Archive for November, 2008

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happy and thankful

November 26, 2008

I’m exhausted. I’m still sort of chickening out about writing in detail the issues I have with my mom, but I will say our family get together last night was much easier because she’d lost her voice. We all enjoyed dinner and everything went well. I even realized that the time zone change works in our favor on the drive up northward, so leaving at 7:30 am should definitely get us to grandma’s well before dinnertime. Back home, I was out cold as soon as I got to bed, but then woke in the middle of the night because of cat noise and didn’t ever really get back to sleep.

Because the brother who’s our usual pet sitter is coming with us to my grandmother’s house, we ended up having to board the cats and dog at our vet’s office. They need to get there by close of business today, so tonight is going to be a real treat: an evening for just the two of us at home. Well, unless my out-of-towner brother comes over, which would be fine too. I need to do Lee’s hair (which will take 2-3 hours, which is why she’s been putting it off every night even though she wants it done by Thanksgiving) and pack, but that’s about it.

I’ve never been very much into Thanksgiving, in part because Thursday holidays don’t hit my internal calendar right, in part because my family doesn’t have strong traditions, in large part because of the weird mystical-pseudohistorical baggage surrounding the holiday. This year, though, I spend much of every day feeling incredibly grateful. I have a job when ever-increasing numbers of others don’t, and a house and a car and all the other things I look at as basics. I also have a wonderful partner who supports me, challenges me, encourages me, makes me better. Lee broke into my parents’ bragging about my littlest brother’s SAT score to ask if they remembered how good mine had been, just because it hurts her that they never were heavy on praise for me and she’s so sure I deserve it. I’ve never had someone so excited about me, so clearly a Thorn fan in my life.

I’m grateful because if all goes well, this will be our last Thanksgiving as a couple. I’m feeling so ready to expand our family, so sure I’m at the right place at the right time to make things work. I’m still not used to living with this kind of comfort that I’m doing the right thing and going in the right direction. I still wake up every morning and think about how much I love my life. I love my blogging life, too, and I’m proud of myself for being willing to accept that things are good for me and life is good for me and that’s not a sign that the bottom will fall out soon. I can be happy like anyone else.

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someone else’s story

November 25, 2008

I think this is the last post I’ll be making that I think of as part of National Adoption Month, though it’s not as if I actually told my poor readers that there was some sort of series going on. Tonight we pay an enormous amount of money for Lee’s car to be fixed, have dinner with my immediate family including my now-East-Coasty brother, and then get ready to drive north eight hours in Lee’s car Thursday morning to get us to my grandmother’s house by dinner time.

I’d been planning to tell this story for a while anyway, but it’s actually a good complement (in my ever-humble opinion) to Margie‘s thoughtful post on Catholic adoption discourse. See, I went to an all-girls Catholic high school. My senior year, the rule on what happened to pregnant students changed and all of a sudden there were pregnant seniors, a few sophomores, much more than before. So what caused this baby boom?

For as long as I know of, the rule had been that if you were a student and got married, you’d signaled that you had chosen to live as an adult and so you could no longer be a high school student, so you were expelled. If you ended up pregnant and relinquished the baby for adoption, you could come back to school and they’d help you make up missed work. If you were pregnant and planned to parent, you’d be forced to leave school because the thought was that you couldn’t parent and be a full-time student. By the time I got to the school, there was an addition that if you were a second-semester senior when you had a baby you chose not to relinquish, you were able to keep studying at home and graduate with your class, though I believe you weren’t able to walk at graduation. At some point, someone pointed out that this probably didn’t dissuade people from having abortions, which was a large part of what the pregnancy policy was supposed to do. I don’t know whether the issue of coercion factored in at all, but the rule eventually changed.

I know a woman who challenged this rule well before I got to school, though as I said it wasn’t changed until my final year. My friend was a senior when she had her baby at the beginning of her last semester in school. She had no intention of relinquishing the baby, but she also wanted to graduate with her class. So for months, she told the nun who was her principal that she just couldn’t commit to signing the papers yet. She placed her child in a temporary foster home and only got to spend nights with her baby on weekends. With her parents’ consent and support, she kept lying to the administration, pretending to cry about her indecision when in reality she wanted to cry for her baby, until she graduated. At that point, she parented her child and went on to succeed as a mother and as the person I know today, a person who spent a lot of time in the child welfare trenches on the professional side dealing with the aftereffects of sexual abuse.

I don’t know if I could have been as brave and inventive as she was as a young mother, especially because I still have regular arguments with my mother about coercion and when adoption is a woman’s best choice. I’ve made some really bad and destructive decisions in my life, often because it felt like I had no option but to do what I did. I can’t imagine what happened to all the girls who could have been my classmates and who didn’t get to parent children they might have wanted because they were told they couldn’t have even a high school education if they chose to do so. I think about how many of my classmates have gone on to have children outside of marriages and how when I see their Facebook messages they all seem to be thriving and often still attending church despite the messages they got growing up. But I think often of my friend and her daughter, the tight and healthy bond they have as her daughter gets to the age her mom was when she chose to be a permanent mom and not “just” a birth mom and I think of all the other women who didn’t get to make that choice, where their children are now and what they’re thinking as Thanksgiving rolls around.

I’m grateful things changed, if too late for some women and children. I’m glad there are Catholics like Margie out there fighting for ethical adoption. I’m grateful for pioneers like my friend and so many of the bloggers I’ve interacted with, who in their own quiet ways are refusing to back down and as a result getting things done. You’re real inspirations.

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legal decisions

November 24, 2008

Lee and I went back and forth a bit on who should be the legal parent when we adopt, since our state won’t recognize any sort of two-parent adoptions by same-sex couples. Despite my annoyance with the fundamental unfairness, I’m comfortable with the decision we came to about having Lee be the legal parent. I think I’d be even more upset if she were the one on the disenfranchised end.

Originally I’d understood there would be more parity in our homestudy and that the legal status would only matter when we actually went to finalize the adoption, but it looks like despite my 30 hours of classes and scads of paperwork and my little adoption blog here (okay, which they don’t and shouldn’t know about) I’m not even going to be considered a qualified foster parent at the state level when our homestudy gets approved. There’s no way to write one homestudy that will cover both of us that way and I don’t think we should ask our worker to write two homestudies if one’s unnecessary, especially since we want to keep the ball rolling here. I’m just another adult who happens to live in the house, which I guess makes sense in one respect since I won’t have a legal claim to the child, but I can only trust that our worker Kate will do a good job portraying that we’ll be coparenting so that it makes sense to the social workers who will read the file. I do have faith that she knows what she’s doing; she’s not only the social worker who asks to work with same-sex couples but the one who has the most experience in the region.

So here’s our thinking. Lee’s black, obviously, and while race matching isn’t technically legal, it’s going to make it easier for a social worker to say that a children of color will have their needs met by a black mother than by a white mother with a black woman living in her house, although one of our selling points is that we’re in an interracial relationship and we have a very diverse group of friends and family members etc. I’m not sure it actually will help that she’s a Christian, but she is a Christian and I’m an atheist and it’s probably easier for some social workers in less progressive parts of the state to place children with the former.

Lee’s older than I am, too. She makes more money. She owns the house we live in, which she bought well before we were together. I buy the food and pay her money toward household expenses, but it made sense to me that the home ownership would look good in her favor if she’s what we were thinking of as the point person in the adoption.

Now that we know my work will give us benefits even if I’m not the adopting parent, that’s another big point in Lee’s favor, though we’d been planning to just do it without the extra help my company offers because we didn’t think it would be available. At Lee’s work, though, a benefit to her legal parenting would be that she’d have the option to use on-site day care or preschool. That’s a huge plus as far as I’m concerned, and if we ended up with a very young child this would allow her to join the child for lunch, drive in together in the morning, check in on the child whenever she had free time throughout the day.

The last issue is really the big one, as far as I’m concerned. We don’t have a traditional gender breakdown, but I do the cooking and I have a lot of experience with children. Lee’s looking forward to playing ball, walking the dog, eating dinner together, reading at bedtime. I’m already thinking about menus and picky eaters and what to do with the litter box that’s currently in what will be the child’s room and so on. Plus I’m the one who reads blogs all day and reads books all night, who’s looked into our legal options and our educational opportunities. It’s not that she doesn’t care about any of this stuff, but she’s convinced she’ll be able to find out what she needs when she needs it, whereas I’d be absolutely panicked if I wasn’t prepared. We both know the reality is that I’ll probably do more gruntwork after placement. I’m okay with that; it’s who I am and who we are and I don’t think any relationships have perfect equality. But if for some reason my parenting rights were challenged — and we’ve made strong agreements about what would happen if we broke up, and both of us have managed ethical and civil breakups before, which gives me hope — because Lee died or was incapacitated, it would make a good argument that I’ve been acting as a parent if I’m the one who’s contacted the teacher (and, at this point, the social workers) consistently and cleaned most of the poopy sheets and so on. Relatedly, Lee has basically no immediate family and none that would have any claim to her children if she became unable to parent. My parents are nearby, as are my brothers, and while my parents tolerate our relationship, I wouldn’t want them bringing up my child and I wouldn’t want my death to trigger a custody battle between Lee and them. Obviously we’ll hammer out all these issues with a lawyer before placement, but I think if she’s the legal parent I’ll have a stronger claim to be the coparent than vice versa.

Or we could live in a civilized place that gave us both the rights we want and (I’m convinced) deserve. But now I’m just being bitter.

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post-sad

November 24, 2008

I talked to Lee twice this weekend about why I was feeling sad. The first time, Friday while she was driving, I just said basically what I said in my post, and she was sympathetic but didn’t really have anything to say. The second time was Sunday, when I’d just finished reading American Family and was sort of weepy about what these guys had gone through to get the state of New Jersey to accept same-sex partners adopting together and how their families supported them and so on, and she was much less sympathetic (to my way of thinking) then. She just said, “Look, sweetie, you can’t let it get you down. If it wasn’t this, people would think you weren’t as good because you’re young and inexperienced or a woman or whatever. Things are changing for the better and it’s just going to take time.” And I guess that’s one kind of appropriate response to me if you read my sad post as basically saying BUT IT’S NOT FAIR in a whiny voice, though I hope there’s a little more to it than that. Then later when I’d stopped being grumpy about her response, we did talk about how I need to have my feelings validated and all that good stuff and that she needs to recognize the privilege I give her blah blah blah. It ended up being a good conversation, plus she’s going to work on setting aside a little time daily with the tv off (hallelujah!) so we can talk and also we’re making a list of things to do as a couple before we’re parents. We’ve been talking a lot about family traditions we want to institute as part of our routine once we are parenting, but we need to get our fun in first!

I tell you, o my straight readers, you have no idea how bad the downside of lesbian households with synced PMS can be. At least we get the worst of both worlds out of the way at once, but it requires a lot of patience and kindness from both of us. Luckily this weekend had plenty of each.

And as I was on my break writing this, I got a call from our HR person at company headquarters. The company I work for is strongly committed to absolute equity for same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. So even if there’s no legal connection between our child and me, I’ll be eligible for up to 8 weeks of paid time off if I’m going to be home as the primary caregiver or one week if both of us are home (with the option to use my vacation and personal days to supplement either way) and it doesn’t matter what the legal situation is. I was also amazed that they’ll be granting me the adoption assistance credit the company offers, so we’ll be reimbursed for our legal and travel costs up to a certain point. I feel so lucky to have this validation not just because it’s a sign my company values people like me and relationships like mine, but because it’s a sign that even in tough economic times they’re committed to acting ethically and fairly beyond what’s required by law. My morning had started kind of grumpily, but now I’m a proud little worker bee. Little things can help a lot.

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sad

November 21, 2008

I’ve been reading and thinking about National Adoption Month and still have a few more things to write, but mostly today I’m thinking about myself. I had a series of nightmares that kept me from sleeping well, the first one about the guy who raped me — the sound of him laughing at me is something I only remember in dreams but it always leaves me sort of haunted and queasy the day after.

And last night I went to a function at Lee’s workplace where I got to finally meet a woman who mentors her (and semi-outed myself about blogging here without giving the actual site name because she’s not interested in reading) and talked to a few other people and got myself put on some departmental initiatives as an outside consultant, when the time came for Lee to go talk to the person at the top who will be the last to sign off on her tenure filing in a few years all of a sudden Lee was off by herself and I was alone. It’s not that she thinks this person doesn’t know she’s a lesbian and know she has a partner and as a couple we’re friendly with the deans under this person, but the administrator’s spouse was there too and the spouse is a Baptist minister and it was just too much for Lee to actually make me visible and public, point out that I was the partner and I was there.

There’s a lot more to it than that and I don’t want to judge her too harshly, because she’s making a calculation that will affect her whole professional future. It was as much that she didn’t want to be talking to these people at all because she doesn’t get along with them as that she wanted to disavow me. But still, I was already feeling a bit fragile and here I’d gone out of my way to do extra things that will help Lee look better in the eyes of her peers and deans but I’m just not good enough to make it to the next level with her.

I’m feeling sad that when we adopt — and, as a worker I’d asked clarified today, from the moment of placement — Lee will be the “primary care parent” and I’ll be the “support adult.” I want to be a mom and I’m going to be a mom and I know it’s just a matter of semantics (oh, and the full force of the law and all that, but I think that’s the part that’s easier to work with and work around) but today it hurts even though usually it doesn’t. I’m doing all this background work so that we look good as a couple and she shines as a candidate, but when the moment of judgment comes I’ll be invisible again. That’s not the life I wanted for myself, and I look forward to when it won’t be the life I have.

On the other hand, our lives together are good. We have a special date night planned for this weekend, including a trip to Ikea to look at kiddie furniture and buy a few cheap new things we need. I have a partner who woke from her snoring when I had a nightmare upsetting enough that I guess I cried out and she held me until my breathing was easy, even though this morning she had only a vague recollection of it and no idea why she was feeling so tenderly solicitous of me when she woke up. Tonight when we talk about my worries and the sadness twisting around in me, I know she’ll reassure me and I’ll feel better. And then we’ll go hang out with my long-distance brother, home for a long Thanksgiving break, and all will be well and all will be well and all will be well.

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my secret plan

November 20, 2008

I’m undeniably in my late 20s now and I’ve been struggling for ages with what I want to be when I grow up. Sure, the plan was always professor, but professor of WHAT? I don’t really want to go on with the dead languages I studied in undergrad (or, rather, I can’t see going to school for another 10 years to eventually maybe get a job where I’ll basically be guaranteed a lower income than I have now) and I’ve never been sure whether I could commit to sociology, women’s studies, religious studies, comparative literature, any of the many things I read for fun. It’s the same problem I had when I was heading into college, that I’m not so good at anything that I can only possibly ever do that and I’m not so bad at anything that I can rule it out.

I’m a professor’s child and while in theory I’m ready for that kind of life, I’ve had some concerns about whether I could really deal with students, etc. I don’t want to be an ivory tower researcher (full disclosure: yes, I totally do, but it’s not realistic and not what I think I ought to be doing) and helping Lee structure her assignments and create new courses and grade student projects and papers has made it clear to me that I’d work just fine with run-of-the-mill students, though probably get frustrated about grammar and inadequate prior schooling and all that stuff. Still, all of this is a long way off and I haven’t been sure how to even think about making a decision.

About a month ago the answer came to me and I’ve been getting happier with it since then. I could become a professor of social work, which would let me study all the cultural studies things I like plus stay up-to-date on activism stuff. And one of the best graduate programs is coincidentally in the city where my beloved grandparents and relatives live, in a state that would acknowledge our rights as a couple and let me do a second-parent adoption to shore up my coparenting role for good. There’d be plenty of theory to keep that part of me happy, but plenty of politics and activism and feminist/anti-racist/anti-classist issues on the ground too. Plus this blog and my parenting would basically be prep work….

So maybe the plan is that in five years or so I’ll start grad school either in Northeastern Paternal City or here in River City and then I’ll be able to get my PhD by the time I’m 40 and work from there. Lee didn’t start teaching until her 40s and she comes home every day and says it’s the best job of her life, except the rare days she’s grumpy and annoyed. I’m not looking to be the Susan Sontag of my generation and it’s already too late for that anyway, so I want to just be good at what I do and not The Best Ever or The Smartest or whatever I’d secretly really want to be. I guess the secret is that despite my wishful/perfectionist delusions of grandeur and despite the fact that I realize a billion things can and will change before I get anywhere near achieving this goal, it feels good to have a plan or protoplan and I like that.

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Things I like about River City Waldorf School

November 18, 2008

After a very positive visit this weekend, with Lee saying she doesn’t even want to look at other schools because she was so taken with this one, I want to notate what we liked so we can come back and be reminded later. The one minus is the obvious one, that a private school with small class sizes is hugely more expensive than the free public school down the street. But we ran the numbers and if we can get some scholarship, we could swing this. It would be tight the first year (until Lee’s car is paid off and one of her other routine payments is fulfilled, though I think that actually happens before next school year) but we could certainly manage. And as Lee said, “Isn’t education the best investment you can make for your child?” I hope so, sweetie, if this is the investment we decide to make!

There are not very many teachers of color, but there are not very many teachers total! I liked that the foreign language teacher is a Muslim who wears hijab, though we didn’t get to meet her. I also like that we enjoyed our conversations with every teacher. They all seemed bright and kind, except one who seemed listless and didn’t go beyond basic answers although that made sense when she stood up and we realized she was vastly pregnant and presumably juts exhausted. Next year’s first grade teacher (this year’s eight grade teacher) is a friend of my family’s whom I really respect and like.

There are more students of color here than at our local school, not fewer than 2-3 in a class of 15-20. That’s not huge, but we’re in an area where at most schools you get either diversity or academic standards. We’d been hoping to get decent education and more diversity by moving to the town next to ours and using their public school system, but that wouldn’t be available for a few years anyway. We know we could get small classes, a small amount of diversity, and better-than-average education (for a state not at all known for its public education) at our local public school, and that’s been our default assumption.

In this Waldorf school, each grade is one class of 15-25 students — though I don’t think any are at the high end of that range — and each class moves along with its teacher to the next grade as a group. While obviously this is a minus if there are major personality problems between child and teacher, my teacher-friend pointed out that this puts teachers in a situation like that of a parent where they know they can’t get rid of a problem child at the end of the year and so they have to be inventive to figure out how to help the child learn.

No one so much as blinked when an interracial lesbian couple showed up at the open house. It was just a total non-issue, though they were happy to talk about diversity issues with us when we asked. Having two moms certainly wouldn’t be a liability here, and I wouldn’t have to worry about not being considered an equal co-parent because I don’t have the legal tie Lee does.

No one seemed alarmed or bothered when we said we didn’t know how old our child was because we were adopting from foster care. No one said anything creepy. Each teacher we spoke to congratulated us on building a family and then each teacher at the lower grade levels talked (without prompting) about how they think the Waldorf whole-child education is ideal for children who’ve dealt with trauma or loss because it pushes them to play, discover for themselves, learn to rely on others, have a calming routine before there’s any pressure to sit and learn as in a traditional classroom.

Having one main class teacher would make partnering to deal with behaviors and learning issues so much easier for us than having to deal with a host of teachers, different every year. Knowing that there’d be continuity from year to year might be helpful for our hypothetical child (and deep in here is where I’ll hide that in my heart and mind I’m truly starting to believe this will be Ezra) especially in the first years with us. It just seems so much easier to imagine working as a team with the teachers when that’s already the setup at the school, as it is there.

This is a program that considers every child to have special needs and unique learning styles and doesn’t want to medicalize any of them. They acknowledge that not all families fit with their school and are helpful in transitioning children out if the Waldorf setup isn’t working for them, but their goal is to meet a child where he is and work from there. Since we know that a child coming out of care is going to need a lot of help, knowing that’s the baseline is a relief.

Two daily nature walks and a recess plus plenty of time on handwork (knitting, sculpting with beeswax while a teacher talks, pressing leaves, etc.) should really help a child with attention problems.

I love that they teach geography. American schools seem to have totally lost this, and I’ve consistently been horrified that people from any other country are so relieved I actually have heard of where they’re from. I mean, it’s not showing deep knowledge if I ask the guy at the corner market who says he’s from Senegal whether he’s from Dakar or another part of the country, but he’s amazed I’ve even heard of Senegal. If I hadn’t asked where in Africa, he would have left it at that. So to have a child learn deeply about other cultures and histories and locales has always been one of my goals.

Related to that, the cultural literacy involved is a great thing. Even non-Jewish children need to know the big stories of the Hebrew scriptures if they want to get much out of the English literature canon. It’s the same with Greek myths and so on. I’m big on understanding things through metaphor, and so that Waldorf mindset aligns well with mine. Actually, much of the way they learn matches up with how I learned as a child, through biographies and obsessive research. They don’t call me, uh, Thornipedia for nothing! I have a broad understanding of a huge number of things and very deep depths where I’m interested. You just never know when you’ll need to know about the Profumo Affair, though I’m not suggesting that’s a real example and that Waldorf kids have a special section on political sex scandals. I just wanted another chance to say “Well, he WOULD, wouldn’t he?” as I so often do.

Apparently I’m getting goofy now, so I’ll end by saying that it’s not even 10 minutes’ drive from Lee’s school, making carpooling ideal. I’d be 30 minutes away at rush hour, a bit closer otherwise. And home is only 20 minutes or so, which is totally doable. There’s already a carpool from our county, including friends of ours the next town over. Next step is to talk to them about their experiences and work from there. Oh, and actually have a child before we make any education decisions for said child!

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Seven Weird Things Meme

November 17, 2008

Gerri tagged me for the seven weird facts meme.

1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules.
2. Share seven random or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post with their links.
4. Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My first weird thing that doesn’t go on the list is that as of at least Saturday night after the doctor’s office was closed I have a series of weird bumps on the back of my tongue. Dr. Google makes me believe they’re lymphoid aggregates (basically, I gather, the tongue equivalent of swollen lymph nodes when I’m fighting off sickness) and will clear up on their own but maybe since I’m still exhausted today I should try to see the doctor. Or maybe wait and do it if I’m not better tomorrow? But that would mean missing needlework group…. This is always what happens when I’m sick. I try to talk myself out of seeing the doctor until I get better. Generally this works, but I should really do better after what I thought was really bad cramps turned out to be a really badly inflamed and stone-filled gall bladder that required surgery and lots of hospital time.

Oh, and Lee wanted to help me think of weird things but most of hers were like “You have two cats and they’re brothers” which I pointed out wasn’t very weird, nor was it all that much about me since it’s equally true of her. So I’ve taken some of her suggestions, but not many. And I’m sure I’ll write long digressions about most of these because that’s just how I roll.

1. I hate having anyone or anything touch my neck. Lee does it sometimes and I let her because I trust her, but she really abused the privilege when we were watching Dexter (eww, so many creepy neck closeups!) the other night and she may be unwelcome for a while. I don’t like seeing necks or injury to necks in movies or photos. And ugh, don’t get me started on adam’s apples! As a child, I slept with my hands cradling my neck to protect it.

2. When I was very young, I was pretty sure I was a character in someone else’s story, though a little alarmed that there might be scenes that took place while I was in the bathroom. I was always worried about the narration and when I got tired I’d slip up and let others know this, saying things like I’m getting very tired, she said.

3. I can’t make mental images at all, though I’m good enough at describing that I can remember things in non-visual ways. I can call up certain images I want to remember, but it’s not like actually looking at a picture with my eyes closed or anything like that the way other people do.

4. Until my gall bladder surgery, the only major scar I had was above my collarbones from a tiny hole in my chest that needed to be sewn shut when I was an infant. The doctors assured my parents that the scar would fade by the time I was in kindergarten, but it certainly didn’t. I actually think it’s kind of sexy, maybe the way having a beauty mark feels?

5. I think maybe I’m too exhausted and sickly to think of things. Um, I like the idea that there are Alternate Universe versions of me, people whose lives took a different turn and ended up somewhere else entirely. I don’t actually believe in this as some kind of realistic explanation of anything. There are just a lot of pale, dark-haired girls who’ve led quietly self-absorbed lives, then gone off to study dead languages and play music and start blogs, or something. Or, more importantly, I like seeing connections to my own life and experiences in other people’s writing, real or fictional. I’m really big on narrativism. I don’t really think I could have been Barbara Kingsolver and she’s obviously doing a good job of it, but it’s nice to see where our stories do line up.

6. More things from when I was a kid. I thought it would be a better idea if all streets with the same name connected to each other, which would speed travel significantly if you could get directly from Hawthorn in our town to Hawthorn in my grandmother’s far norther state. I also thought it was good luck at night or in the rain if a ray of light from one street lamp would hit the car window in such a way that it picked up and connected to the next light. I paid attention to a lot of things in cars and partly attribute my very good sense of direction to that.

7. I am very picky about and traffic rules and consider certain driving decisions ethically inadequate. If we were all KIND drivers, the world would be a better place. I think this means I secretly wish I ruled the world. It also means I wish there was a hand gesture for “If you had just used your left turn signal, you would have saved all of us a lot of time at this intersection, loser!” and I’d use it every day. Lee and I disagree very strongly about some of these issues, but she’s wrong and that’s that. And when I rule the world, she’ll wish she’d been more diligent about her signaling and not letting people in. And she’ll really, really rue the day she honked the horn while I was driving, but that’s a story for another time.

I think this one has made its rounds and I also think no one particularly knows me better after reading this, but thanks to Gerri nonetheless for giving me a blogging assignment I could finish now and then go take a nap.

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semi-anniversary

November 17, 2008

I stayed home Friday and slept a lot. Saturday we visited and were charmed by the local Waldorf school, then I ended up with more sleep rather than protesting in the rain. Today our wonderful neighbor came over to help us strip the carpet from our dining room. We’re going to pay for supplies to finish two rooms in each house and he and his brother will do the hardwood refinishing while we’re gone over Thanksgiving weekend. While the boards we found are paint-splattered and — in the middle of the room were 100 years ago there must have been a rug — not even sealed or finished at all, they’re sturdy and I think will be lovely when finished. I’m so excited we’re getting this done, because refinishing floors with a small child around doesn’t sound like fun to me.

The important thing I want to say, though, is that I’ve had this blog for six months today, since just after the day in May when I called our local office and asked to be placed on the list to prepare to adopt. It blows my mind that we’re already close to being accepted and certified, perhaps even close to placement. While I sit here by the fire with Lee across the room watching the Obamas on tv, it feels so right that we’re ready to move on to the next step, to keep going.

Tomorrow after work I’ll drive across town to drop off a birthday card for the older girl I mentor, who will be 14 tomorrow. This means today is also the anniversary of our first meeting her and her sister, a process that took a long time because it was hard for the program to find parents who didn’t mind having their children mentored by lesbians. We haven’t talked with the girls about being lesbians, but as they get older it’s going to become a bigger issue, especially since the older girl is showing a lot of signs that she herself is interested in other girls. They know about the adoption, though, and are looking forward to getting to know the child we have someday, getting to return the mentoring favor after a fashion.

I feel like this last six months of blogging, these last years with Lee have been among the very best of my life. I still have plenty of ups and downs but the baseline is pretty freaking awesome. And I’m so, so excited about the future. A year from now will be National Adoption Day and I don’t know if we’ll be one more family finalizing then or if I’ll be writing about some little dude’s poop and vomit or even if it will be the two of us and our animals sitting here while I blog for a whole new group of readers. I do know I’m excited and ready to find out.

h1

Torina must be so proud of me!

November 14, 2008

I get to write the requisite special needs mom post about all the horrible things that come out of people’s bodies…. Except we’re still far away from placement and I’m the one home with the flu or something. Thanks, too, must go to whichever cat it was who pooped right under the window so Lee would almost step on it when opening the blinds this morning. You’d have won the annoying mess prize for the morning if I hadn’t already managed to knock over my water glass and had to pick shard off the bedroom floor.

But hey, on the plus side I get to nap a lot and drink broth for lunch. I can’t really say I’m enjoying it, but I already feel better than I did this morning and I’m sure things will keep going in the right direction.

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