29 April 2011

All will be revealed...

"Can you at least tell me what I need to wear? Casual? Dressy? What?" I ask my husband for the fourth time earlier this week.

"No. All will be revealed on Friday," he says with a sly grin.

"But I might want to go out shopping to get a new outfit if I just knew what I need to wear!" I say getting exasperated.

"You don't need to buy a new outfit."


I hate surprises.

Really. I do.

Hate. Them. With. A. Passion.

Early in our marriage I tell Chris, "If you ever decide to throw me a big surprise birthday party, you might as well just give me the signed divorce papers as my birthday present."

That's how much I hate surprises.

But a few weeks ago at our 10th wedding anniversary dinner Chris tells me that my anniversary gift isn't quite here yet and that I should take the day off on April 29th.


"Because it's part of your anniversary present."

"Are we going somewhere?"

"Can't tell you that."

"Well, what do I need to wear or bring with me?"

"You'll just have to wait and find out."


So, by yesterday when not one of my inquiries met with anything more than a "All will be revealed on Friday" I am absolutely beside myself with curiosity and not just a little bit of frustration because I have no idea what we're going to be doing or what I should be wearing today.

Last night at 5:15 Chris texts me, "So, what is your evening looking like?"

I text him back, "I'm wrapping up here and can be out of here pretty much at any time."

"I'm in the mood for some chili steak. Want to meet up at Tongg D?"

Meet up at my very favorite Thai restaurant? As if he even has to ask? "Sure!"


"Done! See you there!"

Of course, at that moment my computer decides to go all kaplooey on me (seriously??? now???) and I spend twenty minutes trying desperately to un-kaplooey it. So now I'm running late. Urgh.

Finally I make it to the restaurant twelve minutes late. Chris has already secured us a lovely corner table on the far side of the restaurant. He is standing in front of the table wearing what I can only describe as a huge shit-eating grin on his face. The grin widens as I move closer. Then he steps aside as I am about half-way across the room to reveal someone else sitting at the table.

And there she is.


My oldest and closest friend flown all the way out from Seattle.

My surprise anniversary gift from my amazing, kind, thoughtful husband who always knows what I need.

This surprise...pretty fantastic.

26 April 2011

An open door

"Come on. I'll show you the baby's room," I say to my parents during their visit this past weekend.

So, I take them into the baby's room with it's newly painted lavender walls, the gifted crib, new super comfy glider with matching ottoman, new changing table, new stroller/car seat combo, and all of the other assorted and sundry baby things that we've either purchased or received as gifts.

"You've done a really nice job in here," says my mom.

"Do you like the color?" I ask.

"It's really pretty," she replies and then after a pause adds, "I guess I just thought you'd have this room closed up."


I relate this story to Chris after my folks have gone back to their hotel. He says, "What? Like if we have the room all closed up it'll be like none of this ever happened? Like we'll forget?"

In a way, I can kind of understand what my mom means. When the adoption first falls apart back in March, every time I walk by the baby's room it's painful to see all of that stuff in there. But somehow I can't bear to close the door. I can't make myself do that.

And I still can't just close the door. Doing that....shutting away all of the baby things...somehow that would be like I've given up hope.

So, the door stays open. I look at all of the baby stuff in there everyday. Every single day.

And I know that someday soon there will actually be a baby in that beautiful baby's room. I have to keep hoping that.

I have to keep hoping.

20 April 2011

Might have spoken a little too soon...

Night before last...meltdown.

Meltdown #32? #33? Who can remember?

The night before last Chris comes home after his first long, craptastic day of the week (and, rather inconveniently it's Monday, so there are at least four more long crappy days to come) to find me puttering the kitchen, no dinner yet prepared, looking...pitiful.

"What's up?" he asks me. And then, "How'd work go today?"

And before I know it I'm absolutely bawling into his shoulder.

Bawling and sobbing.

Like I haven't sobbed in a long time.

And then last night, after another completely craptastic day at his job, Chris says to his still depressed wife, "I guess it's been easier for me. I mean, not easier, but I've been able to just say to myself, 'OK, that didn't work out' and then I let it all go. I've been able to move forward. It seems like you haven't been able to do that yet."

Apparently so.

My head says to move forward, but my heart...not so much.

I've promised my husband that I'm going to make an appointment with my therapist.

As much as I don't want to re-hash the entire adoption-falling-apart-at-the-last-minute for her (I haven't been to see her since December...), it looks like I'm going to have to. I don't seem to be working through my grief. It sneaks up on my at the worst times. Stealthily. I'll feel fine and then...BLAM!

Nausea, upset stomach, headache, tears, no energy, no appetite, depression, misery.

It's just so stupid.

I need to get over this and move on.

When will it happen?


18 April 2011


America's game.


"I know what I want to do for my birthday," Chris tells me a few weeks ago. "The PawSox have a home game on my birthday. So we'll get a block of seats and invite everyone to the game."

Which is exactly what we do yesterday.

Nine of us enjoy fifth and sixth row box seats in section fourteen just along the third baseline. The weather is perfect. Sixty degrees, a few clouds in the sky, but mostly sun. It's not too hot or too cold.

Peanuts, hotdogs, chicken sausages, french fries, and hamburgers are enjoyed by all throughout the game  along with beer (for the adults) and cotton candy (for the kids...yech! How can they eat that stuff???) thrown in for good measure.

The PawSox and the Buffalo Bisons play some fantastic baseball: homeruns, stolen bases and some absolutely incredible diving catches in the outfield. It's glorious. The PawSox run up the score to 10-2 by the bottom of the sixth inning. Buffalo rallies in the seventh with four runs, but they never do make up the difference.

A great game. A great day.

And for an entire glorious day, I am happy. Happy that my husband is enjoying his birthday. Happy to be with dear family and friends.

Happy to not be talking about our failed adoption.

In fact, I don't think about the adoption at all.

For a day...I forget.

And I am happy.

16 April 2011

Too old?

The old mom.

That's going to be me.

I'm at an evening event for work a few weeks ago. There are lots of "young people" in the room - mostly in their early and mid-twenties. One of the servers, offering me a nibble from a tray, points at one of the twenty-somethings and asks me, "Oh, is that your daughter?"

I must give him quite a look because he quickly amends his question to an ever-so-awkward, "Orrrr maybe your, um, sister? Um, you look a lot alike."

I don't answer him. He quickly scurries off to the other side of the room with his tray of nibbles.

Darn you, you young whipper-snapper!

You couldn't just leave me my illusions that I still look really young???

I'm going to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, mom on the playground. Until this twenty-something server kid makes the comment about me being the mom of a twenty-something (which I could be had I had a kid at twenty...), I really don't spend a whole lot of time agonizing about being too old to be the mom of  a new baby.

Now, of course, after the whipper-snapper's inadvertent dig at my age, I'm kind of obsessing about it a bit.

Well, more than a bit.

A lot.

I relate the story and my obsessing about being too old to be a new mom to my colleague "C" who was an "older" adoptive mom.

"I was forty-two when we brought F home," she says, "so I was definitely the oldest mom out there for a while, but you know something? It really doesn't matter. Those moms who were in their twenties? All twits!"

We laugh.

"I mean they really were kind of twits but it was because they were SO young. But, you know, you stand around with the twits talking about your kids and all of the funny things they do and it's fine. No one really notices how old you are. And now, with so many women having children when they're older...chances are you won't be the oldest one out there."

She's right, of course.

I need to just get over myself.

15 April 2011

It finally happened to me...

 And the boys understand as much as they can, they really do. But I truly believe that we have these mama buttons inside that once they get flicked on they can be all consuming.
A friend of mine wrote the above to me in a Facebook message. While Chris and I are in the waiting/wondering/agonizing/hoping stage of adoption, "A" and her husband are in month 20 of struggling through infertility. It just kills me knowing how much A wants to be a mom and how difficult her journey has been so far.

As for me...What's kind of crazy is that I never believed that wanting to be a mom could be so all consuming. For many reasons (which I've discussed at length in earlier posts) I always thought that I didn't have that "mama button." While other women I knew were so excited to become moms, some even obsessed with it, I just never had that feeling.


Until recently.

Two years ago when I told Chris that I wanted us to have a family, I was thrilled knowing that my decision would allow Chris to finally become a dad because it's something that he's wanted for a very long time and I know that he is, of course, going to be awesome.

But for me...there was still a lot of fear. And still not "that feeling" that becoming a mom was what I was meant to do. It was something that I was choosing and something that I would have to work very hard at, but...

Until now.

Now, after two years of waiting and writing and reading and learning and hoping and worrying...It finally happened to me. That something in me that most women feel in their twenties and thirties finally seems to have clicked on. What A calls the "mama button."

However, for me it's been more like a seismic shift than a button click.

It's taken such a long time, but now that the shift has happened...man, I just want to be a mom. More than anything. And I want to see Chris be a dad. More than anything.

I'm trying hard to not let this feeling be so all consuming. To focus on being in the present moment and enjoying my life, but is it ever hard.

So, I send A and her husband healing energy and hope that their wait to become parents ends ASAP and I try to give myself and Chris that same healing energy.

Yeah, it finally happened to me...and it's driving me kind of crazy.

12 April 2011

Umm...yeah...my life is fine...

A friend of ours is in the hospital for a second time in just a few short weeks with a serious - yet mysterious - illness. He's already had one emergency surgery, but the surgeons are hesitant to go in a second time until they know what they're going in there to do.

This is serious and life threatening and super extremely scary stuff.

We're keeping L, his wife and their families in our thoughts and sending him lots of healing energy.

So...all of the bitching and moaning and whining that I've been doing about adoption these last few weeks....

Umm...yeah...my life is just fine...

11 April 2011

Monday Monday...

It's been hard to go to work these days.

Especially on Mondays.

While I am most certainly on the upswing from the lows of the last few weeks, I must admit that I've been finding myself on Monday mornings thinking, "I shouldn't be going into work. I should be at home on maternity leave."

And it's pretty much sucked.

However, this is the first Monday since everything fell apart that I'm not feeling incredibly blue.

It's a Monday.

I'm going to work. Just like I've done a million times before.

Work isn't where I thought or hoped or dreamed that I would be these days, but it's where I'm at so I'm going to be in the present moment and focus my attention on my job. Not on what "should be" or what "could have been" or "what will be."

Take a breath. Be in the present moment...

Monday Monday...

La la la la la la la...

10 April 2011

Surprisingly joyful...

Yesterday...my niece's 6th birthday party.

We travel three hours on Friday for an overnight stay with my sister-in-law "C", her husband "G" and their girls "L" and "A" so we can celebrate "L"'s 6th birthday. We arrive at 9:00 p.m. to find my SIL baking three cakes, my BIL plunked on the couch recovering from a 22-hour work gig, the girls sound asleep in bed (not surprising) and that my husband's little brother "P" is also in town for the celebration. Surprise!

"P is here," C tells us as she separates eggs over the garbage can.

"Like here here?" we ask.

"Yup, here here, but not here at the moment because he's in The City visiting with a friend. I told him that he has to be back no later than midnight so I can pick him up at the train station."

"What's he doing here?"

"He got a call from [super extremely famous high-end modeling agency] to have his photo shoot done with [super extremely famous high-end fashion photographer]. It was supposed to be today, but I guess it's been moved to next week so he's staying with us until then."

"That kid is going to be really famous, isn't he?" one of us says (as one of us usually does) a little ruefully.

Someone else pipes up (as one of us usually does), "As long as he pays for our kids' college educations!"

We laugh.

C finishes the three cakes, which will ultimately be carefully cut, stacked, sculpted and frosted together to create one beautiful cake that looks just like a baseball stadium. My SIL says, "I know, I'm completely crazy."

My FIL, his wife and their daughter arrive at 10:15. Lots more chatting and watching my SIL bake.

We all finally retire to bed at 11:30.

The day of the party is gorgeous. Despite earlier predictions in the week of rain and yuck, the day is sunny and rapidly warms up. Chris and I greet P, next supermodel of the world as he and my 12 year-old SIL "S" are playing Mario Brothers on the Wii. Breakfasts are consumed. Everyone takes turns in my SIL's one lone shower.

SIL gives us all our marching orders for the day. Chris and I are to head to Michaels' Crafts to pick up supplies for the craft project (decorating blank baseball caps) and when we return we are put in charge of putting peanuts and popcorn in their various bags. Chris also helps with outside set up.

The rest of the family arrives around noon. My MIL and her husband. Lunches are consumed. Party set up continues. The gigantic baseball themed Bouncy House arrives and, once it is set up, the male adults and the little Girls avail themselves of its fun while the rest of us hang out in the kitchen watching the Master Baker frost the baseball stadium cake.

The guests start arriving at 2:00 p.m. The older kids (that would be all of the 6 year-olds) immediately make their way into the Bouncy House, while the moms, dads and their toddlers/babies hang out on the driveway watching.

The rest of the day is filled with food, bouncing, baseball, crafts, musical bases, parents hanging around talking to each other and amusing their babies/toddlers, cake, and keeping kids out of the house. L seems to be having a wonderful time during her party. Aside from a few kids getting bonked on the head by a stray elbow or knee in the Bouncy House and one bitchy mom acting rude, there's no tears or drama and everyone has a marvelous time.

Lots of joy and laughter.

Even me.

Truth be told...I've been pretty much dreading this party.

Awful, I know.

This is my beautiful little niece we're talking about! Her 6th birthday!

How could I be dreading it?

Well, of course, I've fully expected to be attending this party with my own little one in tow. But, after the adoption falls through last month, obviously that isn't happening. So, I go with a sense of dread...of being surrounded by all of these moms, dads and their kids .... and Chris and I still in the waiting and wondering and hoping and agonizing stage of adoption.

I keep thinking that at some point during the day it will all be too much and I'll have to excuse myself so I can go downstairs, lock myself in the bathroom and cry for a while. That somehow this party will just bring up all of the feelings of loss and sadness that I've been experiencing on and off for weeks.

Yet somehow...once the day starts...I am amazed to find myself enjoying everything and everyone. I am not sad, but instead feeling joyful while watching the kids play, meeting and cooing over all of the babies and toddlers, talking to other moms. It's so surprising.

"K" and "S" are kind enough to hand off their 3 month-old baby "R" to me to hold after she's been fed. She's a super mellow, beautifully plump little baby with lots of dark hair and really intense dark eyes. R seems perfectly content to simply be in my lap as I ask K & S to provide some advice for a soon-to-be new parent.

Many of the people I meet have learned from my SIL of our recent failed adoption. They're all very kind. And while people's kindness just a few weeks ago was simply more than I could bear, today their kindness feels soothing and healing. Surprisingly, I'm able to talk about what happened without feeling resentful, sad, angry or exhausted. Instead, surrounded by the joy of the party and the joy of the people and with little R hanging out so happily in my arms, I feel OK and even hopeful in a way that I haven't felt in weeks.

As if soon the baby in my arms will actually be our daughter.

08 April 2011

Bad days and good days...

Today...a good day.

So far.

Husband wakes me up and off we go to the gym - he to a personal training session and me to my beloved treadmill (2nd one in from the left in the set of treadmills that do not have television screens attached to them. I come to the gym to get away from watching tv!)

While Chris gets put through the ringer by his devilish little trainer (she's tiny, petite, adorable and smiles very prettily while she tortures him), I pound out two and a half uphill treadmill miles. It feels good to sweat.

And now we're back home getting ready for the rest of our day. I'm clackering away here. Chris is making himself some breakfast. The grumpiest cat in the world, our Cecil, has a little pep in her step and is busy doing kitty acrobatics with her favorite toy in the middle of the living room. Not bad for a cat who is turning 18 in just a few weeks.

"Who put a quarter in you this morning?" I ask her. (And she has now stopped her play to crawl into my lap while I type...this is a little challenging as I have a laptop computer. Can you see the visual?)

So, so far today the blues have not come crashing down on me.

Off to seek sustenance and a shower.

Today...a good day so far.

07 April 2011

Good days and bad days...

Yesterday...bad day.

I keep saying that I'm going to move on...move forward...move wherever. I'm going to be in the present moment. Live life. Focus on the good stuff and all of that other jazz. And then sadness, headache, tummy ache and just plain lowness hits me like a ton of bricks.

That would describe my yesterday. All ready to head off to work when the nausea kicks in. And my head starts pounding. And the tears start flowing.

Damn it.

"Have you talked to N [my therapist] recently?" Chris asks me last night. He's been watching me as I, with a definite lack of enthusiasm, fold my laundry  (oh, and he comes home last night to find me huddled up on the couch once again drowning my misery in Animal Planet, the Food Network and movies about which I usually could care less. Did I really need to watch the moderately awful "Valentine's Day" for a third time?)

"No," I reply, "I haven't been to see N in a while."

Chris raises his eyebrows.

"Maybe you should."

"I don't think that I have the energy to re-hash all of this for her," I reply, not looking at him and instead focusing on the t-shirt I'm folding.

"Still," he says and pauses, "I think it might be a good idea."

Well, of course it's a good idea! Seeing my therapist and talking through all of this crap - it's a frickin' brilliant idea! But I don't want to go! I just want to be done with all of this. I want one of our agencies to call today to say that we're on our way. That we'll be doing soon rather than this interminable thinking, wondering, waiting, hoping, agonizing, fretting.


So much for just spending some time in the present moment while not thinking about or writing about all of this adoption stuff.

I'm hoping that today is going to be a good day.

I've had enough of the bad days.

Wish me luck.

03 April 2011

Being present and moving on...

I don't want to disappear again from posting here.

Like I disappeared for a few months earlier this year...until we got The News that it had all fallen apart for us. However, now I'm not sure about what I should be writing anymore.

Writing about the monotony of the waiting seems...ummm...rather monotonous. For you. And for me.

And exploring all of the reasons why we're adopting...well, been there and done that. If you've been following along for a while you'll know that I've covered a lot of that ground.

From time to time I still visit a few blogs of folks who are either violently opposed to adoption or have reasons to dislike it just to keep myself informed, but I don't feel the need anymore to write lengthy posts about them. Again - kinda been there and done that.

My worries about becoming a mom and taking care of a child...over the last two years I've worked through a lot of that, although I'm sure that it will all come up again when we actually bring our daughter home. But, until then, think I'm all set with that subject.

So, what else is there?

Apparently - and amazingly - I have run out of adoption fodder. Or maybe I've just run out of steam for any further exploration of all things adoption. For a while anyway.

It would seem then, that until we receive some new news, I will instead simply post about other things for a while. Just spend some time being in the present moment and sharing what's happening here.

So, what's happening in my present moment (that has absolutely nothing to do with adoption or waiting or hoping or worrying) is that it's a gorgeous day. No clouds. Sun. Not too windy or cold. A perfect day to throw on my walking duds and hit the bike path for a long walk. And that's exactly what I'm going to do.


01 April 2011

Actually moving forward...

So, I think that I'm pretty well de-funked.

Thank goodness.

Been going to the gym this week. Eating well. And generally settling back into life.

And, of course, I've settled back into the waiting groove.

It's easier to wait now that just about everyone in our lives knows that our adoption placement fell through at the last minute. No more having to explain. No more saying "Chris and I will just move forward" or "I'm doing OK"  or "well, obviously the Universe has other plans for us" or "It is what it is" or any other hope-filled re-frame that I can think of to make others feel better about my pain. So many people have expressed their sympathy and asked their questions (for which I am really, truly, deeply grateful - even if I didn't sounds terribly grateful in that last sentence...) and heard the explanations. So, now it's a relief that I don't have to keep talking about it.

It's a relief to once again be in a place again where sadness and grief aren't at the forefront of my consciousness.

There are little twinges when I walk by the baby's room filled with all of the baby stuff, but they're just that - twinges. Not the deep stabbing gut pain I was experiencing until just a few days ago.

So, life is moving on.

Chris and I are indeed moving forward.

We're doing OK.

The Universe has its plans for us and we'll just have to be patient to see what those plans entail.

It is what it is...