January 27, 2011

<insert primal scream here>

This was going to be an angry, shrieking, lots of words in capitals and inappropriate language kind of post. But then I ran/walked 2.5 miles, which made me tired, so you are getting the still not happy but much more calm version of me.

R was not so lucky. But more on that in a minute.

Everything is fine, and yet it's not.

My dad is doing pretty well. The transplant went well, and he was released from the hospital earlier than expected. He's still living near the hospital (1.5 hours from home) because he has daily doctor's appointments. He had a bone marrow biopsy this week, so we're waiting to hear the results of that. Hopefully it will show no abnormal leukemia cells.

The dog is also doing well, relatively speaking. Considering the vet gave him 2-3 months and it's now 3 months and he's still his normal, happy self (albiet playing a little less), I'm very grateful. His left hind leg seems to be getting a little weaker, and now his left front paw turns under sometimes, but he catches that before he puts any weight on it. We're just continuing to keep a close eye on him and keep him as comfortable as we can for as long as we can.

I've been lurking around the blogosphere for the past month, reading but rarely commenting, and obviously not posting.

There are so many things in my world to be grateful for - and truly, I am - but at the same time, I've been fighting not to slip down into a well of self-pity. There has been a major burst of baby announcements around me at the end of last year/beginning of this year, particularly IRL, and as much as I'm happy for others, I've been battling the "why not us?" blues.

This afternoon pushed me over the edge. I left work early, swung through a drive through to order a large chocolate shake (it turns out, chocolate does not fix everything), and slid down to the bottom of the pit.

It echoes down here, as I found out after losing that last thread of self-control I was so desperately clinging to and giving into the urge to let out 8 years of anger, frustration, disappointment, and loss in a series of primal screams.

The dogs fled, R froze, and my mother - for once! - decided it was best to give me space and stayed far, far, far away.

If there are any guys reading this, please know that when it's obvious your wife's hold on that tattered thread is very tenuous at best, "it's going to be okay" are not necessarily the wisest words to utter. R can attest to that.

So, what snapped the thread?

The adoption social worker called this afternoon. I rarely step out of a work meeting to take a personal call, but since I wasn't expecting her to call, I did.

I thought she was going to tell me "Surprise! Your home study certification has been granted already."

Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. How far the hell up my ass did my head have to be for me to ever, EVER think that returning to the adoption process would be a good idea? (Okay, so apparently there is still a little bit of the foul-language, words-in-caps frustration down here with me...)

The court commissioner who used to handle adoption home study certifications apparently left the job recently. Then another commissioner was hired. Apparently she lasted only a couple of weeks, and during that time, she did not get around to the home studies that are waiting for approval.

Now she is gone, there is no new commissioner, there is no clear sense of when there will be a new commissioner, and so our home studies are sitting in the "in" box on a desk that currently belongs to no one.

In other words, we are out there in no man's land, with absolutely no idea of when our home study might be certified. Could be weeks, could be months.

I realize you are probably thinking "But weren't you doing LIT? Aren't you going to be doing an FET? Isn't the home study just a head start in case you wind up going down that path?"

Yes, yes, and yes.

But that's not the point, as I told (well, actually, screamed) at R when he told me "it'll be okay".

It's NOT OKAY. It will never be "OKAY". We could get another phone call tomorrow telling us that the court temporarily certified someone as a commissioner in order to get the home studies approved (we're not the only one - there are a few families affected), and it still will NOT. BE. OKAY.

Because it's not right that OUR "ability" to create OUR family hinges not just on SOMEONE ELSE who couldn't give a damn about whether or not we ever do go on to adopt (although that in itself isn't right), but right now it hinges on SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T EVEN EXIST. That is not "okay". There is no way to make that "okay", not even after the fact.

Am I over-reacting? Yes, I am. I know that I am. And I don't care.

After 8 years of hell, I get to over-react. I may not get a baby, I may not get all those happy moments that parents get to experience, but I damn well get to over-react about the fact that our ability to move forward in this process revolves around a freakin' empty chair. And that there could be many, many other empty-chair situations or other complications along the way.

It's not that I think our home study will be held up in court for the next decade. (Although I do think it's quite possible that it could be held up for months.) It's that the feeling of complete, utter powerlessness that I felt five years ago when we lived through Failed Adoption Hell came flooding back in, as if all of that just happened yesterday.

And I hate it.

It is not okay.