How are we enjoying the United States?

Well I must say it feels pretty good. I love the family feel, the whole spirit of Christmas, the simplicity of certain things, the bargain shopping, all of my vegetarian food (I ate a meatless Kielbasa last night – wait that sounded very dirty!) and I especially love our little home. It feels right being here, but it does not come without its downfalls.

As of right now, it will take Lola almost two months to receive therapy through First Steps. TWO MONTHS! This is supposed to be an early intervention program funded by the State…notice the word “early”. I was outraged hearing it would take an intake coordinator two weeks to see Lola, another couple of weeks to see if she is eligible, another few weeks to have a therapist contact us and another few weeks for the therapist to come out. To me, this long drawn out process is outrageous, but I’m quickly realizing this is simply how the public system works. I wish we had all the money in the world to get private services for her, but we don’t. We will most likely contact Moises to see if he can help via Skype until Lola is accepted into First Steps. Thankfully Lola seems to be blossoming right before our eyes, but she still needs to be challenged in a therapy setting. Rob and I have learned a lot from Moises and Melissa in Costa Rica, so we will continue to implement the therapies we have already learned.

Today Lola was all about exploring on the floor. We have a rug near my computer so that she can have lots of tummy time, but today she ventured off the rug via creeping backwards. She found that she could move quickly on the hardwood floors and man she was all over the place. I literally found her heading under the futon and when I asked where she was going, she looked up at me as if I caught her doing something she wasn’t supposed to. She’s such a determined little girl.

Lola will go to her first U.S. pediatrician appointment tomorrow. The pediatrician needs to evaluate Lola so he can write a letter of recommendation to First Steps stating she can receive therapy. I’m quickly understanding that the U.S. is a lot of paperwork, but we are here so I better get used to it fast. The beauty about our situation is that I’m no pushover. I am Lola’s best advocate and I will fight for her to receive the best healthcare whether we have insurance or not (insurance is something we are working on). I’ve done plenty of research therefore I know her diagnosis’ quite well and I refuse to let her go through any unnecessary medical testing. I’m open to seeing what new doctors and therapists think of her situation, but I have learned a lot from her awesome team in Costa Rica and damn do I miss them.

I am also missing the warm weather! Holy shit is it cold here and it’s not even snowing yet. I’m beginning to shrivel up like an old lady because of the harshness of the cold, but my husband told me I look hot all bundled up in my winter gear, so I guess I have that going for me. Actually it was 48 degrees today which wasn’t so bad and while I do look forward to seeing snow, I also look forward to the day Spring begins.

I suppose the dogs are adjusting. Well maybe Zara more so than Zoe. They have become addicted to chasing squirrels and they clearly don’t quite know what to think about the cold weather. We bought the cutest pink sweaters for them although I seem to fail to ever take a good picture so hear are a couple of the girls outside.



The civilized driving is quite nice. Rob and I bought a Volvo over the weekend and oddly enough, it seems to fit in with our Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. I suppose we are the typical family with one baby, two dogs and now a Volvo. Surprisingly, the simple life has never felt so good.

Seeing friends again is one of my favorite parts about being back in the States. Just knowing they are a few minutes away or even a few hours away in Michigan. I spent quite a bit of time with a good girlfriend of mine today and I commented to Rob how much I missed our friends.

I’m realizing that people are quick to throw their opinion out about Lola. Perhaps they did as well in Costa Rica, but we didn’t listen closely enough. At the post office today, a woman commented that Lola had a wandering eye. Another woman at a restaurant asked why Lola wasn’t looking at her. I have to admit the comments stung at first. I certainly don’t like having to justify why my child is doing anything especially something that is beyond her control, but as Rob said hopefully by me explaining – they will be more likely to think before they speak.

Overall though?

I’m happy. We’re happy. We put our Christmas tree up the other day and it was just as I pictured it would be. The fireplace burning away, Christmas music on, me untangling our mess of decorations, Rob putting them up and Lola sound asleep. It was perfect. It felt right.

I have lots more to share about our adjustment, but I won’t bore you all. Let’s just say there will always be good and bad in any situation. While I wish I could have a little of Costa Rica mixed with a little of the U.S., I obviously know this is unattainable so I’m simply learning to appreciate things in a different way. If only I could create my own country where I could have the best of both worlds…actually the best of lots of worlds. What would you do with your own country?