Monday, December 27, 2010


It occurred to me the other day that I haven't really said much lately about how things are going right now as far as adoption goes. I don't have much to say about it, I guess. I mean, I could go on for days about last Wednesday's practically perfect visit with P and M and their darling daughters. I could write pages about Roo's eyebrows alone (she has very expressive eyebrows). But I feel like I'm in a really good place with adoption in general and my adoption situation in particular. I am content. I still have my moments where I miss Roo terribly, but more and more I find that the Roo I miss isn't the Roo that exists now. I miss the newborn Roo who was mine and I'm sad for what never was, not for what is. Roo has a wonderful life. I am so happy for her!

So, adoption's great. It's the rest of my life that's a bit untidy at present. And when I say "a bit untidy" what I mean is that there has been a great deal of upheaval.

For openers, I am trying to get back into school. I always planned on getting my bachelor's degree before I turned thirty, and the clock is ticking. Financial aid has been one gigantic migraine, and absolutely nothing I'd planned for the coming semester seems to be falling into place.

I started working again at the end of October, which was an adjustment for me. The last time I worked, H was in my life. I was working at a hair salon for a manager who hated me. My financial situation had never looked better, so I put up with the verbal abuse. My father was still alive. It was a completely different world.

Now I have a very different job at a great library, working for and with people who are generally very kind and personable. My pay would have to be raised to reach abysmal, but I'm happy enough. It's strange to be working again. While I discovered that unemployment didn't particularly suit me, I did grow accustomed to it. So, working is an adjustment. I've had to re-learn how to prioritize and manage my time.

I had been working for exactly three days when my mother announced her engagement to a man she had been dating for all of about two weeks. They got married on December 3rd. He moved in. I'm moving out. I found a really fantastic condo for rent a few miles west of where I live now, and my lease starts on New Year's Day. So I have spent much of my time since Halloween packing and planning for my new place.

I realize that at my age it's probably just sad that I still live at home. But still ... I don't know. I guess I always thought that moving out would be my idea, something I did when my finances were in a better state. I never thought I'd be pushed out because my mom's new husband doesn't like me. Which he doesn't.

My mother says he's intimidated by me, which I think is ridiculous for several reasons I'm too tired to enumerate. Suffice it to say that I am not a child - I can tell the difference between intimidation and aversion, and I smell the latter. How awkward is that? I always knew my mother would marry again, but I guess I thought she'd take a bit more time first. I guess I thought she'd end up with a man who could stand to be in the same room as me. I was wrong.

She seems happy enough. I suppose that ought to be enough, that I ought to be happy for her the way I'm happy for Roo. But it's different - very, very different. And selfish, I'll admit to that. I'm being selfish. I'm not proud of it. But the selfishness is there just the same.

With the crazy way things have been going, I am extra thankful for the stability that Roo has. The more time that passes, the more I am able to appreciate her exemplary parents and wonderful life. I mean, it's safe to say that things wouldn't be changing the way they are now if I'd not chosen adoption. But I can easily believe that there would be many other changes, and probably none of them good for Roo. How grateful I am for the life she has! I don't mean to imply that Roo would have been miserable and damaged if I'd parented her. She would have been fine, I'm sure of it. But instead, she's better than fine.

I think that, eventually, I will be too. Things just have to be a little crazy for a while. I'll get through it and be better for it. Hey, I've been through worse! This is kid stuff.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It is super late, and I am very tired, and I am currently Lord Mayor of Allergy Town, and I should be asleep, not blogging. So I'll make this short and sweet.

Today's visit with Roo and her awesome family? Pretty much the best thing EVER. I am a very spoiled, very happy girl. Also, you should all be insanely jealous of my little Roo, because she is the sweetest, smartest, most beautiful girl in the known universe, and she has the best, most amazing family ever. I love them all forever :)

Merry Christmas, blog peeps!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Awesome Link of the Day

One of the many wonders of the Internet* is that it allows for the discovery of wonderful things you'd never find any other way. For instance, there are hundreds of websites out there full of pictures of baby pandas. There are websites like Mental Floss that contain more information than you could learn in a lifetime. There are blogs like Cake Wrecks dedicated to the edible foibles of grocery store bakers. And there are any number of pages of awkward pregnancy photos (update at bottom is slightly NSFW). I'll confess, that last one was completely new to me before the days of Google. I guess it's because I'd never really been around pregnant women before, but I had no idea that there was a market for pregnancy photography. There exist a grand total of maybe seven pictures of my mother pregnant, and all of them are snapshots. It never would have occurred to me that parents-to-be would arrange for a photoshoot - of any level of taste.

Granted, there are probably thousands of very tasteful, lovely pregnancy pictures out there, but aren't the awkward ones more fun? It's a pity that couples who adopt don't have the chance to pose for pregnancy photos with Goodyear tires and watermelons.

Well, take heart, adoptive couples! You, too, can have tacky "pregnancy" photos. One adoptive couple decided to do a photo shoot with the aid of a beach ball, and these are the hilarious results:

The photo commentary is hilarious, but the blog author - whose friends adopted twins - wrote a lovely bit about adoption at the beginning as well. And she makes a good point - in adoption, as in most of life, you have to have a sense of humor.

*I am aware that 99% of the time, when I use the word "Internet" I should actually be using the phrase "world wide web" and I know they're not, strictly speaking, interchangeable. But I've never liked the word "web" and I think "Internet" is catchier.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I've been so busy lately that I missed a milestone a few days ago. It's been a year since Roo's adoption was finalized! How cool is that? I thought about it last month on National Adoption Day because I know a couple who finalized their son's adoption that day (Hi, Mary!). I don't remember if I wrote a lot about Roo's finalization last year and I'm too lazy to check my own archives.

But even if I did do a decent write-up, I feel like reminiscing a bit. Finalization was sort of strange for me - I wasn't sure how I was supposed to feel. As far as I was concerned, things were a done deal at placement. Once I signed the paperwork, she was theirs. I had a hard time committing to an emotion about things being 100% legally official.

I thought it would be harder. I expected that I'd cry, or that I'd be a little sad at least. I didn't really feel anything, and that concerned me. I knew the court date but not the exact time. Sometime in the early afternoon it occurred to me that it must have been over already. I still didn't feel anything. I suppose there was an underlying sort of sadness, but that was more of an everyday sort of thing.

Then I got the e-mail. P and M sent me two pictures that had been taken in the courtroom. When I saw the pictures, I felt my first real, tangible emotion of the day, and it wasn't one I'd been expecting: joy. I have never seen two people look happier than P and M did in the pictures. Their happiness was contagious. It did me so much good to see how happy they were with their little family - with Roo.

The sealing day was a horse of a different color. It wasn't what I expected. I don't know why I thought anything on earth might go the way I expected, since nothing ever has. I'm not sure what I expected, actually. Not the overwhelming sadness, that's for sure. I'm not going to lie; it was pretty rough.

Then came Roo's blessing day - joy again! It gave me the peace I'd missed the day before. It's hard to believe it's been a year since that day. A year! How did that happen? How did Roo get so big all of a sudden? I'll never know. I do know that one year later, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Placing Roo was the best decision I have ever made. I don't regret it for a second. She is the cutest, smartest, happiest, most wonderful little person in the world. I love her more than I can ever say. I am so very glad I placed her with P and M.

Happy anniversary, P and M and Roo!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Dating" a Birth Mom

I was asked a few months ago for a bit of advice. I get asked for advice not irregularly, which is both flattering an intimidating. I don't feel like I know enough about anything on earth to give advice. But people will ask me anyway, and I try to come up with something useful to say.

Anyway. A few months ago, a hopeful adoptive mama e-mailed me. She and her husband were going to meet with a potential birth mother, and she was a nervous wreck. I can't blame her. I'd be nervous, too. And in fact, I was. I'm pretty sure that's what I ended up saying in the e-mail. As nervous as a couple might be, the potential birth mom is just as nervous. It's a pretty intimidating meeting for everyone involved. You want it to go well. You want to make a good impression. You want the other party to like you. Granted, the potential birth mother's got the upper hand here, because the decision is hers to make. But that doesn't mean she's not in a cold sweat at the thought of meeting a couple.

I remember being terrified at the prospect of meeting hopeful adoptive couples. I wanted them to like me, but not because I might give them a baby. I wanted them to like me because they thought I was a good person. I'm sure the couples I met got their hopes up a bit, and I'll confess that I did as well. I'd heard stories from other birth moms about how they felt when they met the couples they eventually chose, and I was looking forward to a heavenly choir of my own, or at least a bit of déjà vu. Neither of which I got with P and M, by the way.

I digress.

I've often found parallels between dating and waiting for placement, and there's another one here - it's overly simplistic and highly imperfect. But even so. Think of meeting with a birth mom as a sort of first date with someone you've met on-line. The comparison isn't a perfect one, obviously, because a birth mom doesn't meet every couple she has contact with. But as far as meeting with a potential birth mom goes, remember, you are attempting to start a real-life relationship, same as you would with dating.

When you were dating, would you assume that every person who asked you out wanted to marry you? Probably not. You're asked out because he or she wants to get to know you better and see if there's the potential for a more meaningful relationship. Likewise, a meeting with a potential birth mom doesn't necessarily mean she's ready to pick you. It means she's thinking about you and wants to meet in person to get better acquainted.

So, let's say you've been on a first date with someone and you had a great time. Maybe they had a great time, too, and they'll call you again and you'll enjoy another date. That would be wonderful, wouldn't it? But say that, although they had a good enough time, they're not particularly interested in a repeat performance. Would you take it personally? Would you see it as a sign that you'll never date again, never marry? Would you feel like this person was your only chance at dating, and give up?

I hope not. You might feel sad at first, and wonder what you did or said that made them lose interest. But I hope you'd feel better in a day or two and realize that just because this person doesn't want to go steady with you, doesn't mean no one else ever will, and it doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you. You needn't take it personally.

Again, it's not a perfect parallel, but try to keep my clumsy analogy in mind when meeting with birth moms. If you meet with a birth mom once and never hear from her again, try not to take it personally. Odds are, it's nothing you did or said. She simply didn't feel you were right. It's no one's fault. And it doesn't mean you'll never be chosen.

One of the couples I met when I was pregnant had actually met with seven birth moms before being chosen. If they'd given up after I moved on, they wouldn't be parents today. But they had a little faith, and they persevered, and today they have a darling one-year-old girl who is their whole world.

It's okay to be nervous. It's okay to imagine what-ifs. It's perfectly okay to want to make a good impression, and I'd be worried if you didn't think, this could be the one. But it's also okay if this isn't the one. It's okay (or will be, anyway) if it doesn't work out. You might not think so right away. But don't lose hope. Just because this woman isn't your child's birth mom, doesn't mean you'll never be chosen.

I feel like this is probably some of the least-useful advice I've ever given, but I hope it was a little helpful just the same.

If you're in the mood for mostly-useless advice, drop me a line at thehappiestsad AT gmail DOT com.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Before I Forget

I promise I have actual blog content on the way very soon, but in the meantime, there is something important I need to say.

To the person who found my blog by Googling "can you serve cold risotto," please accept my apologies. And I'm pretty sure you can, in fact, serve risotto cold.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Formspring Revisited: Brothers and Sisters

Note: this past week has been insanely busy, and I started but never finished six different posts. I plan on finishing them eventually, but I felt bad for neglecting my blog, so I thought I'd post something I wrote a few weeks ago and had floating around in the queue.

It's that time again - time for me to answer a question I've already answered! I'm awesome that way. In case you're wondering, I have considered setting my Formspring up so that whenever I answer a question, it updates my blog. But I don't like the idea of my blog doing anything behind my back. Plus, I usually think of better answers after I've already given answers, and this is another way for me to say exactly what I want to say.

When I answer e-mailed questions on my blog, I paraphrase. I'm going to do a little of that with my Formspring questions, just because sometimes I don't like the way people word things.

How would you feel if Roo's parents adopted again? Would you be upset?

I would never be upset. I wanted Roo to have siblings. I know that a lot of birth moms want their babies to be the first child in the families they place with, so they'll get more attention or whatever. I felt that way at first, but I also worried about my child being sort of the test subject for brand new parents. I know that someone's got to be the guinea pig, but I wasn't sure how I felt about it being my little girl! Also, I wanted siblings for Roo. Many couples who certify to adopt never actually do, and the ones who are blessed with a child have no guarantees that they'll ever end up with more than one child. The thought of Roo being an only child made me sad. When I considered P and M, I liked that they already had a child, because Roo got an instant big sister, and the two of them together are the cutest thing in the world. Even if P and M never do adopt again, Roo and her sister have each other, and they're both adopted, so they have that in common. They're both doubly loved.

So, would I be upset if Roo got a little brother or sister? Just the opposite - I'd be very happy for P and M, and in fact I hope they do adopt again if they want to. I think I'd be a bit sad for them if they wanted to but didn't for whatever reason. I always wanted a little brother or sister, so I would love for Roo to have one or two.

As I said, couples who adopt once have no guarantees they'll adopt again. A such, many couples begin the re-certification process as soon as they possibly can, to give themselves as much time and as many chances as they can to be chosen - and sometimes opportunities to adopt come up before a couple is certified again. I guess that's where my only worry came in, and it's long since past. Although I can't imagine it happening now, I worried for a bit that a chance to adopt again would come up when Roo was still very small, and that as an infant she would have to compete for parental attention with a newborn. But it was only a passing worry, and it passed.

Roo's mom and dad are wonderful parents, and I hope they end up with as many children as they'd like.