Monday, November 26, 2007

An Unconventional Thanksgiving

We do it every year - eat and eat and drink until we've stuffed ourselves sick. It's a Thanksgiving tradition. This year, however, we decided to do something a little different. We cancelled our brunch reservations, and headed with D.'s mom into the mountains for a weekend of communing with nature.
First stop was Kartchner Caverns, about an hour south of Tucson. We've been wanting to go for ages, but tickets (and time) have proven elusive until now. Thanksgiving morning dawned cold and clear, and made for perfect driving weather. Touring the caverns was an incredible experience. It truly makes you think about the passage of time, and how small a blip we are in the cosmic scheme of things.

Our next stop was Mount Lemmon, which tops out at 9,000 feet, and offers a welcome respite from the desert heat. The drive up the mountain is truly beautiful - saguaro cactus at the bottom give way to aspens and pines as the elevation changes. The leaves have started to change colors, and it finally felt like fall in the crisp air.
Normally, it's about 20 degrees cooler on the top of Mount Lemmon than it is in the city. We were expecting it to be about 50 degrees up there, and dressed accordingly. Much to our surprise, it actually was 36 degrees on the top with a hefty breeze, and we froze. I'm so thankful that I had stuffed a hat into the truck (a leftover freebie from a hockey game), otherwise my ears would have frozen off. Nonetheless, we had fun hiking and taking lots of pictures of the scenery. It was a great day.
Somehow, spending Thanksgiving in nature (or really, any day in nature) breeds contemplation in me. I guess I feel small when faced with splendor all around me. I want to share all that this beautiful earth has to offer with our daughter. I want to see her dunk her fingers in a mountain stream and marvel at how cold snow runoff can be. I want to see her climb a boulder and beam proudly when she reaches the top. Somehow, this Thanksgiving, the wait for referral seemed possible. Nature takes her own sweet time, but the results can be spectacular.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Random Ramblings

Woke up this morning and my thoughts are in an agitated jumble....

  1. After a nice lunch this weekend with friends Donna and Joe, and Nancy, Brian and their daughter Lily, we all went to a seminar on how to incorporate Chinese culture into our children's lives. It was an interesting discussion about the Chinese calendar, traditions, language, and education. It was also a lot of fun to see all of the beautiful Chinese children in tow - they are a tangible reminder of what we're waiting for. That said, I never feel so far away from becoming a parent as when I'm in a room full of families with kids.

  2. Our dossier is in the review room. We know this because other folks with our agency who share our LID date have been asked for additional information. Unfortunately, they were questioned about items falling under the new rules, which we were led to believe wouldn't happen for dossiers logged in prior to May 1, 2007. Needless to say, we'll be very relieved when we make it past review, and are sending our positive energy to those folks who are scrambling to supply even more documentation that they are fit to parents.

  3. We heard from our "partner in waiting" last week. Our agency assigns each family a staff member who checks in every so often to see how we're doing. Ours was candid enough to say that although the current wait for those just matched was 24 months - the wait would continue to grow and that she didn't know to how long. I was grateful for her honesty. I think if one more agency says that the wait is two years, I'm going to scream. That's like standing in front of a factory that has just burned down, then answering "We made $1 billion in profit last year" when asked for sales projections.

  4. We're about to have to renew our paperwork. I've been putting it off. The mere thought of it makes me annoyed. Not only did we have to prove that we're suitable parent material once, but now we have to do it again. And all signs point to the fact that we'll have to do it a third time before all is said and done. It makes me crazy to know that all this time we're waiting, children who've been left behind are waiting, too.

Sometimes it just helps to write it all down. Sometimes I wish my heart wasn't in China, so we could move on to another program. Application forms have been on my desk for months. I just can't bring myself to sign them...

Monday, November 05, 2007


We are almost 10 months out from our house fire earlier this year. Due to many circumstances, we're still awaiting payment on most of our insurance claim. Not the least of which is because one of our flaky contractors can't decide how much the bill is for. He called a couple of weeks ago and asked if we could sign off on an invoice that wasn't even close to correct. Needless to say, we said no, sent him a revised invoice, and haven't heard from him since.

So, it was kind of funny this morning to get a call from our insurance adjuster with some ironic news - our contractor has closed his doors. No wonder he seemed desperate for payment! What a roller coaster ride this has been. And, it's still not over - the window blinds that had been on back order came in damaged, and have been "being repaired" for the last two months. Sigh. I wonder if this place will ever feel like "home" again...