Marlowe and her sweetness and her little needs….a few changes for now

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I posted a while back about bonding and attachment. An online friend reminded me of it and it was a timely reminder actually. If you missed it, here is the link. It is a pretty blunt reminder and request to our friends and family to understand and respect the boundaries of attaching. Feel free to use it, share with others, etc. Sometimes this kind of request and explanation comes better from someone else. “Yeah. Hey grandma. I know you have waited, but you can’t actually hold the baby yet.” Ouch.

http://thesweetfamilylife.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/a-letter-for-the-family-and-friends-of-those-adopting-a-little-one/

Having said that, Marlowe is doing beautifully. Surprisingly so. Thus, the need for hard core cocooning is unnecessary. I had planned to do that with her if necessary, but she has done well.

In fact, it is like having a little Elis Rey all over again. Same experience. And now, same drawbacks. With Elis Rey it took longer to recognize. This time? It took 3 out of 5 days.

You see, Marlowe has attached (or not HAS, but IS, as it is an ongoing process) to me pretty well. She prefers me over all others, seeks me out, comes to me and understands simple comments and commands…she is also doing well with the other members of our family and is social and fun. She has started to recognize the additional people in our daily lives. Elis Rey did the same thing after a couple of weeks. And then Elis Rey went from good nights’ rests to waking up a few times a night, not wanting to go to bed, etc. We couldn’t figure it out. Marlowe has started the same thing, and this time we get it. Now.

Five out of the last 5 days she has had time with people and stimulation other than her immediate family. But three of those she has been held, happily, by other people. Now, I allow it because she still happily focuses on me, has her needs like food, diaper changes, clothing, etc all met by me. But she is social, playful and smiley and truly enjoys interaction with others. And on the 3 of those days she has fought sleep, woken up repeatedly at night, had tummy issues, etc.

And sadly that means the extra holding and snuggling by non-immediate family members has to stop.

For now.

We need to kick it back a notch. Because she is unhappy? Nervous? Scared? Nope. Heck, she LOVES a whole lot of other people already. Chase’s buddies Sophia and Kira, a few of my buddies, Uncle Andrew who is a part time extra dad…she does great.

But somewhere in her little subconscious her primal loss kicks in, and her body responds at rest time with anxiety because she is processing things in ways her mind is not recognizing. She will push through it. She will be fine. She will get to be snuggly with others soon enough, I am certain of it. In the meantime, family and friends, give me a little grace and trust that I DO know what I am doing, and that for now, it is the 6 of us who can hold her for a while only. We have a lifetime, so don’t worry. :) You can squeeze her again, soon enough….

a hard post to write to the adoption community, and to waiting children…

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This was a tough one for the adoption side of my world. Before you read this, IF YOU ARE WAITING, know that things can change at any time. Know that I don’t WANT any of you to hurt because of this. Know that I was not looking to be right, and there is no joy in sharing this. Know also, that I gave a LOT of thought before I decided to share it, but that I had to because first, I need to be honest, and second it DOES affect people waiting.

Some of you may recall that, a few months back, we hosted the Director and other delegates from the CCCWA in our home. We spent about 4 hours together. The time was meant for them to see an adoptive family in action, and to interact with them personally. That’s what we did. At the end of that visit, you do what do when visiting someone from far away, “Sure. When you come to town let me know. We would love to see you again.” Was it sincere? Yup. But there is always a “token” sort of gesture in that. So when the CCCWA Director told us to let him know when we came to China for our new daughter so that sure, maybe we could get together, we assumed it was a bit of lip service. Heck, even our agency owner was like, “that’s very nice but don’t expect anything.”

So we didn’t.

But we were wrong.

Two days before leaving we gave our agency owner the update on our dates. We only had two small, very small, windows during which we could visit the office of the CCCWA. Well, Director Li chose one. Thus, on the return side of our trip, the day before leaving for the States, we would be visiting the offices.

Our time together was delightful. It was our whole family, along with our guide. We saw several of the delegates, along with his interpreter, the Assistant Director, an official photographer, etc. We did the formal gift exchange. We sat at the conference table. We talked.

Or mostly, he talked. He asked my kids questions about what they liked best about China, to which they all gave a resounding vote for the food, with “getting baby Marlowe” as a close second. He asked us what we had done in China, where we had gone, and our experience of the adoptive process. We shared very openly. He then really looked at Marlowe, and started speaking. He asked about her health, her adjustment, her attachment. Wonderful questions from a man in charge who could be very removed from the process because he is at the top of the administrative level. But his care and concern for the baby came through very clearly. I was quite touched, and moved to tears almost by his sincere joy at our family’s happiness and the health and wellbeing of my daughter.

Then he spoke for a while.

Several times his interpreter looked at him sharply, hesitating before translating his comments. Then our interpreter would look at them and then at us. He was, well, very very open about the intention of China, the focus on the adoption process and where it is now going, and even made implications about its goal.

He was passionate and focused. And I was both happy and sad, sad and happy.

Those of us in the realm of the adoption community have of course seen all the signs for this, at least those willing to acknowledge it. There is an acute shortage of girls in China. There is a lightening up of the one child policy. Domestic adoption is on the rise. There are changes happening, and we have been watching it happen for a couple of years. Then very early this year we watched the referral numbers change. It affected us. No agencies would own or discuss it. In fact, some promoted against it. Why? Because the Chinese adoption process is inconstant at best, and always changing. But some things you can see….just like the slowdown and the eventual end of the non special needs process….if you look carefully, and are open, you could see it. The girl files?? They were not coming in. And the majority of girl files coming in? Special focus with far greater needs.

A lot of debate has gone on about this. At first, I would participate. People needed to be prepared!! But then I realized some did not want to. Or some were hopeful! Or some, well, who knows….but I stopped. Anyone looking at and studying the numbers, the referrals, etc could see the change. So I have known this for 7-8 months. BUT.

Having it confirmed, well, that I was not expecting. And like I said, that makes me both happy and sad.

The fact is, and this is paraphrased but stayed pretty true as we even recorded part of it, “China wants to keeps its girls. We need our girls. We have let too many of them go. Our children in general. We are still for now adopting children out. But these will only be the girls, well, the children, who have great medical needs. America is very good about this. You have many doctors and many people to help these children. Your families will love these children. Some agencies work very hard to place these children and we are glad to have them find homes. But your daughter was very lucky. She is quite healthy. She would be in China right now.”

There was more, and like I said that is a paraphrase, although very close to the reality of what was said. I was pretty shocked. To hear these things get said so openly in a country and with an organization not exactly known for its “openness” with its clients and with families….this was shocking to me. Ken was floored. As the Director spoke to someone for a moment, Ken leaned over and said, “Um, he is saying that they are going to be stopping adoptions????” That is even how he heard it. Me? I heard that adoptions will continue. But it will be the greater medical needs for all children eventually, with that happening right now for girls. And eventually, who knows…

When we were dossier to China (DTC) and then logged in (LID), we had been told to expect a very quick match. That was literally however when it happened. The slowdown. Our MCC was actually pretty broad. We were open to multiple needs, all minor to moderate. And it had been on file at that point for over 20 months. It took another 4 months….unheard even a few months before this….to wait so long for this many needs…

That has remained.

Yes, a few “healthier” girl files still come in. But what before were “mild to moderate” needs are now considered healthy girls, with files being given to the folks still waiting in the NSN line. And a few more slip through here and there. But the numbers don’t lie.

The problem?

Some agencies do.

Choosing an agency moving forward as this process changes, yet again, is going to be vital. There are agencies literally saying they are getting the minor needs files in when others don’t get them. This is just not happening. And current traveling families are sadly discovering this.

For the record I am going to say something very important. And for this I may get skewered. The fact is, I am happy. I am happy we are not getting these files. The fact is these are NOT our children. They are China’s sons and daughters. We have been beyond blessed that she, China, has shared her children with us. But we are not entitled to them. We are not owed any kinds of files. We are not owed any rights.

Do I disagree with things still going on in China? How and why there is such a huge increase in domestic adoption? Some of the issues surrounding it all? Yes. I do still disagree and I do still struggle. But I know my place. And that is to respect and understand that China has a right to her own children and that staying with birth families or in birth communities where these beautiful children will never lose site of their ethnicity, heritage, culture…..that is what is best.

But Leah, what about saving the orphans?

***commence the skewering***we were never told to save anyone. We were told to care for the widows and the orphans. We were told to care FOR THE LEAST OF THESE. To care for someone or something means to wish the best for him, for her, for them, and to give to the needs without an expectation of “ownership” as some would imply with adoption (falsely of course). Caring for the least of these does not mean adopting them, or if we took those Bible verses in context and properly we would be giving homes to the widows, homes to newly released felons, homes to the homeless. But instead we meet this one with the added convenience of building our families. We should not adopt because we are called to save an orphan. We should adopt if we are called to a child for our family. Yes, I am a woman of faith. Yes, I believe I was “called” to adopt my daughters. But not to save them. I am a greedy woman and I want a large family and right now there are needs across the globe for children and homes. It happens to match up. That’s it. I, we, people of faith, whatever, are NEVER told to save anyone. Only one guy in the entire history of the world was told to do that, and I assure you it ain’t you or me. I was CALLED to grow my family through this process. But I am additionally called to care for orphans by sponsorship, donating to medical orphanages, helping maintain birth families when possible. I am also called to give and serve the homeless. To provide opportunity for those without it. Resources. Gifts. Prayer. And more. I believe adoption is an absolutely wonderful way to build a family. But it is indeed born out of loss and we can not ever forget that, nor can we rely on the need to save anyone. Not our job, not our calling, and never ever, EVER was. So to not have that loss in the first place is almost always better, and that is what is starting to happen and for that? We should rejoice.

Consider that this is NOT ABOUT US. I don’t say this casually. “Yes you are Leah. You just came home with your daughter.” No. I don’t. Why? Because I said it before I got my referral. Before I had my match. While I waited, crying at night, knowing the matches were few and far between because the greater needs are NOT something my family can manage based on where we live, family dynamics, and more. We have our girl now, and she is perfect for us. Your child is somewhere, perfect for you too. He or she just might look very different than you envision.

I have delayed posting this because I think of two women in particular, for whom I care very much, waiting and waiting and WAITING. And oh my gosh the wait is beyond brutal….for those not in it…you can not even imagine. I have also delayed because I wanted to share everything with the owner of my agency. They are aware….have seen it but have of course been hopeful. Moving forward will look different, maybe not now, but soon enough. If your agency is telling you differently, you need to reconsider some things, or ask some tough questions. Because yes, this is accurate. Yes, this was the discussion. It IS hard for me….China and I have a complicated relationship. There are things I don’t discuss (amazing right??) because they belong to my kids ONLY. Our first adoption….different than this one. So I love China. I am also very wary of the country as well. But China will always be beautiful to me. China made my family complete. Whole. Final. And I will ALWAYS be grateful and respect her for that. But I want things changed for the better, for the children. And that means some of us will hurt in all of this. But isn’t that our goal? The children? If we focus on this part, then everything else will be ok. It will. Cling to that.

for those in the midst of great loss or pain of any kind…the waves and wind still know His name….a brief post

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i know so much hurt right now. friends. family. neighbors. love. so much brokenness and grief and uncertainty. a friend just posted this song to my Facebook page and its beauty and simplicity speaks incredibly profoundly. take a moment to listen, and consider in your life, your heart, your mind, your soul, where you need things to be well. where you need things and thoughts and hurts to heal. what do you need? where do you lack? what is broken? where is your fear? find it. acknowledge it. grasp onto it and know that in the midst of the storm there can still be peace, which seems impossible until you are the one, in the boat, rocking and threatening to be overturned and drowned in the tremendous swell.

so let go my soul and trust in Him…so let go my soul and trust in Him…so let go my soul and trust in Him….the waves and wind still know His name.

It is well. With my Soul. It is well. With my Soul. It is Well. With my Soul. It is well, it is well, with my Soul. Through it all my eyes are on you. Through it all, it is well.

What an amazing song. Click link, press play, close your eyes, and rest in these words.

want prayer? message me. i am on it.

midnight musings on marriage, or lack thereof….

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I finally got out of bed.

My mind has been dwelling on a friend of mine with whom I need to check in. Marital rough, really rough patch. They have been together a long time…well over 20 years. And they are separated right now. Lives, priorities, finances, all the big stuff surely.

And I get it.

At what point is it giving up? At what point is it self preservation? At what point is it ok to say “no one has hugged me in almost 4 months?” When did it go from some tough times, to lonely as the absolute daily standard? When do you forget why your favorite song was your favorite, or maybe worse, to hear it and feel nothing? Or maybe not nothing, but total complete and utter emptiness, which is possibly worse than nothing?

What exactly is it…when is it the straw and the camel and everything else? What point is reached when it finally, and truly, breaks? Is it when you start having to stage those precious family moments, caught in photographs? Because you see the camera rise  up, and you want it just right? Is it when you show up without actually ever showing up? Is it when broken promises become the norm instead of the exception? Is it when someone else actually shows up in the equation? Before or after? The trust that never seems to return once lost, even for the briefest of moments?

And then, what finally does it? What despite everything else, all the despair, what finally is that point when you say no more….and it is meant. It is final. It is real. Is it when you have had your 87th conversation? And for the first 86 it has been his way, and it hasn’t worked, and she has killed herself in all the ways he needs but nothing so then maybe on the 87th, she suggests her way, and before they can even try, he says no way? Is it then?

I don’t know.

Maybe that is the night you sleep on your closet floor, cry yourself to sleep, and say, yeah. That was, indeed, the moment it ended, whether or not a paper was ever signed.

sorry for the delay….the last two spectacular days of our trip!!! (and a TON of photos!!!!)

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Ok. I know. I have delayed the final update on our amazing adventure.

But I have been kind of busy, so please, throw me a bone on this one.

And finally, before I get to the story, I need to give you a heads up because there are a TON of photos and please forgive me but I kept most of them small simply for the sake of space and download issues. So here we go!!

Here we are from Thursday morning, during a last minute visit to Shamien Island, where we finished shopping, took photos, and where I experienced the whole squatty potty….

shamien pics!!

shamien pics!!

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Last Thursday afternoon, exactly 1 week ago from RIGHT NOW, we were packing to leave Guangzhou. Jocelyn, our guide, would be arriving very soon with our new daughter’s passport and visa. We took our awesome group photos and said goodbye.

final family photo in Guangzhou!!

final family photo in Guangzhou!!

The awesomest group!!!

The awesomest group!!!

As soon as she got there we loaded up the van and grove to the GZ airport. Jocelyn did her best to work our way onto an earlier flight. in the US, if the comparable seats you purchased are open, they will typically just let you go, maybe with a 50 buck change fee. In China? It would have cost 3,000 to leave one hour earlier. So we passed.

That ended up being for the best because we got to the lounge, had a snack, and boarded. Ken was thrilled because on the flight was a flier…this is the first route in China that had wifi on the plane!! It did not work, sadly, and his enthusiasm was somewhat diminished but hey….they were trying. Also, here is the video of the girls in the awesome airport luggage carriers.

3 hours later we landed in Beijing, beyond exhausted. After a 45 minute drive to the hotel, we got checked in and the kids were tucked into bed by 12:30 a.m. Me? I was arranging, organizing, and strategizing for the marathon next two days. After a final plan with the concierge for transportation, I went to bed around 2.

Here is our fresh photo from the start of the day….

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We were supposed to be at breakfast at 7:30 and in the van by 8. Breakfast was scarfed at the speed of light at 7:59 and we were on the road at 8:30. Oh well….luckily not a long drive. We ended up at some offices where we had some wonderful times sharing and learning about the Chinese adoption process. I won’t go more into that but here is one photo.

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After this we had a pretty amazing experience. We were able to visit the foster home where Marlowe spent the last 6 months. Our time there was beyond precious, as well as bittersweet. Here are some photos from that wonderful visit.

Marlowe and her special ayi!!

Marlowe and her special ayi!!

Hadley blowing bubbles for some of the babies!!

Hadley blowing bubbles for some of the babies!!

the amazing babies and nannies at the foster home

the amazing babies and nannies at the foster home

We were hoping to then visit China Little Flower but sadly it was too late in the day and we would have hit major Beijing traffic before the first day of the Autumn Moon Festival, not to mention the kids were beyond wiped from exhaustion. So back to the hotel where the sitter Kristan got a massage and Ken and I met up for a final couples massage before our intense plans for the next day…..and for some reason I could not sleep. Slept very little, in fact, and ended up writing my heart. But that is another story.

Instead, we woke the kids at 5:30 and ordered basket breakfasts. 6 a.m. (Ok 6:22 sorry) saw us boarding the van for the drive to the Great Wall. It opened at 7:30 (does a wall ever actually open???) so we were going to be the first ones there.

We parked at 7:21. Yeah, we made record time. Why?? We had my favorite van/race car driver. Mrs. Li, the guide, was with us yet again. She was very sweet and helpful and knew pretty much everything about every location in all of Beijing. However, by the end of the day, she came close to getting a mama bear beatdown….but I digress. Everyone visited the potty (except Leah and her iron bladder) and Mrs. Li got the tickets. We started walking. And walking. Ken was huffing and puffing like the wolf. I was laughing my *&^&^% off because there were these crazy Subway sub shop restaurant ads literally EVERYWHERE. By the end, I was like, “And this is the Great Wall. Standing for over 1700 years. Impermeable. brought to you by Subway, where footlong meatball subs are 2.99 every Monday, all day!!” It just seemed so out of place. Oh well.

After a bit of a hike/march we arrived at the cable cars that would bring us to the summit area of the Mutianyu Great Wall section. Most folks go elsewhere, closer to Beijing. We went further because of the toboggan option. Go big or go home, right?? Well, it was cool because we were, indeed, the first riders/hikers of the day. The cable car operator gave us much pomp and circumstance and presented us with a special car…the one Bill Clinton rode in 2008.

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Ken, a die hard republican, rode the next car. Me?? I had no issue. Granted, the guy was a total horn dog and a complete perv but he was a good president and did good things for education, special education especially, balanced the budget….didn’t bother me. (next time though, Bill, when your wife is president, please just keep it in your pants. not voting for her, but yeah she will win, so just take a few years off buddy, ok? please? for the sake of her, your, and the country’s dignity??? thanks.)

Ahem. Anyway.

We had an absolute blast. For those who don’t know, the Great Wall of China is a magnificent example of engineering, human ingenuity, and sweat that was built over several generations and dynasties. Fantastic. We walked the “down” section and it was a solid workout. Not just steps…but like, one step is a 3 inch drop. The next one is a 9 inch drop. Carrying a sleeping baby in an ergo on my chest made it perilous. Additionally, Chase had no other shoes so I gave her my sneakers. Thus I must take a moment to give a shout out to Tory Burch. My silver sandals handled the terrain well, and they survived a rigorous workout as opposed to a casual lunch suburban mom typical use. So kuddos. Having said that, it is not something I would recommend. We walked from guard station 14 to station 6, and there I left the remaining family and took the chairlift back down while they sped down on toboggans. Yes, UBER cool. Sadly, there was a hysterical, like, majorly hysterical, Chinese lady ahead of them who went at a snail’s pace while still screaming and crying. It is not like it is a surprise to be going downhill lady. Sheesh. Oh well.

The kids, even my 4 year old loved it. To be honest, after spending all this time driving or being driven on the streets of Beijing, which are FAR more dangerous and harrowing than this little sled ride, I am surprised she had such a tear jerking, hysterical reaction. But maybe she swallowed a bug?? Anyway, here are two of my favorite shots….

the fam on the Great Wall!!

the fam on the Great Wall!!

and daddy, passed out after his exertions...

and daddy, passed out after his exertions…

Oh and here is where we had a bit of a snafu with the guide. Yes, there were steep spots. And yes, I was carrying a baby on my chest. And yes, our sitter looks young  – poor girl we (not me actually) teased her all trip about being 14 – but is MORE capable than most people I know. However, when hitting a rough spot, or steep patch, Mrs Li would insist on grabbing someone. Hadley is 10 1/2 and has more balance. Chase held Kristan’s hand. Kincaid and Elis Rey would hold Kenny. But midway through, before a steep (like a 14 inch step) step, Mrs. Li would grab and pick up Elis Rey to carry her down the two times Ken was not quick enough to take a hand. I was literally YELLING at her to put my daughter down. That she was fine. That Ken could do it. She ignored me completely.

Now. I am sorry. But no. Do NOT think I am ok with a small woman, I don’t know, picking up my 40 pound girlie to carry her down a bunch of uneven perilous steps. NOT cool. Heck, grab me. After this one, as we walked, I explained to her she was NOT to pick up my kid again. She didn’t. Grrr……Sorry, but I trust my 230 pound muscle bound (ok, mostly) second degree black belt in karate husband to carry my kid more than a 60 year old 80 pound lady who was no doubt strong but no. Sorry.

Otherwise, she was great. Hahaha.

After this we hit the road, Ken all nervous we would not make our 5 p.m. flight. It was 10:30. We cruised into the hotel by 11:30, and the sitter took the kids for lunch while I packed like a madwoman. 3 suitcases there, and 3 back baby. Yes, I am gloating. 7 people, 2 1/2 weeks, new clothes with almost no repeats every day. And 3 suitcases. Yes, please kiss my ring and ask me the secrets of the universe….hahahaha….then we hit Beijing airport and after literally 5 security checks (and man, they go all DEEP in there…crevices and everything. felt like i should have gotten a nice dinner after all that but whatever…) boarded the plane and headed home. I tortured my kids to keep them as awake as possible, and after landing in Detroit and making it through the speediest customs process ever, we welcomed our new little American citizen and caught the final flight home where a party awaited.

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Welcome home, baby girl.

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funny things kids say….lunch with Marlowe at my kids’ school and I wish I had made a video.

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This was so awesome. Out of the mouths of babes, you know?? They just ask. No assumptions. No prejudice. No ugliness. Just sheer curiosity and loving ignorance. Classic. Anyway, I went to the kids’ school to have lunch with them. I sat with each one at their tables for a few minutes. And of course, little kiddos all around said the best things, and asked the craziest questions. Here are a few I can remember!!!

1.) “What does she speak?” “Nothing really. She is a baby.” “But if she could talk more it would be Chinese right?” “Well, a little maybe but because she is young,well, whatever…she is learning quickly.” “No. All of a sudden, when she starts to talk, it will all be in Chinese cause she is Chinese. You better learn it, lady.” Hahaha. The lady part really got me.

2.) “Her eyes are so cute. But they are not the same as Elis Rey’s. They look different than hers.” “Well, different people have different eyes.” “Yeah, but they are SISTERS!!!”

3.) “This is your new baby?” “Yup.” “Why doesn’t she have freckles all over like you?” “Because not everyone has freckles.” “I know. My mom has freckles and my dad doesn’t. She even has freckles on her butt.” “That’s good to know, but you probably should not tell people about the details of your mom’s bottom.” “My dad says he likes the freckles on her butt. He always tries to pinch them off, cause he told me he is trying to steal some.” “Well they will be married for a long time.” “That’s what my mom says. Hey. Is this baby Chinese????”

4.) Kid, staring at baby. Then staring at me. “She is adopted like Elis Rey, right?” “Yup.” “But she doesn’t look like Elis Rey.” “Nope. We all look different.” “Not twins. They aren’t all different. My uncles are twins. They look the same.” “Good point. But those uncles share blood and DNA. Elis Rey and Marlowe don’t. But they do share a mommy and a daddy and the same brothers and sister, which is even better I think.” “What is Dumb A??” another kid interrupts, “Dumb is not a nice word. and it just means you can’t speak, like what we just learned about Helen Killer.” Sigh.

5.) “Is she adopted?” “Yup.” “I have a sister.” “Oh that is nice.” “Not really. I don’t like her at all.” “That’s too bad.” “Hey, can you adopt her?” “Who?” “My sister.” “Um, no.” “But why? I will give you my fruit gushers if you do!” “Well, I will talk to your mom about it but I don’t think she will agree. Still, maybe bring in a pudding snack pack tomorrow and we can work a deal. I really like pudding snack packs.” “Cool!!!!!”

little Marlowe’s thoughts on her new family and life….and yes, like with Elis Rey, I am skilled at baby ESP

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If you were around when we met Elis Rey, you may recall my post on her thoughts on her new family. For a quick funny recap, here it is….

http://thesweetfamilylife.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/elis-reys-thoughts-on-her-new-family-i-am-skilled-at-esp/

And although we have been home for only half a week, yes, I have become skilled at deciphering my daughter’s thoughts on her new world and family. So, here are Deep Thoughts, by Marlowe Sweet

1.) “Ok. I really like taking warm baths. And this baby massage….quite relaxing. The bike rides? Quite refreshing. Is this my new family or is this an extended spa treatment? Can someone get a facial here please??”

2.) “Upon much reflection and despite repeated attempts by my mom, like my sister, I must insist that macaroni and cheese is simply not a preferred meal time option. I quite preferred mother’s pesto and provolone roasted vegetable panini on sourdough. That was delicious.”

3.) “With every wave of my fingers, all of these strangers go crazy over me. Seriously. It an’t rocket science people. I did not invent the wheel. But I smile and wave my hand and everyone goes nuts. You people need a hobby.”

4.) “What’s with these kids?? In China, I had them all at my beck and call. Now we get here, and they all leave. Every day. Not cool. I like having minions.”

5.) “Walking?? Who needs to walk? All I do is utter one whimper and everyone comes running to pick me up. Then again, as per number 4, not as many people are around right now. Thinking I should post on monster.com and get some new minions.”

6.) “Kincaid makes me crazy. He has obviously never heard of personal space. At this point, I cry when he comes near me. He looks like a white, human version of Jaws.”

7.) “Carseats suck.”