Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Good Holiday Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Mister and I had so much fun. For the first time this year, Mister and I had Christmas at home. By ourselves. Usually we alternate holidays and years with our families, so if we spend Thanksgiving with my family, we'll spend Christmas with his family and then the following year we'll do the opposite - Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. It works, sort of. That way we spread out the holidays with different sides of the family and end up having time with everybody.

However, what I've always wanted is to have Christmas at home, in my house. Of course, I've always sort of fantasized that we'd have kids in this scenario, but whatever. One thing at a time I guess. This year, Mister found out that he will be doing some traveling to work over New Year's. He'll be working in PA, about 30 minutes from where his parents live. So once he knew we'd have to be there for New Year's, he didn't want to spend 8 or 9 days at his parent's house. His parents are great; we all get along, but let's face it - 9 days is a long time to spend together. So we'll go down later this week and stay for the long weekend.

This Christmas was exactly what I wanted. We were together, it was quiet and fun at home. Connecticut got slammed with a blizzard on Sunday, so we were snowed in for a while. But we cooked, we ate, we watched movies, played games, drank wine, shoveled the snow, ate some more, drank some more wine. I'm telling you, it was exactly what I wanted from a holiday. (Mister did, by the way, get me the necklace I wanted in this post. It's not this exact one, mine is smaller, but it's similar. I'm so excited. I keep touching it and thinking about the baby who will someday join our family.)

This Christmas was so strange for me. I've turned an emotional corner on holidays, and I can't quite understand why. Christmas in 2006-2008 were so hard for me. I was so sad for the babies that we didn't have, for the family that I really wanted. I just felt like our family had a big hole in it, so between my mom not being with us anymore and no babies either, there are just people missing. My mom's not coming back though, so it's a different kind of hole in our family from the babies who have not yet arrived. But this year, I just wasn't as sad. In other years, I haven't wanted to decorate, to send cards, to travel, to bake cookies, any of those things that people do. This year, I felt like a cloud was lifted off me. I wanted to do all of those things. (Except traveling, which we didn't do... yet. And because we already had our Christmas together, I won't mind traveling a bit.)

We had not ever celebrated a holiday together with just the 2 of us before. If we had had a baby early in our marriage, we probably would have wanted to stay home together for holidays before this. Since we haven't had any babies, we had never talked about just staying home. It was like it didn't exist as an option. I really never considered it. I loved it though. I wonder if we can figure out a way to do it again next year!

2010 was really a great year for us - we moved to our new house, which we love, Mister finished grad school, we finally finished our home study and are now on a path to become parents. In one year, that's really a lot to accomplish. Because those are all really happy things, I was able to feel fairly content this year. For the first time, I've been able to look back and some really wonderful things that happened to us this year and feel proud and happy for all that we've been able to do, and not only feel sad for the people who are not here with us.

So I'm in a good and peaceful place after the holidays. A good place in our marriage, with our families, with the adoption, with everything. I hope that everyone feels this calm, peaceful and happy in 2011.

And of course, I also hope that we're matched quickly and that I'll spend most of 2011 being someone's mom. That's my Christmas/New Year's/Every Single Day until we're matched Wish.

This is one of my favorite ornaments. And you know, you're supposed to wish on a star, so I'm making my Christmas/New Year's/Every Single Day until we're matched Wish on a star!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Waiting Game

Well friends, the day has finally arrived. Our last bit of paperwork has been submitted and we are officially waiting. I suppose not officially, since I just mailed the stuff today. We filled in all the checklists and budgets and releases and whatever else, stuck it in the mail today and sent it off. I guess we'll be officially waiting on Thursday when the agency receives the paperwork. I'm celebrating today though. I figure that since it's now out of our hands and on its way, I'm counting us as waiting from today.

So I introduce you to the Lilypie ticker. It's going to help me keep track of how long we wait. I imagine it'll be long, but there's always the hope that it'll be short.

For a fun quote on the subject of waiting, we turn to the wisdom of Homer Simpson.

"Well, John Q. Driveway has our number. Now we play the waiting game."
(Long pause)
"Awww, the waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry, Hungry Hippos!"

I suppose in our particular case, it's not John Q. Driveway who has our number. So for us, I could say, "Well, John Q. Adoption-Agency has our number. Now we play the waiting game!"

Anyone want to play the waiting game with me? Of course, I'm with Homer - I'd much rather play Hungry, Hungry Hippos too.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I'm just going to take a moment to point out something that bugs the crap out of me.

I *HATE* this commercial.

"It's 2 AM.... Christmas morning... our first Christmas as a family."

After feeling angry that Kay Jewelers obviously thinks that Mister and I are not a family, I feel sad for these 2 jackasses that their lives had no meaning until apparently 2 months ago when they made a baby.

Now, in order to present the most balanced approach, I will say that it's possible that they were not a family last Christmas. My parents were married in January and my brother was born in December of the same year. So Christmas 1973 really was my parents' first Christmas as a family. And they had a new baby. So while it's possible that these people were married in early January and got pregnant immediately thereafter, I really don't think that's the Kay implication on that one.

So yuck on that commercial. Because Mister and I are a family. A small family, but a family nonetheless. Whether we ever have a baby or not, Mister is my family.

Because I don't want to leave on a sour note, I will sign off with my absolute favorite Christmas commercial in the history of Christmas commercials.

I love that little red kiss with the solo at the end. And then he's so worn out he has to wipe his brow. As if a Hershey Kiss has a brow! It's so cute.

What commercials do you love (or hate) lately?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Busy busy!

Does decorating for Christmas turn anyone else into a cleaning machine?

This weekend was crazy. It was the kind of weekend that made me glad for Monday so I could finally get some quiet! On Friday night, Mister and I went out for sushi (yum, sushi) and scheduled our whole weekend plans.

We woke up early on Saturday, planning to clean the house, buy our Christmas tree, decorate the house, decorate the tree and run various other errands. I started with cleaning because I couldn't stand the thought of bringing a tree into a messy house.

The worst part of cleaning and decorating for me is that it becomes a never-ending spiral. We decided to put the tree in the living room, which required moving some of the furniture. No one on here knows me in real life, so I can admit this in relative anonymity. I hadn't moved the furniture for a few months. There was a lot of gross stuff behind those couches! Of course, I can't vacuum behind and underneath one piece of furniture and not the others, so we moved pretty much everything out of the living room so I could clean it. Phew. That was long. Then I realized that I couldn't clean the living room without cleaning the kitchen and dining room either. So my quick cleaning before I move the tree in actually became a long cleaning and it took several more hours than I thought. Then we went out, did some errands, and bought a Christmas tree. By then it was after dark! We hung up some of the outside lights, had some hot chocolate and called it a night.

Yesterday we did some more cleaning and organizing, more errands, grocery shopping, decorated the tree and I baked some brownies.

I have to say, since I stopped working, I rarely have weekends with that much activity. Our weekends used to be that busy, but lately I spread out our errands across the days.

Today, Mister went to work and he's going out with a friend after work tonight. I hope he doesn't wake me up when he comes in, but he will be home very late. It's about 25 degrees and he and his friend have gone to the Jets game up in MA. I have to say, I'm not jealous of him at all. I don't like football and I can't stand being cold. I'm glad his friend invited him so that he gets to go out and do these kinds of things. I have no interest at all, but I hate to see him wanting to do things that I won't do. So I'm glad he has a chance to go with a friend. But man, I am not jealous of that experience!

Tomorrow night is the local adoption meeting, Wednesday I'm interviewing a pediatrician for our baby (hee hee, our baby! I love it) for whenever we're matched, so hopefully on Thursday I'll be able to submit our final bit of paperwork to the agency and we'll be really waiting.

Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do about the drug test. If I ever get around to doing it, they'll probably think I took so long while I waited for all the illegal drugs to leave my system. Ah, the irony. Really, my issue with it is the abuse of power. I just bristle at the thought of quietly submitting to an abuse of power. And the fact that the process to become a substitute teacher in this town is more stringent than to become an adoptive parent, that just seems so strange. If CT required drug tests for everything, fine, whatever. It's still an abuse of power, but if it's state-wide, then I wouldn't be able to avoid it. However, none of the other towns around here requires a drug test, so if I want, maybe I'll just sub in one of the non-power-abusing towns. We shall see.

And now for something completely random... We have those candles in our windows for Christmas, so the shades are only down about 2/3 of the way. As I've been sitting here typing this, I'm looking out the window. My neighbors across the street have come home since I've been watching. This house has a mom and a teenage daughter. Both of them are home. It's completely dark outside now, but the house across the street has no lights on. Maybe it's an early bed night at their house too...

And how bad is it that Mister goes out for a night and my most exciting plan is that it's an early bed night?

Friday, December 3, 2010

A little excessive?

First, let me start this post by saying that I don't mean to start any fights or rifts or anything. I think I'm probably the most apolitical person around. I wish there were a political ideology that I felt truly represented me and what I want from my life. There's not, so I try to stay out of the fray as much as possible. Every once in a while, though, something happens and it pushes my buttons.

Second, I will finish the "starting this off" by telling you that it got to be way longer than what I had intended. I apologize for my poor editing. Concise writing is always better and more compelling, and I definitely am lacking the concise today.

Recently, I told you about how I received an offer to become a substitute teacher. I was excited for the opportunity, and frankly, while Mister and I aren't starving, the money wouldn't hurt. So as soon as the HR department sent me the paperwork, I started reading through it and getting ready to fill it out. Since then, though, I've been really conflicted about if I want to fill out the paperwork and apply for this job at all.

This town, in order to qualify someone to become a substitute teacher (an at-will, per diem, $10/hour job, mind you) the applicant must take a drug test. Honestly, I'm insulted and offended. It sounds silly, but I just think it's too much. And I really do not want to take a drug test.

This school district is one of the best in Connecticut. They certainly have their pick of anyone to hire. I sincerely doubt that drug addicts are applying for jobs here. This is an unnecessary and excessive show of force. "If you really want a job, just take the drug test..."

It bothers me that simply by objecting to the drug test, I arouse suspicion about myself. Which is crap. They also require fingerprints and police clearances. So basically, if I had had a problem with substance use at any point in my life, it would probably by now be a matter of public record. Instead, my public record is a blank sheet of paper.

My public record consists of very little contact with law enforcement. In my driving life, I've been involved in 2 accidents, neither of which was my fault. I've never even been pulled over for speeding!

In Connecticut, in order to pass our home study, we had to submit police clearances for every town and state we've lived in for the last 5 years. That was pretty easy, we've only lived in 2 towns in 2 states in the last 8 years. Then we had to do FBI background checks. I never had to pee in a cup though. What's up with that? In order to be a substitute teacher and earn $10/hour, I have to pee in a cup at the skeevy hospital? But to have a baby, the state has no such requirement. In fact, I've worked in 7 school districts in my life, and none has required a drug test.

Here I am, 34 years old, with a teaching certificate and a master's degree, with a completed and approved home study to adopt a baby, and I have to take a drug test to become a substitute teacher. I've never been convicted of a crime, in fact, I've never been arrested. In my life, I've never touched an illegal substance. I wouldn't even know how/where to find one if I wanted to. I barely touch legal substances. (Pespi withdrawal going poorly, btw. Hence the mood to get annoyed by miniscule things, I suppose.) I pay my bills, I pay taxes (as married renters with no kids, let me tell you, we pay a $#!@ lot of taxes.) I have always done the right thing and made the responsible decisions in my life. When will I reap those rewards for always being responsible and doing the right things? Not this year, apparently. Because if I want a job, I will need to take a drug test at their hospital of choice, which happens to be a hospital I'd never enter of my own volition.

I don't know. I just think it's too much to ask. But really, what's my option?

I could suck it up, take the drug test and start cashing (tiny, $10/hr) paychecks.
I could suck it up, take the drug test, and let the district know that I'm offended and insulted by even the suggestion that I take illegal substances. Which I really am.
I could say nothing and not return any paperwork and not work.
I could not return the paperwork and not work and tell them that I won't be taking a drug test unless they have a reasonable suspicion to ask me to take a drug test. Which of course means they won't hire me because even my saying that makes me look like an addict.

I feel like it's important to tell them that I'm thinking of this and that I have a problem with drug testing without any reasonable suspicion. But saying that I have a problem with their policy sets me apart as a trouble-maker and possibly a user of illegal drugs. Which I'm not. Not a trouble-maker and not a user.

It upsets me that in my whole life, I've never done a suspicious thing. I've never committed a crime. I've never taken an illegal drug. Yet because I'm applying for a job I'm suspect. I'm lumped in with criminals and addicts because I'm applying for a job. And not a job to operate heavy machinery, or be trusted with state secrets. A substitute teacher job.

So I'm tempted to write them a letter and tell them that I'm happy to be a substitute, and I'm happy to take a drug test if they can give me any reason at all, (excessive absences, tardiness, physical symptoms of drug use, whatever) that I should be suspected of drug use. Unless and until they can do that, I'm not taking a drug test.

But then I think it would be nice to teach again, even if they will only pay me $10/hr. And I'd happily cash those $10/hr checks. And I'm an easy-going person who just wants to go through life and not make trouble or get up in people's faces about things.

But on the other hand, it just seems so excessive. They could probably determine what they need to know from public record. And then no one would have to examine my bodily fluids.

I just never knew I felt so strongly about this, and I really don't know what I want to do. I've been thinking about it for almost a month now and it's not any clearer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


It's been a crazy few weeks around here. Mister took a class over Thanksgiving, so he went away. It was a pretty cool opportunity - to take a week-long "study abroad" class. However, it meant he was away from me on Thanksgiving, which was kind of sad.

So I piled my stuff in the car, took the dog and we drove north to MA to spend the week with my family. It was good, my dad and my brothers were all there.

But weird, because my dad invited my mom's family. It's so strange to me that my dad is getting close with my mom's family at this point in our lives. My mom was never close to her family, so they were this side of the family that I never saw that much growing up. Consequently, I'm not really close to them, and actually I'm kind of suspicious of them. My mom was always pretty honest with me about her relationship with her siblings and it was not a good relationship. Sure, people change and all of that. So it's possible that my aunts and uncles have all grown up and changed and become normal. Sure, it's possible. But I'm not holding out any hope or anything like that. Anyway, Thanksgiving was fine. Everyone was social and appropriate and it wasn't too bad.

Mister came home on Sunday from his trip, and then he had to go back to work on Monday. Now this week I've been sick, so I think I've mostly slept this week. It's been kind of boring. I might be ready to shed the sick and laying around boredom for some excitement.

And in adoption news, we're *STILL* not officially waiting yet. "Wha!??!" you say? Yeah, me too. Our social worker found some more paperwork for us to do before we can be officially submitted. Sigh. We have to find a pediatrician, and while I'm tempted to just write down a name, it's probably better to take the few days and do the research.

But in good news, I wrote an e-mail to someone that I've seen on an adoption forum. Her signature says that she is from the town next to me, and that she works for a local agency. So I asked her for any recommendations on a pediatrician who is experienced working with adoptive families. She wrote back to say that she has many friends who live in my town who have adopted and that she'll call them for me and see who they use for doctors. Then she said she's a facilitator at a local adoption group and that they're having a meeting next week and that I ought to come! So I think I will. And then I can ask people what doctors they use! Or even just meet other people who are adopting and local. That's pretty awesome.

Now Mister and I are meeting for lunch. We have a favorite restaurant that's opening a new location nearby, and we've been waiting a long long time to go to the new place. It's finally open, so we decided to meet up for lunch. This is what I love about having my days free! I can go on a Thursday afternoon and meet my husband for lunch. Ah, sweet unemployment...