Sunday, December 19, 2010

It Never Rains in Southern California

This is my favorite card I've made this year. So far.
I love rain. I never thought too much about it until I moved to California, where it is a rare commodity, a Big Deal. A healer and a destroyer. It is raining and raining and raining and won't let up.  I love cranking up the heater and watching movies under the down blanket my dad gave me in college, propped up legs or neck on Steve's lap, little Cinco dog squished up beside us, sweeting snoring Lucy on her bed nearby.

I love tromping up the hill with Debbie and her dog Elsa, all of us soaked after getting a top-of-the-mountain view of Glendale in its foggy splendor, and then coming back to cut out last year's cards to make this year's Christmas cards.

I love my in-laws. They are good and sweet and kind and true. I took my mother-in-law (MiL) and, not sure exactly what you'd call the relationship but I guess also my sister-in-law, to a completely inappropriate movie today, Black Swan, which I clearly didn't research very well. As Natalie Portman descended into madness we watched scenes of sex, lesbian sex, oral sex, self-sex, imagined sex, cutting, drugs and minor violence. I sat on edge with MiL on one side, a 6-year-old boy on the other whose mother kept putting her hand over his eyes during the dirty parts. Which was about half the film. I was so worried about everyone else being uncomfortable that I probably missed about half the film. But after, the MiL was gracious and hilarious and told me a hilarious true story about a man, a locker room and a hand-dryer.

 And then we went out into the pouring rain to go home.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rum Balls

You are probably wondering where I am today. Well, I am over at Half-Assed Kitchen with my recipe for Rum Balls!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

But There's a Catch ...

When you get so deep into a process sometimes you lose sight of what it is you're doing in the first place. Friday I was working from home, intent on finishing a film with a hard deadline. I was so engrossed in the finer points of iMovie 11 I hadn't noticed that my social worker had called. Her message: "There's a baby, in Long Beach. We're showing profiles right now, so we need to know if you and Steve are interested. But there's a catch ..."

All the molecules surrounding me slowed. My body froze. My mind made frenetic laps around the weekend and the possibilities.

"But there's a catch ..."

The catch was not only that we had to decide if we wanted to be presented to the birth mother within an hour. It was also that the father has schizophrenia.

Phone calls to track down Steve at work. Separately, we both embarked on quick Internet searches to learn that this baby has a 13 percent chance of developing schizophrenia. Calls to friends much smarter than us, with advanced degrees in psychology and child development. Calls to our moms.

And separately together, we came to the same conclusion: that an hour is not enough time to make such a life-defining decision. We passed, saying prayers for a good life and a good family for this little guy who has a genetic mark against him. But who has great odds of being just perfect.

Here is what we learned: We are ready emotionally and spiritually, but we don't have a diaper in the house. We don't have a car seat or bib or tiny hat. We need these things. We need to be mobile in case our adoption comes down like this, which it very well might. We learned who the very inner circle was for this situation. We learned to wait until it is right.

This morning I had a dream. I was walking and there was a little bi-racial girl crawling along the side of the road. I picked her up, wrapped her in a blanket, and went through a labyrinth of bad apartment buildings to find her mother. When I finally saw her, I knew that she was an addict. And I handed over this sweet sweet girl, along with my card,  and said, "I know you're an addict. You won't be able to keep her. When you're ready, give her to me."

And then I woke up.