Saturday, October 29, 2005


Yesterday was my birthday. I wasn't feeling exactly celebratory after the news from the day before, but it ended up being really nice. I'm trying to think positive here--it's not a normal state of affairs for me. :) Last year I had to have shots on my birthday, and the year before the entire county of San Diego was engulfed in flames and choking black smoke that made it look and smell like the apocalypse had passed through, so I suppose this year, even with bad (and even worse: nebulously bad) news, already started out as an improvement. :)

It was a gorgeous day, and Synthia had rescheduled some work commitments so she could take me to lunch, bless her heart. We ate outside at the Napa Valley Grille in Horton Plaza, which was lovely. She gave me an awesome-looking biography of Jane Austen and a card that included an article her mother had sent from "The Jewish Week" in which I am quoted! (The reporter interviewed me at the Catskills Conference this summer, but I'd never seen the resulting piece.) We had time for a smidge of shopping afterwards, and I bought the fleecy bed jacket, in baby blue, that I'd been wanting for TV and reading snuggling purposes.

I dashed over to the YMCA, where I taught my NIA class to the usual small Friday crowd. I kind of embarrassed myself by responding to a new member saying she was from Lithuania with "Lithuania....(long pause) that?" N0w she no doubt thinks I'm a total moron whose thought process doesn't extend beyond commanding people to shake their tushies around, but so it must be. :) After the class left, I had the delightful surprise of Grace, Julianna, and J's friend Julia running into the room with a bouquet of flowers and an energy-replenishing granola bar for thoughtful! Next I headed to Beth's for my annual birthday massage, and it was wonderful, as always. When I got home, Lindsey had surprised me with some stunning tulips, and my diaper bag had arrived from Land's End (little twinge of a hangover from yesterday when I saw that, but it is really nice) and David followed quickly with yet more flowers--the house smells like a florist this morning! :) We went to dinner at a new restaurant I've been craving, and it was delicious, though by the time I'd noshed my way through tempura green beans with wasabi sauce, French Onion soup and a good portion of David's Caeser salad, I literally took one bite of my chicken and had to push it away. The apricot Bellini was delish, though--you better believe I finished that. ;)

When 2005 began, I fully expected to have met Jarrah by my birthday, and later I felt certain I would have her picture and know I was on the way to meeting her. But that's not what happened. Hopefully someday this will all just be part of a satisfying saga with various twists and turns for added drama. :)

"F" is for "Flexibility"

An emotional couple of days, kicked off by the following e-mail from CCAI on October 27:

Dear April 2005 LID families,

CCAI would like to direct your attention to our website as we have updated the information this morning. Again, we have learned that the CCAA is only working on the remainder of the March LID families. As you may know, all of our CCAI families with a March LID were matched on October 4, 2005. At this time, we are unsure if any April LID families will be matched in this group. We know that everyone is eagerly awaiting news on their babies and we promise to keep you informed as we know more. We understand that this is a very difficult time and our hearts go out to our families as we wait together for news about your children! Please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime!

At first we didn't really know what to make of it. But with the resulting lamentation issuing from the "DTC" boards for April LIDs, more feedback was posted from CCAI (our agency in Denver.) Apparently CCAI is anticipating (they are "75 percent sure"--why must the stats that affect us be so high when they *don't* involve IVF success rates?) they will--FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER--not receive any referrals this month. That's right, all of April will be skipped, amidst vague rumors that CCAA (in Beijing) needs to finish with some March people (all of CCAI's March folks are already matched.) What this means, in all likelihood, is that we will not get any news about Jarrah until late November or even early December, and that we won't travel (gasp) until late January or even early February! Someone said, "it's as if you were pregnant with a due date in late October, and suddenly your OB announced, "Whoops, that was a miscalculation. We're pushing you back a month. Try to relax and enjoy this time." (!!!)

Of course, my sense of victimization is running rampant at the moment. I keep saying that this "unprecedented" development is the "rhino ass" of China adoption. (For those not initiated into the wonders of progesterone injections, "rhino ass" is a "rare" condition in which one's rump reacts to daily shots of progesterone in sesame oil by becoming mottled with raised, hard lumps--of course, not only did I have a massive case of rhino ass, I also had hives on top of that, and the whole mess took *six months* to go away.) Basically, I'm in a place where it seems that whatever could possibly go wrong on the path to starting a family will, even if it's "unprecedented."

And I shed some tears, too, that morning, after several hours of a numb, fragile, wide-eyed feeling that I couldn't quite interpret. After a few conversations with my stalwart pals, however, everything erupted to the surface: once again I was having "unexplained" infertility--"We're sorry. It looked so good, you were right on track, but something happened. We don't know what. You're welcome to try again."

It didn't help that that Thursday morning was ghastly in other ways. I arrived at Costco to purchase new tires before the doors opened, and was first in line. As the gal behind me was being quoted a 30 minute wait time, I was informed that my card had expired and I needed to visit guest services. Five minutes later, new card in hand (inexplicably sporting a photo in which I appear to have no teeth) I returned, and the wait was now 1 hour and 30 minutes. I walked over to IKEA and wanly purchased some colorful plastic baby bowls, cups and plates, with a tiny voice in my head repeating "What's the point? Where's the fire?" On my way out, I stopped at the restroom, and was attempting to pee when the door was flung open and the flinger screamed at the top of her lungs, like an opera singer seeing a mouse in her kitchen. "You almost gave me a heart attack!" she bellowed, as I desperately tried to finish without wetting myself. Umm, who walked in on WHOM here??? Smarting with the indignation of mortality, I returned to Costco, where I bought a gross of Kirkland baby wipes (again, "What's the point? What the hell am I going to do with these?") until it was time to go get my car. Five minutes later, I was cruising up a high-speed stretch of Friars Road when the steering wheel started jumping under my hands. The front driver's side of the car seemed to be rattling up and down. Then the mysterious clunking sounds started. I called David. "Pull over!" he commanded, but I turned around and made it back to the tire place without dying. And did I receive any conciliation for my pains? Any soothing apologies for my fright? Not in the slightest. I spent nearly an hour trying to convince three different men that my car was frightening me, while they all looked at me with expressions that read "Paranoid much?" Someone was finally persuaded to actually drive the car and then another session of wheedling led to re-balancing the tires. Finally a guy came through the door with my keys. "Here you go. By the way, the tires were totally wrong." "Wrong?" I chirped. "Yeah, I think they installed them with the wrong size cone. They were barely hanging on. Good thing you came back." HELLLO! And the car, in fact, was driving like a completely different car when I left, traumatized, starving, and shvitzing like crazy in my head-to-toe velour ensemble on a day that turned out to be like 80 degrees. David said, "Well, the day has to get better now, right?"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Glider Expo

Samantha was going to comment on these great shots for a glider purchasing experience, but she has been busy with the rest of the blog. So it was about time I added some text. These pictures were at the end of a 3 hour marathon where all of us selected the mandatory glider rocker (see earlier post on this.) We got a little punchy by the end of it -- at least we had comfortable seating.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


The shower, of course, was amazing. I was smiling so hard my face hurt. Beth's place (and Daniel's, too) were lit up with candles, Chinese lanterns in the trees, and decorative kites and parasols. I love that it was a baby shower but the first thing people saw when they came in the gate was a big sign that said "BAR" with an arrow pointing down the steps. And what a bar it was! On a deck overlooking a tranquil pond full of koi, Daniel made the most amazing pomegranate martinis with sugared rims, and the koi swam up to look at us in the hope we had something we might throw to them. It seemed like everyone I knew was there, and it reminded me of our wedding! Mary brought incredible cupcakes but I took my eyes off of mine for a minute and someone ate it. :) The food was wonderful, lots of noodles and gyozas and spring rolls and Grace's amazing berry cobbler. It felt like so much love coming our way. All four Coopers helping out--Bryan was so cute the way he gathered people for each event. I called Lindsey "Vanna" when she held the basket of Chinatown goodies (fans, Buddhas, etc) for the raffle prizes. We held off on opening gifts for a long time because I didn't want it to end! And then the gifts were incredible, so sweet and generous. Some of the cards made me cry. Outfits for Jarrah so cute that I want to wear them. Afterwards Mary and Paul loaded all the loot into their van and drove it to our house--so thoughtful. Now I love looking in there and seeing all the colorful bags and tufts of pastel tissue, and then once more running my hands over the chamois blankies and the delicious velour and fleece jackets and onesies and the tiny soft shoes with fruit and ladybugs on them! Jarrah is going to be one fashionable little girl.

So much gratitude and love to everyone who helped make this possible for us. Jarrah has so many honorary uncles and aunties.

This week feels like we are revving up to something. No official referral news yet, but I've made the e-mail list to send out those first photos as soon as we get them. I went to the dentist and that was a relief (it's scary to change dentists, but it was time.) I also had my Hepatitus A & B shots. It's amazing how they hurt less than a mosquito bite after the dozens I've had in my belly and ass. Later today we'll go to BRU and get some practical stuff like a stroller and a baby carrier. It's so weird to think that we'll need to install the car seat soon, and set up her booster chair, and kit out the crib, and baby-proof everything. So many things will have to be in place before we leave. And then we'll be in China, and the house will have a quiet expectancy, ready for a baby who will change everything.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Days of Awe

Tomorrow is our shower. I'm so nervous! I know that doesn't make much sense but it feels like I'm playing Ophelia without knowing the lines; you know, the whole analogy of doing something I haven't rehearsed for. It just doesn't feel real. Maybe if I were pregnant it would feel real.

David's parents are visiting right now. We went to see "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" tonight. That Wallace and Gromit. They slay me.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur. David and I joined a new synagogue this year: Dor Hadash. It's Reconstructionist, which is what I've decided I am. When we were driving there on Rosh Hashanah, David asked if I was going to know anyone and I gave him a look like "Do you think I know every Jew in San Diego?" Then the joke was on me because we'd been there about 30 seconds when I heard "Samantha!" and it was Evan from Muir Writing, whom I haven't seen in eight years. Then he started to introduce me to Felicia, who recognized me from Synthia's latke party four or five years ago. The congregation is shockingly small after the cavernous hotel ballroom atmosphere of University Synagogue. It's cozy, but it will take a bit of adjusting. It seemed like a good sign when we saw a couple with their Chinese daughter. I watched her playing in the aisle yesterday when the fast was almost over; I was bleary with low blood sugar but I smiled at her and tried to play peek-a-boo. She had a great smile.

Reason No. 853 why my life is weirder than other people's:

Today I had a facial at Indigo to get myself pretty for the big day. Afterwards, I absently pulled out my Carmex while the receptionist girly-girl was finding my bill. My lips were dry after all that steam. (Actually, all my facial mucous membranes were feeling dry, but I resisted the impulse to shove some up my nose, too.) The girly-girl, who'd been perfectly nice up to now, suddenly spotted the tell-tale yellow pot and narrowed her eyes, looking for all the world like she owned stock in Blistex and said, "You DO realize that Carmex is filled with fiberglass, don't you?" "Fiberglass?" I repeated thickly. "Yes." Her eyes were still narrow. My Carmex-covered finger hovered in mid-air. "Have you ever wondered why you feel the need to put it on again and again?" "Yes," I said, still thick with facial-head. "But I figured it was a lip balm issue." "No, it's not." Now she actually sounded mad. "It's completely addictive. Terrible stuff. I would never use it." Something was flickering in my foggy head and I held up the pot and peered at it. "Lanolin." I read to her. "Petrolatum. Cocoa Butter. Menthol. Camphor." "Well, those are the ingredients that MAKE fiberglass," she said dismissively. "But," I pleaded weakly, "it doesn't say fiberglass." I doggedly repeated it two or three more times, since she continued to slander my beloved yellow pot for another couple of minutes while we waited for my credit card. What I should have said was, "Missy, you're talking to someone with a 20 year habit here. You're going to have to do better than that." As I was leaving, she seemed to regret her vehemence and tried to mollify me: "Maybe I should check my facts a bit more." "You've got me pretty concerned now!" I said, almost convincing myself, "we're considering blowing some fiberglass into our attic; I don't want it on my lips!"

Later, when I told my MIL this story, she said, "And who's to say fiberglass is addictive anyway?" Who indeed? ;)

Reason No. 854 why my life is weirder than other people's:

Today I was performing cheese-removal surgery on my veggie sandwich in a cafe when I felt a presence at my elbow. I looked up. "Here." A woman I had noticed only out of the corner of my eye as I came in, who had been seated across the room from me, was dangling a paper napkin from her finger tips. I stared at it, darted my eyes to the stack of napkins on my table without meaning to, and chirped "Oh!" in a sort of ineffectual way, followed by "Thank you!"

"Sorry," she said with a rueful laugh, "I thought you needed one."

Of course, this would only have been a really good story if she had dangled the napkin in front of me and asked menacingly, "You do know these things are filled with fiberglass?"