Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shout-Out To My Michigan Friends

Shout out to the S family from Michigan. They are bringing their son home today. This picture was from our trip just over a year ago. Little J is not in the photo because unfortunately he was sick and had to go back to the creche the last 2 days we were there. For me what has happened each time I travel is that the families become somewhat bonded. We become emotionally invested in each other's adoption. Mr. S was there with his daughter M, who is the same age as LG, so it worked out well. As you can see from the photo, W is completely comfortable with M, the daughter. This is right before I took the girls back to the creche: LG and I were leaving. Mr S and daughter M went over there with us. I remember Mr. S asking the director if she thought little J would be home within the year. I was thinking---no way man, y'alls file is months behind ours! I guess God had different ideas. And please understand, I am very happy this little boy is coming home today to his loving family. Anytime a child comes home it is a victory and nothing short of a miracle.
Welcome home little J. May your life be filled with happiness and opportunity. You are well loved!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sasha and Malia Get Advice From the Bush Twins

This will bring tears to your eyes. It's 'good crying', I promise!

Flashback Friday***Sisters

One of the most precious gifts I have been given here on earth are my sisters. I do have an abundance of them, as you can see. We're even missing one in this picture. This photo was taken the day of my Dad's funeral and sadly one sister chose not to attend.

My sisters are my touchstones. They are the people that will love you when you feel like no one else can. They are the people that will give you a dose of reality, no holds barred. And it might make you mad. But you will love them for it. They are my biggest cheerleaders in life. They are my closest confidants. It's really hard living so far away from them as they are all in California and I am ....not. And it has been that way for 14 years now. We have never gotten used to this.

Having sisters is the reason I chose to adopt sisters. Some adoptive parents create that for their girls. In our case, I have been blessed in being able to preserve it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Discount For Fabric Lovers

I received this message from the folks at fabric.com today and wanted to pass it on to you. Normally this would go on my other blog, but I get more traffic here that might benefit from this offer:

For mentioning Fabric.com on your blog I would like to give you a $10 for your personal use as my way of saying thank you! The code for you to use is *XXXX*. For your readers I have a $5 coupon that you can post on your blog. Their coupon code is blogstumbling. The coupon is valid until December 31, 2009 and it is one time only coupon.
Thank you "sew" much! Enjoy!
Tracy Jackson

They have some fabulous sales, and a wonderful selection of patterns (NOT the ones you are used to...not that there's anything wrong with those) as well as an informative and fun blog. This site features both apparel and decorating fabrics. They carry a range of designers: Amy Butler is my favorite. Both her fabrics and her patterns.

If you are decorating a room, a really fun thing to play with is the 'design wall' where you put up all your swatches and you can see how it goes together. Really a fab site if you are into this kind of thing, and as you can probably tell, I am!

The Measure of a Man

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Martin Luther King Jr.

If you have ever had the opportunity to travel across the USA you realize how very LARGE this place is. Diverse. And not that old. So much opportunity, and so many growing pains. Growing up on the West Coast I was guilty, without even knowing it, of intellectually compartmentalizing the Civil Rights Movement in our country, even though I have been alive for most of it. (Even if I was a toddler) Theoretically, as I grew older, I believed I understood. Of course, I supported it. Fast forward 30 plus years, when I moved to Georgia. I found that I did not have a clue. I really did not understand what it meant to have to use a back door to an establishment, because of skin color, if allowed there at all. To have to use a separate drinking fountain, sit at a certain place on the bus, go to a 'separate but equal' (NOT) school. The reason I no longer intellectualize it is because people I know have told me about their experiences, living this life. One friend, who is a public school teacher, told me that her parents encouraged them, actually demanded from them, that they not follow the law in this respect. That they use the front door, the drinking fountain, etc. That was in South Georgia in the early 60's. Their parents, who were school teachers also, told them they were not to treat themselves as lesser citizens, so they didn't. To my knowledge they were never arrested. My friend Jane told me in detail about her high school, and the second hand, hand me down (from the white schools), outdated textbooks they were forced to use. They never, ever, had a new textbook.

The movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" released in 1967 caused quite a stir, and I was old enough to remember my parents talking about it. Because in some states, interracial marriage was still against the law.(!!!) Mom and Dad went to see it, I think she made him. Good on her!

I did not understand all these things. Segregation had not existed where I grew up. That is not to say that racism against African-Americans did not thrive: we bought a house in California in 1992 that was built in 1948. It had an original clause in it's early contracts stating that "Negro" persons were not allowed to buy it. Or even live in it. The clause was over-ruled by law in 1963. All of that was in the original paperwork. And even in the early '80's, when one of my childhood friends married a black cop from Santa Rosa, our California community was atwitter. My son in San Francisco tells me he is frequently asked about the 'racist South'; all the while, he's looking around wondering where all the black people are. They are not working in his places of business, nor are they generally customers. That's today.

There is much more I could say, but my goal is to state facts and share my experience and not politicize these issues. Obviously the issues are widespread, and obviously progress has been made. And I am grateful to the man who's legacy we celebrate today, who took a stand against moral evil even though it cost him his life. Because of my family, this battle has become my battle. But because of him, I have my family.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flashback Friday***First Tux

Being a transplant to the South is sort of like being a 'foreigner'. For two years, LG's stepmom and dad put him in a social program called "Perfectly Polished", which is sort of like a cross between Charm School and Cotillion. Huh??? As a West-Coaster, I had no idea this kind of stuff still existed, or that LG would be in the least interested in it. I'm not sure how interested he really was, but he did it for two years, and he learned how to dance,(with girls, properly) and got to wear a tux. Which he looked very handsome in. At the end of the school year, the kids, age 6 to 18, put on a big program at the University Coliseum. For the last dance number, the kids dance with their parent. Here we are, year one (2004), thanks to NG behind the camera!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wyclef Jean's Hope For Haiti

Once you experience Haiti, it's difficult not to feel the pull. I understand this man's passion at least to a tiny degree and I admire his tenacity. He uses his money and his influence to try to make Haiti a better place. I'm sure he faces plenty of opposition in this, but he refuses to give up. This is his homeland. He refuses to give up on these people, and God Bless Him for that.

This link goes to his organization. Certain products that are on the market contribute directly to his charity. For example, I bought a Caribbean music CD, and that record label contributes a certain % of sale to Yele Haiti.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Flashback Friday***Yield for Bison

With Yellowstone National Park in the news again, I thought I would post this picture, which was taken in (late May of) 2004, by LG with a disposable camera. It snowed on and off all day, and we froze our tootsies off waiting for Old Faithful to erupt. The pictures of that were not good because it was snowing, so all you can see is a white-out! Look at NG's hair! LOL He wore it like a Rockstar for years.

My parents live near Boise, so the kids and I borrowed my Dad's truck and made the drive. It wasn't that far, and I am somewhat familiar with the area. Even though we lived in California growing up we made the trek several times to this National Park (and Grand Teton). Somewhere in my old photo albums I have a picture like this of me and my sisters at the Continental Divide.

On this trip;

  • I noted the damage from the huge forest fire, and also the regrowth

  • We stayed at the Super 8 in Jackson Hole, with no resevervations and it was pretty clean and pretty cheap. Also, it was Party City. FYI

  • I was amazed at the Bison population explosion. They are everywhere now! Moose too.

  • I saw a car with Georgia tags in the parking lot at the grocery in Jackson Hole (that's a long drive!)

  • We froze our butts off, I couldn't believe how much it snowed in May!

  • It was the last time I saw my Dad on this earth.

One thing my parents instilled in me was a love of travel and National and State Parks. My boys were not all that thrilled with this trip at the time (they don't like long car rides, they are spoiled by airlines) but now, just like me, they appreciate the experience. Honestly, the Grand Tetons are one of a kind, and there are not too many places in North America where you have to yield for bison!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Anti-Hypochondriac

I have some unsolicited advice for those of you that might be like me, the Anti-Hypochondriac. If you feel yourself getting sick before a major holiday, say, like Christmas or New Years, do yourself a big favor, break down and go to the doctor. If you are not that sick, at least you will know. If you are, you'll get the meds you need and get on the road to recovery, instead of trying to battle it yourself, fooling yourself into believing that your little home remedies are working, and that you REALLY are getting better. Even though you spend your vacation time getting approximately 3 chores a day done, don't want to have any fun, and spend an inordinate amount of time lying down, convincing yourself you are getting better. This is especially important if said holiday falls near a week-end, because at that point, good luck getting into a doctor's office.

I had to go back to work on Sunday. Usually this time of year we don't work on Sunday, but because we are operating in the middle of a big construction project and they had to do some work on our existing building, we had to go in and get the place back together for operations on Monday. It took all I had to be at work, although I was all jacked up on Thera-flu. I also went to the doctor on Monday and got some antibiotic etc. Too late. I completely relapsed yesterday and had no choice but to stay in bed all day. Again. But...I knew the meds were starting to work because the sore throat I'd had for over a week finally went away.

I am patient about alot of things, but I am not patient about being sick. I really, really hate it. Thus, the denial. Oddly, when it comes to my children, I am completely different, and have to fight the urge to be an alarmist and rush them to the doctor over every runny nose.

At any rate, I'm on the (real) road to recovery, and grateful for that. I'm also eye-balling my 'to-do' list, which has become longer, and frustrates me.


So...don't be like me. And next year I WILL get my flu shot!

Friday, January 2, 2009

In 2009

In 2009, it looks like these girls will finally come home. Perhaps even early 2009. They have been submitted for passports, which is the very last stage of the Haitian process. Once those are obtained, their files are submitted to USCIS for visa approval. Somewhere in there they have a medical examination. The birth parent interview has been completed and there is no request for DNA. That sounds like clear sailing, doesn't it? Alas, there is no such thing in adoption matters! Because human error---as in paperwork in any of these latter stages---can, and has occurred. And that causes delay. Not that I am trying to jinx us, it's just the reality and I have to do my best to be prepared for it. However, the orphanage director says they are coming home soon! So I am praying that this is the case!

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