Archive for November, 2006

Issue resolved and Next Referrals

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

So the issue is resolved. Weird formating from Word 2003 seems to have flipped IE out. Not sure why that should mess up the entire blog but oh well. T-day entry looks a little odd in Firefox now but at least it is readable.

Latest batch of referrals are out. Cut-off day Sept. 8th 2005. Congrats to the new families. But I still feel like crying. Where’s that promised speed up? Next month? That would be a great Yule-tide gift.

Also congrats to Tom and Kate who will be traveling over the x-mas holidays to receive their son Noah! Yey!





Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

A friend told me she was having trouble viewing the previous post. Leave a comment if you’re having trouble too. I’ll get my people right on it. LOL!



Happy Thanksgiving I guess…

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

I’m not feeling particularly thankful this year. Sorry. Just can’t do it. Those of you who know me well know that the holidays aren’t exactly my favorite time of the year anyway but this year is especially depressing. One more holiday season without our daughter. Also I’m stuck in a job that continues to reduce my motivation with every new reduction in the work force (the beatings will continue until morale improves!) And just in general, I don’t feel much like I have anything to celebrate.

To counter that I’ve allowed myself to be inspired by my friend Eilidh into making a list of my blessings. So here, in no particular order and with a great deal of overlap, is a list of all the positive things in my life. Happy holidays!

  • My husband Darren, who teaches me something new every day and with whom I am about to celebrate 5 blessed years of marriage
  • My “fur children” Kipper and Ebony
  • A beautiful house, even if I am the world’s worst housekeeper
  • Gainful employment (the job may suck but it beats the alternative)
  • The privilege of living in one of the most beautiful places on earth
  • The memories of my parents, who inspire me still
  • My brother Paul
  • My cousin Richard and my aunt Sally, my nearest (and dearest) living kin
  • O’ma O, Aunt Joyce and Uncle Arij, Uncle Jim and Aunt Ingrid, my cousins Ezra, Joram, Benjamin, Sharon, Thomas and Maartin, as well as Ezra’s wife Marijke and their son Michael – the sheer force of your love reaches across two continents and an ocean
  • The memories of my brother Shannon, my O’pa O, O’pa and O’ma M and all my kin on the other side of the Veil
  • My father’s other sisters, Marianne, Patty and Barbara, and their respective spouses and children (and grandchild!)
  • My husband’s mom, Becky, dad Loren, step-mon Sherri, sisters Marne and Mindy, her husband Craig and our nieces/nephew Karlee, Kendall and Kyle
  • My heart’s sister Tina, who has literally given me the shirt off her back
  • My “wife” Lynn and brother Bill, who have done the same time and time again
  • Pope”/Brian/Lorcan, for putting a smile on Tina’s face again
  • My brother Daniel, back from the war
  • My brothers and sisters of Caer Glas, my spiritual Clan
  • LE, my friend, my “mom,” spiritual advisor and sometimes conscience and a true Pelican in all aspects of her life
  • Kelvin and Debbie, your quiet friendship and steady example of honor and service make me proud to call you Family
  • Grandpa” Dave and “Grandma” Anne
  • Caelfind, Eogan, Kyle and Morgan – you’re all too wonderful for words
  • Ian and Fleurette for your generosity and graciousness
  • Morgana and Alexander, shining example of chivalry, courtesy and service
  • Hope, Bob, Sam and not-so-baby-Jessie, we miss you but are happy that you are happy
  • For the SCA (no, it is NOT the Society for Compulsive Accuracy!) and the privilege of escaping to another time on weekends
  • For the privilege of returning home to modern conveniences (I like running water, electric lights, gas stove and central heating, thanks!)
  • Heavy Weapons Fighting, ‘nuff said
  • For all the members of Darach Shire , with whom I am honored to work and play and live the Dream

  • The Buckmaster Clan
  • The Pack (”Sic non praedator, praedae sunt.”)
  • For the T-wimmin (if you don’t know, don’t ask!) and the T-spouses and, now, T-babies! for years of consistent friendship no matter how far any one of us roamed
  • For Paul H, whose friendship I am still honored to claim
  • Eilidh Swan, for so many things, especially for making me be positive even when I don’t want to. ;-)
  • For dearest Daiv, after 20+ years still worrying, amusing and over-all blessing me with your presence in my life
  • For my former co-worker and still friend Debbie, back in SB after an excursion in the desert
  • For Jason, Laura, Jared and Baby R
  • For the Internet which helps me to waste a lot of time but also do cool things like this blog and finding old friends I thought I’d never speak with again
  • For all my other friends, lost but not forgotten, with whom I no longer have regular contact but by whom I have been greatly influenced and richly blessed

I’m sure I missed a bunch. These are just the ones that came to me in the last few minutes. Huh, I actually do feel better. What a good idea.

OK, go count your blessings now too.

Blessings and love,


EDIT: I’ve been adding to this list I enjoyed thinking of these things so much. Come back and check it out occasionally. JV


Forgive Me…

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I don’t want this blog to turn into a political discussion but after 6 years under Bush, a Republican Congress and all their shenanigans, you’ll have to forgive me if I cheer for the country finally coming to some semblance of sense again.

And Rummy, if I had my way you’d never work anywhere again. No, strike that. If I had my way you’d be doing convoy duty in Fallujah.

Oh, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Has a nice ring to it. Congrats!

Now all you Dems better use that stinking majority to do something that is actually good for this country!




Another Month Down

Monday, November 6th, 2006

So… Oct. 25th was 6 months since our LID. Not sure whether to celebrate or sigh. I think I’ll just let it pass as a neutral thing for now.

On November 2nd the latest batch of referrals finally came out. Major congrats to all the folks who have waited so long and are finally seeing their children’s faces! This latest batch went through August 26th, 2005. It’s a bit of improvement in the number of matches over previous months (I gather it’s about a 15% increase over last month) but not exactly the big speed up we’d been hoping for. Still, it’s a lot further than they’ve gone in some time. And the next few months will be more telling. Sorry if this is beginning to sound repetitive. It is to me too. But I am really trying to be optimistic because the alternative just isn’t pretty.

In other good news, CCAA reports that the January dossiers are now out of the review room. Another step completed for those families. Congrats!

Moving on…

I have a request for the world at large (especially some of my co-workers): PLEASE! STOP! TALKING! ABOUT! MADONNA! Please stop giving her air time. Please stop feeding the Media’s obsession with her. And especially please stop asking me about her! I’m not an expert on Malawian adoption law or Madonna and her husband’s motivation for adoption so I can shed no light on the situation for anyone. And while we’re at it, stop asking me about Angelina or whatever other celebrity adoptive parent is in the news today. I don’t know. I don’t care! I don’t wanna talk about it any more. Yeeesh!

And before anyone else points it out, yes, I do recognize the inherent contradiction of complaining in a public forum about Madonna getting too much publicity. It’s my party and I’ll be inconsistent if I want to. 😉

‘Nuff said on that.

So, a few quick words on positive adoption language. Even in our increasingly open and accepting society, adoption is often seen as a 2nd, less desirable choice for building a family. Positive adoption language is a way of counter-acting those assumptions. Again, I think most of you are already sensitive and smart enough to understand this stuff. But as long as I’m “educating” anyway I thought I’d throw some of the basics at you. And truth be told, some of these have already come up, not so much around Friends and Family but… well, indulge me, OK?

And I’ll go on my “blood trumps all” rant another time, but for now just a few hints to remember when speaking of adoption.

The term is birth mother (or father, or family) not real mother (etc.) I am her real mother. Darren is her real father. Parents by adoption are real parents. And yes, btw, she is our real daughter.

Likewise, she is our own child. She’ll come to us by adoption rather than birth but she will still be ours.

Along the same lines, she’s our daughter, not our adopted daughter. Using the adjective forms of “adopt” is fine if you are talking about adoption issues but if you’re just talking about our child in general terms, please don’t add the adjective. I’ve seen this phenomenon a lot in the Media, refering to so-andso’s “adopted child” even when the story has nothing to do with adoption. Never once seen a reference to so-and-so’s “biological child,” except, once again, in the context of adoption issues. Please don’t add the adjective for our children unless it is relevant to the discussion at hand.

Born abroad (or born in China) not foreign born. (I hate the fact that all the government forms use this term. ) I know that one sounds a little silly, but she will be an American citizen. Please acknowledge that. I remember people calling my dad “foreign” to his face when I was a kid. Rankled then. Rankles now. Please don’t do it.

Likewise she’s not our Chinese daughter. Any more than I’m my mother’s Indonesian daughter.

Also it’s Asian, not Oriental. Rugs are Oriental. People are Asian. (OK, not strictly adoption-related but still relevant.)

Ok, now the really tough one – the “a” word: abandoned. At least while she is very young I would prefer that you not use this word in reference to her. Abandoned is a very loaded term and the whole subject of infant abandonment in China is a subject for another day as well. We plan to talk to her about the subject but in an age-appropriate way. I’m not 100% sure what term we’re going to use to begin with. I’m sure we’ll come up with something innocuous. But let’s leave that word out of it for the time being.

A few other things I’ll ask you very politely not to say:

“You’ll get pregnant for sure now” (or any version thereof.) As previously stated, Darren and I chose not to build our family through giving birth due to genetic issues. A statement such as this not only shows you don’t understand our reasons for adoption but once again implies that our adoption is somehow second best. No, really, I don’t want to get pregnant. Please don’t wish that on us.

“Can you believe China did [insert political move here.]” Please don’t bad-mouth our daughter’s country of birth in her hearing (and remember, you may think she’s not in ear-shot, but she probably is…) I realize that a lot of people have strong opinions about the government of China, but that is a very different thing from the people and the culture of China. However, Lorelei may not understand the difference. At least while she’s a young child, it would be better for folks to speak kindly or “don’t say anything at all.”

“Will she speak English?” No, Dutch. Here’s your sign. (100% true story!)

OK, I’ll take off the 3rd grade teacher hat. If any of that comes across as defensive or patronizing, I’m sorry. I really don’t mean it that way. Also, I don’t have a witty ending or wrap up here. Forgive me for falling down on the job. J

Until next time, blessings and love,