So, a couple updates.
I went weed whacking.
Guess what it good for stress management? Yes, that is right: waging war on weeds- huge, rotten sweet smelling weeds that had illusions of grandeur and were making themselves into alien trees.
I needed some stress management, because our lives are, in a word, intense right now.
We think that sometime this week we will close on the house, which means the next week we will be moving, which means this week we must get this house back into shape, which is what inspired my frenzied burst of yard maintenance, which, I don't mind admitting, has been sadly neglected this entire summer.
Later that evening, I received word from our birth mother that she went into labor, went to the hospital and received a shot to stop labor and steroids to help strengthen the baby's lungs if she should be born this early.
That was my first taste of the unadulterated panic of parenthood, and I don't even know for sure yet if this is my child.
So. Now I try to remember to keep the phone fully charged and with me at all times. And I have a load of tiny, tiny clothing in the dyer that will get packed into a suitcase that will be added to the Baby-Ready-To-Go pile that is at our front door right now.
That pile includes stroller, baby seat, and pack 'n play and sits amid all the other boxes that are waiting for the move to begin.
However, the stress does not end there. On Friday, just at the close of the business day, we received an e-mail letting us know that our state back ground checks were officially expired and could jeopardize our current match with the birth family.
Wow. Here was the reply I wanted to send:
Dear sweet sender of that e-mail,
Do you have any idea how stressful our lives are right now?
As you must remember, as I included you in that e-mail, I sent off those forms weeks ago and now I, as much or more than you, am waiting for their triumphant and battered return from the dark realms of state.
Also, I really appreciate hearing this right before the weekend, when all state bureaucracy's slow turning wheels grind to a complete stop, so even if I did throw the entire weight of my incredible levels of anxiety and frustrated new and first time mothering instinct into some one's voice mail somewhere, no one would hear it until some time late Monday morning, when someone has had enough cheap coffee to listen to their voice messages, slowly, over the next week, while accidentally hitting delete on a few of them.
You know as well as I do that this would avail me nothing, as they've heard it all before. Policy, policy; all is official policy. One might and well eat, drink and be merry.
In any case, thanks for reminding us of something over which we have absolutely no control. We appreciate that. If you know of any other thing, anything at all over which we have no control that could determine our intimate lives, please do feel free to ominously remind us of it.
what's left of me
I did not send this, because no matter how good it felt to write, I would have felt badly later on. But it feels good to post it here.
When I told Keith this news, he just shook his head. "I can't even respond," he admitted. "I don't have anything left."
I burst into only slightly manic laughter. "I know!" I replied. "I just feel numb."
I did call my home study agent, who had also been included in the e-mail of Officially Ominous News and she said that she had received the state of Colorado's forms but not Kentucky's, but she would try calling and seeing where they were in that process.
So, here's the bottom line: if the baby is born now, she would be a moderately preterm baby, possibly requiring increased hospital time and care and we would not be able to adopt her because of our incomplete home study, and for the next two weeks, our birth mother is on high risk of giving birth early.
So this feels like the adoptive version of the Perfect Storm of terrible timing.
Hopefully the baby will hang in there, hopefully Kentucky's form is on its way. Hopefully we will have enough cash to close on the house. Hopefully we will be moved in before baby arrives.
Hopefully my eye will stop twitching.
In the meantime, when I meditate, I rant and rave to God and if I don't even have that much energy, He takes me outside to the upper meadow, so I can breathe under the stars. I put my head on His chest and I listen to His heartbeat and I remember how these frightening loose ends of my life are dangling not over some emptiness, but are contained within the mystery of His life.
I think this must be why He said that I should keep my heart open. If I can keep my heart open through this, I'll bet I can keep it open as I move forward into the rest of my life. If I can feel this agony now, how much more would I be able to feel the joy that might be coming?
I've already learned this lesson; I just keep learning it deeper- if I close myself off to this, I will close myself off to life. There's no way I can protect myself from pain without impairing my ability to be fully alive.
Anyway, that's what I tell myself. Now I have to go outside and take care of some more weeds.