Archive for the ‘ travel ’ Category

EIGHT DAY IN NATURE’S ISLE- IN DOMINICA WITH CUCHO!

The gurgling river water, the twittering birds, the rustling tree leaves and the sparkling fireflies, waking up in Dominica for eight nights felt like paradise. There is probably no word in a dictionary to do justice to the solemn beauty of Dominica, and Roots Jungle Retreat in the middle of a jungle took me back to my childhood in India. Each day at Roots Jungle Retreat took me back down childhood lane in India where mosquito nets were perfect playing accessories to play dark room at night, the open windows put modern air conditioners to shame, and novels transported us to places televisions never could.

We arrived in Dominica on a warm Friday afternoon and were welcomed by a dimpled Lorena, whose effervescence instantly made you feel at home. She drove us to Roots through windy Margot streets. Having battled motion sickness since forever, I tried real hard to enjoy the ride but the best of windy roads were yet to come. We turned to a street that had roots sign, and it was bumpy to say the very least. I tried to stay focused on not throwing up for the next 15 minutes, all the while contemplating if Dramamine time had arrived. We finally parked the car after a 15-minute roller coaster road trip, and were welcomed by a tall Olaf and an eight-month bundle of energy named Cucho. Cucho took to us instantly, and was welcoming us like family who had returned home. His lovey-dovey eyes made a place in my heart instantly, and I knew at that very instant, Dominica and Roots would be more than just a vacation.

We were showed to our cabin, and then we hung out with Lorena, Olaf and Cucho in their cabin/restaurant. Instantly, we started planning our agenda for the next eight days. After spending a few hours together, my husband and I decided it was time to relax and get acquainted to our cabin. We did also plan to take a small hike around our surrounding. Little did we know the rain God’s had other plans for us; plans that included staying in our cabin for the night. We went to the restaurant for dinner and met another couple that was from Germany, and for the next few days we spent charting our agenda’s, and sharing experiences.

The next morning my husband and I decided we were going to rent a car. We had couple of decisions which included automatic or manual considering we would have to drive through the “roller coaster” road to Roots twice a day, a 4 wheel drive and of course pep talking ourselves into driving on the left on the road. Dominica is an island less explored, so most streets have no signs. As a co-pilot to my driver, I am the worst at directions with a GPS in tow telling us turn left. I am so bad with directions that I need to think which hand I use to write to know which is right. So here I was guiding my poor husband through the streets of Dominica, but we survived and barring the first day we did not get lost- thanks to Olaf’s great direction skills and in some occasions personally autographed hand drawn maps.

The first day we toured Rosseau, the capitol of Dominica to Soufriere volcano (or so we thought). We drove to Scott’s head, and since neither of us were water friendly, we looked at the beautiful Scott’s head from a distance, snorkeling in our heads. We thought we were hiking through Soufriere to the volcano but we hiked through Waitukubuli National Trail into a valley I call “crab valley” because I don’t know the name. We walked the valley through crabs walking all around us. It was eerie for a not so much of a crab lover like me. We hiked through an easy trail and reached a point where the trail seemed marked on rocks. Were we supposed to walk the rocks? Not sure but we decided not to. First day in Dominica was not so adventurous? Not really because we still had to find our way back to Roots. I was guiding my driver through Rosseau hoping to see Canesfield airport to turn into the road that would take us back home, but instead I never saw Canesfield and we were headed to Portsmouth. We stopped to ask directions and somehow got to a round four-way point and dilemma struck us again. As Robert Frost said, “which road should I take?” We did what the locals would do, picked up a firefighting hitchhiker who showed us the way to Roots. Hitchhiking firefighter- they only make them in Dominica!

I called our trip to Dominica a hike fest. I knew we were going to be hiking a lot. We started off by doing what the tourist’s did -Traffalgar Falls. Two falls called the Mama and Papa falls, one being hot water and the other being cold water. Your guess is as good as mine as to which one is which, but being a woman I am going to say Mama is the hot one. A quick hike to the falls down stairs and few rocks and we were soaking our feet in warm water from the falls. I have never seen a hot water fall before, and my feet loved it. It felt therapeutic to say the very least. We climbed rocks hoping to see where the foothills of the falls were, but since we were the water resistant couple, we decided it was not worth it. Instead, we decided to hike to Middleham falls. The guidebooks call it an intermediate hike, 4 miles that should take 4 hours. The signs at the falls were more realistic- 45 minutes to the falls it said. We started by climbing endless slippery stairs, crossed a stream of slippery rocks, used tree roots as stairs and we had not even reached the middle. We continued our hiking by climbing more big slippery rocks, all the while fighting fatigue and painful legs. What started off as sprinting became a slow walk with many rests. Finally we were at the falls, and the view made the pain worthwhile. Now, no one told us we would have to trek back the same way. We fatigued our way back, and after a day of intense hiking we were ready for Lorena and Olaf’s food.

The next day we decided to take it easy and visit Portsmouth. Portsmouth hosts the most American section of Dominica. Home to Ross Medical University, an American medical college the vibe of the city is very American. Restaurants sell expensive $25 burgers, but if you want to try local food, you could get it for less than $10. Our bodies were tired from Middleham hike, so hiking to the old Fort Shirley felt like hiking Mt Everest. We walked around Fort Shirley enjoying the view and the fort. They had some small hikes to various ruined buildings. We hiked couple of them and decided it was time for lunch. Near Ross Medical College, we ate at a restaurant that sold Creole chicken and I was in love. It was by far the best chicken I had tasted. Callibashe is a beach town in Dominica. If you love beaches, then I don’t think it gets better than this. We drove about 45 minutes from Portsmouth through trees and windy roads to get to Batibou beach. We parked the car on the street, and walked down a short trail to the beach. Pristine blue water welcomed us. This was my first experience on a beach that felt like ours. We were alone, and I recapped movies like Castaway as I walked Batibou with my Wilson. It was beautiful, calm and serene, and if I ever have to find my happy place during turmoil, I will be at Batibou in spirit and mind. I fell in love with Batibou, and I am not a beach bum! We went back to Portsmouth for dinner, and had the best spicy curry chicken ever. I am spice junkie, and when my palette felt the first rush of spice in almost three days, it was soup to my soul. I went back three times more for the crack curry chicken!

The next day we went to Callibashe to stroll the other beaches. We saw Londonberry beach, a black sand beach in the Pirates of the Caribbean. We drove by that beach to Callibashe. We visited Number one Beach, the site of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3. I was where Johnny Depp was- not that it really mattered. A hike down a small trail took us to Number one beach. It was beautiful, but Batibou had changed beaches for us forever. We went back to Portsmouth for the crack curry chicken, and hiked Syndicate trail. Syndicate trail promised parrots and a waterfall. There were no parrots, and the fall barely existed. We climbed some rocks and tried to make our own trail to find the waterfall. But after a while, we accepted our defeat and walked back.

We began the next day with a visit to the Kallinga Territory. The Kallinga’s were the original inhabitants of Dominica. Olaf’s made a handmade map got us through the scenic less traveled route to the Territory. I was stoked to try the Cassava coconut bread from Daniel’s bakery. When we got there, the bakery was packed so we decided to return back. We went to the model village where we took an hour tour of the place, where our awesome tour guide told us about how they lived. We visited two churches, one that had roots and trees growing through it and the other church, which was a new one. We made our way to the L’ Escalier Tete Chien. While Dominica has several beautiful views, L’Escalier Tete Chien is by the far the best one. A walk to the viewpoint and you see the natural staircase from the Atlantic Ocean. It was tranquility at it’s best. You just want to soak the peaceful ambience, refresh your soul and capture the moment in your heart for a lifetime. Our next stop was another beautiful beach called Castle Bruce and we were on our way to Roseau to buy Gatorade for our big day tomorrow.

We were finally going to hike Boiling Lake, an eight-hour hike to the second largest boiling lake in the world. This was our second to last day and we were ready to hike the indomitable Boiling Lake through the Valley of Desolation. We woke up early, ate breakfast and were on our way to Boiling Lake. As we got near Boiling Lake, it started pouring. We got to the parking lot sign and sat there in the car waiting for the rain to subside. It was 11’o’ clock, and knowing we did not have 8 hours to hike, and the rain continued to pour down, we made our way back to Roots. The rain continued through the next day until 11 am and we knew our boiling lake plans were washed away. Boiling Lake is still on my agenda, and I am going back for it yet again. We visited Emerald Pool, another waterfall and the Spanny waterfall in the rain. It was beautiful to say the very least, and a perfect end to a very beautiful Dominica trip.

Cucho

Cucho watching us leave:-(

Roots and Dominica will forever be special. Lorena and Olaf treated us like family, tending to our every need. We spent eight days with them, sharing stories, laughing and in each of those moments feeling like we were home with family. Dominica became more special because of Cucho and his lovey doveyness. As we drove away from Roots to the airport, I saw Cucho run behind our car. I wanted to pet, hold him close, but all I could do was promise to be back again to see him. I have left every place I have visited with a heavy heart, not wanting to go back to reality. But in Dominica, I left a part of my heart with Cucho and as we made our way to the airport, I felt a knot in my heart and tears in my eyes knowing I will miss Cucho and his unfiltered love. He made Dominica special, and for me it will forever be Cucho’s Dominica.

Spanny Falls DSC05630 DSC05601 DSC05587 Serenity Middleham Falls hike our cabin at roots

ADOPTION AND LESSONS LEARNED

This adoption journey has taught me several things: I did not know I could love someone I had not seen or known as much as I already love this little girl. I don’t know who she is, what she looks like, yet she feels so much a part of me. We refer to her by her name and in less than a month she has gone from a thought in my head to an actual person. Secondly, this process is teaching me patience. I believed I was patient even before, but patience for the system and for something you want so much yet have no control over is a whole different ball game. There are anxious days when I re-read every blog I have already read on the topic, there are moments of uncertainty wondering what if but the next morning I am upbeat again about her.

 

There has been a few milestones since I last updated on our adoption journey. We successfully completed our homestudy amidst crazy cleaning and reorganizing to make our home child friendly. We got our homestudy report, proof read it a million times. We got registered with CARA India on May 1st. CARA is the adoption authority in India, and now we exist in their system. We are now trying to collect a million notarized documents for our dossier. Dossier, a fancy word for document collection is a mind numbingly strenuous process. The hardest of them being a physical with the doctor. I hate doctors and I try to not see them unless I absolutely need to. This little girl sure is making me see those people more than I like to.

 

I knew this journey would teach me a lot considering people say a child can change your whole world. But what I didn’t realize was how much I would learn before I even get her.  I have never had to deal with “are you dating someone?”, “when are you getting married” questions. Things happened when society deemed was the right time for me, so I was saved from that turmoil. With this adoption process, everyone seems to have an opinion about what I should and shouldn’t do. Here’s an example of the conversation I have with people:

Me: We are adopting a baby

Stranger: Oh, because you have problems and cannot have your own?

Me: No, because we want to. I don’t have any problems

Stranger: That is so nice of you. You are so generous.

 

This has been the drill irrespective of gender, and age. I initially felt obligated to justify that I could have my own child, but at some point I felt horrible about it. As a woman, I can only imagine the pain one feels in the endless battle of having a child, and I felt I was in some ways cheating on my gender by stating my fertility status. I decided I would not answer it. In reality I wanted to say “none of your business” which in polite language came out as silence. As a young woman, I was not prepared for these questions. I have heard these questions in India a million times, but in America where privacy is so valued, I was surprised at this intrusion.

I have even had someone tell me if I was adopting because of infertility then it is not noble, else I was noble to do it. I don’t want to be perceived noble. I just want to enjoy this process without being bombarded by questions. Irrespective of my fertility status, or the nobility pedestal people put me on, I am just a young woman trying to live the dream I had. If a pregnant woman is not asked why she decided to get pregnant, don’t ask me why I am adopting. It is none of your business!

ALONE AND ROCKING IN OREGON!

I felt my heart thumping as I walked through airport security. With my laptop bag on one shoulder and my tickets in my other hand, I tried to portray a picture of confidence. I had walked through these hallways many times before. They know me and I know them. Yet, I was feeling the jitters of a travel novice. There was a difference between the many travels I already did to the one I was on today. I was traveling alone!

 

While most people who see me refute that I am anywhere close to being shy, I know I am an introvert. Since becoming a professional, I go through a million drills in my head before I can converse with a stranger even if that is professional talk. Eating alone is another completely different ordeal. I never ate in front of my husband until we got married. I am terrified of eating in front of people who are not my family and my girl-friends. In college, my two close friends made sure they made me eat, because everyone close to me knew I would starve rather than eat in front of strangers or even eat alone. I am not exaggerating! Every time I was asked on a date, I refused to eat with the guy. I made excuses such as “I have food at home” or “my mom cooked for me”.

 

photoI was traveling alone on business to Oregon for three days. Suddenly, I felt the jitters I felt when I first traveled on business to Seattle without family. I still had few people from my work on that trip. An hour and 45 minutes of a flight ride later, we had landed in Portland. I got a cab and made my way to the outskirts of Oregon where the company was located.

 

Going to work was the easier part. The first night in Oregon, I decided to go to the mall across from my hotel and get something to eat. I decided to eat at the restaurants in the mall, but suddenly as I was walking from work to my hotel, I decided I was not going to eat at any chain restaurants and I was going to eat in a restaurant at least once on my trip. Knowing me, I knew I would chicken out of  the second one real easily. I yelped away to find a Korean Fusion place which in layman’s terms is Korean Chipotle with a twist. I walked to the mall, went to the store and ordered my rice bowl. I wanted to sit right there and eat, but I blamed it on the sprinkling rain and walked back to my hotel to eat my food. I went back to the mall again later and walked around the mall. I have never been alone at the mall before either and I am not much of a mall rat. I decided I need to have a victory today so I walked into every store, touched one of two things and walked out.

 

The next day I ate my breakfast alone at the breakfast area of my hotel. It didn’t feel as overwhelming, maybe because there were four other people besides me. After a full day at work, I decided I was going to go to visit few parks around here. The total distance between the parks, the hawaiian restaurant I wanted to visit and my hotel was close to 4 miles. I had my direction on my iphone, and made my way to the park. I felt adventurous, and courageous.

 

I have walked alone to parks before, but being anonymous in a different state felt different. I was welcomed with several hi’s and I responded as I walked through two parks. I am very sure they recognized the tourist in me. I had my google maps on my iphone, following every turn even if I had to jaywalk. I am so bad with directions that I did not want to risk it and complicate my trip further. There were green tall trees everywhere as the Tualatin river flowed in the middle. The sun rays against the water glittered everything. It was serene, and I felt my mind and soul being cleansed by the purity around. I no longer felt lonely. Nature was my companion and I felt serene and peaceful.


After walking through the trails, it was time to feed my belly. I made my way to the hawaiian restaurant by passing through the Tualatin community park. I went up the counter and ordered my Shu-yu chicken, and the dreaded question followed: for here or to go? I said to go and then changed my mind and said for here. I felt my heart beating fast. I got my food, my Sriracha sauce and took the seat right in the middle of the

MULTIRACIAL MASALA!

I had a prototype for a husband since the time I can remember. He was going to be tall, tan and handsome with the archetypical Indian hairstyle.  He was not going to be a lawyer, engineer or doctor for sure. So when I was at the US consulate to come to America, and the guy at the counter swore I was going to marry an American, I smirked. There was no way I was going to marry an American. I was going to come back to India and marry my prototype. Fast forward to 2008, and I was at the alter marrying a sort of tall, curly haired African American man who was an engineer. He was far from the Indian prototype.

I had known him for five years by then, and I knew what I was signing up for- or I believed I knew it. I met my mother-in-law when we were dating, and it went pretty good I thought. I was a nervous wreck and my boyfriend thought the perfect introduction would be when I was just done hiking the mountains with him. So here I was meeting my potential mother-in-law in shorts and t-shirt all sweaty. It went well I think, although I believe she expected an American girl and here I was a direct export from India. I never expected an American mother-in-law either in my defense. 

My first introduction to his extended family happened in July 4 2008, few months after our marriage. In India, this would have happened before our wedding. The aunts and uncles had to approve the girl before you married her.  Although I knew I did not need to impress them since I was already married and I was sort of sure he would not divorce me over their disapproval, the Indian girl in me really wanted to be approved. So I wore my best jeans and t-shirt and made my first American event- the BBQ. My husband is not the greatest introducer, in fact in more situations than not, he hardly introduces me. His aunt welcomed me home, who I did not know at that time was his aunty. She called me her niece so I assumed she must be some aunt. I sat in an available chair, and I was lost. In India, they would have been at my beck and call, catering to my need. Of course I was the daughter in law to the family. Here I was sitting with my husband and was expected to plate my own food. 

After being in the United States for over 7-8 years by then, you would assume I would have no culture shock-Wrong answer. I was shocked and baffled. I had never been to an American event before that and needless to say I was hoping they would feed me like we feed people back home. Plate your food and sit and watch you eat and feed you more as your plate emptied. So my husband plated food for us, and being shy I decided it was better to nibble his food. I also found out that peach cobbler was an acquired taste. I love sweets but peach cobbler is not my cup of tea.

I heard my husband tell his dad that his wife was Indian, and he had to specify it was India Indian and not Native American.  Meeting his dad was another adventure. We went to meet him and his family for his birthday. I remember the door opening and noise decibels increasing. I wanted to run for my life. I am Indian from India, and if noise level goes beyond a certain decibel you run for your life unless of course it includes music and dancing. There were at least ten women who were really excited to meet us and were talking at the same time. The smartest thing my husband did on that visit was to hold my hand the moment we got off the car. If not for his shackles on me, I would have run like a lunatic. They sure would have thought, she isn’t just India but she is a crazy Indian girl.

In India when the family gets together, you talk and you eat and you talk more. The men sit together and talk and the women do the same. Here in America, I have learned when you get together you either watch TV or you play games. For the last five years of being married to my husband, every time we went to his family events I saw them play Dominos and the noise increased with each game. They wonder why I don’t join them when I watch them so attentively each year. I don’t know how to tell them when the noise goes up, my brain shuts down along with the rest of my body. I am not about to be the Indian girl who lost in Dominos. I have to hold our flag up. 

Living in California I believed everyone who lived here has tried Indian food. After all, there is an Indian restaurant in every corner.  Having lived my entire life in India, I wasn’t going to not have Indian food at my wedding. I might wear a white dress, but three essential parts of my existence; Bollywood music, Indian food and Indian attire were part of my wedding in abundance. Boy was I surprised when they wondered what we ate, and how spicy it was. I could understand the older generation not knowing about my food, but when the younger lot asked me the same I was surprised.  I wonder why I was surprised, since my husband did not eat real Indian food until we started dating, and he had lived here his entire life.

It’s been five years since I have been married to my husband and it has been a fun ride. He introduces me to all things American and I train him on all things Indian. I say train because we have our quirks, and some of our doings make no sense unless you are of course Indian.  But we relish our differences and quirks, often teasing the other until the next quirk unfolds. It is a 24×7 sitcom in progress at our house. As for his family, they may not plate my food for me or feed me until I drop, but I know they love me just as much as my family does.

 

 

NOSTALGIC SATURDAY!

Next week is a biggie: we have our final homeImagestudy interview with Ms D. She gets to visit our home, and interview my husband and me for one hour each, individually. I feel like we need to sit together and get our facts right- but then again it is not about where did you meet each other sort of thing- it’s the past that is going to serve as a window to the future. 

As we were cleaning our house this Saturday, I found the cassette that had some personal recording from my childhood. Nostalgia engulfed my soul to say the very least. Recently I have been reading about terminally ill parents leaving letters, notes, and pictures for their children before they die so they can know him/her. Every time I read those stories it breaks my heart but at the same time I am glad they are doing something so special. I was that child who lost their parent at an early age. I know first hand how important those letters/notes are to the child. It means holding a piece of your parent forever. Some might argue that you are preventing that child from moving on, but when you loose a parent you never move on. It is an irreplaceable bond! 

Back to my cassette: My dad recorded my childish babbling singing nursery rhymes as a toddler. He knew there would be a time when I would be married and away from him. At that juncture of life he wanted to hear my voice every day since I wouldn’t be around. I refused to sing that specific day, and so my dad spoke in the recording guiding me through it. Fast forward to 1995, I had just lost my dad to death and before that day I never cared much about this cassette. One evening as I was coping with my broken heart, I stumbled upon this cassette and started listening to it. It never said it had our voice… as I listened I heard him call me by my nickname, and I melted. It was a surprise least expected and something that I needed to just survive each day. I did not cry- instead it felt soothing to my soul. When he died, I never imagined I would ever hear his voice again. To this day, when I am alone I think back to my dad, wondering what it felt like to sit near him, to see him smile. Those moments are long gone and with each passing day those feelings disappear little by little. It’s hard to recreate a hug without the other person being there. I am glad his voice is captured to remind me of the only man I have loved without any inhibition, and who never hurt me with even a sound. I have carried this cassette from India to America- through apartments and homes. It is by far the most precious thing in my house. 

Yesterday as I heard it again in a long time, I felt calm again. I was not in the sunniest of moods yesterday. His voice let me know that everything would be ok. I sat there fighting my tears, rewinding the cassette over and over to hear him call me by my nickname again- a name that only he called me by, a name that had years of memories wrapped in four alphabets.  When he was recording that cassette, little did he know that it would be his daughter and not him who would be listening to it years later- hoping to relive the warmth of his voice again. I am glad my dad recorded this cassette—very few children have this luxury that I do. To hear their deceased parent for life, especially when their heart just stops without a warning, with no time to prepare and say good-bye.

 

 

INDIAN CHRISTMAS!

Another year…another Christmas morning! As I sit here enjoying the serenity around me, I feel nostalgic. Christmas is one of those days I feel nostalgic about. It was one of my favorite days of the year as a child. Growing up in India, Christmas day meant a lot of things to me. I woke up in the morning to the warm hug and kiss from my dad, and in just a few hours I could wear that new attire that has been sitting in the shelf for the last month or so. As a child in India, we never exchanged gifts on Christmas. It never really mattered because I got chocolates and I got to shake hands with Mr. Claus

Santa Claus, I have had a secret crush on him for a long time now. As a child I wanted him to be my grandfather. Who wouldn’t? He would be awesome to hug and cuddle up with…he was my perfect grandfather. Thank goodness, bad Santa did not exist back then! He embodied the spirit of Christmas to me. Every Christmas we went to the busiest street in Bangalore where we got to meet Santa Claus. Stores were decorated, and Santa welcomed us. We did not go into the stores. Children went and shook hands with Santa, wished him Merry Christmas and we got our candy. It was no cheap candy…there were Cadbury bars, Nestle bars and other expensive candy. It was Halloween minus the costumes. This is why Santa and Christmas was awesome!

Every Christmas morning I wake up missing my dad and his childlike exuberance.  His dimpled smile that welcomed me for years is truly missed. Each Christmas morning I look at his picture and imagine his warm hug. As a child, Christmas was fun. But in those small moments, we were taught the essence of Christmas. It was about being thankful; thankful for the love we have around us, being thankful for the simple pleasures in life- like warm hugs and kisses, which mean more than any present.

Last year during May/June as we were driving down the street in America, I saw a guy dressed as Santa on a motorcycle. My brain did not wonder why Santa was seen in summer- did not matter to my heart. It swirled back to those days in India and I jumped up screaming “Santa!!”. My husband was in splits laughing. I guess I finally came out of the closet as a Santa lover! It did not matter how old I was…at that moment I was the child growing up in India.

I am sure things have changed in India.  Christmas might not be the same as it was 15-20 years back. Yet, if Santa asked me what I wanted this Christmas, I would want to go back home. I want to wake up in that familiar warmth again which we said was cold…Phewww!!!I want to feel the warm hug of my dad again. I want to walk down those familiar lanes and feel the spirit of Christmas again where simplicity was the essence of life.

Enjoy your day with you and yours! Merry Christmas!

IF ONLY I COULD FIND THAT GENIE IN A BOTTLE TODAY!

In the last few weeks that I have not been blogging, my family has taken a million small steps towards our adoption. One day there was no activity around this adoption, and I wondered what was happening. It’s like God heard the million thoughts running through my head, and bam I felt the showers of to do tasks. Fingerprinting, 10 hrs of adoption classes, references and our blind date with Ms D: in a nutshell that has been my last few weeks and oh! Cleaning my house like there is no tomorrow. It’s amazing how every step is daunting when you know there is a little person at stake.

Fingerprinting has never been more daunting in my life, and I have been fingerprinted at least 20 times already between customs, immigration and everything in the middle. Standing in a ups store, I wondered what if I had some unknown criminal record I did not know about, what if my husband did too—sure, I knew him but what if… can you really know someone that well? Battling the monster in my head, my husband and I were able to get our fingerprints taken. My mom has super skinny, alien-ish fingers that refused to co-operate.  She was stressed, annoyed, and somewhere in there a little nervous too. A new day and a new ups store later, her alien fingerprints registered.

 I have never been good at trainings. At work, I skim through it or mute my computer if it is a video. We finished 4 hours of training. I listened to every word they said. Somehow I felt I owed it to my little girl. I joked to my husband if every couple had to do it, they could totally eliminate teenage pregnancies and unwanted pregnancies. That said, those trainings were indeed interesting and very educational. Even if you have a kid, bringing a child home is a different ball game. You need new defensive plans and plays to prepare you for it. In those training moments, we learned about attachments, and how to form one with the child. Duh!! My husband sure needs that training and more on attachments in general. I can form attachments in a second and be heartbroken later. So I need training on how to form less attachments- clearly they don’t recommend that.  After almost 2 weeks of silence again, I got an update email from our agency. With shaking hands and racing heartbeat, I opened the email dreading to know of any crimes I could have committed when I was asleep. All clear!! Pheww….Not a criminal or married to a criminal after all!

A follow up email introduced Ms. D to us. Ms D is our social worker and she was going to contact us. I know what people feel when they are waiting for a girl/guy to call them back. After 5 days of deafening silence, we heard back from Ms. D. Those 5 days were traumatic. I wondered if she was given all the digits of my phone number, and what if she called me when there was no reception. I checked my phone a million times to see if I forgot to feel the “vibration” of my phone. As I pondered, I got an email from her asking me to set up our date. So all that phone turn off/on, and what not- and she sends an email. Women…so unpredictable!

So here we are at the cusp of the D day. On 11/22 we get to meet her for lunch. I ponder how I should dress- Do I need to project a more matured me or should I go meet her like the real me: a jeans and sweatshirt clad college girl who is not in college.  And then there are the questions: what will she ask? Will she pry into my soul as I answer or will she be chilled out? I have never been good at initiating conversations and I wonder how awkward the meeting would be. She holds the key to our daughter, and somehow I feel more pressure than ever before. Between now and Friday, I am hoping I can charm Ms. D’s pants off like George Clooney, and she hands me a little baby girl!! If God were to give me a genie, I would ask to be a charmer like Shahrukh Khan or George Clooney, just for a day I would want the gift of jab!Image