24 June 2010


I think that I'm kind of done trying to educate myself about adoption from "the other side."

As a result of a respectful comment that I recently left on another blog I have been in turn called a "predator" by two other bloggers. Additionally, one of those bloggers wrote the following comment when I invited her to visit my blog - specifically the post about Compassion:

Don’t try to teach us compassion–we who have lost our children deserve to be given compassion!


Yes, you do.

That was one of the main points of the post.

And, in truth, I wasn't trying to teach anyone about compassion. I was simply expressing my feelings and thoughts about compassion. Asking the question: Why can't we be compassionate with each other?

But she was having nothing to do with me.

There can be truly respectful dialogue among the parties involved in the adoption triad.  I am well aware of this because I have been extremely fortunate to have had some amazing, respectful and thought-provoking dialogue and interactions with other bloggers who sit firmly on the opposite side of the adoption fence.

And then there are interactions like these - full of name calling and hostility - that leave me feeling sad and stomped on.

So, I think that I'm going to take an extended hiatus from visiting the blogs of those folks who are vehemently in the "against adoption in all forms" camps. I've been there and tried my best to educate myself. Read the stories. Asked my questions. Genuinely wanted to (and still want to) understand how Chris and I can make our adoption the best it can be - not just for us, but for the child we will raise and the parents of that child.  I've tried my hardest to be respectful.

As such, I will always welcome respectful dialogue from other bloggers - in any part of the adoption triad - and sincerely hope that those folks who have visited me in the past will continue to do so and to leave me their candid, thought-provoking comments. I hope these women know how honored I am that they took the time to engage with me about their views. And hope that I've expressed my appreciation at having the opportunity to converse with them.

However, I believe that I am done going out into the blogosphere and intentionally opening myself up to a stomping from anyone who doesn't like me - or even apparently hates me - because I am a prospective adoptive parent.

It's gotten too hard.

23 June 2010

Home improvement...

Sorry for the radio silence on my end of the world.

Life has simply gotten in the way of my blogging.

Darn life!

That and I haven't felt like I have much to say these days. Well, that's not totally true...I have stuff that's been percolating in my brain - some of it adoption related and much of it stuff that I'm working through in therapy - but none of it is quite ready to come out and play.

Hence...radio silence.

So, in the spirit of at least getting back in touch I will mention that our house is finally on the mend.


After finally admitting that the flood damage was just too much for us to handle on our own, my fabulous husband tracked down and hired a young energetic contractor guy to come in and fix the place. And fix it he has!

Wet dry wall - out!

New dry wall - in!

Plaster - up!

Today Young Energetic Contractor Guy returns to install new water-proof PVC baseboards.

It's wonderful knowing that soon our basement will be returned to us and we can get back to living in our entire house - not just three rooms.

The best part of having Young Energetic Contractor Guy come in is that we asked him to demolish a small storage room right off the main living area. It seems as though the original owners of the house intended to make the room into a bathroom, but only ever installed a crummy tiny little itty-bitty mostly useless sink.

No toilet.

At one time we looked into having a toilet installed, but it was just crazy expensive. So we used the room for storage. By having the room demolished, it opened up a huge amount of space in our laundry/utility/furnace room. Enough room that we can finally install a big useful functional utility sink and a laundry sorting/folding table! And still have room for storage!


We will also be installing what apparently should be in every New England home - a sump pump.

Which, of course, we'll probably never actually need considering they're saying that the floods here were a freak thing in a "once every 100 years" kind of way.

But we're taking no chances.

The sump pump goes in the now enlarged utility room in the lowest part of the room. So that - on the off chance that more than three feet of water decides to make its way up through our foundation anytime in the future - we'll be ready for it!

(Oh, and by the way, in case you ever experience this particular kind of flooding - where the water table is SO high that it has nowhere to go except up through your home's foundation...just know that according to your homeowners' insurance - even the kind with a flood rider - that this is apparently considered "normal seepage." Not exactly sure how anyone can think that a foot of standing water in your basement is "normal seepage" but that's what our insurance company told us. Yeah, whatever...)

The other great thing about having our basement re-done post flood is that it forced us to get rid of a lot of things. We used a large finished room off of the main room for all the years we've lived here as a storage room and as the cats' toilet room.

Stupid really to have wasted such valuable space for storage and kitty toilet.

So now that room is pretty much cleaned out.

The kitty litter box is currently living in the bathroom, but will be moved down to the utility room upon its return to the basement.

So that leaves a nice finished room (listed originally as a bedroom) free for my use as a studio. I'll be moving my drafting table and all of my art supplies from their current location in our guest room to the downstairs.

This is a very good thing.

Not only for me to have a dedicated space I can call my own for my creative endeavors, but also because it finally means that we can begin the process of converting our guest room into the baby's room.

"I think it's time," I tell Chris, "to get that room a little more ready for the kid. I didn't want to have a whole nursery set up when we started the adoption, but I think it's at least time to clear out the room and paint it. To say to the Universe, 'OK, we're really ready. Send us a kid.'"

He gives me a sideways glance.

"You really want to paint that room?"


And, conveniently, one of the colors that I had been thinking of for my new studio wasn't quite right, but it would be perfect for a little girl's bedroom!

We'll see if Chris is OK with this, but since he gave me a "I'll leave the nursery decoration all to you" just a few weeks back, I'm thinking that the color will be approved.

16 June 2010

Insomnia...part 43

From a prior post:

Last week I spend 40 minutes grousing to my therapist about how aggravated I am all of the time by work.

"Do you have the book Co-Dependent No More?" she asks me in her lovely calm therapist voice.

"Yeah," I reply, not liking where this is going.

"Maybe you ought to read the chapter on 'Detachment'," she suggests in her very gentle therapist-y way.


Last night I am once again sitting in my therapist's tiny office in the green, mushy, moderately comfy chair with my feet up on the ottoman.

"Look, I did my homework!" I chirp cheerfully as I pull the Co-dependant book from my bag. "I'm reading the chapter on detachment."

"And how's that going for you?" she asks. "Is that helping?"

"Yeah..ummm," I say, thinking of the very aggravating afternoon that I've just had at my office and feeling my blood pressure soar, "Not so much."

Present day...3:33 a.m.

Here I am awake and obsessing over work.

Thoughts of work wake me at 2:54. So I move out to the living room to try to get back to sleep without waking Chris.

And yet here I am more than 30 minutes later fully awake, feeling beyond aggravated and blogging about it.

The thing is that I don't want to feel like this. I know that my response to this particular situation at work - to this particular person - is totally out of proportion with the situation and now getting kind of out of control. Hence my being awake at this ridiculous hour blogging instead of getting the rest that I desperately need to cope with my job!

This goes way beyond me being angry about work...this is anger coming up that I've been carrying around for a long, long time.

In regards to anger (or any extreme emotion) directed at a situation or at someone else, my therapist recently used the phrase, "When it's really intense...it's yours."

This anger I'm feeling...it's pretty intense.

So I guess it's mine.


And the things is - I really don't care to to let this person at work trigger me like this.

He just isn't worth it.

Me getting so angry doesn't affect him or help me resolve the situation.

It only hurts me.

Why am I so good at hurting myself?


Um, no...not so much.

Yeah, actually not at all.

I have the feeling that my therapist is going to be a wee bit disappointed at our next session.

Maybe now that I have blogged about this - acknowledged that it's happening - I can get a bit more shut eye. If I shut down the computer and manage to get myself back to sleep I could still get in a few more hours.


Or I should say...g'morning.

13 June 2010


We have too much stuff.

Seriously, how the heck did we accumulate all of this stuff?

Books, furniture, tchotchkes, weird kitchen gadgets and serving items, miscellaneous goofy things, more books, more tchotchkes, more books, more tchotchkes.

We got STUFF.

So yesterday we have a yard sale  - primarily to get rid of all of the stuff that we had been storing in our large and small basement storage rooms because we're finally having a professional come in to deal with the flood damage to our basement.

Hosting a yard sale is exhausting. 

You stay up WAY TOO LATE the night before pricing all of your various and sundry stuff. The kitchen and living room are your basic staging areas. This is so you can haul the stuff out to the driveway and front lawn post-haste the morning of the sale in something of an organized fashion. Then you get up CRAZY EARLY on a Saturday morning to engage in the set up of your stuff. You've placed ads in the paper and on Craig's List. Ads that list what assorted bargains yard salers might expect to find amidst your particular treasure trove. 

Ads that say, "No early birds please."

But, of course, there's at least that one guy who shows up 50 minutes early when you have maybe a third of the stuff actually outside and set up for display. He hovers around for about ten minutes while you're hauling stuff outside like mad. You hope that he doesn't just grab something and leave while you're not there supervising.

Your mother-in-law and uncle-in-law arrive with the stuff that they'd like you to sell on your behalf so you give them different colored stickers than yours so you can figure out who gets what $ in sales.

And then the fun begins once you're all done setting up and the raging hordes of yard salers descend upon your driveway and yard. 

Some look at every single item you have on display. Study them to see what might actually be of value or of need for them.

Others do a quick walk through to see what jumps out at them immediately. Some of these folks leap back into their cars to head onto the next sale, hoping that the next sale had better junk than yours. 

Others find just what they didn't know they were looking for. A lovely woman practically runs up to me with a wooden serving tray I received for Christmas a number of years ago. It has a large rooster on it and has sat unused in a cabinet since the day I received it. "I can't believe you have this!" the woman exclaims, "My mom just re-did her kitchen and everything is roosters. She's going to love this!"

Some meander around with no apparent method of selection and ask, "How much for this?" for every item they pick up in spite of the price tag on the item located right next to their thumb.

Still others do the sloooooooooowwwwwwwwww drive-by in their cars...some to turn around and actually get out to shop, while others just keep on driving. Who knows what they were looking for.

And lastly, you have the quick drive-by people. These are the folks who apparently and miraculously can tell in 30 seconds if you have or don't have good junk. (These are the same folks who drive by with their cell phones clutched to their ears, no doubt reporting to other yard salers, "Yeah, you can skip this one. Nothing good here!")

Everyone wants a bargain.

Some will simply hand over the $ no questions asked when you tally up their purchases.

And others...

"OK, that's five paper back books for $2, the serving platter for 25 cents, the potholders for 25 cents, the set of 6 candles for 25 cents. That makes the total $2.75."

"How about a dollar?"


We keep our books in beautiful condition. Particularly Chris. He can read a paperback book and leave it looking brand new as if no one had ever even opened it. I'm getting better at it (particularly now that I don't read in bed much anymore and so do not fall asleep on top of my books...) So we didn't think it unreasonable to charge 50 cents per paper back or 5 paperbacks for $2.00 for our almost pristine books.  Considering that paperbacks today cost almost $9, we thought 50 cents was a pretty good deal.

One yard saler later in the day is simply UP IN ARMS about our pricing.

"When I have a yard sale, I only charge 25 cents for a paperback," she says testily.

She weasels the entire Peter Robinson set of Alan Banks mysteries - all 14 paperbacks! -  out of us for 3 bucks.

Another gentleman, a neighbor of ours who drives a very expensive car, wants Chris' $120 diving flippers for a buck. Chris holds out for the $10 he has listed on the price tag. Cheap neighbor guy acquiesces after a while of making jokes and trying to get Chris to relent on the price. 

I like the lady to who drives up to our yard sale in a brand new Jaguar.

A. Brand. New. Jaguar.


"Maybe this is how she can afford that Jag," says Chris to me after Jaguar Lady leaves.

At the end of the day a lot less of our stuff is left in the yard, but there is still lots of it. 


Not our most successful yard sale venture, but still...there is less then when we started. 

Woohoo! Make this stuff go away!

Until our next yard sale...

As we are hauling stuff back inside, I say to Chris, "For Christmas and birthdays this year, can we ask for tickets to things? I don't want anymore stuff."

11 June 2010

New look...(all over the place blog post...)

Gotta love it when Blogger comes out with new templates. I love messing around with the colors and the formats. So much fun.

Perhaps I missed my calling as a graphic designer?

Yeah, maybe not.

So, anyway, after about 30 minutes of fooling around with the new templates - voila! - a bit of a new look for the blog (although I am nothing if not predictable and it just has to be green and purple!)

Not much news about the adoption...unfortunately.

We'll try to schedule a conference call for next week with the new rep from our facilitator. Apparently, the gal who encouraged us to consider a mom who smoked heavily through her entire pregnancy is no longer employed by our facilitators.

Go figure.

I'm not sure that the new gal is going to have much to tell us. And, in fact, I'm still unsure what the "client liaison" does exactly since our original one seemed to have no clue how to help us except by suggesting the whole smoking change.

Truth is...as I mentioned in an earlier post...kind of tired of the whole thing. The waiting and the wondering. So, unless people ask me specifically about the adoption I'm not spending a whole lot of time thinking about it.

Mostly I'm thinking about work these days because it has been a tremendous and seemingly constant source of aggravation for me. I've just been a huge, walking, seething ball of anger. So much so that I can't seem to let it go at the end of the day. I come home fuming. I vent to Chris. I go to bed fuming.

It's not good.

Last week I spend 40 minutes grousing to my therapist about how aggravated I am all of the time by work.

"Do you have the book Co-Dependent No More?" she asks me in her lovely calm therapist voice.

"Yeah," I reply, not liking where this is going.

"Maybe you ought to read the chapter on 'Detachment'," she suggests in her very gentle therapist-y way.


Knew that was coming.

So, essentially my therapist is telling me that I'm being obsessive and controlling about this particular issue at work.


Knew that was coming.

Last night I am once again sitting in my therapist's tiny office in the green, mushy, moderately comfy chair with my feet up on the ottoman.

"Look, I did my homework!" I chirp cheerfully as I pull the Co-dependant book from my bag. "I'm reading the chapter on detachment."

"And how's that going for you?" she asks. "Is that helping?"

"Yeah..ummm," I say, thinking of the very aggravating afternoon that I've just had at my office and feeling my blood pressure soar, "Not so much."

She looks at me sympathetically and then launches into trying to help me detach from my anger about my work.

Gotta love therapists.

I leave the session feeling more calm than I have in days.

This morning I forget to set my alarm, which is bad in that I missed a trip to the gym, but is good in that I was feeling a bit droopy yesterday - always a sign that I'm on the verge of getting sick. So a long night of sleep was probably the best thing for me instead of hauling my butt out of bed to hit the gym.

And in other news...

Yard sale!!

That's right.

We finally found someone reliable and reasonably priced to come and deal with our very flood damaged basement because we finally admitted that we were just too overwhelmed to do it ourselves.

And he's coming on Monday.

Which means that we have to get everything out of the basement so he has room to work.

Which means that tonight after work will be a mad scramble to haul everything up from the basement that has yet to be hauled up. Then we have to price everything and scour the rest of the house for more stuff to sell.

Gotta love yard sales.

And now that I have rambled somewhat incoherently here I must be off to have some breakfast and then get myself off to work.

Think maybe I'll bring my copy of Co-dependent No More with me...

I was going to say, "You never know, I might need it."

But, quite frankly, I'm going to need it.

09 June 2010

Not much to say...

6:09 a.m.


I've actually been awake since 5:42 and probably should have hauled my butt to the gym then, but I was feeling SO groggy and unmotivated...

Never shut down my laptop last evening so here I am.

But the thing is...I just don't have a whole lot to say. So, what the hell am I doing here?

Trying to work up the energy and motivation to head to the gym.

Up until this past Monday I had actually been to the gym for 18 consecutive days and would have made it 19 on Monday except that I overslept, brought my gym clothes with me to work with a plan to hit the treadmill after work, but then got stuck working late. By the time I left my office it was after 8:30 p.m. and I just cannot exercise that late in the evening.

Wakes me right up.

So, here I am today with the time to work out, at the time of day when I prefer working out, but not much energy.

In part, it's because I failed to follow my regular routine, which involves laying out my clothes the night before so I can jump into them and GO. But last night I fell asleep on the couch. Chris sent me to bed. I stumbled my way to the bedroom where I promptly passed out in bed. Now...this morning...gym clothes are down on the laundry lines. And my socks are back in the bedroom where Chris is asleep. So not only do I have to go to two places in the house to get myself ready, but I run the risk of waking my exhausted husband (huge proposal at work for him...rather hellish week...)

Some excuses, eh?

Yeah, they sound pretty lame to me, too...

OK, my alarm is about to ring so I think that I will get myself ready to go.

Hmmm...for not having much to say, I seem to have had much to say.

06 June 2010

Beachbody...not quite

A colleague of mine is on Day 4 of "P90X" from Beachbody.

Until he started Facebooking about P90X, I had never heard of it. So I make a quick visit to the company website where I learn that by using the P90X home training system ("our most extreme home fitness training system ever!! Just 3 payments of $39.95 plus $19.95 s & h") you'll "GO FROM REGULAR TO RIPPED IN JUST 90 DAYS!"


That's impressive.

So apparently you throw in a P90X DVD each day and for an hour sweat like mad in your basement or bedroom or workout room or wherever you happen to have your television set up and enough room to move around. The system boasts different workouts for each session so your muscles don't get accustomed to a particular set of moves and thus you encounter none of the dreaded fitness "plateaus."

Sounds great!

But not for me.

I've tried working out at home. DVDs, the Fitness channel, following the instructions in a book, etc.

I always stop after just a few days or a few weeks.

What I realize today while I am at the gym is that working out at home to a DVD or the TV has never worked for me. And not because I don't like to work out...quite the opposite - I really like working out.

But what I truly enjoy is sharing the experience of exercising with other people.

At the gym.

There is something about being with a group of people who are sharing the same kind of physical activities at the same time that I find extremely comforting. That I just cannot get from watching people exercise on a DVD.

Sharing the experience of breathing and moving and focusing with other human beings in the flesh is akin to a kind of collective meditation.

There is an energy at the gym that I can't get at home by myself.

It is the energy of solidarity.

When I'm on the treadmill I am focused on my breathing and the movement of my body.  I do not read or watch television and I usually ignore the music that is playing.

Breathe and move.

Breathe and move.

And absorb the energy of the person on the next treadmill or the bike behind me or on the elliptical trainer just down the way.

We are all breathing and moving.

And moving and breathing.


Not a true meditation practice, but as close as I have gotten to a regular group practice in many years.

Lifting weights or stretching - I am again focused on my body, on my muscles, on the breath, on feelings of becoming stronger, more fit and healthy.

The rest of the world simply drops away.

Again - a kind of meditation.

And although I am focused inward while I am moving and breathing and sweating I am still - on some deeper level - aware of the people around me.

Aware of their energy. Their breath. Their strength.

When I see a very heavyset person sweating away on the elliptical trainer or the bike or the treadmill I am inspired to work harder. To breathe deeper. To push a little more.

I notice the weightlifters with their incredible drive and focus. While I have no desire to look like them, I do want to emulate their commitment.

I watch other women - fit women whose bodies I admire. I observe what they're doing to achieve their levels of fitness. They inspire me, too.

Every single person I encounter in this world is an inspiration and a source of energy and comfort.

The gym has become for me more than just a place to get in some exercise.

It is a community.

Will I become "ripped" in just 90 days?

Probably not.

But that doesn't bother me. I know that slow and steady is the best route for me.

And I have a place to go each day where I can escape from the world of work and aggravations and stress...a place where I can enjoy the breath and the body and community and solidarity and quietness of the mind.

04 June 2010


I was a bit...um...upset yesterday and the day before what with the whole lopping-of-the-profile-by-the-facilitators-without-our-knowledge-or-consent incident.

Actually I was beyond upset, but was instead a seething ball of rage.

Today my anger and rage have faded. I don't have that horrible churning, roiling, boiling sensation in my gut that I had all day yesterday. This is in large part thanks to a visit to the gym and sparring with the Ringmaster.

I beat the living hell out of that heavy bag last night.

Poor Ringmaster. He took quite a pounding.

In the midst of me knocking the stuffing out of my sparring partner I actually scared some guy right out of the room. He walked in looking to work out on one of the balance balls, took one look at me pounding on the bag, and literally scurried away.

I must have looked pretty pissed.

Not today.

Today I am just tired.

Tired of being angry.

Tired of waiting.

Tired of having so little control over this process.

Tired of being 42 and wishing that I could turn the clock back ten years and pretend that back then I was even remotely healthy enough to have had a baby the natural way and not through this crazy convoluted process.

Tired of being on the same professional merry-go-round.

Tired of feeling stuck.

I'm just tired.

I feel quite a bit like a deflated balloon.

03 June 2010

Well, this sucks...

Our adoption facilitators officially suck.

Suck suck suck.

I'm so aggravated at the moment that I'm not even certain that I'll be able to write a coherent blog post.

"So, how exactly do they suck?" you ask.

Well, after three months  of our profile being "live" we are "allowed" by the facilitators to finally make changes. So my lovely and very thoughtful husband makes some changes to our profiles and sends said changes along with a few new photos to the lady who does all of our profile stuff at the facilitator's office. He receives a confirmation message from the Profile Lady stating that the changes will be made post-haste.

Two weeks go by.

No changes.

So Chris sends the Profile Lady a quick e-mail just saying something like, "Hey, noticed that our profiles look just the same. Wondering when you're going to incorporate the stuff we sent you two weeks ago?"

He receives a reply stating that our stuff is in "the queue" which usually takes several weeks.

Ah, would have been nice to know that since in her first e-mail she never mentioned that it takes several weeks. Her original e-mail makes it sound like it will happen right away.


So a few more days go by and we don't hear anything. Lovely husband just checks the profiles yesterday to see if changes have been made since we have not heard anything from them. Lo and behold - changes are made.

And boy are they ever.

Profile Lady has lopped out 20% of our profile information. Things that we painstakingly and thoughtfully wrote about ourselves - things we definitely wanted anyone reading the profile to know about us.


Needless to say we are a bit shocked and the quite upset.

After sending off an e-mail questioning the removal of what we consider vital information, he receives a reply from Profile Lady stating that they have been receiving feedback from birthmoms (god, how I hate that term) that the letters are all getting too long and so the facilitators are changing their approach on how they promote adoptive parents. (And apparently starting with us because we read a number of other profiles that are considerably longer than ours...)

Well, that would certainly have been nice to know before they started lopping.

I sit in front of the television last night feeling pretty beat up, while Chris is tapping furiously away at his computer generating a reply to Profile Lady.

"Hon," he says quite a while later, tapping complete, "I think you'd better read this before I send it off. I think I may have gone a little too far."

You could say that he's gone a little far in the e-mail communication he has written for the Profile Lady. It is... ohhhh, shall we say ... a bit - erm - snarky in places. I indicate that a few places could be de-snarked. Chris doesn't look happy about my comments.

I return to the television.

Chris returns to tap-tap-tapping away on his computer and after making quite a few revisions calls me over, "What do you think of this? De-snarked enough?"

The revised communication is a truly thoughtful e-mail that conveys our distress over the drastic changes made to our profile without our knowledge or consent. The e-mail also effectively communicates our desire to work with the facilitators to make changes - not to have them foisted upon us with no warning. He ends the communication with the following:

When my wife and I embarked on this journey, we were told by my father that this might possibly be the most important thing we’ll ever do. We believe that he is right. Based on our conversations with your past clients and with a member of your staff, we also felt confident that we were making the right decision to work with [adoption facilitator]. We still do, and hope that you will help us succeed in this journey. All we are asking for is a level of communication, support, and feedback that enables us to be a part of this process, not simply bystanders.

My husband is a very brilliant man.

So, now we wait for yet another reply from the Profile Lady.


When we first started this process more than a year ago, I began reading as many adoption blogs as I could: those of adoptive parents, other prospective adoptive parents, first mothers and adopted persons. At the time what surprised me most about the blogs was the hostility that so many of the bloggers expressed toward the adoption industry. We had just chosen or facilitator and the folks there seemed so nice, kind and helpful. I thought, "Well, we really lucked out and got the right facilitators. We won't have that other kind of bad experience that those other bloggers wrote about."

Not so sure about that now.

Right now I kinda totally get the whole hostility-toward-the-adoption-industry attitude.

In a big way.