Saying Goodbye

On June 9, 2010 we first heard about our new daughter. She was 10. She had a complicated story and we were going to be her new family to help carry her through.

On May 9, 2011 we sat across a coffee table and said goodbye. She’s leaving our family. Her complicated story gets even worse and we all struggle with dashed hopes and broken dreams.

This has been my life the past few months as our latest journey into adoption has come apart all around us. It’s a little bizarre when life unravels and you’re not sure how to answer the ‘how are you?’ question, let alone blog about it.

When an adoption doesn’t work out it’s called a disruption (such a lovely technical term for a heart-wrenching circumstance). I’m not going to get into the details of our disruption. It’s a matter of privacy and when you’re dealing with an older child who can Google herself that’s just a bit weird. This entire situation sucks for her, and she deserves way better than that kind of indignity.

This whole mess is still being worked out. We don’t know what’s next. We don’t have much, if any, control of the situation and we don’t know all the details. It’s a feeling of powerlessness. Like being lost in a fog.

What we do know is that everything has changed. We do know that our family of five has become something else. We’re not quite a family of five anymore, but I hesitate to say we’re a family of four again. I don’t think you can go back so easily.

While she’s no longer in our house and soon to no longer be our legal charge, she is still in our hearts. I can be clear about that. She will always be our daughter. It’s not for a lack of love or a lack of trying or something else. The choices this process forced upon us are brutal, and I don’t really expect anyone to understand them. I wouldn’t have understood them a few months ago. It just sucks.

I’ve heard a lot of platitudes and I’ve offered a lot of nervous laughter and I’ve given fake smiles and I haven’t been able to maintain eye contact. Sometimes I’d rather not talk about it. And sometimes I need to get it off my chest (hence this post).

I don’t know where we go from here. We’ve asked for a lot of help and we’re trying to find our way.

My hope and prayer is that more than us, she’ll find her way.

Why I Love The Current

It’s pledge drive time again at Minnesota Public Radio, which means my default station, 89.3 FM The Current, is full of pleas for cash. But that’s OK because The Current is the best music station ever. When people say radio is dead, they don’t listen to The Current.

I’m not a big fan of pledge drives. I can’t listen when the news side of MPR does their pledge drive. But I can endure it for The Current, mainly because they make it fun. It also helps that I’m a founding and sustaining member, so no guilt.

While listening to their pledge spiel today I started thinking about all the great bands and music I’ve discovered thanks to The Current. Here’s a quick list of music I discovered thanks to The Current (in no particular order):

Arthur Yoria, Arcade Fire, The Postal Service, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Death Cab for Cutie, Rilo Kiley, The Magnetic Fields, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Cloud Cult, Sondre Lerche, Mark Mallman, Kaiser Chiefs, The Heavy, Hot Hot Heat, The Raconteurs, Nada Surf, Rainer Maria, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Gossip, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Cold War Kids, M.I.A., The Fratellis, Regina Spektor, Bloc Party, The Big Pink, Art Brut, MGMT, Metric, Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers, Gogol Bordello, Jonsi, Lady Sovereign, Ladyhawke, Lily Allen, The Decemberists, The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Thermals, The New Pornographers, Trampled by Turtles, Apples in Stereo, Ida Maria, Haley Bonar, Mates of State, Rancid, Tilly & the Wall, Tullycraft, Blonde Redhead.

Every band in this list has at least one song in my iTunes that I’ve listened to more than a dozen times (at the bare minimum). In most cases I bought something by this band because I heard it on The Current and liked it. In several cases The Current gave it to me for free (and then I often went on to buy more of it). Some of these are obscure hipster bands, but others are well known bands that I certainly heard about before hearing them on The Current, but I didn’t listen to their music until after hearing them on The Current.

Radio is not dead. Go check out The Current. You can listen online.

Clean Water for Elirose

Clean Water for EliroseI’ve talked about clean water a lot, so it should be no surprise that I’m loving Clean Water for Elirose. It’s a children’s book explaining to kids what it’s like to not have clean water that comes out of the tap. It’s written by a fellow Twin Citizen, Ariah Fine, and the book itself supports clean water.

Right now a Kickstarter campaign is wrapping up that has so far raised nearly $4,000 of a $3,500 goal to enable cheaper publishing of the book so it can help more folks. Ariah is not only raising money himself for clean water, but he’s enabling other people to raise money. If you want to support the project, $3 gets you a copy of the book. If that’s not a good enough deal, you can donate $100 and get 50 copies. Perfect for your own water-generating fundraiser.

It’s a great little project and you can even read the book online. Check it out and support it. They’ve already hit the goal, but more help is even better.