Monday, October 17, 2005

The Home Study Begins!

I was going to post this last Friday, but decided to wait till today, since FedEx is dropping off the retainer and the check to Partners for Adoption today. We got all the money together, finally, and sent off a cashier's check. I waited until Friday so I could get the cashier's check. I did not want to have 2400.00 dollars sitting in my account waiting to have a check come through. I am so paranoid about that kind of thing. Any way, I was anxious this weekend about the whole thing, so I re-arranged the bedroom. Put the bed in a different spot, moved Laura's "wardrobe" over to the corner, and got rid of the dresser that I wasn't using anymore. We also got rid of the TV and DVD player that we had in the bedroom. Laura has been bugging me for awhile about not having a TV in the bedroom, so now she has her wish. I already miss it. I think that from the SW's perspective it is probably for the best. Who knows whether she would even care though. I also moved our "security camera". We have a small little radio shack camera that plugs into the back of our TV that I salvaged from an old office that worked at. For fun, I put the camera up by the front door which, if you have ever been to our house you would know, that that is stupidest place to have the camera. So I moved it around to the back so I could see the side of the house. We have a church next door to us with a big parking lot, and the kids are constantly harassing the dogs and making them bark, so now I will be able to see what is going on without having to get up every 20 seconds. I have been reading more about the HS process trying to figure out what we should do. We subscribe to Adoptive Families magazine, and they had a section this month where people wrote in about what they did to prepare. One stuck out -- "Deep clean the bathroom and kitchen, and clean the clutter. Make a meat and cheese dish, and relax." I think that I can do all that. Except the relax part. :) I know that we are making way more of this then we need to, it is just hard to shake the fact that this person will be judging whether we will make for fit parents. Everything we do or say, will work for or against that perception. I have grown up with the mentality that what other people think of me is unimportant. That makes it difficult for me to accept that with the stroke of a pen this person can make or break our adoption. I keep thinking, "what if they are having a bad day, or someone irritated them before they come to our house." I have finished my autobiography though. It is a bit on the negative side though, so I think I will be making some edits to it. As humans we tend to focus on the negatives sometimes. I think that it is good for the SW to know what Laura and I have been through on the negative side since I believe that has a greater impact on your thinking then the positives do. As I read and re-read the autobiography, with the mindset to remember more positives, a lot are coming to mind. With my past the way it was, it is difficult to see past some of the worst, and fish out the good things that happened. When I think of my daughter, and fast forward 10, 15, 20 years I hope that her good memories are easier to pick out then the bad ones. I wonder if she will remember being in an orphanage, if she will remember her bio mother, even if just on a strictly emotional level. I wonder if she will wish that she could have stayed in China. I wonder if I will support her enough , or if I will support her too much and not properly equip her for life. Will I be able to handle the challenges of explaining why she was abandoned, how we can love her just as much as anyone loves their bio child, how even though she doesn't look like us we are her family. In the autobiography, one of the questions was "How do you anticipate the addition of a child will affect your family?" For me that was the hardest question. I hate the way I answered it and I will be changing it, but I have been thinking about that question a lot. I really don't know. I have been thinking about what we will do about certain, specific things. Taking her to work with me, or out in service with Laura and I. Trying to come up with schedules to allow both of us to have some alone time. Will she sleep through the night? Probably not, so who will get up to take care of her. Changing diapers, that will be a new one for me. Seriously - never done that before. Not ever having even one minute where I do not think about where she is or what she is doing, and not seeing that as a bad thing. Having her fall asleep on my chest while I lay on the couch. Having her scream non-stop for an hour because I am too dense to figure out what she wants. Helping her learn Chinese, and having her help us learn Chinese. I think about being away from her, and how great it will be to come home and see her waiting for me. Staying up all night, worrying because she has a temp, or a sniffle, or a cough. So have I considered what our life will be like after the adoption, yes. I still don't know how to answer the question. I anticipate that the addition of a child will be the greatest thing to happen to Laura and I since we found each other. I think it will bring great joy and sorrow, and anxiety and happiness, and love to our house. I think that it will make me an adult and a child all at the same time. It will drive Laura and I apart and will bring us closer to each other then we have ever been. Everyone keeps telling me how my life will change with a baby, and everytime they tell me some "horror" story, I just keep thinking, "Yeah, but I will have this precious baby, so who cares". I think that really sums it up for me. I know that things will be hard sometimes, and sometimes they will be easy. I know that it will forever change our relationship, our free-time will no longer be free. We can't get up and decide to go for the weekend and leave out cares behind. We can't go to any movie we want, can't spend the day playing video games, or watching TV, just to unplug, or "take the day off". The loss of that type of freedom will kind of suck, but you know it doesn't matter, because I know that when I look at my baby for the first time none of that stuff will matter. I will have this precious life, that completely relies on me. I will have this person who will unconditionally love me, and that I will unconditionally love. Why wouldn't I give up my "free-time" for that. I think that is a small price to pay. -- Stephen

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