Thursday, September 29, 2011

From 5 to 14 almost overnight

We are officially matched. We had our disclosure meeting where we went over the child's records with her therapist and case worker. We didn't see anything we didn't think we could handle so we are moving forward with visits. Our first visit will be in a park with her foster family and our family on Wednesday. I have no idea what to do or say. I'm absolutely frantic to get a room ready for her, even though we have no idea if we will really be bringing her home in another month or two. My head is spinning so much it's hard to concentrate on anything else. I have gotten zero work done all week. I go from giddy to nervous wreck in .005 seconds. If I'm not careful my fingers will look I put them in a blender by Wednesday.

I was so concerned with behaviors and past history that I didn't really get much info on what she likes. I know she likes to sing (yea!) and go fishing (double yea!), but that's about it. We are going to bring a card game to play at the park in case the conversation lags and maybe a ball to kick around. We haven't told Kira yet, which is killing me, but I don't want her to have time to worry about the future before she meets the child. I have to come up with a code word for her. I'll work on it.

I can't believe we might be taking on a 14 year old! I was just getting used to the idea of 5!

Friday, September 23, 2011

emotional whiplash

So. I feel a bit sheepish. I am tempted to erase that last post, but what I was feeling this morning is still valid so I think I will leave it up.

Big News:

We were matched with the 13 year old I have been told about.

Right after I posted the last rant, cried a whole lot, wrote a bitter and negative email to my husband and cried some more, I finally checked my private email (a no-no at my job) and realized a message had come in from her social worker at 9:30am, right around when I was working myself up into a good cry.

I'm a little embarrassed, a little giddy, a lot terrified and a whole other stew of emotions I can't yet identify.

This is only the start of a very long road. When I got some more information today there are a couple of things that are pretty concerning in her medical records. We will have a meeting sometime next week to go over all of our questions and meet the parties (except the child) involved.

I'm terrified we will meet her only to break her heart all over again. At the same time I'm so looking forward to taking her shopping, brushing her hair, and asking her to teach me how to catch a damn fish. I'm so excited about the prospect of an older child. And nervous!

If any of my readers have had foster children or adopted older children - PLEASE give me some advice on what to do when we meet her. I want her to feel safe and wanted.

There is a lot more to this story but I am exhausted from the extreme lows and highs today. I won't be able to share specific details about what we find out but I will update what I can in general terms. Wish us all luck and pray if that's your thing.

obviously not done with the pity party yet

Everyone I have called lately to vent about how hopeless I feel in this quest for a child has said the same thing - Trust that what happens is supposed to happen. It's a variation on the saying "everything happens for a reason". I've always thought that was bullshit, I still do. The people I'm close to that can understand this situation are all very spiritual. I am not. I believe in a higher power that created the miracle of life but then pretty much left it to do its own thing. I believe that people can have some effect on things by giving positive or negative energy to it, but I don't believe someone can change something just because they wish to and believe in God. That just means that when the baby still dies and the phone still doesn't ring that I didn't pray hard enough, or that I wasn't worthy. Why should I do that to myself? Wishing isn't going to make a child. Relaxing isn't going to make a child. So all those well meaning stuffed shirts can just go stuff themselves.

I have come to a decision today. I am obviously depressed and not handling this well. I need help. I'm going to look into counseling again but more importantly I'm going to give myself permission to stop fighting. It seems like that is all I have done for the last seven years. Fight for my body to work, fight for my babies to survive, fight for my husband to be a partner, fight to find a child that would fit in our home. I am really fucking tired. I feel like I am killing myself by slow degrees. I don't enjoy my life at all right now. I go through the motions but I'm not even trying in my marriage.

So I quit. I won't try to convince my husband that he is making this impossible with all of his ridiculous restrictions. I won't try to get pregnant by making myself sick with drugs. I won't continuosly call the useless adoption coordinator to make sure our names are actually on the list she keeps losing. I won't search the web for pictures of children with case workers that never call anyone back. I'll keep our home study updated and go to adoption picnics but I'm not going to kill myself trying to MAKE this happen.

To my well meaning friends this will look like acceptance. It will look like I am finally relaxing and letting whatever happens, happen. But that's not it at all. I am going forward with the assumption that I will never have another child. I'm going to grieve that loss now so I can get on with my life. Then if a miracle occurs I can be happy about it. I suspect this grief will be just as powerful as it was when Aiden died. I suspect it may take even longer to get through. But although I am very sad and still angry right now, I don't have that crushing axiety that there is something that I can do to change this. I'm not as powerful as I'd like to be. This sucks and it hurts almost as much as watching my baby die. I guess to some giving up is acceptance. To me it is just one more failure in a very long list. One that I think I can get past eventually, but it doesn't hurt any less. I just hope I can hang on to the giving up part while still leaving the door open for miracles. Having hope is the worst torture of all and one I'd like to be well rid of.

So - commiseration is always welcome but please don't tell me it will all work out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Always picked last

This really is like high school all over again. I'm standing on a softball field, awkwardly crossing my arms across my chest, trying to look like I don't care that the overweight girl with asthma got picked before I did. It doesn't feel any better now than it did back then. I know that its not about me. I know that it's more important for these kids to find a home where they fit than it is for me to find my child. But its hard when I watched my co-worker get a baby within a month or two in a fairly unethical way, just because the case worker liked him. Its hard to know that the factor most likely limiting our likelihood of being chosen is the one thing I wouldn't change for all the world. If someone just told me that having my daughter was the most happiness I was allowed to have, I guess I would have to accept that, but no one says that. Everyone expects that we will adopt, and then get pregnant, because as we all know, adoption is the cure for infertility. I want to live in everyone else's world; the one where people get what they want and deserve, the one where deformed babies only happen to druggies and little girls don't know that death is forever.

There are so many things I want to say. Some are sad, some are not. But I only have time for the words that most need to be said. I love that I can come here and be heard and understood. I really will try to find more time to write about more than one aspect of my life. I need it, so I need to make it work. If someone figures out a way to add 4 hours to my day without exhausting me, I'm all ears.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I can't decide which one hurts more

Something happened to my neck that is causing excruciating pain. The doctor is worried it is a herniated disk because I have pain and tingling in my arms. I won't know until it doesn't get better because my insurance won't cover an MRI until after physical therapy, which I won't do because I can't afford it.

While kind of buzzed on pain killers I stopped by the bank to ask if we would qualify for a small loan to finance a private adoption. We won't.

The match meeting for our possible match was Tuesday. They haven't called so I'm assuming they didn't choose us.

Right now - besides being nearly incoherent with rage and despair - I just can't decide which of those things hurts the most.

I really don't understand why the universe hates me. And if one more person tells me about how their faith has seen them through I will punch them in the face. Hard.

Monday, September 12, 2011

***Crickets****

It's been a month since we were told we were in the running for a 13 year old girl. I was told to send questions by email. I did, immediately. I have heard nothing. Zip. Zero. Even after a couple of phone calls and several emails. I know I'm being a pest. I don't care. I cannot for the life of me understand why it takes so freaking long to line up parents with waiting kids. This girl has been on the heart gallery for over a year. They had so many home studies they had to do more than one match meeting. I get that they are overworked, but this seems really extreme to me. How can it take up to two years to say here is the family for you? It's not like they are turning away all the home studies. They are just taking a really damn long time to hold the match meetings. It's driving me insane. How many birthdays is this poor girl supposed to spend alone while the social workers coordinate calendars?

They posted on the heart gallery that this girl has a family now. Does that mean we didn't get picked? Or does it just mean they are close to choosing and don't want any more home studies? I can't even get an answer to that question. If it's no, fine. I'll move on. I was in the process of starting domestic infant adoption when they called. I froze everything waiting to learn if we would be chosen. Instead, I got crickets.

Now I get to go see my 21 year old, pregnant with her second child cousin this weekend. Joy. I wonder is she will ditch this one with her mom while she goes out partying. I'm starting to understand kidnappers, I really am.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This hurts

I want a baby. Every avenue possible to get what I want is being blocked by two things. Money and my husband. One of those obstacles can be removed. Aren't I a horrible person for thinking that?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hell of a week

We haven't heard anything about our potential match. I spoke to the therapist and made a list of questions for her and the caseworker. Neither of them has responded except the caseworker told me she was really busy and would get to them soon. I expected a wait but it feels like forever! I've managed to put it out of my mind for the most part right now because there is so much else going on.

My sister and I are planning to visit our grandfather in two weeks. He's had a lot of health issues lately and we wanted him to meet his great-granddaughters before it's too late. When I tried to get in touch with him to let him know we were coming, I found out he was in the hospital with pneumonia. This wouldn't be so bad if the daughter that lives near him wasn't such a crazy and self centered person. She has already had security called on her at the hospital. What kind of care is he going to get if they are all trying to get the crazy person to leave them alone? She is also trying to talk my grandfather into leaving his wife, who has Alzheimer's, and coming to live with her. Oh, the drama! This is going to be an interesting trip. Fortunately I am not quite so worried about my grandfather now, he seems to be doing much better.

My coworker with the foster kids he didn't want no longer has them. They called the social worker to come get the older girl after she threw a tantrum that included some verbal threats. The social worker took the girl to a mental hospital WHILE SHE WAS ASLEEP!!!!!! I'm so fucking appalled I can't see straight. The younger girl went on a cleaning spree trying to make sure she didn't get removed but it didn't do her any good. The social worker wants to keep the two girls together so she is moving them both into a group home. Those poor girls. If my co-worker had only done just a tiny bit of research into parenting hurt children he would have known she would have a melt down after visiting her mother who was on her way to jail. Maybe he wouldn't have been able to calm the girl down but I really, really don't think she was ever a threat to their baby. It absolutely kills me that I couldn't take these girls. I am feeling pretty resentful towards my husband for that one.

I can't wait for hurricane season to be over. That stupid storm (Lee) took the entire holiday weekend to pass over us. We had tornado warnings every two hours for 3 days straight and nearly constant rain. I am grateful we aren't dealing with any of the severe flooding some people are, but I am damned tired. Between my daughter being scared of the lightning, my phone constantly beeping emergency signals, and my husband blissfully snoring, I got very little sleep this weekend. Not to mention having to be the sole source of entertainment for a very bored and very demanding 5 year old. I never thought I'd be so happy to go back to work.

I hope everybody is staying out of the floods out there, hopefully this is the last of them this year.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Mommy, I don't want to die!"

Oh, god. What am I supposed to say to that? I tell her she won't die. I tell her only the old and sick die. She is a smart girl and doesn't believe me. She doesn't think I can protect her from everything in the world, because I can't. And it hurts so fucking much.

Every night for the last 3+ years - since long before Aiden was even conceived - we have sung her four songs at bedtime that she picked herself. One of them is an old Irish song called "Cockles and Mussels". It is about a girl that dies and her ghost keeps going up and down the street, "singing cockles, and mussels, alive, alive-o". Tonight is the first time ever that she has asked why the girl in the song died. That discussion went into her fear of dying, which she has been bringing up a lot lately, and then into why baby Aiden died. I have always followed everyone's advice and told her the absolute truth. He didn't grow the way he should have and his heart had a hole in it. She worried that her heart or stomach would get holes in them. Nothing I said seemed to help ease her fears.

We went through all the heavy stuff in one conversation: where do babies come from? how do they get the baby out? what happens when we die? when will I die?

I am wrung out. I wish my 5 year old did not know that death is forever. I wish I could tell her the sick fish went back to live in the river. I feel like I'm kicking puppies telling her the harsh facts of life at this age. And I've been doing it over a year and a half. When will she stop worrying?