Okay, my concerns seem pretty silly now, she seemed totally fine with our house and was very nice. I'm sure we said some stupid things during our interview but hopefully they came off as fixably stupid. (I can't answer questions about discipline where I don't have all the variables! I need all the variables!)
We have the second homestudy in a week, then we just wait for the next step.
Our homestudy got pushed back to tomorrow because of the weather. I am trying to figure out if I can/should take the day off work tomorrow
- it's not like I will be very useful at the office, right? I keep
worrying about things in our house being potential roadblocks. My fingers are tap tap tapping and my mind is running through all possible scenarios, including fairly implausible ones, like our gutter falling off and hitting the social worker. She wouldn't want to give us kids after our house attacked her, right? WHAT IF MY HOUSE ATTACKS THE SOCIAL WORKER?
Or my dog starts humping the cat or she hates our political views or our stove ventilation isn't enough and so this house will never ever pass a homestudy. (I am actually worried about the ventilation thing - we have a gas stove and there is no exhaust fan above it in the kitchen. If this is a problem we are looking at a couple grand to install one and who knows how much time.But it's not something I can fix overnight so I just need to cross my fingers and hope it's not a problem.)
We at least have most things in place. We bought locks for chemicals and booze, got fire extinguishers, and my amazing friends came over on Sunday to help clean so my pantry no longer looks like an episode of hoarders. And as they keep reminding me, people are homestudy approved all the time that have way sketchier homes, financials and personalities.
(Yes, there are sketchier people than me. Stop looking skeptical.)
Really I think most of it goes back to that childhood fear of worrying that she won't like me. I remember in seventh grade having my two best friends hand me a note right before I got on the bus that said "We don't want to be your friend anymore." I had no warning that they were going to cut me out completely so I think I always get a little compulsive about checking that my friends aren't quietly annoyed and planning to stop returning my calls. (Which of course I then need to be careful about because nobody appreciates being constantly asked if they like me...but you like me right? You the reader? You think I'm funny and smart and you're not embarrassed to be seen with me just because I sometimes wear questionable color combinations?) And for all that having a random friend not like you can make you feel badly, *this person* has the power to change your potential family if you come off as flaky or too crazy liberal or something, (I mean, really? I don't want to adopt an infant because in my mind there is a tenuous link to coercive anti-abortion practices? Shut up, me. That answer sounds batshit. We went through some potential homestudy questions and discussed them last night. It was...interesting. A and I had some good conversation about how we ended up here and while we both are happy with it, we both recognize that I sort of made a unilateral decision. More on this at a later time.)
There was a discussion over on Jezebel yesterday about the "just adopt" trope.
The process of IVF vs the process of adoption are so different - I can see how some people would find one process easier than the other. For me, adoption has been harder because of that element of feeling judged. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the necessity of screening potential parents carefully. The hoops aren't there just to drive me batty. But it still brings up those insecurities. We had to provide six or seven people as references, then the agency sent them forms to fill out. I'm fairly certain that most of our friends think we'll be good parents, but what if I was wrong? What if one of them secretly thought - I love Io and A, but they're just not ______ enough to have kids. With IVF if I had the money nobody was question whether I was good enough to have a kid. With adoption, other people get to make that judgement. Even though our caseworker said she got all our references back and that some accompanying letters made her teary, I'm sure there was a section about our faults and weaknesses. I think it's important to consider those, I just don't like that other people are the ones naming them. We don't get to see the letters and forms from references.
This may be whiney and immature as completely irrational of me. But it still makes me feel like I am back in seventh grade territory.
Ok, so to back up a bit, since the process is a little (lot, I am a moron) slower than it seemed on Friday...
A year ago we decided that we needed to move. Our tiny house in the ghetto felt too small for even the two of us and the neighborhood was going downhill and we just needed a change. So we bought a new house, which we love. It's in the downtown area and when the weather was nice (Is winter ever going to be over? It just doesn't seem possible right now. I AM OVER THIS COLD COLD HELL.) we were biking to work every day. The new house comes with some fantastic neighbors (mostly without children) and five bedrooms. Even after using bedrooms for us, a guest room, an office and a family room we were left with an extra one. After our old house, which was a tiny bungalow, this seems an embarrassment of riches. (There is more than one bathroom people! I'm like Bill Freaking Gates! Two people can get ready for work AT THE SAME TIME.)
I started researching adoption agencies. I requested information from a few. A lot of them felt squicky to me. Heavy on flowery prose, light on actual information. There is a big law firm in town that does nothing but adoption and they do a lot of recruitment that is very heavy on anti abortion rhetoric. It's a business and it feels like it. Even most of the not for profits seemed the same way. I found one agency that advertised in what seemed like an ethical manner, and seemed diverse and upfront and committed to open adoptions...and then I started looking at the foster adoption pages.
Coming to adoption, for me, was about letting go of some things I really wanted. I wanted to experience pregnancy, I wanted to have a child that maybe had some of my genetics, flaws and all, to have a shared heritage. But I'm never going to have that. I am never going to have that. I'm just not. And somehow, in finally coming to peace with the fact that I will never have that, I felt like it opened me up to being okay with some other things. If I was going to miss feeling my child kick in the womb, maybe it was okay to miss their first steps. If I didn't teach them to walk, well, maybe I could teach them to run. Somehow letting go and accepting those first losses made the possibility of other losses a lot easier to imagine.
After we called and got registered for classes A and I started looking at the children that are legally free here. For the most part, the ones that make it to the states photo listings are older and often part of a sibling group.
And many, even most of them have problems, seen and unseen, but they are all lovely in their own ways. It's like the floodgates have opened and each thing we decide we are okay with makes it easier to be okay with the next thing. If we were okay with a toddler, well, school age would be easier for our schedules, and we love our nieces and nephews that are 6 and 8. And if we are okay with 6 and 8, 10 is still a great age and look at this available girl who couldn't be more like me and is 10! And then our caseworker called and suddenly we are having a serious conversation about teenagers. We have both worked with teenagers and you know what? My college kids are still my kids. They still need advice and mentoring and somebody to help them. So young teenagers? They have years of childhood left.
(And then all this super chill, mature, zen state leaves me and I realize that we'd be teaching kids to drive in a year or two. That, I am not sure I am ready for. Or dating? Not ready. This potential kids are good looking children. We'd need to have some serious conversations with them. And don't even get me started on college costs.)
So, back to the practical side of things...
Our homestudy should be soon, probably within the next week or two. We have taken all our classes (which is a whole 'nother post) but they don't schedule the homestudy until you have all your paperwork in, which we did not. But we were close enough and they thought these kids were a good enough match that they want to submit us for them. So now we are rushing to get everything in place. The pets have gotten their vaccines updated, we went to the doctor (for an hour and a half. Seriously, how long does it take to fill out a form that says "Not close to death, mentally ill, or on drugs"?) and there is now a fire extinguisher on each floor of the house.
So now we keep cleaning (and locking up alcohol and bleach and oh god, a kid could fall right the hell out of those windows, do we secure them or is that a fire hazard and why the hell would a teenager fall out that window and even if I secure them, a teenager can undo a damn baby lock.) and freaking the fuck out.
Actually, you probably (maybe) don't know who the hell I am. But! if somehow
you came over here from my old blog, you may have thought I had expired long
ago into a puddle of wine and self pity.
Not so! (Very close, as I am good at both spilling wine on myself and
rolling around in self-pity, but I failed to stay down. No, I got back up and
decided to FIGHT!…after a year, year and a half, whatever. The point is, I
am here now. Again.) After failing at the IVF that my husband A and I had saved
up for (then lost all our savings for after he lost his job, then saved up for
again) I really didn’t have any idea how to proceed. IVF was supposed to be
(even though I knew the statistics) the golden ticket.
And after actually living the statistic and realizing that I was only a
so-so responder who had a surprise low AMH, I just wasn’t willing to gamble
To make a long boring and plotless story short...we are now starting the process of adopting from foster care. We want to be parents.
-----So. That up there? That was the beginning of the post that I wrote yesterday. I was going to come back to writing today and finish it. I was going to write a few posts about what how we came to this conclusion, what we've done so far, the classes, the paperwork, the asking people to please write nice stuff about us and don't mention that time in college...
But I'm going to have to come back to that.
This morning I got a frantic call - then text - then email from our caseworker, who said "I know you guys haven't even done your homestudy yet, but I want to email you information on these kids that just got sent to me. I think they'd be perfect for you guys."
If we decide we want to apply for them, she's willing to fast track our homestudy and get us approved. Like, soon. Like, I might have two kids next week. Maybe. I don't know. I don't know anything. Oh SHIT. I don't know ANYTHING.
After waiting like 37 years to do IVF I felt like I (mostly) knew everything I needed to know going in.
This adopting thing? I'm still trying to figure that out. I might need another 7 or 12 years before I have read all the blogs and know what to expect.
Did I mention that once we decided to adopt that we rejected my mother's offer to pay for private infant adoption? And instead, go through the foster system? And unlike everyone in our classes, we're not interested in toddlers?
And that the two kids we might have soon are...teenagers?