Monday, August 30, 2010

Pre-Wedding Jitters

Adopting a baby is very much like having a baby and now I think I know what guys feel like. Your body doesn’t change... you don’t feel the baby growing inside of you. You spend your days preparing for the arrival of a new little someone to love and then one day they place a bundle in your arms. Congratulations, it’s a girl.

It is a baby that knows nothing of the world, who has no loves before you, no life beyond you. A baby that can’t jump up and run off, a baby who speaks no language but that of affection and nurturing.

Adopting a child is like getting married. I remember diving in, terrified, saying I do when I wasn’t sure I could. I had never experienced a successful marriage and wasn’t sure the concept was really doable in real life.

Masha is not an infant. She has a life. She sings in Russian or maybe its Ukrainian... I don’t even know the difference. She runs away. She has a personality. She loves people I have never met. She doesn’t know me nor does she know what a mother is.

In a week or so I will “marry” her. I don’t know that she even wants to be married. It is best for her... it will change her life, but what does a three year old care about the future?

I have my dress, the invitations have been sent, the church has been rented. I am going to walk down the aisle, I am going to cry when I say I do. I know this story, I have been the bride before.

And just like the first time, I am scared.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lost in Kyiv

We aren't really lost, at least not at the moment...

We are in Kyiv though, in case you are wondering why I haven't posted anything profound here in a couple weeks. If you are interested in reading about some of the great experiences we are having here, you'll need to head over to our adoption blog.

I thought I might be able to keep this blog up while we are away, sort of the B-side of Kyiv, and there are plenty of posts and pictures to keep you entertained... but I just don't have enough hours in the day.

So even if you aren't the least bit interested in our adoption (and please don't admit that to me) you may want to go see what else we have been up to in Ukraine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Wrong Orphans

It has been said to my face but more often behind my back with a hint of disapproval and a dose of disdain... that old standby response when people hear that we are adopting two orphans with special needs from another country...

“There are plenty of children in the United States that need adopting.”

What exactly are you trying to say? I know what the words mean, but I want to know what this statement, made under the circumstances of hearing about our adoption, means.

Are you saying we picked the wrong kids to rescue?


We are forever sacrificing our time and resources to save two orphans who are doomed to a life in a place worse than where we send our most violent criminal offenders, and you have the balls to critique us with a, “there are kids in the USA that need to be adopted”?

For real? You have something negative to say about us saving the lives of two innocent human beings? Seriously? You want to dicker with me about who deserves to be adopted and... who doesn't? You really wanna go there with me?

Listen, if your heart doesn’t break for children with special needs who are living in terrible conditions and facing even worse... If, for whatever your reasons are, you don’t want adopt one or help me save the two children we chose, that is ok. But don’t try to turn it around into something bad just because you don’t want to be a part of it.


And one day when God says to you, “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me..." you can answer, “Sorry ‘bout that Lord, if only you had shown me your American passport.” Mat 25:42-45

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Things I Do For You

It is a risky thing being a blogger. You put yourself out there for all the world to see, analyze, judge, decide to follow or not... You say things to whoever is willing to read you, and sometimes you get hurt, anonymously of course.

Around here, there is more than just my emotions and reputation at stake... because while I am busy writing (for your pleasure and edification) my son Jade is busy concocting...


His grandparents bought him a cookbook for Christmas and now he fancies himself a gourmet chef. This morning when I came up from my basement office for a drink refill and to check on him, I found him standing on a chair pulled up to the stove, stirring a pot full of everything he could reach.


“I’m making nail stew for Gecko’s birthday,” he told me cheerfully.

(Nail stew... my bad. Jade will not let anyone clip his fingernails so a while ago I made up a story about needing them for fingernail stew. He graciously allowed his father to cut one off for me to use in my stew. Gecko called me out on it insisting I was lying about eating fingernails... so I popped it in my mouth and quickly swallowed it down with a “Ha, I am NOT a liar.” Now Jade brings me his nails whenever one breaks or his father has at it with the clippers.)


Want the recipe? Water, ice cubes, potato chips, corn toasties, butter, balsamic vinegar, agave, coffee, cinnamon, salt, half an Oreo, two eggs, and Cheerios. Oh, and a handful of freshly cut little boy fingernails.

almostdoneSo far I have evaded having to taste test it. Although he did. (Thankfully it was before the addition of the eggs.) He spit that mouthful right back into the pot with a grimace, and then told me it was delicious. But come tomorrow morning I am going to have to lie to him... He is going to want to know where the nail stew went and I cannot tell him that I threw it out. That would hurt his feelings. It might permanently damage the budding cook inside of him. I am going to have to say I got very hungry and ate it all up during the night.

I’ll bet you had no idea of the things I have to do to spend time with you reader.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fundraising Sucks

There, I said it.

homemadelatteIf you have read my blog for a while, you know I love my lattes, so much so that they are what I gave up for Lent this year. Now I have given them up completely. I mean, I have given up professional, expensive Starbuck’s made lattes. I have learned how to make my own cheapo version on my stovetop.

Why? Because when we realized that we would have to do some fundraising to save both our little girls, I knew it would not be right to continue to spend money on such wasteful luxuries as lattes. I thought that would be the most painful part of fundraising.

But it isn’t.

Asking people to donate money toward something huge like the adoption of two international orphans with Down syndrome is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever had to do. Seriously, it is even more humiliating than having my first baby... up on a table with an audience staring at my goods, which didn’t look so good just then.

I tell myself that the CEOs of Feed The Children, Heifer International, Smile Train, and Children International don’t feel like crap for asking for donations to save children from horrendous life conditions... so why do I? They probably haven’t even given up Starbuck’s.