Sunday, March 30, 2008
We have a pregnant girl in our class, J, and she is really sweet and young. I can handle her for about 5 seconds and then I want to take my hands around her neck because she will go on and on and on about her pregnancy. It's all I can do to not poke my eyeballs out with dull pencils. It's me, I realize, totally me. She has every right to be happy, I'm just not at that place yet where pregnant women going on an on doesn't affect me. Yesterday, we sat down and started to unpack our materials when she announces " I'm having a boy".... here is how the conversation went.
Sadly, I have to incorporate one other person, sitting at the table, whom we shall call bitch face and this is how the convo rolled....
J: YAY - I'm having a Boy, which is great because my husbands family really wanted a boy and blah blah blah the nursery and blah blah blah my mom wants me to name him blah blah blah.
Kara: ( I couldn't handle hearing anymore) We are hoping for a boy as well, but will be happy to have a girl or one of each. (At this point, I'm thinking wow - I have something in common with a preg chick, this is kind of cool. We are both waiting for our children to arrive.)
J: Oh yeah, your adopting, right? Tell me more about it.
Kara: We are going through an agency that works with county foster care systems throughout the state . Eventually after the parents have given up their rights, we can then adopt the child that is placed with us. Our home study should be approved on April 18th and then we should have a placement by next December at the late- (interrupted by Bitch face)
Bitch face: OH MY GAAWWWWD. That has disaster written all over it. That is going to be a bad idea. Do YOU know what kind of kids are going through the foster care system. Your going to wind up with a crack baby that has developmental delays and you know they ALL have the problems their parent has. I have a friend who is facing criminal charges in Florida because her foster child blah blah blah. ( I completely tuned her out at this moment) but did hear something about "Your agency should be telling people the real side of the story.... All of these kids are train wrecks"
Kara: Well, our agency has required us to go to many classes to prepare us on how to be effective with this process. They have given us all of the information and prepared us well on what to expect and we have met families who have adopted through the foster care system and we realize what we are getting into. Ultimately, we are hoping to make a difference in the life of a child and finally have a child of our own.
Meanwhile J and others at the table (mouths dropped) look like they are at a tennis game, their heads bobbing from Bitch face to me and back again.
Bitch face: I don't think I could EVER be that idealistic....
Kara: (Eyebrows furrowed and laughing sarcastically) And your going into teaching????
At this point.... the instructor starts class. I can feel my face is beat red, you can read my face like a book. I have a difficult time hiding how I feel both verbally and physically.
Lunchtime came and went and everyone avoided "the topic" like the plague, working to keep the conversation to school related events.
At the last break I handed my friend "L" the poem about kids who are different, posted here, and both her and bitch face (who was sitting next to her) were asking me for copies and where I found it. I replied it was given to me by the agency we are working with. Bitch face slumped in her chair, squirming to get comfortable and I sat in my chair a little straighter, taller and with my head held high and proud.
Bitch face started in again on how I better get real prepared and how I must be crazy to take this on. I looked her dead in the eyes and said "This is the path we have to take in order to become parents because I'm infertile". She had no great comeback. HA.... She looked at me and mumbled something under her breath and got up from the table and walked away. Just like that, the bad energy left our table.
I turned and looked at Jill and said, with new found respect and sincerity, "I would love to know how you're decorating your nursery". She went on in detail and it's funny, when we first sat at the table I sat next to Jill and noticed she was rubbing her belly. I could feel my eyes roll in my head and thought I would not and could not subject myself to watching her do that all day long so I got up and moved, next to Bitch face. If I could have looked into my crystal ball I would have just kept the seat next to Jill, oh well. Mute point now, next time I will just go with my gut and you can bet your sweet a$$ I won't be sitting near Bitch face ever again. A message to bitch face - better watch your back in class next week - because I have good friends and after yesterday you have made some big enemies.
I learned much about this experience. I really wasn't ready to deal or face with any negativity about this until we got a child and figured it would be from some racist idiot because we are open to trans racial options. Point being, I need to prepared for this to happen again.
I have to admit, I was shocked. I haven't met anyone who was so against what we are doing. I was saddened and disappointed. Call me an Idealist. I believe in hope, change and making a difference in the lives of many children.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ultimately, I decided to change the background because when I posted pictures they looked very sheer and you could see the background through the picture. I know a little detail but it was really bugging the crap out of me so it's 86'd.
Ok - Enough screwing around with the blog.
I will have a book review posted sometime this week. I picked up "Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother" and plan on finishing it tonight (after homework and the latest episode of AB's No Reservations - the episode on in the background right now shows his return to Les Halles to work a double shift and yes, I'm counting down the minutes till I get the Last supper book).
We got a nice surprise today in the mail - our itinarary and plane tix to Cancun! Time to brush up on my espagnol and question myself, for the millionith time, why I took 3 years of French in High school instead of Spanish. This could be a whole other post.
Ok - Time for homework :-(
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Needless to say, this comment still sounds like nails across a chalkboard to me but I know this response is a knee jerk reaction and their way of saying "I'm sorry you can't get pregnant but if you do, wouldn't it be just gosh darn swell?" Sometimes I wonder... are they asking me this to see what I will say? My responses are usually polite though sometimes my dark sense of humor wants to come out and say something totally wicked evil like, Oh, I hope not, the doctor said if I were to get pregnant, I would probably die during the delivery ( OK, a bit macabre - but kind of funny), or Oh, we would give it up for adoption because we can really only afford one child or (and this is my favorite) - Well, after having sex on a scheduled time frame for the last few years, we've been driven to the brink of celibacy and have decided to become a celibate married couple. The last one might just make them turn and walk or run away. Truth be told, most of my responses that immediately come to mind are rude, cynical inappropriate and uncalled for but really tempting.
I couldn't take pix of it all but here are the potatoes
Next, scoop potato out of the jacket and put into bowl. Add ingredients starting with 2 tablespoons of Dean and Deluca stout ale mustard, 3 tablespoons of butter, green onions, sharp cheddar and some sour cream.
I decided one type wasn't enough for my fabulous mamacita. This kind was mixed with butter, Parmesan cheese, spinach and herb seasoning, roasted garlic sea salt and pepper.
This is what they look like, all assembled.
If I didn't have 9 million things going on I swear I would have made a desert by hand but this boxed product looked promising and I had some plans to top this bad boy with french vanilla coop whip and caramel sauce. Good in theory.
After the required baking time, I took the final product out of the oven to taste the middle and make sure it was cooked through. THIS HAPPENED. Hello huge hole? WTF???
I grew suspect, even though this desert was nearly hollow in the middle, could this desert possibly be undercooked? So, I decided to taste a corner. This is picure is only showing the first bite there were two more bites on this one particular corner, after this photo was taken.
We all sat around her, in complete envy.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
10 days ago we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. Because our anniversary was on a Monday and I have school that night, we went out the day before and had a fantastic dinner at a new restaurant - Blackwood Grill. This is a great new restaurant that made us feel like we were dining at a very hip eatery or perhaps at The Parker in Palm Springs. It was worth every dime and though our meal was quite lavish and rich tasting we left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Here are a few of our favorites....
This was actually a very frightening moment as the veil caught wind and I thought for sure that every strand of my hair was going to detach and fly away with my veil. Instead, Cean calmly told me that this was my Kodak moment and to go with the flow.
Me with my mom and dad. This photo represents such a happy and beautiful moment. Our wedding was really the wedding they never had and sadly, they separated a month later and then divorced.
I'm so tired (lazy) that I'm going to copy her rules list:
Step 2. Make a list of 5 things you have to get done this week, no matter how small. CHECK.
Step 3. Get 2 other people off their asses to get their shit in order. I will tag Ally & new blog friend Barb CHECK
#1 - Get more than 5 hours of sleep. The last 3 nights have seen me burning the 1:00 AM oil and I'm deliriously tired.
No need to post a pic, use your imagination.
#2 - Post wedding pics and write about our anniversary -
#3 - Clean up crap in kitchen and extra bedroom
This will be the location of where 6 people will dine Saturday evening. Hmmm, maybe I need to get off the computer and get cleaning.
Our future child's room, complete with computer monitor from 1998. I'm actually taking it to Goodwill tomorrow.
#4 - Put together menu for mom's birthday dinner party Saturday night
This will be fun, I will take my time and have a full report for y'all. My mom is really phenomenal, she gives unabashedly and so graciously. Here is a picture of my beautiful mom and darling niece, Ella. Happy Birthday Mom!#5 - Take puppies to vet tomorrow
Shhhh, Don't tell anyone but I have yet to license my pups. YIKES, this has to be done as part of the fost/adopt process. Dogs must be licenced and have updated shots.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Be sure to hit City Bakery in Brentwood for lunch, while you are in the area - you won't be dissapointed. Eat a chocolate chip cookie for me!
A man, obviously, has no reproductive capabilities (another one of God's cruel jokes) yet I swear they are still bitchy and whiny every now and again. I have one at home right now and though I love my sweet DH he is on a five day "bugging the holy crap out of me" streak.
Let me list the incidents that have led to this post...
- As referenced in an earlier post, we bickered the entire way to our Sat AM fost/adopt meeting until we got coffee and my God, if it wasn't over the most stupid things. So stupid, I cannot recall any of them at this point.
- Sunday - Couldn't find his other green sock and swore that I knew where it was and I had concocted a conspiracy against him with that sock and all of the others that are MIA.
- Monday - Completely cranky, McCrankster cranky pants for the whole 45 minutes we were together after I got home from school last night.
- Tuesday/Today - I showed a slight hint of interest in the I-phone tonight and he reminded me that I NEVER use my I-pod (slightly true, but seriously - I loose everything and I feel more comfortable using and thus leaving it at home). Then complained that I didn't give him a very good "Good- Night Kiss". Allllllllllrighty then.
I might be stressing a *little* bit right now with the final weeks of my first term coming to a close, projects are lining up left and right with deadlines right around the corner. Today, I felt a pain in my stomach I had not experienced since High school Senior year final exam week stressing.
Hopefully, Uncle Cranky pants (Aunt Flo's significant other) will bid us adieu and fond farewell leaving us to our happy home.
By the way, he is a super amazing man. Any guy that puts up with my crap on a daily basis, willingly( hmmm, I wonder if my parents send him a check each month -J/K) and has an amazing sensitive side ( he weeps freely and has a very caring nature). Since we have been married, he has written me a poem about how he felt when he met me, ran across a restaurant (ok, it was a small restaurant) to assist an elderly couple and has supported me through school, pursuing a life dream and held my hand while being super supportive throughout our whole IF process.
He is a really good guy and I'm a lucky girl.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Our final walk-thru to become a certified fost/adopt family will be April 18th. After this date, we can be called for a placement(child). Can you believe it??? I almost cannot believe it.
YAY - We are almost at the finish line.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY EVERYONE!!!! May the luck of the Irish be with you all year long!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Ok, enough whining from me.
The topics of these meetings are so in depth and to be discussing with complete strangers is awkward for about 10 seconds and then you are reminded that you are all in the same boat. This class dealt with trans-racial adoption which we are really open to. My step-mother and her family are first generation Vietnamese (Ironically, they have wondered aloud why we aren't going for International adoption- Vietnam, specifically), my mother has been in a relationship with a man who is of middle east descent/Muslim and grew up in the UK. My three closest friends are Hispanic/Latin American and Filipino/Hispanic. Yes, I think we are a diverse bunch. We have a very eclectic family so if the oppourtunity presents itself, we are very open to a trans-racial adoption.
At the beginning of the meeting we had to introduce ourselves and state whether or not we had any children (approx 1/2 of the group has adopted and were taking this class for re-certification). As couples went around the room, there was one real sweet couple that received a baby at 3 weeks and was now at 16 months old and going through the re-unification process. The reality of our situation hit me like a freight train. There is a true risk to what we are doing. Then the anger came down.....so people can abuse drugs/neglect their darlings and do other unspeakable things, we take their child and provide them a safe, loving and positive environment with a huge side of - you might have to give the child back to it's parents. This meeting reminded us both that we will wait until we can find a child whose parents have given or are really close to giving up their rights.
The highlight of the meeting was watching a great documentary/video about a couple who had three bio kids and then adopted 2 Korean children and then an African-American boy, Philip. Philip's sister (one of the bio kids) had 2 bio children and then adopted an Asian boy and an African-American boy. It was a really great story and showed how these parents really tried to give them as much of their heritage and background as possible with the resources they had, at that time and some of the experiences they encountered.
There is something draining yet invigorating about these classes. Yes, I realize I just completely contradicted myself.
So here we are, this is the homestretch. Only a few things left and then our home study will be complete:
Get cars checked
Complete first aid/CPR class
Have Sister-in law and mom get approved to watch child
Last required group meeting is 4/10
Purchase a crib/bed (perhaps one of those 3 in 1 deals)
Friday, March 14, 2008
Breakfast appetizer -a tropical fruit salad with all of the fruit flown in fresh from Hawaii, including the pineapple. The fruit over there is amazing.
Breakfast - Would start with a glass of fresh squeezed OJ and a fried egg cooked in bacon grease (cooked by my beautiful Grandma Franck) with Ina Garten's fried potatoes and bacon or ham , oh hell - it's my last meal so I'LL TAKE BOTH. Let's put Grandma Kitty's Olalaberrys and strawberries on the plate so there is some nutritional value to this meal.
Lunch appetizer - Salmon bisque from Robins in Cambria ( this was one of our favorite lunch spots when we lived up North).
While we are here on the Central Coast of CA, let's just continue north and visit Big Sur for lunch, Nepenthe sounds great. I'll start with the roasted beet salad, the Ambrosia burger and Nepenthe's unbelievable french fries. I'll have a glass of Bonny Doon's Pacific rim White Riesling with this fine meal.
Lunch desert: Bread pudding from Big Sky in San Luis Obispo and an eclair from a cafe in Paris with a beautiful cafe Au lait.
Nap time: Three words - Post Ranch Inn
Snack time: Two shredded Chicken tacos, rice, beans and chips and salsa from Javier's Catina in Laguna Beach.
Snack desert: Gelato from Italy, preferably Lemon.
Dinner: My mom's lobster salad accompanied by some bread from Bread and Cie, a Del Monico cut steak BBQ'd by my handsome husband, my dad's pork loin in plum/cherry reduction, let's throw in some ribs from The Salt Lick in Texas, and for some CA BBQ a pulled pork sandwhich with the crunchy and creamy coleslaw that rests atop from Mo's, mom's amazing mashed potatoes and baby carrots or fresh from the garden green beans sauteed in plugra butter with a glass of J. Lohr's Hilltop-2001.
Desert: Sachertorte, home-made chocolate chip cookies and godiva raspberry cordials and a glass of Tempernillo.
And lastly, a family ritual - if we are ever up late with my mom or dad we have this ritual of eating french fries at midnight. With this being my last meal and all, I'm going to have to go with the Pommes Frites at Les Halles. C'mon you thought I was going to talk about food porn and not mention Anthony Bourdain? Eating Fries at midnight usually only works when we are on vacation at some hotel and is a really cool thing to do while visiting Las Vegas or NYC - cities that allow late night snacking/eating/dining. Let's consider it a nod to my youth, BFF Jules even named her blog after this habit of a sweet or salty late night snack turned ritual we started way back in High school.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
When we started our IF adventure/journey/process I decided to update friends and family members by creating a Carepage. I was introduced to Carepage from a really good friend Margaret who would send updates on her mother's courageous battle for her life against Leukemia. The carepage system is great and in a way it's like blogging for dummies. I was happy with it but when BFF Jules decided to start her blog I discovered that I really liked this outlet of communication.
There are things I liked about the Carepage, with very few dislikes. I suppose it represented our IF process from beginning to the point we decided to do the Fost/adopt. So, in January, when we started the Fost/adopt process I announced I was going to delete my carepage. Every time I went to delete the thing I just couldn't do it. It was a piece of me, I created it and devoted so much time and effort and when it came right down to it - I.could.not. do. it.
TODAY I DID IT!!!! I deleted it and it's done. I think it is closure that has been a long time coming. It was very cathartic and now I feel a sense of peace.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
The good - Seeing my nephew tonight with his big, happy smile and spending time with my mom.
Observing a SPED class for the first time.
Got the DMV out of the way ( I know, if the DMV is on the good part, what the hell is the bad and the ugly on this fine list going to contain) - required info for Agency. Also, knocked out all kinds of paperwork and forms that are required. Today, D finished alot of the household requirements - lock up toxin's, put tot locks on cupboards.YAY.
We got our passports for CANCUN - we can now leave the country anytime we want.
Staying up late and updating my blog instead of doing homework.
The bad -
Trying on a bridesmaid dress that I had to squeeze into and wondering how long it will take for me to faint due to dress constricting my lung capacity to inhale or exhale. I'll be calling David's Bridal in the morning to see if they have the next size up. BTW, wedding is next Sat and I still have to get it altered.
Taking car to EZ lube yesterday and then finding out today on the way to our Fost/Adopt required class that the mother flowers decided to not bolt some piece of plastic that holds the oil pan in the car which caused us to miss said meeting. URGHHHH. I HATE EZ LUBE. The really weird thing was that D and I both had a "feeling" that something weird was going to happen sometime today. We can reschedule the class and are happy that we are safe and sound.
Seeing co-worker who was expecting same time I was with new baby in tow.
Going to 2 funerals within the last week for two women who were very different from one another but had profound influence in my life. The first was my cousin's beautiful wife who passed way too young of cancer. Second, was the grandmother of a really good friend of mine,Regina. She was 92, so hospitable and kind hearted. She also had a cool sense of humor, she loved Halloween and just this last year went as a nun.
The Ugly -
D got a tattoo (years ago) and when we first started IF treatments at Kaiser they told us that he had at one time been exposed to Hep C (more than likely from the needle at the tattoo place), because his blood work showed the exposure it ruled out our choice of going with IVF or IUI.
We go to get the results of our physical on Friday and the doctor tells D that while Hep C is appearing on the blood screen, it shows up in the form that his body has created antibody for it. He adds, he is puzzled at why our RE had told us that we cannot due IVF or IUI because the antibodies for Hep C would be good for any fetus and that this was detected by a new piece of equipment at Kaiser.
HOLY FRIGGIN SHIT - Are you even kidding me right now? I called RE who was out of state (of course) on Friday so I will wait to speak with her on Monday. Not that this will change our direction, but it was really like picking a scab that was almost completely healed and boy was that sucker bleeding. To take away someones choice to become a parent, I could not think of something worse.
We continually talk about our fost/adopt progress with my brother and sister in law and our nephew hears alot of it. My sister in law has graciously offered to baby sit for us, once a child is placed with us. We want to prepare my newphew with as much age appropriate information as possible. How does one explain adoption to a four year old? Here is the latest attempt at explaining it:
Auntie: C, how are your chicken fingers?
C: Good. Auntie, is there a baby in your belly still? (At this point, I'm thinking - OK I know these pants make me look fat but, really?)
Auntie: (eyes welling up with tears) No sweetie, remember the baby went up to Heaven and is with Grandma Kitty. Now the baby is an angel, watching over us. Remember? (We've had this convo a few times now).
C: Oh yeah.... But now you are going to find a baby right?
Auntie: Well, we have to put our name on a list and wait for a phone call, it could take a long time.
C: What about the babies mommy and daddy? Won't they miss their baby?
Auntie: Well, they might be too sick to take care of the baby so that is why we are going to help them.
At this point his attention span changed and we were onto something else.
A little background, we discovered we were pregnant a week before Mother's Day last year and planned to announce our big news after we surprised our Mom's first on Mother's Day. The Thursday before we were out to dinner with my Dad, brother, sister in law, niece and nephew and decided that we would tell our Nephew to tell Papa (my Dad) that Auntie is going to have a baby. Our nephew did a great job and tears were flowing. Apparently, he still remembers that moment as well. Poor guy must be so confused, he must be thinking- when is that bun coming out of the oven? That evening is a great memory for me reminds me of the happiness I felt during the short time I was pregnant.
The rest of that time is like a bad dream that I keep hoping to wake up from.
Monday, March 3, 2008
First, they aren't shy about the possibility of developmental delay or babies born addicted to illegal substances. You could see the look of shock and horror on everyone's face. I could see where the speaker was going and rightfully so, I think they want to make it sound horrible so they can get rid of the folks who are wussies. There was a prospective parent who also happened to be a therapist and reminded the speaker that not all babies who are born addicted will become addicted as adults, become pregnant as teenagers or turn to crime. I would agree, I believe there is a certain amount of "organic" influence in our life but mostly, I believe, it is the environment in which the child grows in that determines their eventual outcome.
We watched several videos on the foster care system and went through several psychological exercises as well as guided meditation. The speaker announced that we were one of the most sensitive, smart and positive groups she has ever interacted with and we were going to receive a special surprise. I stated out loud - ARE WE GETTING OUR KIDS NOW??? The room busted out in laughter, who says pain and humor aren't related? The surprise was a family who came in and shared their experience and their kids (all 3 of them) who were absolutely adorable We left drained physically but emotionally excited. At the close of the day on Saturday, there were hand-made quilts given to each couple and they were made by some ladies at a local senior -center. I was overwhelmed with emotion and it was all I could do to not just fall apart, at that very moment.
Sunday found us beyond tired and racing through Star-million-bucks (Duane's nickname and trust me he loathes corporate -anything so getting him to go was a huge ordeal) ordering Venti super duper caffeinated, non-fat, mocha-latte thingy's to help keep us awake. It wasn't the material or the speakers - it was us. So on Sunday, they were determined to make me shed a few more tears. Call it shear exhaustion or PMS'ing but at the close of Sunday evening, we were given the cutest teddy bears ever..... Overwhelmed.
I feel like we really bonded with the other couples and some of the ladies who were doing this process on their own. This week we will get our physicals (OK, who's singing Olivia Newton John with me???) vehicle inspections, schedule our First Aid/CPR class and gear up for our next set of classes this coming weekend.
I've attached photos of the blankie and bear.
The print on the blanket has animals dressed in medical garb (visiting the vet?)
Cute little bear
Saturday, March 1, 2008
More to post tomorrow...
Kids Who Are Different
Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids who don't always get A's,
The kids who have ears twice the size of their peers,
And noses that go on for days...
Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids they call crazy of dumb,
The kids who don't fit, with the guts and the grit,
Who dance to a different drum...
Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids with a mischievous streak,
For when they have grown, as history has shown,
It's their difference that makes them unique
Digby Wolfe, 1982