Sunday, July 27, 2008

Meet Rye!

With all the craziness that has been ruling my life lately I totally forgot to mention a very important new member of our household: Rye.

After Maraya passed we knew that our home wasn't complete without the maximum number of cats allowed in our apartment (which happens to be 2). With Maraya gone, Minty seemed really subdued, which was surprising since a) she is a bundle of energy usually, and b) she & Maraya were not friends (Maraya didn't like cats). So, we thought getting a kitten would bring some new energy in the house, and also give some companionship to Mints.

Dh had agreed that we could get a kitten after we came back from Mendocino, since we really didn't want to get a new cat & then leave it alone. I was on board, but then I started doing the dumbest thing possible. I started looking at It was there that I saw this picture,

and I knew that I had to have him. I was wanting another Siamese mix, because Minty's personality is so likable, and her dominant traits are very Siamese-like (vocal, friendly, independent, boisterous, also she plays fetch & that's also a Siamese trait). So, I started looking at pets in our zip code, and then kept expanding, and expanding, and expanding, until I came across Rye, who was 120 miles away...

I e-mailed his foster mom at 10:00 pm to see if he was still available. Yep, but they were bringing him to Petco in the morning to be displayed with the other foster cats. Well, looking at the site, I could tell that Rye was the absolute cutest cat they had & he would be snatched up immediately. So, I had just a few hours to convince my dh to agree to this "whim" of mine. It took all night, with a lot of pleading & crying, & general emotional manipulation on my part. Which I've apologized for. Profusely. His resistance wasn't to getting a cat, but that we had the remaining chairs to our dining room set to be delivered the next morning, plus the drive was excessive & expensive, plus we were two weeks away from Mendocino.

So, the next morning we drove up to Sacramento & met Rye & he was the sweetest, lightest little thing. When you hold him he just goes limp, and gazes into your eyes. He's so cute!

He definitely had a week of adjusting (lots of whining (we called him Little Whimps), no eye contact with us, was only interested in Minty (who saw his distress & took to completely mothering him, even letting him nurse to help calm him down)) but he's now a fun member of the family. He's really gentle and playful. When I took him to the vet the vet tech told me I "had the best kitten ever!" Aw, words to make a mom proud!
You can see more pics here: Rye & Minty Gallery, but here's a couple of teasers:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Technical update

Eh, I thought I could edit comments before they were posted. Meaning if you put your e-mail address in a comment I could take it out before posting. Nope - I was wrong. So, if you'd like your comment posted, but you'd also like to send me a note with your e-mail address, just send two comments & I'll post the one without the e-mail address. Sorry I'm/Blogger is so lame.  

Adoption orientation last night

I normally don't blog from work, but I really wanted to share my experiences with the domestic adoption orientation we went to yesterday before I forget any of the details.

We arrived way early, much earlier than I thought we would be since we had to go about 50 miles in rush hour traffic. Luckily there were two of us so we could carpool-lane it most of the way.

We sat around a horseshoe-shaped conference table and briefly introduced ourselves. Well, some of us were brief. Others rambled on a bit, but for the most part really great questions were asked. I was so nervous for my dh. He's very shy, and I don't even know if knew what he was doing there. So the whole time while I was listening to others speak I was silently wondering what my dh would say. But then I introduced myself, said a couple of words, and then it was my dh's turn... and the coordinator just moved on to the rest of the orientation. So all my worry was for nothing, but, um , why was he skipped? I think the others had just taken up so much time, and I had mentioned his name in my introduction and waved toward his direction when introducing ourselves, so it must have just seemed like I was doing the talking for both of us. Which I wasn't. Really.

Most of the information was already on their website (which I've read every single page), so it was probably a better orientation for my dh to attend than me, but I got quite a bit out of it. I feel a real connection to this agency, and I'm pretty sure that if this is the route we'll take, then this is the agency for us.

Somethings I liked:
-They have been in business for over 20 years and are part of a larger faith-based service organization (Jewish) which serves a lot of different facets of the community.

-Unless you do some digging, you would not know that they are part of a faith-based organization. This is very important to us because neither of us are religious at all. So many other agencies I saw were so heavy-handed with their religion that I felt intimidated and turned-off. I feared that potential birthparents would only be looking for people with similar religious beliefs, and we would not be the right family. Plus, we're a mixed ethnicity couple, and honestly, I don't feel that we fit in with the other agencies. With this one, I feel like we bring something unique, yet we're not so glaringly "wrong" that we would not find a match.
(I want to make mention that I am in no way make a comment about other people who are religious. The majority, if not 100%, of the adoption blogs I read are written with faith as a main factor in their search & in their lives. I love the support that faith gives to those that have it.)

-The directors are social workers themselves, and have seem to have everyone's best interests in mind. They are supportive of a potential birthmom's decision to parent or to not parent, or even terminate, and will find her services to help her. There doesn't appear to be any coercion, or guilt, and that's really important to me.

-They support open adoption.

-They appear professional, but warm.

There are a ton more reasons that I like them, but those are some of the important ones. Also, their fees seem pretty low. The homestudy fee is a little higher than I've seen (it's in the $2,000.00 range), but their outreach/advertising fee is lower ($3,500.00). When I add up all the fixed costs (homestudy,advertising,placement,finalization) the amount comes to about $12,000.00. What I don't know about is how much counseling or other expenses the birthmom will need, or what legal fees will be, if any.

Again, I want to stress that we haven't decided that we are definitely going to adopt, we still need to talk quite a bit more about it, but it feels great getting all this info. My dh really gets the process now, and I'm so glad, because I have a really hard time explaining things to him (he's analytical & I'm ... um... a bit more scattered).

I'll send anyone the link to the organization if you want. Just send me a comment with your e-mail address (comments are moderated, so I'll remove your e-mail if I publish the comment!)

Ok, back to work!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Topics: Llamas,massage,Fairyland, & adoption

One post every month isn't the sign of a great blogger...but I've been sooo busy lately! Our 3rd anniversary was at the end of June. I happen to **heart** llamas, and other barnyard animals (especially sheep), so my husband very kindly allowed me to make reservations at this funky place called Lodging & Llamas in Mendocino. Our cabin, the "Water Tower":

I was hoping to go on a llama trek, but the weather was weird, and the air quality wasn't great from all the fires, so we didn't do it. Instead I got to hang out in the llama & goat corral, and tried to make friends with the llamas, which unfortunately wanted nothing to do with me. Here's an unflattering photo of me trying to make nice with one of the llamas:

The goats however were very interested:

The next weekend I flew off to Los Angeles to visit my cousin and her two little girls. While there she treated me to a Thai massage at a place that seemed a bit sketchy... I started writing about it just now, but quickly realized it would take a whole lot longer than I have (waiting for my clothes to finish washing) for me to tell the story.. I think you just had to be there!

Then my cousin drove up here, so on the weekend I spent some more time with her & the girls & we went to Fairyland in Oakland. This was the first time I had been back there since I was a little girl. My dad used to take me almost every weekend. It's changed some, but for the most part it's the same place. It was fantastic experiencing it through a child's eyes again, but the girls need to be a little older to really appreciate it (they are 1 & 3).
This past weekend I finally had time to just catch up on stuff around the house. See, no real time for blogging at all the last few weeks.

In fertility news... I haven't done much of anything except use the CBEFM (& got 2 peak days without Clomid - yay). I guess I'm in the 2ww, but I'm not really thinking about it. I don't mean that in a negative way, or even a denial, it's just I really don't expect anything to be different, especially since I'm not taking any drugs.
Tomorrow were going to an adoption orientation. It's just a fact-finding mission for us. No decision has been made, but the more information we have the better. Which brings me to my last photo. This is how the adoption books are categorized at my local B&N:

Sex Education/Adoption/Divorce & Children/Activities
Why not throw a section on llama care while you're at it, too?