15 August 2010

Bidding Adieu to Kristi

In 2001, I went to an event at the Asian Arts Initiative. At this event, I met a woman whose name I no longer remember. One thing led to another, and this woman eventually asked me if I might be interested in being interviewed by this woman doing her dissertation on Korean-American adoptees and transnational/transractial adoption issues. Sure, why not.

That researcher was Kristi. She called me, we set up an interview. She was nice and interesting. It wasn't one of those "add water, instant friendship" kind of things. But over time, we forged a friendship. I became more involved in her research - sitting through mind-numbing adoption meetings with her, watching videos, and reading adoption propaganda. I went to her dissertation defence. She came to my thesis defence.

She told me just how wrong a certain guy was for me. I avoided her for awhile after that because nobody asked her. And, of course, she was right. I'm comfortable spilling my business on my blog, but not hers, so I'll just say that throughout the years we've talked a LOT about relationships, parenting, politics, careers, feminism, and the intersections of all of those.

Today, we met for about an hour a few hours before she had to be at the airport. Her older daughter Nina was with her, but her younger daughter Iris was getting in some time with her friend. (Kristi's partner Tom is already in Charleston in their new house.) While Kristi and I talked, I let Nina play games on my BlackBerry. "Min, can I play THIS one? How about THIS one? These all CAME on your phone????" Kristi looked at me and said, "See, THIS is why girls need more than one mom in their lives - for the games on their phones."

I'll miss Kristi. She's one of those people who will tell you what you need to hear, whether it's what you WANT to hear. If I'm ever fortunate enough to be a parent, she's the kind of parent I'd want to be - a very "it takes a village" kind of mentality. Her relationship with her partner is one I greatly admire. They take time for themselves, even though they have two daughters who are both active with extra-curriculars. They don't really have "his" friends and "her" friends. They know they don't have a perfect relationship, and they don't pretend to. So they - gasp - communicate with each other about issues.

It's easy to say these days that you'll still keep in touch - email, IM, text, Skype, etc. But she starts her new job (she's a professor) next week, and she'll be getting Nina and Iris settled in their school, helping them meet new friends, hell - she'll need new friends, too! And all of that just isn't the same as dropping in to see the new artwork that the girls have hung on the walls of their art studio, going to their School of Rock concerts, or guest speaking at Kristi's classes.

I didn't take my camera with me today, but here's a picture of Kristi and me from a few years ago, on the day I graduated from Drexel with my MPH. Good luck in Charleston, Kristi!

ETA: Original pic deleted when blog was moved.  But here's a pic of Kristi from several years ago.

1 comment:

  1. Good Luck to Kristi! I already told you that Charleston is one of my favorite vacation spots. Sucks to have a good friend move that far though.