June Makes Three

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ready or Not, Here Comes Boot Camp

We had our recruitment meeting today. This is the final step before we actually begin boot camp a week from Monday. Military cadences sounded from the speakers as we entered. Inspirational quotes were on display. Tasty yet healthful food was on hand. For a moment I was smug in noting that the sample meals they offered were almost exactly what I serve up at home, but I quickly remembered that if I had anything to be smug about, I wouldn’t have found myself in need of boot camp in the first place.

A few highlights from the meeting:

We each got one of these ammo cans. We have to scrub them, oil the hinges, and keep it orderly and clean for periodic inspection. They came with a fitness/food diary, a canteen, and Dr. Drill says we’ll be collecting other items along the way. There will be lectures each week on discipline, motivating, eating and exercise.

He promised that we’ll be working our butts off. We have to be ready to work at 5:30am sharp. If one person is late, we all pay. Someone asked if we’d be taking the workouts outside on nice days. He suggested that we’d be taking it outside on the not-so-nice days. Booo!

He promised that at some point, whether or not we like him now, we won’t like him in the future. Sounds ominous, but I’m looking forward to a little hostility to fire me up on sleepy mornings.
He promised that he’ll be handing out awards each week. And when we finish the five week camp, there will be a graduation ceremony. They’re trying to find an inspirational venue. They first mentioned Bodyworlds at the Franklin Institure here in Philly, but the exhibit will be shut down by then. Bummer. Anyway, more awarding will happen at graduation. I’m going to really really try to make sure my name is on one of those awards.

“Change before you have to.” That’s the theme of this entire project. I know I need to change… too many years lacking discipline. If I’m going to be a great mom to June, I need to teach by example and I don’t want the example to be me horizontal on the couch in front of American Idol (no matter how tempting that is). So I’m putting my faith in Dr. Drill and I dedicate my efforts to June.

Monday, April 17, 2006

We Interrupt This Adoption Blog to Bring You... A Boot Camp Blog

I’m coming up short on adoption-related stories to relate to you, my faithful readers. Apart from the occasional sob-fest over the ever-increasing wait times, I’ve got a whole lot of nothing. We’ll be DTC soon. Then we’ll be LID. Then nothing. Long stretches of nothing. I fear if I do June’s room and get all show-offy about it, it’ll be out of style by the time she’s old enough to smear peanut butter on the carefully placed wallpaper border. If I keep telling you how my love for her, even without knowing her, swells with each passing day, you'll puke, and I'll give myself an aneurysm. I’ve gorged myself on too many China-related and adoption-related books and let’s face it: I’m not going to say anything about them you couldn’t find in the review section of Amazon. I'm just saying… the well’s going to dry up for a while.

What to do? Meander on about nothing? Sublet the blog to someone else with more interesting adoption news? Or just hang a “Back in 12 Months” sign? Well…

As I mentioned previously, I’ve signed up for fitness boot camp. Since then I’ve contemplated it, feared it, and ultimately have become very committed to it. Today I met with Dr. Drill, who deemed me fit for torture 3 days a week for 5 weeks. I’ve decided that I’m going to take this seriously and since I’ve got no other distractions for the foreseeable future, there’s no excuse not to succeed. Therefore, I’ll be relating my progress here. I'll still post about the adoption of course, anytime I've got something newsworthy.

Camp starts two weeks from today. To prepare for the cringe-inducing 4:45am wake time, I’ve been hitting the gym earlier and earlier every day. I need a mini boot camp just to prepare for boot camp.

I think I can do this. No, I can do this! So long as I don’t have to shave my head.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Insanely Depressing Referral Rumors

I don't want to get into the habit of repeating rumors when I can't confirm their origins. I'm mostly just disgusted so I'm writing to vent rather than to inform.

Recent rumblings suggest the wait time could go to 20-24 months. I can't believe I just typed that. Two years??? Theories abound: less paper-ready babies due to the Hunan baby abduction trial thus orphanages very hesitant, twice the number of family dossiers being logged in, a potentially deliberate slowdown because of the upcoming Olympics, etc. In a moment of weakness, I called my agency for reassurance. They don't speculate on rumors and simply stated that if they learn of anything factual from their facilitator in China, they will notify all families.

Perhaps I need to stop trolling the web for rumors, because nothing can be changed. We're in this for the long haul, however long it is. As long as there is no indication that adoptions are being STOPPED, there's nothing to do but wait it out. But when you've got pages of calendar ahead, it's hard not to join the others and whine in unison "HURRY UP!!!"

Friday, April 07, 2006

Adoption in the Animal Kingdom

Thanks Trish for emailing this!

This is the story of Finnegan. He was a newborn squirrel found at the base of a tree, and given to a woman named Debby Cantlon, who takes in animals in need. Cantlon, who has cancer, says rescuing animals is therapeutic for her. She plans to release Finnegan back into the wild.

Shortly after taking in Finnegan, Cantlon's pregnant Papillon, Giselle, gave birth to a litter of puppies who promptly accepted Finnegan as part of their brood. Enjoy these very sweet pictures of a loving adoptive family!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

OK. NOW I'm cheering!

I got word back from the agency. The 797 is fine as is. They will contact the proper people to let them know about the hyphen but said we can move forward regardless. Apparently there are goofs on the names all the time. That's reassuring.

Aaaaaaanyway, the jeer within a cheer is that the agency says it will take them 4 weeks to certify and authenticate the document and prepare for DTC. I'm a little disappointed after hearing others do the C&A on their own inside a week! But... we've paid them for the dossier service, and it's out of our hands, so we won't bellyache about it and just be grateful that our part of the deal is done.

We can expect a DTC confirmation letter by early May. In the meantime, I'm waking my sorry self up a little earlier every day in preparation for BOOT CAMP!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It Has Arrived!!!! But I'm not Cheering Yet

Apparently, in order to receive your Immigration documents, you must write an alarmingly bad blues song. Because 12 short hours later, to what should my bleary eyes appear but the holy, elusive, golden ticket. It was as if the forces that be were screaming "OK OK, if we send it will you make her stop???"

But before I pull out my almost-34-year-old back doing cartwheels, I am afraid that this piece of paper may be worthless. My middle name, which is my maiden name, is listed as hyphenated with my married name. I checked the I-600A to see if I was smoking something funny when I filled it out. No, I did it as I always do. Maiden name written clearly in the "middle name" section. But, it's here on the 797-C, staring me in the face, "Cora Maiden-Married".

I tried to keep the tone of my hurriedly written email to the agency absent of desperation. If it needs to be re-issued, one can only hope that I'll get right in front of the line again. Right? Right??

We'll see what the agency says tomorrow morning. Thank God they check their email as obsessively as I do!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Immigration Blues

This is what happens when you've got too much time on your hands and have already read everyone else's blogs for the day. You write what could possibly be The Worst Blues Song Ever.

You've been warned.

Immigration Blues

I’ve been sittin’ here, waitin’ for my 171

I said I’m sittin here waitin’… waitin’ for that 171

It’s been four weeks, three days and six hours,

And you still haven’t come along

Mister mailman, when you gonna bring it to me?

Oh mister mailman, I don’t need another magazine

Just bring me that ticket, all I want is that ticket

To bring me closer to my baby…

I ain’t been messin’ around, been so good with the things to do

I went to the classes, the doc and the notary too

But now I’m waitin’, waitin’ here for you

I got the Immigration Blues

(Harmonica solo)

Now look here mister mailmain, I can’t wait another day

Don’t drop off the bills and then just walk away

My heart can’t take it, no it just can’t take it

Bring me my 171, I say bring it today

Saturday, April 01, 2006

What Have I Done??

I just accidentally signed up for boot camp.

It all started innocently enough. Lately I've been bored and lonely. Mike has been working very long hours and I haven't had a whole lot happening with the adoption. My candle biz is quiet as candle season is over for a while. We had been going to a little gym 'round the corner, but it hasn't been holding my interest with its dozen machines. I needed a change.

So I decided to join the YMCA instead. Maybe I could find some volunteer opportunities there, get a better workout, maybe even take some classes. Today, after my workout and as I wandered around getting to know the place, I found a flyer for Dr. Drill Instructor. I asked the girl at the desk about it, who said he's terrific but space is limited so I should sign up right away for the seminar on April 22nd. Sign up I did... and then proceeded to read the brochure in the car.

Turns out, the seminar is just the fitness assessment. It is actually a 5-week "fitness platoon" taught by an ex-Marine turned chiropractor. It's 3 days a week at 5:30am. Or should I say 0530. The way it reads, missing or being late to classes is not an option. It is all or nothing.

I've decided to make the commitment. I mean, I was bored, wasn't I? I can't keep up this dysfunctional relationship with the mailbox. And, I want to get back into shape. A good swift kick in the arse might be just what I need.

Next Friday is my 34th birthday and so Mike has offered to pay the entry fee as my present. I am somewhere between excited and terrified.

This is for you, June!