Sunday, January 22, 2012


The time has come to make a change; not one that I expected at this point in our lives but one that we now feel is necessary. 

We are having Marc's mother move into our home.

Marc's dad passed away over two years ago and it was a huge blow to my mother in law, who had only known life in their home or the one that she grew up in.  She had never been alone and the last few years she had become my father in law's full time caregiver.  He had advanced diabetes that ate away at his body until his demise. 

I knew that losing him would be huge...where would her purpose in life come from?  She had no social, creative or work outlets at all.  Al was her only purpose!

Over the course of the following year or so, she had some additional setbacks and then the final blow...the loss of her baby brother Howard.  Howard was the her touchstone and the person that she had continual contact with every day of her life.  After his sudden passing, we began to see her slip further into sadness and depression.  We asked her to sell her home and move closer but she would not agree.  We felt so powerless.  She lives about an hour north of us and with both of us working and with all of our other responsibilities, it became very problematic to get to her as much as she needed.  To further complicate matters, she does not drive at all.  

We would bring her to us for a few days at a time to visit and she always seemed to perk up around the DD but once back in  her own surroundings she backslid again.

Finally, a few months ago, she agreed to place her villa up for sale!!  We were thrilled and I began the process of trying to market it for a quick sale in a down market.  A couple of months and a few offers later, the right offer came in and she signed.  We immediately set about the task of finding her a condo close to our home and we were successful almost immediately!  We found a beautiful apartment in a condominium with lots of amenities and transportation to doctors and shopping.  Since we would only be 3 miles away, we could run back and forth to visit and help much more.  A offer was made and after some negotiation I was able to get the contract executed.  All seemed rosy for awhile but then....well, not so much!

Over the course of the next few weeks and as we prepared for the move, I began to see signs of her depression worsening and the loss of weight on her already extremely petite frame was shocking.  The final straw came when we went up to see her about a week ago.  There was no way to deny it...this move was too much for her to handle.

That evening I approached Marc and explored the idea of having her move in with us.  I think he was relieved that I came to him with the idea.  I don't think that he wanted to rock my world any more than it has been rocked lately and so he had tried to avoid this decision.  There was no way that either of us could deny the fact that she would need to move in with us.  We agreed that it would be the best for her and that it was the only way that we would see her make a come back from all of this loss.

We approached her with this idea and she very thankfully and wholeheartedly agreed.  We discussed some of the logistics, including where she would stay (the kids Playroom) and some of the parameters of this new living arrangement.  She perked up immediately.
Today, we went up to see her.  We need to finalize everything and do some errands for her.  We made the decision a final one and have decided to cancel the purchase which was contingent on her sale.  Thankfully, the sale has been delayed for a bit due to some other issues so this is still possible.

I am a bit nervous about this huge life change for our family.  The DD are besides themselves with happiness.  They would much rather have a grandparent living with them then to have a playroom.  They are happily making plans for the big day when she moves in.

I am happy that we can offer her a new lease on life but am am quite honestly a little rocked about the loss of privacy and another voice in my home.  My mother in law is not prone to interfering but no matter what, there will be adjustments; on all of our parts.

I know in my heart that we are doing the right thing and that everything else will fall into place.  There is a quote that I remember hearing some time back and it really fits here:

"To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there."

I know that I cannot live my life any other way.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Should I or Shouldn't I?

This is the question that I ask myself every time I see a family that looks similar to ours (Caucasian parents with an Asian child)  and I want to reach out to that family.  Should I discreetly inquire about their child or not?  I would never approach a parent in front of a child who was old enough to understand me but if they are away from the child or the child is a baby, I usually try to provoke some conversation.  I have a couple of motives for making the connection.  The first one is that I am the founder of the local FCC chapter in South Florida and I like to share the fact that we have this amazing support system in place, in case they may be interested.  The second motive is purely selfish.  I just want to reach out to another family that was formed in a similar fashion to mine...period.

Marc and I always joke that there should be a secret hand sign that us China adoptive mamas can use...a secret sign that only we know, so we can make a connection if both parties are willing!  I know...seems a bit weird but quite honestly, it would have helped today so that I could have avoided making a total ass out of myself with a CAM (China Adopt Mama).  This CAM was nearby as Marc and I were having a child free day at the beach.  She was by the ocean with her daughter when Marc saw her and joked to me once again, we needed a signal.  I watched her and her adorable daughter and wondered if she was from South Florida or was a tourist.  They played for a few minutes and then the mom left her daughter's side and walked towards was my chance!!

As she strolled by where we were sitting and was not in ear shot of her daughter, I said hello to her and asked her if her daughter was from China.  She nodded yes and then I told her that we have two children who were born in China.  She then averted her eyes from mine, turned and quickly walked away from me.  For whatever her reasons were, she was not at all interested in discussing the common denominator between us. 

Personally, I just don't get it because I am super open and would never handle it the way that she did.  My kids have known that they were from China long before they could even understand the meaning of the words and they are very comfortable with that fact.  I am not sure if she is not discussing this very obvious fact with her daughter yet, even though she seemed to be about the same age as my kiddos, or she just did not like the fact that a stranger approached her about her family.

I totally respect whatever the reasons were.  We are all different and I respect those differences but about AWKWARD.....I totally needed  that secret signal today!!

Anyone up for making up a CAM signal? 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy 2012 and No Resolutions For Me!

I am not sure what it is about resolutions and why so many of us have such a hard time keeping them.  I like to think I have staying power but my beginning of the year resolve weakens over time, I let it slide and then I have once again set myself up for disappointment...publicly!

I have been thinking about this subject quite a bit as we passed from 11 into 12.  The bottom line for me seems to be that I do much better when I am quiet about what I am about to accomplish.  I have reached quite a few of what seemed to be almost insurmountable goals in the past, by quietly and steadfastly moving forward until they were attained.

I do have goals for myself again this year and I am going to leave it at that...they are goals and they are mine; mine to quietly and steadfastly accomplish and there will be no public proclamations about them.

I will let you know how I did at the end of the year.

PS:  My wish for you all this new year; May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions! 

Happy and successful 2012!