Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For Better or Worse...9 Years Later

It was a Christmas wedding, nine years ago today.  There was just enough snow on the ground from a storm two days prior to make the pictures pretty, but nothing on the roads to interfere with travel.  There were poinsettias and candles, a Christmas tree and a roaring fireplace.  Everything was white and green and red and perfect.   We could not have asked for a more beautiful or a more perfect wedding.
 December 7, 2002
For better or worse, in sickness and in health, ‘till death do us part.

“For better” and “in health” lasted almost exactly two months, when the “in sickness” and “for worse” decided to take over for a few years – first me, then Gregg.  I can’t begin to tell you how many people asked us why we stayed married with all the suffering.  They knew other couples who had been through similar things and just got the divorce.  It was so much easier to not handle the other person’s problems.

For better or worse, in sickness and in health, ‘till death do us part.
 Renewing our vows for our 5th anniversary

We both got better.  “For better” and “in health” have won out over “for worse” and “in sickness” over the past few years, but that took a lot of work on our part.  Gregg is an amazing person and wonderful husband who I hope one day will get to be a terrific father.   We have made it together to this point because of our love and commitment to each other.  He never ceases to amaze me – whether he’s teaching the smallest kid on the baseball team how to play catcher or scaring the daylights out of the teenagers at the local haunted house for Halloween. 

Yes, we had the perfect wedding.  I like to think so, anyway.  And during that perfect wedding, an imperfect woman married an imperfect man to produce a marriage that, while imperfect, is filled with love, laughter, and the promise of a beautiful future. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

33 Months

Today we have reached the milestone of 33 months.  Someone (Mom?  Maybe not.)  taught me once, and I'll try to obey just this one time, that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.
So today, all I'm going to say is that we've reached 33 months.
Wednesday is my ninth wedding anniversary, and I have some very nice things to say about that, so until Wednesday...

Friday, November 11, 2011

11 Wishes On 11/11/11

Since 11/11/11 is supposed to be a very lucky day and it is childhood tradition to “make a wish at 11:11,” I can think of nothing more I’d like to do today at 11:11 on 11/11/11 than make 11 wishes for you, little one.

1.    I wish you happiness and joy, right now, wherever you are.
2.    I wish that when the time comes, your heart is ready for a mommy and daddy.
3.    I wish for a happy and beautiful future for you.
4.    I wish that you can feel the love I am sending you all the way across the ocean.
5.    I wish that a day will never go by that you will question if you are loved or wanted.
6.    I wish that you know just how amazing and wonderful you really are.
7.    I wish you a life of open doors and endless possibilities.
8.    I wish you know that we will always be there for you.
9.    I wish for good health for you.
10. I wish for good relationships for you – with your family, your friends, with God.
11. I wish that you know that I wish you all of these things without ever having met you…because you have always been a part of my heart and you always will be.

I love you, little one, and I wish for these things for you not just today, but every day!

Friday, November 4, 2011


The months are not getting any easier despite prayers for patience and keeping myself extremely busy with work and a house that has recently decided to start picking fights with us.  No, the months are getting harder, and today in particular is a very hard day.  I’m looking at the calendar and it says 32 months.  Eight months past the original maximum.  One month under when the majority of the referrals are coming in these days.

I’m pissed off because I am currently dangling by my fingertips at the end of my rope.  We got our confirmation, in a rather heartless phone call from our then-program coordinator two weeks ago that we had not been matched and a match was not looking good at the time because of our medical conditions.  I had to call doctors, get letters, new photos and hope that something will strike a social worker’s heart that we are not bad people.  And now I’m left in limbo, waiting for this package to be sent out from our agency and for ICAB to get it and for someone to care.  I’m pissed off because – well, because of that, I have no hope for a referral this month, and I have no hope for a referral next month.  Considering the time it takes after matching for the referral paperwork to come through, quite frankly, I have no hope of seeing a referral until maybe the three year mark.  And yes, I am pissed off.  To boot, Christmas was unleashed yesterday everywhere I looked, and I have officially landed in the miserable zone for the next two months.

Yes, I can say another month is past, but I sure can’t say I feel another month closer at this point.

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 months - Marked out on the Ocean

Gregg and I marked our 31st month of waiting on a cruise ship outside of St. John (that would be New Brunswick, Canada, not the Caribbean island).  While we were holding out every hope that we would get the call while we were on our cruise, it did not come.  (However, huge congratulations to Veronica on the referral of her 18-month-old son on October 4!  I am so happy for you!)

Really, though, we had a marvelous time and I was sad to see our vacation end.  We got a lot of much-needed rest and were quite happy to not have to respond to phone calls, e-mails, and office deadlines.  The ship stopped in the ports of Boston, Portland, St. John, and Halifax, but we did not spend a great deal of time out and exploring.  We did get out and walk around a bit but didn’t do any shore excursions.  We spent most of our time on the ship relaxing with a good book (or two…or three) and a cup of hot chocolate…or coffee…or tea.  We did manage some ballroom dance classes that were a lot of fun and had a great time getting all dressed up for dinner (something different when you get to go totally casual to work every day).

Our last night - so relaxed!
The dining room staff on this trip was absolutely amazing.  Our waiter, Edwin, was from Mindanao and the hostess in the dining room, Rachel, was from Cebu.  Gregg and I decided to try to speak with them about where they were from and bring up the subject of the adoption to see how well it was received.  We were wondering how our family might be treated after we adopted, if we were to bring our child on a cruise ship with a primarily Filipino crew.  The original reactions were interesting.  First, Edwin and Rachel thought that we were talking about sponsoring a child in the Philippines.  When we explained that the child would be our son/daughter and would be coming to live with us, they were polite about it.  The more they talked to us, the more they started to hear about the respect that we had for the people and their culture.  The more they heard, it seemed the more accepting they were and the happier they were for our family.

On October 3 we had a conversation with Rachel about the foods of the Philippines.  She couldn’t believe we had eaten Filipino food and liked it, let alone tried to cook it before!  Then she told us that there had been a special request for chicken adobo on October 4 (our 31st monthaversary) and she asked if Gregg would like to have that for dinner.  (I’m allergic to poultry, so that wasn’t going to happen for me )8 )  What a surprise that was!  Gregg was thrilled, and that evening was probably one of the biggest highlights of our cruise.
Gregg's Chicken Adobo

We came home Saturday afternoon and there had been contractors busily working on some home repairs while we were away.  That will continue through this week and then hopefully be finished.  It’s also back to the daily grind of work again.  I’m so grateful for having taken that time off, though – it’s much easier to deal with the everyday stuff.  I wish I could say it was easier to wait for the call, though.  One day at a time.   
For our future recruit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - We couldn't resist!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lessons at 2 1/2 Years

I’m blown away by the fact that today is our two-and-a-half-year point.  I have learned so much in the last 30 months, I thought I’d use this post to talk a little bit about what I have learned as I’ve waited.  These came spilling out of my head in no particular order, so bear with me.

©       Find a support system for during your wait.  30+ months is a long time, and you need people to help see you through.  I am especially grateful to my parents, family, a few friends (online and across town), and of course my husband.

©       You and your spouse may not always see eye-to-eye during the wait, and you may not always feel the same way.  It may actually be more like being on a teeter-totter much of the time – when one of you is doing well with the wait, the other is down and ready to jump off, and then vice-versa.  This is OK.  Just be supportive of one another.

©       Find something you and your spouse love to do together and do it.  Gregg and I decided to go out to dinner together once a week, even if it’s just to the local diner.  This forces us to sit for an extended period of time and not only enjoy our food, but enjoy each other.  We talk about our days, our weeks, our plans.  And who knows when we’ll be able to do this after the little one comes home. 

©       Adoption grief is REAL and it is a PROCESS.  A large portion of adoptive parents mourn the loss of something in their lives pre-adoption, whether it be infertility and inability to bear a biological child, or, like us, the loss of a potential placement – a name and a face you loved.  I learned that the grief I suffered was real, and I could not rush though my recovery.  It took a full year before I could think back on the children and smile and now display their photos in my home.  Because after all is said and done, that …

©       Loss in adoption is still part of your story, and it can be honored as such.  There is no shame in this.

©       Your adoption agency proves itself not only in how it handles the very best of situations, but perhaps more importantly, the very worst of situations.  I know we picked a great agency because of the outstanding way they handled our situation with Pooh and Tigger, both in fighting for us and knowing when to let go, but then in helping me to receive counseling afterward.

©       You can love somebody until it hurts and never have met them.

©       You can think you can’t wait another day longer and then push yourself forward another six months…a year…more…

©       Starting a blog and beginning communication with the people whose blogs I had been reading since the beginning of my wait was one of the best things I did for myself while waiting.  I formed friendships with people I’ve never met – across the country and around the world – and these friends have gotten me through the best days and the worst days smiling and laughing.

©       The more you wait, the more you learn.  You learn from people who have adopted before you, from books, magazines, online seminars…If we had been successful at adopting eight years ago, I’m amazed at how much we wouldn’t have known; yet, I’m sure we would have been just fine.  When we finally do bring our child home, I know there will still be so much we don’t know…and yet I know we’ll be just fine.

©       At around 18 months I made quite a stink to Gregg about how upset I’d be if our wait extended to 25 months.  Amazingly, here we are at 30, and I know that I’ll keep waiting as long as it takes to bring my child home.  I’ve waited 8 ½ years for this moment, and a few months more really isn’t the end of the world. 

©       I went into this wait eight years ago wanting a baby.  I’ll come out with a child of a totally different age because to us, it was more important to just be parents.  I’ll come out of this wait a whole lot wiser than when I went in.  I’ll come out of this wait ready to be Mom.   

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Making light of a stressful situation

I’m finding some stress in our wait again the past few days.  It could be the fact that we’re on the border of the two-and-a-half-year mark.  (I’m actually pretty sure that’s what it is.)  I’m restless.  I’m having a hard time focusing on my work.  I’m finding the need to accomplish something else in addition to my work (I’m not sure what that is), and yet I find myself looking from my work to my phone to my e-mail and back again.  It’s a vicious cycle.  I actually think Lakota’s had enough of it – she keeps giving me very pitiful looks from the couch. 

I’m still hearing that irritating, over-used phrase, “You’ll get the call when you least expect it” a whole lot.  August has been a bit of a bust, but there are some interesting things going on in September and October, so I decided to have some fun with this saying.  The plain and simple fact is (and yes, I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again), at this stage of the waiting game, you expect it at every moment of every day.  I would probably only be surprised if the call came at 2 a.m.  (So if my social worker is reading this and wants to really surprise me – there’s your cue.) 

So here is my list of the top places that could make the best story for getting a referral in the upcoming months:

3.  Sweating at the vet’s office with a big dog who hates going there
2.  Waiting to be called for jury duty
1.  The middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  We know that this is a possibility, right, Renee?  I can guarantee you if the call has not come at this time we will be checking messages every time the ship comes into port!  (And we are always the type to lose the phones on vacation, too…I think I’ve lost it!)

Anyone else have any good places to add to the list?