Disjointed thoughts while folding tiny socks

March 3, 2007 at 1:48 am | Posted in AdoptThis! | 25 Comments

I am terrified of what this trip holds for me.

The waters of the Guatemalan adoption system, choppy at the best of times, have been rough sailing the past few days. Proclamations and promises are being thrown around, fat dirigibles full of hot air and prone to explode. The Department of State damns with faint reassurances that they are “not planning an immediate shutdown of adoptions at this time.”

Falling in love is always a risk. After the first weekend I spent with Pili, I couldn’t stop crying, because I was so happy and so very very scared. Friends ask how I can bear to go, knowing I have to come back without him. The truth is, he’s not ours yet. He’s not ours until his mom signs for the last time, after the case exits PGN, affirming that she still wishes to relinquish him. If that happened, I would be devastated – but I would be glad to know that he had a home with his family. If our governments can’t figure out a way to protect children without stranding them – and the people who would love them – in eternal limbo – I will be destroyed.

But I am so tired of having all this love in my heart waiting and waiting to be used. Collecting my favorite children’s books and toys into a box that I take out when our friends with kids visit, not so secretly hoping that someday my child will use them. Today Pili, who is usually above the petty resentments that plague me, asked if she could throw out the birth announcement sitting on the counter from my cousin – because it rankled so that they had just had number two while we are still waiting waiting waiting.

And after defying the odds for three years, our sweet wonderful would-be-fantastic-with-a-toddler cat Sambar – my eyes well up just typing this – seems to be running out of lives.  The vet can’t sem to find anything wrong with her – even though she barely eats, and keeps losing weight.  And still she puts her imperious paw up on my lap, demanding to be picked up – a shadow in my arms now – and cuddled. I hate to think that our child will never learn “gentle” with her sitting patiently by him. I hate to think that we could lose her and not have him.

So we dive off the high board, and cross our fingers that no one will drain the pool before we hit the water. We have to hope, because there’s nothing else we can do. 

Happiness, you are the bright red lining
Of the dark winter coat
Grief wears inside out.

– Charles Simic


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  1. Art-sweet

    I wish you the smoothest of journeys there to meet the little guy. Also an elongated sense of time while you’re with him.

    I’ll be looking forward to lots and lots and lots of photos. But I’ll understand if you just post one or two.

    I hope that God keeps you safe along the way, with no travel bugs during any part of the time.

    Lots of love.

  2. oh honey. I am so so sorry to hear about Sambar. Not knowing is the worst and it seems to be the theme at the moment.
    thinking of you.

  3. Art-Sweet,

    I’ve tried several times to write something– hoping the right words of comfort and encouragement would come.

    But I just don’t know what to say except that I’m thinking of you and Pili and that wonderful little boy– and that sweet, sweet cat.



  4. (((A-S)))

    You and Pili and your little boy … and Sambar are in my thoughts. My eyes teared up at your entire post – the emotional well is running deep for you guys these days. You’re in my thoughts. All of you.


  5. Oh my. You hang in there, you keep that love in your heart. You have many, many people out here thinking of you all and sending you good thoughts.

  6. Art – you mention in the previous post, that perhaps Sambar is meant to be reincarnated into your child. (beta was in 41 hours) But Sambar is still here. perhaps her (albeit sad and painful) potential departure from THIS plane of reality is indeed a portent, an omen of the very best yet to come.

    We often talk about how death and birth are linked. I wonder if, at times, when My Bubbe, z”l passed on, if her soul was waiting for us to complete our homestudy, instead of trying to get knocked up. Malka was concieved at the same time our homestudy was complete.

    As far as fur baby love, NOTHING can compare. You met our beasties, including the one on the shelf, and I can only share how much I get it.

    Much much love to you, Sambar, Pili and Guatababy, and much “nisseah tovah” (safe travels) for your pending trip.

    And um, remember, the coffee ain’t so hot…

  7. The process seems so hard. You do seem to have a clear head though, as clear as can be…

    I am truly sorry to hear Sambar’s health is failing. A cat person myself, I know how real and devastating it is to lose a pet.

    My thoughts are with you and Pili.


  8. I do hope things go as smoothly as possible for everyone–the baby boy, the cat, and you and Pili. Looking forward to happy updates.

  9. You already know there are never any guarantees in this process but right now we are all in a very shaky place and we are all terrified of the what ifs. I wish I could reassure you but I can’t even reassure myself at this point. All we can do is take that blind leap of faith and hope everything ends up okay.

    Enjoy your trip – it is the most amazing experience ever. Yes, it rips your heart out to give them back but oh man the trip changes your life on a very fundamental level – but you come home and everything is the same so it’s bizarre. And Art dear? He will be yours in your heart after this visit no matter how hard to try to tell yourself he isn’t yours until the final sign off.

  10. My heart is aching for you all. Everyone else has said it so much better than I could have, but I’m also wishing and hoping that everything works out for you.

  11. I hate this place of not-knowing. I wish we were all on the other side. I hate the risks.

    I’m so hopiong that everything works for you.

  12. Oh, I am so, so sorry to hear about darling Sambar. I wish there was something that I could say. I am hoping beyond hope that you come home with HOPE after your trip to see your son. I can’t imagine being in your position right now. My prayers are with you and pili.

  13. Thinking about you. Hang in there.

  14. I realized last week that being a parent means walking around with your heart outside your chest for the rest of your life. The pain you feel for Guatebaby and Sambar are the same- they are your children. Hang on to that hope with all you’ve got- Guatebaby and Sambar need your hope as much as you do. Hang in there Art and Pili! As soon as you hold that precious bundle in your arms, even knowing you have to give him back at the end, it will ALL be worth it.

  15. I am sorry that you are in such limbo. It makes sense to me how different it would be not to take GB home because his mom decided not to sign that last time vs. because of a bureaucratic, impersoal, governmental action. Both would be devastating, but you can find some comfort in the former and none in the latter.

    And I am sorry about your beloved cat.

    I have nothing good to say. But know that I’m thinking of you and wishing you and Pili all the best.

  16. hey

    just wanted to say i am so sorry to hear about your puss … you know i am basically waiting just like you and also hoping to visit in the near future … i find anything extra is just unbearable right now … be gentle with yourself … you are almost there


  17. My thoughts and positive vibes are flying up to you guys from down here — Have a wonderous trip, get a lot of hugs and kisses in there, and enjoy the warmth (of the weather and of the moment!).

    I hope this thing gets moving for you.


  18. I’m tearing up at work reading this. My thoughts and prayers are with you all – you, Pili, GB and Sambar.

  19. I so hope Sambar pulls through, and waits long enough for your hearts to be full of GB before she leaves this world. I am so sorry that there is so much angst and pain in your lives right now, and that your kitty is ailing.

  20. I am thinking of you and really sorry to hear about Sambar. And wishing you lots of strength to get through the uncertainty and scary bits.

  21. Oh Art, I hope that things go smoothly. And more than anything, I wish you strength, peace, and always love.

  22. We have to hope, because there’s nothing else we can do.
    Gracie’s endocrinologist once told me this: “If you don’t have hope, what do you have?”
    She was responding to my hope that Gracie would be in her honeymoon stage “forever.” It is okay to hope, you need to, as hope is food for your soul and it will sustain you in lean times.

  23. Sigh…………I was going to say something about “trust” but it just doesn’t hack it.
    Hang on to the strength of all of your OC friends who are pulling for you and P. Have a safe trip. Bernard, in his kindness, will be satisfied with one or two pics. Rest assured that I will not!!

  24. Thinking of you and yours, hoping that all goes well for you.

    I’m sorry to hear about Sambar – it’s a real hard thing to not know and to have to watch and wait.

  25. I know from experience that folding tiny socks can unleash a flood of thoughts and emotions. I can only imagine what it’s like with the extra hurdles you have faced, and continue to face.

    Here’s hoping the final few items on your list get crossed off soon. Of course, then you won’t have time to do things like update your blog template, as the tiny socks and their ilk will have taken over!

    Keeping a good thought for you & Pili…

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