Monday, July 30, 2007

Paperwork Paperwork Paperwork Paperwork Paperwork

Guess what we have been doing?

WRONG! We have been fighting.

See, J and I usually get along fantastically.We are not the Bickersons and seem to actually be on the same wavelength most times. However, something about adoption paperwork makes us communicate like crap.

Anyway, so after R2s visit we realized we had many more things to do than we thought. Cat immunizations, supplemental life insurance forms, etc. So we begin to pull it together. Saturday morning we get up at the crack of my ass (sorry some sorority sister taught me that saying) to go to the fingerprinting place, where J has made an appointment and been responsible for all the documents. J casually mentions that he can't find this one piece of paper and oh well, it's fine, as he filled it all out on line and he is sure they have it. I get a bit nervous as we made this appointment literally weeks in advance.

So we get to this lovely, cozy fingerprinting place (picture a fax machine, ugly carpet, signs stating all kinds of scary things and a radio BLASTING Beyonce) and realize that yes, we need that form. Goddamit. I cannot take work off right now as they are totally getting that pound of flesh from me each day - meetings from 8 am til 6 am is the norm. J feels bad and I am really pissed but trying to be nice. I sort of succeeded. But mostly didn't. I am not nice, right?

We then go to the DMV to renew our registration and get new, NJ licenses (I will NEVER give up my NY one!! NEVER!!! BWAAHAAAHHAA!). Once there, as the atmosphere is tense, we go to separate lines, one the DL line and one for the registration.

I have no idea what the deal is and what I am suppoesd to do but J says call me if you get to the counter and I will come over. I get to the counter, call him, and he doesn't answer. I stammer "uh, I am not sure what i need" and tell the person behind me to go. I call J again. Turns out he is in the bathroom. That seemed egregious to me.

We finally get to the front and the woman says we need to get our DL before we can register. Except we never checked to see what type of ID we need, and once again, we have to leave empty handed.

I am furious at this point. J is also mad, at himself, but also at me because as you know, I do not suffer in silence.

Let's just say the 3 hour drive to the Hamptons was alternately chilly, then explosive.

Fast forward to Sunday night when we calmed down until we found a packet of paper I thought J had mailed. I exploded again and he did right back, saying he is not the boss of adoption paperwork and why didn't I send it in?


Lastly, today we had a miscommunication about going to the bank to get something notarized. He showed up at 12. I had a meeting til 12, which I thought i told him, and so showed up much later. He was literally holding the notary hostage so she wouldn't go to lunch. He was pissed at me. And I at him.

But then we had lunch and laughed and decided that from now on, we will only communicate about adoption via notes, and with our lawyers present.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Home visit

Wow. I am really drained. It just hit me that I spent every waking minute this week with lots of people and frantic.

Home visit went great - R2 is really nice and stayed for about 2 hours - she asked us basically the same questions we answered on our application but I think she wrote more her opinions of our answers and paid less attention to the answers themselves. I am a crack interviewer after the last job hunt and based on her body language and her manner I think we did great.

She laughed when she saw our references as our friend R and she share a name, she mentioned that they even spell it the same and I told her we took that as a good omen.

After the questions she took a tour of the house with us and talked a lot about how beautiful it was. She gave us some suggestions around babyproofing and asked for a few things (life insurance form from my work and Jez's shot record) that we need to get for her, but overall said we are "in great shape" and " have a really good mindset" about adoption.

She is quite young but also seems very on top of it, we like her and think we would be friends with her. We at least look forward to our next home visit, which is August 25th. This time she stays for 3-4 hours, interviews us separately and together, asks a ton of questions and basically gets real nosy. We should have everything she needs at that point.

The only sort of annoying news was that our background check takes awhile and doesn't even start until our fingerprints are done, which is tomorrow. It can take weeks. That may put us back, but not by much.

Our plan is to have our profile 100% ready so that when she says "ok, you are approved" we can hit send and go live ASAP. She warned us around wait times and I am starting to think we may have quite a wait. More families are considering adoption right now than is usual. I have always been trendy, right?

J and I went to dinner after and picked at each other all dinner, probably from exhaustion. We are both firing on more cylinders than we ever have before (good practice for parenthood) and our slip is starting to show.

Thank you to everyone who emailed and checked in today, I will think of more details i am sure but right now I have a date with Harry Potter and my big fluffy bed. Hey, that should be the next book.

To everyone I said I might call, I'm not. You don't want to talk to me now. I am incoherent.

Next up - document compilation and home study #2!

So much to talk about

The home study is tonight and the cards, well wishes and flowers (well, well wishes at least) are flowing in. The amount of support is lovely.

I am excited but also looking forward to this whole process being over, and having our baby home.

To that end, I have to admit that the first thing I did when I got the new HarryPotter was to read the last chapter. Yes. I am that person. I wanted to know what happened at the end so that I could enjoy the journey. J feels opposite - he believes knowing the end spoils the journey. How are we married? Anyway I am not proud but I don't lick it off the ground - my sister and my father did the same thing and we didn't even check with each other.

I want to know the end of my adoption journey. Why doesn't this come in book form?

I spoke with Dr NoBedSideManner, She-Who-Cannot-Communicate (sorry, I have Harry on the brain) and I do NOT have abnormal homocysteine levels. So no pills or precautions needed! I am really glad - and now can forget about it.

Will write an update tonight on The Visit. Expect to be let down - I think it is only an hour. The next one is the really big one with psychological questions and separate rooms for me and J and such.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reading is Fundamental

Just got Harry Potter, five goddamn days late.

Can't talk. Reading.

Will R2 think it is rude if I read while she is here?


Monday, July 23, 2007

Home study cleanup begins

First day back at work since vacation and holy crap it was nuts. I had one of those days where just keeping it together is success. I am not used to the pace at this place and managing the day to day and strategic at the same time - it takes a lot for me to say I am overwhelmed, but, there you go.

After the gym tonight (Idaho has fattening food) I came home and we started House Cleanup 2007 as the home study worker, R2, is coming Friday night now! She called and said something came up and did I mind moving our date? Uh no. Actually I did mind as we had plans with some of our favorite friends but I am sure as shit not going to tell her that. "Yes, Um, R2? We planned to drink wine and eat late so I am sorry that night isn't going to work for us. And yes, we plan to spank our child".

So tonight it was cleaning my office, otherwise known as the Room Where Paper Goes to Die. I had shit everywhere, including under the bed. I cleared it all out and put it away and sort of organized it. I then cloroxed every surface so that it smells nice and looks shiny as that is the future nursery and I know she will be going in there.

In other news we got my insurance card so are officially done with our adoption planning questionaire. We also received most of our reference letters from our dear friends. We have our fingerprinting this weekend. All that's left is the remainder of the letters and our profile pictures, which we have but need to organize. I think we will make our Sept completion deadline with, oh, a month to spare.

In not so great news the current edition of the adoption newsletter we get from our agency said that adoptive families are at an all time high, which is good in that it draws birthmothers but bad in that we have a lot of competition. I am hoping our favorite quotes from Dodgeball and Wedding Crashers will help us stand out. I mean I think we are interesting and unusual and will raise some funky cool kids but that may not come out in the 10 page profile. Once it is live I will let you know so you can judge for yourself.

I am breaking out like a 15 year old. That is because I actually ovulated again this month, which is an all time record for me - two months in a row! I guess the metformin is doing something besides making me sick.

Breakouts are fitting as my high school reunion was this weekend. J and I told a few folks about our adoption and low and behold two good friends of ours are also adopting and another good friend and his wife had fertility issues and are considering living child free. Just goes to show you, we are out there. Like the X files. The XY files?

Thursday, July 19, 2007


We are here in smalltown USA visiting my folks and awaiting the start of my 20th high school reunion. So far it has been a fantastic trip - our time in Oregon was amazing - great friends to see, great weather for the most part (an anomaly there) and really fun times. In fact my last night there I got teary wondering if we should move back there - I am in the same "space" as my other friends there (starting a family, looking for a nice place to live, wanting a simpler life) and it would be so great to go back there, buy a beautiful house, get an easier job and have our kid grow up with tons of friends.

And then it started to rain.

And i remember why we left :)

Anyway I love those guys out there so much and really want to make an effort to go there more often to connect with them.

So, yesterday my folks had some of their friends over to see us and it was so, so nice. Everyone was very interested in the adoption and our good friend K and G, who have an adopted grown daughter, came as well. Everyone else left and I was able to ask my ugly, dirty questions of them and their answers comforted and soothed me. There is something about having people who have "been there" talk to me about their experience that makes me feel much better.

Today we are heading to larger town north of my hometown to ostensibly go jet skiing and boating but it is rainy and cold so we will just go up and see the water and eat out in a nice restaurant and then come home. It has been 90 degrees and sunny here for like 6 weeks and we show up and it pours. Maybe it is us. Anyway, we don't care.

Being here and what it brings up in me could fill 100 psychiatric journals. It is so weird to be somewhere you grew up, with your new husband and new life, and try to reconcile the two. I really like it though and it reminds me how lucky we are. If someone had told 10 year old R what my life would be like I would never have believed it.

One week til the home study! Man we need to get cleaning.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Tired Out

Once again I am blogging the night before a trip - this time to the west coast for a few days in Oregon and then my 20th high school reunion in SmallTown Idaho where I was raised. I am really looking forward to both parts of my trip, and taking J home with me. He has been, of course, but it is always 40 degrees and raining when we go and now he gets to see both places in full sunny hot thank you gw bush for your shitty climate control weather.

A quick vent - Nicole Richie. Pregnant. That skinny drug addled bitch? And I'm not. Pregnant, that is.

Done now.

So SWR (social worker R) is coming over July 28!!!! This first visit will probably be her tour through our home and feedback on anything we have to change. We will also "get to know each other" which hopefully won't be so hard as I build relationships for a living, and she seems cool. 12, but cool.

Most of our stuff is together - we are waiting on my insurance card for the initial Adoption Planning Questionnaire, and for the home study packet we are missing that as well. Next up the Saturday after she comes is our fingerprinting, and then the final home study (there are two total). After that, we send in our Adoption Profile (sort of like match.com for unwed mothers) which is almost done. I spent a few long nights writing our answers to the 100 intrusive questions and J edited and added his special sauce. We are ahead of the game with that and will have it turned around quickly once we get the rest out of the way.

Once the profile is in, we wait. And wait. And I can only hope that the quickness with which the rest of it has happened will continue.

Gotta go pack. Must look my best for the reunion, if no other reason than to draw people's eyes away from the fact that I am sure I am the only person there without kids. Yet.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

No title again today. F'ing blogger.

So this morning I mention to J that we really need to get in gear and clean our house up so that our future social worker won't declare our house unfit for parenting and leave us with no choice but to move and start all over.

We are not Miss Havisham, with papers and mice and dust, but we are a bit lax in the cleaning and clutter department. We have a cleaning man whom we love but he comes once a month and we don't, er, do anything in between. Anyway, J says "we are MONTHS from a home study, no rush" in his typical "R is a freak let me play Playstation" way.

Then, 5 minutes later, he leaves to do some errand and I check the messages.

We have a call from a young, perky social worker named R (she has the same name as one of our dear friends so that is good sign, right? right? c'mon help a sista out) who says "Hi! I am your social worker - your adoption agency called and I wanted to set up your first home visit!

Holy. Shit.

I immediately start rearranging our bookshelf (?) which is chock-a-block with Stephen King, Tom Clancy and other top notch literary genuises. I put our adoption and infertility books front and center, sort of a "look, we are educated, we would be great parents cause we can read about parenting". And after I get all that done I think, what am I doing? Like she will say "these guys can't be parents because all the spines aren't facing the same way."

I calm down a bit and remember to call J, who is in line to get our truck inspected, and tell him that a. he was wrong and b. holy shit get home so we can immediately take apart Casa G, install baby gates, paint the nursery and start vacuuming under the bed.

Instead he comes home and calls Social Worker R back and leaves a message with his best "i would be a great dad" voice.

She hasn't called back yet.

I wanted to call 100 more times but J thinks stalking our social worker is not a good way to start off.

Instead we went hiking today and talked about our thoughts around spanking, day care and college for our child. We talked about our marriage and our lives and what was coming next.

And all I could do was picture us, next summer, on this same hike, with J and our future baby in a baby bjorn.

I can't wait.

Bring it on, Social Worker R. I will wow you with our book spines.

Friday, July 06, 2007

For some unknown reason I can't post a title today. WTF?

So my title is: A Woman Outstanding in Her Field

Here's the question - how do you make your adoption profile stand out? I consider myself a pretty good writer in that I can spell and took grammar and have some HELLA English genes with my folks as, well, my folks. But when I put finger to keypad to create our adoption profile what comes out is the same shit everyone else writes.

Dear BirthMother, thank you for considering us. You must be overwhelmed. We promise to love your child and kiss its boo boos. We have money we will spend on pony rides and cheerleading uniforms. We will watch their soccer games which are really more like visual representations of anarchy, only slower.

Blah blah.

We have to literally answer 100 questions on our favorites and how did we meet and tell us about your pets and home and do you like your family and what do you like about each other and and and

And it just goes on.

And when I write it, and then check my work against all the other folks with profiles on the adoption agency site I realize, if I were a birthmother I would post 10 of these suckers and throw a dart as we ALL LOOK THE SAME. Same cheesy couple picture. Same obligatory family wedding picture that shows that we all still talk to each other. Same honeymoon shot in Hawaii or Italy or Indonesia (well, that's us). And same trite words that try to hide our desperation.


Who knew? Who knew I had so many sisterfriends all over the country (most in my least favorite state, Ohio)?

So I ask, kind reader - J and I are cool folk. We live in a cool urban place. We have cool jobs. We are going to be cool parents. So how can we draw the birthmother's eye in a good way? How can we stand out? And no, swearing is not an option. We did, however, use Dodgeball and Wedding Crasher quotes in our "favorite quote" section. That might do it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A word from our sponsor

Just in case we thought the pain was over, a quick station break this weekend reminds me that what we went through was not that long ago.

Not sure what set me off. I spent all day Sunday with two friends and their 6 month old. That could've been it. Or the fact that the last infertile blogger friend left whom I read (tho don't know personally) just found out she was pregnant. Maybe it is the plethora of happy, glowing pregnant ladies who traverse the streets of Manhattan every day, absently rubbing their bellies and glowing in their fertile way. I am not sure. Whatever the reason, I am in a funk.

I am still very, very sad that I will never be pregnant again. I am still very, very sad that J and I won't ever get to have the "he has your eyes" or "she smiles like you" conversation. I still feel the loss and pain of two failed pregnancies - when I allow myself to think about it it is almost too much to bear that I would be 7 months pregnant right now. I feel like my pregnant fairy, who watches over women and their fetuses, is on permanent vacation or perhaps got fired. All around me gestating is going on and I am empty

J doesn't want to cycle again right now. And I agree with him. And in fact that means maybe not ever, because once we get into adoption wait mode it is just wrong to cycle. I am half sad and half glad - sad because it was my last hope for pregnancy and glad because I can't imagine going through it again. I completely respect and understand his feelings and have some of them myself. I am so conflicted about it I dont even know how the hell I feel right now.

I also feel angry - and worried that if I did cycle right now it would be from some weird spite that I feel towards the fates or whatever. I would not be cycling for the right reason. I would be doing it to tell the world to fuck off - that I will not lie down and let this wash over me. Yet here I am, letting it wash over me.

I do want to be a parent, but I also wanted to experience pregnancy. I want to feel everything in life and missing out on this is a big deal to me.

Mostly I feel scared. Scared that I will feel like a parental imposter my whole life. That others won't feel I am a "real" mom. More scared that I won't feel like a real mom. It's like when i take a walk with my niece - if people stop and tell me "your daughter is so cute!" i immediately say "she's my niece" so that no one thinks i am posing. Like they care! I wonder if i will say "oh thanks, you know I didn't birth him/her" because I will feel like they are thinking that anyway. This is an awful feeling that biological parents never have to face - no one will doubt your baby is your own. What if i doubt it?

I imagine being at the playground with our kid, hiding out from the other moms because i won't want the questions. Sneaking into babies r us in the middle of the night because I don't want people to say "Oh, are you shopping for a friend?" when looking at my semi-flat stomach. Staying on the sidelines in mommy conversations because I won't feel like I had earned a place. It is ridiculous, but it is how I feel.

I am reading "Secrets of an Adoptive Mother" and crying through the entire book - it is the rawest look at adoption yet. She asks the questions that you think but never say. Will the birthmother change her mind? Why don't I love the kid yet? Will I ever love him? Will the fact that he is 10 shades darker than me mean he is rejected by whites and blacks? Will my family treat him like their flesh and blood and not like an imposter? She asks these things and it is hurtful and hard and I cry everytime I open the book. But thank god someone wrote that book instead of the happy rainbows and puppies shit that most books say. Adoption is hard and it is scary and it is lonely. And sometimes it doesn't work out well.

The worst is that my friends and family are nothing but supportive. I am the one with doubts. Everyone else seems so sure that we will love the baby unconditionally from the moment we see it. That we will never look back. That we will never miss having our own biological child. That I will get over what happened and move on. I am the one who doubts these things. And that is a very lonely place to be.