October 2007


matisse-halloween.jpg

Since I have signed up for NaBloPoMo for my other site (the Ethiopian Adoption site), I am avoiding all things cerebral today. On that note, anyone want to give me a primer on how that works?? Do I have to post on Ning or can I do it on my site? Anyway to register more than one blog with the same account? I am useless, help! I need to motivated to actually get my posting going on that site.

Happy Halloween, from my dejected poodle. He is not too fond be being Princess Leia, not because of the gender confusion we are placing on him, but he hates those faux arms and the headpiece.

Those eyes are plotting against me.


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On November 2nd we will be meeting with some friends for dinner to celebrate a successful thesis defense of one of the group members and the conquering of malaria for another. I am looking forward to the dinner venue and the drinks/dessert at our house following. The thing I am not looking forward to is the pregnancy announcement by one of the couples in the group.

It is even harder to take since I am not really friends with them, but they are good friends of our friends. Basically, I know very little about them other than they have a kidney shaped garden and he is placing his seed inside her. The latter has nothing to do with the former, but strangely the two conversations I have had with this couple both involve fertilization of some sort. Now, I am not even certain that they are pg, but the conversation was this past spring and, well, most people do not hang out on this side of this statistics so I am shamefully assuming they are fertile. I am usually dead on with my preg-dar, it must compensate for my faulty gay-dar. Perhaps it was an evolution of my very own survival instinct, because if I was not prepared for some of the announcements I have endured I may have perished immediately.

How do I prepare myself for the announcement I know is coming as soon as the wine list starts to circulate? I will try not to cringe as the she in the couple tells the server she needs something non-alcoholic because she is pregnant. Does the server really care? Honestly, just order your ginger ale and drink it in silence as I shoot you scornful glances through my beer. Note to self: only order dark ale on Friday night.

Since we are adopting, many people seem to think my feelings toward fertiles are magically going to perish. These feelings took a solid 4 years to develop and not going to dissipate overnight. Part of my pain will reside with me forever. It is not the type of thing I will tattoo to my upper arm or speak of when asked about regret. In fact I don’t regret our path. I don’t regret that it didn’t work or that we didn’t try just one more time. My life philosophy doesn’t leave room for regret. I can be sad, but it should not be confused with regret. Although, we are rapidly pursuing adoption and are very excited about it, I cannot just rationalize away my feelings. As I have written before, adoption and infertility are two distinct paths. I can possess extreme joy and sadness at the same time. Yes, it is possible. No, it is not unhealthy. Denying my emotions and stuffing them away would be unhealthy.

So until the pain of still being infertile even though I am adopting remains, I will regress to the place I was when we were unsuccessfully trying but not outwardly infertile. It feels funny to have come this far and still be back where we were 3 years ago.  People were finally beginning to understand that comments about our fertility may be frustrating to us, I fear that asking them to understand the complexity of my current state of mind will leave me friendless.

I frequently get e-mails like the one below, but I rarely respond.  I hardly see myself as a superstitious person, although I feel the need to reassure myself when a black cat does run across the road in front of my car.  Perhaps I am just denying my tendencies, who knows.  Someday I will post my about internal fate debate and you will see that I rationally deny these possibilities in thought, yet I humor them in behavior.  I am not certain why, but I guess in my case I am so sick of the negative that I want to foster the positive.  If avoiding black cats allows me to think evil will avoid me, I will enjoy that belief for what it is worth.

Since our adoption home study was just approved and this e-mail was awaiting me in my e-mail account from someone I have not heard from in years, I am taking it as a must to forward it in my own personal way through posting.   Read on in curiosity or disgust, but please enlighten me with your handling of such e-mails/forwards or superstitious behavior in general. I am not looking for advice, but information.  Perhaps through that information I will see that I am not really as crazy as I think because just now I have a good feeling about “things” after I just sneezed three times in a row.

Read Alone….. Especially the Poem
> I believe whatever is in store for us will be for
> us.
>
> The poem is very true, unfortunately.
>
> Make sure you read the poem!
>
> CASE 1: Kelly Sedey had one wish, for her boyfriend
> of three years, David Marsden , to propose to her.
> Then one day when she was out
>
> to lunch David proposed! She accepted, but then had
> to leave because she had a meeting in 20 min. When
> she got to her office, ! ! she noticed on her
> computer she had some e-mail’s. She checked it, the
> usual stuff
>
> from her friends, but then she saw one that she had
> never gotten before.
>
> It was this poem. She simply deleted it without even
> reading all of it.
>
> BIG MISTAKE! Later that evening, she received a
> phone call from the
>
> police It was about DAVID ! He had been in an
> accident
>
> with an 18 wheeler. He didn’t survive!
>
> CASE 2: Take Katie Robinson She received this poem
> and being the believer that she was she sent it to a
> few of her friends but
>
> didn’t have enough e-mail addresses to send out the
> full 5 that you must. Three days later, Katie went
> to a masquerade ball.
>
> Later that night when she left to get to her car,
> she was killed in that spot by a
>
> hit-and-run drunk driver.
>
> CASE 3: Richard S. Willis sent this poem out within
> 45 minutes of reading it. Not even 4 hours later
> walking along the street to his new job interview
> with a really big company, ! when he ran into
> Cynthia Bell , his secret love for 5 years. Cynthia
> came up to him
>
> and told him of her passionate crush on him that she
> had had for 2 years. Three days later, he proposed
> to her and they got married. Cynthia and Richard are
> still married with three children, happy as ever!
>
> This is the poem:
>
> Around the corner I have a friend,
>
> In this great city that has no end,
>
> Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
>
> And before I know it, a year is gone.
>
> And I never see my old friends face,
>
> For life is a swift and terrible race,
>
> He knows I like him just as well,
>
> As in the days when I rang his bell.
>
> And he rang mine but we were younger then,
>
> And now we are busy, tired men.
>
> Tired of playing a foolish game,
>
> Tired of trying to make a name.
>
> “Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Jim
>
> Just to show that I’m thinking of him.”
>
> But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
>
> And distance between us grows and grows.
>
> Around the corner, yet miles away,
>
> “Here’s a telegram sir,” ” Jim died today.”
>
> And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
>
> Around the corner, a vanished friend.
>
> Remember to always say what you mean.
>
> If you love someone, tell them.
>
> Don’t be afraid to express yourself.
>
> Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.
>
> Because when you decide that it is the right time it
> might
>
> be too late.
>
> Seize the day. Never have regrets
>
> And most importantly, stay close to your friends and
> family, for they have helped make you the person
> that you are today.
>
> You must send this on in 3 hours after reading the
> letter to 10 other people. If you do this, you will
> receive unbelievably good luck. *NOTE* the more
> people that you send this to, the better luck you
> will have. SMILE, even through your tears!!!!!

I am sitting in a hotel room in Milwaukee trying to draft a post for our adoption blog but I cannot seem to draw any connections between written language and emotion.  I have been in a weird place lately and instead of writing for therapy I spend my days in paralysis.  It is a strange and unexplainable place, hence my lack of discussion about it.  Limbo seems inadequate yet appropriate.  See my problem?

To distract myself from my writing or better put as lack there of, I decided to read the book I brought along, the invigorating Communist Manifesto.  This great distraction strongly indicates the writing predicament I am feeling since I voluntarily chose Marxist philopshy over addressing emotion.  I lost interest when I started thinking what Marx would blog about?  When I accidently dropped the book in transition from the chair to couch, a piece of paper floated to the coffee table.  It was clearly old and discolored and appeared to lack any writing until I turned it over and noticed that Mr. Jitters purchaced this book on October 23, 1994.  I hold in my hands a dated reciept that corresponds directly with the date he must have printed inside the cover immediately after purchase.  He is funny that way, always dating things and saving reciepts.  All our family banking can be backdated in an excel file for years with corresponding reciepts. I tend to lack any sense of organization, but he loves me regardless.  What is it that attracts you to your spouse, partner, significant other, or friend? Do you love the things you lack?  The things you desire? Or the things that drive you absolutely mad at the same time?

Disclaimer: this has a point and is not just dog talk.

We are dog sitting a co-workers pug/rat terrier mix. She is a pampered little dog, but so is our Matisse. The difference is that a small papered dog moves much faster than a 75 pound pampered dog. Two seems pretty easy to handle.

Until, I got a frantic call last night from Mr. Jitter’s that our good friend is in the ER at the hospital where I work with Malaria. (She just got back from Haiti) I sat with her until she got moved up to the ICU – she is sick, really sick. I hate seeing people I care about like that. After she moved upstairs where she will reside for at least 3 days, I went to meet her husband at home who was at that time returning from his grad school exam. He didn’t know what was going on (other than that she was really sick when he left that morning) and I felt for him. Since he will now have more on his hands, I decided to take his standard poodle for a while. His was relieved and now the dogs outnumber the humans at our household.

Two was manageable, but three is a lot. Again, I ask myself, how does Sami do it? She has more dogs than I currently am caring for & she has a newborn. Yikes.

The long awaited point and drawn out connection: How do people have more children than adults or hands for that matter? I cannot handle our current dog to human ratio, so how could I ever manage children? Initially we wanted 2 children. We learned the bastard lesson of life through infertility. That lesson being that you do not have ultimate control over the things you desire to control most. That being said, we came to a conclusion that we would take the children that came our way, whether it be through adoption (yes, you can get multiples….) or some biological fluke. Mr. Jitters and I joked about how much really will change in our lives when we have achieved our numerical family member goals last night before bed as we were fighting for space on our queen mattress between two standard poodles and listening to the faint whimpers of a kenneled pug/terrier who is now sitting on my lap hindering my typing while my boy rests his head on my feet and his poodle friend is squeaking a stuffed carrot.

Don’t worry, this will not turn into a dog blog, nor a mommy blog for that matter, but I needed this experience to remind me that we are really not prepared to best parent a sibling set of different ages. I cannot explain how I came to this conclusion with a dog comparison to our social worker, or anyone for that matter, but I am relieved that Mr. Jitters and I agree that we will be at our best as parents when we can still have a little of ourselves as individuals and as a couple.

I feel a bit selfish & inadequate admitting that. Basically, I am limiting the number of children I want so I can maintain a lifestyle I enjoy. Two means no minivan, vacations are easier and more affordable, zero populations growth, one parent can attend to one child at time. Please tell me your rational for number of children desired or achieved? Has it changed with your experiences? I don’t think I will change my mind, but I am curious how others come to conclusions about similar issues.

I know it is Saturday and nobody reads posts over the weekend, but I did not have time to post this on Friday and you all have to hear read it. If you really want to hear it, I can transpose my voice like a monkey or transformer or many other things – sorry, I have found some funny sites and I need an excuse to send a Monkey Mail to someone who is not sick of them yet. Warning: it is addicting….

So as I was flying around on Friday morning trying to get some work prepared for a presentation I was due for in less than an hour someone at work pulled me aside and said “When you bring your baby home from Ethiopia, you are going to give them a good name…right? Not one of these hard to spell and pronounce foreign names?”

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I have never been a good come back girl. I could compare myself to George and the Jerk Store comment in well timed snarky response to stupid comments. I can think of stuff after the fact, but never on the spot. That is why I had many comments mastered for infertility and could snap off some good ones, for example (yes I did use these – seriously).
1. Oh, you need to lie still and prop with a pillow after, (or other stupid assvice for “something” we all know how to do) …..Oh, I did handstands for a while but after my wrist surgery they got kind of dangerous and I was afraid that I would hurt myself and poor Mr. Jitter’s would be left trying to defend why I broke my neck during…

2. Oh, you are so young, it will happen you just need to wait. …….Well, actually, I age in dog years and since we have been trying for 4 years your time so I have been technically trying for 28 years and that is a heck of a long time, longer than any of your friends who just waited, right?

3. Have you tried prayer. I will be sure to pray for you. ……..Thanks, but why ask God, he couldn’t even get Mary pregnant and had to use immaculate conception.

I was really getting good with my delivery of this wit and then we switched to adoption. Now I need to come up with another stupid list of stupid things stupid people stupidly say so I can respond to them and strut away to give myself a high five for being so awesome.

So, here are some responses I am working on, but they all lack the sharp, sarcastic wit of above and most are really just mean & stupid. Please help me develop a response. I am begging for some snark.

To the question: “When you bring your baby home from Ethiopia, you are going to give them a good name…right? Not one of these hard to spell and pronounce foreign names?”

My proposed responses…..

1. Well, your name is …….. I find that kind of boring and hard to pronounce so it just depends on your perspective.

2. Actually, my husband and I are planning on changing our names also to better fit with our child’s Ethiopian name. The problem is that I cannot decide if I want to be Ang.eli.na Jo.lie or Ma.donna. He is obviously Br.ad Pitt, but I kind of prefer Ma.donna. See our problem?

3. The jerk store called. They are out of you.

Help, please help.

————————————————————

Note: to figure out how we do feel about name changing in adoption, please check our adoption site….. (this should motivate me to actually get the post proof read….)

Today I ran my first marathon. It was one of my goals by the time I turn 30. The other two were to complete my master’s and have a baby. I tried so hard on one that I totally missed the other. Oh well, life is a crap chute and sometimes you are standing in the wrong place. I am content with 1 for 3.

I trained for a 4:15 finish. I finished in 4:45. Off by 30 minutes, but it was 82 degrees with 70 percent humidity. I am happy. I enjoyed every moment. It is truly a high. One of the best moments was about 5 miles in when I see Mr. Jitter’s standing next to a very familiar face not ever see by me without a Bowtie and a smile. Dr. Bowtie still had a smile, from ear to ear, but ditched the Bowtie for a Sunday wear t-shirt. I jokingly told him to look for me at Twin Cities at our exit appointment, knowing he lived relatively close to the marathon route. He did look for me and he made my day.

This man is amazing. As soon as I spotted him, I ran into his arms (he can now add sweat to the list of other body fluids of mine that he has handled) and yelled that I loved him. I meant it. I adore him. He could retire. He could make more money. He easily could have looked at our test results and turned us away. But, he didn’t. Not only is he an amazing and award winning fertility specialist, but he is human.

Mr. Jitters waited until the end of the race to tell me that as I ran away he wiped tears from his eyes. I know he wanted so badly to help us get pregnant and he feels our frustrated as much as us. His wife was with him and I know I told her thank you for sharing him with us all – he is amazing. I want her to know how much I do really appreciate it. He works almost 7 days a week – long hours – and he took part of his day off to support a patient in another less traditional way.

After 4 years of trying to get pregnant, I didn’t reach my goal, but I didn’t stand still either. Believe me, Dr. Bowtie will be getting an invite to our Champagne Toast when we return from Ethiopia with our baby. Not only was he part of our process, he is family now.

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