I still have a Christmas cookie jar sitting out so it should not be surprising that I want to talk about 2011 in April 2012. I wrote out this overview of our miscellaneous misadventures for the year right after the New Year and then procrastinated long enough for the kids to finish eating their chocolate Easter bunnies.
The New Year has come and gone and as usual the parade has passed by and I’m trailing behind in the dust behind the elephants. So let’s recap 2011 for posterity and my sometimes fuzzy memory…..
January, February and March are spent in a lower circle of Hell from a pinched nerve in my neck. The agony culminates in a complete, sobbing breakdown in front of the boss and a trip to the emergency room where I’m so overwrought with blubbering that my sister has to do all the talking. The coup de grace comes in the form of projectile vomiting all over myself and the backseat of Nan’s truck from the morphine and Valium cocktail the ER gives me. The utter loss of control of my body at 70 mph on the interstate is staggering but Sweet Jesus the relief.
January – Sister Girl displays a hereto undiscovered talent for spelling. She wins the class spelling bee, the 4th grade spelling bee and represents the school in the county spelling bee. At the county competition the unbearable tension of waiting for your kid to screw up reminds me why I am not cut out for competitions of any kind. She lasts a respectable four rounds and will forever remember how to not spell the word choir.
For the never-ending adoption paperwork, I get fingerprinted no less than four times in 12 months. Probably beat ol’ Lindsay Lohan’s record for the year. Would have been five, but I got tired of sitting on the curb outside the county detention center in 115 degree heat while the newly incarcerated cut in line ahead of me. Know where being a responsible, tax-paying citizen puts you? At the back of the line.
April – I become the reluctant foster mother of the Wild Boy of Borneo again. Discover that while I’m completely OK with adopting children, fostering a child whose parent is too self-absorbed to get it together is a whole other level of stress. Give the kids a few glimpses of what it is for Mama to totally fall apart.
June - after a year of hauling around 50 pounds of adoption paperwork we get a referral from Russia. Break the devastating news to Evie that she will not be able to go with me to see Little Sister over chicken and dumplings at Cracker Barrel. She cries while the waitress refills her sweet tea.
July - leave my kid for longer than a day for the first time in 10 years. She cries. I cry. Then I point out to Nan where my life insurance policies are kept in case of an EMP attack or a zombie war breaks out and I don’t make it back. Spend 10 long, lonely days living on bottles of Coke and cheese crackers. Read Stephen King’s Under the Dome in its cat-squashing entirety and a half dozen back issues of Reader’s Digest. Spend hours each day bouncing around in the backseat of a car on back country Russian roads to see Little Sister at the childrens home.
September and October – Wild Boy of Borneo goes back to live with his mama and I go back to Russia two more times. Once by myself for court where I’m told at the last minute that I will be required to give a 5 minute speech during the proceedings. This kid better never say I don’t love her because I am absolutely petrified of speaking in public Second trip is with Evelyn who’s finally allowed back into the mother country after her passport issues are straightened out. Travel 12 days alone with two children in a foreign country whose language I speak about 10 words of.
Luckily for me the FBI isn’t too interested these days in wire-tapping the text conversations of harried, stressed out adoptive moms. Otherwise the following texts to my sister could have been construed in a slightly incriminating context…..
Text 1: Start praying. I can’t find my stash of money I put up after my last trip to Russia.
Text 2: I hid the envelope in the house somewhere. I checked all my usual hiding places. Can’t find it.
Text 3: Thank the Lord! I found my stash! It was with my drugs!
November - spend the month of my adoption leave waging the daily Battle of the Light Switches with a 35 pound Russian Cossack bent on complete domination of the household electrical system. When’s she not flipping EVERY SINGLE light switch in the house, she’s pillaging every drawer, cabinet and closet she can sneak into. We take to locking all the doors and carrying toothpicks in our pockets to pick the thumb locks.
December – to overcome the language barrier we develop our own peculiar dialect. A mixture of English, Russian, Kid and Mom. The adoption issue I thought would be the hardest to overcome turns out to not be that big of a deal. I learn a few new words of Russian, but never figure out exactly what “nannyboodo0″ means but do know the gist is “I don’t like that’.