January 26, 2010

From my little corner of DC

Hi! Long time no write-read-etc.!

I've been busy, so I hope you'll forgive me. The job search is taking all my energy, and what little left is going to Korean Focus's annual lunar new year celebration and some much-needed work around the house. We've replaced the smoke detectors (did I tell you that already?) and yesterday successfully replace our old thermostat. I say successfully, because with all those wires, there's always the possibility that you end up with a lovely installation but no heat. But it worked!

The search is actually going well. I've had several interviews, one with good possibilities, the others a little more iffy, and have been cleared for another this week - it's a phone interview, tomorrow morning, for a cable company that has a bunch of project management positions available. What struck me positively about this one is that the recruiter kept stressing that they had a very collegial work environment, and would I be OK with that.

No, I much prefer a rigid, unfriendly environment, preferably with a miserable commute, because I've come to enjoy all the health problems that kind of stress brings. Plus, what will I do with all my ibuprofen if I can't bring that stress home with me?

I also got an email last Friday requesting that I come to a job fair at a company I applied to late last year. I had actually applied for a job there by accident (don't ask) and declined the immediate request to interview for it. It was just too much of a stretch for me, something I wasn't at all interested in. I later applied for another more appropriate position, and apparently my resume is being reviewed there. The job fair is today.

So keep your fingers crossed.

I've found that the search has found a stride. I'm trying to keep a normal schedule, so I am continuing to get up early, maybe not quite as early as before, but early. I spend the morning on the PC on the job boards, searching company websites, putting in applications, etc. Mid-day is for errands, then more follow-up until about 3 PM. And then I do a little housework or laundry, or relax. I've been knitting, have the first of three 2010 holiday presents almost done already.

I was doing a lot of walking before the holidays, and will be getting back to that now that the weather has broken a bit. It got terribly wet, and although I could walk on the treadmill I kind of fell out of the habit, so I will be getting back to that ASAP. I should have started yesterday - it got up to the 60s here, we even opened the windows in the afternoon.

The one and only thing I'm NOT really thrilled with is being house-bound. Although I worked from home before from time to time, I'd prefer not to, so being home all the time is getting a little boring. I'm glad to have this job fair to go to, and was also glad to have those on-site interviews last week.

The kids are doing well, both of them are knuckling down for tough semesters. The Boy added a philosophy course to his schedule because he felt it was too light, and now he's up to his ears in work. The Girl's schedule is also rough, plus she has tournaments starting now. She'll be in Las Vegas over Valentine's Day weekend; Third Dad wants to go, but WOW I never knew what a draw Vegas was on Valentine's Day! Airfare is astronomical, so unless we can find a bargain, he may have to miss it. Fortunately, The Girl will be driving from LA with her roommate and won't have to pay for a plane ticket.

On the adoption front: If my recent employment experience has taught me anything related to adoption, it's that the belief that a traditional two-parent family is always best is unrealistic. Frankly, I believe it should be removed from the discussion of adoption altogether, because it moves the dialog from how we can provide support to families in need of support to parent, to how we remove children from families that don't meet our fabricated norm to those that do.

But how quickly our "perfect" families can change! In my family's case, loss of employment could spell serious trouble, and may still if I don't find a position soon. In other cases, divorce or the death of a parent may shake the family's foundation. In my circle of adoptive parent friends, all of these have come to pass. No adoptive family is immune from the challenges that faced the families our children were born to. Our preferential position is really based on the misguided belief that what is stable one day will always be stable - and everyone should know that this simply isn't how life works.

Please don't misunderstand: I'm not saying that there's no room for adoption, or that it's never a better course of action for a child. I'm just saying that the speed with which we turn to adoption to solve transient problems is illogical, and keeps us from addressing resolvable problems that keep some parents from keeping their children.

Back to the job boards - and like I said, keep those fingers crossed! You'll be the first to know if and when something pops.

PS: Thank you to all the new readers for stopping by! I want to alert you - and you old-timers, too - that I've reinstated my blogroll page. I think people like to peruse blogrolls to find new blogs to read, plus with Google Reader it's dead easy to maintain, so it's back. If I have missed you or any blog you think is a good one, let me know. Since I've been otherwise occupied these past couple of months, I'm way behind finding new blogs, so be sure to let me know about any good ones you've found. Enjoy!

January 12, 2010

So good to hear from you guys - and a little adoption talk

You all do my heart good, that's for sure. Thanks for stopping by that last post, for the book suggestions, the general hellos and the good wishes. I feel really badly that I haven't commented - oh, heck, I haven't even read - any blogs lately, so forgive me. I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things, and sooner or later will stop by to visit. But I still feel badly that I've abandoned all the good stuff you're reading, so please also leave links to any of your recent posts that you'd like me to read.

I did see a link on Facebook that I've shared there and am passing on to everyone: Rethinking Consent to Adoption by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Jane Jeong Trenka and Tobias Hübinette. It talks to the issue of the consent period prior to the surrender of a child for adoption, and points out that the Korean Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family is considering setting this timeframe at 72 hours.

72 hours. Who, after giving birth, could possibly be ready to make such a momentus decision within 3 days? There are a gazillion studies that show the impact of the hormones in the system following birth alone would render this decision faulty. It's sad that Korea doesn't appear to be looking at other models that provide a more reasonable period of time for women to make such a decision.

The Ministry says their decision is based in concern for the child, whom they believe could be harmed if the relinquishment period were extended. Although the article doesn't explain where this fear comes from, I suspect it's the same point of view that we see in the U.S. in the safe haven discussion, in which concern for the exceptional cases leads to laws that negatively impact the majority.

No one wants to see a child harmed because his or her mother was unable or unwilling to seek care. We shouldn't, however, look at nearly-immediate family separation as the best means for preventing this. It seems to me that there are a host of other options in between, but we're forcing ourselves to take sides rather than openly discuss them.

I had an interesting discussion with a friend over the weekend on a related subject, but will put that in another post. In the meantime, read the article - and don't forget to add links to your best posts so I can start catching up there first!

PS: Just got an email with the latest issue of Adoption Today - I have an article in this issue, Empty Nest, Full Heart, page 18. Let me know what you think.