Oh the Places We'll Go!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I am feeling rather lost....

I quit my job.
I am a stay at home mom with no kids.
The children's room is ready...they are not here.
There is a crib.
There is a rocking chair.
There are books and clothes for all ages.
The adoption stuff is done....the social worker's license expired--So, more waiting.
The living room is painted.
The bedroom is painted.
The kid's room is painted.
The new couch is picked out and purchased.
The chair I bought to match was sent back due to color and the new one is here.
The car is clean.
I have joined the "Once a Month Cooking" program...the meals are done and frozen.
I have camped.
I have swam.
I have rested.
I have stamped.
I have read.
I belong to two bible studies.
I taught at VBS.
I went through a grueling interview...nothing yet.
I have caught up with old friends.
I have made new friends.
Fourth of July decorations are packed and ready for storage.

I have nothing to plan.
I have no idea of what tomorrow will bring.

Will we travel soon to Ukraine?
I don't know.
Will I go back to work?
I don't know.
Will our children be girls?
I don't know.
Will they be here by the end of the year?
I don't know.
Will they be here by Mother's day?
I don't know.
Will they be here by next summer?
I don't know.
Will they be here at all?
I don't know.

Someone asked me recently how many kids would be too many. At what point will we say...ok, we are done.

That is kinda like asking a starving person how much food they will eat before stopping. I had no answer.

So they asked thier next question, "If someone offered you a newborn baby right now, would you take it?"

Somehow I held myself together long enough to say that I couldn't even pour any energy into that thought.

Then, they announced what God told them, "...you are going to have so many children that you won't know what to do...so don't worry about it."

At that point I got kinda mad.

God has not promised me babies. He has not promised me children. He has not promised "happily ever after"

He has promised to be with me, to guide me, to ease my burden, to give me the desires of my heart, and to give me peace and wisdom. But, so far, I haven't seen any angels proclaiming coming children. God has not told me to count the stars.

So, I am still feeling lost....
please pray.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Chocolate syrup, eggs, grape jelly, cheese, whipped cream...equals breakfast???

After returning from camping at Lake Easton, we received a call from the people that run our local foreign exchange program. They had two girls in Japan coming to a four week language camp. The girls were at the airport in Japan and were unable to purchase their tickets because a host family could not be found. Would we take them for a couple of days??

We have no beds--they will rent them.
We have very busy schedules--only a couple of days.
We are going through a stressfully time with our adoption--please?

So we agreed.

We got the call on Friday. Beds arrived from our local Rent-a-Center later that day and the girls arrived on Saturday.

We went straight to Spaghetti Factory (our treat) because I had been cleaning all day and did not have time to fix dinner or even shop for food for four (remember we had been camping). They girls were very nice and seemed to have a good time. We came home and they went to bed (jet lag). The next morning was Sunday so they went to church with us (bored them to tears--poor things) and then we were required to go to the picnic for the exchange program. By this time we were wrestling with the thought of parting with such nice girls. Four weeks is not really such a long time....Let's keep them...Lots of fun.

Satomi was talking to the translator when we decided it was time to go home. The translator told us she was wondering when she would get a new host family. We decided to use the translator to tell them that they were welcome to stay! I expected thank yous, or excitement, or at the least relief that they knew what was going to happen. Instead, Satomi burst into tears. I mean great big heart-breaking alligator tears. What the heck? What is wrong? Why is she crying? No answers.

So, we stopped at the mall for some part to our new lawnmower and I went to do a little shopping with the girls. I thought that I could get them alone and figure out what the heck was wrong. I found out nothing. Oh well, it is probably lack of sleep or something.

That night I went to the store and bought a bunch of sample boxes of every kind of cereal. Everything from Froot Loops to raisin Bran and Cornflakes.

The next morning I came downstairs to find them attempting to cook breakfast. They had gone through the refrigerator and come up with the following ingredients: chocolate syrup, eggs, grape jelly, cheese, and whipped cream. I don't even want to think about the fact that the whipped cream may have been from Thanksgiving!! I explained to them that in our house we do not cook breakfast (maybe on the weekends) and that they could have some cereal. They turned up their noses and would not even try it...Great...What am I going to do with all these little boxes of cereal? I HATE cornflakes and they put TWO of them in each sample packet. Scott took pity on them and made eggs. I fixed a lunch and took them to school (they went to school from 9:00-5:00)

I went right out to the store and bough every breakfast food I could think of that didn't require cooking. I bought yogurt, waffles, pop-tarts, choc. muffins, and fruit. Our house was like a breakfast commercial. But every morning they would heat up the leftovers from dinner.

Tuesday night Scott took them to Sushi. Since the chef is now one of our good friends, he came out to meet the girls. They talked for a while in Japanese. Then Yoshi asked Scott if we were being paid for hosting the girls. Scott told him, "no". Then they talked some more and Satomi burst into tears. Again, the big-10-minute-life-is-over kind of crying. When Scott asked her what was wrong, she told him that she was homesick.

Things seemed to go better after that. We had a lovely dinner with Karen and Eric (who graciously allowed us to bring two girls with us--thank you a thousand times over), a couple of good conversations, a few laughs, but nothing like our other experiences.

Then things started to get really bad. They started staying in their room for hours. They were angry whenever I asked them to do something. When I picked them up at school, they pretended not to see me and wouldn't get into the car!! They stayed up very late at night (1 or 2) and would be really loud. Every night, Scott or I would have to get up and remind them to be quiet and go to bed.

Saturday afternoon when they woke up, Satomi told me that last night at midnight the toilet overflowed. She cleaned it up, but Scott needed to fix it. She called home (Japan) on our phone direct to talk to her mother and never even woke us up. To ease the tension after Scott fixed the toilet, I suggested a movie. They said they would think about it. What is to think about??? She said, "sour"--then laughed. Now, I know the difference between language problems and a mocking teen. What I had in my kitchen was a girl that wanted complete control and thought it was funny to see me try to communicate. Grrr. So, I began cleaning up and trying to think of what to do. Satomi then told me, "I want more chocolate muffins"

Ring ring ring
"Room service...Can you bring up more chocolate muffins to room 308? Hurry!"

Double grrrr.

They decided that yes, they would like to see Harry Potter. I waited while they did their hair, and off we went. The theatre was only showing it one time during the day and when we arrived it was full. We came home and they were so mad that they marched up to their room and went back to sleep.

My mom called and suggested that we all go out to the local produce farm and get some fruit and veggies. Since Satomi had complained earlier in the week that her stomach ached because she didn't eat enough vegetables, I thought she should go and pick some out. (Could it be that leftovers from dinner for breakfast might have something to do with her stomach problems?) I went up and woke them (gasp!!) and they were really pissed. I insisted they come along ( I didn't dare leave them alone in my home) and they stood in the corner of the market in quiet fury.

"Do you want plums?"
"Do you want peaches?"
"Do you want green beans?"
"Do you want me to beat you and send your ungrateful butts back to Japan?" (if any social workers or Ukrainian adoption officials are reading...Just kidding about the beatings...I think).

When we got home they went straight to bed. I ate a quiet dinner alone (Scott took Jen's son, Liam, to a baseball game...I stayed home to spend time with the girls). At about 9:00, one came down and proclaimed she was hungry. I wanted to say "too bad!!", but I told her that dinner was over and gave her some options to fix for herself. While she was eating, I thought I would try again with a home movie. She was very excited and we started watching The Mummy. About 10:00, the other one came down, got angry and both of them went back to sleep!!

Sunday afternoon they came out to check their e-mails. I heard this loud banging so I came to see what was going on. They had a balloon from Scott's chair and were trying to pop it. I told them that it was a balloon from me to Scott on his birthday. It was a gift and I didn't want them to break it. They turned their backs to me (like an Amish shunning) and turned only to see if I was still standing there. Later I came and asked if they were done so I could check my own mail. They got so mad and just went to bed.

I couldn't take it anymore. Scott called the program coordinator and demanded they come and get the girls. She came (after a couple of tense conversations with Scott--he was feeling pretty protective of me by this point and wanted them gone immediately) and told the girls to pack. She asked them some questions like "What do you eat for breakfast?" they told her that they didn't know what to eat. She asked what their options were and they listed all the things I bought. She finally understood their attitudes and told them this was not a vacation and that our house was not a hotel.

After the coordinator left, the girls came to talk to us. I felt really bad for the quiet one. I think she just chose to follow Satomi. They cried buckets and buckets.

They went up to pack and wailed and sobbed the whole night. Scott called it "weeping and gnashing of teeth"

But now they are gone. I am free to use my computer and hopefully I will blog a little more. Sorry this is long...You asked for it.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Confessions of a Backseat Blogger

Ok, I admit it. I'm a backseat blogger. I read Scott's posts and make suggestions. I ask why he didn't tell everyone about the ladybug house we carted home from Disneyworld (yes, a real house with a front door--think birdhouse on the ground painted red and black) or how he didn't mention the books he "rescued" from the stacks in the garage during the great purge. But, I haven't seen any posts about haunted ladybug houses or how I will be glad he kept the wilderness survival book when we are stranded in the rainforest, so I will just have to post my own blog.

Funny how it is so much easier to make suggestions on someone else's work than to create my own. That probably says something about me...yikes. As I learned in my job interview yesterday, "everything you do says something about who you are".

I decided to try some freelance interpreting, so I called the agency and set up a time to be assessed. What is assessment you ask? Well, before yesterday I would say that I would have to sign something and voice something (a tape of someone signing). I thought, "No problem! I've done Shakespeare, and teenagers...what could be harder?" Some questions are better left unasked.

When I arrived for my 1 1/2 hour interview (with my new resume *smile*)I felt like I was ready. Top of my qualifications? Eleven years of interpreting high school and middle school. "Go ahead...ask your questions! I laugh in the face of your scary interview!! This job is only for fun! Something to keep me busy until my REAL job (read Ukrainian adoption--being a mom) happens! I have been tried and tested by high schoolers! You are but mere mortals compared to them! I have skills! I have experience! I have new clothes!"

Task number one: A spelling test (groan)
Task number two: A vocabulary test (yuck)
Task number three: Reading comprehension test (ok)
Task number four: Write an essay (now we're talkin!)
Just when your rattled and ready to go home...
Task number five: Go into a little room and sign to the camera a book read on tape (at warp speed). Not just any book, a text book--college level. Did I mention the speed? (ok..I can do that...not my best work, but I did it)
Task number six: Watch a videotape of a person you have never met signing and voice it into a recorder. Ready, set, go....(kill me now....please....I beg you....)
Task number seven: Interview questions. (crap! I forgot my confidence back in the little room....)

Did I get the job? I won't know for several weeks. Do I feel better because I survived? Yes! But anything is better than what I left at my old job. Time to move on to a new chapter! Full speed ahead, Number One...Engage!