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Yep, we’re done our homestudy. Another item checked off on the long adoption list of things to do.

It went ok, all things considered. DH found it very easy to talk and I found myself not talking much at all. Oh well. We covered a lot of material on our families, our childhood and even to past relationships (surprisingly, not so awkward since DH and I have known each other forever).

When taking inventory of our lives like this, we’ve gotta admit that we’re unusually lucky. Both of our parents are still together, our families are close and I love my in-laws. We never went through the rebellious teen years, did well in school and are pretty settled now.

So, you can imagine my surprise when our worker made it seem like this is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to adoption.

I understand that her role is to see how well we respond to different situations and react to different ideas she brings forward. But the fact that our lives are actually pretty boring apparently means we might not be able to understand some of the trying circumstances that birth families come from. Ok, I guess I get that.

But then again, even if we did go through some difficulties in our past, I still don’t think we’d ever be able to say to a birth family that I know what they’re going through. By virtue of my infertility, that’s going to be the case. Also, there are a myriad of issues a birth family might be working through and I don’t think I could even come close to imagining what that might be.

Now, I could have gone on the defensive and talked about volunteering on a crisis line, or watching a good friend struggle with the demons of addiction, or being there for a student who was weeping in my office because of her unwanted pregnancy (this was many years ago). But I don’t think that really matters.

In the end, I’m pretty happy with the life we lead and the experiences we’ve had. It’s true, we like hanging out with our siblings, we don’t drink that much (DH rarely even drinks socially), and our parents are still actively involved in our lives but I think that’s ok. And this is be no means a criticism of the homestudy process… I guess it’s supposed to force you to look at things from all perspectives. I also think it’s difficult to make a judgement call on someone’s lifestyle and ready-ness for a child in a few interviews. I gotta give kudos to the workers who do their best to distill our lives into one report.

Next step: the homestudy report needs to be completed and then we wait. We’ve put our name in to a couple of private agencies and plan to pursue a couple of public agencies, but I fear it will be a long wait.

So, what am I going to blog about now?  YIKES.

You’ll know I’m doing well when you notice that I haven’t been blogging much. After that last pitiful post, I heard from my client and suddenly I had another deadline coming up… FAST!

What this shows me is that I need to be working. When the slower periods last too long, my mind wanders to negative places (see previous post). Oh sure, I can fill my days easily enough, especially as I get settled in our new community, but when I wasn’t in school full time, I’ve been employed since I was 18. Self-employment is not for the insecure (ie. ME!). I keep wondering: why hasn’t my client called? Why isn’t anybody calling? Have I screwed up that last job so badly, they can’t even acknowledge me? If I want to make a go of working from home, I’ve gotta stop personalizing all of this!

I’ve just submitted a proposal for work with a government organization. This could be good if I’m successful. It would definitely be more stable! Of course, I’m not sure of my chances, because I’ll lose points for not being from the region (which actually counts for a lot in their evaluation). Oh well, I had to try.

AND, I was surprised to receive an email on Wednesday requesting an interview for a job I applied to months ago. I thought I didn’t make the cut! I know I’d rather work from home, especially because of the adoption but this job is the closest to my ideal job. It’s in my field, with a large organization whose values I believe in, the corporate culture is so good that it wins awards AND they’re known for their innovation. I think the interview went well… I never felt uncomfortable and it seemed like the interviewer was interested in what I had to say…? I went into the interview thinking “Meh, I don’t even know if I really want this.” After the interview, I decided I would definitely love the job.

We’ll see what happens. It’ll be at least 3 weeks before they shortlist to a second round of interviews. In the meantime, I have to bill my clients for the work done in February and prepare for a presentation at a symposium I’ve been asked to speak at. It’s back in my old community, so I’m excited about that!

In terms of the adoption, we’re almost at the end of our homestudy interviews. I think after this week, our practitioner will be ready to start drafting her report. My feelings during the process have gone from positive to negative and back again. I think my interest in the job is also caused by the realization that we may not get a placement for at least a year. That seems like such a long time.

Ok, I should stop now and catch up with everyone else! Have a good week!

glass of red wine that spilled

My contracts finished last week, so I’ve been able to go through the homework from our adoption training sessions. These have to be handed in during our next homestudy this weekend.

I’m finding it really difficult to get through these questions without crying at least once. Admittedly, I get depressed when I’m not working. Add my period to the mix and the fact that I’ve never gotten over that little bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, I’ve miraculously conceived… and suddenly, I’m not in a good headspace. I thought after we made the decision to adopt, I’d get over it, but that’s not entirely true all the time. Guess I’m just feeling the loneliness of being in a new town so far from my friends, the anxiety of being unemployed and hopelessly infertile.

Here I am, answering questions about the life I would give a child. I’m forcing myself to imagine all of the things we’d do together as I prepare responses to the questions on what I can do to support their development and what DH and I have to offer. First, I imagine all of the birthdays and holidays with our families. Then, I’m imagining that I’m sitting anxiously during our first visit to our family doctor. Next, I’m asked to take stock of our life and inventory all of the things I can offer a child to satisfy the basic needs of life, the amazing extended family that are all waiting his/her arrival, the Church and school which are both walking distance, the parks and conservation areas where we’ll go on nature walks….

So, I’ve spent the last week imagining the life I so desperately long for, answering questions that some people never have to consider and it feels like it’s breaking my heart.  I know it’s simply part of the process, but it’s just so hard.

It’s been a sucky week. Sorry for the whine. I’m sure things will turn around next week.

Dear Large Bookstore Retailer,

Thank you for figuring out yet another way I can be marginalized because of my infertility. I thought I’d experienced it all, but you proved me wrong.

This weekend, DH and I drove into the city and decided to waste some time surrounded by books. I went to check out the parenting section to see if there were any books on adoption. I walked past the first set of bookshelves… no books there. Okay, maybe the second set of shelves… nope, no books there either. Third section: nada. Well, let’s move down to the obscure fourth shelf.

And there, at the very end, were the adoption books. While the plural form, “books” is grammatically accurate, it doesn’t really seem to capture the disappointing collection of “two.” I looked up to see what this section of books was apparently labeled so I’d know better for next time: “Alternative parenting.”

Oh.

Alternative parenting? Is that like alternative rock? While I do like alternative music, is there another way we could categorize the adoption section? Granted, infertility has shunted us out of the “mainstream” but really, do you have to reinforce this further?

Anyways, dear Large Bookstore Retailer, I suppose I’ll retreat into my dark corner for now with the rest of the alternative folks.

Thanks for trying.