I couldn’t get the pictures for it off Pili’s camera.
Witty will come later, my friends, later.
In the meantime, does anyone know where I can make, steal, or adapt a snarky ticker?
I want one that says: number of MONTHS since our agency has sent out medical reports.
It really really irritates me that GAL sends us emails saying “please confirm receipt of this email” and then ignores the part of our emails where we very gently ask if we can get an update on his measurements so that we can make sure we bring clothes that fit when we go to visit him.
Also, opinions from experienced Guatemala hands are requested: given the option of spending eight days with your baby in Antigua (albeit with the caveat that you can only leave the hotel to go around the city with baby accompanied by
an armed guard agency representative) or spending five/six days with baby and than a couple of days travelling – which would you do? We plan to return fairly regularly once he’s a little older, but would probably travel a little more cautiously with child than without. For what it’s worth, we speak decent if rusty Spanish and are both pretty savvy and experienced non-first-world travellers.
I can imagine not wanting to leave him and go off and travel. I can also imagine feeling sad that I spent all my time in a hotel room and not getting to know his home a little better.
The weather around here of late has made me dream lots of warm dreams.
This is one of my favorite summer places – lying in the hammock on the deck off our bedroom, surrounded by trees, the sun on my face and a cat on my lap.
This is what said deck looks like right now.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that Guatebaby isn’t coming home anytime soon – can you imagine being four months old and coming from warm humid Guatemala to this? Never mind, I’d still rather have him home.
This is one of my favorite places during the winter. Our bed, flannel sheets, and all four cats.
Lazy? Me? Never…
Envy. Regret. These emotions creep up and grip me around the back of the neck when I’m not expecting them. On of the adoption groups I read, a woman just posted that she received her referral two weeks before we got ours, with the other agency that we almost used. She just got out of PGN.
We are not even in PGN yet. We don’t have pre-approval yet. Her baby will be coming home when she is four months old. We will be going to visit our son when he’s four months old. And even though I know that every case is different, and I know that if we had chosen that agency, we wouldn’t be going to visit that incredible smile of the previous post, I can’t help wondering and questioning and second-guessing. I’m surrounded by people whose babies are due in August. And I don’t even know if my son will be home by August. If there had been a fetus in that sac, we’d have a baby already. I’m feeling not at all like my best self tonight.
BUT. I am taking a big step and checking off the DNA match on the sidebar, because GAL assures me that if it weren’t a match, we would have heard by now. I’d feel better if I had that paper in my hot little hand. But. But. But. But.
I was going to try and segue from this into Photo Friday, but I think that deserves a post of its own.
We just got new photos of the boy. I cannot WAIT to hold him. Less than a month to go until we visit…
I bet all the nannies love our wee bambino!
The card that he’s holding had his name on it so I had to photoshop it out.
Can I have a hug now?
Once I can laugh about something it usually seems a little more in control. The thing that got me over the laughing-about-it hump with the current two-career quandry was listening to “The Ballad of Mary Magdalene” by Richard Shindell. The first verse goes like this…
My name is Mary Magdalene
I come from Palestine
please excuse these rags I’m in
I’ve fallen on hard times
Long ago I had my work
when I was in my prime
but I gave it up, and all for love
it was his career or mine
On Friday, my therapist pointed out that we both feel like our backs are up against the wall. Pili’s scared that she will be trapped into a commute that keeps her from having a strong relationship with her son and I’m scared of being “tricked” into sacrificing my dreams and getting stuck in a city that doesn’t offer me any job opportunities. And when someone feels like their back is against the wall, my very wise therapist reminded me, they don’t tend to respond from the most generous “we-thinking” part of themself. I heart therapy, big time.
This weekend was better. Not so much talking about it, but what talking there was felt more mutual and generous to me. We’ve pulled through big tough transitions before, and I feel certain we’ll come through this one too.
And last night, a good email in my inbox. The DNA test was done, two weeks ago. Which means that the results should be available shortly. And hopefully it will be a match. While there are still other opportunities for Guatebaby’s mom to decide that she wants to parent, this is the last time she actually has to see and hold him, and is usually when someone will change her mind about relinquishment if she’s going to.
I hate that my heart lifts at this. That the attainment of my dream means that another woman will not experience parenting her son. I hope that we will be able to connect with her down the road if Guatebaby wants to. We sent a letter for her, thanking her for this indescribable gift, assuring her that we would send pictures and updates. I don’t know what brings her to this juncture, but I hope that she can be at peace with her decision. It’s important to me that I support organizations like Wings, which provide reproductive choice options to women and men in Guatemala, in the hope that doing so will mean that another woman does not have to carry a child she knows she will not be able to feed or care for.
I’ll distract myself from all of the Big Questions and from the lack of updates from Guatemala by catching up on my photo friday topics.
Last week’s topic was “a unique body part.” Anyone who’s ever sparred with me in karate knows that I have unusually, I dare even say, uniquely, sharp elbows. They put umbrella tips to shame, my elbows do. Pili would like to register that she thinks I have other unique body parts. Do I need to go into further detail on that erm, front, erm?
This week’s topic was “show me your sofa and anything on it.” Somewhat sheepishly I do.
Tonight my sofa was occupied by a snoozing (“just ten minutes, I mean it!” she says) Pili and an ever changing parade of cats, none of whom chose to grace this picture with their presence. The traces of their attentions are, unfortunately, all too visible, especially next to the barely touched scratching post. The soft and colorful afghan is a handmade wedding present and the green sling (just barely visible) is a hopefully-soon-to-be-used hand-me-down from gandksmom.
…that things had miraculously improved since that last post.
I can’t. It seems we do not get January photos as the holiday photos we got in the end of December count for January. To which I stick out my tongue and and say phooey. How hard is it, honestly, to snap a bunch of digital photos of babies in a hogar?
It might be harder than I think, as we did get a photo from a visiting family, which, unfortunately, is very blurry and which I am not at all sure is actually a photo of my Guatebaby.
And apparently GAL, who has the unenviable position of running interference between the hogar and the chomping at the bit adoptive parents, has not been able to get January measurements from the folks in Guatemala.
Things at home continue to be, for lack of a better word, tense. I feel like even the cats are fighting more. I’m sure that we will pull through this as we have pulled through difficult stretches before. It really does help to hear that other people struggle with the two career/where to live issue as well.
I constantly question myself: am I holding onto my career dreams just because I wouldn’t know who I am/how to define myself without them? I don’t think so. When I’m at a job that’s a good fit for me, I know that I’m doing what I love. There’s a part of me that says I should just give up these hopes and do what would make life easiest for us as a unit. But why should I be the one to do that?
[This is where I start feeling like the chips are falling along traditional gender lines, with me the woman and Pili the man. And I will be damned if I will give into that tired old narrative.]
Recently I saw my DREAM JOB advertised. A high level position at an organization that I think is doing amazing and unique work – in the Big City Four+ Hours South. When Pili was playing the “soon-to-be-wed” game at her bachelorette party, her friends asked her what my dream job would be. And she answered, correctly, this position, at this organization. I thought about applying but decided that while the compromise we’ve come up with to allow me to take an interesting, career-advancing job in a better location (which will involve the moving and commuting alluded to to in the last post) is unpleasant and hard on Pili, this was simply impossible. Unless Pili was willing to leave her job, which she’s not. Rinse, lather, repeat.
So I’m curious: how do gender roles or your reactions to them (even in a same-gender relationship) shape the way you handle conflict and decision-making in your family?