Friday, December 25, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Myth Number 4--Adoption itself is unethical. My experience: Actually, I think there is some truth to this one. It all depends on the adoption professional you choose to use. Our local adoption agency is incredibly ethical. Pregnant women who come to them in crisis are offered options and support, regardless of whether they choose to parent their child or place the child for adoption. I love that the adoption agency continues to provide services to Lil Sweetie's birthmom seven years later. However, some adoption agencies and lawyers pressure women to place their children for adoption, and do not offer any support or services to the birthmom once she has terminated her parental rights. I would advise anyone considering adoption as either a birthparent or an adoptive parent to choose your lawer or adoption agency wisely.
Myth Number 5--Birthmoms are either young girls who got themselves in trouble, or crack whores. My experience: Birthmoms are teenagers, women in their 20's and 30's and 40's, military personnel who aren't yet ready to parent, rape victims, drug addicts, deeply religious women who have never tried drugs or alcohol, women whose families are complete. There is no typical birthmom.
Myth Number 6--The birthmom will come back and reclaim the child later. My experience: Birthmoms don't want to or aren't able to parent the child, that's why they place the child for adoption. And at least in Oklahoma, the adoption laws do not allow an adoption to be "undone" unless the birthparent can prove fraud or duress. Generally speaking, in Oklahoma, if the termination of the birthparents' rights is done correctly, the adoption cannot later be set aside.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
- The doc says my continued vision problems are just due to a lot of blood in my eye. (Oh boy!) It should resolve in time.
- Mr. Sweetie is home! Mr. Sweetie is home! Life is so much better when Mr. Sweetie is home.
- My beloved sister-in-law is doing better. The chemo appears to be shrinking the tumor. She still has a long road ahead but things are looking hopeful.
- Work is going better. I had a big win this week. A weird win, but a win nonetheless. To quote one of my favorite movies: "I love winning! It's like, better than losing."
Sunday, October 25, 2009
- Lil Sweetie singing "I like big butts and I cannot lie, you other fellas cannot fly, when a girl walks in with a pretty good chin and farts in your face."
- Dreaming about Rhinestone Abraham Lincoln. All I remember is rhinestone-covered replicas of the Lincoln Memorial, a dread "the emporer has no clothes" feeling around my friends who were very enthusiastic about this endeavor, and (with apologies to Glen Campbell) singing "Like a Rhinestone Lincoln." I still can't get that stupid song out of my head.
- A drastic reduction in my vision in my right (bad) eye. It's like I'm looking underwater. I worry that I may have another tear to my retina. Fun times.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I never felt like I was particularly successful at it. I always felt like I had a run in my stockings and lipstick on my teeth. But I made the effort.
Nowadays, I have decided that it is ok for my outsides to match my insides, for my appearance to look as frazzled as my mental state. Consequently, I have been going to work with no makeup. No one seems to have noticed. But I have had a lot more time in the mornings for reading and relaxing.
I'm not sure what the lesson is here.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
But this is what I have been told
That she cried and she cried
When she gave you up at three days old
She was from the countryside in Cambodia,
A farmer's wife with too many mouths to feed
She wanted you to see a better life
Love takes the best of you, Love takes the best of you
Love takes the best of you, Love takes the best of you
Now you don't look like me
And baby we don't look like you
But our love is so complete
It don't matter eyes are brown or blue
There are people in this world
Who won't understand this family
We'll protect you where we can
Sometimes you'll have to stand and help them see
'Cause love takes the best of you, Love takes the best of you
Love takes the best of you, Love takes the best of you
Every night when I watch you sleep
I want to watch over you forever
Keep you safe with me
And I wish I could promise you a beautiful world
That would never break your heart
Maybe that's what we are here for
We try and fix what comes apart
Love takes the best of you, Love takes the best of you
Love takes the best of you, Love takes the best of you"
~ "Love Takes the Best of You" by Catie Curtis
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This first one is supposed to be about Hope but the words smeared a little.
I like the effect of the smearing on the word "Fear" in this next one. I think it works. It needed something else so I added the postage stamp and now it makes me smile because I think "fear of postage" when I see it.
This next one is not about anything, but I like it. The background is sort of bright pink and tangerine and I really think the postage pops on it.
This next one is about Faith, and I cut the edge off when I took the photo. It's missing something, I think, but I haven't figured out what yet.
This last one features a horoscope I liked. I only believe the good ones. I doodled on this one a little, which is a challenge for me. I have absolutely no talent for drawing whatsoever.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Random stranger on the next aisle: Bless you!
Me: Thank you!
RS: You're welcome!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
"I'm gonna lay my head on some lonesome railroad line and let the 2:19 train ease my troubled mind." Now that is some wallowin', don'tcha know!
So, lately I've been singing the blues a lot. My eye is still healing which is making many of my favorite things, such as crafts and reading, rather challenging. (Also, y'all, get up right now, close one eye and try to clean your bathtub. It can't be done with one eye! I never knew so many things required good vision!) My sister-in-law's situation has not changed, and I'm just frustrated as hell about it. (I can't imagine why getting treatment for cancer takes so dang long. I mean, I know the process can be a long one, but why does just getting starting take so dang long? I'm pretty sure people have been cured of cancer in the time we've been waiting for her to start treatment.) I'm worried about my other sister-in-law, who just went through a divorce, is juggling a job and two kids and a sick sister. I'm worried about my hubby. And my father-in-law. Lil Sweetie's birthmom is going through some hard times. The bathroom remodel has completely stalled. There are mice in my garage and the dogs have fleas and I'm pretty sure locusts and frogs must be right around the corner.
Life is just hard right now. It really is. And the weird thing is that it is hard right now for so many people I know. Although I don't actually believe in astrology, I'm pretty sure the stars are out of alignment. They must be. We are just going through a gigantic cosmic shit storm.
But that blues song I quoted above?* It goes on to say: "I won't be blue always, you know the sun is gonna shine in my back door someday."
*"Trouble in Mind" if you were wondering, recorded by such greats as Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Muddy Waters...sheesh, who hasn't recorded it?
So just let me wallow for a little while. I'll be all right. (And just to clarify, I have no actual intention of laying my head on any railroad tracks, although I do enjoy singing about it at the top of my lungs.)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Today was my first day back at work. It went well. I am so blessed to have a job that I enjoy, working with bosses and coworkers I like and respect. The older I get, the more I appreciate the little things. No, that's not right. The older I get, the more I realize the little things are not little things at all.
Monday, August 3, 2009
She felt it was her personal mission in life to improve the people around her, which sounds admirable but is not much fun actually. Try writing your granDmother a letter, only to have it returned with the grammar, punctuation and spelling corrected for your betterment. Ah, fun times.
One of her quirks was that she was the self-appointed guardian of our eyesight, and she was always, ALWAYS telling us not to rub our eyes, lest we get a detached retina. Apparently one of her "patrons" as she called them, got a detached retina and it was her goal in life to prevent that fate from befalling anyone in her family.
Ok, so fast forward a bazillion years and we come to last Sunday, when I suddenly lost part of my vision in my right. Oh no, I thought, I've detached my retina! Well, low and behold if that wasn't the case. GranDmother is up in heaven tsking away and saying "I told you so" right now, I just know it.
So, I have had some horrible medieval torture devices used on me in the name of medicine and am now recuperating at home where I must rest on my left side for the next seven to ten days. Not as easy or as restful as you would think.
To top things off, my beloved SIL has a malignant tumor the size of a grapefuit and a benign tumor the size of a watermelon, both in her abdomen. She is in the hospital awaiting a battle plan. Prayers and healing thoughts are encouraged and appreciated.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
See, I have issues with boundaries. Due to my own issues, I never know where the boundaries are, where they should be, how to honor them. It’s a constant struggle. And one way in which I struggle with them is not knowing how much to share about Lil Sweetie’s adoption. It is my story and Mr. Sweetie’s, and certainly OUR story, meaning it belongs to all three of us to be sure. But above all, it is Lil Sweetie’s story.
And it is really important to me that she own her story, that she knows she has the right to choose with whom to share it. But I worry that I undermine that when I do such things as...um, I dunno...WRITE ON MY BLOG ABOUT IT.
In my defense, one of my purposes in writing about it is to combat the misinformation out there about adoption. Granted, we had the world’s quickest and most easy adoption. Our experience is certainly not typical, but neither are those that are featured in made-for-TV movies.
Also in my defense, I would like to say that there are aspects of Lil Sweetie’s adoption that for various reasons are too personal or too sacred to be shared beyond the closest friends and family members.
I have been thinking about this whole subject a lot recently because Mr. Sweetie was interviewed by a local media outlet for a story they were doing about adoption. I had hoped that he would talk to Lil Sweetie about it before he agreed to the interview, because at 7, I think she is getting to the age where she should have a say about how much of her story we share. Mr. Sweetie chose not to. The interview was focused more on the good and bad of the adoption process rather than Lil Sweetie’s specific story and he knew it was going to be going in, so I am ok with his decision. But still, it brought up (again!) for me the whole issue of where the boundaries should be.
So, am I dishonoring Lil Sweetie’s sovereignty and right to her own story when I blog about it? What do you think?
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I love you, you know I do. You don’t always make it easy with the ice storms in the Winter and the tornadoes in the Spring and Fall and the unrelenting heat of the worst of your Summers. But oh Lordy, do you make up for all that with your skies! A girl can breathe in Oklahoma. I lived in Georgia for two years and I’m sorry, but Georgia skies are a pale imitation to Oklahoma’s, I don’t know if it’s all the humidity in the air or what. Oklahoma’s skies are the same vivid blue as her flag. And they go on forever. From anywhere in Oklahoma City, if you want to go downtown just spin in a circle until you see skyscrapers, then head toward ‘em. It’s that easy.
“Oh give me land, lots of land, with starry skies above,
Don’t fence me in,
Let me ride through the wide, open country that I love,
Don’t fence me in...”
And the sunsets! I’ve been to Hawaii twice, and Hawaiian sunsets don’t have a thing on Oklahoma’s, except for maybe the beautiful beach in the foreground. (Oh, that little thing!) If you tried to paint an Oklahoma sunset, there is just no way for it to look like anything but the worst black velvet painting, what with the blues and purples and pinks and golds and peaches and reds. Even the real thing just doesn’t look real, except that it is. You know you are an Okie when you get a phone call from someone you love saying, “Quick, run outside and look at that sunset! God is showing off today!”
Even the thunderstorms are awesome, when they are not spinning off tornadoes or pelting your roof and your car with hail. The sky turns that fearsome green and black color, looking all the world like the Wicked Witch. If the way your insides feel when you get diarrhea were a color, it would be just the same shade as an Oklahoma thunderstorm. The wind stops sweepin’ down the plain and it gets still and quiet and even the birds stop singing. Then BOOM!!! All God’s power unleashed. And the Earth puts off that thankful smell for the rain.
But the very best thing about Oklahoma is her people. Even though it ain’t easy being a flaming liberal in the buckle of the Bible belt, Okies are the very best people I know. Have you ever heard that saying, “As long as I got a biscuit, you’ve got half?” I don’t know who first said it but I’m just positive he or she was an Okie. Okies will give you the shirt right off their back, or the biscuit right off their plate, if you need it.
When the bombing happened in ’95, you couldn’t get within a block of the Red Cross for all the Okies standing in line for hours to give blood. I personally know several people who worked all day long at their regular jobs, then went down to the convention center where the out-of-state rescue workers were being housed to make sure they were being fed, rested, massaged, shaved, manicured, and basically had anything and everything they needed or desired. A former beau of mine had a concession in the convention center and stayed down there for a solid week, sleeping on a little cot when he wasn’t serving up slushies for free. He said the rescue workers had a terrible job to do and if it helped them one iota to have a free slushie, it was his honor to give it to them. My cousin and her kids baked the medical examiners tons of cookies and brownies for the same reason.
And it’s not just big disasters that bring out that kind of behavior in Okies. It’s just the way they are. I guarantee you that plenty of people in my neighborhood do not approve of the couple who fly their gay pride rainbow flag right there under the American flag in their front yard. But I also guarantee you that if my gay neighbors needed help, the entire neighborhood would set aside their tsk-tsking long enough to give them whatever help they needed plus a little extra just in case.
Okies speak to you when you pass them on the street. When a bunch of Okies get in an elevator, they don’t all face the front, they face the middle so they can have a little conversation, no matter whether or not they know each other. Okies still pull over as a sign of respect when they see a funeral procession. Not only do Okies still salute the flag, but they know every word of The Star-Spangled Banner (well, the first verse anyway) and stand up and sing along loudly and badly at the ball game, and will give you the evil eye if you don’t, too. Okies say “Yes, Ma’am” and “No, Sir”, in addition to “fixin’ to,” “y’all,” “yeehaw” and “yesireeebob”.
I have a theory about why Okies are the way they are. Native American culture is a big influence here, and just about everybody claims some Indian heritage whether they are on the rolls or not. And the pioneer spirit is also alive and kicking. Both of those cultures relied on connections and interdependence—the neighbors, the tribe. If you were homesteading and a tornado took your house, your neighbors came and helped you build a new one ‘cause if they didn’t, you were gonna die. So I think it’s in our history and our culture and our nature and our blood to look out for one another.
I saw a storyteller here in Oklahoma City probably ten years ago. I can’t remember her name or where she was from, but I remember she was headlining both the storytelling festival and the boat and tackle show. From here, she was heading off to some Scandinavian country. She told the crowd that she was going to wear her Oklahoma City hat and when people asked her about good ol’ OKC, she was gonna tell ‘em:
“The city is spacious,
The people are gracious,
And they throw one hell of a boat and tackle show.”
And that right there just about sums it up, y’all.
Friday, July 10, 2009
But I digress...
I have mixed feelings about the whole uproar over “The Orphan”. Typically, it offends me for people to protest a movie they haven’t even seen. I’m all about thinking for yourself, people. If you want to protest a movie based on your own observations, that’s one thing. But to protest a movie because a magazine or your adoption agency or your preacher told you to…I guess I’m just the kind of person who wants to see for myself.
But on the other hand...
There is a huge problem with finding homes for older children who are available for adoption. I am not proud to admit that one of the reasons that we wanted to adopt an infant was because we did not feel equipped to raise a child with attachment disorder or other mental and emotional issues brought on by parental neglect or abuse. So our adoption choices were influenced by negative stereotypes and assumptions. I know we are not the only ones. Is it right for Warner Bros. to put out a movie that perpetuates these negative stereotypes and assumptions?
But then again, if your decision to adopt is negatively influenced by a fictional story, how motivated were you, really, in the first place?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I really want to go back. Immediately. I mean RIGHT NOW.
We also went to a place called Liarsville, which is set up like a gold mining camp. We got to pan for gold. Alas, Mr. Sweetie and I are going to have to come up with a new plan for retirement. Lil Sweetie scored enough gold to pay for seven minutes of college.
Next, we toured Glacier Bay. The water was the most wonderful shade of milky blue, and although I tried and tried, none of my pictures did the color of the water justice. They say the milkiness is due to the silt coming off the glaciers. We spent a lot of that day just hanging around our balcony, enjoying the beautiful views. Cruising out of Glacier Bay, we saw and heard a bunch of seals, and a whale breached near our ship.
Guess where our next stop was? You'll never guess. Go ahead, try!
We just walked around and shopped. One little shopping area was called Creek Street. Guess why?
Lil Sweetie tried on hats at The House of Negotiable Affection.
I just love me some boats at harbor. Yummy!
I warned Lil Sweetie not to hug the bears in Alaska, but alas, I forgot to tell her not to let the moose hug her.
Sunset over Victoria, B.C.
It was a wonderful trip!