Techie, I am not. Also patient, not.

March 31, 2007 at 12:11 am | Posted in AdoptThis! | 11 Comments

So I was very proud that I managed to figure out how to hook the camcorder up to the tv and bore our friend to tears show our very polite friend some video footage of El Bambino. Believe it or not, although we have gone blind staring at the tiny camcorder screen in the weeks since we returned from Guatemala, we have not figured out the large screen viewing option until now.

Next I need to figure out how to edit out all the incredibly insipid things I say while the camera is rolling. Ooooh, is that a footsie? Whose footsie is thatsie? Are those toesies? Whose toesies are thosies? Then and only then I might consider posting some of the video. Especially the one in which he discovers my tubing and how much fun it is to play with expensive medical equipment.

But hot damn in a frying pan, do I miss him. Watching him squeak and squeal and shake his little maraca… I just want to scoop him up and smooch him. I wish traveling to Guatemala from here didn’t involve a full day of travel in each direction – it seems too hard on him and on us to go just for a couple of days, and arranging longer blocks of time off is hard for me right now. But I wonder what he’s doing – has he made any progress on the rolling over thing he was working so hard on when we were there? Does he still dislike bananas? And what the hell kind of baby dislikes bananas, anyway? He will be five months old on Sunday ūüė¶

Any sign of forward momentum at this point would be much appreciated, but GAL is not obliging.

Earlier this week, she informed me that the paperwork has been “rectified.” I asked if this means that we’re in PGN. She’s not sure, but she’ll ask the attorney. Today I got a copy of the DNA results with the correct name on them. I ask her what I should do with them and does she have any update on PGN status.

Oh, we don’t usually hear anything from PGN for six to twelve weeks.

Does that mean that you have in fact confirmed that we are indeed in PGN?

No, just assuming that you’ve been submitted since the attorney said the paperwork has been corrected.


Strange Things

March 26, 2007 at 10:56 pm | Posted in Meows | 12 Comments

Someone found this blog searching for “can a cat be reincarnated as a child.”

I hope so, because Sambar would make an awesome kid.

Thank you so much for all your love and support. Yesterday was so awful – coming home and finding her, then discovering that mice had been hard at work in the drawers of the linen cabinet when I went looking for an old blanket to wrap her in…¬† Your thoughts and kind words made it better.

Today I was driving to the vet with her body to have it cremated when I noticed that ahead of me there was a beautiful rainbow. I’m not sure what I believe about life beyond, but this certainly seemed like some kind of message from Sambar – that she is in a better place, filled with catnip and cream and rice and tilapia (strange cat, our Sambar).

I don’t know what to say

March 25, 2007 at 11:26 pm | Posted in Meows | 46 Comments

Except rest in peace, my sweet sweet Sambar kitty. You will be sorely missed.

You charmed even non-cat people. You sat patiently by as sticky-fingered two-year olds fondled your ears a little too roughly. You had the softest fur in the world. You were a rag doll in our arms, happy to be cradled and kissed. When I picked you up, you put your paws around my neck.  You loved to burrow under the covers and make a nest for yourself. You had to sit on the newspaper when someone was reading it. You knew your name, and you would come inside when Pili called you.  You cuddled with the other cats and kept them in line with your iron paw.

Sambar Mosiac

You will be sorely, sorely missed, my sweet spicy spunky Sambar Cat.


March 23, 2007 at 4:04 pm | Posted in The Sweet Life | 22 Comments

The last time I went to Awesome Endo, I did a three day CGMS and he tweaked my basal rates and carb ratios a bit.¬†¬† And for two weeks, I was SuperDiabetic.¬† You all know her: the one who faithfully tests two hours after meals and actually gets up in the middle of the night to do basal rate checks…¬† The one who weighs her food and¬†looks up carbs and doesn’t¬†say, “oh you already threw the frozen pizza box in the recycling? I’ll just eyeball it.” ¬†The one who doesn’t eat frozen pizza, for g-d’s sake.¬† Who always always always tests before eating a snack. And who goes to the gym religiously, and checks her blood sugar mid workout and etc. etc. etc.¬†

Yes, for two weeks after the experience of having the blood glucose impact of every time I twitched in the direction of the candy aisle or took a bite without testing first recorded¬†indeliably for all the world to see,¬†I became¬†the diabetic whose blog normally would make me¬†cringe and turn my face away in shame.¬† And then… life happened.

I actually had an appt with Awesome Endo on Monday, right after we got back from Guatemala.  But I felt like crap Рemotionally (duh) Рand physically (our little boy already knows how to share! He shared his cold with me!) Рand so I called and cancelled, pleading illness and expecting to be told that the next available appointment was in June by which time, of course, Perfect Diabetic would have been located somewhere inbetween the couch cushions or with the dustbunnies under the bed and restored to full functionality.

Howbout Friday? Asked Perky Receptionist.¬† Howbout it? Aside from a hair appt – flickr friends stay tuned for my exciting new colors – I didn’t have anything going on on Friday. Friday it was, damnit.

So when Awesome Endo asked me if I thought I knew what my A1C was, I steeled myself for the inevitable lecture, and said weakly… maybe around 8 (last visit was 7.5).¬† “What makes you think that?” he asked.¬† Well… I dunno, I just feel like my blood sugars haven’t been that great lately and… (I detect a hint of a twinkle in his eye).¬† Do you know what it is? Are you playing with me?

Yes. It was 6.5.¬† I don’t think I’ve had one that low since I turned thirteen.¬†

This disease, it just fucks with your head. 

I should be thrilled, but since I don’t feel like I brought this about in any concrete way, I also don’t feel like I deserve the credit for it.¬† Plus, since I don’t know why it happened this way, I feel like whatever good fairies were playing with the A1C machine today could just as quickly turn their backs on me next time.¬†

Still, 6.5.  For the first time in a long time, the diagnostic code he checked on the insurance form was 250.01: diabetes, type I, controlled, instead of 250.03: diabetes, type I, uncontrolled.  That felt pretty good.

A little help for my friends

March 21, 2007 at 8:23 pm | Posted in AdoptThis! | 3 Comments

I have been dealing with a stupid annoying adoption paperwork issue today.¬† Let’s say my name is Gloria Jean Tyler Smith.¬† (It is none of those things, but let’s just say).¬† When the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued the authorization for Guatebaby’s DNA test, they put my name down as:

 Family: Gloria Jean & Tyler Smith

This now appears on the authenticated DNA results which I just fedexed to Guatemala.

I am sure this will cause headaches in PGN, and so I am trying to get it straightened out now.

These headaches, however, are nothing compared to the hell that my wonderful friend Erin and others are going through. PGN is refusing to recognize the cedulla, or birth certificate, of Erin’s daughter’s firstmom, because it was not signed by the mayor of Guatemala City 16 or so years ago, when she was born. The current mayor of Guatemala City refuses to sign these documents because they did not originate on his watch. As a result, Erin and her beautiful daughter are stuck in limbo, and need a NEW LAW passed which will compel someone to sign the documents. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do as citizens of other countries to make this happen sooner. What will help is for Erin to know about other families who are in the same fix so that they can act collectively. If you are adopting from Guatemala, please spread the word, and encourage any families who may be encountering similar problems to contact Erin or Cheri… Here’s what they have to say:

Dear readers:

Thank you for your supportive comments. Unfortunately, this is not a situation for which we can contact US politicians or government bodies for assistance. It concerns a Guatemala citizen’s document — issued by a municipality in Guatemala — that is not being accepted by a Guatemalan government body. It could even be counterproductive to attempt to bring US parties into the mix.

However, there is something you can do to help if you so wish. If you are ADOPTING FROM GUATEMALA and you are with an agency or facilitator that is not HAPS or For This Child, PLEASE EMAIL THE FOLLOWING LETTER TO YOUR AGENCY. If you are NOT ADOPTING but you have a blog, please POST THIS REQUEST ON YOUR BLOG.


Dear [agency-name],
If your agency has a case in process that contains a Guatemala City cedula or birth-certificate that is missing the Civil Registry signature (usually the mayor’s signature), we have important information to share.

According to PGN, if your case has not yet received a previo for the missing signature, it will. The letter from the Civil Registry and/or the Mayor of Guatemala City is no longer sufficient to satisfy the previo. The four PGN assessors have made a joint decision that these unsigned documents MUST be signed. However, at this time there is NO ONE in Guatemala City with the authority to sign these documents!

We are Cheri xxxxxx and Erin xxxxxx, in the process of adopting Guatemalan babies through For This Child and HAPS, respectively. After many months working on this issue separately, our agencies are now collaborating to find a solution. They have discussed this with the PGN reviewers, Barrios, and the Mayor of GC directly. The conclusion is that the mayor does NOT have the authority to sign a document issued under another mayor’s tenure. Therefore, we must file an acta with a different branch of PGN that will require the Civil Registry of GC to 1) designate and authorize a person to sign these documents, and 2) order that person to do so.

The PGN reviewer on Erin’s case currently has 12 cases that have been kicked out for this reason. If all 8 reviewers have a similar number of cases, that means 80-100 cases are in this same predicament! We have been advised to find as many of these other cases as possible so that we can ALL file the acta together. We have strength in numbers.

If you have, or know of, a case that contains a Guatemala City cedula or birth-certificate that is missing the Civil Registry signature, please contact:

Karla Ordonez, with HAPS: cell 5555-3610, office 2332-9040
Traci Orr, with For This Child: US #214-370-8436,

Thank you for your time,
Cheri and Erin

And while you’re at it – go give Erin and A Z U C E N @ some love. I had the pleasure of meeting them in Antigua, and they’re both awesome.

You know you’re in trouble when “la bamba” makes you cry

March 19, 2007 at 11:27 pm | Posted in M'ijo | 34 Comments

And it did that to me today, in the car, on my way to fed-ex to send off the authenticated DNA results.

Because when the Boy was doing his most excellent imitation of a howler monkey on speed, we would try to distract him with this maraca. Shaking it, rattling it – singing la bamba so off-key that I’m surprised he stopped crying…

More Maraca Madness

He is the most excellent, fabulous, wonderful boy ever (even when he’s howling). And when he’s not howling? He has this smile that goes from sly and mischevous to cheek stretchingly wide.

Looking at me? Not so shy smile
He lives to take baths and splash his mamas. He is far more socially at ease than either of his mamas and loves to hang with other babies. He started rolling from back to side while we were with him. He loves to check out his hands and to kick his little legs all around.

you called?

And I miss him like crazy. The only thing that made giving him back bearable was seeing how happy the nannies were to have him back and how much they loved him.

(I know what you all really want are pictures. Go to flickr for more… pictures with grown-up faces are friends only for paranoid internet privacy reasons… or because I want more people to become my flickr friends!)

In Guat

March 13, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Posted in M'ijo | 31 Comments

Smoky internet cafe.¬† Can¬īt upload pictures ahorrita, but promise lots when we return.

 Boy is cuter than his pictures by far, even when not sleeping and squalling his head off.

An Order of Retail Therapy with a Side of Frustration

March 4, 2007 at 4:41 pm | Posted in We are Family | 2 Comments

I have a new post up at LesbianFamily.Org.

Disjointed thoughts while folding tiny socks

March 3, 2007 at 1:48 am | Posted in AdoptThis! | 25 Comments

I am terrified of what this trip holds for me.

The waters of the Guatemalan adoption system, choppy at the best of times, have been rough sailing the past few days. Proclamations and promises are being thrown around, fat dirigibles full of hot air and prone to explode. The Department of State damns with faint reassurances that they are “not planning an immediate shutdown of adoptions at this time.”

Falling in love is always a risk. After the first weekend I spent with Pili, I couldn’t stop crying, because I was so happy and so very very scared. Friends ask how I can bear to go, knowing I have to come back without him. The truth is, he’s not ours yet. He’s not ours until his mom signs for the last time, after the case exits PGN, affirming that she still wishes to relinquish him. If that happened, I would be devastated – but I would be glad to know that he had a home with his family. If our governments can’t figure out a way to protect children without stranding them – and the people who would love them – in eternal limbo – I will be destroyed.

But I¬†am so tired of having all this love in my heart waiting and waiting to be used. Collecting my favorite children’s books and toys into a box that I take out when our friends with kids visit, not so secretly hoping that someday my child will use them. Today Pili, who is usually above the petty resentments that plague me, asked if she could throw out the birth announcement sitting on the counter from my cousin – because it rankled so that they had just had number two while we are still waiting waiting waiting.

And after defying the odds for three years, our sweet wonderful would-be-fantastic-with-a-toddler cat Sambar – my eyes well up just typing this – seems to be running out of lives.¬† The vet can’t sem to find anything wrong with her – even though she barely eats, and keeps losing weight.¬† And¬†still she puts her imperious paw up on my lap, demanding to be picked up – a shadow in my arms now – and cuddled. I hate to think that our child will never learn “gentle” with her sitting patiently by him. I hate to think that we could lose her and not have him.

So we dive off the high board, and cross our fingers that no one will drain the pool before we hit the water. We have to hope, because there’s nothing else we can do.¬†

Happiness, you are the bright red lining
Of the dark winter coat
Grief wears inside out.

– Charles Simic

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