May 30, 2007

Squee!

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 11:19 am by Erin

Our adoption agency has received our homestudy and is reviewing it right now.  As soon as they’re done, they’ll send us the remaining dossier documents, which pretty much just have to be signed and notarized.  We’ll have our dossier completed and on the way to Ethiopia in the next couple of weeks.  The woman who coordinates with their waiting children already has our information.  They DON’T require immigration approval before sending us a referral.  We might have our son’s picture by the end of June!

I’m in tears.  I might get to "meet" him next month.  And yes, you will also–I’ll post his picture for a day or so, like I did with P’s on his birthday.  It will come down soon afterwards but I will post it.  You all deserve to see him after being with me for this whole journey.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll travel this summer.  With the court closures in August and September (and they may close for a little longer this year due to the millenium, from the rumors I’ve heard), it depends on when our court date happens to be.  If we don’t get in before the court closure, it’ll probably be late October or November before we travel.  It’ll be hard to wait that long, but being able to look at his little face will help so much–knowing that he’s waiting for us and will be home this year.

I can’t believe it’s really happening.  I was so down two weeks ago.  Now I’m so up.  I hope it stays this way!

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May 26, 2007

Nerves of steel!

Posted in The musings of Erin at 3:06 pm by Erin

J and I have decided that, barring unforeseen circumstances, we’ll be moving sometime next year.  We work 10 minutes apart and drive 45+ minutes each way in rush-hour traffic.  Due to our totally off work schedules, we can’t even carpool (and don’t even get me started on how guilty I feel about wasting that much gas)!  Next year, P will be in daycare right next to my college instead of next to our house, so either J or I will have him in the car for that whole long drive also.  It just makes sense for us to move over there.  We’d love to do it sooner but don’t think it’s feasible, given the adoption.  Actually, we’d love to do it before the adoption, but that’s totally impossible.  So next summer it will probably be.

We’d moved 4 times in the first 4 years and 3 months of our marriage.  When we bought our house, I swore to J that I wasn’t moving again for at least 5 years.  Next September will be 5 years in this house.  Close enough.  I will miss my neighborhood terribly, though.  I love it here.  It’s as close to the Leave it to Beaver type of neighborhood as can be.  And my greenhouse, which is finally done (after 2 years)!  Remind me to post pictures of my gardening attempts!

Therefore, we’ve got a year to get the house in shape to hit the spring/summer selling season.  The first thing to do is to get rid of junk.  Most of it is stored in the basement, and the biggest part of it is baby equipment.  I think we’re going to get rid of almost all of it.  Swing, baby toys, most of the baby clothes, high chair, bathtub, Exersaucer, travel system, etc.  It’s big and huge, and it’s been sitting there since P last used it.

At first, I wanted to keep it.  We’ll do IVF in the future, I’m sure of it, and hopefully we’ll have another baby.  It made sense to keep it if we were staying here, because why not?  We have the room for it.  We’ll probably use it again and if not, we could get rid of it later.  Then there was the amazing sentimental value of it.

Then I started thinking about it.  Every time I go down there, it makes me sad to see it just sitting there.  We used the travel system maybe twice because it was so big and bulky–why keep it, when we wouldn’t use that even with another baby?  The Exersaucer was old when we bought it for $5 at a consignment sale, and I’d rather buy a new one anyway.  The high chair is just a huge waste of space–one that straps onto a regular chair works much better anyway.  The clothes…well, we could have a girl.  I’m not at all averse to dressing a girl in "boy" clothes, but my MIL will buy us so much that it won’t be necessary anyway.  And if we have another boy, shopping for baby clothes is one of my greatest pleasures!

The sentiment doesn’t seem to be in place much today.  I think that, right now, I just want it gone.  Part of it is because it’s taking up space.  We’d just have to move it to a storage facility while trying to sell the house, then into the new house anyway.  What a waste of time and energy.  Part of it is because it’s a reminder that a lot of it has been down there for over 3 years already, and we’d long ago expected to be using it for another baby.  Part of it is because then I’ll have an excuse to buy new if we need it.  And part is because if we don’t ever need it, I think it would be far more painful to have to get rid of it after a final crushing BFN.

So I’m going to spend this coming week in my basement, cleaning and scrubbing and assembling baby equipment so that I can take pictures.  I’ll probably sell most online but if you know me in person and need anything, you’re welcome to it for free.  Just give me a call and let me know so I don’t list it.  I’m getting rid of anything appropriate for a baby under a year old.  Maybe even 18 months.

I know me.  If I do it quickly and don’t let myself think about it, I can do it.  It’s like pulling off a bandage–if you do it quickly, it doesn’t hurt as much.  But if I let myself think about it, I won’t do it.  I won’t allow myself to look at pictures of P playing with them, or eating in the highchair.  Otherwise, we’ll be moving them next year and I’ll be kicking myself.

May 23, 2007

Shhh…don’t tell anyone

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 11:53 am by Erin

But I proofed our homestudy on Monday.  I went down to our agency, J’s letter and last reference in hand, and said that I knew Ms BtB had submitted it to them and I wanted to proof it while I was there now that they had the last of our information.  They were pretty shocked when they realized it had been two months since our home visit and that our homestudy still wasn’t done yet.  As I suspected, a lot of it has been Ms BtB’s fault.  She could have faxed J’s letter to the agency (or he could have–she made it sound like only a mailed copy was acceptable), but she got it, recorded that she’d gotten it, and shredded it.  The agency worker who’s in charge of the international homestudies was horrified that it had taken Ms BtB two weeks to call about that (and she told me that she said J’s letter would suffice as soon as Ms BtB called her).  I also told her about how many other delays Ms BtB seems to have caused.  The fact that it has been 8 weeks since our homevisit is ridiculous.

But regardless, the homestudy has now been proofed by me.  I’ve given them the rest of their money.  It now goes to our adoption agency for proofing before being officially submitted, but the homestudy agency lady assured me that she knows people there (our adoption agency is a partner agency of our homestudy agency) and will get it proofed by them AND officially in the mail to us this week.

It all sounded fine to me.  J and I were described as loving and caring parents who have the capacity to love and raise an adopted child in the same way that we are for our biological child, and it was recommended that we be allowed to adopt a male child between 0 and 30 months, with or without special needs.  P was described as a "wonderful, lively child who is full of energy and curiosity" and goes on to describe him as "eagerly anticipating the arrival of a little brother."  Boy, I’m glad he was in a good mood that day!

I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have this part nearly over.  We have all of the advance prep documents for our dossier collected except the bank letters, which I will be getting tomorrow.  We’ll send in the I-600A as soon as we’ve got our homestudy–it’s filled out and has all the appropriate documents except that one.  Hopefully, our adoption agency will send us the other dossier documents within a week or so and then we can get those done.  From what I understand, there are only a couple that couldn’t be done before they have the approved homestudy.  Then we start waiting again–waiting to get fingerprinted, waiting to get our I-171H, waiting for our referral, and waiting to travel.  But that all feels like good waiting compared to what we’ve been doing!

May 18, 2007

You got me!

Posted in The musings of Erin at 9:55 am by Erin

Since I don’t want to think about the adoption any more right now (can you blame me?), I thought I’d do the "I am" meme that SaraS-P tagged me to do.  Unfortunately, I don’t have her talent with pictures and so mine will be strictly text.

I am…no longer worried that we’ll be in Ethiopia when the next Harry Potter book comes out.

I am…finished with my lunch of chicken nuggets and barbecue sauce.

I am…glad to have my Ph.D.

I am…thinking I should put some socks on, because my feet are cold.

I am…anal about far too many things.

I am…lousy at remembering birthdays and anniversaries.

I am…very relieved that I enjoy P (and his friends) as a toddler/almost preschooler, because those were the ages I least liked when I babysat as a teen.

I am…tired more often than I think I should be.

I am…hoping to go camping in a few weeks because mountain air is revitalizing.

I am…both happy and sad that 24 is over this coming Monday night–it’s been an interesting season.

I am…happy that my parents will be here to watch it with me.

I am…going to go eat a cupcake now.

I tag anyone who hasn’t already done this meme, but I think it’s probably made the rounds already.  I always seem to be tagged late in these.  Probably because I’m not very good at doing them!

May 16, 2007

That screaming you hear is just me

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 9:24 pm by Erin

By nature, I’m not a particularly angry person.  I have what my grandmother would call a redheaded Irish temper (despite being brunette–at least I am Irish) but it typically takes a good bit to really get it to come out.  Today, I’ve found that good bit.

The homestudy fiasco has been plucking on that last nerve for quite a while.  It just snapped when I checked my e-mail.  Apparently our social worker, Ms. By-the-Book, now says that J’s letter about his employment hasn’t been received by our homestudy agency.  It was sent two weeks ago.  She did finally receive the second fax that he sent her, though she didn’t receive the first.  Mind you, he had a confirmation that the first fax went through.  But sure, things get screwed up in faxing occasionally. 

Two of our non-family reference forms were not received by our homestudy agency and I had to follow up on those.  Both were mailed weeks ago, from what I understand.  Mind you, it took Ms BtB a month after our paperwork was turned in to even let us know that they hadn’t been received; then she told me that three had been received and one (J’s friend) hadn’t.  She called back FIVE days later to say "Oh, [J’s friend]’s reference was received–but two of the others weren’t."  It took her FIVE days to check her records and tell us that she’d given us incorrect information.  Information that we should have had almost a month earlier in the first place.

I understand the U.S. mail system isn’t perfect.  There’s bound to be an occasional letter lost in the mail.  Does it seem a little too much to believe that THREE of our pieces of information were lost in transit between mailing and their office?  All three are from in-town.  It’s not like they’re traveling halfway across the country.

I am furious.  I am shaking, I’m so angry.  I sent her a very terse e-mail saying that they needed to check again, because I’m having a hard time understanding why they’re not receiving our forms.  It has been ELEVEN WEEKS since we started the homestudy process.  Our home visit, the last of our meetings, was at the end of MARCH.  We turned in the last of our paperwork less than two weeks later (it would have been sooner but for my birth certificate that took forever to get here).  Our agency screwed up and didn’t send Ms. BtB all the paperwork at first, but it took her over a week to tell us that and to get that sorted out.  Then there were the weeks of "J needs a letter from an accountant.  Get me that letter from an accountant!" before the call of "Oh wait, he just needs to write a letter."  Now this.  The incompetence is killing me, and this is supposed to be one of the best agencies in Atlanta.

I can barely type because I want to rage at this agency, and Ms BtB in particular.  I will be writing to both of them and letting them know how incompetent this was.  I will also be writing to our adoption agency and telling them our experience, because the homestudy agency is one of their partner agencies who are supposed to meet the adoption agency’s "high standards". 

Several of the adoptive families that I know think I should demand our money back and just start over with another agency–NONE of them had experiences like this.  One suggested telling them that if the homestudy wasn’t in my hand by Friday, that they would be hearing from J in a legal sense.  I don’t think we would do that, but we did expect a timeframe of 6-8 weeks.  It’s going to be the end of May before our homestudy is done.  We had our application into our homestudy agency in mid-February.  We expected to be done no later than the end of April.

I am beyond frustrated, beyond furious.  I am tired, exhausted even, but I cannot sleep for my anger.  My hands keep clenching into fists.  I want to claw and fight and scream at the people who are not only not helping, but are preventing my son from joining our family through their passive incompetence.  They’re keeping me from my baby. 

I wish we had fired them two months ago when Ms BtB gave us such grief for not keeping the first home visit appointment, and we first thought that maybe she didn’t really have our best interests at heart.  We considered it.  We decided not to after she was nicer the next day, because we figured it was one visit and we’d be done in a couple of weeks.  We didn’t want to lose that much time.  Now we’re paying for that mistake.  We could be done with the homestudy if we’d switched then.

I thought that adoption would be easier than infertility.  Hey, (almost) guaranteed kid at the end, right?  And the homestudy is supposed to be the easy part of the process.  I can’t take this.  I just don’t know what’s going to get me through this if the homestudy is this difficult.

May 9, 2007

Things I don’t need to worry about

Posted in The musings of Erin at 8:38 am by Erin

1.  Whether the sky will fall in.  Pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

2.  Whether co-sleeping is worth it when P wakes me up by giving me kisses and saying "Hi Mama!"  (We only co-sleep when P wants to, but he’s been in with us most of the last week from about 2 a.m. on each night.  He goes through phases like this.  In another week or two, he’ll probably start spending the night in his own bed again.)  How could anyone question whether that’s OK or not?

3.  Whether I will have enough to keep P and I busy this summer.  So far we’ve got: a trip to Utah to visit J’s family, a trip to Florida to visit my grandmother (her colon cancer just came back), a trip to South Carolina to visit friends and hopefully meet DD, and probably a trip up north to visit my family.  These in addition to our zoo membership (we like to go weekly), gardening in my new greenhouse (which is FINALLY finished and of which I will post pictures soon), and seeing friends locally.  Oh, and my parents will be here next weekend and J’s parents will probably come back later this summer.

4.  Whether I’m going to get pregnant because the antibiotics for my kidney infection (why yes, I have been sick a lot lately–and frankly, I’m sick of it.  Hahaha, oh I’m so funny) might decrease the effectiveness of my birth control pills.  I laughed out loud when the pharmacist warned me that might be a concern.

May 6, 2007

Little slivers

Posted in The musings of Erin at 9:41 am by Erin

It’s now official: every one of the 5 couples that were in the very first Bradley class that I taught will be parents to two children before we are.

Two of them were already becoming second-time parents when they took the class: one had a child from a previous marriage, the other had adopted a toddler from Guatemala several months before their baby was born.  The other three couples were all having their first babies.

One of those three is due again this month and the other two are due this summer.

P was 18 months old when I started that class.  We’d already been TTC#2 for 7 months.  I’d been back on Metformin for 2+ months and was sure that I’d be pregnant before their class was done (it’s a 3 month series).  I was sure I’d be announcing my pregnancy around the time their babies were born.  I can’t even tell you how sure I was.

The first one hurt to find out about, but I was still TTC at the time.  I believe I was in the middle of or right after the Femara/Clomid/IUI cycle that wouldn’t end (which then ended abruptly right after our car accident).  That was probably when I was emotionally at my lowest ever.  So I chalked the pain up to that.  Then we decided to move onto adoption a few months later, stopping all treatments.  When I heard about the second one, I was mostly OK with it.

I just found out about the third one the other day, and it hit me hard.  Really hard.  Hard enough that I can’t stop thinking that this just isn’t fair.  I’ve heard many other pregnancy announcements in the past few months, and none of them affected me like this.  It didn’t help that it hit the same day that Ms BtB finally decided to find out that a letter from J would be enough, that we’d now wasted several more weeks for nothing, that there’s almost no chance that I’ll get to travel to Ethiopia to meet my son.

I think it was Serenity’s or Ellen’s counselor who said that adoption cures childlessness, not infertility.  We already have a child, so it’s more that it cures the feeling of incompleteness for our family.  (Or partly, since we still want more children.)  The decision to move onto adoption was at times very difficult and at times very easy.  I thought I was over the hardest part, that the jealousy and hurt and guilt and "why not me?" feelings had faded almost completely away.  They haven’t.  This last announcement brought them raging back to the surface.

J doesn’t understand, not the way I want him to.  When I tried to say that I was really unhappy last week because I’m infertile and can’t have another baby, he got angry for not including him.  As he pointed out, if I’m infertile then we’re infertile.  He’s right, I know he’s right, and I do love that he really feels we’re in it together.  But I still feel amazingly guilty.  He’s fine.  It’s not his fault.  I know it’s not my fault that I’m infertile, but it is my body that is betraying our desires to grow our family.  And I can’t articulate that to him properly.  He was ready to move onto adoption long before I was, and I don’t think he ever regrets not continuing treatments.  Until last week, I don’t think I realized that a part of me is still mourning.

I know we’ll probably do IVF in the future.  I had once said I couldn’t do it, because I couldn’t handle a negative.  The longer I go, the more I think I might regret not trying; more so than I would mourn a negative.  I know J doesn’t feel the same way, but he’ll also go along with it because of what it means to me.  Still, it feels like I’m not giving adoption enough credit for bringing me another child.  I’m not trying to wish it done with so I can move onto IVF.  But my heart just aches right now with yet another reminder that I’m infertile and that I can’t build my family with just hope and some romance.  That regardless of which route we go to bring the rest of our children into our family, adoption or IVF, it’s going to be painful and heart-wrenching and require sacrifices that most people never even consider.

I didn’t post about this when it first hit me because I thought it was just a silly reaction.  I tried to talk myself out of the hurt and self-pity.  I can’t do it like that.  My heart just won’t be dictated to, apparently.  Maybe it’ll just take time to get over it, but right now the scar of infertility feels ripped wide open yet again.

May 3, 2007

Adopted child thoughts

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 1:28 pm by Erin

As I mentioned, we probably won’t be sharing our younger son’s birthstory with people.  Some details, sure.  We’ll tell people where he was born, and we will probably tell whether or not he has living relatives–definitely will do so if we ever get to meet them, or maintain any sort of contact.  Beyond that, though, there has been a lot of discussion as to what we might share and what we might not.  It’s completely speculative right now.  We might have no information at all about him, especially if he was abandoned.  Or we might find out that his family is still alive and we have any information we need.  The truth will probably lie somewhere in the middle, but it’s all hypothetical so far.

There’s a possibility that our son’s parent(s) may have died of AI*DS.  There’s a possibility that our son’s parent(s) may not have been equipped to care for a special-needs child, or just didn’t want to.  There’s a possibility that he may have been one child too many for the family to take care of.  All of these are associated with different types of stigmas, and we don’t want our son judged by those before he’s even old enough to understand and learn how to cope.

Aside from that, if we control the information, we can parcel it out as age-appropriate truths when the right time comes.  We won’t ever lie to him, but there are certain things that he won’t be equipped for at earlier ages.  If everyone has the information except for our son, we have no control over when he hears it.  What we feel is appropriate for him to learn at age 10, for example, may be something that someone else accidentally lets slip when he’s 7 or 8 and too young to understand. 

If his mother died of AI*DS, for example, we will tell him only that she was very sick and died when he’s young.  When he’s older and understands a little better, we will explain that she caught a virus and how it can be caught, and let him know that it in no way makes her a bad person that she got that virus.  But if we tell everyone, and my Uncle Frank (I don’t have an Uncle Frank, but I do have several relatives who probably believe that AI*DS is a divine retribution for homosexu@lity–idiots, every one of them, but I still have to see them occasionally) says to my son that his mother was a bad person and immoral and that she went to hell because she caught this virus, that’s not OK.  If it happens like that, we have to deal with the aftermath–a child who now only has the information that people who get this disease are bad, and his mother must have been bad.  Then we have to play catch up to help him understand that’s not true.  We would rather not have to deal with that situation.

But regardless, dealing with his birthstory has brought up a lot of discussion.  If we share it with everyone, will it take away from it being his?  If we don’t share it with everyone, will he think we were ashamed of it?

For now, we’ve pretty much decided that we’ll err on the side of not sharing.  We can always share later, but we can never go back and un-share.  My MIL was pretty insulted when I told her that we wouldn’t be sharing the information, enough so that I haven’t found the courage to tell my parents yet.  I will when they come and visit in a few weeks.  I just worry that the more people we tell, the more likely one of them is to tell more people, and then everyone knows.  Then we have the Uncle Frank situation.

As his parents, J and I feel like we have the right to make the decision of what’s appropriate for him to learn at whatever age he happens to be.  He will eventually know all that we know–we will never lie, and we will never refuse to give him information that is, by all rights, his.  Outside of us, he should be the first one to know this information.  It’s his story, not ours.  Therefore, we want to leave the decision of whether to share it or not up to him.  Adopted children have so little control over their situations.  This is one way we can give him a little control.

May 2, 2007

Finding my voice

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 7:35 pm by Erin

Both in the blogging sense and the literal sense.  I’ve been sick and have had basically no voice since Friday.  It started to come back on Sunday, but lecturing Monday and Tuesday killed it.  Thankfully, yesterday was the last day of classes, so I didn’t talk much today and now I can croak effectively.  Unfortunately, I’m holding two 2-hour review sessions tomorrow and one on Friday, so I expect it will likely be the weekend before my voice really comes back.  I can’t read stories or sing songs to P, I can’t be understood when I try to talk on the phone, and I feel horrid.  I hope it goes away soon, since I’m tired of being sick.

You may have noticed that things have been very quiet around here.  I’ve been in adoption malaise.  Two weeks ago (which was two weeks after our final homestudy visit), Ms. By-the-Book (our social worker) calls us and says that J’s income verification statement isn’t with our packet of information.  Now, I know it is because I double- and triple-checked that everything had gone into the envelope before I sealed and mailed it.  So I explained that it is, it’s on his letterhead.  She said that wouldn’t count, he needed a statement by his CPA because our numbers from our 2006 taxes and our monthly budget didn’t match.  I explained that they didn’t match because I was a graduate student for 2 months last year, out of work of any kind for 5 months, and then got a full-time job.  J also ended a partnership and was busy building his business for part of last year, which dropped his income.  So that explained the taxes.  Our monthly budget is based on what we’re currently making, with me employed full-time 10 months a year and J making a reasonable salary–it’s a good bit higher than our actual income from last year.

She said that was fine, she could explain that, but that J still needed a statement from his CPA to explain his income.  J majored in business in college, and took tax law classes in law school–he’s never had a CPA and has always done all of his own financial recordkeeping.  Ms BtB insisted that’s what he needed, that our homestudy would be rejected otherwise.  She said maybe there was a chance that there was something else we could do, but likely not.  So for the last two weeks, we’ve been trying to figure out where to come up with the money, and J’s been trying to figure out how to come up with the time (he’s insanely busy with work right now), for a CPA to go over all of his records of last and this year, and make an official statement.

Ms BtB called again on Monday and left a voicemail to say that she wants to finish our homestudy and needs that information.  Not an hour later, she leaves another voicemail saying that oh, she’s suddenly talked to someone at our homestudy agency and apparently it’s fine if J sends a slightly more detailed letter on his own letterhead.  No CPA needed.  Two weeks of worry and wasted time.

What really bothers me is that the person she talked to is someone we could have called.  Someone who has always answered my calls within an hour of when I left a message (if she wasn’t in)–not someone who’s difficult to get in touch with.  If Ms BtB had actually called her when this first became an issue, like when I first explained that J’s never had a CPA, we would have had this done several weeks ago.  Instead, she causes us weeks of worry and financial juggling, only to finally call the lady and find out that what we’ve sent just needs a little more information.  Or, if she’d asked me to call, I could have done it weeks ago.  Silly me, I just assumed she would really do it because she said she would.

At this point, I have no idea what kind of timeline we’re looking at, and it’s sent me into a bloggy malaise.  If our homestudy is written up within the next week, we’ll send out our I-600A and the homestudy to our adoption agency immediately.  The Atlanta INS office is speeding up, from what I’ve heard, with fingerprinting appointments coming about 2-3 weeks after the I-600A is received, and the approval coming through 2-3 weeks later.  So probably 6 weeks, which puts us at ready to submit our dossier in mid/late June.  We may get a referral quickly, we may not.  We don’t know.  The problem is that the courts close in August through September or even into October due to the rainy season.  So we’re unlikely to travel before October/November.

The problem then is that it’s the middle of the semester, and I’m a contract term-to-term employee.  I’ll be eligible for FMLA in October, so they can’t legally deny me the time, but they have no obligation to offer me a new contract for Spring 2008.  I hold our family’s health insurance.  We’re adopting a special-needs child.  I can’t lose my job.  I already have someone offering to take one of my classes and labs while I travel, so I’ll ask my department chair if I can find subs for the others, or record lectures ahead of time (I only have classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in the fall).  There’s a small chance I’ll still be able to travel, but only a small one.  If I can’t go, P can’t go.  J can’t handle two toddlers on his own, particularly when one might hate him on sight and the other is likely to act up with such a new situation (not to mention jet lag).  There’s no way he could have both of them by himself on an 18-hour flight home.

Whether or not I get to travel, I can’t take time off right away when our son comes home.  We’re going to hire a nanny for Monday through Wednesday to watch P and our younger son so that he won’t have to go straight into daycare–that doesn’t seem like a good idea for a child coming from an orphanage.  I’ll be home by 5:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays, and by 1 p.m. on Tuesdays.  I’ll have to hold office hours on Thursday mornings (we’re required to be on campus 4 days a week), but J will stay home with the boys until I get back around 10:30 a.m.  If he occasionally needs to go to court, I can bring them with me if necessary.  So they’ll be with me 4 1/2 days a week and with a nanny 2 1/2 days a week.  It’ll be in our home, with P here, and I think it’s the best situation we can work out.  I can probably work out my spring schedule similarly, although we’re considering sending P back to daycare about a month before sending our younger son, so he can learn that we drop off P in the mornings, but we always go and get him in the afternoon. 

While my schedule’s great in the fall, and I can probably arrange it similarly for Spring 2008 (we have a lot of control over our own schedules), I’m still low man on the totem pole at my job and if they tell me to teach a class at a time that’s not ideal, I don’t have much recourse.  They did that for fall–I wasn’t supposed to have any classes on Tuesday, but they assigned me one from 10-12 that morning.  So having a nanny permanently isn’t necessarily possible.

In any event, the bloggy malaise stems from the fact that I just feel like everything’s so out-of-control at this point; at least, it’s out of our control.  I feel like I have no updates, nothing to write.  I hate the idea that I won’t get to go to Ethiopia and see our son’s birthcountry this year.  I hate that I won’t get to meet our son right away.  I hate that I won’t get to spend months with him without worrying about my job, like I did with P when he was born.  I do love that my job affords me so much flexibility that I can work from home a lot and only be on campus a minimum of time, so that I can spend as much time with my sons as possible. 

But I’ve decided to break my blogging silence.  As if this ridiculously long and rambling post wasn’t evidence enough, I have things that I can and need to talk about.  Things like how I upset my MIL when I told her we won’t be sharing our son’s birth/relinquishment story, and how her reaction means I haven’t even gotten up the courage to tell my parents.  And why we won’t be sharing it.  And the little things we’re trying to do now to become an interracial family even before our son comes home.  And how P is reacting lately, both about the adoption and in general as a 3-year old.  And more about what we’re doing about schooling for both boys.

Classes are done.  I give my last final next Tuesday, graduation is Friday, and the following week I have advising duties for summer students.  But then I’m done until August 13.  I’ll spend the summer with P.  We’ll go swimming and call friends, even the ones who haven’t called us.  We’ll play in the park and go to the zoo.  We’ll blow bubbles and read a million stories.  I can’t imagine how I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that full time over the summers a year ago.  I can’t imagine NOT having that time now.  And now I need to blog more.  I need to comment more on your blogs and catch up my blogroll–I’ve been removed from some that I still read, and I’m sure that’s probably the reason.  I need to get all of this out.  That’s why I started to blog in the first place.  I’ve self-censored several times because I worried that IRL friends who read this wouldn’t like me if I was completely honest, but I won’t do that anymore because it defeats the purpose of my blogging.  I like that my blog gives others hope, and that people enjoy hearing our story and our journey, but I really did start this as an outlet for me.  I forgot for a while, and started writing to an audience.  I need to remember that’s not why I do this.