31 July 2010

Controversial post!...

Sorry, but not really.

No controversy. Just said that to get you here. (What a horrible blogger I am...)

I stopped visiting blogs written by the anti-adoption folks so there certainly hasn't been much controversial fodder for creating posts that have that "oomph" factor to them. And I've stopped asking all of the questions and expressing my anxieties and worries. I've stopped asking you and myself, "Are we doing the right thing?"

Now we've just settled in to the waiting phase.

And let me tell you, it's not very exciting - for you or for me - to continually write about the fact that we're just waiting right now.

So, I've been writing less and less. I miss writing the daily posts. 

But when it comes right down to it, what's happened is that at long last - after more than a year of mulling and agonizing and questioning and writing and processing - I have finally gotten comfortable with our decision. I'm letting go of those fears that I've expressed in this blog. What's going to happen will happen and we'll deal with it as it happens.

I accept where we are right now in this moment.

This is how we've decided to build our family. I don't need to question it anymore. Or worry about it. Or fear being judged about it.

In a recent post I wrote about making a space in our home to welcome a child - that we need to let the Universe know that we're really and truly ready by creating the physical space for that child. Not just saying, "Yeah, eventually we'll turn the guest room into The Kid's room" but actually doing it.

Now I'm also realizing that I need to let the Universe know in no uncertain terms that I believe in our decision. No more questioning. No more uncertainty. No more hesitation. No more fears.

I accept where we are right now in the present moment.

So, Universe, bring it on.

Let's not talk about it anymore. Let's just do it.


I'm ready.

30 July 2010

A new favorite place...

Rocky Gorge, White Mountain National Forest (along the Kancamagus Highway), New Hampshire

26 July 2010

Making space...

Is positive news that doesn't really change anything actually news or is it just a series of statements that find no anchor and have no impact?
--Chris (my husband)

I'm chatting with my dearest friend on the phone last evening. We've been on the phone for quite some time when she pauses and says, "I've been reluctant to even bring this up, but is there any news at all on the adoption?"

Not really.

(And there's no need for reluctance to ask us about the adoption - friends and family. Really. We'll be happy to talk about it.)

Chris describes very well the most recent conversation with our adoption contact in his post Dog Day Thoughts so I'll suggest you hop on over there to take a gander at it rather than rehash it all here (it's a quick read.) The quote at the top of this post gives you a hint of what you'll find over at his post.

I haven't had much to say about the adoption these days because there really hasn't been any "news" so to speak.

We're waiting.

That's the news.

Which isn't really news at all to our friends, family, colleagues and anyone who has been following our blogs. We're waiting.

The only change or news is that now that we are 90% done with the post-flood basement re-do, our erstwhile guest room is pretty much close to being empty. All that remains: futon sofa, one large bookcase, one lamp, one small dresser and a few pieces of art work on the walls.

Which means...drum roll please!

The room is that much closer to being ready to become The Kid's room.

My lovely husband doesn't know it yet, but if the heat and humidity stay away this weekend, there is every chance that I am going to push for us to move what little furniture remains to the center of the room so we can paint the walls a kid friendly color (I'm voting for some shade of purple...)

And I'm going to begin looking online for furniture - changing table, dresser, crib, etc.

Shocking, I know.

The thing is that when we started this process I said loudly that I didn't want to be one of those prospective adoptive moms who has a nursery full of furniture and baby stuff, but no actual baby. I just thought that would be so very sad.

Even pathetic.

However, I've changed my mind.

Going through the homestudy and the adoption application was a shitload of work and certainly put the word out to the Universe that we're ready to start our family.

But I can't help thinking now that we need to do a little more.

We certainly haven't made any effort to create a space for a child. Just said, "Yeah, we'll turn the guest into The Kid's room" and left it that.

What is that telling the Universe?

I mean we've purchased all kinds of baby/parenting books for ourselves, but nothing for the kid.

So, my thinking now is that it's important to move forward by creating an actual physical space for this child in our home. Creating a space where this child will be welcome.

Putting that energy out into the Universe.

OK, Universe. We are serious. We are ready. Everything is in place.

"The Voice" in Field of Dreams says over and over to Ray Kinsella, "If you build it, he will come."

Maybe there's some truth in that...

If we build it...

23 July 2010

The heavy lifting...

"I had this really weird thought on the way over here," I tell my therapist earlier this week. She looks interested as I continue, "I didn't want to come here today because I didn't want to do the heavy work we've been doing."

I pause.

She doesn't say anything. Just looks at me with that calm therapist-y look she has.

So I go on.

"I just realized today that I am feeling very resistant to the heavy emotional stuff we've been doing because it's getting to be 'that time of the year' [my crazy busy season at work] and I feel like I have to pull everything inside of me. Kind of marshall all of my resources and gather the troops. Y'know what I mean?"  I ball up my fists and pull in my arms close to my body to demonstrate, "So when I was coming over here I thought to myself that I just can't spare the energy to open myself up like I have been. I can't do the heavy emotional lifting. I can't do it and I don't WANT to do it."

My therapist nods and asks, "So, how does that feel in your body."

Considering that I have pulled my knees up, my arms are crossed, and my fists remain in tight balls...I'd say that I feel pretty tight, stressed and uncomfortable.

The thing of it is that I am coming to "that time of the year" in my job - the busiest, craziest time of the year where I'm going to be facing each day at a dead run with no stopping:  lots of daily travel, client meetings most everyday, multiple presentations each day in October and November, preparing tons and tons and tons of prospect letters that I not only sign but on which I write personal notes, lots of follow up with clients in December and more client meetings, etc. etc. etc.

And, until this year, I had not ever really been consciously aware of the fact that at this time each year I do just pull everything inside of me. That I put up walls and retreat into myself in a vain attempt to save every bit of energy because I know that I'm going to be crazed and absolutely exhausted for the next few months.

The rest of my life pretty much stops from August to the end of December.

Or, at least, it has stopped in the past.

But no more.

The truth is that I can't do this to myself again. Sacrifice my life for my job.

It's slowly killing me.

Yet here's why I do it and keep doing it: I'm kind of a perfectionist when it comes to work.

I'm that idiot that's still in the building at 10:00 p.m. working on something for a client that's technically due the next day, but if I called the next day and said to the client, "I hope you'll accept my apologies, but I miscalculated how much time I actually needed to prepare these materials for you. I'm going to deliver them to you tomorrow morning instead of today" the client would - 98% of the time - be just fine with that.

I'm that idiot that says "Yes" with a smile to her supervisor and to others about taking on new projects and joining new teams when she knows perfectly well that her plate is already full to overflowing.

I'm that idiot that isn't good at asking for help or delegating tasks. Every year in September a temporary staff person is assigned specifically to me to help me during our crazy, busy season. And every year I fail to utilize that person the ways that I could and should. "It'll be better and faster if I just do it myself," is the thought that always runs through my head. Even after I was part of the hiring process last year and knew that we had hired really good, competent people.

I'm that idiot that cannot let go.

So, I pull inward to focus all of my energy into being my perfectionist self - the person that will throw herself head first into the job, work the crazy hours, take on too much, and end up exhausted and burned out from the busy season.

"How can you do your job differently?" my therapist has asked me on any number of occasions over the last year.

I entered therapy several years ago because I hated my job. Or at least I thought I hated my job. The process of therapy has uncovered SO much about me that has almost nothing to do directly with my job, but has also revealed some completely interesting reasons as to why I'm still in this job.

"How can you do your job differently?" my therapist asks repeatedly. She doesn't confirm that I need to be looking for a new job (as I tell I want to) nor does she assure me that I am most assuredly in the wrong job. No, she asks me, "How can you do your job differently?"

By asking me this over and over it seems to me now that she's basically saying without saying, "Your job is fine. Chances are that you'll be exhausted and unhappy in ANY job because your behavior and the way that you approach your job will be just the same."

I've felt totally exhausted by my work for years and years.

"How can you do your job differently?"

Until this week, I had not been able to come up with an answer to this question. I couldn't see the answer. Because I didn't truly understand the question. Because I had no awareness of just how much I was sacrificing myself to the Gods of Work each busy season.

But now I see it.

It took three years of therapy to figure it out (apparently I'm a slow learner...)

It's not the job.

It's me.

It's how I approach the work. It's not the work itself.

And I realize that I can and have to do my job differently. In a way that I might actually be able to enjoy it, be successful and not end up totally burned out.

I need to really and truly plan for and prepare for the busy season.

In the past, I've done some prep for my busy season, but I realized recently that I haven't done nearly enough and thus ended up working late nights and weekends because there were numerous things that I hadn't and could have done in advance. So I took 3 days last week and I've taken much of this week to prep my materials.

I need to delegate.

There are tasks and accounts that I could certainly delegate to my temporary staff person. Stuff that I have not been willing to let go of in the past. And I need to plan ahead of time just what I will delegate. Last year, because I really hadn't prepped myself, I was doing just about everything on the fly like my hair was on fire. Yeah, that was bad...I didn't know from one minute to the next what needed doing and so I couldn't really make any informed decisions about delegating. Won't be doing that again...

I need to have a life outside of work.

There are people that I love - friends and family - my husband for goodness sake! - who I rarely see over the course of my busy season and that has to change. I can't lock myself up in my office and then my home for 5 months and expect to feel happy. I need to make time for and commit to reaching out to people. No more pulling inward and retreating. Dates with my husband! Game nights with friends! Girls Nights Out! Life goes on in the midst of the busy season. Well, it should go on. So, I have to make it happen.

I need to utilize my new art studio.

Being creative isn't an option for me anymore. It's a must. I feel alive when I'm making art and when I'm writing. So I need to get down there and use it.

I need to ask for help.

Not so good at this and never have been. But I know if I am going to be at all successful and not lose my sanity that I have to ask for help.

And, actually, I started yesterday.

"I need some help," I say to one of my colleagues.

(I actually say the words "I need some help"...It's a miracle.)

She shoots me an inquiring look.

"Here's the thing...I need to get energized for the busy season. I'm feeling kinda burned out and I just need something to re-energize me and re-inspire me for what's coming. So I was thinking that our team needs to do something. I don't know what - maybe a great team dinner somewhere or some kind of mini-retreat -"

I'm about to make some other suggestions when my colleague says, "Ooo! I'll plan it! I love doing this kind of thing!" just as my supervisor walks up with her own inquiring look.

So, I say, "I was just saying that I need some help," (there! I said it again!) "because I've been feeling like I need to get re-energized for the busy season."

"So we want to do some kind of retreat!" says my colleague.

My supervisor gives us the green light.

I put it out there in the Universe that I needed help and help arrived.

"How can you do your job differently?"

It took a long time to get to this place. I don't know if I'll be able to change behavior that is deeply ingrained in my being, but I know I have to try.

This is going to involve some seriously heavy lifting...

20 July 2010

Soooo very hot...

It's too darn hot
It's too darn hot
I'd like to sup with my baby tonight
Refill the cup with my baby tonight
I'd like to sup with my baby tonight
Refill the cup with my baby tonight
But I ain't up to my baby tonight
Cause it's too darn hot

-- Cole Porter

The heat finally breaks last evening. Instead of stale, yet cool air conditioning in our bedroom, we sleep with the window fan running.

It's heavenly. Feels totally delicious to have cool, fresh air in the bedroom.

I don't do well in the heat. Actually, that's something of an understatement.

I completely wilt in the heat of the summer - to the point where I feel like I'm going to pass out.

Any temperature above 75 degrees is something of a misery for me unless I sit very still in front of a fan or condemn myself to extended periods of hibernation in our air conditioned bedroom.

This past weekend Chris and I work on finishing our finished basement. The final stages of turning flood damaged rooms back into usable, livable space. Moving furniture around, emptying boxes, organizing my studio, hanging art work and painting a few pieces of furniture to match our office/entertainment area's new color palette (blue, tan, & black...)

After about 15-20 minutes of spray painting a bookcase in the 90 degree heat/sun on a tarp in the middle of our backyard, I am sweating profusely. I feel dizzy. And sick. And there's a good chance that I might just vomit onto our bookcase.

Not good.

"You want me to do that?" Chris asks, looking surprisingly cool (of course, he's smart enough to be wearing a hat...something that doesn't occur to me to do before heading out into the sun.) He looks at me a bit more closely. "You really don't look so good, Sweetie."

Thanks, Honey. Just what every wife wants to hear from her husband.

Of course, it's totally true.

Back in the house as I am cooling off by splashing some cool water on my face I note the extreme flush on the apples of my cheeks and the fact that all of the color has drained completely from every other part of my face.

Yes, very attractive indeed.

Chris very kindly finishes painting the bookcase in the broiling sun.

Best husband EVER.

"Looks like it's breaking a bit this week," Chris tells me this morning, "It's only going to hit 82 today. Then it looks like 86 tomorrow and then back down to 82."

"Lovely," I say, my voice saturated with sarcasm.

"Hey, at least it's not going to be in the 90s."

True. Very true.

But it's still going to be in the 80s, which just sucks.

Grumble, grumble.

The thing is that I absolutely haaaaate it when people grumble and complain about winter - about how cold and miserable it is. Personally, I love winter. Bundle me up in a jeans, a turtleneck and a sweater and I am a happy, happy girl.

A nice crisp, cold, sunny day when it's 20 degrees outside. Heaven!

So when people complain about winter I'm all like, "Hey, Doofus! Winter comes around every year! Quit bitching about it. It's not like it's a surprise, y'know..."

But then summer comes around and, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm just like those people who complain about winter!

Only louder.

And grumpier.

Hey, Doofus! Summer comes around every year! Quit bitching about it. It's not like it's a surprise, y'know...

Yeah, whatever.

18 July 2010

Writer vs. ...

I just finished reading a fantastic young adult fantasy series by Brandon Mull entitled Fablehaven.

If you haven't read it yet - you should.


The series is so incredibly engaging and entertaining.*  By the fifth and final book I was desperate to see how the story ended. Read late into the night until I couldn't read anymore, but tried to keep reading anyway because the story was so compelling. Love that! Brandon Mull - what a great writer.

However, as I was reading this series it set me to thinking about my own writing. Kind of this nagging annoying feeling in the back of my brain. A feeling that I intentionally ignored because I was too busy reading and enjoying to start worrying about my own neurotic stuff.

But now that I'm done reading the last book in the series, suddenly that feeling and all of its attendant thoughts and worries about my own writing that I had been squashing down and ignoring have bubbled right up to the surface of my consciousness and are shrieking "Hey! You! Dummy! Over here!!!!! Pay attention to us!!!!!"


I don't want to be thinking about this today.

Too late.

Here' s the thing...It's just like what I wrote about in my last post "Making art vs. ..." where I almost never refer to myself as "an artist," but instead as "someone who makes art."

I almost never refer to myself as "a writer" but will describe myself as "someone who writes."

Here's the other thing...I have absolutely no confidence in myself and my creative abilities. In my ability to produce something interesting, entertaining, insightful, engaging, thought-provoking, whatever...


Most of what I write...I always think that someone else could have written it better.

How stupid is that???

And yet here I am...Writing stuff here on the blog for the world to see (well, a really teeny tiny itty bitty fraction of a portion of the world..) and secretly (now not so secretly) working on finishing a novel (I already have 100+ pages) that may or may not ever get published. And outlining other stories in my head that I may or may not write.

So, does that make me a writer?

I don't know.

Here's what I do know: I write because I have to write. Because I am compelled to write.

Because I don't feel like myself when I'm not writing.

So, does that make me a writer?

Don't know.

Maybe I am just "someone who writes." Maybe I have not "claimed my inner writer." I don't know if I'm good or terrible or somewhere in the realm of just mediocre, but I do know that there is something inside of me determined to get out into the world through my writing.

So...guess I'll keep showing up each day to clacker away here on the laptop. And if that makes me a writer, then I guess I'm a writer. And if it just means that I'm someone who writes - I guess that's OK, too.

Maybe someday I'll even believe that what I've written is worthwhile.

*But, be warned, Mull has no compunction whatsoever about killing off interesting and favorite characters in the Fablehaven series. The books aren't all nice and happy ending-ish in that way. So if you're reading them with your kids - be prepared to have a conversation or maybe several about death and dying.

16 July 2010

Making art vs. ...

Therapists are tricky little buggers.

I don't intend to go to therapy last night to talk about being an artist, but somehow that's exactly what happens during my session.


Through a series of conversational and therapeutic twists and turns somehow I end up "claiming my artist self."


And committing to submitting a piece of my artwork to a show (any show) by the end of this year.


How the heck did this happen???

It's that tricky therapist of mine.

Oh, she's a wily one alright!

Darn her.

The thing is that I know this is probably good for me. But it's also scary.

I haven't exhibited a piece of artwork in a show in more than 20 years!

This is probably how I let myself get railroaded into this situation...by mentioning that in therapy. And by talking about the fact that often I don't think of myself as an artist. It's always been a kind of "making art vs. being an artist" situation for me.

I mostly think of myself and refer to myself as "someone who makes art" rather than "an artist."

For many years in my twenties and early thirties I don't even pick up a paint brush or make a place for myself to make art in my home. Art becomes something that I look at and think about, but in which I never engage.

Then in 2001, my maternal grandmother (my last biological grandparent) passes away and my mother and I meet in Florida to lay my grandmother to rest and to clean out her home. During this time, my husband apparently decides that I am much too sad, that it's been long enough since I have made art and that he is going to change all of that right quick. When I return home Chris surprises me with an antique drafting table, new chair (which Annabel immediately claims as her own...) and art supplies - all set up in a nook in our office.

What a kind and generous man I married.

Lucky me.

In the succeeding years, I've added significantly to the original set of supplies and used that drafting table on and off. Some years very on and other years - depending upon what's happening in my life - very off. But it's always there waiting for me. And Chris is always. always supportive of any time that I spend away from him while being creative.

Since the flood, we've re-done our basement and I claim our former finished storage room as my own. I mean I kind of ask Chris if it would be all right for me to use that room as a studio, but it's really more like I kind of - um - er - inform him that we'll be clearing out that room so I can use it as a studio.

"Sooooo, what would you think..." I say to Chris, "about me moving my drafting table down to the storage room and using it as a studio?" [Interpreted...this means "I've already thought this through and this is what we're doing"]

No hesitation from Chris as he replies, "I think that's a great idea."

Best husband EVER.

So suddenly I actually have a dedicated space where I can create.

My studio.


A real studio space just for me where I can be creative. Not in our office. Not in a corner of the guest room. My very own room. It feels very decadent and I know it's going to be kind of a pain in the ass to get rid of all of the stuff we have down there in storage (and it IS a huge pain in the ass), but I can live with that.

Today all of my supplies still need to be organized, but the furniture - including the beautiful antique drafting table that my very thoughtful and generous husband bought for me so many years ago - is in place and ready for use.

So, somehow all of this comes up in therapy and suddenly I find myself "claiming my artist self" and committing to this show.


Still, I guess this isn't such a terrible thing. Because the truth is that even though I might not have the confidence in myself to say that I'm an artist, I am truly at my happiest when I'm at my drafting table being creative. And this commitment will certainly force me to get to it.

So, Universe, bring on a show for me!

(Darn therapist...)

15 July 2010

Still here...and bizarre dreams

It feels weird to have been away for the blog for yet another mini-hiatus.

I haven't had the energy to write because of continued concern over a dear friend in crisis. She and I have been talking a lot over the past few days as the events of this crisis continue to unfold.

It's been incredibly draining for me so I can only begin to imagine how totally exhausted she must be.

I'm feeling pretty wiped out.  This is in part not only because I am excessively worried about my friend, but also my anxiety appears to have triggered a series of truly bizarre dreams culminating in the doozie I had last night.

In the dream...

Chris and I have adopted two kids already - both boys. Because we had been waiting so long on our little girl, we had decided to change our preference to "either" when it came to gender and were able to get the boys. Still wanting a girl I ask for a third child to which Chris readily agrees. So we go through Adoption Round #3. Somehow we end up in a kind of "baby born" type situation where we have to take this little one...who once again turns out to be a boy. I decide that the Universe is telling me that it's boys for me. 

So we go to get this little guy. He's so tiny. We're not really ready for a newborn again (in the dream the older boys are like 7 and 5) and so we scramble to kind of get stuff ready. Don't even have a name for the little guy when we bring him home so we just keep calling him "The Baby." 

On Day 3 of The Baby being with us I go in to check on him in the morning because he hasn't been crying.  Just want to see if he's still sleeping. He looks really big to me. More like a 10 month old baby than the little newborn that came home with us just a few days ago. His eyes are open. So I pick him up and am shocked at how much he weighs. It's impossible that he's grown this much.

Then, suddenly, he SAYS something. It's muttered and indistinct, but I could swear that he actually spoke in English.

"What did you say?" I ask him.

His eyes turn to me and there is comprehension in them. I just about drop him back into the crib. He sees my shock and LAUGHS. 

"Omigod!" I shriek. "Who are you? What are you?"

He smiles broadly and there is something quite threatening in his eyes and his voice as he replies, "You'll figure it out."

I drop him in his crib and scream because it's then that I realize that our new son is possessed by a demon.

I wake up totally confused. It doesn't help that Chris is a away on business. So I am alone in our bed...bewildered and upset by this frightening dream. The cat wakes up and looks my way, but does nothing to assure me that it was just a dream and that all is fine. She just puts her head back down to slip back into her peaceful kitty sleep.

Damn cat.

Damn dream.

11 July 2010


All cruelty springs from weakness.
-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Cruelty is a tyrant that's always attended with fear.
-- Thomas Fuller 

Is the capacity for cruelty inherent in all of us?
-- Soledad O'Brien

Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody's business to interfere when they see it.
-- Anna Sewell  

I was the victim of bullying when I was growing up - elementary, middle and high school. Cruel children, adolescents and teens making it known that I was not welcome. 

Not accepted. 

Not acceptable. 

And making it known in cruel, public humiliating ways. There are events from my childhood that I have tried in vain to erase from my memory. Humiliations of which I will likely never speak or write ever again...but that remain burned into all of my cells.

Never understood it then and I don't understand it now...this need for and capacity to be cruel that some people possess. 

It's one thing to be stupid, thoughtless, careless...to hurt someone without meaning to. We've probably all done it at one time or another. Some of us actually recognizing our thoughtless hurting of others and attempting to make amends. Others too dumb or thoughtless to realize that they're inflicting pain.

But to be intentionally cruel. To inflict pain out of malice. With forethought.

This is a mystery to me.

A dear, dear friend is currently the victim of unspeakable cruelty. Her pain right now is unending. And so completely undeserved. 

I ache for her. 

And I am so incredibly angry at the cruel people who are inflicting this pain upon her. This torture. And it is not thoughtless hurt. It is with malice and intention and forethought.

It is so completely unfair.

08 July 2010

The waiting...

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

-- Tom Petty from "The Waiting"

I want to be patient and to let the events of our adoption unfold as they will on the timeline set out by the divine mystery of the Universe. Instead (and unfortunately) I seem to be leaning in the direction of impatience - and restlessness. 

"Is this really going to happen?" I ask myself...as each day passes with no news... as the waiting continues...wondering if we'll ever be a family.

In Buddhism, impatience and restlessness/worry falls into the category of the Five Hindrances - negative mental states that impede one's ability to be mindful. I'm embarrassed to say that it's been quite a while since I've listened to any Dharma talks or even cracked a page in any of my books about Buddhism. Between work, the flood, damage to the house, repairs to the house, putting the house back to rights, worry about the adoption, trying to lose weight, blah, blah, blah...I guess that I let life get in the way of my studies.

And in the way of being mindful.

So here I am feeling anxious and worried. Impatient and restless.


Gil Fronsdal, in The Issue at Hand, writes the following about patience:

When we recognize that clear-seeing, peace, compassion and love are quite different from, even incompatible with, compulsive behaviors and reactions, the value of patience becomes apparent. Patience entails choosing not to respond reactively. It provides tremendous support for mindfulness practice. Perseverance, patience under insult and acceptance of truth are three traditional facets of patience that give strength to mindfulness.

The patience of perseverance, through a gentle and steady effort, keeps us from succumbing to doubt, discouragement and fear.

I want to be patient. I want to listen to Gil. To practice patience and perseverance. To trust in the Universe, be in the moment and not let myself succumb further to doubt and discouragement.

Really, I do.

But...the waiting really is the hardest part.

03 July 2010

It's complicated...

In a recent post  - Done -  I wrote the following:

Genuinely wanted to (and still want to) understand how Chris and I can make our adoption the best it can be - not just for us, but for the child we will raise and the parents of that child.

Another blogger, Mei Ling,  had this to say about what I wrote:

I think the very issue with this (in the solely anti-adoption POV) is that adoption is not "the best" thing and can never be "the best" thing because it relies on the worst case scenario already having come to fruition. 

As always, I want to thank Mei Ling for visiting and taking the time to comment. Even though we come from different places in the adoption triad, she has visited in the past and been someone who has engaged in thoughtful and respectful dialogue.

In response to your comment, Mei Ling, I say: You're right.

Adoption isn't "the best" thing because it does rely on the worst case scenario coming to fruition.

The very best thing would be that all babies are born healthy, get to stay with their families and grow up in their cultures/places of birth with all of their biological relatives.


I actually have a whole different version of this post in which I describe the "in an ideal world" scenarios and all of the things that wouldn't happen in regards to children and their natural parents. And in that version of the post I write about how I came to the world of adoption - my "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans" story.

But I've opted not to post that version because...well, because I've just run out of energy for trying to tell my story and have it make sense. I've run out of steam in regards to feeling like I have to defend myself about our adoption.

So, you're right, Mei Ling. Adoption isn't the best.

Adoption is complicated.

It's a complicated solution to building families in a messy, complicated, and entirely imperfect world. It's a whole world unto itself that involves love/loss/gain/sadness/joy/regret/hope/anger. It's about the haves/the have nots/the frightened/the powerful/the manipulators/the manipulated. It's about children. It's about children and their parents. It's about children and first parents and adopted parents - and the complicated, messy and imperfect relationships that they must navigate throughout their lives.

If it wasn't complicated, I don't think that I would have started this blog to process the experience for myself and for the people who choose to share my story with me. If you've read this blog, you'll hopefully recognize that I am aware that adoption isn't all rainbows and kittens.

However, having a family via adoption is my imperfect reality. And the best that I can do is to make every effort possible to make our particular adoption the best that it can be in its very imperfect, complicated form for the child we will raise, for ourselves and for our child's first parents. 

02 July 2010

Still here...and technology

Radio silence...hmmm.

I've been off the grid because we went on vacation last week to Maine and New Hampshire where I unplugged (well, mostly...I did have my phone with me for text messaging a friend who was having a hard time while we were away) and didn't look at a computer, the news, TV, etc. for four whole days.

It was heaven.

Not that I don't love my blog and FB and all of the other technological wonders that make life easier.

But I am a person who, before I got married, didn't actually own a computer. Or a television. I listened to the radio at home, did my e-mail correspondence at work or headed to my college library to use the computer lab after work, and when I was feeling the need for entertainment I took a book to my favorite coffee house where I would hang out and watch the world go by for a few hours...sometimes by myself, but more often than not with coffee house friends who would sidle up to my table.

Who needed technology to have  a good life?

Now, of course, I'm married to Mr. Techno Guy and am surrounded by technology - all of which I have come to greatly appreciate, although none of it would I have were it left up to me.

A few years ago Chris comes home with a box under his arm and says with a huge grin, "I bought myself a birthday present."



"How much is THAT going to cost us each month?" I ask him, annoyed at yet another new piece of technology in our home and at the additional monthly expense. I mean, for God's sake, we already have a perfectly good VCR that is in great working condition! What the heck do we need with a DVR???

Chris ignores my annoyance and cheerfully gets us set up with the DVR.

I grumble about it for days (mostly to myself, but sometimes not...)

But then I discover the joy of watching a favorite show as it's recording while simultaneously recording another favorite show.

How did we ever survive with just a VCR player????

And so now I am addicted to our DVR.

Same goes with WiFi.

You would think the world was coming to an end the way I carry on when Chris announces that we need WiFi. What??? How much is that going cost us? Why is this necessary???

And who is now at this very moment sitting in the living room on her laptop utilizing the dreaded and totally unnecessary Wifi? Who is the person in the house that uses her computer in the bedroom, in the kitchen, on the deck?

Yep. That would be me.

I   L-O-V-E having WiFi...how it allows me to not be tethered to a desk when I use my computer.

Which brings me to the computer itself. I always had a desktop system, but when I decided to go back for Round 2 of grad school, Chris suggests that I get a laptop. I argue about the expense and all of the reasons that it's unnecessary, but we go to look at Mac Books and sure enough I leave the store with one (and a beaming husband) and now, of course, I can't imagine going back to a desk top system.


I'm  very slow- even reluctant - to accept new technology, but when I finally do I generally embrace it.

Still, that doesn't mean that I'm unwilling to live without it, particularly when we travel.

So, last weekend while we were hiking Mount Willard in the White Mountains and searching out as many waterfalls as we could find, I didn't miss the computer, the TV or the DVR at all. Even though I had my iPhone with me, I didn't bother to get online to check FB or my blog. Although I did get online a few times to look up things related to Maine and New Hampshire - mostly to check the weather for the next day so we could plot and plan our activities accordingly.

If I had to give up my computer and all of my life's current technological conveniences.. .I'd miss the online friends and visitors I've met through my blog, the ability to instant message with friends far away, reading my favorite blogs with the regularity that I do now, and the ability to record and watch a variety of television entertainment.

But last weekend reminded me of a time when I didn't rely so much on technology.

When I didn't feel the need to be tied to a computer or the TV.

Four days of being unplugged.

It was lovely.

This vacation made me realize that I need to unplug more. And not just when I'm on vacation. As much as I love blogging and Facebooking and e-mailing and all of the other technology stuff that I do, it truly is a great thing for one's mental health to sometimes just shut down and focus on being in the present moment.