Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Big "What If"?

So, I’ll start this post by saying that everyone is absolutely fine.  However, we had a bit of a run-in with a pit bull over the weekend, who attempted to murder my Maggie before Cory leapt into action—I was standing there helpfully screaming while Cory threw the dog backward, but not before it got him on the arm (once again, he’s fine—one good thing about adoption medicals is that he’s up to date on tetanus shots--he didn't need stitches). 
Anyhoodle, it was really, really scary and really, really, really fast.  I don’t think I could quite comprehend what was happening until the dog was on top of ours, biting away—one good thing about having a Photoshopped Dog (as my sister calls her) is that her head is too small for her body, so she has this weird ridge of skin and fur on her neck that effectively protected her. 
So of course, the conversation turned to the big What Ifs—what if that was our child?  --I mean, let's get real, Maggie is our child, but what about our human child who won't have fur to protect them?  What would we do?  How fast would we respond?  We were out of state—do seasoned parents always know where the local ER is when out of town (no, seriously, do you?)  How did we not see this coming?  And on and on and on. 
Anyway, it was good convo to have on our long drive back from Montana, where we were celebrating Cory’s gram’s 92nd birthday (the woman still has her original teeth and drives herself—some seriously amazing genes there!).  To be honest, we didn’t really come up with anything new or particularly productive, other than a plan to keep our child in the house until they are thirty or so, encased in bubble wrap—with breathing holes, of course.    I mean, we’re not crazy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Mother's Love

A co-worker just sent out this video the he found--we're serious animal lovers where I work.  It makes me want to squeal and makes my heart ache a little at the same time.  This mama loves her baby...


For the Americans, have a great 3-day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How many months?

How many months on The List?

Go to fullsize image       

There was a flurry of activity the week before we got on The List, and since then....not so much.  As child preferences fluctuate constantly in adoption, The List is an ever-changing document.  Therefore, until we are in the 20-or-so range, we really won't have hard and fast numbers about where we are at.  However, from what I can tell, there has been a grand total of one referral in those two months for a child in our range. 

I don't really know what to think about that.  (Shuddering sigh).

On a different note:  Blogger has been having comment issues (or at least, I'm having trouble leaving them on certain blogs--and I think all comments have to be anonymous) so for all of you in the south--take care and we are thinking of you.  I would take 10 months of gloom and rain over the threat of even one tornado.  Seriously.  Hang in there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Facebook Minefield

Ah, Facebook.  A great way of connecting, keeping in touch, and one of the biggest minefields in existence.  I never really post anything on it, partly because it is really, really easy to offend someone and partly because I can’t be bothered.  I regularly take Facebook breaks (Mother’s Day, for example).  Sometimes it’s just a weird place to be.
Like today, for example.
The most interesting series of posts took place—and in this blog post, I will protect the innocent.  It was one of those FB convos where someone you are friends with posts a reply to someone else, and then suddenly you can see anyone else who also replied, and all of their friends—I think I just revealed my lack of techiness, but you know what I mean.
So anyway, some woman had posted, “How old is too old to have a baby?”   I wanted to reply, “Stop, everyone!  Don’t respond!  If you do, this is one of those times where you really, really need to think before you hit reply!” I don’t know the original poster or the majority of the responders, but can confidently guess most of their ages at under-25.  Sooooo.....the first 20 or so folks said that no one should be allowed to have a baby after age 30.  Ummm, yeah, 30. 

So the last couple of posts went like this:
WW:  After 30, people should have to get sterilized.  Their eggs are dried up anyway.
XX:  Where is the defriend button?
YY:  Why, who you defriending?
XX:  All of you. 
Now, when I was 22, I was an idiot.  I had no idea what life was going to bring, both the amazing and the sucky.  I’m sure I said all kinds of na├»ve things, and I'm betting that this group will have a very different perspective when they are my age.  I remember thinking that 30 was just, plain old. 

That being said, I really felt for Ms. Defriender.  I vaguely, vaguely know her (ala Facebook), so I can only guess at her situation, but I’ll bet I’m not far off.  Maybe I've misread it.  But I don't think so.  The posts ended there, and I really hope that is because her “friends” were emailing her apologies.  And since I don’t truly know the situation, that’s what I’m going to think happened.  At least, I hope some of them got it together enough to reach out. 
I know we are not too old to adopt (we are both 38, in case you are wondering), and not too old to be excellent parents.  I would have been an awful mother at 22.  Some women are wonderful mothers at a young age—I know I would not have been.  So be it.  But 30 years is too old for a baby?  

Well, our agency and Ethiopia has approved us to adopt in our doddering dotage, and don't seem to mind our wizened, shriveled bodies.  Hopefully our child won't either.

Facebook.  Ah, Facebook.    

Monday, May 16, 2011

It was a truly lovely weekend, where we were able to partake in time at the dog park and an incredible production of Guys and Dolls at the Fifth Avenue Theater in Seattle, one of the region’s best.  We felt fortunate and fancy-free—on Friday, the Fifth sent out an email that for 4 hours they were offering $19 tickets in the nosebleed seats.  So, very last minute, we bought tickets and had a wonderful evening in downtown Seattle and the theatah.  We know good and well that once children finally (finally finally) come, those carefree choices will not exist, so we are trying to take advantage of them in the here and now. 
The best part of our weekend, however, was our agency’s final class of the year.  These classes are always well-planned and incredibly informative.  This class was a panel of adult adoptees answering a series of questions and what was amazing to us was how their stories were so, so so wildly different, yet in some ways were quite similar.  This group consisted of domestic and international/ transracial adoptees, from the 1940s to the 1980s.  Their stories were so interesting, and they were so open and honest about their experiences.  One nuts-and-bolts issue that came up multiple times for the internationally/transracially adopted speakers was the lack of knowing the language of their culture, and more than one commented that they wish their parents had pushed the issue more.  At the end, Cory asked if they wished they had taken language classes, and every single one said yes.  We are learning basic Amharic ourselves and planned on researching children’s classes, and now that is more of a priority.  We are lucky to live in an area with a large Ethiopian population, so hopefully this will not present too much of a challenge. 
Overall, great weekend and ready of some sunshine!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Highchair Dilemma

On my morning walk/run (I pretend to run, but man, I am really sloooow so it's almost like walking fast) with the Maggiedog, a woman was setting a clean, perfect highchair out in front of her house with a sign that said "Free". 
So here's the dilemma, and I hate to say it, but I have spent the better part of this morning thinking about it:
*Do I take the high chair, and have to look at it for the next two years while we wait and wait and wait and wait for a child to sit in it?
*Do I take it and put it in storage where I don't have to look  at it, but of course will know it's there?
*Do I just walk away and let it go?
What did I choose?  Well, I looked at it and looked at it and looked at it, and then walked away. I really didn't know what to do--I mean, when the wait is just getting longer, at what point do you start actually preparing to be a parent? 

It's just a really weird position to be in.  Everything we are doing and have done to this point to be parents through adoption has been quite abstract.  Let's face it, filling out profiles and applying for immigration, while having to generally do with bringing a little one home, has very little to do with having a real, live child sitting in a high chair, attempting to feed their dinner to the dog.  It still seems really abstract, and I don't know if I'm ready to have it be more concrete, as it is still so far away. 

When we applied to the Ethiopia program, the wait times were 4-10 months for a referral of an infant.  So an 18-24 month wait, as it likely stands now, is a really, really, reallyreallyreally big shift in our timeline--I can't think "This will be my last Mother's Day as an outsider"  or "This is our last summer just the two of us"  or anything along the lines of "By this time next year....".    I'm hoping for a referral in 2013.  And good golly, that is depressing.

So we're in a holding pattern, where we have been for the last four years, and this will not be the first nor the last time I will be faced with this dilemma.  Do I start looking at Lonely Planet Ethiopia, to plan a tour while there?  Do I start collecting cute baby things and favorite children's books while waiting?  Do we snap up bargains when we see them? 

I always figured that when we were around 6 months away from a referral, I would start really thinking about things like maternity leave, baby items, clothing, decorating a nursery, etc.  It's just hard to believe that our mark of "6 months from referral" is likely a year from now (or more, but that just doesn't bear thinking about). 

Not even sure if this post makes sense, but there you have it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Nope, not so much (but gotcha with the title, huh?).  Not much happening here, and that's actually kind of nice.  Tried a few new Ethiopian recipes, and the one for lentil soup was fantastic, super easy, and pretty healthy. I think I could add berbere to anything except ice cream--although, hmmmm.... The attempt at making injera was a flat-out failure, but I've never been good at dough of any kind.  Worth trying again, I guess. 
Lots of folks from our agency are planning their first trips to Ethiopia, so I'm taking lots of notes on what shots they are getting (it is not consistent--seems to vary by state/department) and where people are traveling to.  Most families are taking a trip somewhere to see a part of Ethiopia that speaks to them---it's fun to start thinking about where we might want to visit during our trip there (in the distant future), if indeed that is possible. 
Other than that, just trying the chill and enjoy life a little (listening to Cory singing old Alabama songs right now--how funny is that?  He's one of those people that knows the words to every song in existence, I swear)--and here's another video that is seriously hilarious (and everyone is fine in the end)--ducks are just cute.  That's all there is to it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What to say?

So a typical but annoying conversation this morning with my doctor, who acted excited about our adoption and then said the dreaded, “Well, you know what’s going to happen now!  You’ve let it go, so now you’re going to get pregnant!”.  As I was in stirrups at the moment, my options were to:
1.       Smile awkwardly.
2.       Slam her head between my knees. 
Since I’m not writing this from jail, I chose the former.  I did debate the latter, and wondered what the chances of getting an infertile judge would be, who would listen to the story and immediately order her to pay damages to me. 
I never really know what to say to that comment, though.  Is it really my ultimate goal to “let it go”?  I don’t think I will ever “let it go”, and that’s okay.  It’s part of the journey, part of our lives, and will never really leave me.  It does get easier every day—especially since we have been on The List.  And I think that it has made me a more compassionate, forgiving and less judgmental person all around.  But Mother’s Day kind of gets me down, so the doc was playing a bit of Infertility Roulette this morning, although she clearly had no idea.  And someday this entire process will be a memory, I do have faith in that.  However, the phrase “If memory serves…” is very true; memories do serve, they serve to remind us of what we have survived, how to act in the face of loss and grief, and things to say that are helpful and kind.  I’m certainly not perfect, and I’m sure I’ve said all sorts of things to people over the years that were thoughtless at best.  And I hope I do better going forward.
As far as the thought that pregnancy is preferable to adoption—well, that is a post for another day.
So as a pick-me-up, I watched a video of Bizkit the Sleepwalking Dog--if you haven’t seen him before, definitely check him out.  He runs in his sleep—no, really, he needs to wear a helmet when he naps.  When you need a little boost, type Bizkit the Sleepwalking Dog into YouTube.  Seriously.