I’ve been scurrying around the blogosphere, commenting up a storm and trying to catch up with all your various goings-ons.
The retreat was wonderful. It was with other people in my field, but not with my co-workers. There were fantastic presenters, very tasty food, and a beautiful, peaceful setting.
And now I’m home, with my lovely blogosphere and my lovely purring cats and my lovely Pili although she’s grading grading grading at the moment.
Oh yes, and I also have a lovely lovely re-notarized homestudy. On Monday morning I will take a break from Yom Kippuring to take ALL the documents to the county clerk and get them certified.
I am going to a work-related retreat in the mountains for four days.
Cell-phones don’t work, and there is no internet access.
If you hear loud shrieking coming from the north woods, it’s me, detoxing.
p.s. If anything dramatic happens, like Vaseline Teeth actually returning our phone calls, I have given Pili guest-posting privileges. Unfortunately, I doubt she will have cause to use them.
…a gentle, soothing post wishing all my friends in the computer a sweet, happy, and peaceful new year.
Unfortunately, our pre-holiday meditations were disrupted by the arrival of the notarized copy of the homestudy in the mail today. (Has anyone else noticed that Vaseline Teeth ALWAYS mails things so that they arrive on Friday?) And she always mails them, despite the fact that I’ve told her numerous times that I work a block away from her office and I’d be happy to go and pick them up.
At first I was so excited. What perfect timing for the holiday. I would go to services tonight feeling almost certain that it was the last time I would be there without a bambino on the horizon.
Then I looked at the notary page. And my fellow Guatemala adopters will cringe when they hear this. The notary’s commission for the homestudy? Expires March 2007.
This would be less atrocious if:
a) International adoption was not this woman’s bread and butter, and
b) She had not lectured US on the importance of not having notary seals expire any time before the end of the next millenium.
So now she has to find a new notary. She has to mail us a new copy of the damn thing for Pili to sign. Then she has to get it notarized and mail it back to us. We’re talking at least a week longer.
This is the last document we need. After this, it’s certify, authenticate, and send off the dossier. We even have the cashier’s check cut already.
Thanks, Mrs. VT. Happy frickin New Year to you too, beyotch.
Now that that’s out of my system, I do wish all of you – friends in the computer and in real life – Jews and non-Jews – a happy healthy and sweet New Year. May it bring peace to all of us, and to our troubled world.
I’m so grateful for the friendship, support, and love you bring to my life.
P.S. Check out my wife’s comment on the previous post!
When I talk to people about the adoption, I find myself struggling for the right words. After the adoption, we will bring Guatebaby… home? Home for us. And eventually home for him/her. But for Guatebaby, Guatemala is home. S/he will be used to the smells, the air, the temperature. A drafty old house in the
ice box northeastern united states will not yet be home.
How early do you know what home is? Home for me will always be New York. As much as I loved living in the Flat City, I feel a sense of comfort when I am in New York City that I feel nowhere else. The rythyms of people’s speech, the way people move on the sidewalk, it’s all familiar, innate. I can blend in easily. It startles me to realize we’ve lived here in Small City for three years now because it still doesn’t really feel like home.
What will feel like home to Guatebaby? I worry that all the love in the world will not make him/her feel at home in our world.
Before you rush to reassure me – think about how you feel when you are with Your People. The ones who look like you. Who talk like you. Who understand why baby showers can hurt and that “just relax” deserves a punch in the jaw. Who offer up carb counts with dinner as if everyone needed that information.
I’ve never had any illusions that we’re doing a mitzvah by adopting. We’re adopting because we have a child-shaped hole in our lives. Really, it’s selfish. I do know that we have a lot to offer: a fondness for fart jokes, one very patient kitty and three who know to run away from small children, an affection for our child-to-be’s culture of origin, lots of very eager grandparents, a burgeoning collection of children’s books, and of course, love up the wazoo. I just hope that, in Guatebaby’s eventual calculation of positives and negatives, that those plusses outweigh the biggest minus that s/he will have to deal with: the loss of family, of culture, of belonging, of home.
Pili & I were married, in the small seaside town where her family has spent many salt-drenched weekends. Our friends and family wove a chuppah for us out of beautiful colored ribbons. We said our vows in front of a rabbi and an episcopal priest. We danced to a kick-ass klezmer band as a full moon rose over the ocean.
It was the best day of my life.
My dad says that every time he sees a full moon now, he feels happy being reminded of that day.
This past year has been marked by disappointment and sadness. But through it all the joy hangs, like that full moon, almost over-stretched with light. I get to spend the rest of my life with this woman.
Happy anniversary pweet-sea. I love you.
p.s. Flickr friends go here for some pretty pictures.
We are so close to being done with our dossier, I can taste it.
What does an almost finished dossier taste like? A mouthful of paper, mostly. Mixed with a dash of hope, a smidgen of fear, a few lingering sour grapes…
But being almost finished with our dossier means that we are this close to the dreaded decision point of circle: boy, girl, either. We thought we knew what we were doing, and then the wait times for our agency changed. A lot.
As I’ve said before, what I want to do is circle “either” and have it mean “either.”
But since wait times for our agency are almost four times as long now for girls as for boys, circling either pretty much means “boy.” At the park the other day, Pili and I stared intently (but not too intently) at the playing children. I could not help my heart turning to mush at the sight of the very serious girl and her dad playing catch (shades of me?), standing two feet away from each other as they tossed the ball back and forth and talked – even as I found myself saying, I guess maybe we should just say either… I’ll be this close to making that decision, and then I’ll back away. And I don’t know why. I have close male friends. I’m very close to my father. Why am I so freaked out by the idea of being the parent of a boy-child?
Being the researcher that I am, I turned to my friend Amazon and ordered It’s a Boy and Lesbians Raising Sons. I’m sure I’ll have more posts once they arrive on my doorstep and I digest them. Any other reading suggestions? Anecdotes?
Many things are enraging me today:
Adoption: Crawling out of my skin with frustration. Guatemala Agency Lady (Ms. GAL) has still not given us feedback on the homestudy, which makes me think she hates it. She told me to call her today and has not returned my calls. Meanwhile, Vaseline Teeth is tugging on my sleeve wondering why Ms. Gal has not gotten back to us yet. The police clearance has to be sent away to be certified, but Vaseline Teeth won’t release it until we pay her part II of her fee, and given her tendency to move slower than a sloth on valium, I’m not doing that until she’s made all the needed corrections and given us the corrected, signed sealed and notarized homestudy. Oh, and did I mention that according to Ms. Gal, the timeline for referrals is now twice as long as we were told previously. I’d like to ask her why, but she won’t return my call…
President Bush: How does he get away with one day dismissing a congressional report showing absolutely no link between AlQuaeda and Saddam Hussein and the next day linking September 11th and terrorism to the war we’re fighting… the one in Iraq. This man is a disgrace to our country, plain and simple.
Today I am sitting in my pajamas in my parents house in NYC, where five years ago I yearned to be.
Five years ago I turned on the radio in my apartment in Flat City to hear the expressway travel times so that I could decide what route to take to work. Instead I heard the oddly detached voice of the NPR announcer say, “and eyewitness reports confirm that another plane has just hit the world trade towers…”
Not knowing what else to do, I got dressed and left for work. I was on the cell phone with my father when he saw a void and a cloud of dust where a skyscraper had stood. We spent the morning trying to locate my mom, who sometimes went to that area for work – fortunately she was nowhere nearby. I emailed friends from high school I had not talked to in years. Are you okay? Is your family okay? Miraculously, they were. All I wanted was to be there. To hug my parents. To touch my city, my wounded, aching, fiercely defiant city. To get on a plane and be there. Which, of course, I could not do.
Five years later, I hate what has become of this day. A horrible opportunity for our country to see how we were perceived around the world and work to change that image was perverted and twisted into an excuse for war. A war, I firmly believe, which has only turned more hearts and minds against us and created more terrorists. The lives of countless Iraqi civillians matter – as much as the lives of 2996 people who died five years ago. The lives of the lgbt victims Mombian writes about matter just as much as the lives of those unnamed – to us – Iraqis. And so do the lives of the window cleaners, illegal immigrants, stock brokers, firefighters, flight attendants and many others whose stories go told and untold. And a day for mourning and self-reflection has become a day for jingoism and self-congratulation.
Today is a beautiful sunny day in New York, as that day was.
ETA: Check out this poem that Sophia posted.