Friday, October 30, 2009

In Your Face Mensa

We have this weird game we play at our house. It began about a year ago and was born out of a conversation Ava and I had in which we were comparing what color each day of the week is. You know, Wednesday is green, etc. We thought of five of the seven days as the same color. This game has morphed into such ridiculousness as this:

"What is Monday plus book?" said Eden.
"Library." I said. (I mean, c'mon, give me a hard one.)
"Orange?" Erik asked.
"Wednesday?" I said.
"Banana tree?"
"Beaver." Eden said.

Damn it.
I should have gotten that one.

I'm In

This is NaBloPoMo. 30 posts in 30 days for the month of November. I heard about such craziness last year. I promise to not resort to recounting what I packed the girls for lunch...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yonas Hailu Romberg

I sit here stunned, blessed, trying to find the words to convey the emotions and the meaning of this day. The sleepless nights, the anxiety, the ache I feel for him in the deep night...
all eased by the light that now shines at the end of this tunnel that has been so dark at times, so much harder than I imagined when we began this journey...

He is my son.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Building a Tribe

I have not stated here, but should, that our original October 9th court date has been pushed to October 26th. I guess the good thing about experiencing multiple delays lasting months is that a couple of weeks isn't the end of the world. The delays over the summer were made bearable in large part due to Sarah, whom I've mentioned before. She and her husband have three children in the same orphanage Yonas is in and are still waiting on a court date. (Soon Sarah, soon!!)

I have felt grateful for her presence in my life, this woman so many miles away, this woman I know only through the magic of the internet. So many times a moment has passed and I think of Sarah moving through her day, missing her children, wondering how they are, as I miss Yonas and wonder how he is. And this: our children are sharing a home. They know each other.

And so Sarah and I have been on a quest for months trying to find others with children in the Bethel Orphanage in Nazret. And until last week our efforts were futile. But there are more. And we have found each other. And it feels like the most beautiful, amazing, important thing. Our children know each other. They are playing and eating and sleeping together before any of us have even met them. They are living together. They are sharing what we cannot yet share with them right now as I type these words. And now we, their parents, have found each other. And we can lift each other up and make each other smile and plan for a time when we can all come together as a giant family for our children who once upon a time shared a life together before we ever knew them.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Romberg Family Creed

We gathered around the table to have a discussion about what we wanted our family to be, to stand for, who we wanted to be as a group and as individuals as we make our way on this crazy journey together. We talked. We listened. I wrote it all down:

"Be nice."
"Talk kindly."
"Say you are sorry."
"Don't grab."
"Be respectful."
"Ask instead of tell."
"Help each other."
"Don't yell."
"Have fun."

Then we compiled our list and I wrote it on the wall at the end of the hall.

Once I was walking down the hall and felt like continuing out the door. It didn't seem peace-making or respectful. So I stayed. After all, we shook on it.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


It's been two months since I've posted here. I've tried and failed posting a video a couple of times, but beyond that I've felt relatively uninspired. And herein lies the rub. I know better than to wait for inspiration. I know that motherhood, with all its sweetness and tedium, all its beauty and need, will suck me in and pull down into a place I find difficult to climb my way out of if I'm not careful. But here I am again. It's been months since I've written any fiction beyond a page or so. Even longer that my hands have created anything that wasn't edible. And so I'm sinking.

I'm accutely aware of Yonas' impending arrival, that I'd better get my ass in gear and figure this out before we bring him home. And so my gut is in pain, my breath short, my body in a perpetual state of panic. In short, I'm a mess.

The problem is that the balance I seek is one that must be perpetually sought if you are a woman. The balance of self-care over caring for others. We are by nature and by nuture, caregivers. I have long felt that a huge part of my path in this life is to learn to make peace with and find space for my maternal and creative selves. I believe they can not only co-exist, but inform and buoy each other. But I also know that for that to happen, one must fight the good fight of finding time for self, time for silence and solitude, and for me, time to create. And it's not happening. And there is no blaming children or laundry, or lack of time. There is only me looking back at myself wondering how long I'm going to let this continue before I do something about it. I've been a mother for alomost eight years. It's not like I haven't had this conversation before. But this is a conversation that needs repeating, that must be screamed, that never goes away.

I don't know what the answer is for me right now. I know it starts with loving myself enough to take the time to figure it out. I think it might end with a metaphorical swift kick to the ass.