My Stars Hollow

Lovely day trip to Lambertville (NJ) yesterday. The fact that there was a festival happening was so much of a surprise that I flitted and floated around town just like a Gilmore girl.  Complete with postcard picturesque snowfall, ice sculptures and folks donned in costumes celebrating Winter Festival 2011.  A most welcome day getaway to meet an old college friend, C., for lunch and new year's catch up. 

I am comforted that my Stars Hollow is just an hour's drive.  We'd been to Lambertville last April and caught the tail end of the Shad Fest, Lambertville's annual spring fair.  As much as I record and watch re-runs of Gilmore girls, A. is well aware of how much I'd love to live in my own little Stars Hollow complete with friendly townspeople, eclectic arts, and homegrown eateries and shops.  The struggle seems to be, how exactly do I get there?  At this point in our lives, the reality is -- gotta be where the jobs are, which means near a major metropolis.  I am thankful to have a job that allows me to advocate for NYC's most vulnerable communities and I feel that I am contributing to the greater good.  Admittedly it's exhausting, and some days it's absolutely mind numbing.  Of course, I fantasize about living in my Stars Hollow where I can run writing workshops that support people to be their most self-aware and participate in fellowship where varied arts encourage all over wellness.  Still figuring out my path to getting there.  In the meantime, I work on a project or two that feed my Stars Hollow fix.

Bridge to New Hope
snow flurries alongside a familiar friendship's meetup
how are you, great to see you
arm in arm we stroll huddled against winter's backdrop
as we cross the bridge into 2011's New Hope
college memories fit 
like an old colorfully mosaic afghan blanket 
intricately crocheted by mom 
handed down from her household to mine
our centereds' Renewal


Sixth Secret

Winter whispers 
silent secrets like Sufi's Cube 
on bended knee imploring us,
hearken with intention
and make the morning's moment last

For Xander

thaifilipino amourous fusion
from connecticut roots bred
mother and father's dewy affection hopes fully
for your anticipated ohioan homecoming
like lavish love flying open at airport's gate

My dearest family friend like a sister, M. gave birth to Xander this past Monday afternoon, 9-pounder.  Congratulations, M. & R.!  Xander's currently on oxygen and a glucose line, so his new parents and grandparents (Mimi and Grandpa) lovingly await M. and Xander's healthy recovery.  When I received M.'s email of Xander's birthday (that's M. who's on her blackberry as she lies in the recovery room from her Cesarean delivery), I was overcome by a quiet joy for M.'s newborn son along with recent news of other family friends who are expecting their second children.  At the moment, I'm further looking forward to my close college friend, E.'s birth of her fourth child.  (E. already has three supersmart boys.)  

Admittedly A. and I can't help but wonder, how many of our family and friends will go on to have more kids as we continue to wait for our one?  We have no control over the Philippines' ICAB (Inter-Country Adoption Board) or their timeframe for matching children and families.  Kind of like winter's snowstorms.  In the meantime, we celebrate our family and friends'  blessings . . . and enjoy the crystal niagara. 


Pool of knowing

my eyes closed
Light sings a quelling lullaby
and leads me to the poems in the wind
Her rhapsody inspires me
i am quietly captivated


Self soothing

Rough work week.  Maybe the worst in my career.  Glad it's over.  Thankful I still have my job, extremely grateful that my boss went to bat for me, and that my reputation is still intact with my colleagues.  I spent the latter half of this past week self medicating with white wine aged with coffee, a thoughtful (re)treat from my very dear friend, E., who gifted the bottle to us from her travels to NOLa.  Just a glass or two after dinner the last few nights.  And next week will be a new work week.  Learn and move on.   

Our adoption update from PSB
Our adoption coordinator, H., wrote:  "We just heard back from R.  ICAB confirmed that they are matching Filipino families whose dossiers were approved in the first and second quarters of 2009.  While it’s not as close as we would like to your dossier approval date, it’s a heck of a lot closer than where they are for non-Filipino families (still in the second and third quarters of 2008 for them!).  R. has already started talking to some of his friends at various orphanages about your family as a way to introduce them to you.  These kinds of discussions sometimes make matching a bit quicker when dossiers from around your time are being considered."

Every email from PSB always makes my heart flutter.  I'll see the subject headline and wonder, Is this it?  Do we have a match . . . Does this bring us a little closer to bringing our child home?  And usually it brings us just a tiny pinch closer, nothing more.  I suppose that's par for the process.  Many times, A. & I talk about -- if we do this a second time, maybe we'll go domestic.  At work, I am constantly reminded how many children are in the foster care system, and while the goal is to reunite them with their birth parents, for so many others, adoption is also a wonderful opportunity to experience a loving home . . . and that, I have no doubt we can give them.  Though A. and I would have to be prepared to accept all of the challenges that come along with children who have memories of their birth families and most likely all of the terrible situations that they may have experienced.  That goes without saying as that may be the case for the son or daughter we bring home from the Philippines too.  

I've got a couple of family friends waiting to give birth at the end of the month and early February and have also heard the lovely news of others expecting in the late spring or early summer.  Here's to welcoming their little ones into a world full of warmth and peace . . .

Prayer for a miracle
miracles grow in their mothers' wombs
as our blessing glows in our hearts
little by little --
day by day, week by week, 
month by month, email by email --
we light a forever candle 
and say a silent prayer
that we will make our way to each other soon
and experience the wonder of life 



Deep in my heart

My brain was fried more than usual this past work week as I'm trying to meet a January 20 grant deadline.  So I got up late this morning, made the homemade breakfast for A. and me that I'd looked forward to this past Wednesday when I was hoping to work from home on a snow day and instead had to trek in because NJ Transit was on a slightly delayed schedule.  And the rest of this morning, I sipped my coffee in my new tall, cornflower blue mug that E. gifted me and indulged in a Lifetime movie about a biracial adoptee woman who lived with a foster mom and an adoptive mom, then embarked on a search for her birth mom after having five kids of her own.  As with most Lifetime movies, in my lap sat a pile of used tissues.  Not a surprise, any made-for-telvision feature about adoption leaves me . . . well, waiting . . . longingly.

Our most recent adoption update, if you can call it that, is -- No news on where our dossier is in the child match lineup, but our agency contact said she'd emailed PSB's contact in the Philippines to find out.  ICAB is still working on matching families from the last quarter in 2008.  And so we wait. 

Love to be shared
on a saturday morning
Lifetime's versions of youngsters and families
pander to my visions of motherhood
as i chronicle fairytales, histories and photos
deep in my heart
i wait dotingly for you


Lunch Stop: Winter Lush

i sashay down January's bloomy district
tomato bean barley veggie soup in hand
piping hot like tropical lava
my hallowed moment escapes into mindful nothing
a sweet-smelling siesta into floriferous felicity


This love moment

I just returned from having lunch with my dear family friend, V., whom I've known since I was three years old.  While our friendship has waxed and waned through the years due to different places and mindsets we've been in our lives, there's no doubt that we have a love for each other as girlfriends.  V. used to live across the street from my auntie.  I did many weekend sleepovers at her house and she at mine.  Now she's just in the next town over, a mere 15-minute drive. And there's a chance she'll be moving even closer in the distant future.  

The introverted A. frequently asks me (who's extroverted) why I bother to keep in touch with friends with whom I share a past and perhaps nothing more.  Sure there are those whom we just bless and release.  But there's something to be said for connection and still feeling connected. While I may have less in common with friends I grew up with or other folks I knew from my formative years as a young adult, I still feel connected to some of them.  And if they still feel connected to me, why not make time to catch up . . . and reconnect?  

This love moment
i am loving awareness
because your heart touches mine
because my light connects to your star
i am loving awareness
as i breathe life into you breathe life into me 
aroha mai, aroha atu
love towards us, love going out from us
i am loving awareness

Inspired by Be Love Now:  The Path of the Heart.



2010 was the year of remembered thanksgivings. And while I’ve declared that 2011 is the year of anticipated blessings, I’m working hard to beat down the winter blues – the holiday postpartum kind. It’s back to work, commuting via NJ transit bus in the Jersey freeze as I look doe-eyed into the grizzly skies every morning. At the beginning of the week, I couldn’t sleep through the night as I feared I might oversleep the first day back to work in the new year. So I found myself in the office earlier than expected on Monday morning. Three days later, I’m well into my routine now having trouble getting up early enough and making it in at the last possible moment. Gotta love how we just sink back into the daily grind. How do I make sure that the rat race doesn’t get the best of me?

That’s where my childhood’s memory, youth’s tenderness and being around kids’ (or pets') pure enthusiasm are my club to wallop SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Smack!  Take that, SAD.  I am most grateful that I can reminisce about my girlhood, and I am most ready for the unknown of 2011. Just gotta believe in wishes. 

Waiting for the ding!
hope swells
like a plumpy devil's food cake
in her easy bake oven
the promise of innocent goodness

we wait expectantly
the forethought of you holds
our eagerness as old as a preschooler
who listens for the . . .


Maxwell House moments

Those holiday Maxwell House coffee commercials get me every time.  Like when the big brother returns from West Africa, and his sister is up early to welcome him home on Christmas Eve.  Or when the daughter sips her morning coffee to surprise her dad with her engagement only to discover her fiancee asked for his permission previously.  Year after year, season after season, I still get overwhelmed.  Ever since I was a little girl.  Call me super sensitive or emotional.  A good friend of mine, R., once shared, that just means we have so much love inside and around us that it constantly flows out of us . . . Maxwell House moment by moment. 

2011 has begun. I'm sitting at the kitchen table looking out the window as the new year's drizzle washes away the blizzard mounds in the driveway along with all of last year's challenges and negative energies.  As I sip my coffee (french-pressed discount 8 O'Clock beans, not Maxwell House) and listen to Soundscapes' instrumental Winter Child, I sit in front of my laptop in simple gratitude for what has been and what is to come. 

Many times this holiday season, my eyes have welled up, usually in the car -- overcome by memories of celebrations past with my dad, without my dad and festivities to come . . . without my dad.  They are passing moments, not more than a minute or two.  They are also very present moments as I take pause and breathe in all that is and all whom I experience now in my life.

Whenever those Maxwell House moments catch me off guard, I've actually stumbled upon life's treasures. 

moment by moment
each poignant flashback or promise
a newly discovered jewel
kept close to my heart
precious perfection