Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shari & Myke.

They won! They fought the battle & won it all!
My friends Shari & Myke left for Vietnam Friday night to adopt their beautiful child Chianna. Adoption in Vietnam is very different than adoption from China - unless of course things have vastly changed since 2003. Shari & Myke were supposed to visit Chianna yesterday and have their G&R (Giving & Receiving) ceremony this afternoon. Their Vietnam contact Thuy told them that orphanage was moving up the G&R to 9:00 am today so when they went for their visit yesterday, they were allowed to take custoday of Chianna & bring her back to their hotel. After the adoption battle they went through, this was truly a blessing.
I have been following this journey of their's from the very beginning. Let me say that I have never seen a man so involved in the adoption process. Most of the women I know say that they filled out the paperwork, & their spouses followed along wherever they were led. Who knows? Was it easier for them to do it this way? Did it actually happen this way, or is it what they remember of the process? Are the women just that much more organized? I don't know. David was this way. I think of it as being shell-shocked. Myke seemed to be very into the whole process.
The other night, I was talking with him. It came to me during this conversation how similar he is to my own husband. Both of them went along on the Adoption Roller Coaster to Hell. Both of them supported their wives during the ups & the downs. And both of them said to me that until they take custody of their child, it wasn't really happening.
Myke, if you ever read this, I am so happy that you have gotten off the Adoption Roller Coaster to Hell. Seeing the picture of you in the car, almost praying, brought me to tears. I know in my heart of hearts that you're going to be a hell of a daddy. (G-d knows you've had plenty of practice with your own niece & now nephew &, of course, with all of the FCC children.) I know that you have many of the same worries. It will all be fine in the end. And, Mr. Pied Piper of S FL, we can safely say that your special magic works no matter what country you are in.
Shari, I couldn't be any happier for you than I am right now. There are no words that I can think of. You are a persistent woman & once you have a goal in sight, there is nothing that will stop you.
Congratulations Mommy & Daddy! Welcome to the Roller Coaster of Parenthood!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Finally!! Notification of Citizenship Application

When David & I traveled to China in 2003, we brought home one amazing little baby. Erin became a citizen the minute we stepped onto US land. That was a law. It went into effect not too long before we received her referral.
Too bad, the US government agencies didn't acknowledge their own law! It was a fight when I called & asked why we received a green card for Erin in the mail. It was a fight when I applied for Erin's social security number. It was a fight when I tried to get her covered for health & life insurance. It was even a fight when I opened her bank accounts. Sheesh! What the heck use is a law if no one will recognize it!?
After a while, I got tired of the fight & let it go. In July 2007, David & I filled out the paperwork to have Erin officially recognized as an American citizen.
Yesterday, the notice came in the mail. On Tuesday, May 12, 2009 David & I will take Erin down to have her sworn in as an American citizen!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chianna's COMING HOME!!!!

A million years ago, when Erin was a very little girl, David & I were shopping in Target. A pretty nice guy stopped us to ask a few questions (if we didn't mind that is).
Today, that nice guy & his sweet wife left to go bring their daughter home! Myke & Shari have over the last few years become a very important part of our lives. Erin absolutely adores Myke. After all, he is the Pied Piper of the FCC-SFL. Children everywhere love & adore him. And Shari? She sits on the sidelines watching her husband with all of these other children. Somewhere in the back of their minds, they have been wondering if the child bouncing around on Myke's knee was ever going to be their child.
Their dream is coming true this coming Tuesday. Chianna will officially get to meet her mommy & daddy. And after all this time, Myke & Shari will get to hold their daughter.
And me? Well, I'm going to sit back & enjoy the ride as my dear friends become parents for the first time. Congratulations Myke & Shari!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are you there G-d? It's me. Tammie.

I know I've been away for a while, but I really needed to take a break. Although I'm not as prolific a blogger as some of my friends, I do try to post more than 3 times in a month. I couldn't. This is a hard time for me.

On the 15th of April, I turned 46 years old. Not a bad number to most people. To me, it's a bad one. In 1985, my mom turned 46 years old. Six weeks later she died of a massive heart attack. And life was never the same again.

I have never been more scared than I am right now. I have never been able to see myself any older than my mom was at the age she passed away. It was a number of years before I found out that this is actually a common phenomenon. I knew a gentleman whose wife passed away from cancer after I got married in '88. His daughters had a rough time of it when he started to date & eventually found someone with whom he could spend the rest of his life. One of his daughters was interviewed for a book by Hope Edelman titled "Motherless Daughters." Knowing what I was going through, he recommended I read the book.

It probably saved my life. I had begun to do things that were defeating me in life. Reading this book showed me that I wasn't alone. There were actually many other women out in the world who didn't know what life beyond the age of their mother's passing would look like. I had, & still to this day have, many questions for my mom to answer. And she isn't here to guide me as I go through these experiences.

My gyn asked me when my mother started menopause. I don't know that she ever did. I have no one to go to. My mom wasn't there to guide me through a wedding. My mom wasn't there to guide me through an international adoption. And dammit, I shouldn't have had to name my child after her. She was supposed to be here showing me the ropes. I have no clue when it comes to so many things.

My father felt so much guilt over everything that our relationship fell apart for a very long time. Thankfully, we have a great relationship now, but it took years to get where we are now.

David has always been my rock. At first he refused to admit that there was a problem. After all, just because I look like my mom (Can we say "cloned?"), it doesn't mean that the same things will happen to me. It wasn't until I read "Motherless Daughters" that I was able to verbalize what I was feeling.

I'm much more careful than my mother was.
  • I quit smoking about 17 years ago.
  • I don't live on 3 pots of coffee a day with almost no food.
  • I go to the doctor for checkups & with the exception of a colonoscopy, have had all the recommended tests.
  • I don't allow my family to walk all over me. She would do anything for anyone (so would I) even sick (not me!).

Even with the changes I've made in life, I still can't see myself much older. My goal right now is to get to June 1st. That is 6 weeks & 3 days after I turn 46. I think I'll breath a little easier.

After all, I have David & Erin to live for. I have a wonderful group of friends & I really do want to stick around.

Can ya help me out up there G-d?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do you like The Sound of Music?

I do. It's one of my favorites. This video is great.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"That's not a nice joke!" Click

That is exactly what happened 6 years ago.
I got "THE CALL" at 2:43 pm at work. After a miserable 14 month wait, my phone call came on April Fool's Day 2003. I was so distressed that I didn't even care who it was that was calling. I hung up all pissed off. How could someone do that to me after 14 long, miserable, hellish months of waiting & wondering & crying. You need to understand that in 2003, 14 months was the absolute longest wait anyone had ever heard of to receive a referral.
Thank G-d that Emily of Great Wall called back. I've never heard anyone speak so quickly & try to keep me on the phone. Screaming she said "No! Wait! Tammie this is really the call. It's not an April Fool's joke." By that time, the woman who had hired me to work for the bank walked into the office. Everyone in the office (both co-workers & clients) was waiting & holding their breath. You could have dropped a pin & heard it.

And the tears started. Not that they've ever really ended. And, yes there are still some tears of frustration. Most of them are tears of love & joy.

Erin's Referral Pic
Taken January 2003

Erin taken just last Friday night at party.