31 August 2009

When when when?

A lot of folks have been asking, "So, when will you actually get The Kid?"

So, here's the deal on that...there is still a LOT that has to happen before we become Plus One...

  • I still need to get fingerprinted by our local police department (the only hours in which to take care of this task...Thursdays 10:00-noon and 1:00-2:30)
  • we're waiting on the letter from the bank stating that we can afford The Kid
  • I have yet to request a letter from my workplace
  • we're waiting on letters of reference from friends
  • also still waiting on an FBI clearance confirming that we are not terrorists or members of the Most Wanted list
  • Chris and I need to submit all of our paperwork - once received - to social worker M
  • social worker M needs to write up her report (the Home Study) stating that we are fit to be parents
  • we need to submit our application to the adoption law firm
  • after applying to the law firm then we need to write our profile materials
  • profile then needs to be prepared by law firm folks and posted on the law firm website for viewing
  • then we need to wait while profile is viewed by women considering placement via adoption
  • hopefully we'll then be selected by a woman considering placement via adoption who proves to be a good "match" with us
  • then there is the waiting until the baby is born
  • then there is waiting to see if the mother will decide to parent her child instead of place her for adoption - and if that happens then we back up two steps and wait again
It may sound like we're moving fast on the adoption - and we are - but there is still a lot left to go.

So...if, as Chris has indicated on his blog, there are 150 steps in this adoption...we're on about Step #96.

Patience, my friends. Patience.

(OK, anyone who knows me will think that last line is pretty funny.)

29 August 2009

Sarah...are you out there?

If you're new to "In the present moment..." I'm referring to the Sarah who appeared in a post called Becoming a mom...for Sarah.

You can also read the comment she left me at Becoming a mom...a new idea.

I have no idea if Sarah ever returned to visit here again, if she saw the post that I wrote for her way back when, or if she has made any decisions about pursuing motherhood with her partner.

I think of her often.

It's strange and funny how life can change. How things that you thought were never possible suddenly become not only possibilities but actual realities.

A little more than a year ago if you had asked me if I was ever going to be a mom I would have given you a firm "No" in reply.

Not a "No" born out of no interest, but a "No" born out of fear and anxiety.

And here we are today...in the middle of an adoption!

Even a few months ago, when I told Chris that I had changed my mind and wanted to start a family with him....there was still fear. Still trepidation. Still anxiety. But the decision was made and we moved forward.

And the amazing thing is that the closer we get to being Plus One, the less fear, anxiety and trepidation intrudes in my life as they are continually being replaced with joy and excitement.

Don't get me wrong - there are still days where I'll suddenly think, "Can I do this? Am I good enough? Will I be a good mom?" I'd be lying if I said otherwise...but now that we're in the middle of this adoption I can't really think of anything that I'd rather be doing than becoming Plus One.

Seeing Chris' excitement and joy is...indescribably wonderful.

He's in the kitchen right now making his famous homemade salsa (y'all will have to visit sometime to try it...so yummy!), listening to Neko Case and looking very domestic and content. I'm clackering away here in the living room watching him through the wide doorway.

And I'm thinking, "In two years we'll have a toddler running around this house. Chris will be making salsa on a rainy Saturday afternoon, the Saturday afternoon music will be playing and I'll be trying to keep the Schmoopie out of her Daddy's way in the kitchen."

What a nice thought.

Not one I ever thought I'd think! But here we are.

And then I wonder about Sarah.

Are you still out there, Sarah? Are you still struggling with your fears about becoming a mom? Are you still looking for help and reassurance? Have you talked to anyone about your fears?

Are you OK?

I'm sending you healing energy, Sarah, and hope that you are finding your way.

28 August 2009

Let's get physical...part 3

*Warning*...graphic description of a mammogram to follow.

If my doctor yesterday had the personality and bedside manner of a potted plant, the mammogram technician (I have no idea what these folks are called...) today was a...I don't know, but she was the complete opposite of the Potted Plant.

All smiles and full of information and offers to answer any and all of my questions.

She walks me back to the changing area and tells me to take off everything on top and to put on the very stylish (not) short royal blue smock that ties in the front. Once this is accomplished she ushers me into the room where the mammogram contraption lives.

"Is this your first mammogram?" she asks in a perky voice.

"Yup. My very first,"

"OK then. I'll just explain everything as we go along and if you have any questions at all you just ask away."


Much more informative than the Potted Plant.

Now if you've never had one of these things done to you... basically the technician has you stand in front of this torturous looking contraption after you've removed the smock that you've warn for the 30 seconds that it takes you to walk from the dressing room to the mammogram room.

Then she gently - and then sometimes not-so-gently - takes your breast and maneuvers it onto this dark square platform of some indeterminate material (kryptonite maybe? My "superboobs" will never be the same...) Then she kind of maneuvers it some more so that it's centered. And she kind of has you move your arms this way and that while she's doing the final maneuvering. All the while chatting very cheerfully and saying little half sentences to you like:

"OK just a little-"
"And let's just move this-"
"Great. And now your chin-"
"OK, now hold this-"
"Oh, no don't-"
"OK, that's it, now just-"

And then after all of the maneuvering and shifting and tilting this way and that she finally presses a foot pedal that lowers the top plate made of some kind of industrial strength plexiglass onto your very carefully placed breast. As it's lowering, she says, "This is going to pinch just a little bit."

"Just a little bit" feels something akin to having your breast in a vice-grip.

My eyeballs feel like they're going to pop out of my head the pressure is so tight on my poor right breast.

I say, "Oooo! Wow! That really hurts!"

"It'll just be a minute," she trills back cheerfully.

"OK, that's gonna leave a mark," I say, looking down just with my eyes because I'm not supposed to tilt my chin.

Once the vice-grip is in place it really does only take a minute and then there's a long BEEEEEP and then a low rumbling sound and then suddenly the vice-grip eases up as the top plate moves. Thank God for computerization and automatic release of the vice-grip.

Then it's on to the other breast.

There's more maneuvering and tilting and cheerful half comments. Then the terrifble pressure and the blessed sound of the "BEEEEEEP rumble" and then sweet relief as the vice-grip releases.

Then there are the side views so there's a bit of a repeat on each side, but with different angles.

Unfortunately it also turns out that I have "thick" and lopsided breasts.

"I'm sorry," my lovely yet cruel technician says cheerfully, "but one of your breasts is smaller than the other."

Yeah, I know. Buying bras is fun for me.

"So, I'm going to have do do another set of films."


And so we repeat the whole process.

While my boobies were never especially perky or round to begin with...after today they feel a bit deflated, bruised and quite grumpy about the entire procedure.

Still, a mammogram is a very necessary part of life and one that I will happily undergo every year.

27 August 2009

Let's get physical...part 2

OK, so my new doctor has the bedside manner/personality of a potted plant.

She is efficient to the point of...well...she is in and out of that examining room in 6 minutes flat. I have no chance to ask any questions. I won't know if I "passed" my physical until sometime next week when the Potted Plant mails my required form back to me.

After my appointment it's off to the lab down the street to have blood drawn. Luckily I have not eaten any breakfast because one of my tests is a 14-hour fasting test for blood sugars...not that I knew I was supposed to fast because the doctor's office neglected to tell me that when I made the appointment. I just didn't have time to eat breakfast.

The one really good thing about my appointment (aside from the fact that I didn't faint when I had my blood drawn...yes, I have actually fainted in the past...) is that the Potted Plant gives me a prescription for a mammogram. Even though I already have an OBGYN, when the Potted Plant finds out that I am 41 and still haven't had my first mammogram, she writes out the scrip and indicates that she'll have the results sent to my OBGYN.

While I am at the lab having my blood drawn, I notice that in the same building there is an office for medical imaging. I walk myself over there (not having fainted I am in good shape to actually walk myself over there) and, miraculously, there's an opening for a mammogram the very next day!

For about thirty seconds I grumble a bit about having to have my boobs squashed between those plates, but in light of what my mother-in-law has just been through I am more than happy to get squashed to make sure that there is nothing insidious lurking...

So, my thanks to the Potted Plant.

Let's get physical...

No. I'm not talking about the Olivia Newton John song (although apparently one of my friends on Facebook had that rolling around in her head for days and days...and now you will, too...)

I'm talking about a real physical - like at a doctor's office.

Like the thing that I'm getting done in two hours.


As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm 41 years old and not exactly svelte. These last few years of fund raising have seen my stress level - and my eating habits - go a bit crazy.

I'm not looking forward to this doctor's appointment.

And seeing the number on the scale.

And learning my current cholesterol level. (Please be good! Please be good!)


But the adoption folks say I gotta get it done...so I'm getting it done. Blood work (aaaiiieeeeee... needles!!!) and all.

Gotta make sure I'm healthy enough to raise the Schmoopie.

"Let's get physical - physical!! I wanna get physical!!..."

Wish me luck.

24 August 2009


I'm tired.

Just signed off from Facebook saying that I was heading to bed, but the truth is that I only arrived home from work and hour ago...so while I'm tired, I'm still a little wound up from working my ridiculously LONG day and, thus, not actually sleepy.

This is one of the things that I worry about when the Little One arrives.


I've struggled with it for much of my life.

If I'm in bed before 10:00 p.m. or so I'm usually in pretty good shape to sleep the night through. Even 10:30 is OK. But once I get beyond the 10:30 mark (it's now 10:35) there's a good chance that I'll get a second wind that will wake me up for hours and hours.

What if The Kid is a night owl?

It's taken me YEARS to get to a place where I actually sleep well most nights. What happens when the Little One needs to be fed at all hours? Will I actually be able to get back to sleep? Am I going to be one of those Zombie Parents who stumbles through each day for years until the Little One manages to get a regular sleep routine?

I probably shouldn't worry about this (especially because excessive worrying and anxiety are key factors in insomnia!), but, of course, I do.

Ah well.

Think I will actually sign off now and head to be with my book. Perhaps a few pages of A Letter of Mary will send me off into peaceful slumber.



Money, money, money...

If I didn't know the adoption was real and going to happen...now I know.

My husband canceled his subscription to the Sunday Times.

(That'd be the Sunday New York Times for any non-Times readers out there...)

I just about fainted when he told me yesterday.

This may not seem like a monumental thing, but if you know Chris then you know that one of his great pleasures in life is hanging out at the kitchen table on Sunday morning reading The Times. So to cancel it...

I would have thought that he'd cancel Entertainment Weekly or Newsweek before bagging The Times.

"It's really expensive," he tells me with something akin to a shrug, "and I read a lot of it on-line anyway."

The thing is that we've been in something of a state about money these days. When it was Just The Two of Us...no problem, we're doing very OK. But now that we're going to be Plus One there's life insurance to consider, diapers, formula and baby-food, part-time day-care, saving for The Kid's college tuition...you get the drift. Expenses we just never had to consider before.

A few nights ago we were in our bedroom retreating from the oppressive heat into our only air conditioned room to read and relax. When I look over at Chris he has stopped reading, is not looking terribly relaxed and is gazing off into nowhere with that little crinkle between his eyebrows that lets me know he's not happy.

"Whatcha thinking?" I ask trying to be cheerful.

"I'm thinking about life insurance," he laments and proceeds to tell me about how expensive it's going to be for us to get a decent policy.

"We'll figure it out," I assure him.

He is not assured and continues to gaze into space...crinkle between his eyebrows firmly in place for the next few hours.

And then yesterday...the news about the cancellation of The Times.

Will this completely pay for our life insurance? No, but apparently it will defray the cost a little.

I suggest to Chris yesterday that we lose HBO from our cable bill. We hardly ever watch it. It won't be missed. And Chris is switching us to a new phone company - apparently to one that will provide just about the same service we have now for about half the cost.

And we're now thinking about other ways that we can economize.

The crinkle between his eyebrows has eased up a bit.

Money, money, money....we'll figure it all out.

22 August 2009

Wow...that's all I can say...well, not quite all

I was looking at some adoption stuff online today and came across a website put together by a group of mothers who gave up children to adoption and who firmly believe that they were coerced and manipulated by the adoption industry and adoptive parents.

Here's what these ladies have to say about me, my husband and other prospective adoptive parents:

Just like a sexual predator looks for vulnerable women and youth to exploit, reproductive predators hunt for a vulnerable expectant mother so they can persuade or pressure her to give up her baby...They might be your doctor's receptionist, your sister-in-law, your highschool counsellor, or the nice neighbours next door. What they have in common is that they want your baby.


That's pretty harsh, don't you think?

The authors of this particular website indicated that reproductive predators (apparently that'd be me and my husband) will use among other methods: manipulation, coercion, lies, fraud, pressure, threats, guilt, and bribery to achieve the ultimate goal of stealing a baby from a poor, naive young woman.

It truly pains me to know that there are people out there who genuinely believe that Chris and I are going through this process by following some nefarious plan that involves using any means necessary to get ourselves a baby.

That there are people in the world who actually liken us to predators.


I mean...how do I respond to that?

There was a time when I would have gotten really angry or upset. When I would have had harsh words in return. Or when I would have crawled into bed because I was so hurt by the angry words...

But now...not so much.

I can't be angry. Obviously the women who set up this website are suffering and grieving terribly and for that I wish them peace, healing and freedom from their suffering.

As for any mother out there who - for whatever reason - is considering adoption today, please know that:

  • I don't believe that I am entitled to your child nor do I feel that you are not entitled to your child because of your circumstances in life.
  • I hope and wish for you that you CAN keep your child.
  • you can somehow find the strength and resources to remain with your Little One.
  • as a prospective adoptive parent I do NOT view you as a breeder or baby maker or the answer to my prayers - the giver of a miracle. Your child isn't a gift to be given away.
  • I know that you must be struggling terribly under the weight of the most difficult decision that you will ever make.
  • if you DO decide that adoption is best for you then I hope you might feel that Chris and I would be worthy of raising your child. It would be a privilege and an honor.
  • Chris and I are trying our very best to move through this adoption process with honesty, integrity, respect for all parties involved, empathy, and the best interests of the Little One in our hearts and minds.

It's late and I'm tired...so, I think that I'll sign off for now. Still a little shaken by what I've read, but at least secure in the knowledge that while they may think that I'm an evil person out to do harm, I know that I am not.

19 August 2009

Home invasion - er - inspection...done!

Social worker M made her inspection. After giving her the grand tour of the house, we sat out on our deck where we fed her fruit and chatted about this, that and the other thing...mostly to do with the house and the adoption.

M left at 6:45 p.m.

The house was (and still is) quite clean and, aside from the fact that the temperature during the home inspection was only just shy of what it must feel like on the surface of the sun, the visit went extremely well.

Apparently we passed our home visit.

We passed!

Chris and I are breathing huge sighs of relief.


Have I mentioned that we passed??? That M said this seemed like it would be a great place to raise a kid??? That she was impressed with the gardening we've done and the changes we've made to the house???

We passed!!!

So now we just have to get the rest of the paperwork done and submitted in the next three weeks or so.

(Oh yeah - and actually apply to the placement agency.)

We're one big step closer to bringing Schmoopie home.

18 August 2009

Uh-oh...cooling it

This is the e-mail I received today from social worker M in regards to our impending home visit tomorrow:

I wish you would quit cleaning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read a little of the blog yesterday, and meant to email you last night, but I got side tracked. Whatever you have done is ENOUGH!! Its tooo hot! Go take a walk by the water.

She added as a P.S.:

I haven't looked in anyone's closet in 20 years, and I don't do basements, attics or garages.

Oh dear...

Does putting away two baskets of clean laundry count as cleaning?

17 August 2009

The "all-clear"...almost

My mother-in-law S is OK.

I don't mean in the sense that she's OK - like an OK person, OK personality, OK looks...

I mean...she's OK in that she is apparently cancer-free.



The good news came this evening via the phone.

Chris gets on the phone and not two minutes later tells me to pick up. S is on the other end of the phone.


My heart rate goes up with my first thoughts being, "Omigod, what's wrong? Who's in the hospital? Are The Girls OK? Something happened to P."

It's amazing the terrible, fearful thoughts one's mind can conjure up in the space of just a second or two.

"We saw the surgeon today," says a tearful S, "and they did the full scan and there's no cancer. The chemo did its job."

I can hear Chris sniffling and crying upstairs. My eyes fill with tears, too.

S isn't totally out of the woods yet. There is still a surgery to be gone through, healing time and then radiation...all just to make certain that damn cancer is good and gone.

But according to the surgeon...today's result is simply spectacular.

The best result that could be hoped for.

S's struggle with breast cancer isn't something that I've addressed in this blog...and not because I was worried about her privacy or worried about sharing her story. She has certainly been very open with everyone about her experience of cancer.

The truth is that I haven't wanted to deal with it for very selfish reasons.

Writing about S's cancer on the blog somehow made it too real.

Not that it wasn't ever real for her or for our family - we all certainly noticed her missing hair and how tired she was when we'd see her these last six months. She talked about the chemo and how she was doing. We asked about the chemo and how she was feeling. There were long discussions about white blood cell counts and having to hold off on chemo because those white counts were too low. S's cancer had become a daily part of reality. We talked about it. It was there in the room all of the time.

And yet...

...by not addressing it here on the blog - here where I've been working through so many issues - somehow...in a way... I could sort of pretend that it wasn't happening.

Because quite frankly I didn't want to - wouldn't - couldn't - admit to myself the possibility of a world without S in it.

I can't even imagine how relieved S must feel today. And her wonderful husband J and their son P. And the rest of the family.

Such relief.

Such sweet relief.

And for perfectly and completely selfish reasons - I'm so incredibly relieved for Chris and me and our Little One.

To put it quite simply, S must be here along with all of our Little One's other fantastic grandparents to help us navigate the waters of parenthood and to guide our Little One through her life...for a very, very, very long time.

16 August 2009

Home visit impending....aaaiieeee

The house is now in some semblance of order.

Dirt, grime and cat hair are not quite defeated, but at least at bay for the time being.

I still have a few closets that need sorting out, but for the most part we're ready for social worker M's visit on Wednesday evening. (And just in case, I'm leaving work several hours early to do any last minute vacuuming, mopping, cleaning up of cat barf or other special cat gifts, etc. that might be required for the visit.)

Even though the house is ready, somehow I don't feel quite ready. Still pretty nervous in spite of the assurances from M that we'll do just fine. I was going to blog about my nervousness, but my lovely husband beat me to the punch and said much of what was going on in my head in his post White Gloves:

So why am I nervous?

I think it's because M's visit to our home will be a tangible reminder that every aspect of our life is being judged right now as part of this home study process. The house -- our home -- is a reflection on us in the same way as the financial records, criminal background check, autobiographies, letters of reference, and other paperwork. M is getting a far deeper and more intimate look into our lives than anyone but perhaps our parents, siblings, and our absolute closest friends in the world. But while we know that our parents, siblings, and friends know us, trust us, love us, and believe in us, M is new to our lives and our future as parents rest on the decisions she makes.

Having her at our home, even if she doesn't give it the stereotypical white glove inspection, is just another step in opening ourselves up for someone to evaluate us and judge our fitness as parents.

My husband is a very smart and thoughtful man.

He's going to be a great dad.

I mean the man mopped the entire basement! That's got to count for a lot, right? Big points there, right?

Bring on the home inspection!

15 August 2009

Home visit...

Chris has been doing yard-work like mad today.

(Thanks, Honey! The front yard looks fabulous!)

I had to go to my office for a good portion of the day, but once I was done with work it was off to Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and the pet supply place to get bunches of stuff we need for the house.

And now I'm home and girding my loins for the onslaught...

Tonight it's cleaning cleaning cleaning and organizing organizing organizing.


(Cue scary music here...)

Because social worker M arrives on Wednesday evening to inspect our house!

This is a bit nerve wracking for me because I'm not exactly the greatest housekeeper.

Let's face it...if I'm totally honest...I kind of stink at it.

My mom once said to me about cleaning, "I don't know...sometimes I feel like I'm just pushing the dirt around."

I kinda feel the same way. But I'm going to try my best to get the place looking ship shape for our impending home invasion - er - I mean - home inspection. Luckily Chris is a good cleaner and keeps me moving when we have to clean.

Just heard the washing machine finish up...so I guess it's that time.

Look out, Dirt and Grime! Here I come!

14 August 2009

What's in a name?...post-script

My mom is a good sport.

I mentioned our little disagreement over a suitable grandma-type honorific in my previous post What's in a name?

She sent an e-mail yesterday and signed it, "mosh-mosh."

Hee hee.


Chris is amazing.

I worked late last evening...a preview of my life for the next 4 months. It's "that time of year" in my work world.

I arrive home at 8:45 to find Chris downstairs at his desk.

"Whatcha up to?" I ask.

"Adoption stuff," he replies cheerfully.

One thing that I especially love about my husband is that when he's really "into" a project, he is so cheerful about it.

I can see from his computer screen that he has scanned his passport to make copies for our Plus One binder. He has apparently also scanned my passport. And made requests for our birth certificates. And re-read the list of stuff we need and informs me that certain documents require the preparer to sign and seal the documents in official envelopes and to sign across the envelope seal. And is planning to head to Portsmouth Town Hall the next day to get a copy of our marriage certificate.

"I think that we have extra copies of that," I say and within half a minute I produce the necessary marriage certificate copy.


One less trip for Chris or me.

And I actually participated, albeit very briefly, in some of today's adoption-related activity.

"Tomorrow I'll call the local police to see what we need to do to get our letters from them," Chris says.

My husband...a veritable whirlwind of adoption activity.

Bless his motivated little soul!

I take my somewhat less motivated soul and butt to the couch to watch an episode of "Clean House."


11 August 2009

What's in a name?...

At lunch on the first day of our visit with my parents, my mother turns to me and says, "I can't believe you've crushed my dream!!"

I'm a little taken aback by her exclamation.

And what dream would this be?

"I always wanted a grandchild named 'Schmoopie'!" she says.

She and my father laugh.

My mom is referring, of course, to my Edna...Gertrude...Moon Unit post and one of the names we (ha ha) "briefly considered and rejected"...


After lunch my parents start referring to our eventual Plus One as "Schmoopie"...

All weekend long.

Of course, this leads to another discussion that we've been having for some time now...the discussion about what my mom is going to be called by The Kid when The Kid is old enough to call her anything.

Chris and I believe that small children should refer to adults not just by their first names, but with a special honorific. Some family names: Captain, Gram, Nana, Babci (pronounced "Bop - chee"...Polish for Grandma), CoCo, Ama (pronounced "Ah - muh"), Dapa (like "Papa"), PapaJohn, Auntie Jenn and Uncle Chris.

My mother wishes the child to call her "Ellen Marsha," which, while different than her everyday name (Ellen), still does not contain any special kind of honorific that would identify her in some way as our Little One's grandmother.

My father has expressed his wish to be called "Dr. Don." OK. There's an honorific there. We'll take it.

So there were several discussions this weekend...

Finally, at one point I say to my mom," Fine, if you want to be called 'Ellen Marsha' that's what we'll call you, but chances are that The Kid won't be able to pronounce it and she'll end up calling you 'EllenMosh" or something like 'Mosh- Mosh.'"

As I say this, Chris looks at me with a gleam in his eye.

I look back with an amused and just slightly malicious gleam in my eye.

My mother looks at the two of us with an expression that clearly says, "Oh no! No way!"



Schmoopie and Mosh-Mosh.

Life in Nameland is good.

10 August 2009


Chris and I have been enjoying a visit with my parents.

It's been quite relaxing.

Eating. Chatting. Lounging inside during the crazy rainstorms that Lake Michigan sent our way over the last few days. Lounging by the pool during the one good weather day that we had. Lovely dinners out. A few movies. Reading. More reading. Loafing around on Facebook. Playing cards.


I'm feeling pretty rested and rejuvenated for the insane months of work ahead.

But it hit me today - our last day here - that this is likely the very last vacation we'll take for many years that will allow us to lounge, loaf and just relax.

In the near future we'll be Plus One.

We'll have a baby who will require feedings, numerous diaper changes, rocking, walking, soothing....

And then we'll have a toddler who will need feedings, trips to the potty, chasing around while he/she explores like mad...

And then he/she will be older and there will need to be entertaining games and activities...

No more loafing and lounging for us.

Ah well.

There are certain trade-offs that one must incur to become Plus One.

Am I crushed to be losing our loafing and lounging vacations?

Not really.

However, think I might sign off so that I can enjoy just a few more hours of lounging around...

08 August 2009

Mothers and daughters....

Had a long heart-to-heart talk with my mom last night...

I wonder when it is that daughters start to see their mothers as human beings - flawed and wonderful...

and when mothers start to see their daughters as adults - needing to talk things through, but not necessarily needing mothering...

When is it that we forgive each other for our pasts?

When do we move forward through our relationships as adults who love and respect each other - enjoying each other as adults in ways that we couldn't when we were both much younger and growing into our current selves?

Is there a single moment when this happens?

Or is it multiple moments over time as we both grow and change into the women that we are?

It's a strange, interesting and lovely transition.

06 August 2009


We’re sitting in T.F. Green Airport in Providence.


Because our airplane is broken.

And why is our airplane broken?

Because we didn’t switch seats with a guy and his little daughter so they could be near a mom and her two little girls. They had all just met in the gate area before boarding and thought it would be great fun to sit together.

Bad karma…that’s what it is. We’re responsible for the broken plane. If we had only just switched seats.

But here’s the thing - The guy is really obnoxious in the way he asks us to move… Mainly because he doesn’t actually “ask” he just says, “You don’t mind switching with us so we can sit together. You can take our seats up in row 7.”

A window and a middle seat in a three-seat row - compared to the Aisle-window combo in a two-seat row that we would be giving up and he would be taking. And then there are the 30 people already lined up behind us. It’s going to be a major pain the ass for us to head back ten rows to take two seats that we don’t want.

“You don’t mind, right?”

Then the flight attendant comes over to us to give it a try. At least she asks nicely, “Would you folks mind moving so these unaccompanied kids can sit with – huh? Oh, what?” she realizes that she hasn’t quite got the situation correct and addresses Guy with Daughter and Woman with Two Girls, “Oh, you are their parents? Oh” she smiles uncertainly and continues to use, “Well, it seems like they’d like to sit together so, would you mind moving?”

We don’t look like we’re going for it so she continues, “They’re closer to the front of the plane…better seats…away from all these kids…I’ll be happy to give you a complimentary drink.”

We kinda DO mind and finally say, “I think we’re going to stay where we are.”

“Are you sure? Free drink…”

It’s nine o’clock in the morning. Even if Chris and I were drinkers…that's just a little early to be tippling.

We’re all set.

The flight attendant looks defeated, gives up and moves to the back of the plane.

Chris turns to me and says, sotto voce, “Great. Now we’re the really uncooperative people.”

Guy with Daughter finally finds two people to switch seats with him and his daughter so that they're now sitting right behind Mom with Two Girls.

The captain makes his announcement about when we’re going to take off.

And then nothing happens. For quite some time.

We doze fitfully.

Turns out after 45 minutes of nothing happening that the heat-tubey-thingamajiggy is busted and can be fixed, but that they have to get the part, get a mechanic, blah blah blah.

So we return to the gate where we are unloaded and here we still are.

Five hours later…

Bad karma.

Chris stands in line (along with everyone else from the flight who is missing connecting flights) to chat with the gate agent about what happens next in terms of a new connecting flight.

While in line, Chris hops on his trusty iPhone to contact Northwest to see about a new connecting flight. Why waste time standing in line if they can take care of this over the phone? He notices as he is standing there woman Woman with Two Girls from our flight. She is struggling to keep them in the gate seats and get herself in line. So Chris kindly offers to hold her a place in line.

Quite some time later after Chris has made our arrangements via the iPhone he sees some folks he knows getting on another flight and explains that he is just holding a place in a line for another passenger.

Woman with Two Girls, who has also apparently made arrangements via phone, comes over to Chris and says, “Have you been in line all this time just for me?”

“Well, yeah,” he says.

She looks a little sick, “Oh! That was SO nice, but you didn’t have to.”

“Hey, you’ve got your two kids and we’re not going anywhere fast so it’s really not a problem.”

Turns out that she no longer needs the spot in line, gives her profuse thanks again and gathers up her children to track down the boarding passes she'll need for the US West flight on which she and the girls have been re-booked.

Karma restored…

05 August 2009

Practice makes perfect....


Aka "Annabananabel" and "Noisy One" and "The Grrrrreeeeyyyy Bullet!!!"

She just turned 19.

She is an old kitty.

And yet...still very sprightly. Very feisty. Very athletic and graceful.

And very very very very very very very very noisy.

Have I mentioned how noisy she is?

"MROW!" is the sound most mornings that wakes us up...not our alarm clocks. And, unfortunately, while Annabel is as reliable as our alarm clocks in that we can always count on her to make noise every morning, she is not quite as reliable as our alarm clocks in that we never know quite what time that first "MROW!" is going to sound....could be 2:43 a.m. or, like today, 5:48 a.m.

The thing is that she doesn't stop with just one "MROW!!" They go on and on and on. Sometimes we just ignore her. Other times Chris tries to coax her back to bed. And still other times I say in a very tired voice, "Annabel, I am going to smother you with a pillow!"

(For those of you animal lovers out there - I'M KIDDING when I say that about the pillow...I love my Annabel...)

Our sleep deficit keeps increasing the older and louder Annabel gets. And, while I am pretty tired as a result, it's probably good practice for when the Little One arrives.

Practice may make perfect in most things...but this waking up at all hours and feeling sort of zombie-like throughout the day is something that I don't particularly wish to practice anymore. I'm good at it now thanks to Annabel.

Bring on the Little One!


04 August 2009

Sweet relief...part 2

My friend Connie writes on my Facebook page today

Jenn you are going to do just fine. Thinking of you we are. That was my Yoda for the day. Breathe.

I reply to her

Thank you, Master Yoda. Breathing I am.

My nerves were pretty frayed this morning thinking about our interviews with social worker M scheduled for this afternoon.

Luckily...all went well.

M seemed to find my autobiography interesting and enjoyed at least one of the attachments I included. She smiled a lot and even laughed.


Sigh of sweet relief.

Nerves of steel...


No nerves of steel here...at least, not for me. I can't speak for Chris.

We have our individual interviews with social worker M this evening and I'm nervous.

Like REALLY nervous.

Toward the end of our interview as a couple last week I finally couldn't stand it anymore and asked M, "So, are we doing OK? Do you think we're good candidates to be parents?"

She gave us a nice smile, but not really much of an answer.

I'm going to take her smile as a good sign, but still...

As y'all no doubt are aware...I'm a dork (and just in case you forgot that fact, please refer back to my post My fantasy...)

And when I get nervous I talk a lot...and get kind of goofy...and rely on humor to get me through my bout of nerves.

M is very very nice, but I don't think that she and I quite have the same sense of humor.

And that makes me more nervous.

Which means I'll babble more and make more sarcastic/humorous remarks.

You see how this is going to go, don't you?

Maybe I'll get there early and meditate...get calm and centered.


Superman I'm not...no nerves of steel here.

Wish me luck.

03 August 2009

Sweet relief...

Our autobiographies are done.



And e-mailed off to our lovely social worker, M.

Huge sigh of relief.

I'm a pretty decent writer, but this weekend served to remind me of one very sad fact about my writing....

I...a m...s l o w e r...t h a n...m o l a s s e s.

Chris walks upstairs at 8:00 p.m. and announces, "I'm done."


Holy buckets, Batman! I still have 5 sections to go!

"You want me to make you something to eat?" he asks, with a kind look that says, "I feel your pain."

After a late dinner (thank you, HoneyBunny!) I remove myself from my chair in the living room (Ow! My butt!) to our kitchen table to try to pound out the last sections. It's painful how slow I am.

At 11:33 p.m. I type the final line of my autobiography. Almost 11 hours after I started working on it yesterday...and a grand total of 19 hours worth of work.

Sweet relief!

Then...turned everything (autobiography and attachments) into pdf.s and sent them off to M at around midnight.

Poor M.

Chris and I each wrote 10 pages...somewhat beyond the requested 5-7 pages each. I even included additional reading in the version of 4 attachments. How she is going to read all of this prior to our visits with her tomorrow I have no idea.

I hope she'll at least be entertained.

01 August 2009

Autobiography h-e-double hockey sticks...

Chris and I are both overachievers.

It's true.

And in the case of the autobiographies we each have to write for the home-study process this is not necessarily a good thing.

Chris has been camped out all day and into the evening in our lower level office clackering away on his desktop computer while I spent half the day camped out in our living room and the other half on the deck also clackering away on my laptop (trying to be productive while enjoying an absolutely gorgeous day.)

The results so far:
  • 13 pages of outline for Chris
  • 6 pages of prose for Jenn (I'm not even half-way through the questions I'm supposed to address)
  • Seriously sore butts
  • Seriously aggravated and hungry felines whose early evening meal is now one hour overdue (Forest took it upon herself to leap on our kitchen island to scavenge for food.)
Chris' Facebook status currently reads:

Eight hours and counting as I work on my "5 to 7 page" autobiographical outline for the home study. Ha! The outline for this thing is 13 pages all by itself. I feel like I'm back in high school, have been told to write a 10-page paper and will instead be turning in a 20-pager.

We seriously need an editor.

And new chairs.

Ow! My butt!