Thursday, May 29, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel??

Well, I just got a call from the agency and they are filing our papers tomorrow. Yep, you heard it first here. Tomorrow. I can't believe it. I'm still a bit stunned. And to be honest, until we actually get the court date, I'm trying not to get too excited.

OK, who am I fooling. I'm totally excited.

We got our referral around Christmas last year so have been waiting 5 months for this news. Yippee. Probably will hear about the actual court date some time next week but I am estimating traveling to pick her up during the second half of July.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

There's some hope for America

So my staunchest Republican friend has gone a wee bit green. She has vowed to stop using plastic bags and told us all about Neela Bags - cool reusable bags to take with you on your shopping trip. I suppose it also helps that the company was started by a friend of hers but, hey, whatever makes you go green I am fine with.

Now I typically use paper and have been meaning to buy some reusable bags but I am against advertising for stores so have not been into the Whole Foods or Safeway branded options. But I love Neela Bags as they just look so cute. I got them a week ago and have already used them several times. Sadly, they are also about the most fashionable thing about me these days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pre-holiday weekend craziness

I'm sitting in my house lamenting another week gone with no news of a court date. So a plane starts circling overhead. Turns out it is a Highway Patrol plane and it keeps circling for the better part of an hour. It is joined by another plane and a few helicopters and a ton of sirens can be heard in the background. Soon enough, the neighbors all start sending in messages on our Listserve about police activity, drawn guns, police blockades, etc.

Seems I'm watching a news drama unfold. Someone just emailed that there was a kidnapping with a shooting and that there are two armed men on the run in the hills around my house. Yikes.

Seems the air support has finally moved off so I am wondering if it is safe to leave my house now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sometimes this country makes me sick

We are adopting from one of the poorest nations in the world and yet we live in a nation where the rich seem to be getting richer (and stupider) by the minute.

Case in point, the Fleurburger 5000 hamburger that is now available at the Fleur de Lys restaurant in Las Vegas. The 5000 stands for, yep, you guessed it, $5000.

For a single effing hamburger!

OK, it does come with some fancy bottle of wine and a certificate proving that you had the burger which, honestly, anyone should be ashamed to show around.

To put it in perspective, that is more than 31 times the per capita gross national income in Ethiopia ($160). And since 23% of the population lives on less than $1 per day, at least 13 people could live for a year off of what that one burger costs.

Who eats this stuff? I'm thinking the grossly rich Russian billionaires who are probably the same people who eat the world's most expensive dessert, sold by New York eatery Serendipity 3. Alas, this dessert is no longer available due to the shut down of Serendipity 3 due to rodent and fly infestations as well as 100 live cockroaches found on-site. Funny. Maybe the cockroaches are the ones making the dessert, ala Ratatouille. Then it might be worth it. Kind of. Maybe not.

Someone posted on our local Ethiopia adopt Yahoo group that she was interested in adopting so she could "save a child'. She got a number of polite but emphatic responses that if that was her main reason, she might want to consider donating to a charity rather than adopting. I didn't respond but if I had I would have told her that an adopted child loses a lot by coming here - language, identity, culture, links to biological family. And she will be coming to a country where eating a $5000 hamburger is celebrated. Not that I'm saying you shouldn't adopt or her life won't be better. You just have to keep in perspective that America is not the Holy Grail and there are things about our culture that are really not that great.

Monday, May 12, 2008

DNA helps map 100,000 years of human migration

And they trace it to...drum roll please...Ethiopia.

From an article in the LA Times:

Scrutinizing the DNA of 938 people from 51 distinct populations around the world, geneticists have created a detailed map of how humans spread from their home base in sub-Saharan Africa to populate the farthest reaches of the globe in the past 100,000 years.

The pattern of genetic mutations, to be published today in the journal Science, offers striking evidence that an ancient band of explorers left what is now Ethiopia and -- along with their descendants -- went on to colonize North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, southern and central Asia, Australia and its surrounding islands, the Americas and East Asia. A second analysis based on some of the same DNA samples corroborated the results. Those findings, published Thursday in the journal Nature, demonstrated that the greater the geographic distance between a population and its African ancestors, the more changes had accumulated in its genes.

For the full article, please click here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

OK, this brought a tear to my eye. It was published in the Adoptive Families email so many of you may have seen it but just in case...

To All the Moms I Know...

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter says, casually, "Do you think I should have a baby?" "It will change your life," I say, keeping my tone neutral. "I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.

"But that's not what I meant at all. I want her to know that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, what if that had been my child? That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her.

I think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five-year-old boy's desire to go to the men's room, rather than the women's, at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who changes the baby and who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again, for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice, and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze her hand, and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God...of being a mother.

-Dale Hanson Bourke

And then when I sent this to moms I know (including ours), this is what my wonderful mother in law wrote back:

i truly can't wait for you to put fiori to bed for the 1st and even the 100th time, to hold fiori and kiss away her tears, her little boo-boos & to share in her smile when her daddy comes home from work and you have both been waiting at the window. you will come to find that sharing every-day things will be magical and will bring warmth to your heart and a smile to your lips. FOR that is the magic of a child's love. it paints our universe a joyful color all it's own.that truly will be your happy mothers days !!