Monday, May 29, 2006

Holiday Hell

Man, today was rough!

  1. Using my new chef's knife Rachael Ray style, I almost sliced off my right pinky. Let's just say I filleted it, and it is continuing to seep as the rest of my finger turns bluish-purple. Still. 12 hours later. Yes, I know I should've had a stitch or at least some of that human super glue stuff, but no. I didn't realize how much you use your pinkies when you type.
  2. I have to make a big decision. C's mom has another child, who's only a year old. She has asked us to help out with him while she's recuperating from her next surgery. She has no family willing to help, and her best friend just said no. I don't know if I can do it for many, many reasons I can't discuss here.
  3. Said bio mom came to my parents picnic with said baby. It was hard, not because of the baby, he's a baby, what's not to like? C on the other hand has assumed the "mommy" role because she's doing the bulk of the lifting. It's nerve-wracking and frustrating, plus she's really annoying about it. I guess that's one reason I am discussing here.
  4. B and I were talking about this as we were leaving my parents, and I backed my Sorento into my father-in-law's new Chevy Trailblazer. Big crunch, but no major damage. My truck barely has a scratch. We have decided to get an estimate and go from there.
  5. I had to come home and write a paper that was due on a freaking holiday. The hell?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

How Bizarre

I just noticed that in the picture of B and me and in the picture of Elliot, they are holding their heads the same way. B is way cuter!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Here's the Deal, Pickle

So, B and I made this big trek to D.C., went through the harrowing process of fighting with the State Dept, relyied on strangers, and all-in-all had a pretty good weekend. I mean, we had fun, I got a Nine West purse for 12 bucks, and we ate really good Italian and really bad Mexican food.
Well, amidst all of this fun, we didn't realize was that we took 2 copies of B's police clearance reports and none of mine. Basically, when CCAI got our dossier, it was one document short. Plus, they wanted more pictures of us with friends and family.
Pictures I could do - that's easy I have a new camera. Getting that document authenticated was another story. Prior to crying tears of frustration and embarrassment, I called our dossier rep Amanda who confirmed the news and led me in the direction of an Adoption courier. Now, I really wasn't sure if I wanted to trust a stranger with our precious cargo, but what choice did I have?
I contacted Laura of The Assistant Stork, and she took care of us. Although it cost us a little more, she had it taken care of in less than a week. As of yesterday, CCAI has the last of our dossier documents, and I hopefully can say we are in critical review. My hopes for being DTC in May are shot, but my DTC group hasn't kicked me out, so I guess that's okay. Besides, with the wait, what's another week?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yes, We Are

Just wanted to let everyone know that C, my mom, and I are gonna be on the floor at the September 14 show.
Don't be hatin'

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Word of the Day - Antagonize

Well today we found out that C's mom definitely has thyroid cancer. She had surgery on Monday and was told she was cancer free. When she went to have her post-op check-up and have her drain removed, her doctor said, "We were wrong, you do have cancer." So it's a massive radiation treatment and a second surgery. Damn, that sucks.
C's bully situation has escalated over the past few weeks, and we can't wait for school to be out, just to get a break. The problem is, C just can't get it and she antagonizes this one boy and two girls who torture her. She gives as much as she gets. Where they are mean, hateful bullies, she is spazzy and annoying - on purpose. We've tried to work with her on calming down and recognizing that she's being a spaz/annoying/childish, but it's just not clicking. I don't even want to go into how she handled herself this week at After School Care. I won't go into the details; they're too painful for me to type and for you to read.
It's hard for B & me to see her struggle, but for very different reasons. B still sees her as an innocent, precious baby. I see it from a clinical perpective - anxiety inducing plummeting self-esteem that can scar teenage girls into making bad decisions. Before I began working in the field of MR/DD, I was a Family Preservation Specialist and worked with children exclusively for 6 years. I have seen the damage children can do to each other, especially girls her age. I can't separate from this situation the way I could then. This is my child. You can't imagine how thrilled I am that she has one more year of elementary school. The thought of her going to middle school at this maturity level makes me want to puke.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Saturday, May 13, 2006


B & me in the kitchen a few days ago. I was having a rough day at work, so B fixed me dinner. After, we started goofing around with the camera.

Darwin, my love

I grew this!

This too!

Chubs AKA Evie, my niece AKA
the prettiest baby on the East Coast

Obsessions - Spring

If you've been following along, you'll know I have a tendency to obsess on things I like or love. Well, I have a whole new crop for spring so here they go...
  1. My new camera, the Canon PowerShot A430. I have been taking pictures like a crazy woman, but have yet to figure out how to download them. Be prepared, they're coming.
  2. Elliot Yamin. In the 5 years I have watched American Idol, I have never voted. This week I did - twice. Before, I really didn't care. With the exception of the Clay Aiken upset (moment of silence here), it was always crystal clear who would win. This time, it's up in the air. I have been sweating it every week in fear that Elliot would be booted. I really want this little guy to win. He's against the odds - he's got that he's-so-homely-he's-cute-but-damn-can-he-sing! thing, a stinkeye, and he's humble. Plus, his mom is his #1 fan. I am not ashamed to admit how happy I was with Wednesday's Chris Daughtry bitch slap.
  3. The Office. I was in love with the BBC version, and I bow down to the comedic genius of Ricky Gervais. Nevertheless, the American version has hooked me. The last five minutes of Thursday's season finale killed. I am pretty into Jim and Pam, but nobody does painful, heart-breaking, unrequited love as well as Martin Freeman's Tim in the original. The American version parallels the BBC version pretty well. Dwight rules.
  4. Jill Winters. I just finished reading her newest, Lime Ricky, and loved, loved, loved it. Her novels are funny and always have a mystery. Great chick lit. Read.Them.NOW.
  5. This blog, Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels. Snark at it's finest. I have found kindred spirits, because I, too, am a smart bitch who loves me some trash. I also love their takes on romance novel covers, they are laugh-out-loud funny.
  6. School. Spring semester has been out for 2 weeks, and I am so ready to get back in the groove. Who woulda thunk? I am taking one class this summer, Curriculum Development, and I am developing an online professional/continuing education class on classroom management for K-12 teachers with the professor I am praying will be my chair. She wants to work with me and/or have me in class before she agrees. Well, this summer I will be doing both. Wish me luck - she's the one that I want ooh, ooh, ooh, honey!
  7. Games Magazine. I have been a fan for years. My favorite puzzle is the Pencil Pointer crossword. It's a big square crossword where the clues are in the puzzle instead of being numbered and each clue can have multiple words. A few years ago Games put out an all Pencil Pointers special edition. I couldn't stop until I finished the whole thing. Every time I go to Books-a-Million I search for another special edition. Keep your fingers crossed.
  8. Baby Clothes. B & I discussed timeframes for purchasing while I was molesting this, this and this. I put them back and remembered my vow that I would not buy anything baby until we knew for sure we were going to get Ruby. To him, that means an actual referral. To me, that means a LID. Well, let me tell you it's hard. I glance longingly wherever I go. I try to avoid shopping alone. When I am with someone, it's easier to resist.
  9. My upcoming trip to Graceland. I am meeting some epals for the first time for a fun-filled weekend in Memphis. I am excited, but a bit nervous. I am afraid they won't like me, I won't be cool, fun, stylish, etc... When it comes to the China adoption community, there are more times than not that I feel I am on the outside looking in. I am nervous that this will be one of those times.
  10. Our dossier. It's out of my hands now and I am scared to death. Enough said.

Friday, May 12, 2006

What is in a Name?

I am really struggling with the whole name thing, and not for the reason most soon-to-be-parents have. From the beginning I have been stuck on the name Ruby. B acquiesced after much browbeating from me. I just love the name, and always have. Even during the dark days of infertility I would think to myself if we have a girl, Ruby; if we have a boy, Oliver. When we discovered we couldn't get pregnant, I chose not to retire the name. Regardless, our daughter would be Ruby. Now I am not so sure.
Lately, everywhere I turn there's a Ruby. It's like that episode of Scrubs where Turk and Carla want to keep their chosen names for their baby a secret.
I totally get it.
I realize that other people like Amy, of Amy and Ruby Cate fame, and this blog are going to name their daughters Ruby if they want. Besides, they are in Massachusetts and Florida respectively, and not in my daughter's class at school. Yet, I just discovered this book and this book which both feature protagonists who are Chinese girls named Ruby. Another blog recently talked about visiting a friend and her daughter, (surprise, surprise) Ruby. It's starting to get to me.
I am torn. I really want our daughter to have a name that is unique, yet not so weird or juvenile that when she has grandchildren, they won't be calling her "Grandma Brittany" or "Grandma Kylie" (sorry to those out there who chose those names, they're just not for us). I need to either get over it or think of something new, which won't be shared outside of B and me. Suggestions? Opinions?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Breathe Again

Ready to go a few rounds with Mother Nature, I hopped puddles and flowing streams of storm water to the post office down the street to overnight 2.5 pounds of hope to Colorado - our dossier documents and photos. While there, I was so overwhelmed and flustered, I forgot to put our photos in with our paperwork. Thankfully, the nice postal worker gently re-opened our packet and let me slide them in. As I was holding the flap closed so he could tape it, he said, "Hey, your hands are shaking." Laughter burst out, and I said, "I'm really excited and a little bit scared." He just smiled and taped my package shut, stamped it, and said, "Don't worry, it'll get there by noon." I didn't explain, there was no need.
Going back to work, I trudged across the city streets amidst the lightening and rain. The wind was so fierce, it blew my umbrella inside out. I got soaked, but I didn't care. I am getting my girl.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

We're Gonna Make It After All

We received our package from the Chinese Consulate today. All sixteen documents were authenticated and ready to go. Our goal is to get the dossier to Colorado on Tuesday. We are still pawing through pictures to send, and I have to covertly make copious copies at B's office Monday evening. Hopefully we will be DTC by the end of this month. Hats off! Whoo-hoo!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Kindness of Strangers

This past weekend B & I hauled our butts to Washington D.C. to knock out three legs of paperchasing, as well as have a little time to ourselves. Because we both work, I go to school, he has a music studio, and we are going to have C full-time for a few weeks, we really wanted some time with just us. And honestly? If this dossier doesn't get to China by the end of this month I truly believe I am going to stroke out and die.
The trip up was pretty non-eventful, so I won't bore anyone with the details. We got to the hotel, which was nice, but nowhere near the Metro station. Yes, I will be calling to bitch about that Big Fat Lie.
The next morning we drove to the Metro station, which sucked because we had to buy one-way tickets because of morning commuters. Anyways, we got off the Metro and realized that we have piss-poor directions to the Authentications office. I went up to a very robust Homeland Security guard at a hot-dog stand and asked him for directions. Being a helpful asshole, he basically told me "No, I am not helping you," and turned his back. I guess the call of a greasy hot-dog smothered in onions at 9:30 in the morning was more important than assisting a fellow citizen.
A woman with a huge wig was standing beside him, and when she saw this guy being an asshole, she volunteered to walk us there. We were grateful, and patiently waited while she bought herself a hot-dog and BB-Q corn chips, and then walked several blocks to the Authentications office. We thanked her and she went on her way.
As we walked in, we saw two little girls playing outside in the courtyard where the Authentications office is housed. One was Caucasian and the other was Chinese. We admired their cuteness, walked in, took a number, and waited until we were called. When we handed the worker our packet, she told us that we could only authenticate 15 out of 16 pages. When I asked if I could do 15 and B could do one, she told us "No, you two are together." Okay, by this point I was getting pissed. Hearing me argue with her, a man sitting in the waiting room said, "You know what, I'm not with them. Give it to me, I'll walk it through!" He was pissed on our behalf! I said, "You know, that's a great idea," and started to hand him one of our documents. At this point, the woman said, "I'll talk to my supervisor." Shortly she came back and wiggled her fingers at me. I handed over the document and sweetly said, "Thank you so much."
As we were waiting, B struck up a conversation with two women in the waiting room. One was an adoption courier (she was also the mother of the two little girls) and the other was a professional courier. B told them we were adopting and why we were visiting D.C. After the adoption courier split, B asked the other woman for directions to the Chinese Consulate. The woman began rattling off how to get there. B then asked, "How long do you think it will take us to walk there from here?" Looking shocked, the woman said, "You cant walk to China! It's too far! I'm going there next, I'll give you a ride."
By this point we were feeling pretty discouraged. Things just weren't as hearts-and-flowers as we expected. We looked at each other, and said, "Okay." This lady didn't look like a serial killer or a freak, she looked like a mom. Besides, we knew if she tried anything, we could take her - she maybe weighed 130 pounds. We got our paperwork back, checked it, and walked with this woman, who introduced herself as "Debbie," to her van. It was obvious then she really was a mom, because that van said "kids" all over it. We strapped in and the ride began with a massive U-turn right in the middle of downtown D.C. traffic. Let's just say I held onto the "Oh Shit!" bar the entire ride.
Debbie walked us in and began walking us through the process. We could not believe how helpful this woman was being - she didn't have to help us at all. She kept saying, "You guys look so nice, there's no way I would leave you."
We had decided to leave our documents with the Chinese Consulate, because to wait for them would have cost us over 500 dollars more. As we waited, the adoption courier walked in with her daughters, and said, "Hey, you beat us here." Debbie asked her how they got to the Consulate and she told us they rode the bus. Debbie asked her where they were going after their drop-off, and she said, "We'll ride the bus back to the Metro." Debbie then said, "I'm taking them back to the Metro station, my van seats 7, so ride with us."
Amazingly, we all finished within 3 minutes of each other. We walked back to van, all piled in, and Debbie made another massive U-turn and two-wheeled it back to the Metro station. As we all got our stuff and poured out, B said, "You can't imagine how much you've helped us. Is there anything we can do? Buy you some gas? Buy you lunch?" Debbie just smiled and said, "Nope. I have a good story to tell my family. They'll probably kill me for giving a ride to strangers, but you guys looked so nice, it was fine. Good luck!" She waved, made another U-turn and sped off.
We said good-bye to the adoption courier and her children and rode down into the belly of the Metro station, shaking our heads in amazement at how wonderful people can be.