pediatrician to discuss Little MPB’s speech and his ongoing cough (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned his cough before – he’s been coughing randomly basically since he was born, but our GP has never found a cause or been concerned about it, but put it on the referral form because a second opinion is never a bad idea).

The Pediatrician did a full exam – a head to toe physical exam and asked about 3000 questions for Mr. MPB and I to answer while Little MPB played.  And the results were:

  • According to our GP the word requirement for his age at the time of referral was 20 words.  According to her, the word requirement for his age at the time of referral was 10.  Little MPB had 18.  Now he has closer to 30 words, including two 2-word “sentences” of night-night and what’s that.  Now, if only my GP used the same metric she used!  She did indicate that by 2 years old he should have 50+ words and a few 2-word sentences and she gave us lots of resources to read to help us encourage further language development.  She then reiterated that we can self-refer for speech, if we want, but she really doesn’t think it’s necessary.  However, at 2 years old if he’s not at that 50 word mark then she will refer him because then speech therapy will get him government funding for pre-school.
    • As an aside, in our search for words that Little MPB uses we asked his daycare to keep track of his words.  Evidently he uses certain words at daycare that we never hear at home – he knows “Mine”, “Cracker”, and “Water” at daycare.  Which just made me laugh because at daycare he has to share with other kids, so of course he’s learned the word mine!  The director of the daycare indicated that the next words he’ll learn is “Share” and “Turn” to indicate sharing with others and my turn.
  • At one point the pediatrician stated, and I quote I’ve never seen a kid do that before, he is such a boy! as he took a bell and started hitting it against every surface in the room until he found the loudest one.  At which time he continued to slam the bell against the metal repeatedly while smiling and laughing.  To which Mr. MPB just said, yup, this is just a typical day in his very active life!  While I was trying to wrestle the bell out of Little MPB’s hand so that we could continue the conversation without yelling.
  • His ongoing, random cough is not a symptom of asthma or any health problem.  It’s just him clearing his throat.
  • She cannot see the 2 year molars coming through yet.  But, normally you cannot see them until they erupt.  But, Mr. MPB and I know that we have started the 2 year molar misery and we are just hoping for Little MPB’s sake that they come through soon.  I miss my happy little boy who seems to have been replaced by a grouchy teething little bear.
  • Little MPB’s dry skin is just dry skin (which we suspected).  But she did tell us that scoupable moisturizer is better for babies then pump moisturizers.  Time to go buy scoupable moisturizer.
  • She asked if we’d been to the hospital at all with Little MPB.  To which we acknowledged his roseola ER visit, his maybe swallowed a magnet visit and embarrassingly admitted to the slightly pink eye visit.
  • To answer one of her questions I casually said We know he has a family history of x.  To which she looked up and said, is he adopted?  Yes he is,  I just assumed it would be in the medical report.  Evidently it wasn’t and she had no idea.  She asked when we met him, to which I said within minutes of his birth and we’ve been together ever since.  She asked what we knew about his pregnancy, at which point I shared what we know.  She asked about his ethnicity/race, and took a guess on what it is based on his appearance, and she got it completely wrong, which once again proved my point about his potential racial make-up not being obvious.  She asked if we are tied into the local adoption community to which I said yes. And, that was that.  I will say, when it comes to Little MPB’s medical, it is the one time where we are very open about everything because in our opinion his doctors need to know details.
  • His horrible ear bruise which he got the evening before the appointment and almost made me cry when I first saw it (he had a run in with the edge of the stairs on our deck) is just a bruise.  No need to worry, even though it looks absolutely horrible his ear will not fall off.

In the end, we learned that she thinks he is perfectly healthy, developmentally right where he should be and sees absolutely no reason to be concerned about anything.  Which has allowed me stop worrying, for now.  But I also know that soon enough I will be consumed with worry about something else that I just don’t know about yet.

We ended the appointment with her telling us to bring him back at 2 years old for another check-up, if we want.  Which of course we will do to keep our referral to active.

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Tired Of It

This week has really made me realize once again just how much work is involved in International Adoption.

When we started this back in 2014, before Little MPB actually existed, I was not working.  I had quit my job and stepped away from my professional career, in an attempt to figure out our lives and focus on my mental health.  Clearly things weren’t going well in the having a child  department.  But at that time things also weren’t going well in the professional life department either as I worked way too many hours for a not so nice boss.  While Mr. MPB became the sole breadwinner for our family, this meant I was basically full-time dedicated to the adoption process  (with the side activities of painting almost the full interior of our house, getting groceries, cooking meals, reading etc.).  Truthfully, even at that time, with very little on my plate, the adoption application and process felt overwhelming.

Now, looking back all I can do is laugh at how naïve I was.  Heck, I look back at the process chart I made, and I laugh because it ended with Family, when really it should have gone on to outline all the additional paperwork I’d be doing.

Today I work full time, but now I do it on my terms.  I’m self employed, which is mostly great, because I happen to think I’m a pretty awesome boss and I have flexibility to manage my schedule.  But, I still have commitments, deadlines and bills to pay, so I still have to work full-time.  And, we have a toddler to raise, which obviously is our top priority.  We also have a house to keep somewhat clean and functioning.  And of course we have food to buy, meals to cook, etc.  Heck, now I cannot even imagine having the spare time to update the chart to reflect all the after family stuff that should be added.

Basically, we are juggling what feels like 1000 things (as do all people, don’t get me wrong, that’s just life).

But what I didn’t realize is that while doing all of these normal parenting things, nearly 2.5 years later, I* would still be juggling a ball entitled adoption paperwork while dealing with the copious amounts of bureaucracy related to adoption!  I had no freaking idea that International Adoption meant that I’d be spending 2.5+ years of government paperwork.  I had no idea that it would mean constant requests for additional information that at time we literally don’t have.

Honestly, looking back, we were so naïve to just how complicated and how long and drawn out the international adoption process would be.  It turns out, it’s not like you come home with a baby and the process is done.  In fact, I’m pretty we have another year ahead of us before we will have his Canadian citizenship.  Then we also have to apply for his Canadian Passport and Canadian Social Insurance Number, which I’m guessing will be a slightly different process then I’m used to given the citizenship paperwork that will be required.  And then there is probably other things too, but I just don’t know about them yet (if you are Canadian or American and you can think of anything I’m missing anything, please let me know).

So I’m guestimating another 1.5 years before we will actually be done with all the adoption related paperwork.  So, we are looking at about 4 years worth of government bureaucracy and paperwork as a direct result of our decision to adopt internationally.  4 years!  I had no idea!

Yes, it’s absolutely worth it because we have Little MPB.  And clearly we are going to keep going through all the motions to ensure Little MPB’s legal documents are in order both in the USA and in Canada.

But my god, I’m sick of navigating all of these various systems which have no clear process to follow and no clear ending in sight.  I’m just tired of it.

Today, I just wish I didn’t have to spend part of my work hours battling bureaucracy.  And even more, I wish that this didn’t mean that tonight I will be forced to spend part of my precious evening hours working instead of playing with Little MPB.

*Mr. MPB does help with the paperwork when he can, and he re-reads and double/triple checks every single document before it’s submitted.  But it really is just easiest for one of us to manage the paperwork.  And truthfully, because I’ve done almost all of it at this point I understand it all a little bit better then he does.

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