Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Sweet Little Things in Between

Little Logan

How nice was it to have an extra-long weekend. That buffer day was amazing. I wish three-day weekends were a regular occurrence. 

Ken and I spent ours driving up to Boston to see our new nephew, Logan Jacob Milton Kelepouris, who was born Friday May 27, 2011 at 10:25 PM. He’s an armful weighing almost 9 Pounds – and is incredibly cute.

He’s baby No. 3 for my sister-in-law and best friend since 7th grade – Katie.

Just thinking of having three little kiddos 5 and under makes my head hurt. Seriously, God bless her.

I think I could handle two – tops.

On the other hand, I am really looking forward to the chaos of having kids. Maybe not the temper tantrums at the grocery store (where everyone is staring at you to get your kid under control), or the never-ending ‘I don’t want to go to sleep’ – when all you want to do is take a hot bath, read a book and have a glass of wine... And all they want to do is watch Dora.

But all the sweet, little things in between (and I only know this from watching my two nieces Sammy and Lexi) like the pitter patter of little feet running around the house, the giggling, how they fall asleep to the rhythm of their mom or dad's heart, and their funny one-liners… especially when they repeat some swear word you said… that wasn’t meant for their ears.

I’m looking forward to it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Let All the Bull**** Go!

Second day in a double!

I just got home after spending a weekend in northern Vermont – and I mean really northern – only 20 miles from the Canadian border. My friend Linda and I went up to a tiny town called Craftsbury to attend a three-day clinic at the Craftsbury Sculling Center.

And while it started off a little rocky with thunderstorms, lightning and torrential downpours (not to mention the less than friendly staff) we ended up meeting some great people – and one outstanding coach who let us in on this mantra: "Just let the minutia go, close your eyes, and just let it go..."

Of course he was referring to all the crazy, technical BS that goes along with sculling. It may look easy – but I am here to tell you that it's one of the hardest sports I have ever done.

Make sure your wrists are flat, lean back only this much, slow your slide down, open your chest, look up, and on and on and on...

If you start thinking about all these things at the same time – and try to correct these things – there is no way you can have a good row. In the end, you only feel frustration, which is how I often feel (as you all know by now) about this adoption process. I let all the minutia - all the BS details - bog me down.

I start obsessing about the wait times, if the Ethiopian program will ultimately shutdown, and where Ken and I will be left if that happens. But where does all this worrying really get me?

Right now, a nasty headache at best.

So I am going to take my coach's advice and apply it this crazy, emotional roller coaster ride otherwise known as adoption and just let it all go. 

I'm going to close my eyes... feel the water glide below the boat... and just breathe.

Maybe if I do that - the waiting won't seem so excruciating.
Our coach Ric Ricci with me and Linda

Friday, May 13, 2011

What gives meaning to your life?

I was listening to NPR the other day – which I usually do to try and distract me from my hellish commute to NYC every day – and they featured a segment called, “Making Parenthood A Reality Through IVF Grants.”
It was an interesting topic to me (since I had been through that god-awful process myself) so I kept it tuned to Morning Edition with Soterios Johnson (by the way – there’s one for the baby name list!)
To sum it up, the reality is that most insurance companies do NOT cover IVF, and as a result, many couples can’t afford the $15,000 or so that it takes to undergo the treatments.

Anyway, the story profiles a couple who couldn’t have kids on their own, and who also, didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend on these super expensive treatments. Fortunately for them – after a few failed IVF attempts and remortgaging their house –  they found an organization that offered a scholarship IVF program, and in the end, they end up having a baby boy.
And while this story is very positive, and it’s wonderful that this couple now has the baby they’ve always wanted, there was one quote from the woman that really struck me. She said:

 "What's the purpose of any of this… if you're not going to have your own children to try to help make the world a better place? I didn't think my life would have any real meaning."

 OK. I guess that’s one reason to have kids.

 But my thought after hearing that was… if you really want to make the world a better place… think about the millions and millions of kids out there who have no parents at all. Kids who would give anything to have a family. Kids that you could give a home to. Kids who you could love and nurture. Kids who you could help become the best people they could possibly be… and kids who you could raise to make the world a better place. What about that? Do you think that would give meaning to your life?

(getting off my soapbox now...)

I just think there comes a time, at least it did for Ken and I, when you put all that “we need to have a baby that comes from us, that looks like us, that has Ken’s nose, and my lips (because Ken doesn’t really have any) – and you move forward and say you just want to be parents and love another little human being.
Think about this: UNICEF, which defines an orphan as a child that has lost one or both parents, estimates that there were over 145 million orphans worldwide as of 2007.

 Now... that’s a whole bunch of kids who could give anyone’s life “real meaning.”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Some positive news...

After bitching and moaning in my last post – and believe me I could’ve bitched more – I am turning over a new leaf (at least for this week) to report on some positive news.

I just found out today that a fellow blogger and Granite Stater has just received her court date for her 19-month old daughter in Ethiopia! Amazing News. Others have also received court dates, so this definitely gives me hope that things are still moving forward… fingers crossed.

Also today, a friend of mine at work instant messaged me this morning saying this “this is kind of incredible”… which I then replied… “What is incredible!!??”

It turns out this very kind and generous man, who donates his time and energy to raise money through the AIDS Walk in NYC for medical facilities in Africa run by the organization 'Keep a Child Alive'(over $22,000 so far) just received a video message from a woman at Alive Medical Services in Uganda – thanking him for helping her and so many others.  She lost her husband to AIDS and she recently found out she was HIV positive as well.

As he said, he was speechless after watching out. It just goes to show, one person can really make a difference.

In other news this week, Ken and I are still hashing out this dual application issue. Seriously, this has been a thorn in my ass (and Ken’s) for the past few weeks. Well, here’s the update. We are now looking into domestic adoption as well. But, here’s the catch --- how open are we when it comes to open adoption?

How open would you be?