Saturday, December 30, 2006

Fingeprinting Done!

Whew! Is anybody else out there as tired as I am these days? Christmas was wonderfully hectic- R and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my mother, my sister, my brother in law, and my niece and nephew. Somehow we all managed to keep a Christmas spirit, even in the absence of snow (can you believe there was no snow on the ground on Christmas day here? and this is the U.P. land of the great snowstorms!).

The day after Christmas, R and I headed to Wisconsin to get our fingerprinting done at the Milwaukee Homeland Security Office. We left in the afternoon, with the idea that we would stay overnight in Appleton (well, actually that is what I thought the plan was, it turns out R had other plans), have a nice dinner, relax at a hotel, and get up in the morning and drive the rest of the way to Milwaukee for the appointment.

R had other ideas.

here is what happened. We were in the car, just outside of Escanaba, Michigan when my cell phone rang. My friend L, who lives in Appleton, was checking to see where we were and if we were going to stay with her that night. R told her that we were going to drive to Milwaukee and spend the night there.

oookay, then. First I heard of this plan. But I am flexible. We can make this work. So we will stop in Green Bay and have a nice dinner and then drive on to the outskirts of Milwaukee, find a hotel, have a nice, relaxing evening together and get up in the morning, head downtown, and get fingerprinted.

Only problem was, the turn off to Milwaukee is before any good restaurants. To make a long story short, we drove all the way to Milwaukee without stopping to eat. I was starved. And tired.

ookay, then. So we will stop outside of Milwuakee, find a hotel, and have a nice dinner.

Not exactly. R decided that we should drive into Milwaukee first and find the Homeland Security Building so that we know where we need to go in the morning.

nine oclock Milwaukee time (ten oclock our time) I find myself driving in circles in downtown Milwaukee. Now, anyone who knows me knows I am not navigationally gifted, and therefore not to be trusted when it comes to reading maps and finding places. But I like to think that even I would know to try a different route after passing the same bus station, train station, and "society for a peaceful america" building a zillion times. (oh look, there is the greyhound station! hey, its the greyhound station again! oh and there is Amtrak! and there it is again!)

We did finally find the Homeland Security building. Good thing, as I was about to die of starvation at that point. Then the question of finding a hotel came up. Which ensued a debate over staying downtown (my opinion being it was too expensive, R's being that it was allready nine something at night and surely we could get a good rate). So we drove around downtown Milwaukee a little more (oh look, its the Greyhound station! wasn't that guy standing outside there the last time we passed by?). Finally, R decided that maybe we should go outside of Milwaukee for a hotel.

After a little more driving around, we finally found a hotel with an Outback Steakhouse next door. Hooray! FOOD! SLEEP!! R went into the hotel and secured us a room for the night. We then headed immediately over to the Outback (I think my threat of immediate death due to starvation was the motivating factor there) to eat. It was now nine thirty p.m. Outback closes at ten p.m. Needless to say, the waitress was not too keen on having us walk in at nine thirty. We did, however, receive very fast service. (note to all: if you eat at any restaurant that has a bar at that time of night, you can bet you will be seated by a bunch of men who are on their nth round of Foster's and who, apparently, have accomplished nothing in life more important than their high school football years. These men will also have a passion for talking about those said football years and have an astonishing recollection of every game they ever played. Which they will talk about. loudly)

Food was good. Check came very fast. It was time to leave our football heroes and head to the hotel. Finally. I was soo tired. I couldnt' wait to get into the room and relax.

Sadly, it was not to happen that way. Turns out, our key card did not work in the door. So off we go, lugging our suitcase and my pillow (I hate hotel room pillows!) to try other doors. No luck. It is now after ten p.m. Milwaukee time (eleven p.m. our time), it's cold, I'm beyond tired, and R is getting crabby. R leaves me standing at the door close to the pool room and he heads over to another door off of to the pool area and bangs on it to get the attention of a late night swimmer. The swimmer lets him in. "whew, I think. Now he will come and let me in and we can get to this room before I collapse."

Imagine my disbelief as I watch my husband walk right by the door where I am standing, forlornly, no longer starving, but about to die of exhaustion! "Where the (insert appropriate naughty words here) is he going?"

Fortunately, he came back down the hall and let me in. Otherwise, I would be looking at life as an adoptive single widowed mother.

Ok, now we get to the nice peaceful, full night of sleep part right?

Nope. The room we are in has a horrendously loud fan system in an unknown, unfindable location, that goes off intermittently all night long. Oh, and R snores. Loudly. Extremely Loudly.

Suffice it to say, I barely slept at all.

Fortunately for my sanity and R's life, we managed to get downtown to our fingerprint apointment head of schedule (we needed to be there at nine a.m. and arrived a little after eight a.m.) and find a parking space directly accross from the building. Good thing, as there was a line of people waiting to get in.

The wait was short and the fingerprinting went smoothly. We were out of there by nine a.m.

The journey home was uneventful -Save for a minor, unexpected, and unplanned "detour" (translation: wrong turn) that delayed our homecoming by about an hour. I wasn't too bothered by it though, as we did manage to go to Appleton on the way home and were able to have lunch with my friend L and go to Toys R Us and Barnes and Noble (two stores I love that I never get to go to since the closest ones to where we live are, in fact, in Appleton Wisconsin).

I was so looking forward to a good night's sleep in my own house, my own bed, and my two pups. I had fantasies of crawling into bed, snuggling under the covers, and sleeping in late.

Didn't Happen. Not that night. Not the night after that. Not until last night, in fact, did I get more than a few hours of sleep. But we shall save that story for another post.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Cabbage Patch Kid Christmas Caper

Rachel asked about the Cabbage Patch Kid story that I alluded to in a post earlier this month when I was talking about my dad. Since it is just before Christmas, and there is nothing new to report about the adoption, and, most importantly, since she asked, I am going to share the story.

Picture it: Christmas, 1984. I am in fourth grade. Like every kid in the world, I desperately wanted a cabbage patch kid for Christmas. Of course, these days you can walk into any walmart or target or toys r us and buy a Cabbage Patch kid; but in 1984 they were in very high demand and therefore very hard to find. People were getting into fist fights over these goofy looking dolls! I remember seeing footage on the evening news of shelf stockers struggling to open boxes of Cabbage Patch kids and attempting to fend off the crazed parents who were desperately trying to grab a doll out of the box.
Needles to say, I was worried. I asked my dad "Do you think Santa will be able to get a Cabbage Patch kid for me? What if he tries and someone punches him out?"
My dad told me " Don't worry, Santa will come through and no one was big enough or strong enough to punch out Santa Claus. In fact, if they tried, they would definitely NOT ever have Christmas presents again- and who would risk that? "
He said it. I believed it. And I told EVERYONE that Santa was going to bring me a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas. And I told them over and over and over and over again.
Guess what? Underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas morning was a genuine Cabbage Patch Kid. A bald baby boy, with a pair of jeans on, a white and yellow striped t-shirt, a blue windbreaker, white socks and white tennis shoes with blue stripes. His name was Wayne. And I still have him.
It wasn't until many years later that I found out what "Santa" went through to get me that Cabbage Patch Doll.
My dad spent hours upon hours checking out the stores looking for the Cabbage Patch Kids. He talked to everyone he could think of to try to find out when shipments were coming in and he would be at whatever store was getting a shipment standing outside the door waiting for the store to open. Unfortunately, so were a lot of parents, so he struck out again and again.
One night he was visiting his friend Ray's house and it was announced on the radio that a gas station in a little podunk town over two hours away was expecting a shipment of Cabbage Patch Kids that would be put on the shelves at midnight.
This is the kind of Dad I had. He and Ray looked at each other, looked at the clock, and jumped in Dad's car to drive two hours one way to this gas station to wait in line and try to get my Cabbage Patch Kid. At the gas station Dad and Ray pushed their way into the store, and somehow in the midst of all that crowd, my dad managed to get his hands on one of the dolls. Without even pausing to look at it, he paid forty dollars for it and they got in the car. Now forty dollars was a lot of money for my dad to spend on a Christmas gift, especially in 1984. We didn't have much money and for him to spend that kind of money for a doll was a big deal.
Once Dad and Ray got back from their "Cabbage Patch Kid Road Trip" and took the doll out and looked at it, they realized they had been ripped off. This was not a genuine Xavier Roberts Cabbage Patch Kid. It was (as my dad would later describe it) a "piss poor" imitation doll stuffed with saw dust that pretty much fell apart when it was taken out of the box.
My Dad was not the type to give up, especially once he had made a promise. He continued to check out sale papers, talk to "behind the scenes" store workers about CPK shipment arrivals, and spent just about every spare minute he had for the next two weeks trying to find a "genuine" Cabbage Patch Kid.
Just a few days before Christmas, the local drug store received a shipment of Cabbage Patch Kids. My dad, who I suspect had insider knowledge, was at the store, and managed to get his hands on a REAL Cabbage Patch Kid. (later he told me that he had it in his hands and some guy tried to grab it from him and they actually got into a bit of a tug of war over the doll LOL)
To rip off a formula of a popular credit card company:
Cabbage Patch Kid: $40.00
Dad who spends all his free time and money he didn't really have to spend to get that Cabbage Patch Kid for his daugther: Priceless

As some of you know, my dad died of cancer in August of 2004. I miss him terribly. And I still have, and cherish, Wayne, (the Cabbage Patch Kid). Even more precious to me is the story of Dad's "Cabbage Patch Kid Christmas Caper."

I look forward to hearing my mom retell that story this year. And I cannot wait for the day that I can share that story with my own children. Of course that is many many years down the road, but good stories are worth the wait, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Quick Update

Just have time for a quick update before I get back to work. R was finally able to get a hold of someone at USCIS yesterday and was told that it is not unusual for people to miss their original scheduled appointment. We can go any following wednesday after the original appointment date (so yes, you were right Gretchen about the sentence at the bottom of the letter. what confused us was the other sentence in bold letters saying that if we missed the appointment our application would be voided) as long as we had good reason for missing the original appointment.
R asked if living six and a half hours away from Milwaukee was a "good reason."
So, we are now going to leave on December 26th for Wisconsin and go to USCIS for fingerprinting on the morning of the 27th. R was told that as long as we explained why we missed the original appointment, we should not have any problems.
So....things are much better around here, at least in regards to the fingerprinting. Now the count down to christmas must get these orders out and where the hell is UPS part of our lives, that is a different story!
Thanks, everyone for your kind words of support and advice. I have no idea what I would do for "adoption support" if I did not have all of you in bloggerland!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fingerprint Appointment

Among the usual fair of junk mail, bills, and a few Christmas cards, yesterday's mail included our fingepring appointments. Which should be cause for great joy, right?

Unfortunately not.

The appointment date is for Tuesday, December 19th. The place of the appointment? Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

We live in Michigan. Milwaukee, Wisconsin is easily a six and a half hour drive from here.

Tuesday December 19th is six days before Christmas. It is also one of the last days we have to ship out our Christmas orders from our business.

Due to some major problems with our vendors being backed up, we are behind as it is with our orders. We have easily 100 orders that need to be sent out on Tuesday.

The contents of those orders are expected to arrive via UPS an FedEx on Monday, at various times of the day. Those items then have to be put together, processed, and packaged to be sent out on Tuesday night's UPS flight.

R has only been at his new job for a few months, it is a highly demanding job, and taking time off is very difficult.

In order to make this appointment and still meet our other obligations, we would have to leave here very late monday night (around eight or nine p.m.) and grab a hotel room in Appleton for a few quick winks and get up early to drive the rest of the way to Milwaukee, or leave very early tuesday morning (around one or two a.m.) make our appointment, turn around and drive straight home and work all through the night and hopefully get the last few items completed and sent out overnight via UPS on Wednesday.

Either way, R would have to help me by coming home from work monday and working all night (until we meet the UPS plane and then leave for Wisconsin- the monday night option, or meet the plane, work some more and leave at one or two a.m. on tuesday) and take Tuesday off for the appointment, then, after we drive all the way back on Tuesday, work through the night with me and then go to work at his "real job" for eight a.m. on Wednesday.

My mom said she would come stay the night monday night with the dogs if we need her, and stay Tuesday in case we get late shipments in so that someone is here to get the packages.

I have no idea who sets these appointments, but come on whoever you are- we get the letter on saturday, have to be there on tuesday morning, and it is in MILWAUKEE WISCONSIN??????????

I have ranted, raved and cried. Which didn't change a thing, of course. I have no idea how to make this work. And I have no idea how to try to change the appointment either. I do NOT want this to get put off, not with the long waiting list and the forever-and-a-day time that it takes to process these applications.

But for crying out loud: MILWAUKEE WISCONSIN???? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???? on DECEMBER 19th?????

Is the Grinch processing our paperwork, or what?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Agency Update

The recent update from our agency states that " We currently have 34 families matched with children waiting to travel, 112 families with CIS approval waiting for their referral and 152 families with applications approved working on their home studies and waiting for CIS approval."

I am soo depressed at this news. We are in the "152 families" category. I have no idea what position we are in that count, but I do not want to know. With my luck, we are #152 out of 152.

And I am betting that the number is going to grow, what with the recent changes in China adoption.

Today I feel like I am NEVER going to be a mom.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I600A and Mario Brothers

In all my obsessive stressing over apologizing to Law Mommy about the "serial posting" I did on her comments, I forgot to post about the letter we received in the mail yesterday. Not the fingerprinting appointment we were waiting for, but a letter that did at least confirm that they received our application, provided us with a receipt for the fees, and informing us that we would receive our fingerprint appointment notification "shortly." The letter also had at the bottom of it a list of processing times for various applications and a "command" to not call or contact them in anyway UNLESS it was past the processing time quoted in the letter. According to the letter, it is taking 3 months for the processing of the I600-A at the Detroit office.

Silly as it sounds, I really wanted to jump up and down like a loonie loon over the letter, simply as it marks progress! However, our neighbor's little boy, P, was "visiting" while his mom took his baby sister to dance class, so I had to play it cool. After all, I opened it during a very important video game tutorial that demanded I pay close attention. Amazing how much six year olds know about video games! Sadly, I am a poor student, for I could not tell you one useful tip about Mario Brothers Lost in Time (er, I think that was the title!).

I also wanted to call R and tell him about the letter, but there was no time for that either, for after my tutorial about Mario Brothers, P decided we should look at our games (I bought R a Nintendo Game cube for Christmas last year, just for fun) and sort them based on their ratings. P was very serious about this project, as he wanted to make sure the games rated "E" were put in front of the cabinet and the games rated "T" pushed way in the back of the cabinet so that "he [meaning the baby] wouldn't get a hold of them and try to play them before he was old enough." P also said that he would help "him" learn to play the games, "cuz they can be very hard to learn for a little kid." P gets that we are adopting and is very excited about it, but is a little confused about the age of the baby we are adopting. I think he is hoping it is a boy just a little younger than him, so that he can play with him and be a "big brother" type. His mom and R and I have all tried to explain to him that the baby IS going to be a baby when he comes home, and it will be a long time before the baby will play even the "E" rated games, but P is undeterred by that information.

Soo...we sorted the games and talked about what games were good and what games were bad, and most importantly what games we did not have that we really really should get fact, we should email Santa and let him know we NEEDED those games.

Back to the letter from Homeland Security- I wonder what "shortly" means exactly?????

Monday, December 11, 2006

Apology to Law Mommy

I have no idea what is happening with blogger tonight, but I somehow managed to post the same comment several times to LawMommy's blog. So if you are reading this G, I am so so sorry that you had to read the same comment over and over. I kept getting a "page cannot be displayed" so I clicked back and re-submitted. I felt awful when all of a sudden the comment showed up...and showed up..and showed up again. Yikes! I give myself a great big red "F" for "blogging performance" tonight. if I offer to bake you some cookies, will it make up for it?

adoption lingo

I think maybe I have been reading too many adoption books. yesterday while reading Hannibal Rising, the dominant thought that kept running through my mind was not "wow, this guy is really creepy" or "how twisted is THAT!" but " This guy has a serious case of Reacctive Attachment Disorder!"

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I am soo soo tired. Yesterday I had a Ministry Support Team meeting from one until three, then met my mother and sister at Red Lobster (YUM!) for an early dinner at 3:30 and then we went shopping. We went to Shopko, The Mall (ahem, remember we live in Hicksville, so the Mall is rather small)- Kohl's, JC Penney, Younkers, Sam Goody, Bath and Body Works, B.Dalton Bookstore- Target and Walmart. Guess what time I got home? 10:35 p.m.!!! We had a lot of fun though, and managed to sneak around enough to get a few presents for each other as well. Of course, then I had to get home, get the stuff in the house (tricky, as I had presents for R that I needed to sneak past him) and catch up with each other about the day- so, sleep did not come until after two a.m. (partly due to the fact that I bought Hannibal Rising-thanks Law Mommy for posting that it was on the market!)

At the mall we saw a caucasian couple with a hispanic toddler (boy) and a little asian baby girl- my mom and sister would not allow me to "stalk" the family. what spoilsports! I just wanted to see the baby! LOL

I am slowly getting into the Christmas spirit. It has been hard, because if things had gone as we had planned, we would have a baby this Christmas. I remember last Christmas day R and I were sharing our dreams for next Christmas when the "baby is home." We talked about all the fun things we would do, the traditions we would start, the Christmas shopping fun we would have, first Christmas photos, etc. Well, here we are at "next Christmas" and it is looking like it is going to take a lot of luck and a few miracles for us to MAYBE be parents by Christmas 2007.

But, I am working hard to remind myself of all the wonderful things we do have this Christmas: each other, our dogs, our family that lives here and our friends. Our niece A is a senior in high school and this will be her last christmas as a "child", and our nephew A is going to turn 14 on Christmas day (as he pointed out to me that makes him "practically a man" LOL). This will be our third Christmas without my dad, and it is getting easier each year that passes to enjoy the good memories of Christmas with him and not hurt so much that he is no longer here. I am sure that our first Christmas with a baby will be bittersweet in the sense that we will have those thoughts of "if only dad were here to see his newest grandchild" etc. Still, I know we will work hard to share stories about him with our child so that he will at least know how much his grandpa loved Christmas and how he would search for hours and hours and days and days for the perfect Christmas presents for all of us. I will probably at some point share the "great cabbage patch kid adventure of 1984" with our child as well. Now that is a classic family christmas story about my dad!

I also find great comfort and joy in all of you in adoption blog land- I feel tremendously blessed that all of you share your lives, stories, wishes, hopes, fears, triumphs, and frustrations on your blogs. I also a deeply grateful for those of you who take the time to read this blog and offer your advice and support. As difficult as this time is for me, I know it would be unbearable without the support and friendship that you all so generously offer. This Christmas, know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers, and I consider all of you valuable and treasured "gifts" this Christmas.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Deep Thoughts

(well, no not really that deep, but they are my thoughts after all... )

I really did enjoy "Scandal at Scourie" yesterday...perhaps because of its disney-esque qaulities. I appreciated that they tackled some difficult issues while still managing to make it a positive, happy film. Probably not very realistic, but still, I agree with Christina, I like happy endings!

Ever since I was a small child, I have liked movies about orphans and adoption. Of course, as a child I never thought about the more complex issues of adoption- I was able to immerse myself in those stories without giving any thought to "reality"- Goodness knows, I watched Annie enough times that I went through two VHS tapes of the film! Over the years, I have watched many other orphan/adoption movies: Boystown running a close second to Annie as a personal favorite. And I musn't forget Pollyana, a wonderful Haley Mills Disney film (although Parent Trap is my all time favorite). The Apple Dumpling Gang was another favorite, as was Six Pack - a movie where Kenny Rogers adopts a "crew" of orphans. Bing Crosby did a film "Little Boy Lost" that also had an orphan theme to it- not recognized as one of his better films, but still one that I watch when I come across it on television.

Literature, also, is rich with orphan and adoption themes (I think you are right E., often times stories tackle difficult societal issues by using sympathetic and endearing characters such as orphans that the viewer/reader identifies with and cheers on): Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking, Paddington Bear, Wizard of Oz, and currently the most popular orphan of all: Harry Potter.

All of these films and books are great stories that I loved as a child and continue to love as an adult. I look at adoption through "different eyes" now, but I am glad (should I be ashamed? I dunno) that I am still able to enjoy these stories. I am glad that these fictional children and fictional parents were able to come together and form a family so made me, as a child, believe that adoption was a great thing and even made me somewhat envious of these children who found the 'perfect families" (I doubt I was the only little girl who desperately wanted to be Annie!)

And I am glad now, that these films and books are still around and still available to me to enjoy. I know that "real life" is much more "hard Knock" than these stories share (well, save for the Dickens novels, talk about dreary living-but they did wrap up nicely in the end), and I am fully aware that our own adoption journey is not being scripted by Disney.

I spend a lot of time on yahoo adoption groups and I agree that debates about ethical adoption, corruption, lost referrals, closed countries, attachment disorders, developmental problems/autism, agencies from hell and racism are all important to address and I do not hide from these issues.......

Yet sometimes I need the escape that stories such as these provide: a reminder of what drew me to adoption in the first place, a good dose of optimism and license to dream of a perfect adoption story- overall a good contrast to the more complex, difficult, and sometimes heartbreaking elements of adoption in the "real world."

Hell yeah, its a hard knock life, but thank goodness we at least have a song we can sing about it! And I still love and admire the optimism of any one who can sing (without sarcasm) the Annie song "Tomorrow"

Anyone else have a favorite adoption movie? Or hates them and wants to kick me in the you-know-what for being such a goof ball? Anyone else want to admit that they wanted to be Annie? Or.....are there a few dark souls out there that secretly wanted to be the "Bad Seed?" - Kidding!!

I promise to be more serious and realistic in my next blog.....

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Scandal at Scourie"

I am watching a movie on TCM called "Scandal at Scourie" starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. The basic plot of the movie is this: a Protestant couple adopts a Roman Catholic orphan girl. The father is running for political office, and this adoption becomes a great "scandal." While generally a "disney-esque" movie, it does hit on some sensitive issues about "the propriety of a couple adopting a child of another religion of their own" [while in that time period the religion is the issue, for those of us adopting internationally, we could easily insert culture/race along with religion. ]

Some disturbing elements of the film (disclaimer: I am well aware that this is an older film, and therefore it is not entirely fair to critique it based on current culture/beliefs/ etc) that have given me cause for thought about how adoption is viewed in our culture.

1. in the opening scene, we find the littl girl, Patsy, about to let her golfish go in a stream. Mrs Victoria McChesney (Greer Garson) happens upon little Patsy and strikes up a conversation with her. In the course of the conversation, Patsy reveals that she is an orphan, traveling with about 14 other orphans, on their way to Manitoba, for their orphanage burned down. At each train stop, the nuns and priest in charge of the orphans are "giving us away to whoever will have us." Patsy goes on to say that "of course, the best are all taken first"

2. Predictably, Victoria McChesney is taken by this girl and asks the girl if she would like to come to her husband's store for some sweets and lemonade. She introduces the child to her husband, Patrick McChesney, who is at first quite taken by Patsy as well. Mrs McChesney explains to her husband that "They are giving these children to whoever will take them. Does she have to get back on the train, Patrick?" Patrick responds by giving Patsy a pretty necklace and commenting on how much she looks like Mrs McChesney. Patsy replies "and you look like Father Frank!" Upon learning the child is roman catholic, his mood alters drastically and he rather gruffly says he will make sure she gets back on the train."

3. of course, Mrs McChesney manages to make sure they do not make the train (the stock boy has to take them as Mr McChesney has a customer he has to deal with), by coming up with all kinds of delays. Still, upon arriving at the train station, the nuns are still there. The train is late, and so were able to wait for Patsy. Mrs McChesney asks if she can keep Patsy, but the nuns and the priest are reluctant upon discovering McChesney is Protestant. They finally agree she can take Patsy as long as she raises her Catholic. McChesney is told that Patsy was found in a basket on the doorstep of the orphanage at one week old.

4. All is not roses, of course. Mr McChesney is not happy about it. But he starts to come around. The town is in an uproar over the adoption of a Roman Catholic child by the McChesney's. The kids at school tease Patsy for being Roman Catholic. Patsy doesn't understand why she can't go to church with her "mother." Mrs McChesney agrees to go to Mass with Patsy on her first Sunday, which sets off her minister and others in the town. Mr McChesney's political opponents accuse him of trying to "get the Catholic vote." the town paper prints an article highly critical of the adoption, and Mrs McChesney hunts down the reporter at the barber shop and smacks him in the face with a towel repeatedly (Personally, I cheered at this scene GO MOM)

5. it turns out that the girl accidently burnt down the orphanage. Later in the film, there is a fire that burns down the school and the whole town blames Patsy. here Mr. McChesney stands up in a town meeting and defends his daughter, and dramatically resigns his leadership roles in the church and community and withdraws his campaign for political office- saying his daugther is more important to him than all of that. He then leaves, with wife in tow, stating "I am going home to my daugther!" When they arive home, Patsy has run away (with her goldfish, of course). The town manages to rally together to help the McChesney's find Patsy (in a pouring rainstorm of course).

6.Meanwhile, a letter is brought to the bad newspaper reporter (who is behind all the uproar) by the priest written by a boy who confesses to starting the fire that burnt the school down himself and he has run away also. The two kids find each other in the storm and decide to head to Manitoba together. Lots of drama- essentially the storm ends, Mrs McChesney is still out looking (it is the next day) for Patsy. She goes to the river where she first met Patsy, finds the gold fish, starts crying, hears a sneeze, finds Patsy hiding under a old turned over row boat. Mr McChesney shows up, tells Patsy he does love her and he is sorry that she ever thought he didn't want her. The other kid comes out of hiding...everyone else shows up....big scene of Patsy on the lap of both parents, riding in a horse drawn wagon, the whole town walking with them, all sing Frere Jaques. (ok this is truly a classic silly, utopian disney like ending.. nothing like neatly tying up all the issues with a song)

I have many thoughts and comments about this film and its portrayal of adoption- i.e. "Cross-cultural" adoption. it was released in 1953, so it is dated. But the issues are still valid, if a bit different these days. But I will hold off on these comments for now, and give you all a chance to comment.....what do you think about adoption movies? what do you think about what I have shared about this movie? Do you like these movies? Or did you once like them, but now that you are adoptive famillies, or adoptive families in the making, do you see them differently? Why do you think that there are so few adoption movies these days? Did the portrayal of orphans in these old films hurt or promote adoption? They are mostly unrealistic, of course. What do you think about happy ever after orphan stories? Better to have them, or better to have no orphan stories at all?

What do you think, should I do more posts about these type of movies and/or media portrayals of adoption? (i.e. we could talk about Annie -the classic orphan story) Is this something you are interested in hearing about/discussing? Let me know....

[as a final thought, do you applaud this movie for attempting to deal with some tougher issues (different religions/adoption prejudice), or do you think that its disney-esque elements over-ride this attempt? ]

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Lied

During our homestudy visit, the social worker asked us to list our strengths.

I told him that one of my strengths was patience.

That was a lie.

Now, in my defense, at the time I said it, I believed it to be a true statement.

Today, I did a little adoption math: time for 171h approval + referral wait time+wait to travel time= completed adoption.

Best case scenario, we might be about to travel by next Christmas.

Doing math makes me cranky anyway, but doing this math pretty much sent me on a completely- out -of- proportion- but -true -to -the -magnitude- of -my frustration rant. Luckily no one is home with me but the dogs, and they just looked at me quizzically as if to say "What is she going on about?"

Apparently, I really do not have the patience for this whole process.

Today is definitely a Charlie Brown day. as in, I feel like Charlie Brown. Or perhaps like Linus when Snoopy steals his security blanket.

And did I mention I found a grey hair this morning?????

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Is There a Doctor in the House?

R and I did a walmart run (the evil empire) as I needed a new inhaler and the walmart pharmacy is the easiest (and least expensive) pharmacy around here. I walk up to the counter, tell the assitant my name and that I need a refill on my albuterol inhaler. The friendly assistant informs me that they no longer carry that particular type of inhaler- news to me as I just had it refilled four weeks ago (ahem. asthma issues lately, long story).
"Oh" I say (yes, brilliant remark, wasn't it?).
I must have looked a bit panicked (the thought of not being able to breathe tends to do that to me) for she tells me not to worry, that she can easily switch my prescription to the new inhaler. The new inhaler has the same stuff (albuterol) but does not have the fluero- something -carbons (sorry, I am not up on my chemistry). Not sure what they are, but apparently they are bad things. Sure took them a long tim to decide that though, since I have had albuterol inhalers since I was 5.
R and I shop a bit, pick up some Dingo bones for the dogs, a few things on our list of Christmas presents to buy for family, some other odds and ends, and then head back to the pharmacy.
That new improved super duper inhaler without the very bad fluero-something- carbons? Well, it cost 32 dollars. with insurance! without insurance, the tech tells us, it cost around 90 dollars.
The old "white inhaler"? yeah, that one cost us a grand total of 10 dollars. 17 without insurance.
and this new inhaler is half the size as the "old" inhaler.
Needless to say, I am pissed. Boo Hiss to ProAir for being so expensive! and down with wal mart for not carrying the "old" inhaler anymore.
I definitely need to call my doctor and find out if all the pharmacies are switching to carrying Pro Air only. Or else I need to find some different, cheaper, asthma meds.
Do they still make those Primatine Mist thingies?

Kids Crack Me Up

Yesterday Robert and I joined some friends at the community Christmas Tree lighting/ Carol singing/ visit from Santa and Mrs Claus ceremony. We are part of a group that started a family center, and the center co-hosted this event with the local community association. Our family center and the community association building are right next to each other, so we set up decorations, food, etc in each building and lit the "path" between each yard. Our good friends, J and D, brought their grandchildren: two boys - J, age 6, H age 5- and one girl- B, age 4. Here are some of the conversations I had with the little munchkins:

(an earlier conversation on the phone prior to meeting at the center)
Me: Hi B! Are you excited to see Santa Claus tonight?
B: I am a pony! Can't you hear me feet clip clopping?

(sound of phone being put down, then being picked up by H)

Me: Hi, H!
H: "I want lots of presents for Christmas!" (click, phone hangs up)
Me: Hello? H? Hello? (dial tone)

Me: Wow, J, your dad said that you guys hit a deer on the way here! That must have been scary!
J (wide-eyed): Yeah. and you know what? the deer hit us with his BUTT!!

(later on, after Santa came and left, and we are cleaning up the center, the kids are in the playgroup room. An argument ensues over a toy, and B comes out wailing about how she is never gonna like "those brothers" a gain)

Me: Sounds like things arent' going so well in there. (Picking B up and holding her)
B: No..they are mean and they took my bean bag chair and..and..and... (sniffs, tears, major drama queen gestures)
J (the grandma): I don't know B, doesn't sound like they are being very nice. Maybe you should tell Santa about those brothers of yours."
Me: "Hey, I have an idea! Maybe we should send Santa an email"
B (with a very serious look on her face) : "Yeah, cuz they sure aren't being much good!"

It is so hard to keep a straight face sometimes! LOL