Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September Raffle

Wow, I can't believe I've got two raffle drawings done already. Thanks to everyone who has purchased and/or sold tickets, posted my link on their Facebook pages or tweeted about it.

The September raffle is here, and is especially for my friends in Red Sox Nation. (I can play nicely.)

A book signed by Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione. Originally published at the start of the 2004 season, the book was updated and revised to include Boston's World Series win later that year.

And a leather jacket from the Boston Hard Rock Cafe (thanks Lesley!):

Maryland is 2-0 in the Raffle Drawings!

Congrats to my dear, dear friend Jan K. of Columbia! She won the Longaberger basket and Mary Kay items.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting Some Baby Time

I visited with my friend Chris and her daughter Julianna the other day. I think it was the first time I spent that many solid hours not thinking about work. And even though we talked about adoption quite a bit, I didn't really think about it. It was just conversation between two girlfriends.

And exactly what I needed. With the exception of a long weekend here and there, I've not taken any substantial vacation since last year. And right after my last failed attempt in February, I jumped right into finishing all my paperwork.

I really haven't had any time for myself, just to enjoy being. No thinking about shots and hormone levels, no thinking about what meetings I have the next day and how I'm going to get everything off my desk, no thinking about how I'm going to pay for this, no thinking about the never-ending wait.

We walked, we shopped, we had yummy pizza. Julianna splashed in the fountain, and then after being with me and her mommy for several hours, she finally snuggled up on my lap, happy as can be. And I was happy to let her snuggle. I could have sat on that bench on afternoon with her in my lap.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friends, far and near, then and now

I received an email from a college friend the other day. Someone who at one point in my life knew as much as there was to know about me. As it happens, especially in a time when we didn't have Facebook, or even email, we drifted apart. Does that make me sound incredibly old?

Well, it's true. When I graduated from college in 1993, we had computers but the internet -- or the information super highway -- was this abstract thing. But thanks to FB, I have reconnected with people from college, from high school, from all facets of my life.

Anyway, back to this amazing email, which I will read and re-read. I've had people tell me I'm brave, that I'm so strong, that I've put up with things far longer than they would have. But never quite like this. So on the days when I feel like this journey is never-ending, I have this to re-read:

This message is coming out of the blue I know and don't think I am some "crazy" stalker, but yesterday you posted something on FB with a link to your Baby Steps blog and as I was reading that I found your other blog. I read it all and I so wish I had words to express my emotions as I read it all. Your journey has been incredible. I admire you for your strength, courage, and just your over all self confidence. I know you had emailed in the winter a little about what was happening in your life, but to read your blog, put it in a whole different perspective. I can't say I know what you went through, but after reading your blog I feel like I know a little bit better what your journey has been like. Like I said, I don't really now how to say what I am trying to say and I don't want it to sound condescending or "wrong", but I am proud to be friends with someone as strong and determined as you are. You are going to be a great mom and I know you will raise a strong, self confident child who will have a heart as big as yours. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog and I can't wait to hear about the day you get a referral and I have to say, I am amazed at the whole process and shame on the hundreds of countries around the world that don't allow single people to adopt from them.

I know this is kind of all over the place, but after reading it all yesterday I wanted to email and like I said I don't really have the words to express all that I am feeling, but I hope you get some idea of it. Know though, that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you continue your journey and I am proud of you taking control and doing what needed to be done to fulfill your dreams!
Talk to you soon

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wise Women

I have very wise friends in my life. Thankfully. And lucky for me, I always turn to them when I'm feeling crappy. After reading the weekly update the other day, I did what I always do. First, I wrote it all down. Write it down and get it out of my head.

And then I called someone. My practical friend Hope was the lucky one to talk me off the ledge this time. First, in her very matter-of-fact way, she said, "Wait, you were counting on 18 months, instead of 22. They told you 16 to 22 months, so we should be thinking 22 months. If it's earlier, then bonus."

And she's right. As she usually is.

But I was still thinking. Still planning. Or trying to. Is it worth throwing away the almost $10,000 I've already invested in the process so far to sign up with one of the others that has a shorter wait time? Of course I know the answer to that, but an even better reason was pointed out by Chris.

This extra time gives me time to save, it gives me time to gather and nest. An extra 10 months early is not worth $10,000. And there are never any guarantees.

I wouldn't have my new dossier in before court reopens in October, and what if Ethiopia decides to cut off single women? I'm screwed. At least now, I'm in. My paperwork is all in.

And then Lesley...who doesn't think 20 months sounds that far off, she's just lamenting that we live so far away from each other, that she's just moved even further south when I'm about to be a mom. I reminded her that she gets to the be first one to meet the baby.

And so I've shaken off the sting of the new actual date. I'm still planning, still saving, still gathering and nesting. And I have very wise friends.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

As I move forward...

I move backwards. *sigh

The weekly update this morning indicated that actual waiting time for babies in the 0- to 12-month range has now jumped from 18 months to 20 months. Babies in the 12- to 24-month range are still at 19 months.

So much for November 2011 as my target. Looks like December or even January 2012 before I even get a referral.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


  • Babe's uniform number
  • A hat-trick
  • When scoring in baseball, the first baseman
  • The number of witches in Macbeth
  • Blind mice, little pigs and musketeers
  • And as we learned from School House Rock, it is the magic number

And three is the number of months I have officially been on the waiting list.

Three months down, 13 to 19 to go.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Holiday Season

Courts are closed for the rest of August and September for holiday. No progress for families waiting for court and travel dates.

The good news for me -- because I'm always trying to look at the positive, right -- is that most likely, my referral and travel and court dates will all be after the holiday season, so I shouldn't be effected by them. And if I am, it's a good thing, because then it means things happened sooner than I was expecting.

The weekly update is still saying 18-19 months for referrals for my age ranges. Still putting me at November 2011 -- 11/11 has a nice sound to it, no?

Most families waiting for a court date are waiting between 1 and 3 months after they have accepted their referral. And the estimated time between the two trips is 3-7 weeks.

So by my 42nd birthday we'll all be home? It's a nice thought.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All the Singles Ladies

I received an amazing email from my placement agency today. They are starting a phone support group for singles. I immediately responded to sign me up!

So what is a phone support group? It's new to me, too, but according to the email: "Although staff facilitate these groups, they are really run according to the needs of the participants. These sessions are designed to help prospective parents talk to each other, exchange ideas, figure out how to cope when the wait is hard and celebrate when they receive good news."

It's so great to know that even if in the minority, our agency cares about the unique demographic of single adoptive parents. They understand that "single parents have unique concerns and needs as they approach their adoption and that they want to connect with one another."

So beginning in September, you'll know where to find me on the third Wednesday of the month, between 7 and 8pm.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Making Progress

Or at the very least it's acceptance.

I couldn't let my last post on the other blog be my last post on the other blog, and so I went back to say that I've learned that while I still get a certain level of annoyance whenever I see a woman with a baby, I quickly move beyond annoyance and once again look at how cute the kid is.

I've learned that being inconsiderate is not the same thing as being malicious. And I was equating someone's lack of empathy, someone's inconsideration to mean that they were purposely trying to hurt me. And that's not the case; they just can't see beyond themselves at that moment.

Someone said to me the other day that in all I did trying to get pregnant, I can never say "if only I tried one more thing." I quickly said to her, "I should have started sooner." Meaning, I waited too long, 37 was too old. Meaning, I could have done more.

I thought about it all day and starting sooner wouldn't have made a difference. I've learned that this is the way I was supposed to be a mom. And going through the last three years got me to this point of acceptance.

All painful and expensive lessons, but lessons all the same. And lessons I'm paying attention to.

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's all making sense

I had dinner the other night with my new friend Chris (the one I met at the picnic). She brought her daughter home from Africa earlier this year. We had a great time, and she was a tremendous resource. I tried to temper the amount of questions I was throwing at her.

At one point, she saw the St. Gerard medal I have on my necklace and asked if I knew who the patron saint of adoption is. I didn't. I have St. Gerard since he is the patron saint of motherhood an fertility. And out of habit, I haven't taken him off my necklace yet.

This morning, I looked it up. The patron saint of adoption is St. Thomas More (also Saint William of Rochester). But it was the Thomas More part that gave me pause, and made me see the bigger picture at work. Or at least some random coincidences that may not be quite so random.

After the IVF cycle (in which I would ultimately become pregnant) I attended midnight mass with Bubbles at the cathedral in Baltimore. I wrote about it on the other blog, but the part you need to know about is:

...went to midnight mass at the Cathedral with Bubbles, lighting a novena, praying to Mary, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Thomas More for the three precious little lives inside of me.

I specifically prayed to St. Thomas More because I attended St. Thomas More Church when I lived in Rochester, and I attended St. John Fisher College. (John Fisher and Thomas More were both beheaded together, or in very close proximity of one another, by Henry VIII.)

So when Bubbles and I were lighting novenas and looking for the best saints to pray to, I was immediately drawn to Thomas More.

Nearly two year later, maybe now I know why.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thanks for the reminder

I received a postcard in the mail yesterday from the Sears Portrait Studio. The headline?

"The Big One! Happy birthday"

And then below that: "your baby is turning one and you must have a portrait to remember this big day forever."

Sigh...yes, had there been a heart beat on January 27, 2009, and all the weeks after that, my baby would be turning one, next month in fact. But there was no heart beat, no more to come at all. There are people in my immediate circle who knew I was trying, but didn't know that I had actually gotten pregnant.

How the hell does Sears know? And if they're so smart to know that, how come they didn't know the rest of the story?

I don't need the reminder, thank you very much. I'll remember each September, even when I have my baby home.