We’re off to Korea!

Monday, we got the call of all calls that every adoptive parent waits for:  we were told we could go to Korea to get MR.  It seemed the waiting had become so never-ending that we’d kind of gone numb, and just as when we adopted YM four years ago, the call came at a time when we had truly resigned ourselves to wait and we’d really stopped talking about it much.  Now comes the mad dash to pack and prepare for the trip, and deciding what to bring and what not to bring; list, after list, after list.  Packing and preparing has been seriously set back by the worst heat wave in local history, with this week having temps running up to 109° F/43° C.  Temps are usually so mild around here, that in Western Washington state, most people don’t have air conditioning, so it’s been quite unpleasant and hard to accomplish much of anything.  This morning, however, I saw the temp had dropped down to almost half that high temp (59° F) and it’s blissful.  Now, on with the mad dash to pack and all. We are SO EXCITED to be going!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted about much of anything.  The wait for the call was weighing me down, the high school reunion that I was on the planning committee for was keeping me a bit occupied, summer activities with my son, the long-running heat, and the list goes on.  The reunion was a big success, although we came out a little short on attendance, so we committee members have to pay an additional $25 along with our personal admission fees. I guess I’m going to keep the blog I started for my graduating class, since everyone really liked it.  The good thing is that that blog won’t keep me as busy now that reunion is over.

And now, some knitting content (sorry, no pictures)…

After having spent a good week trying to get the right gauge, I’ve cast on for Shawl Neck Cardigan, and I ended-up using US 2/2.75 mm for the pattern stitch and one US 1/2.25 mm needle and one US 2 needle together for the garter stitch parts, because the pattern calls for two different stitch gauges.  I’m using Elann’s Peruvian Quechua, which is alpaca and tencel.  I like the combination of the soft alpaca and the silkiness of the tencel, I just wish I didn’t have to knit the cardigan with such small needles. I tried knitting this earlier in the year, and realized that my gauge was off and that I messed-up on the pattern, not that I’d gotten very far on it.  I’m not sure if this is a project that will see completion this year, but it’s good for now.

I’ve also picked up Bird’s Eye Shawl, but I may end up making it into a small shawl, because it’s taking too long to finish and to knit a row on it, I need a good half hour to do that.

Also, I was recently encouraged to resume Grand Duchess, my attempt at an Medallion Square Orenburg shawl.  The encouragement came from my dental hygenist from Moldova, who after asking about it’s status, was shocked to hear me tell her that I didn’t think it was worth finishing.  She encouraged me to continue with the project, telling me that as a girl she used to watch her best friend’s mother knit Orenburg shawls, and assuring me that though they are very hard to knit, the shawl I was knitting was exactly as she remembered them. I just don’t know when I will ever find the time to figure out where I was on that project….

So that’s it for now and will probably be for a while, although I may try to squeeze in a post from Korea. We are so EXCITED!

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A birthday wish.

We first learned of our son’s sister in November, and we’ve been in the “process” adopting her ever since. Adoption and waiting are two things that go hand-in-hand. With a child that you have given birth to, you have that 9-month plan, and you know that one way or another the baby will be born in 9 months or sooner, but with international adoption, the waiting becomes something indescribable.  Waiting can take 9 months or 2 years.  Of course, a good adoption agency can give you approximations, but it can still vary.  With MR, our case was a little different, and since she was already 5 months old in November, we thought that once the ball got rolling, things would fall into place pretty quickly, especially given the fact that we’d adopted before and that we adopted her brother.  The waiting is all part of the process of checks and balances, during which your personal lives are scrutinized, making sure the adoptive parents are eligible to adopt and that they fall within the acceptable criteria set by the child’s birth country.  Despite all the joy and thrill at the prospect of becoming parents through adoption, at some point, as an adoptive parents, when friends and family and friends of friends whom you barely know continually ask you about the status of your child, you begin to just resign yourself to the reality that milestones you’d hope to experience with your child will not be experiences you get to share with her and that you won’t get to tell her about those milestones from a parent’s perspective.

Today is one of those days for me, for it’s her first birthday.  I had very much expected, perhaps unrealistically, that we would spend this day with MR, and that our son YM would be able to experience it with her.  Of course, we will have so many more milestones to share with her and to witness as she grows, but anyone who has raised a child from infancy knows that a lot changes in those first 12 months.  With our son YM, even though we brought him home at 6 months, I was the first to discover his first tooth (on the day we met him), we celebrated his first birthday with him, we heard him call us O-ma (Korean for Mom) and A-ba (Korean for Dad), we introduced him to his first foods, and we witnessed his first steps.  It’s been only 8 months that we’ve been waiting for MR, and we have so much to look forward to.  We just don’t know when and it’s become tiresome answering people’s questions about when we’ll get her.  I find myself in a state of holding my breath and I’ve had to stop thinking about her much, even though her picture is the first I see when I turn my phone on.

So I go on and hope that maybe next month will be the month we bring her home.  That’s my birthday wish for you, my daughter.

Criss-Cross

When a friend said that she was headed to Orcas Island, I asked that if she saw any interesting yarn to buy me a skein. So she wandered into Poppies Fine Yarns in Eastsound and brought back a hank of Malabrigo Silky Merino.  Wow, what a treat that has turned out to be!  I have heard a lot about Malabrigo, and although I’d seen it in stores, I hadn’t bought any yet.  It’s so lightweight and warm and soft and it has a such a nice luster to it from the silk content, it promised to be wonderful to wear, but with one skein, it proved to be more of a challenge to come up with a pattern for.  That night I searched Ravelry and decided on Cashmere Neckwarmer.

It took a few false starts before I got the hang of the pattern stitch, which is really very easy, but I add these additional words of advice to those who want to make it:  on the knit side (right side) of the work, after the yarnover, hold the yarn in back of the work as you proceed to the next stitch, and on the purl side, after the yarnover, bring the yarn in front of the work (i.e., the side facing you) before proceeding to the next stitch.  Once I figured this out, the stitch pattern developed the criss-cross look it is meant to have, whereas before that, it looked rather odd and unattractive.  I guess I’m just one of those people who need everything written out for me.

I’ve finished the cardigan for MR and it looks pretty funky; I’m not liking it.  It’s so big it’ll probably fit her next summer.  Oh well, serves me right for trying to knit something for someone whom:  a) I’ve yet to meet, b) have no measurements on other than weight and length, c) who is 1 year old and probably growing like a weed, and d) for whom I have no idea when I’ll get to meet her.

It’s shiny and red and it’s bigger than a bread box…

It’s my new Toyota Prius!  Yay!  Having finally sold our old house*, we decided that it was time to become a two-Prius household.  With No. 2 child due to arrive this summer, we wanted a car that offered better storage space than the old Prius (which we’ve had for 7 years) and yet was more practical than my in-law’s old Infiniti I30.  We thought that SUVs and minivans weren’t called for with two kids, yet (whew!), and I wanted a VW.  Nay, what I really wanted was a Peugeot 307 like we drove in around France and western Switzerland last fall, but Peugeot doesn’t have a dealer in the U.S. and, besides, European car manufacturers don’t have hybrids.  Still, we seriously considered a diesel VW Jetta wagon, but, I still could not stand the thought of our second car not being a hybrid. And hybrid SUVs just sound like an oxymoron to me, besides, I’m pretty anti-SUV (apologies to those of you who like them), and there are a number of sedan hybrids out there, but we really liked the Prius design, flexibility (fold-down backseat) and it’s techy side.  Techy?  I can voice-command my iPhone, not unusual for many new cars, but it also has voice-command navigation system, and a solar panel in the roof that when activated can keep your car at the same temp as outside while it’s parked and you’re not in it. So on a scalding hot day when you sweat your way across the scalding hot tarmac to your car, you don’t also sweat another gallon of body fluids because you’re sitting in a car that is 200° F that takes what seems like an eternity to cool down to something more comfortable. AND I don’t have one more reason for my son to refuse to get in the car “because it’s too hot.” My son YM runs on the warm side and pretty much likes to dress cooler than most kids; this is the same 4 year old who, while walking on a chilly, windy, rainy fall day in Paris, turned heads because he refused to put a jacket on. We’d been waiting for more than a month for the car to come in, and it was looking like next week, but we got the surprise call last night telling us it was ready for us to take it home today!  I love the red.  Love, love, love it.

Happy Fourth of July!

*Note: We’d put it on the market 2 years ago after we moved into our current one just when everything went bust, and rented it out for over a year. We put it back on the market in January, priced it to sell, and still came out a bit ahead. It wasn’t easy though and there were a few heart-stopping moments when it didn’t look like it was going to go through, and it took about 2 months to close.