This Post Is Written At The Table, Where My Dog Is Happy

Seriously. I plopped on the couch with my laptop, ready for some relaxed blogging, and my dear darling dog who is tethered to the table absolutely could. not. stand. to have me that far away. Much chatty-style whining ensued until I could not take it one second more. This is what it has come to people – I am now putting my DOG’s needs above my own. And my husband wonders why sometimes I go on about how absolutely unappreciated I am…

It’s Thursday afternoon, but in some ways it’s like a Friday because my kids have off tomorrow for a teacher work day. Originally I wanted to plan a weekend getaway to somewhere like San Juan Island or Cannon Beach (my two favorite places on earth) but wouldn’t you know this is some kind of holiday weekend (we don’t get Monday off – go figure) and all the hotels were booked. Whatever. Fine. I don’t care. I still get to sleep in tomorrow, so HA.

But speaking of hotels … we are still ironing out the details in our trip. It seems that booking rooms for six people in Siem Reap at New Years is a bit difficult. Who knew? We are now looking at hotel number three, after the first was booked, and the second was available but wanted us to shell out mucho bucks for some big new years dinner soiree for all six of us. (Two things: One, it’s a lot of money for a dinner. Two, my introverted kids would HATE it.) I am a bit disappointed though, because hotel number two sounded very nice. And they had some awesomely mangled English on their website that totally made me laugh out loud. Well, even if we’re not staying there, I can share it with you anyway. Check it out, here’s their tagline:

A simple purpose in life, yet difficult to achieve is “Happy Living” processes, which inspire us to offer you “An everlasting memory through the happy experience”.

And here’s how they entice you to take advantage of one of their promotions:

Reserve your accommodation today with xxxx Hotel, you will get a plenty of benefit and too much saving your money.

Good news for the Family Suite deal:

Stay in Family Suite and experience the thoughtful package to care for convenience and comfortable to the parent and the children when travel together.

Uhhhh what? Isn’t google translate awesome! First I laugh out loud at these things, and then I think “And this is probably how bad I mangle Vietnamese/Cambodian when I attempt to say anything in their language!” (Especially Vietnamese. It’s a tonal language. The opportunities to screw up and say something wrong are ENDLESS. Like when your son’s Vietnamese name, pronounced correctly means “important” but pronounced incorrectly means “to go pee”. Yeah, that was awesome, saying his name and constantly wondering if he thought I was telling him to go to the bathroom. Especially in those first days when he refused to wear a pull-up or even a pair of underwear…)

Speaking of my son… I love him. And now I will do just a tad tiny bit of venting about him. The boy does not know how to entertain himself. AT ALL. I am not kidding, when Leah isn’t around, Luke just wanders the house looking forlorn, lurking in the hallways, lurking on the stairs, waiting for something amazing and wonderful to happen. But he doesn’t have that kind of mom. The kind who comes up with Fun! and Interesting! Things! To! Do! No, he has an old fashioned kind of mom that says, “Go find something to do. Play Legos. Play outside. Do SOMETHING.” I swear, it’s like the child has NO imagination AT ALL. You guys, if I have to be honest (and it’s my blog, so I do) it drives me freaking nuts. The child does not lack for toys, books, or a zillion other ways to entertain himself. And even though I got my degree in elementary ed, I am not a kindergarten teacher and I hate coming up with activities. It just ain’t going to happen. And honestly, I don’t think I should have to. The kid is nine. Shouldn’t he be able to find things to do? My other three have no problem with this, so maybe I’ve been spoiled and the way he is is normal. Is it? Do your kids need constant entertainment and direction?

Good news is, Leah gets home from badminton in about half an hour. And thankfully most of the time she is quite good at keeping him busy!

And speaking of Leah… I swear, it’s not my intention to make this an adoption-centric blog. But there’s just a lot going on with that topic these days. So I started trying to find Leah’s nanny again. We have her name and her picture, but when I tried a year or so ago, I got nowhere. I emailed the orphanage director – no response. I asked on the yahoo groups – no one knew her. Lots of dead ends. But now we’re going to be in Cambodia in just a couple of months and Luke is probably going to get to see his foster family (the agency is working on arranging it) and I know that is going to make Leah want to reunite with her nanny even more. So I went back to the lists, and I contacted a searcher. He’s been mentioned on the lists before, but not always in the most positive light. But I checked with my friend who lives in Cambodia and she recommended him, so I figured, I trust her judgement. Also, I really have no idea who else to ask. I emailed him last night. Husband asked me “Did you just make contact, or did you tell him everything?” Implication: Did you seriously just give our daughter’s personal history to a complete stranger before you have even had a two way email conversation with him? Yes, yes I did. What can I say, I don’t want to waste time. Also, truth be told, there’s really not a lot of private information to share anyway, so I don’t see the harm. But now I’m anxious to hear back from the guy to find out if he’s even willing to do the search.

Meanwhile, in asking around and talking to people, and going through all our old paperwork, a lot of memories are resurfacing, of a time that wasn’t so great. Back when we were adopting Leah and suddenly everything went KABOOM and the US embassy shut down for no reason and then re-opened but wouldn’t process any paperwork, and then only a certain facilitator’s paperwork… things got so sketch. I seriously had a conversation with the head of our agency (not the same agency we used to adopt Luke. I feel like it’s necessary to say that) and she flat out said “the embassy has gone rogue.” Rogue! Like we were in a freaking Grisham novel. And people in the Cam-adopt community starting picking sides based on agencies and facilitators and awful hurtful things were said because people were scared and defensive and being used like pawns by greedy people without knowing it. It was not a good time. And I am just a little bit worried that I’m picking at a big ol’ scab by starting this search. But it’s not about me. It’s about Leah. And at this point, almost eleven years after the fact, the trail could already be dead. But if we wait even longer… it’s just that much worse. Part of me hopes that people who felt before that they had to lie or be secretive won’t feel that way now that INS isn’t investigating and 20/20 isn’t knocking on people’s doors. And that part of me was selfishly anxious when I read that Cambodia is planning to restart their adoption system on January 1st. What if that throws everyone back into Grisham mode? The thing about Cambodia is, even when you think you’re being too paranoid, you probably aren’t. Which is, well, not all that reassuring.

This has got to be my most random post in a long long time. I went from my dog to funny english translations to my unimaginative kid to an angsty rant about doing a search. There’s really nothing I can add to this crazy romp through my brain. Also, Luke just asked me to play basketball with him. And I’m feeling guilty nice.

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4 thoughts on “This Post Is Written At The Table, Where My Dog Is Happy

  1. My comments will be as random as your post:

    Your dream weekend was probably ruined by Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s Monday and most schools are closed Tuesday.

    Are you able to see my email in my comments? If so, and if you are comfortable doing it, could you email me the information on the searcher in Cambodia? I’ve had one sputtering attempt at doing a birthmother search and want to start again.

    I know the crazy never-never-land feeling of being in Cambodia and having little support from your government – France closed adoptions while we were in country and our son had already physically and psychologically joined our family. Gah… I still get a stomach ache thinking about it.

    1. Hi Heather!
      Thanks for leaving an almost-equally random comment – I love it when friends join the conversation.
      So Canadian Thanksgiving, huh? You’d think after all these years of living just a few hours from the border I’d know that. Well, Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians! Enjoy my spot at the beach! ;p
      I’ll email you… though at this point, my attempt seems to be rather “sputtering” as well. I sense a theme.
      Were you adopting as a French citizen? You totally know what I’m talking about. It’s terrible. I really wish governments could figure out how to do things without punishing their own (completely innocent) citizens. But thank God we both got our kids home.
      Cheers!

  2. Random conversations are often the most interesting. 🙂

    I recently read about a mom who had a “I’m bored” jar and any time the child said something along those lines, i.e. you entertain me – the child got to pull a chore out of the jar. Not sure how big the chores were – I think that would be different for each child, but likely just very simple things – I suspect the child learned quite quickly how to play by themselves. I thought it could be a good method to get the kid thinking – of course I am sure some parents may go overboard with that method too. Just an idea…

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