Sunday, May 22, 2011


Forgot to share before that I've started a new blog about my new animal-friendly life, called Suburban Snow White. If you never quite "got" what veganism is and would like to learn the mindset from a previously big dairy/egg eater and average meat-eater, take a look! The title of the blog is explained in the About Me section.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Katrina's Last Post

I haven't written since last summer, and it's now the end of May. It's been quite an interesting block of time for us!

In short, the adoption process for Ethiopia changed so rapidly from the program we had signed up for, that it no longer made sense for us and we decided to withdraw our names from the adoption list this week, and go forward without children. It's a decision we're comfortable with, but it was not easy. Luckily, we're big old communicators, so we were always well-informed on the other's thoughts, and luckily, they always meshed. (Not always the case in situations like these.)

First off, the changes in our adoption process had little to do with our agency, which has been very transparent and ethical. These qualities are what attracted us to their program in the first place. Rather, it was the result of the sudden spike in interest in Ethiopian adoption. With the increased number of adoptions, an ethical problem occurred which is not singular to Ethiopia. From what we were able to gather, there were a couple (of the many) agencies who were engaging in unethical behavior; specifically, as I understood it, child trafficking. (There was a lot of reading between the lines on this, so know that I have no proof.) The Ethiopian government, understandably, was taking measures to prevent this from happening. In quick summary, they increased the in-country from one to two; we'd have to redo all of our dossier paperwork (expensive and significant); fees went up; and, finally, the wait times were significantly increased so that applications could be more carefully scrutinized. It's not the agency's fault or the country of Ethiopia's fault, but rather the fault of the small minority of people you'll find in every country, who exploit children for financial gain.

When we began our quest to have children and I got pregnant right away at 36, we knew we were older, but it was what it was. Having just hit the 40 mark, I realized that with even longer wait times for the adoption, I might potentially be raising children well into my 60s, which made me blanch. Additionally, the desire to have children and raise them was starting to dissipate. I can't explain it really. Maybe it was the mind's way of protecting itself after so much pain and waiting? If so, it's a relief not to hurt anymore and I welcome it.

Along the road, we got some criticism for not handling things better. I still say I disagree. I think, handed what we got handed, we did mighty well and came out of it whole and happy. I think the best thing that came out of all this was realizing that someone's actions may not make sense to you if you've never gone through what they have and to keep your heart open to them.

Anyhow, as much as we still love children, we're pretty psyched about the possibilities before us. Ryan, my rock-star husband, has an amazing band called Field Trip, and they're going to Sweden in October to play at some clubs and lead some workshops for university students. (Did I get that all right, Ry?) I'm exploring my artwork again and am beginning to volunteer my time and talents to a local animal sanctuary that rescues abused/slaughter-bound animals. (It's an extraordinary place!) Also, related to the last sentence, I've moved to a plant-based diet and have never felt better! We're starting to explore places we could go to on vacation in the next year. So things are good and we're excited! There are still small moments when I remember what we lost and how over-the-moon we were to be expecting a child, both biologically and adoptively. But I think that will always be there, tucked away in my heart.

I wish all you adoptive and preadoptive parents out there great happiness ... And thanks to everyone for reading this blog and for supporting us.

Take care,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

6 months

So we've been quiet, but there really hasn't been much to report. :) Just waiting. We recently passed our 6 month mark. The average wait has gone up from 18 months to 20, so we're probably looking at getting a match in December 2011 and hopefully getting our child/ren by summer 2012.

It's hard to be patient, as the more time goes by, the older I realize we're going to be when we're new parents. I know you're not supposed to factor that in, but here I am doing it anyway.

But I must say, we're keeping very busy. Ry's getting ready to record his CD, and I'm going through another fun cooking phase (cooking lots or squash, root vegetables, apple stuff, etc.) and have recently become very addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse mystery series. It's perfect school-year reading and I always catch up on my reading as I eat breakfast and before I go to sleep. I've been having fun with my piano recently and played around with some Chopin today. Who, by the way, totally rocked. In his own way. I've been lazy about my artwork since I got back from my August watercoloring class. (This is probably the worst paragraph written in the history of writing. It just ain't cohesive!)

Right now, I'm feeling a bit exhausted after coming back from a weekend wedding and getting ready for the week ahead at school, which I'm not looking forward to for some reason this week. I miss summer relaxation so much! I miss hanging out in the garden! I miss not walking out the front door without a coat or shoes! Plus I feel a rare cold coming on, so that's making me feel a bit whiny.

Must stop, lest the whinyness get out of control. Toodles!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lifting up the paddle

Last weekend I scooted up to Maine to join Dad and Mary for a couple days of their camping trip at Scott's Cove. Their site overlooked a lovely small lake.

I arrived on Friday night and enjoyed a great dinner and campfire with them and our family friends Roy and Claire. The next morning, the sunrise awoke me and the lake was completely still and grinning (lakes grin) like we shared a secret. There wasn't a human sound in the campground. Only birdsong, including the calls of the loon echoing from the part of the lake that wasn't visible due to a stretch of land blocking it. I untied the canoe and went out along the fringes of the lake, exploring the pseudo-mucky shallow edges until I reached about halfway across the lake, eyes peeled for turtles. I never saw a turtle, but many dragonflies settled on the sides of the canoe to hitchhike and rest a bit. Can you get any cooler than a dragonfly? A barely perceptible breeze had begun to ripple the water and I decided to lift the paddle out of the water and see what the boat decided to do. Sure enough, it had its own slow but perfect agenda. It turned toward the center of the lake and and just drifted and I closed my eyes to that perfect-summer-morning sun, feeling like a stretching Buddha-cat. Complete smiling contentment. THAT is what vacation is all about.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Fast forward

Boy! We've been quiet, eh?

Once we got on the waiting list, we turned our attention back on our the rest of our lives, which were admittedly very neglected! I rode the wave that is called the End of the School Year, and came out tired but satisfied with the progress my kids made. (The single non-reader in my room FINALLY, last week of school, discovered a series he loved and could not put down. THAT is success, my friends. This was the first year that every one of my kids got, at least one point in the year, addicted to at least one book. Woo-hoo!) Ryan's music has taken off and he is a gig-machine. He's been writing and performing his own stuff with a group called Field Trip, in addition to performing with his groups The Two-Timers and Innervisions. (Did I miss any, Ry?) I'm so flippin' proud of him. He's really cute when he plays too. As my brother Josh once noted upon seeing Ryan play in Salem, "Ryan's never gonna make it as a rock star. He's too happy!" Seriously, you should go hear him play sometime, if only to see him bounce around with that fun grin.

On the adoption front, the estimated wait time for getting our child/ren has increased from 12-18 months to 16-22 months. We need to take two trips now. And, partially as a result of the additional trip, our program fees increased rather substantially. Oy! Our quest for children is now three years in the making, and it admittedly gets very tiresome to get more roadblocks put in our way. Personally, I find that my heart is shutting down a bit and little on the family-building journey affects me now. I don't know if this is a self-protective thing or a good/bad thing ... I barely understand it myself. But I feel kind of numb to it all, which, odd as it sounds, is kind of a welcome change. That's probably not an inspiring thing to hear on a adoption blog, but this path always has unexpected surprises.

All that said, we're having a great summer and grow happier and more fulfilled with each passing month. We were reflecting the other day on our upcoming third anniversary and how hard we were hit after returning from our incredible wedding and honeymoon. The horrible losses and sicknesses of family members and friends, the immediate loss of our first child and the ensuing medical complications, procedures, and surgeries I had as a result of that first loss. All those vows we took were immediately tested and we both agreed that we came out pretty damned good. Not everyone could have survived that and had their relationship grow even stronger. The relative ease of this summer -- knock on wood -- has been an incredible boost. Drinking a cold gin and tonic while weeding the garden with my cat Kaci -- heaven! I'm officially patting ourselves on the back. (Me and Ryan, not me and Kaci...though she's done her part making us smile each day with her cute little vocalizations, so I guess I'll pat her back too. And of course Sergio's back, as he LOVES anyone patting his back.)

Here's to the simple pleasures of summer! May your heart skip a beat when you hear the ice cream truck come 'round...


Thursday, May 13, 2010

A beautiful post...

Wow. Sometimes when someone can put something into words that you have tried in vain to communicate to others, it feels like an enormous release. I want to hug both women who wrote these articles. It's incredibly comforting to know there are some very loving people who understand. Makes one breathe a little freer.

A Non-Mother's Day

Why Not Just Adopt?

I'm having some trouble with creating the links today, but an old-fashioned cut-and-paste will do.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Officially waiting!

The envelope from immigration arrived today!! We are now officially on the wait list!

No words! Happily dizzy from relief.