Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Chapter


I knew when my old cat Meow died that my daughter had some kind of experience with death. Out of the blue, last night, she told me about a man at her SWI who died. Her SWI was also a senior home and I saw some very, very old people there when I visited.

She described how the people cried and said "one people die." Everyone walked. I asked if it was a boy or girl and she said a big boy, which I took to mean a man. Just now, with her toys, she enacted a funeral and indicated that there should be flowers on the casket. She described things in as great a detail as she could, all of it very realistic, and even said she was a little scared when she saw the man that died and that his eyes were closed but he wasn't asleep, he had died.

She doesn't seem traumatized at all. It seems like a very normal experience to have gone through and that it was handled appropriately.

Insurance Woes Are OVER


Sorry to be missing in action for so long, but this insurance thing really knocked me around. On the advice of an attorney, I made one more call to Kaiser to ask a very specific question and, by God's grace, just happened to have my call land with a wonderful woman who was appalled at what was happening. She took it upon herself to crusade on my behalf as much as she could and she started a ball rolling that finally got to the right people. I mean it went right up the ranks with lightening speed and she called me personally to let me know that things were looking good. However, I waited to announce it today on my blog because I needed to have the confirmation letter in my hand to assure myself that this was all real.

So, my darling daughter now has exactly what she should have gotten in the first place. It's dated as starting on the day of her adoption, but I will begin paying from July 1 onward. The amount I pay per month, called the premium, is a mere $89, added to my current rate of $198. A very far cry from $1,186.54 per month, plus what I pay for myself.

I'm still traumatized by all of this and I'm waiting for the relief to wash over me, only I know it means starting the hardcore medical stuff now for Jie Jie.

Friday, July 15, 2011

51 Months


Somewhere, on the other side of the earth, a woman might be carrying a little baby girl that will call me mama some day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time for More Prayer


I got some very illuminating informtion from Kaiser today as to what adding my daughter should have been like had I been given accurate information. There is a possibility that this can be resolved if the people making the decisions have honor and integrity. I have also started working with an attorney.

Please remember me in your prayers, that this situation will be resolved to the state it should have been from the start. Thank you!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Screw That Turned


Thank you commenters for giving me some directions to turn to in my insurance mess. I did look up some information on the The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA’93), and found out why I have been so screwed...

"Health insurance plans that are not employer-sponsored plans (i.e. individual plans) are not subject to Federal regulation. Those plans are regulated by state law. Fortunately, many states have their own laws that prohibit discrimination against adopted children in connection with health insurance. If you are covered by an individual plan, you should check the laws of your own state to determine your rights.

Mark T. McDermott, J.D., is a Washington, DC attorney. He is a past president of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and currently serves as the Academy’s Legislative Chairman. He is also an adoptive parent."

I have an individual plan. So, on top of finding a good attorney on Monday, I have a referral for an insurance agent. I will see about switching my insurance from an individual plan to a business plan, but I will qualify only if I am considered an employee, too, because it looks like there is a 2 employee or more limit and I only have one employee. I am also looking into Shriners. There is a hospital about 100 miles away, but I don't think they deal with Jie Jie's main issue. I'll find out.

This whole situation is now invading my dreams. I can't seem to escape it even in sleep.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Can You Believe This?


I received a call from Kaiser today. The woman on the phone wanted to help me pick a physician for my daughter. I said, "Wait a minute. I'm still in review. Are you telling me that they've decided on how much to charge me?" She said I needed to call Member Services for that, so I did.

$1,186.54

That is the amount they expect me to pay EACH MONTH to insure my daughter.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Long, Long Wait


Referrals came this week and the families who were matched waited 60 months, or 5 years! 60 months for me comes next April, but, by my last calculations, I would expect my referral in December of 2012 or later. During the second year of my wait, I did some math and figured my wait would take 6 years. It looks like I'll be spot on.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Got Snacks Down Pat



Yep, she likes it!

My Sweet Girl



What is she doing? Reading Beatrix Potter books to Sammy! How cute is that? Sometimes, by the end of the daycare day, Jie Jie has gone upstairs while I say good-bye to the kids and parents. I never know what I'm going to come upstairs and find, but it's always super cute, like when she was helping her doll play with the fairies, or here, reading to the cat. Her play is very thorough and imaginative, something rare in children with her background. It's another testament to the love and care she's received throughout her lifetime and what a fine mind she has.

I Feel Pretty, So Very, Very Pretty




The County Fair


This first picture wasn't from the fair, it was taken about a month ago, but the hat really fit the county fair theme. The pigs and pony were at the fair. The piglets were five days old.





Jumping Jie Jie






Reality Bites


The phone rang tonight and it was the anesthesiologist that Jie Jie's dentists uses. He was calling to find out if she qualified for in-office care. I told him about her special need and he was not worried about it. I've always been good about helping people in medical situations, bad with myself if someone is doing it to me, but if I did it to myself, I was okay. I'm a birth doula, have seen c-sections, and other birth-related stuff, have "doctored" many cats...

Months ago, looking at Jie Jie's file, it was so easy to say, "Yes, she'll need this and that, it's no problem, very easy to treat."

Now she's here, my insides are jelly. Have no doubt that I'll be strong for her. I must be. There is no other choice. But tonight as I heard the words intubated, IV, you can't be in the room, once I place her in your arms, etc... I really wanted to burst into tears. I know I'd feel much better if my insurance was in place, that she'd had recent blood work done, that there was someone familiar in place to turn to in case anything goes wrong. This insurance nightmare is adding stress to me that I could really do without.

I did take Jie Jie to observe other children at the dentist's office today. After her long night of avoiding sleep and further constant worry, I decided that I have to give her the chance to be brave and do this without general anesthesia. She has surprised me before with her strength and courage. Basically, the leverage I have is that she is more afraid of having an IV and being put under, which means out-of-control to her, than of anything the dentist may do to her. I left a message to be passed along to the dentist that I'd like him to try with whatever part of the treatment can be started and then stopped if she can't gop through with it.

I know in my mother's heart and in my head that if I don't let my daughter try this her way, I will be harming her.

In other news, I did hear back from the first tier of the insurance complaint process. They denied me my claim. However, they denied me something I wasn't even asking for: another mistake on their part. They based their decision on something completely different, the very thing that caused this problem long ago. You'd think my now they'd at least try to get it right. I immediately called to make the corrections and I'll be faxing a letter tomorrow, too. I heard before signing up for Kaiser that if something went wrong I'd just have to fight and fight and fight and never go away and then I'd succeed, but this is getting ridiculous.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Water Baby


From backyard to swimming pool to San Francisco Bay, Jie Jie has no fear of the water at all. She's done something I can't bring myself to do - go swimming in the cold, cold Bay!










Whew! Finally Asleep


I made the mistake tonight of talking to Jie Jie about her upcoming dental work and how she'll be "asleep with special medicine" during the process. I absolutely could not get her to fall asleep tonight because it seemed she thought if she fell asleep, the dentist would come tonight. She has a type of low constant moan she does when she's distressed and it wasn't hard to put two and two together.

It will be at least 30 days until we start the work, but since her initial exam last Friday, the dentist is a constant shadow in her life right now. Each time we prepare to leave the house, she points to her teeth and asks, "Dentist?"

She did well at the the exam until he pulled out the probe and then she lost it. I had him stop almost immediately because I could see it was clearly a Post Traumatic moment. It was the profuse sweat that drenched her head instantly that made it clear this wasn't ordinary fear and panic, but utter terror. Luckily, he was done and we didn't have to try to continue.

The dentist told me he's seen worse, but her work will be extensive, which wasn't any surprise, but it should all be able to be done in one shot under general anesthesia, which is the most risky part of the process. My insurance situation is still pending...

Please pray for Jie Jie, that she trust me enough to know that I'd not allow anyone to harm her and that she not be so frightened of medical-related things.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blessing My Daughter


(L to R) Husband of friend who came with me to China,
Son of same friend and the one who performed the blessing,
Jie Jie and Mama, our Stake President.

This was a very special day, one I've looked forward to most of my life, the blessing of my child. I found the following explanation of this kind of blessing on a formum, but it's like a baby dedication, only more...

"The term "blessings" is used in two different ways in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a broad traditional sense as used in many cultures, the word applies to all good things that come in a person's life-the wonders of nature, the joys of family, the benefits of liberty and education-anything and everything that enriches life. Such blessings are often pointed to as a manifestation of God's love for his children. Latter-day Saint writings are interspersed with this usage. In more specific terminology, blessings refer to ordinances performed under priesthood authority.

A priesthood blessing may be given only by those who have been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. In the Church, most boys at the age of twelve have the Aaronic Priesthood conferred upon them and are ordained to the office of deacon. At age fourteen, they are usually ordained teachers, and at age sixteen, priests. If the priesthood bearer continues to show faithfulness and worthiness, then at age eighteen, or anytime thereafter, he may receive the Melchizedek Priesthood with ordination to the priesthood office of elder. An elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to perform most priesthood functions in the Church, including giving priesthood blessings.

Each priesthood ordination, from deacon to apostle, is a type of priesthood blessing and is characterized, as are all priesthood blessings, by (1) the laying-on of hands by those in authority, (2) an invocation of the authority of the priesthood and the name of Jesus Christ, and (3) such words of blessing as follow the impressions of the Spirit.

This third element, that of spiritual impressions, is vital for any priesthood blessing. A fundamental doctrine of the Church is a belief that a worthy priesthood bearer, when giving a priesthood blessing, will receive promptings from the Holy Spirit regarding what is to be spoken-not necessarily the exact words, but ideas or thoughts that he will then express as clearly as he can in his own words. This is the essence of a priesthood blessing, and distinguishes it from a prayer. A prayer seeks to communicate with God, either vocally or silently, and is rooted in the faith that God will hear the words or the thoughts and feelings and then, in his infinite wisdom and power, will respond. A priesthood blessing is based on trust that the priesthood holder, while speaking the blessing, will receive spiritual promptings regarding what is to be spoken and thus his words represent the will of God.

When babies are just a few weeks old, they are usually given a priesthood blessing for the special purpose of conferring a name by which the baby will be known and bestowing promises based on spiritual impressions regarding the baby's future life. A quality of prophecy attends this process. If a baby's father is a worthy holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood, he will usually pronounce the blessing, but it may be given by a grandfather, a family friend, or any other qualified priesthood holder chosen by the baby's parents. Babies are usually blessed in the presence of the congregation at a fast and testimony meeting. However, the blessing may be given at other times and places, such as in a hospital or home, if there is a special need."

Obviously, this type of blessing isn't only for new babies. Without family nearby who have the authority to bless my child, I'd asked our Stake President long ago if he'd do it and he agreed. Then, in the three days prior to travelling to China, The Son of the friend who came with me, we'll call him B, and his wife came to town and helped me get ready to leave, often doing things before I needed to say anything. They had adopted their second child from Korea so they knew exactly what I needed. When I found out that B was going to be in town this weekend, I asked him if he'd bless Jie Jie since I felt he was closer to us personally and the Stake President was a VERY busy man. The Stake President did end up being there, having arrived back into town late last night from a business trip to Singapore, so he stood in the circle.

In addition to these three men, in the circle there was also our Bishop and another family friend who has been so supportive and excited for Jie Jie's arrival, a missionary whose companion sat beside Jie Jie and me and translated what was being said to her during the blessing, in Mandarin, so she'd know what was being said.

Jie Jie was looking forward to her blessing and said she liked it and understood what was said. One of the things that touched me most about the blessing was that B included Jie Jie's birth parents and country of her birth, that she'll have a special relationship in her heart with them.

Flower Girl














She would have danced all night, which included some pretty tricky moves, like forward rolls and almost-cartwheels.




It was a lot of dress, but even princess needs to eat!


Jie Jie wanted to wear her lei the next day and eat the candy that the bride had given her. I made sure she ate a huge healthy breakfast first and then gave it to her. She managed to eat only one ear and less than half the head before quitting.