Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thoughts On Johnny's Blog

*Note to Johnny: As you read this – please know that the pure sulfur enriched waters of the Florida aquifer bring these thoughts to blog.

Actually, I (we) would much prefer a dry red such as Toasted Head but we have made the decision not to consume any alcoholic beverages on Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s & Thursday’s. We are however, good to go on any other day of the week. I should fess up right now and tell you that we do refer to the first day of the week as Champagne Sunday for the reason most obvious in the title description. However, reds are our favorite, especially those rich in tannins and as dry as a desert breeze. And cheap. Cheap ranks high…

Enough already, (as I sip the cool natural waters of Florida with the distinctive boil eggs bouquet). I am trying to type out some thoughts on the language, culture and the melting pot thread you have going over on your blog

I had commented to you that the First Coast Families with Chinese Children are very active in our area. We got an email a couple of weeks ago announcing that language classes were forming up once again and to get you and your child signed up if you was of a mind too. Nothing hard sell. Just a notice, more of a friendly announcement. Which got Aly and I thinking more on the subject of how much of our daughter’s native culture, which she will know nothing of, do we foster (uh, how bout’ we use the word shepherd) into her life?

Quite frankly, we don’t know. Egad! Admitting to not having the answers to all of life’s questions…. Shame and ruin are sure to follow. Seriously though, our first thoughts were to jump on it as soon as we got Alyzabeth and to do it as a family. And this thought hit us, by doing the class thing, she would get to meet and interact with other children with similar beginning of life experiences. Why, we could see it plainly – she would be making a special, unique bond with some other little girl that would almost certainly end with each of them serving as the other’s bridesmaid 20+ years down the road!

OK – maybe not that far but you get the drift. We also thought that by our being a member of this cultural adoptive support group (read that as other folks who have adopted from China) it would serve as a virtual cornucopia of insights, tips, tricks and overall “if you remember one thing I’m telling ya, remember this” advice team of experts. And then these thoughts drifted in…

We hate joining things we know we will not continue with. First of all, because it makes you feel lousy for not doing something you said you were going to do. (I still plan to lose that extra little 100 pounds) We have the excuses – we get up each morning at 4am, we get home on the good days around 7pm and the phone can ring at anytime of the night or weekend and its back to that which puts money in our bank account. Which, without the check – no adoption. *Disclaimer Notice: Before the Dr. Laura crowd starts calling for our heads, we are making arrangements to have one of us home with Alyzabeth (and by the way, we admit to listening to Dr. Laura. We don’t always agree with her but that comes as a surprise?) I mean come on, how long do you think the Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday wine free days are going to last? We have had wine with our dinners for as long as I can remember. So far, neither of us has shown signs of needing intervention or a membership in AA. Of course, if you don’t drink, it is much like if you don’t smoke; I don’t therefore you shouldn’t. But I ramble, back to the language, culture and melting pot.

Will we acknowledge and promote Chinese culture in our home? Yes. The same as we do for any and all other cultures that we have either an interest in or a connection to. Still, as stated in our opening introduction on our blog – Alyzabeth is to become an American with Chinese ancestry. First and foremost she will be an American. Please, please simmer down - those of you wondering if the flag waving is slapping me in the face. We love our country; we love our diverse makeup that makes us uniquely American while easily embracing the richness and individual patriotism found in folks from each country throughout this world. Ours included.

So, are we signing up for Chinese immersion classes?

We were thinking more about how we plan to fund her prepaid college tuition plan. How big a bite the medical insurance deductible is going to be and whose check is it coming out of? Are we going to put her in St. Johns Country Day School (private) or save the big bucks and go the public route? How much extra term life insurance do we pick up in case we check out before she gets out of college and meets Mr. Perfect? Oh, and the big one staring at us down the road – Do we spring for the upgrade and get the business class seats on the plane going over and back or just back or not at all? Do we buy 3 seats or just 2?

I’m thinking business upgrade with 3 seats coming back. And American Sign Language. My sister teaches American Sign Language and taught each of her children how to communicate what they needed before they could even speak. Unreal – it works. Learn Chinese or do the American Sign Language thing?

Got to go. It’s time for our American Sign Language flash card study session…(now where is that Toasted Head bottle from last Monday?)

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