Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Which Is More Comfortable? Spread Eagle or 18"

Get your mind out of the gutter. It’s not what you think. I can already feel my mom cringing as she prepares to read this posting. Relax. It’s not dirty. It’s not raunchy. And it’s not naughty.

A colleague who has given birth manages to tell me how lucky I am not to have to endure an actual birthing labor. Hers lasted a whopping 8 hours. I say whoop-dee-do-da, mine is going to last 28 hours - and that’s just the ride to the metaphorical hospital.

Let me explain why my labor pains will be more uncomfortable.

Her: Oh sweet, my water broke. Honey, get the car and have the air conditioner on high. Ohhh.. I just love this SUV. So roomy that even my big belly has elbowroom.
Me: ShitShitShitShit. How can this flight to Istanbul be full?!? OH HELL TO THE NO… I’m stuck in the middle seat for 20 frigging hours.

Her: Thanks for the wheelchair. Honey, you need to wheel me to our private room. Check in is so easy, how thoughtful. I’m going to get out of my clothes and put on my robe.
Me: Quit pushing me, a**hole. This security line isn’t moving and pushing me isn’t going to make it move faster. BeepBeepBeep (sounds of the metal detector). Seriously, Mr. Homeland Security Officer, I don’t know why the detector keeps going off. I’ve already taken off my shoes, socks, belt, pants and shirt. In fact, I’ve taken off my dignity as well in this line.

Her: Ohlala... I feel a nice breeze when my feet are in the stirrups.
Me: Ay ya ya.. the seats are only 18 inches wide. My ass has no freaking wiggle room on the plane. I’m suffocating. My knees are smashed together. My seatmates are both smelly and over 300 lbs. Oh geez.. someone farted.

Her: Honey, more ice chips please.
Me: dingdingding (furiously pressing the Attendant button): I really need a glass of water. I couldn’t bring anything to drink on the plane. You know, with it being illegal and all. No really.. I don’t want to wait another hour until the beverage tray reaches my row. I’m thirsty now. I’m about to pass out. I'm breathing rancid air.

Her: Ohhh… I can adjust the bed so my head is elevated and/or my feet are.
Me: The seat moves 2 inches into a ‘reclining’ position. Dammit… if that guy puts his dandruffed head on my shoulders again, I’m elbowing him awake.

Her: Dear God, thank you for blessing me with these comforts.
Me: (seatmate turning to me and asking me before take-off of a 20 hour flight) Ma’am, Have you found Jesus?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sad News

About a year ago I was introduced to Diane (pictured, left), a single woman adopting from China. We had a mutual friend, Valerie, who insisted that we get to know one another to offer each other support, friendship and positive motivation during tough times as single adoptive moms. Diane and I talked about our respective adoption process. Her dossier had been in China for about a year and at the beginning, I was pursuing Nepal. When I switched to Uzbekistan, she was supportive and encouraging. We talked about why we were adopting, our expectations, timelines, etc.

I learned today that Diane had passed away this morning. She had been diagnosed with Stage 4 bile duct cancer on July 6.

Obviously Nothing Is Moving with My Adoption Today (Warning: R rated)

So.. this picture was sent from a woman adopting in China.
Whoever they hired to be the translator had the last laugh, I imagine.
You can click on the photo to view it full-screen. The boo-boo is the 3rd line on the left.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Shout Out to Stacie

My 'adoption blogging' buddy Stacie, and her husband Kevin are leaving next week for Ethiopia to bring home their adorable son Micah!

They started their paperchase in January and things have been moving at lightning speed for them.

I know the next months are going to be a whirlwind for you guys but I hope you'll be updating your blog with lots of pictures.

Here's wishing you, Kevin and Micah Godspeed and a wonderful and blessed homecoming!

No Bling for Baby or Mommy

I don't know if any of you were planning on giving my daughter a bling-bling pacifier. But if so, please don't. Not only is it tacky looking, it's also frigging deadly. A thousand of these Swarvoski crystal pacifiers were recalled yesterday because the stones come loose. The crystals are held together with some cheap glue making them come off easily - thus possibly choking your little bundle of love. Moreover, crystals contain lead.

And for those of you thinking of giving me a bling-bling gift, again, please don't. Although the Swarvoski crystal vibrator hasn't been recalled, the thought of loose crystals in the woohee is not my idea of a good time.

And for your information, I'm not making this sh*t up.

Another Circus Sideshow

I think I was just too flustered and snarkingly amused to come up with any witty come backs this morning after this exchange at the courthouse getting some papers authenticated.

Edna: Hey Irene. IREEEEENE. You gotta come here.

Irene: (taking her time and shuffling over)

Edna: What's the name of the place where Dolores got her kid? The funny sounding name.

Irene: Urscaclo (my note: ????)

Edna: This young lady here is getting one herself. Is it the same place, honey?

Me: Um.. no. I'm adopting from Uzbekistan.

Irene: Ooo weee. Dolores got her child in Louisiana.

Edna: Humph. Don't think I reckon no Ubeekstan. Countries are popping up like bunnies. Now isn't that where those nude male wrestlers are from? You know, we saw the movie.

Irene: Oh Borat. That's Ka-zee-hawk-i-stan. Is that right, dear?

Me: Yes, Ka-zee-hawk-i-stan.
Edna: Do you know the Parkers from Westlake? They are adopting from the Philippines.
Me: Um, no.

Edna: I need to see your ID and your husband's

Me: It's just me.

Edna: (long silence as she looks me over long and hard) Well, don't you lose hope. You're still cute enough.

Me: Oh. Um. Thanks.

I think I'm most flabbergasted about being cute enough to still wrangle a husband. *sigh*

Thursday, July 26, 2007

You had me at the 'ban on parking ticket' bit

Ohhh... who will my daughter aspire to be? Will she want to be like me? Sally Ride? Susan B. Anthony?

Here's an example of a young girl in a foreign country aspiring to be like a woman who ran for office in London. Sounds promising. Sounds like a leader, a visionary. But it's, um, Jordan (aka Katie Price). You may remember her - During the June 7, 2001 British General Election, Jordan ran as a candidate using the slogan: 'For a Bigger and Betta Future'. As part of her election campaign she promised free breast implants, increases on nudist beaches, and a ban on parking tickets.

You may also know Jordan as a model. According to Wikipedia, "Although she was already a well-established model, with frequent appearances on Page 3 and in men's lifestyle magazines, Jordan still had a feeling of insecurity about her breast size, and believed that implants would look better. Her cup size increased from a B to a D. Jordan appeared in six volumes of Playboy's Book of Lingerie and has also graced the covers of FHM, Maxim, Nuts, Front, Zoo Weekly, Sky, Esquire, Loaded and Ice magazines."

((My note: there's a magazine called Nuts????))

Anyhow.. back to the young girl.

Sasha Bennington (pictured above) of the UK wants to be just like Jordan. She is only 11 and gets spray-tanned once a week, gets fake nails done once a month, bleaches her hair blonde, gets hair extensions and plucks her eyebrows.

“I’m obsessed with Jordan. I want to be a model like her when I grow up. I want to be famous and get loads of money.”

What does her mother think of all of this? She's ok with it and thinks that those who have a problem with it are just jealous. Jayne, the mother, said, “They’re just do-gooders who probably have fat kids that they can’t do anything with. We’re a good-looking family — she can’t help being good-looking. I just want her to use it to achieve something.”

Sasha already has body issues at the age of 11. She said, “I just want to be pretty because then people will like me. I think I’m fat, everyone else says I’m not, that I’m as skinny as a twig. I worry about what I eat. I don’t want to put on weight and then not be able to lose it.”

Jayne also thinks it's ok for her daughter to show a little skin and dress the way she does. She also allows Sasha to decorate her room with the PLAYBOY bunny logo “Sasha likes the bunny. I don’t think she sees it as anything erotic but she knows Jordan modelled for Playboy and thinks that’s cool.”

Oh Jayne, Jayne, Jayne. What scares me is that Sasha just might be the next Jordan. And seriously honey, that's NOT a good thing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lap Dancing for Dollars

Some people are cheap and tacky. They will sell the leftover scrap of whatever dignity they have left for a few measely dollars. You can scrape their pride off the bottom of the urine-stenched barrel and they'll still eek out a dance for whatever pathetic soul is willing to fork over a couple of bucks so he can get his cheap and medically-infected thrill and the dancer can feed her kids or habit...whichever is hungrier.

I, on the other hand, am sick and tired of that song-and-dance. I've got too many wrinkles and too many rolls of fat to get even the horniest guy to toss a dime my way. In order to survive this dog-eat-dog world, I've got to be more creative. Therefore, I pledge to lap (as in laptop) dance for a few clicks on the Google ads you see on the right hand side. Just click on them every time you visit. It's for a worthy cause. It'll pay for my daughter's plane ticket to the USA.

And for your patronage, here's your lap(top) dance.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nigerian Federal Bank Calling...

It's been 10 weeks. I want my passport. I think Nigerian Prince Ngayaka was on to something in his email to me last week. I decided to use the body of his email and forward it to my congressman and 2008 presidential candidate without a hope, Mr. Dennis Kucinich, in hopes of bribing him to expedite my passport.


This is a proposal in context but actually an appeal soliciting for your unreserved assistance in consummating an urgent transaction of my PASSPORT requiring maximum confidence. Though this approach appears desperate, I can assure you that whatever questions you would need to ask or any other thing you will need to know regarding this proposal, will be adequately answered to give you a clearer understanding of it so as to arrive at a successful conclusion.

My name is Ms. Melissa, resident of your treasured district and COO of the Nigerian Federal Bank. On May 6, 1999, a Foreign consultant/contractor with the Nigerian Bank, Mr.Thierry COSBAN, made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve calendar months,valued at Fifteen Million, United States Dollars in my backyard. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, I sent a reminder and finally discovered from his contract employers, the Nigerian foreign defense ministry, that Mr. Cosban died from an automobile accident. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a Will, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. Cosban did not declare any next of kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in our Bank. From past experiences, I know that no one will ever come forward to claim the deceased's funds.

I am writing you because, I would like to invest these funds into your presidential campaign. This is simple. I will like you to provide immediately my PASSPORT, so that an Attorney will prepare the necessary documents which will put you in place as the beneficiary of the funds.

Please, I imploy you to observe utmost confidentiality and rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us. Your urgent action and response is of priority to enable us conclude this transaction, as soon as possible.

Awaiting your urgent reply.
Thanks and regards.
Ms. Melissa, COO Nigerian Federal Bank and waiting for PASSPORT

A Bad Ass Bitch She's Not

Did you guys hear the news today about how a chihuahua saved a kid from a rattlesnake?

Made me reassess my mengerie of pets and wonder if they will be protectors of the house when tragedy strikes.

The news is that Zoey, a chihuahua, is a bad ass bitch (an animal word, not a slang word) and snake charmer to boot. Zoey, from Colorado, is being called a hero after she saved the life of a baby! The grandson of Zoey's owner was playing outside when a rattlesnake tried to kill him.

Zoey jumped in and took care of the snake. Monty, the owner said, "She just knew, she knew the baby was in danger."

The snake bit Zoey, but Monty says she's a "survivor."

Sadly, my dog, Petunia, (pictured above) on the other hand, would've sat back, peed herself and watched the tragedy unfold.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm going to go to hell for most of these posts

Honest to God things that were said during the dossier process that sounded naughty but really weren't.

1. "Let's go check out your bedroom."
-fire marshall. Said during home inspection to ensure fire alarms were working.

2. "Are you here for your STD test?"
-nurse. STD clearance is part of the medical portion of the homestudy and dossier.

3. "If this is your first time, you'll feel the poke and it may hurt. Just relax."
-nurse. Blood tests are a mandatory part of the dossier. By the way, it wasn't my first time.

4. "Spread them a little wider so I can roll it a bit better."
-FBI. For some reason my fingerprints were not easy to take and/or read.

5. "Let's try again. I need to get all the nooks and crannies."
-FBI. Again, my fingerprints were not scanning correctly.

6. "Do I need to get down on my hands and knees and wash underneath?"
-me to social worker prior to her first homestudy visit.

7. "Do your research on nipples."
-homestudy workshop. Explaining that when you take your baby out of the babyhouse and bring her home, you'll want the pacifier and bottle nipples to be as similiar as possible to what she may have been using. It will make the transition easier for her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ohmygod. Seriously. WTF?!

Jaime Pressley, the real-life dog-faced trailer trash skank ho from 'My Name is Earl' said the following:
"Some women just skip having babies or adopt because they don't want to get fat or they haven't put in the time to find a partner. It's great to adopt, but a lot of adoptions are motivated by vanity and laziness."

Oh, snap! Somebody better slap this bitch! Better yet, I'll drag my own fat, lazy ass over there (after applying makeup, of course) and slap her to high hell.

Click here to read the article/interview.

Adoption Stress Busters

Try these exercises to beat the adoption process blues.

Suddenly I have to go to the bathroom.

Fatal Attraction

As told by Bill:

I call her psycho bitch. I don’t know when our daily dallies turned into something obsessive and neurotic but I hate it. I hate going over to her house. My stomach starts to churn and I pray to God to make it quick.

It wasn’t always like this. I used to enjoy my daily visits to Melissa’s house. Without sounding too graphic, I would come over, open up her little box and make a white deposit. Sometimes there was a lot, sometimes very little. But she never complained. She said she understood. There were times when I would stay for a few minutes after and chat for a bit. Women like that, I learned. Just stay for a few minutes and talk to them. I made it my rule not to stay more than two minutes. I have to get back to work, you know. Besides, it’s nothing personal. This is work.

Sometimes I would come to Melissa’s house bearing gifts – even expensive gifts. Every now and then Melissa would leave money. Strangely never cash because she wanted a record of who she was paying – always a check but in an envelope that was clearly marked ‘Bill.’

About two weeks ago things took a turn for the worst and Melissa became obsessed. She’d look disheveled and whacked out. She’d start making demands for me to give her more of the (again, sorry to sound so direct) white deposits. There would be times my sack was empty and she’d hiss at me to not come to her house unless my sack was full.

She started talking about travels to exotic countries and then would talk about having children – being a mom. Lately she’s been crying about how she’s three months late. Whatever. I don’t know what she’s babbling about but she needs to stop freaking out around me.

It’s gotten so bad that she’s calling my office! Jeesus lady. Stop it. Just stop it. She’s also calling my biggest client – the government, demanding things.

I can’t not go to her house. She’s like that Glenn Close character on Fatal Attraction taunting me with ‘I won’t be ignooooored, Bill.’

God help me.

As told by Melissa:

Really? He called me psycho bitch?

Dayum. No holiday cookies for the postman this year. I'm just waiting for my passport. It's been 3 months.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

God, Boobs and Boys

I remember as a pre-teen, Judy Blume books were the bible for me and my friends. My favorite book was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I had forgotten what is was about but knew it mainly dealt with typical things that are life-and-death for any 12-year-old. You know, boys, pimples, boobs and periods.

Here's a synopsis of the book, written by a pre-teen, taken from Amazon:
There are a lot of things people don't tell you, and for the other stuff, they might be lying. Margaret Simon is about to turn twelve years old, and no one has told her how stressful the next year of her life is going to be. It might not have started off so badly if her parents hadn't up and moved to New Jersey, away from her friends, school, and grandmother. Luckily, she meets Nancy Wheeler and two other girls, and they quickly form the PTS's --- Pre-Teen Sensations. Together, they talk about all things female, including boys, bras, periods, pimples, and boobs. In their Boy Books they keep track of which boy they most want to date. Their hilarious chant of "We must, we must increase our bust" is just one of the ways Margaret and friends deal with the pressure of growing up. Margaret was very excited she got her period. When she got it she was excited she got it right before she was going to summer camp she called her mother, showed her mother her underpants and her mother ran to get a box of teenage softies and her mother started to explain how to do it and then Margaret told her mother she has been practicing. She was now becoming a woman.

Anyhow, today I kind of feel like Margaret.

If the book was titled, Are You There God? It's Me, Melissa, this is how the synopsis would read:
There are a lot of things people don't tell you, and for the other stuff, they might be lying. Melissa is about to turn forty years old, and no one has told her how stressful the next year of her life is going to be. It might not have started off so badly if her parents hadn't up dropped her on her head as a baby, but that's another story. Luckily, she reads the blogs of other people adopting internationally, and they quickly form the PAP's --- Prospective Adoptive Parents club. Together, they talk about all things adoption, including, periods (as opposed to commas on various gov't. papers), pimples (the onset of adult acne caused by dossier stress), and boobs (people who fail to understand the urgency in the dossier process). In their Baby Books they keep track of which paperwork was submitted on which date. Their hilarious chant of "We must, we must get to Uzbek or bust" is just one of the ways Melissa and friends deal with the pressure of adopting. Melissa was very excited she got her periodic update and referral. When she got it she was excited she got it right before she was going to Uzbekistan she called her mother, showed her mother some underpants and her mother ran to get a box of diapers and her mother started to explain how 18 months babies still wear diapers, not underpants and then Melissa told her mother she has been practicing folding diapers. She was now becoming a mother.

Yeah, I know. Doesn't really make sense.

But then again neither does about 70% of what goes through my mind.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Public Service Announcement

I'm an avid reader of blogs of other PAPs (prospective adoptive parents) and there's one thing that makes me a bit nervous. Please, for those of you adopting from any country, please be careful with posting vital information. I'm seeing more and more blogs with pictures of their referrals with the child(ren)'s names, place of orphanage/baby house and other information. Until your child is safe in your arms at home, take caution. Anyone could be reading your blog.

Also, please be careful about posting the name of the school, church and/or daycare center your child(ren) will be attending. Your child(ren) will not be fluent in English the first few months and has not had the 'don't talk to strangers' training. Again, anyone could be reading your blog.

Okay.. okay...

My dear sister, who throughout this adoption process has served as my daily 'ad clicker' and an unsolicited editor of this blog, has informed me that the previous post was a bit raunchy. She reminded me that our parents read this. Those poor souls are probably slumped at their desk, slackened jaw and speechless right now. Once they recover they will be wondering how I could have strayed so far from the tree of decency. I bet they are hoping they had never passed this URL around to any of their friends.

I wonder if Jackie Collins's mother ever felt as though she wanted to send her grown daughter to a convent after reading 'Hollywood Wives.'

My excuse is that I'm using this blog of my adoption experience and creative writing skills (or so I think I have skills) as a launching pad to write a chick-book about a single woman's adoption journey. Think Bridget Jones meets Angelina Jolie. (Okay.. that may be a stretch). So if there's anyone out there who is in Hollywood looking for a writer for a sitcom, here's an idea... a single woman's adoption journey a la Bridget Jones meets Angelina Jolie. Pick me, pick me!! I'll supply the story lines. I'm smelling an Emmy already.

In any case, this post serves no purpose but to cover my butt in case I should die in my sleep tonight. I don't want the last thing my parents to ever read of my writing was raunchy sex stuff. God, I would just die if that was the case (even though I'm already dead).

So happy thoughts. Think butterflies. Rainbows. Flowers on a spring day.

Hellooooo Stanley (warning: R rated)

No doubt that adoption is harder than getting pregnant. Here's a comparison.

Getting Pregnant: Helloooooo sailor. Looking for a good time?
Going through Adoption: Hello? Um, is this the FBI? Yes, I'd like to schedule my background check.

Getting Pregnant: Ooohhh.... do that thing with your fingers again. Oh. YES!
Going through Adoption: Getting fingerprinted by the State Police, FBI and Homeland Security.

Getting Pregnant: Dinner for two: $100, Movie tickets: $25, hotel room: $165
Going through Adoption: Application fee: $200, Dossier translation: $700, In-country fee: $16,500

Getting Pregnant: No baby, seriously. You're the only one I've gone unprotected with.
Going through Adoption: Mandatory HIV, TB, Syphillis, Cholestrol, STD, Blood Pressure testing

Getting Pregnant: Ohgodohgodohgod.... is that a blue dot?!
Going through Adoption: Ohgodohgodohgod.... is that blue ink? Shit. It needs to be in black ink.

Getting Pregnant: Oooooh baby.. call the fire department. I'm feeling hot.hot.hot!
Going through Adoption: Calling the fire department to do a mandatory home inspection.

Getting Pregnant: Silly boy.. did you just poke me with something?
Going through Adoption: Getting poked by needles and giving 3 viles of blood for the dossier.

Getting Pregnant: Simple spelling: T-o-m. D-i-c-k. H-a-r-r-y.
Going through Adoption: Uzbeck. no. Uyzbik.. no. Ugh. nevermind. It's one of the 'Stans.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy 4th of July

May the only thing exploding in your area be fireworks!

(photo of Mia, my friend Michelle's baby girl)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sex, Lies and Videotapes

Okay.. so there's no sex and no videotapes. But there are plenty of lies. Actually, I wouldn't characterize them as 'lies' per se. But more like teeny, weeny fibs.

Most people who know me understand the Measurement by Melissa laws. It's a simple method of adding and/or subtracting. If I say 'oh the lake is only a block from my house' you can safely assume that it's a mile away. At least. In the case of 'there were at the very least 100 deer in my backyard,' there were most likely 3. Maximum.

So, when I created my timeline a month ago, it would seem as though my dossier would be in Uzbekistan by now. You can rest assured that it isn't. In fact, it's on my dining room table. In a fire-proof, water-proof steel container nonetheless. But still on my dining room table.

I originally said that my dossier would be completed on July 1. Well... it's July 2 and I have the medical part left and I'm still waiting for my passport renewal.

This medical portion of the dossier has been killing me. My insurance doesn't cover various things such as STD testing for adoption purposes or TB testing. Some doctors are not on my plan so I've had a miserable time trying to find a local doctor that could squeeze me in sometime this year. Seriously.

When it comes right down to it, the paperwork needed for the dossier isn't much. References, financial statements, employment verification, birth certificates, passports, medical clearance and a few other things are the norm for any adoption domestic and international. It's all a matter of scheduling and making sure all the 'i's are dotted and the 't's are crossed. And then making sure it's notarized by someone from your county and with a commission that doesn't expire within the next 2 years.

So as of today, I plan to have my dossier completed THIS WEEK (for realizzle, people) and assuming I get my passport, I'll take my papers to the county courthouse next week to be authenticated. Then it's off to Columbus to be apostilled. By mid-July, it's off to the Uzbek embassy.

This time it's for real.

Who am I kidding?
With my luck, the doc is going to cancel on me tomorrow.