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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nepal urged to continue suspension...

Click here to read the latest from the BBC website.

And click here to read a similar article from eKantipur.

Still no news on who the new Minister of Women and Children will be. This was the latest article on Nepali cabinet appointments and this position was not mentioned.

The unrest continues.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hugs and Kisses

Ok, so some of you are worried about me jumping off the Sears Tower or the nearest bridge because frequently my posts are not full of pixie dust and giggles. Let me just say that

A. I am afraid of heights so jumping off of anything higher than a stepladder would not be my first choice of exiting this world

B. Off-ing myself will not go over too well on the home-study report. They frown on that.

C. I am not one to suffer alone or quietly so therefore

D. Blogging has helped me put into words the frustration of the past four years of my life and the continuing frustration that I feel everytime I let myself think about the upcoming months, (years?) of waiting still left to go. Oh, and the fact that we are moving to another (VERY COLD) state in the middle of this.

So, thank you first of all for your concern and for your kind words. Really. This is a non-sarcastic moment we're having here and I would like to bask in that for a short while. I do love getting feedback on what I write especially since I am crazy-busy with the move details and therefore do not see my friends that often. It will be even more important I suspect once we are actually in Chicago and I really don't have anyone there to talk to!

In order to continue with the warm fuzzies, here is a picture of the latest harvest from our garden yesterday:

I have managed to save some tomatoes from the evil, vile rodent but he is now starting to chew the plastic pots in an effort to strip bare our plants. Have I mentioned how much I hate this varmint?....aah, but I digress...where were we?

Oh yes! I was busy spreading good cheer and shiny, happy feelings to all.

Have a most glorious, pixie dust filled day EVER!

Kisses.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Please wait

These were the words I saw yesterday while my computer downloaded the latest updates and then needed a complete reboot. I just sat there, staring at those two words, Please wait. Those two simple words seem to be defining my life.

I came to the realization (at around 2am today) that we will probably pass yet another Christmas without a child in our family. Even with a referral as soon as next month (yeeaaah, because that will happen), the time from referral to travel for Nepal is typically 2-3 months. On top of that, when we move to Chicago we will have to completely re-do our homestudy.

Hi Ms. "Please feel free to look in My Underwear Drawer", yes we would love nothing more than to speak to you for an entire weekend about our childhood dreams, our 3 year adventure with infertility treatments, whether or not I should work if we have a child, provide paperwork on how every penny is accounted for, and parse out why our 19+ year marriage is not in a shambles after this much scrutiny. No, we don't mind if you contact 5 of our friends and ask them (again) to write out (in duplicate) why we should be allowed to have a child (oh, and please have that notarized....in duplicate). No, I understand that if my uterus had only been exposed to crack when I was 14 and fooled around in the backseat of a car I would be allowed to ask for my baby back even if I initially agreed to an adoption plan. Unfortunately, I focused on my education and my career and my uterus and eggs decided that they no longer wanted to cooperate with each other. Bitter? What makes you say that? I'm just overjoyed (what's that? no, the tears are tears of joy) to be re-doing massive amounts of paperwork and submitting to the equivalent of another ride on the Stirrup Pony and his sidekick the Wand Monkey while my husband watches and to pay you for the priveledge. No, really, it is delightful to meet you, would you like to rummage through our closets now or at the end of the weekend?

And thanks to Homeland Security we will now have to file all new forms (the I-600A and the I-171 have now been replaced with the I-800, complete with higher fees, natch), be re-re-fingerprinted, and have both criminal and child abuse background checks for every state we've lived in since we were 18. I know I feel safer. Boy, those terrorists are going to have to figure out another way of getting into this country because it won't be in the arms of an adoptive parent.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A small taste of Nepal from someone else's spoon

We joined nchild last year when we were hoping to apply to Nepal to adopt. This is a yahoo group of people who have/are/are going to adopt from Nepal. As I mentioned in past posts, there were a lot of families in limbo when the government of Nepal closed down last year. One family is now over there picking up their now 2 year old daughter. Here is an excerpt of their current adventure:

As I mentioned in my earlier post, TJ, my husband, is in Nepal now. I was thinking of some of the people out there in nchild cyberland we have gotten to know, either in person or by email, and thought I would post a link to some of the photos TJ has taken in Nepal. There are three photos of Aakriti at the moment, and several of other children and didis in her home (SSN: Sahayogi Samoj Nepal). The photos are quite lovely. He will be uploading a bunch more in the next day or so. Incidentally, TJ went for the high end, spoil yourself hotel this time, Dwarik's. He says it's the nicest hotel he has stayed at. Not close to Thamel, but convenient to SSN, and we were feeling a bit done with Thamel after the prior trips in any case.

Click here to see the photos she mentioned above.

In other news, eight Ministers — belonging to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) — took the oath of office on Friday for the new Cabinet. I noticed that the Minister on the website for the Ministry of Women and Children is no longer listed. According to the Nepal papers, that spot has been given to a "fringe" party and will be announced next week along with many other smaller appointments when the PM returns from Beijing. I guess it is not considered one of the major Ministries.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Agency Listing call ends

This is the latest news from the AdoptionNepal website this morning:

Kathmandu: The application registration for listing of International Adoption agencies ended today with reportedly 66 applications. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare had called international agencies for listing with a public notice on 6/23/08, the listing date was open for 60 days. More than 50% of applicants are from the U.S., 32 applications are from different countries doing international adoptions. The listing will be announced by the Gov. of Nepal within a week or two reportedly.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who wouldn't want to buy this house with a nursery like this?

Although I really didn't want to buy any furniture until we actually had a match with a baby, I have been trolling Craig's List just to see what's out there and compare the prices to new furniture. And then there it was. I found exactly what I had been looking for at a fabulous price. This goes against my better judgement (i.e. why buy the cage before you have the animal) but we jumped in and reserved a Zipcar truck and picked up a crib and bureau a few weeks ago from a really nice family in Kalorama. (yes, I did make sure the crib did not have any recalls, my two bachelor's degrees were not accomplished in vain...).

So here is the Room-Devoted-To-Someone-We-Don't-Know-Exists-Yet (and it's only put together because we are under the gun to show our house to potential families....nothing says home like a bare mattress and a crib in pieces in the corner )

Notice that we will expect our daughters to not only read Dr. Seuss (a given) but she will also be mastering the Harry Potter series, the James Herriot series, the Chronicles of Narnia and the complete works of Jane Austin. Is that too advanced for someone still in a crib??






These are blankets that my dad's wife Gloria made for us--beautiful!


She also made this hat, scarf and mittens (our daughter(s) will be very très chic in Chicago!)



And my niece Martine made this adorable fuzzy hat with beads.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend musings

It's been a busy weekend so far. We are working on getting our house ready to sell. I spent all of yesterday making the basement look spacious--i.e. clearing out a lot of junk we don't use/need. Why is it that when your house is the most livable and wonderful is when you are about to sell it?? FBH is working on the yard clearing out some weeds, trimming tree branches, etc. He is currently vacuuming under the deck and inside the shed...reminds me of his first visit to my parent's house.

When we pulled up into the driveway for that all-important first-visit-to-meet-the-parents, my mom was in the front yard, vacuuming the acorns out of the lawn. Len looked at me and was all is there something you should tell me, for example is your mother on release from the crazy hospital for the weekend? Later that afternoon, my dad told FBH to get on the roof and while you're at it, here carry this shop-vac up there with you. With the impression that this was just a hazing exercise to see if he would crack, FBH did as he was told and hoisted the shop-vac up the ladder and onto the roof and started vacuuming out the gutters. Much to his dismay, he looked around and not two houses down was another man, standing on his roof with a shop-vac, vacuuming out the gutters. I don't think FBH felt safe enough to drink the water in our town the whole weekend.

This zucchini came out of our garden this week.

This is one of the squirrels who finished polishing off several of our "almost ripe" tomatoes and is snoozing on our deck. I really hate that squirrel...after snapping his photo I went out screaming like a banshee with a pot and spoon. I must say I gained serious satisfaction seeing him bolt out of his post-tomato nap like a deer in the headlights. I hope I gave him indigestion.
And, as promised, here is the dresser and bookcase that I painted pink, orange and white. They've been done for a bit but I couldn't find the right drawer pulls. Len put them on yesterday so now they are done. I'll take a photo of the finished nursery (that will never see a child of ours) once we get it ready for the open house. At least it will look like a happy child lives here.
Isn't this doll so cute? My friend Kelly sent this to me for my birthday--I can't wait for our girls to play with her!

Friday we had a lovely dinner at Katherine and Don's place in Dupont. Katherine was nice enough to share her secret recipe for THE MOST FABULOUS DOLMADES ON THE PLANET. For anyone who has every suffered through a mushy, tasteless dolmade, I am sorry. Katherine's dolmades are the perfect blend of juicy but firm, very flavorful grape leaves. These are the vegetarian version (brown rice, pine nuts, etc). Ahhhh.....soooo goooood. Here is Katherine giving a demonstration of the proper rolling technique. Not too tight (we don't want any exploding grape leaves like the Seinfeld crepe rolling episode). Just click the arrow to get it to play.
video

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One giant sweating mass of humanity

That's what the brochure for Rehoboth Beach should proclaim.

Granted, it was a fabulously non-humid but warm and breezy Saturday, very un-August weather. I think everyone had the same idea we did..."wouldn't it be nice to go to the beach?"

In Florida, if everyone wants to go to the beach on Saturday, this is what I am used to seeing:

These were all taken 4th of July weekend last year; the first two in Crescent Beach near St. Augustine and the last one in Daytona Beach near the Boardwalk. Nice huh? Lots of space to walk, build a sand fortress, chill out.

THIS is what we had at Rehoboth Beach last weekend:




And this was my view to the beach from my 1 s.f. of sand:


Yeah. Sad.

Friday, August 8, 2008

You want me to live where?




We are moving.

To Chicago.

I thought it best to just rip off the bandage in one fell swoop and get to the particulars while your arm is still smarting.

My Fabulously Brilliant Husband (henceforth known as FBH) was called by his former employer to come back and write for their CEO. This is great news…except that the CEO happens to be in Chicago. Where it is cold. And windy. Usually at the same time.

FBH and I went to Chicago the end of June for a long weekend. While he was interviewing I spent my day riding the bus and the el and talking to people about neighborhoods. Of course, it was a nice warm weekend (read: misleading weather condition) so I was lulled into a false sense of security and immediately fell in love with the city... The Architecture! The Lake! The Food! The Music! The Shopping! Oh god, the Shopping!

As our friend Don said, “As a big city lover, I always thought it was a neat place and probably the only justification for living in the Midwest.”

We took an afternoon on the weekend and rode the el up to Evanston and decided that it was too suburban for us. We are hoping to find a place in the city. This person is on my Adopting-from-China Yahoo group and has the same LID month as us. Her blog is all about interesting things to do with your child in the city of Chicago. I’ve emailed her a few times and she has been great with recommendations for good neighborhoods.

What does this do to our impending adoptions? Yeah, that’s a good question. I have spoken with both of our agencies and for China anyway, it’s no big deal because our child is not even born yet so we have plenty of time to re-do the homestudy, fingerprints (because they may have changed when we crossed state lines), statement of income, work, yada yada, etc.

For Nepal, it will all depend on timing. If we can travel over there before anything dramatic happens with the sale of our house and our move into the new house, all will be well. If not, well then the Department of Homeland Security will need to be back in our bedroom for the body cavity search and statement of infertility (when you get your feet out of those stirrups, please have these notarized in duplicate).

FBH will start work in September and because his company has offices in DC he can work here for the most part until we move.

Just in time for winter.

Come January you will find me a desiccated husk, draped over the radiator with the cat wrapped around my neck like a stole.

In the meantime, Charis has her earmuffs already on and is hunkered under the down comforter.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The girl in the window

"The authorities had discovered the rarest and most pitiable of creatures: a feral child."

This is a story from the St. Petersburg Times about a young girl who was the victim of one of the worst cases of neglect you will ever read about. It's such an incredible story, and here you have both the best and worst parts of human nature laid out in technicolor: the mother who did this to her own daughter, and the family who was courageous enough to bring the girl into their lives. I've been sitting here riveted by this story trying to wrap my head around it all, and feeling really inspired by the generosity of strangers.

Danielle's birth mother did not want to give her up even though she had been charged with child abuse and faced 20 years in prison. So prosecutors offered a deal: If she waived her parental rights, they wouldn't send her to jail. She took the plea. She was given two years of house arrest, plus probation. And 100 hours of community service.

Uh.

Does this strike anybody as just a little, well...lenient?

So, the child cannot be adopted unless the crazy, abusive bio mother says ok?

Oh, it gets better.

After Danielle was taken away, Michelle (the bio mother) says, she tripped over a box at Wal-Mart and got in a car accident and couldn’t work anymore. In February, she went back to court and a judge waived her community service hours.

WAIVED HER COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS.

So, her daughter is permanently disabled (both emotionally and physically) and the mother is on probation until 2012.

Yeah, that sounds fair.

Meanwhile, in order to adopt from Nepal and China, Len and I have submitted to everything but a body cavity search (and if Homeland Security could find a way to make that a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY I'm sure it would be added to the list).

See also the video and audio component to the story.

And then go hug your kids.

I'm going to go cry in the corner for a bit.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Summer Garden



Our veggie/flower garden is flourishing! The first sunflower finally fully opened this morning! And the bees have found it. We've had a few tomatos but should have many more in the next couple of weeks. I think I may need to make a ton of pesto soon though--the basil is about 3' high. Happy weekend everyone.
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Friday, August 1, 2008

One Nepali step forward...

The families who had un-numbered files are now starting to get their TAs (Travel Approvals). This is a good sign as it means they are trying to get the families processed who have been matched with a child since before the country shut down.

Can you imagine?? One family was matched with a 7 month old last year. They have now received a number and TA and will travel next week. Their child is now a month away from her 2nd birthday....I think that would be MUCH worse than just waiting with your dossier and no child match...to see your specific child and know that she is sitting in an orphanage while you can do nothing to get her out. Wow. The only good news from that wait is that the orphanage did send regular updates and pictures and they were able to fly over there a few times to visit her.

In the meantime, the certifying of foreign agencies continues and will continue until the end of August. Starting in September, the hope is that they will open up to new dossiers (like ours).

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