Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm An Ostrich

Yesterday I had one of those moments of perfect clarity, a moment when you can see yourself for what you truly are. In that moment, I realized that I am an ostrich. A freakin' ostrich.

Last night I was listening to an Arbonne conference call. It was designed to help people build on the momentum of the new product launch at the national training conference and kick their businesses into high gear. I was excited. The new anti-aging and color lines were amazing. I want to share them. I want to be successful at this business.

So I wrote out a list of goals. Some were simple, achievable goals that I knew I could do. Others were dramatic, ambitious goals that I wasn't sure about but in the excitement of that call, I believed that I could do it. I was going to do it. I was going to move beyond my comfort zone. I was going to achieve my goals.

Notice I wrote I WAS going to do this, not I AM going to do this. Immediately after I set my pen down, I knew I wasn't going to do these things. I couldn't do them. Normally that would be it, another unfinished list. Last night was different. I started thinking about why I do this, why I am who I am.

I am stuck in a cycle of procrastination. I should do something now but I am going to put it off until later. (Like right now, I should be cleaning and getting ready for the Seder we are hosting tomorrow, instead of writing a blog post and listening to Kings Go Forth) Its the way I am. Its the way I've always been. I know this. Normally the procrastination isn't too bad. I get the things done that need to get done, eventually.

Then there are the things I should do but I don't do at all. Its not that I don't want to do them, I'm just scared or nervous. So I stick my head in the sand and pretend they don't exist. If I don't see them, if I ignore them, then they are not a problem. Until they are a problem, until that cheetah bites me on the ass and takes me down.

I can't tell you how many wonderful opportunities I have let pass me by standing with my head in the sand. I could have done something. I could have taken action. Instead, I did nothing.

Stupid ostrich.

They say realizing the problem is half the battle. Once you know the problem, you can change your behaviors. Instead of being an ostrich, I could be the cheetah. I could be a bear, or a giraffe or an elephant.

Or I could be the kind of ostrich my daughter loves. The kind of ostrich she draws constantly. The ostrich that climbs mountains. The ostrich that has a boat, that rides on sea monsters. The ostrich that jumps high into the sky, so high she can touch the stars.

I can be that kind of ostrich. I can be brave and I can be awesome.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This morning I woke up and I was sure we were going to get good news. I was sure that our agency was going to tell us we had been placed in the April travel group. I was sure we would see Lion soon.

The sun was shining. The air was warm with that early spring feel. This was going to be a good day, I just knew it.

I had toyed with the idea of going to the gym to work out. When I felt the warm air, I had other ideas. I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to go to the zoo. Perfect to spend time with my Bunny, to remember what it was like when it was just the two of us. When she was my only and I was hers alone.

As I got ready to go to the zoo for our adventure, I put on my watch, earrings and wedding ring just as I do every morning. I also grabbed a small stone from my night stand. It is round and smooth. It has the names of my children Bunny and Lion written on in. I placed the stone in my pocket as I do every morning. The stone is small enough that I don't notice it. But occasionally I will feel its weight, I will touch it when I place my hand in my pocket. The weight, the touch remind me that everything I do is for my children. It reminds me to move forward, to do what is best, to love, to laugh even when I don't want to.

Along with my stone, I took a small elastic band and placed it on my wrist. It has a silver bar with the word positivity engraved on it. This band was given to me by a friend. I am supposed to snap it when I feel a negative thought. It is supposed to break the cycle of negativity and help me focus on all the good in my life.

I have always tended to dwell on the negative. I am a glass half empty kind of girl. I don't want to be, I just am. There have been times when the negativity, the darkness threatened to swallow me. The darkness was my companion, my lover. It would whisper things in my ear, terrible things I did not want to hear. "You do not deserve to be happy. This is not for you. Just give up, you would fail anyways." I would listen and I would believe.

One day, I decided I had had enough. I began to fight the darkness, the negativity. I started to win. I saw beauty where I had only seen a void before. Things were brighter. I felt things more truly. And then my friend gave me this band. She did not know where I had been, she only knew that this would help.

I carry my rock and my band with me everywhere. They remind me of what is important. They remind me to focus on the good, on the now. The good and the now, a little girl in a riot of pinks and purples running and laughing. Just her and me, together. That is what is real.

Today, this morning, I felt all of the beauty in life. I saw only potential. I saw the positive. I will carry this morning in my heart forever.

The morning was beautiful but the afternoon had other ideas. It brought my old lover to the door with a bouquet of flowers and a smile begging for forgiveness. "Please take me back" he whispered. "I am the only one who understands you. You need me. You know you do."

The afternoon brought a phone call from our agency. I was expecting a call. I was expecting good news. I was wrong. I had thought we had passed court, that we could travel soon. I found out that the staff in Ethiopia had mistakenly informed our agency that we had passed. We had not. Our case had been postponed and postponed again. It was now scheduled for the 26th.

I felt a white hot anger rising within me. I heard the woman on the phone telling me things, things I could not comprehend. The words were just noise. My lover stood nearby, whispering in my ear "come my love, I am here for you". I was ready to give in. I was tired of fighting, tired of waiting. Good things don't happen to me. Yes, I said to the darkness. I am yours.

In that moment, when all seemed lost, I felt a blast of cold, wet air on my face. It startled me back to reality. I felt it again and again. My daughter, my true love, was sitting in my lap blowing raspberries three inches from my nose and laughing. The laughter rang out bright and true. This is what was important.

I heard the woman on the phone say we are working for you. If your case passes court, we will do everything we can to get you in to the April group. We will get you to your son as soon as possible. I thanked her for all that she was doing and I hung up.

I had received terrible. devastating news but I did not cry. I could not cry in front of Bunny. It would not solve anything. I stayed strong. I focused on her, on the here and the now. We put on our coats and ran back out into the sunshine. We laughed and played.

I did not cry.

I would not cry.

(But I did develop a rather nasty looking red welt on my wrist from snapping my positivity band)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An Ode

Imagine that electrical storms were going to wipe out the internet, perhaps for ever. After the initial panic, what would you say about the blogosphere and what it meant to you?

That question was posed by Mabel's Lables. This is my answer, in 300 words or less.

"Momma is our world underneath the sky?"

Yes sweetie.

"The our world must be big because the sky is so so big."

Yes it is a big world but you can make it much smaller.

"How can you make something big smaller momma?"

The blogosphere makes the world smaller. It doesn't matter if you are down the street or half a world away, if you have a computer, you can be linked to other people.

When we flew 7,200 miles to meet you in China, our family at home got to know you through our blog. They saw your pictures. They heard our stories. They loved you as much as we did even before they saw you in person.

When I decided to stay at home with you and be your mommy full time, I felt lonely. I was scared that I could not make new friends. So I sat down alone at my computer and told my story. But I was not alone. I found a community of people just like me, strangers all around the world who told their stories with honesty and conviction. I read their stories on my computer screen in our living room and we became connected. We became friends even though we had never met.

This community has helped to shrink the 7,900 miles that separate us from your brother. They have followed our adoption journey from the beginning. They have supported me through the good times and the bad times. They have offered advice and a shoulder to cry on. They have loved your brother, even though they have never met him.

That is how you make this big world a smaller place, sharing your story. Even if it all goes away, I will hold this community in my heart forever.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010