I was blessed to have attended the annual women's retreat sponsored by Holistic Healing in Central Jersey.  This year's theme was "Enlightening Our Hearts & Spirits."  Last year I attended alone, and this year, I was honored to have been joined by a good friend, E.  There's something sacred about bring amongst a circle of women who choose to come together for no other reason than to share in the celebration of being women, nurturing each other as well as themselves.    

A day of communing with women and learning about new age practices that can be applicable to all religious and spiritual beliefs, it's always such a restorative experience and comes at a time during the year when the anticipation of summer seems like a long haul, and the summer sun peeks its way through the brisk city winds and winter storms.  

Thankfully, I became reacquainted with my Muse, dabbled in St. Germaine's "I Am" discourses and found myself back on the path to enlightenment as Life tends to derail us into so many other insane directions, lest I forget my true purpose . . . just being.


sometimes Madness
strikes my heart
a piercing blow to my core
I am . . . Who am . . . falls
& I seek the Purple Flame . . . 

Love & Peace
purify my being
a soothing Light surrounds me
and I connect to my Self 
who sits by my spirit guide, my dad

I inhale deeply
and breathe 
intentions of generous Grace


Waiting for our sun

As we wait for our pinoy sun to shine upon our adoption journey, I have to admit that it's not always an easy wait.  Some days are more challenging than others.  Like when I find myself overwhelmed at a Sunday service because I'm sitting in the pew behind a family that includes a most precious  baby, and I think about how much I wish my Dad were around to be on this journey with us.  Some days, time is moving much more quickly than we expected.  Like this morning. A. & I took the day off to get our federal fingerprints done as part of our future child's immigration paperwork.  Our appointment at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) office at the Elizabeth, NJ location was at 8am.  We'd heard horror stories about federal fingerprints taking all day.  To our surprise, we were out by 9am.  

The waiting involved on our adoption mission certainly has its ups and downs.  Excited to cross off yet another task on our adoption to-do list, we are elated for about two seconds.  Then the buzz wears off.  It will probably be a while before we receive any word about a pre-match, then a referral.  And when we do get our referral, we'll have to consult with a physician familiar with international adoptions before we officially accept . . . & there will be another round of paperwork to push through, so that we can actually travel and bring our child home to the States.  It really is nothing like a physical pregnancy.  I don't have this bump in my body, making me feel a certain way physically.  I can't see it growing day-by-day.  I don't have folks asking me how I feel, telling me how stunning or exhausted I look . . . because I have no bump to show for it.    

And then there's spring cleaning . . . dealing with the reality that there's still much to be done in terms of making physical space in our home for this child.  We've long made space in our hearts.  In our home requires much more time and thought.  More time to purge of items to be donated and more serious thought about the actuality that a child will be joining our family.  Yes, common to most families expecting to bring children into their family.  But I realize, as an adoptive family, there really are layers as well as keen sensitivities to raising an adoptee child, and all my reading tells me so in addition to the adoptive parents in our circles.  A. & I are in frequent discussions about our parental resources and tools, perhaps more so than the usual expecting couple.  This morning over brunch, A. mentioned he can't wait until we're past all the paperwork, placement visits and court dates because then, our child will be officially ours.  

You need a license to drive, but you don't need one to be a (birth) parent.  Just because you have kids doesn't mean you're all grown up.  And yet, adoptive parents must endure all kinds of medical, psychological, criminal and financial clearances before they are approved to be parents.  Sometimes it bites.  Just a little.  Until we conquer the next task in our adoption process and are another step closer . . . to seeing the sun.  


We have been invited

We recently received our invitation to have our federal U.S. fingerprints done.  Have to be invited to do so.  We'd paid our fee to the Department of U.S. Homeland Security some time ago, and PSB informed us it might be months before we actually receive our invitation. So what a surprise that it came much earlier than expected! This moves us closer towards attaining a U.S. visa for the child with whom we'll be matched, our child.

Sometimes it seems so real.  I have to admit, the running account of fees keeps it very real.  Other times, it' still far off . . . the fact that we'll be bringing a child home.  When I read the very official maize colored invitation, I became just a little anxious.  It seems to be going a little faster than we thought.  Then again, it's just another set of fingerprints.  It's not like we've been pre-matched already.  Thoughts rush across my mind like toddlers out of control at a Chuck E. Cheese joint.  When should we start prepping the room?  Should we start looking into a child's trundle bed?  When should we rip out the carpet to put down the new floors?  Can we afford new floors? . . . because I really hate the carpet . . . Gotta get rid of that stationary bike.  Have to donate the antique bed in the guest room.  Are we going to have enough time to get ready? I don't want to get ready too soon especially if we have a while to wait . . .

So aware that when we're at Walmart for our toiletry items, I see folks load their carts with all kinds of sugary cereals, sports drinks, cookies decorated with different colored m&m's and un-natural snack packs & lunchables for their kids. It's no wonder child obesity has become such an epidemic. Maybe I'm just super-sensitive. As an adoptive parent-to-be, I've had to meet the requirements to be so. As we wait for the ultimate invitation -- to be parents, I know that accepting that invitation does not come without its memorandum of understanding (MOU) which includes raising this child in as physically and emotionally healthy an environment as possible.  Even when we're grocery shopping, I wonder . . . How much more food will we be getting when we add a child to our family? What kind of child-friendly food will we be buying? . . . because I refuse to purchase all that processed crap that eventually leads to heart-disease & obesity. Vegetables are a must. Of course, I think all this while there's no child in our midst. I am fully aware.

N.J. fingerprints?  Done.  U.S. fingerprints?  March 22, to be done. Heartprints?  In waiting. 


For Spencer

my sweet shumai
plump & tender
oozes with yummy love
i can't resist 
my winsome delight

Little ones
When I find myself around little ones, I can't help but wonder what it will be like when we finally have our little one with us. Sometimes I am longingly sad that we won't have that early time with her/him.   You know . . . that 0-6 months when they aren't squirming around and just sit like a cuddly bundle, when all they want, is to be held.  We may not have that one-year-old-plus time when we might witness her/his discovery of a world beyond him/her-self like the novelty of chasing her/his shadow.  So I cherish the moments with our nephews and nieces at their youngest.  Blowing raspberry kisses with M.  Visiting with E. a couple of months after she was born, and she laid on my chest oh-so-angelically & smelled like that oh-so-precious newborn smell. Playing peek-a-boo with J. and making waves with the light aqua scarf as he was ticked by the pretend breeze.  And snuggling with S. just 'cause . . . he isn't crawling quite yet and can't get away.  

I know that our little one will be a blessing no matter how old s/he is . . . because s/he needs love, & we have so much of it to give. With a leap of faith, there will be no doubt that we belong together.  I suppose that's the undeniable gift of becoming an adoptive family.