24 November 2009

Baby Moon

Baby Moon has two meanings for me. Eric and I were married on the winter solstice, we had our wedding party on the summer solstice and when the doctor called to say I was pregnant it was again the summer solstice. So seeing that the solstice always starts on a new moon...I have nicknamed my baby boy as he grows inside me, Mika. (Japanese for new moon) Also the process of the baby growing reminds me of phases of the moon, starting new and small and growing big, like my belly.

The second meaning others told me when I mentioned we were going on our last trip as 2......people say it is called a Baby Moon.

So earlier this month before the holidays hit the gallery and before I got too dang big, we went to Kauai for some rest & relaxation. I wanted to float my belly in the ocean. So now a few shots of our adventure:

We stayed on the North Shore in Hanea. Beautiful, wet, rainy, humid & relaxing. Here is my belly and the mountains behind me have 12 waterfalls pouring down from the rains.

A muddy climb to the first look out point on the Nepali Coast. I didn't go any farther, too much extra weight to keep going, but I did want to see the view down the coast line......breath taking.

Eric sketching in the Limahuli Botanical Gardens, the mosquitoes where having their way with me.

Eric and his pods. Everywhere we go Eric is always picking up pods and photographing leaves.

Nepali Coast Sunset and me in the ocean, I did get to float my belly but didn't get a photo of that. Too bad.

It rained so hard the Hanea bridge over flooded and we were trapped on the other side. This is the way we spent a lot of time because of the rains & flash floods. Eric strung up a Ukulele in the apartment and wrote songs. You can see the rains running off the roof. They have big raindrops in Kauai.

And me, well I rested, read, ate,

& felt baby Mika moving around. He's growing so fast....
It was actually a vacation we came home rested & ready for the holidays!

(note* the photos in this entry were taken at 24 weeks, I am currently at 28....the clock is ticking!)

01 November 2009

Who's in there?

My little guy is certainly bumping around in there. I started feeling him moving on exactly 20 week date and he seems to be getting more active all the time. Or just bigger & hence bigger movements. OK so for those of you requesting belly photos here is one. We really haven't taken many photos so I'll try to remember to take more. I know I don't look huge but I am feeling huge. There is a reason that you won't be seeing me from the backside. I guess it is good my hips are spreading but I thought perhaps I'd be spared of that since I've always had wide hips anyway. Well hopefully it will aid in getting him out quickly and easily when the time comes. I know I have a ways to go. When I read the books and see that he still needs to get 8x bigger I think, I don't know if I can do this. But that is what I thought when I read that he needed to get 15x bigger and here I am.

I'm through the nausea so that is one plus on my side. I spend my time thinking.... just who will this little guy will be? I can't wait to meet him! The whole pregnancy thing is still shocking to me. I can't believe it is happening some days and then I try to bend over and yep it's real. 23 weeks~ and I'll just say we are doing great! I'll save my pregnancy sufferings for another day. Honestly the whole thing is going fast. Much faster than our adoption wait. I do hope that the doors to International adoption open soon in Kyrgyzstan. My thoughts are with you all! I'm still keeping tabs on what is happening. Fingers crossed for you out their waiting!

11 October 2009

20 Weeks...

Half way there! Wow pregnancy it is still surreal. A baby human is growing inside me. We had our 20 week ultra sound and looks like he is developing as they say "normal". Which is good! I'm feeling better (finally!). I had major, major nausea and unlike most ideas of being pregnant, and enjoying eating away, food just hasn't been my favorite part of the day. I think the strangest symptom of pregnancy has been an acute sense of smell. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But eating is getting better and my belly is getting bigger.

Today I had my first stranger ask me when I was due so I guess I am passing the April's putting on some weight vs. pregnant mark. Below is my favorite ultra sound photo......a little hand. I have felt slight movement but still waiting for the first real kick. He's growing!

p.s. Just as I am writing this I am feeling someone knocking from inside my belly. He knows I'm writing about him.

21 August 2009

Adoption vs. Homegrown

I was recently asked to write about adoption vs. biological child. Since I have only been in the process of both I will write about that. We are currently on a list for International Adoption. Our journey for a child began about 5 years ago when I was 36. When we did not easily get pregant I will say that I experimented with some milder fertility treatments in the beginning. I felt pretty insane hormonally and decided I did not want to take this any farther. My hormones were screaming to procreate but intellectually and heart-fully I knew I wanted to be a parent. I did not need it to be my egg. My husband felt the same.

We started to investigate adoption. I am Japanese/French/German born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. (yes really!) My brother and I being the only half Asians in our school growing up, I had always been somewhat treated like I was from a different country other than born and raised in Utah so it felt natural for me to look to an international adoption for our child. And now living in the Bay Area I knew my child would be accepted as any race.

We found out that since we had only recently been married, even though we had been together for many years that this was an issue. Most international countries ask for 2-5 years of marriage before you can apply. Others have restrictions for age. Which my husband was at the 45 year mark and that is out in some countries. One thinks these rules are strict, I do agree, but with an international adoption one has got to see things from their point of view. In Central Asia where we eventually picked, people life expectancy is into their sixties. So from their perspective, why are we adopting over 45 if we might live to 60?

We just barely met the requirements for Kyrgyzstan, a country south Kazakhstan and west China. I loved the mix of the people and liked the idea that if our kid didn't want everyone to know they were adopted that they could probably pass as our kid. Not that I cared, I wanted the kid to find their way to fit into this world. An issue any kid has adopted or not.

What I have learned is their are advantages for adoption, I have met a whole extended family in this world. I have met kids that melt your heart. I have read that only 1% of kids without parents find a forever home.

I also know how incredibly hard it is to wait, and wait, and wait. I would tell people if you are interested in adopting it will most likely take you from 3-5 years. Yes really. Currently the International climate is not easy to adopt. Waits are very long and countries close or are put on moratorium for political reasons. This is what happened to us. Since August 2008 adoption in Kyrgyzstan came to a screeching halt. All through 2009 we have been trying to decide on other options. Things did not seem promising and we had been waiting almost two years at this point for our adoption.

Well I surrendered frustrated with the adoption process. To make a long story short, with the help of a very talented Naturopath who worked with homeopathy and acupuncture, at 41, I am 3 months pregnant!

I had given up even wanting to be pregnant. I would have been totally happy with an adopted child. Not that I am not happy now, I am thrilled. I only wish those kids who need good families could find their way into loving parents homes more easily.

So it's a boy! (surprise) We wanted one child but maybe baby o will still come from Kyrgyzstan? We are still on the list, after all..... I surrendered right?

The only advise I have since it is such an individual process is that your heart does open down each path you take.

16 June 2009

Cloud Street

How did it get to be June? This is an actual photo of a cloud formation called 'cloud streets' which are rows of cumulus or cumulus-type clouds aligned parallel to the low-level wind. Unreal? No real.

I picked this photo because a 'street' is a pathway, a road to follow. + Skies have always given me the simplest comfort knowing there is such a simple beauty on any day we breath air. Just look up, in light or dark there is always something there with you. I also love their ethereal glow that comes even in a dark sky or through a back lit cloud. The sky truly holds god's light.

On our road to have a child I have explored, well everything....well almost.

Each time a new decision is explored I see my emotional system getting in a new line. And then looking back at my past decision and seeing it fade.

I will say one thing that with Kyrgyzstan being closed till at least February 2010, I have kind of let International Adoption go for now. We are still inline, but our fingerprints just expired. We can pay again if something seems hopeful but I just couldn't march down to the office to get them reprinted. Besides I also had a bad gardening accident and don't think they would have taken my prints now anyway.

I have learned so much about myself in this journey to create a family.

With this emotional roller coaster I will say that I do not judge anyone on their pathway to having or wanting a child, or for that matter to choice to not have children. There are so many things that come into play that can make me sway one way or another. I have made decisions that I thought I would never make and then they fade away and another door opens. The thought I still have despite all the many pathways I have been down, is to be open to that special child to come into our lives.

I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me, this is a spiritual journey. I am open. I love the sky. I am present.
I also know I am being abstract and ethereal, but what ya gonna do?

28 April 2009

Dear Universe,

We have gone through the motions of investigating domestic adoption, interviewing agencies, finding out what it would take to convert our home study, adoption attorneys....etc, etc. Let alone the pragmatics, I tell you the hard thing for me / us is the emotional switch over.

I even made a blog for the "Dear Birthmother" or as I have learned the even more PC term is "Dear Expectant Mother". I had fun doing all the collages so I thought I'd share them with you. Eric did the writing and it is live, but since I am not certain we are actually going through with starting domestic adoption. I'll wait to share it. It feels so strange to be marketing ourselves? I don't know why, we do it all the time on our art to make a living. Somehow I am waiting for more wisdom from the Universe!
I'm listening....

For now I'll share our life in photos:

Our home, my studio, Eric's office & my gallery all reside under this roof!

Daily morning walks at the marina, owls and our cats.

Eric's studio, his public art projects, gates & sculpture.

My jewelry, my bench, my gallery.

My family, my dad's from Hawaii, my warm spirited mom, my grandfather's painting, my brother and me as kids.

Eric's family, the Powell Brother's singing trio; Rob, Eric, Charlie, Eric's Pa Jim with our niece Eden, Mama Carla with niece Anu. My sister in laws Diane & Jess, a.k.a. ARIES GALS!

Our extended family on both sides at our wedding celebration.

Travel Adventures to Japan to see dear friends.

Just us in our spare time while we wait for news from the universe about where our baby will come from.

And don't worry there are plenty of images lining the side of us with kids in our lives...these are only the collages.

I do, and then see what feels right. I am not good at just deciding on an idea and then going for it. I need to feel my way into it and I usually feel a click. I'm pretty intuitive and something is telling me to wait. So I am.

Hey up there, I am listening Universe...I'm not getting any younger Universe, just so you know.

10 March 2009

"The Happy Couple"

So here we are, the happy couple! As we are exploring other options in adoption,we found out we need a good photo of us. As I sorted through our past photos, as artists it seems like we are not big smilers in photos. I guess you are more mysterious looking, more artsy or something? So this didn't really show our bright, happy side. So we had to do a little photo shoot over the weekend. It was pretty funny to get one we both liked......and while this is the winner. I wish I'd have pulled up my other sock? Do you think that will be a big factor when a birth mother is looking for adoptive parents? Ah well, nobody is perfect.

28 February 2009

New Pathways

The thing about dealing with something hard is that it is possible to move through it. While we have not given up on baby o coming from Kyrgyzstan. We are now both open to other possibilities..... domestic adoption and even still trying again to get pregnant. And this means our world is open on where and when baby o will come. I do have to get into a new mind set for many possibilities to be open. The thing I do know I want to do is explore other pathways.

We will leave things in place in Kyrgyzstan, our dossier is approved, so we wait and see if it does open again and under what conditions. If not we will switch to Kazakhstan. And since International Adoption is so out of our control, we will do a little exploring on the domestic side and just be open to which happens first.

I'm actually feeling much better now that I have moved through the dead-end I let myself put up. The dead-end was caught in an idea of exactly how it would happen. Why do we like to feel like have to know exactly every detail. Unknowing is hard. And the truth is, the world has vast possibilities and "she" or "he" is out there. I just know it!

13 February 2009


I remember last year on Valentine's Day I mailed in our application to commit to our agency. We had been thinking about adoption for awhile but that was the day I really committed. Well one year later we are still waiting and Kyrgyzstan still has not re-opened. It doesn't seem hopeless but every month we hear that the next month looks positive. It is so frustrating!

I have recently starting looking into changing countries, I mean how long can I really wait? I had opted to do adoption over fertility treatments, even thought my chances of the fertility route looked really good. I guess I should say both my husband and I really WANTED to adopt and felt like that was the right option for us. BUT boy government does NOT make it easy. I am so frustrated! I already say that, but I think it deserves a second mention. Ahhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrgh!****

What to do.....what to do???

I really don't feel like doing another stack of 12" of paperwork or getting mentally prepared to adopt from another country or writing more checks. If we switch we would probably stay in Central Asia and move to Kazakhstan. Any thoughts from you all is appreciated.

The rain is pouring down tonight in Northern California, it is comforting and cozy all at once. I do look forward to more tangible movement in this journey to parenthood.

Maybe NEXT month?

17 January 2009

The future of "baby o"...

What lies ahead for the future of baby o?

Our agency thinks that the international adoption process will start to resume in Kyrgyzstan this month. I have also heard other speculations that it may take until spring for things to get up to speed. I really, really hope not! I do have faith that I am with a good agency and whatever is possible they are doing.

I thank you all for checking in on us. Yes the wait is long & although I try to stay busy with my art work & my life, I'm definitely in a waiting stage, thinking of a sweet baby in my arms often.

Anu, my niece on Eric's side of the family, did a drawing of herself and baby o. Anu envisions baby o's skin to be a nice peachy color while hers is a gorgeous brown. I would say that Anu and baby o are seen here in the future. I love their very glamorous dresses. Hmmmh maybe she will take after me.

Anu was adopted from Nepal and is VERY excited for baby o. Her mom tells me she did a school report on baby o last year. So as you can see I am not the only one who is excited and looking forward to meeting her.

Anu has shown a great talent for the visual arts and I had been asking her for awhile to draw a picture of baby o. Thanks so much Anu!

OK, well I guess back to waiting.....and life....and this gorgeous Californian weather! It's January right?