Tag Archives: Adoption Process

Security Blankets

I usually take beach vacations that require a couple of swimsuits, a few sarongs, some flip-flops and sunscreen. Vacationing in Seattle for a week requires a decidedly different sort of attire.  Jeans and t-shirts are probably best, right?  I hardly ever wear pants, much less jeans.  I have a closet full of dresses and skirts.  I like them.  They make me feel extra girly.  They also hide a multitude of body sins that seem especially sinful at this time in my life when dragging my weary bones to the gym at 5am is way more challenging than it was a few years ago.

When I booked my tickets to go to see Hope two weeks ago, I pondered what I would/should wear to see my daughter for the first time.  Heck, I haven’t spent this much time fretting over what to wear on what is similar to a first date in decades.   I knew I used my girly dresses to hide my body, but I didn’t realize how much or rather I haven’t been able to admit it until this week.

I’ve long struggled with body issues, but I thought I had come to a place of acceptance, especially this year.  I’ve been too busy to worry about size and shape.  I have a nice sense of style; I pick clothes that fit and flatter.  With everything going on, I try to eat well, get some sleep, and press on.  This year has been the first time in probably 10 years that I’ve not been overly concerned about my body.  I’ve just been too busy.   It’s actually been a freeing relief for this gal who was held in the grips of an eating disorder for quite a few years.

Getting ready to go see Hope has made me take a breath from the swirling of work, school and even the totality of the adoption process.  Gosh, insecurity is a b*tch.  In the first real inhale/exhale sequence, Insecurity showed up right away, and she’s got me shook about what to wear and what my choice of what to wear to this meeting will say about me.  I want to seem approachable, warm, loving and cool…to a 12 year old.  Oh and I don’t want to seem fat or dowdy.  I mean I’m not fat or dowdy, but eh…you get the picture.  Good–friggin-grief; am I really having a mini-meltdown about whether to pack dresses that I just realized are a sort of security blanket?  Jeesch, guess I have something to talk to my therapist about later this month.  Awesome.

I want to embrace this body, and because even if she doesn’t care, I want Hope to see me embrace this body.  I want her to embrace her body and develop a good, healthy sense of self.  I tripped over a nugget last week when she revealed that she’d been bullied about being too skinny.  Well, I’ve never had that problem, and I can’t say that I was ever bullied by my weight actually, but I do know I want to model a healthy body image for Hope.  I want her to feel good about herself; I’m going to have to feel good about myself in order to help her learn that lesson.

So, yeah, jeans and t-shirts it is.  Thank heavens I got around to buying a couple of pairs of jeans over the Labor Day holiday, and I’ve picked up a couple of cute tops to give me a relaxed, yet put together look.   Oh I’ll pack a casual dress or two, as well.  A girl needs a security blanket every now and then, and old habits die hard.


When a Week Seems Like a Year

I fly out to see Hope in 5 days.  Seems like forever.

This week I’m traveling for work and cramming in dissertation interviews so that I can keep this project moving.  It has been exhausting.  I’ve conducted 4 interviews this week and I’ve got another 6 before I leave to see Hope.  Lots of prep work, note taking and synopsis writing…late nights writing and early morning writing.  Actually, this dissertation thing sucks.  It really is a means to an end.  I enjoyed most of the coursework, as much as anyone enjoys the rigid discipline that is required to slug two-plus years of course work while working full time.  I made lifelong friends and colleagues and learned a lot both about my area of focus and myself.  I love my dissertation topic, but honestly, I cannot be more over this stupid exercise of demonstrating my capacity to do research.  I just need to get it done.  Onward and upward.

Meanwhile, Hope got the photo book that I sent her and apparently loved it.  She is so excited about her new life with me, that she showed the book to her friends at school.  Wow!  I am blown away and delighted that she is so excited!  I have no idea how a kid goes to school and says, “Look at the book some chick who wants to be my mom sent me about what my life might be like if I go to live with her.”  Is that even how the conversation goes?  How does a pre-teen even go about telling her schoolmates that she’s waiting for a forever home?  I have a hard time trying to figure out how I might have shared that with my friends back in the day.  My Hope is a brave girl.

She did raise the issue of timing…”So, my friend asked if I was going to go back with you after next week?”  It wasn’t an anxious inquiry, more like how long do I have to wait and what kind of timeline do I have to say goodbye.  We all need time to get our lives in order right?  I know I do.

She continues to give me peeks into her life and just when I think my heart can’t melt more, I find yet another smushy spot.  So, she likes two different boys in her class, just a little puppy love crush.  I love that she told me and actually didn’t seem to freak out when I asked questions about her crush.  I hope that she will continue to share those things with me.  I hope I can continue to earn her trust.

I’m still working on ideas for her room and pulling things together for her look book.  A dear colleague I had some quality time with during this week’s travels inspired me to include a pet fish in the book. Hope has asked if maybe one day she could have a dog of her own, but I can only have one furry beast at a time, so a fish has emerged as a new option. Dr. Beach has the coolest fish!!  She’s taught him to do tricks!!!!   I had no idea that fish could be taught to do tricks!  I’m starting to build a registry for Hope’s arrival and the R2 Fish School Fish Training Kit is so going on that registry!

So, it’s just a matter of days before I come face to face with my beautiful Hope.  I have so much to do to get ready, but I know the minute I see her that first time, nothing else will matter.

Artsy Gifts, Decorating and Really Long Books

Hope called me on Saturday night. Have I mentioned that I adore this kid?  She told me that she was creating some artwork for me.  My creative, right-brained girl said she wanted to make me something, and in that moment I learned another life lesson about generosity and grace.   During our conversation on Saturday I started to get a better sense of how few/little material things she’s had over her young life, how financial instability has followed her and yet Hope still has this spirit of heartfelt giving.  I’m so honored that she wants to create something just for me.

We are both counting the days until we meet in person.  We are now down until 10 days, and it seems like an eternity.

In the meantime, I’m nearly done with the analysis from the first phase of my dissertation, and phase two is coming together surprisingly well.  Writing…there’s lots of interviewing and writing these days.

And there’s decorating!!  Hope gave me a list of her favorite colors and asked if she could have a pink room with purple polka dots.  Sure, that sounds fun!  Team ABM is on it!  My girl likes blue, pink, purple, and florescent yellow. So, this weekend my mom (Grammy), my aunt and I trucked up to the local Ikea to look around, get some ideas and purchase a desk for Hope’s room.  The desk is such a fantastic find and will be a lovely pop of yellow in a corner of her room; let us not forget a matching chair!


I’m making her a “look book” to flip through during my visit.  She can pick out things for her room so I can get a better sense of what she likes and give her some say in what the final product will be.

My Amazon delivery of the Inkheart trilogy arrived today.  I love that the teen set loves to read all this great literature, but seriously when did teen books regularly get to be more than 500 pages?  As a fairly concise writer, I’m convinced that there must be unnecessary detail, dialogue and just…words…in these books to drag them out that long!  I am hoping to get the first book read by next week and to study the online synopsis for book two before I see Hope next week.  I’m traveling for work this week, so I’m hoping to get some reading done on all the planes, trains and automobiles!

Just 10 more days!

Perfectly Imperfect

“You know, I’m not a perfect kid.”

 “That’s cool, because I’m not a perfect adult.  Perfection is overrated anyway.”

 ~~Excerpt from the first call between AdoptiveBlackMom & Hope

So, today is the new Best. Day. Ever.

I am basking in the afterglow of my first call with Hope.  We talked for almost an hour.  Saying it was awesome makes me feel like I need to step my vocabulary game up because it is surely an understatement.  It was even beyond epic.

At times while she was talking, I had to wipe silent tears away because living in this precious unbelievable moment was so wonderfully overwhelming.  I was so glad to hear her go on about her book collection at length because I needed the few moments to gather myself.

It was truly a Jerry McGuire moment.  She had me at hello.

I am beyond privileged.  It is both eerily heartbreaking and heartwarming for a child to tell you on her own that she is happy that you are interested in her and that she might finally get a forever home.  Heartbreaking that any child would find herself in such a reality.  Heartwarming because she doesn’t get that I’m so much more than interested; I’m committed.  I’m so there.

We made plans tonight.  I’ve got late nights ahead of me between writing this dissertation and keeping up with our newly formed ABM/Hope book club.  We’ll be reading Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke when I go to visit in two weeks.  She recommended that I read the first two books in the trilogy first…hustle on that!  The books have been ordered (thank you Amazon Prime).

We will have Wii bowling and tennis tourneys in order to defend our respective pro-level statuses.  Oh yeah—we are competitive.

I will have to take swimming lessons in order to motivate Hope to finish her swimming class test, which she hasn’t been able to pass.  Looks like I’m going to have to pass one too.  Have I mentioned that I’m not a fan of the pool?  I’m fantastic lounging poolside with an umbrella drink but in the pool?  Not so much.

She shared that kids had teased her because of her dark skin and said she looked like a boy.  I affirmed the beauty of her skin and her loveliness.  I think I heard her smile.

Our talk was easy.  I am so hers.

Before we hung up I said, “So you remember all that stuff about us not being perfect?  Maybe that is a great set up for a good life together.”

She excitedly replied, “Yeah, I think so too!  So we’ll talk this weekend right?”

Oh yeah, I’m already counting the hours!

Adapting to Change

The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind.  After being told to “take your time” putting together my photo book, I get a message at the end of last week asking it where it was and that my phone calls with Hope won’t start until after she has the book.   I ask many questions each week about the sequence of events, expectations, deliverables, etc.  No one pointed this out and I dropped everything and got the book done and ordered.  I hope it will be delivered later today, and I can make arrangements to have it sent out tomorrow so we can keep things moving.

I’ve also been anxious about scheduling visitation with Hope.  I’m desperate to see her and talk to her and spend time with her.  I gave some dates in the second half of October since I’m traveling for work soon and those dates had been locked in for a while.  Ha?! I get a late night email asking if I can come in about 15 days.  Yep, in about 2 weeks!

I got this email right before bed and had a complete and utter meltdown all night long.  I finally had to get up and take something for my anxiety around 1am.  It barely dulled the edge but it least it allowed me to go to sleep.

I’m dropping everything to go see Hope.  It’s what I want to do.  What I’m supposed to do.  What I’m entitled to do.  She is the most important thing in my life. I can’t wait to see my girl!

My late night anxiety stems from a couple of things:

First, there’s the awful realization that I really have been too entangled with my job; I’ve allowed it to define too much of me.  I naturally have a ‘fixer’ personality.  I like problems; I fix problems.  Work has a lot of problems and my job allows me to do a lot of research-based problem solving.  I love my job.  I am very accomplished in my work and within my sector, I am nationally recognized for my work.  I like that.   Admittedly, I like that lot.  What I do for a living has had a huge role in shaping my identity for the last decade.

I knew that my new identity as a mom would change some of that.  I’ll still do the things I do, but my focus and passions are split now.  My job doesn’t have full ownership of my identity.  Having to rearrange my schedule is technically easy; I didn’t anticipate having some kind of emotional response to it other than, “Dueces, folks—Mommyhood beckons!!”  This is the first time literally and symbolically that I see this identity crossroads I often hear about.  Yikes.  Achieving balance—a real tangible, livable version of it, not the stuff of magazines—is going to make me stretch again.  I anticipated the stretch, but I didn’t anticipate feeling it so strongly so quickly.

Second, I have probably fretted for more than an hour last night about how my boss will react to the news.  I finally announced the adoption to my staff yesterday.  I work in a small office,e and it was a hard secret to keep for so long.  Everyone was incredibly supportive, including my boss.  But that was before I planned to cancel a trip that we just confirmed I was making less than 24 hours ago.

My boss is incredibly supportive of my work and was very supportive of this new development in my life.  But here I am wondering what will be his real reaction to my canceling a trip because of Hope? All the questions about work, motherhood and having “it all” that I’ve managed to side step for 20 years all pervaded my thoughts in the middle of the night—which is an awful time for me to try to mull things over.   I am tired!

Finally, there’s the heavy anxiety associated with finally meeting my daughter in the flesh.  Now that dates have been proposed, it feels even more real than it did the day before.  Our mediated communications are very positive, and I’m finally chatting with her foster mom about day to day things.  What will our week in September really be like?  I know what it will be like:  It will likely mimic Chris Rock’s skit about dating someone’s representative.   We will both be on our best behavior, navigating one another’s newness, trying to build something.  It’s awesome and overwhelming too.  I can’t wait.  But it’s also contrived and hard to pull back layers of anything in a week.  But I can’t wait to make the trip and see my girl.

It’s probably all normal, but I don’t see much about these huge emotional lifts in the books, and with me deep in my dissertation research and writing, I haven’t much time to read too many other blogs these days.  But, I’ll adapt.  Plenty of women make it work.  I’ll figure it out.  In a few weeks to months, I’ll reflect on last night and kick around my mind around why I fretted so much about setting the visitation schedule and then being so anxious about it.

For now, I need to go put on a pot of coffee.

Foot in Mouth Syndrome

Hope was excited to get my letter and apparently liked my picture.  Things were going just fine until she got to a line in my letter in which I expressed excitement about tucking my kid in at night.

Whoops!  I stumbled on my first tween-angst-filled rock on the path.  Sigh.

Now I know that tweens are probably more like, “Get off me, get off me, get off me!” at bedtime rather than, “Hey will you read me a story?”  What I meant to convey was that I enjoy the ritual of just saying good night to family members at the end of the day.  When I’m visiting my parents I make a point of kissing them good night before we all retire for the evening.  It’s not all smoochy, smoochy, tuck you in kinda stuff, but it’s just a family acknowledgement of affection.  But with Hope it was clear that my excitement of kissing my 12 year old kid was not cool.  I sent the wrong message.

Well, in tween fashion, Hope let us all know that she wasn’t down with the “tucking in” stuff in a literal way.  She wondered if I really wanted a younger daughter instead of her.  Good grief, <crack> minor heartbreak, followed by lots of reassuring that no, I want Hope, in all her tween-esque, “please don’t reject me” glory.  I’m reading the update also in my own “please don’t reject me” glory.

We’ll have to create our family rituals. It’s all good.  It did feel like I made my first big stumble though.  I don’t want to upset Hope, and I certainly don’t want to scare her.  I have a feeling that my new adoptive mom angst combined with her tween, adoptive kid angst is going to lead to a few episodes of Foot in Mouth Syndrome (FMS) for us both.  It is ok, it’s natural, right? It doesn’t feel all that great for this natural overachiever, but it’s ok.  I can take it.

The good news is that it isn’t all stumbling over rocks, she does like me.

Hope likes me.

Apparently she talks about me all the time (see we have something in common—I talk about Hope obsessively).  She wasn’t as anxious this week, and she’s eager to learn more about me, about my life and potentially, our life.

Two steps forward, one stumble, but no ground loss…I think, we’ll see.

And so, now we’re back to just waiting until the next update.  Waiting blows.

Sparkly Enough?

“You know, we’re all looking at her pics thinking, “my child”, “my grandbaby”, “my niece”, but she gets to look at your pic and for the first time in a long time, she has the possibility of “my mom”. A lil scary for everyone, but I can’t imagine not having my mom, and to then have to have that window of possibility open because of a loving stranger across the country. Especially when she has needed and waited for that a long, longer than us. God really is amazing. #sundaymorningthoughts”

I’ve been traveling this weekend and have been chatting with one of my sister’s, Sister K (no, we’re not Catholic, and she’s not a nun, it’s just her blog pseudonym).  I received pictures of Hope last week and delightedly shared them with my immediate family.  We just can’t stop looking at this gorgeous kid.  She’s my phone screen saver and I can’t wait to have one of these pics put on canvas to hang on one of my walls.  I smile goofy grins when looking at her picture and when reading her little letter, which at current count, I’ve read only about 2500 times since receiving it last Tuesday.

But Sister K sent me the text message above and called my attention back to reality when she reminded me that Hope will get my response to her precious letter and my picture tomorrow.  And it will be the first time she sees me.  Holy moly!  Humans are incredibly visual beings.  What must be going through her mind?  Will she see my picture and think this could be “my mom?”  Will she think, “I guess I could live with her, she’s a’ight.”  Will she think, “Uhm, no.  Not going to work.”  What if she doesn’t see rainbows and sparkly unicorns when she sees my picture?  What if I’m her First No?  I’m hoping the fact that she already sent me a sweet, curious letter highlighting similar interest means that at least my original bio was some indication of my sparkliness.   What, if anything, will she feel?

I figure she might also be experiencing some of the anxiety I felt a week ago when I was waiting to hear back about her reaction to hearing about me.  Ugh, that was a really icky feeling last week.  I’m sure I gained a few more gray hairs.

My sister also triggered some thoughts about wanting a mom and wanting me for a mom.  This is the kid who has said she wanted two moms because in not having one, she figured she should double down on this whole mom thing (adorable kid reasoning, right?).  I’m wondering will I at least be passable enough to meet her lowest mom criteria (what might those criteria be?)?  And then will she think I—AdoptiveBlackMom—am good enough to be her mom?

Here’s the thing, this is an older child adoption.  She has somewhat of a say in whether this thing happens and whether it works.  I can’t imagine being in her shoes, experiencing the life she has to date and having so little a say in what has happened up to this point.  She has a little bit of power here, but I don’t know if she knows she has it, much less how to use it judiciously.

I’m not as anxious as I was before.  I just wonder a lot.  I want her to like me.  It all feels more a weird mix of trying to make new girlfriends in grade school and going out on a blind date.  The anxiety is manageable and laced with eagerness.  I want her to not just like me, I hope she will be find this to be a match and that she will be open to being mothered.  I’m not into the “Oh she will like you because you’re great.”  There are lots of great people out there, I’m ok.  I don’t need reassurances, well at least not from anyone but Hope.  Her reaction is really the only one that matters today.

I hope I’m sparkly enough!

Who Am I?

Today my adoption agency let me know that Hope would be told about me this coming Monday.  I was asked to provide a short bio this weekend so it could be used to help tell her about me.  Awesome right?  Super awesome, and I’ve been writing bios about my professional self for years.  Except this isn’t a professional bio.

Who am I in 200 words or less to my new daughter, who’s an actual person who can read this bio?  Gee, the “winging it” of having a newborn who doesn’t expect a bio sounds strangely appealing in the face of this task.

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I work on issues related to diversity, and a lot of my work focuses on multiple identities.  We all have them.  I am Black.  I am a woman.  I am 40.  I am a doctoral student.  I am a professional.  I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend.  Each of these identities are unique, but they are layered, making me (and everyone else) pretty complex.   And those are just a few of my identities.  Hmmm, this is making me sound a little Faces of Eve.

This adoption journey is really making me think about my life through some different lenses.  So, I’m flipping my skills at writing my professional bio and focusing this evening on constructing my personal bio.   I’ll mention that my current immediate family includes this loveable, but increasingly ornery, 13 year old beast (aka: The Furry One).


Maybe I’ll include that I drive past the famous Washington Monument almost every day (that’s kind of cool right?).   I have a view of a river from my patio.   I talk to at least one of my sisters just about every day; family is super important to me and I’m super jazzed that a supportive contingent of family just moved to the area.  I like to cook, and I always have homemade bread in the house because I don’t like store bought bread.   I work hard, study hard, play hard, and love hard.  I like roller coasters.  I like the pool and the beach, but don’t particularly care for water so I watch everyone’s beach bags during excursions.

I like to salsa dance, though I so rarely go dancing these days  because the recovery time on these knees is in a word: brutal.  I’ve been keeping a journal since I was in  elementary school.  I have all of my journals that I’ve written since I was in high school.   I am reflective and like to go back and read them and ponder things like why I didn’t really crush on my co-worker, Curtis, at the grocery store where we worked when we were in high school.  He was cute.  I know, I digress, but he really was cute…oh wait that’s right, we might’ve been related somewhere in there, on my mother’s side.  I remember now.   Oh well.

I know that Hope and I will have phone calls soon and Skype sessions as we work up to a visit in the coming weeks and months, but I have an urge to use every tool in my writing arsenal to cram as much information into these 200 words because they are my initial ambassadors.  They seem pretty important, right?  But on this evening’s walk through the neighborhood, I remembered that my daughter (OMG, I have a daughter!!), who will learn about me for the first time this coming week, is only 12.  And when she hears about me, she’ll probably wonder what I know about her.  And I know a heck of a lot more about her than she knows about me at this point.   Advantage:  AdoptiveBlackMom… for now anyway.    I’m sure a time will come when she will have advantages all over me.

But, this isn’t the time for super dense writing.  It’s time for the basics:  Who, What, Where, When and Why.   Or at least something like that.

I’m going to pull some stuff from my home study essay and start there.


In other news, my dissertation study launched this week and my response rate is already over 30%.  Awesome!!

Betwixt and Between


There is an overlook in St. Kitts and Nevis where you can see the small isthmus that connects these volcanic islands together.  Standing on this overlook, you can see both the Atlantic and Caribbean Oceans.  One is choppy and violently crashes its surf; the other is nearly still with a surface barely broken by gentle waves.

I think I might be an isthmus between two islands.

My existence feels a little chaotic.  I am at times joyful and incredibly chill,  other times angry, often impatient, still other times depressed, withdrawn and incredibly anxious, and most of the time exhausted.

I am a bit of a mess.  My emotions are all over the place.

In the days since Match Day, I feel like I have had very little control.  Hope will not come to live with me for several months yet, despite the fact that I’d like to board a plane to fetch her immediately.  I mean stat!  Accepting the reality that neither of us is ready for the big move is hard.  Her room has been a guest room with extra storage for 12 years; I have a lot of sifting, sorting, packing and donating to do to be ready for her arrival.  I also have a plan to be finished drafting my dissertation by December; the completion of that draft on time is essential for me to stay on schedule to graduate next spring.  I’m anxious about possibly taking custody around the holidays because I am afraid Hope will be overwhelmed, resulting in my being overwhelmed.

I am also still enduring well-intended, but frankly stupid commentary.  “I can’t believe the agency is letting you adopt alone.  You really need a husband.”  “Why don’t you know things like X, Y and Z about your new daughter?”  How is it that silly comments can already make me feel inadequate as a mom when my mommy-dom is so new and in some ways doesn’t feel official yet?

It is more important than ever that I learn to guard myself against hurtful words and practice forgiveness and judgment-free living.  Forgiveness has never been something I have withheld in great amount, but I am finding that the need to practice it (with a side of grace) at this point in my life is more intense than ever.  I am also finding the old, more judgmental me is slipping away, which is a good thing.

At least two people have shared adoption horror stories with me in the last few days, though I’m not sure what the purpose of the story was supposed to be other than to scare me.   A year ago, I couldn’t believe that anyone’s adoption placement might fail, and I blamed those parents for not trying hard enough.  I don’t blame them anymore; I know better.  It happens, and it is devastating.  I have discovered a pool of compassion I didn’t know I had for all parties involved in a failed placement.    At this point, I find failed stories so painful, gossipy and non-supportive of adoptive families.  When I recently said no to a child, I know it was the right decision.  I knew such a placement looked good on paper, but would be ultimately be a disaster.  This is not an easy path.  I’m learning that forgiveness of all the people making comments that are not supportive of me or adoptive families in general is critical.   It is really the only way I can reduce whatever pain hurtful words inflict.  I have to let it go, not for them but for me and Hope.

At the other end of the continuum, there is peacefulness about moving forward with my new daughter.  It is odd that this calmness coexists with the madness swirling around me.  I went into the room that will be Hope’s room today.  I recently stripped the room of its old décor and had it painted white.  There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in there to prepare for her arrival.   I found the task of room prep (getting rid of things from Pre-Hope days) overwhelming until today when I went in and started pulling things down to send to the Goodwill tomorrow.  I realized that I will relish in tossing some things out and repurposing other things.  I am excited about creating some design concepts to send to Hope.  This transition is a beautiful thing and in some ways I’m running towards it.  Today the tasks brought me a sense of satisfaction; I’m preparing for this change and this young person in a very concrete way.  It isn’t hypothetical and it isn’t conceptual anymore.

I also realized that I need this time and that embracing this awkward period is a good thing.  Although I am eager for Hope to come home to me, I realize that the few months of waiting will give us both some time to prepare ourselves.  Again, this isn’t an easy path; preparation time is needed.  By my own reckoning I need at least 6 more weeks to get ready.  The reality is that this time will also allow me to get through the heavy lift of conducting my research and writing my dissertation this fall.  Besides it will only be a few weeks until we are Skyping regularly.  I’ll see her face, hear her voice, begin to learn how we will navigate this new path together.  Something about embracing this transition period brings me comfort.  I can take a deep breath, pick out paint, write and dream about our tomorrows.

And yet, both of these emotional states, anxiety and calm, wax and wane.  I can float from one side of narrow isthmus to the other in a matter of moments.  The triggers are difficult to manage and exhausting, but I figure I will get better at it during the next few weeks and months.  I will continue to learn to not take things personally and to forgive, forgive and forgive again.  I hope that my family and friends will be patient with me.  I’m a bit of a handful these days.

But it is all worth it.

34 Weeks

I turned in my adoption application the first full week in January.  I’ve thought about this day every day since I dropped it in the mail.  Some people wait years for this day.

I waited, officially, just 34 weeks.   Just six weeks shy of a full term biological baby.  Today turned out to be my Match Day.  I guess that makes me the proud new mom of a “preemie” 12 year old!

Hope (The kid formerly known as Hope Kid) is a girl!


Her social worker informed my agency today that this was a match, and then it was up to me.  I already knew it was a match.  I cried all through the phone call, and a sense of euphoria swept over me.  It was such an awesome moment.  I swear the news made me high.

I celebrated like I celebrated defending my dissertation proposal, just 49 days ago:  I got 2 slices of pizza, a large cannoli and some bubbly from Whole Foods.  Can you do that right after delivery?  I don’t know, probably not the bubbly.

Oh, don’t get it twisted, I love a good highbrow celebration, but when I’m celebrating something alone, privately and savoring the moment, pizza, dessert and bubbly are my go-to party yum-yums.   Match Day is beyond sweet.

A mere two weeks after starting this blog, the next chapter begins.  Oh, I’m not under any disillusion.  This is a visual depiction of what I’m feeling.


I’m on the first drop of an amazing roller coaster.  I don’t know whether to hold on to the rails or raise my hands high.  I’m screaming with fear and giggling with glee.  I see twists and turns ahead that scare the sh*t out of me, and yet I’m looking forward to every gut-wrenching, puke-inducing, teary eyed moment of it.  Who knows, I might even want to ride this particular ride again someday.

Next week we start developing a meet and greet and transition plan.  This weekend I’m visiting the newly minted grandparents (my folks).  We’ll be poring over decorating magazines, filming videos and picking out pictures for my life book that I will send her in the coming weeks.

Today was a very good day.

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