Sunday, May 31, 2015


It's been now almost five days at my new job.

I like it so far.

I think one of the things that is really impressing me is the diversity.

Towards the end of my last job, I couldn't help but notice that my old publishing house was falling down in that regard. It wasn't so much that the new hires all looked the same--or similar--though they' did.  They were shaped the same--or similar.

I tend to notice that.

You see, I'm fat.

I am not trying to "rectify" this as it is as much a part of who I am as my eye color. I'm struggling to get in better shape while chasing a toddler, but I refuse to let the numbers of a scale equal my self worth. I tried that and I didn't enjoy it.

When I started at OPC (Other Publishing Company), in 2004, there were plenty of large people there. Plenty. Large women, large men.  All shapes, all colors, all races, all ages.

When I left--was asked to leave--okay told to leave, the people around me were white and thin and young.

In fact, the November before, we were asked to get on this program for a discount in our health insurance. Healthy Company.  For $500 off the price of our health insurance we would give the employer HR department access to our medical records and take actions that they might require.

I outright refused. What is said between my doctor and myself is between my doctor and myself. That is how Doctor-Patient privilege works. I did not want my employer knowing anything about it. Period.  I was willing to pay the $500 and my husband backed me on it, 100%.

Three months later I didn't have to worry about it because I didn't have a job.

To be honest I haven't thought much about it. but I got in touch with some of my former co-workers and I found that quite a few who were laid off the same time I was also opted out. Some were thin, one was a smoker, and two others were black. I've begun to wonder if the reason I was in that part was my refusal.

I look around at my new office.
Diverse as anything.
Bodies as well as backgrounds.
I'm wondering if that is why I feel so comfortable there.

We'll see.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Newness

So, after a little over a year after I was fired from my old one, I started a new job.

It's contract work--temp--but except for one job every job I had has started out temp. I can make myself indispensable. I'm pretty good at it.

It's in a division of publishing and I look forward to calling my old job and putting some feet to the fire--as I know I will have to. So far I'm enjoying it. I like my new co-workers and the commute is far better than my old one.

It has only been two days and we're getting used to the new routine. I'm waking Lotus up early for "school" (Daycare).  So many times over the past year people said that we should have stopped daycare--it would have helped money wise--but I didn't want to stop and start again. It was a good decision, this week would have been hell if she wasn't going to teachers that she knows and loves. It is seldom that I get confirmation that I did something right with Lotus, it was good.

That being said, she's being very whiny. I'm not sure if it is because of the new schedule. Because she's three, or because we just passed our family day. Maybe it's a combination of all of them. She's being very MOMMY clingy too. Which hurts Dave's feelings sometimes.

We're getting to a better place--and yet I've missed mom more in the last two days than I have since I was called that she had died. She loved listening to me rattle on about my new jobs--whatever they might be. She would have marveled that we get free drinks (soft and coffee) all day long and free lunches. She would have asked lots of questions about my new boss and coworkers. She never wants to see me in another bad situation. I miss her.

Things are looking up--I just wish that I could talk to mom without doing that too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Two years ago--yesterday.

Yesterday we celebrated our 2nd family day.  I wrote this article about it and I thought I would share it here. 

It was the most important day of my life and all I could think of was, Would I make it to the toilet

My husband, Dave and I were in China in a van going to our hotel to see our child for the first time. We had been told that we would meet our baby, the day after our arrival in Nanchang. I had it all planned. I’d have a bag of Cheerios for the baby. I knew I would sing “Baby Mine.” I would wear red—the color of joy in Chinese culture.

Why I should have expected this day to go as planned when nothing whatsoever in my motherhood journey had done so, I don’t know. First we went through fertility treatments. The medical establishment has innumerable ways to take the “sex” out of “sexy”—leaving me to wonder “y?” Was I fully a woman if I couldn’t bear a child? How was my marriage to work when sex became a chore—and someone other than the two of us made the schedule? After yet another doctor’s office called to tell me that the latest procedure hadn’t worked, the decision to adopt wasn’t so much a decision, as a level of defiance: I was going to be a mother.  We chose China.

If I thought fertility treatments had been invasive, the adoption journey brought invasiveness to a whole new level. We cleaned up our messy home and prayed that a speck of dust wouldn’t take our dream away when the social worker visited. We asked our friends to write recommendations for us. How many parents today would have children if their friends had to write references for them? We were fingerprinted so many times that it might have been cheaper had we built our own crime lab. We were “Paper Pregnant” and remained so for close to seven years.

Then we got the call, an email with sporadic information, and a picture. A little girl who was born the day I had miscarried my only pregnancy, was to be our child. She was sitting, unsmiling, against an orange background. She was wearing a pink outfit with yellow socks. She was the most beautiful baby we had ever seen. Another three months of hacking through the bureaucratic red tape and we were in China, our daughter’s birthplace.

 The day before we were supposed to meet our daughter, Dave and I, and another couple that would be meeting their soon-to-be-adopted daughter got off the plane in Nanchang, China.  We were assured that our guide would find us—and it was easy to see how. We were among very few Caucasians there. Our guide, Claire, introduced herself, helped us get our luggage, and told us, almost parenthetically that our babies would be waiting at the hotel and we had to get into the van quickly.  I stared at her. Was she trying to maybe make a joke? The other soon-to-be mother smiled and made joyful sounds. She obviously processed this better. My brain was a blank. I looked at my husband and I saw he was just as scared as I was. Then, of course, my body got into the action. I needed to use the bathroom.

In most of China a toilet consists of a ceramic hole in the ground with a place to put your feet. This is supposed to be excellent for your colonic health. If you’re a Westerner needing to defecate, it is the devil itself. I had used one, but I wanted to go to a Western toilet in the hotel.  I was hoping I would make it.

I tried to imagine our baby, soon to be renamed Lotus in my head. Was she walking? Did she have a temper? The information we had was eclectic and maddening. It said that when she got sick she got well quickly—but not what she had recovered from. It said she liked music—but not who sang it to her. It had the measurements of her anus—and I had some degree of pity for the poor worker who had to record that bit. All that info and I didn’t know her. What did she like to eat? What made her smile? Laugh? What made her fist her hands? Would she like us? Would I like her? Would I make it to the hotel to use a bathroom or would I embarrass myself before I met her?

We arrived at the hotel and I ran full-out to the Western toilets—in time! Afterwards, I walked to the ornate lobby of the hotel. The sun streamed in as I looked for Dave. I’d be lying if I said I remembered the expression on his face—all I saw was the little girl he was holding in his arms.  She still didn’t have much hair. She was wearing a long sleeved striped shirt in 95-degree weather and, her face was very red. That might also have been because she was screaming her lungs out. She didn’t seem to be afraid, more pissed off. I ran to my husband and held my arms out for our baby.

He placed a screaming weight of about 20 pounds into my arms. I started jostling, hoping to comfort her, and she screamed louder. I opened my mouth to sing and every song I’d ever learned went out of my head. I would have been hard pressed to do the ABC song.  I jostled more and her crying got even louder. I held her closer and she screamed right in my ear. Finally I heard myself singing:

“Oh stop your crying, it will be all right.
Just take my hand, hold it tight.
I will protect you from all around you.
I will be here, don’t you cry.”

As the next words of “You’ll Be in my Heart” from Tarzan came out of my mouth, my daughter stopped crying. My blue eyes met her deep brown ones, and she kept eye contact. I tried to put all the love I felt into my eyes. My voice broke as I sang about how she would be in my heart. I felt Dave’s arms come around us as we became a family of three. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Microblog Monday--Allergies

My husband has allergies.

He is miserable.

His coughing is terrifying me and Lotus. We've been to the Dr and are returning.

Anyone know how to quiet a cough?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's day

For the seven years we waited for Lotus Mother's day was hell.
For the five years we tried to become pregnant and failed Mother's day was hell.

Then was the year that we had our referral. The day after Mother's day we left to go to China. After much haggling Mom and Dad came and we went out for dinner. Thank Gd they did. That was the last mother's day I would have her.

I never got to be a mother and a child together on Mother's day. It hurts.

Last mother's day, the one that came a little more than a month after mom passed we spent with dad. We spent it doing things my mom would have hated. Went to a restaurant that she would't have liked.  I expected it to be a terrible day, but it was fun.

Which brings us to this year.

Dad doesn't want to meet this year. On Saturday my sister and I will be going out to his house and going through the kitchen. We haven't wanted to as that was mom's domain and I expect it to be a hell day. Then the next day is mother's day and we don't have plans.

That means the day is on my poor husband. And it isn't fair.

What I want for mother's day is simple and impossible.  I want to hold my mother's hand and feel her fingers running through my hair. I want to spend a day in the kitchen with her. I want to hear her say my name and tell me everything will be all right. I want my child to have real memories about her--not my memories.

I want to be my mother's child again.

But that can't happen.

Instead I will have what I wished for for so long. Little arms around my neck wishing me happy mother's day.  I will take joy in that and hope that my mom's voice inside me will be enough.

I end this with my mother's day wish.

For the mothers, I wish you a happy mothers day.
For those who have lost their mothers--I wish you comfort.
For those who are hoping to become mothers--I wish you luck and speed on your journey.
For those who are childless (not by choice)-- I wish you comfort and the knowledge you are not alone.
For those who are childfree by choice--You Go Girls! You made a decision to swim against the stream--go you!
I end this with a hope.
That next mother's day will have all the women who want to be mothers--as mothers.
That all mothers will hold their children tightly.
That all adult children will reconcile with their mothers if it is possible and comfortable to do so.
That all child-free women are made to feel empowered instead of ashamed.
And that the great mother of us all will grant us all peace.
"There are no great things, only small things with great love"--Mother Teresa (another woman who was never a mom!)  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Microblog Mondays

I have a few posts running around in my head. Posts about Mother's Day, Baltimore, and Lotus' third birthday which we just celebrated. But I'm going to wait on them, because my daughter is really mastering the art of swearing. 

As I mentioned earlier, I swear and I don't curb it in front of my child. 

One thing I note about Lotus, she really does tend to think before she speaks. When she hears a new word, or set of them, I believe she lets them roll around in her brain before using it herself.  Or maybe she wanted to crash my car. 

All I know is that I was driving her to daycare singing Trot Ol' Joe with Lotus. The song had just ended and I was waiting to hear what the next song on her internal playlist would be. When she said, 

"Holy Shit, a rainbow!!!"

I looked around and indeed saw a rainbow--and a beautiful one at that. 

Holy Shit indeed.