Saturday, May 25, 2013

BS of America

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!  Hope you're enjoying the great weather (if you have it) and starting off your summer right.

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"...Groucho Marx

While a lot of America is busy fawning over the Boy Scouts for repealing their ban on gay kids who want to join, I'm not impressed.  I'm glad the kids are welcome now, don't get me wrong.  Kicking out a teenager because for having the courage to admit who he is to himself and others isn't in line with the Boy Scout credo.  He shouldn't be kicked out, he should get a merit badge for bravery, honor, and truthfulness. Since Bear, Wolf, and Bobcat are already taken maybe it could be a Bee.

Imagine sewing this on your chest.
No, the problem I have is with still banning adults as Scout Leaders. The underlying truth around the debate isn't about being "morally straight" or living your life according to Boy Scout rules, it's about molesting children.  That's the real reason gay men are not welcome, because of the fear that they will sexually molest the kids.  It's like we all have merit badges in pedophilia.  The truth is, the majority of child predators are not gay men.  Are some of them gay?  Absolutely.  But abusing children, boy or girl, is not "gay".  In fact, most abusers are straight in every other aspect of their lives.  The Boy Scouts have a history of covering up their molestation scandals going back over fifty years, and this has been the subject of a lawsuit or two.  It's no surprise that the majority of Boy Scout groups are sponsored by religious organizations who have threatened to pull their support if gays are allowed to join.
Which would be a shame after all the work they put
into their ultra straight image
While it's true I have a daughter and not a son, how do you let your kid join the scouts when you can't participate as well?  I guess you have to explain that while you've spent all your time as a parent teaching your child about the value of families and that discrimination against anyone is wrong you then have to figure out how to tell him why you can't be a Cub Scout leader.  That will be a fun conversation he should write down so he can reliably repeat it to his therapist later in life.
Gays don't want to change the Boy Scouts any more then they want to change the Church when it comes to getting married.  In fact gay men have a lot in common with the Boy Scouts already.  For instance, the colored hankies...
Bruce Springsteen, eat your heart out.
Camping out in the woods...
Lions and tigers and bears...Oh My!

And of course our love of the flag...
And of smiling
I was a Cub Scout back in the day.  I don't remember a lot of what we did; I know we made a lot of candles.  We kept dipping strings in pots of melted wax.  It took forever to make one candle.  No wonder the Scentsy people charge so much.  I guess it prepared us for something.  I wasn't really that into it and I stopped after two years.  That was when they said they were changing our name from Cub Scout to Webelo, and I felt it was just too ironic to stay.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back of the Future

"Daddy, why are you putting machines in our house?"
"I'm not putting machines in our house; this is the pump for your fish tank's filter and I'm cleaning it.".
"What does it do?"
"It cleans your fish tank."
"And does it protect us in case robots come?"
"Uh, yes, it cleans fish tanks and protects us from robots."
"OK great job Daddy!"

Instead of mundane tasks like cleaning fish tanks and preparing for the coming robot invasion, I should be spending this week helping my husband recover from his third back surgery in a dozen years.  The first two were related to disc herniation; this one will be for spinal stenosis.  Gregg has suffered from chronic back pain for years, and as much as he doesn't want to have this procedure done, it's really the only option left.  The surgery was originally scheduled for this past Friday, but was cancelled last minute due to blood pressure issues.  It will occur in the next two to three weeks as long as all goes well.  As much as we both wanted to get it over with, there are a few events that are happening this month Gregg really wanted to attend and now he'll get to do so. 

The first was Sabrina's "graduation" from Starfish to Seal at Swimming School.  She's really doing great there, and that makes us feel good.  As I wrote in one post a while back, Arizona has a terrible record for child drownings, and good swimming skills can be a life saver.

The second was a coming home party some friends hosting for the adoption of their second child.  She's a beautiful little girl, and we're so happy to see our friends complete their family.  Hopefully, we won't be far behind.  While Sabrina is used to swimming with us or her grandparents, this was the first time she was allowed to be in the pool by herself.  It was great to be able to sit there and watch her jump in and swim with her friend Kaitlyn, also four, and see them both put their skills to the test.  (Admission: I did take my phone out of my pocket just in case I needed to jump in.  I knew I wouldn't have to, but...)

So instead of a weekend of recovery, it was one of family and fun.  And not, thankfully, ruined by an invading army of robots.

Enjoying a robot free afternoon

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


When it comes to our adoption website, we get many contacts but we get few contacts.  What I mean by that is there are three types of emails we've been getting: Legitimate contacts by women thinking of adoption for their unborn children, Scams where people are just wanting money, and scams from people who have nothing better to do then, well, scam.

We got this message from a woman named "Candy Cane":

hello there i am a young mother who has found that i can no longer take care of my baby girl and need help to find her a good home the only thing is she is 11 months old if you think you can help and if you would like maybe we can talk about me giving you a new baby as well email me back thank you and god bless
We don't even bother to respond to these types of messages anymore.  At first glance the first part doesn't seem so bad, until you get to the end and see that not only can she make your dream of being a parent come true right now with no waiting, but don't put that checkbook away there's more!  We can talk about another new baby as well.  Now I don't know if she just wants money or just to get people's hopes up, but we've seen this email about 20 times between both adoptions.  Think the "Nigerian Lottery" scam is annoying in your inbox?  We've gotten emails from Nigeria where they just change the words "lottery winnings" to "newborn baby".  We passed on helping two sets of orphaned twins get out of Russia with "little to no paperwork or hassle". 

We have spoken to a few people we think are legit; they didn't work out.  We are speaking to someone now, but it doesn't seem like it's really going anywhere.  That's OK.  When it happens it will happen.  If it doesn't, well we'll get through that as well.

Scammers are sometimes pretty good at what they do, and I've heard stories of people getting strung out by them for weeks or months.  In one case I know of they actually met and only found out later the woman was not even pregnant.  You have to be able to keep your guard up, and your heart locked away.

I think, just as the last time, when we connect with someone we'll know it's right somehow.  We'll know because we'll build a relationship, foster a committment, and if all goes right, expand our family and hers.  And we won't need to go to Nigeria or Russia. 

Just in case Russia is an option

Friday, May 3, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

Hello?  Is this thing on?

A little dusty in here.  It's been a while since I've posted.  I haven't been in much of a sharing mood I guess.  Some of you have emailed to encourage me to start back up again and I think I may be ready now.  I can't just sit down and write a post to write a post; I have to want to share that energy and use Blogger as an outlet to do that.  And I have to feel that need.  Admittedly I have what's known in medical terms as "a big mouth" so to keep it closed for almost a year is definitely an anomaly for me.  But you can all take your lives off "hold" now, I'm back to fill your heads with much needed knowledge.

Problem is, when you've been out for almost a year, how do you start back up again?  No one wants to read a post that goes on forever to catch up on events.  I toyed with posting "First some stuff happened, followed by some events, and also more stuff" but that seemed a little brief.  Being from Long Island and raised on Billy Joel, I asked myself, "WWBJD?".  I decided crashing my car into a light post wasn't a good idea, so I went with the second option of compressing the last year into verse.  So here are the topics I would have blogged about if I felt like blogging all of the last year.

If you want to avoid an ear worm, stop reading now!  Otherwise, the official musical accompaniment to this entry is Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire". Don't say I didn't warn you.

Home study is done again,

Paperwork and checks are in,

Web site’s new,

Pictures too,

Waitin’s what we hafta do.

California’s ocean blue,

Visit Mom and sisters too,

Adoptive Dads,

Birth family’s glad

Best reunion that we’ve had!

Tight tee shirts in hurricanes,

Vanderbuilt’s mom’s maiden name

Cooper’s gay,

What the hey,

Who didn’t know it anyway?

Growing up in little bites,

You can tell by what she likes,

Elmo’s out,

Mickey’s in,

Jake and pirate brethren.

Court fights with Obamacare,

Tea Party shouts “Hey not fair”,

But it’s a sin,

When Doc’s missin’

In the greatest land that’s ever been.

15 years for B and G,

How, well that’s a mystery,

I love you babe,

Perhaps someday,

We’ll do it in a legal way.

Waiting can be kinda rough,

Contacts have been pretty tough,

Adoption scams,

Breaking plans,

Gritting teeth and wringing hands.

Came home sad and hugged the kid,

Awful what a mad man did,

Kiss her face,

Keep her safe,

Make the world a better place.

Santa really big this year,

Filling us with Christmas cheer,

Had a blast,

But it will pass,

How long will the magic last?

Now the girl is turning four,

Not a baby anymore,

Phonics rules,

Learning tools,

Doing great in swimming school.

A year and we are waiting still,

Contacts almost down to nil,

It’s taking long,

We go on,

New baby hurry come along.

There.  You're all caught up now.