After getting back from Houston on Sunday night, Soulmate and I plunged into a very busy week. It's all been a blur of seeing patients in the clinic, physical therapy, icing my shoulder, and attending to all the myriad details of daily life. Having my own personal valet and chauffeur is great for me, but Soulmate hasn't gotten anything done since I had surgery.
After harassing my older brother by printing his AARP card on a previous post, I began checking web sites related to Chinese adoption, since we are waiting in line to complete our adoption. It's a complicated affair, with login dates, estimated wait times, and referral and travel dates, all in a jumble.
After sifting through all the complicated calculations, the web site Chinaforecast.com estimates that we should hear from the China adoption agency either the beginning of next month or the beginning of May. There is usually a four to eight week delay, before we travel, so we will likely be traveling to China for two weeks sometime in June or July to complete our adoption.
For those of you to whom this is a major revelation, Soulmate and I have been waiting to adopt a little Chinese girl since we started the process in July of 2005. It has taken much longer to complete the adoption than we expected. Initial estimates by our adoption agency were for a nine month wait between our login date (the date that he official Chinese adoption service received our application) and our referral (the paper sent from China with a picture and a medical report of the little girl assigned to us).
Unfortunately, the wait so far has been 27 months, or three times as long as we expected. Given the number of international couples applying to China and the decreasing number of babies being made available by the Chinese adoption service, if someone applies today, they can expect a five-year wait.
I asked my physical therapist yesterday whether I would be able to carry a 15 pound toddler around by June or July, and he was confident that I would be sufficiently recovered to do so. This has suddenly become much more important than whether I will be back on the bike for the summer crit season or not.
My shoulder rehab has suddenly taken on a greater level of importance for me that I ever thought it would. I was prepared to scrub the entire racing season in order to make sure my shoulder was strong enough for the rigors of competition, but now it looks like the timing of my surgery was more ideal than I thought, hopefully allowing me to participate fully in all of the bonding that will go on when we meet are little girl. All in all, it looks like I have plenty of motivation to see this process through.
On another note, my cousin Mark Grabowski’s son Jim plays basketball for Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. SBU is an NCAA division 2 school, and they are in the division 2 NCAA basketball tournament. They beat West Texas A&M by a wide margin tonight. Jim is a senior this year, and made the first-team all-conference selection. He is a six-foot seven forward, who is the leading scorer on his team this year, a threat both inside and from behind the arc. Good luck, and go Bearcats!
On yet another note, with all the time I usually spend on the bike at this time of year, I have a lot more leisure time. I'm finishing Ken Burns' fantastic film series on World War II while I work out on the arc trainer. I ordered season five of Monk and season one of Psych, two of my favorite detective shows on the USA Network. In addition, I got an intriguing little book by Jerome Groopman, MD, called “How Doctors Think.” It has always intrigued me how we doctors come to a diagnosis, right or wrong, and this book sheds some light on the intellectual and emotional processes and shortcuts that we apparently use.
The book is actually written for patients to be able to help their doctors ask and answered the right questions so they reach the right diagnosis and proposed the right treatments. I'm not all offended by the book, given that the author is the chair of the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. I figure that if one of the smartest doctors in the nation needs to study the process of medical decision-making, a dumb surgeon like myself could probably benefit from what he finds out.
Oops, it's almost midnight. I'm afraid there's not much thinking going on of all at this time of night. It's all a blur again…