Monday, May 28, 2012


I've been working on Chinese Visas this week.  Well, I'm supposed to be working on them. I'm having SUCH a hard time getting started, what is that about? Am I having second thoughts?  Do I want to back out of this?


I'm sure that my reluctance has something to do with sending MORE money out, something to do with MORE paperwork, something to do with feeling pressure that every page of the Visa paperwork has to be perfect (it does, if it's not then it just heaps MORE stress on a situation in which the camel's back is ready to snap at any given moment,) AND in order to receive our Visas we have to send our passports WITH the paperwork. I do NOT have warm, fuzzy feelings about any postal service, lately.  Seriously, I'm still dealing with UPS' last screw-up.

My reluctance also has to do with it being FOR REAL this time. I mean all this paperwork and stuff has been boring and long and etc. but it's been PAPERWORK - stuff I can do from the privacy and COMFY of my own home. I mean, geez, if it gets to be too much I can always go take a nap.

that I am about to have to leave the COMFY of my own home,
tote a LOT of luggage,
deal with my two hellion-resembling sons in a hotel for TWO WEEKS,
(and on two god-awfully LONG LONG LONG plane rides - I refuse to even think about the ones in-country,)
in a foreign country where I don't know the language...

...and where, if we actually leave our hotel, I'll have to use squat toilets -apparently, affectionately called by the initiated, "squatty potties." hahahahaha  (Don't click on that link if you're squeamish or easily offended. For most people of the western hemisphere this is a "laugh or cry" situation, this guys chooses to laugh but really, I'm serious, avoid it if you're gonna be mad at me for the rest of your life for what it says.)  I am not a total wuss, I have used outhouses many times. What I am is a klutzy mess and that squat toilet thing just makes me wonder how many different ways that I can fall in, on top of, what should be FAR FAR FAR away from me. I am gonna have to strip down totally naked to use this thing, believe me. (In fact, my absolute knowledge that this is gonna be a disaster comes from my real-life "adventures" in the woods.  "You just cop a squat."  Um, yeah. YOU might.)

And, this one is clean-er.

Oh, and did I mention that I am WAY allergic to cigarette smoke? 31 % of the Chinese population smokes and they have a LARGE population, who smoke everywhere, all the time.

I've also heard that is culturally acceptable to SPIT wherever you may be - inside, outside, doesn't matter, just let one fly!

I think I'm freaking out a tad.

I mean, c'mon, I am sure that Americans have equally as intimidating procedures and rituals for non-Americans. I am sure that tourists world-wide get home from their trip to the States and say to their friends and family, "You will NEVER believe...!"  However, I'm used to our nasty stuff and I'm just not looking forward to the culture shock of other people's nasty stuff.

(I AM sorta looking forward to hearing what Middle Child and Wild Child have to say about squat toilets. It'll probably be along the lines of  "COOL! Can we have one at our house?" Oh, a thousand times NO! And then, my head will spin right off my body.)

Then, there's the whole subject of clothes.  I think Q-Boo wears size 18 - 24 months and I think the sweet spot for her shoe size is about an infant 5 or 6.

I think.

(Oh please, do not do the cultural Chinese "shave her head thing" for summer, before we get there. I have so MANY bows.)

She also has a catheter coming out of her bellybutton which is connected to a urine bag. How does THAT fit into what I'm thinking about her clothing?  CAN she wear pants, CAN she wear a dress? Should whatever she wears be way too big to accommodate her "extras?" I mean, I have seen pictures of her in clothes but they do look very large, is that because they have to be?  Maybe, I'll just give up and bring a big towel to wrap her in.


I have also been warned about well-meaning Chinese grandmas who will very quickly admonish you to cover your child up if she's not COVERED from head to toe, even on the hottest of days (I'm on the hunt for cute tights and cute sweater-type things.) Q-Boo is from a very hot province but she's not used to indoor air conditioning. No matter how much we may SWEAT, it may be hard to keep her warm, particularly inside the chilly westernized hotels.  It's beginning to look like the poor sweetie may burn up when we go outside and freeze when we're inside. <sigh>

I'm loving tights with polka dots.

We haven't even gotten to the "real" stuff, the emotional stuff (the other stuff is the peripheral stuff, the stuff that doesn't really matter... except that, honestly, it does) - a new daughter, bonding issues, my overwhelming joy, her overwhelming grief, fear,confusion, etc. - when I'm not in the COMFY of my own home.

Have I mentioned that I like the COMFY of my house?  Once or twice? I do.

Already I'm stressing out that something will be wrong with our paperwork and, even after we go through the China trip and adopting her and all the China stuff, immigration for some reason won't let us back into the US when we finally get home.

I've  repeatedly told K-Man that he will have a photo op and to be prepared for it. I WILL kiss the ground as soon as we pass through immigration with Lyric (she automatically becomes a US citizen at that moment.) 'Cause only then will it really be over.  Knowing me, I will also probably begin to sob uncontrollably as the weight of the last 17 or 18 months finally slides off my shoulders. It won't be a "pretty" photo op, anyway.

(Can you imagine the look on Q-Boo's face at that moment? Who ARE these people? <giggle> Hey, Q! We're your new mom and dad!  hahahahaha)

So, it is now time to tell myself what I already know:

A-Girl, breathe.
This is the end of a long process that you CHOSE.
You do not HAVE to do this. You WANT to do this.
At the end is Lyric.


All is well.

It really is.

(P.S. Things I HAVE accomplished this week:

Found a new barn and moved Horse, where he will be outside IN A PASTURE almost 24/7 - bye, bye colic. Yay!

Found a new preschool and enrolled Wild Child...  {Yay! Why is that so stressful? It is.}

...and found out that there is an adopted Chinese girl in what will be Lyric's class (at the new preschool) when Lyric is ready to go play without Momma. Yay!

Oh, and those pesky Chinese Visas? Working on 'em. ARGH! )

Sunday, May 20, 2012

...of a lovely lady...

So, I'm looking at my cover photo (my profile picture is one of the recent pics of Lyric) on Facebook, thinking about Mother's Day and shaking my head in wonder.

For over 10 years, I'd had an only child.  I'd made my uneasy peace with it, I'd always wanted more kids but then I'd also always wanted a solid, nurturing, amazing, family (and a husband who wanted to be a husband) and I didn't have that either.

And, now? Now, my kids number in the "several" department.  His, Mine and Ours (and Theirs- we're working on getting ALL the pronouns covered,) we have SIX - we're like some dysfunctional episode of The Brady Bunch.

(The summer after Oldest Child turned nine, I read him all seven of the Chronicles of Narnia. It took us the entire summer and he loved it.  From then on we had a joke that whenever he wanted something from me he had to call me "O Lady, whose beauty illuminates the universe." 

This comes from the beginning of the fifteenth chapter of the The Last Battle -  " ' Know, O Warlike Kings,'  said Emeth, ' and you, O Ladies whose beauty illuminates the universe that I am Emeth....' " -CS Lewis, The Last Battle.
He would roll his preteen eyes and then sarcastically spit out something along the lines of, "O Lady, whose beauty illuminates the universe, may I please play a little longer on my Game Boy?"  hahahaha  When he finally figured out to substitute "Old Lady" for "O Lady" then it really got interesting. :) 

Anyway, so my now 17 year-old son - he's officially a SENIOR in high school, egads - showed me his forearm today and said, "Happy Mother's Day."  

I have no idea how I'm SUPPOSED to feel about my teenage son getting another tattoo...but how I DO feel about him getting a "Mom" tattoo  is... <giggle.>  He says that reading the Narnia books (when the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  movie came out, oh man! I could only see it with him and I still cry at the beginning of it) was one of his favorite memories from his childhood. Lord knows, I screwed up enough in his childhood so, you know what?  I think I'll take the sentiment of this tattoo and I'll enjoy it.  :)  )

Last night I was snuggled up against my (2nd husband, Mr Wonderful, K-Man) hubby and feeling, well, sorta awkward. Awkward in a good way, if that's possible.  My brain was flooded with "happy" chemicals and it just didn't know what to do with those.  "Unhappy" and "anxiety" chemicals? Those, my brain has known intimately.  But "happy" is relatively new.  However, it has been around long enough now that my brain either has to rewire or explode.

I'm betting on rewire.

In fact, it's probably already rewired. Which is just an amazing thing. Really really amazing. Nothing is ever set in concrete. Nothing.

(PS Immigration got the money and we're back on track, again. Finally. Only a month behind <mutters to self  "...exactly where we're supposed to be..." >  See?  Nothing is ever set in concrete. :) )

‎"Life, we determined, is not about avoiding mistakes. 
If we had chosen to stay put and stifle our urge to change, 
we would have done so out of worry and fear. 
And these were not the stars we wanted as our guides."
–Frances de Pontes Peebles, The Great Escape 

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's a Good Thing!

Enough already!

I am determined to focus on good things so that I will have something to post other than WHINE WHINE WHINE -even I'm tired of it and I'm the one feeling it.


Ummmmm...UPS DID finally deliver my package to immigration (after temporarily losing the SECOND package!)  It was late so, theoretically, they will reimburse me and therefore (voila!) sending my package to Texas (twice) should cost me 0 dollars.  As soon as they deposit the $$$, I have a lady at immigration sitting on "go" to get the paperwork shoved through.  Thank God for people who want to help you.

Our agency called and it is now time to apply for our Chinese Visas.  I don't even think I can wrap my head around that. Wow.

Horse is ALMOST back to himself this week.

Massive nesting energy without the energy suck of late pregnancy means that my house, inside and out, is shaping up to be half-way decent.  Yay!

(“The earth laughs in flowers.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson)

For Mother's Day, K-Man found me a GREAT gift. Sometimes, that man really nails it. <sigh>

"A-Girl, You can wear these to pick up Lyric!"
So, now I know EXACTLY what I'm gonna wear on Gotcha Day!
(These earrings match a dress that I already have in my closet.
As you guys already know, owls have become the unofficial mascot of this adoption).



<half-crazy, happy laugh>

Oh, look at her!!!
She just makes my heart beat faster.
I'm coming, my sweetie!

I wish I felt okay with posting pictures of her foster family.
Her foster mom has a HUGE smile on her face and 
this picture includes her foster dad 
and her foster sister (the fosters' bio daughter.)
She's been WELL taken care of.
This just makes me so happy.

I have got such plans for that hair. hahahaha


(PS We asked this question:  
"If her foster family could tell us anything about her, what would it be?"
The answer:  
"She often shows the (foster) family (our) photos and she can say, 'This is Mom and Dad.' "
My cheeks may break off from smiling. :) 
<deep JOY sigh> )

Monday, May 7, 2012

So, Here's My Past Week:

To begin with, you've been listening to me whine for the last couple of posts so you already know that I am in the "Just GET IT OUT!" stage.

I've sent paperwork and made a payment to, well basically, immigration. It's the next paperwork step in getting all our stuff done so that we can go get Lyric. (I loved the title of this one- "Request to Declare an Immediate Relative as a Citizen of the United States"- happy happy !)  Nothing more happens until I have this piece of paper from immigration.  I paid extra for the paperwork and the check to get to Texas in two days -seriously, I'm trying to keep this thing moving.  It was supposed to arrive by end of business on Tuesday, April 24.  It is May 3 and it's still not there.  I accessed the tracking number and it ends in Mesquite, Texas. Just stops.  The UPS lady said, "They NEVER lose packages."  Well, they did. They lost it. They've put a tracer on my package-it'll take 7 to 10 business days for them to locate my package (or give up and declare it lost.) Immigration doesn't want me to stop payment on my check and send them another payment because "it just makes things really hard."  (This is a government agency, we have to take baby steps with them. Seriously, teeny tiny, itty bitty, baby steps. Ugh!) In the meantime, the adoption just waits.   Just sits there like an old piece of meat and rots.  (Dramatic, ain't I?)

I've begun to feel like a money hose has been attached to my body, "That'll be x number MORE dollars..." THEY have me over a barrel, they know it and I know it. What am I gonna do, not go through with the adoption? So, they just request money and I just siphon it off to them. (You think they'll take a kidney, instead, at some point? I have an extra.) I feel so trapped. And we haven't even begun to pay for in-country expenses and 5 round-trip (+ 1 one -way) international plane tickets, yet.

Also, I've been informed that, as of March 1, China has decided that adoption agencies can no longer request updates on children straight from the kid's orphanage. They have to, instead, go through one particular organization.  (You don't have to be Vincent van Gogh to know that this idea was not the prettiest crayon in the box.) Can we all scream "BACKLOG!"at the top of our voices?  It's already been over a month, our agency is fairly certain that we will get an update, they just have no idea when. It will most definitively be the last one that we get before we travel. I bet we're not the only parents who get back to the hotel room and secretly compare the baby pictures in their possession to the toddler that they've been given.   Tacky, I know, but honest.

Grace and Hope, who I'd hoped would have a nifty new picture of Lyric, hasn't posted one even of her hometown, yet. I'm beginning to think that they may be "done." So, no new pictures there, either.

I am writing this in between going down to the barn to check on my horse. He's colicky which just basically means, for all you non-horse people out there, that his stomach really hurts. Sounds sorta mild until I tell you that this can become fatal and he's not getting well as fast as expected or hoped.  I'm going to the barn every four hours to see if he needs more pain meds, (the pain meds -the vet gave me a crash course on how to give a shot to a horse who is in major pain- are to keep him from laying down on the ground and rolling around. If he does this, he could "twist a gut," which means that he could end up with part of his intestine twisted, at which point it is either go ahead and put him, literally, out of his misery -yes, that means what you think it means- or opt for a VERY expensive surgery to TRY to fix the problem. Not a choice that I want to have to make.) The vet said, basically, that if he's not significantly better by in the morning, "it's bad."  It's after 1am my time and no, he's not better yet.

It's been a sorta crappy week.

Then, this came in the mail:

Yep, from Princess T.
It's now hanging on the wall in Lyric's room.

Sometimes, you just need a reminder of how it's all come together in the past to make the present a not so frustrating place.  The timing feels so slow and out of sync but we are exactly where we are supposed to be, exactly when we are supposed to be there. (I'm gonna keep telling myself this over and over! :)  )

Amen and hallelujah!

(PS Horse is MUCH better. In the words of one of the trainers [she stayed with me until after the vet left, which she didn't have to do and was very kind] at the barn, "I've never seen a case of colic go so long and turn out well. I was surprised to see him, at all, this morning."

Also, it's May 7 and still nada on the check to immigration.  <sigh>
<mutters to self, "...exactly where we are supposed to be...">)