Monday, January 19, 2015

#Microblog Mondays - What's Home? What's Comfortable?

Have you read this yet? The NY Times Magazine doesn't always get the ALI stuff right, but I thought this was a very thoughtful piece, particularly since its written by an adoptive parent who herself a mom via open domestic adoption and has also adopted internationally.

One quote from an adoptee who's returned to South Korea is really resonating with me: “Korea is home....But it’s not one I’m completely comfortable in.” But she's sticking with it. As are hundreds of other adults from America and Europe who were adopted away from their homeland and have moved back to South Korea to reclaim it as their home.

Strangely enough, one of D's favorite library books deals with this subject (more or less) and comes to the opposite conclusion. He loves this book, loves it. Mostly because fifi, foo foo and ooh la la bear a striking resemblance to his favorite white poodle Sophie. But me, I've got issues. There's just something about it that's really forced, and tries too hard to convince that where you are is exactly where you should be, even if you look and act differently than everyone around you, and that trying out the alternative (your birth family) will only confirm that.

To be fair, the more I read it, and we read it a LOT, I mean, both doggie families do hang out with each other in the park every day after they meet and learn from each other, so I guess that's kind of an open arrangement? But argh, again, forced, and something sitting not quite right. Not all all like Muppets in Space, my favorite muppets movie ever.

Have you read/interpreted ALI plots or subplots in unexpected places lately?

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Back Story

A few months ago my co-worker and I decided we'd had enough of where we are. Done. Finished. Over it. I've been there 16 years (give or take some sabbaticals); she's been there nearly as long. We've each had opportunities to grow and expand out skills sets and knowledge base, but lately, all of that feels like its come to a screeching halt. It started to feel like we'd be stuck in this rut forever. And neither of us really remember how we got here in the first place.

We decided to get pro-active about it.

We made a plan. We stuck to it. We dedicated time to it. Yelled at each other for slacking. Tidied up resumes and cover letters. Got real about networking. Dreamt a beautiful dream of being able to give notice at the same time, and move on to jobs that we value and that value us and what we can offer.

And we did it! More or less. Within a couple of weeks of each other. We did it! It can be done!

I'm not going to go into much more detail, because then you won't buy our book #kiddingnotkidding. We are totally writing a book.

See what I did there? I just put that in writing, L. Now we're committed.

But here's a takeaway: if you are job searching now and putting yourself out there, please please please let one of your good friends and/or colleagues see your resume and cover letters and edit freely. Because very few of us do a good job at talking about how awesome we really are. We sell ourselves short. You are awesome! You really are! Have someone that knows you help you get that in writing.

This time next month, L and I will both be starting the next chapter in our careers. She'll be working hard to combat sexual and domestic violence (because she is bad ass like that) and I'll be doing what I do now, but on a national level, with a title to match it, and a sane (and very, very cool) boss, and staff! I get staff!

Lots and lots of logistics to still work out. But I know it will all come together. Because this did.

Friday, December 19, 2014

You Only Need One

Last week, one of my brother's old friends stopped by to visit us and to give us our holiday candle - he's been giving us a Yankee candle each year for Xmas for as long as I can remember. It's tradition. He stayed and talked until way past our bedtimes. He clearly needed to talk.

This is someone who I've known for so long, he is family. It's not uncommon for him to go visit my mom and stay a few days, with or without my brother. He's definitely my favorite of all of my brother's friends. Which is why I'm so sad they don't talk anymore. My brother's version - "he wasn't here when I needed him." His version - "Your brother has to sort some sh*t out and no one can do that but him. Plus, I have my own drama. I don't need more." I get it. Both sides, I get.

Part of J's drama is that his own little brother just had a baby. With a baby mama that J doesn't like or trust. He's angry at his brother. He's wary of the mom. He's worried sick about the baby. I asked him why and he confessed that baby mama actually IS a pretty good baby mama and from what he can see, is doing a nice job raising their son. But J is still concerned that this little one have a stable and positive influence in his life. I told J, that's his role. Be the one. Because it only takes one.

I told J that my theory is we really only need one unconditionally loving and affirming presence in our lives, and if we have that, everything else will sort itself out. For me, it was my grandfather.

My parents loved us. As much as they could. But wow, did they fight. A lot. All the time. Loudly. They loved us; they didn't much care for each other. And that was hard to come home to every day. When my grandfather came to visit, I would jump in his truck and wait for him to take me home with him. And he usually did. Sometimes for days. And we'd have adventures. Up to his cabin that he built himself. Out to the lake to go fishing, or just stare at the water. Over to his friend's house to pick walnuts. Down to the stream to catch spring water as it dripped through the rocks.

My GiGi. He was the one. And I started to tear up telling J. He's gone now, and gosh I miss him. I told J, he needs to be the one. And he nodded.

Tell me, who is your one?

Monday, November 17, 2014

#Microblog Mondays - 3 is a Magic Number

One. Two. Three. A family of three we shall be.

Official beta isn't until tomorrow, but our surrogate is an obsessive pee-on-a-sticker. When I hadn't heard anything last week, a quick email on Friday confirmed my suspicions, and ruined a good chunk of our weekend. Sigh. Last chance. No dice.

During the transfer, M and I were feeling a sense of relief. Whatever happens, we saw this through to the end. We explored every possibility. And now we can move on with our lives. With however many children the fates have fated us to have. It felt good to have closure. To be on our final transfer.

Friday, it didn't feel so good. Just...Final.

M is crushed. I'm more like numb. Denial? Perhaps I'm still waiting for that miracle beta. Perhaps I'm feeling pragmatic. I'm trying to remind myself that I wasn't really sure I wanted to go through this final round in the first place. I'm re-reading passages of Lauren's One and Only to reaffirm that there are distinct privileges and opportunities that being an only affords.

I'm sad there won't be more to love. I'm happy we can focus all we have on D. I'm sad there are mountains of baby clothes eagerly and tenderly saved that we'll now have to give away. I'm happy we can get bolder on our weekend adventures together, without a tiny baby to slow us down. Sad/happy. Happy/sad. Mostly just resigned and getting used to the new reality. A family of three we shall be.

Monday, October 27, 2014

#MicroblogMondays - Eating My Words

This morning, I am feeling like the cruddiest crud of all crud. And conflicted. So conflicted.

Last Thursday, on work trip, my boss and I were "discussing" a person who is very hard to deal with: A big bully of a man who puzzlingly also has a little man complex. A career bureaucrat who seemingly finds pleasure in creating obstacles to good policy and sharing half truths when the truth isn't what he likes. Let me be frank, I think this guy is a jerk and one of the few people I haven't moved past actively disliking on a daily basis.

That same day, he and his wife lost their baby. I just found out this morning.

I have no details other than Loss. I think it was a little girl. She was nearly full term. Due Election Day.

And my heart cries for them. I mean, how can it not?? This is nothing you wish upon even the greatest of enemies. But now here is the quandary - how to reach out? How to get beyond the "god I can't stand you" feelings to get to his wife and to his grief? What do I say? What can I share? How can I write this so he doesn't immediately rip up the card when he sees who its from? (because I am sure the feeling is mutual). I am also sure CVS does not have a card for this occasion.

And of course, I am eating my words. Wishing I never piled on to the awful that this person was in the midst of, right as I was saying, "maybe being a father will make him a nicer person....." oooof.  It's not possible to feel like more of an ass than I do right now.

So many of you are so sage, and have taken hard spiritual journeys through your grief and ended up at a place where I am hoping you have some wise words for me. Help?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

#MicroblogMondays - Lessons Learned

...during a long (and awesome) weekend with sweet D at the beach with "beach meemaw" (aka my mom).

  • Meemaw's phone fits in a variety of nooks and crannies never intended for such use. 
  • Meemaw has way too many ceramics, sharp edges and breakables at knee-level. She just might have the least kid-friendly dwelling ever. This is not a new phenomenon.  ("Sometimes, I honestly don't know how you made it out alive," says M.) She also has no concept of quiet voices for bedtime. 
  • Apparently D's unofficial "girlfriend" at daycare (his best buddy. attached at the hip since day one) really IS referred to as his girlfriend. Because we used that term in conversation with my mom and he piped in with her name immediately. Wait, What? Who's your girlfriend, D? "A.....!!!" Ok then. 
  • D is concerningly good at sitting in Time Out. 
  • M has a theory that D and meemaw are fast friends because they are close to the same height. Meemaw is not amused. 

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