Monthly Archives: December 2009

Year In Review 2009 – Man, Am I Outta Touch!

I am continually amazed at the search terms that bring people to my blog. Some of the latest include:

  • is Ralph Lauren looking for models: Boy, not only do you like me you think I’m pretty, too!
  • moose turd cookies: Hey! My cooking isn’t THAT bad!
  • brazilian skin colour politically correct: Politically correct skin colour? Huh?
  • wrinkled boobs: Yes. Still. Almost every day
  • boobs search here: I wondered that every day throughout puberty
  • dirty mom son: Searched for and sent here more often than I’d like
  • gorgeous young girls: Now that’s better. Hey. Wait…….ewwwwww.

Yahoo is doing its year in review. They have many categories but the one that interested me? Top 10 Searches for 2009.

  1. Michael Jackson – Yes, his death was tragic. Yes, he was loved worldwide. Yes, much of his entertaining was genius. Yes, I had all of the Jackson 5’s albums as a kid. But I was so over him once he became physically  unrecognizable. The man had issues (on many levels) and all close to him should feel horrible that they didn’t do more to help him.
  2. The Twilight Saga – I don’t get it. My daughter does. She loved the series. She went to the 12:01am showing when the movie premiered. I tried reading the first novel but got bored. I see the appeal for teens. I just don’t get the appeal of women my age drooling over a teen vampire. We’d be disgusted if the genders were reversed.
  3. WWE – Seriously? People still watch that stuff?
  4. Megan Fox – I still couldn’t pick her out in a line-up.
  5. Britney Spears – A pop sensation, yes. And continues to be popular. She’s been on Yahoo’s Top 10 Search list for the past 5 years. My guess is the searches are by voyeurs relishing in the latest news of her twisted, messed up private life, not for her entertainment skills. And that’s just sad.
  6. Naruto Manga – An exotic Asian dish? A helpful Japanese phrase? Nope. Evidently it’s an anime series on Cartoon Network. Never seen it.
  7. American Idol – This I’ve heard of. And I’m an unashamed fan of the show. I find it fascinating. I wish this show had been around when I was in my twenties.
  8. Kim Kardashian – I just had to click back to the site to make sure I was spelling her name correctly. She has sisters, too, right? And they have a reality TV show? (I’m testing my knowledge here, so give me a sec.) Yep. I was right. But have I ever seen the show? Never.
  9. NASCAR – Again, really? People still watch this stuff?
  10. Runescape – Ok. It’s sci- fi, right? (Just guessing from the name) Yes. It’s the most popular free online role-playing game in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. And I’ve never heard of it.

Man.

I am officially old.

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Filed under Observations

I Love You, Aunt Vern – R.I.P.

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Filed under family

Canon in D

Just for fun. And because I have a house full of guests – so besides the fact that I have little time to post now my brain is also fried with all of this chaos. But this really is a fun little clip. Clever, too. Enjoy!

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Filed under Music

The Adoption Triangle of Love

When I was searching for ideas for my 100th post my friend, LLCoolJoe, asked about my experience with adoption. First of all, I could probably start a whole new blog and have plenty of material on adoption alone. I can go on and on about how adoption has touched my life. Today I’m going to share with you this nifty little piece of jewelry I found years ago.

It’s called the adoption triangle of love. Just after we adopted our daughter my husband had it made for me from a picture he saw in an adoption magazine. The premise is that each person involved (the birth parents, the adoptive parents and the child) are all joined in love. I loved this idea. I loved wearing this symbol of my part in the adoption process. And then, one day, while teaching my incredible students, one of them asked why I was wearing a Star of David. I laughed. Yes, it did look a bit like the Star of David. But I explained what the symbol meant and he scoffed, “There’s no love in adoption!”

I was stunned. He said, “The only person that gains from adoption is the adoptive parent. The birth parent is just a selfish (fill in the blank) who was too lazy to care for her own child and the child is just another piece of unwanted garbage tossed aside.” I was at a loss for words.

Ever since I was a little girl my mother said I’ve wanted to adopt. She said when I was very young I would say, “I’m going to have one on my own first and then adopt the rest.” I pictured a house full of children. All colors. All genders. All abilities. I have no idea how I created this vision for my life. Fast forward twenty years and I received the news that I was infertile. No big deal, I thought. We’ll just adopt. I’ve never been one of those women who needed to experience pregnancy.

Selfishly, I chose to go the route of international adoption. Selfish because I was not willing to take the risk of a failed adoption here in the U.S. I had heard too many stories of birth fathers suddenly coming into the picture, or the birth mother changing her mind after the baby has been placed. Do you remember the Baby Jessica case back in the 90’s? A 2 1/2-year-old girl, ripped from her adoptive parents arms because the birth mother (who a year after choosing adoption for her baby ended up married to the birth father after all) changed her mind. It was heart wrenching. DNA does not determine who the parent is, in my book. It’s who steps up to the plate to take care of the child.

The mountain of paper work is daunting. The hoops you have to jump through (psychological tests, physical exams, letters of recommendation, fingerprints filed, financial records verified, parenting classes) are many. The expense is a fair amount. And I mean that in every sense of the word. No one gets rich off of adoption – unless, of course, you’re dealing with unscrupulous people. But that can happen in any financial transaction. Once everything is all said and done, the expense (in our experience anyway) was about the amount we’d need for a biological birth. I wasn’t able to be covered for insurance for a birth anyway because of my infertility – so the cost would be the same if I got pregnant. (Which actually happened years later but that’s for another post)

It took a little over a year for us to complete the process. And during that time I’d sit at the OB/GYN for my annual exam and see teenagers complaining about how uncomfortable they were, being 8 months pregnant. Unmarried. Planning on keeping their child  – with grandma’s help, that is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that choice, as long it provides a strong, stable home for the child. But many times, it doesn’t. I would sit there remembering that line from the movie Parenthood; “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car – hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.” Or mother, for that matter.

Having been raised Catholic, I struggle with the issue of abortion. For me, hopefully for my daughter, abortion is not an option. But when I see all those protestors lining the streets with their signs outside Planned Parenthood clinics I want to shout, “How many children have you adopted?” It’s easy for me to tell someone else you shouldn’t abort. I have a job. A home. Supportive family and friends. But do I have a plan for her if she chooses to give birth? I haven’t walked a mile in her shoes. I have no idea what her personal struggle is.

But choosing adoption for your child when you know you can’t provide the life your baby deserves? Heroic. Amazing. A decision – especially now that I’ve been able to experience the miracle of birth – that is made completely and totally with love. Absolutely. Without any doubt in my mind. 

I have two children through adoption. Two birth mothers that made the most difficult, yet loving decision for their child. I am incredibly honored that they touched my life by entrusting the care of their biological child with me. They could have chosen an easier route. But they didn’t. They chose the difficult path because that was in the best interest of their child. I believe that God entrusts us, as parents, with children to raise. He loans them to us -through biology or adoption – to care for their needs as only we can do in the physical world. Biological or not, they are children that need shelter and guidance until they are on their own.

But maybe my former student was right. Maybe I am the only one who “gained” anything from the process. From my perspective I have gained so much. I have two beautiful children through adoption that I cherish and love. I’d like to think that they gained something too, having a stable, loving home to be nurtured in until they are ready to take charge of their own lives. And the birth parents of my children dug deep in their hearts to make the most difficult, best choice for their child. An adoption triangle. Complicated. Complex. But definitely connected in love. No doubt in my mind.

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Filed under Be-Causes, children, Soapbox

Group Hug Through the Bloggysphere

(Sad alert – do not read if your Christmas spirit will be in jeopardy – you have been warned!)

I spent so much time and energy wrapping myself up in the Christmas spirit and trying to be upbeat and positive about the upcoming season. But frankly, something was weighing heavy on my mind. And since Christmas is behind us I’m allowing myself to let the sadness in.

Allowing myself. Because I honestly would stop the thoughts from entering my pretty little head as soon as they would surface. I know, for many of you out there, the holiday season is NOT a joyful time. Sometimes this holiday brings bad memories out from hiding. Or you’ve lost loved ones at this time. Or it’s your first, second, tenth – whatever- year without a loved one.

Our family suffered two loses this year. One sudden. One expected. I ache for my side of the family that lost our dear aunt/mother/grandmother. She was ill for a long time. We knew the end was near. But it doesn’t make the loss any easier. And her family. This first Christmas without her. Her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren miss her so much. She was my great-aunt and I didn’t see her as often as I would have liked. But she was a beautiful role model to me about what a mom should be, how to live life with humor, giggles and joy. She taught me amazing life lessons and I hate it that she’s gone.

The other loss I still struggle with. And he wasn’t even my boyfriend or my child. As some of you may remember, my daughter lost her boyfriend at the start of the school year. Senseless. Sudden. Tragic. Only 17 years old. The funeral was so difficult. Giving my condolences to the parents? Heart wrenching. They were being forced to do what every parent dreads. The unimaginable. Having to bury your own child. Throughout this Christmas season, as I’d shop for my daughter, something would remind me of her loss. Then I’d think of his parent’s loss. I’d start to ache for them, beginning to imagine what it must be like to have to shop for one child when your other child is gone. And I’d stop. Suddenly. And chase those thoughts right out of my head. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go there. And I haven’t. Until now.

I’m aching right now. For the loss that was easier to handle. For my daughter’s tragic loss of her first love. For those poor parents trying to weather through their first Christmas without their son while putting on a happy face for the son still here. And for all of you who struggle through this time of year without those you love.

Death is difficult for me. Loss of any kind is difficult for me. Loss sucks. And I suppose I could say, “Oh, but if we didn’t experience loss then we wouldn’t know the value of what we have.” Or maybe, “It’s all God’s plan.” But I don’t want to hear that right now. I might someday. But not now. Now I’m just going to be sad.

I candy coated my 2009 holiday season and made it to today. But today, in the afterglow (or is it aftermath?), I’m feeling a little empty. And I don’t have any words of wisdom or upbeat outlooks. I’m all out of them. I used them up in the weeks leading up until now. I’m just sad. Sad for me. Sad for my daughter. Sad for my family. Sad for dear boyfriend’s family. Sad for all of you who are hurting.

I’m so, so sorry for any of you hurting out there. I’m reaching out my arms right now, through the bloggysphere, so we can have a group hug.

Sigh.

That’s a little better.

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Filed under Observations

A Merry Christmas To All! God Bless Us, Every One!

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Filed under Holiday

A Blast From the Past

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Filed under children