Monday, June 30, 2008

A Farwell to Arms

I canceled my WoW subscription today.

''bout time,' some of you may be thinking. ...actually, my guess is that you don't think about that at all. And that's okay. But I do.

Due to our need for Health Insurance, I took a new job. The job is pretty cool, but now I devote twice as much time to it than I was working before. That's a pretty big change in lifestyle. My income has also changed. But I didn't know by how much, so I was little excite/apprehensive when I opened my check today.

I was elated.

'Wow,' I thought, 'I'm making about $200 a week more now! Sweet, I'll be able to pay for the kids to have food when they come.'

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks dropped from the Empire State Building with spikes laden with poison from a brown recluse:

I get paid every two weeks now.

Yep, I just took a $320 a month pay cut.

I cried.

I was so happy for a minute. Life was great.

I'm tearing up again just writing this.

Elation to despair in less than half a second.

My wife is right: This will all work out. We'll find a way to slash our already tight budget. We'll make it.

And we will. As someone recently read: Don't confuse your Provider with your employer. How true. How painfully, horribly true.

I guess it was time to update my certification in trust.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

Monday, June 16, 2008

Firefox 3

This was too important to pass up:

Firefox 3 is going to be released tomorrow. Download it June 17, 2008 and help set a world record.

Do it!

Download Firefox 3 here.

~Luke Holzmann

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shades of Awesome

Yesterday was a roller coaster.

And I don't like roller coasters. All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, we potentially had three kids, at least one of them schooling age. The number was perfect, the gender was perfect, the ethnicity was perfect. And yet we feared to hope. It was exciting, no, thrilling, but also terrifying. And sobering. We could be the parents of a four year old in a couple of months. Whoa. Talk about a reality check.

Brittany said to me, "Wouldn't it be awesome if we got the pictures of them tonight instead of tomorrow morning?" It would be unlikely, but pretty cool.

At about 8pm Brittany asked me, as I was about to go watch another episode of Firefly with Jason, "Do you want to see some pictures of the kids?"

I would post pictures here, but I don't think I'm allowed to. Sorry. Wish I could.

We've been praying that our kids will be healthy and beautiful in all ways. The kids look really healthy. The older girl is probably 4-5, and the boy is 5-6ish. Much older than we've been thinking. The younger girl is adorable.

I've often worried, over the course of my life, that I wouldn't think my children were beautiful. I've seen some ugly kids. And what do their parents think of them, especially since everyone tells you, "You'll find your children adorable because they're yours"? I'm not sure how the logic follows. It sounds like a twisted version of "love is blind", but I digress. The point is: They lied to me.

[NB: RvB is not suitable to those who are bothered by language and inappropriate verbal content, and the above link has some language directly following the quote.]

The kids look like Russian Bouncers. It's time for brutal honesty because, as Brittany pointed out, if we don't talk about it now it will come back to "bite us in the butt" later. It's hard to tell what they really look like. The poor photography, pudgy sullen faces, the hideous short haircuts (probably to reduce lice), and ill-fitting clothes don't inspire cries of, "You are so sweet!"

And so I'm torn.

Are these our kids? Some families recognize their children right away. Others don't. And I don't really know.

There are some major pros to adopting slightly older children, but we hadn't really been considering it. And jumping into being the parents of three children, homeschooling, and dealing with kids who will very much remember their life in Kyrgyzstan and have who knows what kinds of feelings about that, having to learn a new language, and dealing with whatever got them to be available to join our family are rather daunting thoughts.

Time for a Confession of an Expecting Father: My fantasy was that my little girls would be gorgeous, adorable, more on the lithe Swedish/Iceland than stocky Russian side. And these girls may be just that, or become that way once they shed their baby fat. With hair and a smile the girls may be adorable, but I can't tell. The boy will certainly grow up to be a heartthrob.

But will I be disappointed if they aren't gorgeous? Will the girls pick up on that and develop a complex? Will I gravitate to one of the kids and so neglect the others? It sounds so shallow to say, but "I wanted pretty girls!" ...but who wants ugly kids?

Brittany has been saying frequently about how it would be "so many shades of awesome" if this or that happened. And "shades of awesome" is how I feel: This could be great, but there are some shadows that have me worried.

Sorry for the rambling thoughts and disjointed ideas. My mind doesn't feel completely sane at the moment, and my thoughts don't seem to be making a lot of sense.

I think I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed.

I wish I was more collected; writing with a point, a purpose and a lesson. But for the following days I'm afraid this blog will be more of a journal to record my thoughts for future reference than for potentially brilliant insights.


~Luke Holzmann

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The News

Brittany called me at about 8:50 this morning at work.

"Guess what."

She got a call from the adoption agency.

"How many were you looking to adopt?"

Brittany replied, "We're looking at up to three."

"You're not going to believe this..."

Turns out that a sibling group of three just became available. They are a little older than we have been thinking, but if these are our kids, then great! What's more: There are two girls and a boy. And they look "very Russian". In a country that is 80% Asian, the 3-5 year-old girl has blue eyes.

We're supposed to get pictures tomorrow.

Thrilled and Terrified

And I was supposed to work after that.

What's crazy is that we are getting a referral, of sorts, and we haven't even completed the paperwork for the US yet. So there are still a ton of things that need to come together. I need to get hired at a company that will give me health insurance (have to have that before we can move forward), we need to complete the Dossier, and then we're really moving.

Over the past two weeks, I've been really stressed out, frustrated, and even a little depressed because I've been stuck at health insurance. We were flying through the process right into a brick wall.

Health Insurance

So yesterday I felt like I couldn't do anything, like I was completely stuck until the health insurance worked out.

Today proved that wrong. I could do something. I could get excited.

~Luke Holzmann