2013 on Fire

Twenty-thirteen has been another big year for me. The year started off pretty stressful; I was at a job I absolutely hated going to every day, I struggled with managing my dad’s estate and the related expenses, I went to therapy to work through feelings of resentment towards my mother, I broke up with Levi after much contemplation and my neighbours were causing trouble.

By fall I seemed to have found some peace. I moved jobs to something I enjoy more, in a friendlier environment. I sold my dad’s property which kicked off the closing of the estate and pay-out of my inheritance which I used to purchase my first home, a four-bedroom + den duplex in the suburbs near my family. My relationship with my mom seems to have gotten much better. I found peace with the past through therapy and have done my best to let things go. She’s working hard on being my mother and my friend, and she’s been my biggest support as I proceed through the domestic adoption process which kicked off when I submitted my application in April. Levi and I have managed to remain casual friends, we text on occasion and exchange pleasantries.

As the snow starts to fall, I have moved in, renovated my bathroom, painted my bedroom and gotten mostly settled into the new house. I’ve completed the next step in the adoption paperwork, met a few people who are going through the same life-changing process, and am getting ready for Christmas with my family.

Moving into 2014, I’m expecting the year to be mostly focused on the adoption process. In January I have five mandatory parental training days. After that I’ll begin the home study process and hopefully by spring I’ll be in the system and waiting to be matched with my future children. I’m not sure how long the matching process will take, but once it is complete I’ll be shifting into parental leave and mommy-hood within a few days. From there, who knows what the remainder of the year will bring.

I expect I’ll do some other projects around the house next year, but they’ll be small in nature and likely tailored more towards functionality than cosmetic or repair work.

I don’t anticipate my love life revving up anytime soon. Just the thought of starting a romance while I’m working through the adoption process sounds complicated and exhausting. Once the kids are settled in and attaching well, I’ll consider opening myself up to the idea of romance again. In the meantime, it’s just me and a bottle of wine by the fire, watching “The Holiday”.

Vacations next year will pretty much be on the fly as well. I don’t think I’ll have the time or money for a real vacation and once the kids come we’ll need to stay close to home. I might take a staycation in February or March, and I wouldn’t mind investing in a small trailer to tow behind my Jeep so the kids, the dogs and I can all pack up and road trip to the island to visit my BFF. I think the kids would really like it, and there are plenty of lakes and kid attractions along the way.

I guess, reflecting on what I’ve written so far, 2013 was sort of a transitional year. As always, I’m very much looking forward to what’s in store.

Around a Year Ago

It was around this time last year when I had my meltdown. I hit the depression stage of grief, after losing my father. My relationship with Y came to a heartbreaking and unexpected end, and my work atmosphere had me so stressed out that I could barely face walking into the office each day.

I remember bawling during my entire morning commute one day. I remember sitting in the parking lot trying to catch my breath and stop myself from crying and shaking. I was having a major panic attack.

That day marked the climax of my breakdown, and it was also the day I started to heal. I already knew my mind wouldn’t be focused on my job that day, so I spent my time searching the web for a psychologist, and later that afternoon I saw my family doctor who prescribed me both an antidepressant/anti-anxiety medicine, as well as Ativan (Lorazepam) for the tough days. I also bought a journal and started writing my feelings out. There were a lot of them, they were messy, but it helped.

That day didn’t fix things, but it got the ball rolling. My grief was full bore ahead for quite some time, I couldn’t understand why things ended with Y, and I had to pop an Ativan before I could go to work most days because tension in the office was just that bad. I was being bullied. I ugly cried in front of my boss. Twice. If I wasn’t crying I was on the verge of telling her exactly where to go. It was a horrible few months.

Eventually, the meds started kicking in and I was able to keep it together a little better. It took a couple tries but I eventually found a shrink I clicked with, and we worked through a lot of abandonment issues that I was left with after my parents divorce. For the grande finale, I gave my two weeks notice just after Christmas and was able to decompress for nearly a month before starting my new job. From there, things were on the upswing.

Today, I’m in a healthy office environment. I have a job where
I’m praised, appreciated, challenged and supported. I miss my dad every day, but I’m sad about it far less often. I have moved on romantically, and I’ve made the decision to pursue my life dream of adopting an older sibling group.

My life isn’t perfect yet, and I doubt that’s even possible, but I have come so, so far over this past year. I’m finally living for me, and I’m happy about that.

After Tomorrow

There’s only another four-six weeks before I expect to hear from the social worker about scheduling my first home visit / interview. After that, I expect the process will seem to go a lot faster. I’m already feeling the nerves kick in from time to time, as I realize there’s only a month left of my life as a single girl, free as a bird. After that first contact, I think it will seem so much more real. Despite my nerves, I still feel good about my decision to adopt. A little panicky sometimes, but I think that’s probably normal when one is on the verge of making a permanent and life changing decision.

I have great news. I finally got the paperwork I needed in order to submit my Dad’s final tax return. I know taxes don’t seem like fantastic news, but this is the beginning of the last chapter in closing out my Dad’s estate, and moving on with my life post his death. It’s also great news because once the estate is closed, my brother is going to buy my half of our Dad’s place, and I will use my share to purchase my own home… a home where I’ll raise my children. In all likelihood, the timing of my home purchase and adoption will coincide, and I must admit that I’m a bit nervous about taking it all on at once. I hope I have a few months to settle into home ownership before I have to settle into motherhood as well.

I’ve been doing as much as I can to prepare for motherhood. I’ve read a few books. I’ve thought about the logistics. I’ve told my family, and I’ve asked for their support. Despite our strained past, I think my mother and I have finally found a place to bond. I asked her outright if she’d be able and willing to support me (emotionally, as well as with things like after school and emergency care) and her response was an enthusiastic “absolutely!”. I’ve never heard my mother so excited about anything I’ve done. I truly believe she’s going to flourish in the role of a grandmother. Maybe she’ll make up for all those years she really sucked as a mom. We’ve had some pretty in depth conversations as of late. I’ve been able to open up to her about my fears and concerns, and about the practicalities and obstacles I’ll face as a single mother, and for once she’s actually encouraged me and provided me with support and suggestions. Mom’s never been like this before. It gives me comfort knowing that my family will be backing me fully, and that me and my children will have the supports we need. After all, it takes a village…