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Archive for November, 2008

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27859660/

“To save adopted girl, California couple gives her up.”

Please read this article. Especially if you have adopted internationally or are in the process. Adoptive parents need to stop looking at solely filling their own desires and go into things with eyes wide open. We are not entitled to children. We are especially not entitled to other people’s children. Our desire to grow our family should never come at the expense of an ethical practice. And don’t dismiss this as just a problem unique to Guatemala. IT. IS. NOT.

I believe ethical international adoptions can and do occur. I also know that our privilege remains mostly unexamined and without a real understanding of the complexities of adoption we are doing a disservice to our children. We need to do more than acknowledge loss, we need to fight corruption and unethical practices. This is an adoptive parent’s responsibility. We need to actively fight against it. To not do so dimishes us all. Demand transparency, question your agency, look under the surface. Maybe see if you are able to change a request from an AYAP female? Maybe stop complaining about the wait for referral (and I sympathize with those waiting, I’ve been there/am there too) and consciously choose to err on the side of caution and let checks and balances play out? Maybe let your joy at referral be tempered a bit by the reality of a mother unable to care for her child and making a decision we could never imagine?  Realize that love in and of itself is not enough. It’s just not.

I want to look my daughter in the eye one day and tell her not only about my love for her, but about my love for her first family. I want her to know she was not a commodity, she was not “purchased” to fill my void. And I did not look the other way.  I will not look the other way.

Mara ~ off my dusty soapbox, sorry!

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sundaysexy11

I lurve me a little Brad Pitt. In fact Brangelina is probably the only celebrity couple I follow.  God, that makes me feel so shallow writing that….   But dude, the hotness of those two. Well it’s quite sickening actually.  Friends and I have jokingly wondered aloud if in some alternate universe we could ‘pick’ one of the two… it would be a hard decision. Yeah. I disgust myself too right now. 

So back to Brad. He was on Oprah last week and I had to watch it TWICE, because that is what a pathetic loser I am.  His stories about the kids? Heart melting here. The pictures he took of Angelina? Sigh. The answer to the question about what he would do if there was no papparazzi? Broke my heart. He wants to take down his fences, have a barbeque and wave at the cars going by.

I am so pathetic.

AND

I watched the season finale to America’s Next Top Model.

Mara ~ is there anything lower than this level to which I have sunk so quickly?

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Alive

She made it back to her condo. The police have checked on her and they say she seems okay. She does not answer the phone and has not contacted anyone. She is not paying some bills. Looks like power of attorney aquisition is imminent so maybe we’ll have a better idea what is going on then. The saga continues. We have not been able to contact her about her dog, and to let her know she died in the apartment and had to be removed, so we have no idea what she knows or if it even matters in her mental state. We don’t know if she has a job. Though with the hospitalization and basicly falling off the face of the earth I would imagine not….

Mara ~ thanking God for small gifts

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Oh the woes of junior kindergarten for my little tyke….

“Mama, why did G call me a poo poo head?  I think those are bad words and I think that is making a poor choice. ”

She pauses for a minute then asks,

“Mama will Madame P give him a maturmal comsemquence (natural consequence)?”

Mara ~ my words are being reflected back to me…. though obviously not completely understood 🙂

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Dear neighbour gentleman,

Please be assured that when The Guy passed your truck on the highway it was not a personal affront. No offense was intended and we are very sorry. And please be advised it is not okay to pull your vehicle into our driveway in a fit of pique to yell about aforementioned Guy’s unforgivable driver error. It is especially not okay to ever physically accost anyone. Also? It is totally not cool to scream IN FRONT OF A TERRIFIED FOUR YEAR OLD. Ever. And didn’t your mother ever teach you that it is not polite to point? As was mentioned, The Guy would be happy to talk to you about your concerns in private re: his irresponsible driving. And when someone asks you to stop yelling in front of a child who has NEVER been exposed to such barbaric behaviour, please respect the request and dissist from continuing your tirade. Your loud, obnoxious tirade. Also? After you repeatedly ignore very respectful requests to lower your voice and to STEP OFF, please realize that it comes to the point where we feel a bit threatened and we have no choice other than to mention the police.  Please leave our property when we respectfully (without raising voices even!) ask or we feel we must protect ourselves and call the police to have you removed.

Also? Please look out for advertisements for assistance in dealing with road rage issues. I feel they may be of great benefit to you. And taking a deep breath and counting to ten can avoid much neighbourhood discord and awkwardness.  Please also remember that kindness is often a better choice as you just never know what battles we could be fighting inside. Would you have acted the same way if you knew that the Guy’s mom was missing and we had just found out? Would you have terrified my daughter if you knew your actions would result in days of anxious questions from a sensitive little girl? Questions like why did that man yell? I do NOT like that man! Where does that man live? Is that angry man coming here again? How do you suggest I comfort her? And please realize that I wanted to shield her from the harsh realities of the world a little longer, because her life has not always been all sunshine and roses and she feels loss deeply.  And she has suffered great loss.  And all the work I do to try to make her feel safe and loved and cherished can all too easily slip away when she sees the scary stuff that can happen outside her door. And I couldn’t even protect her from the scary stuff that lives across the street.

And I understand that substance abuse issues can cause erratic behaviour and can lead to unpleasantness. And alcoholism is a cruel and vicious disease. And for that I am truly sorry. See? We all have personal demons, and I think we could all use some grace.  I just don’t want those demons around my child or on my property ever again.

Thank you.

Respectfully,

Your country neighbour

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Tears and closure

I went to a funeral today. It was the first one I could force myself to go to since my dad died. My dad did not want a funeral, or a service or anything. We had a small family gathering two weeks after he died and that was that.  As I was sitting in the church my grandparents built when they came to Canada from Denmark, the church where my dad was baptized, and where Tom’s service was taking place, I couldn’t stop crying. Good thing I was at a funeral.

I loved Tom. He was one of those perpetual people you have in your life. He grew up with my dad in a little rural community that housed the largest settling of Danish people in Canada. I don’t ever remember not knowing him. I played with his children, in highschool I may have smoked pot with his daughter at some party. And he was just part of that world backdrop you have growing up where people are your friends and they feel like they will always be there, even if you didn’t see them for a year.

Tom died of massive head injuries following a motor vehicle accident. It was sudden and unexpected for a 73 yr old. He had five children, 10 grandchildren and a whole community that loved him.  And he was one more piece of my dad that I lost.  He would come out to my mom’s after dad died and tell mom to put him to work. He was awesome.  He took adventures on his own, and travelled North America extensively and on the cheap (and I mean really cheap). He camped under the Florida Keys stars, drove the entire Alaskan highway, canoed and skiied and kayaked. What a beautiful free spirit. And one of the hardest working people I have ever had the privelege of knowing.

As I sat in that tiny church that I love so much, with such a meaningful history to my family, I watched the whole community crowd in. There was no standing room left. We were packed in like sardines in a bursting can. People were standing outside. And it was a tribute to the kind of person Tom was. It was perfect. For him. I also had the sudden realization as I was sitting there that it was not something my dad would have wanted. But sitting there with all the people dad grew up with, I could cry with them. I could mourn my dad in the community that raised him up to be an amazing man, and I could cry for Tom who was also a product of that great place.

My dad didn’t want to be buried, he had things he wanted done with his ashes. And we respected his wishes. Of course we did. But there was a little part of me, as I walked to the cemetery next door that wishes I could have had that physical place to visit my dad. We had a family plot, my grandparents were buried there, and all the people of my grandparents generation. I love cemeteries. And I am madly in love with that cemetery.  I said hi to Nanny and Papa as I walked by their headstones. I still miss them, but in that wistful, immature way one has when loss occurs before we can fully appreciate the extent of what is no longer. The way I miss my dad is much more intense.

As I walked into the church I noticed Tom’s youngest daughter cradling her two little girls. I saw her swollen eyes, and look of shock in her eyes. It took what little restraint I had not to run to her. I did bend down, give her a hug and say “I am so sorry. It is so hard to lose your dad. It’s just hard.” She looked up at me and for one second we shared that understanding that comes when someone can truly share your grief.  “Yes it is..Yeah….”.  It’s not really a club we want to belong to, but we do. We both had fantastic dads, and we are both very grateful in our heartbreak. 

Mara ~  So Tom, could you say hi to Dad? I dunno if he was expecting you so soon, but I’m sure he’s happy to see a familiar face. You rest in peace Tom, you are well loved.

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You guys are the best! Thanks for the notes both private and here.

She has now signed herself out against medical advice.

And now there is a missing person’s report in TWO cities with her name on them. And what happens if/when she gets back to the condo and wonders what the smell is, and oh I dunno….  “WHERE the fuck is my DOG?”

Mara ~ I feel like maybe she’ll knock on my door, and then what would I do?

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