Monday, March 30, 2009

Off-hand comments

Today in our weekly staff meeting we were talking about April Fools jokes since the first of April is coming up. My boss said one year for April Fools she sent one of her nieces a letter telling her she had been adopted and that her parents had met in line at the welfare office. The niece believed the letter and my boss had to call her and tell her it wasn't true. She said that her niece will believe absolutely anything. She was laughing.

I was uncomfortable and didn't say anything.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Adoption Conference

Saturday T and I went to the Adoption Conference we went to last year. We were still in an exploratory place last year, and this year were were in waiting mode. We went again to the 'pre-adoptive parents' session, which is split by gender. It is always really nice to share some good discussion with people in a similar place. Most of the women there had been through infertility battles, though I did feel like more of a veteran because several of the women were just starting their adoption journeys.

Again, it's just so cool to be in a place where everybody there has been touched by adoption.

We went to several sessions about openness in adoption and communication in adoptive families. Last year we went to a session for birth parents, but we decided to not go to any birth parent/adoptee groups. We really focused on learning how to educate ourselves and our children about adoption and how to ensure good communication both with our children and our children's birth parents. It is my hope that the more I listen to people's stories and experiences, the easier it will be for us when we have to have the more difficult conversations.

This really is a wonderful conference, and we're so lucky to live close enough to attend it. I think it came at the right time when I was feeling really down. I know this is a difficult road, but when I see all of these people living their lives, it makes me feel like we can do it too.

I do still worry, and I do hear stories that scare the hell out of me. I do see people experiencing my worst fears when it comes to adoption. But despite all of the problems, parents love their children and their children do love their parents. I see plenty of biological families have issues with their family members. There are never any guarantees that things will be 'happily ever after' and I just have to accept it.

So, I'm not happy-go-lucky or feeling excited or anything, but I am trying to let go of my anger and am trying to be a little more rational.

Plus I'm counting days until pottery.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I signed up for a class

So, feeling down about everything and contemplating a different life forced me to do something I've always wanted to do, but never did. The timing was right. I signed up for a pottery class. Beginning Wheelthrowing.

When we went to that art show last weekend, I was talking to one of the pottery artists and mentioning how I'd always wanted to learn to do pottery on the wheel. I live very close to a reasonably well-known pottery school, and he told me I should sign up. I did show off my purse and my sweater to him. He was impressed.

When I got home, I looked on the website of this school. Turns out that registration was today! It was kismet. I had to sign up. So I did.

I am so excited! It has definitely pepped me up. And to celebrate we're getting dumplings from my favorite Chinese place.

So I'm feeling a little better for now. I'm still looking forward to talking to my therapist on Friday morning.

I'm still questioning all of this, but for now I'm excited to start pottery class. It starts at the end of April.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Still down

I've had a sad week. I'm not exactly sure what's going on with me, but I can't seem to get out of this funk. I'm going back to talk to my old therapist on Friday to see if that will help.

I'm in such a funk that I actually looked up jobs in the city in Hawai'i where I fantasize about moving. There is a branch of University of Hawai'i there, so I fantasize about working there. I looked at flights, but I didn't look at housing. Housing in Hawai'i is expensive. I'm not sure why I'm in this 'giving up' mode, but I am.

I haven't been cooking. I let T buy a couple of toys. I have been spending a lot of time playing on our Wii. I haven't been cleaning -- though I did manage to empty and fill the dishwasher today, finally. I just don't have strong opinions about anything. I'm not particularly worried about anything because I just don't care.

Though this brings us to the weird part because I am worried about the fact that I don't care. T thinks it's a good thing. He says I'm letting go and just going with the flow. We are lucky that financially we don't have things to worry about (especially in this economy) but it isn't like me to step back and consider and just worry about how things are going to go. But I don't care.

I am still exercising a little bit. It's only twice a week so far, though I'm trying for three. I should do more, but it's better than nothing. But I just don't care. I haven't been knitting or crocheting or reading. I've just been watching DVDs and playing on the Wii. I don't feel interested in much. I feel like things are not okay.

Though, I am trying to sign up to take a pottery class tomorrow. I've always wanted to make clay things on the wheel, so I'm going to try and sign up and do pottery once or twice a week. Hopefully that will kick me in the butt.

I emailed the agency today and they think that previous situation with Bruce and his daughter is a long shot. They think we should sign on with the facilitator. That is a big chunk of money, but I think we're going to go ahead and do it. That will solidify the fact that we will not give up and move to Hawai'i because once we give her this money, we'd better get an adoption to happen. It's not refundable and it's a lot.

But as I type this, I don't feel much of anything. I really feel like I don't care about anything. I know this cannot wholly be true, but I just can't seem to have an opinion about anything. This is strange as someone who always uses 'opinionated' as the one word to describe herself.

Should I be worried?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Still Sad

When I get sad, I think about abandoning this whole adoption plan and moving away and starting over.

A lovely open adoption blog I read linked to this story. It's the story of one birth mother. It's not a foreign story to me, but as all first parents stories, it moved me deeply. There have been a lot of comments, some reassuring and some not.

Adoption is work. I knew this going into adoption. It's essential to make sure it's done ethically, and maintaining some openness is delicate. It's difficult for all three triad members.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have the emotional energy to cope. Today is one of those days.

I have always known that I wanted to be a parent. I have known this for as long as I can remember. I never remember wanting to be married much. I never dreamed of a big wedding or wanting to be a princess for a day. I don't remember fantasizing about my husband or my wedding or any such thing. But I do remember always thinking about my children. I always thought about what type of parent I would be.

But it has turned out that neither my husband nor I can make a baby. So what are we to do?

I stopped writing this and T and I went out to a lovely arts show and bought me a few neat things. We also bought a dresser that was on sale that T wanted. The art show was fabulous and inspiring. I think I'm going to sign up for beginners pottery class. I have always wanted to learn and now is a good time for me to start. Classes start at the end of April.

After the show I had beer and clams, and we had a lovely day. I am much less sad than when I wrote the first half of this post.

I still, however, feel I don't know what to do with my life right now. In some ways I want to move to Hawai'i and abandon all hopes of making a family. This journey has been too difficult and it poses too many risks and has too much pain. I sometimes feel I am too empathetic to be an adoptive parent. I see some adoptees who have such pain in their lives, and I've read and spoke to birth/first parents who are also living with extreme pain. I don't want any more pain. I want happiness.

All this said, I can't ever imagine life without parenting. We will not move to Hawai'i and we will wait and find a good match and find some way to have a relationship with our child's birthparents. We will be as good parents as we can, and life will happen.

I am just stuck here waiting and imagining everything going wrong. It's not a nice place to be, but I am trying to do things I enjoy. It's really imperitive that I take that class while I can. And when I think about these classes, I think that maybe I could go away and take classes and be a more involved and active person without children. But then I go out and see a family, and my heart just breaks.

I think this is the problem. I have a heart that has been broken too many times. It hasn't been broken by my family or by my husband, but by hope. I have had so much hope and it has broken me each time -- each pregnancy, each IVF each dIUI, each cycle. I have hoped so many times that I might have a family, and I see what we do not have everywhere around us. I'm not sure I could live this world we live in without having a family. I think it would completely break me.

I so often feel like I don't know what to do. I hate that feeling.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Head: better. Soul: not so much

My new cube was a bit better today. At least, I didn't feel like I was hallucinating. That's a start. I felt a headache coming on a few times, but I ate, drank water or got up and walked away and managed to hold it of. I also wore a hat and despite my hat head it blocked some of the light out and I think it helped a bit.

I am, however, feeling sad. One of the HR women at work is adorably pregnant. The other day she chose to sit next to me out of an entire, huge room of people. Plus, I'm feeling really fat. My pants are all tight, my shirts are all a little bit small. I have been exercising a couple of days a week, but I'm still eating kind of poorly. I don't feel like I have the energy to try to eat healthy, even though it's probably not that difficult.

My new job is weird. The people I work with are a little odd and it's not very social. I tend to eat lunch in my old department because people are rowdy and fun there. Also, two people were just hired in the Training department, which is also rowdy and fun, and I kind of feel bad that I didn't get to apply there. I was a teacher after all. But since I got offered and accepted this job back in November, I didn't even have the choice.

Again, even as I move forward, I feel like I'm not. The whole world moves and I just sit here. At least I sort of feel like if we did get a baby that I wouldn't mind quitting my job to stay home. But that just seems like a far off dream and pretty moot anyway.

If work sucks and family sucks (even though my husband doesn't suck), then what's the point? I just don't get it. Yes, I have a great husband, but I'm just not sure what else I am accomplishing here on earth. No, I'm not suicidal, but I'm sad because I just don't understand the point of life. I used to be this smart, fun person with the whole world in front of her. Now I'm just someone who never had the right job and wasn't able to have children and is just getting old in a job she is too smart for. I just don't get it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Work Headaches

Today was slightly better. I hid behind a wall I built with cardboard and an old curtain I brought in from home.

It's definitely me. No one else is having this problem.

I did find out that there are different light bulbs in my new area than in the area where I was sitting before, which makes me feel a little less insane.

I am changing seats tomorrow, and they're going to see if it's possible to replace the lights in the one light that is right above my seat. I'm thinking of wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses too.

But I feel better today. At least, I don't think I might have a migraine. I just feel slightly light-headed. No real headache, though.

But I did go out for a couple hours for my 'welcome to the department' lunch. So I had a big break in the middle of the day. And after coming back and working for a while, I was semi-hallucinating. It was like seeing 'trails' or weird light flickering while looking at my computer screen.

I hope moving my seat helps.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My new cube

at work seems to be making me sick. I've had a headache 85% of the time since I moved my cube. I'm trying to make some adjustments -- I think it's the light that is causing this. But it sucks to have a headache all day every day. This is not normal for me.

And I asked about possibly moving or making some more changes around my cube, but like everything else, it's complicated. So I'm going to try to block out the florescent lights that shine right it my eyes and see if it helps.

I've been kind of cranky lately.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Show and Tell

Here's my show and tell for this week:

This is the shrug I made for Lauren's 12th birthday.

I hope she actually wears it. It's very cute, if a little snug. But the lace is stretchy and I think it's adorable. It's so difficult to figure out what teenagers like.

Go see what others are showing.

Show and Tell

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I've had a bunch of weird feelings lately. Today, mostly. But I'm PMS/menstrual and my emotions are running high.

My niece is a talented artist. I have one of her oils as the desktop background. Here it is:

The thing is, she painted these while she was 11. If you look at the way she writes her name in the lower right hand corner, you can see that it's not an adult's handwriting.

Here is the first oil paint she ever made. I think she was not even 11 yet, or possible had just turned 11 when she painted it.

She's incredibly talented. So I was showing off her paintings and gloating as a good aunt does, and one of my co-workers asked if there was anyone else in our family that had artistic talent. This is a legitimate question. But then I was faced with a conundrum. I had only a few seconds to decide what to say. There is no one else with artistic talent in the family. Yes, I am good at my knitting and crocheting, but I cannot paint or draw. But the question was out there. I could have just said, "No, no one else in our family has artistic talent," and left it at that. But I didn't. I did say that no one else had any artistic talent, but I prefaced it with the fact that she was adopted.

I felt funny about that later. Was it the right decision? Did I reveal this information when it wasn't necessary? The question implied a genetic reason for this incredible talent that Lauren has, and I decided to address it, but I felt funny about it afterward.

It made me think of my future children. If asked the same question about them, would I reveal that information in that same situation? My gut tells me that I would have, but I'm not sure. I'm not sure where my discomfort comes from. Is it because I feel this is Lauren's information to reveal and I took a liberty? The chances of them ever meeting her is slim to none, but it still made me feel funny, like I did something wrong.

What should I have done?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nothing doing

I haven't heard anything at all about this situation. The agency is waiting for the expectant mother to contact them. Her father, Bruce, is supposed to show her our photo booklet. He was apparently quite taken by it, but I don't have any idea if this expectant mom has looked at the booklet or is interested or anything. Meantime, I'm just sitting and waiting and trying not to think about it.

Meanwhile I'm trying to settle in to my new job. It's been going well. Today was the first day where I had to start figuring out ways to politic a little and how to handle people and situations and my boss, etc. It was nothing bad, but I did have a few cringe inducing moments.

Wish I had something more interesting to say today. All I can say is that it's been snowing way too much. I'm ready for that to stop.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Freaked out

So yesterday morning I sent an email to the birth mother counselor at our agency, just to find out what the next step might be. I got the following email (changes have been made to protect privacy):

I just left you a voice message. Just to recap, I just put a call into Bruce today, the BM’s father, who said that he was very impressed with your album and the information that I sent about Our Adoption Agency but he has not seen his daughter or been in touch as she is out of state and she is having cell phone problems. He intends to share everything with her when he sees her. He said that “Joanne said that you were open to adopting both boys”. I am assuming that this is something that you have talked about with your contact person -apparently this BM has another toddler who is presently living with his other grandparents.

Let us know what you are thinking about.


I have in no way talked to anyone about adopting a sibling or a toddler or ANYTHING. I flipped. And "Joanne" is my cousin's wife's mother, who is someone I met briefly once at their wedding and haven't talked to since. That was five years ago. How could someone who does not know us offer for us to parent a toddler that we didn't know needed a family?

The BM counselor calmed me down. It could be due to some miscommunication. Bruce could have asked if we were interested in the toddler and Joanne could have said, "I don't know, possibly," and he took that as a yes. Plus, we have no information about the BM at all. We only know Bruce is interested in making an adoption plan with us, we have no idea how on board she is with this. We know she's thinking about it, but we don't know what she's thinking about. We don't have any medical information yet -- we don't even know if it's a sitiuation that could possibly work out. If it does look like a good situation, the BM counselor told me that she knows how to approach that situation. There are all sorts of ways to talk to the BM about only being able to parent the one child as our first.

But she did say that I should contact my cousin's wife to make sure that her mother knows she shouldn't be talking to Bruce about the prospects or possibilities of an adoption happening with us. He should only be talking to our agency.

But boy howdy did that freak me out. And I'm still concerned that if she learns we are not prepared to parent her toddler that she won't want to place with us. But I guess if that's the case then it was not meant to be.

I still have to call my cousin's wife. I'm slightly nervous, but now that I've calmed down I feel I can approach it without being accusing. These people did me a great favor by making this connection, even if it ends up not working out.

I'm trying to remember to breathe.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Sometimes I confuse myself. I feel like I don't communicate enough with other people. I'm a pretty outgoing person and I like to be active in my relationships with people. I like getting email and comments and notes on my wall, etc. But I'm not particularly great at reaching out, which means it's silly for me to expect attention back. Plus, I don't have much to say about anything. I don't want to talk to my long, lost friends because I don't want to talk about our infertility and our waiting for an adoption to happen. But if asked, there's nothing much else going on with me. Sure, I can talk a little bit about my new job (which is going well so far) or I could mention my latest knitting or crochet project, but I'm not sure how interesting it is. And the people I'm friendly with already know about these things. There's only so much to talk about when it comes to cooking or crafting or work. I just feel dead in the water and conflicted. Do I want to talk to people or don't I? The answer is, I'm not sure.

And I haven't heard anything from our agency.

And here are some alligators because someone asked about them.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Back from vacation - with Show and Tell images.

I'm back from Florida. It was a long, relaxing and lovely vacation. I can't believe it's supposed to snow a foot tomorrow.

In other news, while we were down there, my mother told me to call my cousin's wife. While I think she is lovely, she's not someone I talk to very often, aside by commenting on F@ceb00k, etc. Turns out her mother has a friend whose daughter is pregnant and doesn't think she can parent. She was wary of letting us know -- her husband (my cousin) said to mind her own business, but she talked to my aunt and then my mother and was convinced that this is something we should pursue. So the birth mother counselor spoke to the pregnant woman's father, who has been making sure she's been getting to her doctors' appointments and who has been taking care of her, and sent over a brochure and our profile.

The woman had been feeling desperate and called up one of those billboard adoption agencies with the pictures of in-utereo fetuses that are usually funded by churches to make sure women do not choose abortion. They are aggressively pursuing her and calling her often.

Not sure what's going to happen with this, but it makes my tummy tumble in knots. I'll follow up with our agency some tie next week. I'm not feeling very hopeful, but it is our first 'showing.' There is always a chance.

So, I will share a few pictures of the wonderful wildlife we saw while in Florida.