Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh yeah, I have a blog

I suck.

I feel like I have about 100 balls in the air right now and I'm starting to drop them all over the place.  I have things I want to write about but I can't get my thoughts in order enough to get them all down.  I have friends in need and I haven't been able to be there for them the way I would like.  I have a million little mundane household projects that need to be done but I'm too distracted to stick with them longer than a minute or two.  I'm trying to put together the framework for starting my own photography business but I find it all too overwhelming and I have to stop every time I try to start.*  I'm waiting for emails and phone calls relaying important news, mail delivering important papers, text messages showing something to make me smile and none of it seems like it will ever come.

I'm frustrated, stressed and just BLECH.

On the bright side, I took this picture of a newborn baby's foot.

*Plus there's the whole thing with the pesky little voice saying "You're not good enough at this to even try making a go at it."  I hate that voice.

One year ago today Elle loved me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Story of Joseph - Becoming Family

"What if we kept him?"

Once the question we couldn't take it back. Jesse and I started talking about what it would be like it we adopted Joseph. "We could teach him to read!" "We could start a college fund for him!" "We could take him to Disney World!"  (It sounds funny but back when we had been planning on not adopting Joseph it made us sad that he might end up with a family that would never take him to Disney World.)

"We would have a son!"

We stayed up late into the night discussing adoption and the next day I called Sabrina to tell her about our change of heart. She was surprised but then she laughed and told me how much paperwork I was going to be saving her. Once we had talked for a bit and she confirmed that we really, really wanted to do this she promised to get the ball rolling on her end.

The first step on our end was trying to teach Joseph to call us Mommy and Daddy instead of Jesse and Jenny. Luckily he was a late talker and had never really learned to call us anything by that point. That was the easy part.

Next we began to tell people our plans. The reactions were mixed. MOST people were very supportive but we did get a few negative reactions. One that will stay with me forever was "That's dumb. Why would you want to adopt if you could have one of your own?"

None of that really mattered though. The people who were most important to us were on board. It was fun telling people. It was like announcing a pregnancy. "We're going to have a baby! And he's a year old!" We started planning our lives after the adoption and looking forward to raising our son.

Before we could move forward though some formalities had to be taken care of. Jesse and I had to take classes on adoption and raising adopted children. I really don't remember a single thing about those classes. I think I was so young and just excited to be a mom. None of the logistics of it really mattered to me. I just wanted my boy.

Once we had completed our classes and a couple of home studies a date was set to go to court and finalize the adoption. The only thing standing in our way was that the county had to make an attempt to contact Joey and Julie to make sure they didn't object. This involved (among other things) putting a legal notice in the paper about our intentions to adopt Joseph. I was terrified of that notice. I was so convinced that someone in Joey's or Julie's family was going to see that notice and come forward.

Somewhere along in the adoption process my feelings towards Joseph shifted. I had always loved him of course. You don't care for a child for a year and not love them. But when we started trying to adopt him I let down the little wall I had been holding up in my heart. Joseph wasn't just a child I was taking care of any more. He was MY child. The thought that something could go wrong and that I might not get my child terrified me.

After the notice came out in the paper and attempts to contact Joey and Julie were made we had to wait a week. I don't think I slept at all during that week. This little notice in the paper that read like a glorified lost and found ad kept me on edge. Every time the phone rang I was certain it was Sabrina calling to say someone saw the notice and decided to protest our adoption. No one came forward to claim Joseph though. To this day I don't know if they ever got a hold of Joey and Julie. I just knew that now we were able to proceed. A court date was set.

On February 12th, 2002 Jesse and I went to court to adopt our son. Joseph's social worker Sabrina was there as were several members of my extended family. In the courtroom I held Joseph on my lap as the judge asked us all the legal questions involved with an adoption. When I answered that yes, I would raise him as my own child, the same as I would raise my own biological child I teared up and had to choke out the answer. I could hear my family behind me doing happy little sniffling cries too.

At some point during the proceedings Joseph wiggled off my lap and started walking in a circle around the table Jesse and I were seated at. Just as the judge declared us a family, forever and ever, Joseph knocked his head on the corner the table and began to wail. Everyone, including the judge, had to laugh.

And then I had my son.

We changed dropped Joseph's original middle name (in fact, we didn't even know he had one until we filed adoption papers) and made his old last name into his new middle name. We didn't want to erase that part of his history. Who he was, where he came from, is a part of who he is today. There are parts of this story I would like to change (the allegations of abuse, the weekend visits at the group home, Julie's disinterest, Joey being lied to and scared off) but in the end it all came together to make Joseph who he is. To make our family what it is. It wasn't all easy and it wasn't all in pretty but in the end, it was all good.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, we made sure to take Joseph to Disney World.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Easy Feet!

Two questions: 1 Why does that guy have his shoe in the shower?  2 How gross is it that that woman is bathing in a tub full of bubbles, rose petals and DEAD SLOUGHED OFF FOOT SKIN?!?!

Easy Feet!  For people who have way too much shower gel and are bad at life.

(This commercial makes me wonder about my own foot cleansing routine.  Up until now I've just been waving a wet washcloth at my feet when I shower.  Please don't tell Jody M.)

Two years ago today Joseph did not think i I was photogenic.
Three years ago today I was undecided about Elle.
Five years ago today Joseph might have been a racist.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Programming notes

I guess today is National Delurking Day or something so if you're out there leave a comment and let me know.  Or not.  If you don't my feelings won't be hurt... much.

In other news I will AT LAST be posting the last chapter in Joseph's adoption story on Monday.  If you missed out on the story or want to reread it and catch up it can be found here.

In other news I am thinking of doing more "I Must Be Crazy Chronicles"  because they make me laugh and they're fun to do.  But then I think maybe people hate them and it's like forcing people to look at my vacation slides.  But then I think no one has to read any part of this blog if they don't want to and what if I just happen to have found a group of readers who really like looking at vacation slides?  So should I do more or not?  You can answer that when you leave your delurking comment that I know you had been planning on leaving anyway.

In final news I got some good news yesterday but I hesitate to share it in case things don't work out like I'm hoping they will.  It's really hard for me to self edit like this.  It's my nature to over-share.  I'll just say this: I'm NOT pregnant (because I know that's where everyone's mind goes with me) but... no.  I'll just leave it at that.

Edited to add: Those of you who read me via a feed will get to read the last chapter of Joseph's adoption story early because blogger is being a butthead and it published it early.  I deleted the entry but I think it will still show up in feeds.  Dammit!  I can't have nice things. 

One year ago today I was random.
Two years ago today I went to L.A.
Three years ago today I made a birth plan.  (Holy crap!  Little A is almost three!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A short story about friendship

She lifted her head up from between my legs and peered over the top of the sheet at me.  "I think you're ovulating right now."

This is what happens when your best friend is a nurse midwife and you go to her for a pap smear.

One year ago today my in-laws were not on board with the baby growing.
Two years ago today I flew.

Monday, January 10, 2011

These fish will be the death of me

We're having some really good times at our house these days.  And by good times I mean times that make me grind my teeth in aggravation and worry.  Oh, don't worry, we're all doing ok.  There's nothing catastrophic.  The universe is just handing us our ass via financial water torture.

Drip, drip, drip.  It's just one little thing after the other.

First, a part of our house blew away.  It wasn't a big part but it turns out that it was the most expensive part.  Thank goodness it's just decorative and not essential.  We figured we could put off the repair till after Christmas when we could better afford it.  Ignoring it has worked out pretty well so far. Well, except for a couple of days ago when I was talking to a neighbor and he mentioned our blown apart house and said "Well, it's not too much of an eyesore .... I guess."  That's Polite Neighbor Speak for "Fix your house you damn hillbillies!"

Next I had my fake heart attack.  We'll be paying for this for the rest of our lives.  (It turns out that when you go to the hospital because you suspect that something is wrong they charge you the same amount even it turns out that nothing is wrong with you.  That hardly seems fair.  There's something wrong with that system.  I'm guessing Republicans are to blame somehow.) The medical bills aren't really too much of a shock to us.  Frankly something is always breaking or exploding or needing to be removed from my body so medical bills are just a way of life for us.  That's what happens when you have CHOFS.

Next Jesse's car died. Sort of.  See, the car still worked but the car's computer system thought the car didn't work.  The car's starter worked just fine but the computer thought it didn't work so it wouldn't let the starter work.  I can't even wrap my head around how stupid it is that we had to pay over $700 to fix a car who's main problem is that it's a hypochondriac. 

Last week our dishwasher died.  This may not seem like a big deal but it is to us.  We are dishwasher people.  We don't do well when we have to hand wash dishes.  If we didn't get a new dishwasher we were in real danger of becoming feral.  After two days of not having a dishwasher the kids were drinking out of measuring cups.  We're getting a new dishwasher later this week but in the meantime Jesse and I are keeping a running tab of how many sinkfuls of dishes we've done and I think that one of us* is hoping for sexual favors in return for all our hard work.

And then as if all these financial woes weren't enough to break us, I had to go and buy medicine for the fish because they have intestinal parasites.  It pained me to do it because the fish medicine was more expensive than the alternative of scooping out all the old fish, flushing them and then buying new fish.  I am somewhat attached to the stupid parasitic fish though so I guess I couldn't really do that.

We'll be ok.  We have enough money for food and we've got our blown part house to shelter us and we're able to afford stupid medicine for our stupid fish.  I'm not complaining.  Joseph is though. Yesterday he was asking me please, please, please, please buy him this and when I explained that I just didn't have the money to buy him that right now but maybe he could wait till his birthday he whined "Why don't you just have more babies so that I can buy whatever I want to?"


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

This is how I know we'll be together forever

This past weekend we visited a house that had a cat.  When we got to the house Elle suddenly got nervous.  As we approached the door she paused and said worriedly "Does the kitty have claws?"

Instead of answering her Jesse and I both said (at the exact same second) "Do the chickens have large talons?"

He's pretty much my favorite husband ever.

One year ago today I lathered up.
Three years ago today Joseph wondered about his birth mother.

Monday, January 03, 2011

What Elle said

Overheard from the kitchen where Elle was rummaging through the cupboards for a snack: "Holy crap!  I found the freaking bean dip!"

It was funny because I didn't even know we had lost the freaking bean dip.