Monday, March 21, 2005

Waiting In The Wings

Jeff and I grew up in the performing arts. The thing about mounting a show, no matter what kind, it that it takes months of preperation, and then one day the weeks and months have slipped away and it's showtime. The performers are consumed by a nervous energy that everyone shares- it hums through their bodies and crackles in the air as they listen to the orchestra play the overture. Then the curtain rises and they stand in the wings, gripped in anxiety and anticipation- waiting for the moment they will take the stage. Your heart pounds and your ears ring, but there is no turning back...and in truth you don't want to because you know that once you're out there everything will be fine and every fiber of your being will tell you that you are alive and doing what you were meant to do. Then the moment comes, and you step on to the stage, and your performance begins.
At 11:00am PST today, the orchestra started the overture: Group 102 got "The Call" telling them that they are parents, and the name and some brief information about their daughters-to-be. This means that there is no one ahead of us anymore. We, and the rest of Group 103, are officially "on deck" - waiting in the wings for the "First Call" to tell us that China has issued a travel request for us, and therefore our referrals are on the way. This could, literally, come any day now; but probably not until after the 1st of April. Once we have that call, it's usually only a week or 10 days until the curtain goes up and we have our referral ...and finally see Tenley's face.
It is quite possible that Groups 102 & 103 will take the stage together and head for China at the end of May.
I sit here, consumed by nervous energy, awed at all I have to do...and feeling like I somehow missed dress rehersal. Ready or not, the orchestra is playing, we are in the wings, and I have a feeling that the next few weeks are going to fly by and we'll be standing on stage in China with Tenley in our arms before we know it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Like Sands Through the Hourglass

Until today, being in Group 103 meant we had time- lots of it. The garage sale could be put off until April. Tenley's room didn't need to be painted until May. Nursey furniture? Yes, I picked some out, but the nice girls at Babies R Us said i could be had in a week, so there was no rush to order it.

Until 3:30 today. Around that time, Yasmine started calling all the nice people in Group 102 to tell them that their referrals are on the way! Uh-oh. Oh no. That means that in the next week or so Group 102 will have their referrals and see their children's faces for the first time...and we will be next!!!!

Now the garage sale must happen in April. I will be heading to hardware and home improvement stores tomorrow to get paint chips for Tenley's room. I must prepare a fax for USAA giving them our updated contact info, so that when our time comes one of us can be reached.

Where did all the months go????

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Last Tuesday, Feb 22 2005, at 10:30 something at night, my aunt lost her battle with leukemia and passed away. The truth is that she had beat the leukemia because we had been blessed with a bone marrow donor, but she fought a raging battle with Graft Vs. Host disease, and in the end it was actually pneumonia (a secondary infection) that got her- which is what gets most transplant patients. Her death is actually a blessing: she required round the clock care, had brain damage from some of the drugs she was on, her physical theripists did not think she would walk again, and my cousin (her daughter) had left her husband and her life in VA to come home to care for her mother until who knows when. Being bed ridden and slightly crazy was a lousy life and I think she was tired of fighting and just wanted peace.
My cousin was the sister I always wanted and my mother never had. My aunt was my other mother. She was one of the smartest people I ever met, and was a master of the guilt trip. She loved to dance. She was a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and we're the only troop I know of who sang Broadway showtunes and hits of the 60's- because that's what she taught us. She adored rock maple furniture from the 50's and bought antique table linens to adorn it. She loved animals. She volunteered tirelessly. I could spend hours and 1,000's of digital pages to describe her and recount all the wonderful memories I have and the beautiful and selfless things she did for me and so many others.
And what I want to know now is "how am I supposed to explain to Tenley who this fabulous woman was???" I am so sorry that she didn't live long enough to see her come home. She was having so much fun planning my baby shower- Chinese food and decorations, all the shower games, and she wanted to make chocolate dipped fortune cookies for dessert. As far as she was concerned, this would be her first "grandaughter". She bought Tenley an antique chenille baby blanket and Chinese paper dolls. She was so happy and excited for me, and I am so sorry that she is gone.
I know that her spirit will live on in things that I do and say that came from her: like everytime my daughter will dramatically carry on over a hang nail or a case of the sniffles and I look at her and say "Well, it's not leukemia" - which is what she used to tell us kids as a polite way to say "Suck it up you're not really sick" (ironic that one day it was leukemia). Or the first time my child is seen wearing something hideous/questionable and I say "Tenley.....I don't believe I've seen those pants before." And I can make her bbq'd chicken, and her potato cheese casserole, and the jello dessert with the pretzel crust...but I just can't figure out how Tenley will ever know how wonderful and amazing she was....and that breaks my heart.
I loved her so much- and I never told her that enough. I don't have any words to comfort my cousin whose grief is as deep as the ocean, or my own mother who lost both of her best friends in the last year. I only know that I will miss her all the days of my life and that if I manage to be half the mother she was I'll be happy.

Sharon Anne
August 12, 1946 - February 22, 2005
I love you, and I miss you.