Monday, February 28, 2011

2 little whos

Princess Bee was given a celebration on Sunday. Photos were put in an album for her, photos of people wanting to meet her, photos of her new family, of new friends and neighbors, people who maybe even already love her. One friend mailed hers in since she doesn't live in our state. Her daughter, here over a year from Ethiopia, drew this picture for us.

2 little whos
by e.e. cummings

2 little whos
(he and she)
under are this
wonderful tree

smiling stand
all realms of where
and when beyond
now and here

far from a grown
ful world of known
who and who

(2 little arms
and over them this
aflame with dreams
incredible is)

In the friends department? I am blessed more than anyone I know.

The Best Video on the Internet

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just for spring cleaning time.

"My name is Peter Pan," he told her.

"Yes, I know."

"I came back for my mother," he explained, "to take her to the Neverland."

"Yes, I know," Jane said, "I have been waiting for you."

When Wendy returned diffidently she found Peter sitting on the bed-post crowing gloriously, while Jane in her nighty was flying round the room in solemn ecstasy.

"She is my mother," Peter explained; and Jane descended and stood by his side, with the look in her face that he liked to see on ladies when they gazed at him.

"He does so need a mother," Jane said.

"Yes, I know." Wendy admitted rather forlornly; "no one knows it so well as I."

"Good-bye," said Peter to Wendy; and he rose in the air, and the shameless Jane rose with him; it was already her easiest way of moving about.

Wendy rushed to the window.

"No, no," she cried.

"It is just for spring cleaning time," Jane said, "he wants me always to do his spring cleaning."

"If only I could go with you," Wendy sighed.

"You see you can't fly," said Jane.

Of course in the end Wendy let them fly away together. Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window, watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars.

As you look at Wendy, you may see her hair becoming white, and her figure little again, for all this happened long ago. Jane is now a common grown-up, with a daughter called Margaret; and every spring cleaning time, except when he forgets, Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland, where she tells him stories about himself, to which he listens eagerly. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter's mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless.

--J. M. Barrie

Friday, February 25, 2011


Forget that thing I said about spring.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


It's been 105 days since Gladney called us with news of Little B. We've celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, my birthday, and Valentine's Day.

Some friends are hosting a celebration on Sunday of this little girl. One friend with a daughter about the same age told me today that maybe they could come over soon to look through all the things we have for her already to help us see where we're lacking. We are lacking a court date.

Please if you see me in person, know that I am promising you now to tell you if we have a court date. Maybe I will print the date on a t-shirt and wear it every day. When I hear the question, "So you have you heard anything?" I get a sinking feeling and want to stare out windows.

This post is beautiful. This woman is a very good mother, one I hope to be like. This adoption stuff is an up and down road, for everyone, but maybe least of all for the adoptive parents. I bemoan how slowly this part of the process is progressing. I know I will want to celebrate when we get a court date, but I also know that B might not always want to celebrate this part of her life. Thank you, Sharon, for reminding me of that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What We Need to Live

At dinner tonight, we're talking about what happens if one stops eating. In Abe's mind, food=growth, so if you stop eating, you just stop growing. Ted, the pragmatist, tells him that if we stop eating, we will eventually die.

Ted says, "We need air, water, food...and love," followed by a purposely cheesy giggle.

After seeing Rabbit Hole, I have an even deeper appreciation of children remaining firmly planted on yards and sidewalks. I add to the conversation, "And we need not running into streets to stay alive too."

Abe shakes his head as if I'm an idiot. He puts his fork down and says, "Mom. That won't make you die. That will just make you flat."


Ted and I look at each other.

He finishes the conversation by shaking his head with another bite of his dinner, "That's just how life goes."


This time of year, people around these parts start talking about the weather. Just a couple of weeks ago, spring seemed too far away to discuss. By the end of February though, we keep getting glimpses of hope.

(thanks for the photo, Jillian)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three Months

Then, Baby Abey

Tonight, Abe

Over three months since seeing Bee's face for the first time. No word on a court date. Still. No word.

In the first photos we saw, she had no hair. In the photos we got this week, her hair has grown enough for bows to be put in. In the first photos, she looked shy, scared, quiet. In the ones this week, she seems extroverted, big, loud.

Her transitional home with our agency is now simply her home and adds yet another layer of loss she's going to suffer in her short life. She is growing up without us and there is nothing we can do about it.

Music Playlist at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Abe snuggles into my chest tonight and says he's "nesting."

"I'm the bird. You're the nest."

Split pea soup for a family with a mom needing to sit down and rest (you read me? sit down and rest). Home-made bread by the nephew who lives downstairs. Pasta sauce thrown together from leftover bits and pieces in the refrigerator.

A new copy of Peter and Wendy, borrowed from a friend. The first official chapter book. He sits still and listens for a few chapters, the scenes from the movies bounding around in his head as we read.

How many times in this house do we hear, "Peter and Wendy."

"John and Michael."

"I don't want to grow up."

"We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout."

"Captain Hook! I'm gonna getcha!"

"Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa..."

"I don't want a treat. Do I have to finish my dinner?"

"Can I listen to Snoopy and the Red Baron?"

"Can you tell me a story about when you were a little girl?"

Early this morning, I wake up to snow and rain outside. Early morning, driving three African elders to a meeting downtown. Two are on time. One is late. It's still snowing. We head out, leaving the one behind. Then we see him walking down the street so I pull over. His friends open the door and yell for him. He jumps in. The three of them laugh off and on the whole way across town on Burnside, and I wish I understood all the jokes.

We are late for the meeting. When it's their turn to speak, they tell their stories, and I believe every heart there was softened by words like "I thank God for this opportunity" and "I am only a burden to my daughter who supports me" and "Everywhere I go, I am looking looking looking for work but there is nothing" and "I am a refugee. My wife and children are waiting in Kenya. When will I see them?"

My job allows me the beautiful responsibility of holding some of the burden of the immigrant and refugee. It's never enough that I lift. My prayer is that I am resourceful and stubborn to do things for these people. I carry them in my heart at all times. They've worked their way in and will never leave, not for my whole life.

The song coming from the preschooler in the bathtub as I write this:

"Home. Let me come home. Home is wherever I'm with you."

Then, he crows, just like Peter Pan does.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Cookies

One of our favorite neighbors brought these over yesterday afternoon. What amazingly talented people we are surrounded by. Lucky us.

(in case you haven't seen the "Put a bird on it" clip, go here).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Literary Milestone

May I please brag for just one second? Last week during my day to "parent help" at preschool, I was working the craft table, and this one little girl said, "I want to sign my name to my picture" to which I mumbled to myself, "Pshaw. You go right ahead little three-year-old who can't do jack." She then wrote her name and blew my mind a little bit.

I came away from preschool that day determined to teach our son to write his name.

Tonight, we're out to dinner (i.e. happy hour because it's cheap) at a fancy-ish restaurant (fancy because it's really dark, has candles and a pretty expensive regular dinner menu) when the waiter brought over a toy for Abe and...

...lo and behold:

He told us that the "A" looks like our grill. And it really does. Do you see it?

I make the young writer pose with his creation.

...and on to the next thing, which turned out to be the outline of a pained memoir of a child raised by an academically competitive mother who only allowed her children to order off the happy hour menu.

"Everything Looks Different"

It's been a busy week. This happened at one point. See Abe's new trick.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Put a bird on it

Proof that the writers of Portlandia know what they're talking about:

This is a nutty city we live in.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


A friend emailed today and said I sounded miserable. I'm really not. I had a potato pierogi earlier today from a Russian bakery near my job and am snacking on a hot toddy and BBQ chips right now so who can be miserable with nourishment like that filling the body?

My world is really surrounded by a lot of beautiful things.

Things like hairy chested pirates.

And lizards stuck in keyholes.

Things like every episode of every season of The Cosby Show being available now live-streaming to netlix members.

Things like having an older friend over for little brother practice.

Things like tonight when Abe leaned over and kissed my cheek and told me I was his favorite. When I asked him how he got to be so sweet, he said, "I don't know. Life just made me that way."

That conversation and BBQ chips go a long way to lift a sad mood.