Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On The Brink

My girl's going to be in sixth grade tomorrow.  Middle school. 

Let's just sit with that one for a few moments, shall we?

.....

.....

.....

Sorry, I had to breathe into a paper bag...was hyperventilating there for a second.

When I went to middle school, I had to wear my sister's hand me downs (not that there is anything wrong with hand me downs, but when your sister had to wear "the wrong" kind of clothes, and you get to wear them four years later, things are bound to start off badly.  I also still had my ugly ass glasses...and the lamest haircut known to man, woman, child and poodle.  Sigh. 

I think back to those horrible years and then I look at Madelyn with her long, brown hair, face full of cute freckles, eyelashes that which even Snufflelupagus would be jealous...and I'm happy.  But what's even better?  She's happy.  She's everything that I wanted to be...and that means the world.

Does that make me sound shallow?  I don't mean to sound that way.  I just mean that I always wanted to be one of the "cool kids"..and I don't mean one of the cheerleaders or jocks...I mean that I wanted to be confident.  I wasn't...Madelyn is.  It's pretty awesome to watch her grow. 

My a-mother called me on the way home from work...this is how THAT went:

Me:  Hello?

AMom:  Hi!  Just calling to see what time the kids are getting on the buses tomorrow? 

Me:  Well, Maddie catches the bus at 6:50 and Chase's bus comes at 8:10. 

AMom:  Wow, Maddie has to leave early, huh?  Well, do you mind if I come over and take pictures of them getting on the bus?

Me:  (short pause)  Ummmm, so, I don't think Chase would mind if you took a picture of him getting on the bus but I doubt Maddie is going to want us to snap a photo of her leaving for middle school..(nervous laugh).

AMom:  (long pause)  Oh...OH..right!  Well, how about I come earlier and we can take some pictures in the driveway?

Me:  (huge sigh of relief)  Sounds good..we can have coffee after Maddie leaves, while we wait for Chase's bus.

AMom:  Great!  See you then!

Dodged THAT bullet.  Sheesh. 

And yes, I'll post the pictures tomorrow for you all. *wink*

Monday, August 29, 2011

Three: Holy Crap, Really?

This.is.horrifying.  (And now the icon actually links to the site..sigh...I'm technically challenged).


The author of the post is an adoptive mother..of a girl from Guatemala. 

Let's break the post down, shall we?

"Earlier this month, a family’s world was destroyed. A Liberty, MO family received notification that a
Guatemalan judge had ordered the return of their seven-year-old adopted daughter.
This story caught my eye because I have a six-year-old Guatemalan daughter, and Liberty is only 40 miles away from where I live. So, it was hitting rather close to home. When I first read about the case, my heart went out to the family. For five years, they have loved a little girl they had adopted. I am sure they had official paperwork, and had jumped through all the hoops required in an international adoption. They hadn’t done anything wrong."

Holy crap, really?  First of all, a family was destroyed the instant that the little girl was taken from her mother's arms.  For five years, the family from Liberty, MO was taking care of a kidnapped child.  Not a child that had been put up for adoption...a child who was kidnapped.  Admittedly, to some of the adoption community, the lines between adoption and kidnapping are blurry anyway but this seems pretty clear cut.  And how the hell can the family have "official paperwork"?  It's paperwork based on lies and omissions...and it's pretty sick to support the hoops that were required in this case...since they were lies too.


But, a judge 1700 miles away ruled differently. According to CNN International, the little girl was walking home with her mother when she was snatched and disappeared into a taxicab. The mother exhausted every effort to find her child, ending in the review of 2000 international adoption case files. Once she found her daughter, DNA tests confirmed the little girl in Missouri was hers.  And she wants her back.

Holy crap, really?  "And she wants her back."  Yeah, annnnnd?  If my child was snatched from my grasp and given away by kidnappers I'd want her back too.


After reading stories about Baby Richard and birth mothers changing their minds and wanting their children back, my husband and I decided to adopt internationally. We assumed that once the adoptions were final…they were final, and we needn’t worry that one day, someone would come back and demand the return of our daughters.
When I read about the family in Liberty, I had a disconnected feeling about the case. It was happening to someone else and it had no effect on me personally. But, then I thought…wait…I have a Guatemalan daughter and she is six. Could something like this happen to us?
I get sick at the thought.

Holy crap, really?  You know what they say when you assume, right?  How does this adoptive mother know that the girl she's raising as her own doesn't have a mother and father back in Guatemala who are weeping tonight because their daughter was taken illegally?  Answer:  She doesn't.


I keep wondering what is in the best interest of the little girl. I realize she was kidnapped at the age of two. But, she has been in the US for five years. She has a family that loves her. If she was returned to a birth mother she probably doesn’t remember, she would be taken away from her family, to a country where she probably doesn’t speak the language. What effect would that have on her development? On her emotional health? Would it destroy her?

Holy crap, REALLY?  She had a family that loved her in Guatemala.  She wasn't given the chance to grow up with her natural mother...she was KIDNAPPED.  Who is anyone to say what a two year old remembers about her mother...and why does that matter at all anyway??  She was taken away from her family...taken away to a country where she didn't speak the language.  I'm sure that had a huge effect on her development..both physical and emotional.  I can't speak for the little girl in this case, but I can tell you that as an adoptee, the thought of anyone supporting her staying with people who had a part in taking her from her homeland destroys me and hurts my heart.




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blustery

video

Sorry for the jumpiness of the video..I suck as a photographer..lmao.

Bands of Craptasticness

Bands of heavy rain and wind, that is.  We're still hanging in...although the lights just flickered so it may only be a matter of time before we lose power. 

Just heard from my n-mom.  A tornado touched down a few miles from my grandfather's house in Delaware last night.  Thank goodness they were smart and evacuated when they were given the order.  Yikes!   Still waiting to hear from my n-aunts down in Corolla, NC.  I hate waiting!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Battened Hatches

She's coming...Hurricane Irene is heading up the East Coast towards Massachusetts and my front door.



This morning's weather was quiet...even sunny for awhile.  The kids went outside to ride their bikes with their friends up the street, I went out and topped off my jeep's gas tank and picked up some cash from the ATM while Steven puttered around the outside of the house getting things put away. 

We went out to lunch..it was cloudy but not a speck of rain yet.  Fast forward to an hour later and we left the restaurant (Red Robinnnnn...YUM!) in tropical, torrential downpouring thunderstorm.  Yikes.  It died down as we drove north to our house but now, three hours later it's pouring again and the road outside has become a river.

We're bracing for over seven inches of rain here along with strong winds and wind gusts.  Now I'm hunkered down in front of the television watching the weather updates. 

My natural mother and grandfather's wife have evacuated from coastal Delaware and moved inland.  I believe they've moved my grandfather to a hospice/rehab facility for the duration of the storm.  My natural aunt and her partner live on the Outer Banks of North Carolina...last I heard via FB update, they were staying put but in the next breath said that the neighbor's siding had started to fall off.

Steven and I kept ourselves busy this afternoon and cleaned and organized Chase's room...it's amazing how many clothes one little boy can have but we did weed through all of it and have figured out a better, more manageable system to deal with the remaining items.

Madelyn is in her room, also cleaning and organizing.  I told her that she needs to get rid of the "little girl" stuff that she's kept since she was four and start moving towards making it a room fit for a middle school tweenager.  Yikes.  That scares the bejeebus out of me just to say..lol.

I know this post is all fluff but I am a bit nervous about this stupid storm and just had to babble for a few.  I'll try and update later tonight with our status.





Thursday, August 25, 2011

Two: Holy Crap, Really?

Apparently I'm back in the game folks...lol.  I was going to write one HCR post a week but the blogs/sites keep falling in my lap.

holy crap Pictures, Images and Photos

I was perusing my Google Reader yesterday, right after I wrote my last post, and came across this gem.

Actually, I could just post the title of the post, "You Know You Are Ready to Start Thinking About Maybe the Possibility of Adoption When…" (Holy Crap, Really?) and leave it at that but I'll choose some of the items from the list and go from there.


You find yourself noticing families that don’t obviously match and wonder if they were created by adoption.
Holy Crap, Really?  Yeah, actually I do the same thing...and then I think about the child and weep.



You make note that these families act kind of like other families.
Holy Crap, Really?  Funny how necessity is the mother of invention.



You make a second note that these families, especially the parents, look happy.
Holy Crap, Really?  Wait...WHAT???



When you hear of a tragedy in another country, such as the Haitian earthquake, rather than just thinking “How sad”, you think “Hey, there may be kids who need parents, and here we are parents-in-the-waiting who need kids. Humm, I wonder???”
Holy Crap, Really?  YOU DON'T NEED KIDS.  Period..end of story.



Just the tiniest little piece of you is more curious than afraid of the thought of adopting, while the rest of you is still terrified and feels like adoption would be giving up.
Holy Crap, Really?   Wow.  At least this person is honest, right?



You start to find those lists of famous adopted people fascinating http://www.creatingafamily.org/adoption-resources/famous-adoptees.html. Who knew that Steve Jobs and Faith Hill were adopted? They even seem pretty normal.
Holy Crap, Really?  "They even seem pretty normal."  Oh, what, as opposed to all of us angry, bitter adoptees floating around the blogosphere??



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One: Holy Crap, Really?

The blog that I have chosen to highlight for my first HCR post is that of a Potential Adoptive Parent.
holy crap Pictures, Images and Photos

The nursery is being painted..furniture is being bought...paperwork is being completed...the fate of seeing "their" baby's face is in the hands of another person...and if you don't watch your back, she'll call her Case Manager on you!


Holy Crap, Really?


This couple is going to be adopting from Ethiopia.  Currently, they are 15 in line for a girl and 5 for a boy.


She offers up several reasons for why things might slow down for them though (I'm not quoting all of them here but you can read the post for yourself):


It is the "rainy season" in Ethiopia. This happens every fall for about two months. This season means that courts are closed, so families that have not been to court will have to wait until October when court reopens to go or be given a court date. This always causes a backlog, so the next few months will slow down. Add to that, the Ethiopian MOWA department is processing fewer cases than years before, so families are not typically passing court when they go- a specific letter has been delayed for most families so the families have to come home from the first trip and wait until they get court clearances to then be given an embassy date... this means the whole process of the two trips takes longer. So the babies that are already at Hannah's Hope will be there longer than "normal" so it means less children are coming in... does that make sense?



Holy Crap, Really?  I mean, this woman is actually lamenting the fact that there will be less kids coming into the orphanage???  And damn those court backlogs too...Don't they know that nothing should keep a person from getting child?  Not even the Ethiopian rainy season!!


Several orphanages closed in Ethiopia, including one that AGCI contracts with. Hannah's Hope, the transition home that our baby will come from, partners with several government orphanages including one that just shut down. These orphanage closures were for many reasons, including the Ethiopian government wanting to find an alternative solution to the orphan problem aside from international adoption.



Holy Crap, Really?  Let's gloss over the fact that the Ethiopian nation probably wants to be sure that the kids they are giving away weren't actually stolen from their families, shall we?  Shame on their government for wanting to get away from child trafficking, right?


Some families have been referred children that were at one of these now closed orphanages, and their cases will require more time and work- so these children won't come home on a "normal" time frame. (Please pray for these families and children!!!)



Holy Crap, Really?  I mean, REALLY?  I'm supposed to pray that orphanages open back up so children "come home on a 'normal' time frame"?  What the hell does that even mean?

And then there is this:


We knew we had a desire to adopt, but we didn't know from where. The domestic options were much more affordable, but they tend to be much more unpredictable and sometimes a longer process. Additionally, we do not know how long we will live in North Carolina, so we didn't feel that a domestic adoption would suit our situation.


So with the decision made to go international, the options seemed to be too numerous to count. However, we quickly realized that our options were actually very small. Each country has certain criteria you must meet if you want to adopt. We realized that our age, our length of marriage, and our income limited us to only two countries: Bulgaria and Ethiopia. After conversations with our friends who have adopted from Ethiopia as well as our agency, we decided that Ethiopia was the right choice for us.



Holy Crap, Really?  They aren't adopting domestically even though it's cheaper because it's a longer process...WE WANT A BABY NOW!  Their options were limited though because they didn't fit certain criteria...they are young, haven't been married long enough and they don't make enough money.  Excuse me if I don't have ANY sympathy for this couple.

And yes folks, they WILL be celebrating Gotcha Day..you can bet on it.


Milestones. As an adoptive parent, milestones are treated differently. You may miss significant milestones, like the first smile/craw/laugh/walk/birthday. But with adoption, you get to not only celebrate birthdays, but can also celebrate "gotcha days" when a baby finally becomes an official part of the family. With pregnancy, you get to watch the milestones from the beginning, even with the development in the womb during ultrasounds.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Slight Delay

No fret my pets...the first "Holy Crap, Really?" post is brewing.  Just gathering my thoughts and trying to quiet my mind a bit. 

Been dealing with a lot lately...or rather, NOT dealing with a lot.  After that one email from P on Facebook, he's gone silent again.  His wife has been on her page, but hasn't emailed me either.  I suppose I could email him again but honestly, I'm not sure I have the strength to do that yet...and not sure I really want to hear his answers.

Had to put a lot of work into my jeep lately...brake pads, rotors, new tires, replaced a lower ball joint, front end alignment...you name it, I've done it.  All within the span of one month.  Takes quite the chunk out of my bank account. 

And yet, I still continue to pay for everything related to my son with little to no court ordered child support being collected.  I'm angry.  And have to try my damndest not to snap at my ex or his wife when I see them.  I think I do a pretty good job with that too.  I think that my ex's wife is reading my blog so if she is, sorry that you are reading about my frustration here but better here than at the drop offs/pick ups, right? ;)  I've let A LOT go in regards to the situation...I've had to...but honestly, my ex isn't hurting me by not paying and not working more than a day here or a day there..he's hurting a little boy in the long run. 

The money that is sent for child support doesn't go towards my needs..it's used for clothes, supplies, food, etc. for Chase.  Problem is, you can't buy clothes with $0 coming in for five months.  Try it sometime...see how well you do..lol.

Okay..rant over...going in to Boston's North End with Steven, his father, stepmother and niece for the day to celebrate Steven's 40th birthday.  I promise to get to the HCR post tonight or tomorrow..lol...pinky swear!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Name Change

I get bored easily.  And so, maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that I’ve decided to table the format for the Blog O’ Shame awards.  It’s forced me to step out of my boring ol’ routine and come up with a better way to get my points across.

The new and improved award will now be titled the “Holy Crap, Really?” award.

::grin::

Stay tuned...working on the first HCR post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Speed Bump

As you all remember, I was reunited with my natural father in December 2010.  Things were going really well...we were all (my natural mom, dad and his wife) emailing via Facebook on a regular basis.  I'd even talked to P (n-dad) on the phone right around Easter and was extremely hopeful that things were going to work out..and I'd finally have the father that I never had.

I think I jinxed myself.

The emails slowly dwindled down to nothing...especially after my n-mom went down to Delaware to care for my ailing grandfather.  She still writes, calls and texts me almost daily...but P has been MIA.  He emailed once to thank me profusely for the Father's Day card I'd sent...but other than that...nothing.

N-mom was back up for a visit last week and asked me how things were going.  I was truthful...but also slipped back into my old ways...making excuses for him.  "He's probably busy with his wife's grandkids..." and then, in a moment of self-pity, "At least I have you...it doesn't matter whether he wants to have me in my life".  Yeah, I'm a liar.

She got upset...like it was somehow her fault that he'd dropped off the face of the earth and I was quick to tell her that no...it ISN'T her fault.  Whatever the reason for the silence, it's not either of our faults.

Unbeknownst to me, while she was home, she emailed P...presumably on the guise of wondering how things were going for him and me.

The very next day, there was a message on Facebook from P:


hi doll, it's been too long, I know. I think whenever we get out of routine and my comfort zone I tend to withdraw and become self-absorbed. It hasn't been 'normal' here for almost 2 months, finally though, getting back to routine. I apologize for the dead air. It has nothing to do with you sweety. Anyhow, I'm trying to get back to good. I love you ♥

Still trying to believe that he's not going anywhere and that he's just busy...but something tells me, the tide is changing.  I'm not sure whether I'm okay or not with that..which probably means that I haven't allowed myself to think about it too much yet.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Humbled

I had no idea how people would take my last post.  I had the full gamut of comments and emails thrown my way though.  Whether it was understanding, sorrow, confusion or an offer to take over the Blog of Shame award segment (love you Linda)...it all was taken under advisement.

The truth of the matter is...I WANT to change PAP's/AP's minds.  I WANT to be the catalyst for them to suddenly "understand" why I say what I say and believe what I believe about adoption.  I cannot promise that I won't continue to swear or use language that may be harsh at times...that would be asking too much of me and would change my personality...but perhaps I can tone things down a smidge. ;)  Don't worry all...I'm not getting soft in my old age...just a little more cautious.

Updated:  For the short term, I've archived the old Blog of Shame posts here.  You'll need a password so email me and I'll pass it on to you. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blogs of Shame Posts

You'll notice that the blog posts I'd written with the label "Blog of Shame" are gone.  Or maybe you won't notice..lol..but I'm hoping you do.  I believe that one of award winners has been in contact with a lawyer and that that law office has been reading the posts.  For what reason?  No clue.  But I've chosen to take those posts and move them to a safe spot that only I have access to.  Will the posts still show up on Google cache?  Yes...but since they've been deleted, at least soon they won't be on the front page..lol.

I've decided to figure out a better way to get my message out there...still a work in progress.  I've been thinking lately that if I want to be taken seriously as an adult adoptee, then perhaps "shaming" the PAP's and AP's isn't the best way to go about it.

I hope you all can support me in this decision...and I'm open to suggestions on how to go about revamping the posts.