Mound 2 - paperwork

A. & I are currently working through our second mound of adoption paperwork. Upon first opening up the 1.5" thick 8.5" x 11" manila (ironically) envelope, I was immediately overwhelmed. I'd been anticipating it in the mail since we'd been notified that PSB received our initial face sheet application and fee. Not that I didn't know what to expect. So many forms, multi-paged forms! Signing off on the fact that we don't believe in corporal punishment at all. Fingerprints, certified copies, notaries . . . oh my!

Including a 6-10 page autobiography (that's A. & I each) on our childhoods and parents, education, careers, why we want to become parents, what our philosophies are on parenting and discipline . . . Personal and neighbor references . . . Employer and church ones too. Our primary childcare plan, our alternative childcare plans. And did I mention the 8" x 10" and 5" x 7" photos of us as adoptive parents, the rooms in our home, views of our home from the outside and all around the front and back? Plus photos of our extended family members. All to present our dossier in the best light possible, so that we can be matched with our forever child.

I find myself on occasion confronting the bittersweet (mostly sweet) excitement of our adoption journey and the fact that biological parents don't need a license to parent and certainly don't have to jump through such hoops. They should need a license, and they should have to jump through hoops.


Adoption Diary

Dear Pearl S. Buck,
We have officially begun the process which will enable a little one to join our already complete family. Having her/him will be a blessing because her/his life will touch ours in a most unique way that no other child can. Your giving spirit and belief that all children are entitled to the love & security of a family live strong in us. You were a pioneer, and we proudly follow in your path. Thanks so much, Pearl.
With much appreciation,
S. & A.


Everything reminds me of you

This photo was taken at K. & T.'s wedding rehearsal dinner -- maybe nine years ago? Lately I find myself looking at my reflection and realizing while I'm probably a good combination of my Mom & Dad, I take a long stare and am amazed at how much I look like my Dad. A fan of sending photos via phone messages, every time I send one over to my niece & nephew, E. & M., in GA, I take a moment . . . Wow, I really do look like Dad sometimes. Ay ee ya yay . . . everything reminds me of you, Dad.

Peace of today's falling rain to all those who experienced 9/11 and know individuals who gave up their precious lives in acts of the kindest humanity and most generous freedom. I recall very clearly what that day was like for me. Despite the hole in the WTC, I boarded the PATH train at the Grove Street station and was met with hysterical NYU students in Washington Square Park. That sinking heart feeling stayed with me as did the gaseous smell of chemicals and dead pigeons throughout the city. I ended up stranded in upper Manhattan, Inwood, with friends that evening and wasn't able to make contact with my folks until late 11pm. I will remember how I absolutely just had to read every obituary that came across the NY Times for months and months and months. I will remember how I, along with some friends, walked down to Exchange Place to volunteer with the Red Cross . . . and heard that there was no need for body bags because people had been basically cremated in the explosion across the Hudson River. I will remember to honor all those friends and family members who experience grief today on 9/11 and can move on courageously and comforted by heartful memories.


Celosia Argentea

fuzzy fall flowers
friend me
as i saunter for lunchfare

Interesting what happens in the moment. I was downtown at a pre-proposal RFP meeting for work and happened upon an old colleague, who shared that he was going to be a father and that he & his wife are due in February. Naturally, I congratulated him and wished them well. In my well-wishing, I shared that we had just begun our expectant (adoption) process. But then I found myself unnerved the rest of the afternoon. Why did I want to share, should I be sharing too? Was our news just as worthy? Upon following up with an email exchange later, he congratulated me. And I insisted, no congratulations quite yet as it would be a long wait and process (14-24 months) -- maybe I'm Jewish that way. Jews don't believe in baby showers & such fanfare. Nothing is worth celebrating until the little one has actually arrived. Anything can happen before then. In any expectant anticipation, especially that of wanting so much to experience parenthood, worries and excitement overwhelm me simultaneously.

And then there's the friendly Pilipino maintenance man in my (work) building, who frequently holds the elevator for me. Every day, Christopher (from Bulacan in the Philippines) & I exchange sincere pleasantries, he asks me about my work, and I find myself wanting to make more-than-nice, make an effort to get to know him, because he is Kuya - kababayan. And I'm reminded of the magic of perchance.

Just like when we finally meet our little one.


The Birthing Process

a few years full of sighs
a couple of expectant calls and info sessions
fee schedules
breathe into
a leap of faith
an important piece of mail
(breathe out)
our process has begun



he leaves behind
noise & disruption
in a distant country of urban chaos
. . . and he travels . . .
landing peacefully
at home
in the bay
water bubbles
around him
& the fish
are there too