Wednesday, June 27, 2007

No house for you!

Overlook Road doesn't want us. Our bid to buy The House, the one we imagined ourselves living in for the next 18 years, was turned down in favor of another bid. It's hard not to take it personally. We put in a great bid, and considering the current market, it's hard to understand why they would turn it down. I have no idea what the other group offered. Maybe they had the whole thing in cash, which would look better than our virtually cash-less offer (still, why should it be their concern where we get the money, as long as we get it?). I could, of course, go around and around for days wondering why, playing the woulda coulda shoulda game, but the end result is the same. I guess I'll have to console myself with the knowledge that the timing would have been bad (as an understatement), and selling this house in the current market would have taken years off my life. I'll have to find something else to focus on, to lift my spirits.

I know! I'm about to have a baby! I'm about to take a trip around the world! I'm about to turn my life upside down! Maybe, just maybe, putting my house up for sale right about now would have been a bad idea. Other things to life my spirits? I have a pretty great 3 year old here at home. Oh, and a fantastic husband. Not to mention a great neighborhood, a nice house, overall a pretty damn good life. I really have nothing to complain about. So we didn't get the house. From what I can tell, there are a few other decent houses in the Twin Cities, and one of them is bound to go up for sale in the next year. I wish I had more confidence that we'll find a house with the amazing features of the one that we lost, at the price they were asking, but again, what's the point of going there. They didn't want us. No house for you!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hallelujah, WE HAVE A TRAVEL DATE!!!

Yes, it really has happened. Meron Tihun Bly is really ours, officially, as of today. Which means I can post a picture of her here on our blog. I have to say, I was starting to think that it wasn't ever going to happen. Maybe that's the side of effect of being an actor. I'm used to leaving an audition feeling pretty good(well, sometimes), followed by increased excitement, great anticipation, and then interminable silence. Where I come from, sometimes the phone never rings. And so you learn to cope by assuming it won't ring, planning on it even, thinking that the rejection will hurt a little less in the end. I think I went into that mode here. I coped with the lack of calls from Kristina by deciding that it wasn't going to happen, that they cast someone else in the role of Meron Tihun's mom, and I should just prepare myself for that. Of course, I knew that wasn't the case, intellectually, but I honestly had to remind myself of that on numerous occasions.

Today, however, was the worst. Kristina had told us our case would be heard today, that it would most likely go through, and by 10:30 this morning I was having to consciously remind myself to breathe. When the phone rang at 11:15, however, I did not jump up and down screaming with joy as I had anticipated. Instead, I continued to feel cautious, guarded almost, as though I could not quite allow myself to feel the full excitement of what had just transpired: my baby was my baby, and I will see her 3 weeks from Thursday. My guess is that this inability to allow myself entry into a happy place might explain why it took me another 5 hours to finalize travel plans. I'm not one to dawdle on such things, and 5 hours in Terri Time is like 8 years for those who approach life with more spontenaity. But now hotel and air travel are booked. The clock is officially ticking.

By the way, tune in later this week to find out if we bought a new house.

Was that the blog version of a cliffhanger?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

An important reading assignment

To anyone and everyone interested in international adoption, I urge you to read the beautiful essay written by a transracial woman who was adopted from Korea. The link is on the right-hand side of the page, but you can also find it by cutting and pasting the following address:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Waiting Sucks

OK, so I realize that my title for today is not so eloquent, but sometimes the words the fit one's mood best are not English-teacher approved.

Meron's court date was postponed. Apparently this is happening a lot right now, as there are many children's cases that have to be processed and the system is bogged down. Not surprisingly, knowing that does not help much. I'm still waiting, and it still sucks.

I had a dream about Meron last night. We went to Ethiopia, which actually looked more like Europe (I wish), I did not have jetlag, I felt fantastic, and my baby was amazing. She was snuggly, happy, and attached to me immediately. She looked more Hispanic than African, and for a moment I was afraid they had given me the wrong child. I was so content to be holding her, so excited to be her mommy.

I woke up a little surprised. Surprised that this was the first time I had dreamt about Meron, and surprised that I was so happy in my dream. After all, I have been writing mostly about my fears and apprehension at adding one more child to my already hectic and sleep-deprived life. I would have predicted a dream filled with fatigue, frustration, and maybe a baby whose head spun around on its shoulders. But instead I had this beautiful little baby. Somewhere in my unconscious, I really am excited to be mommy to two.

If I had to guess, I'd say this dream was inspired by the wonderful day I had yesterday with Eliana (I just realized now that I should have taken pictures - I'm so bad at that!!). We spent 3 hours planting a garden of wild flowers in the front yard. She was such a trooper. It was hot as blazes, and yet she hung in there with me, wearing her Princess baseball cap and gobs of sunscreen, going to the nursery to find flowers, shoveling away at the dirt, picking up worms, going back to the nursery because we needed more dirt, watering it all down, picking up empty cartons, and getting very, very dirty. Afterwards, we sat down to lunch, and I asked her what she thought about staying home with me during the day. She replied, "I like being home, but staying home with you makes me tired." I could have responded in kind, but I didn't. I just laughed.

I cannot emphasize enough how much more fun it is for me to parent a toddler than to mother a baby. Eliana and I can bake cookies together, plant gardens together, go to the swimming pool, the gym, the zoo, the park, or just stay home and read books or watch movies. I will be sad when this phase of her life ends, and perhaps that is why I'm now so excited at the prospect of getting to do it all over again.

Monday, June 4, 2007

True Ambivalence

Many people think ambivalence means a state of not really caring. But those people would be incorrect, albeit by no fault of their own as this word gets misused all the time. In fact, true ambivalence is, in my opinion, much more interesting than mere indifference. Ambivalence refers to a dissonant state of mind in which two opposing emotions co-exist. In other words, to be ambivalent means to be torn.

This afternoon I began going through Eliana's baby clothes, keeping those that I thought would fit Meron and would be appropriate for the season, tossing those that were too stained to feel good about using again, and designating the too-small stuff for either neighbors or the Care Center in Ethiopia. As you might imagine, going through Eliana's old baby clothes conjured up many emotions. A highly diverse group of emotions pulling me in opposite directions. Ambivalence. Or, a conversation in my head that probably verged on an attack of multiple personality disorder.

It started out innocently enough, this attack of ambivalence/MPD. I was looking at an adorable pair of Baby Gap size 6-12 month overalls and thought to myself, "Oh my gosh, these are so cute! I'm so excited to have another baby!!!" Immediately, a raspy, low voice emerged from the corner of my brain where the cynical, sleep-deprived, frazzled and bitter old woman lives: "Are you crazy?! Excited for what?! 2 am feedings? endless hours of stacking blocks? Blow-outs? The freakin' Wiggles for crying out loud?" This voice was joined by the cautious woman inside my head, the one who wants to play it safe and gets neither too excited nor too pessimistic about anything - until she has a reason, of course, and then she totally freaks out. She appeared to be taking the crabby-ass lady's side today. "Seriously, Terri," she cautioned, "Remember how tired you were? How bored you were? While it certainly might be better this time around, it's probably best not to allow yourself to get too excited. You'll only be let down when things go entirely the opposite of what you have planned."

And yet, the optimistic mother in me, the one who truly enjoys baking cookies with her daughter on the kitchen floor, going for super-slow walks, taking trips to the zoo, watching oddly composed puppet shows in the living room, and even has some fond memories of watching 3am re-runs of Conan O'Brien, well she just doesn't want to shut up. She wants to be excited. She needs to be excited. After all, this baby is coming and why not be happy about it? Haven't you seen the picture? It's almost hard to imagine a more beautiful creature, and one who most decidedly needs a mother. It totally makes sense to get really, really excited!!

Of course, as soon as this train of thought gets rolling down the track, the other voices rumble in the background, unwilling to be silenced, having learned from the first child that their concerns are well-founded.

And this, my friends, is ambivalence.