Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ebb and flow...

Well, things were exciting there for a few days, weren't they? Paperwork and interviews and all sorts of seemingly new possibilities opening up. I actually considered packing a little bag with the baby things we'll need in it, in case something super short notice comes up. Then we got another not-our-baby email from Liz (Texas does not like us, apparently)and I realized that we're not that close on this.

And that's the constant dilemma. I've read other adoptive moms write about how they spent so much time preparing for the adoption process that they didn't prepare as well as they would have liked for the parenting process to follow. I totally get that. Preparing in real ways is emotionally perilous.

I bought cloth diapers in February, after getting the first notice that we were being shown and spending way too much time on the natural parenting boards on the ovusoft websites. Not only did we buy diapers and a moby wrap, but we got the cradle from my brother, a car seat and baby bath from Kelly and Kari, and a bunch of gender neutral baby clothes. I'm really glad we have that stuff, it's important to me that we're prepared.

But the cradle is just usually full of laundry.

The car seat and baby bath are wedged into our storage space, where Andrew exiled them after I had a particularly hopeless night.

The moby wrap is still at my brother's, where my nephew used it for the first few months of his life.

And I don't haunt those natural parenting boards anymore.

Preparing feels like punishment, sometimes. If six-months-ago me had known that on August 20th we'd be in the same position we were on February 9th would I have rearranged the bedroom and spent hours online wavering between diaper service and washing our own? Would I have read The Happiest Baby on the Block in a day?

It's hard to strategize about this stuff, because it could be tomorrow and I'll wish that I had already secured a diaper pail and bottles and a co-sleeping strategy, or I could be waking up Christmas morning and wondering if I should take the time to fold all the laundry that will have piled up in our still-empty cradle, and deciding whether to laugh or cry at the memory of my certain hopeful old self who thought we'd get chosen right away.

Back in February I tried to start a baby registry at Amazon.com. It seemed like it would be fun, even though we're not going to have a shower or any sort of party before kiddo is here. But they wouldn't let me do it without a due date. So...I didn't. Because we don't have a due date, and the last thing I wanted was to enter a random date, have it pass, and get some sort of "congrats on your new baby" email from amazon.com. I would feel like a fraud. True confession: I often do feel like a fraud, as if this whole "we're adopting" thing is a giant fairytale castle in the sky and I have no business behaving as if I am actually going to become a mother at the end of this thing.

So I am doing my best to keep up on my coping strategies. This is what I've learned so far:
  • It is not helpful to google "WACAP AAI" and look for the blogs of families who have gotten their babies in the time we've been waiting.
  • It is helpful to write a whiny blog entry every now and again, just to get my negative energy off my own chest and out into the universe where it can't hurt anyone.
  • Excitement and hope come and go like tides. Lucky for me how I feel doesn't actually have any effect on the end result of this process.
  • Now is as good a time as any to break myself of using food to make myself feel better. Which is too bad, because damn my husband is an amazing cook.

So there it is: my monthly low point. I will be treating my condition with a strong dose of ladies' night out with two of my best girls (we are going to see The Time Traveler's Wife and we will cry and cry!) and then a pizza party tomorrow night to celebrate the end of Andrew's 2nd quarter of school. Which won't help with the comfort food thing but eh. I'll be right as rain by the weekend, pricing goat's milk formula and pestering Andrew about bottle choices and bedroom decor. Ebb and flow.

14 comments:

  1. I really hope you guys get some good news soon. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to wait and not know.

    I'm glad you have the blog to vent and that you have a girl's night out tonight-have a great time!

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  2. {hugs}
    "I often do feel like a fraud, as if this whole "we're adopting" thing is a giant fairytale castle in the sky and I have no business behaving as if I am actually going to become a mother at the end of this thing."

    me too.

    i TOTALLY get you on the ebb & flow.. i am right there with you.

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  3. i totally get you. we waited 2+ years for a baby from china who turned into a 7 year old boy. LOL we've now been waiting 6 weeks with WACAP...

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  4. Boy, I totally hear ya. We prepared a year ago also thinking things would happen very quickly. Right now I think of the "baby" room as a museum exhibit...a perfectly ready room to only look at...all I need is a little rope to hang by the door. And I too feel like a fraud caught up in some sort of sick twisted fairy tale. Sigh. I've become much more negative and cynical during this process.

    Hoping for you and for me...

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  5. Awww, I'm hoping for all of you!

    Beth - I'm so sorry you've had to wait so long. You will be a mother. And an amazing one, at that. On the upside, look how many people you've helped though with your blog! How many people read it and go to it! You are a Parent's Pick! Please continue to blog about everything. You are so gifted and if it helps you, that's great. You will be a mother though. I know it. And that baby is going to be so lucky that they got you and Andrew. I'm praying for you.

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  7. Meg's right. Your baby is so very lucky. Love ya.

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  8. I do think there is a reason for everything, and maybe the upside of your long wait, not for you but for us, is your blog, which is amazing. I totally agree with everything you've said, especially about the fraud. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but they do describe it perfectly.

    Every once in a while, I think about how stubborn I am, and think wow, this kid has totally out-stubborned me by taking this long to come into my life ;)

    On the Amazon registry question, I know from experience that they do not send you an email (or, unfortunately, a "complete your registry" discount code) once your due date passes. I've had a few different dates on there, and nothing happens, at least on Amazon's end. Maybe out there in the universe, the baby is being conceived on that date, or the birthmom is starting to consider making an adoption plan. Who knows the significance of the dates I put on there. Anyway, on another day when you are feeling like doing some preparation, I recommend setting up the registry. You can take your time, read listmania lists and product reviews, decide on the best possible option (if you happen to be a maximizer like me), and it will be one less thing to worry about when you are rushing around after you get the call. For me, it provided the fun of shopping (finding and choosing cool things) but eliminated the problems of paying for and storing the things I picked out. If it is too much to have a registry, you might consider an Amazon wish list. You can have different ones for different occasions (I have a separate wish list for later purchases after age 1) (I know, that's neurotic), and you can make them public or private, and change between the 2 (private now, public later when you want your friends/family to start the buying). And if you want recommendations, let me know. I have an opinion on everything! (except the diaper pail, I am just so torn . . .)

    Anyway, long story long, hang in there. And when the good day comes along, run with it. Sending good vibes your way!
    Lane

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  9. I'm so glad you're allowing yourself to feel the ebb and flow. You need to take care of yourself, and that includes having a pity party now and then.

    But I will say this: You WILL be a Mother. I have absolute faith in that.

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  10. I've been there. All of it. We set up the crib in March 2006... Isabel came home April 2008. We even moved in the middle and that was TORTURE. There were many days I just shut the door to the nursery. But I remember once telling my husband that I wanted to put it all away and he said I couldn't do that because that's where he went to pray and talk to our child. But the fact that with domestic it could be a call one day and a baby the next makes you almost need to be prepared.

    Letting it out as you said on the blog is one of the things that helped me a lot. That and meeting with fellow waiting adoptive mothers. Having someone close that is going through the same thing helped me so much.
    Yet I still ended up in the bathroom at work on my needs in tears crying out to God WHY not yet!

    I learned so much about myself in our wait. I learned patience and thought I had mastered it, until I realized that parenting requires a whole different kind of patience. But looking back after your child is home you might be surprised to learn what you were going through had a purpose, even if you don't see it while you're in the wait.

    Treat yourself like an expectant mother. And make sure Andrew does too. I know Mother's Day is gone but make sure you allow yourself to be in that role. You will be a mother, it's just a matter of time.

    Oh and I've got you beat on finding blogs of people who have their child in the time you are still waiting. I watched a family adopt not one but two seperate times from Russia in the 2 1/2 years it took us to adopt our first child. I had to stop following their blog because it hurt too much.

    I always used shopping to make myself feel better. Had a miserable day, the breaking point in our adoption wait when I was ready to quit. I went shopping and found the prettiest white dress for a 6-9 month old and it was on sale. Bought it just incase we had a girl for our court date to finalize. Just so happens my baby girl was born two days before I bought that dress and she wore it to court. Darn, I'm getting all sentimental when I'm trying to be encouraging.

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  11. Thank you all for commenting. The upside, for me, is all this support and company while I wait. That's the other reason to whine on your blog, right? I will do my best not to abuse the privilege!!

    Lane - I started a Registry! :P I'll check in if I have questions about stuff because I have every confidence that you've done the research!

    Debbie - I'm learning so much from your blog, and you are encouraging, trust me.

    Lavonne - I am actually going to copy you with the book idea, I think! Such a good one..

    Emily - HUGS to you, woman.

    Meg,Sarah, Carrie, anonymous, Thanksgiving Mom - Thank you. I've re-read these comments quite a few times as I have been dragging myself back towards the sunny side. ♥

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  12. I'm sorry your hopefulness has taken a dive recently. We all know what that's like and you expressed it really well, most of the time there's still a voice in my head whispering that I'm kidding myself if I think this infertility journey I'm on is going to work out. However, it is.

    I have a friend who is desperate to meet a woman to settle down with, he is entirely ready and a great man but he keeps going on dates and not finding her. We were chatting and I was trying to cheer him up and we were commiserating over the fact that for all worthwhile things it always takes a larger number of misses to get to the single hit - like with job applications, the rejections are rough but it only takes one positive. There are plenty of wrong people (jobs/fertility experiences) but you only need one match and it's worth it for that. For me there are plenty of bad conception-related experiences but I know that it only takes one good one, and I will get there.

    At the moment I've only had the bad experiences (which are like my friend's dates or my millions of job applications and interviews before I got my job) and it's often heartbreaking not knowing how many of the bad ones there are to go before the good one. It only takes a single positive and your single positive is right there on the horizon (right where mine is too). I know that it's there and I know that most of the time you and A will be able to feel it coming.

    Sometimes we can't and shouldn't avoid being sad but I thought I'd de-lurk to say that I have found a great deal of thought-provoking and supportive and philosophical stuff on your blog, so thank you very much for all of that and remember that all over the world we are in your corner.

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  13. This must be so hard for you! I hope you get good news soon. We've been having a hard time too, so I can totally relate. Thinking of you!

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  14. Milla - thank you. your comment is so encouraging and I have literally been rereading it all weekend. I'm glad you de-lurked. ♥ It is like waiting to fall in love. And now that I know of you, I'm rooting for you, too.

    Rachel - commented on your blog, sweetie! ♥

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