Closer to special delivery

One step closer!  U.S. Immigration formally approved our immigration application to adopt from the Philippines. The approval was forwarded to ICAB as part of our dossier.  It expires June/July 2011 which creates a more distinct timeframe in our minds as to when we might pick up our child in the Philippines and bring her/him home to the States.  After that federal finger-printing obstacle course, this was definitely a  most welcome piece of mail this week.  Thank you, Sergeant L. and Officer E.

With summer upon us, A. & I look forward to spending casual downtime after work along the 5-minute bay, whice we fondly consider our backyard.  We always notice the annual homecoming of horseshoe crabs as they commune along the bayshore in wanton snuggling.

Invasion of the horseshoe crabs    
on his commute home
he listens to meditative notes
as the limulus polyphemus' passionate frolic
calls to him, join us!


Sitting Seagull

Love the weekends.  Down the shore. Sitting Seagull (sounds Native Am, doesn't it?) visited with me for a quiet spell while A. & I spent the evening at Avon having attended a good friend's lola's wake in the afternoon.  I sat in Dad's old chair reading Five Wishes by Guy Hendricks, an author/counseling psychologist/spiritual guide.  I fed Sitting Seagull some bread leftover from our 12-year-old niece's February-birthday-in-May overdue lunch date.  He ate some and quietly sat in meditation alongside me, then limped over to park himself by the end of the jetty where A. fished.  Part of me wants to believe it was Dad . . . wanting to touch base and remind us, Take it  easy . . . live a simple life.

As the waves crashed against each other and the fishing jetty in a spring lullaby, I sank deeper into Dad's royal blue comfort, feeling like he was giving me a warm embrace.  Two fleece blankets will do that.  And for a moment, I imagined that my future daughter/son could feel my loving hug across oceans too.

Five Wishes is surprisingly a quick read that promises to give the reader a gift to make her wishes come true.  As I paged through, I realized I've had so many of my wishes come true already.  While some upon their deathbeds wish they'd said things they never got to say to their loved ones, I can confidently say that my life is a success because I live in self-awareness with all my friends & family, saying the important things I need to say, doing the important things I need to do . . . & I work hard to leave nothing unsaid or undone. 

Others wish they had kept a written record of everything significant in their lives.  I have every journal I've ever kept since I was eight years old.  It's not an easy task to give voice to our deepest emotions and thoughts, but doing so keeps me honest and my words & actions authentic. That's why my life is blissful (& blessful).       

Love & light to E. & E. as they along with the San Juan family see their beloved Inay as a shining star in a peaceful night's sky.  


(Fishing) Guide

he will teach him --
when to fish the tide
how to protect his fingers 
as he handles bloodworms
why to throw back 
the darling searobin or sandshark
he will teach her --
when to mount the jetty 
with her korkers
how to maneuver her fish off the hook
with the first aid kit in sight
why to learn patience for her big catch
he will be his child's (fishing) guide


Thank you, Sergeant

After some back & forth communication (AND frustration) with Officer E. at USCIS regarding my current town of residence's fingerprinting procedures as well as numerous games of phone tag with Sergeant L. in our local police department, I will finally have the appropriate documentation necessary to complete our immigration application for adoption.  It's only taken two-and-a-half weeks to work out this particular concern in addition to the handful of requests for evidence (RFEs) to which we've had to respond in the last three months.  Oh, Adoption Process, how I so enjoy the hurdles you set forth in our path to a forever child.  Perhaps a true test of mamahood to come?           

A most generous thank you to Sergeant L. for his willingness to write a letter on my behalf.  We will be sure to make a donation to our local Police Athletic League. 

Apparently, I'm so hardworking that I have no fingerprints, so the digital fingerprinting process fails me.  At USCIS' request, I made two failed attempts to register my federal fingerprints to check for any criminal activity.  Did I mention that the the State of New Jersey had already provided criminal and child abuse clearance in the fall?  Due to my failed federal prints, USCIS requested that I get separate clearances for my current and previous residence which meant reqesting letters of good conduct from local police departments.  JC does grant such a letter -- for a fee.  My current town, P-ville, does not and bumps the process to the state.  After explaning my task-at-hand to Sergeant L., he ran a quick computer check on my name which returned no criminal activity and mentioned that he would be happy to be listed as a contact in case Officer E. had any questions as providing a written statement on their procedures was not a part of their traditional operations. 

But I need a letter!

While I relayed this to Officer E., USCIS, she naturally has her rules and procedures.  After all, it is the federal government.  Time for PSB, our adoption agency, to intervene.  With some coaxing from PSB, Sergeant L. graciously agreed to provide the document, which I can then overnight to Officer E. 

Until you, Adoption Process, place another obstacle en route to our forever child.  Some days, this being pregnant in my heart, are harder than others.


On not being a runner

I am so not a runner.  I much prefer to walk at a somewhat fast pace, however hurried my 4'10" legs will carry me, usually racing from Port Authority to work in Chelsea or the reverse trying to make a certain time's bus home.  

As I'm training to run 5K in just under 45 minutes (today's practice run - 46 minutes), I realize just how much I need to do My Run for My Dad more for me than for him.  An old family friend recently wrote me that her father passed away 27 years ago today, and she loves him more today than then. The grief never goes away. It just becomes a heartache strengthened by Light's compassion.

Out of the Blue

running from Grief
whose wiles sometimes suddenly grab me
during Sunday's prayer
or still meditation

i want to run from Grief  
whose bellow pushes me 
to see only a blue haze 

i want to skip
to Memory's Joy
whose laughter embraces me
like an aura of golden lemons

blessings aglow

Happy Mother's Day weekend to all the mamas in my life, the daughters and sons who miss their mamas, and those waiting to be mamas.  To radiant thanksgiving.


Imagined inspiration

I rarely dream about my Dad.  This past weekend, he visited me alongside a unicorn with a violet mane.  Dressed in white, he said nothing to me, just stood peacefully holding onto a tame unicorn.  When I awoke, I naturally had to google the unicorn and what it might symbolize. 

A unicorn is obviously of the mystic imagination representing power, gentility and purity.  It is also inspiration at the wonders of the inner world and also represents integrity.  In Scripture, a unicorn is from the Hebrew Urus, a wild animal of great ferocity and strenth, and in a Christian context, a unicorn is the Virgin Mary. 

So much has been weighing on my mind since our visit with the ICAB board members -- adding more information for clarification to our adoption dossier to justify our viability as parents as well as training for my Run for Dad.  I suppose Dad has been on my mind more than usual.  Father's Day is still almost two months away, and I dread its arrival, a sure reminder that my Dad is no longer around.  I've found myself more overwhelmed the past couple of weeks.  Holding back tears on our bus commute, I've needed some kind of cathartic moment.  Yesterday after Sunday Mass, we lit a large sapphire candle for Dad, and I took a moment to reflect on my Dad's visit. 

Maybe Dad's trying to tell us that he loves the idea of our becoming parents.  Perhaps Dad is also pleased that A. has embarked on a communal path to joining the Knights of Columbus at our local parish.  Or maybe he's especially excited that A. & I are have been inspired to create a new local project, SV, that incorporates his extremely sound advice to us before he passed -- Live a simple life.  More to come on SV.