A few months back, I started a second blog to chronicle what Tall Boy and I hope will be an expansion of our family through adoption. Initially, the second blog was established for me to put my thoughts and feelings about the process down on record privately until I was prepared to share the plan with those that love us. I had learned while doing the infertility treatments that sharing a "plan" like that with people that have such a deeply personal and vested interest in your happiness can be difficult solely because the sheer volume of time between the initial discussions and the final fruition. I'm not trying to be secretive or excluding at all. It's just the knowledge that getting from "Tall Boy has agreed to investigate the possibility of maybe adopting" to "We've been matched" is a chasm wider than Grand Canyon.
Being the idiot that I am, I was certain the casual link to that second blog buried in my blogroller would go undetected, even when I shared my blog with family. I was wrong. Actually, what was more wrong in the assumption is the fact that people that I love dearly and that love me dearly in return found out about our momentous decision by reading it here, on my blog. As is par for the course with me, I hurt the feelings of those "discoverers" unintentionally. But, seeing how my cat is out of the bag, I've decided that it's foolish to bother maintaining a second link when I can just as easily add the details of the process here. If you're interested in the handful of posts I wrote prior to today, they are here [I may end up deleting this blog in the future so if you are getting here late and the link goes no where, my apologies].
So today Tall Boy and I went to the first in the series of training sessions the state requires of prospective adoptive parents for children in custody with the state. We received our packet of information we'll need to complete for our homestudy before being considered for a child or sibling group. It contains everything from the criminal background check, health form, home safety form and fire safety form as well as the worksheet that outlines our choices (some might say our restrictions) on a child or children we're willing to adopt. It also contains information they'd like us to cover in our written autobiographies that we will also need to write.
The adoption worksheet asks us if we'd consider children of different races, in need of continued contact with birth family members, in need of therapy or ongoing medical treatments, children of varying levels of abuse, neglect, emotional, mental and physical impairments etc. Tall Boy and I have to sit down and discuss each individual item and decide where we stand on each item to yay or nay them.
Oh, we also need to sheetrock the garage....
After today's session, it's the minutae of the details that are rolling around in my head. It's knowing that as we decide what we can handle as parents, we have to also limit certain situations to protect Bam-Bam. We have to accept that there may be children we cannot consider because of the impact on him too.
I can already foresee that my autobiography is going to be pages and pages long. The outline of criteria alone is over 3 pages and that's without all my details. I have only skimmed the questions briefly and I'm trying not to get myself overwhelmed with it all. I have to remind myself that I have plenty of time to get it all done.
What was most surprising about today was a continuation of the surprise that has lead us here to begin with and that is the change that continues to happen in Tall Boy's beautiful huge heart. He continues to amaze me with the willingness he has to not only do this for our family but to also try to create a family and a home for a child or children who's only dream is to feel part of a family who's foundation is one of love, safety and protection. A year ago, I would never have believed that he and I would be where we are today. We were completely disconnected and not much fun when we were together. Ok, we were struggling to even be nice to each other. We had been bumped off that wonderful foundation I speak of and were fighting tooth and nail to get back up.
But we're standing like statues upon the granite again and managing to grow together more and more each day. The contention and negativity has been vanquished to someone else's house. He's also been assured that irritations are not going to be left unaddressed any longer. If there's something picking at his neck like a bad shirt tag, I'm going to be all up in his face to get it out of him and get on with it. Because it seems to be the little things, the every day annoyances that, when not addressed and sent packing, compound and start the wedge of destruction. There will be no wedge for us again.
Today he showed me how far we've really come. Half way through the session he had opened his mind to the idea of being available for children before their parent's rights had been terminated (an issue he was not even remotely entertaining before) as well as the possibility of a sibling group placement instead of just "one more child". Basically, he opened two additional doors of possibility for our family. I love him for that. And for so much more.
As I drove home and he drove off to work after the class today, I was reminded of a day many years ago and an exchange that I had with a friend of mine. I was in my 20's in a dud of a relationship and worked with a woman named Robin. Robin was probably in her late thirties and had been married close to 15 years at the time. She is the most incredibly beautiful woman, inside and out. Christ is definitely working through her. Anyway, she arrived at work one afternoon BEAMING. Just beaming. When I asked her what was up with her she giggled like a 15 year old and said that someday when I had been married several years, I would know exactly how she was feeling at that moment. She told me that every marriage is hard work and that there are periods of time in every coupling when things are in a funk and the mundane takes over and things are just....things. But, just as quickly as they become mundane, you get some flash in the pan when you remember exactly why you married that person. Why you chose them to spend your life with. When the things that connected you spiritually, emotionally, physically in the beginning will again refresh your relationship. She was feeling refreshed and was not afraid or ashamed to hide it. She was IN LOVE with her husband. And it was so cool to witness.
We have so much work ahead of us in this journey. But, the hard work is all behind us now. Today, I'm BEAMING.