Wednesday 14 January 2009


It's been a week since I posted, because my head has been swirlingly full of all kinds of craziness. After the elation of Wednesday, I feel like the rest of the week totally spiralled out of control. To illustrate: normally, I like to cook a 'proper' dinner for us. The idea is that it's ready so that we can eat together as soon as J gets home and I feel like I'm contributing something other than my pathological mood swings to our marriage. However. This week we ate:

1 x shop-bought pizza
1 x meal out (that was Wednesday)
1 x home made soup (only 5 ingredients and I FORGOT TO ADD TWO OF THEM)
1 x shop-bought soup (learning from above)
1 x macaroni and cheese
1 x dinner at friends' house
1 x leftover macaroni and cheese

Yes, I was overwhelmed enough that I paid good money for pre-made SOUP.
Why so overwhelmed?

Well, apart from a very small number of people who said 'that's really... great!' in a way that made it clear that what they meant was 'actually, I'm a little freaked out by this!' I've been overwhelmed by people's joy for us. Two different people at work have given me champagne, and even a few people I was a bit nervous about telling have obviously been thrilled for us. I've been so touched by people's kindness. I should stop underestimating my friends.

I've been overwhelmed by how many of you left us congratulatory comments! Thank you so much. Nobody else knows like all of you do just what a big milestone this is for us.

I've been overwhelmed by a few very emotional conversations. Top of the list was talking to my maternal grandmother on Wednesday night. She's been very sick for over a year and I'm more glad than I can say that she lived for long enough for us to tell her about Hypothetical Future Baby. Talking to her was especially sweet because she is an adoptive mother herself- my youngest uncle was domestically adopted as a baby- and she said this was the best news that she has had in years (sorry, L, I think she was even more excited by this than she would have been by the idea of another bio great-grandbaby). She said every possible right thing that anybody could have said, finishing with 'I just can't wait to see you walk in here holding your own baby'. Considering how ill she is, and the unknown factors in our timescale, I have to accept that she might not see this. But I'll never forget how happy it made me just to hear her say it. And - ummm, oookay, actually, I'm going to have to move on because I'm totally tearing up as I'm typing and I'm doing it in my lunchbreak at work.

From the sublime to the ridiculous. I've been overwhelmed by just how silly some people are. By those who have never learned the 'if you don't know what to say, dont' say anything at all' rule. And yes, I'm thinking of you, person who told me that you knew someone who adopted from country xxxxx, and their child was 'a bit, simple, but otherwise it was very much like she was their daughter'. I'm not going to give that one any more space.

I've been overwhelmed by baby pictures. We emailed a lot of our friends with our news, so that we could tell them all at once. Anyone else find that you can't email a friend with kids without getting baby photos attached to the reply? Often with absolutely no relevance at all to the content of the email? It seems to be a a completely uncontrollable compulsion - I've begun to think of it as parental-baby-photo-attachment-tourettes. So this week, I've lost count of how many emails I got saying 'That's great news! Here is a photo of baby Archibald eating cheese'.

Most of all, though, I've been overwhelmed by general overwhelmingness. I couldn't possibly express this any better than Julie already has. (Thanks for the timing, Julie!) My head is spinning with a thousand different fears and hopes and distractions, from money to discipline to inadequacy to boredom to joy to sleep to distance from family to skin colour to the thought of several months in Ethiopia on my own to timescales.

Oh, yes, timescales. Tantalisingly, there's a slim possibility that,if every single step of our process went quickly from here on, we could possibly, POSSIBLY, get through court before it closes for the rainy season this year. I know it's not likely to happen - not really likely at all - but I can't help hoping. I almost wish that we were a month or two later, so there would be no chance and I would't be disappointed. But no matter how much I tell myself not to hope, I am hoping. This means that I've suddenly gone into hyperdrive with trying to sort out the paperwork (yep - it's all very different from the US process - once I've sorted out what I actually need to do, I'll try to put up a post about the UK procedure). I don't want to waste a single day, because that day could be the difference between BEFORE the closure or AFTER the closure and AGGGHHHH, my brain fries just thinking about it.

Looks like this is going to be another opportunity to deal with those control issues.

Amongst all the overwhelmedness, though, I am so so grateful that wehave reached this stage. Grateful that we've been approved. Grateful that we have finally been able to share good news with our family and friends. And most of all, grateful that finally, Hypothetical Future Baby just might not be so hypothetical after all.


  1. Wow, I am overwhelmed everything over here and now I'm going to siphon some of your overwhelmness so you can have a tad bit less? Feel it? I'm siphoning as I type this....

    That was so sweet about your grandmother.

    Still feeling the joy for you.

    And I'm a bit anxious for general other reasons too that are not unrelated to the adoption wait...


  2. Call it crazy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this 4th cup of coffee I'm lathering over has just a bit to do with my anxiety this morning...


  3. Must be catching... coffee and racing adoptive thoughts here too :}
    I LOVE the tourrets analogy! I will forever secretly giggle to myself when I open e-mails from friend with babies... and probably at my self when that day finaly arrives for us.

  4. Glad to hear that you're enjoying sharing your news. I remember the excitement that comes with it and how telling people makes it so much more real. Congrats again!

  5. LOL! I made a pumpkin pie WITHOUT the sugar last weekend. I've heard of pregnancy brain... maybe we have adoption brain :)

  6. What?? Baby Archibald is eating cheese ALREADY? Nobody told me. You must be special.

    I'm so glad your friends have been (on the whole) very positive and nice. :)

  7. Wow, Caroline!! There is so much to process! I am glad that your friends, family, and co-workers have been (for the most part) so supportive and excited for you. The conversation with your grandmother was so touching and I pray for both of you that her vision becomes a reality so very soon.

    I learned from a coworker this week that he and his wife were matched with a 13 year old girl from Ethiopia. (I didn't know they were adopting as they have 3 bio children under the age of 5). I was so excited and started telling him that I have a friend that was just approved. He started asking more questions and about meeting you as they are looking to find more families adopting from Ethiopia (and because he doesn't understand that my life is online). LOL. I just said you didn't live nearby. He does send his best to you too and hopes all goes smoothly. (-;

    Many hugs.

  8. That comment you got is truly one of the stupidest I've ever heard, and I've heard a lot of stupid comments about adoption. Oh my.
    Wonderful to hear about your grandmother's reaction. And yes, that post by Julie was amazing.


Over to you!