Friday, December 31, 2010

Black Cake

Hubby's family hails from Belize and the Bay Islands of Honduras. Lucky for me I love islands and oceans and Carribean food. Granny and Bita have told me about island recipes one being Bun, yes just Bun. It's a bread of sorts, very dense slightly sweet white buns. Tried to make that a couple of years ago, mine was not so good. So this year I have made Black Cake. Essentially it's the island version of fruit cake. I have seen several versions, but here is the recipe I used.  Also a lovely article about Black Cake.

Cakes are currently in the oven - they must bake several hours. The fruit did not "stew" for months in the rum, but it did complete 2 days and looked like this!

Oh yummy smells are coming from the oven. Black Cake doesn't have large chunks of fruit, you grind the fruit and it looks like
The most fun comes when you make the burnt sugar - for once burning something is a good thing. White sugar, a hot pan and a wooden spoon. 

The sugar gets very dark and starts to smoke then you pour in water.
and there you have burnt sugar! Tangy and sweet

The cakes baked up very nice. Not as "Black" as the Black cake I have seen from relatives in Belize, but oh so rum-fruity tasting!
Buh-bye to 2010 and getting our feet wet in fost/adopt world. Hello 2011 and our new forever family - whatever that looks like!
May your reality be bigger and better than you ever dared to dream. I have loved gaining new readers and finding my bloggy people out there on the "interweb."
Peace out . . . . bee

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas break

For the past several years I have taken vacation between Christmas and New Year's Day. I love it. I am reminded of being in school and that glorious winter break! Of course just getting a break from my office is wonderful as well.
Of course the son has school break and Hubby has taken the week off as well. And the best part - we have no real plans :o) . No major tasks to complete, just taking each day as it comes. We have been playing with our new toy Kinect for Xbox 360. Amazing, futuristic and physically exhausting! Today I will be entertaining my nieces and nephew while their brother has surgery. Cats are going to the vet for one more immunization. I have partially cleaned up my crafty area. I made pralines (meh.) And I will be making Black Cake in the next couple of days, right now the fruit is soaking in booze.
Christmas was fun playing with friends and our small family. Having this week off makes it feel like a continuation of the celebration. Not sure what are plans are for the New Year, but we will probably be at home as usual. I love home.
The week before Christmas I had some hope about transferring out of my position at Child Protective services. Unfortunately a nurse in our county suddenly died of a brain bleed just after Thanksgiving. It was shocking for us all and left a hole in a busy program within our department. Budget crisis being what it is in California, we have not been allowed to fill positions as we are expecting more cuts. At our department holiday party, I was speaking with the direct coworkers of the nurse we lost and found out they did plan to fill her position! It hit me like a ray of sunshine - if I could transfer into that position then I could adopt a child from my own county!!! Right away I pulled the director (Big Boss Jr.) aside and told her I would like the opportunity to interview and expressed how it would help my husband and I. I was tearful of course 'cause that is how I roll. The BBJ said she would make it happen and that she had no idea my job was a barrier. Over the next few days I followed up and BBJ got more details from me about the conflict of interest so she could explain the need to our Grand Poobah Nurse. They had a meeting and I was asked to write a memo requesting the transfer.
I sent my memo and GPN responded the same day with a horribly disappointing email. She was "glad" to inform me that she had found a solution that would keep me in my position - NNnnOOOOOoooooo! She had spoken to the high up in county adoptions and came up with a "solution" that my agency and I ruled out months ago - fuck! I spoke with the adoptions people and explained that we had been down this road and agreed that it is inappropriate to have a SW that I sit beside place a child in my home! duh!!!
After several calls and a few very controlled emails, I was left hopeless. Clearly my direct supervisor is against this move. I have directly stated that my options are to transfer within the county or leave county service. I made a call to my agency SW to do damage control, because I feel it might look like I am trying to get around the rules we have long ago discussed. Voice mail was the best I could do before a holiday.
I will take up the fight again when I get back to work. I have given 17 years to this county and I'm asking for something small. My direct supervisor is an idiot and had been unable to learn our program. That's why she doesn't want me to leave. Bitch.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

When in Doubt . . .

Bake!

Today I mailed out packages to family containing goodies of distraction. Baking is a wonderful avoidance technique for me, but it is unfortunately weight inducing :o(. So in these times of WTF sharing the calories is the best plan I have.

This year's list of goodies includes: homemade crack.er jacks, cocoa rum balls, almond chocolate toffee,
gingerbread cookies, Grandma's date nut rolls, coconut joys AND I still want to attempt (drum roll please)Pralines!
Of course my kitchen is left looking quite a mess. I don't have a problem with the mess, eventually it will get cleaned up. This year we can't wait for eventually as we have two crazed kittens who love the counter tops and drinking water from everything except their water dish. In addition kittens have an endearing way of making everything a toy . . . right now I can't find the decorating tips from the cookie icing earlier this week. Probably under the couch with the toy mice and several of my earrings.
Ahh kittens.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WTF adoption fail meeting

So we went into our agency yesterday for our WTF!? meeting. Both hubby and I were pleased that they seemed equally horrified at how everything went down. Clearly our New Stork is a very new stork, but she seems to have a very experienced supervisor. It felt good to give feedback about how things could have gone better, and how they could have supported us.
Counseling was offered, and we were told we should take a 3 month break for healing. I am a little surprised at how "okay" I feel about taking a break. I have been on a fast timeline since we got married, no breaks for me, times-a-wasting! Hubby would like a slow down, I know, so there we are.
February is the next Family Faire and will be our new "coming out". So my focus will be on us, craftiness, holidays, and keeping the kittens from destroying the house. I am SO glad we have these fur boys. Constant entertainment!

Peace on Earth 2010


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the one that got away


Bee, baby girl and Dorian kitten

We still have not spoke with our agency since giving back the baby. I guess because of the holiday and weekend. Not sure what we think of the whole situation and how to move on.
Many thoughts have come to mind, some of them actually NOT containing four letter words.
First of all I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take care of a newborn in my home. I have lots of baby experience from my work, but this was so different. Hubby and I worked together like a well oiled machine. We are parental Rock Stars! After the initial buckling into the car seat I didn't have a moment of doubt. We could meet this baby's needs for ever and ever! I really had nothing but sympathy for the birth parents and was eager to take her on a visit so they could see she is well cared for.
Another realization - that might have been my only trip to a hospital to pick up a baby ever. Foster/adoption doesn't usually begin at the hospital. Really, baby girl should have gone to an emergency placement while they worked out who had claims on her. She took a detour to our house before landing with her already adopted sister.

This was amazing - It hit me last night.
I have never been able to pour that kind of love on anyone before. Hubby is different, stepson is different, kittens are different. Nothing is like mommy love on a baby. I feel like it's been pent up inside, eating at me. I didn't really know what that feeling was; like I had been wasting something. So part of me got a taste and I want more. Another part just wants to be satisfied with the little bit I got and end the suffering for myself and our family. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a mother for 45 hours

I had not sat down to give you all details and pictures of our new baby because we were busy, busy and tired.
But today things took a terrible turn for us.
I had agreed to take the baby girl to a visit at her home county office 60 miles from my home. Little sleep last night, but we were on the road at 8:45 and made it to the 10 am visit. I handed the baby over and her SW needed to talk to me. We knew our baby had a two year old sibling and I specifically asked if they had been ruled out for placement when they offered the baby to us. Apparently I know the rules better than the social workers because they told me we were good to go. Not so much. At 10:15 I get told we have to give the baby to the other family, and the sooner the better.
I was alone, hubby and stepson at home prepping for Thanksgiving. I had to drive home in holiday traffic, while sobbing and talking to myself. Then break the news to my husband who is scooping up the baby and telling her he has missed "his girl." He was dumb founded, pissed off and called the agency. No one can say anything except sorry. Our agency doesn't "transport" but my husband was so sad and I am glad he stood his ground. He told them we would bring them the baby and they could work out getting the baby to the other family. I had more time to absorb the situation, Hubby and son were sobbing as we fed her and took goodbye pictures. Keeping her any longer would have made it worse I think. So at 2 pm this afternoon we took her to our agency and handed her over to our SW.
For the last kick in the groin? They needed to borrow our car seat for her - yeah awesome.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I can haz bebe?

Well she's sleeping in her crib and the cats are very confused. We are happy.

Holy Cow

I am somewhere between thrilled and about to cry and OMG I'm gonna throw up.
New Stork just called - 3 day old baby at the hospital needs to go home today - very low risk of reunification.
Crap I gotta buy a car seat. ANybody have that list of things to buy??

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy ICLW and american Thanksgiving

Short summary -
Married and TTC since 2006 at the ripe old age of 40. All my numbers looked good, SA awesome. One pregnancy on our own - very early miscarriage.
6 IUIs with injectables resulted in 2 pregnancies one lost at 9 weeks, one with no heartbeat at 7 weeks.
All miscarriage blood work is normal. The REs decide donor eggs are the ticket for us.
First donor egg cycle - not many eggs, fresh transfer = BFN (there goes all our money)
Second donor egg cycle (shared the donor with another couple) got 14 (2pn) put away in the freezer. No fresh transfer because lucky me I react poorly to Lupron and it makes my lining thin!
November 2008 - transferred 2 day 5 blasts after thawing and growing 7 of the 2pns. Pregnant at last with a 26 year old egg!
Biting fingernails for week after week - finally starting to relax after asking for US at 13 weeks. 16 week check up baby is dead and shrinking. D&C done March 2009, and so are we.
After much discussion - we decided to move ahead with fost/adopt classes and flush the other 7 2pns. We just can't put another dime into this.
February 2010 - approved home study and officially waiting - again??  Waiting for what now? Well who knows, stay tuned and find out.
Lately I have been trying to remember what I did before thinking about pregnancy and babies all the time. Oh yeah I was obsessed about our wedding! But before 2006 I did have a life I swear. Here and there in my blog you'll see my crafty projects and baked goodies. Hoping to rediscover my lighter side and my artsy side. I need a break from waiting and wanting!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

putting on a show

Today we go to our third "Family Fair" at our agency. I didn't sleep well last night. I have had my clothing picked out for a week or so. I curled my hair with the special curling iron I bought yesterday. Not very impressed with my curling skill even though the iron is the best thing ever. I am wearing a great color. Hopefully I look like a mom. As I was picking my jewelry I had an A-HA moment. I am trying to be memorable, something other than us being the ONLY interracial couple. So I busted out my old oneness symbol. This is the symbol of the interfaith church I used to belong to, but it is also a beautiful symbol of peace amongst religions. Why today? It is a conversation starter. It sticks in people's heads. It is also a sweet reminder of so very wonderful times in my life.
I hope it helps.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

more craftiness

I cannot take full credit for this back yard art, but I am very proud.  Hubby and I are at the end of our remodeling and with the help of IVF also at the end of free flowing cash. SO we have become more creative in our use and reuse of building materials.

Without further delay I bring you Backyard Door Fence! The doors were leftovers from our remodel and also solid doors I purchased from Urban Ore in Berekley CA. A solid wood fence over 8 feet high WAY cheaper than any other type of fence we could erect. (snork, hee hee, I said erect)
Fueled by beer and snacks our friends came over to decorate the salvaged doors. The paint was cheap "oops" paint from the local big box hardware. Each door is a completely unique creation, we gave no parameters and look at the result! Since the painting frenzy day more details have been added. Look forward to a post with some closeups.  AND as for the old school desk . . . wood parts are refurbished and inside protected from the elements. Hopefully this weekend I can clean up the metal legs and put it all together. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

cry baby

So if "paper pregnancies" were always 9 months I would be quickly approaching my due date. See the darling ticker on my sidebar. As we know paper pregnancies are never predictable, never premature, but often feel overdue!
Our new adoption Stork recently sent a flyer for a structured support group to run over 5 weeks. "Waiting for the Call" is just what it sounds like, and I felt like a complete idiot last week at our first meeting. At first I didn't even want to go. The topics for dicussion sound like an extended day at work for me. I already work in the child welfare system, I really prefer to forget about my work day after hours. But we didn't really have a reason not to go to the group and maybe somehow (insert magical thinking here) this is the ticket. The universe will see how deserving we are and grant us the perfect child because we are willing to go to this group that we really don't need, right?
As we sit in the room waiting for others to arrive I start getting teary. In case I haven't said it before - let it be known I am a big fat cryer!  The more I think about trying not to cry, the more I cry. Not a big sob, but the silent tears streaming down my face are unstoppable. The group is being lead by a social worker who has also adopted. We go around the room, intros, where are you in the process? and why you choose adoption and this agency? BECAUSE I am teary already the SW starts with me, WTF??? Way to put me on the spot. I am quite sure I had the ugly face cry going as I shared that we have been waiting 9 months since approval and over 18 months since we decided to adopt. I mentioned that we had done IVF and had 4 miscarriages. My husband chimed in that actually we have been trying to add to our family for over 4 years. The looks on the faces of the others was awful. Pity, I hate it.
The rest of the room - an older newly married couple beyond child bearing years, wanting an older sibling set, a single 40+ man and a single woman. Foster/adoption was the first choice for each of them. Subject for another day - how do you tell your adopted child they were not your first choice? Yep kiddo, it was either adopt you or remain childless.
At home I explained my crazy thoughts to my hubby. As I was crying and talking all I could think is that the group leader was going to report to our new Stork how obviously I am emotionally distrubed and we are NEVER going to get a kid - waaaahhh!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

fuzzy love

 So here's our newest additions - two boys, each about 4 months old. Sweet as pie when sleepy and tearing each other apart when awake.

I don't think we'll be having a Christmas tree this year. Or maybe I can just decorate it with cat toys.

Dorian is the grey baby and Jack is the sleek black boy. It is so wonderful to have more life in the house. It was far too quite and empty this past month. I am going to live in my little world of denial for a bit longer. You know what? Maybe I don't even want a baby anymore. Babies can't even purr! Is anyone buying this? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I got bummed the other day because our SW emailed to sign us up for the "waiting families" support group and to tell us about the next Family Fair at our agency this month. I don't really want to be reminded that we are waiting still. And I am afraid to be recognized at the Family Fair as an "old family." I can just picture the interactions with county SWs. "Oh yes, I remember your family from the last Fair . . . well you'll get your match eventually." This is worse than being picked last for dodge ball. Just throw the ball at my head now, let's get it over with!

I haz two kittehs!

I promise pictures soon! We adopted two little boy cats last Friday. The adjustment to each other and our house has been very fast. My house plants are in danger, but my dusty corners are clean! One forgets how easy the old cats are compared to active climbing kittens!

more soon . . .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Carly's Story

Our very old kitty was put to rest October 2nd. I have already been out shopping for a new cat of course. This burning need of mine to push down the empty place left by our last cat sparked an emotional conversation with my husband. But more on that later - this is Carly's story.

Spring 1991 I went to our local SPCA looking for an orange tiger cat. I had been catless since graduating college a little over a year before. The current boyfriend came with me and pointed out a yowling kitten who was hanging on the side of her cage. "Hey this one has an orange leg." Nope I wanted and orange tom cat, cheaper to fix. I walked over to the cage and right away the kitten claws were in my sweater through the bars. She was not letting me get away. So papers were completed and the crazy kitten came home.

I had never had a cat with this coloration - tortishell with tabby stripes, a Torbie they say. I had no idea at the time, but it is well know that these little girl cats come with a very chatty "Torbie-tude." One of our vets said they are the crabby little old ladies of the cat world, and in fact one of Carly's nicknames was Crabby Patty.

As a kitten Carly never walked, she was either running, climbing or asleep. Even when sleeping she seemed to rest with one eye open. This was not a cat you could sneak up on.

Early in her life I almost lost her. My tiny apartment back yard seemed secure enough so I'd let her go outside for bits of time and one evening she didn't come back. She was gone with nothing but a flea collar on. I had written her name and my phone number inside of the flea collar, but other than that she was just a stray cat now. 

Our search efforts were in vain, until about 4 months later when a phone call came. Turns out Carly had been living an alternate hippie lifestyle about 10 blocks away and was now know as Daisy. The people who had taken her in never thought to look inside her collar until she began to outgrow it months later.

Carly picked up some street skills during her time living as "Daisy." Over the years she had come to be know as "The O.C." as in The Original Cat. She preferred to be the only cat in our house. Little did I know her preference to be the queen would drive her to murder! Oh she was a clever one, her paws were never bloodied, but other cats were in danger in our house.

First there was Pepper a sweet innocent "Nermal" type. One morning I found his little body in our side yard limp and lifeless. Weeks later I came home to an awful sight my big grey tabby Grady had been attacked by two dogs in my backyard. Turns out they were also responsible for the death of Pepper. Where was Carly in all this? Carly spent her days sleeping on the roof well out of danger. Those dogs? - Hired killers I say!


Once again Carly was the only cat, but life changed again. Divorce. I left the house and yard that Carly loved and left her with my soon to be ex. The ex moved his girlfriend in and her cat, who mysteriously disappeared in a matter of weeks - go figure :o).

I had acquired two kittens (Huey and Bianca) after leaving the house and Carly behind. More than a year later I got a call to come get my cat or she was headed for the pound. Carly and I were reunited once again. Well on my way to being a crazy cat lady I decided three cats was not enough and added a rabbit to the mix.

Carly laid low for several years. I think she was gaslighting Bianca. Bianca was an odd eyed white beauty with a personality disorder. Carly knew how to push her buttons. Over the years Bianca became so badly behaved that she became our "garage kitty." I'll never know exactly what happened, but Bianca went missing and was found later curled up on the front porch. She looked peaceful, but was indeed dead with not a scratch on her. Carly seemed pleased. The rabbit was next in a matter of months.

Huey was a big dopey Black and White cat who greeted everyone at the door. Our little family met a wonderful man who had his own cat Xeno. Next came marriage and we all moved in together. Xeno was 3 years older than Carly with failing eyesight and poor hearing. I don't know if Xeno ever knew there were two other cats in the house. Carly decided to live in the basement at first. Huey avoided Xeno and it seemed like everyone was happy. Poor Huey got sick, some sort of cancer. I tried to treat it for a while, but he was miserable. I don't think I can blame Carly for Huey's illness, but she sure was happy to have him gone.

Carly came out of the basement and Xeno still did not notice her. Carly would arch her back and hiss at Xeno as he calmed walked by her. She didn't know what to think. Surely this ultra cool cat was some sort of ninja! Xeno was a large smokey black cat with a siamese face and yowl. Eventually age got the better of Xeno and he passed at the ripe old age of 21.

For a couple of weeks after Carly found herself all alone in the house she would walk by Xeno's bed and hiss. Carly finally discovered she had cleared the building and came out of the basement for good. Now that the house was clear she was going to take on the yard. At 7 pounds and shrinking Carly had a big cat voice and the spunk to put up a good act. We did not let her fight the neighborhood cats or the friend's dogs who only wanted to cuddle up to her or play. Lucky Carly Kitty she got to live out her last years as the queen of the castle, eating all of the tuna she could keep down.

Our dear friend Jane watched over Carly while we took our summer trip to the beach. Jane made up a little song to sing to Carly:
Carly is a pretty kitty
She’s a pretty kitty, Carly kitty.

Carly doesn’t have a kidney.
It’s a bummer not to have a kidney.

Carly has a bunch of tumors.
It’s a bummer to have lots of tumors.

Carly says it sucks to get old.
It really sucks to get old Carly kitty.

We will miss you Carly kitty.
We will truly miss you Carly kitty.

Carly is a pretty kitty.
She’s a pretty kitty, Carly kitty.


Isn't that the sweetest?? I loved it. I had heard it before without the "we will miss you" part. Carly loved it too, just like an old crabby sarcastic lady would!
 
Oh, and "Hi" ICLWers . . . Really it's not always like this, but my cat just died and I'd rather not think about how long we have waited for an adoptive placement or the 4 babies we have lost. And back to the emotional discussion hubby and I had. Hubby said he has not differentiated waiting for this child from waiting for a successful pregnancy or delivery. He said he's been waiting for four years already :o(. I guess I forgot while I was "doing" this or that treatment, he's been waiting for our baby. And so we continue to wait.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Project Distraction

Alrightee! The votes are in and I have finally downloaded some before pictures for you all.

Here's the school desk I bought at a yard sale 7+ years ago.


Two metal legs and three pieces of wood, should be easy!


1891 Buffalo,  New York.  Not sure if this is original, but it's cool anyway.

Monday is a holiday for me I promise I will work on this project! I have the perfect place for this little gem in my dining room. Let the distraction from reality continue!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

poor kitty

My cat is dying. I don't know when, but it's got to be soon. She doesn't seem to be in pain, but she obviously has very low energy. She can't keep her food down and is now eating and drinking very little. Okay, I knew this was coming, she is 19.5 human years old. In cat years she's a 94 year old lady and still very spry until a few weeks ago. I hate to "put her to sleep." Even though it is merciful in many situations it still feels like taking a life. I don't think I can do it this time, not unless she seems to be in intolerable pain. AND tomorrow is the teenager's 14th B day! It would so suck to have the cat die on his birthday :o(. Friends are coming over after school, and you know, cat death is a real downer. What ever happened to the simple days of my childhood when cats just ran away, never to be seen again?

Monday, September 20, 2010

I lied

Ya'll probably saw right through it. I have not completed all the projects/tasks that I have wanted to finish before we get our child placed. I just feel like a cheesy whiney pity party right now.

Uhmmmm so, the other stuff I do besides whine and pout and complain about being well paid to do virtually nothing is to be CRAFTY. So I think I'll focus on that for a while, sound good people? I have been getting a little sick of myself.

Hard part is focusing long enough to complete a craft.

Here's a picture of a little shrine I made after one of my early miscarriages.
So in this little box we have a pear in the background and a shrinky dink baby hanging by a read thread. Written around the outside is a quote from Kurt Vonnegut. "I wanted all things to seem to make some sense, so we could all be happy, yes, instead of tense. And I made up lies, so they all fit nice, and I made this sad world a paradise."     
Here is a rare occaision to chime in - what project should I take on next?
A) Getting "Toe Sock Chicken" into production for my Etsy Store?
B) Scrapbooking our remodeling project that was mostly done 2 years ago?
C) OR finally refinishing the 1800s style school desk that is in pieces in the garage?
D) None of the above.

Happy ICLW everyone - looking forward to lots of good reading this week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Foster Kitty


Distraction is always good for me. I can get obsessive, especially about negative happenings. I was enjoying prepping for the baby that doesn't live here yet, but now it feels a little embarrassing. Like buying your wedding dress before you've even met Mr./Ms. Right. Styles change, bodies change, my personal taste changes. If I knew what age or size child I was getting ready for we could do a few more things. As for now I am at a stand still.

I had my mind set on a placement taking at least 6 months, well now we are into 7 months. I have been hoping to take the holidays off to bond with our child, and now the holidays are coming very soon. I was hoping to visit family at Christmas with our new child in tow. But I need to be able to buy tickets soon for Christmas, and I don't know how many to buy.

I had projects I planned to complete before we had a baby in our house. They are done. I need come up with new distractions. I am afraid of the sadness of another birthday without a child or another Christmas. I was hoping to "trick or treat" this year.

Last week I had a day or two of distraction in the form of a fluffy kitten!

foster kitty - aka: princess G, T Rex, Sam and finally *Ponyo*

A momma cat that lives outside of our work building gave birth to six babies. My old kitty is still around and not interested in sharing her home, but a friend needed my help. She was not ready for the kitten to come home to her kids. As well the kitty was used to living in the bushes and was quite a fighter. I agreed to keep the kitty until he could settle down. Foster kitty was brought through the house and set up in our master bath where old Carly would never find him. He hid behind the toilet and explored when he was alone. He would "spit" when you reached to pick him up, but if you didn't fall for it he was happy to be held. By the end of 24 hours he was meowing when we left him alone and wanting to follow us everywhere.

The hubby called it - time for kitty to go to his new family. I think it needed to happen before Hubby and stepson fell in love. So kitty was sent home with this little girl and her family. I hear he loves to be wrapped in baby blankets. I'm sure he'll be wearing clothes soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

back to square one

Well, looks like NONE of the potential matches are coming our way.
2 yr old toddler boy landed in another family as did the 3 month old girl. The potential relinquishment due in September changed her mind. The kid we heard about in June is still a question mark, but I think family will take him along with his sister instead of splitting them up.
Our home study was submitted for a 7 month old caucasian child with some health issues, but the SW says she is flooded with interest. Not really interested in her anyway (protective mode.) We are wanting to give a brown child a home and I know lots of people want white baby girls, so she'll find a perfect spot.

I don't like this - not one bit. It's just as bad as getting your period. Bonus! - you have the added pain of knowing a social worker assessed you to be not as good as someone else.

Awesome, apparently we suck.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

national Teddy Bear day

Also known as our wedding anniversary! And wonderful weirdos day - especially in Austin TX. And the day California became the 31st state.
I have been working on our history together - my goodness time flies and we have been very busy.
Happy Anniversary my dearest husband :o)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

no news is no news

Nothing to update regarding babies in our house. New Stork told me thursday she was not expecting to hear from the other counties by the end of the week and she was off on vacation next week. Of course someone will cover for her if there is major news for us, but at least I can quit obsessing about "the call" for a week while she's doing what ever New Storks do on vacation.

SOOoooo - one of the other things I like to do with my time is stay crafty. Scrapbooks are a big outlet for me. I have been wanting to detail our ups and downs of TTC since we have been married, but it's been too painful until now. I dug through the box of Blobby memorabilia last night, no tears, but I didn't take a long looks at the multiple US pics. I need to find my folder with medical receipts and get the 2006-2009 calendars out. We have had two wonderful cats die during these years as well.

Huey
Xeno - the old man at 21 years!
Each time I was pregnant it seemed a cat would die. We put Huey to sleep on the same day we saw the heartbeat of #2 pregnancy. Thank goodness the pregnancy didn't end on the same day as our poor Huey's life.
Oh yeah AND we remodeled our house from March 2008 until December 2008. We had to move out to an apartment for 4 months during that time.
So we've had just a smidgen of extra stress in our almost 4 years of marriage.

Our remaining cat Carly is 19 years old and very much the typical chatty tortie type. For the past year or so she has been growing lots of little bumps. We had a couple removed in the last few weeks and now they seem to be growing even faster and cropping up in new places. Poor old kitty, she seems fairly happy and loves to just be close to people, but I can tell we are coming to the end of her life. The vet said her kidneys were the size of raisins now. Carly will STILL try to fight any cat that comes into her yard - spunky she is, but not smart. She only goes out for small supervised sessions.
Carly - she always looks pissy
Happy end of ICLW to everyone - thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hey baby . . . :o)

So today I did hear back from the New Stork :o). Baby Girl has her social worker checking us out and says they are making a decision on a family by the end of the week. I guess that county looks at several home studies and then chooses? I have many more questions to ask about BG, but somehow it feels rude to ask when I am not sure we will be the chosen family. Ya know? What is the etiquette?
Also we heard back about Toddler Boy. He'll be 2 in early September and his parents have already had their rights terminated and do not get any visits. Now that is an attractive feature! Again I have some questions about his development and why he is behind. Good news for him - he has only been in one placement since removal from his parents.
I gotta call New Stork and get some details.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Obsessive behaviors . . .

Currently I am checking my email way too frequently. Looking for any email from the New Stork, she had promised to get back to me about those marshmallows we have toasting over the fire! And again I find this process to be very much like dating. "I'll give you a call" means SO much to me, but it might not mean the same thing to the Dude dropping the casual line.
Please don't say things you don't mean and be accurate with your words! I am a person who actually listens and makes a mental note in her calendar highlighting the days you might be calling.
Another current obsession - followers! I am amazed that people have found my blog and sign up AND leave comments! My followers are in double digits now - 10! A whole TEN people, most of which I do not know IRL. It's so exciting!
That's the post for now, but I'm sure I'll be checking back often today. It's still early :o)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

checkin' out my profile

This is starting to feel a little like internet dating . . .

New Stork sent an email letting us know our info had been requested for a 2.5 month old baby girl. Very exciting!  Several marshmallows are in the fire, we'll see which one sticks!  Now I want s'mores.

Feeling random, can you tell?  Hey did I ever tell you guys about my state fair cookies? TAH-DAH
spicy mexican mocha chocolate chip cookies!
I entered them in 2 contests at the CA state fair this year. They were judged to be a first place cookie, but did not win the division. In another contest they got an award of merit - yay me!

alrightee - nighty nite bloggy pals

New Stork, New Stork

So last week we met with both the old and new Adoption Storks. Old Stork is moving to another office in the agency, oh AND she is clearly pregnant now - due in November. Well, good for her, good for us getting a New Stork.

Kinda cool side note about our New Stork, she was recently laid off from my employer and was lucky enough to land this adoptions job. While I recognize her name from work I never worked directly with her.  But New Stork KNOWS the craziness of my job and current employer.

We talked about 4 possible matches last week. One boy now 6 months old we heard about when he was 4 months old, turns out they aren't going to place him until September, so who knows. Another 2 children presented to us have severe enough health conditions that makes us say no thank you.

Just writing this makes me feel picky. If a child was born to me with a condition I would be all for it, my baby, my life and off we go. But when given the choice, I figure there is a better match for us.

The other potential child is not born yet!  Mom is due in September and will be involved with choosing the family for her child. We know nothing else about this situation, but I can assume if the woman is planning to relinquish her child through the child welfare system, then there is some sort of CPS history. I never expected to potentailly get a newborn!

At any rate looks like we will be waiting for another month at least while things continue to shake out. Oh well, September has always been one of my favorite months :o)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

DIY adoption placements

Doing nothing just doesn't sit well with me. "Relax and wait, its in good hands." Nope can't do it!
All this waiting for "the call" is for the birds! I know that's how it happens, but I don't like to feel like I am in the dark.
SOOOOOOOO since I work with social workers for child protective services and I can't get a child from my own county, I have started reaching out to other counties.  A few weeks ago I emailed friends who work in other counties our family available form. Just a little shameless self promotion.
Yesterday I called the nurse in a neighboring county that does the same job I do. No I don't know her, we have never talked. I wasn't even sure I had the right phone number. I left a vague message in my sweetest voice and got a call back within an hour.
I had to admit my inquiry about adoption was for myself. The nurse was just a doll! When I told her my husband and I were a home studied family and are ready and waiting for a child, she said "oh that's so exciting!" This nurse also said their county has had lots of safely surrendered babies lately, but she'd check with the adoptions workers about placements out of county. I thanked her profusely and expected a call back later in the week. Surprise she called back in an hour and told me to have my social worker send my packet to her lead adoptions worker. The nurse said there is a woman they are working with who wants to safely surrender her child and she wants to help select the family!  She is due in September and wants the family to come to the birth "would you be interested in something like that?"
uh, YES!!!!  So call to the adoption stork and our info was sent off!
More later about our transition to a new Adoption Stork and the possibilities of other children :o) . Feels like things are starting to move for us!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

getting a new Stork

The Adoption Stork called again the other day. No, not THE CALL. She's moving to another office, so we are getting a new Stork. Hubby and I were so deflated that this call wasn't about a child, who cares about a new stork.

We are meeting on friday with the old stork who is passing us off to the new stork. I really don't care one way or another as long as placing our child with us is the result. Oh and now we've been waiting 6 months - child please - I am done waiting - thank you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I really want to quit my job right now!

No really - I do. If I wasn't addicted to money and healthcare I'd be outta here!  I can't even claim to want the "stability" that some jobs provide, because STABLE is not a word that describes my workplace.

So here's the basics without naming names -
I work for a government agency in a California county greatly effected by the poor economy. Public service is severely cut these days.
I have a very nice lady as my supervisor who was moved into our program a year ago because of cuts.
She has not been able to learn our program, but that was okay because all of the people under her already know how to do their jobs.
More cuts this year resulted in us losing experienced people and taking on new people who were cut from other areas. Again all very nice people and BONUS they are all very competant.
This year I got demoted, but am essentially doing the same job minus a few extra duties that now fall to my boss or to no one.
Problem comes when the boss can't train the new people to do the job!
Poor newbies are frustrated, bored and confused. Boss is increasingly overwhelmed. Me and the last standing experienced co worker are trying to hold down the fort. Jumping in and doing the Boss duties is very frowned upon as that might undercut her authority. Downward spiral, circling the drain, ahhhh crap!

So get another job you say?

Plus side - Potential for happiness. Gaining access to foster children from our county currently blocked due to conflict of interest. (I would have a kid by now if i had access to our county's kids!)

Negative side - Losing the ability to take massive time off from work when a child comes into our lives. Vacation, sick, bonding time, 9/80 work schedule, super short commute. BUT you can't take massive time off at a new job. That pile of vacation and sick time? You can't take it with you!

Well just call me Major Major Major Major cause I'm in a Catch 22!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"the call" - kind of

We're back from a great vacation. Our family is a beach family. Mountains and deserts are stunningly beautiful, but the beach is THE BEST. This year, some friends with kids dropped in and out over the vacation week. Quite an assortment of children and parenting styles to be observed. We love interacting with children - hubby and I find them fascinating.

Our teen (now 13.5 and about to enter high school,) was terrifically tolerant of all the little kids and high noise/activity levels.

I have to admit, if we had a child placed with us before vacation I don't know how we would have fit all of us in our car! We brought all the comforts of home with us :o).

So back from vacation and feeling a little worried about how long we have waited. "Conflict of interest" eliminates access to children in the county I live and work in. At work I have social workers telling me "If only we could do it - I have the perfect baby for you!" However we are going to need to find a child elsewhere - or I can quit my job (very tempting.) I stay because I have vacation and sick leave saved up to take care of my new child, and the benefits are quite good in this poor economy. Just to feel like I was doing something I gave our SW a call at the agency and left a "touching base" message. Previously we had heard about a baby boy who might fail to reunify with his parents and could be available in August.

Tuesday evening I get a return call from The Adoption Stork who lets me know there is no new news about the previously discussed baby boy. BUT she wanted to tell me about another "situation."  So my heart starts beating fast, but I wasn't really sure if this was "the call" people talk about or not. Short version of the phone call - toddler in another county, boy, (blah, blah blah) for the sake of his privacy. I listened and asked questions, most questions lead to more questions, but no answers. My heart sank hearing about what he has been through and knowing he needs a forever home. I told TAS I would discuss it with my hubby and call her the next day. Before I got off the phone I knew this was not the situation for us, but felt the need to take some time and see what hubby thought.

I thought I would be the holder of "the line." My hubby thought he would take in any child offered to us. I found it very hard to say no, super guilt inducing. Hubby said yes the boy needs a good home, but we need a good fit for our family. I had nightmares related to the call that night. We said no.

Friday, July 2, 2010

relaxing . . .

It's vacation time at our house so I'm checking out for a week or so, but wanted to share one amazing thing with you.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT CYCLE DAY THIS IS!!!! 

Really I'm clueless. I have always had very regular cycles 27-29 days, no problemo. And of course we IFers know the hormonal details of each and every cycle day - all the while dreading cycle day UNO when we are TTC. And even when we are not TTC the back of our minds know and hope for the Miracle - I finally relaxed! - pregnancy.

Apparently I have let it go - who knows, who cares. I am focusing on surviving the recent job layoffs and truly just checking out for a week.

I'm sure my new obsession will be waiting for a placement - 'cause I starting to get antsy :o)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Five

Thanks to bloggy pal Libby for passing on this awesome award.

I do so love the naked Barbie sex image, but shouldn't they be in a shoebox??

So, The Plastic Joy Award requires that I list my five secret "lustees." Wasn't there a Friends episode about the five people you are allowed to have sex with and your partner couldn't get mad at you? I am not sure why this is a freebie list, but rest assured my darling hubby, this ain't never gonna happen!

1. Naveen Andrews - oh, he had me at The English Patient as Kip (wow that was 1996!)
2. Kurt Vonnegut - wise, sarcastic, human and a bit glum (oh and now dead, bummer)
3. Tony Curtis - the young version, so very pretty (sigh)
4. Prince - yes, it's one of my dirty little secrets, shut up!
5. Just about any dancer boy on So You Think You Can Dance. :o)

Tagging others to receive the award

Tori to give you something else to blog about.
Persistently Patient because she is a big Friends fan, and the distraction might help during an upcoming 2ww.
Samba I know her list would be as unique as mine.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My first ICLW - ack! don't look under my bed

All last week I was so excited for ICLW to come :o) - its like anticipating a party and great fun with friends.  But in real life I always get bitchy before a party, there is so much to do, planning menus, laundry, cleaning bathrooms and putting away things that are too personal for visitor's eyes :o).

Well, I didn't get around to rolling out the red carpet like I planned for ya'll. The bathroom is still dirty and lots of laundry and unfinished projects are laying around. And, oh yeah,  please,  please don't look under my side of the bed. And if you catch a glimpse of anything "personal" have the decency to ignore it - thanks, you know I'd do it for you.

Our story as of today. Hubby and I married for 3.5 years, done with TTC craziness, 4 babies that never were behind us now. I still have the 13.5 yr old stepson, and he is still very nice, a bit lazy and unorganized, but very nice. He will start high school in the fall. We are all eagerly waiting for our child to be placed. Since Feb 2010 we are a certified fost/adopt home with space for one brown child, hopefully a girl, but we don't really care. Room is ready with cuteness, go check it out!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What a difference a day makes

My work situation sucks. Yes I have a job. Yes I feel well paid. However on the best days I get to hear about abused children, their medical conditions, and a frustrating system meant to provide health and safety and some normality. Well then, add a very poor economy on top of the ugliness and there you have a sucky workplace. People have begun to hang signs outside their cubicles that read "The Green Mile." IMDB it if you need to.
Wednesday I have happy to leave work early even if it was for a pap smear. I thought I was doing okay walking into the office and filling out my paperwork.

Then came the questions from the MA -
What form of birth control are you using? 
Dang lady I am 44 can you read my chart?
Are you sexually active?
well what is the definition of active?
Really? You are not using condoms, something?
Nope
How many pregnancies have you had?
Four (oh here come the tears)
And how many children?
 none (more tears)


Then I fall into the need to explain my tears and I tell her I miscarried a year ago (again, can't she read a chart!) She tells me about another patient and her 12 week fetus that she miscarried at home and brought in. I wanted to tell her even though she thought that she could tell the 12 weeker was a boy that was unlikely since external sexual development was not differentiated at 12 weeks. Anyhoo she was getting too deep for me by asking why they couldn't tell the sex of my 16 week pregnancy, again she can read the Pathology report from my D&C - dang it!
More crying - MA left me, GYN comes in who knows all the details, more crying and then I'm out. Now is a good time for some shopping and cupcakes.
(side note - cupcakes no longer heal my woes, dammit)

And all of this happens the day before Hubby and I travel 250 miles round trip to put on our best parent to be faces for multiple county social workers. 
The "Family Faire" helps Social Workers for adoptable children get to know the available families in person. They also bring pictures and profiles of their difficult to adopt children. Usually older kids and sets of siblings, and kids with extra difficulties of all sorts. I was not thrilled to be attending, but again it is better than another day at work! Hubby and I were a little late, but we made our rounds at all of the tables and even gave out our home study to a couple of people. Everyone was so positive, all in all I think we made a great impression.
Dare I say it . . . yes - I think we will have a baby in our house by the end of September if not sooner! So today - I gotta go finish painting the trim in the nursery - yay!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PTSD

Today I am getting a pap smear. Really its not a big deal after all of the other things I've had poked at me in my nether region. But I am getting sick to my stomach. I have to walk back into the office where I was getting OB care for my pregnancy that ended last year in March at the ripe old age of 16 weeks. Yes, the pregnant ladies will be all over the place. Yes, I have to walk right by the unmarked door, now knowing that is the outpatient surgical suite. The place where they removed Blobby from my body in March 2009.
My heart has been beating faster all day just knowing I have to walk past these things, and look at these women. Some going through the same things as me, some worse things. Some are blindly cheerful having a perfectly normal pregnancy. I hate them, but at the same time I don't want to see their blind dreams of the future be crushed. Knowing not everyone is jaded or broken gives me hope too. Hope for what? I am not sure. Maybe its hope that I will be happy when my child comes along. Hope that I can let go of the worry and just enjoy my family as it is.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

baby bee

A long time ago, in a land far far away, I had this crazy idea. "No matter what, someday, I will have a child to raise as my own!"
Mind you this was so long ago (1990s) that I wasn't even able to date someone longer than 6 weeks without finding good reason to shoot him down like a UFO flying low over Arizona.  Anyhoo since I knew a baby was surely on the way, I began mentally planning.  Then in the late 90s I got a bit more serious and bought a few things. Just some adorable baby toy that I would buy for a friend's shower, but I'd get two and save one for my future baby.
In case I never told you before, my nickname is Bee. As you might imagine some of these terrible cute items were "bee" themed. My best friend at the time was pregnant with her IVF twins and we had plenty of time to talk while she was on bedrest. So "baby bee" evolved in my mind with her encouragement. I accepted hand me downs from the twins, who call me Aunt (ant) Bee now. I had a box of baby things in the back of my closet. Here and there things were added. Did you know Eddie Bauer Home once had a bee themed baby bedding set? Yep got that, on clearance.
But there was a problem, baby bee had no baby daddy. I got sloppy with birth control and tried to get some tips from the girls on Maury, but that never panned out for me. I even tried the sperm donor/single mom by choice route, once.
Then I tried dating again in 2004. Lucky me there was a guy out there for me. I met my darling husband in November 2004. He came with a son who was 8 at the time. I made sure I communicated my desire for babies and just melted when he said he thought he had a couple more in him :o).

Fast forward past the wedding in 2006 and our first attempts at getting pregnant, blah blah, read the history in older posts.

Monday I was at home, sick - and I opened the "baby Bee" box. I am putting things out for the all neighborhood garage sale in May. I am surprised at my lack of atttachment to the once planned decor. It is still way cute and gender neutral, but that baby bee was a dream given up a long time ago. I'll keep some things, the Hello Bee book, Bee rattle, and Bee bib, but the other things were for a baby I never had. Time to move them along. I love the new room I have created for whoever lands in that space, but I don't think it will be baby bee's room.

I think I am beginning to feel the same way about the names we had picked out. A child adopted from fostercare comes with a name. Yes it can be changed, and once an adoption is final our last names will definately be the same. Do we have a right to remove the name that a child has known for months or years? I want to name my child, but Daphne, Zane, Violet, Minnie and all the other possibilities might have died right along with those fetuses/embryos. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

riding the waves

. . . or drifting might be more appropriate, like a jelly. There is not a thing I can do to speed up the process of getting a baby in our house. Deep breath, trying to be okay with that. Some nights while watching whatever I darn well please on the Tee Vee I have a grateful moment and know my relaxing days are numbered.
Other nights like tonight, I can't get motivated to do a darn thing because I have all the time in the world and what I'd rather be doing is giving Baby Bee a post din-din bath and getting ready for stories. I have shelves of kids books. I have been collecting them since the early 90's, just cause I love them so.
Maybe that's another time killer for the pre Baby Bee void . . . Okay get ready for some of my favorite kid books :o).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

If you build it, will they come?

I know, I don't have a baby right now, but I have a decorated baby's room ! Is that really strange? Many people don't want to "jinx" the whole baby thing by making a nursery too soon. Dude my baby thing was jinxed years ago, so whatever.

To adopt a baby from fostercare you have to have a space ready to go, so why not make it look pretty?

First we have the boy's old room (before the remodel) - freshly painted with Valspar Lazy Days, a lovely soft aqua color.
I then found my inspiration fabric, hoping is wasn't too girly. I wanted bring out the orange, green and brown colors. Who doesn't love ball fringe? I knew it also had to be part of this creation. From this print I was inspired to add a tree and birdies to the wall. A dear friend helped me shop for coordinating prints and another worked with me on the super cute valance.
Then it was time to paint the tree.
and add some leaves. I new what I wanted the birdies to look like and I was fairly confident that my basic sewing skills could get me there. Again I relied on another friend to sketch out patterns for the two birds. Thank goodness she metioned interfacing, these little guys would not have made it into life without that tip. I knew the colors, orange felt for beaks, batting for a little puffiness and black button eyes.
Oh I just love them! I'm sure they are singing up a storm in that tree!  This is one of those rare times that my vision for the project came out just as I hoped. So the picture molding is the only thing left to paint. Maybe I'll tackle that tomorrow. For now I think I will just revel in the cuteness I have created :o).
Okay Universe we are getting very close to ready - where is our baby at?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mean Mommy

I haven't ever birthed a baby, but still I get to be the Mean Mommy.
So to explain - I married into a ready made family, Daddy and Son. The Son who is now 13 goes between our two houses every other week. My issue? I have a problem with rules. Oh yeah, I love rules and the structure they provide, because then you can bend them and still be in the right. I also think learning the rules is an important task for a child to function in society as they would like. Once you know how to follow the rules them you can make choices. Some people make rules, then never follow up - I HATE THIS! And I think the bio mother of the 13 year old is just that kind of person.
13 year old got some poor grades based on his choice to not do homework and to lie to his parental units that he had none or that is was already done. Short term thinking obviously. So the bio mom was really upset about the lying and cracked down hard. I don't really have a say in all of this, but I am supposed to follow the rules. Homework first, no TV, no video games, no Yu gi go cards, no sleepovers. Fine I can do that, consistancy is one of my strong suits.
So spring break week comes and I take the time off to be with the 13 year old. Lots of adventure ideas dance through my head. Then his bio mom wants him to stay with her longer, cutting into our week. Who am I, what am I going to say, NO? So  fine now the 5 weekdays are only 3. The boy comes back to us with a cold - this is frequently the case. He's seen every movie already. I decide to give him a free day wednesday and mentally plan fun for thursday.

Wednesday night I ask - so did you get any homework over Spring Break?
Answer yeah, math, spanish, english.
Well its done already right? (I say recalling the rules)
No, I haven't started.

. . . WTF!!! inside my head voice - now I get to feel like a bitch and I didn't even make these goddammned rules!

So here I sit thursday morning knowing that homework is not really happening at any reasonable pace debating on leaving him here and enjoying myself or staying to crack the whip over his head. At least he is 13 and I can leave him alone!

I do feel the need to separate myself from a situation I cannot control, but I am torn because like it or not I am a parent to him too.

I also admit - this is one of the reasons I want my own child that just my husband and I can raise. No more group parenting please!

Monday, March 22, 2010

belated update

Sorry kids - or whoever is out there and interested in the tedious details of my plight for Motherhood.
I am late posting a report from the Family Fair at our agency. I admit I had a fantasy about sweeping some social worker off her feet with the absolute fabulosity of my husband and I. I dreamt we would be pulled aside out of the Fair in order to discuss the perfect child who needed to come to our house right away!

None of that happened, we talked to social workers from the state, and 3 surrounding counties. We handed them our "family available" flyer and smiled pretty, shook hands, said we were open to anything and looked eager, but hopefully not crazy or desperate. We were in and out in about 30 minutes. Both of us had checked out of work for a couple of hours, so we went to lunch. On our way I said to my husband "well, maybe that is the last weird thing we are going to have to do!" He replied with a very little smile, "probably not."

So that's that.

Empty crib still sits.

We continue to covet every stray toddler we see.

I keep looking for the magical place on the internet or somewhere over the rainbow where "you can always adopt" is as easy as it sounds.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

anxiety + anger = ?

Angriety? Anxiger?  All day I have been feeling this way. Could be the looming layoffs at work. Not me luckily, but many other great, hardworking people.

Probably displaced anger at my childless situation for which I of course blame myself. Also anxiety regarding the daily potential of getting THE CALL. And I'm not talking about becoming a preacher type, no sirree.

Most likely cause - The Bi-Annual Family Fair! (yeah - i think) So baby brokers from all over our area come to check out the Families who are studied and ready to receive babyness. We will be parading in at our assigned alphabetical time slot. Smiling, Waving, droping off our glossy family available papers and trying to make a good impression. Talk about a MEET market. I will post highlights in the next few days.

I need to go off to bed and dream about the perfect outfit that says "Mom."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

still hurts

It's been a year since they removed a baby from my body, and it still hurts. I feel like I should be happy for the pregnant ladies, but it still hurts. I feel good for the "sisters" that still have time and resources to try once more, but I am envious. I hide my sadness most of the time, even from myself, but it creeps in and hurts at unexpected times.

Hurts when the breastfeeding mother tells me of her yearning for wine. Hurts when the 30 week pregnant friend at work announces she'll be out on leave to take better care of herself. Hurts to know someone may be dying, but doesn't want anyone to know. Hurts when when new mothers complain about unwanted shower gifts. Hurts when a toddler "in the system" grabs my finger to walk with her like she's always known me when she should be afraid of a stranger. Hurts when I hear about a failed adoption and the child is only 2 years old. Hurts to read about the requirements for international adoption and not be able to fit their criteria.

Hurts to even think "You can always adopt" may not apply to us.

Hurts sometimes, but mostly not.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I am grateful

Over the past 4 weeks I have had nothing to complain about. Not that I no longer wallow in self pity, but I have been presented over and over again with knowledge that my woes are small by comparison.

I have seen friends and coworkers deal with the terror of a new diagnosis and the ravages of chronic medical conditions. I had a brief medical scare that was handled quickly and turned out to be minor, yeah for that. I have been waiting for the axe to drop on the necks of my coworkers while I sit with some security in my position for now.

Right now, we deal with the minor rebellion of an eighth grader every other week. Right now we need to clean up the yard. Right now I can go out drinking with my DH on a thursday night without finding a baby sitter. Right now I have minor aches and pains that come with being an out of shape 43 year old. Right now my DH has a good chance at getting a promotion and more $$ at work. Right now I have many crafty projects to choose from. Right now we are well and getting better.

I have walked past the empty crib in the freshly painted nursery day after day. I wonder who will ever use this crib again. I wonder if or when it might get used in our house, but I don't feel sad about it. I just wonder - what happens next?

Monday, February 8, 2010

the waiting (is the hardest part) Thank you Tom Petty

http://popup.lala.com/popup/432627077918673992

As yes - waiting waiting. Oh yeah, finally got to see the draft of our home study. I guess I was waiting for that to be final because THEN we could move along in this fost/adoption process.
Turns out to be rather anticlimactic. There are no revealing secrets about us. No confessions told by my darling husband or friends who vouched for us. Just a bare bones (actually kind of dull) read portraying a forty something couple with a teen 1/2 time child.
I guess it is like any relationship you are trying to get into - its not good to look desparate, right?
I read over the home study and thought "well yeah, I want a kid to come live with us forever and ever, but hey I have everything I need. Why mess up the staus quo?" If I was a social worker hunting for the perfect home for a child wouldn't I want to see more passion? Or does that read "crazy." Are we supposed to be objective? Stick to what ever is best for the child, regardless of our personal feelings?

How many objective mama's do we have out there? Let's see some hands . . .

Really? don't even try to tell me you don't go all "Mama Bear" if someone tries to get between you and your baby!! So how are we supposed to form a family with this new child and stay open to the idea that the child might have to go back to birth parents who hurt them in the first place?
If that's not crazy talk then I don't know what is. People are in this process everyday - I guess I will have to trust the unknown and our ability to deal with it.

So officially we could get a kid in our house any day now - or it could be months from now. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 22, 2010

being "Real"

When you pour your feelings out for the world to see, you wonder if anyone will ever see it.


Remember the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams?


"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."


Thanks internet ALI community, friends old and new, for making me REAL! Check out more very real writings at Creme-de-la-Creme of 2009 - thanks Mel, I am very proud to be #120!