Unanchored Thoughts

Bits and pieces of musings about family, friends, social issues, and whatever else travels through my head without a purpose.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life at the Beach

We are here in Hatteras, NC on what is becoming an annual tradition when we meet up with our friends, Darby and Raymond and their two girls and usually Victoria and Dan and their kids. Victoria and I met at the University of Rochester when I was a sophomore and she was the residence director in my dorm. She hired me to be an RA (residence advisor) my junior year. Shortly after that we ended up dating best friends and Vic, Michael, Gary and I spent lots of time together. My friendship with Victoria has long-outlasted the college boyfriends. Darby and Victoria worked together at Vanderbilt a few years later. And then a few years after that (so now we're up to 1994 or so) Darby spent a year teaching at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, which happened to be the same year that I spent working there coordinating some student housing. Darby, Raymond and I became fast friends...I was known as "one-friend" because I was their only friend (and vice versa). So, here we are 20 years later and our families are all friends. We started vacationing together a few years ago when it became apparent that we would never see each other otherwise.

Victoria and Dan bought this beach house last year. Unfortunately, they aren't with us this year. Victoria and their two boys, Henry and George, are in Vietnam waiting to finalize the adoption of their two girls, Ellinor and Caroline. The girls were born in April 2007. Vic and Dan received a referral for them in August 2007 and the U.S. still has not approved their visas to return to the U.S. When the girls turned 1 (they are not biologically related, but were born a few days apart), Victoria decided she'd waited long enough and she moved herself to Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese government had "released" the girls for adoption, but the U.S. is dragging its feet and won't issue visas for reasons that are hard to understand. Actually, they aren't really hard to understand. According to Victoria, the American who handles Vietnamese adoptions hates her job, the country, and people in general and indiscriminately and occasionally will finalize an adoption. It's maddening. I can't imagine what it's like to be separated from your spouse and living in a foreign country, uncertain when you might be able to return to your own digs and country. So, we are all here at the beach, enjoying Victoria and Dan's generosity, but very much missing them and the chance to get to know their new children.

Graeme is having a great time playing in the sand, swimming in the pool, catching blue crabs and ghost crabs, running around after the older kids and doing the kinds of things that warm my heart.

I had plans to catch up some blogging...Graeme's birthday, Ian's baptism, and other cute kid stuff...but I'm too busy building castles, digging holes, and doing nothing.


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