Friday 24 July 2009


We are going on holiday for a week.

It feels badly needed. But - it was hard to even book this holiday. It was a leap of whatever-the-opposite-of-faith-is, as we were hoping to be somewhere else by now, and booking it meant we knew that wouldn't happen. But now, weeks later when it's upon us, I'm really glad that we're going.

This week I've been processing some very unpleasant feelings. They are mostly: envy, resentment, impatience, envy, sadness and did I mention envy? I don't want to go into all the sinister details.

This afternoon at work, I was feeling a bit dismal and my workmates helped me to see that a situation like this calls for some bad 1980s pop.

Do you feel a bit sad, today? Is your life a bit disappointing? Did you hope that July 2009 would turn out a bit different to how it did? Well, I can recommend a dose of this:

Don't you feel a bit better about your own hair now, at least??

It makes me happy just to be on the same planet as this song:

and the one that started it off in the office was this. Truly, truly awful, but I defy you not to sing along with the wa-oh, wa-oh, wao-o-ohs:

(For those who can't get enough, I also recommend his website - did you know they have a John Farnham forum? Or you could always join the fan club! Except that then I don't think we could be friends anymore).

Another one that's so-bad-it's-good - strangely brilliant melody, but is this THE worst video ever made?

Anybody still with me? If so, here's your reward for sticking with it:

There's just no way you're not feeling happy after watching that video. Come on - you're dancing now, aren't you? You'd better be.

So, happy weekend dear blog friends. I'll be back soon - and that referral had better not come while we're on holiday!

Tuesday 21 July 2009

News that will surprise exactly nobody

I turned 30 on Friday as scheduled. However, obviously, the baby did not get the memo about this and no referral ensued.

Oh well.

(That's all the news, by the way).

I did, however, eat the largest meal known to man. We went out for my birthday to a really nice local restaurant (actually, not THAT local, as it turns out - we mistimed the driving, were late and got in serious trouble from an ultra-crabby waitress. The dining room was practically empty, but she was very very rude to us about turning up behind schedule. Did she not know it was my special day? And everybody has to be nice to me on my special day? Apparently not). and ordered the tasting menu. Which was six courses. Because it was my special day. Now, my understanding of tasting menus is that they are six very tiny courses, so you just get a little taste of each thing and it all adds up to one proper meal. Sort of like canapes, but with cutlery. Well not at this place, apparently - they just gave us six (seemingly randomly chosen) full courses from the menu. The food was very good, but it was an extremely strange experience. An entree, followed by ... another entree, then main course, oh and another main course, then chocolate pudding and what? You're still here? A giant plate of cheese! Okay then!

It was good, but I could barely move afterwards. The next day we went to London Zoo because J bought me a zoo membership for my birthday! Now I can go to the zoo every day for a year if I want to. I love a good zoo, and this is a particularly nice one. So, all in a all a nice weekend. But. I just keep thinking about the family member who isn't here yet, and their first family too. At the moment, we're thinking that we might hear of a referral around mid-September. And most of the babies that we know about from the orphanage we're working with have been abandoned, and thus need to be in care for 2 months prior to being referred. Which probably means that they are coming into care, what, now? This is not much fun to think about. Our baby's birthmother is possibly taking some incredibly difficult, life-altering decisions right now, and maybe today our baby is waking up for the first time in an orphanage - and we're at the ZOO?

Something feels very wrong with this picture.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Birthdays that end in zero

I turn thirty tomorrow, and it makes me feel weird.

I feel strangely uncomfortable about turning thirty. For reasons I probably don't need to articulate. Last year, I wrote this post, and I think it still sums up how I feel about the whole birthday thing.

Although of course I do keep on thinking 'wouldn't it be amazing if we got a referral on my birthday!'

I need to remind myself: This is not going to happen.

(Although even as I type this, I think 'wow, wouldn't it be great if it DID happen!)

Not going to happen.

(Last year I got a cat for my birthday. Wouldn't it just be the coolest if, this year, I got a baby?)


(I'm thinking of some cutesy way to announce it, even now).


I could wake up in the morning, check my email and bam! There it is! The photo I've been waiting for. My baby).


(Oh, okay then).

(Maybe tomorrow evening??)


(I need to get some new voices in my head. You are no fun AT ALL).

Monday 13 July 2009

Achievements and Goals

Because I am a lucky, lucky girl, I have a staff development review for work on Tuesday. The main purpose of this review is to look forward into the next year, agree a set of objectives with my manager, plan any training that might be necessary, and discuss how the goals and achievements for the coming year will help with overall career progression. Of course, when my SDR was first mooted, I agreed happily, blithely assuming that it didn't matter what I said yes to because I wouldn't be here when the time came. (Boy do I have a growing list of things that I said yes to for the same reason, and am now regretting). But suddenly, it's tomorrow and I'm still sitting in the same chair staring out the same window and I guess I'm going to have to do it after all.

I did, briefly, try to get out of it by saying that my main goal this year was to leave, and that there mightn't be very much point reviewing me. That didn't go over as well as I had hoped, and so in the end I had to come up with a list of points for the discussion at the meeting. Here's my honest set of goals:
Goals for the coming year:
  • Adopt a baby
  • Bring home baby
  • Play with baby
  • Sing to baby
  • Spend time with baby
  • Learn to tie baby into sling

Training Required:

  • Expected to largely be ad-hoc, self-directed learning, largely from the moby wrap instruction manual.

How will goals be monitored?

  • At end of year, will inspect house to determine whether a baby lives there. If yes, major goals have been achieved.

Bah. Something tells me they're not going to buy it.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

It's here! (and other miscellania)

  • My T-shirt is here! That is some super-speedy shipping, since it was sent from the States. (Hmm... that sounded a little Dr Seuss-ish). Day off from work tomorrow - it's definitely going to have its first outing. I'm even more pathetically in love with it now that it's here. If you want one, order one soon because it seems they're discontinuing this line (boo, hiss) and there are a lot less than there were last Thursday. Anybody who sends me a photo of themself (or family member, or pet) wearing one can be part of Liminal State's virtual team photo which I am hereby offering to host right here... so far it's just me, so I guess that makes me the lawn tennis singles team.
  • A little while ago, I put my crafting skills to the test with craft it forward. When I finished the projects, I asked some of you to send me your street addresses, but I think the email address I asked you to send to was disabled by google (for reasons unknown... could it be that they didn't like me sending all those emails offering 'real rolex watch and vitality herb manhood supplements'? Spoilsports). Anyway, I'm going to put a comment on this post with my real, working email address - could you possibly send me your street address if you're one of my C-I-F'ers?
  • If you haven't already, you should really read this, and goggle at the incredible pictures (and beautiful writing)
  • A year and two days feels better than a year exactly.

Monday 6 July 2009


It is exactly one year since we submitted our application form for our adoption. Has it really only been a year? Feels much, much longer than that. Maybe that's partly because we actually enquired in April, but they wouldn't let us submit the form until July, after several meetings, so it really is longer than a year. Maybe it's because I've read more stinkin' books on adoption and parenting than I previously knew the universe contained, and I've used up several years worth of brainpower. Maybe it's because, in that time, every single one of my sisters / in law have got pregnant, and we've slipped from 2009 grandchild pole position to somewhere in the midfield, and are losing more ground all the time. I know this shouldn't matter, but it is very hard to buy presents for babies who weren't even conceived, who - as I used to say when I was little - weren't even thought of - when we started this process, even if they are beloved nieces and nephews.

I had hoped, that by now: ---

Oh, who cares what I hoped. It hasn't happened.

I know that one day all of this will change, but today feels like an unhappy anniversary. I look back on how I felt then, and it was mostly still All! So! Exciting! that we were doing this. Now, I just feel like all that has been beaten out of me by the exigencies of this horrible process. Please forgive my day of wallowing, but I really haven't enjoyed seeing my ticker click back around to the beginning again. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, but today I just feel sad.

Thursday 2 July 2009

I hate it when they're right

My father has recently graduated from what must be the longest PhD in the history of mankind. During his research, which was sort of in the area of palliative care (and also sort of bibliometrics, and hospices, at which point I kind of stopped counting) he became very enthusiastic about a number of different concepts. At one point, when he probably should have been writing his thesis, he wrote a conference paper about the etymology of the word 'care', which I read, and it was very interesting, and he also knows more than any human should know about the relationship between editorial panels of palliative care journals and their content. But, without a doubt, the concept that will stick with the entire family for the rest of our lives as his major obsession is one thing: Liminality. In fact, my siblings and our spouses and I developed a code of saying "liminality", and then rolling our eyes as some kind of shorthand for meaning that Dad is being crazy again. (Hi, Dad, if you're reading this - you know we love you). Even my mother, who is the very model of a devoted wife, would probably be happy if she never heard that word again.

For those of you who haven't had someone telling you about this idea for the last nine years, liminality is the idea of being in an 'in between' place between two different states. It became interesting for my father because in caring for dying people, they inhabit a reality that is somewhere between life and death. Not yet dead, but their former life is already over. It's safe to say that my Dad has talked about this concept a lot in the last few years, and I have yawned a bit and let it all wash over me. But now - suddenly, I can see what he was on about. I was sitting outside yesterday, feeling a bit miserable, and suddenly I realised that a lot of this tension is because I'm inhabiting a liminal space.

Here's the Wikipedia definition:

Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold"[1]) is a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective, conscious state of being on the "threshold" of or between two different existential planes (.....) In the anthropological theories, a ritual, especially a rite of passage, involves some change to the participants, especially their social status.[3]

The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One's sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Liminality is a period of transition where normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed - a situation which can lead to new perspectives.

People, places, or things may not complete a transition, or a transition between two states may not be fully possible. Those who remain in a state between two other states may become permanently liminal.

Does anybody else in this adoption-loss-infertility-fertility treatment-blogworld recognise themselves in that description? The sentence that really gets me is: The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One's sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation. Ugh! Yes! It does! It really does! Am I a mother yet? Well, no, obviously. But my shelves are full of parenting books. I have a baby carrier. I'm trying to plan my leave from work. Our cupboards have child locks. But despite all this - we don't actually have a child. I really am trapped between two states, and not only am I sick of waiting, I feel like I don't know who I am.

So anyway, I probably should have phoned my Dad and said "You were right. LIMINALITY IS REAL!" But clearly that's not going to happen, so I did the next best thing and I ordered this T-shirt:

(from here, if you're interested in this or other posy, ironically faux-intellectual merchandise).

My brother found this online ages ago, and emailed me the link in a 'ha, ha, as if you would ever buy this!' kind of a way. And at the time we both really wondered who on earth their target audience was. I mean, it's kind of a funny idea to play on STATE, as in, you know, STATE, but as if it was a STATE? Like a college, called Liminal STATE? GET IT? And then it could have a TEAM? But who would actually BUY it?

Well, me, as it turns out. I'm pretty sure they weren't intending this for waiting adopters, but - I've realised that for the time being, Liminal State is where I live.
I might as well own the T-shirt. So: go, Bobcats, I guess.