Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why We're Doing What We're Doing, In Part

There are many ways to build a family. We chose foster/adopt because one of these kids needs us as much as we want them.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Why I'm Not Ready to Tell Everyone

Since we've played this adoption possibility pretty close to the vest with most of our extended family members and some of our friends, we're gonna have some 'splainin to do. My parents and sibs are in Minnesota right now, and within hours of hitting the Great Midwest, my mother informed a number of people that we're "thinking about adopting" way before I was ready to go public to those branches of the family.

It is okay, Mom, I didn't tell you not to tell anyone before you left. Right now, we're in the dead zone, where everything is in limbo, and we're anxious enough without having to report to people who've just heard about all this and have lots of questions. Also, because of limbo, we're emotionally drained. It is hard to stay excited when Nothing Ever Happens. I have to wake up every morning and ask myself if this is right, not just for the two of us, but for our possible children, too, and when there's no forward momentum, it is hard to answer that question. Yes, I want this. Yes, I want it yesterday. Yes, I feel good about it. But right now, there's nothing to hold onto, and I'm a girl who needs an image of the finish line. We might have kids in two weeks -- TWO WEEKS -- but the universe might just be pulling a mindfuck with that, and it could be months or years. Even if we'll have kids in two weeks, there's no way for me to know that now, there's nothing to look forward to yet, and the only physical manifestation of this entire process is a grey-hair-covering purple/red/copper/blonde dyejob, fingernails bitten to nubs, and the beginning of an ulcer. Sounds like a lesbian cocaine dance party to me.

I mean, I could have 1-3 children, ages 0-18, boys or girls, in two weeks, but right now I can't even get the bunkbeds out of storage because I have no idea what kids we'll have. If I can't even commit to major pieces of furniture that come at no cost to me, how am I supposed to plan anything else? Ya, we bought a kitchen table that seats more than 4. Big Freaking Deal, we needed it anyhow, and getting it at 1/3 the price of new wasn't something I was going to pass up.

Maybe I should just buy another purse. That would cheer me up bigtime.

Notes for FAQ's for email I'll have to send to relatives and friends soon:
1. Huh? You're adopting?
2. Why are you adopting from foster care?
3. I heard adopted kids set houses on fire, kick your dogs, and spill grape juice on the carpet on purpose. Why would you want someone else's problems?
5. Don't you want a baby?
6. Will you be able to love an adopted child the same?
I'll remember more asshattery later, I actually meant to work on a draft of the email here, since I've not yet installed Office on this computer, but I guess I don't much feel like it, so meh.

Nothing. Nada.


No news on any front. Maybe today will be better. Here's a picture of a dog dyed like a panda. It makes me happier.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Kids? Where!

We were sent a profile of two children. Don't know where it will lead, but we're interested, even though I'm not the chicken, pig, or goat raising type.


Just got back from Gruene Hall, where we saw the Roger Creager Birthday Show. This was the Hub's 3rd time to the party, as he was there for the 1st, 3rd, and now 5th. Tickets sold out in 90 minutes, so we were glad to be there. Once again, he was freakin awesome. Didn't play LA Freeway, but oh well, I have that on CD.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tricky Onion! Bad Abortionist! What's 7 Year Old Satire?

In case you haven't read it, and because I want to save it for posterity:
"Area Man Mistakes Onion Story for Reality"

(Because I am Blog-Inept, just go to Salon.com and search the name, sorry, I couldn't get the link to show correctly even though the other ones did, and it screwed the formatting of the entire blog. You know cause I'm an idiot.)

Seriously, he tried to play it off. Niiiiice. Does the pro-life group really think this is how women who have abortions act?

And here's a link to his site, complete with dead babies. No Pro-Life site would be complete without a dead baby, right? Maybe these groups will have more success recruiting the average person if they were less militant and freaky. I mean, my mom doesn't believe in abortion, but she'd never associate herself with the Pro-Life movement because of their tactics and their totalitarian message. There are millions of people like her. It isn't just the baby-aborting who object to bloody heaps of dead child, dude. I think you need more pictures of puppies, butterflies, and fat little breathing full term children, if you want to make some friends other than your psycho nut pals. But I guess kids with birth defects or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome don't look so good, eh? Or maybe you guys could all get together and adopt some kids out of foster care who were lucky enough to be born to people who didn't want them. Or maybe you could provide guidance and financial support to a pregnant woman who doesn't feel ready for motherhood. How about that? Oh, that's right, the prolife movement's job ends when a baby takes his first breath. Then you get to complain about and demonize the people on welfare, the rate of single motherhood, the decline of American Morals, inner city crime and the drain on the economy, just like any other good republican. Well, thanks, but I think I'll just wave goodbye to your bandwagon as it passes.
http://marchtogether.blogspot.com/2006/07/murder-without-conscience.html

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yay for eBay


Woot, we won the Crate and Barrel table and chairs, and only had to go $5 over the "limit" we talked about yesterday. We pick it up tomorrow night. I'm thrilled to have a table that seats more than 4.

As far as adoption news goes, there is none. No clue when we'll be verified, and everyone's feeling the ants in their pants. So many kids come and go from the photolisting, it is hard to watch the parade go by without being able to do anything about it.

Got my hair cut and colored today, and my stylist got really creative. I love how it looks, with big blocks of red and purple, then wefts of copper, blonde, and brown. I'd actually love to go back to her, but would feel bad for ditching my usual girl, who is on maternity leave. She had a baby girl last Wednesday, and the little chica is adooooorable.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Against Advice

I think I am still committed to two or three children. Yes, I suppose the chance of failure may increase the further from one we go, and yes, I won't be able to dote on three children the way I would smother one. Money and time would be tighter. I might sometimes want to run away from home. This is going to be our first time out of the gate, and I'm still entirely nervous, still a skittish little filly. But I really think two or three is the way to go.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Re-Education of Future Mr. X

Is it bad that my kid is going to be well-versed in Joss Whedon? Seriously, I'm kind of excited to share Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my kid. Maybe I'll buy him a brown coat.

Like Beating Laundry on the Rocks

So I've been kind of a wreck lately, in my own way, which does not mean I've been hitting the crack pipe or doing some promiscuous sex thing. My "being a wreck" means overthinking things until I induce an ulcer or sleep disorder. Very boring wreckage, I am.

Part of this comes from reading other people's blogs that rage against CPS, including one where a child was removed from his parents' home after his baby brother died of a skull fracture. Call me self-flaggelating, but if I dropped my baby on his head and he died a few days later, I'd want someone to investigate me, cause, ya know, shit, a baby's dead. Lets make sure I don't do that again, okay? And I suppose I will never know the inhumanity of CPS until I am under their scrutiny, as all these sorts of sites say, but isn't it better to investigate a case than brush it aside? Remind me of this statement when I have a son that likes to bruise himself mercilessly by putting a trash can on his head and run headlong into our stone fence... and remind me to capture it on video so I can replay it at his wedding, or for his children. Ya, I'm totally gonna be the type of mom who says stuff like, "I hope you have children just like you someday."

Another reflux-inducing thing I've been doing is reading articles and blogs by families dealing with cancer. Yes, tumor diaries occupied a few hours of my days last week, well written ones at least. I came across this vein by accident, as I was blog jumping and found CancerBaby's a few days before it was taken down by her family, per her wishes. I've been reading a lot of adoption blogs lately, even those that have nothing to do with foster-adopt and are instead focused on international or domestic infant adoption, just because I want to be informed on those things, even though I had no interest in pursuing those avenues. That's how I came across CancerBaby, and even though I never read anything by her until weeks after she'd passed, I miss her. I'm so sorry she never got to be a mom.

Mini-disaster: For anyone who has ever thought about using the "home remedy" of using vinegar solution on carpet to remove dog pee, um, just don't do it. I'm thinking I'll now have to take a boxcutter to a patch of carpet and pad and replace it entirely. The pee stain is still there, the carpet stinks days later, is sticky and grainy feeling, and just YUCKY. I feel like a total twat. Perhaps I'll keep after it with the carpet shampooer a few more days, see how well it redries, and call a pro before I start my own special little demolition. I hate carpet, always have. I'm so pissed.

Since there is no one out there reading this blog aside from family and friends, I'll also talk about a decision The Hub and I have come to regarding our first placement. We've decided we'd prefer our first fost-adopt/straight adopt placement to be Hispanic or Anglo, if the child is under the age of 15. Why we've decided for those races: we live where the population is split nearly half and half between the two, and where the culture is very blended, and we feel comfortable with our level of knowledge. Were we to adopt an Asian, Afrian American, or Native American child, we'd have to hit the ground running, as it were, and because we are lacking in the "how to not commit racial genocide" department at this time, we feel we're not ready to do it right now. If we weren't planning on adopting soon, or if we had more time to increase our knowledge base, we'd be okay with it. If we lived in an area with racial proportions different than our current area, we'd be going with those races. I think it all boils down to our being scared enough about screwing up an already-hurt kid without adding our total lack of knowledge regarding how to raise a culturally-isolated child to the mix. I think it is a total mindfuck to any kid to be told, "meet your new mommy and daddy," and I want to minimize my chances of blowing it.

So we went to the outlet mall today to go a-shoppin'. We need things like; a kitchen table that seats more than 4, bedding appropriate for a child, an easy chair, a bookshelf, a desk, a toy storage area, DVDs and books, toys. Most of this we can't get until we have a better handle on the age of the child we're matched with, and some might not be needed (not getting a computer desk for a 5 year old, sorry), so for now we got 1.child-appropriate bedding, 2. curtains to match child-appropriate bedding. And I'm watching a table on ebay, yay.

The room we're planning on moving little Mr. X into was, until today, furnished with Vargas Girl prints, silk duvet and shams, art glass lamps with feathered shades, a mohair teddy bear, and a 19th century rosewood-inlaid desk. Good guest room, yup. Shitty kid's room. We bought a machine washable and cotton bedding set, including sheets, shams, duvet, body pillow, bedskirt, and waterproof matress pad (but not a crinkly vinyl one -- this one you can't tell is waterproof). While our future kid might not like it, at least it is something kid-friendly and kid-welcoming, whereas yellow silk embroidered with dragonflies and sequins... not so much. And it was inexpensive enough (marked down to $80 total from $400-ish, yay for it being a 2 year-discontinued pattern) that I won't feel guilty about replacing it with whatever my future-schnookum's heart desires. Anyhow, we were paying for it at the counter, and I said to The Hub, "We're buying stuff for our kid," as if he wasn't aware of that, and then I promptly burst into tears. The two kids manning the counters were very nice about it as The Hub explained our odd situation to them, and they got all excited. I pulled my shit together, and we continued on our way.

That's all for now. Too strange to wonder about what my future child had for dinner tonight, who put him to bed, what his favorite color is. That's the easiest way for me to lose my cool this week.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Waiting Sucks

So much has changed. First, we're still waiting on verification, which should come through in the next week or so. Our writeup is almost done, then needs to be proofed, so within two weeks, we should be able to call ourselves "waiting."

The Boys are not really an option anymore. They were removed from photolistings at the end of last month, on the day of our last home visit. I was crushed, as I'd put a lot of thought into them, but happy because removal from photolisting --> adoption. So I sent an email to their adoption worker, and it turns out that their sisters' placement has not worked out, for whatever reason, and there is also a younger brother in the picture that we'd never heard of before. The state is now pursuing the adoption of all five children together. That's all we know, and all we will know until when/if they are relisted on the adoption exchange, as their caseworker isn't giving up any more information regarding ages/names/needs levels until that time.

So two to five... just can't happen. It makes me sick that we are not capable of the task, but I am working on coming to terms with it. But still, I am a sad monkey. I've just about got all the crying out of my system, I think.

So that was two weeks ago today. I've always had my eye on different kids, as I knew there was a good chance that The Boys would be unavailable by the time we got our certification completed (just wasn't expecting the circumstances to be what they turned out to be, kwim?). It turns out we're looking for the same qualities in kids as a lot of other people. I know this because each and every child who's page I have bookmarked or saved to disk has been removed from the photolisting. I am Adoption Magic. The mere act of my bookmarking has spurred the apathetic masses, of this I am convinced.

I am very happy that children, even lots of teens, are finding homes through the state foster care system. There are kids I've been looking at for months that are now gone -- it is wonderful. I know the universe will sort it all out, I'm just finding it very hard to stay detached from the situation.

The Hub and I had a long talk tonight. Since this all began, he'd talked about sibling groups of two. I thought that was what he really wanted, so that is what I've focused on. But it turns out he's actually more comfortable with the idea of one child at first, which I didn't know. So I was able to show him the "secret" single kids I've been looking at. I'm still kind of tied to the idea of two, as I don't want our kid to be lonely, but we shall see. The Hub is an only child, and he thinks only-child-dom is great.

Waiting is really hard to take, it turns out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

On Adopting and Parenting the Hurt Child and Strangers' Reactions

I think that these two books, Adopting the Hurt Child and Parenting the Hurt Child, freak people out by title alone. I was reading Adopting while standing in line at the DMV, and all the strangers around me (we were in line 2 hours, so we got friendly) had an opinion to share, including the lady who renewed my liscense. Lets just say I'm glad I won't have to go back there for another 5 years. And next time I'll bring a book by Dean Koontz. The general comments went something like, "Why you want to adopt a kid that's hurt? Why don't you just go get one from an orphanage in China, my sister did that and she's adorable. You know they kill girls in China right? You should just get one of those. You know more serial killers are adopted, right? You have any pets? Probably should get rid of those now. What if that kid comes after you with a baseball bat?" and it went on and on.

I had some snarky comebacks, since it felt like they were attacking my kids ("my kids" were faceless, nameless concepts, but I was going to defend them nonetheless). That experience really freaked me out, though. The hub and I were still in the information gathering stage back then, and those strangers at the DMV were some of the first people that knew we were thinking about adoption. I'd expected people to do more cooing about how wonderful adoption is, considering how excited I am, rather than state plainly, "You better switch to plastic silverware."

By the time I got around to telling my parents that we were planning to adopt, I was expecting a reaction similar to the DMV, so I went prepared with stacks of books and printouts of articles. Well, I was worried over nothing. Once they got over their initial shock (90 seconds of slack-jawed silence), they were amazing. My dad cried and told me it was the most wonderful thing he'd ever heard. I was taken aback at how excited they were, and felt stupid or ever doubting them (fucking DMV jerks making me think my parents would disown us). Mom and Dad have since read all the books I have (except one I'm not quite done with yet), redecorated the guest bedroom to be more kid friendly (an antique evacuation), and for a long time had a printout of kids on their refrigerator. My mom has now started sending me emails like, "There's a really cute little girl in Oregon. Can you adopt from Oregon?" Her intenions are good and it is great to have her involved, even if she's kind of annoying. I think now that she knows we're verified, she's all about the future grandkids (her first), and even wants to cancel the vacation she and my dad are taking next month, since in our county we could get a call anytime.

Now that my mom is lugging around books with titles that scare strangers, she's gotten some comments, too. We talked about it, and she thinks their "concern" would be the same if she were reading a book called Parenting the Polka-Dot Child. Basically, anything that goes against the idea of "go forth and multiply, but those kids had better be perfect, healthy little clones of you," makes the general population uneasy, which then gets covered with that know-it-all stuff.I'm finding that the only people who don't want us to adopt are people we've never spoken to before. We've decided they can all take a flying leap, since we don't go to the DMV, Burer King, or First Aid classes to make lifelong friendships. Everyone we come in contact with on a regular basis knows about our plans, and they are more than supportive. My husband is now the darling of the women at his office (makes me giggle). Two other couples we know have begun looking into fost/adopt through our agency. Our regular waitress at our favorite Italian place asks us each week if we're going to need a bigger table, and wants to hear all about what's going on. A woman we know is now volunteering for Baby Watch through CPS. Our church is helping organize the scrapbookers and the quilters, as well as putting together a luggage collection, to assist kids in state custody.