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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End Reflections

I'm finding it hard to believe 2009 is right around the corner. We celebrated Michael's 37th birthday alongside Christmas on December 25th and I realized I met him when he was 23 years old. That seems almost impossible, but it's true. We also celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary on December 29th (can you tell December is a busy month for us?) and that was also a great day. We have been through so much together and stayed strong through it all. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, solid, loving husband by my side.

As I reflect back on the year, I am realizing there are many aspects of my life for which I am extremely grateful. Our marriage, our home, our dogs, our family, our jobs--this life we have created, though not yet complete, is truly beautiful. I have long since given up trying to predict when our lives may be touched by the magic of a little one, though I hope that time comes soon. Still, what we do have is precious and treasured. Sometimes it becomes all too easy to focus on what's missing and on the things for which I still so long. It's easy to get bogged down and caught up in what comes next, instead of appreciating what's already right here. So, my goal for now is to be where I am...to appreciate this life exactly as it is and to truly live in the moment. Wish me luck!

Happy New Year, Everyone...I am so thankful for all of you who are with me us on this journey!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All Those Kids

I subbed in a 4th grade classroom today and we went down to the auditorium for a choir concert this afternoon. Watching those kids singing up on stage, it occurred to me that at least timing-wise, one of them could have been ours. We officially started seeking support for infertility when I was 25, but we had several years of doing nothing to prevent pregnancy prior to that. I'm 33 now so technically we could have a child as old as 10. Heck, if things had worked out according to my plans I'd have had a whole house full of the little buggers by now!

I guess melancholy would be the right word for how this made me feel. Not quite sad, but definitely pensive. I can't really imagine having a nine or ten year old right now, and yet that's what I had in mind back at the beginning of what has become a very long journey to parenthood. I know it will happen when the time is right, but I just wish that time could be now. I don't want to be any older than I am now to get started. Not that there's anything wrong with being an older parent...I know lots of people who are waiting longer and longer to start families these days. I just never thought that would be us and I'm ready to get the show on the road.

I don't really know how to explain this, but sometimes I still feel like a kid in a grown up body. Like sometimes when I'm leading a group of 30+ kids down the hallway, I wonder why the adults I pass don't question the fact that I'm in charge of so many kids. Then I remember that I'm the responsible adult in the vicinity and the realization that this is my real life hits me. I always used to feel like my life would start when ________ (fill in the blank) but the older I get the more I realize THIS is my real life, here and now...this is it.

Patience has never been one of my strong suits, and that trend is holding true with adoption too. I just wish I could know when it would happen and then maybe waiting would be easier. I'm such a control freak but I can't even help it. My expectation attitude is not where it should be today. Waiting sucks!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Expecting or Waiting?

The message on this morning's church bulletin seemed to have been printed just for me:


That is a powerful question, and one I haven't previously given much thought. Consider these two definitions:

ex·pect·ed, ex·pect·ing, ex·pects –verb
  1. To look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of: expecting a telephone call; expects rain on Sunday.
  2. To consider likely or certain: expect to see them soon.
wait·ing –noun

a. A period of waiting; pause, interval, or delay

Clearly, looking back over this journey I can see that I've had "expecting" days and I've had "waiting" days, mingled with days that fall somewhere between the two. Lately, in particular, I've been waiting. Normally I consider myself an optimistic person, but in recent weeks there simply hasn't been much expectation in my heart. I've been struggling with my feelings, and after reading the bulletin blurb this morning, I decided I'm going to try to change that. I'm going to try to stay in a state of expectation, rather than a state of waiting. The differences seem subtle enough when you consider the language alone, but actually they are quite profound.

Interesting food for thought!




Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Precious New Family Member

My sister gave birth to her third baby today. I am thrilled to welcome baby Lydia Grace as the newest member of our family!


Sweet Baby Face...will she be a singer??



Big Sister, Ava Marie watches the new baby in wonder.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Four Plus One

Today we have been officially waiting in the pool for four months and one day. Today I also found out the two other birth mothers that were on our radar screen have chosen other people. I'd like to say I'm feeling great and confident that the right one will come along, that I'm not sad at all...but that would be a lie. The truth is that I feel stung. I can't help but question what is wrong with us...why haven't we been chosen yet? Should we rewrite our letter...what did we say or not say that is causing us to be passed over? How come some people get chosen after only weeks in the pool while we must wait? Where is our baby Love??

I know this needs to be put into perspective. I know we have only been shown five times, one of which doesn't even really count because she chose the very first person she was shown. I know four months really isn't very long at all in the grand scheme of things. I know our baby will come when he or she is ready and not before. I know this will all unfold when the time is right. I know, I know, I know...and yet I can't seem to shake the feelings of angst I have with all of this.

I'm not doing any justice to my emotions with this post, I'm not qualifying how I really feel at all because I'm not sure I can. When I read the update email from our CW this afternoon I immediately got a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach, the feeling of rejection and loss. Much like the feeling I used to get when I would take a pregnancy test after a missed period and it would be negative. Like that but also very much unlike that at the same time. Does this make any sense?

I think part of the problem is that my state of mind is skewed at the moment. I am exhausted beyond belief. I've been serving on a jury in downtown Detroit for the past two weeks and the trial is nowhere near completion. I'm also in the crunch time of a 16-credit hour semester and I'm missing a lot of classes. I'm behind on all my projects, my house is a mess, my car is a mess, I am a mess. I need a break--some time to recoup, but no break is on the horizon. I am well aware my attitude is rotten, and I'm quite certain I need to be quiet now and go use my time wisely, which is exactly what I'm going to do...starting now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

UAB Award!

Thanks to Eileen for giving me this award! I love reading her blog and feel that we are on the same page regarding our adoption stories more often than not. Like us, she and her hubby have been married a long time and have been through much on their way to parenthood, I hope they are matched soon. Eileen and her husband are in the process of selling their home right now, which is a major transition...hop on over and give her some love!

About this award...
The "uber" (synonym for super) is a blog award given to sites who:
- inspire you
- make you smile and laugh
- or maybe give you amazing information
- a great read
- has an amazing design
- and any other reason you can think of that makes them uber amazing!


The rules for my award recipients...

1) Put the logo on your blog or post.

2) Nominate at least five blogs (can be more) that for you are uber amazing.

3) Let them know that they have received this uber amazing award by commenting on their blog.

4) Share the love by linking to this post and the person you received the award from.

And my Uber Amazing Awards go to...

Jamie - This blog is a fairly recent addition to my reading list, but man am I inspired! Jamie writes beautifully and from the heart, her words have moved me. She writes recently about being on "cloud nine" because they have been recently matched...I am thrilled with this news and I enjoy her blog very much!
Natalie - Again, a new blog for me, but one I am loving reading! Natalie has a great and uplifting quote at the top of her page (that she also left for me in a comment,) and I am inspired by her story.
Malloryn - Malloryn is in the paperwork mountain phase of the adoption process and it's great to follow along as her story unfolds. They are making great progress with their adoption to-do pile and I am enjoying being a fly on this wall...
Vintage Mommy - All I can really say is WOW! This lady has some amazing ideas and is always giving me food for thought about adoption related topics. Her blog is a treasure to be sure!
Bri - I know she already received this but she's one of my constants through this crazy journey. I love to read her blog and always look forward to new posts. Sometimes it seems odd to feel such a strong connection to someone I only know "virtually," but Bri is one of those people for me without a doubt!
Rebekah - Again, I am duplicating this award for Rebekah, but I can't resist. She is a constant inspiration for me. She has an amazing sense of faith and hope through thick and thin. Even when she's down...I find her words and her spirit truly uplifting. Yet again I've come to feel that I really "know" Rebekah through her words and that is a great feeling. Since we are both Michiganders we are hoping to meet IRL sometime soon--I hope that notion becomes reality!
Nancy - Again a blog I've been reading for a long time now. We are close to the same spot in our adoption journeys and I love to read Nancy's posts. She is heartfelt and truthful with her writing and I am often encouraged by what she has to say!

Oh gees I could got on and on. I would just send them to all of you wonderful ladies! I am having a hard time not continuing this list with every blog I read! I am so inspired and encouraged by all of your blogs and your stories and I love this "virtual world" of friendship more than I can really say in words. THANK YOU to everyone for your constant support, encouragement, and inspiration.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is it Okay?

Last night at our adoption support group meeting, one of the ladies asked whether it's okay to approach a family they see in public with questions regarding whether or not the children were adopted. Clearly this would most likely happen in families who differ in appearance. Most of the responses were positive--along the lines that it is indeed okay to ask and/or bring up the topic. One mother stated she would much rather have people ask directly than to point and stare, as is sometimes the case. I've been thinking about this a lot and I wonder how I will feel when the time comes for us. I imagine I will be fairly open and willing to talk about our child and his or her adoption story, so long as the safety and comfort of our child is protected. For those of you who are parents, what are your feelings/experiences on this topic? Do you get direct questions, stares, etc.? Have your feelings/opinions changed as your child gets older? What do you do about this aspect of raising adopted children, if anything?

The meeting last night was more organized than the casual meet & greet style of the other meetings I've attended. I liked the opportunity to actually talk and listen to questions and answers; however, I'm also glad there was some mingling time afterwords because that's the aspect of the meetings I value most. What about you guys, do you have IRL adoption friends and/or support groups you attend? Would you attend meetings if your agency held them?

Monday, November 3, 2008

I don't miss it

Today during my observations for my elementary education field experience, I had an opportunity to talk with a woman who is currently undergoing treatments for infertility. It never ceases to amaze me how my life twists and turns, and still seems to align perfectly with the lives of others at times. During this happenstance conversation, I had the distinct and certain feeling that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. Of course that knowledge is secure for me on an intellectual level, but it's so easy to forget and to wonder why we're still on this side of the parenting fence when we want so badly to cross over. It's easy to feel frustrated about where I am because sometimes I feel like my whole life is taking way too long to get going. Between school, substitute teaching, and where we are in the adoption process...I am constantly in varying stages of transition during this period in my life. Sometimes that gets really old. It's so weird for me to realize...if my life had gone according to my plans, I wouldn't have been where I was today. I wouldn't have made that valuable connection with another person - and who knows, maybe I was able to offer her some small semblance of peace or hope along her path as well.

The other thing that strikes me so profoundly as I reflect upon the conversation we had, is that I can say with 100% honesty that I do not miss infertility treatments one tiny little bit. Listening to her talk was like re-living an uncomfortable nightmare to which I already knew the unhappy ending. My ending, not hers. I don't feel that way about adoption though--even during my lowest times. I don't feel that same sense of despair and emotional exhaustion that was the constant companion of my journey through infertility. I don't miss the prods, pokes, bruises and pain. I don't miss the "days off for personal reasons," the scheduled sex, or trying to rush to the doctor's office before or after school and work...always cutting my time to the bone. I don't miss any of it...and with that realization I am newly reminded that we have something about which to rejoice right now. I have been so bogged down lately with school and work, and in my spare time feeling sorry for myself that I've forgotten to be happy. We ARE going to have a baby...when the time is right, and that is an awesome thought! That makes me want to jump for joy!

We've had two more opportunities to have our profile shown to potential birth mothers during these last few weeks. I haven't blogged about any of this because I didn't want a repeat of that excitement and disappointment cycle I went through the first time we were shown. Needless to say, neither of the subsequent two potential matches panned out for us, because if they had you can be sure I would have been talking. I'm okay with that though, and I honestly feel detachment was a much healthier way for me to handle having our profile shown. The truth is that we may have to go through that process many more times before our birth mother comes along - only time will tell. I am much more comfortable and secure with where we are now though, each time it does get a tiny bit easier...just like some of you said it would. After today I have a renewed sense of faith that our right time will come too...that we are indeed exactly where we should be; doubts, uncertainty and all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Adoption Language

Lately I've been thinking a lot about adoption language and how language is such a powerful aspect of adoption...indeed a powerful aspect of so much of our lives. During our adoptive parenting classes we learned about PAL, which stands for "Positive Adoption Language." Basically PAL is the art of taking words or sayings that can be hurtful to all members of the adoption community (especially the children, which is the last thing anyone wants) and changing them to express the same concept with more positive wording. Culturally speaking, our society is still fairly ignorant about adoption, which is why many of the negative terms and phrases are still heard frequently today. I thought I'd share two of the most important PAL terms we learned during our classes. These have stuck with me and have even helped me shape the way I think about adoption in general.
  • Instead of, "she gave her baby up for adoption" say, "she made an adoption plan for her baby." This is a big one since so many people toss around the "gave up" statement all the time. The terms "gave up," and "placed" imply that there is no decision in the matter, and the fact is that in most adoptions today, birthparents make a painstakingly difficult decision about the care of the child they love very much but cannot parent when they choose adoption.
  • Instead of, "he is adopted" say, "he was adopted." When you say someone is adopted, that implies that adoption is a condition or ailment for that person rather than the way they joined their family.
I also found this list on the West Virginia social services web site and I thought I'd pass it along.

Say This...

Instead of This...

Birth Parent Real Parent
Biological Parent Natural Parent
Birth Child Own Child
My Child Adopted Child
Born to Unmarried Parents Illegitimate
Relinquish Rights Give Away
Terminate Parental Rights Take Away
Waiting Child Available Child
Parent Adoptive Parent
Child Placed for Adoption Unwanted Child
Child with Special Health Care Needs Handicapped Child



Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Going Around

I know this video is going around on the blogosphere, but I love this so much that I simply have to re-post it. Thanks to Debbie for helping to get this wonderful and uplifting message out there!



Also check out this article that I linked to from Rebekah's blog. It sounds like this woman has been through a lot trying to bring her daughter home from Russia. The article gives some good insight into where we PAP people are coming from.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Truth

The truth is that sometimes the truth hurts. I've been one part extremely busy and one part extremely sad, hence the reason I've been away from the blogosphere for the past week or so. I'm sorry to all of you whose blogs I haven't read recently. I played a little catch up today and am feeling like a better blogging buddy now. :)

As for my sadness, I'm making progress in getting over our last bit of disappointing news from the agency. I don't know what in the world I was thinking, but I was thoroughly convinced that was our baby, even though it was our first time being shown and we only had a one in six chance. My hopes were sky high and I was very worked up. It was hard for me to hear we weren't chosen. Harder than it should have been, I think. Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with me. I've read some stories where people just move on and barely flinch when they aren't chosen--I admire the complete and utter faith some of you have. Sometimes I wish I could say the same for myself. I mean, I do have faith, but sometimes it feels rather fragile and shaky--not at all like the armor I know it is for some people. I guess it's just that I've wanted this - motherhood for so long now that sometimes I honestly feel like I can't wait another day. I know my time will come when the time is right, and I have absolutely NO control over when that will be, but that knowledge doesn't make this part of the process any easier.

Luckily I am busy these days, head-spinningly so. My semester has been a whirlwind lately, and when I'm not at school I'm either getting my feet wet with subbing jobs or doing homework. All this activity is supposed to make waiting easier, right? Right!

Blah...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rrrrip!

If this doesn't make you smile nothing will...certainly brightened my spirits some. :)

video

I especially like what this shows about human learning...his anticipatory reaction by the end is great!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Better Luck Next Time...

Human hope is an amazing thing. Sometimes my capacity to have so much hope, even in the face of doubt and uncertainty scares me. That said, I realize hope has been a saving grace at many times in my life too.

The birthmom who was looking at our profile still isn't sure she's going to make an adoption plan, but if she does she has chosen another couple. I am having a hard time right now. I feel mostly sad, but also a little stupid for allowing myself to get so worked up about this. In some ways I wish I wouldn't have known we were being considered - then I wouldn't even know I'm supposed to feel sad right now! I was already imagining so many amazing things relating to THIS baby and THIS birthmom...I had myself completely convinced that this was "the one." Now I just feel like I'm stuck under a huge, gray cloud of sadness and disappointment. WHY did I do this to myself??? Our profile may be shown MANY more times before we are chosen...clearly I can't keep doing this every time a birthmom is considering us, I'll never make it through.

Whatever - I know there is still hope left over in my heart. "This too shall pass," as Ma B (my dad's mom) always used to say. Much like the days of infertility, right after another late period would start...I just have to give myself a little time to process this sadness, then I'll pick up the pieces and get back to the business of hoping for our "right time"--our baby to come soon. What else is there?

******Updated to attempt to answer a couple of questions from the comments:******

I was actually a little surprised when we were asked if we wanted to be shown to this birthmom in the first place. I found myself thinking OF COURSE we want to be shown. If our acceptability checklist matches her wishes ans situation then YES...we want to be shown, wasn't that the whole point to begin with?! I THINK our agency has the basic policy that if they have information to share they share it. I haven't spoken to our CW about any of this in person, only via email so this is all my own speculation. I am torn. I just read on another blog about a mistake that was made by an agency that caused an otherwise acceptable match to fall through. For this reason I think it's nice to be asked in advance if we want to be shown. That way we can be sure the situation is truly one with which we could feel comfortable. At the same time, knowing we were being considered was HARD and I'm not entirely sure I want to go through this up and down cycle every single time until "the one" finally happens. I guess I've always sort of envisioned getting a magical, life-changing call someday and then being lost in the whirlwind of impending motherhood. I never quite expected this much of a roller coaster! I still have a lot of processing to do about all of this. In one respect I can already see that this may have been a touchy situation. The birthmom doesn't sound AT ALL sure she wants to pursue adoption, which means she very well may change her mind when it's all said and done. I'm going to wait a few days and then I may talk to our CW about how all of this happened and whether or not the agency requires us to know about prospective birthmoms, or if there is some kind of choice in the matter for us.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Trying to Relate

Two times in the past week I've had the opportunity to talk about adoption with new people I've been meeting. I enjoy these interchanges very much since I'm always in the mood to discuss adoption! Still, both times I've been a little taken aback when I heard, "oh I've always wanted to adopt." I think to myself, "really?" Please don't misunderstand, I very much DO want to adopt and I am very happy with where we are in the process now, as well as the decisions we've made that have led us to this point. Having said that, if someone would have asked me five or six years ago if I wanted to adopt, my answer would have been no. Adoption is not second best, it's just different. It's different from the way most of us envision building our families.

I know most people I talk to are simply trying to relate to me when they say such things, but if they really thought about it they would realize sometimes it's simply better to keep some thoughts private. My response is generally something to the effect that while adoption wasn't originally my first choice toward the goal of having a family, it is my choice now...and then more adoption talk usually follows.

I believe that part of my "job" as a prospective adoptive mother is to provide adoption education when there's an opportunity. Still, so much of this process is unprecedented and leaves little with which to relate adoption for "everyday" people. There is no way for the average person to understand adoption and what it means for all members of the adoption triad, how to talk about it, even how to think about adoption until and unless it has affected them personally. Sometimes this really frustrates me...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sweet & Sour

First of all, THANK YOU to all of you for your sweet and thoughtful comments on my last post. I couldn't believe it when I had over 20 comments with only a couple people commenting more than once. :) It's really great to know there are so many other people out there who "get it" and who can relate so well to the ups and downs of this whole process. You guys rock!

Some of the other adoptive parents with our agency have organized an adoption support group for adoptive families in our area. Hubby and I attended a meeting for the first time back in early June and today I went to a second get together. Michael had to work so I went alone, which was admittedly a little awkward at first. Luckily my new friend, Paulina was there and she made me feel very comfortable. She and her husband were in the pool of waiting families when I met them back in June, and today I got to meet their three-month-old baby girl. They were great, and they let me hold precious little M. all afternoon, which was very therapeutic for me. I'm so happy for this new little family!

All totaled there were about 20 people there, all but two of whom had their little ones in tow. On one hand it was really affirming to see so many families that have been formed through adoption, but it's also odd because looking around and seeing all the other people who have already been matched while we're still waiting is a little bittersweet. Having said that, it's comforting to know that they have been chosen through the same process we're going through, and we will too someday. And I also know that we will be matched with the baby that's right for us--that after it happens I will look back and say I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Logically I know that.

This whole journey is just plain hard sometimes. Try as I might, I can't squelch my feelings of intensity related to this birth mom we just found out about. I've told myself time and again to remain calm and not over think the situation. In reality though I've already day dreamed myself into motherhood...I've got my imaginary room decorated and favorite names picked out! What will happen come Friday (or after) is anyone's guess, this I know. The logical part of me knows it could go either way and the emotional part of me...well, yeah...she's in a completely different world at this point. In one respect I want Friday to be here NOW so I can know what's going to happen one way or the other and at the same time, I want to freeze-frame time right now so I don't have to deal with the disappointing news that we weren't chosen this time, if that should be the case. I'm definitely rambling, but I guess I'm feeling a little off kilter today and I'm trying to make it all make sense. What else can I say?



P.S. Thanks also for the comments on my new page layout. I had lots of fun decorating it using Debblie's Instructions, though I did have to enlist the help of my hubby a few times for the HTML coding part. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Praying for Peace

I just received an email from our agency letting us know there is a birthmom who will be looking at our profile (as well as several others I'm sure) next Friday, October 3. I know very little about the birthmom, except that she is 18, having a boy and due in December. As far as I know this will be the first time our letter has been shown since becoming active in the pool. Please pray for this birthmom as she prepares to make this huge decision. I am praying that she finds peace and comfort with our agency, and that she is able to make a decision that will put her mind at ease.

I have no idea when or even if we will be updated on this situation, but I'm sure I'll have to blog about it if we are. :) I feel nervously excited, but I also realize there are a number of different potential outcomes with this and I shouldn't be getting my hopes up...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Twice Tagged

Thanks to my friends, Bri and Nancy for the tags. Better late than never, right?! :)

FIVE WAYS BLOGGING HAS AFFECTED ME:

Here are the rules:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

I have a feeling my post is going to get long, so before I start, I'm tagging:

Eileen
I was going to tag Karen, but she has much bigger fish to fry, check it out!!!
Dave
Jessica

So...five ways blogging has affected me? As Nancy pointed out, being tagged serves as a great way for us to be able to share more background information about ourselves, thereby deepening the connections we've formed. That thought leads me to my first response, which is exactly that, connection. I remember a time (not that long ago) when I was literally craving a link to other people with whom I could talk about adoption. My blog started mostly as an outlet for me, and a way to record our story as it unfolds, but it has become so much more than that. I love the fact that I am seeing families being formed through this blog. People I never would have met IRL that have now, almost magically, affected me in ways I never could have imagined. So to all of you I have connected with, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Second, I would say relief. Sometimes this whole adoption thing can get a little too intense, and reading other blogs lightens that up a bit. Whether relief comes in the form of humor, comfort, friendship, or just simply being able to relate so well to what others are feeling and experiencing...all of these things and more...sort of save me from myself at times, if that makes any sense.

Third, I am surprised by how much I've come to rely upon the advice and support of other pre adoptive and adoptive parents. The many comments I receive on my blog help me to clarify and make sense of some of the complicated and challenging aspects and decisions encompassed in this journey. From simple pondering like when to buy a car seat, to much more complex and involved discussions, such as whether or not to breastfeed an adopted baby; and figuring out exatly what the right words should be for our future birth mother...I imagine my anxiety level would be through the roof without this support system.

Fourth--and this is a negative one, my level of productivity (especially around the house) has plumeted since I discovered this loevely blogging community. Bri pointed out once that she's hopelessly addicted, and I have to share her confession. I log on sometimes, thinking I'm simply going to check my blog and then, all of a sudden two hours (or more) has flown by! In fact, right at this moment I'm looking out our sliding glass door at the grass blowing in the breeze. Yeah...I should NOT be blogging right now!

Last but not least, I would say blogging has provided me with a sense of belonging that I've needed for a long time. I can sometimes have a tendency to isolate myself, or not ask for the support I need. That was especially prevelant during our infertility phase. I felt so alone all through that--and I didn't feel I could really bring it up with my friends and family all that often. I guess I had more of the "suffer in silence" mentality. All I can say now, is thank God for the written word, and for my writing abilities. I've always kept journals, but blogging has been even better than the paper journals I still keep. Blogging comes with strings attached, and with the ability to truly let go and be myself all at the same time. All I can say is that's been really, really good for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Picking out a new one...

I haven't been able to decide whether to blog about this peculiar little incident or not, but it's finally gotten the better of me.

On Monday night, after a somewhat long and lonely day at home, I was at the grocery store. I was shopping and minding my own business when, out of the blue, a little girl of about three ran up under the handle of my cart and said, "mommy...mommy...mama" as she stood there. Needless to say, I was taken aback. I smiled at her and said, "sweetheart I'm not your mommy, do you know where she is?" About that time her dad came around the corner and (in a jovial tone) asked what she was doing. She said "finding mommy" in her sweet little girl voice and then he said, "or picking out a new one there?" That was it...I laughed and they went on down the aisle while I stood there.

I was smiling on the outside, but also feeling...I don't know...a little sad I guess. After that I kept seeing this little family throughout the store, though we didn't exchange any further words. I saw the mommy the girl had been looking for, and strangely she looked nothing like me. I'm sure I'm reading way too much into this one small happenstance, but maybe it was meant as a small reminder that my time is coming?

Normally this wouldn't have been a big deal, but right now, with where we are in the process, and how I've been feeling lately...it hit home for me in a big way. That little girl has no idea of the impact she left on me...no idea how very much I long to hear a little voice calling me mommy for real. The whole experience was only about two minutes long and yet it's one I doubt I'll ever forget...


Monday, September 8, 2008

I thought...

...waiting would get easier when I got a little busier, but so far it hasn't. Of course school just started, so distraction may yet prove to be the balm I need. The funny thing is, no matter how busy I am or how many other things I'm doing, I'm always thinking about adoption, and about our future baby in a low-grade back of my mind sort of way. I long to talk about adoption, and yet right at this moment there's not much to say.

When I'm at school or out and about, I hope people who know me will ask me how things are going, or that strangers will ask me personal and intrusive questions (that usually annoy me) so I can tell our story. Is that weird or what? Maybe it's just that there's nothing much to do when it comes to baby right now (short of decorating our nursery which I'm NOT doing yet) so I want to talk...who knows?

I received a card in the mail from some friends of ours that moved away just over a year ago. It was a simple card with an adorable baby on the front and a "congratulations on being in the pool" message on the inside, very sweet. Then, a few days later, my sister gave me (or rather her future nephew/niece) these adorable puppy baby booties, and some knit caps for my birthday this year. I cried both times, because it felt so good to be acknowledged as a prospective mother in that way. Short of wearing a cheesy shirt announcing our paper pregnancy (which I actually contemplated,) there is no way for others to know the inner joy and excitement I feel right now. We don't know when or how, but we do know we will be parents and that is thrilling!

I don't even know what this blog entry is about, except that I wanted to write this morning and I'm trying to think of things to say. I guess I'm still coming back to the idea that all this feels a little fake and a little unreal, even though I AM overjoyed about our paper pregnancy.

Somehow I feel left out of the mix and hubbub of excitement regarding impending motherhood. I'm not thought of as a pregnant woman by most people, but in every non-physical sense that's exactly what I am. I realize pregnancy is largely physical, so I get that people might not see the need for acknowledgment for me right now...and I'm not expecting anything from anyone. I guess it's just that I would like to be acknowledged...maybe I'm hungry for a similar kind of attention that I see lavished on the pregnant women around me? Although I do have to say that I'm 100% OK with not having complete strangers walk up and rub my belly...it would be nice for others to know and to understand where I am...and where my heart is now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Me...with a baby registry?

YEP! We did it, we went to BRU and registered yesterday. I have to be honest, I share many of Rebekah's thoughts on the awkwardness of this experience, but I'm still glad we went. The conversation with the registry clerk was only slightly odd. She was very nice and good at her job, details and all. I felt comforted by the fact that adoption was listed on the paperwork, that was an affirmation of sorts. The weirdest part was when we had to make up an "expected arrival" date because the computer won't accept a TBD date. I chose April '09 out of the blue, and then she had to give us the schpeel about how registering early can mean you'll have to make more updates because products change... The thing is...we're NOT registering early! We're not registering early and we're not registering late, we're just registering since we have no idea WHEN our baby will make his/her grand entrance. They really should have a way to leave the arrival date pending for people like us! I don't want to spend too much time reiterating the thoughts from my previous post, but did I mention I am VERY frustrated by all the unknowns of this waiting process? The only other weird thing was all the VERY pregnant women we were sharing the aisles with. Pregnant women don't bother me anymore, they honestly don't...but it was a little odd to look around and realize I was the only one without a huge bump in front.

All that aside, I DID manage to convince hubby to park in the "expectant mothers" stork parking spot, even though he was reluctant at first. I told him you guys would all be mad at me if I didn't park there since we've sort of made a point of it and all. hehe...so here's a photo that might make you smile, I couldn't resist:


We did pretty good up until the bedding section, which was problematic because there was honestly nothing there that either one of us really loved...plus if I'm being honest, I still sort of have my heart set on a round baby bed, even though husband doesn't get my fascination with them at all. We'll see what happens! I'm sure I'll add to our list off and on, especially once we learn more about who/when our baby will be, but for now we've got the basics on our list, and I feel slightly more like a real expectant mother, if only slightly!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Surreal

"Mom-to-be" technically does describe me, but somehow I can't really feel it yet. I've tried to buy things in stores--nothing major, just small things, and I can't do it yet. I want to feel like a real mom-to-be, but it all seems unreal at this point. Am I destined to be unprepared for new baby days, or will this eventually wear off? Unprepared is a term I use lightly anyway, because the only things I will rally need are a car seat, diapers, and food, but...well you guys know what I mean. Nursery ready and waiting. I thought I had made peace with that, with the idea that we would buy a car seat, register for everything else, and then just wait, but now I'm having second thoughts. There would be something comforting about having a room all set up and ready to go when THE time comes. Yet I'm still a little bothered by the idea of that room sitting there empty for who knows how long.

I guess it comes down to how long we've waited for this phase of our lives. I've already spent so much time dreaming and hoping and planning for our baby in my head and in my heart, that now when I actually do have something to plan for, it seems like I should be waking up to reality at any moment. Why can't I allow myself to believe we're really going to be parents? I guess this is just a defense mechanism...some subconscious attempt of my mind to protect my heart? I really don't get it. I expected to be (and was at first) on top of the world where all this is concerned, but now I'm just doing nothing in regards to our "paper pregnancy," which is unnerving. Literally I am W.A.I.T.I.N.G. and it's already getting pretty old. I want to do and dream and create.

I can't help but feel that if I were really pregnant I wouldn't be feeling this way. There, I said it. That's what's REALLY bugging me. Even though I have long since given up the idea--or even the desire of--a physical pregnancy, I guess I have this notion that if my body was changing I would be more able to believe in the reality of impending motherhood.

I am a planner, I like to have all my ducks in a row. Where school is concerned, for example, I can't stand unknowns and not having everything neat and organized. Just this week I had to find a teacher to observe for this coming semester, and until I got that taken care of I literally felt a queezy feeling in the pit of my stomach. The irony of having to wait and basically having to be unprepared--entirely at the mercy of decisions made by other people--when it comes to the most important job I will ever do (motherhood) is not lost on me. Clearly there is some lesson...some discipline for me in this, but what? How am I supposed to react or behave? I have no clue, but one thing I do know is that my own indifferent reaction to all this really and truly is driving me crazy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

They All Look Like Me

I've recently started attending services at a small church near my house. This is about the 5th week I've been there. People are starting to remember me, and I'm really beginning to like the place. That said though, I am conflicted. There are a myriad of reasons for my feelings, and if you're interested you can read the post from my other blog about this topic.

Still, I am willing to at least try. My pull towards church has been strong for a while, but until recently I haven't acted upon it. I can't say exactly why now is the time for me, I guess there are lots of reasons. Maybe I'm looking towards church as a possible answer to some of my sadness as of late, or maybe as a means toward establishing a church connection now for the sake of our future children?

Today it occurred to me as I was sitting amongst the congregation that everyone there looked exactly like me. Not exactly, of course, but what I mean is that they were all the same color. Ten years ago I wouldn't have given this a single thought...in fact I probably would have been comforted by the sameness. But having lived in a diverse area and become much more educated on the topic of diversity, I now find the sameness unsettling. This is to say absolutely nothing of the fact that we may very well adopt a baby who does not look exactly like us. Questions abound.

Is this a big deal if I don't make it one? Is it not common, even necessary, for churches to be somewhat polarized in the types of people they attract? Will our future baby, regardless of the color of his or her skin be completely accepted and welcomed at this church? Will he/she feel safe and at peace there as I hope? Will we be accepted as a less traditional family? Or will it be awkward and weird for everyone, most importantly our future child...which of course is the very last thing I want? Without anyone else to ask or even observe, how will I know the answers to these questions before it's too late? I feel strongly about attending a smaller, local church for lots of reasons. I've tried the huge, modern church thing and it simply isn't for me. But I wonder, is that type of church the only place I have hope of finding the diversity I now long for? I even think these issues are/would be different for someone who is already established at a church, versus someone like me who is starting from scratch.

I'm trying not to over-think this, but after I had that thought this morning, I can't seem to stop it rolling around in my head. I don't even know what's going to happen for us in terms of the child we adopt, but that begs another question. Would I desire and seek out diversity at a church on behalf of our baby even if he/she does look like us? That's one I'll have to ponder for a while, but regardless of the answer, more questions inevitably spring forth. If not, why not, and if so...still the question of what (if anything) to do about all this?

Definitely some serious food for thought!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Was that a Stork?

My sister spent the night at our house last night, and this morning she and I were on our way to church when none other than a stork flew up from the rushes on the side of the road and went straight in the direction of our house. We looked at each other and I said, "was that a stork?" We both decided it definitely was a stork, and that it definitely was on a flight path that would take it directly over our house. :) Clearly it would be in my best interest (and I'm trying) to not read too much into this, but that said, the occurrence did make me feel happy. As we continued on down the road, I had to slow the car down to avoid three crows that were lined up in a row. Here is what I read on Yahoo! answers about the significance of seeing three crows:

Crows are associated with the Celtic Goddess Morrigan. She is a Goddess of war, chaos, death and rebirth. She is also a triple Goddess (maiden, mother and crone). The 3 crows would signify that you are coming into a time of major change, whether you are prepared for it or not. There may be some major disruptions involved, but it will all be for the best, you will have a 'rebirth' and new paths on your journey will be opened to you. Go with the flow and all will be well.

Obviously I could get all dramatic about this and read WAY too much into these two events in such close succession, which I have no intention of doing. Still it did make me wonder...is change underfoot? It's no big secret that I've been feeling pretty sad since my close friend Molly and her family moved out of the state a little over a week ago. I have to say, my spirits were brightened at these two portents, even though time will tell what, if anything, they meant. Speaking of Molly, I just spoke to her on the phone for a while, and I talked to her daughters for a couple of minutes too. The youngest, two-year-old Becca, who was and is very dear to me got on the phone. She said hi in her sweet little baby voice, then she giggled and said, "yove you" just as Molly took the phone back. It was absolutely precious and really warmed my heart.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Today...

...I photographed the wedding of my husband's boss. It was a good day, but I am tired to the bone right now. Today is also my 33rd birthday, so it was an eventful day all around. At one of the tables I took a picture of, there was a couple with twin babies. They ware SO adorable, and watching them made me realize I would really love it if we were blessed with twins. I know a lot of people would think this is a crackpot idea, but I actually and honestly would love to have two at once. Of course I will be more than thrilled with the one we are likely to have, and that will be just fine...but there's something about the idea of twins that lights a spark inside me. :) I stopped and talked to the babies, and it made me feel all gooey. I just love babies so much, and I figure since it's my birthday I can wish for whatever I want!!

I have a good feeling about this year ahead. Something about two 3's nestled together seems...charming. At first I wasn't so sure about getting yet another year older while still waiting for so many of my dreams to come true, but then I realized just how many of those dreams have already come true and it dawned on me: I should rejoice about what I DO have instead of wasting my time feeling pensive about the blessings that are yet to come.

So...here's hoping for brighter days and much happiness ahead!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My First Ever...

...blogging award! Thank you so much to Bri for her sweet comments and for the Pink Rose award! Bri is a waiting adoptive mom, like me, and we sometimes joke that we share the same brain. Her posts often give voice to my thoughts in an almost uncanny way. She and I seem to be on the same wavelength much of the time, and we are at similar places in our adoption journeys. I know Bri is going to be an excellent mom someday, and I would give this award to her if she hadn't already beaten me to the punch! :)




In keeping with the Pink Rose tradition, I would also like to dedicate this award to the following people:

  • My mom and two sisters - Though I can't for the life of me get any of them to blog regularly, they are an excellent support system for me and I tremendously appreciate their love and friendship.
  • Nancy at Budintash - Nancy writes from the heart, and it shows on her blog. She peppers her posts with delicious-looking recipes that make me want to stay in my kitchen all day long. Nancy always makes me feel good with her comments and encouragement and I enjoy reading her blog every chance I get. She and her husband are well on the way to achieving their dreams of becoming mommy & daddy, and I can't wait to witness their joy when that time comes.
  • Becky at 4 Days in a Week - She may have already received this award in the past, but if so it's been a while. Becky brings so much optimism and hope to the blogosphere. I love reading the stories about her two little ones, and I love the encouragement and support she provides for me, and other waiting families! As a busy mommy of two, she still finds time to blog regularly, and to be a cheerleader for those of us who are following in her footsteps. THANK YOU, BECKY!!
  • Rebekah at Heart Cries - She is such an inspiration to me with her strong faith and positive way of looking at the world, not to mention this whole adoption thing. She writes beautifully with an eloquent style that is all her own. She has creative energy that is contagious, and her baby-room decorating skills are something to see!
  • Debbie at Family Reunion - Debbie writes lovely posts about her baby daughter, and is always quick to comment on my blog. I love that she scrapbooks on the floor next to where her daughter is napping, and I love how in love she is with her family. She is an inspiration to me, and I look forward to the day when we can compare mommy stories!


Here are the instructions for passing this award along:

  • On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: "Pink is my favorite color...". There's a story of the Pink Rose Award and other graphics to choose from.

  • Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blog (if they have one,) and explain why you have chosen them.

  • Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.

  • If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.

  • If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
  • You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Blessings Abound

For any of you who haven't already heard the fantastic news, check out Yoka's Blog and her sweet posts about her first few days with their beautiful daughter, Lillian. I've been reading Yoka's story for a while now, and I am absolutely thrilled for them!! It's funny how we pre-adoptive, and eventually adoptive parents have an automatic connection sometimes. I feel as though I know Yoka personally, even though I only know her through her words here on the blogosphere. I am truly overjoyed for this new little family!

A little closer to home, we got excellent news today that my niece-to-be is doing just fine. I haven't written about this, partly because it's not about me, (which always makes me wonder exactly how much I can comfortably say,) and partly because I was too afraid. My sister went for an ultrasound last week and called me afterwords with the very scary news that the baby's heartbeat was irregular. She would have to go see a specialist at the local university hospital. I listened to her and tried my best to give what little comfort I could. I cried, I prayed and I asked for prayers on her behalf. I have been absolutely sick with worry this whole week, but I have been trying to think positively. The appointment with the specialist was this morning. You can imagine my relief when I got my sister's voice mail message that all the results were normal. She sounded relieved and I am so very thankful for this turn of events. She's off to a work conference the rest of this week, so I may or may not get to talk to her in person before she gets back. All I can say is WOW...and thank you to any and all of you who said prayers (Tracey) on our behalf.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I haven't felt it

I may have to eat these words later, but I hope not. I've been reading several posts on other blogs about rude comments from people IRL and lack of excitement at the mention of adoption, etc. Maybe it's because I don't mention our status a whole lot, unless directly asked about it, or maybe it's something else...but at least so far, I haven't felt that notorious big white elephant in the room when I tell people we're adopting. A little arsenal always stands ready in the back of my mind, should the need for defense arise, but I haven't had to call upon that just yet.

As a side note, I went to Babies-R-Us the other day to inquire about the process for creating a baby registry (and YES I parked in the "expectant mothers" parking space!) and they were very friendly. They explained the process and gave me a packet with more info. I think we will probably do this at some point in the near future and I am really excited for that day. I remember not so long ago when I walked around that store with my friend during her pregnancy. Dreaming with her was fun, to be sure, but that experience pales in comparison to how I feel now, dreaming about our own expectancy.

I wrote some time ago about my struggle with the loss of control once we enter the pool, but to my surprise, the exact opposite has happened. At least as of right now I feel a complete sense of peace about where we are. My blogger buddy and fellow waiting adoptive mom, Tracey mentioned this in a recent post on her blog, and I have to say I'm feeling much the same. I know there will be times when the waiting becomes difficult, but for the moment, I feel restful, hopeful, and happy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Splash!

We're officially in the pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I'm a little excited?! I turned in our pool entry payment and final paperwork this morning, then I got an email from Elly this afternoon telling us we're official. I've been alternating between tears of joy and laughter all afternoon, with a smidgen of nervous anticipation mixed in there somewhere as well. Anyone who had the {mis}fortune of driving beside or behind me today probably thought I was losing my mind!

I finally feel it's OK to dream a little! For the first time in a long, long time, I genuinely believe what my blog signature says..."mom-to-be!" Not that I didn't believe it before, but somehow before today that statement felt...I don't know, more like I was trying to convince myself than an actual truth I felt. Does that make any sense?

After getting this great news, and making all those exciting calls to friends and family, I had a strong urge to do something symbolic to mark this day. Unfortunately, we just gave the last of our available money to the agency, so I didn't think I would be able to do any shopping. I happened to look through my wallet (for an unrelated purpose) when I found an erstwhile Barnes & Noble gift certificate that my dear, sweet husband gave me earlier this year. This was actually one of his Christmas gifts, but being the big sweetheart he is, he gave it to me as a little rainy day fund. So...off to B&N I went. I got three books, two of which are about adoption, and one of which is about parenting. This is the first book I've purchased about parenting not specifically related to adoption, so it's pretty exciting for me. And here's a nerdy picture to brighten your day:



I was impressed with the selection of adoption related books at the store I visited. Since the last time I was there (about 6 months ago) they've gotten several new adoption books, and they even had a baby book for adoptive families, which is the first I've seen in a retail store. I may even write them a note and express my appreciation for their support of adoption. The adoption community so needs more positive representation in "the real world" so their acknowledgment of the topic put an extra spring in my step. The two books I chose are A Love Like No Other and Keys to Parenting an Adopted Child These both look interesting to me, and should be valuable additions to our growing adoption library.

Today is a GOOD DAY!!!




Thursday, July 17, 2008

Insensitive

After reading the article and comments mentioned in Yoka's post, the song, "Insensitive" by Jan Arden suddenly popped into my head. I haven't heard this song in years, but I used to like it quite a lot.

I'm still pretty shocked at the ignorance and...well insensitivity...of some of the comments written in response to that article. I know people arr rude sometimes just for the sake of being rude, but really...how do they live with themselves? I've never actually encountered anyone like this IRL, and my guess is that's because no one would actually say such things in face-to-face conversation. This kind of reminds e of how {some} people act in cars. We would never flip someone off or swear violently at another human being walking too slowly down a hallway in front of us, and yet once we get behind the door of a car, all normal niceties are thrown to the curb. It's really quite shocking when you see a fellow adult in a state of full blown temper tantrum in your rear view mirror. This doesn't happen to me anymore, but back when I was commuting an hour+ to work every day, I had my fair share of obnoxious fellow drivers. Whatever - this is a tangent...I'm just so surprised at how rude people can be when they don't have to own up to their actions, or when they can hide behind a screen name on a computer.

And so in response to all those insensitive people (and also a little bit for old time's sake)...here's a song I like:



Saturday, July 12, 2008

More Paper...work!

We received the "pool entry packet" from our agency in the mail today. It's nothing too major, just some medical consent forms we have to sigh off on, and information/suggestions on how to talk with future birthparents, etc. The only thing that's kind of annoying me is the fact that our medical consent forms from our doctor will be out of date in August. I'm really wishing we had waited a while to have those completed last year. Hindsight is always 20/20 though, and at the time I had no idea how long all this paperwork, etc. was going to take. It's not that big of a deal...just a doctor's appointment, which should be easier the second time around. I guess I just wish we didn't have to add that to our to-do list quite so soon.

Our adoptive parent summary, which was adapted from our autobiography and written by the agency was also included. It was kind of interesting to read a four-page article (so to speak) about our lives. I would never have been able to break all that information down into such manageable chunks, but they did a lovely job. The last paragraph, regarding references said, "...They have current references that are extremely favorable and recommend Michael and Melanie as parents without question," Then at the end of the summary it said, "Catholic Social Services of [name of county] recommends Michael and Melanie for the adoption of an infant who is in normal health." Reading those two sentences, canned though they may be, made me feel all squishy inside. To think we have come so far in one short year!! From wondering if we would ever be parents to being well on our way in the pursuit of that goal, wow! I am so excited, there really are no words!! Before long we really will be "waiting parents," and, all issues aside, I really can't wait for that day!

In some respects pool entry is even more exciting than finding out you're pregnant because there's so much anticipation and...WORK...leading up to this point. We've been pushing toward "the pool" for a long time and once we are finally in it we can act as though we are pregnant, even though we will be there for an unknown amount of time...how exciting is that?!!! As corny as it sounds, I made a pact with myself a long time ago that I wouldn't walk down the "baby care" aisles in stores unless I truly needed something there. Mostly this was to save my own sanity, but also because I want that place to still feel special when my time comes for regular visitation there. I don't want all the sweetness of baby smells, diapers, toys, and food to be marred by my own disappointments of old, if that makes any sense. Now, at long last, I will have a reason to walk down those rows and rows of sweetness so I can dream about our future little one and what kind of diapers we might use...what toy he or she might like best. These are the small things that, as an adoptive parent, I will never take for granted. I cannot wait for those sweet nothing moments that I have so longed for all these years. Our time is coming and I feel a great sense of anticipation. I feel so many emotions, it's hard to quantify and assign words to my feelings...excitement, joy, fear, anticipation, nervousness, I'm seriously all over the place tonight!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Yay!!

I just got a message from Elly re: the album issue we have. {bless her heart, she's working on a holiday weekend!} She said it will be fine for us to go ahead and enter the pool with just the one album and then we can give her the corrected one when it comes in. I am really happy about this - what a relief to know we won't be as far off track as I originally thought. I know a few weeks seems inconsequential in the grand scheme of things...but when you're waiting to start a family, every second counts.

I think that's part of what's been bugging me so much lately. Sometimes I get the feeling, watching all the other happy families, that my life is just passing me by. Not that I'm not happy, but I am definitely lacking a sense of fulfillment. I know we're still young and we've got plenty of time, yada...yada...yada, but I just long to be like all the other 30-somethings I know, raising my family and watching the next generation grow. Oh how I long for that! And it's not that I expect a baby to complete me...I know that is no task for a little person...but I'm getting to the age where I want to be able to give back something significant. I was blessed with wonderful parents and a great childhood. I want to be able to give the same to my children and support the future generation the way my parents did. I'm just READY to be a mom! I'm ready to experience youth and innocence again through the eyes of my children. I've felt ready for a long, long time now, but the older I get the more I just don't want to wait anymore. Maybe the impending birthday (I turn 33 in August) and the realization that yet another year has come and gone is what's making me feel so tired of the wait. I know it will all make sense someday, I really do know that...I just hope that day isn't too far away!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Will the Sun Finally Come?

Well I have to be honest...I've been keeping my distance from the blogosphere as of late because I'm still kind of having a hard time. I can't seem to shake the general feeling of sadness I've been carrying around these past few weeks. I'm quite certain this is mostly due to my not being around kids as much, for they are my great distraction and relief from my own lack of children. This is a hard summer for me, the first in a long time that I've been...well...basically alone.

Even though I'm NOT alone and I do know how very much I'm blessed in this life. This post is not meant to be a complaint, a pity party, or a plea for others to feel sorry for me. I just have to get some of this out of my system. In fact I think I might even try to find someone to talk to, so to speak. I went to a counselor a long time ago, back when I was in my early 20's and honestly I haven't really felt the need since then...but lately...well those feelings are changing. Last night I had dreams of my dogs dying, repeated dreams that felt so real they broke my heart. The details are fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure I was really crying in my sleep. Today I just feel very blah and sad...like the dreams were real even though I know they were not.

I know I have a lot of catching up to do on all the blogs I normally read almost daily. I promise I'll make my rounds again soon.

Our adoption book is going to get fixed. After talking to the people who made it, the conclusion was reached that the issues we had with the binding were a manufacturing defect. So they will reprint the book and refund us the initial fee we paid. Actually one book looks much better than the other and I think we're going to see if we can go ahead and turn that one in next week and then give them the duplicate copy once it comes in. I have to talk to Elly and see what she thinks about all this. I think...no I know I will feel a lot better once we are in the pool and all these frustrating technical difficulties are no longer hanging over our heads.

Anyway...I don't have much more to say, I just needed to vent. I am so thankful we're not in Iowa (and I've been praying for those who are every day,) but I am tired of so much rain. Two summer events I've been to recently have been canceled due to inclement weather. The trend is getting old and I'm feeling much like they sky looks...gray and pouty.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stuck

Sometimes I feel like we are little people, stuck under this HUGE tractor wheel as we wait to become parents. Each little thing we do is a giant effort on our part, but the exertion only moves the wheel a tiny little bit. The wheel is an okay place to be, most of the time. All our primary needs are met, we have lots of friends and family that visit us at the wheel, and we manage to keep ourselves busy. But occasionally it's dark and cloudy under the wheel. I long for the day when we finally push enough and the thing moves out of our way...when we can live a more "normal" life like what we had imagined for ourselves back when we first started this journey into adulthood. I know parenthood will not be some perfect utopia, free of problems and stress...but the stress that comes with becoming a parent is actually stress I long for, as crazy as that may seem to anyone already living it.

For the moment, I am trying hard to focus on being exactly where I am. Even though that's much easier said than done, keeping that goal in mind does make me feel less worried about what's coming in the future or what's happened in the past. Somehow it makes me less likely to get depressed or bogged down with my own desires...with my own pursuit of happiness, so to speak. That exact thought has been an underlying theme in a book I recently read called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Some parts of the book were better than others, but that one thread has helped me to refocus my attention to where we are, rather than where we long to be, and I think that's a good thing.

For the nuts and bolts part of it, we are still waiting to enter the pool. These things always take more time than I expect them to...it's always something that seems to put us on hold a little while longer. In this case we have a small amount of money we need to come up with--that part should happen in the next week or so. But the bigger issue is that we got our adoption book back and there is a binding issue. The book looks fabulous, but because of the way it's bound, some of the text is cut off the tiniest little bit where the edges of the book meet. It's almost not enough to worry about, because you can still pretty much read what the journaling says, but being the perfectionist I am, I'd really like to at least see if this can be fixed. The book looked great in the previews, and I checked and quadruple checked for any issues like this. We paid a fair amount of money for the two copies of our book, so we're going to see if there is any way they can be reprinted with modifications to make up for the binding. I am frustrated, but again, trying to just take it all one day at a time!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I'm finally starting to come out of my fog a little bit. THANK YOU so much for all the kind comments...this blogging community is truly amazing. I take so much comfort from the knowledge that other people know what this journey is like.

I had a good day yesterday with my friend and her girls, we went to Frankenmuth, MI and walked around for the afternoon. It was good to get out of the house and do something fun. Our summer weather has been so weird lately, in the high 90's last week and low 60's this week. BUT...I realize it could be much worse so I'm certainly not complaining!

Anyway...I just realized I have been TAGGED... by Brooke, and I decided to play along. Here you go, Blogger Buddies:

1. What did you do 10 years ago?
June 1998 – I had recently started my new job at Tech Team Global, where I worked for the next 5+ years until I lost my job with the first wave of the technical industry bust.

2. Five things from your ‘to do’ list?

  1. Dishes, dishes, and more dishes
  2. Clean out the guest bedroom and put away all the kid stuff – this is being avoided due to issues from my previous post.
  3. Do math homework and practice more math problems online.
  4. Work on Santa Barbara photo album.
  5. Make the few small changes to our DBM letter and print pretty copies for entry into the pool
3. Favorite snacks?
Cheese and crackers, fruit, cheetos (though I do try to avoid these)

4. What would you do if you were a millionaire?
  • Buy as much land as possible and open an old dog’s rescue place
  • Donate to charities for good causes such as the Humane Society, Sierra Club, ASPCA, RESOLVE, American Diabetes Association, Alzheimer’s Association, Cancer research…my list could go on
  • Pay off and fix up our house and the houses of our family and friends
  • Buy new, reliable, practical (meaning small) cars for us and friends and family, donate the old ones
  • Self indulge and buy LOTS of really expensive camera equipment and build myself a state of the art studio and darkroom facility.
5. Places where you’ve lived?
Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana, Scotland (for a month,) and now Michigan

Next to be tagged are: Becky, Bri, Nancy, Dave G. ,Tracey

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Own Personal Flood

No...I'm not in Iowa and {luckily} our basement isn't flooding right now, despite the large amount of rain we've had recently. For those two things I am grateful. But for some reason I can't shake the overall feeling of sadness I've had hanging over me these past several days.

I've been thinking a lot about life and death and the inevitability of it all. I think what first set me off is the realization that our puppy--our fur baby, Ditto is aging. She's eight now, going on nine...and she's starting to show her years. This little dog has been my baby. Simply put, I cannot imagine my life without her...and yet I know those days will come. When you get a pet, you pretty much know that (barring some freak accident) you will outlive that pet. But that realization doesn't actually hit home until you start to see the age in your beloved pet's eyes. Ditto is fine, really...she should still have several good years with us, but I guess I am hypersensitive to her changes because of how much I've loved her all these years. Without her I really feel like my heart would have shriveled up into a bitter, twisted little ball by now. Clearly I'm being overly dramatic but I just feel...so very sad right now.

The other factor is the silence in my house these days. Normally during the school year I care for my niece and another little girl here in my home three days a week. Both of their mothers work in the schools and now that school is out, my services are no longer needed. This is new for me this summer. In the past I had another little girl whose family wasn't affiliated with the schools so I cared for her all year. Plus my own school is out, except for one math class, so I'm not nearly as busy with my own activities as I have been for the past several months. I still see the kids in question, I am lucky in that regard, but it's just not the same. There is something different about having them here with me and having them all to myself than there is about seeing them for a few hours from time to time. I can't explain it any better than that. A lot of people who are infertile try to stay away from kids and keep any reminders of them at bay, but my coping strategy has been the exact opposite. For me, the more kids I can be around, the less preoccupied I am with my own lack of children, hence the happier I feel.

On top of all this...my dear friend (the mother of the other little girl I care for) and her family are moving away at the end of this summer. I am happy for them, because this change is one they've been longing for, but I'm so very sad they are leaving. I am going to miss them more than mere words can describe. It's not like we won't still be friends, but things are always different from a distance, they just are. All through my childhood my family was the one who moved away. I've lived in Michigan now for 15 years, and I guess that's a long time...now I'm the one being left behind. This is all foreign to me. Another close friend moved away a year ago and now this one, plus there have been several other people (just not quite as close) who have moved away over the past couple of years. I guess it's the changes I don't like. Change is inevitable but hard. I'm struggling with this and it is adding to my sadness.

Then there's adoption. Mostly I feel happy, but in an odd way I also feel sad. Our agency sent out an email this week (an email!!!) about a little baby who was deprived of oxygen for several minutes right after birth. The hospital used cold pack therapy to try and minimize any damage to her brain, but of course the extent of that will not be known until she begins to develop more. Well...because of the medical intervention...the family who was going to adopt this little one decided to back out. I guess there was some conflict with their own religious views and the medical treatment the baby received. SO...cut to the email I received...this sweet baby will need a new home. Her case will probably be handled as a "safe delivery," which is a law in Michigan (maybe in other states too?) that allows any birth parent to relinquish their newborn to any hospital, church, police officer, or fire station within 72 hours after birth, no questions asked. So after being gone all day long Monday, I got home and found THAT waiting in my inbox. Our adoption specialist is out of town right now and the birth parent specialist is doing both jobs. I'm not sure WHY this kind of information was sent out in email form, and I'm especially not sure why we received it since WE'RE NOT EVEN OFFICIALLY IN THE POOL YET. My heart aches for that little baby. We would open our home to her in a heartbeat (as I'm sure MANY other people waiting to adopt would) but we can't yet because of a few small formalities. And meanwhile this baby is in the hospital with no one holding her as I am here, heartbroken because I have no sweet baby to hold. SOMETIMES THE IRONIES OF LIFE ARE JUST A LITTLE TOO MUCH FOR ME!!! I love our agency and I have no other complaints about them, but how could they send such delicate/sensitive information via email?? Why did they do that?? I know the caseworker must have been overwhelmed and was probably doing the best she could...but seriously...she sent that above information out to a group of people who are all aching to become parents. HOW INSENSITIVE IS THAT?!!!

At times like this I have to take a deep breath and remember that I am where I am supposed to be and that things happen for a reason. I know it will all make sense someday when I look into the face of the child we have waited all these years to parent. Intellectually I know that, but emotionally I feel drained and pretty much like I don't know if I can wait one more day to become a mother. And yet I have no choice, so here I sit and here I am, waiting and nearly about to drown myself in sorrow. Normally I try to be positive and happy, but I just don't have it in me right now.