Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Forgotten Birthday

I never thought this birthday could be bad except in the event of not receiving a referral before September 1st.  However, I can tell you that yesterday's birthday was the worst and it had nothing to do with the shutdown. 

I woke up Saturday morning and checked my e-mail (duh, don't the rest of you?) and I started seeing a bunch of e-mails in Italian from PayPal.  I just assumed they were phishing for information and I deleted them.  In total, I had 8 e-mails and only the first and last were in English.  It wasn't until I looked at the final e-mail that I read what it said and the basic message was that I had just purchased a Saab (yes, the car) with 850 GBP (Great Britain Pounds).  Yep, you read correctly, a car.  So, I logged into the PayPal account that I thought I had deleted years ago (because it was a piece of $hit even then) and learned that the e-mails were legit.  Someone had transferred 1200 GBP to my account and used 850 GBP for a second-hand Saab.  I immediately called the credit card that I had listed and was told there had been no charges (that card had expired 6 months ago and I had changed numbers at the time--thank God, or they could have cleaned me out).  I sent off a bunch of e-mails to PayPal asking for resolution and then started reviewing my credit reports for any abnormalities.  So far, so good. 

My mom and I went ahead with our plans, but because I hadn't eaten in 15 hours and I was already quite stressed over the whole PalPal security breach and potential stolen identity issue I think my blood sugar must have dropped because I was less than pleasant at that point.  It gets better--then, my sister and her family couldn't find their way to the festival and I begin to lose my mind telling my brother-in-law, "south, you need to walk south".  I shouldn't have been a jerk because I have serious direction issues, but I thought I was doing pretty good because I told him "if you're left hand is touching the brick building that houses XXXXXX business, then you are going south".  Or, "you need to head towards the court house.  Now you are going south."  Unfortunately my patience is at an end from teaching the computer users at the hospital for the last three weeks.  An example of one conversation:

me: you need to click on the big red button on the computer screen that says CANCEL.  Did you do that?

her: I don't know.

me: How do you not know?  It's a yes or no question.  Either you clicked on it or you didn't. 

her: I don't know.

me: If you clicked on the big red button that says CANCEL you won't see that button any more.  Do you see that button now?

her: I don't know.  How do I know?

ARRRGHH.  This same person and I had many more conversations about the elusive big, red CANCEL button.  I finally got to tired of it (if I ever start talking to you very slowly and very softly, please know it is because I am struggling with my every breath to not come through the phone and beat you senseless with it) so I went up to where she was (which involved lots of stairs and elevators since the layout is funky so that really put me in lovely form).  Imagine my surprise when I arrived and that big, red CANCEL button was glaring me in the face!  I clicked cancel moved to the next screen and this person had the nerve to ask, how did you get it to go there?  I clicked the big, red CANCEL button you moron!  Actually, I was very nice.  I explained and demonstrated that when you click the big red CANCEL button it allows you to navigate to a new screen. 

Anyway, my sister's family finally arrived and then my phone rang.  I won't go in to detail about what was said, but I will say the person on the other end of the phone was supposed to meet all of us for my birthday to shop the fair and eat.  This person, of all people, should have been there to celebrate my birthday and decided not to.  Not only that, this person later said, "I always confuse your birthday with your sister's".  This person is a liar.  This person has always remembered my birthday and has always been the first one to send me an e-mail or leave me a voice mail to say "Happy Birthday".  This person has never forgotten a single birthday of mine prior.  I hope this person is reading this right now and knows how hurt I am. 

So, I'm stung by that awful phone call, my blood sugar is dropping (I'm not diabetic, but I get hypoglycemic sometimes when I don't eat and/or I am stressed), I'm dehydrated, and I'm already burned from walking around for an hour and a half and then after entering two different restaurants my sister decides that neither one is good enough.  At this point I'm just wondering how much longer I'm going to last before I drop because she is being so persnickity.  However, it would have improved things if she had mentioned she had a baggy full of Teddy Grahams in her monster purse, but she did not mention that for several more hours.   I finally decide to leave them in my dust and haul ass into a favorite little family owned pizza restaurant.  They catch up, I have some non-diet soda and things start to look better, except now I have to try to explain to my sister why the other part of our party will not be showing up today.  There really weren't any good words for why that person wasn't going to be there.  It was just very disappointing all the way around.  Between this person (whom I should probably refer to TP, except that sounds too much like toilet paper, which is easily confused with ass wipe and I don't want to start calling this person names), the unexplained charges to my PayPal account, the potential identity theft issue, and the overall unease I was feeling--it was just a very difficult day.  Last night I looked at my watch and noticed I only had two more hours left in my birthday and I thought "Thank God!"  I was ready for that day to be over.

Today was a glorious new day and it was nice to go out with my friend, Michael. Not only that, I got phone calls and e-mails from a number of other friends and blogger buddies checking in on me.  I don't need to name you all, but please know that I am grateful for your friendships and for the opportunity to get to know you.  My hope is that my next birthday is vastly different than this one.

Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Nothing slips through my crack"

Even as we continue the dance towards September 1st, I have not lost my sense of humor. Actually, I think I find things funnier which may indicate how how stretched my psyche has become or that I am finally rolling with the punches and able to still enjoy life despite the stresses coming at me from every direction.

Two weeks ago we had a soft go-live of a new computer application throughout the hospital that affects a LOT of users. I can not even tell you the months (years, for some people) of blood, sweat and tears that went into getting this project off the ground and getting everyone trained on it. Two weeks ago we had our first go-live on a couple of units, yesterday, however, was our big bang go-live. On Monday we had our final planning meeting. It truly is like preparing for a war or a military venture. We actually meet in a room that is called the war room or command center.

So Monday we had our final meeting with members of administration and with high level people involved with this production. Because the previous go live had been a bit challenging, the person directing the meeting didn't want anything getting dropped. The pharmacist piped up in a dead serious voice "I won't let anything slip through my crack."

I seriously thought I was going to die from holding in the laughter. No one laughed and I didn't dare let out one giggle or chuckle because I didn't want to get the evil eye from my boss...or her boss...or her boss' boss. So I sat there trying to suppress the laughter. Everyone behind me saw my whole body shaking and I'm sure they thought I was convulsing. I had covered my face with my hand and had looked away, but it was no use. The woman directing the meeting turned my direction and in a room full of people said, "For goodness sake, Erica, get on with it!"

I finally totally lost it at that point. They said my face was bright red and I had tears streaming down my face. I was howling so loud by then that I am sure they could hear me all the way down the hall. People finally began laughing, but most said they were only laughing because I was laughing so hard.


PS-- I wonder how many people googling other "crack" related items are going to be greatly disappointed when they find this blog. Oh, and a little tip I picked up from the Help Desk staff, when you are googling Dick's Sporting goods, do not click on the link for dicks.com. It's not where you want to go! Now you've been warned. Evidently someone did that on a work computer the other day and it immediately sent out an alert that they were surfing for porn.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Progress, I think

I saw this article posted on one of the yahoo groups and I am sharing it here.  It's from the Thanhnien News and they are discussing the changes that need to occur in order for adoptions to continue in VN.  While I am still hoping that I receive a referral before the shutdown, it is encouraging to know that people high-up on both sides of the ocean are looking at this issue. 

Today at church my pastor was talking about Acts 12 and believing in the impossible.  For those that don't remember the story (yeah, I can never remember what happens in each book...I always have to look it up) Peter was assisted by the angels to escape from prison.  Even Peter thought he was dreaming--he didn't think it was possible and fully expected that he would also be beheaded at the request of King Herod.  Even the people praying for his rescue didn't believe it would happen--they thought it was his angel that showed up on their doorstep.  They prayed in earnest never expecting that he would be saved. 

I don't know what is ahead of me at the end of this week.  Most reading this are in the same boat--some of us are hopeful and others are not.  At this point there is nothing left for me to do but to pray and I will be praying earnestly. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

ahhh....

I finally had a day off, a real day off where I wasn't on-call or going into work for meetings.  For the first time in two weeks, I had a day off!  I can't even tell you how badly I need a rest.  Most of you reading are also going through the same things right now--stressing over whether you will get that call in time and what you are going to do if you don't.  I have those stresses and I have a multitude of job stresses also.  In addition to the on-call (an infuriating two weeks in September), I also have the long hours every day as a result of a huge go live project.  The second phase, and considered by the organization to be the 'Big Bang' go live, starts again on Tuesday.  If that was not enough my boss as asked me to attend several more classes and those are held in Alpharetta, GA and Dallas, TX.  Six classes totalling 4-6 weeks of training away from home between September and the end of the year.  I haven't booked any of them yet because I am wondering about a referral.  I feel like I can't move on with anything until I know for sure one way or another.  I know a lot of others are in the same type of purgatory so I hate to complain so much about it. 

Anyway, I finally had a day off yesterday.  Not only that, I have a three day weekend!  I decided to spend Friday cooking with my mom.  We prepared a Vietnamese feast that truly rivaled some of the authentic Vietnamese foods I have tried.  We made a Thai cucumber salad, pork spring rolls (with the sticky rice paper wraps), dipping sauce with fish sauce (yes, fish sauce.  I was so proud of my mom for making that one since she hates fish and is put out by the way fish sauce is prepared).  I made beef pho and I was going to make a banana-tapioca-coconut treat but I ran out of steam.  I made the pho from recipe.  I know there are prepared mixes out there, but I was living independently as an adult before I realized there are cake mixes or pancake mixes.  I have always done things the old fashioned way.  All I can say is that my house smells incredible!  The anise seed released a perfume in my house--ahh, it smells so good!  I'm waiting for my mom to send me pictures of me preparing the food, but I do have pictures of the final result.  Enjoy!IMG_0641 IMG_0643 IMG_0644 IMG_0645 Hehe, I love this last picture of my mom holding the cooked piece of ginger.  It was truly a big piece, but I think the angle of the camera distorts it a bit.  I was able to buy all but two ingredients at my local Marsh store.  For the rice paper and anise seed I had to go to one of the Asian grocery stores in town.  I was pretty impressed that everything was so easy to find.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guess what?

No, not that! I've decided not to call any family members between now and September 1st for fear of getting them overly excited. I got an interesting little letter in the mail yesterday. Evidently I have been accepted into the Citizen's Police Academy! I find this very funny. I'm actually looking forward to it because I think it will be interesting to see how investigations are completed and what the processes are that they go through. Again, I think it with help lend validity to my someday novel. Plus, I think it would be fun to do a ride around. I guess it really isn't that big of a deal. I actually know a couple of cops and I'm sure they would be willing to accommodate me. I've become friends with a guy I work with--he's a nurse, an herbalist, a volunteer fireman and a cop. He told me if I ever got pulled over again in a particular rural county that loves to pull me over for no good reason that I should drop his name. Seriously, I will accept blame when it is warranted but I got pulled over once for having a suitcase in the backseat. What the heck? The cop actually leaned into my car and demanded to know where I was going. What an ass. Oh yeah, I can't wait to join the citizen's police academy.

I got off call Monday morning and I'm still worn out. Partly from the on-call, but also from the ridiculous amount of overtime I've been working. I keep telling myself it is baby money, but now I am wondering if I played the wrong bet. I told my boss that I would only do on-call on a temporary basis (until the usual folks are able to return--which strangely, they show no signs of returning to the schedule even though their schedules are currently lighter than mine...hmmm) and I also specified that I would do on-call until I became a parent (Please, God, send me a referral! I can't bear the thought of being on-call another couple of years until my daughter comes home!) or I felt my health was adversely being affected. I will admit, everyday I look at that **** (I'll let you fill in the profanity of your choice) schedule I do feel my blood pressure spike a bit. I try to calm myself and say, "it's for the baby". Actually, that's my mantra every time the stupid thing beeps. I need to stop writing about it--it just makes me mad. At least I have in writing that it is only temporary.

What else is new...oh yeah! I bought a Vietnamese cookbook and I think I'm going to like it. It has adapted the recipes so that the user can find the ingredients much easier. Honestly, with the exception of the fish sauce I should be able to find everything at my local grocery. I think Kroger even carries fresh ginger. I'm pretty psyched. I'm actually going to experiment on my family some day soon. Since I don't have a Vietnamese restaurant locally, it will be nice to be able to make a few dishes at home.

I spent 75 mind-numbing minutes at the AT&T Wireless store yesterday. My cell phone, although only about 18 months old, has been acting funny. I'm able to call and receive calls only intermittently. The salesguy replaced the SIM card and because my agency uses my cell number and not my home number to reach me, I decided I needed to know a back-up plan. Fortunately he said I'm do for an upgrade in about 3 weeks, but if the phone is still acting up they thought they could bump it up sooner. Evidently I will have a $150-200 new phone credit. Any suggestions? The pharmacist I'm working with (not the cute one, unfortunately) has been telling me I need to get an iPhone. If I got an iPhone it would eliminate the need for an iPod. I'm all for eliminating clutter, but I thought I'd ask for your opinions? Do you have a cell phone suggestion or experience with iPhone you'd like to share?

My phone was still acting funny this morning so I'm thinking I need to make a decision soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Not enough hours in the day

I've been on-call for the last 49 hours of my life and I still have another 47 hours before I am free.  Last night I was up until 12:30 am--not because I wasn't tired, but because I had an annoying fly (you know those flies that glow kind of green and purple on top?  That fly) buzzing my head.  They aren't like ordinary house flies that are mostly silent, these stupid things make an annoying bzzzz sound when flying angrily through the room.  I tried hitting it with the wet washcloth.  No go.  I finally grabbed a fly swatter and got down to business.  I had sweet silence for about two minutes after killing it until I heard the familiar bzzz sound again.  It had a mate!  Finally, at 12:28 am they were both dead and I was just left to contend with killing the slow moving mosquitos.  The reason for the bugs are a story for another day.  blow fly

At 6:22 am today my cat decides that I need to get up.  At 7:14 am, my pager goes off indicating the same thing.  Unfortunately I've just spent the last hour working on something that I have no access in which to fix.  I'm so tired!  I'm so tired I don't even want to fix a bowl of cereal to eat, but I am too awake to go back to bed at this point. 

I hate to even complain about this because any time I do moms with kids are quick to point out that this is what motherhood is like.  If so, I'm pretty sure I won't get much sleep for the next 20 years.  That's also why I feel I need to soak in as much rest now so I am better prepared for if/when I do become a parent.   

Please pray that I get some rest today because I am back to work for another 12 or 13 hour day tomorrow.  I really hope I receive a referral so I can finally use the kid "card" at work.  Evidently they don't force parents with little kids to work such long hours (not that that is the only reason I want a kid--I hope you know that much about me by now!).  For years I have been forced to do on-call, work long hours, weekends and holidays because I didn't have any family, especially kids.  It's time for the hospital to finally pay up. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Looking forward

There are some good things to say about working overtime.  Anyone that knows me knows I'd rather have my free time than a fat check.  However, things are different when you are planning a family.  Any other time of the year overtime would be a no-no, but since we had to implement a new system hospital wide and support the users (which includes all the testing for the application and new devices, education of staff, etc.) the sky was the limit.  I could have worked 80 hours this week, but I'm not that motivated.  However the OT did/will provide me two things:

  1. A distraction from personal things.  Honestly, I have been too busy to think about if I will receive a referral.
  2. Baby money.  That's right, the OT money goes right into a baby account as will my on-call pay.

If I do not receive a referral by September 1, I have a back-up plan.  With the exception of maybe two people, my co-workers have no idea I am attempting to adopt.  Honestly, I just don't handle the questions that well so I'd rather not give them the opportunity to ask them.  When people ask me why I am trying to sock away all my vacation hours I tell them it is because I am planning a trip to Asia this year.  I usually don't tell them where or I tell them I am thinking of visiting Chennie in HK.  So, if I don't have a reason to go to Asia later this year, I have decided that I will be leaving the continental US no matter what.  Kristen and I had discussed this late last year and decided that we will go to Hawaii if we don't receive a referral this year.  I've decided that even if we need to drag her newly adopted 4 year-old daughter with us to Hawaii--we are going! 

I haven't given up hope.  Like I have mentioned--I am normally a realist, but I really can't be a realist when it comes to my kids.  Don't you always have to hope for the best?  I started working on a baby blanket for my little guy early this year, but since I tend to crochet when I'm stressed it has morphed into a big boy blanket.  Hmm.  I'll have to crochet another one if I receive a referral--there is no way this one is going to fit in a suitcase!  I'll try to post photos of it as I get closer to completion. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Countdown

I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice the date or how many more days are left until September 1st.  I think this is on all our minds, but especially those of us that are waiting for a referral.  I look forward to September 1st with a sense of hope and anxiety.  A big part of me is just ready to know something, anything with any degree of certainty.  Obviously I hope that includes my son. 

I am not the eternal optimist that my sister is, and I really wish I was.  The most beautiful thing about her isn't her big green eyes or her laugh, for me it has always been the fact that she believes all things are possible and nothing is out of reach.  She has absolutely no doubt that Duc will be coming home or that I will someday marry--why wouldn't he come home and how crazy am I to think I won't someday meet a nice man that I want to marry (and wants to marry me also--it's not a one sided venture!)  I'm a realist and I've been shaped through a series of life changing events, events that my sister has never and will likely never experience.  Unfortunately I always know failure is an option, regardless of what we are discussing. 

At this point I have no idea if I will receive a referral by September 1st.  All I know is that my agency will continue working hard until the very last day and I know they take their jobs very seriously.  This gives me peace.  Although this time is very stressful, I will continue to maintain a blog, but I doubt it will have some of the deep topics that I have discussed over the last few months.  Instead, I plan on focusing on what I'm doing to stay busy. 

This has been an incredibly stressful time.  Those of you that know me personally know the stresses I have had over the last year.  I have decided to focus all those emotions on doing things I enjoy. Things that will keep me occupied.  With the exception of a few, I will likely not be checking blogs with any regularity.  It's not personal, it's just a matter of emotional preservation.  HOWEVER, if you have good news to share I DO expect you to e-mail me IMMEDIATELY.  You know who you are. 

I have decided to focus my time and energy on the things that bring me the greatest joy...things I have been neglecting for a long time.   In fact, I had an awesome weekend because I got to do all three of my favorite things: read, write and see movies.  I finished reading a book in less than 24 hours (see previous post), I worked for several hours on Saturday and Sunday on my own novel (totally unrelated to adoption), and I saw a movie in the theatre in addition to renting two movies.  It was Nirvana, I tell you!  I didn't get any more sleep than I usually do, but just the same, I felt happier and more alert.  I am also walking a lot.  For those of you that don't exercise, I can not recommend strongly enough how incredibly good walking or exercise is for your mental health and stress levels. 

For those of you that are waiting, please know that I pray for you everyday.  Despite what occurs over the next 3 weeks, I pray for peace and guidance for all of you. 

Oh, and this is NOT my swan song! 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I heart HP

Because I was in overtime yesterday, I needed to leave by 10 am.  I did exactly that with great joy.  It's becoming a habit because of the project I am working on, but I so look forward to having a nearly three day weekend.  Last Friday I spent the day reading and yesterday was no different.  Every time Kristen suggests a new book for me to read, I groan.  Not because I don't trust her judgement--it's because I know if she is telling me about it is because she thinks I am really, really going to like it.  I haven't been disappointed yet.  The problem is that I get so involved with the books, I become completely obsessed and unable to do much else.  Seriously, it's a bad thing sometimes.  I came home yesterday, changed into my PJs and settled on the couch to read.  Every hour or so I would email her an update with where I was and then I would go back to reading.  Finally, last night, I finished it.  Actually, I finished the book in less than 24 hours, but when all you are doing is reading--it feels like you are living the experiences of the characters.  At least it does for me.  So this is why I have been up to:

 IMG_0613

I read most of the first book when I was up at Kristen's house last month.  Believe me, it was a long drive home with the book tempting me in the passenger seat.  Not only that, but how bad of a house guest was I to ignore my friend???

Now I have also finished this bookNew Moon and these booksBitter is the New Black Bright Lights

Yes, it is true, I'm burying myself in words.  To even it all out I decided to do some writing of my own.  What I am doing is taking the novel I started several years ago, printing it out page by page and editing it. It's amazing how much more material I'm putting in, but I am also editing some out because now it just sounds dumb.  The problem is that I'm not disciplined.  Once I sit down I can write for hours.  I love to write, the words flow out of me and I'm amazed sometimes where the story goes.  It is true, some stories just take on a life of their own. 

However, I hit a little snag when the crappy piece of crap-crap printer went crap.  Actually, it didn't so much as go crap as much as was born crap.  You get my drift? 

When I go to a store to shop for any thing besides clothes or shoes, I have already researched the brands and narrowed it down to two items I like.  That is the time I finally hit the store.  Last year I had a particular HP printer in mind after my eight year-old HP finally slowed down and begged for mercy.  I went to Best Buy and although the website said my local store had that printer in stock, they most certainly did not or they were trying to unload the piece of crap Epson printers.  I was desperate, I caved and I hoped that because it was a little more expensive that that would guarantee quality.  WRONG.  The photo printer was NEVER able to print a photo.  How wrong is that?  Any photos I would attempt to print would come out all streaky and would have big spots of spilled ink all over.  Black and white text pages were no better.  The black words were always smeared and dots of ink were prevalent all over my documents.  When I was applying for jobs last year I was embarrassed about the quality of the letters I sent out.  It was that bad.  There was a lawsuit and Epson settled, but you know what they gave us?  A gift certificate for more Epson crap that we could only buy from their online store. 

So today when my pages came out a gray garbled mess (with a full black ink cartridge mind you) I'd had enough.  I knew I was going to need a new printer once I became a mom (darn it, I want to print my photos from home!) and I finally had my fill.  Besides, I'm not going to allow a crappy printer to be a procrastination tool.  If I don't finish my novel this time, it's because of something I didn't do, not because the printer doesn't work.  My new printer is an all-in-one printer which means I can get rid of the clunky scanner I have.  It's also an HP and indestructible.  Seriously, it is under my desk and I'm either resting my feet on it or the cat is sitting on it and it still hasn't broken.  Even after being kicked numerous times.  I can not recommend an HP--any HP--enough. 

Just a few minutes ago I printed out a few pages of my novel and for the first time in over a year, it looks crisp and beautiful.  Thank you, HP!HP

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nothing much new

Ok, this is going to come at you like bullet points. Not a whole lot new to share, but it saves me from calling people.

*I joined a team at work. We are competing for the most aerobic miles logged. It's good motivation, but it is only the second day and I already missed one. And I'm the team captain. So, I am going to have to make up for it.

*I'm making new friends. That's not exactly newsworthy, but I've had some pretty exciting relationships in the past that really sucked me dry. Poor Michael has been my closest friend for the last four years and he has been privy to some girly information I'm sure he'd rather not know. For a straight man with no sisters I have to say that I'm impressed he hasn't flinched yet, but still. Unfortunately I don't get to see Kristen as often as I like because we live too far away. If we lived closer I think I'd be at her house every weekend. Anyway, I joined a club and I think I'm going to like the women in the group.

*And my final piece of news--if the weather is decent my cousin and his team will be re-fitting my doorframe and installing the kick ass new door my dad bought me. Yeah, by Friday I will be able to streak from one end of my house to the other in complete privacy! Whoo hoo!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Alternative lifestyle?

Usually when I think of alternative lifestyle, I picture someone from the gay and lesbian community.  While they just consider their lifestyle as just that, life, the rest of us have taken to calling it alternative because it does not fit this prefabricated ideal of what we think family is. 

Not long ago someone commented about my alternative lifestyle.  I was confused...did they think I was a lesbian?  No, they realized I was hetero, but because I am over the age of 30 and still single that placed me into an alternative category.  They continued to argue that I had "chosen" to remain single when I could have settled at any time.  Add to that the fact that I am adopting and evidently I have suddenly found a new niche area. 

I fully to expect to lose some of my identity with having children.  At a certain point I will become "Haven's mom" and not much else, but shouldn't that wait until the kid actually comes home?

I'm starting to dread the Sunday morning chit-chat at church.  For a while now people have been introducing me as "Erica, the woman that adopts".  I'm starting to feel they view this has a hobby and not a way for me to 1.) build a family of my own or 2.) provide a family to a child that doesn't currently have one.  Adoption has always been viewed as normal in my family and I think it was my family that instilled in me that sharing the same blood is not a requirement for family.  As a teenager I remember having a lot of different people in the house--one of my troubled friends spent weeks living us, a foreign exchange student that I befriended moved from her difficult host family into ours (what kind of redneck asshole thinks hosting a foreign exchange student is code for indentured servant?), another foreign exchange student, and foster kids.  All became our family and not a single one looked a thing like us (although some people at the church we attended thought I was the foster kid and the foster kid was the bio kid).

When the US and VN officially released their plan to end the MOU come September 1st a lot of parents expressed dismay, and one quote that got repeated a lot was from a father that said it was fine for Angelina Jolie to have her own UN family, but that wasn't something he wanted for his family.  I guess it was good that he realized that and I understand why people wouldn't want to constantly explain why their kids don't look alike (yes, just because they have different skin tones does NOT mean they aren't siblings) or learn a new culture/language/food, etc. 

When I think of my family, or more accurately, my future family, I realize that the face of our family will change forever.  While I don't think "alternative lifestyle" is a really fitting description, I do admit that we will not fit the mold of the traditional American family. We will no longer be an Irish/Scottish family.  We are going to be an Irish/Chinese/Vietnamese family.  My little "alternative lifestyle" suddenly got upgraded to a mulit-cultural family and how cool is that!  While my face and my name won't change, I will no longer be able to claim my UK roots solely.  While my children will no doubt be forced to learn American culture, I certainly hope that I learn from their's also.  I'm reading about the histories of these cultures and not just from the textbook side; it has been invaluable to read the first hand accounts of living and growing up in these countries through times of war and peace.  I'm listening to their music and I'm learning that it stirs my soul much more deeply than I could have imagined.  I'm eating food from clay pots and steamer baskets and I am enjoying the smells of the Asian markets in my town. 

I know my family will draw stares, comments and questions.  I think every adoptive parent must be prepared for that fact, but I'm looking forward to being introduced not as "Erica, she is adopting" to "Erica and her two kids".  That day will be a beautiful day. 

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About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.


But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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