Friday, 28 May 2010

Not by me

We're going away for a week, and the post I was intending to write is still only half done. So I'm going to post some links from the last few weeks - you may have already read some of them, but I hope you'll meet something new and interesting from the overflowing spout that is my google reader.

A post about failure and courage that I really loved. This is from a blog that I devour ravenously but feel too shy to comment on.

John Raible's crash course in Transracial Parenting - I think this is going to be really worthwhile, but ... errrrrrm..... confronting. Ditto the comment above about being ravenous but shy. And a great perspective from Mama Dog about the same kinda' thing

An incredibly vivid post about Lori's ESL class

I keep meaning to make this carrot salad, but I haven't yet

How did mothers' day make you feel? There were several great posts about mothers' day, but this is the one I wish I could go back in time and send myself before my babas arrived, and it sums up how I'll always feel about the day, I think.

I've gotta say, though, the post I keep thinking about is this one. I used to know a few people in 'real life' who were thinking, for one reason or another, about adoption. But in the end, I think it's just going to be us. So this part, from the beginning, just keeps resonating with me:

Being a member of the adoption community often means we tend to draw the attention of couples struggling to get pregnant. The tears they shed are the same ones Laurie and I endured years ago while undergoing fertility treatments. I’ve come to think of it as the type of bond soldiers in war form while sharing foxholes, one that other people wouldn’t understand unless they have been in the trenches too. Friends we haven’t talked to in years may spend months trying to conceive, and then all of a sudden they’re interested in intimate details of Isaac and Vivi’s birth story. How much did it cost? What kind of relationship do you have with the birth parents? Laurie and I don’t like to broadcast our children’s lives to just anyone, but these people are hungry for the quickest directions that will bring them a baby. Sometimes these couples go on to foster or adopt (even from our agency), but more often than not, a few months pass and the couple “magically” turns up pregnant.

This is what happened to friends of ours a few years ago. After two years of trying to conceive, and a few weeks of communicating with us about adoption, they announced their pregnancy in a mass email, saying, “God heard our prayers.” We didn’t hear much from them after that.

While we understood pregnancy kept them busy, Laurie and I couldn’t help but feel hurt that our connection became hypothetical. We had shared intimate details of our lives to people that no longer related to us and we couldn’t help feeling stupid.

What with one thing and another at the moment, I've got to say that I'm a bit sick of that stupid feeling right now.

So anyway. Happy reading!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Buckle up, it's a long one...

So, I'm continuing with the 'out of order' thing, and today's offerings are again subdivided into categories. I was going to put the 'babies being cute' category first, but I've realised that if I don't want to lose you all half way through, I'm going to have to make this more like a trip to IKEA - you have no choice but to tramp through a whole acre of stuff you don't want in order to get to the good bits. So, let's start with the category that I can only honestly call:

1) Photos that I took because it was nearly bedtime and I hadn't taken a photo yet

Can you put that clicky thing away so I can go to bed?
Yes, that's an electrical cable. Can I have my mother of the year award now, please? (It was unplugged. I think).

Bottle goes in here, please.
So close to bedtime that we are actually IN our pyjamas.

There is obviously significant overlap between this category and

2) Photos that aren't of babies (gasp), aka photos I took because it was after bedtime and I hadn't taken a photo yet

Weird clicky molecule toy. They LOVE it.

Dusting off the macro lens...
Wash day.

3)Babies actually doing things, including not being cute

I've got no idea what you're talking about, I didn't go anywhere NEAR the cat.

(And speaking of cats... )
This thing is so flexible that I really have no need for opposable thumbs.

Yeah. one of those days.

Mummy... I think you need to switch your flash to manual and start again with totally different exposure settings.
Still just CRAZY about being upside down.

He didn't even twitch. Seriously, this cat deserves some kind of award.

These next three belong together. Seems like the time of them spending a whole day in their birthday outfits is well and truly over...
so much more fun to just eat the stickers.

When they're all grown up, I'm hoping this will remind me that it wasn't ALL fun.

But now finally...

4) Babies being cute
Hurrah! You made it. The Swedish Food Court of photography. Not much to say about these. Basically, I think my point is that the babies are very good looking. The miracle of adoption, huh? Here they are:

Sometimes, I look at her (and him, but mostly her) and think that I can see exactly what she's going to look like when she's all grown up. And yes! She is eating grass. I draw the line at leaves, but I can't seem to do anything about the grass. It's like having another cat.

I can't help myself; I'm a sucker for a boy in a tiger suit. It's like having Calvin AND Hobbes, all at once!

Having posted this, it now strikes me that he looks like he's about to be abducted by a UFO.

Last time you saw the babies loving up to THEIR grandparents - this time it's two of mine who came to visit for the day. (And are currently touring through Eastern Europe - hope you're having fun, Gran and Grandad!) You saw pictures of my parents last week, so which parent do you think belongs to these two? If you are related to me, you get no points - that's cheating.

Our second-favourite cat... Mr Pusskins.

THE END! I'm all up to date! (Until tomorrow, I guess...)

Monday, 24 May 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure Blogging

More cutesy baby pics coming soon, I promise. In the meantime, I've been thinking about a lot of stuff. And sometimes I feel like a bit of a fraud with the cutesy baby pics, actually, but that's a whole 'nother topic. But now I'm at that terrible 'muddled-in-my-head' stage where I feel like my head is too full of contradictory thoughts, and there's no way I can get it all out without writing pages and pages and pages that will quickly become boring.

So, I'm totally stealing an idea from a few months ago from Brenda (who has the cutest new puppy in the WORLD) and I'm going to ask you to tell me - which of these things should I get down first?

1) My Life as a Celebrity - pushing a stroller around town with my transracially adopted twins
2) Listening to the Experts - thinking about the adult adoptee perspective
3) If I could give just one piece of adoption advice, it would be...
4) The Hospital (this one's probably a bit dull, actually, but if I remove it, my numbering will be all shot)
5) My Children Are Not Educational Toys (answering white middle class questions about race)
6) What Flooring Should I Choose for my Lounge? (not a trick, just something I've been thinking about)
7) Ducklings (attachment, seven-ish months in)
8) Top Tips for Photographing Babies (not a trick, either)
9) Are you SURE nobody told you? (reflections on adoption prep)

So, over to you - what page do you want to turn to? (Am assuming you all read those books as kids, right? RIGHT?)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Project 365: horribly out of order

The problem with a photo-a-day project (apart from the fact that you have to take a photo, like, every day) is that the longer you leave the downloading and posting, the more there is, and the longer it's going to take to do it, which means it becomes more difficult to do, which means it gets left even longer. Or at least, that's what seems to happen to me. If anybody else has done this, and has tips for how to stop it all piling up into a big teetering heap and then collapsing messily around you, please do tell. Because I'm all out of ideas.

But onward and upward! The last photos I posted went up to the beginning of April, which means I have a month and a bit of new ones to get through, which isn't going to happen all at once. So, I'm taking a break from the strict chronology and presenting a special themed edition. Parts 1 and 2 today - the rest at some point in that comfortingly faraway place called 'the future'.

Part 1: Loved up grandparents

My parents were here for a few weeks, and it seems that a lot of the pictures I got while they were here were of the babies staring, lovestruck, at their new favourite humans. There is a particularly high density of pictures of Mum and baby I gazing into each other's eyes.

Or kissing.

I love this picture. These may be the two most differently shaped profiles in the whole world, and two very different skin colours, but they sure look like family to me.

Should I be jealous?
He's moved on to grabbing her necklace! Normally he grabs MY necklace!
Oh good, she's been distracted by the other baby.
Yeah, not for long.
I wonder would he fit in my suitcase?
(No. No he wouldn't).

I didn't get as many photos of this, but as I mentioned last time, baby L had an equally huge crush on her grandpa. And who can blame her, when he tries this hard to entertain her? (and lets her lick his reading glasses?)

We're very sad they're gone, and we all miss them a lot. I haven't had the heart to tell the babies that they are now at home in Australia playing with their other grandchildren. I'm not sure I could deal with inflicting that much heartbreak.

Part 2: Cornwall

Pretty self-explanatory, really. We went to the beach! (More than one photo from some of these days - sadly the holiday was not THAT long).

It was fun.

Okay, after each wave comes another wave. I get it already, alright?
We ate some sand.
and contemplated infinity
and then ate some more sand

Best of all, it was sunny nearly every day

- so we only had to go to the art gallery once
which is fortunate, because it was some kind of an anti-tardis - much smaller on the inside than it looked from outside.
It's not really a holiday unless you have a self-timer shot, into the sun, with a wonky horizon, is it?

So that's that: coming soon, part 3: self-indulgent baby portraits!