Thursday, June 10, 2010

aaaallll aboard... next stop, adoption town!

ok... i'll admit it, my last post was a wee-bit on the woe-is-me side. i neglected to mention that we are in the middle of remodeling our bathroom so i have been "showering" (i use that term loosely) out of the kitchen sink for far too long. its making me a tad edgy. not to mention that we have been searching for a new toilet for like 2 months and cant seem to find one that wont require us to buy a step stool to climb on the damn thing!!

*stepping onto my soapbox*

if you have had the fortune of shopping for a toilet lately you might have noticed that almost every single one brags about being "comfort height". "comfort height" typically means that it is "chair height" or between 16 and 19 inches off the ground. naturally, since the average US woman is around 5 feet 4 inches tall, this whole "comfort height" business is little more than a tool of patriarchy. when MOST american women sit on a 17 inch toilet, their feet will barely touch the floor. now i aint no scientist but last time i checked, this position isnt exactly optimal deuce-dropping position. in fact, i think that "feet off the ground" comes in second only to "pooping while standing on your head". so, you can imagine my face when the agents-of-plumbing-patriarchy (aka homes depots workers) try to convince us to buy a "comfort height" toilet. if it wasnt for the hot dog stand outside in the parking lot, i might not have the strength to refrain from clawing their face off. i mean GOD FORBID men have to squat a little in order to sit on a lower toilet. *deep breath*

*stepping off the soapbox*

anywhoo... the point is that this whole bathroom remodel has diminished my level of patience. a few nights of sleep and a few really good conversations later, im feeling much better. and much more hopeful and much more excited.

cliff notes version: NM and i have decide to move forward with adoption. after 2 generous donations/loans from my mom and from 2 dear friends in town... we have the necessary funds to start our process. i would love to spend some time processing my feelings about the donations but i still cant really wrap my mind around it all without crying so ill wait for another post to address how amazing our friends and family are. seriously. i know you might think that your friends and family rock... but let me set the record straight and say that our community could TOTALLY kick your community's ass!

(it is now dawning on me that hyper-competition and threats of ass-kicking aren't really in line with the whole "community" spirit. im from jersey so aggression is our default love language. im learning and im sure your community is cool too.)

i digress...

the point is that we are back on the adoption train and the next stop is my first individual interview tomorrow morning. *fingers crossed* that i dont manage to find a way to get us kicked out of the agency. as long as she doesn't bring up "comfort height" toilets... i should be fine.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

jump on board the roller coaster

i was sitting in a meeting today when the caller id on my phone lit up... "Call from: Adoption Dreams". needless to say, my mind began to race.... omg... the adoption agency is calling me... i wonder what they want... maybe they have a baby for us!!!... wait, that makes no sense. we arent even on the active list yet... oh! maybe they are ready to make us active!!.... what if they dont leave a message?.... maybe i should answer, like right now in the middle of this meeting.... no, that would be weird. ill wait. *tapping my fingernails on the desk* hurry up and stop talking.... i have a phone call to make!

aaand scene.

i went to NM's office and listened to the voicemail. it was a woman who we shall call M. she introduced herself as our "new caseworker" and i felt myself get excited. a caseworker?? ive never had one of those!

we called M back and she explained that we had reached the top of the waiting list and could now begin the process of becoming an active couple. yay!! the call that we have been waiting for!! she said we could swing by and pick up some papers and chat in person. we hopped in the car and drove right over!

M was very nice and walked us through a refresher of the process. she handed us a gigantic stack of papers to fill out and told us that the next steps include:
getting fingerprinted
submitting our tax returns
filling out personal paperwork
finding references
booking individual and a couple's interview

i was so excited in the meeting i could hardly keep it together. in a way it felt so surreal to actually be at this point. although i still really struggle with the idea that i might never get to experience pregnancy, above all else, i want to be a parent with NM. if adoption is the best option then im on board! she said that she would love to get us through the screening process in the next 4 weeks so that she could then start showing our portfolio to birth-moms. she pulled up her calendar and said that she is free this week to start the individual interviews. omg... can this be real!?

and then....

i asked about payment and fees.

*heavy sigh* i shoulda kept my mouth shut and simply enjoyed the moment.

she pulled out a list of fees and highlighted the ones that would need to be paid up front... as in, before we have our individual meeting ... as in, this week.


holy shit.. thats like $4000! thank goodness for credit cards!

the rest of the fees add up to a little over $16,000 but can be paid once we are selected by a birth-mom. i took a sigh of relief and figured that we would just figure out a way to put the $3000 on a credit card and figure the rest out later.

me: "so this might be a silly question but... you take credit cards, right?"
M: "um, no. we only take checks."
me: "*forced smile* oh, ok... no problem. we just wanted to double check"
WHAT?! let me get this straight... we are gonna have to come up with $4,000 CASH in a week and $16,000 in a year?! thats impossible! im a sexual assault education coordinator for gods sake!

NM and i walked out to the parking lot and tried to process what just happened. i fought back tears and felt angry at myself for feeling hopeful. dont get me wrong, im not saying that we are poor or unable to afford a child. we just cant afford $16,000 cash in any given year! i thought we would be able to use credit and then take our time paying it back.

NM and i are pretty fiscally responsible people. we have one car payment and commute to work together. we purchased a house that was like $15,000 below our budgeted price, we dont shop very much, we dont pay for cable or other luxuries, we work really hard to pay off credit card purchases as soon as they are made and we both work well over 40 hours a week! we arent perfect but we work so hard to do the right things and still this goal feels out of reach. i mean even if we saved money away every month, it would be YEARS before we had enough collected to afford $16,000 for adoption.


im so frustrated i could just scream. and i feel like such a fool for allowing myself to get excited enough to start dreaming again. *grumble*