Wednesday, June 25, 2008


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'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 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 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 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.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ready, Set, Print!

Today was a busy day, I finally finished all the nit-picky editing of our adoption album and uploaded it for printing! It was hard for me to click that final "I accept" button because I can be such a perfectionist when it comes to these kinds of projects...even more so with this one. BUT...I have to remember that this album isn't about being perfect, it's about us being who we are, nothing more and nothing less. That's so much easier to say than to actually believe though!

So anyway...for better or worse...the thing is in the process of being printed so it's final. We should have the album in our hands by next week sometime, and then we'll be able to hand it off to Elly and enter the pool! I'm excited, but nervous a little too. The thought of being in the pool, and just waiting for who knows how long, is unsettling. At least up until this point we've had things to do to prepare and the ball has (mostly) been in our court. Not so with waiting to be chosen. Suddenly relinquishing all aspects of control over this whole process seems scary. In saying that, I'm sure it will all work out in the end. I may be somewhat of a control freak, but I've also learned to be patient over these past several years. I guess I'll just have to practice those skills.

I'm done for tonight...

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I was reading back over my first post here on this blog just now and it made me realize...we've actually come a long way since then. My hair's grown out quite a bit too! It's pretty cool to be able to look back over our journey to this point and realize where we were a little less than a year ago.

The decision to pursue adoption has been freeing for me in so many ways. I was just explaining to a friend the other day what some of my worst infertility treatments were like. The mere memory was enough to exhaust me! I am SO GLAD...and SO THANKFUL that those days are behind us now. I know that when we do finally get the chance to become parents we are going to understand what all the waiting has been about.

I've been reading so many blogs lately and the personal stories and connections with other people who have walked or are walking this road is truly invaluable. As I read, and think, and then write my own story, I realize I am exactly where I should be. Even though the road has been long, winding, and sometimes full of angst and pain...even though I absolutely do not understand why the goal of parenthood is so easy for some and so difficult for others...I have been able to find so much value in connecting with fellow adopters. Speaking of this...Michael and I are heading to a BBQ picnic later this afternoon. Some former adoptive parents from our agency have recently started up a support group, and we're so close to being in the pool that we've decided to check it out. I'm somewhat nervous, but I also think it will be good for us to go. Hey...if nothing else we'll get to enjoy hamburgers, etc. together on a warm summer afternoon...I can't complain!

This was not meant to be such a long entry, gees! I woke up again to let the dogs out and have gotten a little side tracked. This time, at least, I AM I'm off to dreamland once again. I'll post updates of how our BBQ goes!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tuesday at 4:00

Yay!! We get to meet with our adoption specialist, Elly tomorrow at 4:00 so she can go over our letter and our album with us. If all is OK then we will be doing the final printing this week and we should be in the pool by next week sometime!! I'm SO excited.

We even looked at baby furniture at Sears yesterday, and it was fun to dream a little. I liked what we saw there, but I'm really fascinated by the round baby beds I found online. This is a whole different concept for cribs and I think I like it. Good times.