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…
I believe that having a sense of humour is critical to survival. If we can laugh about the tough stuff, maybe the load will seem a little lighter.
When my grandfather told me he’d found my father lying dead on his bathroom floor, it was a tough image to swallow at first, but it didn’t take long for my sense of humour to kick in. You see, if there was anyplace other than the recliner in the living room where you could expect to find my dad, it was sitting on the can, half asleep, with a cigarette in his mouth. It made me chuckle to think of my grandfather finding my dad ass up and pants down. Maybe that’s a little strange to laugh about, but it helped me turn an awful image into something I can live with.
A person without a sense of humour is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road. -Henry Ward Beecher
I’m going to try and take this knowledge with me as I move forward onto new challenges, like adoption and home ownership. I have no doubt that even though this is what I want for my life, there are going to be some crazy-ass times that have me wondering what I was thinking when I made these decisions. I hope I can laugh through it.
A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life. -Hugh Sidey
Last week I submitted an application for adoption. Tonight I attended the orientation presentation. Sometime over the next couple of weeks I will submit a criminal record check, and the next phase of paperwork. In 8-10 weeks I will have my first home visit with a social worker, who will ask some very invasive but necessary questions and then schedule me for “training” which will likely begin in September. After that point, more home visits are scheduled and a report is prepared and submitted for approval. If I “pass the test” then I will be eligible to be “matched” with a child (children). This process could take any length of time, but I am hopeful that my openness to sibling groups over the age of six will increase my possible matches. Once a match is found, I am given full disclosure of the child’s background and current state, and visits with that child’s doctors, foster parents, teachers, etc. will take place. If at that point I am confident that this is my child (children) then I will meet the child and we’ll spend a week or so visiting and becoming familiar with each other, and then I will finally move them into my home. After approximately a 4-6 month period, the final adoption papers are drawn up and submitted to the court. Once the order is granted, I become that child’s permanent guardian, and everything from their birth records to their last name is changed to reflect mine.
I am scared shitless. I am also really, really looking forward to it.