Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good

I've been hitting the gym full force in the past few weeks, increasing my running speed and in the process my endurance. I will be ready to stop sprinting this week and start going for distance and time.

I'm going to Baltimore for Opening Day! It makes baseball feel that much closer knowing that I already have tickets to a game this season.

Lent started this week, and my friends and I all decided that I'm too fragile to give up my "vices," the usual things I give up at Lent, namely chocolate and/or soda. So I've decided to do one random act of kindness every day. Giving someone the right of way at the stop sign or holding the door open and letting the person go in front of me -- just simple things, but sometimes it's the simple things that are the big things.

I've been keeping busy -- dinner with friends, sewing class, comedy festival, happy hour, and projects.

Speaking of projects, I started working on what I'm calling a "cookie exchange quilt." My friend Kim (from Ladies in Waiting Book Club) and I decided that we would each make 20 quilt blocks (10 different designs, two of each). I'll keep one set of 10 and send her the others; she'll do the same. We collaborated on the color palette and decided on a "sampler quilt."

I've been cutting out the material during our Friday craft hours at work and yesterday, sewed together four sets of blocks. the colors may be crazy but I'm excited to put together this quilt. It will have so much meaning behind it.

The Bad and the Ugly

I'll just lump this all together and be brief. Emotional eating has decided that it needs to be my friend this week. I'm hoping the gym will counter effect it.

And I'm no closer to making a decision about moving forward, so everything is still on hold. I'm not ready to give up, but I'm not ready to move forward.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Just Money

I have received my final bills and once these are paid, I'm hoping that I can let go of the bitterness and move forward. Debbie's bill was nearly $4000 ($3736.06 to be exact). She drastically reduced her fees, with the final breakdown being:

  • $3208.30 legal fees, reduced to $1000
  • Office fees -- $183.80
  • Takisha's telephone -- $167.26
  • Childcare for Takisha's toddler -- $735
  • Groceries & basic necessities for three weeks -- $600
  • Counseling services -- $1000
It is a bitter pill to swallow. I don't spend $600 for three weeks on groceries and necessities for me. The counseling services were for the social worker, who at the hospital told me this was a "done deal."

And as I said before, it seems like quite the scam that Takisha was able to pull off. But I knew this could happen. I signed a contract, with sentences like "You understand there is no guarantee this adoption will succeed although my client has sincere and serious intentions to proceed with the adoption placement with you."

And it seems that Rebecca could not get the agency to lower their fees. I received an invoice for $650, which wouldn't have been awful had it not been accompanied by a letter that started with how sorry they were and ended with, "we would be happy to assist you in any way in the future."

That little statement at the end of the letter will cost them at least one pay period before I write this check. I will pay it. Again, because I knew going in that this could happen and that it would cost me.

When I first started this process, my mother asked me about this very situation happening. "But you'll lose money." Yes, but it's either that or not move forward.

Without risk, there is no reward.

And so, it's just money. And once I pay this last invoice, I can close this chapter and move forward.

Whatever that means and however that looks.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Life without Sense

I want life to make sense again. I don't know how that looks and what it means, I just want to know that I will get through the day without crying, or without feeling like I will hate people for no reason. I want to know how I will react to my friends' happy lives.

I have friends adopting, friends in the early stages of love and friends expecting. I'm listening happily, oohing and aahing, making baby blankets and planning showers. Some might say that I should be distancing myself from some of this, but honestly as much as it hurts to be involved, it would hurt twice as much to not be involved.

I want know that my friend gets butterflies whenever she say her new guy's name. After feeling I lived through every moment of the frustrations related first to Ethiopia and then switching to China, I absolutely want to hear every detail from the moment she laid eyes on her cherubic face to this past second. I want to know about the amnio and the ultrasound. I want to know about morning sickness and weight gain.

These are the things that make sense. Unfortunately, they aren't my life. My life doesn't make sense. I'm not in love, I'm not pregnant, I'm not even close to having a baby. I still haven't unpacked from my misadventure in New Jersey, can barely open the door to the baby's room.

But I'm hoping that the feeling of things making sense in other people's lives with start to rub off on me. And someday, things in my life will start to feel like they make sense.

My Favorite Line from TV This Week

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith: You want to take out her ovaries? She's 32 years old.
Bailey: And nice. And un-deserving. These sort of things don't happen to nasty people.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Words of Wisdom

I am lucky. I know that. But it's nice to be reminded of how much love and support I have around me, and never has been more evident than the past week.

My niece has texted me everyday just to check on me. I've gotten cards in the mail, comments on my blog, emails in my inbox, phone calls from places far and near, and hugs at work.

My parents met me at my house with donuts when I got back from New Jersey. And later that evening, a friend from work came over with her pannini maker and a cooler full of cheese and meats for yummy sandwiches, the fixings for a salad, a bag of frozen sweet potato fries, and a pan of brownies.

Some of the best advice I got was from another prospective adoptive parent whom I've never met. She read my blog after a friend forwarded to her. She had just been through a similar situation. "Take time to comfort yourself even if it's not the healthiest way...but also find ways to comfort yourself in healthy ways, like walking, running or hitting a punching bag."

Nice to know I'm on the right track. I had macaroni & cheese from Panera on Monday, lunch with two girlfriends; and then Cold Stone Creamery for dinner that night with another friend. I did manage to get to the gym in between. Tuesday, I went to the movies with another friend and had popcorn for lunch. And then although Wednesday I went back to work and my normal gym routine, I've eaten a lot of m&m's. I'm giving myself through the Super Bowl to enjoy comfort food, and then much beyond that will piss me off when I step on the scale.

Lesley, who dried many tears on Friday night, texted me on Sunday: "Remember life is kinda like the World's the best of seven. So you're down but there are plenty of games left!"

From my 7-year-old great-nephew, when he heard my niece and her husband talking about it, "she can't give up. She has to keep going."

And then from another Baltimore friend, about my reluctance, ambivalence, confusion over whether to move forward with Debbie: "Just a thought or two. You are right about questioning the lawyer situation. Once the rawness of the situation has settled, it should be something to address. I just ask you to consider a couple of things: how long have you been with Debbie? You are right about how difficult it can be to start with a new lawyer. Has she let you down in other situations before? I am assuming this situation was a first, but in other smaller incidents, any uneasy feelings with Debbie? And what I gathered from your blog, Debbie wasn’t the only person fooled by this mother. Didn’t the social worker also feel that the adoption was happening?"

It was nice to hear that somewhat neutral perspective from someone, because right now everyone's so raw, so angry, so completely wanting to blame someone, that I haven't heard something neutral, nor have I been able to think along those lines.

And so I'm taking a break right now, focusing on me, getting back into my routine, doing good things for me, and at some point, I will figure out what to do, figure out how and when to move forward.

And as I was reminded, that if doubt ever hits me once I continue this path, I should re-read the quote that I have as my email signature.

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.
        --Babe Ruth