Tag Archives: Adoption Visitation

Just Three Days More!

Time has flown even when it felt as though it were dragging.  Hope and I are ready to get this visit going!  The room is ready; I put up the bubble decals and put on the lovely new bedding with the personalized pillow case.  There’s still at lot for us to pick out: more shelving and storage, lighting and another piece of furniture.  She tells me she has 11 boxes of stuff to ship here (so far), but Foster Mom assures me that some of those boxes are filled with foolishness, like nearly empty lotion bottles, that *may* get lost in transit.  We’ll see.

I just can’t wait to give her a hug and bring her home.  When we first decided on a two and a half week visit, it seemed like such a long visit.  Now that the visit starts in three days, I am already sad about saying goodbye.  My sadness won’t consume the joy of the visit, but just knowing that I have to take her back and not knowing when she will be home again just makes me sad.

I’m delighted to step away from work for a few weeks.  I love my job; I really do.  I think each of us, deep down, hopes that we are so important to our jobs and careers that stepping  away for a while may cause near chaos for the folks around us.  I know that life goes on without you though; the office will be fine, and I happen to be in a supportive environment where nearly everyone will respect my nesting time and leave me alone.  Of course there’s always that one person from the planet Zoron who is dumb enough to call, but I figure I’ll deal with her when the time comes.   I do have to give a speech early one morning during my leave; I couldn’t get out of it.  Hope will get a chance to see new mom at work since she will have to tag along.

I have to also admit that I’m delighting in telling folks I’m going on leave because it gives me an opportunity to tell some colleagues I’ve known for years this special news.   I’ve been with my office and my members for 12 of the last 16 years; it’s been very cool to just give a peek behind the veil of my life.  I’m a new mom!

In other news…How is it that my lovely Hope, who has a beautiful singing voice and a natural gift for percussion, is so taken by the tenor saxophone?  Don’t get me wrong, I love that she loves music.  I love that she loves learning music.  I love that she wants to try.  I love that she wants to sing for me, and I love that she wants to play her sax for me.

But, oh my goodness, it really sounds like she’s killing a flock of geese when she plays.  It’s sharp and flat and just…horrible.

There I said it.  Yeah, I said it! Last night’s saxophone concert was in a word awful, but I oooh’d and ahhhh’d  and clapped.  I am practicing not grimacing because I don’t want to grimace in front of her—well at least not too much.

I have many friends with kids who have endured painful band and choir concerts over the years.  I have seen their comments on social media.  I heard the stories of would-be bleeding ears.

Reading Facebook comments and hearing the stories is just not the same as enduring it live.  I have a new respect for these folks.

Wow, last night’s musical concert was a mix of what kind of sounded like Jingle Bells, St. Nick, Frere Jacques, and some other songs  that I really, really struggled to make out but simply could not.

Lord knows, I love this child and want to nurture her gifts and talents.  She wants to take band when she moves here and I totally support that move.  But ABM is going to HAVE to get some noise cancelling ear buds (the all-out headphones will be much too obvious!).

I suppose it could be worse, she could be playing a straight wind instrument.



Needed: An Origami Coach


This dreadful jet lag had me up at 4:30 local time this morning.  I’m starting to wonder if this great coffee city has enough java to keep me powered during this visit. Despite the fact that I know I’ll pay for it later, I’m relishing in the quiet solitude of the morning.  I adore the kid that’s sleeping in the next room, but good Lord I am tired.

Hope is a chatterbox.  Now this is the point where some of my friends and family who follow my blog run off to get tissues to dab their eyes because the belly laughs they are enjoying have become just too much for them.  Yeah, the irony is not lost on this wordy girl that Hope is chattier than I ever have been in my life, and that’s saying something.  My God, I can’t even know how many people I must’ve exhausted in this lifetime.

I love her voice and am amused by her conversations, but I am admitting on this here blog, that I did not fight to go back to sleep this morning because the solitude was so enticing.   I’ve read enough Facebook statuses to know I should not feel guilty about being up before dawn, just soaking in the quiet.

Ok, I’m also trying to upload the last batch of dissertation interviews for transcription on this slow arse internet at this hotel.  I got the first batch back, and my dissertation director is reading an early draft of my quantitative analysis this weekend.  The dissertation grind just doesn’t let up.

Anyhoo, yesterday Hope and I did a few tourist trap outings and a little shopping.  We ran across this little Japanese store at the mall that had all kinds of interesting goodies.  Hope loves origami.  I suck at origami.  I bought us a bunch of paper and a few books.  The beginner book makes me feel so very lame; my ego is suffering something terrible here.  I did manage to make a cute frog who does hop; it was my greatest origami achievement yesterday.  All the while I was grunting over pretty paper, Hope made a fortune teller, some cool pinwheel thing, and a bunch of other cool little contraptions.

I learned more about my daughter yesterday.  She’s at the age when a cute boy crossing the street results in a moment of complete and utter distraction, much like when a hunting dog sees a much sought-after squirrel.  Never take her into one of those brain teaser stores if you want to spend the next hour doing something else, because it is not going to be a short walk through.  She ignores you when she doesn’t want to do something.  She hates waste, not because she’s a conservationist at heart but because she’s had so little that she had to save what she had and ration it.  She admits to being a bit disruptive in school; where do folks learn all this “You have to respect me before I respect you” foolishness.  No little girl, get in your lane.  I sense having more than one conversation at a school conference on this subject in my future.   She has a strong need to be right [family and friends just hush!].  She is surprisingly honest about her life and what she thinks about things up until this point.  I’ve learned about things that were never in her profile but seem pretty stinking important in my quest to be a good, thoughtful and sensitive parent.

Over dinner last night at one of the special places she requested, she had a moment.  She sighed and said, “I call you ABM, but I feel like I want to call you something else.”

Hmmm, ok, I’m thinking this conversation just got serious, as I nosh on this tasteless Spaghetti Factory pasta without benefit of a red wine accoutrement.  I was so proud when she announced at the end of the meal that she was not impressed; the girl likes good food and this wasn’t really good at all.   I know; I digress.

“Ok, so what do you think you want to call me?”

“I don’t know…” She wrinkled her face up and said, “Mom?  But maybe not, because that sounds so weird… I don’t know.  I’ve never called anyone that before.”

Wait, is she mulling over calling me Mom?   Holy bat-poop!  That’s pretty awesome!  OMG…ABM, think fast, think fast and whatever you do, don’t cry.   I really could’ve used a glass of cabernet right then.

“Well, Hope you can keep calling me ABM until you figure out what you’d like to call me.  Mom sounds nice, but you’ll know if and when that’s what you want to call me when you’re ready.  I figure one day you’ll just call me something and it will stick and we’ll both be ok with it.  And it will be cool, ok?”


Hey where’d that come from?  I think I did ok.  Earlier in the day we discussed a nickname for her.  The beginnings of our names are similar, and her nickname is actually a sweet name my granny used to call me.  Interestingly, it was not really chosen by us, but more confirmed.  Someone earlier in her life also called her by this pet name and it brought back pleasant memories; she was delighted that I shared the pet name, so it seemed like a great fit.  No doubt my mom, Grammy, will put this down as more proof that Hope is supposed to be my kid.

Ok, so here are my highlight lessons of the day!

  • I really suck at origami, I mean really suck.  I’ve mis-folded countless pieces of pretty paper in the last day.
  • Never buy an umbrella at a tourist trap.   Twenty-five dollars for an umbrella…I know better, but ugh, the rain was so heavy.
  • My cute new trench coat makes me look like a small tan whale.  Will be counting calories and making time to get my fanny to the gym on the regular when I get back to town.  I miss my pre-grad school curves.  I can’t even say this is baby weight, unless I just name my dissertation and call it another kid.  The PhD-15.
  • The parenting 5-countdown thing really does work.  I had to use it several times yesterday.  By the third time I had it down pat, and she was more compliant with the desired behavior.  Good times.
  • Hope has a potty mouth, that I’m sure is reserved for school and not the grownups who surround her.   She does enough “kiddie cursing” (heck, dang, etc) for me to know that the unfiltered version is probably like a Lil’ Wayne song in the school halls.  I know, because I like bad words (thank you George Carlin), but we’ll be tapping down on all of that and boosting more appropriate vocabulary as time drags on.
  • I’m super blessed in more ways than I ever understood.  I’m grateful for parents who were able to provide me with such great upbringing and foundational life experiences.  I adored them before, but now I know that parenting and doing your best on that journey is truly a life’s work.

Now, I’m going to snooze a bit.  We’re Skyping Grammy and Gramps in a couple of hours,  and I want to savor this morning a little longer.

K E Garland

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