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Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Leap to Cloth Diapering

I was always very vocal about using cloth diapers as opposed to disposable ones. Few days ago I visited my former co-worker who had a new baby born in the spring. She was telling me how her baby boy had always the bum rashers and she started to show me all kind of stuff she was putting on him and how nothing helped. I looked at few labels to see the ingredients and all I could do is to roll my eyes.

I am always amazed, how many parents are so concerned about all kind of stuff but exclude the diapers. No-one really cares that they contain in them traces of various toxic chemical substances which come from the processing of the paper and plastic used in their manufacture, to specific chemicals intentionally added to them. Then they go and take all kind of more chemicals and just add to the issue. Are they insane? Are people today really so very convenient that they don't really care to expose their newborns to these cancerous chemicals?

There is a few great articles, but I'd like to mention one with the same name, written by Virginia Blanco, "The Leap to Cloth Diapering" In there, she mentiones "that from the bleaching process to make the diapers super white disposable diapers are riddled with traces of byproducts such as dioxins and furans (organochlorines), which are “extremely persistent and toxic."

"Dioxins and furans have also been linked to learning disorders, autism [3], birth defects such as spinal bifida shortened lactation periods in nursing mothers, and various diseases such as endometriosis and diabetes. Dioxins have been targeted for elimination under the Stockholm Convention."

So parents, if you have a newborn or a toddler in diappers, please do some research and then decide whether it's really worth to just be convenient and use the disposable diapers, or whether it's worth to take that little extra effort and use the cloth ones. If you invest in your children today, it will benefit them tomorrow. It's not only expensive and not ecological, but also the health of our children is at stake.

The full article with great references to other sources can be found here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Adopting next summer

Someone I know had a baby in June. I met with her today for a quick coffee, and she told me that she would like to adopt a baby from China. How great !! But....

Her baby will be one year old in the summer. And that's when she would like to get her China baby so they are the same age. Oh boy is she in for a surprise !!!

These days, the wait for China is set up for 3-5 years (with people already thinking/saying it will increase to 7) I personally think that because of the bad economy some people may drop out from the program for various reasons, and becuase of the bad economy and long wait times many families will look into other countries. I already know of two families who dropped (they both had LID with expected referral sometimes next year) One family lost the house due to bankrupcy, the other one they both lost jobs and face bankrupcy. So they will no longer qualify. Very heartbreaking.

So we are still goin on. It was never a question to look into other country or drop from the program. We know the wait, and we know what we are in for. We'll be fine !!! The only thing is that we cannot get a referral within 12 monts from getting a new baby to our household and that will not happen. The wait, although heartbreaking, will be over in no time and then we will get our sweet daughter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I have always been interested in far places. When I was 10 or something, an Afghan family moved to our appartment house. The father, Mahmood Shaw, worked for Ariana Afghan Airlines when they were still flying to Prague. They had three kids: Elaj (Hilly), Usej (Hossy) and Walid. I quickly befriended the kids and I learnt Dari quite fluently from them. There I was, 10 years old little Czech girl, speaking fluently Dari. We were such close friends, that I seriously thought that I can go to Kabul with them for vacation and buy the shoes who blink when you walk.

That of course never happened and instead I went along one Monday evening to the airport to see them for the last time ever. I cried so hard I didn't go to school for few days. Few years later I got a Christmas card from them from somewhere in Germany and that was it.

Regardless, my interest in Arabic and Persian places was awoken. I loved the mystery of those places I've never heard of, and hoped to go to places I knew I will never go. I did live in Tunisia for quite some time, but Tunisia is a very different arabic country, very liberal and not hard to go to.

Marjan was a lion living in Kabul zoo, given them as a gift from a zoo in Germany as a cute little cub. When the war started, he suffered a horrible incident, when a member of Taliban wanted to prove his manliness so he climbed in his cage. He got of course killed. The next day his brother came back and threw a granate in his cage. The hungry lion bit in it and it exploded.

He lived through with severe injuries to his mouth, disabled and deaf. Once the war ended, people in the world lined up to help him, collected money so he can be treated, bought proper food and vitamins. But Marjan instead died just few days after the rescue workers arrived to Kabul zoo to start the relief mission. I still remember the day I learnt about his death, I don't think anything could ever hit me harder and he will forever remain in my heart as symbol of war, suffering, torture, bravery and hope.

Few days ago I got a book from eBay "A Thousand Splendid Suns". I've seen a Kite Runner through a river of tears, but I wanted to read the book now. That book is totally amazing and very well written. I feel like I am there, like I know the village Mariam is from, or the street she lives in. I feel her fear and loniless. That book puts me in an absolute perspective. Here I am with all my little worries and trouble and I can now see how lucky I actually am for what I have and where and how I live.

I've seen around the blogs I follow people expressing their 8 wishes for the upcoming holiday of Hanukkah. They often wish for things like new boots, vacation in Caribbean, winning the lottery etc. I also have 8 wishes, but they are little different:

1. Have a baby
2 - 8. End the suffering and bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and other war torn countries

P.S. If you by any chance ever come across an idea where my friends can be, can you please let me know ?

If you want to read more about his live, this is from wiki:
Marjan (1976 – January 25, 2002) was the most famous resident of the rundown Kabul Zoo. He witnessed Afghanistan’s turbulent history, from the 1978 murder of King Zahir Shah’s brother-in-law, Sardar Mohammed Daoud and his entire family, arrival of the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan that launched another coup, Great Saur Revolution, USSR invasion, state of warlordism, and the Taliban’s fall. Once the western forces moved into the country, devastating conditions in Kabul’s, once well kept, Zoo were revealed. Marjan, the one-eyed lion, became an instant celebrity.

Marjan, which in Pashto means Coral, was born in 1976 and was given as a gift to Kabul in 1978 by the Zoo in Cologne, Germany. He arrived in Kabul and soon afterwards, a lioness by the name of Chucha joined him. During the USSR invasion, the city of Kabul was somewhat spared from the total destruction of the city. However, once the Russians left the country, the civil war that ensued, along with the state of total chaos, enveloped the city of Kabul in the middle of a battlefield. The zoo was shelled on many occasions, even destroying its medical supply facility, leaving zoo personnel helpless and unable to help wounded animals.

In 1993 one Afghan wanting to prove his manliness to the rest of his friends, sneaked into the lion’s den. The Afghan stroked Chucha, the lioness, who did not react, but Marjan the lion attacked the man and killed him within minutes. The following day, the man’s brother came and threw a hand grenade into the lion’s den, rendering Marjan blind in one eye (which had to be removed), deaf, and permanently disabled. Despite several surgeries, neither Marjan’s eyesight nor his mouth could be saved. He lost all of his teeth, making it impossible for him to eat boned meat. A ramp was also built for him to get back into his den, as he was seen a few times falling down before making it back into the den.

With the arrival of the US led coalition, the western media quickly picked up the story of Marjan, the one-eyed lion. As the news spread, many animal rights organizations, such as the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and many zoos around the world lent a helping hand in form of money, medical supplies, as well as personnel that included vets and nurses. Despite overwhelming response, Marjan succumbed to old age and died in January of 2002. Both private and public funeral ceremonies were held for the lion that was buried in the zoo. His grave has a post in English that says Marjan and in Pashto “He was about 23. He was the most famous lion in the world.”

This lion is mention in Khaled Hosseini's novel "The Kite Runner".

Marjan was given the nickname Bobby and made an honorary member of the coalition by US soldiers as he had killed a taliban and given his all in the war on terror

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Start of our homestudy

We are finally starting our homestudy !! All our references, medicals and everything else came in. We are meeting with our social worker D. for the first time on November 19th. It's exciting !! I am looking forward to meet her and tell her how much we want our baby from China. I'm also excited for her to see our lolcats !! (hopefully they will be good and not climb on the dining table in her presence) I am excited for her to see my crafty organized mess, and tell her, that for the baby it's great to grow up in a messy environment with all those little treasures to explore lying around (as you know, I'm a crafter so I have craft supplies everywhere, on every table, in every drawer and under every bed) I know though that we will have to clean up little bit before she comes !!!

To celebrate the next step in our adoption, I have set up a free shipping section in my Etsy store, so please feel free to visit and see if you like something. I have some great stuff for sale with free shipping !

Also if you are reading my blog regularly, can you please let me know by leaving a comment? I'd like to meet our kind visitors !!