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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

My little girl

… is growing up too damned fast, and is too damned funny.

While putting her to bed, I inadvertently passed a little gas, and it made, you know,  a little noise…

“Mama, that toot is a SAFETY VIOLATION!”

Okay, sorry ’bout that. My 4 yr old, the fart police.

Mara ~ duck and cover

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Sands of time

Here is my beautiful, sweet, whiny, sensitive, caring, funny, goofy, brilliant little girl on her first day of school. She is excited. I hope it lasts. She’ll need a lot of enthusiasm to get through the next twenty or so years of schooling…

I am, however, a blubbering mess. This is such a clichee, but dude, where did the last three years go?? Just yesterday I was on a plane to China, and I blinked, and now she’s off to school.  Also? It means I’m older. Also? The house is empty. Also? I need me another baybee. Also? My baby is off to school.  Sigh.

Also?

I am so proud of her.

Mara ~ sitting in front of the computer, eating cold samosas, and burnt pakoras, and soon some beef vindaloo.  Ummm….. beef vindaloooooo

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  • I have not been sleeping for the last two weeks. It sucks. A lot. And it took me about a week into this latest bout of insomnia to put it all together. Yeah, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. It was one year ago that my dad went into hospice. It was really the end of the end.  I spent two weeks in a little hospital room with my dying father.  And I wasn’t sleeping then either. I was trying to deal with a business, a three year old, a difficult, greiving mother and my own feelings.
  • I cry at the drop of a hat these days. I ran into someone that I have not seen for at least five years. We used to be very close and she meant a lot to me. She told me she was sorry to hear about my father passing away. And the tears? They are still right there. Right at the surface. And if I blink too hard they overflow.  It’s been a year. On one hand I wonder what I am going to do without him, and then I remember I have been without him, for almost a whole year. I’m not sure where this year went, but I wish my dad had been here with me. And my body was grieving this time of year even before I realized it in my head. Anniversary grief. Yup. And if I ever had any doubts (even after 3 years of watching my daughter go through it) I don’t now.
  • Squirt is amazing. She is going to start school soon. French Immersion! She is so in love with the idea of ballerina lessons, and wants to wear her tutu everywhere (even to bed). And as this huge transition is happening in her life, she asks that I recount the story of her. She wants to hear about China, and her story and she wants to know when her MeiMei is going to get here. And I have had the privilege of recounting these stories. And I want to scream when I meet parents that can’t keep the contempt they have for their child’s birth country out of their voice.  Dude, don’t you know your child is watching you? I try to recount two positives for every negative I heard until I thought my ears would bleed. I guess that’s the whole thing though. Clueless.
  • I am not an American, yet I watched Obama at the DNC. Wow. The intellect is so hot. I mean really HOT. Or maybe because he is such a contrast to George W., who is certainly not, shall we say, an intellectual (please don’t misunderestimate me, HA HA, but I digress). And I love to drive myself crazy by reading blogs and stuff that people had to say about Obama and his acceptance of his party’s nomination. I noticed many people enamoured of his ability to pull off a ‘spectacle’ in front of 84,000 people. Many people who disagreed, but did so on policy/philosophy basis. Of course, there was as many different opinions as there are people. I must comment however on those individuals that characterized his speech as ‘angry’. I find that an interesting choice of words. Hmmm. Can you guess what I am thinking? I am continually amazed at the idiots who somehow are not able to see the white privilege that conspires to keep a part of a population without agency. AND it is COMPLETELY ridiculous to think that because Obama is a presidential candidate, you can say racism is dead. The mere fact that he suceeded despite the decks so heavily stacked against him is a testament to his exceptionality. He is extraordinary and I hope that he is the next president of the United States. It would make this Canadian a little weepy.(Not that that takes much these days you understand).
  • I love tennis. But this USOpen is killing me. In fact, I am so dense and seemingly so out of touch with my own emotions that I had no idea why watching a game would send me into fits of anxiety I could not control. Why could I not just get into the match and wonder at the amazing arm of Andy Roddick and his 140mph serves or watch Roger Federer move so effortlessly across a tennis court, or watch Rafa arrange his socks, straighten his waterbottles, pick the underwear out of his butt, take forever to serve and still melt to see the Mallorcan smile?  My dad went into hospice, I watched tennis for the whole two weeks sitting in a hospital room. On a Sunday afternoon I watched Roger Federer win his 4th USOpen in a row, and the next morning as the sun was coming up, I held my dad as he died.  Watching the Open is hard this year.
  • Took a trip with the mother. It was only 24 hours. I wanted to shoot myself. Not a good relationship the two of us. Not good at all. As we were driving home she asked if I wanted to stop and visit a friend. I told her I just wanted to go home. “I miss Squirt. That was my first night away from her.” She looked at me like I was from Mars. I smiled, looked at her and gently said “I know you don’t understand.”  And the thing is she doesn’t. My mother loves to travel. When I was a child she went to Sri Lanka, Peru, Ukraine, Russia, Florida, New Zealand, Australia etc etc. And they weren’t one week trips or 4 night cruises. She’d be gone for months sometimes. And she never called. I don’t remember one phone call. Not one. I don’t ever remember her saying “I missed you” when she came back. This isn’t something I recount with bitterness. It’s just the reality of what it meant to grow up with her. I think that having a child held her back, I think I was in her way of discovering the world. Or maybe herself. And she may be my biological mother, but there is nothing motherish about her. And that makes me a little sad. Not  for me, but for her. Because this deep, abiding, consuming, selfless love I feel for my child is the greatest gift of my life. And she never got to feel that.

And that note I will bid you farewell.

Mara ~ go Roger 🙂

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A friend of mine is a domestic adoptee. Of course, she is much more than that to me. It’s something we’ve touched on occasionally in conversation. I don’t ask about it specifically, because it’s none of my business. If she wants to say something she will. And she has. I also don’t want our relationship to be defined by adoption, and mostly I don’t want her to feel defined by adoption either. She has always known about my preferential adopter status, how I do not struggle with infertility, how I feel strongly about adoption reform, how I try give back, and how I navigate the minefield of adoption for my family. She has always been supportive of Squirt’s adoption (at least that is how she made me feel).

A little while ago we had the coolest conversation and it just amazed me how small the internets can be for all their vastness, and how undercurrents of adoption fall-out can run really deep. We got on the subject of blogs, and how mine is mostly about adoption, issues of race in adoption, the joy of adoption, the heartbreak of adoption, with a little miscellaneous mixed in.  She asked if I read blogs of adult adoptees, or first mothers, or other adoptive families. Yes, yes and YES!

She told me about Harlow’s Monkey, because she thought I would particularly appreciate that one. I told her I had been reading it forever and it was one of my favourites! And she talked about a couple of adult adoptee blogs. I faithfully read almost all the ones she mentioned! I told her about AntiRacist Parent, Resist Racism, Racialicious, and a few others. She had read those too.  We talked a little about our small little world. Suddenly, she became a little quiet. I asked her if she was okay. She told me she identified with the feelings of loss, the identity issues, the unanswered questions and anger. I thanked her for sharing with me, and told her that though I couldn’t understand exactly how she was feeling, I thought those emotions were pretty ‘normal’.

She looked up at me then, right in the eyes, with a little fire behind her own and she whispered “I am NOT drinking the Kool-Aid.” I didn’t really know what to say. I think I started babbling some fucking platitude about her right to feel whatever she feels, and it’s not up to any adoptive parents or fellow adoptees to tell her how to feel and her experience was unique and her own. I’m not sure if she heard me. Then she whispered “My adoptive parents are NOT strangers. It’s always repeated about how babies are handed to strangers after growing in someone else’s womb. Complete strangers. Virtual strangers. Awful strangers. My parents are NOT strangers to ME.  YOU are NOT a STRANGER to Squirt.” I think I just looked at her and nodded. It was intense. I didn’t know what to say.

She let out a heavy sigh. I told her we didn’t have to talk about it anymore if it was too difficult. She said it actually wasn’t difficult for her to talk about her experience with adoption. She just resented the insinuation that adoption is inherently wrong, or just because she had differing feelings that she was somehow in denial. She said that she did not feel ashamed to be adopted, but she really hated the whole “sunshine and roses” portrayal by the money grubbing adoption industry and by society. She also said her feelings were complicated and couldn’t be summed up without people (read : adoptive parents) dismissing her viewpoint as “bitter” (where oh where have I heard that before??), or other adoptees characterizing her as in denial.

“It’s not being adopted that makes my life complicated. It’s the minefield of everyone’s expectations of me that is constantly maiming me.” 

Wow.

I spontaneously hugged her (I’m not really a physically affectionate person unless it’s with children), and told her how much I appreciated her. She laughed and said she was just a bitter adoptee and I should just ignore her. She giggled, oh the irony, so did I. And we both sat in silence watching our kids play for a while.  Soon she turned to me with a wry smile and said”Your kid is so fucking cute, I can’t stand it”, shortly followed by; “Anyway, you are way more fucked up than I am. I must have good genes or something.”

Mara – and who am I to argue with that?

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Argentina now. Sigh. Seems my outrage has dissapated and all I can do is shake my head.

Coca-cola must be so proud. No?

Mara -score one for the anti racist who, this morning, got someone to admit they held a racist belief.  ahh HAA

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Outrage continues.

It’s not only men, and it’s not only soccer.

Here’s a picture of the Spanish women’s Federation Cup Tennis team, posing with (I assume) partners/family members/friends after beating CHINA to advance to the finals. So is this a little ‘wink’ too? Are they just showing a little love to the ‘chinky’ they just defeated? Um… so…  racist much?

And well.. Spain? Enough already? Okay?

Mara ~ anti-racist parent…… who feels she’s not doing enough….. sigh

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Nice

I don’t even have the words. My outrage shall have to wait for another day. A day where I can string a sentence together that does not include profanity as every second word..  This is a lovely picture of the ENTIRE Olympic Spanish men’s basketball team making the ‘slant eye’.  Racist much?

It makes me physically ill that I have to prepare my child for this in the school yard some day. Parents of children adopted transracially…..  for the love of God, do not turn a blind eye to racism. It is your responsibility as a parent of a child of another race to give that child the tools to deal with disgusting, racist, infuriating shows like the one above. This is not an anomaly. You need to dismantle this power structure. It is your duty.

To team Spain…  THAT, my friends, is not a “wink”. And you should be ashamed.

Mara ~ seriously, WTF???

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