30 October 2008

eat, shop, and be merry

Still no answer from my sw.

(eta: Oh, the power! No sooner did I publish this than my sw called! She is starting on the update and thinks that the Russian sw visit will be enough to satisfy USCIS about my move.)

Still no answer from new agency.

Sent fingerprints to Moscow via DHL. (note: That cost as much as a Fed Ex to the US...but will be faster and I now have a nifty discount card. another note: I shouldn't have bothered translating everything into Russian as we had to put it BACK into English. The DHL worker was impressed, though...and gave me the nifty card.)

So. Grumble, grumble. No news from the people who should be bringing me glad tidings of great joy. What's a girl to do when there's no joy to be tided? Make brownies and shop online.

I have all sorts of things in all sorts of sizes...but decided I needed more in Miss Possible's sizes. (Actually, a review of the closet post-spree showed I had more than I thought...but the new items aren't overkill. And I could still use pajamas...)

Today I bought the two items that I'd been putting off buying until I know sizes (coat and shoes). That was very sensible of me. Today, I didn't want to be sensible. So, I just guessed...and guess a little big. Who knows? If they are too small, we donate. If they're too big, way too big, we save them and shop some more.

[I'm still holding off on her bitty baby until I know for sure what d2b looks like (so the baby will look like her). Well, I'm holding off for now...]

Mia, ever the helpful kitty who wants in on the action, jumped up to give her approval...and attack the not-new elephant. (Beazy approved and then left when the camera appeared.) This photo was taken and posted to appease the demanding readers who want to know about the felines. You people are nuts. Lovable, but nuts. They're CATS--not people.

29 October 2008

speed bump, eta

DHS Moscow says my fingerprints were rejected. (Don't remember the exact verbige.) These were the fingerprints we submitted in JUNE.

They told me to resubmit. On the little cards.

But the consulate doesn't HAVE the little cards and told me to just print out the form.

Great. SW not answering e-mails. Wondering if we send in the update before we have the actual I171H if this will speed things up or slow things down.

Edited to add...

Do you remember Simon on Captain Kangaroo? (Well you know my name is Simon, and the things I draw come true...) Sometimes it seems like I have his computer. I posted there was no news on my I171H and I got that message about my fingerprints. (Now they say maybe they will use old fingerprints. Quick vent: I cannot stand the new policy they have at the Moscow DHS office of not giving out names. There used to be a very nice, incredibly helpful woman there named Christie Lloyd. Now, it's just messaged from "The Public Liason Unit". And if you call, they won't tell you to whom you're speaking. How is that a security issue? Edited vent inc case they are reading. ) And, after I wrote this post, my sw e-mailed me with an encouraging possibility. She isn't answering her phone yet, but...I'll call that progress.

Ohhh the power. Maybe this is my new hero power. I have fingers that can type the future!

No. Too much pressure. I need to have this power removed. (But, um, I'm not giving it to that bad guy. Chah!)

28 October 2008

it's long-trust me.

Did you see this comment from Jim on the slideshow post?

There's nothing quite like the feeling of doing something God made you to do, is there Kate?

It is very, very true. God has been generous in His gifts to me. My favorite ones are the ones I get to use in theatre. I just love it! I'm more alert, more alive, more fully me when I'm doing theatre. I feel like more of my brain is being used--that connections are being made and all those right-brain left-brain highways are open and traffic is humming! I just...love it. I like teaching. But, I love theatre.

So why am I not doing more of it?

Well. (Settle in. Make sure your tea is hot and you have something to nibble if you're going to stick around for this one.)

I have been doing theatre for longer than I can remember. I was very fortunate to have parents who let me have lessons in all sorts of things--horseback riding, art classes, dance classes, voice lessons, soccer, swimming, skiing, clarinet, French horn, piano, drama classes...and I'm sure there are more. The skills that stuck are the ones that relate to the performing arts (I'm soo not a visual artist) and the horsey ones.

When I graduated from high school, I went to college to get my fall-back degree. (I was a psych major until I realized that all I could do with that was go to grad school and incur more debt. That's when I switched to education. Teaching is a no-brainer for me--it's easy and instinctual. I have so much babysitting, camp counseling, Sunday School/vbs/Bible study teaching, youth group leading, etc. experience that it was an easy switch. And, I have minors in psych and youth ministry.) BUT, since I went to a private, Christian college out of state I had to get a teaching job to pay off my debts. I could be an actor and starve, but I couldn't imagine being an actor and defaulting on my debts. Oldest child? Virgo? Just me?

When my debts were about a year away from being paid, I started looking at drama schools in England. I wanted to act. I wanted to live in England. (I thought.) What better way to cross two items off my list than to go to drama school there? My theory about single life has always been that I live it--and not sit around and wait to be spotted by Mr. Right. I think people should live so that there aren't things to regret in the future. This theory worked out well insofar as I have checked all the "selfish" things off my I'd-like-to list...but I'm still single, soo...there's a flaw in there somewhere.) I auditioned for a drama school, thinking I'd just go and scope things out to see how auditions for drama school worked and then the next year I could go and really nail the auditions...and got accepted to The Oxford School of Drama.

So I went. I left the best school a teacher could imagine and went. Drama school...that would be a blog of it's own.

I came back to the US and was able to support myself acting for four years. It was amazing--and hard. The hard part isn't the rejection. That really isn't something you take personally. It was exhausting constantly selling myself and constantly looking for a job. As soon as you land one, you need to start looking for the next one. But, I loved it.

Towards the end of that four years, I was talking to a friend on the phone. He was talking about how he had a new client whose Constitutional rights were being ignored. He was fired up and ready to slay dragons. He asked what I did that day.

I told him that my agent and I had been trying to decide how best to describe what color my hair was.

Now, that actually was an important thing. I am (or was when my hair still saw the sun) a natural blonde--albeit a "dark blonde". A big company wasn't hiring blondes for their tv adverts, but they really meant they weren't hiring BLONDES. They were in a non-blonde phase. So, having "dark blonde" on my cv was keeping me from auditions. But, putting "honey" as my hair color (an apt description) was too clever and too...twee. So, dark blonde it stayed.

But the juxtaposition of Constitutional rights with hair color highlighted how small my life had become. Everything in my life was about me--how I looked, what I wore, what I ate, where I went, how I sounded, how I felt. And, that is too small a life for me. I was feeling selfish.

Just as those niggles started, I landed the absolute best job of my life. The very best, BEST fit for me. I was working for a history museum. They paid me to read! I was immersed in social history of the early twentieth century. (I love social history.) I was developing living history programs for the summer. I was putting together programs to take into schools. I was a historical interpreter. (This is a person who speaks to you in character. I played two different roles. One was Sally Lane, a reporter. I had a bicycle and got to talk to people in general and children in particular about how my brother thought is was inappropriate for a girl to ride a bike--bicycles, fashion, women in the workplace, changing roles in society all at once. I got to interview people and tell them about the Wright Brothers. (I could do a whole post about the social implications of the bicycle.) The next summer I played Rose, a factory worker who won $10. I had a Sears catalogue and solicited opinions about what I should buy with my winnings. Being Rose was fun, but Sally was my favorite.) It was everything I loved and everything I was good at doing. I was acting, teaching, reading, writing, organizing...

That's when I felt called to adopt. Now, this isn't like Samuel being called. I didn't sit bolt upright in bed and hear God's voice audibly saying, "Kate, sweetheart, it's time to adopt. I know you love this acting thing. And, you're good at it. I made you that way. But now it's time to do something else. I know, I know--you thought that you'd be married first and then go adopt, but that's not what I want you to do. I don't want you to wait. I want to you start on that path now." But, I knew that was what I was supposed to do. It's both a complicated and incredibly simple thing. I don't know that I can explain it, but if it's happened to you, then you understand. It took thinking and talking and praying and I knew--I was supposed to get my ducks in a row and adopt.

So, I did. I went back to teaching to provide some financial stability. A part of me, a big part of me, was so sad to give up my perfect job, but I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I still miss it. I hope someday to be able to do it again.

Starting to adopt wasn't a big, emotional decision. It wasn't because I had a child-shaped hole in my heart. Yes, I wanted a family, but I didn't have the desperation, I wasn't at the breaking point that seems to send so many people towards adoption. I just knew that this was what I was meant to be doing. So, I did it.

My friend Lara says she gets great joy from being obedient. I can't say that that is true for me. I wish it were! Instead, obedience leaves me with an absence of guilt. That's good. And, I think, it gives me a peace and a security. When people marvel at my patience, I try to explain that I'm not being patient. This wasn't my plan. I am doing what I was told to do, so I trust that it will all come to fruition at the proper time. So, I'm not patiently waiting...I'm trustfully waiting.

Do I understand WHY it's taking so long, WHY I had to start when I did? No. Do I like being in this limbo? Not particularly. Do I feel patient? Not really. Is it even harder now that there is a possible d2b and I have to imagine her waiting day after day without her family when I feel so incredibly ready? Big yes to that one.

But I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. And, until I'm told otherwise, I'm just going to keep doing it.

26 October 2008


I have a bit of an addictive personality. And, this weekend, I've indulged it...with pistachios and Heroes. And some m&m's. And Coke. (But, Coke is an on-going addiction and not limited to this weekend.)

Why can I afford the luxury of indulgence this weekend? It's because I have all of next week off from school! If you remember from this post, I thought this would be a good time to meet d2b. But...it seems that isn't in the cards. (I told you there's usually a better option...but I keep planning and working regardless.)

No news from new agency about Miss Possible. (Doesn't it feel like forever since she was first mentioned? It does to me. And there's been no news since then.) No reply from sw about updating US hs. No I-171H. Nothing really to work on here...except laundry. There's always laundry. I guess it's time to indulge in a little fluff-and-fold action.

19 October 2008

pix as touted

Here are some pictures from our production of Seussical. We had over 20% of our school population involved. With limited resources, a borrowed performance space, and a lot of enthusiasm we managed to pull off a good show.

I didn't take the action pictures as I was otherwise occupied but thought you might like to see some of them. I'll add more when they're available--the production shots are only from the last third of the play. I'd like you to see my little Whos in action, too! (Slide won't let me put in my own music...and, funnily enough, "Oh the Thinks You Can Think" wasn't one of their choices...)

As the ending of the curtain speech goes, "Sit back, relax and enjoy, Seussical!"

13 October 2008

borrowed esl story

We had *lots* of zero-English students enter our school this fall. One of the fifth grade students spoke his first voluntary sentence last week.

Teacher, after all but one of her students had returned from recess: Where is Do Gun?

Do Gun's friend, blurting excitedly, with great authority and enthusiasm: He in the closet eating Choco Pie!

My guess is that Do Gun refused to share that Choco Pie.

I think his friend just needed a little motivation to start speaking English. Oh, the power of a Choco Pie!

11 October 2008


I freely admit that the crickets chirping here are BORING. What's up with that?

Um, I guess...nothing.

I've got nothing here--no news, no angst, no highs, no lows, no nothing.

You don't believe me? Okay, I'll try. I keep trying to disabuse you people who cherish the notion that life here must be more interesting than life in your house. You're so, so wrong. (And you can eat key lime yogurt or fajita pitas from Chili's and get mail every day and shop and...) But, for you--I'll try.

Seussical is right on schedule to peak on Thursday night. If I do say so myself--and I only do because others said it first--pacing rehearsals is something I do exceptionally well. My casts are always ready and always at their best when we open. And yet, when people say in response to my replies that things are a little rough at rehearsal (because we had some rough patches with this one) that it always comes together in the end, I get really angry. It doesn't JUST come together. And there's a BIG difference between what I expect from a show and what most doting parents think is fantastic. I expect, and I get, more. They don't always know it, but I do. And, their children know it, too.

Hmm. I think crickets might be more palatable than self-congratulations. Sorry.

I love, love, love having theatre--in any form--to do. I am happier, have more energy and just have a better spirit. Watching my actors grow from play to play is a privilege. Seeing them carry over what they've learned onstage to their lives in school is gratifying. I love being able to share things like...

  • the way I think a curtain call should be (fast and gracious and as the actor acknowledging the audience's thanks--not as the character or showing how hard you've worked)
  • making your partners perfect instead of worrying about yourself
  • continuing to tell the story and not go back no matter what
  • that YOU are enough
  • play, enjoy, smile
  • if it's not yours, don't touch it
  • if it falls, pick it up
  • help each other
  • be on time
  • listen
  • the best thing you can bring to the stage is confidence
  • if you don't have confidence in yourself, then rely on your trust in me. You know that I want what is best for you and will not let you look foolish. Trust me. Trust the work you've done. Trust.
  • and so much more...my senior integration project was on children and theatre...and I have much more to say now than I did then. (Yes, I hold strong beliefs on just about everything. And I like it that way. ;> I think passion is a good thing.)
Yeah. Preachy. Sorry. Cue the crickets.

Doing theatre feeds me. I know I've said that over and over. But, this time it's true quite literally. The moms in the cast took pity on my kazillionth lunch of peanut butter and crackers (little do they know I could happily live on peanut butter and Coca Cola) and set up a rota for cooking me dinners! How cool is that?

Oh. Not very nice of me to throw that in your faces. Cricket time.

My esl kiddos speak too much English to be funny any more. I'm bursting with pride with each new word and phrase..but they're not really good for cute stories. My little girl from South Korea continues to be fascinated with my eyes. She'll gaze up and then just giggle and say, "Blue!" The other day she asked me if I could see. I replied that yes, I could see her. A classmate explained that she wanted to know if I could see because my eyes were so big. She knew her "little eyes" could see so how could mine? I resisted the urge to turn into the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood (The better to see you with, my dear.).

Yeah. It was funny but doesn't really blog well. Chirp, chirp?

So. Sorry. Not very bloggy over here. Kinda blah. Not really BLAH...just not an abundance of blogging fodder. Maybe I can manage some pictures or something to string you along...

08 October 2008


A "home visit" by a Russian social worker is exactly that--a visit to evaluate the home. The sw (E) was fast! (See--it's 11:10 and the visit is over and I've changed from hs clothes to cropped sweats and tee-shirt and read all your lovely comments from yesterday.) E didn't have any questions for me. She was just here to be sure that there was space for a child. She proclaimed by flat to be "very interesting". (This is because it has stairs, unlike most apartments here.)

Thanks for asking--my cats were on their best behaviour--Beazy is gorgeous and always makes a good impression...although she refuses to be stroked by strangers and Mia (yep--Hermia won out) was little and charming. They were napping in the window sill of my bedroom--the very picture of contentment.

My rep here, G, was nice enough to point out the Russian books and toys that I have--and had strategically placed to show that I had them but wasn't making a big deal about it. She also pointed out the baskets of socks, tights and underthings that were in d2b's room. That let me show the various sizes of dresses hanging in the closet (Suz, I laughed when I read your comment after the visit!) I was glad that they both seemed pleased that I was prepared and not displeased because I was preparing before the child arrived. (My friend V won't listen to any talk of Miss Possible until she's offical.)

And, in d2b's room she didn't bat an eye about the holes in the wall that are there because the curtain rod fell down this morning!! I had to pry it out of the wall. Sheesh. Hanging curtain rods. Looked like I was living in a crack house.

Both E and G laughed several times--when I said I went from living like a millionaire to living like a servant, when I pointed out I was using my sauna as a bookcase since the flat didn't have one--and were generally smiley and congenial.

AND, I think that E will be able to do my ppr's! It's iffy but sounds possible to me.

So--check! All I need now is my hs update from my other sw. And, news from my agency. Who is waiting for news from the MOE. I think.

07 October 2008


  • sub plans for tomorrow--check
  • class informed (and warned not to hide behind the trashcans like Ramona did)--check though several students proclaimed their intentions to be sick tomorrow...
  • cast told to expect rehearsal (only seven left...) even though I'm gone during school tomorrow--check
  • rugs vacuumed and washed--check
  • downstairs shower cleared of landlord's tasteless furnishings--check
  • water ordered to be delivered early tomorrow--check
  • cats' claws clipped so they cannot scratch the sw--check
  • alarm set for plenty of time for final touches and zucchini muffins--check
  • "gift" chosen (Kate, you will prepare a gift for this woman, no?) from drawer-o-gifts--check

The Russian sw comes tomorrow

p.s. I'm cherishing secret (well, not-so-secret anymore) hopes that this sw might be able to do my ppr's instead of flying in an American sw. A girl can hope, right?

02 October 2008


Look-two in one day! Why? Because there's news!

Today I met with "the municipality" to arrange for my Russian hs to be done. The electricity was off, and we had long stair-filled corridors to negotiate. But, we got there and the person we met with was SO nice! She asked if it could be done tomorrow (!) but we settled on Wednesday.

I ended by saying I had a silly question. I said that I hadn't bought a bed because I didn't know if I'd be referred one little girl or two and asked if I needed that before my sw visit. They both thought I was nuts. (So, um, the answer is no--I don't have to buy a bed this weekend.)

See? News!


Some very nice person nominated me for this:

I was tickled! But, when I went to the site to see my blog on the nomination list, I couldn't find it. Still, it's pretty cool to be able to add that nifty little icon to my collection. THANK YOU, nominator! ;>

I'll try to be more worthy and post-ful.

Nine more rehearsals 'till Seussial opens...