Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm not sure that I even want to write this...

but for those one or two of you that are following this blog, I guess it is easier to spread the news this way than remembering to write individually. I can't say the news is bad per se but it is also, once again, not good.

I had a deep and meaningful with the director of our adoption agency and despite thinking getting a court day would be "any day now" for the last two months, it is now an issue of "we have no idea when".

The issues appear to be numerous but include: 1) the fact that she didn't have papers to begin with, 2) she arrived from an orphanage that was not licensed to work in Addis (unbeknownst to the director), 3) they thought they had it solved but then the Ministry of Women's Affairs changed requirements and they have to obtain something else, 4) their contact at the local police department who was helping them obtain the "something else" went out on maternity leave, 5) stuff just works slow there.

I am not sure what there is to do or if anything can be done other than to wait it out. If I thought it would do any good, I would fly over there since I am an A-personality problem solver type.

The two biggest fears now are 1) the courts close for several months for the rainy season sometime in July or August. I wasn't even thinking about this since it was so far off and surely Fiori would be home way before then, and 2) what if after waiting and waiting and waiting, she turns out to be unadoptable. The director didn't think it was a matter of if but rather when. But then again, he also thought she would be home before summer.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our latest obsession

After we did the can you name the countries of Africa quiz, we went in search of other "name the countries of..." quizzes and came across Sporcle. This is the best site ever. Well, as long as you don't mind finding out how poor your memory is.

Not only does it have name the countries quizzes, it also has quizzes on all kinds of topics such as Tom Hanks movies (there are 35!), the Seven Deadly Sins, Olympic cities, US Presidents, NBA teams, signs of the zodiac, etc...

So nerds that we are, when we were in Tahoe with our friends Kevin and Lucia this past weekend, we all had our computers out (yep, all four of us brought one) and took the quizzes simultaneously. I am sad to announce that I am no longer International Geography Queen as both Kevin and Lucia topped me in every continent except Africa and I had already taken that one so had an advantage. Not that taking it before helped since I did pretty much the same which further shows how poor my memory retention is these days.

The cool thing is that they keep adding new ones. Since only Sunday, they've added Pixar movies, television theme songs, Quentin Tarantino movies, US authors, Beatles albums and tons more.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Oh, to be a dog

I just looked up from working on my computer to see this:

How nice to be able to just lay there with your legs up in the air, sleeping in the sun. OK, maybe not the legs up in the air bit.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Think you know geography?

So I just found this quiz on Chickadee and Me's blog. It tests you on how many African countries you can name in ten minutes. Wow. I suck. I got 28 out of 53. Lucky they didn't ask you to locate them on a map.

It says it was originally developed for UC Berkeley students. I never got this when I was there. Then again, computers barely existed then. I wonder how I compare to incoming students. Since Americans are woefully bad at international geography, I bet I am better than average. Sad.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Consumerism and "stuff"

Several of my recent posts have been about what we've gotten for Fiori: stuffed animals, walker, stroller, baby registry gifts... While I'm totally into getting her these kinds of things and I actually love shopping for her (even though I don't like shopping for myself), I have been thinking more and more about the consumerism we have in America. We seem to be a country focused on buying and having "stuff".

We have been totally enabled by cheap Chinese imports, rock bottom electronics pricing, internet super sales, Walmart and any number of other outlets for discount products. And many of these products are in the ever-growing baby/kids category. According to this article, "the average American child gets 70 new toys a year". Seventy new toys. A year.

I am now starting to think about how to pass on values to our daughter and how to teach her that what isn't most important is the items you accumulate. This is a hard one as while I grew up fairly poor, as I've gotten older and more well-off I've done my fair share of accumulating and feel a bit hypocritical in trying to make this point; but I really feel it is very important. The question is what can you do about it?

Drastic ideas I have which are not very realistic:

1. Move out of America, especially urban America.
2. No more television until she is at least a teenager.
3. Boarding school in a third world country (does Ethiopia have boarding schools? Doubt it.)
4. No interaction with American kids i.e. no leaving the house. Ever.
5. Get rid of all our stuff to set a good example.

Not so drastic ideas that we will try to practice:

1. Reuse, recycle, repurpose
2. Focus on giving. For new toys coming in, donations go out.
3. International travel and I'm not talking to fancy resorts in exotic locales.
4. No television while young and then sparingly while older with a focus on learning programs. Has anyone invented a software hack for Tivo to automatically skip the commercials?
5. Public schools (not sure on this one and not even sure it would help since even non-rich kids seemed to be consumed by getting stuff).

Anyone else got any good ideas?