Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Relinquishment

Yesterday was a big day for us. I took Gus' birth parents to Adoption Connection to sign the relinquishment papers. I thought it would only take a few minutes but it ended up taking over an hour. Apparently there are a lot of papers to sign and they have to do it in triplicate. Before they signed I noticed our conversation was awkward with lots of silences. After they signed off however, everyone was more relaxed and started joking around. I guess the big elephant in the room was finally gone.Thus after two and a half weeks of caring for the little poop machine, he's officially in Limbo! Meaning his birth parents no longer have any rights to him and at the same time he isn't technically our son... Yet. We have to wait 6 months before the adoption is finalized. During that time there will be a couple visits from a social worker to see if we are in fact taking good care of him.

oh, his umbilical cord finally fell off! It's totally disgusting. I mean, it's a beautiful example of nature at its most miraculous.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Itty Bitty Kitty Committee




But seriously folks...

Just because we have a new baby in the house doesn't mean our adoption journey is over. Far from it in fact. Even though Gus is in our care, his birth parents haven't yet signed the relinquishment papers. It is Adoption Connection's policy to let them be of sound mind to sign off. That means they have to be out of the hospital for a couple days first. They will then meet with a counselor to see if their choice is in fact one they definitely want to make. It's a little bit nerve-wracking for us since they could change their minds but they have assured us this is the road they want to take. We have been using this time to get to know them a little bit. We've seen them twice since taking Gus home and they seem to really mostly be concerned for Gus' well being. I'm always nervous before we see them because I fear they will think we're doing a bad job but the truth is, I think they have an equal amount of fear. Maybe it's because they think we might change OUR minds, or that we might judge them for deciding on an adoption plan.So here we have this perfect little baby who will have no shortage of love from us and even though his birth parents decided on adoption, it was because they also loved him too much to be raised in their situation. Whatever I used to think about adoption, I now know that it is a profound event surrounded by love.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ready... Set... GO!!!

In a nutshell, We are now the proud parents of a newborn baby boy! Introducing Gus Elliott Lee-JesitusIn honor of this big change in our lives, I have changed the look of the blog as well. I still can't believe it actually happened. A little over a year since we joined Adoption Connection and 10 months of waiting in outreach, we are finally DADS. Let me catch a breath! This is the first time in 5 days I've had a moment to sit down and collect my thoughts...

On Monday the 24th of November, 4:00 pm, it was just a normal day at work when Adoption Connection called to tell me there is a couple that had just given birth but couldn't keep him. They chose us out of 5 profiles! If we agreed to it, we would have to take the baby home the next day. We scheduled to meet at the UCSF Hospital at 6:00. Between 4 and 6, I had to scramble to finish my work, tell my bosses I need to take a leave of absence and call David to tell him the news.We met the couple at the hospital, met Gus, got to know everyone a little bit, set up an appointment to take the baby home the next day, and then left. We then went to Target to buy 2 cart loads of baby stuff. Without knowing what to buy, we just threw stuff into the carts willy nilly. Sleep that evening was interrupted and strange.The next day (Tuesday), we went back to the hospital at 11:00 in the morning to be there for his discharge. We were actually at the hospital until 4:30 because things just took a little extra time. It was an awkward moment when the birth parents left. It seemed like they wanted to keep it short but they were visibly sad yet resolute about their decision.

After they left, the nurses gave us a quick lesson on what to do. I could tell they thought we were totally unprepared. They offered to have a nurse come to our house to give us pointers but I haven't heard anything since we left the hospital so maybe that won't happen. After the crash course, we made an appointment to see a pediatrician and then signed 2 forms and left the hospital... Um, that's all we had to do? We could not believe they let us take a newborn infant out of the hospital after only meeting him the day before.Now we are getting settled into a routine and he is a very sweet mellow kid. This is one Thanksgiving we will always remember.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Equality For All (except gays)

Despite our best efforts, Proposition 8 looks like it will pass by a narrow 52-48 margin. That means the citizens of California voted to insert language into the constitution taking away rights from a group of people. Usually it's the other way around and we GRANT rights to disenfranchised people.I'm incredibly saddened by this turn of events and yet have hope for a couple of reasons. One reason is Barack Obama won the presidential election and I believe he will be an ally for us. I mean, he even included gays in his winning speech last night! I don't think Bush ever did that. Another reason is young people are not nearly as threatened by homosexuality as older folks so when the older generation dies off, we'll be left with a loving utopia where everyone is treated with dignity and respect...The final reason is this whole gay marriage thing has really filled me with a sense of community and justice. Last weekend we stood outside in the pouring rain holding signs for "No on 8". It felt good to be a part of something at a grassroots level. It felt even better when people driving by in cars honked in our favor or told us they were definitely going to vote No. Even though we lost, the fact that we came so close this time gives me hope for the future.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vote NO on prop 8!

Hi everyone. This is my PSA on Prop 8, the proposition that will amend California's constitution to eliminate marriage rights for same-sex people. Ready? here goes:

If you are going to vote YES on Prop 8, you should just kill yourself.

Let me elaborate. Seems like the only people who want Prop 8 to pass are either a.) religious, or b.) so homophobic they invent some irrational morality to defend their prejudices. If you are the former, killing yourself will get you to God faster which is the ultimate goal right? Don't think of it as suicide, think of it as getting in the Fastrak Lane for the Pearly Gates. If you are the latter, you should just die because what you're trying to do is insert bigotry, hate and discrimination into the state's constitution and that is a deplorable thing to do. I think in your heart of hearts you know that too. If you vote Yes, will you be able to look someone in the eye and say "I voted to ADD discrimination to the Constitution"?

We shouldn't be able to eliminate rights for anyone just because they are different than us. Haven't we learned this already? David and I just want to live our lives as decent human beings where we realize that difference, though sometimes scary, is not always bad. In fact, encountering difference is just an opportunity to learn more about this bizarre world we live in. Kind of like going to an Asian restaurant. So, with that in mind, I take back my original statement. I don't want anyone to kill themselves because it would be wrong to wish that (and I think we all know the difference between right and wrong). I just want people to vote NO on prop 8 where it won't affect straight people's lives at all but could totally change ours.

We have got to get past this.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

And Just Like That...

RED ALERT!

Yesterday we got a call from Adoption Connection that there might be a baby for us! It is already born and they wanted to know if it would be ok to give the birth mother our profile. If she chose us, we would have to leave work right away and drive a couple hours to pick the baby up.We had just moved the day before and in fact weren't even living in our new home yet. We were in purgatory sleeping on blankets on the floor of our old house because the new house didn't even have a bed set up yet. All our clothes were in boxes including all the baby stuff we have accumulated and we didn't even have a working phone line, not to mention any internet... So we said, "Sure we'll take it!"but alas, she chose someone else. Phew and Sad Face at the same time. My poor stomach.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What We Have Learned Thus Far

Boy are we busy bees. David and I are in the middle of selling our place while buying a new one at the same time. It's been a whirlwind of storing, staging, and showing. There's also been a Hurricane Katrina's worth of faxing, emailing, and phone calls. Not to mention a healthy 1906 Earthquake's portion of inspections, meetings, and paperwork.Soon the transition will be over and it will be back to business as usual... Meaning sitting around waiting to be matched. Despite having a packed schedule, we somehow managed to go to 2 workshops over the last month.

The first one was about the legal issues that may arise for married same-sex couples. It was hosted by two powerful attorneys who specialize in family law and estate planning. Their names are Deb Kinney and Deborah Wald, or as I like to refer to them, The Debsbians. They spoke passionately and eloquently not just about the legal ramifications of same-sex marriage, but the cultural ones as well. We are standing at the precipice of yet another important civil rights issue and it is heartening to know we are trying to move away from discrimination instead of towards it. "NO" on prop 8! Don't worry, allowing gay people to marry won't cause this to happen:The second workshop we went to was called Negotiating Birth Family Relationships. Since we are planning on doing an open adoption, the intent is for the birth family to be involved in the child's life forever so it's important to nurture a good relationship with them. The workshop mainly focused on fears and expectations. The speaker also gave us different scenarios that may arise and asked how we would handle them. Also, there were bagels.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Like a Throat With a Heart In It

We did it! Yesterday David and I pledged ourselves to each other in front of a Justice of the Peace at City Hall in San Francisco County, CA. It was important for us to get married before November when there will be a vote to determine once and for all if our relationship is valid in the eyes of the law. Apologies to family and friends for whom we didn't have time to organize a party. Fear not, we intend on having a reception early next year to properly celebrate. Here's how it went down... (it helps if you imagine it as a silent movie with piano music playing in the background)
Thanks to Patty and Ross for taking time off work to witness and take photos. We love you!

More photos here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home Iz Where The Catz Are

David and I are in the process of looking for a new home! We love where we live right now but it is a TIC and not the ideal situation for us, especially with a baby on the way. We're going to try our best to stay in San Francisco but with the prices the way they are, we'll be lucky if we can afford a Single Family Shack. which one should we get?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So You Think You Can Be America's Best Dance Crew

I realize this blog is getting further and further away from being about our adoption but I just have to say:

Katee for SYTYCD
watch her with Joshua

... and Fanny Pack for ANDC
watch them perform to Missy Elliott

those are my predictions... Don't hate. Participate.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

There And Back Again

We are back at home in San Francisco. Jet lag is getting the best of me so I thought I'd post a final entry. Our last stop on the tour was Berlin. We arrived at the main train station wide-eyed at the modernity of it. It was like a giant shopping mall with trains running through it.All of Germany has a really rich history but Berlin in particular has had some major events in the recent past. The City is in a constant state of change and construction due to their reunification efforts since the fall of the Berlin Wall.We visited the Museum at the site of Checkpoint Charlie. Its focus is to describe life during a split Germany. The museum itself is kind of cluttered but it tells many interesting stories of escape attempts and the exuberance of the people after the Wall came down. Time for a little lunch break. Learning about history sure makes you hungry. Luckily they pour really big glasses of wine!The next morning we went to see the Reichstag building. In 1933, an arsonist set the building on fire ushering in a new era of Nazi rule. You can still see some of the burn marks.Above the columns, it says "Dem Deutschen Volken" or "For the German People". The family of the person who engraved it died in the holocaust. Today it is back in business as the offices of Parliament.

One of the last things we did in Berlin was go to the stylish Jewish Museum. It recounts Jewish life in Germany starting from the beginning of recorded history. The building itself is a monument to the millions of lives lost due to the persecution of Jews throughout time. One particularly intense display was a vast empty room with thousands of metal "faces" on the ground that clanged when you walked over them. We will never forget.So our time in Europe comes to an end. It was great traveling with a good friend and I feel like I really learned a lot! I will remember the delicious food, the kind people, and the madness of human behavior.

video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ahoj

Greetings from Prague! This place is a combination of old world beauty and reconstruction blues. There are some pretty incredible sights with lots of Gothic flair...And also some decidedly non-gothic images.I forgot to mention that while we were in Vienna, we accidentally ran into the Tour De France!We were also going to buy some gifts in Vienna before we left. Maybe some wine to bring home, but decided to wait until Berlin.
OK, back to Prague... Today we packed it in. We saw the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Old Jewish Cemetery, King Wenceslas Square, and finally the opera Don Giovanni at the Estates Theater. It is the original theater Mozart debuted Don Giovanni in on October 27, 1787 . Tomorrow we are heading to Berlin for the final leg of our tour. This is going by fast!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Czech Please!

We are leaving Vienna today and heading to Prague. Wish us luck! here is a link to the food we've been eating...

Friday, July 11, 2008

There Are No Kangaroos In Austria

First of all, we are here in Europe for work. this is what we did:What you are looking at is the view from the remote controlled space ship Patty and I rode in onto the big TV stage. It was for a kid's show called "Tiger Duck Club" and they invited us over to talk about animation. It was scary and thrilling trying to do a live interview translated into English through an ear piece in front of an audience of 150 kids... In one take.

The next day, we decided to take a bus tour to see the Bavarian countryside. We saw this:
and this (note the para-sailing over the castle). It's called Castle Neuschwanstein and is the inspiration behind Disneyland's castle. Oo, maybe we can write this trip off.Today we left Munich and headed over to Austria. First stop, Salzburg! They have solar powered garbage cans but we couldn't figure out why they need power."Patty, you have something in your hair"After leaving Salzburg, we took an epic journey to Vienna. We were carrying heavy bags, dealing with rude people and getting lost but in the end it was all worth it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Guten Tag!

Hello from Munich! Patty and I are in Germany doing press for the release of Wall-E. We will be appearing on a children's television show called Tiger Duck Club. It's supposed to be the German equivalent to Sesame Street except without the puppets. Since nothing is going on adoption-wise, I'll just use the next few entries as a travel journal.

The plane ride was great. Barely any turbulence and it was a direct flight. The meals however, were somewhat lacking...The first thing I noticed about German people is that they love themselves some beer!As if that's not enough, here's a close-up.In addition to beer, they love pretzels, cabbage, potatoes, and sausages. They also love concentration camps. Or at least, they used to. We went to Dachau right outside of Munich and it was the first concentration camp in Germany. The sign at the entrance translates to, "Work Makes Freedom".Here's Patty at one of the bunkers. Each one was made for 50 people but at the height of WWII, they reached capacities of 500... SoberingHere's something more fun. At the source of the river Eisbach, there is so much turbulence, people surf from bank to bank. It's only 20 feet wide!And finally, it turns out Germans were the originators of Banking For Jerks.
for more photos of the food we're eating, click here.