I feel like my privacy has been seriously compromised in an event that happened this week while I have been traveling for work.
And unfortunately internet was down at my hotel so I wasn't really able to take the action I needed to. (I'm writing from the airport headed home.)
I guess it is something I should have predicted, this privacy problem, but it is easy to blog away your most personal thoughts and feelings without considering the massive scope and scale of the internet. Which is public. I'm not good at self editing or censoring so since I really don't want to change who I am or how I write I need to find another solution.
I'm not sure what to do.
Should I go private or should I remove all identifying information here?
For those of you who have made these kinds of decisions could you make a recommendation please?
My concern about going private is that I think I will lose connections, readers, people I have come to depend on. And I certainly won't meet anyone new. But I'm not sure how to successfully remove identifying information.
Ok, whew. This has been a hard week. On top of two previously hard weeks. Blogging is my only outlet and I feel so seriously compromised that my stomach is just churning. Once I address this privacy issue I will share with you a little about what happened.
~You know who.
There is no way to talk about J and his years of "father reluctance" without sharing too much information that is not mine to share.
I want to wrap up my last post which I realize I left on a bit of a cliffhanger.
So I'll just say that this whole process has been hard on J, who entered our marriage almost 11 years ago saying that he would NEVER have kids. Now it is ironic that to have children, which he is still very nervous about, it requires him to a. divulge every bit of his personal, medical, financial, and professional information to a social worker (homestudy) b. join me at US government offices around the city c. pay lots and lots of money d. join me at expensive doctor's appointments and e. provide samples to fertility specialists
Ironic isn't it? Poor man.
But he is a very good husband and I know he joins me in all of this because he loves me. And he trusts that he will be able to love a child. But this whole thing is still a huge stretch for him.
I wonder sometimes if God is testing us to strengthen our resolve. To make it that much easier to love and adore a little someone who was fought for so hard.
So to wrap up the last post. We decided to continue to pursue the adoption. And we are currently #1 on the waiting list. So it WILL happen at some point.
I think it was very easy for J to consider postponing the adoption while we pursue fertility treatment because he has a much harder time loving the idea of our future child. Do the rest of you have similar experiences with your husbands? I have sought a lot of advice from others and I've come to the realization that J, and men in general, have a harder time attaching to the idea of a child whose face they have never seen. He is in agreement with the adoption. But his heart has yet to fall in love.
I am not sure what we will do about the fertility problems. But after a lot of discussion, and of course ugly crying on my part, we agreed to work on it this year. Some of you have recommended books to read which I plan to look into. I have found some interesting websites and blogs. We'll see a fertility specialist. We'll explore our options. I wish we were rich and could just freeze up some eggs for future use! But that is not our reality so we will see what can be done and make a decision sooner rather than later.
J has come a long long way. And I don't blame him for needing this time to come around to fatherhood. I appreciate that we've been able to spend a lot of time together. We have traveled all over the world. We hiked the Samaria Gorge. Went swimming with whale sharks in the Yucatan. Lived in Thailand and drove our little scooter to watch the sunset on the beach every night. We explored temples in Cambodia and pigged out on pizza in Italy. We listened to a Christmas concert in a tiny chapel in Oxford. And we have celebrated the 4th of July on the Capitol mall 6 times! I will never regret the time we have spent together - just the two of us.
But for everything a season and we are entering a new season of life.
Our conclusion is that we don't have a plan A or plan B. We are just trying to make a family.
Here is where I confess a lot of crappy fertility stuff and ask that you be sensitive in the comments
The adoption books would say that I have learned to self-regulate. To not lose control and let it all go over every bump in the road.
But yesterday, wow, yesterday proved what holding it in for too long can do.
All I had to do was write an email back to our church's worship leader telling her no thank you, I don't want to do a reading at the Christmas Eve service. That's it. One sentence max.
Instead I found myself writing that I did not enjoy 2009, I would not AT ALL like to read aloud at the church service or engage in any way, that I have a ban on all things Christmas at the current moment and that unless she wants a sobbing mess at the front of the church terrifying all of the pretty children in their Christmas dresses I should be kept far far at the back. I skipped baby dedication last Sunday. Historically my favorite event at any church worldover. That should give you some idea of where I'm at with church events that involve kids and celebrating.
Have I mentioned that I really don't know her all that well?
But I dumped all of those pent up emotions all over her and then cried huge ugly tears all over the keyboard as I hit send. Very very ugly tears. Not Demi Moore in Ghost pretty tears that just slide one at a time.
The rest of the afternoon, as I sat at my desk (again, thank God for working from home), I half worked and half cried. Ok, well I half worked and I all out cried. Several, SEPARATE, huge ugly cries as I wrote other emails to some of you dumping all of the upset from this last week into those messages. Then a friend, a very good friend but one I haven't talked to in a long time, called me in response to a question I asked her and since I didn't recognize the number I answered the phone (of course pulled together in case it was for work.) The second I found out it wasn't a work call I lost it - crying, hiccuping, the whole works. Wow. Don't try that on a touch screen cell phone. The screen gets very very wet and slippery.
Several people said to me yesterday that I should just blog it out. Yesterday I couldn't. And I am torn about putting words like sp-rm here on my blog just in case gross freaky people end up here looking for s-x talk or something.
But here goes nothing. I am going to get creative with the dash symbol so fill in the blanks.
Last week - Tuesday morning.
The call telling us there had been a mistake and we don't have a baby waiting for us right now.
Bad day. Sad day. But sort of to be expected on the rollercoaster of adoption.
Last week - Wednesday morning.
My ob/gyn called.
Back Story - You see, something I don't think I have mentioned much here is that we have been trying to get pregnant. For almost a year. (AAI allows this - most agencies don't fyi.) When we started trying and I found out I had PCOS really soon into the process, we also decided to adopt. I'm not a girl to wait around and find out if I'm fertile or not. I have always known I wanted to adopt and all of the signs were pointing to it after I visted AHOPE last year in Ethiopia.
Throughout this "trying to get pregnant" situation I have been on some drugs, I have had some ultrasounds, I have taken some basal body temps, blah blah blah. Nothing too in depth but sort of escalating testing of different parts and fluids and whatnot.
It has not been overly concerning since BABY GIRL IS WAITING in Ethiopia (in theory.) And we are young! ish. And healthy! ish. So I refused to get worried. And to be fair, we both agree that timing is not ideal and it would be better to be pregnant next year. So we "tried" but did not stress out.
On Wednesday the ob/gyn called with Jeremy's sem-n analysis which we finally had done about a month ago after reading an article about how type 1 diabetes can decrease male fertility by quite a large percentage. (There is no definitive data but the studies that have been done don't look good.)
He had bad news. News that no matter how realistic I've tried to be I really had never considered. He also said that there was nothing more he could do for us. Which sounded really...final. He said that we need to see a specialist. We need IVF with ICSE. Yeah, that's right. We don't just need NORMAL IVF, we need a special, extra expensive, EXTRA procedure too. I have never actually been over in that IVF camp to begin with - spending all that money when you don't have a guarantee of anything. But let me tell you here - when a doctor says to you that getting pregnant any other way would be a miracle you sort of sit up and listen and really assess how badly you want to be pregnant!
So I blithely informed him "well, you see, we are adopting and probably getting a referral in 2010 so that's ok, we'll just revisit this issue in a year or so."
To which he very sternly informed me "actually, I see you are turning 33 on Friday of next week and I hate to tell you this but your fertility peaked at 27 and really hits a decline in a hurry at 33. When/if you go to a reproductive specialist they will tell you that you should have tried to resolve this by 32. Your eggs aren't getting younger. At the very least you should freeze some. You might have a 30-50% chance at successful IVF this year but they won't tell you the same in 2 years from now!" (Ok, I didn't not relay that word for word but you get the idea.)
I did some online research and he is right. While my ovul-tion problems are not insurmountable and J's fertility results are not all bad - together we make a wrong. And that wrong will be harder and harder to fix starting on my birthday tomorrow. Tick tock tick tock I can actually hear the biological clock. Mine has become a deranged cuckoo clock.
Whew - BTW I am doing so so well writing this. I could not have written it to save my life yesterday.
That is the crux of the story. Minus the two days I spent not speaking to J because he hinted that we should halt the adoption and go after the fertility stuff full force. Minus the enormous and emotionally draining conversation we finally had about it all. Minus all of the research and thinking and praying and crying. Minus the final conclusion we came to.
But that is all I will blog today. Because I really am doing a little better and taking deep breaths. And for Cindy I will take a walk and sing a little. And for Lisa I will consider Barbados. And for Jill I WILL wear the ergo you sent all weekend - possibly with a doll inside. And for Mimi I may take a Christmas card photo of myself wearing a snuggie and holding a giant chunk of chocolate that I've been working on for a week (ok, I'm on the 2nd or 3rd now) in one hand with a baby carrier on my back and my laptop under my arm. I cannot think of a more appropriate card to express what the last 6 months of 2009 have been like.
Is there any mommy out there gives me both, regularly, and so eloquently.
This post today made my stomach flip a little. I know that we are so very underprepared to be a peach and brown family. I wonder if there is anyone out there who can adequately prepare? I try to let other's experiences and answers soak into me so I'll have some of the right words for baby when I need them.
Thanks to all of you who blog about this topic. I think the more we talk about it the better.
It is cold here. Have you seen the weather map? Almost a millon square miles covering CO-MN of cold and snow? I say this because it explains why at 8:30am I was still snuggled into bed downstairs - in our "new" bedroom - when the call came. Cold = one of my favorite things which is my R.estoration H.ardware blanket in bed with my laptop. (See end of blog.)
So the phone rang and it was a private caller. This could mean one of three people: my supervisor/chair of Faith to Action Initiative (but since she is also not a morning person I couldn't imagine it was her), my colleague in NY who is two hours ahead of me and so would definitely not still be in bed snuggling under her blanket, OR someone from our agency.
It was Erin and when she said "hi, this is Erin Henderson" my hands started shaking hard and my breath got suddenly very short and choppy. I said "it IS????"
And then as she is trying to explain her call which began with "this is not a referral call" an ENORMOUS spider emerged from under my laptop (which was on my lap and have I mentioned IN BED???) and began spider leggy flopping around my covers. I hate spiders. I am terrifed of spiders. I should have thought of this possibility when we moved to the basement which is probably the winter getaway for all sorts of spider folk. I think it dropped on me from the ceiling. I was on the phone, shaking, trying to hold it all together while scanning the ceiling for a spider web and leaping around the room trying to fling it far far away.
I actually had to stop Erin and tell her that a spider was on me! Certainly a first for her in making these calls I think.
Somewhere in all of that Erin explained that her news was not good news. Worse than a spider in my bed in my new bedroom?? Yes.
Last week our agency had some new baby arrivals. We were in line for one of them. This week they had some further testing done and both have been moved to the healthy infant referral list. Good for the healthy babies...really. That is the way that these things work at times. Although this situation is a little stranger than it seems. But I think it is best to leave it at that.
I am not devastated. I'm very very proud actually that I didn't run with the news I had last week and shout it from the rooftops. I even refrained from telling our church adoption group anything on Sunday. It was a test run of self control for me.
Now we are officially #1 for a baby girl. Who is definitely not in care yet. BUT there is also the possibility of a toddler referral of a girl who IS in care.
Have I mentioned that this is a rollercoaster of emotions?
It is a hard balance of wanting to rush and say yes to anyone and anything because the waiting is so hard and also carefully considering what we can handle and who is the best fit for us.
That is my news for today. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009. I have a feeling there is more on the way but I cannot even begin to imagine where we'll be on the 18th. My predicted referral day.
PS. Favorite thing: R.estoration H.ardware blanket of soft perfection. Ours is steel gray. It is machine washable. It is soft and fluffy like a kitten on one side and smooth and soft on the other. Repels dog hair, retained its fluff and softness through the past year, and is the perfect companion for the cold of Colorado. If I could make all of my clothes out of this material I would.
Here in Denver we have seriously downsized. And the few little things we've accumulated for baby have piled up in my office which is now overflowing with storage and baby books and misc. furniture.
As I write this very sentence darling J and our friend Dave are heaving and grunting and pushing our bedroom furniture downstairs to the basement family room.
Why is he doing this you might ask? Why would we want to move the entire master bedroom underground?
To make room for baby of course!!
I love small houses and I hate small houses. I love that our little bungalow is easy to clean. I love that it is old and has character and is located in a very cool little neighborhood. But the downside is that most of these bungalows only have 2 bedrooms.
Until today one bedroom was our master bedroom and one my office.
But after today one bedroom will be the office and the back bedroom, the one with carpet, will be a baby room. Not for her to sleep in at night. But for me to decorate. And for naps I suppose.
We will all sleep downstairs together in what used to be the family room. It is warm. It has soft carpet. It is much bigger. I'm excited!
Pictures to follow when it is all rearranged.
So a date has been set to visit those giant baby warehouse places and poke and prod products until we are screaming for a nice tall glass of formula to take the pain away. Or wine.
I want to register because I learned the hard way what not registering gets you.
As soon as we announced our engagement 11 years ago this week the strange gifts started rolling in. Clocks that chirped like a different bird every hour. An enormous glass plate painted with big red hearts. A pastel portrait of us - life size.
Since Christmas and my b-day are almost here AND I just know the referral is coming in time for those great events, I decided to be prepared with a gift registry. You know, it's casual...I'm cool...whenver it all happens is fine...whatever. Just in case... ;)
I am taking mom to avoid J brain melt which looks something like this:
J and I enter B.abies R. U.s at 1pm (we do do this once in awhile to buy gifts for others.)
Me: oohh, ahh, where should we start??
J: I don't know. Baby stuff? (Looking around very suspiciously.)
Me: But which first? Safety? Toddler toys? CLOTHES? or should we test strollers?
J: Why are we here again?
Me: Ok, here is the registry. Let's get focused. Let's find burp clothes and receiving blankets!!
J: What are the use of these things? What a waste of money. No, I do not think they need special cloth squares to catch baby puke. Why don't they just cut up old shirts they don't use?
Me: Dropped jaw. We are SO far apart on understanding. Let's move on to pacifiers. How about the nuks (insert J question: what is a NUKE?)
I am absorbed in examining tiny baby hooded sweatshirts. J is nowhere to be found.
Conversation at 1:2opm
J: We have been in here FOREVER.
Me: We've been in here for 20 minutes. Let's at least plan for another 20. Hey, lets go look at cribs.
At this point J is done speaking. Eyes are glazed over and if we go anywhere near the crib section he ends up magnetized by the rocker gliders. And it is over. Close scene. I find baby gift and practically carry his comatose body from the store. It takes a long nap and several hours for him to recover.
Sooooo...needless to say we have never opened a stroller, poked around at a car seat, examined a diaper bag, or compared product design of a sippy cup.
Mom and I will attempt to pre-shop and register this week. I hope she holds up better than J does! Whether we receive registry gifts or not it will help me narrow down an exact list of what we need so if I take J back to buy anything I will be able to point out each item with reasoning for why we need it.
Can you please leave me a comment with your favorite baby product and specific style/manufacturer? I think we'll do both baby and toddler stuff - leaning more towards the middle age range of 12 months old.
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog (which I won't do since hers is private.)
2. Identify 7 things about myself. Hmm. Not at all sure what that means but here goes nothing. Seven things about me right now.
- I really like President Obama. I have a dream that he will help us reform health care so that J will not die of diabetes related complications someday due to being underinsured and baby will get the care she needs without us aquiring millions of dollars of debt. That would be so nice. Oh, and if I ever get pregnant it would be wonderful to have maternity be required coverage on our private policy. (see previous sentence about not aquiring huge amounts of debt.)
- I was regularly identified within my group of best friends in HS as the friend who would get married and have kids first. I am the last. It's weird. Now I know the least of all of us when I used to be the "expert" on all things babies and kids. Weird.
- I love to travel and would go without ever owning my own home if it kept me free for travel and adventure. (Don't think Jer will go with that. He is dying for our next fixer upper.) I have a map framed in the office that I put pushpins in. It makes me very happy.
- I sometimes find it hard to have the last name Cox. Not when I'm in England. It is the quintessential English surname. But once, in my first office job in NY, I was paged as "Amanda C.ock please call the front desk."
- I have freakishly strong and fast growing fingernails. But no extra money for manicures. :(
- I worked in Thailand for 6 months in 2007. I got lonely during a 3 week monsoon. I marched up to a construction camp with a pack of puppies living under a truck. I took one and marched back home. End of story. That's how I got Talay. Good thing J doesn't ever read this blog. He still thinks I was given her as a gift and could not give her back...I need to come clean someday.
- If I won the lottery I would start a foundation to fund projects that support vulnerable families in Africa so they can keep their children. This basically happened to my boss and that is how she began Fire*light Found*ation and then the F*aith to A*ction I*nitiative. I feel lucky every day to work with someone with such similar values.
That is it! And now I have to tag 7 others with the Kreativ Blogger award.
1. I read A Bushel and a Peck religiously for creative adoption advice. I know that when we get baby I'll be going back to her archives. And Lisa is obviously a really talented photographer.
2. DaMomma is not an adoption blog. But this writer is my go to for laughs. I am giving her the Kreativ Blogger award for her Percy the penquin world travels series. If you visit her blog scroll down a few posts to see Percy in Paris.
3. Is There Any Mommy Out There runs a pack of 4 under age 5. Whoa. Her daughter is adopted. She has written some articles about adoption disruption which she experienced several years ago when she gave up her son. She recently bought a professional clicker counter to count the number of times she hears Mommy each day. I found that incredibly creative!
4. This blogger has found very very creative ways to keep herself anonymous. I am fascinated with her and her tiny tiny new twins that just arrived home with her to...somewhere in England I think! (again, very anonymous.)
5. Ethiopia or Bust is really a very well designed blog. I enjoy looking at it. So Amy gets a Kreativ blogger nomination for very pretty colors and design. Her son is also very well dressed!
6. Leah of course gets a nomination for the most creative family celebrations. I am blatently copying her flag raising ceremony for baby's future birthdays. From her cute "Noah and Myra's mommy" business cards to her new talent with photoshop Leah oozes creativity!
7. the eyes of my eyes are opened - yeah yeah, I know she is already the most popular blogger out there it seems. But I can't help myself. I feel such affection for this new mother. For her long wait. For her desire to educate herself on all things adoption and Ethiopia during that wait. For her way with words. And for the way I feel after reading her posts. I wish I lived in LA just to be closer to her and her beautiful diverse community of friends and neighbors. I'm jealous. No idea if she is creative but she must be to draw such a large circle of admirers.
Whew. Final step for Kreativ blogger award is to notify those you nominated on their comments section.
Leave a comment here if you have a blog to recommend to me!!
I realize that many families with children excuse these bloggers for being overwhelmed with new parenthood, wanting more anonymity, whatever whatever.
But I don't have kids and I rely on these bloggers to keep time moving forward for me. They provide inspiration, answers to questions, hope, excitement, and instill belief. The good, the bad, or the ugly, if you have brought us into your lives already we want more when you get home. Yes, it I feel entitled to your life. That's what you get for starting a blog! ;)
We went to Sun*flower Mar*ket and found our free range turkey. It was a small holiday miracle that they had any left. We try to only eat free range poultry. No beef, pork or lamb. I will post on that some other time.
Now tell me this, how did Laura not win? How is that possible? So disappointed. Those producers are just lucky that I am emotionally too busy to send them angry emails.
I'm starting something new in this blog leading up to the holidays.
I'll still post about what's happening with the adoption of course. But I'm also going to end with one favorite thing. Something I love and why. If you do the same in the comments maybe we'll all get inspired for Christmas shopping.
Last night we attended an infant/child CPR class for three hours. It was the fastest three hours of my life. There was just so much to learn and practice! I have to admit that prior to this class I would have been terrified to do CPR on anyone. I think in the back of my mind I've always wondered if CPR really helps or if it's just something they tell you to do to keep you from completely freaking out in an emergency.
Ok, I am the first to admit that I was wrong. People who have someone performing CPR on them are something like 30% more likely to still be alive when the paramedics arrive. (That figure may be a little off but the idea is that you can actually keep someone alive by just doing ANYTHING.) There's technique (2 breaths, 30 chest compressions in 18 seconds, 5 cycles, etc.) but the 30% figure is for people who try anything even if they don't know what they are doing. Amazing. Then there's an even higher stat for those who do it "right."
About a year ago Jeremy and I were on a cross country road trip. We decided to take a scenic road through rural Alabama and it was just lovely as the sun was setting through fields and forests. Suddenly we came up over a hill and saw a car accident. The car had gone over a steep embankment and back up the other side, it had rolled, and as we pulled up we saw there were bodies laying all over the ground.
We couldn't figure out if the crowd was really helping so Jeremy parked the car and jumped out while I called 911. It turned out that nobody was doing anything - they were just gawking. To make a very long and gory story short Jeremy and I ended up being the "first responders" along with one other couple. One man was already dead, one had a huge hole in his head/eye, one was unconscious, and the last (my guy) was moaning and flailing and swelling behind his eyes. It was shocking. Now in the CPR class they kept stressing how in an emergency you should call 911 and start CPR - with the idea that paramedics will reach you in about 5 minutes.
We waited, in the dark, in a deep ditch at the side of the road, in Alabama, with dying men, for the longest half an hour of my life. And when the paramedics came they needed our help for another half an hour at least. We didn't try to perform CPR because it was obvious the one man was dead and the others were all breathing. But I often think back on that and wonder if there was something more we could have done (not that I'd have any clue what to do.) It stuck with me as a reason to make sure I know CPR.
After last night there is now not a chance in h.ell that baby would choke to death or stop breathing on my watch with my CPR skills. And anyone in an accident better watch out for me because I'm ready to practice CPR at the drop of a hat. Deep sleepers and shallow breathers as well as infant or child choky food coughers had better watch out for me because the part where you actually check for signs of life sort of went in one ear and out the other. I am ready to use my skills!!
Unfortunately I'm not sure I would be much use to J in an emergency. I had to practice the heimlich on him and I couldn't figure out what I was doing. He's so much taller! Standing behind him I couldn't figure out where his belly button was (that was kind of embarrassing and involved sort of searching around with my hands in front of a class of people trying not to laugh) and my arms were stretched so there wasn't much extra room to get momentum. We decided that it would be best if he didn't choke on anything, ever.
They gave us our first pacifier! And they showed us a lovely swaddling wrap thing but didn't give us one. (I was disappointed - it was so cute and soft and pink and probably way too small for baby but I was coveting it.) We also talked a lot about SIDS. So here is what I took away from the SIDS talk. 1. I will never leave baby in a teenager's care (I am convinced they just are not good caregivers and that is 100% based on recollections of my own days as a babysitter when I would always put babies on their stomach to sleep because I thought it kept them quieter and in a deeper sleep. AND let's add in a choking hazard - I would bribe toddlers to take naps by giving them grapes or raisins to munch on.)
2. Baby will be allowed a pacifier until she is 20 (sucking reduces SIDS.)
Hmm I'm sure there is more. We talked about bubble wrapping her and then tying a leash to one of our waists and around her.
I'm making it sound funny but safety is so serious. Choking, accidents, and SIDS kill kids all the time. One of the major concepts I left with was that no matter how many fancy safety gadgets you buy nothing can replace supervision and training your child. (And bubble wrap and leashes of course.)
That was my serious post for the day. If you haven't taken an infant/child CPR class - go. Sign up for one now. Ours cost only $45 for the two of us total and took 3 hours. It was through a local hospital and tailored specifically for adoptive parents. I cannot even believe I would have considered having a child without this class.
Mom and Dad - prepare yourselves because we are PRACTICING over Thanksgiving so you will both be up to speed and ready just in case.
Now AMANDA'S FAVORITE THINGS - #1: Vol*uspa (pronounced vuhl eh spuh) Candles
The $16 medium sized ones in the black ceramic container are the best and most cost effective. Last approximately one year and fill the house after just a few minutes. So so much better than Yan*kee Can*dle Com*pany candles and they have such creative scents. My favorite for the holidays is called Cardamon Fig and is most perfect for the kitchen. They are sold in lots of stores in Denver but also available online. Seriously I think these make the perfect Christmas presents. Not your average candle.
She said that we are officially #2 on the waiting list.
She also said that AAI is now working with two new orphanages and so wait time for referrals of children within our specific parameters will be decreasing.
She didn't say how long it would be before we get to the referral but if wait times are decreasing then maybe we have a chance at knowing who SHE is before Christmas...?!
She ended the email with an "I'll be in touch soon." Yes. That's what she said. Now in the normal world that statement might mean anything.
No. No. Now that I reread it I think actually in any world - adoption or "real world" it would indicate that we will talk again at least in the next couple of weeks. Right? Wouldn't you think that if they said it after a job interview? You wouldn't say to yourself "ah, well, maybe another month or so."
So? Would you? Want to start taking bets on the date of referral? My birthday is December 18th by the way so I am placing my bet on the best birthday present ever.
PS. Still have not forgotten about the interesting well thought out blog topics and posts. But there will be enough time between court and actual travel to post about a million topics at least.
This morning we had another freak fall blizzard and so church was cozy and candlelit and designed to get us in the Thanksgiving mood. We were all especially appreciative to have made it to church (although we all live in the neighborhood so there isn't much of an excuse if you don't) and feeling a sense of community.
I was holding Bear and he fell asleep against my stomach with his little face turned in towards me and one hand holding the neck of my shirt. He was wearing a knit cap with two little pom poms that almost looked like ears and he was just the sweetest thing.
He was so warm. In a chilly room his body heated up my whole core and our breathing rythme matched. It was a spell of pure happiness. I could almost see her face, almost see the day when it would be me. Almost there...
I have had more than my fair share of anger at pregnant women, friends included (so so sorry about that-hopefully it will change very soon), extreme dislike for all things related to easy baby conception, happy holidays, even frustrated that between the 3 families our church is sponsoring for gifts this year they have SEVENTEEN children. I don't poke around at stranger's babies anymore, I don't ask pregnant women their due dates or ooh and aah over their stomachs. Nope. Just keep on moving - don't let the eyes stray.
But oh, when I actually get a baby in my arms it is magical. Our good friends from California have a little baby boy (hi Mason!) who will just tuck his head on your neck for a little snuggle when he's handed over. mmmm :)
Back to Bear. Warm. Heavenly. Magical. Candles. Good sermon. Friends. Music. Faith. Ahhh.
But near the end he woke up and I handed him over to mom (hi Nicole - hope you don't mind that I am using you in this story.) And then we sang the song. One of my favorite songs really.
Buuuut...I sing along to it on a CD. I have NEVER seen the words written out or thought about them much.
Here it is. My comments are between the lines.
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Nice! Cheery! We're sort of moving to the music, everyone smiling.
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name
Eh, desert? Not a problem. It's cold out. Actually I would appreciate a desert.
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Here comes the clapping now and everyone sings towards the chorus a bit louder. It's a favorite!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name
Oh, the sun! Yes, I love the sun! The world is as it should be when the sun is out! I love this song.
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
Gah. (that's for you Amanda out in Hawaii!) Suffering feels familiar. It feels like the feeling I had as I got cold after handing Bear over. It feels a little like saying goodbye to T. mm. pain. I'm getting worried. There is a tear in the corner of my right eye. Oh dear. No, no. I know what is coming next in this song. I've just remember the last few words.
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Here they are. Here we go. Here are the ugly ugly public tears. I'm reading the words. I cannot sing the words. Even though I've mindlessly sung them before.
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
We recognize that He gives and takes away. And we are supposed to (or some are ABLE to) choose to say blessed be Your name. Huh. Have I said huh enough on this blog?
I was considering baby's birth mother. Is she out there right now? Is she giving up baby? Is baby leaving her now? Is her mom cold and alone? Can she even consider still saying Blessed be Your name? I COULDN'T. I know I just couldn't.
So you can see how this ended. Tears, shaking shoulders, face mushed into Jeremy's arm. So embarrassing. I detest public crying. Unless I'm with my oldest oldest girlfriends who have seen me cry about just about everything under the sun since 9th grade. But newish friends at church who really don't know me and who only really see me smiling and giving positive cheery adoption updates - it was not my best moment of 2009.
And now the song is stuck in my head. Stuck.
Here's what I'm wondering. Do you have any good songs to suggest for a playlist that can help replace this one? Any year, any genre, anything. Caveat is they must be powerful, inspiring, meaningful-and I do like to sing along if possible... They do not have to be Christian. Could even be country.
And now I am headed to a girls' night of watching The Ama*zing Ra*ce and eating carmel corn. So I promise I am not just a pathetic mess incapable of leaving her computer for an evening.
And I've written 2 other drafts that are saved but not published yet.
I just don't feel motivated to hit publish post. I don't feel like either posts reflects my actual state of mind.
I think of myself as a pretty resilient person. Have moved a lot, started over in several places, lost friends and made friends, made it through a lot of school, and the ups and downs of getting married really young. Experienced disappointments and exhilaration in fairly equal share. So I'm embarrassed by the place the adoption has brought me to. I'm embarrassed that I can't maintain a sense of self and self control! I can't shake the obsession with "checking" on other blogs and worrying about the waitlist and timing. I can't even publish my well thought out post on the problems with orphanage care and the incongruity between our knowledge that orphanages are detrimental to child development and the Christian passion for building and supporting orphanages.
I want to add something through this blog. I wanted to write about topics that speak to people. That's what I promised back in July. And instead it has turned into a free for all vent and word puke of emotions. I'm disappointed in myself. I really didn't see this coming in July. I really thought we were going to be the exception and I would just ease right into parenthood with little T, we'd be to Ethiopia and back with her by Christmas, and life would move along.
There's really no going back. I'll still post my well thought out blogs. But for tonight I'll just say that I have spent most of yesterday and today trying to figure out what number we are on the waitlist. That number has become my world.
Here's the worst case scenario.
Worst case - we are still #3 and our agency coordinator is in the hospital for several weeks with her sick child and unable to match anymore families or update the waiting list. (I completely understand if this is the situation. Her baby is sick. Nothing could be scarier.)
Best case - we are #1 on the list. It's confusing. I've met some new women these past few days through our agency forum. One told me that her referral of a baby girl (since she was #1) moved us up to #2. Another woman told me that she knows a different family that accepted an infant boy referral last week so that should have moved us up to #1.
Is that possible? Could we be #1 and not even know it??? So am I supposed to glue my phone to my body now and wait for the "referral call"? That could add another layer of obsession to this whole thing.
J and I went to the cinema grill tonight and saw the Ti.me Trav.eler's Wi.fe. There was a moment near the end when the little girl curls her body into her mom's on the bed and they fit so perfectly. I can't wait for that. Talay likes to lay on the bed with me but her bony little dog body does not exactly make a perfect fit.
But excitement has gotten the best of me and I have to let it out somewhere!
This morning I was perusing my daily yahoo digest of posts from AAI families. The very very last message was from a woman on our same waitlist. She was posting to say she just received a referral!
In theory, this is the referral I was told about last week and so in theory we just moved up a spot to #2. Of course I have to wait to hear from our agency coordinator to know for sure but I feel pretty confident.
At the rate things are moving right now it is approximately 4 weeks between referrals. So maybe we will be #1 by my birthday which would be fantastic.
But for today I am claiming #2 and that's good enough to make it a great day.
(I really need a Kindle so I can stop lugging books around the world with me.)
Here are some recent favorites:
Yesterday I had a little crisis of the - I really don't want to wait anymore - variety.
Jeremy was at a wood turner's association meeting in the evening. I had no one to entertain me. So I started fishing around online for things to make me feel better.
I think being a waiting adoptive parent makes you a lot like a drug addict. You need little hits - you need need them - to keep you going forward. To prevent you from stalling and crying and stamping your feet.
First I fished around on waiting child photo listings (this actually started over the weekend and was the thing that precipitated the impatience.) Fishing on photo listings is not a good idea. Never. I won't go into details but those of you who have given into that temptation know what I mean. Stay. the. course. Stay. the. course. That needs to be my mantra.
Second I decided to send a long emotionally demanding email to my friend, Leah, who has adopted twice and is entering their third (with our agency.) She knows what she is doing. She is patient with my long emails but gives good, solid, serious advice that helps set me back on track.
(Anyone else want to receive long emotionally demanding emails from me? Because if so please let me know and I'd be happy to oblige and take some of the pressure off of Leah.)
Third I did my self-soothing blog stalking. For those of you who haven't engaged in this sport it involves returning to the same exact blogs over and over obsessively hoping your favorite writers have posted a new post about their time in Ethiopia, a new photo of their child, or - best of all - a long detailed post about the day they got their referral. You read every detail soaking in the happiness vicariously.
Finally I opened a Tar*get registry. (Not that I am expecting a truck load of gifts. We will probably end up buying most of it ourselves.) But I did it. And I'm glad I did because wow there are a lot of online options. Tar*get online is even bigger and more complicated than Tar*get the store. I think I registered for about 5 things in over an hour. This is going to kill J. There is no way he can register with me. I think I need to "pre-register" and then take him with me and guide him. Ok, here are the things I registered for that I know I need for any age. A diaper pail. A clip on travel wipe thingy. A set of animal bathtub toys. A pacifier thermometer (because doesn't that just sound so much more civilized than the other options?) A xylaphone/piano toy. That's about it. All that's needed to be a toddler in America.
Bedding seems mysterious to me because I think I need silk of some sort to keep baby's hair nice. Is that right?
Safety stuff seems important but that is one area I think I will assign to J because it looks very boring.
Oh! I almost forgot! The one thing I am most excited about. I registered for a little red toddler wagon for pulling her to the park. (We have amazing parks at each end of our street.) It seats two. So Cassidy can ride along if she gets tired. Or we could bring a toddler friend I suppose...
None of these coping strategies gave me the high I was looking for. Including ordering Thai food.
So I emailed our agency coordinator. The one who sent me that great email back last month saying we were #3. I tried to control myself. I wanted to be the kind of person who could wait a month in between emails. But I needed the hit - the adrenaline rush I knew I'd get this morning when I saw her name in my inbox.
All of that lead up to say that we are still #3 but....moving up to #2 in the "next week or two." She must be in the process of giving out a referral this week and waiting for a family to accept.
This is good. This is good. I feel better this morning.
Leah reminded me that for every referral given there is a sad story. A family breaking apart, a child found to be sick, a parent saying goodbye or passing away. It is painful to think this way. As a professional I always used to view inter-country adoption that way. But as a mom on the waiting list it is interesting how different it feels. I have to remind myself of the sadness that brings a child to my number on the list.
The rest of this week I am going to remind myself to be praying daily for baby and the circumstances (totally out of her control) bringing her rapidly towards us.
Huh. I should feel worse than I do. I should probably stop going into these type of stores and stick with the big impersonal stores. But you see, the problem is that J and I don't have any "stuff." And it took us over an hour to choose the 2 tiny baby toys I took with me to Ethiopia last month. Given that kind of track record we really need to be at least window shopping now, comparing brands, etc so when we finally get baby we'll have more than a $50 onesie and pacifier. (Not that I've even bought these things but these are the two things I actually can identify in the baby stores at this point.)
How is this possible you ask? It is only October 28th you point out.
Where is fall? Where are the leaves? Where are my mountain hikes? Where is the sunshine Colorado promised us?
Why can't I see the hammock anymore?
Why didn't I watch the weather channel?
Why is our Wednesday night meals group cancelling when we all live within 12 blocks of each other? (Seriously - don't you find that a little strange?)
This is where I wish I were.
Talay is very unhappy with this weather as well. This is Talay today. (Very very sad about the snow. Or maybe just the camera. She has photo phobia.)
She has very little body fat. I have decided to get her a doggie sweater. Something with little snowflakes. Like a ski sweater. I have not told J. He will not like that plan. But she is cold! Look at her!!
Oh, if only my Thai colleagues could see her now. The smug smiles, the clucking tongues. Yes, they would be horrified. They warned me heavily that a Thai dog would die in the American winter. (Never mind the fact that if she had stayed in Thailand she would have starved to death or been eaten alive by mange by now.) A sweater, yes, that is what she needs.
This is where Talay wishes she could be (taken last year on almost this exact date!)
I wish I were in Greece. Jeremy I spent almost two weeks in Greece in May for our 10th wedding anniversary. All I have now is a postcard.
If you have a puzzle full of tiny scratchy wooden pieces I do not recommend removing the outer wrapping. The photo above is a picture of my nemesis. Africa puzzle. I bought it for a few dollars in Nairobi. Today I made a bad choice and unwrapped it. I lost all of north and west Africa.
I think it's because I left for Africa before the leaves even turned yellow and returned to Colorado in a special edition of Denver skips autumn and embraces winter.
Holiday season begins with pumpkin patches and hay rides and costumes and cheery little voices at your door all night.
In my overly active imagination this year we are a safari themed family.
Baby is a giraffe (a magazine - how dare they send this to childless couples?? - arrived last week with tiny children in tiny animal costumes.) So baby is a giraffe. Jeremy could be either a lion or an elephant - something big and manly. And I will be whatever animal is the happiest. We stroll around the neighborhood showing off. Baby learns to say trick or treat. We gobble her candy after she goes to bed. Ahhhh. Maybe next year?
Where is this blog going? Oh, yes I think I called it baby stuff from Africa.
Whew. Finding ways to stay cheerful really does take a lot of energy!
First up - the bed that J is making for baby. He doesn't love copying other people's designs but we both loved this daybed and we need the bed and trundle for guests anyway.
(He's building a side rail into the design.)
One morning we took a tour to Devil's Pool which is a little pool at the very top of the falls on the Zambian side. First you swim over to this rock island. The current is strong but there is a rope to hold onto. Then you jump from the rock island into Devil's Pool. You can't see it in the photos but there is a rock wall underneath the water forming this little natural pool that prevents you from going over the edge. The water was incredibly warm.
It was a beautiful experience and a really fun 24 hours at one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. After the Devil's Pool we ate eggs benedict and scones with coffee at a little outdoor patio looking over the falls and watched while the sun came out and created rainbows over the water. Breathtaking.
So many good points made!
So here's what I did. I emailed a full description of T - her size, her looks, the way she interacted - to the WACAP social worker to pass along to the family. And I told her she could share my email if that's what T's mom really wants. But I don't want to initiate contact myself.
That should give them what they need. And takes the responsibility out of my hands. Not that I have any hard feelings at all. But I think that my feelings about being in touch with the family were very selfish feelings of curiosity. A desire for closure that may or may not be totally possible.
I'm actually tired of the drama. I think this adoption feeds something in me that isn't my favorite part of my personality. Drama. Throwing yourself on the bed with a giant flop, eye rolling, deep sighing, whoa is me, drama.
Even I am tired of reading this sob-story of a blog these days. I just got to go on a safari! Note to self - life is not perfect and you can't always have your way. Need to be more thankful in general.
Time to move on and think about little #3. And we are #3 on the list! Seems like a good omen.
Today it is sunny and even though the snow was blowing over the mountains in the distance the air is still and warmer down here in Denver.The leaves are still on the trees. It is my favorite time of year and I've barely noticed since I got home!
So I'm finding new ways of keeping excited. I forced J into the baby names talk last night. (He was a really nice participant for about 10 minutes.) Then we talked about our birthdays which are coming up in November and December. For my birthday I asked for a whole day of looking at decorations, toddler "stuff" and visiting baby stores. ;) He was really ready to agree to anything to make me happy which is one wonderful side effect of the recent drama.
There is going to be no more whining here. I promise.
- Me. Us. She.
- J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.
- ► 2010 (106)
- Going Private?
- Father Reluctance
- Here is where I confess a lot of crappy fertility ...
- Wordless Wednesday - almost
- You take the good you take the bad you take them b...
- Favorite Things - the good plates
- The day I've been waiting for has finally come - n...
- And she treasured these things in her heart...
- Will the F*ancy T*iger restore my creative energy?...
- ► November (12)
- ► October (10)
- ▼ December (10)