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Archive for March, 2009

Random tidbits

So let’s see… what’s new around here…

First, a big congrats to Coffeemom, the lovely blogging barista. Her adoption case finally passed court in Ethiopia and now their new daughter can come home. (If you want to see the video, check out “AnotherEspressoPlease” under my Adoption Blog links.) I joined in a novena prayer for nine days leading up to their second court date — they failed the first time. Their daughter, Marta, is beautiful — such an amazing smile!

Did I mention we got our welcome from WACAP and all the info for our dossier paperwork? Yes, more paperwork! But it’s all looking more manageable. I find the best approach is to create a list of goals each week. I help my clients do this, but it’s hard to be your own coach!

I’ve caught the cleaning bug. Not just because spring is springing, but because a health inspector, fire inspector, and social worker have to check this place out soon and that’s motivating me to get this place in tip-top shape.

De-cluttering isn’t easy in a tiny rowhouse when you both work from home. We’re putting up new shelves, bringing bags to Good Will, re-organizing, getting estimates on painting the house trim and having the front doorstep fixed. I’m even considering hiring a woman to help me with some long-overdue heavy-duty cleaning.

My triceps are sore today. My friend Mags and I drag ourselves to a weights class about twice a week, but the only muscle that ever hurts afterward is my triceps. I don’t get it. Kind of annoying.

Friday we have our first all-day adoption course. Not sure what to expect, but hope it’s actually a good use of our time.

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Spring is springing!

Our street this afternoon:

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Even if the temps are still pretty cool around here, at least the tree  buds know that spring is on its way!

These trees bloom early, in big white blossoms, and then the rains of late April and May tear the petals away and carry them off and we’re left with green.

Spring and fall are my favorite seasons here in Maryland. There’s nothing like celebrating Easter when there are actual flowers blooming and plants coming up and new life everywhere.

In the shot below you get a better view of the Chesapeake Bay, which is just down at the end of our street. Pardon the cars ruining the view. They just would not move, even when I tried moving them with my mind like I used to think I could when I watched “Escape to Witch Mountain” as a kid.

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Forbidden Fruit

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These freshly picked avocados arrived in a box today from my sister Clara in California. Aren’t they gorgeous? Our little nieces, Mia and Macy, picked them for us. It was a fun surprise!

We’re still wearing our winter coats around here so it’s hard to imagine going outside and picking something green off a tree.

I just love opening a box that’s full of something related to food — fresh food, especially.

The funny part of it all is that I’m actually allergic to avocados. (Clara remembered only after she mailed them off!) This luscious green fruit is one of the few things I can’t eat — my body won’t digest avocado. I end up curled in a fetal position writhing in pain, until… well, we won’t go there.

Brian will eat a few, and then I’ll score some points with friends when I give them the rest this weekend.

Mucho thanks to my favorite California peeps for sending a little green our way!

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Sharpening my views

When it comes to email, I used to be swimming in it; now it’s more like I’m treading water in iron shoes somewhere in the Atlantic.

It’s all my fault, though.  Last I counted, I was signed up to eight different Yahoo adoption forums. How that happened, I don’t know, but each has provided helpful info along the way. You never know when you’re going to read something important, something you just have to file away with the millions of other emails that have important tidbits that you’ll never find again but you can’t bear to delete.

I’ve been on one of the larger discussion boards for some time now and I’ve noticed that some people are pretty cynical about international adoption.  In fact, some are almost downright  against it. (Which is a little weird, considering these people signed up to an international adoption forum.)

Their reasons vary. Some seem to think it’s wrong to take children from their birth countries. Some think it’s better to adopt needy kids from home turf. Still others are understandably scared off because of the corruption that exists in some international adoption.

When I started reading this stuff, I felt troubled, confused, and anxious. I now realize, however, that it’s helped me clarify just what  I think about it all.

And this is what I believe:

  • That every child has not only the right to his or her life, but to a loving family who can raise him/her.
  • That a child’s well-being and development is better served in a loving family from another country than it is by an institution or orphanage in a birth country.
  • That your culture is not determined by race or birthplace, but by how and where you’re raised. And that it’s enriched by connecting to your ethnic heritage and birth country.
  • That people are called and drawn to adoption in different ways. Children in need are everywhere and no one should be made to feel guilty or wrong about the path that seems best for them.
  • That corruption in international adoption will only be eradicated when parents and agencies educate themselves and demand reforms where ever necessary.  The answer is not to turn our backs on international adoption, but to improve the process.
  • That risks are part of adoption — not matter what kind — and part of parenting any child.

I’m sure I’ll continue to refine my thinking as I go along. A big shout out to those forum members whose views I’ve found to be annoying, confusing, wrong-headed, strange, judgemental, cranky and negative. I’m actually truly grateful for these perspectives because they’ve helped me!

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At lunch today my husband began our conversation by saying, “Last night I was lying in bed thinking about the tragic legacy of Hamiltonianism…”

I’m guessing not every man lies in bed wrestling with such questions. But it’s one reason I love the guy.

Even better, perhaps, is what he said not long ago after another midnight bout of mental anguish:

“Last night I was lying in bed thinking about historical anachronism…”

“Me, too.” I said.

Just kidding. I didn’t say that. Although to be fair, I may have been thinking about Napoleon Bonaparte since around that time I was obsessed with a biography about him.

These days though, I lie in bed thinking about how in the world we’re going to get all our adoption paperwork done before we retire, the meaning of life, why we have to die, how uncomfortable our mattress is, and whether our future Ethiopian babies are going to be okay.

No wonder we both have sleep issues.

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Application – Take 2

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Brian snapped this picture today as I headed out the door for the Post Office. This is our application for World Association of Children and Parents (WACAP) — the placement agency we’ve chosen.

Yes, I finally decided! It was tough. I kept teetering between two terrific agencies, but a few things tipped the scales in favor of WACAP. We’re confident they’ll be a great agency to help us bring our children home.

We now need to wait  for them to accept us, and to send us the info we need to start working on our dossier for Ethiopia.

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Our home study begins!

Today was our first appointment with Susie, our social worker. She’s great! We left her office armed with a big binder and paperwork galore, which we expected. It’s good to finally have our marching orders with respect to the home study process.

We’ve still not made the final decision on a placement agency, but we’re so close. It’s such an important decision and I have found this the toughest part so far. Brian will defer to my choice, and I do hope to make the decision this coming week so we can do our dossier and home study work at the same time. (Much easier that way.)

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