Monday, December 10, 2012

Maia and I fooling around.  This was from May of this year.

John, Monday, December 10, 2012.
This was Maia and I playing "nostril flare war" on April 1st of this year.  I had forgotten about this and found it while doing computer archaeology.

John, Monday, December 10, 2012

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I take a chance

On the way to the Bark Park tonight, Maia pulled back her lips and looked at her incisors in the mirror in the visor.

"Do I look weird?" she wanted to know.  Her incisors are growing over her baby teeth.

"A lot of kids have that," I said.  "We'll take you to an orthodontist."

"Mom already did," she said.

"Well, we'll take you back when they all grow out."

She studied herself somemore.

"That's why they got rid of you," I said.  "You're a vampire!" And I tickled her.

"If I'm a vampire, they're vampires, too!" she said.

"They want to take over the world!" I said.  And tickled her somemore.

She laughed a lot.

I joked with her once before about things that cause her paid.  It was this year.  She had come out of a doctor's appointment, and I asked, "Did they find anything else missing?"

She had laughed.

The pic is of Maia and Cocoa at the Bark Park tonight.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Maia asks a question

"Did my biological mother know that I was missing an ear?" "Yes." "Then why did she leave me?" "We don't know, Maia." "I have an idea. What if she left me because I'm missing an ear?" "Well, we don't know for sure. But that is possible." Maia asked me these questions while we were out at dinner tonight. The pic is of her grooming Cocoa as I wrote this. (Well, it looks like I'll have to add the pic later on.) John, Monday, Dec. 2, 2012

Maia plays a game with Lana

We took Alana with us to the Bark Park, today. She's a little girl who lives down the street, also adopted, and also from Kazakhstan. At the bark Park, Maia and Lana were playing on a tree. I had tried to get them to come down from it and stay down from it because Lana had an injured foot. But towards the end of the hour--we always stay at the Bark Park for about an hour--Maia and Lana were up the tree again, Maia ahead of Lana. I insisted that they come down. Lana initiated a gave of tag with Maia, probably because Maia was higher up the tree than she could hope to get with her hurt foot, and she wanted to put Maia one down to her. But Maia tagged her back and that either caused or happened at the time that Lana slid down the tree. Lana ended up on her belly on the ground, which was a little muddy. Lana was crying and angry at Maia, and dirty from the fall. I helped her to clean off, but she stayed angry at Maia. On the way back in the case, Maia kept trying to get Lana to talk to her, but she wouldn't. Lana is 9 but acts like she's 5. Finally, in response to a protest from Lana that she stop, Maia said, "But I'm not Maia." "Who are you?" Lana wanted to know. "Cocoa," Maia said. Although it didn't last, Lana talked to her for a time then. Funny, how such a pretense had the power to break the ice between them. Creative, for Maia to come up with that. John, Sunday, December 2, 2012.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Are there abused dogs in Hawaii?"

We were on our way home from the Bark Park, today, when Maia asked this. "Well, yes," I said. I described a case that had been reported in the newspapers and on television that had involved a puppy mill and about 150 dogs. "Where do you find them?" she asked. I explained that what usually happens is that the police get called in and that the police then call the Humane Society, so the dogs usually end up there. "Why are you asking about abused dogs?" I asked her. "Because I want to help them," she said. The depth of her feelings for dogs keeps impressing me. When she was at the orphanage, Kristina and I walked her around the perimeter of the orphanage buildings one day, and there was an old dog resting in a field. Maia had wanted to go investigate it, but we held her back because the ground was rough, and we weren't sure about the dog. "Would you like to volunteer at the Humane Society?" I asked her. "Yes," she said. John, Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

"Was the story about Ugly real?"

Today, on the way home from the Bark Park, Maia asked me whether the story about Ugly was "real." She was asking whether the story was true. I had heard her telling Kristina about the story two nights ago. Maia had been very upset. She had difficulty in getting the story out. There had been a cat, it was homeless and ugly, so ugly that they called it Ugly. It only had one eye, people had thrown stones at it, and finally it had been mauled by dogs. It had died before this person--the narrator--could save it. It had just wanted to be loved. Maia was crying as she recounted this story. She wanted to know if it had been a real story or "they had made it up." She wanted to know why people had thrown rocks at it and been mean to it, why they had named it Ugly. Maia doesn't particularly like cats--one of ours scratched her in the eye when she was little, and she's been wary of cats ever since. She's a dog person. But she was completely undone by the story. "No," I told her, "it didn't really happen. It was made up." "There wasn't a cat? They didn't throw stones at it?" "No," I reassured her. "It affected me," she said. "Yes," I said. "That's a good thing. It means you can feel what somebody else feels. Not everybody can do that." I told her to pay attention to that feeling, that it would steer her to do the right thing. She's so sweet with animals and little children. There's a dog at the Bark Park named Ahi. He's part of a group of three or four people and about six dogs. He has the dominant personality among the dogs and chases much bigger away. Whenever he sees Maia, he trundles over on his little legs to see her. She scratches his back, and he loves it. That's a picture of Maia and Ahi that I took on October 28th. Maia is such a good girl. It's nothing we've done. It's just what is in her, despite all that she's been through. "I have to change it," Maia said, changing the radio station. It had been to a classical station, and the music had been sad. "It makes me think of the story," she said. John, Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Maia massages my temples

"Close your eyes," she said. "Just relax. Don't think about your case. Or about having an accident. Or anything bad." We were outside the Moon Garden, one of our family's favorite restaurants. Everyone else was still inside--Kristina, her mom, David and Kalei. At dinner, Kristina's mom had tried to press more food on me, and I had begged off, pleading a headache. David had wanted to know if I had a cold coming on. "No, I've had it for a few weeks," I said. "A month," Kristina corrected. "I think it's stress from my case," I had continued. All of that must have stuck in Maia's head. "Pretend that you win your case," she continued--she was talking about the appeal. "And that we get the beach house." She was sitting on a wall she likes to climb. It put her knees at the level of my shoulders. My back was to her, and she was working on my temples. "Is that better?" she finally asked. "Yes," I said, because, in fact, it was. "Are you just saying that," she wanted to know. "No. It really is better," I said. John, Saturday, Saturday, September 8, 2012.

Monday, September 03, 2012

"I have anger issues!"

We had been at the Bark Park and were driving home. This was two days ago. I had chosen that time to talk with her about the problem she had had with her mom. My wife had told me about by cell phone while we were at the park. Evidently her sister had called her while she was driving, the call was picked up by the car's blue tooth device and had come out the radio, but Maia had turned off the radio and then had overtalked my wife's sister when my wife had turned the radio back on. A complicated scene. But the bottomline is that there had been a contest of wills that had left my wife exhausted. I asked Maia why she had done all of that. My wife and her sister had been talking about going out to dinner. Maia's explanation, which didn't make a heck of a lot of sense, but which she stuck to, is that she didn't want to hear where we were going to go for dinner because she had wanted the news of it to come as a surprise from me. ALl that my wife had heard was, "I don't want to hear it!" from Maia, as she talked to her sister. She had been embarrassed by what sounded like Maia's disrespect of her. "I don't want to hear it!" "But why, Maia? Why did you have to do that?" "Because when people talk about me, I get angry." What she meant was that she got angry when people criticize her. "And [inaudible]." "What?" [Inaudible] "I have anger issues!" she was finally able to say, loud enough for me to hear. I am nearly deaf, and even my hearing aids aren't much use sometimes. "Boy, do you ever," I said, trying to make a joke of that, which was exactly the wrong thing to do. "I'm not that bad!" she protested. "I didn't say you were bad, Sweetie." But it was too late. By the time we got home, we had agreed that she didn't really have anger issues at all. I don't know how much of this is because she was alone for her first two years, and how much is just being 10. You're going to have to figure that out, Sweetness. But I figured I should make a note of the first time you expressed this idea. John, Monday (Labor Day), September 3, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A premiere

Tonight, we went to the premiere of a film we had invested in. It was made in Hawaii, and we got tax breaks for the investment. The Judge who granted summary judgment to the other side was there with his wife. The house had filled up by that time. There were seats in the row in front of the Judge, and I took those for myself, Maia, Kristina, and her mom. I sat directly in front of him. I'm not sure why I did that. These days, when I'm in a situation that upsets me in some way, I say, "Give them (him/her) peace, John." Sometimes I say, "Give yourself peace, John." I did that tonight with this Judge who had written such an unnecessarily prejudicial opinion and who had been too full of himself to do what principle should have demanded of him, which was to recuse himself. "Give him peace, John," I said to myself. There was some period of time before the show started. The producers were there to make their thank yous to the investors, like my family and this Judge, I suppose. And to introduce people who had been in the film or who had contributed in some way. The Judge knew I was sitting in front of him. At one point, a former Governor was introduced, he was sitting behind us, and I had to turn in my seat to look at him. The Judge turned as I turned, I presume to avoid seeing me. I did not look at him. Would not have. Just before the show started, he talked about the election. About defeating Obama, electing Romney. I thought that that was intended for me. But whether it was or wasn't wasn't material to what followed. It coalesced for me this Judge's reality, and his prejudices. When the film started, I began to think about my case. I've thought about little else since August 8th, when his opinion was published. But this time, I found a resolve in those thoughts that I had lost. The Judge seemed small to me, his reality seemed small, and I just knew that I need to attack it. And so I shall. Whatever else the 14th amendment may be, it is not intended as a protection for prejudice. John, Wednesday, August 29, 2012.