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Showing posts from January, 2008

This is togetherness?

I was flipping through a magazine last night and came across an advertisement for a auto company's new minivan. It is full of bells and whistles, mostly involving screens and headphones. One of the "quotes" from the pseudo-scrapbook page that was the advertisement, had the mother joyfully commenting about the 6 hour car trip in which her children made no noise. After the text tells about how each individual has their own screen and port to plug in an MP3, it continues with the line, "We help bring families together." I question this definition of togetherness. It seems about as "together" as a bunch of strangers in an elevator. But at least with the elevator everyone is watching the floor numbers change together. Perhaps a more honest approach would be along the lines of, "We drug your kids so you don't have to."

I feel qualified to comment on this since I am the veteran of thousands of miles of car trips; both as a child and as a …

Thoughts on dishwashing

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It sounds fascinating, doesn't it? One of the aspects of using our temporary kitchen that I was least looking forward to was the absence of a dishwasher. Doing the dishes has never been my favorite task and the thought of all the dishes involved in serving 3 meals a day times 8 people was a bit daunting. But over the course of the week I have had a slight change of heart. First, it turns out that all the children love to do dishes...all of it, washing, rinsing, drying. (They're not so keen on the putting away, but I don't mind that.) There have even been some altercations over whose turn it was to wash. I should clarify: over who gets to wash. Even TM and D have done a sink full of dishes. They aren't as fast as some of the older ones, and a little bit more water ends up on the ground, but they get it done and it occupies them for a good chunk of time. We'll see how long this all lasts, as we're only a week into this adventure. It still feels a bit like playing…

Escape!

The past few nights have not felt very restful. After the adventure with the pipes, both J and I are feeling a little skittish about the house and adding major demolition hasn't helped. Plus, we were used to the noises our house usually makes, but when huge chunks of it are torn up and carted away, the noises are different, and in the middle of the night quite disturbing. (J has twice gone walking around the demolished half of the house in the middle of the night, carrying a large section of pipe, because of noises we couldn't identify.) And not only are our lives somewhat disrupted, but the vermin who constantly vie with us for possession are as well. We can now see where raccoons (or possibly squirrels) have gnawed away sections between ceilings and floors to make their own condominium and the remains of nests have also been discovered. Then there are the mice who think of our home as their personal restaurant that have also been displaced. So it wasn't surprising…

7 1/2 bathrooms and not a working toilet in any of them

The past 48 hours have been so insane that it was almost difficult to pick a title for this entry. There were just too many to choose from. Today was the official starting date of the house remodelling project we are embarking on, but it was the days leading up to it that were the most eventful. First, we just have a lot of stuff, I'm forever giving things away, but I'm sure it all multiplies by itself in the back of dark and dusty closets. It's the only possible reason I can come up with to account for the mountain of stuff that had to be removed. So, this project of cleaning out nearly half our house was daunting, but the weather did it's best to make it more difficult. For the past weekend, the weather in our part of the midwest has been a bit chilly. The daytime high hovered around 8 degrees. The problem is when it is that cold outside, it is correspondingly cold inside. Sunday morning, the bedroom thermometer was showing a brisk 57 degrees...and it's one of th…

One and half years

TM has been home for 1 1/2 years as of yesterday. (We don't count from the day of the Giving and Receiving Ceremony, but from the day we arrived home. The day of the G&R was for TM probably one of the most traumatic of his short life and we don't need to commemorate it.) I've been thinking a lot about the past 18 months and I am astounded at where we are and how far we've come. To think that 18 months ago we brought home a little boy who had an amount of anger that I have never seen and now have a loving, funny son who is definitely an integral part of our family. Eighteen months ago, we spent way too long on an airplane where we took turns trying to keep TM in his seatbelt while at the same time tried to avoid his teeth and nails. We were all bruised and battered and the plane ride didn't help. How would this child fit into our family? What had we done? How would he react to his new brothers and sisters? Had we ruined our family? Would he ever love us...would …

Adoption is NOT the easier way to add to your family

I have hit the wall and am at low ebb. I'm beginning to feel as though the Dong Nai officials (if they are still alive) will never process our paperwork and we will be stuck in limbo for the rest of our lives. At least with pregnancy, even a very difficult pregnancy, it is over at the end of 40 weeks (or 42 weeks if you go long as I always do.) There is no pitocin for adoption. And even though I hate it and have vowed never to use it again, if it would bring this process to a close I would happily offer up a vein. I know that everything happens in God's timing and that He knows what is best. I cling to that intellectually, but emotionally I am a wreck. God and Dong Nai have been very silent recently.

The Upside of Virtual Twinning

TM and D are considered virtual twins (or like twins...I prefer the former because of my inherent dislike of the word 'like') by virtue of the fact they are less than 9 months apart in age. They just make the cut, though, at 8 months apart. I was somewhat apprehensive about twinning anyone. I had read that it's not suggested because of the effect it can have on the children involved... making them more insecure, more competitive... you get the idea. I'm not going to say that we haven't experienced any of that, because we have. D is very aware of the things TM can do that he can't, and while he's an easy going boy, every so often it gets to be too much. We try to provide a balance of things they do together and things they do apart to counteract this. But there is an upside that is rarely discussed in the adoption literature I've read... and that is how close the two boys are. They are each other's best friend, who will play happily together for looo…

Sorting through Papers

I've been spending the day cleaning out two desks in order to get ready for the impending demolition. It feels so good to get rid of stuff we don't need, but I also wonder how in the world I let it pile up. It also makes me mourn a bit for the days of letter writing. I love email and use it regularly, but it's not quite the same as a letter. Sure, I could print out important emails and same them. (That is, I could if our printer was working.) But, it's not quite the same thing. Email is so often off the cuff and spur of the moment, while letters tend to be more thought out. I came across in my cleaning the letters I saved from my grandmother. She faithfully wrote a letter to me every week from the day I went to college until she died in 1999. That's over 10 years of letters. They are not profound, just the happenings of the week and more often than not newspaper clippings that she thought I would find interesting. Seeing that stack of letters reminds me how much sh…

Demolition, Dust, and Death

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These three words pretty much sum-up life in the big, ugly house for the past week. Oh yeah, we had Christmas, too, and stayed up to welcome the new year. But those seemed more like lulls in the middle of chaos than anything else. The day after Christmas, one of M.'s gerbils died. This was fairly traumatic since she has had these gerbils for going on four years. This was the gerbil who would ride around in her pocket. The other gerbil continues to be healthy, although probably a bit lonely. The other death was A.'s new hermit crab (one of five) who were a Christmas gift from her grandparents. This was not quite as traumatic, since the afore mentioned crab had only been in her possession for 24 hours. For those who are interested, the current Curry family pet tally is: box turtle - 1; aquatic clawed frog - 1; fire bellied toad - 2; gerbil - 1; hermit crab - 4; plus the two rabbits we are pet-sitting for the next two weeks.

On to the demolition and dust...for the past 6 1/2 years…