Friday, July 20, 2007

If anybody sees my head...

...could you please pick it up and pop it in the post. Tanksferdat. You see, I think it’s finally popped off and I just really hate the thought of kids using it as a soccer ball or some dog chewing on it. It hasn’t been doing me much good lately but I'm thinking it could really come in handy at some point in the future. ? Maybe.

You know how they say there are like three really big life changes that can affect your family: 1) Having a child, 2) Moving, 3) Changing jobs, and let’s just add another for fun 4) House burning down. Any one of these things is known to be a major stressor, but what would a therapist say if they knew I was dealing with all four at the same time? They would probably advise me to just leave the head because I don’t really need it right now and it’s just going to pop off again tomorrow.

So here’s a little update, saving the best for last of course...

House Burning Down (or “essentially destroyed by fire”, as we prefer to say): The house is coming along great. Our contractors and their marketer turned the restoration into a real project that showcases green building practices and “what to do if your house burns down” education. We’ve got hard hat tours, open houses, way cool vendor participation AND our home has been chosen to be on the City’s Build it Green! Tour this year. All this AND the restoration is coming along great. The plumbing, wiring and radiant heat are all in and now they’re putting up sheetrock, which means there’s actual walls. The windows and doors are in and they’re absolutely stunning (at least from what I can tell in the pictures) and the siding is going up on the back of the house (where the fire was). All of this while we’re on the other side of the planet. It’s all quite amazing actually. Our contractors are wonderful and kind and we trust them. If it were not for them our heads would’ve popped off a long time ago. We have no doubt the house will be absolutely gorgeous AND we’re thinking that, after a couple of dinner parties and some Thor-time in the Tupperware cupboard, she’ll be ours again.

Moving and Changing Jobs: I need to combine these because they kind of go together. Things are a little complicated on this front. We were originally planning on going home at the beginning of August because that’s the end of our two years here, but the house won’t be done by then so we were granted an extension from The Death Star, requiring certain commitments from Floyd. Along came Thor...and we’re suddenly wondering how quickly we can move back...but Floyd made commitments...but the house won’t be get the picture. Then we add the issues with my little place of employment (I think we called it R2D2 before). The messages are mixed but I’m hearing they could use me back in the office, The conversation went something like this...

“So, I’ve only got one or two months left to play in Ireland and you want me to come back early and go to work? Are you out of your fekkin’ mind?”
“Oh…you’re going to pay me?
“How much?”
“I’ll see you Monday.”

It’s just that simple. We have a few expenses right now so we’ve gotta dig deep and just do what needs to be done. And if that means going back to the States, AND my cubicle, AND being away from Floyd for 4-5 weeks, AND not seeing our home together for the first time, AND not spending our anniversary be it. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Having a Baby: Oh yea, Thor, I almost forgot...NOT! Thor is front and center in all of this mayhem. As y’all know, Thor is in China’s Waiting Child Program because of her cleft lip/cleft palate. That program works a little differently from their Traditional or Non-Special Needs Program. Our Letter of Intent (LOI) was sent to China on June 26th and we are now waiting for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA), which is actually a letter from China asking if we’re still interested. Ummmm....gee, let me think... This seems like a crazy step, but they are simply seeking confirmation (the other name for this step) that we can handle her special needs. These days the LOA can take over 100 days to get (ugh) UNLESS your original file (the one we sent in May 2006) was already through the review room, which would mean that it may only take about 35 days (much better). Now, we’re pretty sure our file was out of the review room but we just don’t know for sure. It gets kind of complicated and involves lots of dates and I won’t bore you with it (as opposed to boring you with all this other stuff). Needless to say, only time will tell, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it (except take deep breaths). Then after we send back our LOA we wait another 3-4 weeks for our Travel Authorization (TA) and travel can happen within a few weeks of that. Essentially, if things go according to schedule we could be traveling as early as mid- to late September or as late as mid-November. But there is just nothing certain in this whole process, so we still send out LOTS of good juju.

Speaking of good juju, we are off to London this weekend because we have to renew some adoption paperwork (the thumbs-up by the Feds, i.e. the Holy Grail of adoption paperwork) and, in order to do so, we need to renew our fingerprints. Yes, you heard me correctly. Renew our fingerprints. Because they changed so much over the last year. I would really love for somebody to tally up what it costs, financially and mentally, the potential adoptive parents to comply with all of these fekkin’ silly-ass rules to bring home their child. I realize there have been a few bad apples but, man! The Feds (I can't even bring myself to name their office in this blog because I just know they're reading it) have us all by the cajones and it just isn’t comfortable. So, the good juju comes in the form of the vibes that we send to the Feds so that they do not choose to mess with us and we can get our renewed paperwork before we travel (feel free to light candles...if you have any left).

So – off we go to jolly-old London. We have our sights set on toy shopping to help stock the little care package that we’re sending to Thor and her foster family. We’re also going to check out the precious antiquities that were plundered from ancient sites all over the world, such as those we just saw in Turkey and Pompeii, and now reside in the British Museum (for safekeeping of course). We might sample a few real ales as well. So, as usual, any complaints I might have about such things as renewing our fingerprints are now falling on deaf ears.

And let’s not forget the nesting. That instinctual maternal nesting that I am so needing to do right now...and can’t. Imagine. I can’t decorate her room because it’s on the other side of the planet. I can’t buy baby stuff over here because it’s wayyy too expensive and we’d just have to, somehow, get it back to the States. It’s a little frustrating. But you know what I can do? I can make lists. I can make lists of all of the lists that I need to make. That’s what I CAN do. I can also read books about adoption and attachment, join Yahoo Groups, research craniofacial surgical teams back home, talk to other adoptive parents, bake cookies, and...make lists of lists.

So that’s where we’re at these days. Oh, and it’s been raining for 43 days straight here in Ireland. I don’t think I mind it as much as some but I definitely feel a wee bit mental. Something tells me it’s not the rain though.

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Blogger walternatives said...

Candles lit and prime juju being sent here, sister. I gotta tell you - just reading all this makes MY head start to wobble. Here's hoping you'll fully enjoy the pints and pleasures of London after the prints are out of the way! xo p.s. Love the reference to Thor and Tupperware time. My mom swears that that the fave activity for each of her 6 kids - full access to the pots and pans cabinet!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous SBird said...

Good luck with your lists...anytime you want to talk/email, just let me know...I'm mostly around, except when I'm not. =)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Katie J said...

Thor will be coming soon. Yippee! Is there someone in the states where you could mail baby stuff? Get a little fix in and send it to them for safe keeping?

However, I am a lover of lists and understand the joy. Good luck in jolly old London.

7:57 PM  
Blogger wzgirl said...

Lots of reasons to feel a wee bit mental. Sheesh! Yes, even the happy good changes bring about stress. And, you've got...pretty much a shitload. Here I was thinking that you'd be home with Thor by the PDX trip? Prob. not, huh? But, *you* are going to be home soon...def use your cyberbuds if you're feeling lonely. And, to celebrate the BDay coming up!

11:08 PM  
Blogger "M" said...

My gosh girl, with all that going on I'm surprised your head didn't explode, rather than just falling off. Hope you have some good juju on your time in London and that things move along with Thor quickly.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Cavatica said...

Whoa--- I'm dizzy now. Hope you find your head.

4:17 AM  
Blogger FDChief said...

Couple of things:

1. Wr n yr hse tourin yr stuff. Seriously - we saw your house! Your! House! It totally rocks! We loved the pantry, the new windows, the gorgeous new shingling they're doing in back. You guys will totally luuuurve it with big hunky drooling love. And your cool vaulted ceilings? And Thor's cool baby room? And the trick little rounded moulding over the upstairs shower...

Sigh. Hey, wanna trade houses? Straight up? We've've got a big fish! We'll throw him in.

2. So are you gonna be back in August? What? Send us an e-mail, dammit!

3. Waiting for LOA. Yup. Sucky. Yup. Yup. With you, girl. Hang in there. Gonna happen.

4. Fingerprints. Get this - mine DID change. Freakin' wierd? Yep. Cut myself badly across the pinky. Oh, well. Go figure.

5. We miss y'all. Love from the gang.

4:48 AM  
Blogger FDChief said...

Oh, and it's been raining here all week, It's raining now.

You will be assimilated: resistance is useless.

4:50 AM  
Blogger steph said...

Rain? Not sure I remember what that is.. We're about to hit the prime time monsoon season with bitchin storms blowing through at night. it's pretty, and thank god veto isn't afraid of the lightening and thunder.
Get a big purse and shoove the head in there so you can tote it around on your shoulder. Shouldn't bother you much since the weight of the world is already hanging there, but it will keep it handy for quick pop ons and offs.
gonna be one heck of a new year with all these additions. I think our parents' heads will be popping soon~~

2:38 AM  
Anonymous Project Ni Hao said...

Whoa, that IS a lot of stuff hitting all at once. Like head-spinning-pea-vomit-type a lot of stuff! Major good juju being sent your way.

4:20 PM  
Blogger atomic mama said...

Have fun in London!!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Mega juju headed your way!!! Have a great time in London. My cousin just had their first child and I would LOVE to be in London holding her!!!!!

Stop by my blog sometime. You haven't visited me in forever!!!!

Sam @ Just Keep Swimming

4:59 AM  

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