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.

What quiz?


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.

(in my head)

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 . . ."
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


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


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


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


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.