Aug 162011

I’m at the beach in Delaware with Craig and the kids. I promised myself I wouldn’t write this week . . . that I’d leave the computer in its bag on the floor and spend all of my time staring at my kids and husband. I make this promise to myself sometimes, and then a few days later I start twitching and remember that for me, writing isn’t voluntary. And that my kids and husband want me to write, whether they know it or not. A few weeks ago, Chase found me on the computer and whined, “Mom, you are always writing.” I smiled and thought, that’s becausealways writing is better than always drinking. Count your blessings, sweetheart.

I’m very, very upset today. It’s been a wonderful vacation, until today. We came to the beach with such hope. We found out last week that our African country accepted our adoption application. Sister called to tell me that miracle of miracles they approved us! We were shocked and confused, because we had given up hope. When I heard the news, I felt hope and love beckoning me again. Like Zora Neal Hurston said, “Love makes the soul crawl out from its hiding place.” Craig and I had been hiding inside our resignation and hopelessness . . . and the approval news had us sneaking back out in the open and feeling the sun shine again.

But now we have learned more. I can’t give you all the details, but I’ll just tell you this much. Our country has changed its mind about how they feel about international adoption. They do not want to adopt their babies out any longer. So they have told us that while we are approved, unless we are matched with a baby within four months, our file will be closed and our chance at adoption will be over. Since there are over one hundred families waiting before us, and there seem to be a few adoptions completed per month, it’s not looking good. Actually, it’s looking impossible.

I feel like I crawled out of my hiding place and stretched out in the sun just long enough to get run over by a bus.

Hope can make you feel so stupid. So naïve. So annoying. I feel annoying. I am always bugging everyone I know with this adoption hope and then I have to say . . . just joking, again. I am Jim Carrey. Africa is the hot redhead.

You guys, I just feel very close to a breaking point. Like today, when I got this second wave of news, I immediately felt like having forty million vodka cranberries. I really did. I don’t usually have that reaction anymore, but I did today. I just felt so desperate to get myself out from under the weight of this adoption by escaping somehow. I felt so, so sad and angry about how hard and confusing life is, and how small and weak and powerless I am turning out to be.

I just wanted to either fix all of it or forget all of it.

I didn’t though. I didn’t have forty million vodkas. I didn’t even have one. So I guess that’s something.

You know what I did?

To help myself through this hard day, I asked Craig to take the kids to a movie, I got myself a huge glass of ice water with lots of lemon, and I sat down at my computer to write to you. To talk to you. To get it out and tell the truth and try to find some breathing room.

It’s working. A little. I feel a little better. I’m still going to need a long bath and then the couch and dozens of Twizzlers as soon as I’m done writing, but still. I’m proud of myself for finding this coping strategy that helps. We all need strategies that don’t hurt us but help us deal with our anxiety. We need those strategies. We need to know what to do when we don’t know what to do.

You know, Hope is so freaking annoying. I really hate it sometimes. I do, I can’t stand hope. It’s like that bird outside your window that starts chirping beautifully at 5 am and you want to throw a rock at it because you’re so desperate to keep sleeping. You stick your sleepy mad head out the window to shoo it away but you can’t see it. It is invisible but it Keeps. On. Chirping. Like my Emily Dickinson says, “it never stops-at-all.” Maybe she was as desperate for hope to stop chirping as I am.

I still have hope, tragically. So, I’m not sure what we’ll do. Maybe we’ll throw in the African towel and begin a domestic adoption. That sounds equal parts wonderful and awful. Starting over . . . again. WOW.

Or. . . as it’s been suggested to me numerous times . . . maybe I’m supposed to accept that adoption isn’t working for us. Maybe I’m supposed to accept that adoption is not in our family’s “plan.” Is acceptance what God wants from me? Or does He want me to keep trying??? What does God want from me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

God is so dang confusing. I mean Jesus, Jesus.

Anyway. Thank you for listening, reading, what have you. What would I do without you?

In other news…Tish got mad today and screamed, “NOONE’S ON MY SIDE!!!!” And Chase yelled from his bedroom, “NATIONWIDE IS.” 

So that was good.


Aug 172011
Just wanted you to know . . . we’re okay today. We’re good. We feel loved and watched over and cared for. We’re soaking in our new circumstances along with the sun and the sand and the squeals of our babies and the ocean air.

We’re facing these waves together.

Dodging them, riding them, letting them take us under. Coming back up for air just in time.

And we’re laughing. Stilllll laughing.
We are holding each other up and the sea is holding us together.
That’s how it works, I think.

Thanks for being our Tribe, Monkees.
Love, G, C, Lil C, T and A.

Aug 182011

I love to read – anything and everything onto which I can get my smurf-sized hands.

In real life we tend to stay on the surface of things, but in books and lyrics I am assured that many others have the same tumultuous inner life that I do. In this way, books and songs are like friends who always have time to talk- they help me connect and feel less alone in my spastic little head.

They also make me more compassionate. I read the stories of other’s struggles and I find it a little easier to love the world after finishing each one. If only each of us had a biography we could distribute – we’d all be so much gentler with each other if everyone’s history was required reading. It’s why you are so kind to me here– because you know my story. But everyone has a story with at least as much joy and loss and love as mine. I think about it all the time – as I look around at people and imagine their stories- the state of their hearts – what they’ve overcome. I just want to stand up at restaurants sometimes and applaud wildly and yell – “BRAVO! TO ALL OF US! LOOK AT US, MAKING IT THROUGH THIS WILD, DIFFICULT LIFE! WE ARE STILL STANDING, DRESSING OURSELVES, BREATHING! BRAVO!”

Craig discourages this though, so whatever.

I also love discovering through reading that my spiritual journey…the one that I’m hoping is leading me towards becoming more loving, more forgiving, more whole . . . is the exact same journey that so many others are walking. We all have the same discoveries and insights and thoughts about ourselves and other people along the way. All of us who are struggling to see things and people clearly . . . we all learn the exact same things in different ways – because Truth is Truth. It’s like we seekers . . . we each walk different paths but end up in the same field . . . a big old green field with wooden signs that say –

We Belong To Each Other, We Can Do Hard Things, LOVE WINS.

I love writers who don’t bother trying to teach me anything new . . . but gently remind me of things I already know. Who show me, through their own stories, what life is teaching them. I read recently…if it’s true, it ain’t new. And so I love writers who tell stories that nudge me towards the same old Truths and illuminate them in brilliant new ways. These writers invite me to sink into them like a worn sofa and make heart LEAP and swell and break and mend.

Rachel Naomi Remen is one of those writers. She is more than a writer . . . she is a healer. And her latest book, “My Grandfather’s Blessings” made my heart sing and purr and skip and finally enlarge to near exploding.

Which is why My Grandfather’s Blessings is our new HERMIT CRAB BOOK CLUB pick.

Go get it friends . . . pretty please. Monkees of all spiritual faiths (or none at all) will find something in this book to love. This one’s going to fill us with hope and peace and ease us right into the crispness and coziness and insanity of fall.

As always, if you can’t find it at the library and don’t have the money for it right now – shoot me an email and I’ll have it sent to your door. Gotta have this one, ladies.

Love You,


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