“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.”
~ Gary Zukav
It’s going to be a long week and a half, waiting for the holidays to pass, as after that happens all the ducks should be in a row on the seller’s side to allow us to present an offer and hopefully get a yes, come on in, welcome home. But hey, if anyone knows about Two Week Waits, that’d be me. This one had better be a BFP (twisted to say, I know, but fuckit, that’s the best correlation I can make). And no, no new adoption news, beyond our monthly “count” that tells us how many people have
rejected reviewed our profile.
I also wanted to give a shout out to a couple of people – I’m so grateful for the help of my agent who has driven me out to the coast several times to look at “dirt” as she refers to it (and this last time brought her two insanely gigantic Newfies!) and for our builder for taking the time to check out multiple properties and give us his opinions (and his sweet old St Bernard!). They’ve definitely gone above and beyond in this process and for that I am thankful. May this lead to something great!
Another round of thanks also goes to Prudence, the wonderful doula we had chosen in 2016 to help us through our pregnancy that, the day after selecting her, turned into the worst day of my life as we lost our one and only pregnancy at 9 weeks. Why am I giving her a shout-out now? Well, I started thinking how, when and if we get chosen by a birth mother that wouldn’t it STILL be nice to have a doula? And the fact that there appear to be no “infant care/prep” classes for adoptive parents here in town was really hard for us, because while “non-birthing parents” (a new term I’ve discovered) are welcome at “regular parent” classes, there is ZERO FUCKING WAY I will be in the room with a bunch of bellies and smiling couples sharing their little anecdotes about morning sickness and bitching about their sore backs. Fuck that shit. And I digress. Anyhow, so I decided to google “adoption doula” and it turns out there really is such a thing. I reached out to a couple of doula organizations (companies? sounds funny to say it that way) to find out more, because I didn’t want someone to tell me about how it was going to be to have a new baby who’d only ever had a baby through pregnancy. I wanted to talk to someone who knew what it was like to take home a baby without the preparation of pregnancy. A shot in the dark, I know. The “postpartum” (god that word is hard to swallow) doulas who responded had experience with adoptive parents but didn’t know what it was like to never have been able to get pregnant and to not have that physical connection for 9 months beforehand. So I thought, you know what, Prudence might know. She doesn’t do PP doula work unfortunately but I emailed her and she said she’d check around. I thought this was just a courtesy response as “I’ll check my network” usually means very little in my profession when you hear that, but yesterday I got an email with a variety of people who’d responded to her inquiry in the community, including one doula who had adopted herself. WHOA. So we’re going to meet up with her in January and see if she might be our person. It’s a hard thing to do when you have seen so much failure in trying to build a family and have no idea if it will ever happen, but we’re trying.
Something that renewed my faith in humanity this holiday season? I decided to put a post out on Nextdoor (which all too often in our area has become more like a combination of Craigslist for selling crap and Facebook for bitching about stuff) to see if there were any other folks who’d Started their family through adoption after infertility (so, not the folks who adopted after they had biological children). As Nextdoor can be full of people offering advice who have no business giving it, I was a bit nervous as these posts tend to get the responses of “my sister’s neighbor’s cousin adopted…” which I had no use for, so I put a request to please ONLY message me if you’d personally had the experience. And while it wasn’t an onslaught, I received several very kind messages, three from people who’d been through it (two through foster care, so it was a different process, and one through international adoption) and one who offered to connect me to her sister who adopted after fertility treatments, AND even a birth mother who sent us her blessing and thanks which really touched me. Now I gotta say, the one who said her sister had been through it mentioned “multiple rounds of IVF including with donor egg then adopted” jumped out at me and I emailed her right away. Well, this was way off. The woman had an IUI and never did donor egg IVF which would have been her next step, AND? Before she filled out the paperwork with an adoption agency, a friend’s daughter got pregnant and immediately chose her to be the parents. So, not exactly anything even CLOSE to what we’d been through with either fertility or adoption processes. So I emailed the man who’s daughter was internationally adopted, and while they went through it 10 years ago and he is now divorced, he wrote this to us:
“When I occasionally meet someone who’s also trying to start a family but hasn’t succeeded, I try to give them some sense of the importance of recognizing and dealing with the effect this painful process has on their relationship. I try to remind them of the need to be sweet to each other. I don’t know if we’ll get a chance to talk, but I do hope you’ll always be sweet to each other.”
He also wrote about his daughter who is clearly the apple of his eye, and I was so incredibly touched by this. So what does all of this have to do with the above photo? Well, about a week later I’d been staring at this bag of beeswax that we’d been holding onto since harvesting honey this summer, as I’d been telling myself I was going to try making candles for the first time from it, and knew it wasn’t a reality. So I posted on Nextdoor asking if anyone would be willing to do a trade – make our beeswax into candles in exchange for some homemade jam or pickles or even eggs from our ducks, and whaddayaknow? The father quoted above said that he and his daughter do this every holiday as a father-daughter activity and so they made us these! Cool.
But that wasn’t even the best part of this week believe it or not! The bestest? Reconnecting with my dear old friend M who I’ve not seen since the start of the millenium, when situations in each of our lives were crazy and we (unintentionally) sadly drifted apart. She is someone I adore and it has brought such a torrent of happy emotions to be in touch with her again. I can’t wait til we have time to meet up in person as I’ve missed my friend so much over the years! I just gotta say, this is another “amen for the internet” situation in my life, as I’d done a search for her and found something that led me to her new last name and voila! We connected on…Pinterest! I know right? Not the medium you were expecting I bet. But hell, I met my husband right here on this blog so nothing in my life really happens traditionally, hah!
(…and yes, we were much younger back then when this was taken…we were just 25!)