We really started picking up steam with our adoption when folks gathered for the big yellow-shirted Blog Union last year in California. We of course did not attend because we had no blog, and no waiting list stamp to yet wave proudly in the air. But, because I am a CREEP, and had become very familiar with various families' steps towards their children, I grinned over all the photos and wept at the big group picture. Look at all these adults who speak the same language, and don't have to spend time translating! Look at all these pudgy, perfect babies and children being clung to and adored! Look at all these happy beginnings!
I finally did get up the nerve to start a blog. Scary! Self-indulgent! Silly! I did it anyways. And if there's some odd bird out there who has somehow stumbled her way onto this page at the start of her own adoption process, I hope she heeds this advice: START A BLOG. CONNECT. ALL TYPES OF WOMEN ADOPT, ALL TYPES OF ADOPTION BLOGS EXIST. DON'T DO THIS ALONE.
I had a good old-fashioned purge there on my last post, and that was a Scary! thing to commit to the Internet. Oh, but then the comments were so loving and thoughtful and warm and, well, it makes me flap my hands in the air and tear up just thinking about the Henri Nouwen quote or Abe reading his Sunday funnies or Julie who is always the first person to leave a kind, sisterly word on anybody's page.
People come in all emotional shapes to the adoption process, but mine happened to be pea-sized and whimpery. I felt lost and broken and like we had failed ourselves and the people in our world. (<---What a jerk.) I wanted to stop all the self-loathing so I took up Yoga. Productive, right? But then I always seemed to find myself in the class that started right as the pre-natal class let out and all those bellies took their turns slapping me in the face. (<---Sorry bellies! I'm better now, promise.) I do that annoying thing with strangers who ask me from where we're adopting. I say "Ethiopia!," although sometimes I fear it comes out like "Ethiopia?" as I brace myself for some huffiness about domestic kids in need or an eyeball-gouging joke about Angelina Jolie. If I accomplish nothing else as a mother, I want my daughter to answer questions without unnecessary question marks. "Where are you from, dear?" "Ethiopia!! And Rosedale Avenue!!" Damn right, you are.
All this to say, there are times when you can feel terribly alone in the adoption process, which by nature is abstract and uncontrollable. And then you start a little blog, and then all the sudden your blog idols start cheering you on, and they understand the process so you'll never have to repeat yourself, and they get why the wait is worth it times a billion, and they kind of swoop you up into this hammock of good will. It's stunning to all the sudden find yourself part of something bigger than your own individual pursuit of a child.
So I've arrived to the very staggering conclusion that one day I might find myself creeping into a blog union. Which is so weird because I hate it out there in the real world. I like it better here on my keyboard, see. I'm terribly shy, though no one in my life, especially my husband, who knows from shy, will accept this. (I'm one of those shy types who has an unfortunate tendency to try too hard, and thus talk too much, and have been known on occasion to skip dinner before the drinks and then find myself forcing the board game Taboo on everybody and saying "In Your Face!" when I get the high score and I think you get the picture.)
Yeah, so big groups of people? Blurgh. Can't we all have a reunion at the movies under the cover of darkness? Must we chat? But know that no matter what lameness I spout off here about social gatherings, that one day I too will be there wearing a homemade t-shirt and playing the wash, wash, wash, tumble dry! tumble dry! game with all the itty bitties. Ha ha suckers— You're stuck with me now!
Who would have thought that before this little person has the chance to emerge into our lives that I'd be back whole again, patched together by women who know of what I speak. Which is not to take away from the discomfort of this wait for a referral. Last week Papa Dog and I were struck low by the anticipation. We're both working out of the house right now, which is not at all conducive to two already reserved personalities living in a still fresh city. So we took our beloved mutt Tulip on a walk, trudging sadly around the park. All the sudden there was this clacking sound from down below and there was Tulip sucking on a found rainbow-colored pacifier. She looked so desperate to please ("Aren't I enough for you?"), and so earnest in her pacifying endeavors, that we both burst out laughing and dropped to our knees to have a very awkward family hug.
START A BLOG
IN WISTFUL MOODS, LISTEN TO THE ALISON KRAUSS AND ROBERT PLANT CD
IN ESCAPIST MOODS, DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPEFYING EFFECTS OF REALITY TV
GET A DOG (but make sure the cats still know who's boss)
*How 'bout that Bachelor? What a worm!