Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm here.

I'm here, I'm around. I'm trying to read and keep up and comment...I'm sorry if I've missed people. And I'm sorry I haven't responded to questions in comments--hi Angela! Hi new readers--Homesteaders, Aecusack--I always intend to go and respond to comments and then never do. Please don't give up on me.

We've been busy. Updating paperwork for the adoption--it seems our agency fired our Ethiopian attorney so whoops, we needed to do some updating in that regards. More authenticating of documents which means another trip to the Secretary of State's office. Today I will be dealing with USCIS because of our impending expiration of our federal fingerprints, oh dear. It's always something but that's ok. We just keep moving forward.

I dreamed the other night about my Dad.

In the dream he was smiling, wide and bright and even. Even. Not the one-sided smile that we rarely see anymore--he just doesn't show emotions.

And then suddenly he was standing there, in his running clothes. His old-school running shorts and one of his threadbare marathon running t-shirts.

He looked at me and said "Let's go! Who wants to go running?"

And he took off running.

And in my dream mind I was so proud of him, thinking, 'wow, my Dad is still running at age 72.'

I think--I hope-- that will be my Dad's heaven.

It has to be.

Endless even wide smiles and long runs with strong legs that carry and carry and carry him as far and long as he wants to run.

I try to imagine a world where there aren't disabling strokes and other devastating illnesses, where there is no infertility, where babies aren't taken too soon, and where there aren't beautiful innocent children in Ethiopia--millions of them--wondering why no one is choosing to be their family. Where there aren't children hurting and longing and aching for parents anywhere.

I can't stop strokes--though every day in my work I try. I can't cure infertility. I can't stop the unfairness of it all. But hopefully--God willing, the Ethiopian government willing, our Secretary of State willing, our federal fingerprints willing--hopefully....hopefully....

On a much lighter and sweeter note, another thing I can do while I wait, is make cakeballs. Wedding cake cakeballs to be precise (stolen, naturally, from Bakerella!).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We're All In This Together

And by "this" I don't mean IF. I mean life.

This weekend is the enormous Austin City Limits Music Festival. Mr. LC and I lucked out in a major way and scored free three-day passes (they've been sold out for months and cost an arm and a leg) that also have all kinds of special access--backstage access, artist village access, free food and drink, and getting ferried around on golf carts rather than trudging around through the 'masses.' It's awesome I must say. Last night we saw Beach House and Spoon from the stage, and then Vampire Weekend. Super duper fun. We can go back today and tomorrow, rinse, lather, repeat.

(Spoon from balcony onstage)

But this morning we will not be going. Instead, we will head out to walk in a fundraiser for autism, called "Autism Speaks" and walking with Team WonderBoy! (look towards the bottom right, where teams are ranked in terms of funds raised--his team is fifth!)

I'm sure you remember me posting and linking to my good friend's blog, Little Wonderboy. He's two and a half and was recently diagnosed with autism. Today we will all don super hero attire and walk in his honor.

I should have posted the link to help raise money--but that's a funny thing to do in this space. I know many of you are struggling to pay enormous sums of money for the chance at a child, asking you to donate to another cause can be hard.

But when Megan's son was first diagnosed I felt at a loss--how to help? What to say? I don't have kids (you heard, right?) and so I simply cannot comprehend the enormity of the love a parent feels for a child. I think I have glimpses of it, but yet I know I just cannot know. And then to know your child will face challenges...well, that has to cut you to the quick and leave you breathless when you think of the future.

But we're not so different, are we?

I remember writing these words to her: "I may not know the specific pain you're feeling, but I do know what it's like to have your life go in an entirely different direction than you ever imagined. I know the feeling of being out of control, of life feeling profoundly unfair, I know pain."

We all know pain, unfortunately. And that bonds us together, unites us in our various fights and challenges.

Today we walk for autism.

Go Team WonderBoy!

PS If you're inclined, motivated, inspired to donate, they're still taking them!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Feel Better

If you would have told me four years ago and that I could come to a place and write down my feelings and receive support from people all over--most of whom I have never laid actual eyes on--I would have laughed. I wasn't one of 'those people.' But writing is therapeutic for me, reading your comments is therapeutic for me. If I had kept everything that I have poured out here, and on my old blog, in my head...well, I can't even imagine what might have happened. I might have ended up in a nice soft padded room somewhere post meltdown.

The other thing that saves me? Exercise. It saves my sanity and (sort of) my waistline because I do love to eat. Today I went for another long trail run--I used my handy dandy Iphone app to GPS track my 6+ miles-- all by my lonesome as the Mr. is at a work conference. But a trail run in weather like we've been having...I sometimes don't see how I can ever run on the road again. This is what I was looking at today, just me and the trail, the trees, the sky, the hills...

This is the creek we saw yesterday, where I saw the Dads playing with their babies.

What saves you, besides blogging?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Well I hate to do it, but...

I hate to waste my 200th post responding to someone's cowardly anonymous comment. But if I must, I must.

First of all, anonymous, you must live a really charmed life to have never had moments of self-doubt.

Second of all, if you knew me at all, if you'd read my blog, or my previous blog, you'd know we always said we'd "have one adopt one" long long before we knew we had fertility issues. In fact, our reasoning for 'having one' first was so that no adopted child would ever feel they weren't enough. So no, this isn't a resort of the desperate. It just took a long twisting and turning road for us to realize we were going to end up skipping over the 'having one' part. But sometimes I still hurt, and I get scared, and I have doubts. Hmmmm, I guess I'm a human.

Thirdly, the fact that you used the verbage "You want your own" makes me wonder about you and your thoughts on adopted children. I don't think of my future adopted child as anything but my own. So yes, I do want my own, and she will be it.

Oh anonymous. You bring tears to my eyes. You don't understand stream of consciousness. Just because I said I am tired of reading doesn't mean I won't read. It doesn't mean I haven't already read. Do you think for a second we just woke up one day and decided to adopt? If so, you don't know much about it or the process. Duh. My words in the previous post don't mean I won't fight the hardest fight I can to make sure I do the very best I can for my child. And I can't fault you for knowing this because no one here does--but we have already made a pretty significant decision after doing much reading on transracial adoptions that impacts our adoption in a huge way. In a way that will be wonderful and hard, but is in the very best interest (as best as we can tell with our research and reading!) for that child. So please, quit being hateful.

I have tears in my eyes because if you intent was to hurt me, consider yourself successful and give yourself a pat on the back. Feel better about yourself? In my estimation, intent is the most important thing related to our actions. My intent is to become a mother. A good mother. My intent in yesterday's post was to share my fears because I think they're normal. I won't apologize for them. I can't. Denying feelings is far worse than acknowledging them and dealing with them.

I know I can handle tough situations. Try mentoring a kid with all kinds of problems for seven years. Try changing your own father's diapers. Try going through fertility treatments. Maybe you did all these things and more, how do I know? You hid behind the comfort of anonymous judgement.

And for the rest of you who offered gentle support, encouragement, and no judgement, thanks. I recently read the following and it resonated with me: I've been blessed with love both human and divine and I believe that there is no essential difference between them. Any person who acts out of love is acting for God. Thank you for allowing me to be human. Thank you for allowing me to have a moment or two of self-doubt. Thank you for knowing that writing any of that won't make me any less of a mother; that acknowledging some of my fears should in fact make me a better mother.

Your intent is obvious.

PS I did go for that run. 8.1 miles. Another 5 today. And today--if I wrote my stream of consciousness--it would be completely different. Because today I teared up when we were trail running, the mister and I, and we stopped by the creek, running beautiful and clear, and saw four Dad's dipping their little babies into the water. And my heart leapt--leapt!--when I visualized Mr. LC dipping our little one into that same creek some day. It was a beautiful vision, one I can only hope will come true.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

Stream of consciousness writing.

I am scared. I know it's normal. I've read enough to know that.
What are we doing? This isn't like 'normal' parenting--anyone who says it is is deluding themselves. Anyone who says that love can conquer all is actually being silly and naive and it's frankly insulting. Do they realize? No, they don't realize. They just want to help. But I don't want it, thankyouverymuch. I know we chose this, right? There's the rub. We chose it. It chose us? I don't know. A few months ago I was more sure. When did this happen--the older I get the less sure I get? Seems a bit unfair...I was supposed to get more self-assured with every candle added to the birthday cake but um, no that isn't happening in this realm. What if we're making a big mistake? White parents/black baby/conservative suburbs? We should move. We have a five year plan. But then we have to get new jobs, new careers...I've worked hard for my career. Is it such a big deal? When I'm there it is, I feel like my job matters. When I'm away from it, maybe notsomuch in the grand scheme of things? Who knows anymore. Does anyone feel like they ever do enough, give enough, say enough, don't say enough, care enough, engage enough, disengage enough? Does anyone? We're all just hurtling through space on this great amazing planet that we're all destroying, bit by bit, some of us faster, some of us slower but we're all still destroying it. And yet did I just let the water run the full two minutes while I was brushing my damn teeth? I did indeed--add another layer of guilt. We tell ourselves by adopting we're doing the right thing, ecologically speaking, not making any more humans to destroy the planet but when did we get so eco-friendly? We chose not to do donor anything because we didn't want to have 'those' talks but come on, didn't we all fear when we were growing up that we were secretly adopted? Did we fear it? Or sometimes wish it was true? Those days we simply could not stand our families, those days that everything they did, said, stood for, looked like, ate, breathed--it was all wrong wrong wrong. I had those days, many of them. I didn't want to be connected to those people in any way shape or form. But no, I never really hoped to find out I was adopted. I have no idea what that would feel like, how can I? So my kid--yeah, she'll know. She can't not know. She'll look too different from us. So there won't be any big moment of announcement, but there will be a moment of realization. Realization, when she's old enough and wise enough and smart enough to know what it all means--and she'll probably hate me for it just a little bit, if not a whole, whole lot. That's going to be a fun time, eh? Yes we chose this. We did in the strictest sense....we didn't choose to have fucked up gametes and to waste four precious years of our lives pursuing mad science-esque treatments and spending all our money and losing our religion and coming apart at the seams only to stitch ourselves back together and come apart yet again but in the stricted sense yes we chose that too. Sometimes I'm ashamed of it, sometimes I'm amazed by it, and sometimes I'm just raw over it. Maybe now I'm just numb to it. We didn't choose donor because I couldn't imagine those moments of realization either. Do people without fertility problems realize realize realize for even a nanosecond how lucky they are that they don't have to contemplate these moments of realization and understanding? I'm told to read--read read read--to prepare but can I just say that I'm tired? Exhausted even? That I am not inclined to read read read anymore. I spent four years read read reading about drug therapy and experimental protocols and egg quality and supplements and gonadatropins (speaking of gonadatropins I keep learning of more people who did multiple IVFs and now have breast cancer and frankly I'm doubting every doctor who told me these drugs were safe and that's one more thing to think about and worry about and what the fuck did I do to myself anyway??) and I'm sick of reading. Except for pleasure that is. But then I feel guilty. Like my child will be harmed because I haven't read enough because God knows I'm smart enough to know love isn't enough. Oh but I'm sick of reading and I'm sick of feeling guilty and really right now all we want to do is enjoy the two of us and not think about the adoption because it's really just too abstract. But I'm anal retentive and don't want to be unprepared or behind. And we're having such a great time right now--that oppressive boulder of endless treatments is lifted off my chest and by God! I can breathe again--and maybe we are making a mistake? Ruining this perfectly good life? If it was just the two of us we could do more for the planet, more for society--we could volunteer more. Selfishly we could travel. We could see things, do things, live an amazing life. Sometimes all I want to do is bake and cook and watch Project Runway and read for pleasure. Would we feel guilty? Would we feel empty the older we got? How do you live a life hedging your bets against future regrets? Seems impossible doesn't it? But yet that's what we're doing in some small way. I think I think too much, but when your life starts running away from you you tend to overthink things.

Man oh man oh man oh man oh man.

I'm going to stop now. It's time to go for a run. I'm going to Glide up, and go for A Very Long Run.