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Archive for August, 2008

Ethio-poodle

Our house in the midst of a few remodels, we don’t have a referral, we have been working out long and hard with the TC Marathon approaching in about 6 weeks….

What could be the cure for this all?

Of course, the MN State Fair!!!!

I did not bring my camera this go round, but I assure you that I will go again and I have already identified some good shots to share with you non-MN’ers.

Until then, you can enjoy this shot of Matisse with his fair souvenir from the African market in the bazaar.Too bad he did not have this in time for the Olympics….

On another note, we ran into fellow adopters Arielle, Jonathan, & darling Eliav.  We were introduced briefly this winter at an Ethiopian event and we saw little Eliav then, but this just served as another remider that kids do grow up fast.  Although he was slung on his dad’s back, he appreared more a toddler than baby.  His eyelashes stretched to the moon.  We certainly meet some wonderful people in this process!

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Anonymity gone

This was my conversation with the cashier at a local grocery store that we used to frequent a few evenings past.

Cashier: Oh, hey, I have not seen you in a while.

Me: (glancing behind me to make sure I did not accidentally budge in front of someone) Who, me?

Cashier:  Yeah, you used to come in here with that guy who was always so nicely dressed.

Me: (Confirmed he is talking to me and referencing my ascot or pocket square sporting husband, awkwardly answering) You remember me?

Cashier: Well, some customers just stand out.

Me: (thinking that I must be really freaky looking to stand out in a popular grocery chain in a city of 3 million) Oh, yeah, we have been shopping online since the freeway construction began – this city is getting really hard to navigate (yes, I am partially lying but after he recognized me and I was a bit freaked out I could not tell him that we have been shopping online AND at their major competitor which is in fact closer to home).

Cashier: Oh, that’s too bad, I miss seeing some of my regulars.  The online business is snatching them away.

Me: (insert awkward giggle) Yeah, I bet it is.

Anyone else think it is a bit freaky that this guy remembered me?  It is not like we shopped there exclusively and at the same time every day/week/month.  I probably stand out a bit with my obsessive cart organization that is coordinated with my list which is organized by department which further coordinates with the meals for the week.  Or I guess we could stand out because M. hates grocery shopping so I give him his own list of things to get and we convene at the checkout with two half full carts, but there are only two of us.  We didn’t shop that frequently nor do we purchase extraordinary things on a regular basis.

This interaction started my thought train.  I hear from families who have returned with their children that they are constantly stared down and often approached in question of their children’s orgin.  My first reaction is to respond to their complaints that people are so rude.  While that is true, people are also curious.  Curiosity overlaps nosey, but often it is intended as innocent.  For example, I was at a coffee shop last week.  Outside there were two darling Ethiopian pre-school aged children with their mother and her friend.  I admit to sitting outside near them.  I fought back every urge to ask if they created their family through adoption.  I probably stared more than I would have if they were children of any other circumstance.  I was curious and admittedly nosey.

I didn’t ask, even though I could have used the appropriate way of doing so which would have been something like this: “Your children are beautiful, my husband and I are adding a child to our family through adoption from Ethiopia.  Since we are in the waiting stage, we find ourselves every curious about other families that may be like ours.”  If in fact her children are adopted this leaves the opportunity for her to talk to me about her situation or to choose to say “that’s nice” while she gestures her children away from this crazed potential baby snatcher.  I can not assume what I think her situation to be nor can I demand my questioning be a good time for her to talk about it.

Back to grocery store guy, I am certain our family will no longer be as inconspicuous as I thought we were, but I was reminded by this well intending man that I should be using this time to craft some succinct responses to the common questions that may make my blood curdle.  From the current response I have to this all too common question below, you should gather that I have to ponder removing the snark for the sake of my child.

Stupid query: Are those your real children?

Not the best answer: No, dip-wad, they are my plastic children.

Our agency newsletter discussed this topic a while back.  I will read up and get back to you.

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Peeling distraction

Our agency hosts a forum where Ethiopian adoptive families can come together and share resources and information.  In addition to referral/court/birth certificate announcements, travel advice, and the ever present hair posts, people have been posting information about when referrals are going to start up again.  The last batch of referrals came in early to mid-June.  Despite the one announcement last week, there has not even been a trickle. This was not a planned break, but as in the world of international adoption, things are unpredictable.  Sitting in the top dozen of the unofficial list and knowing that one batch could possibly bring us our referral can leave one negotiating with the phone.  Since inanimate objects don’t respond, I decided I needed to put my pent up energy elsewhere.

Before I reveal my latest obsession, I should add that some people use this adoption energy in more philanthropic and collaborative ways.  One of our forum posters made a zillion bibs for our care center and AHOPE.  Another dear friend recently compiled info embedded in various posts to single topic lists such as birth family questions to ask, items to buy, phone numbers to carry during travel.  Another is raising money for Doctors without Border’s to purchase Plumpy’Nut to ward off starvation.  I will remind you about Plump’Nut again, but until I do, read this press release on Meghan’s blog and make a donation.

Before I can channel some productive energy into positive initiatives, I have to let off a little steam.  The bathroom remodel is my latest victim.  We had intended on replacing the floor, re-tiling, repairing the dinged plaster walls, and putting in a new vanity and eco-friendly toilet.  But, then, when I was looking at the space with the artist who is going to apply American Clay to the walls, I got “inspired” by a wee little comment he made, ” this stuff looks great in old homes because of the woodwork.”

Yup, the woodwork.  I love our woodwork; it is primarily why we bought our home.  But, in the bathroom it is covered by almost a hundred years of crappy paint. Needing a distraction, I found my project.

This door will soon reveal the oaky beauty is has been hiding.  But first it has to go from this:

Past this:

To this: (note: this is the other side of the door – although the woodwork is painted in the hallway, they did not paint the doors other than this one side of the bathroom)

If I can handle the caustic mess I am enduring with the door, I may even try to do the woodwork on the door frame and window frame.  Unless, of course, we get a referral and I have to put my energy in the baby’s room. Wishful thinking?

Of note, if you are deciding that now would be a great time to visit, be warned: we do not have a bathroom door and will not until I am done with this.

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