Thursday, December 20, 2007

For Judy

My friend Judy, the snarky, sparky, fighting Judy, is beginning a new kind of battle, this time for herself. Please stop by justenjoyhim, and if you pray, please pray for her and her husband and darling son.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Morbidity

I received this note:

I need yu to com into my memre.

Why? I asked Little Bun, who is rarely speechless.

Moments later he returned with a second note:
Wat I need yu to now is that I have seen a deth.

The fish, after four years, went belly up while Little Bun was in time out in his room.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Funny or Die?

Dh shared this with me (out of character for me but, I assure you, not for him) -- (adult language and themes)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

So Much for Transubstantiation

In our church, a child may take communion whenever he or she reaches for it or when her parents permit. We chose to wait until this year with Little Bun. Miss I, on the other hand, has been desperate to be included. So today she reached out and took a wafer, dipped it in the chalise and placed it on her tongue before I could register it. Then she proclaimed "NOW I'm big."
When we got back to our seats she was still glowing. Little Bun, hoping (I think) to take a little of the shine off, declared too loudly (and hence addressed to everyone): "I don't know why you're making such a big deal. It's just a cracker."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I'm Enchanted

You know how I feel about Disney princesses. And some of you know how I feel about the way mass culture sells us our own cynicism. Despite these strikes against it before it ever started, I fell in love with Enchanted.
Enchanted reminds me of Sondheim's Into the Woods (best musical ever -- Cinderella is ever ambivalent about being swept off her feet, and once her marriage to the prince fails, agrees to a return to a peasant life and an unconventional family: "Sometimes, I actually do enjoy cleaning.") The prince's narcissism seems pulled straight from that play, as does the movie's self-reflexivity. In the opening sequence, the (artificial) camera moves into the iconic Disney castle, into a room with a book, containing the animated adventures of Giselle, not yet a princess, soon to be a multidimensional person (with all the misery and joy multidimensionality brings).
Miss I declared it "awesome," though she also thought parts of it were scary. Little bun loved the "drama and action," though he was hoping for a less happy ending. I fell for Patrick Dempsey, which is surprising because I loathe Grey's Anatomy (sorry, fans -- maybe it's having a doctor in the house), and we all fell in love with Amy Adams. She's darling.
I cannot wait for the CD -- gotta sing that work song.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

"Ummm, Because it Would be Funny . . ."

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard these words from Miss I. She thinks she's a real riot. Sometimes she is, but tonight, not so much.

She POURED A PACKAGE OF KNOX GELATIN on my chair. I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE STRANGE POWDER WAS. I TRIED TO WIPE IT with a WET PAPER TOWEL. Can you guess what happens to little granules of gelatin when you WIPE THEM WITH A WET PAPER TOWEL?!!!!!!

Remind me to a)vacuum strange powders off upholstery and b) quit asking "Why would you do that?!".

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shouldn't that come in brown paper?!

Dear on-line merchants,
Please do NOT ship my daughter's Christmas presents without an outer box. If you do it again, you'll ruin Christmas.
(I'm talking to you, eToys. It was a near-miss with the Loving Family Twin Time Doll House).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I normally don't rant about students, but a fellow blogger in academia will appreciate this scene:

Entitled Student: So I won't be here for the quiz on Monday.
Me: Well, you know there are no make up quizzes.
ES: But I'll be in Europe.
Me: (without sarcasm) That's great! Have a wonderful time!
ES: (looks blankly, then) Yes but what about the quiz?
Me: The quiz? Oh, yes, the quiz is on Monday.
ES: But I'll be in Europe!
Me: (still no sarcasm, big smile) Have a good time!
ES: (looking simultaneously confused and frantic) The quiz. How can I make up . . .
Me: you can't.
ES: (pleading) But I'll . . . be . . . in . . . Europe.
Me: (relenting an inch) Fine -- you can take it by email.
ES: But I won't have email in Europe! (sulks back to desk)

All, did you know they still don't have the interweb in Europe? Dh emailed me from Ethiopia, so I just assumed . . .

Today (one week and one day after quiz, a couple days after his return) I receive this email from ES:

A, can you tell me what is going to be on the quiz? I need to know what to study.

Me:
What quiz?

j/k

Me:
There was a study guide on-line for a week before the quiz. When today can I email you the quiz so you can take it? It only takes an hour.

ES: I'm all booked. I can take it Thursday afternoon.

Me:
(in my head)
WTF?

I really, really, really hope he enjoyed his trip to Europe.
You've gotta read Sume's post. The discussion afterward is uneven, but anyone who thinks "people don't really say those things about adoption any more" (be grateful, you're better off in America, you must not love your parents), or thinks that people aren't so blind to racism ("people discriminated against me too! And I wear glasses etc" or "but we're all Americans now") behold many specimens. I am amazed by our capacity to choose to miss the point. So if you read the comments, be sure to go back and reread Sume's piece again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

But I'm so Thankful

I just received a fantastic email:
Our loved one in the military, who we expected to be missing terribly this Thanksgiving, managed to abut two twenty-four hour shifts, and now has tomorrow off. He's driving nearly the whole day to be here with us for dinner.

I need help

What would compel someone to paint her kitchen the night before she hosts Thanksgiving dinner for extended family on both sides for the first time? Especially a deep purple that will require at least three coats, with four hours between coats.

Happy Thanksgiving, reader!
Reading Nicole's recent posts made me think about an old conversation here:

Awhile ago a commenter asked me whether I "really" though that adoptive parents should explicitly question the reasons an expectant woman is planning to place, whether that is overstepping "our" bounds. I do, I really do believe it. I believe it ought to inform our conversations about international adoption as well.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Welcome to the Ph*llic Stage

Right on time, really.

(I share this with stars in the hopes that sickos haven't started searching with star -- and you may be shocked at what I had to star. This was just too funny not to share.)


Today when Miss I was going to bathr**m she said,
"Where's my p*nis? I wish I had a p*nis."
I said, "You're a girl. I don't have one, you don't have one, but we don't need them."
"Yes," she said. "I have a bladder and a ureeeesra."
"Right," I said. "So you have all you need."
A pause.
"Well, when I'm a boy, can I have a p*nis?"
"Miss I, you'll never be a boy -- you'll grow up to be a woman."
"Can I be a girl with a p*nis?"
"No . . ."
(ignoring me, to self, and with great enthusiasm) "I could be P*nis Girl . . ."
"No."
In a sing-songy Superman-exclamation: "P*nis Girl!!!!!!!"

Little Bun came home after school and Miss I announced her plans to be "P*nis Girl!"

I told you nothing is latent here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Passage

Our loved one died in her sleep last night, very comfortably and quietly they say (do they ever say otherwise? But we believe them because it was hospice care). We are so sad for her family, and sad for our loss, but we also know that her death honors her wishes.
If you haven't had this conversation with the ones you love and some others you trust, I encourage you to do so. It doesn't guarantee that everyone will listen, but it's worth the effort to try to be heard.

I have a whole lot of adoption-related things on my mind (I hear you, my friends -- what you are talking about also must be heard) but I just can't speak to it right now. I hope you understand.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fiction?

Miss I was holding a blank notebook, pretending to read it. I was only half paying attention to the made up adventures, when the story took an interesting turn:
"Then the little girl say, 'Momma, why can't you LOOOOOVE Me? Why you gotta be angee?"
(A look out of the corner of her eye).
Here's the thing, Miss I, I will always love you, even if I'm angry. Even if you feed the dog refried beans. Under the table. Off of a fork.
But I'm probably not going to be happy about it . . .

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hardly the words

Life support has been discontinued for our loved one. Hospice has taken complete responsibility for her care. We're grateful for them, and we're waiting.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Self-reflexivity

Dog the Bounty Hunter was, so far as I can tell, always a jacka**. A jacka** and a criminal, and frankly, criminally unattractive, a parody of some forms of Whiteness.
That he used the word ****** about his son's girlfriend shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, including his son. What surprises me is that his son sold a tape that included an expression of fear that someone would sell to the Enquirer a tape that included the expression ******. This, combined with Dr.Phil hosting Reverend Al Sharpton discussing Dog's tape along with Hiphop Master P, is one more sign that we are living in the desert of the real.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

PS

I'm giving away Halloween candy.
(see post below).

What He Said, What I Heard

He says it's a misunderstanding, that each of these things were meant to be discrete, that I've conflated them, but in the span of ten minutes:
- he shares that a female friend has lost 25 lbs and her husband says she looks great! but that he "loves" how I look
- asks if I've ordered from cataloge pages I've dogeared (for our second honeymoon trip to Europe)
- turns on America's Top Model

I ask you -- is it me? Really, I'm asking, because I need someone to get behind me. All 25 extra pounds of me. (The good news is, it's shady).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pascal's Wager

Little bun, 6, suggested this morning that Satan "might be a myth."
"Oh, why do you think so?"
"No one could have done so many bad things."
Hmmmmmmm. I thought about how to respond next "Well, then what about God?" I asked.
After a long pause, Little bun said "Well, I don't even want to say He might be a myth, just in case I'm wrong."
This from the kid who, when we missed church a couple weeks in a row, said "I miss the Lord," and shamed his father.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

If You Loved Me

Miss I ran out of the kitchen and threw herself on the floor, screaming as she hadn't in months (I had probably cut off the Skittles). I stood, and then sat in the kitchen as screaming turned to growling, and finally this: "If you loved me you would come to me."
Both humorous and heartbreaking.

(For those also working on attachment/permanency issues while trying to maintain parenting cred and avoid manipulation, I came down to her level on the floor -- still in the kitchen -- stretched out my arms, made eye contact and said calmly, "I will always be here for you." Eventually she commando crawled -- think slo-mo in a war picture -- until our fingers touched, and I pulled her towards me and all was well -- for the moment).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Do you know what my Momma's name is? Momma!

I'm just dropping by -- my kids are with their grandparents and I have to use my time wisely (which sometimes means dropping in on my blog world friends, but doesn't mean a long post here). So this will be editted later and links will be added, but for now I wanted to respond to a comment on Mia's blog about the use of the term "natural" mother.

That adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents are offended by the term "natural" mother rests on the assumption that "natural" here is the opposite of unnatural in the sense of "artificial" (and some n.families and adoptees will say that yes, our family is 'artificial'). "Natural" in this context is opposed to "juridical" or "legal."

I am not my husband's "natural wife." I am legally married to my husband* (I also believe we are bound by covenant, and even then it still isn't 'natural'). Just so, I am not my daughter's "natural mother." I am bound to my daughter through the decree of judges in Ethiopia and Bloomsburg. This does not diminish our actual relationship. It is not a legal fiction exactly: I am her momma-in-fact and our legal relationship expresses that. I happen to be my son's natural mother as well as his legal mother. My daughter understands that she has had two mothers.

Would I *say* "natural mother" to my daughter right now, at her developmental stage, meaning her mother in Ethiopia? Probably not -- if she understood anything by the term, it would surely be the natural/artificial misunderstanding, and artificial parents would be scary and/or useless. I use the term "Mother" when speaking of my daughter's mother in Ethiopia -- even at almost three she never seems confused by this . . . "Natural mother/natural mom" to me just isn't threatening, but even if it were, that wouldn't make it less honest or true.

*I am aware that this is not possible for all people and our experiences with both adoption and healthcare decision making have made it even clearer to me the importance of the legal protections afforded me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Good Company

I saw a commercial today that made me cry like I haven't cried since "reach out and touch someone." A woman puts a sandwich in front of her elderly father, and someone places one before her. She puts his jacket around his shoulders, and someone offscreen wraps her in hers. She places a blanket on his lap, and a blanket is spread for her. "Wouldn't it be nice if there were caregivers for the caregivers?" the commercial asks.

This weekend, my parents are being the caregivers for this caregiver, and it is such a blessing. Dr. Bloom is away -- he says "conference," I say "gallivanting." A BIG THING is happening at work this week, and I'm panicky. Miss I has pneumonia and wantneeds me and hates me and screams a lot of the time. And I am having to advocate for a loved one's right to die.

As you know, our loved one spelled it all out, in long conversations and legal documents. Even so, we've been repeatedly told that those documents do not come into effect until the situation is terminal, and right now her kidneys are only kind of failing, liver only just started failing and hey, it might reverse, she's just barely breathing above the ventilator, and the feeding tube is sustaining her as the pressors maintain her blood pressure. Family members aren't ready. Beware: Someday no one will be allowed to be terminal. She hasn't opened her eyes since early October.

She made me promise not to let this happen.

My parents are making sure I don't have to do it alone.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A television affair

For a long time we didn't have cable. We just enjoyed PBS a whole lot. But this summer we got a real cable package. Now that dd has pneumonia on top of her asthma, we've been watching more tv than I'd like, and more of the shows that dd likes, which pretty much amounts to Hi-5, Hi-5, Hi-5. "I yike Karla," she says. Why? "Karla's pretty."
So here's my question:
Am I the only one who feels like watching Hi-5 is cheating on public television?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Where did the time go?

I mean this quite literally.
I was at a parking garage, about to insert my ticket into the machine, to be followed by my payment. There was one person behind me.
A moment -- two? three? -- later, a guard came over to help me. "It's okay, lots of people have trouble with it" only I wasn't doing anything with it and by then there was a line of like six people behind me. The worst part is I wasn't even lost in thought. I just, somehow, trailed off . . .
Gonna have to sit Nablopomo out -- my November is crappy already.
Besides, does anyone really want a whole month of Blooms? I dunno.
But I'm looking forward to reading you daily.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is it the Loneliest Number since the number one?

Many transracial adoptees have said that one thing their parents could have done for them was to adopt again, a person of the same race, able to share the experiences of being adopted and being a person of color in an otherwise white family.

Many thoughtful adoptive parents have said that if they knew what they know now when they adopted, they would have been far more ambivalent about adoption (whether domestic or international, newborn or older child).

Many people have told me that one is fun, two is ten, now that I have two (but as I've said before, they didn't tell me BEFORE). They say (these parents of more than two) that we would be crazy to have three. And that they love their third child madly.

One of my best friends, a black woman raised by her white mother, felt strongly that Miss I should not be the only black person in her household. The same friend now says that Miss I might just be better off the baby, even if that means she'd be the only black person in the fam. She wonders if the Divine Miss I, a diva, would ever thank us for bringing a competitor home.

Adoption raises so many tough questions from the ethical to the practical, and the ones that are weighing on us heavily right now involve the imaginary A. What's more important -- Sharing the experience of being a transracial adoptee or avoiding dethronement? Is it personality dependent? Would a third sibling kill her or mellow her out just a little bit? Would she put a third sibling down the laundry chute? Should a kid really dictate her family's construction? We did consider ds's personality and needs very seriously when we chose to adopt and to adopt a toddler, but this is different: You, Miss I, are the reason we didn't have any more children. What does that say? But every family eventually has a baby, a child who made them sure they couldn't do it again.

And of course there is always the issue of generating demand, but a young baby? We don't feel Miss I could handle similar attachment difficulties to the ones we faced with her. If another child were to be glued to my hip, to be screaming for fifty minutes, she'd regress, whether this happened next year or the year after or . . . It'd be very destabilizing for her to experience someone else's grief in that way. But we also know we don't want to participate in increasing the demand (Ethiopia's wait times are stretching out even as the government approves more and more agencies for work there).

Little Bun's solution: A four year old boy from Vietnam -- fun for him, no competition for Miss I. Even he is aware of her divine-ness and he'd never have to "go through the terrible twos" again. He's so wise (though we didn't tell him that a four year old boy would also have extraordinary grief and there's no way of predicting what that would look like).

Our plan for the moment: Keep watching waiting child lists, think about finishing a homestudy update just incase, be prepared to remain a family of four or bring home a waiting child, and realize that whatever we do our children will tell us when they are grown that we've kind of screwed them up.

Our plan for the future: Realize that our plans always change.

On Colorblindness

When our extended family is together, it's just as likely for an aunt or an uncle to be caring for a child as it is for his mom or dad to be holding him. This is precisely what was happening the other day: I was carrying my nephew wrapped in a towel, legs dangling loosely below, while my sister watched as Miss I splashed in the tub.
Brother-in-law saw the towel/legs I had in my arms and asked "Is that yours or mine?"
"Yours," I answered matter-of-factly. "Mine's black."

I know "love is colorblind" is a detrimental family mentality, but in his case -- I really think he might be color blind.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'll Ask the Questions Here

It's an Orwellian Nightmare. It's . . .

I've been trying to come up with something hyperbolic to exclaim, but nothing could be more horrifying than the real deal, which was a fake.
And if you didn't already know, "Iran is the new Iraq." Splendid.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Love for Sale

At the grocery store the other day, my daughter asked if she could cook dinner when we got home. "You can help me," I replied.
She thought for a moment, and then asked the question that she asks all the time right now: "When I'm big can I cook by myself?"
"Sure, honey."
"When I'm big and I have my own house and I have my own Daddy can I cook by myself?"
"Sure, if you want to." (She means dh).
"When I'm big and I have my own house and my own Daddy and my own babies . . ."
"Sure."
"Can I have my own babies?"
"Sure, I don't see why not."
"Can you buy me my own babies?"
"Honey, we don't buy . . . babies . . ." Only then did I realize we had an audience of a few. Yeah, lady, sure you don't. You don't buy babies. Except that I saw on The View . . .
As I was watching this video I was thinking proudly, "I know the people who made this!" and because of the conference just a bit ago, I know one of them IRL!!! -- and she's fabulous.

Even if I didn't, I would want to share this with you, and I hope you'll pass it -- and the message -- on. And stop by YouTube and leave a comment, too.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Two More MeMes

Erin (Holding Still) and Leisa (an aussieopian family) tagged me for two Memes: For the first, you must choose a word for each letter of your middle name (then you must tag other blogger, one for each letter). The second is a list of tough -- but fun -- questions.

---

L: Lunch. I pack my son's lunch every morning, and each time I draw a picture on his lunch bag (he brown bags it, considering bringing a lunch bag or box home cumbersome). So far I haven't repeated, but I'm running out of original, doable ideas. I may have to switch to stickers.

E: Education. I learned to read early, probably to keep up with my dad who was dissertating at the time. Miss I is on track to read even earlier!

E: Esoteric. My interests are esoteric, and I know a lot of useless things and big words (see value of education, above :) ).

---
1. If you could have super powers what would they be and what would you do with them? (Please feel free to be selfish, you do not have to save the world!)

I’ve actually thought about this question a lot over time. For a long time I thought I’d want to be telepathic and maybe telekinetic, but since I’m already a migraineur that stopped seeming like a good idea (Jean Grey and Professor X both have had horrible headaches).
Now I think I would be able to heal people by touch. While I’m impressed that Claire can regenerate, I’d like to be able to share the love. Which is interesting because I just read Perry Moore’s Hero, about a teen struggling to come out as gay and as a hero empowered to heal.

2. Were you to find your self stranded on an island with a CD player…it could happen…what would your top 10 blogger island discs be?

Hmmmm. I’d rather be stranded with an ipod, but then I’d have to list 450 songs for you, so it’s probably better this way. Music I could listen to anytime without tiring of it, music that would cover many moods . . . (for ex, while I love American Idiot, I can’t imagine listening to it over and over while stranded.)

1-3: Simon and Garfunkle Greatest Hits
4: Paul Simon Graceland (no one should be stranded without Paul Simon)
5: The Magnolia Soundtrack
6: Bare Naked Ladies Gordon
7: Some Natalie Merchant
8: U2 The Joshua Tree
9: Something REM. Anything, really.
10: The Into the Woods soundtrack

Music I’d like to strand on an island? Nickleback. Please go away.

3. If you were a smell what would it be?
Erin already said Jasmine tea, but I’d have to say tea too. Only Ginger Peach tea.

4. What bird would you most like to be?
A heron.

5. If you were a bird who’s head would you poo on?
Sarah Silverman. Without hesitation.

6. Are there any foods that your body craves?
Craving isn’t the same as addiction, right? In the latter category, anything with caffeine, unfortunately. In both categories, dark chocolate.

7. What’s your favorite time of year?
My favorite season is fall, but my favorite time is the week immediately after Christmas.

8. What’s your favorite time of day?
3:30, when dd and I walk ds home from school. For the three of us, everything feels right again then. My next favorite time is when dh gets home (which varies).

9. If a rest is as good as a change which would you choose?
I always believe I would choose rest, but in actuality I must always choose change, because I cannot think of a time when our lives haven’t been in flux.

---
I need to check to see who hasn't been tagged.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

On the Popularity of Polemic, my Own Propensity for it

Please note: the following (strikingly banal) realization will not stop me from engaging in my now only occassional rant-o-the-week, my own outlet for polemic:

Most of the time I try to be nuanced in my thinking and in my writing. Every once in awhile, though, I read something or hear something that makes me lose all interest in nuance -- I react so strongly to what is so clearly a strong reaction as it is that I have a hard time being fair. Add to that that I don't really want anyone to hate me, whatever I say about not caring what other people think . . .

This happened last week, so I just didn't say anything. But then I feel like I've let other people down. Instead, I wrote my polemic to the View (below).

I realized that nuance comes from a privileged position -- in a position of relative power, there is little cost to me to concede a point, to be empathetic (except the heartbreak that comes along with it), to say "yes, I see." Polemic seems necessary for the systematically disempowered, even if it makes its auditors balk. It's why there are pros and antis, and people who appear pro and anti when they aren't, when we all really know it isn't that simple.

But what if we suddenly, simultaneously, universally agreed that being nuanced wasn't waffling, afterall? That it is an extraordinarily empowering thing to be? Imagine the conversations we'd have.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dear Ladies of the View,
I am disheartened to hear of Sherri Shepard’s perspective on the adoption of African children by white women, equating such children with “accessories.” These comments – which are not unique by any stretch – tmz has described Mary Louise Parker’s new daughter as an “accessory” and Urban Outfitters sold t-shirts with “Adoption is the new black” within the last year – and they are much like comments many of us hear everyday from ignorant people.
What is disturbing about such comments is that they are targeted at adopting parents and celebrities claiming to be hopeful or future adoptive parents, but they miss their mark, merely offending us but ultimately hurting our children. Can you imagine an adopted child overhearing the remarks? Overhearing the remarks being repeated by other children or by other children’s mothers? It takes work to make a child who has suffered loss feel loved and secure and to see herself as a full member of a new family. This is the work we have been engaged in for more than a year. Why would anyone work to undo that confidence?
I understand that not everyone will support our decision to adopt (or adopt internationally, or adopt transracially), but I cannot understand others making our children the subject of derision (Please know I have quite a sense of humor: Samantha Bee’s spot on International Adoption on The Daily Show clearly hit her target, was broadcast after our children were in bed, and also, it’s quite amusing).
Our daughter was not adopted hastily or as part of a trend, but rather after an extensive, emotional and at times exhausting process, and after we’d carefully weighed our options for building our family and the consequences for our children. Never have I heard of giving birth being considered part of a trend, but it’s been going on for millennia on this round earth. If the desire to love someone by choice is a trend, it’s a trend I’d like to see continue.
If Ms. Shepard was willing to recant her foolish statement that she was too busy feeding her children to know whether the earth was round or flat, perhaps she’ll admit that she’s also too busy to have been schooled on the subject of other people’s families and thus spoke inappropriately. If not, may Angelina Jolie, Mary Louise Parker, Meg Ryan and Nicole Kidman never visit the View again, lest they be criticized for their choice of accessories.

Sincerely,

A.Bloom

cc:
Angelina Jolie
Mary Louise Parker
Meg Ryan
Nicole Kidman

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jena, When You Are Six

We don't watch the news before our children's bedtimes. Little Bun listens too closely. But when we got in the car today I didn't realize it was set to talk radio -- Daddy had driven the car last. I immediately got caught up in coverage of the Jena Six and before I realized it, Little Bun was caught up in it too. I only realized it when he said: "I'm glad Miss I and I don't hit each other -- you wouldn't know if it was a 'race thing.'"
More seriously, he asked what a family like ours would possibly do in a place like Jena.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ladies, here's your
ObamaMama T-Shirt.

For 20.08.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A public service message:

Do NOT hold hot coffee between your knees while you are driving.
You may burn and/or embarrass yourself and have to drive home for new pants.
Please, people, heed the warning on your coffee cup that tells you it is "Hot when heated."
That is all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Why it was positively Dickensian!

I don't normally quote what I've read on boards, partially because it seems like bad etiquette if I'm not even going to ask the writer for clarification or to rethink what she's written (why then do I quote strangers on a train at will? Hmmmmm ) and partially because it creates this intense circularity, boards complaining about other boards and blogs and I find it really damaging and unproductive. . .

But I must purge this:
"My child has an almost storybook reason for being placed for adoption . . ."
(Did she mean textbook? or did she truly mean "storybook?")


My agency did not give me an angel. My agency gave me the responsibility for caring for a flesh and blood child who will grow to human adulthood outside of the context of a fairy tale. Instead of a storybook, she's going to want her own story. I'll bet her angel will want his too, here on earth, and not in the hereafter.

If I've gotten your meaning wrong, I apologize.
If not, here's a storybook for likeminded people:

Once upon a time, there was a little child -- I mean abstraction -- who lived to be filled with everyone else's expectations and to fulfill their every dreams. And she never wondered where she came from -- abstractions never do -- and they all lived happily thereafter. Until she realized she was an abstraction.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Best "Problem" Ever.

Kiva.org has run out of businesses in need of support in the short term.
What a fantastic problem to have.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

On the Other Subject

Me, to the people making the decisions they are making:
"I don't think you know what 'advanced directive' means."

We should all get educated.

Toddler attachment milestone

Our daughter, 2 1/2 mind you, said the most fantastic thing tonight. I gave her a kiss and said "Goodnight, sweet pea," leaving her in the care of her daddy. She said "Momma? Sometimes when you turn and leave me it make me sad," very calmly. I turned and kissed her again and she smiled and relaxed. I am so proud of her for feeling the difference between sad and angry and being able to express it.

On the other hand, today at school she hit G, then said "I so mad at G!" Words INSTEAD of hands is something we'll have to keep working on.

In Brief

Paula has written another fantastic post . I strongly encourage aparents and paparents to read it.

Then -- I finally received my copy of Marianne Novy's book on adoption in literature. I'll be reading it in the next few days and wanted to invite you to read along/discuss.

Finally, adopting garbage cans?! Nuh-uh.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Little bun is excited to watch adoption on Arthur this month. He read part of the article over my shoulder and wanted to know if Binky's family was adopting "for real, I mean like in real life." Ummm, honey? It's a cartoon.

Chosen Family Making Choices

Since this is primarily an adoption blog, this title may be misleading, but only in part. Our family is a family by choice, and we rechoose each other all the time.
Our extended family is even more "by choice" if by "by choice" we mean that neither biology nor law have very much to do with it. This means that my children are surrounded by additional aunts and uncles, and a self-proclaimed "third grandma" and it means that my children's "real" grandmother is third grandmother to my nieces and nephews on the other side. Good deal all around.

Except when it comes to a crisis.

When we agreed to be health care proxy(s) for a chosen family member P, we spent about three hours discussing her living will, her beliefs, her hopes, her expectations. We discussed hypotheticals in detail. She had similar conversations with her primary care physician, her neighbor, and her close relatives. She copied the document we all signed five times and sent copies to her primary care, her lawyer, us, and others to hold onto. She wasn't sick at the time, but she was serious. Now, suddenly, she's seriously ill.

Remember when I wrote about palliative care for our son's hamster? We used this term with our son because dh and I are committed to the ethics of palliative care and hospice -- not because we really thought there was much we could do in the way of palliation for a small animal. We believe in the sanctity of life and we believe that it is bound up with end of life issues.

"Real" family members wish to make other choices than what she'd wished, but these choices are not theirs to make (she knew this would happen). Now we're going to have to make choices we didn't want to have to make.

At one point it looked like our attempts to have everyone comply with her wishes would be overlooked because we were chosen-family, because her "real" family was vocal, and because doctors don't like to quit (which is generally a good thing) despite the legal documents. Now we are infinitely grateful to palliative care teams and hospital ethicists. And come what may, we are grateful for P's life and love and we are so thankful for her foresight and the guidance she provided us in that conversation and in her living will.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Such as. And such.

Seriously, I have no sense of humor right now, yet I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.
Please send maps. Such as.

Poor girl.
Fantastic response.
What a country.

(Best comment on YouTube? The suggestion that mocking her is racially motivated.)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brothers and Sisters

As much as they drive me crazy (see below), I am thankful that I have my siblings in my life. I don't have to wonder how they are, where they are, who they are.

Maybe you can help siblings searching for one another before it's too late: Check this post at Theresa's.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Words, words, words

I always love the posts in which a blogger shares how she's been googled. Let me just say sometimes it isn't for the right reasons (sometimes apalling), and sometimes it is. Often in my case it's "attaching in toddler adoption" or "sleep and toddler adoption" and since I'll tell you the hard but good truth, I'm glad you're here. Once it was "relinquishing a toddler for adoption." More and more it's "Ethiopia toddler adoption."

Those google phrases, while they sure make it easy to tell who's come here for the wrong reasons, can't always make it clear who's here for the right reason or who is interested in international adoption for well thought-out reasons. But language always conveys our values. And there's no such thing as neutral language.

That's why I can't read a post about a prospective adoptive family's grief over a failed match or a revoked referral and disregard the way first families are spoken of given the context. Loss is hard, and people get angry, and angry people say things they shouldn't, but do they ever really say things they don't mean?

Admittedly, our situation is much different (though we've also made plain that we'd never go through with an adoption that could have been another way, so that difference is no accident). But (prospective) adoptive parents should speak as IF our children can hear us, write as if they can read it. We should hold ourselves accountable until we can be accountable to our children (and we will be). And along the way, we should hold each other accountable.

Please, if you believe that a mother's desire to parent her own child (or to prevent a permanent separation from her child) is drama, or if you believe that searching for an appropriate permanent placement in-country before adopting out internationally doesn't have value, please read, read, read before you proceed.

****
I'm working on another longer post, but in the meantime I wanted to post a link to Nicole's resources page. It may be that you've landed here for some reason but will find what you're looking for there.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Beat the Clock

I'm sure most of you already know this trick, but if you haven't heard of it . . .
Today I set the kitchen timer and asked the kids what they thought we could get done in just five minutes. They had all their toys put away! In the next five minutes, we worked together to unload the dishwasher. Five more minutes and it was loaded!
It's a miracle, I tell you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stress/Fracture

I have a stress fracture in my foot, and while it hurts, it's far less painful than the mental equivalent of one, which I'm kind of experiencing right now.

Which answers my own post below, I think.

Monday, August 20, 2007

New regulations may mean it's time to Ca-ca or keum the po-po.
I'm not normally one for rumors, but if anyone knows whether the four year gap between ET adoptions beginning later this year is for real or not, lemme know.
If you haven't read it yet, check out The Nuclear Family, Exploded. I have to be honest -- some afamilies are upset with it, but I quite like it. If you can get past the tagline -- "Celebrity blended families have become a cultural flash point, revealing a broad anxiety: Do parents really love adopted children differently than their own offspring?," which is unfair to her essay and misses its point entirely -- you find Nussbaum's balanced essay. There are some cringe-worthy moments (particularly one informant's rationale for choosing international over domestic adoption), to be sure. But Nussbaum is keenly aware that adoptive families don't wish to be part of a trend or a movement, and doesn't reinforce that notion.

And then there are moments like these:
"Van Schie’s main insight from her experience was not that she should love her adopted child like her biological one, but the precise opposite. “My husband is six foot seven, highly educated, intelligent, athletic. I’m whatever you see me being. With Huck, for three years, I was expecting him to be those things. And then I brought home Tana, and I have no expectations. And I realize the injustice I’m doing to my biological child. It’s just very freeing—to find that I’m so excited to see who these two little people are going to be. Because it made me realize, I have no idea. And before, I thought I kind of knew who Huck was going to be! I don’t have that feeling anymore. Because Tana taught me that.”

Not the 6'7", but otherwise I could have said this.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hey Jealousy

A scene from Taco Bell:

Miss I: Momma on my side of the table. No your side of the table. Not YOUR Momma, MY Momma. Not YOUR pink lemonade, MY pink lemonade. Not YOUR taco, MY Taco! Not YOUR cinnamon twists, MY Cinnamon twists.

(Little bun successfully ignores these provocations for the longest time he's ever ignored them -- usually "My Momma" is enough to stir his jealousy from his depths and send him into a roiling rage).

Momma: Little bun, I'm so proud of you for not giving in and responding out of jealousy.

Which all leads up to the best sibling rivalry moment ever:

Miss I: (screaming) Not YOUR jealousy, MY Jealousy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Little bun's hamster died today. Dr.Bloom said it would be today -- R. began refusing liquids this morning. He will be buried in our backyard under lovely new hostas. Little bun has asked dh to dremel a marker for his grave, and dh agreed. Let's hope Little bun doesn't insist on his full name.
The hardest part was getting Miss I to understand that Little bun needed me to hold him while he cried (I NEED YOU! -- No, you want me. -- I NEEDWANT YOU!!!!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Not a good prognosis

Little bun and Dr.Bloom got home around 11:30 last night. After putting the hamster under to give him a complete exam, it doesn't look like a cheek pouch abscess, as we'd hoped, but a tumor. However, because the tumor would be inoperable and there is a chance it's an abscess, we are giving him bactrim and syringe feeding him liquid nutrition, and treating his eyes with antibiotic drops and salve. We'll know in a couple of days if palliative care is a more appropriate course. I cannot believe how sad I am about a hamster. I just can't stand how much this is hurting Little bun, who still says "There's hope, there's hope, there's hope."

A Blogger Is:

For those of you who dont know what a blogger is, a blogger is someone with a laptop, an axe to grind, and their v*rginity (Steven Colbert)

Too funny.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"If You're a Little Girl of Color, this is Your Year"

There's hope.
So come on, Polly.
The good doctor and Little Bun are on their way to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic many miles away seeking treatment for the hamster. Dr.Bloom left cursing about the vet bill (I could buy 4 black bear hamsters for that cost! And that's just to walk in the door) while Little Bun was insisting that I couldn't possibly know how frightening it is to take someone you love to the emergency room. Hoping for the best for all three of them.

Why Polly Pocket Doesn't Have Black Friends

*I'm publishing the draft because I won't have time to revise soon*

In 2007 Polly Pocket wanted to "revolutionize" the girl-toy market:

"Polly Pocket(TM) Polly Wheels(TM) Cars � Polly Pocket(TM) makes a HUGE statement with the first ever die-cast vehicles designed just for girls!"

But they left girls of color behind.

Dawn writes about her dilemma here: it's easy for us to vote with our own dollars and to gatekeep for little ones, to surround them with dolls of color and the occasional Caucasian doll until they develop an interest in a line less inclusive, and until someone else is doing the purchasing.

An aa friend insisted after the "brown Cinderella incident" -- "that NOT Cinderella! I no yike her!!!" -- that I cannot prevent this from happening, either the having or the temporary preferring, and that I cannot take away the white dolls purchased by other people. I can't make my daughter not want dolls that don't look like her and, according to my friend, I can't make her like
dolls who do. Said friend recalls getting a black Barbie for Christmas when she was three. She cried because she didn't get "Real Barbie." (As an aside, this friend has turned into a feminist activist and the smartest person I know about just about everything, including race, so I'm hopeful).

Fine, but why can't we MAKE Mattel make African American Polly Pockets?

Something is very wrong when a seller describes "Shani" as "African American or Hispanic Polly Pocket." Something is even more wrong when a search for another POC PP turns up "Postcard Series" Japanese and Chinese Polly Pocket globetrotting pals. Now that's cosmopolitanism.

In their defense, the Loving Family line offers choices (and because they come two family members to a set, can be combined creatively). The success of Mattel's Snap n Style dolls should indicate to that there is a ready market for clothing-changing dolls in several skin tones. And the Polly Pocket aisle was crowded with aa moms and daughters last night.

Black girls are expected to imagine themselves into little plastic white girls in the way that the movie industry operates on the notion that young women (and later, adult female fans of action films) can imagine themselves into male heroes but the reverse is not expected. We need to change that/those expectations.

While I'm not a fan of dolls that actually teach consumerism so explicitly (Polly has a gazillion outfits! Polly owns a bus!!! Be like Polly and own a gazillion outfits and a bus!!) my daughter is, and at the least, they could offer one that looks like her.

It's past time Polly Pocket had a black friend. I just hope Miss I doesn't outgrow Tamara before they make her.

***
As I was writing this, my daughter saw a commercial for Barbie Models and yelled "Look, there's my MOM!" If it isn't about race, I can't imagine what that's about.

Scene from a Waterpark

The Players: Miss I, Little Bun, Momma, Daddy, Some Poor Stranger (in her late teens, accompanied by young adult male)

Momma: Miss I, it's very crowded. You must hold a hand.
Miss I: Nuh (pulling hand away).
Momma: You can hold mine, or Daddy's, or Little Bun's . . .
Little Bun: Here, Miss I, hold mine!
Momma: but you must hold someone's.
Miss I: (Pause, then, to Some Poor Stranger, just passing by her) Mommy! I'll hold YOUR hand, Mommy! (Some Poor Stranger and beau hurry away)
Miss I: (a bit later, to Momma) I TEASE you.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Being a Family IS Work

Somedays you aren't as aware of the work as others, but it's always work. This is neither good, nor bad, but a value-neutral fact.

I'm reminded of this alot this week for many reasons, including Dr.Bloom's insistence that "work is taking it out of him." I know this to be true. I know he is overworked. But so am I, and I'm not so sure he knows that, and I'm overworked at home.

I read a Miss Manners: a stay-at-home dad needed to find a polite way to tell his work-out-of-the-house spouse to stop calling and saying "You won't believe the day I'm having . . ." Even the tacked on "How are things there?" grates on the poor man, who just wants to play ball with his son, or do the dishes, or put the laundry away without hearing about the "important" things happening at his wife's workplace.

At first Miss Manners considers this a refreshing change, but she quickly rejects this: regardless of sex, the out-of-the-home partner should not assume that hometime is interruptable for minutiae.

But what if it isn't minutiae? Imagine that this husband not only stays at home, but also works from home (meager earnings to be sure but earnings nonetheless in an endeavor both thought worthwhile), but imagine also that the work-out-of-the-home spouse is a doctor. Switch the sexes, add one more kid, and you begin to see the growing problem at Chez Bloom.

Take a recent bad day. We're driving down the main street, arguing about whose work is more or less important at the moment, when we come upon a terrible bicycle accident. I stop yelling, pull to the rightmost lane, and dh calmly gets out while I circle the block for somewhere safer to stop. Then he runs across four lanes. As I find a place to stop, Miss I asks "Where Daddy go?" "There was an accident," I said, "and Daddy is a doctor, so he had to stop." "Okay, but why did we have to stop?" she asked earnestly. She's two and a half; it's not her problem -- or at least, she doesn't know that it IS yet.

My dad set a fantastic example by stopping for accidents -- I so expect to both see them and stop that our car is stocked for them (so is my bag, and indeed we have made use of the gloves and gauze I carry). I want my kids to be like my dad wanted me to be.

But the argument? Guess who automatically wins everytime. Guess who ends up feeling, when her partner is running late, like a two-and-a-half year old.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

open up

I've been a bit neglectful over the past few weeks (or at least, in a public way, though I've been thinking a lot about it) of something that should continually matter to adoptive parents.
If you haven't already, head to Mia's Here for disappointing records decisions news.

Our daughter's adoption is currently closed by distance, language, time, the loss of instrumental people and relationships (though we are working to change this to the extent that we can), but we have far more information than most adoptees do, and we won't forget how significant that is. My daughter has names, dates, places, ethnic information, limited medical information, an OBC, and it will break my heart if this is all she ever has. She has so, so much more than many, who have so much less than is their right.

I've written a bit in the past about our own use of post-adoption intermediary services (they've been fantastic and even called me to see if there was a reason we had not sent in our materials when I dragged my feet for a bit under the weight of it all, called to help but also to remind us of the import if we'd forgotten or changed our minds), our hopes for responses to our letters, our hopes for traveling and meeting, our hope that our daughter will not have to search and that others' daughters and sons will not have to search and their other parents and grandparents, brothers, sisters . . . will not have to search for information or for reunion. She has her OBC, even if it was only generated retrospectively.

As Mia rightly points out (and Amy as well) mutual registration (particularly with fee-based intermediary services) is far from a solution. Voluntary registration does not claim access to OBCs as a right, and can cloud the Access to OBC issue with questions of search and reunion.

But in the meantime Regday is one way to make a difference for some.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

WalMart Syndrome

Miss I climbed up on my lap at dinner and refused to get down. "Momma, I scared. I scared. I scared. Hold me," and she was serious, but she wouldn't say what was so scary.
Dh finally got it out of her: "I scared of WalMart comin to get me."
Apparently something about my conversation with Little Bun about heartless giant multinational corporations struck terror into her little being.
I mean, I hate large retailers/big box stores too, but . . .

On the Other Side

I've been reprocessing distant and recent events lately, for a whole host of reasons (including that I return to them under times of regular stress, and that I still haven't adequately established what being so sick earlier this year really means). At the same time I'm reading Hip: The History by John Leland (New York: Harper, 2004).

I came across this:
"In an oft-quoted passage from Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, the hero, Sam Spade, tells a story to explain why he does what he does . . . It concerns a real estate man named Flitcraft, who went to lunch one day and narrowly missed being crushed by a falling construction beam. For Spade as for Flitcraft, this brush with random, meaningless death was a lulu. 'He felt that somebody had taken the lid off life and let him look at the works.'" If death could come at any moment, what of this life he was living? "He kept walking, leaving behind his name, his job and his family."
But here's the best part: "When Spade tracked him down a few years later, Flitcraft had rebuikt a life nearly identical to the one he left behind, falling into it with the same inevitability as the beam that had nearly killed him" (90).
What to make of Flitcraft's story? Is it such a bad thing?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Coming Home

I brought back from my trip some new research ideas but little accomplished research, some new shoes (from W 8th between Sixth and Fifth if you are looking), a new doll named Tia rechristened Chrisita nicknamed Tita, an oddity from KidRobot, and a Magic School Bus Germ Set from Scholastic that will allow Little Bun to explore microbiology to his heart's content without requiring me to help him prepare a slide from a st**l sample (no seriously, he asked and yes I really did say "no," I don't care the educational benefit).

I also brought back Vanessa Redgrave's voice intoning words from Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, which resonates with Wit. If you haven't read or seen either, you should, and both.

Finally, I brought back an awareness that I must do this again. I need to be a grown-up, even if I spend the whole time buying things for my kids. I need to sit in a nice restaurant, and remark on how they couldn't, or eat in a casual cafe, and remark on how they'd love it. I need to be with my bff just because.

I came home to a son who "just can't stop saying I love you, Momma," and a Little Girl who tells me she's all grown-up. "Are you so proud?" she asked. Indeed I am.

Anti-Racist Parent Meme

Judy tagged me for the Anti-Racist Parent Meme, which was a bit hard -- but how could I not do it? The questions are great, and she called me one of her homeys, which honors me.

1. I am:
Norwegian, German, Irish, and English.

2. My kid is/kids are:
Little Bun is Norwegian, German, Irish, English, Italian and Welsh.
Miss I is Kembata (ET).

3. I first started thinking more about race, culture, and identity when:
To be honest, it’s probably all too familiar. It was when I was in kindergarten and I wanted a black doll and a family member in an older generation said that was not to be – white mommas had white daddies who had white children. But my parents gave me the doll, and in that place and that moment that was revolutionary. Would that it had not been.

Because I lived in a rural white community as a young child, I had few preconceived notions about anybody but rural white people. This combined with my parents’ 60's idealism was strangely protective -- and too much so perhaps -- against racism but also against awareness of race and culture.

My thoughts on race, culture and identity complexified in college as my world opened up, and it became clear the way they are tied to class and material concerns, but it was still largely academic in the way that whiteness allows.

Little Bun was fortunate to be born into our world of that moment -- a racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse working class neighborhood wherein a little blonde boy was in the minority and his playmates would speak Spanish. But it was the planning for Miss I's arrival a couple years out that made us become practical. I wish now we really claimed our position as "anti-racist parents" when we had just one white child.

4. People think my name is:
African American. In New York, when I first met people, they would say “Oh, I thought you’d be black.” They say the same to dh, as we share his last name. This expectation seems almost inexplicable here, where the name is quite common among black and white people. (Here I share the last name with one of my best friends, who is indeed black).

5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is:
Loving people you don’t have to love. The boundaries of our family have never been defined genetically, or in any other traditional way, and this has led to an unwieldy network of extended relations that I wouldn’t have any other way.

6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is:
Multiple Neuroses, but I suspect that this is what I will pass on most.

7. My child’s first word in English was:
Little Bun: Momma, followed shortly by “ball” and “I do it,” but these all followed his word below.
Miss I: “HiMomma,” on the telephone, from Ethiopia. “No,” to Daddy, in Ethiopia.

8. My child’s first non-English word was:
Little Bun: “Agua.” At two, he would give up this word, along with other Spanish words, insisting that because he did not hear them in our new city, they were “baby talk.”
Miss I: I don’t know. I know she said “Machina” and “Ishi” (it’s okay, which she repeated to herself for reassurance until she was sure it really was). Aye-yuh (either an endearment or “I see you,” “I’ve found you”).

9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
Ishi, ishi (it’s okay). The AmharEnglish combination with most uses is the following: “Ca ca or keum (stop) the po-po.” It’s now our life’s motto here at Chez Bloom and we like to spread the philosophy.

10. One thing I love about being a parent is:
The surprise. I think of myself as someone who hates surprises (no surprise parties, thank you – please tell me what you’ve gotten me for Christmas so I won’t wonder, no spontaneous trips) but my children are all of these things in the best possible way.

11. One thing I hate about being a parent is:
That I am ultimately not in control, though this is also the most beautiful thing. In my moments of clarity I am aware that I am blessed to watch the unfolding of these extraordinary little lives, which will become big lives that will take journeys I could never have imagined.

12. To me, being an anti-racist parent means:

My daughter likes to play “Matchy Match,” which she also calls the “Compare Game,” identifying things that are the same according to mostly random qualities. This is something that comes out of preschool card matching games and Memory, I’m sure, but it took a turn that should not have seemed unusual yet took me by surprise anyway. She looked at her skin. “I brown. No, I no brown. You no brown, I no brown. You pink, I pink. We ‘matchy match.’” Then she thought for a moment and frowned, “I brown,” she said. Then she flipped her palms up, and gestured for me to do the same. “Matchy Match!” she screamed happily.

I was nonplussed, part of me felt defeated by her strong desire for matchy-match. But being an anti-racist parent means to me striking a balance between matchy-match and difference, surrounding my children with a community full of vibrant difference, and recognizing that the rights of all people are dependent on the protection of those rights for others – in short, teaching my children that all of our interests are intertwined without resorting to a color-blind and a too na├»ve universality.

I tagged Erin, and she accepted the challenge. Check out her thoughtful responses -- and great stories about being the mother of two amazing little boys, at Holding Still.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Missing Miss I and Little Bun

My kids are with their grandparents this weekend so I can attend to some grown-up things (trying somehow to catch up at work, spending some much needed time with a friend, perhaps even Manhattan shoe shopping). I'm missing them like crazy already, though I desperately need both the time and the break. As awful as it is to have someone hanging off your knee growling (really) "I NO WANT YOU TO LOVE EDDYBOODY (anybody) ELSE!" from no particular context, it's far more awful without the clinger (if not the clinging).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ethiopian-American Idol

Miss I loves pop music. Sure, we've tried jazz, and she hears classic rock, but she's a pop princess. Thirty seconds of a Kids Bop (agh -- what are singers thinking licensing their music for this schlock?) commercial and she's going around our house singing the multilingual and toddler-accented "Yo Yo You You I Not - A Yike - Your Girl Head," which is far and away better than the original.
Of course you should hear her version of 4 Nonblonde's "What's Up," which for one day, she inexplicably called "her song."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Double Feature (Featuring Racist Comments)

We went to one of the few remaining Drive-Ins this weekend for a double feature of The Simpsons Movie (do go make your avatar -- almost as fun as becoming an mm) in its opening weekend and Live Free or Die Hard a few weeks late. The plan was that Miss I would fall asleep before the Simpsons, which -- much to his grandparents' horror -- we had agreed to allow Little Bun to see, and that if Little Bun would fall asleep before Live Free or Die Hard we'd stay for it too. Unlike the time we tried to get Little Bun to fall asleep before the first movie (Ron Burgundy, which is not only not that funny, but also really really not funny at all with no sound), it sort of worked.

Miss I stayed awake for too much Simpsons, which didn't earn its PG-13 rating (the frontal nudity wasn't full, the "s*x scene" was only intimated and wouldn't be caught by anyone as young as Little Bun, and in our house the "p" word isn't a bad word), took up a cause so important to the Bloom household, and reinforced "family values" in the end, as the show often does. If you don't watch the show, you wouldn't know that Ned Flanders is often an object of derision -- his commitment to his kids is inspiring, and finally touches Bart. Two major disappointments: no big musical number (Green Day's appearance was cute, but no more than that) and too little Montgomery Burns.

Fortunately both kids were asleep by the trailers before Live Free or Die Hard. While the violence was gratuitous -- isn't that why we love the Die Hard series -- it was far less glaring or gratuitous than the film's racism. I was shocked and disappointed by McClane's references to Mai [Maggie Q] as "little b*tch Asian girlfriend" and "Asian b*tch hooker girlfriend." After she's (loose quotation) trapped at the bottom of an elevator shaft with a (large vehicle) "up her *ss" he assures her villain boyfriend that though she's dead, she'll be easily replaced. She was also half-skilled (as displayed in the film) in "kung fu" (described by McClane as the trait least likely to be found in the next Asian b*tch hooker).

It shocked me that someone wrote it (and you can see in the credits that it took a heck of a lot of writers to bring us this masterpiece). It shocked me that someone else said it, even if that someone was Bruce Willis. And honestly, it shocked me that a whole slew of people (many white, some people of color) were there on hand, as actors, director, producers, crew and no one thought "Wait -- why does he say that?!" It shocked me that if they tested it, those lines tested okay.

But it shouldn't have shocked me. I shouldn't be shocked at the racism, misogyny, exoticization/sexualization. But that doesn't justify it. Neither does the fact that McClane is a "tough guy," or that he "isn't very nice," or anything else. Perhaps the character McClane might have made racist, misogynist comments regardless of the female villain's race -- and regardless of race his sexism gleams in his decision not to shoot her, and also his subsequent decision to beat the h*ll out of her) but the fact is that no audience would tolerate it if she hadn't been Asian. Try inserting another race into those phrases and imagine whether or not there would be vocal protests. This is not to say that there are not a bazillion racist and misogynist movies -- indeed there are -- but it is to say that we shouldn't put up with it.

Other elements of the film -- including the spectacular destruction so spectacular that it makes you crave the pre-digital age of real cars crashing into real things and the way the film undercuts its own astonishing effects by showing a simulated demolition of the Capitol and also "proving" within the film that the image was, happily, only a simulation -- were far less stunning than these phrases.

The bottom line is that while we paid very little to see the movie, had I done a little homework we wouldn't even have stayed. And I actually liked Die Hard.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Fun with Toddler Attachment -- I Blew it Today

This afternoon I blew it.

It was naptime, and she definitely needed the rest, if not a nap. I offered to lay down with her, as she's been having trouble falling asleep alone again (during the same time as she's been demanding to be treated as a baby). She decided that was big fun, and started being silly. "No," I said calmly. "If you can't rest with Momma, you're going to have to rest alone." Here began an hour long tantrum, complete with calm exits from Momma "I need to step away, but I'm nearby and I love you." "I love you even when I don't like your behavior." Those kinds of things. She decided to fake-hurt herself: "Momma, I kicked the wall and now I need a doctor." "Momma, I broke my head." Nothing was broken, I assure you.

When she settled, I went back into her room to reassure her. She grabbed my face, pulled me towards her, rolled her eyes back in her head and screamed.

So I yelled. I yelled that there was a difference between frustrated tantrums and manipulative tantrums, and that this was manipulation. I yelled that I was losing empathy for her need for me to be there when she was using it to get out of napping. I yelled that I was losing it. In each pause, she made a terrible square mouth, teeth exposed, and screamed. There were no tears from her, just mine when it was over.

I'm telling you this so that you know it's hard. That toddler attachment issues (the child's and the parent's) don't go away but cycle. That one day can cause weeks' setback, turning that phase in a cycle into a downward spiral. That it's hard.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I told my students that I did it the right way by waiting until all the books were already out, but really I was just too lazy to read them. Suddenly I'm a little sorry: We muggles are truly lost today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Funnishment

Do you know why you're in time out, Miss I?
Ummmm (big grin) because I'm nasty?!

Regression Makes Me Mean (or Fun with Toddler Attachment)

Many weeks ago, we had the opportunity to spend time with Little Bun and Miss I's cousin from afar. During most of his visit, C had very little interest in anyone but his Momma, but on the last day of their visit, he wanted to sit on my lap for a bit. Miss I was not pleased. She took a deep breath and haltingly informed me "I want . . . C . . . a sit on own . . . Momma's . . . lap." I said I understood her feelings, and she went off to play with Daddy. When she returned, C was on a blanket on the ground playing with his trucks. "You tell C no more sit a my Momma's lap?" she inferred, and she beamed with pride that I had done the right thing in her eyes (I hadn't -- he'd simply had enough snuggling.)

Miss I returns to this scenario daily right now, informing me again and again that she wants C to never sit on my lap again. She also tells me I'm not Little Bun's Momma, only hers. It has been driving me mad, as has the return to just-home level tantrumming, however well justified (C's visit, our move, the birth of my other nephew -- which so clearly rocked her world).

So when Little Bun went to Grandma Bloom's for a few days, Miss I indulged her baby self. I gave her many choices for how to spend our day together, and she chose to spend it in a rocker with a sippy cup held like a bottle. Inside I was going crazy thinking about all the productive things I could get done with just one kid, so I hoped like crazy that this WAS productive. If she was going to stay a baby I was going to stay out of sorts. I like my little-big girl.

Fortunately this morning she woke up and decided to be a big girl.
I suppose she just needed to have the choice.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why not to take your kids when you go bra shopping:

The whole family was along for the excursion. I wouldn't have taken them, honestly, but I'm crunched for time. When little bun started announcing loudly that we were there because I needed new bras, I must have looked a bit embarrassed. "It's okay," he said as loudly. "We all have them. Even boys. Well, nickles anyway. We all have nickles."
I was a bit relieved and much amused (it recalled his "peanut and two popsicles" days), and I thought he'd dropped it, but it was only a pause for correction.
"Not NICKLES," he said, smiling, to a whole new group of spectating shoppers. "I meant to say N*PPLES."

It wouldn't have been so bad if two days ago I hadn't overheard this conversation between a little girl and little bun, occassioned only by me entering the room (and apparently, her baby sister's behavior, a fact I learned later).

Litte girl: Did you really drink from your mom's b**bs?!
Little bun: Yeah.
Little girl: [Nervous giggling, like she'd just learned some scandalous secret]
Little bun: [Casually] Maybe I still do. I don't like to use cups. [Returns to play, watching sidelong with sparkling eyes for Little girl's reaction]

Please, don't google me for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I hope she doesn't mind. I just wanted to spotlight a really tender post at Holding Still.

I have these weird moments, too, every once in awhile. Ten years and I'm still sometimes surprised that I'm married and that there is no me that does not rely on him. More than six years and I'm still taken aback sometimes by my motherhood. Once last month I entirely forgot for a moment that I was more than thirty. I was in my backyard, listening to kids on the playground and I just, somehow, forgot.

But I'm also really struck in an entirely different way by the weird moments that dh and I no longer have: This time last year, Dr.Bloom asked if I ever thought in surprise "There's an Ethiopian on my lap!" and I had. But I don't. Yet I am sometimes surprised by our joy.

Monday, July 09, 2007

or this lazy?

A reality show at the playboy mansion is on, and I can't make myself turn it off.

but have you been this tired?

I started to pour my cereal into my bowl, before I realized that the bowl was upside down.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Delicioso!

I promised a review of Ratatouille last week, and just couldn't get to it. I still really can't, but I do want to give our quick take -- four thumbs up -- and the two caveats:

The first is that the plot hinges on a dna test, which if you read my s*x ed post below, you know wouldn't go by unnoticed by some. It isn't a spoiler (as the outcome is predictable from the very start) to say that one of the characters never knows his father's identity and bizarrely, his mother sends a letter regarding his paternity to someone else without having conveyed it to her son, just before she died.

(Not-quite-a-caveat, but if you catch that his mother is fine because she believed in the afterlife so she's good to go, and you found that moment weird and awkward, drop me a comment).

The second is that the first five minutes are filled with gunfire at rats who've invaded a home (fine) and the threat of gunfire between Parisian lovers who kiss instead (not so fine).

Otherwise, the movie is delicious, engaging with our current obsession with television chefs and cooking shows (there's a tv in my kitchen for goodness' sake) and American's underdeveloped palates (the Chef's good name is co-opted for frozen "ethnic" foods).

Better, it has turned my Little Bun into a Little Chef!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Making a Getaway (with a TRA)

Dh and Little Bun were going to go see Ratatouille tonight, and since Miss I can sit through whole princess movies we thought maybe we'd all go, and I'd just plan to spend a good amount of time in the hallway if I had to (Very favorable review with two caveats coming).

She was absorbed in the first half, in both the movie and the popcorn. In the second have she was a bit antsy, so I took her out in the hall, where she proceeded to scream "I BE QUIET!!!!" over and over. I finally held her away from me a bit so she could see my face as I admonished her quietly, but instead she yelled "I need my Daddy, Momma" over and over.

From a child with a same-race parent, a hearer would hear the comma, and understand it as "I need my Daddy, (addressed to) Momma." But if a black child screams "I need my Daddy, Momma" at a white woman in public, did you know that people would hear "I need my Daddy AND Momma"?

Indeed they do.

With many eyes on us, no matter how many times I said "Listen to MOMMA" and "We'll go back in when you settle down" it was clear that we both needed Daddy.
I took her back in, and she behaved for a bit before she decided to bounce on her chair (really pretty good but still disruptive). Daddy took her out this time, having had no communication with me. When they got into the hallway, of course she screamed "I need my Momma, Daddy!" And this time, it was received in the same manner.

After the movie, we shared our horrifying experiences (Dh was less horrified as he always keeps her ID in his pocket when they're out together for just such events). We got into our car, laughing with Little Bun about how crazy his sister is when police cars pulled into the theatre parking lot from different directions.

"I think they're here for us," I said. Dh laughed and pulled out of the parking lot. But then he got to wondering too.
"Can we just stay in the area? I'd rather not have eight police cars pull up in front of our new house."

You'll remember that the first time our new neighbors saw us I was dirty and the kids snotty and sobbing and we were looking for our missing dog, and that the second time I had run onto the porch without my pants completely up terrified that Miss I was in the street (if I didn't blog about that, don't ask. Let's just say it relates to Little Bun's grounding episode).

Dh agreed, and we pulled up to a drivethrough (is it drivethru?) for milkshakes. As dh rolled down his window and "Charlie" greeted us through the speaker, Little Bun said "I get why we're going through the drivethrough instead of going in. So the police don't catch us." Miss I, overtired but for no reason otherwise, began sobbing.

We pulled up to the window with a sobbing black child and the possibility that we were trying to make sure "the police don't catch us." Charlie handed us our shakes and change, and we pulled out, looking behind us.

I'm still waiting for a knock on the door, IR4 and Adoption Decree in hand.

Friday, June 29, 2007

S*x Ed for Insanely Smart Children

Little Bun came to a realization. He knows he grew from an egg into a baby in my uterus. But it just occurred to him today that 1.My egg would only contain my DNA and 2.If he only had my DNA he would be my clone and 3. He is not my clone. He therefore came to the conclusion that dh's DNA must be pretty important to the process. But he didn't ask any questions. He said he may ask his friend, whose parent is a geneticist. He's sure a geneticist's kid would have the answer to that mystery. I recommended that he talk to his Daddy instead, as I was pretty sure Daddy had a handle on the mystery too.

Scenes from an Ice Cream Parlor

We went out for ice cream to celebrate the conclusion of dh's negotiations. Little bun and Miss I could not have been more fun. Little Bun ordered Birthday Cake Ice Cream, so Miss I announced "Hey, I know Happy Birthday!" and sang it about a hundred times, ending in "Family Huuuuuggggggg," which we all gladly but awkwardly participated in across the round table. A little girl came in awhile later on a tricycle with a handle and a Disney helmet. Miss I declared on the way home, "I gotta get me a red bicycle and a princess movie helmet." Remember that she's only two and a half and that in December we were having her hearing and speech evaluated.
Little bun and Miss I then retold the story of this afternoon -- how she had found a moth but thought it was a "scary spider" (her words) and that Little Bun laughed that she thought it was a spider, though it did have "eyes of fury" (his words).
I said to dh that I could see on a day like this why someone would want more children, because of the surprise that each one is and the unexpectedness that each child injects into his or her family. I mean like three or four, I said. Not a bazillion. "Not FOUR!" Little Bun yelled. "I heard of someone who had four and . . . the baby died because four is too many to care for." (He left room open for three, as he recently "decided" that he needs a sibling from China so he can learn Chinese . . . I assured him that there are far better ways).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Everybody Needs A Little Time Away

I'm taking a break for a little while.
Between people who are offended that I don't think adoption in the abstract is among the best options for a child and people who think I don't love my daughter as much as I love my son and think aparents are wrong for pretending it's the same but also wrong for admitting that it's work (like any commitment and adoption is -- or should be -- first and foremost a promise), and knowing that this is public writing and the way it circulates is entirely out of my control . . . (I always tell my students that all quotations are quotations out of context. If they weren't, they'd be recitations instead . . . .) I don't really feel like saying much. I'm sure you can see why.
Friends, I'm taking my toys and going home for a little while. But like that nasty kid, I'll also be back eventually.
(I am still honored that in other circumstances Judy would marry me :) )
Can you help her?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=lm53GWhmwhM


Passing it on from Theresa, and adding my good wishes for her search with so little to go on.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm going to ask:

Does anyone really think that it's all pretense, and that my daughter would be better off if I said, "Hi, Miss I, I'm Abebech. This is Dr.Bloom. Call us that. See, we aren't your parents, and we never will be. Your parents are gone, but you can stay with us for as long as you like, forever even (if you want), or until your first extended family is capable of taking you back. Even if that means a second cultural displacement so many years hence. Don't worry. We know genetics is the most important thing, and we're just not it"?

Really? Does anyone who thinks this know any children?

Maybe closed adoption was a failed social experiment. But can you imagine this experiment: raising children with no sense of permanence (except which they elect -- and have you met a two year old? a five year old? a thirteen year old?!), no sense of authority, no sense of family? Explaining that their current family is a poor substitute -- and living like a poor substitute -- will NOT teach them how to parent when the time comes.

What bothers me most about this is that no one said, "You know, now that I think about it, that could be psychologically damaging in its own way."

I'm pro-reform, particularly of domestic infant adoption (the need for which is far exaggerated by adoption agencies and paparent desires). But this?

***
For balance, though, I should add that this morning on the radio the humane society was announcing a dog who was looking for a new home only because his former family couldn't afford a $1000 heartworm treatment he required. The humane society was providing the treatment and seeking a new family, and I wondered why they wouldn't treat him at a discount and return him to his family.
If only everyone worried as much about children being displaced for similar reasons . . .

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yesterday, All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away

Keep up the votes. For awhile, dh was in a cold sweat.

Today was worse, in its own way. I'll just give you the beginning and the end, and you can fill it in with six year old and toddler mayhem, and someone other than the dog deciding to head out into traffic.
Beginning -- Dh rises cheerfully but lazily. I tell him I'm exhausted as I've been sleepless since two. He says "sorry," and heads to the shower, waking two children who jump on my head for about the next half hour while calling for "Daddy!"
End -- Little Bun declares it the worst day ever. His two day grounding has him feeling sadder than I can imagine. "Oh really?" I ask. And here comes the most mature thing I've ever said: "But do you feel like happiness died today?"
Dh says he's going to work a few minutes, and then we'll relax.
"You don't remember how today started then," I say.
"I do. That's why I'm going to get you drunk. I don't want you to remember how today started . . ."

On a happier note, I just watched last night's Colbert Report. One of 58! Arabic translators discharged from the army for homosexuality says that apparently "the only thing worse than an Al Qaeda attack is a gay man stopping it." And Colbert's vacation report recommends buying gold, purchasing ivory from Zimbabwe (or Zimbabwe) and investing profit in . . . Ethiopian babies. But, he warns, cuteness depreciates rapidly.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Vote early, vote often

I couldn't decide who made me angrier today, so I've decided to let you decide. It's easy. Even if you normally just lurk, please delurk and vote so I can mete out justice.

Today we were preparing to turn the keys of the old house over to our tenants, a wonderful young couple who will love the place and take good care of it. Despite having a month between our closing on the new house and their tenancy of the old one, it came down to the last minute and to many hands, including a national chain cleaning service to clean out the refrigerator, and a handyman to clean out our gutters and prune our trees. I worked outside with little bun the entire day ("If this is homeschooling," he says, after just two days out of kindergarten, "sign me up." It is most assuredly not, though he did learn quite a bit for better or worse).

I was grimey, in Dr.Bloom's old scrubs, covered in paint splatters, dirt and even blood from a pruning mishap from earlier in the day. Little bun was equally grimey. We were exhausted.

When we were nearly finished, we came back to the new house. Dh asked Little Bun to let the dog out. He obliged. Dh returned to the old house; we set about unpacking in the "art room" (you know, where you can make messes).

An hour later, it occurred to me, and to Little Bun, that the dog (hereafter known as "the damned dog") was missing. Into our new street Little Bun, Miss I and I ran, screaming [Dog's Name] over and over. We realized none of us were wearing shoes, and ran back into the house for shoes and dog biscuits, before setting off again. Tears streaked all of our grimey faces (did I mention that Miss I was in a fancy dress, or "fashion" as she calls it, with chocolate dripped down the front?! To that was added snot) as we called out over and over, and begged neighbors we'd never met to let us know if they found a thirty pound blonde dog having an anxiety attack. Each time I also offered that we're not always grimey, and had hoped to meet them under better circumstances.

Little Bun: We'll never get her back. This is the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone.
Me: This happens lots of times, and people get their dogs back.
Little Bun: This is different. We LOVE her. And she's going to die. And we're going to find a pile of her bones in the road.
Me: Someone will find her and take care of her until we can get there.
Little Bun: What if they decide to keep her?!
Me: They know we want her back. Her tag says "Reward."
Little Bun: Maybe they think she's the reward.
Me: Trust me. She's no prize.

Some blocks later, a man approached us. "Did you hear someone shouting out?" "That was me," I said. "We've lost our dog. Thirty pounds. Blonde. Very anxious." "We have her. Somehow she's gotten into our yard and she can't get out." They'd been on vacation in Europe for a week, only to return to a cowering, growling Damned Dog in the high corner of their yard, and had assumed she'd been trapped there for the better part of their vacation. They'd called animal control, who appeared just after we did, tranquilizer gun drawn. I still had her new rabies tag in my purse, which was not on me. I explained that she was mine, that she was vaccinated, that she'd only been on the loose for an hour and that she was terrified and just needed to go home. I scooped her up, thanked the family, apologized to animal control, and headed home, little bun and Miss I behind me, still a pathetic parade but no longer dejected.

Dh appears. Apologizes for having left the gate open. For not having introduced the Damned Dog to her neighborhood, allowing her to leave a scent trail home so she could find it again in a pinch. We all go to old house to walk through and transfer keys. I cry to part with the happy little home we had made of that house. I loved it there, far more, I decide, than I COULD EVER love it here (five minutes away).

We go to dinner to celebrate/regroup. We are seated by a large African American family, whose attention Miss I is desperate to attract. But when she does gain their attention all she can do repeatedly is point to me and say "That's . . . Mommy. My Mommy," and they say "Oh, okay." But they hesitate, so she does it again. Vying with Little Bun for attention from her own table, she says this to her daddy "Don't say another word, Poopy Daddy" and sings (loudly) lovely songs like "Na na na Tushie, na na na butts."

Little Bun, in rare form after a long day, asks loudly "Is this YOUR African baby?" and then proceeds to offer her to them: "This is an African baby. Who wants an African baby?" with a teasing smile. But I want to die.

Who to hold most responsible for my crummy day?

a. Dh, who insisted on this move, promised it wouldn't be too hard, and, well, left the gate open.

b. Little Bun, who tried to give his sister away (did I mention that he also -- for no apparent reason -- scooped some of dh's salad on to dh's lap while the server refilled dh's drink? (that might sway you).

c. Miss I, who demanded attention (good or bad, didn't matter) using potty words learned, admittedly (he's proud even) from Little Bun and had our aa neighbors convinced that our family just wasn't cutting it. (Nah.)

d. The Damned Dog. (Come on people, that's too easy).

e. Me, because I should have seen this all coming way back in, oh, February, when we started looking at houses despite my protracted recovery from mono.

Great chance to delurk. Low stakes for you, high stakes for the winner/loser.

. . . Should I tell you how I voted?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Awareness training just isn't going to cut it.

Thanks to The Voyage.

My students have said, even recently, that "race doesn't matter," that it is "a thing of the past," as I'm sure anyone born after the Civil Rights Movement might like to pretend. So then I show them Bamboozled. But that could never really happen! Not now! So then I point them to Texas schools who held Minstrel shows rather than High School Musicals, not so very long ago. Now we don't have to go back so far.

This is apalling.

---
All, this reminds me that I need to update my blogroll/links/look -- coming soon, as soon as the RL move is completely complete.

What to do? (I don't hate adoption!)

I've only really been nonplussed (as in, left and came back still bothered and unable to respond, rinse, repeat) by three anti-adoption blog comments, and that's pretty good considering that I don't hang with the ponies and pools set (someone who links to me actually described me in that way). As for blog entries, for some reason they just don't get my hackles up in a bad way. I think because posts are more meditative, more ruminative, more rhetorical, and generally even more responsible than comments. And if not, it's the writer's house, and she can write what she wants (and I can leave if I don't like it, and I often do -- one even said to aparents, "leave," so I did.) Still, these three comments really got to me because they shut me up/shut conversation down.
In all three cases I didn't know how to or whether to respond. To start or finish a fight in someone else's "home" doesn't seem acceptable, even if only to state the obvious (like, "that's really unreasonable." To ignore the comment and continue with my own seems awkward. To not leave the comment I'd intended seems unfair, to me and to the author I'd intended to respond to. What to do? I guess just be glad it hasn't happened often, take my toys and go home?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

One we haven't heard before

And we've heard our share of crazy/insulting things.
Dh, ds and dd were on their way to the register at a family restaurant. I wasn't far behind, but I'd wanted to finish my tea in peace (a vain hope) so I dawdled. An aa man at another table said to the woman across from him, "They got the wrong baby." She just responded noncommitally "Mmmmmmm-hmmmmmm."

****
I lied when I said the move was complete. What I meant was we've painted, and set up our furniture, and we're sleeping here now. But we're bouncing between old house and new house every few hours trying to get the rest of our belongings here (new house) and preparing there for our tenants. A cross country move would have been easier, or at least it wouldn't have deceived me into thinking it easy.

I'm tired.

Friday, June 08, 2007

My Mistake

I've always been the kind of parent who coaxed and convinced rather than imposing my will on my children. I've cheered each small step of independence, encouraged their autonomy. Now I'm starting to realize, when there are thirty minute battles over wearing her outfit backwards to school, that I've made a terrible parenting mistake.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Even More Irritainment

I don't really care about Paris Hilton or her lack of jail time, and am annoyed at the amount of media attention given to a young woman so lacking in -- well, everything but money and nerve. Yet this part is really interesting to me: Sources said Paris Hilton was planning on using her jail time to reflect on what she could do to make this world a better place, taking her inspiration from such celebrity philanthropists as Angelina Jolie (and perhaps Gandhi, even Jesus -- she was carrying a Bible). I wondered what possible conclusions she could come to in 23 days, but now we don't have to wonder.
Either she doesn't really need to think or, and here's where I'd put my money, she can't.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More Irritainment (or, what happens when you have 170 channels)

Did you know there's something called the "Outdoor Channel?"
It's far less interesting than it sounds, as it's really unironically about huntin' -- I was hoping it simulated my backyard.
I hate the thought of my daughter searching, says an aparent.
I hate the thought that she would have to. So I hope we succeed.

Mia and Theresa bring to our attention the ongoing discussion in CT regarding open recods. This editorial in the Hartford Courant repeats every misguided notion about the relationship between open records and reunion, birthparent desire for privacy and, apparently, adoptee's increased potential for stalking compared with the general population. It also promotes the idea that a voluntary registry will solve the problem, yet there are two problems with this. The first is practical: many people are not informed of the necessity for registering. The second is principle: utilization of a registry does nothing to acknowledge this information as a right.
I haven't posted a comment there yet - adoptees and natural mothers have done a fantastic job presenting the case and critiquing the editorial and I don't want my position as adoptive mother to somehow usurp their rightful roles as complainants or step on anyone's toes in any other way. Yet aparents, our voices are lacking in these debates and discussions, and fair or no (no), we have the potential to be a powerful lobby for our children's and their adult counterparts' rights.

***
I'm thinking of reading Marianne Novy's Reading Adoption and wondered if anyone had or would like to join me.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Move is Complete

It was hard and I'm very tired.
But I'll be blogging with more regularity now, I think (which could be good or bad).

Thursday, May 31, 2007

No Rants This Week (Sorry?)

I tried to post a rant, but I just don't have the energy. A few days of returning fever and fatigue and insomnia and moving-induced insanity, and I'm just not up to generating new content (look at me and my mystifications . . .) I hope I don't lose you, meanwhile.

But I was recently introduced to the topic of irritainment. I think it explains why I read half of what I read, why I watch at least half of what I watch . . . and has produced "we should go there!" impulses at recent mentions of the Mall of America and the Creation Museum.* That's irritainment.

I like my rants. Apparently, I love irritainment.**

****
More interesting content coming soon. For now, please read the comments to the post below: Michelle (I hope you don't mind me pointing this out) should be heard here.

Thanks.

****
*I do not object to the mission of the Creation Museum, but I believe that truth does not have to be literal, and I'm leary of the rhetoric.

** It isn't just me. Dh says "We're going," though we both wonder what our wunderkind will say . . . outloud . . .