Friday, August 31, 2007

Top 10 Things To Do Before I Become a Mom


Haze's reply to my football post made me think that we should all come up with lists of things we should do for ourselves before we become Moms so I'm going to start a new game of tag! :-) Hey, some of you need things to do anyway! So, I'm tagging Haze, Laura AND...hmmmmm Melissa (she's already done lap dancing what else can she possibly do...LOL).

My Top 10 List

1. Join an extracurricular activity each season (this season, flag football).

2. Have architectural drawings for the remodel of my house done (at least I will know how I will want it too look...the remodel will begin in 2008 after Baby I). Notice I did not say remodel, I can't afford that yet (adoption) but at least I can look at drawings of what I will have in the near future.

3. Get my teeth whitened (yes, it may be vain but I want bright white teeth!).

4. Join a small group at church.

5. Take additional classes at church in order to start my own small group at church either for women who have suffered infertility or in support of adoption.

6. Make more of an effort to spend time with my closest family and friends.
7. Take a week long vacation with no work to someplace far away!
8. Get rid of all my ex boyfriend drama!

Number 9-10 are on hold...I'm not sure of these yet but as soon as I come up with them I'll let you know! I'm going to print this list out and keep you up to date on my progress.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

FOOTBALL!!!


Yes, I have a new hobby and it is football. You may say what is so interesting about that, many of you like to watch football but I actually don't like to watch football. I play football , much to my football loving family's dismay!

Why did I do it (many have asked)? I wanted/needed something different in my life. I guess being faced with becoming a mother in less than a year has me thinking of things I should have done and wondering if I have enough of a community. Joining a football team is definitely a community. Next year I'll just strap Baby I in her stroller and push her on the side line with someones wife or husband and she can watch Mommy playing football.

So far, I have had two practices (Saturday and yesterday, Wednesday). We are getting ready to compete with all of the other teams in the metro DC area so it is imperative that I get up to speed. Yes, I wonder if that is possible also. Hey I paid my $75 just like everyone else so I am going to play like everyone else! After the first practice I was told "Tami since you are the weakest link you can pick the jersey colors." LOL That was pretty funny but I said that's okay I'm going to get better and all the guys laughed. BTW...on our co-ed team of 13 we have 4 women. At our first practice I had to get the basics you know...catching, who the quarterback was, etc. They decided that I should be a rusher. What? They wanted me to rush the quarterback (the guy with the ball) and get his ball or flag in this case while he has the ball. And mind you there are men and women blocking me from him. Well...okay. Then they put it in perspective for me. "Tami just act like he has some Prada's around his neck that he stole from your house!" "Oh no! I want my shoes back!" "Exactly, go get him!" LOL After practice number 1 I didn't catch anyone but I only fell twice, was hit in the face once and got one swollen finger and the next few days I ached like HECK but I had fun.

Practice #2. The pain stopped on Tuesday just in time for practice on Wednesday...life is good! I called my Aunt on the way to practice and she laughed hysterically about my going to practice. She calls my telephone calls her MDLB (mediocre day looking better) calls. That's okay...I hung up on her after I gave her a piece of my mind! hehehe I got to practice and started out with a few one-on-one passes and then we went into the game. Yikes..it was no mercy but guess what? The other team was sleeping on me and I got 2 sacks or flags. Then they realized I'm fast and am actually a good rusher (okay learning to be) and started blocking me with 2 men! They even called me out on a play. I accused them of being scared of me now and my team laughed at them. It felt good and my team said that I'm doing really well and I'm turning out to be a quick learner and may even be the 6th man!

See don't tell me I can't do something...I'll do it just to spite you! As a single woman going through adoption and preparing to be a single mother (like my mother) if I don't know strength then I don't know what I know. Now I just have a great outlet. I wonder what I am going to get into after this season is over? What is your outlet? If you don't have one...get one and physical ones are awesome!

Friday, August 24, 2007

More of My Two Cents

I subscribe to Tadias magazine to keep up with the happenings and lifestyles of Ethiopians in the US. The great thing about an online magazine is that you can leave comments and of course I found a place to leave my two cents. (I probably should have been a lawyer!)

When the Mesgana dancers first arrived to the US they landed in NYC and were hosted by an African American Actor Leon. One Ethiopian was not to thrilled about that and as a result I was a little offended. I decided to leave a response but I must admit I wasn't sure how my response was going to be taken on an Ethiopian board so I used my middle name (Denise). Yes, punk I know! There was only 1 person that commented after I did but they agreed with me so I felt relief! From now on I'll use my real name. If I am going to cause trouble I should be proud of causing it NO?

Dureyie Demet Aug 14th, 2007 at 7:47 pm
the girls were amazing!!!!! they are beautiful, humble, talented and bright. The show was excellent along with the costumes and music. Thank you thank you. what i didn’t understand was why was LEON there?? why why why someone please explain!

Denise Aug 14th, 2007 at 8:51 pm
Why wouldn’t Leon be there? He had the means and interest to support the dancers so why are you being so divisive? We are all people of the African continent and should learn to love appreciate and respect one another. I saw the girls in Columbia and loved every moment of it. The crowd was diverse and it was awesome. And if you didn’t realize the purpose of the tour was to raise funds for education programs so if Leon and others can bring awareness to the plight of Ethiopia then great. Furthermore I am not Ethiopian I am of a mixed Afro Latin background but I am in the process of adopting my daughter from Ethiopia.

Kiki Aug 20th, 2007 at 12:28 pm
I just don’t understand what this is all about.
Thank you Denise.
I understand that organizers reached out to a few high profile Ethiopian’s first in order to draw attention, but none responded and then Leon jumped on board right away. Thank you Leon and I love the humanitarian work you do for ALL people. Let us not forget we ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE!
K

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Singles Rules Change?

This morning I went on the Ethiopian Singles Yahoo Board and there were two disturbing emails. The first one said that one woman was told by her agency they could no longer work with her because they could only accept 5 singles a year for Ethiopia and they have fulfilled their quota! WHAT!!!!!!!!!!

The second email said how one woman's agency contacted her because their in-country representative was just told the government has made some changes that will affect singles but the rule has yet to be signed. However, if you are signed on with an agency you are safe. (I guess I better mail my paperwork next week, since I've paid for my home study).

So...there is a rule on the table. Will they sign it this year? Who knows but that is crazy! I want two children and in my heart I wish I could adopt two now. However, every time I look in my pocketbook I keep coming up with dust bunnies! Sighhhhhh! Maybe the rule will grandfather singles who have already adopted! Wishful thinking!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First Home Study...Check!

I made it AND on time! HEHE We talked for 75 minutes. I got lots of smiles (I really am great, if I do say so myself!), a few laughs and a blank stare (lol)...well, I love Baby I's name...yes, it's different but so am I. Conformity is for dweebs! We scheduled meeting #2 at MY HOME for Sept 12. I then went on my merry little way with lots more paperwork. As if I didn't have enough to confuse me.

But on the bright side, I'm one step closer to Baby I. I feel like I'm finally making some progress. Now if I could just decide on what to do with the nursery! This is what keeps me up at night! LOL

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Misunderstanding

I didn't have my home study today because there was a little misunderstanding. When the social worker sent me an email it included directions (yes I read it) to his facility for the visit. But when we spoke on the phone (I thought) we agreed to have the first visit at my home. He didn't recall that and I do...oh well, one of us is wrong and since I don't have any control over the situation I guess it is me! YIKES...so far strike one for Mommy! Well, I'm trying not to cry at the moment about messing this one up. I suppose they can't keep my baby from me for making an honest mistake. We'll try this again tomorrow at 10:00 am.

Reading is Essential

There is this little rumor going around that single women may no longer be able to adopt from Ethiopia so many of us (currently in process of adopting) are frantically trying to finish paperwork so we can be grandfathered in "just in case." So over the weekend I was going through my Gladney application pulling together all of my paperwork. I said to myself I wanted to have my application submitted by the middle of September. In reviewing my application I had a few questions so I shot off a quick email to my case manager. I thought I was doing something...you know being proactive because my home study was in a few days (by the way it is TODAY)! Oh...Gladney was great and quick to respond they even called at my request however they asked me: "Tami what are you doing?" I said: "What do you mean? I'm trying to get all of my paperwork done so when my home study is complete I can send everything with my application." She laughed and said "No. You should have sent in your application first, then we give you approval for the home study."

OOOPPPPSSSS! Well the way the checklist looked to me... I guess it is only a checklist and it was not meant to be the end all. I'll have to remember that for the rest of this process. Note to self: Read more paper or at least browse for important points! Oh, back to my conversation with my case manager:

"Tami did you read your emails?"
HUHH????
"Tami did you get your emails?"
HUHHHHH????
"Tami are you there?"
HUHHHH???

No, it wasn't that bad but that is what it felt like. I felt like I was back in third grade when I knew I did something really bad and I had no good excuse. I could have said...well, I've been building a new company and one of my clients was pretty unhappy or heck the dog ate it but at the end of the day I just didn't read it. I said early on in this process I knew the hardest part was going to be reading all of the papers because I never read manuals! When I was in business school I didn't learn how to use my business calculator until the end of the semester. Why? Because I didn't read the manual of course! I bet that B would have turned to an A if I fully utilized the functionality of the calculator. Oh well. It's a good thing I don't have to read too many manuals in my line of work! LOL As far as the rest of this process...Just pray for me! The moral of this story is: Reading is Essential!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Will I Be Enough?

As adoptive mothers this is a question we all ask ourselves, will I be enough for my child? Am I doing the right thing by taking her from her country? As much as I try I will never be able to provide her with the real experience of being a true Ethiopian…or will I?

As a person of color born in the United States with a heritage in Africa (I will tell you where when my DNA test comes back), Dominican Republic and Jamaica does that make me any less Dominican or Jamaican because I was not raised there? Maybe to some but not to me. Why? Because it is in my heart just as much as Africa is in my heart. My Spanish language skills are not fluent and my Patois is non existent but I love the islands, the music: Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, and Reggae, the food: Plantain, Rice and Beans, Sancocho, Ox Tails …etc, you get the point. My culture is in me although I wasn’t raised in it and I am proud. My daughter may not be raised in Ethiopia but her culture will be in her just as my culture will be in her.

Also, who is to say that simply because you are raised in a country that you are culturally rich. How many people do you know raised right here in the United States and don’t know anything about American culture and history? How much do you really know? OK…don’t send me a test!


I am certain as the years pass I will wonder what my daughter is thinking and am I exposing her enough but I won’t second guess myself about my decision to adopt her and I hope that none of you second guess yourselves either. Our paths have been set by God, not all paths are clear but we are to keep walking them and they will become clearer. So the answer to will I be enough is...Yes...we will be enough together. Selam.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In the End We are One

In addition to blogging I have created community through joining several Ethiopian online adoption groups. Conversations run the gamut and can get very spirited. In the last few weeks we have had a few conversations that have left me pretty disturbed so I wanted to focus this post on the latest.

Someone wanted to know about researching Ethiopian people for complexion issues because they thought many were light skinned and wondered if this had to do with the Middle Eastern influence and how can they tell about the coloring and sizes or some other nonsense (Yes, I know there is no Middle Eastern influence). The responses came and many were simply insensitive sounding like they were buying a piece of meat: "A lot of the girls are of the long arm long legged variety... We have one of those and one that is stockier with a lot of muscle… " When I read that I said WTF many times over!? As an African American I was immediately reminded of the slave auction blocks. Africans were sold in lots often displayed by size and then commentary was given on the lots or on individual slaves, that comment was reminiscent of those.

Yes, I was pretty upset after that but it further made me wonder how many people that are not African American and adopting from Ethiopia truly understand they are not simply adopting an Ethiopian child or Ethiopian culture. In the United States (or country where you live) you are also adopting the African American community/culture. I commend everyone who is adopting and reaching out to learn about Ethiopia and trying to connect with the community but please do not forget about the African American (or black community of your country) community. The honest truth is that no matter where in the Diaspora one may come from (my family happens to be from Dominican Republic) when in the US we are looked upon as African American and will receive the same treatment as another “black” person. This is our reality. By making the decision to adopt an African child also came many responsibilities and sensitivity is one of those. So while you are busy researching and learning all you can about Ethiopia take some time to become familiar with your local African American community and learn the history because in the end we are all the same.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mesgana Dancers in Columbia, MD


On Friday evening I went to see the Mesgana Dancers. Awesome! If they are within driving distance of your city go. Not only are these girls talented but they are cute as buttons! They had the crowd moving and the kids in the audience were mesmerized while they were doing their "thang." I tell you, they made me want my baby home faster and made me say "I can adopt two or three." Yikes!

So...did I come home and do all of my paperwork? Well no. Let's not be silly now! I'm still a procrastinator!

Additionally, I met many of the other adoptive parents that I only chat with on the boards/blogs and met their beautiful children. There is really a very rich community here. Not to mention this is DC...Little Ethiopia.

Selam.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dear Blogdom:

I'm sure many of you had this question...what age range should I request for my child? When I first started the process I thought I wanted as young a child as possible. I wanted to make sure I had the maximum bonding time with my daughter even if it was only a few more months say 3 1/2 month vs- adopting at 7 months or older. However, after having conversations with a few people I now understand better that this would mean if I get the referral for an infant this young (3 months) she would more than likely have come from a mother that died at birth. As such she would not have had any time to form any bonds having immediately been placed in a foster care situation. Additionally, if I pick her up so young I or the doctors would not have time to see what her development is and if there are any developmental delays. On the other hand if I choose a referral of a little older child of say 6-12 months old she would have had time to form bonds, breastfeed and begin the developmental process. However, I know nothing is certain...So based on your experiences what do you suggest? Oh Blogdom what do I do?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My List of Fives

Haze didn't want to tag anyone as to not put pressure on them but not me. I'll tell you up front AND I'm into pressure I'm tagging Rebecca she's been pretty silent lately, she obviously needs something to do! SMILE Now for my list of Fives:

5 Things I was Doing 10 Years Ago
  1. Starting business school
  2. Planning to marry my boyfriend after I graduated (LOL)
  3. Living with my mother
  4. Driving a Red Acura Integra
  5. Living in Cleveland
5 Snacks I Enjoy
  1. Bananas or any fruit
  2. Twizzlers
  3. French Fries
  4. Pudding
  5. Cereal (it isn't just for breakfast)

5 TV Shows I've Seen Every Episode Of

  1. Gray's Anatomy
  2. Monk
  3. House
  4. Girlfriends
  5. Nip Tuck

5 Things I Would Do If I Were A Millionaire - First, a million isn't that much money so...unfortunately I would keep working.

  1. Invest more money into my business operations to make sure that I am building a better future for me and my little one who we will begin calling Baby I (until I come up with something different). Yes...her name is picked out but I'll keep it under wraps. My goal is to have a solid company to leave her and her brother (prayerfully I will go back in a year or two).
  2. Pay all of my mother's bills and allow her to retire FINALLY! She would then of course become my personal assistant owing me her life! KIDDING
  3. Buy more real estate
  4. Start an education non profit
  5. Adopt 1-2 more children

5 Bad Habits

  1. Procrastination (Glad I'm in good company!)
  2. I've learned to enjoy my solitude too much
  3. Analyzing things way too much
  4. I don't drink enough water
  5. I don't eat enough (I'm just not hungry!)

5 Things I Like To Do

  1. Work Out (now if I went more often)
  2. Shop for vintage clothes
  3. Spend time with my friends/family
  4. Read magazines
  5. Watch comedy movies

5 Things I Will Never Wear Again - This is hard for me because I'm a vintage girl so I reuse everything at some point.

  1. Leg Warmers!
  2. Glow in the Dark Colors!
  3. Moon Boots!
  4. Fringe Jeans
  5. Catsuit

5 Favorite Toys

  1. Ipod
  2. Tivo
  3. Digital Camera
  4. Laptop (although I need a new one....Haze I'm jealous of you...I want a red one or orange one!)
  5. My SUV

5 Things I Can't Stand

  1. People (especially men, hence me being single) who don't do what they say they are going to do!
  2. Dirty homes
  3. People who mistreat children
  4. Liars
  5. Loud, rude people

Friday, August 10, 2007

Demand a Dream Life

I've been a lot busy the past few days, hence no postings. (Does anyone else feel like you are missing something when you can't post!?) I seem to be all of the map right now so I thought one of my favorite quotes/excerpts was apropos. I can't think anything bigger than this right now...:-(

Demand a Dream Life

"Women who live the life of their dreams don't get their by being dainty and darling. They demand what they want and do what they wan and do what it takes to make it happen. That could mean breaking a few rule, a few hearts and a few habits along the way, especially the habit of apologizing for who you are."
From A Goddess Is A Girl Best Friend by Laurie Sue Brockway

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Preschool Wait-Listed!

In DC there is a shortage of daycare/preschool facilities. Mothers search frantically for a spot for their little ones and pay upwards of $200 to be placed on wait lists 1-2 years before they actually need them. This child business is a racket...they have us by the balls...well, I don't have any of those but you get the point! They know we are going to pay...it's the basic principal of supply vs. demand.

Today, I was at my local CVS and passed one of the preschools (Takoma Children's School) I really like and thought I would stop by to hear what their advice was to me with my pending adoption. It was pretty simple: "get on the list, we have a wait list of over 100 parents and we even have mothers trying to conceive now that are on the list for two years from now." Wow...I think I'll fill out my application soon to make sure I get my daughter a spot! The daycare center is only five minutes from my home. It's very diverse and I have always been impressed with the way the children interact. Of course it is DC and nothing is inexpensive here but what do you do? The school costs $936/$1198/$1242 for 3/4/5 full days respectively. How much does preschool cost in your neck of the woods? Whew...Thinking of all of the expenses reminds me of how I felt when I singed the papers for my house...SCARED!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dear Blogdom:

After a long week I seem to always have questions or challenges on the weekends. So, I thought that on Sundays I would pose a question to the "Blogdom" for you all to solve (I have faith in you). Today is the first one.

Dear Blogdom:

When I first started down this road of adoption I was so excited and I thought that my friends would be just as excited for me. Don't get me wrong most of them are but then there are the few that are sidewalk observers and then they wonder why we haven't spoken in a while. When I try to speak to them and tell them about the adoption they don't show much interest. I have very close friends who have never been to my blog and someone even said to me today "I didn't know you were adopting from Ethiopia." I almost fell off of my seat because we are supposedly very good friends but she has taken zero interest in my adoption. My feelings have been very hurt. She said she figured I would tell her about it when I wanted to. WHAT???? I tell everyone I can...I tell the grocery clerk, the drive through person at Wendy's...trust me everyone knows about my "pregnancy."

In all fairness, I did catch her up today after she said she didn't know I was adopting from Ethiopia and she has never been to my blog...I've sent her my blog address several times after she said that comment to me before. In this new phase of my life I am creating I am fighting so hard for the life that I want and deserve but I am also hurt by some of my friends ambivalence towards my adoption...did any of you have similar situations? Oh great blogdom what should I do?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Me...The Great Gatsby?

Thanks to Chou-Chou I took another test. This time the test showed I am like The Great Gatsby? Read below then I'll give my opinion.



You're The Great Gatsby!

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Having grown up in immense wealth and privilege, the world is truly at
your doorstep. Instead of reveling in this life of luxury, however, you spend most of
your time mooning over a failed romance. The object of your affection is all but
worthless--a frivolous liar--but it matters not to you. You can paint any image of the
past you want and make it seem real. If you were a color of fishing boat light, you
would be green.

Take the Book Quiz
at the
Blue Pyramid.

Is this test true? I was raised by a single mother in a fun, but no nonsense Caribbean household. There was no wealth there. Privilege.? My family did and still does call me the Prima Dona, I'm a tad spoiled. My mother says I deserve every bit of this for/from my daughter. LOL I've always believed the world can be mine which is why I am a serial entrepreneur. Now this is the funny part. If you remember my posting from a few days ago Now That's Growth it was about my ex-boyfriend. I did spend many YEARS "mooning" over him and I'm pretty good at painting those (pick one) images but he isn't a liar! LOL Green is a great color isn't it. LOL Sighhhhhhhhhh

Friday, August 3, 2007

Adopt This

Here in the bliss of my adoption I do have thoughts of what if she doesn't like me? I didn't always like my mother (did any of us? Funny how it works out, she is my ultimate friend now!) but I was stuck with her and I didn't have any other reason to resent her besides the fact that she made the terrible decision to make "that" man my father. She always told me that it was a great decision (him) because she got me out of the deal even if he was never around after the fact...anyway I digress, I'll leave that for another blog (this is great therapy!) I also think what if she is angry with me for taking her from her country or what if she doesn't think I did enough to help her country or what if...what if...what if...sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. Then I usually just get a migraine, take a pill and a nap!

When I started down the adoption path I talked with everyone I knew who was adopted (I have several friends and family members) but I was still a little hesitant. So I started reading books but that seemed so edited. I wanted to hear the truth. My friends told me but I wanted more. This has always been my problem, my mother says I never know when enough is enough!

Thanks to one of the blogs that I view, they have two links to very real adoptee blogs.
Letters to a Birthmother is by an adoptive mother whose file was recently opened up of their adopted child. Adopt This: Confessions Of An Ambivalent Adoptee...well, enough said. If anyone else has found any other adoptee blogs that are interesting please share particularly if they are by African American children or adults.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Adoption Photography

I know I said I was not going to blog during "work" hours but I was on a conference call and I was multi-tasking. These days that involves reading blogs. Anyhoo I came across a great find. An organization called Celebrating Adoption provides a sitting and picture when you bring your baby home. How awesome is that? A professional picture to capture your special moment. For me the operative word is free because after $20K all of those special moments will have to be digital!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My New Motto

When I was on vacation in LaLa Land last month I had a great conversation with Nicole (one of my closest friend's). We talked about college and simply about how great life is. I asked her what would make her life the ultimate and I explained to her what would make my life the ultimate, in the end we both wanted the same things. I wanted more freedom and to be allowed to live the life I always wanted and dreamed of. However she said it best. She said when she was growing up she told her mother that when she grew up she wanted to live her life like she was on vacation all of the time. I said wow! That's it. I asked her if I could "steal that quote." Since we were friends she said "sure!"

So, If you ever come to my house don't be surprised...I'm learning how to live my dreams while on vacation in the comfort of my own home!

"Live Life Like Your On Vacation All The Time!" Think about it...