Archive for October, 2008

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masks

October 31, 2008

This is probably the last post about my experience being gay where I live that I’ll write for a while, but something came up last night that made me want to say more. Lee and I had gone out for a drink at our local gayish bar after dinner to catch up with a friend who’s just been approved to study abroad in Morocco. I had all kinds of questions to ask him about that and we talked for a while. As we were talking, a lesbian couple walked in. We’d seen them there before and I always nod to them but this time we ended up actually talking.

I’ve always nodded because I don’t know if one of the women would want to talk to me. We went to the same tiny Catholic elementary school years ago but then different Catholic high schools. Like most of her large family, she lives in the same town where we grew up. One of her brothers lives on my parents’ street and so I’ve seen her when driving by over the years and from her looks assumed she was probably a lesbian, which is why I wasn’t at all surprised when I saw her in the bar with a girlfriend a year or so ago. But I also wasn’t surprised when I saw her at a wedding reception recently surrounded by her family but with her girlfriend conspicuously absent, and I didn’t say anything at all there because I didn’t want to have to introduce my partner and make potentially awkward for the family.

Last night, though, we talked. She didn’t recognize me at all, in part because she hasn’t seen me much since I was 13 and in part because I have short hair and look happy now. She and her girlfriend live together and are out to all her siblings but not her parents, although her girlfriend is invited to family dinners and so on and her littlest nieces and nephews call them Aunt Susie and Aunt Sarah. She was delighted to talk to me and meet Lee, but kept reminding me that we can’t say anything about meeting her lest it get back to her parents. I kept reassuring her that even if I’d met her there with a boyfriend I wouldn’t have talked about it with people, but it made me sad to see how much she’s compartmentalized her life. I understand that this don’t-ask-don’t-tell lets her keep her great relationship with her mom, but on the other hand it’s not really fair to anyone involved.

Lee’s been in relationships like that, and in fact one of the things we’re negotiating and I probably press more than she’d like is how she’s going to tell her long-ago-but-longterm-ex’s parents that she has a female partner and we’re adopting together. They know she‘s adopting and they’ve met me as her friend, but there’s no way to stay closeted when you have a child and she’s not sure if there’s any way to out herself without outing her ex. So it looks like her choice is going to be to sever her ties to a family she loves and was a part of for years, which is what her ex would prefer anyway.

When we both get home in the evenings, we give each other a hug. Then if we’re in the living room, Lee looks out the door or window to make sure no one’s looking before she kisses me. She says she can’t get over this nervousness that someone will notice and then come back to throw a brick through our window or attack us. She’s never been the victim of a hate crime, but it’s always in the back of her mind. And I hate that! We made a commitment early on in the relationship to live our shared life openly. I’m the first girlfriend she’s ever brought to office functions, but everyone in her department likes me. My coworkers and my needlework group even seem to prefer her to me! Yet it’s only recently that she’s started putting her hand on my shoulder, letting our arms brush while we’re out in public places like restaurant, feeling comfortable acting like any other couple.

Tonight we’ll put on our costumes and head back to the bar because we’re really hoping to win the $100 first-place prize. But the woman I talked to last night won’t be there, because there are too many people and it’s too hard to have to worry about who would recognize her and what would happen next. I feel sorry for her, but I know she’s made her choice and is doing the best she can with it. We’re doing the same, choosing to show as much as we can but still feeling limitations. I don’t feel constrained or traumatized by this, but I have to admit that when I hear about people leading more open, more supported lives than mine I get a twinge of envy. I’ve had so many good responses to our relationship from people I didn’t expect to be supportive, but although I’m not as open about it as Lee I’m still always looking over my shoulder and checking that nothing’s lurking. Otherwise I could write here with our real names and our real details, but I really don’t feel I can.

I’m still going to be a worrier no matter what happens. When I started writing here, I was afraid I wouldn’t find a place among the adoption blogs. I mean, I wasn’t reading anyone else who was currently starting out. I’m not even from central Ohio or Georgia or Minnesota (and seriously, is it part of the adoption finalization papers that every MN parent must have a blog??) and I never, ever committed myself to Judaism as an adult. And I fully confess my Susan Lucci tendencies: I get all bouncy when I get a comment and I’m feeling like I’m fitting in and finding my place and my voice. But I’m still on the lookout for danger. I know there will be hard times in blogging and in parenting, in lesbian blogging and lesbian parenting in particular. I’m also aiming to be the truest, best person I can be within my restrictions. I guess that’s what I’m here for, all this muddling along and thinking things out. And actually Susie last night may have been onto something — if you run into my mother, don’t tell her you saw me here. Everything just goes more smoothly that way.

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Back to Reality

October 30, 2008

What I wrote yesterday was #116 out of over over 400 blog posts who participated in Write to Marry day yesterday. I really liked Mijk’s comment about how her son has always grown up with legal gay marriage in Holland. She says, “My uncles marry in december and it is so wonderful to really be able to teach our kids that love is love. I remeber asking why my uncle couldn’t marry if he loved someone and my mom saying because the law is stupid. It isn’t anymore and it is wonderful!”

I’ve heard a lot of comments about how people oppose gay marriage because they don’t want to have to talk to their kids about it, don’t know what they would say. I’ve never really understood how they keep their kids from encountering the issue on the news or in magazines at the doctor’s office or something, but apparently for a lot of people this is a big hurdle to overcome. And whatever they may think about gay people, I just don’t get it. Reality exists; refusing to talk about it just doesn’t seem like an appropriate response to reality. I mean, I oppose the death penalty but it’s legal here. I feel really comfortable telling my hypothetical child when there’s a question about something on the news that capital punishment is legal and implemented here and I believe it’s wrong and here’s why…. I’d feel comfortable telling my child that Lee and I aren’t married like other kids’ parents because we’re not allowed to and here’s why….

Maybe it’s easier for me to imagine when I’m dealing with a child who’s coming out of the foster care system and I don’t have any preconceptions about needing to shield a child from reality. A lot — though I’m sure not all — of these parents complaining about having to explain gay marriage find a way to explain abortion to their children, and that seems much more likely to upset a child’s view of the state of the world. I just really don’t understand how this is an argument about the children rather than about parents who are homophobic, I guess.

When I was younger and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life (still a work in progress) my professor father used to say, “you know, we’ll love you even if you become an accountant,” which I guess was the worst thing he could imagine. Then the middle of my three brothers won his high school’s accounting prize and my dad felt bad about teasing. You never know where people are headed, and that brother did go on from aiming for a business degree to currently working in public health. And we’re all very proud of him! My parents also told us we weren’t allowed to tease our youngest brother or talk about his insistence at age 4 that he and his male friend at babysitting were married; they didn’t want to make it a big issue either way. And that brother got his first college acceptance letter this week and changed his Facebook status to show he has a girlfriend a few weeks before.

Kids grow up and some things change and others don’t, but they live and will have to live in the real world. Laws change, too, and I hope to have an experience like Mijk’s someday.

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marriage

October 29, 2008

“When I grow up, I don’t want to marry you,” our friend’s young son told Lee for the third time in two days. No one had ever suggested he might be interested in her (or me, since I’d also gotten reassurances the night before) but he clearly wanted to set the record straight. He is, for the record, considering marrying his mom (and it’s an age-appropriate Oedipal response, not a creepy one) or his best friend’s baby sister. But not till he grows up, he reminds us.

When asked why he wouldn’t consider Lee, he told her it was because she was already married and he could tell because she wears a ring. “Do you know who I’m married to? Thorn!” And he gave her a skeptical look and said, “Actually, I think you’re both girls.” He’s right about that bit, and I immediately got annoyed with Lee when she told me this for lying to a child, but she said she thinks of what we have as being as close to marriage as she’s ever going to get and she didn’t even consider that she wasn’t being truthful. She just wanted to make sure he acknowledges our connection.

We know he does, because he and his sister think of us as a unit and treat us like they do any other childless couple among their parents’ friends. We haven’t quizzed them about what they think of same-sex couples or anything like that, though when we and their mom explained adoption and our plan to the little boy he was relieved to hear there would already be a child available because he very solemnly informed us that he didn’t believe we could have a baby on our own without help.

Our little friend is right, we are both girls and the idea that we could get married raises some eyebrows and not just in puzzled glances like his. In fact, voters around us in their infinite red-state wisdom chose to amend our constitution to make sure we don’t even think of marriage as an option. And honestly, right now, we don’t. Right now I’m up in the middle of the night thanks to the caffeine in my migraine medicine and my beautiful partner is sleeping peacefully now that I’m not trying to read in bed next to her. I had to take the dog out of her crate unexpectedly to let her throw up in the back yard and one cat’s sleeping beside me and one downstairs. Oh, and we’re trying to adopt a child or children from our state’s foster care system.

That’s where things get messy. I know I’ve talked about this before, but we’ve been treated with nothing but respect and kindness from our social workers. We’ll both be certified and both be legally qualified to parent when our paperwork comes through. But we’ve made a difficult decision and decided that when we stand in front of a judge to finalize an adoption, we’ll be giving our child a hyphenated last name but that’s the only legal connection s/he’ll have to me. That’s not because I don’t want to be a mother; in part it’s because I’m more prepared to mother than Lee is and so my mothering will be immediately obvious day-to-day while hers will be both learned and legal. We’ve been doing plenty of research and talking to her family members to make sure it’s clear that in the event of anything happening to her we’ll have the guardianship plan we want in place. We’ve been talking about how we’ll deal with mediation and co-parenting if for some reason our relationship doesn’t survive, though neither of us anticipates that at all. We’ve been planning to move to a place where we could both be legal parents just because we want that safety, want that security for our children.

For us at least, marriage isn’t about us at all. That’s why we’re not particularly concerned about what people call our relationship or how they define it; we understand and know and trust our commitment to each other. But I’m writing here about wanting to become a mother, and our social workers have clearly told us that they think I could be an excellent mother. I’m also writing here about having to become a mother while remaining, technically speaking, just some random adult who happens to live with that child.

Everyone involved in adoption knows about the painful/tacky/common question of who’s a REAL mother. I want to be real, and not in a Velveteen Rabbit sense that a child loves me enough to pretend me into reality. I think Lee and I have the potential to create a great family and I want that family to have recognition. I want my someday children to have two loving parents even if they are two loving girl parents. That’s the reality we’re creating, but we’re trapped in a state where the rules tell us we’re not good enough even though the social workers and children’s advocates disagree.

In California next week, voters have a chance to support families like the one I’m trying to create. I’m not religious and I’d really prefer a system in which everyone who wants them has civil unions registered with the government and then marriages only happen in religious contexts according to whatever guidelines each religion has. Despite what some proponents of Proposition 8 say, voting NO against banning same-sex marriage won’t force churches to marry anyone who wants to set an appointment. Voting NO just says that same-sex couples can get the same wacky gifts they’d never register for from distant relatives that opposite-sex ones can. Voting NO means couples like us who want security for our children can get it, because there are already families — real families — like the one we’re creating that need support.

Lee had a dream about Ezra — the six-year-old our social worker thinks would be a good fit for us — the other night. If Ezra becomes our child, what I wrote in our “dear birthmother” letter will be true: he’ll have lots of REAL mothers — his first mother, a longtime loving foster mother, and two adoptive mothers in Lee and me. Regardless of what the law says, we’ll all be part of his history and reality. We’ll all be real. I support changes in the law that would give him access to his REAL birth certificate rather than the falsified one we’d get saying Lee gave birth to him. I support common-sense ethical parenting that would let him stay in touch with the woman who’s raised him these last three years. I support changes in the law that would protect our family, give us the rights that other committed couples have, make me REAL. If you care enough to read what I have to say hope you do too. In California, vote NO on Proposition 8; in the rest of the country keep pushing for justice reforms. And keep it real.

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lucky and worth the wait

October 27, 2008

Lee’s not going on strike. Instead, she (and everyone in her union) get a signing bonus and same-sex domestic partner benefits as part of the new agreement. She also found out she’s been underpaid for the last year or so and is going to be getting all sorts of back pay that should be enough to get our roof re-shingled. Oh, and as I’m writing this she just emailed me that in honor of not striking the union gets free drinks and appetizers from the culinary program.

Lee has a lot of faith, both religious and secular. She looks on the bright side of things and assumes that everything will work itself out, though I have to admit she’s still a bit nervous about the upcoming election and making some very rash threats about what she’ll do if the outcome again isn’t what she wants it to be. Lately she’s been going through a grumpy streak, but I think having certainty about her job has turned that around. We were at a party on Saturday where she ended up talking to a friend of ours (the one experiencing secondary infertility) about adoption. Usually when she gets pulled into a discussion about the ethics and timelines and prospects she calls me over to cover the details, but this time she was so excited and talked for ages about what we’re doing and what she thinks and what resources this white couple would have to prepare them for parenting children of color. It was really exciting to me to see so much passion and excitement for her, and I think the gloom is passing.

I’m a worrier by nature, though I’ve been very calm about the adoption process. I’m convinced that things will work out in time and since we’re in no hurry I’m just waiting to see what happens. One of the absolute best things about being in a relationship with Lee is that I’ve really been able to learn to slow down, smile, hope. I wake up every morning happy about my life, which has never been the way I’ve lived before. Lately I also wake up tired and wanting to stay under the covers, but I think that’s a function of weather as much as temperament.

I had much stronger obsessive-compulsive tendencies when I was a child, and I no longer have any little rituals for making things turn out right or averting bad fortune. I am still rigid about things that seem like moral issues to me (turn signals, people! Not so difficult to use!!!) but not as judgmental about people who don’t meet my specifications. Luck, though, isn’t anything I worry about at all. I think my lack of interest in luck is related to my atheism, that I think things in the world just are. I think intention plays into how hard we work on things and thus how they turn out, but I don’t go for the whole law-of-attraction thing. Lee, on the other hand, has always believed she’s lucky and life has turned out well for her. I’ve always believed I could survive a lot without losing my empathy, and I’ve done plenty of surviving. I don’t know how much of this is temperament, intention, chance, whatever. I do think it means that when we get into the dark times that are unavoidable in older-child adoption I’ll believe that I can push through just about anything and Lee will believe that in the end things will work out for the best. We’ve got plenty of flaws, but there are also reasons we make a good team.

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and sometimes I overthink things

October 24, 2008

Dr. Wikipedia had me all convinced that the breathing problem I described yesterday is a limited symptom attack, which may well be true since I meet enough diagnostic criteria, if just barely. But when I got home, my back was hurting and so I spent some time lying on a heating pad. As soon as I got up, I realized I no longer had the feeling of being unable to fill my lungs. Even by bedtime, while congested I was able to breathe well enough to get to sleep fairly quickly, though I’ve never been a fast sleeper and am somewhat jealous that Lee is.

I said this breathing problem started in high school, after I was being treated for depression, but it’s also right before my spinal malformation was first diagnosed. I know that some of my organs are not exactly in the right place. I’ve never asked whether perhaps the lungs are on that list. So here I was assuming this problem was all in my head and worrying worrying worrying about how to deal with it, but it’s starting to look like I was wrong and it’s all in my body after all.

Really, I’m just glad I got some needed sleep and that our new drainspouts were already in and functioning when the rains finally came.

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just breathe

October 23, 2008

We turned on the heaters this week, which means everyone in he house all the way down to the cats has ended up stuffed-up, congested, and cranky. My problem is a longstanding one, at least since high school. When I can’t get a full, clear breath I tend to head into a very, very low-level anxiety attack. My body responds by sort of gulping air, which doesn’t solve the breathing problem at all. I’ve tried exercising before bed, which helps, and slow yoga breathing, which helps, but I was still up until 2 am last night/this morning. I’d tried taking some sort of Robitussin that left me feeling kind of itchy and uncomfortable, which also could have been the problem. It wasn’t exactly soothing Lee snored more outrageously than ever before, either. On the plus side, staying up so late gave me time to read two non-adoption library books, one predictably good and one truly dreadful.

I guess I’m going to go see my doctor about getting a prescription for the anti-anxiety medication I’ve taken before, but I’m not sure if I then have to tell my homestudy worker about it. She’d want a letter from my doctor explaining why I’m on it, which wouldn’t be a big deal but would add to the paperwork and of course wait. I’m just not sure what the protocol is and may fall into the “better to ask forgiveness than permission” category. I’ll discuss it with Lee tonight. Of course, after four hours of sleep, 10 hours of work, the shrimp pasta I plan to make for dinner, I may just fall asleep immediately and then not have to worry about it.

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Readiness and Uncertainty

October 22, 2008

Lee and I had a good conversation last night after she got home from her night class and I got home from my weekly crafty group and before we both conked out completely. One of the things she’s really scared about is that her teaching union might be going on strike very soon. She’s horrified about what this would mean for the students and not personally offended by the hiring proposal that’s been rejected by the faculty union. So part of her stress this weekend was caused by uncertainty about whether she’s going to be finishing the semester, whether she’s going to be paid normally, what the implications of striking will be later on in her career. While I do her hair tonight, we’re going to sit down and brainstorm ways of making sure her students aren’t totally hobbled by this and she’s able to find peace with it if it’s what’s going to happen. (Actually I got an email from Lee while I was writing this post but well after this paragraph, and she’s decided she’s going to just not worry, not make contingency plans, and just teach as usual and as if nothing’s wrong.)

We didn’t talk about our readiness much except to let Lee say that she thinks I need better self-esteem to parent (though she couldn’t think of any examples recently that have been problematic, which is good because I couldn’t either) and she needs to be more reliable about certain things. The plan right now is what it has been, that we’ll get our homestudy written and reevaluate where we are at the end of it in terms of when to push forward toward potential placement. Even if we were matched with Ezra, he’s so young and connected to his foster mom that we’d probably spend several months transitioning and try to do it at a time that would minimize interruptions to his schooling, which could mean something as late as summer. If it’s not Ezra, I assume everything will move much more slowly and we’ll have months and months of wait time anyway. Still, if everything goes according to plan we’ll be registered with the state within five months of the time we started classes, which does make it seem like everything is moving very quickly.

Obviously I’m not going to push Lee into something she’s not comfortable doing. I have a feeling a lot of her nervousness will be alleviated when the strike is rejected or ends, but we’ll see what happens. There are always going to be waiting children — unfortunate as that reality is — and we’d already talked to the social workers early on about the possibilities of delaying if we’re unready back when Lee was insistent that we couldn’t raise children in our two-bedroom house, though she’s since seen how it could work and that this plan is far preferable to trying to sell the house in this economy. We do have little fixes we need to do around the house, though, and we need money to be able to do them, so I understand why she’s nervous about losing out on an income stream even if only for a short while. We’ll get our gutters fixed tomorrow, one month post-storm damage, and go from there.

Part of all of this is the same thing everyone’s feeling, fear of a depression closing in on us. Lee and I haven’t totally merged our finances, both because there’s a slight disparity in our incomes and because I’m more comfortable with more saved and nervous when there isn’t enough while she has a tendency to live right at her means. We can trick her into only having a certain amount available by taking money off the top each time she’s paid and just leaving her with her personal use money, but I think it stresses her out to see that balance getting lower even though her savings are improving. I was able to pay off all my debt except student loans to prepare for adoption, which isn’t even option for her because she’s got the house in her name. We’ve got our bills covered, got savings accounts for various things. In another year, Lee’s car will be paid off.

Would we feel more secure adopting if we had more money? Sure, but then we’d probably spend it to get a better house or do more serious renovations to our space and then be at the same ratio of income/savings we’re at now. Would we feel better if we waited longer? Sometimes Lee thinks yes, that extra time is always good, but other times she worries that she’s getting too old too fast. Sometimes I think she needs more time to adjust to what she calls unselfishness, but most of the time I’m realistic about the way she adapts best under pressure. I do sometimes worry I’m overestimating my own readiness and skills, which gets even tougher after conversations like last night’s where Lee told me to stop selling myself short and not being sure of myself. So am I uncertain because that’s a realistic thing to do or because I need a better self-image? We’re being tugged in so many directions and I think all we can do is wait it out and untangle what we can. It’s frustrating, but it’s life.

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punctuated

October 21, 2008

Lee and I were at a little local arts festival a few weekends ago because her friend with a winery was there to sell her wares. After getting a glass of wine and saying hello to all the friend’s many relatives, we wandered down to a jewelry booth. They were selling pendants made from old typewriter keys, which is the kind of thing that’s exactly up my alley. I was planning to choose one that was the initial for my first name and Lee’s last name, but she pointed to the colon key and suggested it instead. Last week, I walked Pocky down to the bead store in our little town’s little business district and bought a leather cord and put fasteners on it. So today I’m sitting here with a lovely new necklace that reads : just below my collarbones.

At first I thought that wasn’t the punctuation mark for me, too much into ordering people around. I’m a semicolon girl, always trying to jam more in. I’m a slash pulling word after word together. But Lee was right that it’s a graphically beautiful key. And since I started wearing it, I’ve been thinking more about what it can mean. There’s the beautiful colon in http: that I type so many times a day. There’s this:that as other:what? from my standardized test days, questions I found too easy to be worth the time they took but also never quite properly answered by any of the multiple choices. I like that a colon splits up ratios, that the one on my pendant divides the two uneven sides of my asymmetrical body.

See, I like to think about the reasons behind things. I realized this today when I was thinking back to our arguments Sunday and our ridiculous/misguided attempt to “talk about it” yesterday afternoon. I want to be able to ask WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY of the world, test my various theories. of course anyone who’s in a relationship with me bears the brunt of it. Most of the time, that’s fine with Lee, but despite being totally extroverted she’s actually a very private person. So here I was saying, “What were you thinking when you told our friend’s son that we’re married?” and she took it as an accusation and got defensive and closed down. I was doing what I do and she was doing what she does; neither of us was self-aware enough at the time to just point that out and move on. So instead we escalated into me trying to explain what I really meant and her trying to escape the conversation completely. I understand now that I’m outside it why it happened and that’s why I was able to get over it so quickly. But I still sit here dissecting it in my head. I am what I am.

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getting better

October 21, 2008

Our goofy dog Pocky scratched at the back door a few minutes after I wrote my last post. I gave her a lecture about how very disappointed I was in her and she already knew, because she refused to make eye contact and hung her head down like the bad dog she was, which was adorable. She then raced upstairs and sat in her crate so I guess that counted as a time out or something. We’d been hoping that she was mature enough to be in the back yard without being chained (for lack of a better word; it’s just a little cord that gets attached to her collar and is tethered to a stake in the ground, not anything dungeonesque) and we were wrong.

We turned on our heat for the first time last night, though we’ll be using it sporadically as needed. I spent most of the evening under the covers reading books and a magazine that came yesterday. Lee spent most of her evening lying in front of the fire downstairs watching tv and napping. By bedtime neither of us seemed annoyed anymore and by morning life seemed brightly back to normal.
I had a dream about being matched with Ezra, the first time that’s happened. Sure, I’ve thought ahead about the possibility, but despite Lee’s insistence that I already think of him as my son I actually have a lot of emotional distance. I’m still hopeful, though, and things seem right. We’ll have plenty of bumps in the road like we’re having right now, but I appreciate having Lee as my traveling companion.

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bad day, bad attitude

October 20, 2008

I’d hoped not to have to write a post like this, but last night we had an argument that ended, “Well, maybe we’re just not ready to be parents!” even though we hadn’t so much as mentioned parenting throughout. You can probably guess from the way I’m writing this whether or not that’s a sentence that came from me, but probably the more important part is that I’m the one who got weepy in the grocery store at 10 am because an innocuous comment from the woman working the checkout line was just too much for me to handle….

Today I’m feeling fine, not annoyed or holding any grudges. Lee still seems to be upset, but one of our differences is that I’m always ready to talk about things before she is. So now I get to sit around quietly letting all the doomsday scenarios swirl in my head, though to my credit I’m mostly keeping myself occupied other ways. I know we love each other and that little arguments about who gets on whose nerves with which behaviors should be something pretty easy to overcome.

But “maybe we’re just not ready to be parents” if we can’t agree how rough shutting a door has to be to be considered slamming, what time is appropriate to come home from a neighborhood party, why YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME WHEN I’M TRYING TO TALK TO YOU…. I don’t know the answer. The thing about parenting for the first time (or maybe even later times) is that you neverkow you’re ready until it happens. It doesn’t matter that I’m reading The Weaver’s Craft and When Labels Don’t Fit, that Lee’s taken over the book I finished about the special needs black boys have in adolescence. Of course none of this is going to make us actually ready, but it still seems better than doing nothing.

All through the classes I kept telling Lee that it was a good sign if we had second thoughts, that not wondering whether we could handle all this would be unrealistic magical thinking. But we’ve been out of classes for a while (maybe only 6 weeks? It feels longer.) and worries at this late date worry me. I have to assume other couples go through this too, that we’re not uniquely scared and intolerant. Plus it was pretty obvious that we were speaking more from our hormones than our brains yesterday. While we both have fairly reliable PMS of a sort, this time around was wretched on both fronts. So I understand why it happened, but I hate that 24 hours later I don’t have much more clarity. Rather, I know I feel fine and I’m actually being optimistic but I don’t know whether Lee actually wants to halt the process and if so why. I hate not knowing what’s going on in my partner’s mind, but the only way to find out is to give her the time she needs, frustrating as it is to me. So yeah, I’m fine but I’m frustrated.

On the plus side, we got to hear adoption stories from two neighbors we’d never known were part of the triad. One had been an infant adoptee with a terrible story about how her family didn’t even tell her she was adopted and one parent waned to continue lying even after she found proof. The other had adopted her first daughter at 18 months, the big sister to the neighbor we know well who was hosting the get-together. People always seem to assume we’re pursuing infant adoptions even after we say “from foster care,” but we got plenty of uninformed advice which I take in the well-meaning spirit it was given. I had no idea how many people consider Lee’s adoption to be not a REAL adoption since she always knew her bio parents and never left her family. Weird.

I’m not trying to be fakely perky by ending on a high note. I think that’s where things are headed. Lee just headed out to lend a book to a friend and pick up a few things at the drugstore and things were more than cordial between us. We (and the dog) had a nice nap a few hours ago, which is quiet an unusual treat to me. Aaaaaand as I’m writing this Lee came in with the news that our dog Pocky just jumped the fence in the back yard. She’ll come back or if she doesn’t we’ll know where to search for her in an hour or so. We’re still working as a team, clearly.

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