Dating During Adoption

I’ve been thinking a lot about love, lately. I think it has very little to do with the adoption, but probably a lot to do with the fact that I’m preparing my life and my home for a family; I’m settling down.

I don’t feel any pangs of regret or need to have the husband before I adopt. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I think I’m just simply ready to find a long-term love. I’m finding my thoughts constantly wandering towards that warm, adoring, safe place that is being in love. It sure would be nice to have someone around to share my life with.

The timing is really unfortunate, because I can’t very well start dating right now. When would I possibly have the time to weed through potential mates? And what would I say to them about the adoption? Then there’s the more complicated matter of introducing them to the children. These kids are going to take a very long time to settle in and become comfortable and secure as a family, it wouldn’t be fair to throw an additional person into the mix, especially if that person was still a question mark in my mind. No, the whole idea seems out of place. Dating will have to wait.

I wonder then, how do the rest of the single mother’s go about dating? What will I be facing once my children are in a good enough place that I can put myself out there again? Is there ever a “good time” to add someone your family, and how do you go about doing it? Of course, my situation is unique so there will be differences, but there’s no point reinventing the wheel.

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.

Breaking up is a natural evolution when you try to figure out what you want in life. ~Usher

Most of my friends will assume it was The Italian’s workaholic nature that did us in, but it wasn’t. Not in the end.

A few weeks ago I went on my annual road trip to Vancouver Island to visit my best friend. She asked me why he didn’t come, and I replied that I hadn’t asked him, and that he wouldn’t have taken a week off of work anyway. She noted that I’ve never had a boyfriend accompany me on that trip before, and that when I finally do, she would declare him “the one”. We didn’t talk much about The Italian aside from that, but he was in the back of my mind the entire trip. His work hours had started getting carried away again, and he knew he wasn’t making me happy. He had stated as much a few weeks before I left, so it was no surprise that we had both started putting some distance between us. I was trying to figure out where my “line” would be… how much I could compromise our time together.

Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable. ~ Author Unknown

Meanwhile, aside from the nightmares that accompanied my forgetting to take my anxiety medication for a few days, I was enjoying my trip thoroughly. For the first time, I took one of my dogs, Sadie. We went for long walks through the woods, and she swam in the river and in the ocean, while M took some incredible photos. I spent a lot of time reading books about child abuse, and about attachment and adoption. I played games. I prepared dinner for my best friend, her boyfriend, and his brother and sister in law. We sat around the table grilling chicken and peppers and having “lemon meringue” drinks, and after a few too many, we confessed what we liked and appreciated about each other. I went out and did some target practice with the boys while my best friend was at work one day during the week. There was so much fun to be had.

A couple of days before the end of my trip, I was sitting around an evening camp fire in the back yard with M and her boyfriend, laughing and talking. Andy had been texting me during my entire trip, asking what I was up to and making sure I was enjoying myself, and this night was no exception. I found myself wishing that he was there. I was thinking about how well he would fit in amongst my friends, how he’d love to sit around the camp fire, watch movies and shoot some clay pidgins with us. I realized that I could see him sitting around that dinner table, grilling up a storm and having drunken sentimental conversations with my friends…

…and then I realized that I couldn’t see The Italian in any of those scenarios. Not a single one. I can picture us married, living together, even having children, but outside those walls, I just didn’t see where he would fit into my life. The Italian isn’t the kind of guy to kick back around a camp fire with a beer, or go out wind surfing with the guys. He’s an amazing man, I just realized he wasn’t the right man.

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop. ~ Author Unknown

It made me sad to think that we weren’t meant to be together, but it had become very clear in my head. It was fact, there was no wishy-washy thought process… once I realized that I couldn’t picture him with me when I was doing the things I loved, I knew it was over. I broke up with him the morning I left the island to come home.

The Italian didn’t handle the break-up well. He was hurt, but I know that he knew it was coming. After a few days we touched base again and it was better that time. He doesn’t hate me, but he doesn’t want to remain friends. I can understand that, I never wanted to be friends with anyone who broke up with me before, either. My heart hurts when I think about how much we cared for each other. It’s proof that love really isn’t enough. You can adore someone like we did, but you can’t change them, you can’t mold them into who you want them to be, and at some point accepting that they would be happier without you is all that you can do.

Breaking up is a natural evolution when you try to figure out what you want in life. ~Usher

I am sad sometimes, I grieve for our friendship and for the sweet intimate moments we shared, but for the most part I don’t miss him. I guess that comes from not being able to see him very much anyway. I missed him so much in the weeks before we broke up, that I had forgotten what it was like to be with him. A blessing in disguise, I suppose.

I guess I’m just glad I got to be the girl who was worth that damn expensive coffee, for a while.

Our story has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. And although this is the way all stories unfold, I still can’t believe that ours didn’t go on forever. ~Nicolas Sparks