Monday, November 27, 2006

Another document hits the road

Yes, I actually printed out the cover letters and got the birth certificates on the road to certification. I went to my friendly neighborhood mail shop and got everything F@d ex@d both ways. I'm not so direly concerned about the timing, but I do want to be able to track them. The mail guys were reminiscing about several other people who had used them for everything in their adoption process... While I was over there, I looked at options for printing out our digital photos since my printer is dying.

I am trying to decide if it's worth my while to drive over to our big city capital and hand deliver my in-state docs, or whether to just mail 'em off like the rest.

M got his letter of employment properly certified today... only for us to find out later that the notary hadn't used the exact proper wording with her seal to be official enough for our purposes... (sigh) So they will need to do it yet a third time and maybe this time it will be right.

This is my nightmare... that I have to redo every document because the people who need to fill them out insist on not being clear or correct or legible enough for our purposes... On the plus side, we are really on our way in the process. If we can't see the end in sight, we can at least see the lights coming up...

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

The telling of the plans.

We had Thanksgiving week with my inlaws, parents, nieces and nephews and all. It was fun and relaxing. I took lots of pics of the kids like I love doing, playing games, conversing about their interests and activities, feeling fuzzy nephew ears, and all that good stuff.

We told M's parents about our adoption plans the very first evening we were there with just the four of us. My MIL got so excited in the build-up to the announcement which was pretty cute. She was so excited, she clutched at my FIL in anticipation. :) But I deliberately started out saying, "We are in the process of..." rather than "We are expecting that... " because I didn't want to give them the wrong idea by accident, and really, it would be too painful to have to say that I *wasn't* pregnant. But anyway, they seemed very happy for us and expressed happiness and excitement and immediately started remembering every last person they knew who had ever adopted an Asian child. ... I have realized that most people use this as a way of relating to your situation or decision, saying obliquely that they are ok with it.

I blathered on about various aspects of the process, being very upbeat and excited, but we didn't really get any questions out of them, which of course, makes me a little wary. hehe truly. I would rather that they didn't spin their wheels in private; I would rather they spit out their questions and concerns so we can deal with it, er, I mean talk about it, openly. But oh, well. :) We tried. At least we have it out in the open now, and they and we will have a couple years to deal with whatever they can come up with to be concerned about!

Later we went out to eat with them and M's aunt and uncle. The aunt is a very religious but very sweet and warm-hearted person. At one point during the meal, I look over, and M's dad, (my FIL) is gesturing repeatedly towards his sister, jerking his head and and giving me meaningful looks. Now, it hadn't even *occurred* to me to share the whole saga with her as we are not especially close to her (although we have good relations with whatever interactions we do have). I could have just ignored all the sign language or pretended to not understand, although that may have induced him to say something like, "I think M & M have something they'd like to share...," (ack!) resulting in an awkward moment, thank you very much! But anyway, I split-second decided to meet that bull head-on, sort to speak and started telling her the Reader's Dig@st version of our plans. Actually, her reaction was even more enthusiastic than M's parents! She seemed very delighted by it. We then spent some time talking over all the Asian adoptees she could think of (that reaction again - lol), and talking about her daughter's missionary work in an Asian country (which I'd asked about because I am interested and enjoy hearing about their cultural endeavors AND I know it's a topic she enjoys talking about).

... It was a fun reaction from the aunt. It really makes me smile to think about. It's a good feeling when someone is wishing you well without giving advice or expressing doubts or admonishments.

In retrospect, I suspect that my FIL was prodding me to tell his sister because in his conflict-avoidance way, he didn't want to have to tell her himself (sigh). But all things considered, the whole telling-of-the-plans went well. And we gave them a realistic idea of how long it would take (two years).

Later, my Aunt-in-law asked me to keep her up to date with the process. Since we are almost done with the dossier and about to enter The Long Wait (TLW), I let me know that there wasn't going to be much going on for a while. I did tell her a bunch about the process once we got matched and other random related topics. I could see my FIL inclining his ear to hear more, so I hope he got some questions answered even if he couldn't ask them.

Earlier, I had gone ahead and addressed the whole secrecy thing, or about how and why we had delayed telling them ALL About It (not that they would have enjoyed hearing all about our IF and IA trials and tribulations). I said we hadn't shared it with many people early on until we got farther along in the process, but that we'd asked M's sister to write us a letter of recommendation in the homestudy process. They immediately said--well, she didn't say anything about *that*!! I said, well good! We had asked her to not to! ... But that we wanted to tell them in person, and we were happy that now we could talk about it with them...etc etc (and thus sparing my SIL from having to defend her actions in the future).

It's difficult to finesse the sharing of data points sometimes. I don't want to have to justify who I tell what when where about our personal plans. I certainly want to protect our own privacy. Nobody is entitled to get the dirt on every last living private detail me & M have! But that's a subject in itself.... Still, I don't want anyone in my immediate family at least to feel that they are out of the loop on the adoption thing. There has been too much history of hard feelings when secrets linger unequally among family members.

My own sister recently asked if she and her H could share that they had agreed to be designated guardians. I would like to be the one to share that with other family members to minimize hard feelings (my 'telling it from the horse's mouth' strategy), but I think if it comes up in conversation, he shouldn't feel constrained from mentioning it, and I told her that. Again, I don't want to let an air of secrecy fester in that regard.

So onward... M says that now, "you know that if my aunt knows, that ALL of my cousins will know." Yes, but oh well. :) It doesn't bother me so much, maybe because they are not my immediate family and they will gossip about us regardless. Eh, do I need to care? :)

But then this brings to mind whether I should torture my own mother with not being "able" to tell all of MY family all about it. I know she is dying to talk about it with her sisters and be able to respond to her own in-laws on whether (I kid you not) I am pregnant yet. (Ooooo! A whole 'nother topic!!! %-D) Not that she might have not already dropped heavy hints already. (sigh) She did tell me that if somebody asked her point blank whether we were considering adoption that she was not going to be able to lie effectively! She wondered if she could say that we were "thinking about it." I thought, yeah, she could get away with it.

I am of two minds about that. On one hand, I am getting darn close to saying-- oh what the hell--tell them! Why keep it under wraps? On the OTHER hand, some family members deal in personal information and will try to use any scrap of info to speculate and bludgeon us with advice, doubts or admonishments (see above). Soooo I am not inclined to give them any more information than necessary. But MEANWHILE, my mother and my closest cousin are just *bursting* with excitement over this news (or bursting with the need to share it--of similar urgency), and may start spilling beans because of this bursting condition. Soooo I could/might control this information more effectively by letting out an announcement along with the annual Christmas letters. OR I could just sit on it for a while longer. Because after all, I didn't hear anything about another family adoption until it was a done deal, and why should I not have the same rights to privacy???

Ok, the privacy wins out. I have to live with this limbo state for at least another couple years. I don't need my aunts and assorted relatives peering over my shoulder and saying stupid things for ALL that time (although they will eventually, but why hurry that along?). I half expect my one particularly half-crazy aunt to phone me up and start asking me about my adopting these foreign babies. As soon as she gets wind of it... wait for the astoundingly inappropriate remarks...

I guess everybody likes to talk about new and unusual things. My friend whose baby shower I went to recently asked me as soon as she saw me if I was "telling everyone yet." I said nooo... She said to be sure and tell her when I started telling everyone so she could "talk about it." I told her, "Heck! You can talk to ME about it!" As if news doesn't exist until you can share it. But no, everybody wants to be told: "Here's some juicy news! Now discuss amongst yourselves!" lol I leave you with that thought.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

A New Meme

And now for a new meme. I got this list of questions from one of the blogs I read.
Side fact: I loved these things when I was in junior high. I would actually write up little "mini quizzes" and exchange them with my friends Nadine and Signie. Such fun. This meme questionnaire has that same flavour.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

"This fleece top might work for backpacking after all."

2. How much cash do you have on you?

$83 in bills, $1.56 in change.

3. What's a word that rhymes with DOOR?


4. Favorite planet?


5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

Who? I don't keep track of these things!

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

Eddie Izzard saying: "Hey, your phone is ringing. ... Your phone is ringing. ... Your PHONE is RINGing. ... Answer the bloody phone!" At least that's what it would be if I had ring tones...

7. What shirt are you wearing?

The aforementioned fleece top. Forest green V-neck Old Navy brand via a clothing exchange.

8. Do you “label yourself?

I tend to label myself by the things that I do as shorthand for people who don't know me that well. I am a dancer; I am a teacher; I am designer; I am a writer. Yes, I am a former member of that singing group!

9. Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing?

No-brand fluffy leather slippers from China!

10. Bright or Dark Room?

Bright at Night, Darkish during the Day.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?

I can't remember who that was! But since I read a variety of interesting blogs, she must be pretty cool.

12. What does your watch look like?

Black sports watch.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Researching backpacking underwear and insulating layers for myself and my sister.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?

Probably something from my friend Emily saying: Hope you're having a good time up there! Can't wait to see the new dances! Love U! Miss U!

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?

There are no 7-11s in my area. There is a drugstore that functions much the same around the corner from my house.

16. What's a word that you say a lot?

"Actually." But "actually" I don't say it as much as I used to. lol "Actually," I am overly fond of most qualifiers. hehe

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?

My husband. And/or my sister.

18. Last furry thing you touched?

One of my cats is in my lap RIGHT NOW. Mr. Furry Boy.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?

What drugs? No, I don't *think* so!

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?

Sadly, I have at least 1 roll of B&W and a possible color roll that still need to be developed, even 20 months after I got my digital camera that freed me from all that mess. I also have a few *unexposed* rolls lurking around.

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

Don't have one. But my early-mid 30s were fun. "Actually" I like my current age (which I won't specify *cough*cough*).

22. Your worst enemy?

Probably myself, but one former friend has tried for that honor on occasion.

23. What is your current desktop picture?

A mountaintop view in Virginia from a backpacking trip.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?

"Bye, have a good day at work. Love you."

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?

Hmmm... I'd really rather fly, but I'm afraid that people being what they are that someone would want to shoot me down for having too much fun. So I'll take the million.

26. Do you like someone?

I like lots of people. What do you mean? :)

27. The last song you listened to?

Tune: celtic dance tune by Dot-Dot-Dash.

Song: probably some Yah-Love reggae song on the local jazz station.

28. What time of day were you born?

Approx. 8:57 in the evening, Central.

29. What's your favorite number?

It's a secret. :) Okay, I'll tell you. 17. Or 42.

30. Where did you live in 1987?

In my college town. In a apartment rental with several friends.

31. Are you jealous of anyone?

No doubt. I am usually jealous of people who get things done in their life and accomplish great things without an apparent excess of drama. Wait-- that's "admire." :)

32. Is anyone jealous of you?

No doubt. Some people seem jealous of me for accomplishing things and being really excellent at certain things without apparent effort. I find that rather ironic (see above question).

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?

At home talking to my Mom, taking her picture for a professional journal profile.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

Curse and complain.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?

Yes. I don't like to see anyone suffer. So I usually go out of my way to be gracious if others are feeling awkward or lost or unconnected.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?

I've had enough multiple needle stabbings (through IF injectables) that I don't feel the need to undergo more of that. Maybe I should tattoo the slogan "been there, done that, no baby" on the belly fat around my navel. *snarkity snark*

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

Oooo! Choices! How about Spanish, Italian, German, Persian, AND Mandarin? All of them have aspects of beauty and practicality to recommend them. If I learned to play an instrument fluently, I'd REALLY like that.

38. Would you move for the person you loved?

I have in the past, but I didn't with my husband. But I would now.

39. Are you touchy feely?

Eh? No! I am a hugger, but I hate it when people have to touch me while they talk to me.

40. What's your life motto?

As with everything, I have more than one answer:

"Radiate the Dance."

"Been there, done that, loved it!" (Esther Carp)

"Do your scales and persevere."

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?

Keys, wallet, sunhat.

42. What's your favorite town/city?

Let's say Rome.

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?

Some groceries at Wh@le F@@ds.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?

I sent a cool, chatty postcard to my artist friend in Boston in June.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?

I could if I had to, but I sure don't.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?

My first college boyfriend married one of my other college friends years ago and occasionally we exchange email to say hi or to exchange exceptionally bad puns. (I write more with my friend.)

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?

1500s in German Alsace.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?

The last time I specifically remember was a friend's wedding a year ago. Wore my 30's vintage gown and looked great!

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?

My thighs are aching front and back from the backpacking training squats.

50. Have you been burned by love?

Good God, yes.


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Thursday, November 16, 2006

15 months, 18 months

I couldn't post yesterday because bl@gger was down or something. But if I had, it would have gone something like this:

AAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! ! ! !!!!!

We got our favorable determination!!!! !!!!!!! !!!!! Boy, that was quick. Now we reeeally have to finish our dossier!!!!!!

But oh well, the fingerprints will have to be redone before we go anywhere, anyway..... 15 months before the fingies expire. 18 months before the whole thing expires and the I-600A has to be resubmitted.

I have resigned myself to have to pay another load of money and redoing a whole load of effing paperwork in a little over a year. I don't like it, but ... the things we do for the privilege of having a child, eh?

Despite that, did I mention we got favorable determination? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! !!!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Showers and opinions

At the baby shower, there were lots of blue things, plush toys and clothes, and some cool items like a portable baby bed, and ultra practical things like a diaper geni@ which apparently is the going thing. It was short and sweet with snacky things and colorful Noah's Arc plates and tea cups and good wishes. Fun stories about plump breast-fed babies and child care plans... light and congenial.

It was a fun time. Many of us had not seen each other since the bridal shower/wedding. The only down spot was one woman who started up on a complaining kick giving opinions about all kinds of choices that didn't seem to have any bearing in her own experience. She held forth on what another woman friend did with pacifers, then about what she did with nursing. The final annoyance was how this other woman put a crib pad *over* all those cute sheets. The complainer just didn't like it, didn't think it was "cute." lol No sh*t, she said that. I wanted to leap out of my chair and reassure my friend that just because people were going to give her all kinds of advice, that she did not have to feel pressured by ANY of it. But I sat back and thought calming thoughts. lol Nobody else in the room said anything, either. My friend, to her credit, did not engage much with this at all. She finally laughed and said, "I imagine that cute will give way to practical." Perfect!!! I admire her attitude. She's still the open and humorous person she was when we first met in college. Not a mean or pretentious bone in her body. And I still have a few weeks to make headway on a baby quilt.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Early showers

I'm going to a baby shower for a good friend tomorrow. I got cute little warm socks and a Winnie the Poo long-sleeved, striped onesie. It was the best little outfit I could find that was not either sickeningly pink or blue (good grief) and not too expensive. But this one is cute and not too scratchy. I have disdain for scratchy baby clothes. It's also of a size that he can grow into all Winter and Spring. Yeah, I am happy at my find. ... I also have quilt plans in the works, but that project is running slower... I still have about 4 weeks to work on it if he doesn't show up early.

Interesting that I have gained a certain dispassionate distance about other people's pregnancies. I even spent some time with pregnant friends for a relaxed work-related meeting last week, and (surprise!) did not either avoid or dwell on the matter.
I think I have a new focus since we decided to pursue adoption. It's a relief after all this time to not have to obsess over my body and what it is or isn't doing, what substances go in when and how and for that matter (on the extreme end), why the hell are we denied our happiness. To not have to worry about the physical stress of it any more. Or for that matter, to not have so much emotional reaction when other people bring it up. Well, ok, I still have reaction, but it's channeled a little differently. More snark and less tears. hehehe! Should that be my new motto?

Six months ago, I would have been dubious about my going gracefully to anyone's baby shower, even for a good friend. Now, I am almost looking forward to it! I *am* looking forward to it. I am happy for her, and I'm almost happy it isn't me feeling so highly uncomfortable in these late stages. As long as people don't start acting hyper sensitive or insensitive towards me, I think I am going to do ok. Not the hyper awareness of "how difficult it must be" for me (gag), nor the obliviously callous questions and assumptions. Even if so, ... eh... I will still do ok. I am more matter of fact. I have closed that door so that people don't stumble over junk in the dark and break something of mine.

In any case, I don't have to *host* this shower; I can show up and have fun and then go home and not linger if it gets unexpectedly painful. I can just go wheee! And how exciting!! I get a honorary nephew. :) hee hee And also think--better her than me. And then contemplate a baby quit for my own little girl down the road...

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Power of Saying Yes to Possibility

The Power of Saying Yes to Possibility

I love when I have so much energy and possibilities opening up, new things to put on the schedule and prepare for. New possibilities open up as long as I keep saying "yes!" to them. Lots, lots, lots. Staying open to the flow. Riding the wave and preparing for the next. Life is good.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cozy as Winter Comes On

Talked to my sis in law. We are brainstorming a Thanksgiving feast that does not involve hours of cooking. Her usual chef in residence has to work that day, so she's decided she won't attempt a turkey without his help, although I offered to drag out my pre-vegetarian experience to stuff the ol' turkey. I could do it. But we decided to not bother so much. Less cooking, more games with the kids would be ideal.

My philosophy is to keep the foods and traditions that are most meaningful and to not worry about the rest. We decided to start a list. What do we *really* want to cook and eat?

So far, we have apple cake, pie, some kind of squash, mashed potatoes and gravy, pie, rice pilaf, and pie. Did I mention pie? Last year I did the whole mince pie thing (which I always do), but none of my in laws found it particularly compelling. Fine. There was plenty leftover for me to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner the way I/we usually do. Yum. But given that we are traveling, I am now thinking of what I can make ahead of time (rather than having to cook all day once I get there). Maybe I can precook the squash and mash it and *freeze* it for the trip up, then reconstitute in time for a hot casserole with pecans. That might work. Save the mince pie for Christmas this year. Or make some for upcoming potlucks... mmmm.... Distracted by thoughts of mince pie....

Where was I? Thinking about Thanksgiving. The truth is, I don't mind that slow tipping towards the end of the year and Winter Solstice. This is the time when the days shorten and our bodies slow down. It feels right to gather with friends and family, cook autumn feasts, and gather 'round the fire to toast our good fellowship, to slow down and contemplate even as the commercial frenzy ramps up. All of a sudden we have several gathering events this weekend marking turning points. A baby shower. A house warming. A bonfire and convivial gathering to celebrate the warmth of friendship against the gathering dark. All very cozy and wonderful.

So the Thanksgiving feast will probably include some archaic symbolism of reassuring ourselves of plenty as Winter comes on. Not that we can't get --good grief-- tomatoes and arugela at all months of the year, but sweet potatoes, nuts, roast grains, fall greens... These feed our physical psyche. The deep part of ourselves that craves that reassurance that We Are Ready For Winter. I've got my sweaters and furry slippers and pecans and some jazz on the radio. How about you?

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go and Vote!

You know it's the right thing to do.

Now I have to decide if I should be standing outside in the rain with this cough handing out judges leaflets.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Naming Concepts

Lisa V’s Question: How did you decide on your blog's name...?

Whither Thou Creative Spirit?

When I first set up this blog, I didn’t want to pigeon hole myself into any one topic, although rants on certain topics do come up with regularity. Also, I couldn’t decide at the time WHAT I wanted the blog to focus on. I figured I would create its identity as I went. Or it would. I would start somewhere and let it happen. Well, how very appropriate: a free-form creative endeavor… Which leads me to my next point…

One thing that is constant is the concept of the creative energy running through everything, so close it’s within us. It connects everything. We can empower ourselves to tap into that energy and create something new every moment. Less this sound overly New-Age-y, let me say this is not so much a religious idea as a concept of fundamental principle of existence, intrinsic to the nature of everything. Some people might call that god. I do not choose to name it with a name with so much existential baggage. It’s independent of any denominational characterization.

So therefore: Creative Spirit. And Thou. And Whither because I remind myself it’s right here, and the phrasing feels appropriately reverential and poetic with a touch of whimsy. And Just Because.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Distracted days

Good grief, I am already behind on this posting everyday in Nov thing. I have excuses, of course. I've been sick, I've been engrossed in other major presentations and recovering from deliverance thereof. Plus, I am finding it more fun to read other blogs than to post to my own. I love my usual reads!

With all that going on, I haven't even made any progress on getting documents sent out for certification. To send by Fed@x or Second Day mail; that is the question. Either would require swinging by a mail shop, and I haven't had time.

I need to get back to tweaking a program for tomorrow morning.

'Nuff said.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy NaBloPoMo

Oo, National Blog Posting Month!

I saw this on several of the blogs I frequent and was intrigued. Write every day in November? Why, that would kick up by posting frequency by, um, 3000% ! Is that right? So sue me, I don't remember my fractions. hehe

One big linky list is here:

Fussy posited the question:
Why the hell would I want to do that? You started a blog to make yourself write more often?

For the challenge of it. For the fun of it. Not for writing's sake, but for nurturing a sense of consistency. A sense of accomplishment. A sense of connection maybe.

It's probably too late for me to get on any list of the participants, seeing as the deadline was yesterday and I JUST SAW IT THIS MORNING. Oh well. Hi ya'll. I am off and running. Already while cleaning out the litterbox, I came up with several topics to muse out loud about. While keeping my Real Life and Online selves separate. THAT's the challenge. Activate Persona! Or is that Adoptive Parent? Stop me before I become an ass. I'm actually a little nervous about sharing my thoughts. The web is wide open. But putting my thoughts on [digital] paper down helps order and clarify them. THAT's why I write at all.

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