26 March 2011


11:47 a.m. 

Day two of my forty-third year on the planet.

Still in my jammies and bathrobe. Have not - as I promised my husband yesterday - gone to gym. Instead, got up while he was at spin, had my breakfast and went back to bed for several hours.

Thinking that perhaps I'm not exactly out of my funk just yet.

"You OK?" says wonderful husband popping his head into the darkened bedroom.


He looks worried.

He probably should be.

Still kind of funk-y.

It's a gorgeous day today. Another of those not-a-cloud-in-the-sky kind of days. Chris says it's cold out, but I don't care. Time to put on some outdoor-cool-weather-exercise-clothing. Go for a walk. Get some air in my lungs and a bit of Vitamin D.

Time to de-funk-ify.

25 March 2011

Happy birthday to me...

Welcome to forty-three.

"You have a birthday coming up this week, don't you?" asks my mom the other night while we're on the phone.


"How old are you going to be again?"

"Forty-three," I drawl.

"I can't possibly have a daughter who is forty-three," my mother groans. "That would make me old."

Sorry, Mom, but there you have it. It's true. Forty-three.

And here I am...said birthday has arrived today without much fanfare (and, thankfully without any snow, as had been predicted.) Cecil is sitting next to me sulking because I remove her from my lap a few minutes ago so I can write this blog post. Chris is off sweating at spin class. I should be at the gym with him.

But here's the thing.

I'm in a funk.

(For those of you who have been reading for the last few weeks...I'm sure this doesn't exactly come as a shock.)

I keep trying to sort of pick up the pieces of myself and move forward,  but I'm feeling kind of stuck. And I hate it.

Hate that I feel stuck and grumpy and sad and funk-y.

Part of me feels like I should go whine to my therapist about all of this for a while. Another part of me has no interest whatsoever in going to see my wonderful therapist to rehash this whole debacle. All of me knows that I definitely should get my flabby ass back to the gym. And then another part of me is kind of like, "Oh, for God's sake...Just. Get. Over. It. Already. Adoptions fall apart all of the time. You're not special!! Move. On."

And that last part of me is probably pretty smart. Time to get out of this funk. Set aside some of the grief and Just. Move. On.

It's not like I don't have things to do either.

There's an unfinished novel residing on this laptop that I haven't touched in months. My art studio...ugh, a disaster that needs cleaning and sorting in the worst way. Ditto for our bedroom. Cecil needs constant adoring. Exercise and meal planning could definitely be brought back into my life. There are friends that I haven't seen in weeks. My job is ramping up again. Thank you cards to write to family and friends who gave us all kinds of wonderful baby stuff. There's my parents 50th wedding anniversary party that I'm helping to plan. Oh yeah - and I have a pretty fabulous husband who is also sad and hurting and who could use some of my attention.

It's not like life needs to come to a screeching halt because of all of this adoption crap.

Time to get off my stuck, sad, grumpy, funk-y keester to get back into life.

Forty-two did not turn out to be - for me anyway - the "Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything." But I'm hoping that my forty-third year on the planet will be a good one.

Welcome to forty-three. Happy birthday to me.

Think I'll go have a bowl of oatmeal.

23 March 2011


"Your subconscious is apparently not so happy about the disruption," Chris says to me this morning.

This is his assessment of the nightmares that have been plaguing me for the last two weeks.

Ya think?

While I don't remember last night's latest round of nightmarish dreams, I do remember quite clearly waking up drenched in sweat, practically hyperventilating. So fun in the middle of the night!

For many years I suffered from insomnia - both kinds - the "I can't fall asleep" kind as well as the "I can't stay asleep" kind (very often suffering both types in the course of the same night.) During those years I came to dread bedtime and night in general. I lived on anywhere from one to four hours of sleep a night. It wasn't much of a way to live.

Once I married Chris the insomnia waned and over the years just about subsided altogether. I still struggle with it from time to time, but these days thankfully I mostly enjoy the normal eight hours of sleep that non-insomnia sufferers enjoy.

Until two weeks ago.

Until our adoption fell apart.

And now the nightmares have come.

Full throttle apparently.

I'm waking two and three times a night covered in sweat and out of breath. And after a few minutes of cooling down I fall back into an uneasy sleep - very often right back into the same nightmare that sent me into terrified consciousness in the first place. Not really enjoying this so much night after night after night. In fact, it's getting downright old. Waking up feeling more exhausted than when I went to bed the night before....yeah...ummmm....not so much, Folks.

It's kind of sad that I'm actually sitting here just longing for the days of plain old annoying insomnia.

The thing about insomnia - and now these nightmares - is that they become cyclical: You have a bad insomnia/nightmare night. That sucks. Then you have another bad night. That really sucks. Then you have a third bad night. And then you start worrying about having a fourth bad night in a row because you're so tired from the first three bad nights. And guess what? You have that fourth bad night. So then your anxiety starts to grow and you dread going to bed because you're afraid that you won't sleep or that you'll have the nightmare. And then the anxiety hits you earlier and earlier in the day and you spend time worrying that you're not going to be able to get a good  night's sleep.

You see how this works?

So, I'm now in the cycle.

But the thing is that I'm aware of the cycle. I'm aware that I'm having these damn dreams. I'm aware of why I'm having the damn bad dreams. There's no mystery here. So, really there is just no good reason for this to keep going on anymore.

Message to my subconscious: I get it! You can stop with the nightmares anytime now!

Maybe I'll take a little nap under my desk at work today.

Think anyone will notice?

22 March 2011

Sixteen days later...

Sixteen days since we received The News.

It's been sixteen days since we received the news that we would not yet, as we had hoped and planned for, become adoptive parents. That we would not be getting on a plane to head to AZ. That we would not be meeting our daughter for the first time. That we would not be bringing home that little girl. That we would instead have to continue waiting and waiting and waiting as we have done for the last two years.

Two weeks and two days since we received The News.

I don't feel quite so raw two weeks and two days later.

Yesterday is the first day I make it through a full day of work without feeling the need to go to my car for a private place to sob or to run away from my office to someplace where I can read my book and eat fattening food. I actually feel some modicum of focus and normalcy as I do my job.

But then last night I walk by the baby's room all kitted out with crib, changing table, glider, kids' books, stroller, car seat and new lavender paint and...the grief hits me again. Not a wave, but a sharp stabbing pain deep in my gut. Brief and intense. I want to go with it - be present with this feeling of pain and grief - but I just can't.  

I just can't.

It would be so very easy to fall into this grief. Into allowing myself to wallow in this grief. Into crawling downstairs everyday to numb myself with television and Cecil's soothing presence in my lap. Allowing the grief to swallow me up. It would be just too easy.

I just can't let that happen.

My life has to go on. My life as a wife, a daughter, a friend, a professional, a writer, an artist - all of it. It has to go on. I have to go on. I will go on.

So, I set aside that stabbing painful feeling. I don't give into it, but instead head downstairs to snuggle up on the sofa with my husband to watch two amusing episodes of "Chuck" and to adore Cecil.

And today I head to work for an all-day training.

Life is going on.

17 March 2011

Yes, it is kind of crazy...

Ugly confession time.

I can sometimes be pretty judgmental.

OK, very judgmental.

This judgmental-ness is not a quality of which I am particularly proud. In fact, it's something about myself that I don't like at all and I try desperately to squash when I become aware that I'm doing it (sadly, not always with much success and sadly I'm not always aware that I'm being judgmental.) I swear to God that it's genetic...the wonderful quality that I inherited from my maternal grandmother - the Queen of Judgmental...

And before all of this adoption stuff. Long before I ever even knew that I could and would someday want to become a parent, I am afraid that I was very judgmental of couples desperately trying to become parents. Couples who spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on unsuccessful infertility treatment after unsuccessful fertility treatment. Women who endure injections and hormones and all kinds of invasive tests and procedures over and over again in hopes of becoming a mom. Men and women who watch as their mates endure the injections and hormones and tests and procedures and disappointments. Couples who run through their life savings and take out second mortgages on their homes in desperate and often vain attempts to become parents.

"They're crazy!" I would say as I'd hear or read about these couples. "I mean who would spend their life savings like that? What kind of woman would put herself through all of that just to have a kid? What kind of spouse would sit by and watch his or her wife go through all of that pain and misery? That's just crazy."

See? A lot of judgment...

(Again - really, really, really not proud of this...)

But now I get it.

I do.

I really do.

The single-minded drive and willingness to do what you need to do to have the family that you thought was just going to happen for you in a relatively "normal" amount of time....Yeah, now I get it.

In the case of couples struggling with infertility, I'm sure they originally think, "OK, we stop our birth control and in a few months...Ta-dah! Pregnancy! Parenthood! Family!" and years later as they continue to spend and hope and endure the countless tests and procedures and disappointments, I'm sure they must be thinking, "OK, this time...This time we're finally going to become parents."

And in our case, where adoption is our path to parenthood and a family...we sign on board with an agency that informs us that the average wait time is 2-6 months.

Wow! 2-6 months? Holy buckets! Great! Ta-dah! Parenthood! Family!

We fill in form after form after form and endure the rather invasive homestudy process. We write check after check after check...thousands and thousands of dollars to cover the numerous and often outrageous fees. We clean and organize. And spend more money prepping our house. And inform our families and friends and jobs. We wait and hope and wonder.

And wait and hope and wonder.

And wait and wonder.

Months go by.

Possible adoption situations come and go and some just plain fall through.

More checks are written.

More months go by.

And here we are two years later... thousands and thousands of dollars later.... three situations that didn't amount to anything later.... and one heart-breaking disrupted placement later. We are no closer to parenthood than when we set out on this journey.

So now we are embarking on work with Agency #2 (our local agency - the one through which we got the social worker who does our homestudy and homestudy renewal) in addition to the agency across the country that we signed on with way back in the beginning.  It's gotten to that point for us. Our local agency was not really doing much by way of domestic adoption when we started down the adoption path two years ago, but is now much more active with domestic adoptions and has called us repeatedly about potential situations.

So, we sign on.

Even though the money we've already spent with Agency #1 is non-refundable.

We sign on anyway.

Luckily, we don't have to take on a second mortgage, but signing on with yet another agency is certainly going to take a huge bite out of our savings. But, at this point, two years into our journey we're just ready to become parents and to have a family. We're ready to move forward so we're willing to do what it takes to get there. And if that means thousands and thousands more, well...

Now I get it.

Someone out there reading this blog or knowing our story is probably thinking, "They're crazy! Who spends their life savings like that?"

And I don't really blame them for expressing those sentiments.

It is kind of crazy.

But now I get it. The single-mindedness of knowing that you just want to have a family like everyone else and that you just want to be parents, but being disappointed over and over and over again is enough to drive you to do a crazy thing like this.

So, we've signed on. And we'll wait some more. But hopefully the wait will be much less this time. This time hopefully a new situation will come to us sooner rather than later and we'll have our family.

Now I get it.

16 March 2011

A little clarification...

"You know that's twice that you've mentioned on your blog that you were ironing my shirt," says Chris last evening. "People out there are going to think that I'm some kind of Neanderthal. 'Woman! Go iron my shirt!!'"

We laugh.

"I'm sorry. I'll make sure to clarify on the blog about the ironing."

"No, no. That's OK."

So, even though my Neanderthal husband says I don't have to...I'm clarifying about the ironing.

I like to iron.

And this is pretty much the only household/domestic chore that I enjoy.


So, while Chris (who, I might add is pretty much the farthest thing ever from Neanderthal...) makes our lunches, I iron his shirts and pants. Actually, I'm pretty sure that I come out with the better end of the deal.

"'Woman! Iron my shirt!' kind of reminds me," I continue, "of that Bloom County strip from a million years ago. The old guy guy who's the leader of some really conservative fundamentalist group..."

""Oh yeah. I think it was like the Bloom County Moral Majority."

"Exactly! Yeah, that was it! And he comes home yelling, 'Wife! Make me my dinner!' and then in the last panel you see him holding a TV dinner while wearing a frilly apron and reading the instructions aloud, 'Fold back foil to reveal tater tots.' I love that strip!"

We laugh again.

It feels good to laugh.

15 March 2011

Not quite walking on sunshine, but trying

Well, the ides of March have come...

Not so great for Caesar, but good for me because they have actually brought with them a not-a-cloud-in-the-sky-walking-on-sunshine sunny gorgeous day. Somehow it's just so much easier to feel like moving forward and moving on when it's sunny outside.

I'm walking on sunshine, wooah
I'm walking on sunshine, woooah
I'm walking on sunshine, woooah
and don't it feel good!!

Hey, alright now
and dont it feel good!!
hey yeh 

OK, so I'm not exactly in a "Walking on Sunshine" place right now, but I will admit that there is something hopeful about a sunny day. And I just hope that I can carry this sunny-day-Katrina-and-the-Waves-Walking-on-Sunshine-type-hopefulness with me today instead of descending once again into the depths of despond.

Off to iron the husband's shirt and then get myself ready for the day.

14 March 2011

Moving forward...

Moving forward.

What does this even mean?

I keep saying to people and writing on this blog and in messages to well-wishers, "Chris and I will just move forward."

And I guess that's the case. Except perhaps for the one ginormous ridiculous glaring fact that we've taken a huge step backwards. Back to waiting and wondering and uncertainty. Here we thought that today we'd be on maternity/paternity leave. Starting a new and exciting chapter in our lives. The chapter when we become parents. And instead today is back to work as usual.

Will anything ever feel "as usual" again?

"We'll just move forward."

At the moment I don't even know what that looks like. I keep moving from being sad to being numb to moments when I feel OK to trying to distract myself from the sadness and the numbness to extend those moments when I feel OK.

And now we're supposed to just go back to work as usual.

How do my husband and I do that?

How do we grieve and be normal and functional at the same time? How do I do that? How do I move forward when all I want to do this morning is crawl downstairs to my couch/cave and spend another day weeping there?

"We'll just move forward."

Our little tragedy is done, right? Move on. Get over it. Go to work. Focus on your job. These things happen for a reason. This obviously wasn't the right situation. Soon you guys will be parents.

"We'll just move forward."

Like Chris, I keep trying hard to not think about all of the things we would have been doing today had the adoption not fallen through. And I'm kind of failing miserably at not thinking about what today would have been like had the adoption not fallen through.

"We'll just move forward."

How do I do that? Can someone tell me?

At the moment I keep pretending to other people that it's as simple as moving forward one day at a time. I'm pretty sure that I keep pretending to myself that I'm moving forward.

But at the moment I don't know what the hell moving forward looks like.

I really don't.

 * Addendum *

Chris reads the above post then wanders into the living room to plant a few gentle kisses on my forehead.

"I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could do for you."

Knowing that he is in just as bad a shape as me, I reply, "I wish there was something that I could do for you."

"You could iron my shirt," he says with a little grin.

"Now that I can do," I reply with a smile.

So...I guess we're moving forward.

12 March 2011

Day after meltdown...

Chris was supposed to wake me this morning to head to the gym with him, but he let me sleep instead.

And sleep I did.

Totally exhausted from yesterday's complete emotional/physical meltdown. Wow. I didn't even hear him head out for his Saturday spin class. I was out. Completely and totally out.

And apparently a really good night's sleep and waking to a gorgeous, beautiful, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky sunny day seem to be helping immensely...my spirits seem to be lifting. My tremendous sadness of yesterday, while not quite completely evaporated, is such that I don't think that today will require once again being crumpled in on myself on the couch watching bad television. And weeping.

That old phrase, "What a difference a day makes"... hmmm, apparently true.

Today - miraculously and thank goodness - I don't feel like my world is ending.

Life is sometimes not fair. The adoption that we've waited for and worked for and hoped for and dreamed about fell through. Yeah, that really, really sucks. And I was truly down and down and down about it yesterday.

Really down.

"Checking out" for the day yesterday...well, why not? I guess I needed it. I had tried so hard to keep it together all week - tried to go to work, tried to be functional, tried to be a grown up and assure everyone that I was OK, tried not to cry, tried to hold it all in.

Look where that got me.

Maybe I should have taken Monday off when we received the news. Let myself be a wreck. Let myself bawl and moan and weep and curse at the Universe. But that's not the way it went down. And so it built up all week while I was holding it all in. The sadness hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. So I crumpled in on myself. Let myself indulge in the utter desolation that I hadn't let myself feel all week.

Cried and cursed the Universe. And tried not to cry and curse the Universe. And watched television in a pitiful attempt to fill my brain with something other than the sadness that was there.

And now it's a new day. Now I'm awake. And the sun is shining. Its a gorgeous new day.

Life goes on.

We only get one shot at this life. One go around. Gotta make it a good one.

So, I think that I've officially had my adoption-disruption-meltdown and it is time to move forward.

Perhaps I'll throw on my running shoes and a hat and a jacket to head outside for a walk. Get myself a dose of Vitamin D and some fresh air.

Life goes on.

11 March 2011

Not moving forward quite yet...

I kind of crumple today.

It's a work day, but I use some of my sick time to crumple in on myself at home on the couch in front of the television.

To withdraw from the world and into myself. Into this wreck that is me today.

Cecil doesn't care. She curls up in the crook of my arm and snoozes all day. And when she isn't snoozing she stretches her front paw way out to tap me gently on my neck - her signal that she is awake and wishes to be adored.

"Are you the grumpiest kitty ever?" I ask her in my sweetest baby talk voice. "Are you? Nooooo. You're the most beeeeauuutiful kitty ever." I tell her while using both of my hands to rub her face and ears back. When I stop petting her she reaches out once again to tap me on the neck. So we repeat our little love fest. Satisfied after a few more minutes of being the center of my universe she sighs, puts her head back down and quickly falls away into deep kitty sleep.

Much of my day is spent absently flipping between "Animal Cops Houston" and "Say Yes to the Dress" and whatever really lame movie happens to be on Channel 53. And when those shows are over I flip through all of the deluxe cable movie channels.

Nothing actually holds my interest for very long.

I want and need to fill my brain with anything but what's in my head: today, had our adoption plans not fallen through, we'd be on a plane on our way to AZ. We'd be that much closer to being parents. We'd be settling into the apartment that I found for us. Contacting the attorney and the adoption rep. Buying linens, a few pots/pans and some utensils (the apartment is furnished, but doesn't come with  these supplies) as well as the other baby stuff that we wouldn't have packed. We'd likely be freaking out just a bit. And we'd be excited.

But none of that is happening this weekend.

Or in any weekend in the near future.

We're starting over. We're back to waiting again.

Tears fall occasionally throughout the day, mostly when I'm watching movies or sappy commercials. Or when the rescued puppy on "Animal Cops" - the one that was almost starving to death and was covered in fleas - is shown in his new a home with his new family at the end of the show and he's a happy, fat, frolicking puppy who's blessedly already forgotten the horrific start to his little life.

Yeah, I cry at that stuff today.

My husband texts me at the end of the day to see if I'm still at work. I text back saying that I had called in sick today.

"Your stomach?" he texts back.

"No, I just felt really really low."

And it's true. I feel low. Sad. Down. In the dumps.

I wish I could lie and say that I'm OK.

I'm not.

I'm really not.

10 March 2011

Not ours...

She was never ours.


The child who is likely going to be born to L this very weekend was never ours.


The truth is that we had only the most tenuous connection to this little baby.  Just the very barest hint of the tiniest thread of a connection.

But we allowed ourselves to get attached anyway.

We allowed ourselves to get attached. To this little person who we'd never even met. Who we never knew about until two months ago. Who is growing inside of someone else. Who has older brothers and an extended family who it seems fought for her tooth and nail and with whom she will now grow up.

We allowed ourselves to get attached. We chose names. Our guest room became a baby's room. People gave us baby stuff. We started to say things like "When she comes home..." and "I hope she's a good sleeper..." and "I hope she's a good eater" and we talked about how our elderly cat Cecil would react to the presence of a screaming, squalling baby.

And we weren't talking about just any screaming, squalling baby anymore (as we had been doing for close to two years), but a very particular baby. She ceased to be hypothetical. "The baby" had gone from being just an idea, just a fantasy, just a hope to being a real little person. A little person to whom we found ourselves growing more attached everyday even though we had never met her.

Even though she wasn't ours.

09 March 2011

Day 3 after disruption...

Can a person go through the 5 stages of grief in 2.5 days?

Seriously, because I'm pretty sure that I've hit 4 of the Big 5 today: denial, anger, depression and acceptance.

Not really sure that I'll ever get to bargaining since the only time that I ever really look to a higher power is when I get on airplane (a terrifying experience for me every single time.) At all other times of crisis in my life I figure that the Divine Mystery has more important things (like, for example, the revolutions currently going on in Egypt and Libya) to worry about.

So, the stages of grief...I actually feel like today I've gone through most of them: denial (when I wake up this morning, just for a minute I forget that we're not getting on a plane this weekend and I try to hold onto that for a few minutes longer), anger (see earlier blog post), depression (sitting at my desk a feeling of utter desolation comes over me and I have to tell myself over and over to just focus on work and to move forward), and acceptance (any number of colleagues come over to talk with me and I assure them over and over that I'm OK and that eventually my husband and I will become parents.)

There's a jumble of stuff going on inside of me. One minute I feel fine and then the next...utter despair...and a few minutes after that rage against the Universe.

I'm exhausted.

And so on that note... I think that I'll have a little late dinner and then go fill my head with a DVR'd episode of "What Not to Wear."

I can worry about all of this again tomorrow.

48 hours later...

48 hours since we received The News.

Somehow I make it through yesterday, although I can't say that the day is particularly productive.

Last evening we meet my MIL and her hubby for dinner out at a favorite Thai place. Chris is running late so I go in by myself. My MIL hugs me really tight. I say to her, "You cannot start crying. No crying."

"Nope. No crying," she says into my shoulder, still holding me tight.

Dinner turns out to be fun. When Chris arrives we talk just a little bit about the disrupted adoption, but soon move on to other topics. It feels good to laugh. To feel normal. To actually feel something after the numbness of the day.

This morning I'm trying to figure out how I'm feeling. Can't really decide at the moment. Sort of numb and not numb all at the same time. Maybe it's like when you have dental work done and the Novocaine starts to wear off: You can talk mostly normal, but you still feel kind of weird and half-numb.

Yeah, that's it.

And now I have to face the day.

The thing is that I... I don't want to face the day the way it is. I want to be facing the day thinking that this weekend we are getting on a plane to go meet our daughter for the first time. And that I'll be out on maternity leave next week. And that we'll finally be parents going through the big change that we've been preparing for for the last two years. I want to rewind 72 hours and be in that place of excitement and hope again.

Man, this just sucks.

Hmmm...apparently I'm a little more than half-numb this morning.

Apparently I'm a little mad.

Not mad at L or her decision - again, I truly only wish her and her family happiness.

Instead, I'm mad at the Universe and mad at myself for getting excited and getting my hopes up. Mad at myself for waiting until I was 41 to decide that I wanted to be a parent. Mad at the stupid body I have that requires me to take medication that will not allow me to get pregnant. Mad at the adoption agency that led us to believe that this process would be quick.


Mad. Mad. Mad.

Well, shit.

This isn't how I want to feel.

But this is where I'm at. So, I guess I'll head off to my office and put up my "Please Do Not Disturb" sign while I try to get through the day.

08 March 2011


24 hours ago my husband races up the stairs to fling open the bathroom door eyes looking a little wild. I'm standing there in a towel having just stepped out of the shower. He asks in a husky, shaking voice, "Have you seen the e-mail from T [our adoption rep]?"

No. I haven't.

"L changed her mind and she's decided to keep the baby."

We hurry to the living room and my laptop so that I can see T's words for myself. And there they are "...unfortunately..."  "...bad news...." "...disappointment..." "...so sorry..."

For a few minutes nothing seems real. Chris sits next to me on the couch. We hold hands both feeling a bit numb. Actually, very numb.

Eventually we start talking again.

"We always knew this was a possibility..."

Lame attempt at some humor.

"Well, at least now we can go see the Paula Poundstone concert..."

"I'll have time e-Bay all of that crap in the basement..."

Putting a positive spin on things.

"Now at least we're really READY for when we do eventually get a baby..."

Chris calls his parents. I call mine. I have to get ready for my day and get to an early meeting. No sense in sitting at home weeping all day. That's not going to change anything. Be a grown up. Just go to work like it's any other day. Chris lets me know that he'll stay home for a bit to cancel the airline tickets, the apartment we had reserved in AZ, and make some other calls to deal with arrangements that will no longer be needed.

We hug a lot before I go. Tell each other "I love you" a lot. Try to reassure each other through the numb feeling that we'll be parents someday soon. And hope that we both believe it.

Once at my office I tell the HR Director that I won't be heading out on maternity leave next week and give her the bare bones of the story. She is lovely and offers her support. Same with my supervisor.

"I'm OK," I tell them both. "I'll be OK. Really."

I smile what I am sure is a very wan and pitiful smile.

Next I compose an e-mail for the staff since just about everyone at my office knows of my impending maternity leave. I explain briefly that we just found out this morning that the adoption has fallen through, that my husband and I are hopeful that we'll still become parents soon, that I'll be happy to answer questions in a few days when the news isn't so fresh, etc. I thank them all for their support of the last few years while we've been trying to adopt. And I hit "send."

Replies to my e-mail start trickling in. Lovely replies filled with "I'm so sorry" and "keeping you and your husband in my thoughts." My supervisor sends an e-mail letting me know that if I need some personal time I should take it.

I sit at my desk for another hour trying to focus. And fail miserably.

Chris and I text each other making little stabs at humor.  Checking in. Connecting.

And then one of my colleagues comes to my cube. She looks so sad and gives me a big hug. It's all I can do not to burst into loud sobs right then and there.

Everyone's kindness....it's just too much.

I thought I could just get through the day by working, but it's all just too much. So I pound out an e-mail to my supervisor saying, "You know that personal time you offered, I'm taking it..."

And I flee my office.

To the darkness of a movie theater.

Two hours where I don't have to think about a disrupted adoption, the possibility of another two years of waiting to become a mom, the sadness my husband is experiencing, my job, the numbness.

Ironically I've opted to see a kids' movie, "Tangled" at the cheap theater and so here I am with three moms and their infants and toddlers. This makes me chuckle a bitter little chuckle. I realize as I'm sitting here that while I might enjoy the refuge of the theater right now, that I'll probably never be able to watch this particular movie again as it will always be associated with The Day That We Found Out We Weren't Going to be Parents.

But for now I just don't care and settle into my seat to enjoy some Disney silliness.

After the movie I head home to retreat to the comfort of my loveseat in the basement to numb myself even further with whatever happens to be on the television.  Thank God for Animal Planet and The Food Network. And Cecil who plants herself in my lap and begins purring. She has no idea why I'm home early. And she doesn't particularly care. She's just pleased to have a warm lap in which to snuggle and one of Her People  at home to adore her.

Chris, despite his intentions to come home early, gets stuck at work for a while. When he finally makes it home we engage in Round 2 of phone calls to friends and family to break the news. More sympathy. Lots more, "when one door closes another door opens" and "this happened for a reason, I'm sure of it" and "I'm so sorry."

We hug a lot before Chris sits down for his dinner and I make my way once again downstairs to fill my brain with "Iron Chef America."

Eventually I head up to bed leaving Chris to write a blog post (If you have a few minutes, you should read it. He provides more details than what I've provided here and he's an amazing writer...)

And here I am today. 24 hours later sitting in the very same spot I sat in to read the news of our disrupted adoption. Somehow I managed to sleep last night. Chris, too. And strangely I feel OK this morning - not quite refreshed, but OK. We'll see how long that lasts today.

Here's the thing...what happened is hard for us, but ultimately I just cannot be sad about it. Really. Because a young woman - L - who thought she was going to have to give up her baby forever, found the resources within herself and from her family to be able to keep and parent her own child.

This is a good thing.

A really good and excellent thing.

And I am happy for L and her family. Truly, I am.

I needed to be really sad for Chris and myself yesterday. And probably in the coming days the sadness will persist, but I don't want anyone to think for even one second that I'm angry at L or that I feel anything negative about her. Because I simply don't. I can't. That would be so very, very wrong. She's a mom who is going to parent her own kid. And that is an awesome thing. I wish her only the very best.

And now Chris and I move forward.

We start again.

We wait and we hope.