So I wrote my last post at ten o'clock at night, after a stressful weekend that I will most likely share about in a far future post, tired and writing out of a sense of obligation to get this story goin'. As I was writing I was fully aware that I was in my Joe Friday mode. "Just the facts ma'am." I have been contemplating writing Part Deux, and upon receiving a note from my new editor today (A, you're hired) I knew I had at least one reader looking for a bit more "humanity," as she described it. I couldn't agree more. So here goes.
The month for us couldn't have gone fast enough. When we set up our first interview with Liz, we hated that it was two weeks away. We were ready to do it right then and there. I was hoping to set a new record for fastest home study ever! With Chris and I working so close to home, our schedule was extremely flexible, and Chris could come home early when needed. I would imagine not all families have that same flexibility as us. So when we had to wait on Liz's schedule to clear up, it kind of irked us. "Come on, let's get this goin'."
Because of our "Nothing to Hide" mentality, we really weren't worried about the interviews. I was probably more nervous about my house being clean and presentable than my life and heart being exposed. Yes, we had done a full out house cleaning before Liz came over. I think I even wiped down our base boards. The other reason I really wasn't nervous were the years of preparation that my job had provided for me. Working as a Dean of Women required me to interview around twenty women in a semester's time. I also met with three ladies a week to discuss their lives and responsibilities as student leaders. Much of this experience refined my question asking skills and ability to articulate my thoughts.
Do you remember the poster on the wall in your seventh grade classroom that said something like, "You can do whatever you want to do"? I've been told that I believed that message, and it has contributed to my overwhelming self-sufficiency. Although this characteristic is often times my biggest flaw, in this situation it provided me much comfort. Tell a stranger about all my dirt and skeletons in the closet? "Okay. I can do it!"
If I had to pick a word to describe the tone of the interviews it would be harmless. Most of that was provided by Liz. Talk about a Joe Friday! She initially came across to me as being cold, which is ironically the first impression I give others, but I figured that quality was needed in her job, providing a service yet not getting too attached. As the interviews proceeded I began to see Liz's humanity and joined her in the process of providing as much integrity to the home study as possible. Of course there's the temptation to sugar coat my weaknesses as an individual, our struggles as a couple, and my past and present failures. I knew each question wasn't an opportunity to disqualify us from adopting as much as it was to provide each birthparent with the opportunity to accurately know us, thus providing them with a clear picture of what their child's life with us would be like. With this attitude, I knew there was no reason to feel threatened as someone I barely knew dug deep into my heart and life.
All of our fertility treatments brought Chris and I closer together over the years. The adoption process only continued to do so. It's always encouraging to hear your spouse rattle off your best qualities when asked to describe your strengths. Early in marriage Chris and I tried to find a common hobby for us to share as a couple. We tried and tried to find something that both of us equally enjoyed. For as much as Chris and I have in common in regards to zeal, drive, and stubbornness, you'd think we could find something to do together, but alas, there was nothing. He likes the outdoors. I like being indoors. He likes walking up a mountain. I like walking through outlet malls. He doesn't like playing games. I always win at games. Probably why he doesn't like playing them! We eventually decided our shared interest was food and dining out, but deep down we probably are both thinking that it is a lame excuse for a hobby. The adoption process was a good reminder that we are on the same page, the same team, having the same goal in mind. We wanted a baby. Together.
So, what else was on my mind during this time of waiting? A nursery and a name.
More to come,