Category Archives: a little bit adoption

An Alternate Reality

Long Board and I like to play this little game where we figure out where we would have met each other had we not met the night that we did. What if his birthday party took him to another bar? What if my friend Husky didn’t get the new job that we were out celebrating?

Long Board lived an hour and a half away, so the game had a bit of a challenge to it.

If we hadn’t met that night perhaps we’d have met at the volleyball tournament we went to on our second date? I would have gone with friends anyway, and he likely would have come up to attend as well.

Perhaps we would have met at one of our favorite haunts, the Underground playing shuffleboard or darts…

But what if LB hadn’t gone to grad school? Well, he’d be living in the same city as me, so we could have met at the pier, at the bars, at the library – a million different places that we both frequented, just never at the same time.

What if I HAD gone to get my PhD? Ironically it’s one of the places that LB considered getting HIS PhD…maybe fate would have changed both of our paths…

Where do our lives, passions, habits intersect? At a baseball game? At a concert? Do we have a fried with a friend of a friend that would have eventually connected us both? We found comfort as we imagined these paths that would inevitably lead us to each other.

But there’s always one scenario that I can’t account for: if I had parented Cupcake.

I wouldn’t have moved to the city where we met.

I wouldn’t have been going to those bars, those restaurants, that library.

I can’t find the place that Long Board would be where he’d meet, and be open to dating, a single Mom.

It’s a weird thing to navigate….I can’t imagine my life without Long Board. I’m so stupidly happy that he’s here that I feel like an idiot to just talk about it. But I have to find a way to feel like I don’t have him JUST because I placed Cupcake. I’m having a really hard time reconciling this idea that I got to have one or the other in my life like this.

So I find myself searching for that way we would have met, where he would have loved us both, and where life would look so different, but be an even better kind of wonderful.

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Oh NO He Didn’t!

This weekend was many important things: a big National event at my work, the release of Tw!l!ght: Break!ng Dawn; Part One, the USC upset over Oregon (WOOHOO!!!) and my baby sisters birthday.

I celebrated most of these events without a hitch.

While it rained a bit through our remembrance ceremony for work, it was a beautiful event and there were no snafus.

While we had to reschedule what time we were going to see my guilty pleasure movie a few times, we eventually settled into our seats at a 10:00am showing on Sunday morning and enjoyed every minute of it.

And there are no caveats to my enjoyment of the USC game. I was braced for a bitter loss but was thrilled beyond compare. It was a good day.

My sister’s birthday on the other hand? Okay, it was actually fine. Great even. We had a not so painful lunch with my parents, a trip to Target (always a pleasure), a successful Costco run, and, of course, that epic football game. So what tainted the day just a wee bit?

F@cebook.

How cliche, right?

But hear me out for just one second.

Why in the world was the FIRST PERSON that wished my Baby Sister a Happy Birthday on FB, none other than……

CUPCAKE’S BIRTH FATHER.

Are you freaking kidding me???? I have heard from you ONCE since April 2006 (if you do the math, you’ll note that’s six months before Cupcake was born) and that was when you sent me some strange request to drive to Vegas together for the weekend. Over Easter. When we hadn’t talked in two years. What is your problem sir?

Oh, and it’s not like he and my sister are friends. Yes, they’re “friends” on FB, but actual friends? No. He doesn’t talk to her either. Which is probably why she called me and said, “You will NEVER guess who was the first person to write on my wall this morning.” “If I’ll never guess, just tell me.” “Loser (name redacted for privacy) – isn’t that SO FREAKING WEIRD?”

Yes, Baby Sister. Yes, it is.

Can I get a ninja?

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Filed under a little bit adoption, blah, drama in cyberland, face slapping ninja, things that make my brain hurt

Not Technically Mrs. Long Board After All….

I didn’t really think about it, but I suppose I didn’t welcome myself back as Mrs. Long Board because I’m not Mrs. Long Board. I’m still just good ol’ TGM.

On the night that we finally sat down and filled out our marriage license I paused. I stalled. I freaked? I don’t think I went that far, but I was far enough that LB put his foot down and said that I’m not changing my name. So for now, for all legal purposes, I’m just Mrs.TGM. Who knows what the future will hold – probably a name change, but for now, we’ll stick with the status quo.

I tried to keep this change under wraps. I planned on responding to Mrs. LB, accepting mail sent to Mrs. LB, and not really making any kind of a public declaration that we were Mr. LB and Mrs. TGM. I’d go with the flow. Which worked great until I realized that every person I knew/met/bumped into on the street would ask me if I was going to change my name. I suppose that I thought not changing my name was so uncommon that it wouldn’t occur to people to ask. Oh, but they did.

My Dad was overjoyed – but without showing it. That meant a lot I suppose, and in a strange way it meant a lot to LB. My sister was a little horrified, if only because she had bought me a shirt for wedding day prep festivities that said “Future Mrs. LB.” I said, “Hey, one day I might be – you know, in the future, so it works!” 🙂 (See? Not throwing fits here!) LB’s family, well….I can’t get a read on them. That and the vast majority of them don’t know. His Mom knows because she asked and he wasn’t going to lie to her. I think she let it go at first, but asked more questions later. He answered with a brief, “It’s a personal decision that we made,” and cut off all further inquiries to the matter.

I’m fairly concerned for the day that both Grandma and Sister find out. They are the more….opinionated members of his family.

But I think there was a part of me that was concerned for the day that Cupcake would find out. God forbid we lose touch, I don’t want to be the only one that knows all the contact info. Sure, I could just give Dee my new last name, but my email has my current last name. I’m traceable. And it’s a connection to who I was when I had Cupcake. There was something about getting married that felt like shedding some of that person anyway….I think the name change felt a little bit like the final nail in that coffin.

Maybe I need to make a full transition from who I was to who I’m becoming….but something just wasn’t ready in me. My public answer is that I’ll probably change my name when we have kids. Of course, I’ll want to have the same name as my kids.

But even if I change it to Long Board, I’ll never have the same last name as all of my kids. Perhaps there’s a part of me that feels like if I didn’t give Cupcake my last name, why should I give that to her siblings? There’s some crazy part of me that wants to already keep things even. And I just have to accept that it will never be “even.”

Wow, the theme of this post sure evolved as I typed! Such is blogging! Now to ponder some more….

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Filed under a little bit adoption, deep thoughts with TG, family ties, life with long board

Regrets

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about regret recently.

Mostly about how people say that they don’t have any regrets, because everything is a lesson learned or everything happens for a reason (or some such pretty little way to wrap things up).

And honestly? I kind of think it’s phooey.

How do you really go through your whole life without any kind of regret?

I think I first got super annoyed (and a little obsessed with this topic) when I watched an interview that Vienna (a la The Bachelor “fame”) talking about how she did not regret being on The Bachelor.  Now that’s all good and well. Enjoy your time on reality television, who am I to tell you what you should place value on in your life. But when she went on to say that she doesn’t regret anything she’s ever done in her life? I just can’t buy it!

Haven’t we all bought a dress that stayed in our closet, with the tags on, that we never wore yet constantly found ourselves asking, “Why did I buy that again???”

Haven’t we all gorged on a little too much food and thought, “Why, oh why, did I have that last scoop of peach cobbler??” (Okay, that was me at my department potluck today – so insert your own last scoop/slice/piece choice ;))

Haven’t we all had a haircut we wish we never got? (I know Long Board sure does!)

Are those huge life altering regrets? Probably not. But hey, never say never then!

As I looked up the definition of regret, to see if people were just being too uptight and restrictive, I was caught by one of the definitions of the transitive verb:

: to be very sorry for <regrets his mistakes>
Now this one REALLY got me thinking…..
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To be honest? I think the world could probably use a lot more of this kind of regret!
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To be even more honest? I think the adoption community could as well – and I don’t just mean that for one side of the triad either. There are things that have occurred in our adoption that I absolutely regret. That I 100% am very sorry for. I promised Dee a picture of Cupcake’s Dad for a long time before I was really ready to provide that kind of information. I didn’t want to say no to her because I was afraid of the repercussions, but at the same time, I didn’t totally plan on following through. I would write it off in emails that I couldn’t get to our pictures because they were packed away (true, but still). The truth was that I just wasn’t ready. In time, I told Dee the truth. We had a good conversation about it. All was well. But I regret not being more upfront at the start. I regret feeling like I couldn’t be open and honest.
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There, I said it. I regret.
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I hope that others do to…
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I kind of hope that people are regretful when they break promises and close adoptions. I kind of hope that people are regretful when they lie, or stretch the truth. I sort of hope that people are regretful when they speak poorly and unfairly of their children’s first/adoptive parents. I hope that adoptive parents regret using unethical agencies and I hope that first Mom’s regret not disclosing the names of the biological fathers.
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I think these are all things for which we should feel very sorry for.
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Does this mean that we need to wallow in regret? That we need to beat ourselves up about every decision we’ve ever made until the end of time? Of course not! But I think a modest amount of regret might not be so unhealthy after all. You can still learn from the experience, you can still grow from the experience, but that doesn’t have to take away the element of regretting that it ever had to happen in the first place.
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And perhaps we can even learn and grow a little more, by just being able to admit to at least the teensiest bit of regret.

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Filed under a little bit adoption, blah, brutal honesty, deep thoughts with TG

Red, White and Blue

A post that’s a bit delayed in theme….but up to date on events…

RED.

I’ve got to be honest – 4th of July weekend had me seeing red a few times. While LB moving up and into our home full time is overall a joyous occasion, the actually moving process is anything but. After LB has told me over and over and over again how I/we have too much stuff, I was in no mood to watch him parade in all of his extra things. Yes, I’ve got a lot of things. Like shoes. Probably too many pairs, but they’re shoes! How much space to they really take up??? Most of them are organized quite neatly in storage under the bed! And yes, I’ve got a lot of clothes, but they all fit in my last place fine!

The big issue is that we have this sweet little house that we LOVE that has absolutely NO storage space. One closet that is about half of what I had before. So LB has clothes in our linen closet because, well, we have very few linens! We even bought a clothing rack because we were so desperate for more hanging space.

But the STUFF! Two bicycles, two snowboards, skis, three surfboards, and countless camping gear….it adds up really quickly. It’s no comparison to my modest box of scrapbooking supplies or my knitting needles.

So when we spent the hottest day of the year so far organizing all of our stuff, I think I just about lost it. I was hot, sweaty, and the sweet little house that I had just gotten to look organized looked like a total shit-storm. Again.

Oh, and coincidentally? This was our anniversary.

Give me a break!

Then this last weekend we drove up to his grandparents beach house to pick up – more stuff! Oy. But it’s okay. He’s home right now managing the mess and getting organized so that when I get home tonight I won’t lose my mind. He’s a good boy 🙂

WHITE.

I got an email with a picture of a sweet little girl last week. It was Cupcake. She’s getting so incredibly big and she’s hardly a little girl anymore. Her Mom gave her a bob (tear!) and I felt that pang of irrational thought that says, But she should have long hair!!! Because in my mind, my daughter will have long hair….and Cupcake’s my daughter….but…..I suppose not really. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I should have a say in Cupcake’s hair length. But I can still have feelings about it.

But anyway, it was a sweet email and Dee said that they’d be thinking about me in October as I get married. I’d love for them to be there, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be traveling out here anytime soon. (Honeymoon on the East Coast anyone?? Not this year….)

As usual, I yearn for more stories, more information, and more pictures. Until then, I’ll hold tight to this one picture and marvel at this perfect little girl.

BLUE.

I didn’t post this last week, because I wasn’t really blue about anything. I was more red. More angry. And I had this perfect little child that was innocence and angelic and I was feeling hope and all things white and sparkly. But no blue. I quickly realized I’d rather have no blue in my life than have something to write about just to make some stupid 4th of July theme post.

Unfortunately, the world thought I could use a little “blue.”

Yesterday, my sweet, wonderful, lovely dog had to be put down. He was a rescue dog, as in I literally rescued him from an abusive home. He used to be tied to a door in a garage by a rope. He’d be hit and kicked by the children of the home. Somehow, he found a way to run away. A neighbor caught him, but didn’t know what to do. She reluctantly gave him back. He broke out again, this time when the neighbors sister was over. She said that there was no way that she was going to let him go back to that home. Our dog then went on an underground railroad type of adventure until he landed on my doorstep. I took him in, fed him, and loved him from the start.

He was a great dog. His little doggy brother will miss him very much. As will the rest of us. I’m glad he’s not in pain any longer, but man, losing your dog sucks. I found out last night while driving home from the beach with LB and Thomàs…I held my kitty closer and grieved the loss of our dog, while wondering why I ever got another animal, just to go through it all over again.

So there you go – angry, happy and sad. It’s a wonder we don’t explode from all the feelings that we can have at once!

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Filed under a little bit adoption, cupcake, deep thoughts with TG, life with long board, me and Dee

Wedding Wednesday: The Legality of it ALL

I’ve still got yesterday’s post on the brain. Especially because of the great comments that came out of it. Two in particular reminded me of another link that I wanted to make – and that is to the legality of marriage.

With my impending marriage, I’ve been thinking about this a lot more frequently than adoption to be honest. Wedding plans seem to slap me in the face these days, while adoption is more of a gnawing at my insides kind of reminder. I’ve got a couple girls at my office that are on duty whenever I cry out, “Remind me why I’m not eloping???”

Marriage has become, for me, something that I want to just get over with. (I know I’ll feel differently on the actual day, but today, that’s where I am). Long Board’s moving up here. I love him. He loves me. He’s my partner. He’s the guy I plan to have a family with. I’m so sure and “done” in my head that the wedding seems like a mere formality. A way to make us legally a couple.

But the truth is, that piece of paper isn’t going to magically change how I feel about him. Will it change our rights? Sure. Will it change our taxes? Yep. But will it change the feeling I have when he walks in the door? Not drastically. (The sappy part of me admits that my heart might swell a little bit to think that he’s now my husband – plus, I think he looks dead sexy in his ring!) Not to the point where today I could say that he’s just like any stranger walking down the street. He’s my Long Board.

I think I always rolled my eyes at the people that said they didn’t need to be married because it’s just a piece of paper. A legal formality. But I kind of get it. (Though I hate when that’s used as an excuse!)

I’ve got a dear friend here who’s “married” to her partner. I use quotations because the marriage isn’t legal. Is it any less of a marriage in the emotional sense? No. (In a very cool update though, she and her partner are moving to NY this fall and will get all kinds of legal, because now they can!) Would I say that because it’s not legal her partner is “less than?” HELL no.

That’s just not the way reality works.

Like we so often have to remind ourselves: it’s not black and white. There’s no reality where one day Cupcake was my legal daughter and meant the world to me, and the next she was a stranger. A signature will never remove our connection. The ticking of a clock passing a revocation period doesn’t cause emotional amnesia.

And it still hurts to think that people wish it would….

 

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Filed under a little bit adoption, brutal honesty, deep thoughts with TG, life with long board

Yet Another Funk….

A while back I stopped blogging because I felt like I had nothing to say. Or at least, I didn’t know how to say the things that I had to say. Now? I just don’t feel like saying the things I have to say. I find myself enjoying writing about everything that has nothing to do with adoption….and…..not enjoying all the adoption stuff. Which sends me into a whole different tailspin…

I feel a guilt about not writing about adoption. Because it is a part of my life, it’s just not a part of my life that I feel like sharing so much of anymore. And to be honest? There’s not that much to talk about. I’m a first Mom. I don’t have an adorable little kid doing adorable little kid things that provides constant fodder. Sure, every few months I get some morsel of information that I quickly share with my friends. But then what? I rehash old topics with new explanations and examples. I repeat the same vents. I find myself in the same frustrating pickle of twisted words and misunderstandings.

Adoption Free Friday’s have become a bit of a joke…it seems like every day is an Adoption Free Day. Between Wedding Wednesday’s and a pathetic amount of drafts geared towards the newest member of the family in the often considered Thomàs Tuesday…well, that only leaves a couple weekdays to write about anything, let alone adoption!

I still feel some kind of…..expectation (?) to address adoption. I feel that not writing about it somehow says that I’m hiding it. Giving up on tackling the often sensitive subject. Denying Cupcake. Avoiding reality.

Paranoid much?

Yes, I suppose that I am.

But I miss the writing. I do like sharing little stories and keeping up with my friends through this forum. It just so happens that there’s not so much adoption related stuff to keep up with these days. That’s not a complaint – just an observation that I can’t really ignore when I blog, you know?

So…..I don’t know. If I get beat over the head with something adoptiony, I won’t avoid it, but I’m going to let go of the idea that I need to seek out adoption topics to write about. I just need to write about my life – whatever that is on the given day.

Today? I guess that means this rambly nonsense that should have bored every single one of you right out of your chair. 🙂

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Filed under a little bit adoption, blah, deep thoughts with TG