Thursday, May 28, 2009

Brain v. Heart

It’s interesting to know something intellectually, but another to convince the heart of the thing.

My brain knows that the court has until late September to fire off the yea or nay (unlike Mrs. H., we didn’t get a draft or final of the SW’s report to the court – SW just said everything’s fine, nothing to worry about. Fat lot of help), and I know it. I know it!

So why, upon my return from Ireland, did I maniacally rip through the mail pile looking for the envelope from the agency with the good news?

My brain knows that an adoption, after certification, may take months or (God forbid) a year or two.

So why, when I passed by the baby department at Macy’s on the way to another department, smile to myself in anticipation as I saw all the little tiny clothes?

My brain still knows that a baby won’t be dropped in our laps in the next month.

So why do I pore over nursery ideas and color schemes, and am finding myself wanting to push DH out of that little room sooner rather than later? It's silly because it's still so early.

...and so on. I know what it is, intellectually: it’s FINALLY that silver lining that my poor battered heart has been looking for all these years, with all that heartache. It's the long-buried optimism daring to peek through my habitual cynicism.
It's a nice feeling. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

FREE Phoenix Area Adoption Seminar - 630P TONIGHT

Reading the Repulsive today, there was actually an item of interest. Quoted verbatim:

Give Back

If you've considered taking in a foster child or adopting a child but want to learn more, there's a free workshop for you. Christ's Church of the Valley offers an orientation that provides information to households interested in adoption or in welcoming a foster child into their family.
Learn what you can do to offer one of the more than 10,000 children in the state's foster care system a loving, supportive environment. Meet at 6:30 p.m. today in the Children's Building, 7007 W. Happy Valley Road, Peoria.
Details: 623-376-2444,

I'm going to try and make it. I need to expand my knowledge and contact base. But damn... Peoria isn't exactly close for me. Oh well. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

First Post Back - !

Thank you, thank you. Ireland was AWESOME, except for my MIL and her bullshit, which I'll post on later, and on my sister blog. If I ignore her shit, then the trip was great, and I would never have come back... if that was an option. I *heart* Ireland.
In previous posts I have given you a high level overview of an adoption situation that has come through the office. I only have the bare bones details, because things were so crazy yesterday.

In this next installment...

While I was out of the office last week, Boss got a phone call from "B," the BM. She asked, “Can we undo this?” and then later in the conversation she claims that she was on an anti-depressant at the time of signing over her rights. This is someone who went out of state and left her kid with someone else... the same someone else who has essentially been raising the kid because B just doesn’t have her stuff together...

I’m not sure what Boss said, but I’m pretty sure that he did say that once signed, it’s irrevocable. And he did say that to her in clear language prior to having her sign the releases. Once the conversation was over, Boss called adoptive parents’ attorney, who understandably flipped out.
I don’t know what was said and done next, but it’s enough to make my soul quiver...


I have read a couple of foster-to-adopt blogs this week (at random), and I will say to you who are pursuing that path: God bless you. You are of a stouter constitution than I.

I? I am a complete chickenshit. I can’t even contemplate an open adoption. Semi, sure; open, God no.

At least I admit it.


Boss had to leave the office early at a point earlier this week because his son had a thesis to defend. “Thesis?” I asked, thinking it was one of his older children in college (ha, like that happens in college anymore).

Nope. It was his sophomore in high school. In order to pass his humanities course at his private school, students have to do a research paper, and then the student must sit before a panel of three teachers and field questions, defending the paper.


Wow! What a novel concept!

As I said to Boss, “Wow, you’d never see that in a public school.”

In a previous life, I was a teacher for a year. I loved it. You either have the touch for teaching, or you don’t; I learned that I did. I loved it, and had a great time with the kids... but I was scared out of education. It wasn’t the kids from a borderline-ghetto neighborhood (once the rules were laid down, they were great, if you don’t count the spec-ed kids who should never have been mainstreamed in the first place), and it wasn’t the hours-on-end job. It was the administration, and it was the parents. My God, the parents were awful. And it’s one of the things that my teacher friends have the biggest issues with.

And please do not get me started on the current state of education today. That will be a rant for another day. But:

Someone finally had the guts to write to the paper what everyone with a brain already knows. I will copy it here, because the archives get purged quickly. This was in Tuesday’s opinion section (5/19/09) of the Arizona Republic.

I have been teaching 5th and 6th grade for nine years in Phoenix. This is the first year I have been told to give grades. When I was in school you earned it.

Today teachers are not supposed to fail students, especially special-ed students, even if their lack of ability or effort warrants it. The new "inclusion" policy dictates they are placed with regular-ed students and expected to score as well. Sometimes they do, as many regular-ed students are lazy.

Not wild about handing out grades for nothing, I, in protest, gave some of the less capable special-ed students 100 percent on every assignment. This didn't sit well with the special-ed teachers, who told me these students should get C's.

I figured that failure to comply would earn me a visit to the principal's office and a half-hour tongue lashing during my prep period, so I gave them all 75 percent on every assignment, even if they didn't do it. The special-ed teachers liked this just fine. The underlying reality for teachers is that even if a student deserved to get a failing grade for lack of effort, you're not supposed to give an "F" on the report card.

The driving force behind all of this is that the principal's office doesn't want phone calls from parents complaining about their kid's failing grades. As long as I pass everybody, I won't have problems from the front office, or so I thought.

My latest visit to the principal's office resulted in a directive to make my class easier. A parent or two complained my class was too hard for their kids. These are probably the same kids that don't do their work. So how to stay out of the principal's office?

I give credit where none is due, and pass students on to the next grade at the end of the year whether they've mastered the skills necessary for them to be successful or not.

-- Jim Hull, Glendale

I thought this was pretty ballsy – not only openly telling the public what is happening in his school, but then he signed his name to it. Bravo, Mr. Hull!

For me, there’s nothing new within the lines of his letter to the editor. I know all about the passing-everyone/don’t-hurt-my-snowflake syndrome, about the teaching to a test, about the fallacy of mainstreaming. I also think that more teachers need to air the dirty laundry about what is truly going on in our schools – and shame those in charge into truly FIXING our educational system.

I’ll rant about education in general one of these days. Promise. But not today. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pinning Down and (dreaming of) Setting Up

I looked at that minute entry I posted last month to refresh my memory, and my heart sank once I realized that SW has until June 25 to file her report. Gosh, that’s so far away. I haven’t the slightest clue if she’s started working on it, is done with it and submitted it, or what. I have no idea, and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve just sent SW an email with a few polite and quick questions because my curiosity is piqued.

She replied about an hour later. She has submitted the report for review to the powers that be at the agency, and should be sent to the Court sometime next week. However, the bottom line is that the judge has 90 days from 6/25 to say yea or nay, but SW said that it’s usually much sooner than that once the report is in.

I said “OK, no big deal. Just good to know rather than wonder. :)”

And it’s not. I’m no longer hanging. It just boils down to the fact that we’ll be certified (or not! Gotta remember that vague possibility) on or before September 25.


While gathering a present for the christening party DH and I went to on Sunday, I tripped across my nursery theme: duckies! I love duckies, whether the cute ones in baby land or real live ones (I’ll have to get pics of the small gaggle that visits my favorite Starbucks every day looking for crumbs). The color yellow and ducks are both gender neutral, a must if one has not specified what gender one wants.

Since I tripped across my theme, the ideas have swamped my brain. I think I’ll do either cream or white walls with pastel accents and bedding. And there is plenty of cute duckie clothes and stuff out there... simple and easy.

I'll have to find the one big yellow duckie for the top of a shelf or bureau to preside over all.


I’m also a fan of the crib that morphs into a bed as the child gets older. Big fan.

Must find a good deal on one of those.

DH is all for it. He’s like me, very practical.


Because I’m a very practical perso... er, cheapo, I’m all about what hand-me-downs and outfits I can find at the Goodwill or other places. Babies grow so fast, and I refuse to spend what would be the equivalent of a mortgage payment on clothes that the baby would only wear for a few short weeks or a month. Naturally, there will be new, unworn, pristine things for the appropriate occasions; but for the everyday spit-up and other mess parade, there’s no point in spending beaucoup on things.


Nothing is being done for a long while, though. Certification first, the rest to follow.