Monday, August 30, 2010

It's finally here!!!!

So we FINALLY got in touch with the lady when she had her calendar handy! Our first visit is next Tuesday. We were talking about going on a weekend trip since we're both off work Monday, but now we're staying home, and I'm really not that bummed! Our house is clean, but there's still a lot of straightening and unpacking and picture-hanging we need to get finished. We both need to get our physicals done, and finish some paper work, before she comes. My b-i-l needs to come over and install the cabinet child locks. We've gotta hunt down a fire extinguisher. I'm hoping to get a lot done this week, and not have so much over the weekend.
I'm also taking our niece and nephew to school this week.Hubby's dad began 39 radiation treatments this morning. It's so fun! I have to get up just a tad earlier, and they come over and watch cartoons while I finish getting ready. Both schools are on my way to work. I drop our niece off for 1st grade at our local elementary school, then take the nephew to his preschool at a church our cousins attend. They both cracked me up this morning. I admit I have raised a brow and looked at some parents like they were crazy, but I can already see that I will be that mom you see crying when she drops her kids off! WOW!!!! If the nephew cried, he would probably just have had to come to work with me!
So... We're sticking around home, and taking a vacation later.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It always helps to have friends in the know!

So it turns out, what sounded like a calculating, conspiracy-theory-ish scheme that I made up... Is absolutely true.
I had said early on, even before starting our class, that "they" would probably try to talk us into fostering. They did. We stuck to our guns. There is a huge need for fp's, but right now that's just not for us. One for me, zero for "them."
I then theorized that "they" would use psychological tactics to talk us into adopting children older than we first intended. It honestly sounded a bit like the crazed-infertile coming out, but turns out, I was right on that one, too.
What psychology did they use? Shaping. In college, I had to train a pigeon in one of my psych classes. It was quite the experience, as I'm not an animal person - we had to remove the bird from its cage, stuff it head-first into a cup, weigh it, then remove it from the cup and put it in a special box to observe its behavior. The first behavior we had to shape was pecking a disc on the side of the box. My poor bird was so freaked out, it sat stone-still in the box for days! Of course none of the birds went straight over and pecked the disc, and thus the shaping began. It was a gradual thing. "Closest approximation to the desired behavior," it was called. in my case, if the bird flippin' MOVED, we rewarded it with food. Then if it turned toward the wall containing the disc. Then if it walked closer to the disc. Then if it moved its beak closer to the disc. And finally if it pecked the disk. Allegedly reportedly, you could also pet a wild tiger much in the same way, going from just being on the edge of the tiger's environment, creeping closer and closer each day, until you were snuggled up to its furry stripes.
And that was my crazy-sounding theory. That they would "hook" us into the class by saying we didn't have to foster, then gradually tell us that was our best chance to get an infant, and gradually work fostering into our brains. I told hubby this theory, and I'm not really sure he believed it! ;)
So then the desired behavior would have been to adopt older children, as there is more of a need to place them. We had been told a million things by a million people, both in the county office, and friends and family. Some said we could absolutely get a toddler or even a baby, but probably not under 6 months old - it would take a little longer than if we fostered, but it was absolutely do-able. Others said we would be waiting years. Others said it would never happen. The last night of class, we were told that the instructor should have told us up front that it was difficult to impossible to get a child under age 3 without fostering, and she told us about some young brothers who will be available soon. Young, but both older than 3.
So my latest theory was that "they" would try to scare us into older than 3 by saying we could wait for YEARS. That babies/toddlers absolutely are available, but if they could talk you into an older child, they wouldn't even tell you about younger children.
So I messaged a friend who worked for a different county several years ago. She basically told me I was spot-on with all of my theories and such. And she proceeded to tell me about another program we were not even made aware of, where if an infant is dropped off at the hospital, they are put in care until couet proceedings take place 4 months later, and the only plan is for the fp's to adopt.
It's so good to have friends in the know. It's also good to have those same friends confirm that you are NOT some crazy infertile making up evil plots and schemes that agencies use.
The psychology junk doesn't work on me. Sorry! Our friend confirmed that it's not crazy thinking on my part, I was totally right, and that if we stick to our guns, we should be able to get a young child (or young sibling group), and it shouldn't take years. So there, "they!!!" I feel like I'm beating you at your own system!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aaaaaaannnnnnd... We're done. Kind of. Almost.

So tonight was our last night of class. If we could get the worker to schedule our first home visit, we could prepare for the second visit, and sit back and wait. If. IF. What IF we could get it scheduled? Ugh. She ran out of time - we'll discuss it next week. She forgot her calendar - we'll set it up next week. She forgot her calendar AGAIN, we'll have to call her to set it up. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!! I've gotten the vibe, based on comments from other workers including her supervisor, that she's not really the most responsible or dedicated or with it. She certainly has the personality of a stinkin' brick!!!
So we also finally got our fingerprints done, something else that everybody else had already done. (Are you catching on here?!?) The supervisor does that, so it did give us a few minutes to talk with her. Aaaaaannnnndddd.... She told us it's rare to be able to adopt a child or children under age 3, because they usually get adopted by their foster parents; in fact, we could be waiting for YEARS, unless we're open to sibling groups or special needs or different races. Which we are, depending on what kind of special needs. Our county does have 2 young brothers who will be available soon, she doesn't know exactly how old because they're not yet available, but she thinks they may not be in school yet. They are in foster care right now, and their fp's aren't interested in adopting them. She doesn't think there's anything "wrong" with them.
She also said we will be available to any county in the state, which is exciting! There are ummm, let's just say a lot of counties in our state, so woohoo.
Hubby is giving the worker a call tomorrow to try, once again, to set up our first visit. I'm hoping we can set up the second for a week or two after the first. I'm so ready to sit back and wait!

Isn't it Ironic?

Whoa, that song brings back some memories. Anyhoo.
I'm sitting in the lobby for my annual exam. Had an uneventful, if not sleepy, drive down, with surprisingly little traffic, hit all the red lights perfect, etc. But I digress.
The ironic thing? There's a pile of "baby talk," and family-type magazines on one table. All conversing happily, of course. On the table beside it, is one, single, lonely Conceive magazine.
And could the nurse please not sound so cheery when I hear her make a call to another patient that her "numbers are going down," and to come back in 2 weeks for bloodwork?
And with that, bring on lots of staring at the ceiling, biting of the lower lip, and just trying to make it back to the car. All for a stupid check-up, seriously?
In other, more positive news, my blood pressure is good :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Calm, Patient, Waiting.

I am calm. I am patient. I am waiting.
Waiting for an interesting panel night tomorrow night.
Waiting for our first home visit to be scheduled.
Waiting to find out the next steps.
Waiting to have my Tuesday nights back! (Last class is next week)
Waiting to see if my mom is okay.
That last one just might be the straw that breaks this camel's back.
I am insanely calm. Well, there was that one, brief (seriously, maybe 5 minutes, if that) breakdown in the shower Saturday. But I am so chill.
Keeping comforting scripture close at hand and fresh on my mind. Reminding myself that God is still in control. Determined to enjoy the wait. Lots of deep breathing. Keeping focused only on what I can do **right now**, not the future.
As far as my mom... I want to believe that it is nothing, that she's gonna be fine. After all, at her church Friday night (revival), they sang the same song we sang at my church the Sunday after my dad was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor found it in his leg, but was sure it didn't start there, and not sure it could be stopped or cured. Between 4 and 5 years later, there has still been no sign of cancer anywhere in his body. Praise the Lord!
Today was a bit less calm and peaceful, but I'm working on it.
I'm not worried about my house being **perfect** for our first home visit. Clean, yes; organized, mostly; perfect- I'm so over that! I want to do a little more tidying up, but I'm not gonna stress myself out over it.
Calm. Patient. Waiting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Questionable" test results for my mom

My mom is one of those people who takes awesome care of everyone else, but not so much herself. My older sister made her an appointment b/c it's been years since she went to any doctor. All the doctor would tell her was some results were "questionable," or at least that's all she's telling US right now.
I'm trying to NOT think the worst, but my mind goes straight to the c-word that I'm not ready to say. And suddenly, I'm back to that scared, worried little girl - there are so many reasons I still need my Mama.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So imagine my relief last night when The Lady (who will be doing both of our home visits) said she will talk to us next week about scheduling the first visit. She's out of the office for the rest of this week... Which I'm assuming (hoping?) means she won't be actually coming until the last week of class. Which would give me another weekend and some week days to get our house just the way I want it.
We did get some tips from people who have already had their first visit, so we'll be locking up chemicals, finding somewhere not in our house to store paint, and making sure to put those plug protector things to good use. We know we need a rail added to our front steps, but we're waiting until after the first visit to ask about our porch. It's probably around 3 feet high or so, and we want to know if we need a rail for the porch, too. No sense in paying someone to come out twice!
I'm thawing out. I wouldn't say I'm perfectly calm, cool, and collected about the whole thing, but I'm not freaking out about it either. I'm cutting myself some slack. After all, the first visit is to let you know what needs to be done before the second visit, and they don't expect perfect. So what if there are a couple of dirty towels in the bathroom, and a dirty dish or two in the sink? We do live here, after all! And I'm pretty sure she doesn't expect to talk in to freshly baked brownies and what have you. We're gonna make it through this, and we're gonna sit back and wait for our baby(-ies).
...And about that... I'm trying to refrain from guessing when it will happen. I'm not playing the "by this time" game. You know - by Christmas/Spring/Etc, we'll have a baby. Or counting on this Mother's Day to be happy flowers and sunshine. Realistic expectations are key!
Absolutely, without a doubt I'm excited. We're excited together, and looking forward to being parents. But let's keep it real, too. Was it dizzying when a friend said, "So in X weeks, you could have a baby?!?" Definitely. But really there's no time line. It *could* be weeks... Or months... Or years. I don't like that it could be a year or more, but it will happen when it's supposed to happen. Until then, let's enjoy the journey. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Working Through It

Can't really say I've thawed since my last post, but I'm definitely working through it. Tonight, I cleaned my bedroom. I admit it: I suck at keeping clothes hung up and out of the floor. I may change clothes 5 times before I find a combination that works, and most of those end up on the bed, then in the floor when I go to bed. Not sure why the huge aversion to hanging it back in the closet right away, but it's there. Hugely ashamed to admit there were sweaters - SWEATERS, PEOPLE!!! - in that pile. Did I mention it's in the triple digits here? But, it's done.
The master bedroom (save for hubby's dresser top) is ready for an inspection. I cleaned off the top of the washer, and once I wash, dry, and put away some blankets, the laundry room will be ready. The kitchen only needs everyday cleaning between now and inspection day. Same for the living room. Oh crap, gotta remember to draw up a fire escape plan for tomorrow night.
What's left? Well, the room intended to be for toys is still at least half full of random stuff/junk/crap. I'm thinking I'll be able to sort through it starting Wednesday or Thursday. A lot of it is hubby's work stuff, or papers he needs to go through to save or toss or shred. Thus tiny trails of shredded paper throughout the house. Choose your battles, right? The garage needs some serious attention - again, mostly crap hubby has to find a place for. I say garbage or yard sale most of it, he says ohhhh nooooo we might be able to use it one day!!!!
Just to shoot straight from the hip, here's how it *always* works out when we're cleaning, or getting rid of stuff, or getting ready for company. I get as much done as possible. D-O-N-E, done. Finished. I stay mostly focused on one area until it is DONE, then move to another area, and so on and so forth. Hubby, bless his heart, bounces allllllll over the house, doing random bits here and there. Put up some socks. Move 1 can off the bathroom counter into a drawer. Wash 2 cups and a spoon. Move the lawn mower out of the garage and into the shed. Hey, how 'bout a tv break? He just cannot stay on task.
Furthermore. I somehow manage to get enough done that I at least give the appearance that I have it all together. That may be because I shoved a wholelottacrap in the master bedroom and shut the door, but what really matters is done and presentable. (Haha, in this case, every room has to be presentable) I'll come through and get it done. But poor hubby. He does enough to scrape by, and doesn't really give a rat's... Well, he just really doesn't care... Let's just say, it doesn't bother him if people come in and see our house when it's messy. Which is often, granted, but dang it, I work full time, too, and do the best I can!
Sigh. I don't want to sound like I'm throwing him totally under the bus. He's a great guy, he doesn't really expect much more than occasional cooking and bare-minimum cleaning. He helps with laundry, takes care of most of the yardwork, and handles the bills.
We just have a LOT to get done in a LITTLE time. We're both world class procrastinators. I'm frozen, wanting to pitch a good fit because it's been a while, and this is stressing me out, and I want to just do something the easy way for once. He is currently sleeping on the couch, I'm guessing, instead of doing some reading and writing for class. Mr. NoFocus.
We WILL get there. She's not gonna eat us for lunch or refuse to come back or think we're the WORST house she's EVER seen or deny us a child because there's some dirty laundry in the basket and some boxes that we haven't unpacked. She and the other workers have told us it's not as bad as we think it will be, and not to freak out and worry about it, even though they know we will. So I'm going to sleep now. Calm, cool, collected. Because I can see my bedroom floor again, and my laundry room is good to go.

Friday, August 6, 2010


...Which is a little odd, what with the triple-digitedness going on here in the Deep South. Unless you've been at the office, where I wear a fleece jacket more often than not. Alas.
I was browsing some blogs on my lunch break, and realized I've kind of hit FreezeMode. Our first home visit is coming up in the next 2 weeks (not scheduled yet), and there are lots of things I SHOULD be doing. Every time I think about the daunting task of preparing those last 2 rooms and hanging pictures and decorating because all of that stuff is still boxed up from moving, I freeze. I can't decide where to start first, what room to focus on, I just freeze.
I'm ready for this. We've waited a long time for this whole process, but I want to first hit the "pause" button, then "fastforward" through visits 1 and 2 and possibly through the parts of the wait that I'm sad or frustrated or freaked the heck out.
But I know there will be good parts to the wait, just as I know the home visits really will NOT be that bad. So why am I a popsicle? Fear of the unkown? While we indeed have been looking forward to adoption, I've also become quite okay with being the infertile aunt. Or maybe not so much "okay," as "used to it." For our whole engagement, marriage, and even before that, I've known and drilled it into my head that parenthood would have to wait. And suddenly, we're here. Almost.
I like a good game of freeze tag. I mean, I lead games for groups large and small throughout the year, and even minored in play (or rec admin) in college. But for my future children's sake... Would somebody PLEASE unfreeze me now?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The C-word, Death, and Dying

I know, I know - happy little post! But it needs to be done.
First, my father-in-law is going to be having r#d!ation soon. He had surgery a couple of years ago for pr0st*te cancer, and now his #'s are going back up. He did mention that the first time, the doctor had given him those options, and told him if he chose the option he has to do now, there would be nothing that could be done later, if it came back. It's back... And I'm assuming after this, nothing more can be done? Hopefully, this will "work," he will be cured, and life will go on. But we've had a good bit of that sickness in our church, and usually coming back leads to the end of life, albeit weeks, months, or a year.
Hubby and I were talking last night, about how we don't really know how his mom would do - we think not well on her own. And I was thinking, have we made it to the point that we should start considering the deaths of our parents? My initial thought was that I'm too young for this. I more or less just let hubby talk, as he really needed to. He is concerned about the tiredness, and whether or not his parents will be able to do with our children what they have done with our niece and nephew - or if his father will be here at all.
Then, a brilliant teacher from high school, the epitome of perfect health - healthy eater, in perfect physical shape, Very active lifestyle - had to retire quickly, because the doctors found the c-word in her lungs and noggin'. (Please excuse the g00gle extinguishing) Doctor said he could give her another year, but couldn't guarantee anything after that. Over a matter of weeks, she went from perfect health to death sentence. How does this happen?
So, yesterday, instead of cleaning like a mad woman while hubby was at work, I slept in. When I got up, I kind of wanted some breakfast, so I drove to get what I wanted. Instead of staying home and slaving away to get ready for an upcoming home visit for adoption, we went out and spent the evening together. Yes, we do need to get the stuff done, but sometimes it's more important to just be.
I challenge you to go enjoy your day. Leave those dishes in favor of playing with your children. Get off-line and call your parents if they are still alive. Have an extra piece of cake. Go enjoy life while you have it.