Monday, March 31, 2008
Suz & Matt left for Kazakhstan yesterday! They have been on quite a ride. I cannot get over how many challenges that they have faced to get to Kazakhstan.
Amanda and Philip are back in Ireland with their daughter Leah. I have moved them to the "Home Sweet Home" category. I think Anne & Jim also arrived back in the states with their daughter Emma. I have not moved them to the "Home" category yet because they have not posted that they are home.
Sara & Julian (Zoe) and Kristin & her mother (Maia), should be heading back to North America soon.
So, that is four families home/almost home!
I also added Heather & Chris to the "Wait" section. Their paper baby is with our paper baby at the Consulate. Welcome!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I have been singing the chorus to "Gena Hyena" every night for - oh - at least 6 months.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
- Tenure - can I say, "WOO-HOO" one more time?
- Kazakhstan is open to international adoptions from the United States.
And, as a bonus, I finished grading midterm exams today . . . and it is warm and sunny. And, my hair is even better. The lumpy, funky part is starting to grow out. What else can a girl ask for?
Monday, March 24, 2008
I also find humor in some of the things I worry about. I do worry about my hair and my butt (that is not my butt in the photo - way too small), but not too much.
I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to live this life and experience both the joys and sorrows.
I was reminded of the following today.
"Then a woman said, 'Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.'
And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, 'Joy is greater than sorrow,' and others say, 'Nay, sorrow is the greater.' But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall."
We have a lot going on . . . lots of major unknowns hanging about in our life. Add that to the normal pressures of everyday life (being a mom, teacher to people who don't seem to care this semester, wife, keeper of the house - you get the picture) and you get a really weepy woman.
This weekend we went to see Scott's mom for Easter. On Saturday afternoon I just lost it - started crying to Scott's mom because:
- I am having a really difficult semester with lots of students who don't seem to care and lots of grading (I was actually going to figure out exactly how much grading I have to do, but I think I would not leave my house ever again if I actually knew how much). It all seems pointless.
- Within the last year, my butt has gotten so big. It used to be medium . . . now it is big.
- My house is dirty. I dusted some shelves a few weeks ago and it took a heroic effort to get the dust off - picture a power washer.
- of gas prices.
- of grocery prices - I spent $90 yesterday on like 4 bags . . . $20 on olive oil alone.
- I am not sure if I am spending enough quality time with Luca. Does he interact with a screen more than me? Am I a good mom?
- I don't exercise. See #2.
- My last haircut was a disaster. I still don't know what the stylist was thinking when he did what he did to my hair.
- of the uncertainty associated with international adoption. Will we actually complete our adoption from Kazakhstan? Will we meet our little Saskia? Will Luca go? If not, how will I ever be able to leave him for a minimum of 4 weeks?
- of global warming. It is NOT climate change.
- I wonder if I am being a good partner to my husband.
- of the war in Iraq and world peace.
- I am worried about everyone who is adopting from Kazakhstan right now and any troubles they have had.
- of the decreasing value of the dollar.
- of healthcare.
- I worry about feeding my family healthy meals.
- of feed lots and what they do to animals and the environment.
- I am worried about my flowers and the farms in our area - will we have another hard freeze late in the spring that destroys the fruit crop?
- of my dirty house AND the clutter . . . oh, the clutter!
- It is March and we had not heard about Scott's tenure decision. This is a big one - we had no idea if Scott was going to have to go on the job market next year. We had no idea if we would have to sell our house and move. Will Luca have to change schools? There are about a million things connected with this. We have been living in limbo for what feels like forever.
It just takes one thing . . . one little thing . . . to shift one's perspective
And, that is tenure. Scott received a letter from our provost/acting chancellor that informed him that he APPROVED HIS TENURE!
Can you hear the music? See and feel the confetti falling from the sky?
I always knew that he has worked hard and certainly deserves tenure. I was just waiting for administration to show that they know it as well. Finally, they did.Now, we can put down some roots - figuratively and literally.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
- I want a little more freedom to write what I want to write. I am not some radical posing as a mother, but I did feel like I had to censor myself when the blog was open to all the planet.
- And, all the planet included Kazakhstan. When I asked another PAP why she went private, she replied that her agency told her that her blog was being monitored and they told her to pull it. We don't have anything to hide, but I do not want anything I write to be misconstrued and negatively affect our adoption.
We still have months wait ahead of us. I appreciate that you check in from time to time. The support we receive from family and friends is invaluable. Truly. So, thanks for reading or commenting or both. It has been so awesome hearing from so many of you this past week. It makes us feel a lot less alone in this process.
It's my Mom's birthday today. Happy birthday, Mom! We love you!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
WPA updated us on the claim that U.S. adoptions from Kazakhstan are suspended. It looks like the only Kazakhstan government official who has ceased adoptions is the Ambassador at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington D.C. This is a continuation of the problem with the processing of dossiers at the Embassy. The New York Consulate continues to review paperwork. However, the woman that does that is on vacation in Kazakhstan for 2 weeks.
Our agency reported that the Ambassador has been instructed to curtail the number of dossiers processed. His solution has been to stop accepting and processing dossiers until he understands how everything works.
I'm am sorry if you are caught up in this. The "suspension" seems to only affect dossiers going through the Embassy in Washington D.C.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I feel like my head is going to explode.
As many of you may know the Joint Council on International Children's Services reported that Kazakhstan was "closed" to U.S. adoptions yesterday. I just checked again and the Kazakhstan page now says "temporarily suspended."
I have watched rumors come and go on the lists since December. I even desparately emailed my coordinator after reading the first one. All of them were unsubstantiated, but they would not go away. This one, however, seemed pretty convincing.
Our agency has been really amazing with its communication. In fact, their list was the first place I read about the JCICS announcement. Our director was able to put it in some sort of context and explained what he had found out so far. He wrote that adoptions from Kazakhstan have never completely stopped.
Still, I worry.
Our dossier is at the Consulate in New York. The statement says:
"Dossiers which have not yet been processed by the Embassy/Consulate will not be forwarded to Almaty and will remain at the Kazakhstan Embassy/Consulate pending the completion of the review noted above."
I am worn out and we haven't even traveled yet. I know there is nothing I can do. We just wait and more than likely things will get sorted out.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Like lots of other Kazakhstan adoption bloggers, we are going to go private. I have waited and waited on this because I like that people can just drop in, no matter who they are. I don't like getting that "This blog is open to invited readers only" message. I don't want people to get that when they click on our blog.
It does seem like a prudent thing to do.
I have email addresses for my regulars. If you want an invite, leave your email in the comment section or send me an email at areinoehl (at) yahoo (dot) com.
The doors will close next Friday.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I admire people like Pat and Eileen, who are MAKING furniture from scratch for their child. Their nesting makes my head spin. And there are so many others who have created these amazing sanctuaries for their children-to-be: animals, clouds, quilts that look like the Kazakhstan flag, vintage baseball prints. I am truly impressed by all of this . . . even a little envious.
And, here we sit. Well, we don't actually sit a whole lot. Actually I did sit tonight to watch back-to-back cooking shows - "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" and "Top Chef"! But, still I'm not sure what we are waiting for.
Two things come into play here:
- I am not sure I am yet convinced that this will happen.
- I am a bit of a procrastinator. I seem to be more efficient when I have a very limited amount of time to do something. If I don't have a limited amount of time, I dawdle endlessly.
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes - very sweet!
Friday, March 7, 2008
As I was making my daily blog round this morning, I discovered there has been movement at the New York Consulate. Look! Troy and Sherry were through in a week! I think we landed back in right around the time they went in. Hopefully, we are through too.
Is there a lot going on here and in Kazakhstan or what? Catalina and Calin meet their TWO children this week. Karen and Bob also met their son. Sara and Julian continue bonding with their daughter. Shannon and Sandi should be there by the end of the weekend. Karina's mom (Amy) should be heading back to the states soon. Lots of people know where they are going. This is great!
Remember when everything was stagnant around the holidays? All of the PAPs stumbling around wondering when things were going to move, worried about their little paper babies. Now many have actually met their babies.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I have been so frustrated the last few days - even with Andy Warhol's wisdom. I didn't really know where our dossier was (I realize I need to get over this). We sent in the new medical license they requested. Was it still on its butt on the sidewalk outside of the consulate or did they welcome it back in since everything was (I hope!) in order? My inspiration here is "Bill" from "Schoolhouse Rock" fame. Anyone remember Bill - I'm just a bill. I'm only a bill. And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill?
Then, there were posts on one of the Yahoo! groups about Kazakhstan not processing any dossiers from the good old U.S. of A. (I realize I need to not hang on every word that is written on the message boards). Have I said that I don't do well with the unknown? I am not one of those people who throws themselves into the abyss of "I don't know" with joy and abandon. I want to know, darn it. I would like to use stronger language, but this a family blog, isn't it?
This morning our coordinator emailed me and said that the dossier is back in. It has been since 2/16/08. And, our dossier is in New York, not D.C. Apparently, they are not processing dossiers in D.C. I haven't heard anything about New York.
I have really leaned on other PAPs & APs, which I so appreciate and I am eternally grateful. And, now after chatting and emailing and commenting, I am sitting here wondering why I was so freaked out. Ha!
I just needed to know that it was back in. SIGH.
So, hope springs eternal. See that photo up there? Daffodils in our yard. I am sure they are covered with ice and snow right now, but still! Daffodils. A sign of new life . . . hope!