Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Travel at Last?

It looks that way. Today our agency will request a consulate appointment that will allow us to travel to Beijing on 5/22/09 which, as it happens, is our 10-year wedding anniversary. We will return home on 6/11/09. That's twenty days in China with two, and then three, children.

I am entering a state of quiet contemplation of optimal packing strategies, while studying the sacred texts found at I fancy myself a good packer and traveler, but am weighing best travel practices against the need to have our family looking presentable for one of the most important occasions of our lives, meeting our daughter/sister. Granted, I wasn't looking two hot when I met my first two kids (and no, I will not post photos), so maybe I should just look at it like that and embrace the severe wardrobe limitations I am contemplating.

Photo by Flickrer Telstar Logistics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Not So Imaginary Friend (I Mean Sister)

One of the good things about our seemingly interminable wait for this adoption has been how normalized the idea of it has become for all of us. Especially the boys. People often ask me how they feel about gaining a Chinese sister, and the fact is, it's old news for them. We have been discussing it with them for years, never imagining it would take this long. I'm sure their teachers and friends think they are making up this mythical sister from China, who is always on the way "soon"and yet never arrives.

Meanwhile, though I continue to fret and wonder and worry, my boys just discuss their sister as a fact of life, as all siblings are to each other. I know when she gets here they will feel the shock in many ways, but I'm glad the fact of her coming has had time to become so deeply ingrained in our family's narrative.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Needed a Break

We took a break from the China-related concerns that have occupied us for the last six months or so, and headed out to Marfa for a combination vacation and real estate scouting mission. West Texas always has a positive effect on my state of mind, and this time proved no exception. I hope everyone's weekend was half as relaxing as mine was, even though I was "working."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Point on the Axis

Last week we welcomed the newest beeble, my cousin's baby boy, to the family. Today we add another point on the Axis, as another cousin and his wife welcome their daughter in Los Angeles, CA.

View Axis of Beebles in a larger map

As a hard core Angeleno-phile, this pleases me to no end. Plus, you can fly direct from LA to Beijing! (Why Continental doesn't fly direct there from Houston remains a mystery to me.) So maybe we can stop off and meet the newest Beeble on the way to China...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Following Fallows in China

I need to stop following the "adoption journey" blogs about other families traveling to China to meet their children. You know, the ones I said I wasn't going to read? They are touching, and interesting in their own way, but do not contain enough new information to justify the amount of time I've been spending on them. Especially when many American correspondents are moving to China to help us back home understand this fascinating country. I've especially been enjoying James Fallows for the Atlantic and Evan Osnos for the New Yorker.

Photo by Flickrer angus_mac_123.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Of Austin and New Sisters

My good friend Missy, superstar hostess of the blog It's Almost Naptime, is doing a feature on bragging about your kids today. My brag for the day is regarding what great brothers my kids are going to be to their new sister. Joel's potential in the brother department will be obvious after you view the video below. I shot this last week at dinner, after an event as rare as a comet in our family: dressing the boys up against their will and having them professionally photographed.

Clyde, well, he's going to rock also, for reasons perhaps less obvious but no less real for being so. Always a great thinker, he has done so much growing up lately and we are so proud. He has the potential to become a great leader for this little mob of ours. He has so much to teach them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Birth Days*

A recurrent issue in international adoption is birthdays. Celebrating the day of a child's birth can be fraught when, for starters, the day and place of birth is unknown. Then there are the circumstances under which the child was separated from her birth family, etc. A lot to absorb.

One writer advises that one way to deal with this is to focus less on the "birth" part of birthdays than on the child and her feeling special. This, while somewhat obvious as advice goes, it got me reflecting on how the way I view the birthing process suited me to adopt.

At no time before, during, or after my pregnancies have I ever idealized pregnancy, childbirth, or the newborn stage of childhood. It was all a means to an end, the end being the family that I now enjoy. (The family that really needs a little girl in it, so I can have someone to help me fight off all the dinosaurs, vampires, and other menacing creatures that take up more and more space in our home as time goes by.)

So the part about not making much of the births of my biological children, at the expense of my adopted daughter? Piece of (birthday) cake.

*These thoughts provoked by:The An-Ya blog.

Photo by Flickrer WFabry.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oh, No, She Didn't.

One of the things I have never been tempted to do as an adoptive mom is to post pictures of clothing that I have bought for my daughter, who I have not yet met and who is not yet legally mine, on the internet. Yes, I have bought clothes for her. Yes, that is one of the main things that moms of boys, who have never gotten over not having a girl, fantasize about: dressing their hypothetical daughter.

So even though I have felt these things, and have indeed finally gone out and indulged myself in a little girly shopping, I never really understood the posting of the clothes photos, or the bedroom photos (easy for me not to do the latter, as she doesn't have a bedroom yet). If you are not a frequent visitor to Chinese adoption blogs, you might not know how common it is. While waiting, the mom--it's almost always the mom--furnishes an elaborate nursery, fills the closet with darling clothes, then photographs it all and publishes it on the internet. Which is fine, it's just not ME.

However, yesterday I got this pink tutu and accompanying "mermaid wand" in the mail from my wonderful friend Jennifer, (who is herself expecting twin girls, so I guess she is channeling girlieness big-time right now):

And just like that, in the blink of an eye, I became THAT MOM.