Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We have a Hat.....

January 5. 2009

we have a hat, but not much more......

I am going to start with some leftovers from the last time I was inspired to write....quite a while now. August of 2008.

That is when we became "proud owners of a Kyrgyz hat. I dont know why, but it made me really happy this morning. I guess with all the news about changing policies, and.... then I trailed off.

Our friends were traveling to China to bring home Cha, and I said, "So wonderful that she came home so young and I hope, easily. I wonder every day if our child is born today - born yet. But my new thing is to try to enjoy what I have right now.

Be here now."

And then I couldnt bring myself to post. Or even finish my thoughts on the subject. The policies in Kyrgyz are being changed, hopefully for the better, but almost all referrals groaned to a halt and over 40 families are still stuck in transit. Some have traveled for several trips, and now there is no timeline.

Our agency went on a exploratory trip and came back with a video of one of the orphanges they are helping support. It is in Osh and the children have hearing loss or are deaf. It was amazing. They took the kids to the market to buy coats and shoes. It does seem from the images, and what the director that went on the trip wrote, there is a need for adoption in this country.

With the question of need, we supported some kids on a Christian web site, and I just discovered a non-religious site that looks cool....the site we helped on is from one of the Kyrgy Adopt group:

John really is getting help to the people that need it. The other I just glanced at but looked really cool:

And just recently there is some promises of motion in January. I want to see some people continuing on their journeys before ours begin. Some people who where just a bit a head have children home, others are stuck in the journey.

The road is wild.

Eli is growing like a weed. The holidays still have him amped up. Relatives, our friends, so many came to visit. We had Christmas Eve with our bay area family, which is growing by leaps and bounds. Cha, home from China in August at 11 months and Jes home from Korea at 11 months just in time for Christmas. They brought their parents, and then E's Godmonsters and God Parents and we had a wonderful celebration, filled with our this just-add-water and mix-things-up family.

I wasn't sure where our road is leading us; I still have no idea.

My band is going through changes, but things are going along. I thought we would be becoming new parents, so I wasnt particularly worried about the band. What would happen would happen. We are planning on doing a live album and my heart and head are getting into that idea. Ibs will be out with the other group a bunch, but what does that mean? and my family may have a new addition, but when? I dont know if I should book shows or not. This is the third time I have been worried about booking things. What if we should travel to Kyrgyzstan and I have some concert I need to play? What if the timeline is so long we give up on the process. Should we consider domestic adoption? Should we even rock the boat?

Life is sweet with one wonderful boy....his journey was so fast and furious and we really needed that. This time, I wonder what we need, what my music needs, which way I should look, give my energy.

And that brings me back to the simple idea, BE HERE NOW.

Okay, I'll try, but it took me several expensive years of fantastic therapy to be able to believe in making plans for the future and I would like to hold onto some of that work. :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

The French are coming, the French are coming...speaking, reading and what not

The French are coming, the French are coming.

We had a BBQ several weekends ago, in honor of our visiting French Friends, with beautiful sunshine and about 45 people, and then, the next day, a traditional SF summer picnic in the park, at the usual spot, and yes, in the fog. Beth said we are getting old. We used to do both all the time, and this time, it ruined us all.

Then, Christophe and his boys (the French) came to stay with us the next week. We went to the Oakland Zoo (rocking, our first trip) and to Alcatraz. Alcatraz with 3 adults, and six kids, and Malfi, this cool kids toy I found from some magazine. Christophe's boys, Noe and Elijah loved having the Alcatraz headsets in French, but Eli was done after the Ferry Ride.

And then had a rocking dinner party, 16 adults, 3 kids, outside, at night. Warm San Francisco nights. The menu was out of this world. New World cuisine, and I am still full thinking about it 3 weeks later.

And it is amazing how close friends, are still your friends, even if you don't see them for years on end. The gathering of the tribe is a good thing.

And speaking of that...a tribe at the beginning.

The next day was the first BAKE (Bay Area Kyrgyzstan Adoption Entourage) adoption picnic. I stumbled over, leaving all the boys at home, after a foggy day at the beach with Rumsey, Eli and the French. Suzanne hosted a lovely BBQ, replete with Kyrgyz food. It was so fun to see the three beautiful children home from Kyrgyzstan and cool to meet the fellow Bay Area prospective adoptive parents (PAP's). I hope that such a cool group can be a good touchstone for the children that come home from Kyrgyzstan. An adoptive child has their birth culture taken from them, and is given ours, no questions asked. With Central Asia is 22 hours away, the
more connections that I, as a PAP can help build for them, the better. I hope it continues to grow into a good resource for our potential future children.

There was a post a few weeks ago on the Kyrgyzstan board about speech therapy. And I started to respond with a big list of books, but thought it might be invasive. Maybe they know all the books. But it got me thinking ...... maybe I should write down Eli's Favorites from when he was little. Share the wealth of literature my mom has shown me...and save it for some distant future.

I brought the list over here to my blog and decided to write down some of Eli's favorite books that I remember by age, more or less. Then, it got complicated, remembering and I have had been trying to edit it for the rest of July.

My mom is a children's book fanatic, and has turned me into one. I would never had know to read to a baby from the day they were born, the day they came into your family, each and everyday, unless she had shown me. And I would not have know what to read. She often would present some of Eli's favorite books just at the right time for him to fall in love with them. The only down side is that we have so many books, it is hard to choose and hard to find places for them...but one can have worse problems. My mom rocks Eli's library.

And keep in mind, they were Eli's favorites. Some of them I would never had even checked out of the library, but at that age, he LOVED them.


0-9 months
- any book that rhymes.....
Baby Goes Beep (Rebecca O'Connell) ***
Clap Hands (Helen Oxenbury)

Goodnight Moon (Margret Wise Brown)
Hushabye (John Burmingham) - we loved this one
This Little Chick (John Lawrence) - Still likes this one, & talking to mom is cool...
Tickle, Tickle (Oxenbury)
Time For Bed (Mem Fox & Jane Dyer)
Nursery Rhymes - Big pictures & multicultural
Who said Moo ( Ziefert & Taback ) ***

9 -18 months
Going to Sleep on the Farm (Lewison & Wijngaard)
I Like it When (Mary Murphy) - don't-run-in-the-street book, hold my hand!
I Love Trucks (Sturges & Halpern)
I love you like Crazy Cakes (Lewis & Dyer) adoption book
Mice Squeak, We Speak (de Paolo) - great sound and talking book
Runaway Bunny (Brown)
Moon Bear (Frank Asch)
More, More, More, said the baby ( V. B. Williams)
Trucks, Trucks, Trucks (Peter Sis)

18 - 24 Months
Love Songs of the Little Bear (M.W. Brown & Susan Jeffers)***
Carry Me (Rosemary Wells)
Cat Goes Fiddle-i-fee - two editions
Four Fur Feet - two editions and loved them when he was tiny
Jamberry (Bruce Degen) - liked paperback version best
Over In the Meadow (Paul Galdone's edition is very nice)
Owl Babies (Waddell & Benson) - mommy always comes back book
Swimmy (Leo Lionni) ***
Where is the Green Sheep? (Mem Fox) - funny book ***
What Game Shall We Play (Hutchinson) - repetitive ***
The Yellow Ball (Molly Bang) ***

2 years
Bears in Pairs (Yektai) ***
Corduroy (Freeman)
Feathers for Lunch (Ehlert)
Good Morning Digger (Rockwell & Greenberg)
Goodnight Owl (Hutchinson)
Harry Maclary (lynley Dodd) *** the whole series
Mr Gumpy's Outing (Burningham)
Sam Who Never Forgets (Eve Rice)
dug this book ***
Tough Boris (Mem Fox) - even Pirates cry
Pezzittino (Leo Lionni) ***
Who Sank the Boat? (Pamela Allen) ***
Zen Shorts (Muth) - he was Stillwater for Halloween, so he must have been 2
Nursery Rhymes - We reviewed, comparing different editions. He dug it.

2.5 years
Ant & Bee (Banner) - out of print, but well loved
Dog And Bear (Seeger) a great book about friends, which are becoming intriguing
Hey, Get Off our Train
Homemade Love (bell hooks) -great unconditional love book
How to Hide a Butterfly (Heller)
I'm Mighty (Kate & Jim Mcmullan)
Mama, If you had a wish (Jeanne Modesitt) - great unconditional love book
Pet of the Met (Lydia & Don Freeman)

3.5 years
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti (Gerald McDermott)
Awful Ogre's Awful Day (Prelutsky & Zelinsky)
I'm a Pill Bug (Tokuda, Takahasi & Takahashi)
Puff the Magic Dragon (Yarrow, Lipton & Puybaret)
Skin Again (bell hooks & Chris Raschka)
Shirley, Come Away from the Bath
Superhero (Marc Tauss) - power is so important
The Magic Bed

Books on Reading to your kids:
Babies Need Books (Dorothy Butler) a great booklist by age, great for Library use
The Read Aloud Handbook (Jim Trelease) a great why to read book

I guess I am a book worm....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Late Night Rambles

July is slipping into August. Still waiting.

I am now less patient with waiting, and yet, it is really just the beginning of it. Waiting with a picture is more so, and waiting after the first trip, I don't even want to go there, yet. And what about people waiting for years, really what do I have to complain about?

I called the agency today and asked about the other families to try and include them in the first BAKE picnic this weekend. And, the agency said the coordinator is going to Kyrgyzstan this week. What that means, I have no idea.

Maybe it means we will get a referral soon. Or maybe not. Or maybe yes. Or, then again, maybe not. I DONT KNOW, and I guess it is best to try and be cool.

BAKE (Bay Area Kyrgyzstan Entourage) sounds like a good group of people. I am looking forward to taking Eli and meeting the people I have met online. I really like the Kyrgyzstan Yahoo group; it has some good threads and wise voices. And good support. I think we can build the BAKE to be a support for our children, these children from the other side of the planet. That is my hope.

I have been reading a bunch of adoption books lately (
The Family of Adoption - J. M Pavao especially) and trying to get my head around questions Eli has been asking and some of the behavior that is coming up in his 3 and three quarters journey. Deciding where issues are adoption related and where they are typical I-am-growing-up and I-will-have-choice, that 3 year old differentiation, I have no idea. I guess we will just figure it out as we go along.

I am trying to slow down again to really be with him. Boy! What a ride. He loves to laugh.

He did want to know, maybe 6-8 weeks ago, how did we get him. Him, the specific boy to us the specific family. I didn't know how to answer, because that wasnt supposed to be on the table till he was seven. I made something up.

In my reading, there are two threads that people seem to go with. Dry fact. I dont know, it was random, and romantic, it was meant to be. People have problems with both. Maybe what really needs to be said again and again, is, I can only imagine you, or should it be, you are the perfect child for this family. I am so glad it is you....

That is really the story of parenting. On the fly, just when you least expect it, can you connect, can you field that question out of the blue? Can you try to figure out how to deal with the new emerging, boundary stretching person, right here, right now?

Each day, one day at a time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The First Steps

July 9th, 2008

This is my first step to document our trip on The Road Forward. We, a family of three people and one philosopher dog, Rumsey, are prospective adoptive parents (PAP's) of a young wee person from Kyrgyzstan.

I had great news this week.
On the 1st of July, our dossier (our stack of papers saying we are people who would really like to add a baby to our family, and yes, we want to love said baby and we promise to take care of said baby, always, FOREVER) was quickly sent to the Embassy to catch up with 3 others that had been stalled there for more than a month. And soon, it will be picked up by the coordinator of the in-country program, and he will deliver it to be translated and then we wait for a referral.

Once we get a referral and say yes, at some undisclosed time in the future, we will be given permission to travel, most likely with the three other families, to CENTRAL ASIA, to the other side of the world, a small country called Kyrgyzstan or the Kyrgyz Republic, and hopefully meet the newest member of our family.

The trip is a minimum of 22 hours away. Either way you go. We will need to go twice.

So, still waiting. But at least in motion.

The three of us plus Rumsey:

My family is my son, my husband and myself, and the aforementioned philosopher dog. I am a musician, I play violin and run a group called Tango No. 9, and juggle that with being a mom.

Eli came home to us from Guatemala at 10 weeks old, almost four years ago, I often say he flew home. It was a short journey, less than six months from the day we decided to try and adopt, to the day he came home, intense, and maybe I'll speak more to it at a later date, but, suffice to say, he rocks. He, theoretically, is thrilled about being a big brother. We read about it, talk about it and he says the baby has been born.

None of us know if it is a boy or a girl. Healthy and happy is our dream.