Monday, February 27, 2006

More things that do NOT suck

1. After a week's stagnation on Weight Watchers, I have lost another pound. Woo-hoo! How I did this with my lunch of cheesecake and girl scout cookies on Friday I do not know.
2. Three good reads going on - "By the Seat of My Pants, True Tales of Travel and Misadventure", "Malpractice in Magoody" by Joan Hess, and "Shadows" by Edna Buchanan.
3. Christopher Moore, fabulous author extraordinaire, has a new book coming out on March 21, entitled, "A Dirty Job" - in time for my trip to Jamaica, which is thing that doesn't suck #4.
4. My trip to Jamaica, only 32 days away!!
5. I broke out of my mournful folksy bluegrass music rut that has been giving me solace all last week and through the weekend, and moved onto the angry music of Tori Amos and Eminem on the way to work this morning. (I think this is indictative of something, but, I'm not entirely sure what. And I'm not really angry about anything except my own stupidity - all I know is that my angry music made me feel pretty good.) (This does not mean that I am not keeping the bluegrass music close, though. You never know when you might need it.)
6. We are going to have our first face to face interview with our social worker on Thursday. One step closer to completed homestudy!
7. While I dropped our iron on the floor yesterday and it broke, it did NOT break the floor, nor did it land on my FOOT, so, I think it counts as a thing that doesn't suck.

Small Hearts Get Bruised Too

Last night I had to tell Gabriel that the "little boy with the cute face" (as he has been calling Dung) was not going to come to our house to live and be his little brother. He asked why, and I said that he was going to live with a different family and that they were still looking for the little boy or girl who would be "perfect" to be his little brother or sister.

Gabe buried his head in his pillow and cried for about five minutes. Then he asked if I could tell "the people who are keeping care of the orphans" that he would really like a "big brother". "Aren't there any kids who need a mommy and a daddy who want to be my big brother?"

Oh, this broke my heart all over again. Because, wow, I understood his sentiment. I am the oldest child of a cobbled together family of six children, and, let me tell you, growing up, the days that I longed to have a big brother or sister, instead of BEING the big sister, were MANY.

And the truth is that there are children who are "waiting children" who are older than Gabe. But our agency won't place them with a family that has not 'parented past this age' - meaning, the strong preference is to place such a child (who has usually been orphaned or abandoned by a birth family at an age where they have years of memories with that family) as the youngest child in an "experienced family." Which makes perfect sense to me and my husband. And I don't know that, at this point in our lives, my husband and are up to the challenge of these older waiting children. As an example, here is a description next to one such child from our agency:

"This handsome 10 ½ year old boy came into care when he was 8 ½ years old. A lot about his past is unknown, but he reports physical abuse and neglect. He has clubfoot of his left foot, and is missing the large toe on that foot, which he says his father cut off."

I know this child needs a loving family, and I desperately hope that there is a family out there who can bring comfort and care to this little boy. (And in fact, if you know someone who could do this, please let me know - I can direct them to the website.) But, I also know that I am not ready for this kind of challenge.

So, Gabe's not going to be getting a big brother, which is simply our agency's policy, one I understand and respect. And he's not getting the little brother he expected, either. And I know now not to show him any paperwork of any kind, until I know that the child is going to be mine. In retrospect I cannot believe I was stupid enough to show him the pictures in the first place, but, until that interview call, I truly believed the child was going to be ours.

Stupid Stupid Stupid...

Law Mommy

Friday, February 24, 2006


Oh. Dear. Lord.

Why do I feel like my life is mostly one long episode of the Lucille Ball show?

I really cannot believe what I have done now. You will not believe this.

I have managed to shut down all the men's restrooms on the top 3 floors of my building.

Yes, I am TOTALLY serious.

It seemed like an innocuous action at the time...

Yesterday, I was cleaning out the refrigarator in the kitchen/copy and fax room of our office. I had dish in the fridge that had six-day-old brisket from Smokey Bones in it. (Which, surprisingly enough, still looked edible. But, I was not about to eat six day old brisket, nor was I going to haul it home with me in my lunch box.)

(The reason I was doing something like cleaning the fridge when I am in fact paid to do things like foreclose on homes and get people divorced, is because I could not be trusted to handle any of those things yesterday, and, the fridge was gross.)

It seemed to me that the logical thing was to put the meat in the garbage disposal of the sink. (No, I don't know why there is a garbage disposal in a kitchen/copy room on the 22nd floor of an office building. But, it's there.)

Apparently...that was a bad move.

Because, apparently...this clogged the sink.

And, apparently, the clogged drain backed up into the men's room on our floor...and the floor above...and the floor below.

There is, reportedly, a disgusting "gray-upchuck-like-goo" now covering every sink in all three men's rooms.

And there is a man on his back with his feet against our copy machine, with his head under the sink, banging on our pipes and swearing.

And I must confess that there is a VERY BAD SMELL that is VAGUELY REMINISCENT of beef brisket wafting up from the sink area.

I don't know how I get myself in this situations. I really don't.

And I am NOT about to tell ANYBODY HERE that I was the one who put the beef brisket in the garbage disposal. No way.


The Sound of Two Hearts Broken, or, Badly Bruised

When the phone rang at 7:00 PM last night my heart jumped into my throat. And when a sad voice on the other side of the continent told me that, 'unfortunately, the committee matched him to another family,' I felt like someone had kicked me in the teeth.

I feel like my heart is broken. Well, maybe badly bruised... Can a heart have a hairline fracture? And as much as it hurt to feel my own pain, the look on my husband's face just before he buried his head in his hands made me ache.

A.S. (the waiting child coordinator) was very kind and I could tell she felt awful telling us that they had chosen another family. She said it was a matter of timing and where we were in the process and that we were a qualified family and that she hoped that we felt like we could keep working with the adoption agency.

I felt like an idiot because I started to cry and had to hand the phone to my husband.

She repeated to him that she knew this was painful, and that it was a loss for us, and that she hated having to tell a qualified family that a child went to another qualified family.

He asked her about another waiting child on the waiting child photolisting, and he said, 'it is worth our time to ask for that file or should we just wait until our social worker sends you our completed homestudy?

A.S. said that she could send us his (the other child's) file but that three other families had already asked for him and then she said, "maybe you don't want to put yourself through this again, and, if you wait until the homestudy is done, and I get a waiting child I think would fit your family, I will call you FIRST, before their picture goes on the website, and you will have about 7 days to decide if you are interested in the child. If you are, the child doesn't get presented to any other family."

So, that's what we decided to do. We aren't going to look at any more children until our homestudy is in L.A.'s (the coordinator of the Vietnam program) hands.

I am trying to tell myself that this is for the best Dung and that it is such a lucky day for that little boy, because he is going to family who will love him.

And I am trying to tell myself that this just means that there is another child who is meant to come home to my husband and I and Gabe, and that our agency will eventually find him/her for us.

I did tell her that we are definitely going with the Vietnam program, but, she said if she had a waiting child from a country other than Vietnam she would still present that child to us if she thought it would be a good match...

Feeling sad,
Law Mommy

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Unanswered Prayers

I have been sitting here thinking about the few times in my life when I have really wanted something and not gotten it.

Two of the biggest of them involve wanting dead men to show up and tell everyone that the accident or cancer scare was just a big misunderstanding and could we all just stop crying and maybe have some beers and some rice krispy treats and celebrate and listen to one of them play some bluegrass music on a very beloved banjo. But, dead men don't start breathing again, and, so, in the realm of things that I WANTED, and that were POSSIBLE, the two that stick out in my head are as follows:

1. a man named Tom
2. a job with a government agency that shall not be named

The man named Tom was my first college love and we were going to get married and have two children and live in a white house with green shutters and have an orange cat and a dachshund and live happily ever after. Until his mom told him he had to break up with me, and we spent the next six months hiding our relationship from the craziest woman in the state of Michigan. And then I put my foot down and told him that I was nothing to be ashamed of and that he was a 22 year old man who could date who he wanted. And I told him to choose. (Hoping he would choose me, of course.) And he grieved and he cried and grieved some more and then told me he couldn't choose. Weeks went by of this limbo. And so I put my foot down (I remember this sunny May day like it was yesterday) and I said, "then, I'm choosing. And I'm choosing ME. I am choosing to walk away from you and I hope to God you stand up to that woman and come and find me. " And I started to walk away and he grabbed me and picked me up and he kissed me like the end of a Humphrey Bogart movie, and tears poured down his face and he hugged me so hard I thought my ribs would break, and he said, "I'll come find you. I'll come find you when I can." And he turned and ran away from me, down a hill in an arboretum in Hillsdale, Michigan.

And I never saw him again. I wanted to. For months, maybe years, I wanted him to show up on my doorstep. (One time, a few weeks before we officially broke it off, he told me he would show up at my wedding like that scene The Graduate.) (For the record, he didn't, although my mother confessed later that she worried that he would.)

But, then, almost two years later, I met my husband. And then I knew - it was THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD that Tom was a wimp and couldn't leave his mother. Because I was MEANT TO BE with the man who is my husband. Fate did me a favor that day.

(I wondered for a decade what had happened to Tom. And when I found out, ten years to the day after that May day, I almost fell out of my chair. (It was so shocking because that guy was one of the kinkiest sons of bitches I ever met.) And the answer is, he became a Roman Catholic priest. Chew on that one for a minute or two...)

2. the job with the government agency that shall not be named.

I had three interviews for this job that I wanted, each one longer than the last, the final interview lasting three days in Washington D.C.

I desperately wanted the job, I could taste it I wanted it so bad. And I did not get it.

That was in January of 1999. Two years later, some horrible people flew some airplanes into some buildings and killed some 3000 people, some of them in the offices where I might have been, had I gotten that job. And some of the people who worked for that agency were blamed for the failures that led to those people flying those airplanes into those buildings, and GUESS WHO IS THE KIND OF PERSON who would never have forgiven herself for her own failures, had she been working for that agency, at that time? That's right. You guessed it. Me.

So, I am telling myself that the times when I have most wanted something that was truly POSSIBLE and it didn't happen, were blessings in disguise. Which is not to say they didn't break me heart at the time. It's just that in the long run, it was fortunate that I did not get that which I so desperately wanted.

That is all.

I still have not heard anything from our agency...but, I don't expect to hear anything for about an hour or two...

I probably should accept the fact

that I am more than a little tense today. And I feel like I cannot breathe or concentrate or finish a thought or advocate for my clients competently. Not today. Not on the day my heart gets broken. (See, isn't it a happy coincidence that I don't have to be in any court anywhere in this city today? Cause I would fully screw up.)

And I should probably consider my state of my mind before flying off the handle about my mother-in-law.

But, that would be rationale...

Do we "deserve" parenthood?

I made the mistake of asking my sister-in-law (who lives down the street from my mother-in-law) if my mother-in-law was "over" the shock of the news about our decision to adopt.

My sister-in-law was very quiet for a second.

She attempted to change the subject by bringing up the fact that the Loon Leaders (um, our in-laws) vacation to Las Vegas had been "messed up."

Yes, I'm sad for them on that front. It IS unfortunate that the plane was delayed and that it is snowing, and that, evidently, there was some kind of shooting at a casino.

Then she said, "she just thinks that he [my husband] 'deserves' another child of his OWN."

Not surprisingly, I turned the conversation back around to the shooting in the casino. While silently my blood boiled.

Does he? Does he "deserve" another child of his OWN?

Um, not withstanding that the child we adopt will be our OWN, in the sense that we are going to freaking fly halfway around the planet and wade through a river of red tape for the privelege of getting to CHOOSE him (or her) and make him (or her) our OWN - does anyone DESERVE biological children?

And why is it that it is my husband who "deserves" this and my BODY the vessle through which his just desserts should be delivered?

It may sound like I am angry with my husband right now, which is fully not true. I am angry with his FAMILY. Totally different.

I know a LOT of people who HAVE biological children who sure as shooting don't DESERVE them. Come to think of it, I understand that there are adoptive parents who don't DESERVE their children either. (These wretched folks for example: (I wish I could make that link look all pretty, but, I don't know how.)

And I know at least two women who I love like sisters who DESERVE (in my humble opinion) children and who are having a horrible time trying to get them. (And if I were handing out viable fetuses, I would certainly hand one to each of them LONG BEFORE I would put one in my own body.)

The fact remains that my husband and I have been BLESSED with a child, who we love and cherish, and I don't really know that the fact that he shares our genes has anything to do with how much we love him. And within the next 16 months we will be blessed with another child, who we will grow to love fiercly. And I know that this is so, because, I firmly believe, some mothers fall in love with their children immediately, and some mothers fall in love with their chidlren gradually, over time. And I know that I am firmly grounded in the second camp. And to paraphrase the woman who wrote The Girlfriends' Guide to Motherhood - "I would have been hard pressed to throw myself in front of a tricycle for my 2 week old baby, but, I would have thrown myself in front of an F-16 for my two year old." I KNOW how to fall in love with a child little by little and piece by piece. And call me crazy, but, I think that makes me a good candidate for adoption, since I don't have a CLUE what it means to love an infant the second it tears through my most private and delicate parts. BECAUSE THAT WAS NOT MY EXPERIENCE. I accept that it happens. But instant love was simply not on the delivery table with me.

My sisters do not share my dna - we were a thrown together Brady Bunch type family when we were all to young to remember much about anything - and the fact that my sisters do not share my dna does not make them any LESS my sisters, does it? Did I deserve a biological sister? Why? If I had had a biological sister, maybe I would not have been blessed with my two non-biological sisters. I would have missed out on them. That would have sucked.

Some families are born. And some families are chosen. And some families are blended bits of the born and the chosen. Why is that not okay?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Social Workers and Stuff

I've just gotten off the phone with the social worker who is going to be doing our homestudy. We have our homestudy visits set - one a week for the next three weeks.

And she is calling the social worker at our adoption agency to tell them what we have them set up. Apparently the social worker from the adoption agency called her today to ask if they knew of any reason why we would NOT get a positive homestudy. Thank goodness all our paperwork and fingerprints and reference letters were in!!

Reasons to NOT be depressed

When they call tomorrow to tell me that some other family is getting Dung, here are the following reasons I should NOT be depressed:

1. God is telling me that some other child is meant to be with my family
2. We will have more time to save up more money to pay for the referral and dossier fee
3. Perhaps this will put us at a point where we will be leaving for Vietnam for the as-yet-to-be-identified child next May or June, which would be perfect as far as timing goes.
4. If it takes us the full 16 months (average) from homestudy to referral to travel, I will be able to enjoy an entire school year of not having to drive anybody to the daycare center, and therefore Gabe and I can sleep in until 8:00 and put Gabe on the bus every morning at 8:50 AM.
5. Do you realize I could sleep a whole extra hour for a whole year if the above were true?
6. That's 365 extra hours of sleep.
7. That's like 15 DAYS of sleep. Extra! Bonus.
8. That might almost eliminate the sleep debt that is hanging around from Gabe's first three years of life.

Okay, so, I cannot really think of any others. But, FATE, TIME, MONEY and SLEEP are four good things to focus on tomorrow when that phone rings to break my damn heart.

The Dog

There is still a dog at my house.

Cats and husband have become downright hostile about this.

The dog keeps peeing on the carpet. (Hence the understandable hostility of husband.)

The cats have barely eaten anything in five days.

I really hope my mother gets backs from Little Rock soon...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Committee Meeting Date

I have just had an email from the social worker at our adoption agency. The agency will be making its decision regarding the placement of Dung on Thursday, February 23. She will be calling me Thursday evening to let me know the results.

Let’s just say I am on pins and needles.

I contemplated building a strange shrine involving Dung’s picture, a picture of my husband, Gabe and myself taken on Christmas Eve, a miniature book of the seven lucky gods of Japan, a “go-yen” Buddhist good luck piece, and my recently departed grandmother’s crucifix, but, I decided that was, um, WAY WEIRD, and probably sacrilegious on more than one front. Also, I decided that that would be asking God for something for MYSELF, rather than asking God for the right thing for that little boy. And that would be wrong.

So, I put the Christmas picture of my family into Dung’s file, and put the file back under the stack of Gabe’s board games, where it has been hiding since last Tuesday when I couldn’t look at it for fear of it setting off a crying jag.

It is HOPE that made me put the picture of my family into Dung’s file. HOPE that my family IS the best choice for Dung.

The mentor family that our agency matched me up with had this to say about allowing myself to get attached to a child who hasn’t been given to me: “Go ahead and become attached. If this child doesn’t go to you, he will go to another loving family and you can rejoice for him. And soon, if he is not yours, you will have another child to get excited about and attached to.”

Since there is nothing to do about the fact that I got attached, I will take her advice and just go with it.

My Girlfriend D. had something very good to say about this, too. She said that the 23rd of February is a good day, a day that brought V. (D’s daughter) into our lives. So, it is a lucky day – it will certainly be a lucky day for Dung – who is going to be matched to a family who will love and cherish him.

In other adoption news, I had the opportunity to meet with other adoptive families on Saturday morning at the Science Center. I met two moms of children adopted from China, who kindly shared their stories with me, and explained to me some of the red tape and headaches that I have in front of me, and have some beautiful children as proof that the red tape and headache are worth it. It was good for me to see some success stories - one of the moms had adopted a child with cleft lip and palate. He is three years old and just had his last surgery and is doing great. It was wonderful to see how attached he is to the mother who has only had him for six short months.

More soon,
Law Mommy

Six Years Ago At This Very Moment I was Screaming My Head Off

Six years ago, today, at 10:00 AM, life as I knew it completely came to an end, and a whole new life began, as my son made his way into our lives.

I looked at my little boy this morning, who had the audacity to wake up at 6:15 AM (a child who normally has to be physically pried out of bed at 7:45, because he stays up reading in his bed until god knows what time of night) (yes, I know that six year olds should not stay up reading until 11:00 PM, but, this is the compromise. He can read as long as he STAYS IN BED and LETS MOM AND DAD SLEEP. Otherwise, he tries to get OUT of bed and god only knows what he would do if we were asleep and he was wandering, stealthily, around the house. Rewire the vacuum cleaner or something.)

Anyway, I just cannot believe he is six. Happy Birthday to my not-so-much-a-baby boy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Extra kids and animals

I have had an extra child and an extra dog at my house since Thursday night.

I am not kidding when I say, the cats are pissed.

The extra child was my niece, T. I dropped her off with my sister-in-law's parents yesterday evening. Gabe seemed ready to go back to not having to share his entire life with his cousin.

Which is not to say that Gabe and T. are not great friends - they are. They were just SICK of eachother after being together for three days straight.

Apparently, my husband had quite a power struggle with T. at a McDonald's on Friday at lunch. (Don't ask me why the school where my husband teaches was closed on Friday, but, open today, President's Day. I have no answers.)

Anyway, T. wasn't going to eat because my husband had not ordered her hamburger WITHOUT KETCHUP. (Oh the humanity!!!)

She sat with her thumb in her mouth, twirling a piece of hair around her index finger and glaring at him for 10 minutes. (For those of you who know me personally, note the amazing power of genetics. This child twirls her hair EXACTLY the SAME WAY I do, and has since she had enough hair to start twirling. It's a bizarre niece/aunt connection.)

After 1o minutes, and after my husband switched out her top bun for his bottom bun (thus creating a burger with NO ketchup for T. and a burger with LOTS of ketchup for my husband), she relented and started taking miniscule bites, that eventually led to her consuming roughly half of the burger.

My husband was very tired by the time I got home on Friday. Also, my niece looked like someone had stuck her hand in a socket, because her hair was every-which-way, and no amount of coaxing with a brush, on either my husband or my part, did ANYTHING to make her hair look normal. She has long brown hair, and it stood at crazy angles all weekend.

Apparently my husband and I flunk "Preschool Girl Hair 101."

My brother and sister-in-law should be back from Canada this evening, so, let's just hope that they are able to do something about her head.

The dog is my mother's. It is a VERY small dog. MAYBE 5 pounds. It is a VERY OLD dog. It is a TINY, DECRIPIT and BARKLESS creature and, from the reaction of our two cats, you would think we had brought a FULL SIZE GERMAN SHEPHERD into our home.

Our big orange tomcat and our small black cat BOTH outweigh this dog by at least 7 pounds and 4 pounds. They coud TAKE this dog. Instead they are huddled under furniture, whimpering, and, evidently, on a hunger strike, since I haven't needed to refill their dish since the DOG arrived on Thursday. (No, the dog isn't eating their food. The dog cannot FIND food unless you put it under her nose.)

At any rate, hopefully this evening all will be back to normal at our house - T. is gone and reportedly the dog will be gone by dinner time.

What do you want to bet that the cats retaliate by staying up all night tonight singing feline arias while dancing on our heads?

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Well, I have finally received the last piece of paper that we need in order to proceed to the next step as far as our homestudy is concerned - our family doctor FINALLY returned our medical forms! This means we can proceed to the face to face interview portion of this process.

Also, yesterday, I received in the mail the copies of "Toddler Adoption: A Weaver's Craft" and "Adopting a Toddler: What Size Shoes Does She Wear" that I ordered from (Oooh - along with Racheael Ray's "365 No Repeats" recipe book. I love her. Well, let me re-phrase - I love her recipes, but, I can't watch her show on Food TV very often because her voice is kind of annoying.)

Anyway, the "what size shoes" book appears to be a basic "nuts and bolts" type book for things like:
1. what to pack for your adoption trip
2. how to child proof your home for a toddler
3. whether or not to change your adoptive child's name
4. whether to put your adopted toddler in a crib or a bed

It seems to be geared toward people who do not have another child in the home, which is fine. It will probably be good for me to re-think about some of those things. After all, I was trying to graduate from law school and study for the Bar Exam when Gabe was a toddler - it stands to reason I would have forgotten all kinds of those details.

Speaking of other children in the house, I thought I had lost my five year old this morning. I went into his room, and he did not appear to be in his bed, and I looked UNDER the bed, and he wasn't there either.

He was lying flat, upside down, at the bottom of the bed, under the comforter. I swear it just looked like an empty bed. (Now I understand what those investigators in Boston (in the British husband murder case) were saying when they said they didn't find the bodies of that woman and her 9 month old baby until a second search of the house, because the bed just looked like it wasn't made, not like there were two bodies in it.)

Okay, that's kind of a morbid comparison. Anyway, last weekend I bought Gabe a new bedroom set, that has a thick, poofy comforter, and that's what caused me to think there was no child in the bed. Fortunately, he was there. And not interested in getting up, as usual...

Not much else to report!


Wednesday, February 15, 2006


1. I am leaving for a week in Jamaica in 5 weeks and 4 days.
2. I am reading two good books - Turning Angel by Greg Iles and Predator by Patricia Cornwall
3. Gabe and I finally made it to the next level in Ty the Tiger 2 for Nintendo.
4. Oil of Olay in shower moisturizer - I don't know WHO invented this stuff, but, it rocks.

Have I mentioned

that I am still depressed? Because, yeah, I am. Yesterday evening I came home and Dung's file was sitting in the middle of my living room coffee table where we had left it on Monday evening. I snatched it up and stuffed it back into its FedEx envelope and hid it under a pile of Gabe's board games. I was going to throw it away but, I couldn't do it. I couldn't extinguish that tiny flame of hope that the committee will look at my family's file and say, "This IS the family. This IS Dung's family. Who cares if the other families already have homestudy's done, this child MUST go to this family."

Um...not. So, possibly, after they give us the bad news next week I will be able to bring myself to throw away the pictures of that little face and all his accompanying documentation.

I had lunch yesterday with one of my best Girlfriends, S. S. is on maternity leave with a 9 week old baby. (Kudos and mad props to my girl S. who has been faithfully pumping for NINE LONG WEEKS because her baby had a "weak suck" (possibly from being forcibly evicted from her mother with forceps because her fist was stuck in her mouth) and wouldn't nurse but has been getting pumped milk from her mom - THAT is dedication! I am pretty sure if I had had to pump and bottle feed I would have given up long before 9 weeks had passed.)

Anyway, S. had that deer-caught-in-the-headlights-ready-to-cry-haven't-had-more-than-4-consecutive-hours-of-sleep-in-two-months look on her face, and I am sure I had my "hopes-dashed" look on my face, so, we were good company. I promised her it would get better. She promised me some child would love to come and live at my house, so, it's all good...except that I ate a whole plate of garlic beef AND an eggroll - pretty much blowing weight watchers away for the day.

Anyway, today I am still sad, even after I talked to my mother, who had this wise thing to say, "The committee is still considering you - why are you sad NOW? And you should rewind 8 weeks to when you told me that every time you walked by the girl's clothes racks at the mall you stop and think about what you would dress your DAUGHTER in. Maybe this child isn't for you. Maybe you will get a son, but, maybe you will get a daughter. Maybe you should let yourself be open to the child this agency wants to place with you, and not anxious for a child that they DON'T want to place with you."

Why is everybody so much more level headed than me??

I should remind myself of SOME THINGS THAT DON'T SUCK. Maybe I need a new post for that...

Threatening letters

I got a nasty gram from my ob-gyn's office yesterday. It says, "If we do not receive PAYMENT IN FULL within 14 days we will take legal action." Then, it demanded that I pay or call to discuss a payment arrangement.

Then, it said, 'your total balance is: _______$5.00.'

Yes, $5.00.

They threatened to sue me over $5.00.

I'm thinking of calling and offering a payment plan in which I would send .50 every month for 10 months.

Considering that it would cost them $87.00 in court costs, I feel pretty confident they will not file a suit against me.

How could I defend myself if they did? "Your honor, I offered to send them .50 a month for 10 months! They are so unreasonable!"

Honestly, when I got the bill for $5.00 - it hardly seemed worth the effort of getting out the checkbook and finding a stamp. I mean, for $5.00, couldn't they ask me for it when I come in next time? Heck, I have an appointment next month!

I honestly think it probably COST THEM MORE THAN $5.00 to pay someone to type the letter, plus the .39 it cost them to mail it.

I probably should pay them, since the ob-gyn is partnered with my family doctor in the same medical complex, and they have the same billing, and I am even more convinced that my toe is broken and I probably should seek medical care. Which they might deny me - based on my delinquency.

"No ma'am. I will not look at your toe until you pay the other doctor for all his work on your coochee." Where would I be then? Up a river with a broken toe, I guess.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bat tales, part 2

After the man came out of my closet with the bat, he asked me to look at it.

Yes, he asked me to LOOK at the bat. He had it in a cotton sack.

He said, "if you don't see that I have it, you won't believe it is gone."

He had a point there.

So, I made my husband look. He confirmed, the sack contained one small brown bat.

Time went on. The next summer, my family left for a three day weekend at an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. (Cedar Point - best amusement park on the planet, just my two cents.) Anyway, when we returned, our mail shoot was wide open - we had one of those mail shoots that allows the postman to drop mail into the house. Anyway, it was open, and the flap opening into our foyer was open as well.

I noticed this, and it felt very ominous. I was worried. I was doubly worried when I found my voicemail was full of messages from our security company, alerting us to the fact that our alarm had gone off the night before.

Now, technically, our alarm should not be tripped by anything smaller than 40 pounds. (In retrospect, I suspect what happened is that the bat flew right up in FRONT of the motion detector, which was on the ceiling, which made the motion detector believe it was something much larger than it actually was.)

We looked around, but didn't see anything amiss, so, we assumed that the cats had somehow tripped the alarm. (Oh how foolish we were...)

I put Gabe (who was then four months old) in his crib and then I fell into bed to get some sleep. My husband came into our room and lay down for a second, and suddenly he jumped up and ran down the stairs.

After a few minutes I followed him, and he was opening and closing the basement door. Each time he close the basement door, I heard something "thwack" itself against the door.

(Evidently, my husband had seen the bat fly into our bedroom just after he laid down. I am grateful to this day that I didn't see it, I was lying on my stomach.)

Apparently the bat was throwing itself against the door and David was hoping he would knock the thing out with the door.

Eventually, the bat stopped hurling itself against the door, but it was not, as we had hoped, lying dead on the other side of the door.

Another call to Critter Gitters, another $75.00, and another peek at a small brown bat in a bag, and we were done with bat #2....

Not only am I depressed,

but, I think my toe is broken. I smacked my toe against our foot board on the middle of the night, when I was getting up to use the bathroom. It has gotten progressively more purple and there is a big purple bump sticking up from it. It hurts to walk and I had to wear a pair of slide on shoes to work today because my regular shoes hurt too much.

This is the last thing I need...


Neither David nor I feel like the interview went well last night.

Bottom line, our homestudy isn't done, and even though we have turned in all necessary paperwork for the homestudy, we haven't had the face to face interviews, and the fastest it will be done is four weeks from now.

There are two other families who have asked to be considered for Dung.

The social worker didn't come out and tell us that they were both farther along in terms of having their homestudy done, but, I think we both felt, from her tone, that we simply were behind the other two families and that we didn't have a chance in hell of being assigned to this child. She kept saying, "we will choose the family based on what is in the best interest of the child" - which makes perfect sense. And surely what is in this child's best interest is to come home as soon as possible. So, all things being equal, it would make sense to refer him to the family who will be able to bring him home soonest.

At the end of the interview, I said, "what I am hearing from you is that you don't think you will take us to committee to be considered for this child?" And then she stepped all over herself and said, "Oh no. That's not what I am saying at all, I'm glad you said something. No, I'll definitely present your family to the committee for consideration."

I also got the impression from her that the fact that I am not a stay at home mom might put us at a disadvantage against the other two families.

She didn't come out and SAY that. And she actually seemed to think that an ideal situation would be for us to receive our child in the summer (when my husband is a stay at home dad) and then I could take time off after the summer, which would give the child a lengthy period of home time...but, what are the odds of that happening for this summer - about nil. There is pretty much NO WAY we could get the paperwork done that quickly, and have the Vietnamese government approve it. NO WAY.

At any rate, she is going to call us next week to let us know when the committee will meet. But, my hopes for this child have pretty well been dashed, and it hurts. It hurts more than I expected.

All I can do is focus on the fact that I KNOW that there is a child out there who is waiting for my husband and I to come and get him or her. I wanted to believe it was this child. And I'm sad that it doesn't appear that is going to happen, but, I need to remain hopeful - our child is out there, somewhere.

Law Mommy

Monday, February 13, 2006


Not unsurprisingly, I cannot concentrate on work. Plus, it's my lunch hour. So, I thought I would share the story of "My Chiroptophobia" or, "why I am out-of-my-mind-terrified of bats".

(It may surprise you that fear of bats is chiroptophobia, while, batophobia is, unexpectedly, fear of being close to high buildings. And, it is probably very fortunate for me that I do not have batophobia, since I work in a very high building that is surrounded by several other very high buildings, and thus would not be able to go to work if I had such a fear. But I digress.)

I am not sure that my fear of bats really qualifies as a phobia, because I think of phobias as an irrational fear of something, and frankly I don't think that the fear of a MOUSE with WINGS is irrational. Call me crazy...

So, my fear of bats started in the summer of 1999.

I was pregnant with Gabe. (Duh. Who else would I have been pregnant with??) We were living in a beautiful Tudor style brick house complete with original hardwood floors, etc. - very charming. We had been living there for about 2 years and had not yet encountered "the bat problem."

Anyway, we were out late, visiting my sister and brother-in-law on the other side of town. When we came home, I noticed that the door opening onto our back porch was wide open. I wasn't upset about it, as the porch was screened in and the screen door was locked, and I assumed that we had left it open earlier in the day, so that cats could get on the porch to get some air. HOWEVER, there were MANY large holes in the screen of the porch - not big enough for a raccoon or anything, but, big enough, say, for a large mouse to crawl through. It didn't occur to me to think about that at the time, and I shooed our two cats back inside from the porch and we went to bed.

At 2:30 in the morning we were awoken by a sound. I really don't have any words to describe this noise. At first I thought our alarm system was going off. My husband and I were fumbling around, trying to find a light switch, and I could hear one of our cats scuffling frantically around on the floor with something. I began to think the cat had caught a mouse, and while that disturbed me, I wasn't freaked out. My husband found the light switch and flipped it on. The "screaking" noise got louder and I could see our big orange tomcat was holding something down with his left front paw and using his right front paw to beat the ever-living-crap out of whatever it was he had a hold of. My husband jumped off the bed to intervene, and tried to pull the cat away, at which point he exclaimed "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!" The cat took a swipe at the creature, which knocked the intruder into our bedroom closet, and my husband slammed the door of the closet shut. Then he ran into the hallway, grabbed a towel, rolled it up, and stuffed it under the closet door. During this time I had been screaming, 'what is it? what is it?' over and over like a hysterical idiot. While he stuffed the towel under the closet door, my husband said, 'it's a bat. holy shit, it's a bat.'

We barricaded the closet door with another towel, and then we left our bedroom and barricaded THAT door with yet another towel, and we went to sleep in the guest room. Well, we TRIED to sleep in the guest room. Neither of us actually slept much.

In the morning I called a variety of people, included the animal control department of the city. I was informed that animal control would not come to get any bats - only 'dangerous' animals. I told the city clerk that I felt like whatever was in my closet was pretty damn terrifying and didn't that qualify as "dangerous". She said "no". (I cannot imagine what animal control would come and fetch out of my house, if they wouldn't come get a bat. It's not like we have an alligator or mountain lion problem in northwest Ohio.)

I ended up calling a company called, 'Critter Gitters' - and I paid a man, armed with a several sticks and a mirror, $75 to open my bedroom closet. He came out 5 minutes later with the bat.

HE WAS COMPLETELY CALM. He said, "he was hiding in your purple dress."

(I am ashamed to admit that I never wore that purple dress again, and ultimately had to give it to GoodWill, because every time I tried to put it on, I remembered that the bat had been hiding in it, and it gave me the screaming heebie-jeebies.)

I have to get to a hearing in Municipal Court, so, I will have to finish this later.

Law Mommy

Interview Day

Today is the day of our telephone interview regarding Dung.

Both my husband and I were strangely tense yesterday and I finally asked Dave why he was so tense and he said, "I'm just going to be so sad if they tell us we're not getting that little boy."

So, I know I am not the only one in my house who feels attached to that child.

When my husband went for a run (have I mentioned before that I am married to an exercise enthusiast? Enthusiast is, in fact, an understatement...) I called my mom to ask her if she had any "gut feelings" about whether or not we would be chosen as this child's family.

(A word about my mother: she is a clergy person in the United Methodist church, and - she's a little bit psychic. I'm very serious. I'm not usually one to buy into that kind of thing, but, my mother has been able to predict things with weird accuracy. (Like the correct sex of every single one of her twelve grandchildren. She hasn't been wrong even ONCE.) I'm not sure if it's a fortune telling ability or incredibly intuitiveness (my mother is probably the most empathetic person I know), but, I tend to ask her what she thinks is going to happen and, most of the time, she is right.)

At any rate, I asked my mom if she had any thoughts about this little boy. She said, "well, I think he's coming home to you. But, that's mostly because I cannot even begin to imagine why the agency WOULDN'T choose your family. So, that's less of a 'gut feeling' and more of a logical conclusion."

Maybe she's right. Only time will tell.

(Can I tell you about one particularly weird day and my mother? I was a senior in high school, and I had tried to purchase an orange soda from the vending machine while I was leaving school. The vending machine was sold out of orange soda, and I was bummed about it. All the way home from school I was craving orange soda. When my mother walked in the door from work, she had A CAN OF ORANGE SODA she had purchased as she was leaving work. "I don't know WHY I bought this, she said. I don't even like orange soda." I'm telling you, that was just WEIRD. And it's the god's honest truth. And it's just one of many little instances that have led me to believe my mom has a weird insight into my life.)

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit anxious and nervous about tonight, so, the only thing I can think to do is to throw myself whole-heartedly into the pursuit of foreclosing on homes and ending marriages - so, I'm off to make everyone hate me some more...

Law Mommy

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Comment away

I realized while I was editing the settings of this blog, that I had comments restricted to only registered users. I have turned that off. So, now anyone should be able to comment. Of course, I may turn that back on again if I start getting lots of comments encouraging me to "try viagra" or explaining how to "enhance my breast size" - or telling me that I am a self-centered, thoughtless ego-maniac. But, we'll try this and see how it goes...

Law Mommy

Another small success at Weight Watchers

Well, I went to WW this morning, and for the FIFTH week in a row (a personal record of consecutive weight loss) I have lost at least a pound. This week 1.2 pounds. So, that's a total of six pounds. I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but, it's that "one day at a time, one pound at a time" philosphy I have to keep in mind.

I also got my "you lost 5 pounds" bookmark and gold-star sticker today. I was truly surprised at how jazzed I was about that silly sticker. Apparently, deep inside, I am still a five year old girl.

The woman who checked me in this morning was a tiny little woman, maybe 110 pounds, and I was looking at her and thinking, "wow, she is really small", and then I looked at her name tag, and it said, "I lost 118 pounds in 2002."


Can you imagine losing MORE THAN HALF OF YOUR BODY?

I have to think, that if this program can help this woman lose an ENTIRE PERSON, it should be able to help me lose 30 pounds.

Law Mommy

Friday, February 10, 2006

They Eat Bat There

One more thing, on the subject of Dung and on the subject of Vietnam.

Okay, more than one more thing.


No. I'M NOT KIDDING. I was reading this in the travel guide. "More adventurous diners can dine on bat or snake."

I'm trying to decide if I am horrified by this or if they are my heroes.

Because, well, let's just say that I have a history with bats.

And it's not good.

It would be an understatement for me to say that I am out-of-my-freaking-mind-completely-and-irrationally-terrified of BATS. (See, I had this beautiful house once, and I had to sell it's a long story. Maybe another time.)

So, anyway, apparently the Vietnamese have looked this at this devil creature, this flying mouse creature, and instead of running and hiding under the bed, they've thought about it and said, "Aha! Tasty snack!"

I have to respect that kind of thinking.

Not that, of course, would I be willing to EAT one. (Or snake for that matter. But, I don't find that shocking. I know people in the States who've eaten snake. And not just because they were hungry and it was the great depression or whatever.)

2. Back to the "ng" pronouced as "m"

In the same travel guide that advised me that I could dine on bat while in Vietnam, it was noted that the Vietnamese currency is the "dong".

Pronounced "dome".

Okay, so, put two and two together. If "dong" is prounced "dome", than it stands to reason that Dung is prounced "Dum".

So, let's all just say it together, one more time - IF THAT CHILD COMES HOME TO US - HIS NAME IS CHANGING.

That's all for now.

Law Mommy

I am a stalker freak

Our adoption agency has these "web forums" for families at all stages of the adoption process, and also for families who have already completed their adoption.

One of these web forums is for waiting child families and another is for Vietnam families.

I am HAUNTING these forums. I am HAUNTING these forums, scouring posts for any other parents who may have asked to be considered as a family for Dung.

Of course, he wouldn't be referred to as Dung on those forums, but, by a "number."

Anyway, I have to stop doing this. It's not healthy. I have no control over whether or not another family will be considered as a family for that little boy, and, as I have previously stated, it is not appropriate for me to want this child if there is a more suitable family out there!!!

So, I really I need to stop stalking other posters in the web forum!!

Nuff said.

Law Mommy

Maternal Guilt

It's probaby a good thing that my child is not lactose intolerant, because, for dinner last night he ate: a piece of sharp cheddar cheese, a container of yogurt, a glass of milk...and a banana. See, the fruit group was represented!! The fruit group was FULLY represented. Of course, the total absence of the bread group or meat group is noticeable...

But, if I recall anything from high school health class, don't cheese and milk form a complete amino acid chain? Isn't that almost a meat substitute???

Wait, no, it's not. It's cheese and EGG that form a complete protein. And Gabe - is not a big fan of eggs.

It's not like he's going to fall over in a stiff wind - but, getting protein into this kid is a challenge.

He DOES happily eat Morningstar Farms "chick" nuggets. And also fish sticks. Fish sticks have got to have some kind of protein-like substance in them, right?

He'll eat plain chicken if it's not on the bone...and broccoli. He happily eats broccoli if I put Lawry's season salt on it.

Not that I had any of these items for him yesterday evening, and I simply allowed him his festival o' dairy products, like a weak, lazy mother...sigh...the kid truly is a dairy junkie.

I'm not saying he's out on the corner trying to score a pint of Strawberry Quik, but, he probably would be if I let him cross the street by himself...

Oh...the evening gets worse...after dinner, while my husband was off engaged in the health benefits of teaching a yoga class - Gabe and I played two non-stop hours of Nintendo. Dear God, I am going to rot in mothering-hell. Does it count as quality parenting time if the parent is playing Nintendo with the child? Because, we were FULLY playing together. We are both addicted to that game machine...

Other maternal guilt is coming from the fact that he is turning six in 11 days and I have NOT even started planning a birthday party. Which, according to the Toys R Us birthday flyer we got in the mail LAST MONTH, I should have, apparently, started planning in DECEMBER. What kind of mother am I??

Obviously I have to hit the party supply store TONIGHT. And I am pretty sure that the party won't happen until a week or two after his birthday. We could have it on March 4, which is, technically, when he was DUE to arrive. So, that's enough of an excuse, right? RIGHT???

Oy vey...

Law Mommy

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What kind of person steals adoption books from the public library?

I went to the library yesterday afternoon in order to check out a book that has been recommended to me by both my agency and by a new group I have joined, here in my city, for parents who have adopted, or are trying to adopt, children from Asia. Mostly China, but, they do have a couple members who have adopted from Thailand and Vietnam.

Anyway, the book is called Toddler Adoption by Mary Hopkins-Best.

I checked on-line before I went over there, and the library computer system assured me that they had one copy, at one particular branch, and that it was "available."

Needless to say, it was not available, nor had it been checked out, ergo, the librarian, after looking with me on every shelf surrounding the shelf where it was supposed to be, concluded that it had "probably been stolen." Although he did comment that it was an unusual title to have been stolen - it is still in print, and the most common books that are stolen are those that are no longer in print but that are fetching high prices on ebay (for example, Vice President Cheney's wife's romance novel with a lesbian love scene in it - both library copies have been stolen.)

(No, I am not making that up. Go check ebay yourself if you don't believe me!)

Anyway, I was also hoping to get the Lonely Planet's Guide to Vietnamese phrases, which was checked out, along with the only Vietnamese language guide that the library has that was published after 1975.

So, I went home with a Fodor's Guide to Vietnam and a Vietnamese language book from 1969.


And this is coming from a person who speaks French and can hold her own in Japanese.

What I find mind boggling about Vietnamese, in my initial perusal of this book, which has obviously not been opened since that final helicopter left the top of the US Embassy in Saigon in 1975, is this:

The letters APPEAR to be roman letters, so, one would think that they would make recognizable sounds. But, um, they don't.

So, for example, a word that is written "ong" - is pronounced "om". Where on earth does "ng" make an "m" sound? The answer is, apparently, in Vietnam.

This is more confusing to me than an entirely separate alphabet, because I don't have any preconceived notions about a separate alphabet. You could tell me that the symbol for the artist formerly and now currently known as prince is pronounced "sh" in such and such alphabet and I would accept that without question.

But tell me that "ng" is pronounced "m"???

This is going to be a long hard road, I tell you...

Anyway, I ordered the Toddler Adoption book and another book about adopting toddler from yesterday, and I am hoping they arrive by Friday or Saturday, so that I can speak about them with reasonable intelligence when our agency calls to talk to us on Monday.

Well, I have to go foreclose on some houses this morning (I am EVERYONE'S favorite lawyer) - so, that's all for now.

Law Mommy

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Another step...

Apparently we answered some of the written questions we answered about Dung acceptably, because our agency is calling us on Monday (Feb. 13) - to talk to David and I about a possible match. Emphasis on POSSIBLE.

We are supposed to keep a whole hour open to have this conversation.

Again, the whole thing is a POSSIBILITY, because they may be interviewing other families too.

And if any of those other families have an advantage over us - for instance, if those parents taught English in Vietnam for a year, as opposed to us having taught English in Japan for a year - well, you can be pretty sure that that family will get Dung.

Or, if they are of Vietnamese heritage, for example. Or any number of other things that might make another family more suitable.

So, again, I need to keep in mind that I should want what is best for Dung, and keep my mind open to the possibility that MY family might not be the BEST family for Dung.

And though my ego doesn't want to believe that MY FAMILY might not be the BEST family for him, I have to accept that it is possible that is the case.

And the BEST family for DUNG, is what DUNG deserves.

This is my mantra right now...

My Mother In Law

Last night my husband finally called to tell his parents about our decision to adopt a toddler.

Apparently, the conversation did not go well.

My husband described her as "crestfallen." He said, "she acted like I had just told her that we were going to sell Gabe to another family."

THEN she asked why we had not considered hiring a surrogate mother.


No, I am NOT making this up.

Of course she assumes that we are choosing adoption as a last resort. That we are making a "second best" decision. She cannot fathom that we are choosing this option.

THEN she wants to know why we won't adopt from the Ukraine or Russia or Poland. (I'm not really sure that American families adopt from Poland much, but, that's beside the point.)

Okay, I will give her one point here - my mother-in-law is Polish and my father-in-law is Ukranian. So, I am going to assume that the point she was making was that, if we were going to adopt a stranger's child, why not adopt one that shares an ethnic background with my husband, rather than assuming that she was trying to convince us to adopt a WHITE child.

Although it's possible that that may have been her point. But, in order for me to not want to strangle her, I am going to go with the "ethnic heritage" motivation.

It's not like this should come as a shock to her. We have brought it up in passing several times in the last three years.

Apparently she was hoping we were blowing smoke.

She has mentioned to my sister-in-law that she thinks it is selfish of me to not have another baby. SELFISH.

Heaven help us.

Law Mommy

Monday, February 06, 2006

4.8 pounds less than four weeks ago

I don't think I have the energy to post about Dung today. All I can say is this: I have turned in every piece of paper, and answered every question asked of me, and now it is up to them to decide if Dung is coming home to our family or not. And if the decision is no, it only means that they will look for a child who is a better fit for our family.

That seems like such a huge "if" that I cannot really think about it right now. We answered honestly. That's all we can do. Our priest, Father Paul, had some words of advice for me about it yesterday, which were: "You must pray. You must pray alot. And what you must pray for is this - that God will bring to that child the RIGHT family for that child. You must not ask for what you want, you must listen and hear what God is saying to you. If you are meant to be this child's mother, he will come to you. But, if another mother is meant to be this child's mother, he will go to her. You need to be at peace with that."

He is so calm and level headed.

I wish I could be. He is right. I know he is right. And if some other mother is going to raise my Dung, so be it.

Moving on, I have now lost 4.8 pounds on weight watchers. This is an average of 1.2 pounds per week.

Which doesn't, at first, feel like a huge accomplishment. However, if I can keep up this level of accomplishment for 12 more weeks, I will have lost 19 pounds. And if I keep it up for six months, I will have lost nearly 30 pounds. If I do that, I will be back to the size I was in COLLEGE. And, I have to say, I think I looked pretty damn fine at that weight.

So, six months of losing 1.2 pounds per week. I can do it. I CAN DO IT.

Besides, thinking about counting points gives me something to concentrate on while I am NOT thinking about adopting Dung. (Aside from the other topic which I use to occupy my mind, which is: how to get Gabe and I to the next level on Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 for Nintendo. Which, I am ashamed to say, sometimes occupies my mind when I should be thinking about really important things, like, my clients' divorces!!)

Friday, February 03, 2006

The meaning of Dung

And no, I don't mean the meaning of "dried poo"...

Okay, so, I know I said I wasn't going to get attached or become inconsolable or start thinking of him as mine...but, I do have to share just this one thing.

Dung means, "brave one".

And I am thinking that he must be really brave, because his favorite food, is apparently, "soya-curd with dried fishes". (That's verbatim from the file). And I am sorry, but you have got to be much braver than me to even CONTEMPLATE eating something called "soya-curd with dried fishes."

(Yes, I'm kidding.)

But, seriously, I know there must be a whole slew of acceptable names that mean "brave one".

So, IF Dung is the child for us...we will have options. Other than Dung.

Law Mommy

Dong was a TYPO

His name isn't Dong.

Are you ready? Are you fully prepared? Here goes...

The child's name is DUNG, okay? Dung.

I am sure that there are people who will absolutely find me to heinous human being for saying this, but, THE NAME IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE CHANGED.

I cannot allow my son to go through life with a name that sounds anything like the word we use for DRIED POOP.

Okay, here is the scary thing, and the thing I really need to push away from right now - I should not be allowing myself to think of Dung as "mine", or "my son" or "my boy" - because, even though his file is sitting here on my desk, and even though all the other lawyers in my office, and all the secretaries too, have oohed and cooed at what a cutie he is - I might not be allowed to have him.

Maybe another family will be deemed to be a "better match" for him. Maybe another family already has their homestudy done and they will be given him instead of us.

I need to NOT be attached to Dung.

Even though I cannot get his face out of my head.

Okay, three points to anyone who can figure out what "dung" means in Vietnamese...

Law Mommy

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I had an enlightening conversation with my adoption agency yesterday. Our case worker, A., basically told me, flat out, that China was not a good match for my husband and I.

I am inexplicably a little bit sad about this conversation, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's not as if she told me we weren't good candidates for adoption - what she said was, "you are a much better fit for our India or Vietnam program."

Her reasoning is that we have specifically stated that we are open to a child of either sex, and that we would prefer a child older than 24 months.

All children from India at 24 months, at a minimum, at the time of referral, and at least 30 months at placement. There is a real "need" for homes for the boys, in particular.

Apparently, people adopting from Asia and India are looking to adopt girls.

I have a couple theories about that, but, I will save them for another post, because I want to talk about my disappointment regarding the news about China, and I want to talk about Dong.

Before we had Gabe, my husband and I were watching 20/20 or Dateline - one of those news shows. They had a segment on China's orphanages, and the plight of girls who were in them.

After watching that program, my husband and I decided that we would try to adopt one of those girls. (Well, not necessarily one from the tv program, but, a girl in China.) We got the paperwork, but, at the time, we didn't have the financial resources necessary to proceed without going into debt. (And going into debt on anything other than a mortgage, is something we generally have not done.) We decided to try to get pregnant, and our contingency plan was that, if we weren't pregnant within six months, we would take out a loan for the China adoption.

Since we became pregnant immediately, we didn't exercise the contingency plan.

However, every time I went anywhere, and saw a family with an Asian daughter, I felt like my heartstrings were being pulled. I began to wonder if the daughter we had contemplated finding was waiting for me to come and bring her home.

I wish I could apologize to some of those families, who probably took my stares for judgmental bigotry - and while I wasn't being a bigot, I was coveting their daughters, which is probably almost as creepy and wrong.

So, I have this image in my head - an image in my head of my daughter, in a pink dress and black hair in two braids, and a thought - "this is my daughter".

So, I guess to be told that, essentially, any family who is open to the possibility of a boy (from anywhere other than China) is probably going to be given a boy, and that China is a bad fit, since most healthy children are placed by 24 months...I feel like my "daughter" has been taken away from me.

It's not the end of the world. It just makes me a little sad that child I had an image of, in my head, is not the child who will come to me. And we could change our application and say that we would take a younger child - but, in truth, that's not going to happen.

But, this brings me to Dong. Our case worker pointed out to me that there are several almost three year old boys in Vietnam, who are healthy, who were caught up in their government's temporary ban on adoptions to the US, and who need a loving family.

One of these children is Dong. (No, I am not making that up. That is actually the child's given name.)

Not withstanding the fact that if I want to bring this child to live with my family in Ohio and not get the crap kicked out of him by other children at school, his name is going to have to be changed, I am awaiting this child's information to come off my fax machine as we speak. A picture of him was made available to me in an email yesterday - and he looks, I kid you not, like my little boy.

I mean, his hair is black and he is Asian, but, the shape of his little face and his nose and his mouth - they are astonishly similar to my son's.

Isn't that bizarre?

And so I am sitting - waiting to find out if this child has the potential to be MY child. I'm trying hard to wrap my head around this idea, and coming to terms with what accepting this child could mean. It means there will be no daughter for me. But, it also means having a second son.

My husband is fully in favor of getting a boy. His rationalization for this - we know what to expect from a boy. We have boy clothes. We have boy toys. We have boy experience. We've done a good job with the boy we have, shouldn't we get another boy???

I don't know. His argument is sound and reasonable. I should also say that he would prefer to go through the India program. And it's not just because of his love for Vindaloo and Nan and samosas...he has correctly pointed out that we KNOW several Indian people. People who speak Hindi. People who would help us if we ran into a cultural issue. We don't know any Vietnamese people.

Which is not to say that he was not intrigued by the small face of Dong on the computer yesterday. Because he was. And he wants a child sooner rather than later. And Dong is available - he could be ours much sooner than an as yet to be identified Indian child....

I guess it all depends on what this fax has to say...about Dong.

Law Mommy

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