Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Ugly Truth

Right now I should be feeling joy, joy, joy but am suddenly full of fear. Here is a list of some o fthe things I am afraid of:

#1: I'm afraid that we wont' have our house sorted out before we need to go into panic-travel mode. There are some big things (sort out the baby room) that need doing as well as some small niggles (painting over where some plaster has been patched, sort out the awful dim and depressing lights in our dining room) that I was really hoping would be done before we had a baby in the house. Many a time, expectant parents have talked about their plans to do stuff to their house before having the baby and I have always thought - 'what is your problem? The baby isn't going to care about its nursery!' but suddenly, I'm desperate to get these things finished. What I hadn't realised before (and apologies to those to whom this was always obvious) is that this really has nothing to do with the baby, and everything to do with me. The baby won't care what the house looks like, but I do, and I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the house in the next few years. And we are NEVER going to get the opportunity to do these things if we don't do them now. I've always thought that the secret to a happy marriage is good storage - when everything has a place to go, life is so much less stressful. Things don't get lost. I feel (comparatively) calm. Now suddenly we're losing a lot of our storage space to make room for something else - something much more precious than books and a computer, but the books and the computer and the boxing gloves from when J fancied himself a bit of a hard lad still have to go somewhere and for the life of me I don't know where. We have one of those cute little English terraces that is lovely, but not exactly overflowing with space, and if I'm still tripping over all of this stuff when we get back with a baby, I just know that I will. not. cope. I want to be laid back and flexible but wow, I'm really not. And I wanted to deal with that character flaw by getting organised. And we're not. And it's eating a hole in me. This is about much more than the house, obviously - I'm afraid that I'm not really going to cope with the baby, that it will scream all the time and not love me, and I wanted to make things as easy for myself as possible by reducing all the stressors that I could control. I wanted our house to feel like our little sanctuary, but right now it just sends my blood pressure through the roof. I know I'm lucky to have a house to live in. And I know this is only a problem because I have SO MUCH STUFF. But still - I actively DO NOT WANT to get the call until our place feels more like somewhere I actually want to live.

J has said that if worst comes to worst, he will sort things out during the time that I am on my own in Ethiopia. For those who don't know - we can't work with an agency because of where we live, so we have to make our application for a court date in person just after we get matched. After we've applied for court, I'm planning to stay out there so that I can visit the baby every day and let them get to know me. J then has to come back for the court date and we will then have about three weeks after that while we sort out birth certificates and passports and visas. This plan means that I could be there on my own for a significant chunk of time. Which brings me to big worry #2: I do not want to spend several months on my own in Ethiopia. I'm afraid of this trip. There, I've said it. Don't get me wrong - I'm dying to visit, but the thought of being anywhere on my own for several months when I don't speak the language, and being without J during such a huge emotional upheaval- well, I'd rather not. And I want to be there, of course, because I don't want to miss that time with the baby. But I also want to be with my husband. I want us to do all of these new things together. And I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself on those long evenings on my own after the orphanage has shooed me out for the night. I keep telling myself it's going to be a big adventure, and I'm sure it will be, but.... yeah. Just but.

#3: This isn't really a fear, it's a disappointment. We spoke to the lady who is in charge of the orphanage yesterday, for the first time. We have tried to contact her about our request for twins in quite a lot of different ways and never had any reponse. Yesterday J mentioned it and she just said 'oh, I think that's quite unlikely'. I have been trying not to get my hopes up about twins but... it turns out I'm incredibly disappointed. And I don't understand - if the answer was no, why didn't she tell us back in March? We've said that we are willing to wait, but I don't know whether she really heard that. So I really have no idea where we are. Is she planning for one baby for us now, as soon as possible? Will I get a call on Monday about a single infant? Is our singleton baby already in her care? Or has she decided to wait and see what happens with twins? I have no idea. If it's one baby, she really could call us any day. And that would be amazing! But now I have no idea what timescale we're working in, and I'm no closer to finding out what size pram to buy.

I need to keep reminding myself about the end of Matthew 6:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Now, if only I could learn to put that into practice...


  1. "I've always thought that the secret to a happy marriage is good storage - when everything has a place to go, life is so much less stressful." Never have truer words been spoken.
    Deep, cleansing, breaths.

  2. much to respond to--so little time right now so I'll be quick: "stuff" is the bane of my existence so I know how you feel. As for the twins/single thing...we were told the same thing, that the odds were very low we could get twins, or even siblings under two. And yet...we got twins. As far as I can tell--only 3 sets of twins from our agency in the last few years if that gives you any indication. And because of our age range and number of children preference--we didn't buy a thing before hand (still haven't') so I know how frustrating that can be to your psyche... but in the end, how much does a baby really need in that first week at home. You can manage to buy it all later--that's not satisfying NOW but it's true so try to find some peace in that. I guess in the end I have no real advice...just wanted you to know that I get it--all of it. And I tried to take deep breathes too...and luckily sometimes it actually helped--I hope it does for you also! :-) kat

  3. Yes I empathize with the storage issue. The answer? Garage sale! at least that was the answer for us. C, I can't wait until you get the call, then it will be JOY, JOY, JOY!


    P.S. My word verification is "aplingsy" - does that mean lack of storage space?

  4. You are experiencing the big freak out! It is SCARY!! There are lots of changes and none of them feel good- even the ones you chose. Everything will come together, and you will find storage and you will get the room together. I am thinking of you! XOXOX

  5. I freaking love your secret to a happy marriage. Why didn't someone share this with me 8 yrs ago? We could have avoided many silly arguments. :) The advice I have for you (although you don't need any from me) is that no one is ever really ready for these big events. Each time they happen to us (no matter how organized you are or if you have everything written perfectly on a timeline), we all go into a frenzy with big life changes. The beautiful thing is that your will get yourself ready. You don't have to do it all now. And it sounds like you are already getting yourself ready. I also think that if you are set on twins, then let your case worker know that you only want twins and that you are willing to wait. Twins happen, but they are much more unlikely...who knows who's eggs are splitting out there. But be true to yourself. And WOW your adoption timeline is so much different than it is here in the states. I had no idea that you are going over there for a few/several months. That is amazing. I am jealous and relieved all at the same time that we only travel for a week. I think it would be such a gift to you and your child(ren) to spend more time there...but I would want my hubby there too so I feel your pain. You can do this though. You are so strong! Keep us posted,


  6. Trying to catch up on blog reading! Praying for you! You always explain the feelings so well! I will pray God will reveal to you WHO he has planned to be in our family now - one baby or two. I was very desirous of two and now am DELIGHTED with the one God gave to us. I remember telling God, "okay you NEED to decide on how many are coming this time because I just don't know what is best!" He did communicate to us His heart through the referral process and sucha and we were so full of peace about it when we said YES to David. SO I will pray for you and J and your baby(ies)!


Over to you!