Less of Paige

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Have a Charlie Brown Christmas, all.

I've been a little bah humbug this year. Knowing all the time, that, really, I just need to watch my favorite Christmas movie to remind me what Christmas is all about. I've (as usual) gotten so caught up in buying, and wrapping, and the tree, and the mess of my apartment, and, well the details that I've forgotten the bigger picture.
Linus, as usual, reminded me:

Luke 2:8-14 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord.
12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

I do not always 10o% subscribe to the very fundamental Christian beliefs I was raised with. I'm still in the middle of struggling with it all. But today, on Christmas Eve, I do remember the basis of what today and tomorrow are all about. And I remember how this resonates in me as truth.

So, whatever you believe, however you celebrate, I hope that you are able to have a quiet moment to think about what it is you believe and why. And that it brings you peace this season that is about peace but ends up being full of chaos.

In the meantime, I'll be wrapping, and baking, and giving, and visiting. And trying to keep the true meaning in the back of my mind.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Color and family

This post from American Family has had me thinking for two days now.
I didn't comment in the comments section because I don't have all the thinking worked out. So, I am working it out here.

The initial articles are a series of articles, basically about a black family attempting to adopt a white child.

I have several thoughts on this issue. I like the theme that culture and adoption are not simple matters. Because they are not. Hence all the thinking on my part.

To be fair, I will fully disclose: I am white. I have not adopted. I am a social worker. I have worked with biological families at risk of losing their children due to abuse and neglect, with adoptive families adopting primarily from other countries, with families who are adopting or have adopted through foster care, as a state foster care worker, and my current job which is brand new as a private agency therapeutic foster care social worker. That's about 2/3 of my resume, but those are the parts that apply here.

I have always been incredibly passionate about the children I work with. I left my job as a state social worker in foster care in Los Angeles because it was so hard for me that I could not properly advocate for the children in my caseload. I left my job as a social worker in intercountry adoption for many reasons, one of them being that I am at my very core passionate about the children in this country who so desperately need help. Please do not get me wrong, though: I strongly believe that children across the world have no families, are in incredible suffering, and need help of all kinds.

That all being said. The question is- could a black (we will use black, even though it is ridiculous, to avoid the African-American/Jamaican/cuban/etc etc debate) family adopt a caucasian child. They went to several domestic agencies and were finally directed to adopt internationally, from Bulgaria.

I struggle struggle struggle with this. For one thing, what then is the true motivation to adopt??? To prove a point!?!? I cannot think of anything more assinine. Then, my next question: why are they insisting on a white child? I must be very shallow because I do not understand. Is this because they saw white gay people with a "black" child? So, did they think, "let us see: Can we do the same offense to them??"

The problem is, that in this country (and for the sake of length ha ha ha I want to stick with this country), there are many, many black, or African American children who do not have homes. As there are many Caucasian, Hispanic, and a few Asian. And there are, for some reason, not enough foster families or adoptive families. There just aren't. There aren't enough period. There aren't enough "black" families for the "black" children, and so on. So, when there is a family, and there is a child, and they are a match, in the "field", the priority ends up being, can we find this child a family?

Again, please don't get me wrong. Social workers do take ethnicity and culture into account. We really, really do. We try. If there is a black child who needs a home, we will first try to locate for them a "black" family. And so on. However, the grim reality of adoption and foster care in this country is that it's just not that easy. Too many children, not enough families.

That's the bottom line, I guess, for me. Too many children, not enough families. Not enough families who are diverse. The ethniciities of the foster and adoptive families do not perfectly match the ethnicities of children in need. I'm not enough of a sociologist to comment on why that is. But, it is.

I'm not saying that for all pieces of the population who foster and adopt- whether it is a private domestic, or an intercountry adoption, or a foster care of an infant, or older children- that race, culture and ethnicity should be ignored. It should not. because it is a crucial piece of these children and families' lives. But so is having a family, for many of these children.

I know I don't make tons of sense tonight. But this provoked so much thought for me, and I have not yet brought it up with anyone I work with, and needed a place to work it out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A new day, more angst

Well. After tears and frustration, turns out my mom is stressed. If I ever want to know something about myself, usually I just have to look at my mom. Now that I'm older and know myself better, I can usually look at the weird ways I behave and translate them to her. Thanks, mom. So, the point of all this is to say, that when I am planning something I get overly anxious about details. Which is what happened with my mom. I'm not excusing, but trying desperately to understand. Because what happened yesterday? Wasn't my mom.

Also? I put my second winter jacket on today. I have a pink and a blue. Last week I wore the pink. I LOVED my pink jacket. It was long, and cute. I put it on and zipped, it felt, um, a little tight. But I tried to ignore the fact that I couldn't bend over. So then? On the way home, the zipper popped. Yes. I popped the zipper on my jacket. So this morning I decided to wear the older, blue, puffier jacket. Yeah. My arm wouldn't go in. It wasn't comfy. it doesn't fit. Not only have I grown out of all my old clothes, but also my winter jackets. So if you see me walking around in a fall/spring like fleece, that is why. Because I flat out refuse to buy new jackets. k

Every day (well, maybe not EVERY day) I learn something new about myself. I like the fact that I'm open to this, I learn good and bad things. Sometimes, honestly, I relearn things I forgot. Like today and last week. I learned that I am not so good with change *ahem*. And today something that is very important to me shifted. If imperceptable initially, it did shift. And I didn't like it. I like things that I like to Stay The Same. That makes me happy. People who hate routine? I don't get them. I like predictability and routine. It makes me happy. I feel safe that way. When it gets messed with, to use a crude phrase, I get my panties all in a bunch. Sometimes even when the change is GOOD. Like when I'm moving to a bigger apartment! Or I'm moving to a new job! Have I told you? I'm moving to a new job - I start in SIX days. I have two days left of this job. Then three days off, then my New Job!!!

That's alot for me. Changes everywhere, Christmas, being fat... I'm working very hard every day to maintain some sort of emotional stability. Some days (hours, minutes) it works better than others.

'Tis the season.

someone make it go away??? Please?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Barlarjekoapg OR

"I'm so angry", or "there's family, and then there's family", or, lastly "the difference between real compassion and compassion-when-it-suits-me".

As you can tell, I couldn't come up with a real title. So I made one up and included all the runners-up. (Runner-ups???)

You know how you have your family? You know, the one you grew up with? That saw you through the awkward stages of braces and glasses? The ones that put you in therapy? The ones that you love- sometimes cuz you want to, sometimes cuz you have to?? And then, you know how there's your other family? The family you choose, they are your closest friends. The ones that you have grown with no matter what. The ones that, in your heart of hearts, are the family that you chose?

I have both. And my chosen family, doesn't have much of the first kind of family. What they do have is very, very dysfunctional, and that's putting it mildly. So I love to spend holidays with them because they are my family. My in-laws would be fine with this. In fact, when my chosen family didn't come to Thanksgiving, I heard it from my mother-in-law like 10 times. Because she? Is full of the real kind of compassion. And love.

Christmas is at my mother's. I asked her, and then invited my chosen family. Now, I know, that she really wants them there. I know she does. What I don't get is why she's acting the way she is. She can't have dinner at the same time we always have it (between 2 and 3 pm) because my grandmother is diabetic. Apparently, we now have to eat earlier. No, snack will not cut it. Oh, and she invited my grandmother's friends. Will the children of my chosen family make it not a good day for my grandma and her friend?? No, mom, they'll be fine. My mom, she talks alot about how she wants to be a surrogate grandmother to these kids. If this is the kind of grandmother she's going to be to my children, I'll leave it, thankyouverymuch. The final straw was tonight when my mother called my best friend and more or less made her feel unwelcome. She was rude and unkind. This is the same woman who had to leave her job to teach Bible study. Do they teach compassion at the Bible study she teaches?? And you wonder why I'm slowly but surely breaking away from organized religion. *snort* Talk about practicing what you preach. Sheesh.

What broke my heart today is when my best friend said to me, "Sometimes I just feel like no one wants me. Like no one loves my kids. like I don't fit in anywhere." Don't get me wrong, I understand that family is family. But why don't we have room for more family?? Why do they act like this? When my chosen family is included with the family I didn't choose, everyone loves it and has a wonderful time. Ask to do it again. Why why why all the drama initially?

I don't want you to misunderstand. I love my mother, very much. If she does move to Kentucky, you'll see a post about how upset I am. I just wish that what she postulates is true about herself translated into the real life picture. But you know what? It doesn't sometimes. Sh talks alot about being compassionate and being a true friend, but sometimes it seems like she hasn't a clue what that looks like in real life.

It will work out. Everyone will love each other. But wounds like these leave scars, and my friend, my chosen sister, she doesn't need any more scars. All she needs is people that love her and treat her well.

Nice Christmas spirit.

Update and OMG!!

First, the OMG!! Karen, from The Naked Ovary might come here!! She did a post, that she was going to read some blogs, and asked for peoples blogs. So I left it in a comment, and if you're here, Hi, Karen!

Ok. Enough of being a weird blogging stalkerish blogger. That would just be cool.

My birthday? Was good. Except for the crying at Starbucks because I was tired, and they took a long time to get my coffee, and I thought they forgot about me, and I started thinking about how birthdays change when you get older, and there's not all the fanfare, and people have forgotten about me just like how at Starbucks they forgot about my coffee. So I cried. Then got over myself. My husband and I had a wonderful dinner at Red Lobster (we are SO high class). I got some little gifts from him- like this and this. (I don't get much for my birthday cuz he spoils me at Christmas). :) It was just a nice day, overall.

Christmas is coming!! I love Christmas. I am one of those incredibly annoying people who listens to Christmas carols before Thanksgiving. I know, I know. But I can't help it, I LOVE them. Sue me. I love the snow, and the feeling of the season. I love seeing family (ask me again after the TWO Christmases we're having how I feel about that one). I love the feeling of good cheer that prevails. You know. Like how sweet the clerks at stores are (ha ha haaaaaaaaa). I'm done with shopping (most people have stopped reading by now, what with the shopping and the carols), and I get to enjoy. The only problem is this: the tree. See, if I had my way, we'd go the day after Turkey Day and get it. And put it up. And leave it. But my husband? Nooo. That's too early. (too early??? Really?? Is there such a thing?) He likes to do it Christmas Eve. But then, what time do you have with your tree before Christmas? Sitting in the dark with just the lights on, talking. Or just looking? And feeling like you're in the Christmas spirit? So we compromise. Sort of. He just keeps putting it off until I eventually will cry and we'll go.

I am a little worried about the cat and the tree. Lots of people say their cat will leave the tree alone. My cat??? Ha ha HA. That's hilarious. This is the cat that eats string, and styrofoam, and whole wheat pitas, and oil, and butter. And everything else we leave out, edible and inedible. So, we're going to play it by ear. See how it goes. And hope and pray she doesn't tip it over. Or eat the tree. Or something.

Last but not least. I've made an executive decision, about myself. I'm not going to stress out about the weight, until New Years is done. Then, because of my (desire to have children) health and well being, I will be All. Systems. Go. :) Yes. And actually, I weighed myself last week, and was down three pounds. Very, very bizarre. And my jeans are getting loose. How? How is this happening? I'm not going to worry, because, well I'm just not. Right? I'm not.

So Karen, sorry it was so rambly and update-y. I've got some good, emotional posts from earlier. They're, um, somewhere. Meanwhile, my cat is trying to eat the elastic that's currently in my hair so I have to run. I hope you weren't too bored. ;)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy Almost Birthday to Me

In less than an hour and a half, I'll be 26 years young. That's almost THIRTY. (for those of you older than me reading this, pleasepleaseplease don't hate me. I am where I am. Always.) Thirty feels so freaking old to me. And granted, I've got four years before I get there. But still- I'm closer to thirty than I am to forty. I'm oooooooolllllllllllllllllllddddddddddddd.

Wanna know what I've gotten for my birthday so far???

~ An $800.00 car repair bill. For a new distributor. Which, according to some very. reliable. website. states is supposed to last the lifetime of the car, but hondas have had some problems with premature distributor failure. Of course.


~Lack of motivation. I don't wanna!! I wanna eat what I want. Exercise?? Are you kidding me? I'm too tired!

~A disaster of an apartment. Laundry. Groceries. More laundry. Laundry. Christmas decorations- still in boxes. jackets. blankets.

~Snoring and kitten induced insomnia. I slept last night, it was a miracle. It was the first night in like three nights that I got any sleep. My husband snores, and he's not feeling well. So he snores more and the breathe-right strips stop working. So I come to sleep on the couch. And Rory, who usually sleeps with us, comes with me. I thought she'd jump up, snuggle in, and go back to sleep. I mean, it's 1 am! Sleeping time! But noooooo- Rory thinks it's play and get into lots of shit time!! So I just didn't sleep. Several nights in a row.

~Pussy. No, not that way. Get your minds outta the gutter, already. No, my sister called today. Apparently, my nephew went to a birthday party this weekend. Him and all his friends are turning 7. (Seven!?!? omg!! Surely he's too little to be seven?!?!?) Anyways. Some little kid had the nerve to call my nephew a pussy. Made me cry at work. Because you know what? At seven, you shouldn't know that word. At seven, you shouldn't know how to use that word. At seven, no one should use that word against you. And you know what else? My nephew has enough on his plate. And even though I want to pretend that this world is a great place, I know that my nephew has a hard road ahead of him. Not everyone is kind. I just wish it didn't start so fucking soon. I'm not even his parent and all I want to do is protect him from meanness. He just- he doesn't deserve that. Shit. I'm crying again.

Anyways. Not all has been bad. :) I've also had two wonderful dinners out with friends, my mom's taking me out to lunch tomorrow, my husband and I are going out to dinner tomorrow, I've gotten some cool presents, and overall I'm incredibly happy in life (not always reflected here, but that's not exactly the point, now is it?).

ooh? You want a fun list? Ok. Things my cat have eaten thus far:
cat food.
whole wheat pitas.
sour cream and onion pringles.
peanut butter.
ice cream.

yeah. She's not actually a kitten. She's a puppy. In kitten skin. :) I love her though.

Happy Birthday to me. :)

Thursday, December 01, 2005


That last post? All over the place, I realize. But I needed to get both those things out there, so forgive me. :) And if you're a new reader, (you know, my five new readers?) bear with me. I'm not ALWAYS all over the place. Just sometimes.

Less of Paige the Attention Whore...

Yeah. Wow.
So, I whored myself out. Inadvertantly. I PROMISE I didn't know what I was doing. But I commented on Amalah and may have mentioned something about people reading my blog... so what happened?!?!? People CAME HERE. And FIVE PEOPLE made comments.
OMG. I feel so popular.
Don't worry, guys. I will keep it real. I mean, even though I had five comments yesterday, I mean, I'll still keep it real.

I don't even know what I'm talking about. Except, thanks to those of you who came, and read, and commented. That was nice. And thanks to Mrs. CA who gave me helpful hints about blogrolling. Look for one, coming soon.

My weight loss buddy and I, we were having this conversation. About, you know, losing weight and eating right and this time of year. For me it's Thanksgiving (week), then my birthday week, then Christmas (month), thenNew Years... who wants to eat healthy at any of those times? And, I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but I'm in the middle of ending one job and will be starting another soon. Me? and Limbo? We don't get along? So the eating- has been out of control. Back to the point- she writes this (well it was along the lines of this, because I can't find her exact quote):

I just want to eat and be happy.

We were lamenting weight gain and the frustration of trying to lose weight or at the very least not gain it this time of year- and then how it seems like every time of year there seems to be that excuse.

I have to tell you, especially if this isn't something you struggle with (cuz if you struggle, you already know): this is so damn hard. It's not just about: "well, if she would just eat right- it's less calories in than out. She just needs to eat right and exercise". It's very, very easy for someone who has never really had to worry about weight to say that. And it really, really pisses me off when I hear that. Partially I think because often for me eating is emotional- I eat when I'm upset, I crave comfort food when I feel off-kilter, I eat when I'm bored, if I'm not doing well I have a much harder time making good choices. See, I KNOW that it's about the choices I make. But those choices? Not so easy for me, all the time? And I just wish people realized that sometimes. When eating what you want makes you happy (and trust me, for some of us, it does) eating what you don't want or not eating what you want? Can be hard. And stressful. And tiring.

Just go easy on us. K?