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So many lawyers, so little time...

"The prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully"--Samuel Johnson

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Location: Louisville, KY, United States

Gastroenterologist, cyclist, cellist, Christian, husband, father, grandfather.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A good stoker is hard to find

A few months ago my wife and I bought a tandem bicycle. As we work together (she's my office nurse) and live together, I figured we could spend every waking hour together, riding our bike off to marital bliss.

For married couples, tandems either are wonderful or evil, depending on skill of riders, temperment, control issues, and so forth. We happen to get along great together, I as the captain and my wife as the stoker, the person who sits on the back seat, peddles obediently, and, other than yelling at or cajoling the captain, has absolutely no control over where the bike is going.

It's a good arrangement if you ask me. I love doing it. And it means at least one person on the road is not going to pass me.

It's been an emotional weekend, to say the least. We went to a major fund-raiser for Ukrainian orphanages last night, of some interest to us as we are attempting to adopt out of one of the orphanages this group ministers to.

Have I mentioned yet that the Russian language is a pain in the patoosh? I'm working through Rosetta Stone. It's not their fault that Russian is so inscrutable.

Anyway we chatted with folks who have seen our adoptee and it was encouraging. "She is just the sweetest girl. We gave her extra hugs for you."

We also watched a video of what happens to these kids when they reach 17. It's on the streets for them. Girls are often involved in sex-trafficking in one form or another.

We can't save the world, but we can give one of these kids a chance. Yana (it's either that or Anya. We haven't figured out how she spells it. I hope to find out soon) will get a chance, if heartless bureaucracies don't tank the effort.

We received a digital photo album of the orphanages last night, and we poured through them looking to see if we could identify this little girl. We did. The kids get access to hot water once or twice a week, in the winter no one washes their hair, so everyone looked a bit disheveled, and most of the girls' hair was dirty looking. Yana/Anya had also hit a growth spurt and had shot up about half a head. She looked quite a bit older than pictures of her just three months ago had looked.

My wife was a bit shocked, as she was hoping to have bonding time before the onset of puberty. It also occurred to her that this undertaking was no longer some cool abstraction. It is now our responsibility to take a street urchin and raise her as our own.

Times like these, I'm glad I have a Y chromosome, along with all the rights and privileges that come along with it. While my wife is mourning a bit about losing some of this girl's growth, I'm rejoicing on how, now that she is getting bigger, I won't have to worry about converting the stoker seat on the tandem for a child.

I can't think of a better way to show off our great country, plus get a little exercise in the process. I'll worry about harsh reality, including my Russian studies, later.


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