Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Lynn and Dad
My Dad and I on my wedding day, November 23, 2002.

We will bury my Daddy today. If you could spare a moment around 3pm EST to think of the man who taught me to read, to ride a bike, to mow grass, to plant flowers and to use a hammer and nails among so many other things, it would mean the world to me.

Thank you so much for your many messages of concern and condolences. This has been the hardest week of my life and your words have helped more than I could ever express. I will be back online this weekend to send proper thank yous to everyone. In the meantime, please continue to think of our family. We appreciate it more than you can know.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time is Fleeting. Carpe Diem.

My dad died this morning. He had a heart attack.

I was in the shower getting ready for work this morning when my mom knocked frantically on our door. The Hubs jumped up and went to answer it. I continued on my merry way with my shower, thinking, not that nothing was wrong, but not hugely concerned. My family is a bit meladramatic, so I don't get extremely concerned when someone frantically knocks on my door or calls repeatedly.

A few minutes later The Hubs came back in and came into the bathroom. "It's not good news, I'm afraid", he said. I opened the door of the shower, feeling as though my face were ghost white, "What is it?"

The Hubs is not an drama king. He doesn't make something out of things that are nothing. I knew it was bad news.

"We think your dad is dead."

I didn't believe it. I carried on with my shower, denying it was possible. I hurried though. I told The Hubs "I know CPR!"

What a ridiculous, stupid statement. Why do we say ignorant things in times of trouble?

We went to next door to my mom's house. My dad was lying in the floor of his room. He was, quiet unmistakeably, no longer with us. The EMT's were there. The coroner was on his way.

My world fell away. I was very much my dad's baby. I can't believe he's gone.

I was here when the coroner okay'd his removal from the house. He had scratched at his face trying to get breath. He couldn't breathe. My mom didn't want me to, but I made them let me see him. I kissed him on his forehead. He was so cold. I know my dad wasn't in the shell anymore, but the shell is what I knew my dad to look like.

I have no pictures of my dad that I'm aware of. I have no video of him. I know he's with me now in spirit, but I'm so devestated knowing I'll never hear his voice again. I'll never smell his unique "daddy" scent. He'll never see me graduate from University. He'll never meet my children and they'll never meet their Papa.

My heart aches. I miss my Daddy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fear and Depression

I'd love to be able to tell you that the adoption match is definite and we'll be united with our first child in February, however, I really have no further news on the adoption right now. There has been no forward movement with Juno. The lastest news we received was that she had gone from "definitely choosing" us (and calling us the baby's parents) to making a decision between us and cousins of the baby's dad. Basically, it could go either way and we'll simply have to wait to discover her decision. Oh, one other piece of news: she had a bleeding episode on Monday and went to her doctor. Apparently she has a pulled muscle in her uterus. An ultrasound was done and baby is fine. The doctor said it is "almost certainly" a girl! I'd love to be able to get excited, but with her decision still in the air, it's difficult to do so. Juno has also "named" the baby. It's a name The Hubs and I had on our list of possible names, but with her naming the baby, I feel it's quite possible she may choose to parent herself. Who knows? I hate uncertainty.

Most days I feel quite zen about this possible match. It feels so different from the last time we were in this situation. Not that I believe this possibility is anymore definite than the last time, but that this time we're actually making steps to be ready to have another child placed with us should this adoption possibility end.

Then there are days like today when I feel immeasurably sad. The Hubs and I have been looking at houses because we're wanting to move into a home of our own (versus the one we rent from my mother which is located right next door to my mother). While I will value and appreciate my mother's input and advice on questions I may have related to child-rearing, being next door to her is not really a good idea. She's very strong-willed and forceful with her ideas on what is correct and what is not. This is a trait I have picked up from her. The problem is her idea or correct and my idea of correct don't always correlate. At the end of the day, any child we adopt will be ours and it will be our decisions on how our child is raised that will matter. My mother will struggle to see it this way, though. I've seen this with my siblings and their children.

Back to the point, though, is that we saw a house yesterday that on paper seemed like an excellent buy. However, when we saw it in person, it was definitely not the house for us. This was depressing and disheartening. We very badly need to get started on our homestudy (particularly if there is any chance this child is our child), but we want to have already made the move before we do this so we can be settled in what will be our home. I know that many of you will think it is silly for us to be embarking on this now and I appreciate your view on this. But, again, this is our decision and, right or wrong, we take responsibility for it. It's just very upsetting to find yesterday's viewing - which we had pinned such high hopes on - was a bust.

Infertility and adoption are such an emotional roller-coaster. I know you're all shouting you're preaching to the choir, honey! I simply hate the unknowns. I'm a person who plans for everything. I don't think it would be possible to have orchestrated two international moves without being this way. When I say I plan everything, I mean I plan all the small details. And I get really frustrated whenever anything - even the tiniest details - go awry. This is truly not the attitude to have when you go into such uncertain territory as adoption. Until after the baby is born (and, in fact in the state of Georgia, 10 days after the baby is born), there is no certainty. Even if Juno decided to place with us, she could change her mind within 10 days of signing TPR and decide to parent herself. I would never begrudge her this. After all, she's the one carrying the baby for 9 months. She's the one going through labor and delivery.

Am I jealous that I'm not getting the opportunity to do these things? I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm a little jealous. Am I angry because she gets this opportunity and holds all the cards so to speak? No. That's simply circumstance. I know for a fact Juno did not ask for this. It wasn't the plan she had for her life. I don't think anyone who ever chooses to place their child for adoption had this path in mind when they started out. I'm not angry. I just sad and frustrated. I wish there was a clear right answer for all of us. I wish we could open an instruction book and there be a page that said Juno, choose (insert correct option, but that book simply hasn't come to exist yet.

We've only just started on our journey and already I feel motion sickness on this roller-coaster. How am I really going to make it through the coming months or even years? If only I were a more patient person! Or if I could only turn loose on the need to be in control! I need patience. I need faith that everything will work out for the best. I need a stronger armour against the pain I foresee as part of this whole process.

Maybe I just need a strong drink and a nap?

Whichever happens to be the case, I need strength most of all. I have to stay strong and firm and grounded throughout this process. The ability to stay grounded is not one of my greatest qualities. I get excited at even the slightest possibilty. This is not something that is reserved exclusively for baby-related news either. I get this way about anything I want to happen and receive even the smallest positive move in that direction. You'd think this would be something I would have outgrown in my 32 years on Earth, but I guess there are some ways in which I will always be 12 years old.

If only I could get the wish out of my head that life should have been simple for me. That I shouldn't have had to fight so hard and move half a world away to be with the man I love. That I shouldn't have felt so alone and removed from the people around me in England. That we shouldn't have had to struggle financially to find jobs when we moved back to the USA, particularly when The Hubs had a good degree. That finding a home of our own shouldn't be like looking for the Holy Grail. That the simple act of becoming parents shouldn't be harder than scoring a perfect score on the LSAT's or getting elected President.

I hate that we've had to spend the amount of money we've had to spend on fertility treatment when other people seem to be able to blink and get pregnant. I hate that everywhere I look there are pregnant women and I feel jealous of them. I hate that adoption takes so long and has so many unknowns. I hate feeling so scared and sad all the darn time!

I love what adoption does - that it creates awesome families and provides children with needed homes. I love that expectant parents who are unable to raise their children themselves are able to place their children with families who can and who love the children. I love that we're able to have open adoptions now so that birthfamilies and adoptive families can unite and be a loving support for one another.

But right now I just feel so fragile and weepy and scared and depressed. When will things just settle down and let us be a family with our children?

Sorry for the whiny nature of this post.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not IF-Related But.....

....extremely necessary if I am to make it through the rest of this God-awful day unscathed and leaving everyone else unscathed as well!

Dear Anonymous Co-Worker (and by co-worker, I technically mean underling since I am your boss, lest you forget that),

A few things to remember as you traverse your days in this office:

  1. While I understand that, for you, the world revolves around your child(ren), please understand that, for the rest of us, your child is just another child. Not the end all and be all of children.

  2. Please remember that, although to us your child is not the end all and be all, we do respect that, for you, she is. Please hold that same respect for the other people in this office (or formerly in this office).

  3. Please also remember that life is a two-way street. If you dish it out, be prepared to take it.

  4. When you talk about your friends' children being prettier, better, more intelligent, etc. than my friend's (your former co-worker's) children, realize that I'm going to take offense at that and that, given the mood I've been in lately, I'm likely to lash back out at you.

  5. Please also remember that, despite them being your friend, if you choose to speak ill of my friend (again, your former co-worker) or her children, I am likely to have something to say to you about them.

  6. Just because you are who you are does not give you the right to say/do whatever you want without consequences.

  7. Just because we usually get along very well also does not give you free reign to do as you please without repercussions.

  8. Going back to the issue of your child, when she is in our office, please do not let her write on, cut with scissors, colour on with highlighters, tear to pieces, break or in any other way destroy my desk or possessions. This is intensely likely to PISS ME OFF!

  9. Finally, please remember to have as much respect for other people as you demand and, indeed, are obnoxiously angry about if they don't show you. As far as I'm concerned, everyone in this office or related to this office is equal. You do not have the right in this office to act superior to anyone.


Your Boss