Of dreams and crushed hopes ….

So today I am feeling very bleak, sure not as bleak as I was yesterday, but still very bleak.

A few weeks ago, I had this thought that Kennith and I should consider a fourth child.  I will wait a few minutes while you wipe the coffee off the monitor that has just shot out of your nose.

To further add to my idea, I suggested we adopt.  Kennith was less shocked that I expected him to be, and was surprisingly not adverse to the idea.

Kennith was saying that he was quite keen on us sponsoring someone’s child, but I felt that the idea of adoption really struck a chord with me.  I wanted a child in our home that we could raise, who would have siblings and have someone to fight with.  Someone to borrow clothes and toys from.  A child who had siblings that he/she could scream at saying things like “I hate you and get out of my room”  …. you know all that good stuff.

Kennith was not so keen, but he was not wildly opposed either.  He showed a vague inclination but did raise some concerns that we were entering a very unsure year and we needed to stabilize ourselves before we decided to go ahead with this idea.

All I heard was  “blah blah blah what a great idea blah blah go head…” and off I went – like a dog with a bone.  Okay, a slightly obsessed medicated dog with a bone.  But my head was down, and I was on a mission.

I was in contact with a few social workers, found forums, blogs and the like and was doing an education in Adoption 101.

I have had the opportunity to speak to a few moms who had adopted, and they were so generous in sharing thier experiences.  I really got to speak and interact with so many amazing people who had either embarked on this journey or were embarking on it, and who were so willing to share thier information with me.  They gave me mountains of advise, and I kept being rewarded that this was the right decision that we were making.

There were a few negative comments that some people made regarding cross-cultural adoption, but I put it down to the fact that bigot idiots are still allowed to breath, and I need to just give them a wide berth.

I was recommended to call Child Welfare and spoke to a social worker there.  I thought the fact that we are not married, that we had three children, that we are close to forty, and not religious may play a few negative cards into our deck –it would seem not at an initial glance.

I went along to the Orientation Discussion, knowing full well that Kennith still had reservations.

I was  hoping he would just have a moment where it would feel right for him.  I was so excited, and had already moved past the calm and controlled moment to the frenzied-obsessive-compulsive-full-fledged-project mania that only I can move in to (and people, some people, love me for).

I had got the forms, and was dead excited to get us moving.  I even chose the cool pen I was going to fill the forms in with – it is all about the detail folks!!

I have fallen into this process with my soul and my heart.  I can see this baby in my mind’s eye, I can smell her and feel her against me (clearly you have got the fact that it is already a girl, please, I had already named her, I was so far down this already in my head).  Yes, I do realize that I sound like a total obsessed loon.

There is a bit of a process that prospective adoptive parents have to go through.  It generally follows the route of Orientation Meeting, Complete Application Form, Screening Interview, Training Group, Home Visit and then if that is all ticked and signed you can move on to the elusive List and wait, and wait ….

The list is the part where you are approved as potential parents and it is a case of the social worker matching you to a potential birth mother or baby that has been born.  The catch is one never really knows how long the list is – and one does not know how long sits on the list, because one cannot control the availability (shall we say).

When I spoke to the social worker she said that she had no problem with us as a couple, the one issue was that their requirements were that we could not adopt or move on to the list until our youngest daughter was 18 months old.

I thought great, that sounds fair.  We can do all the paperwork, do the medical (ours), criminal checking (still ours), do all the paper filling in, do all the interviews and so on, and then do not have to feel this pressure that it is not moving fast enough.  We have oodles of time for admin, yay, love a bit of admin.

We can get to the end of it, and go done.  Then we will have a waiting period until Isabelle is 18 months old before we go onto The List.  I thought great, that will give Kennith his breathing room he needs to ruminate over it and decide if that is really what he wants, and it will also give me a cooling off period (shall we say) where now that the project part is over, I can sit and really soul search about what we are in for.

I also realized that during the process we may be asked questions and be faced with some decisions that I had not factored in to this process.  I might realize that the emotional burden would be too much, there might be challenges that would affect my children that I had not factored into my initial decision making.  I was sure that during the process I may find out things that I definitely had not considered, and we may be faced with some ugly truths about ourselves, our motivations and what lay ahead for us.

In our Saturday fight Kennith said “I don’t think we should be adopting …” I was so angry when he said that.  Immediately I thought that he is now using this as a power issue over me, and using it knowing how strongly I feel about it.

Yesterday morning I asked Kennith a question about the medical forms we have to fill in.  Kennith said we can look at that in a year’s time when we are making the decision …. which is loosely translated as that we are going to put this entire exercise on hold until further notice.

How crushed am I?  Bitterly bitterly devastated ….. I had a little cry at my desk yesterday.  Do you know how difficult it is to have a cry in an open plan office when your stooped phone does not want to stop ringing?  It’s pretty difficult.

Showdown at O.K. Corral

Okay so that was a bit of a hard weekend.

On Saturday night Kennith and I had a huge argument – a real doozy.

We really do not fight often, but when we do it is a bit of a screamer. I get angry really quickly and fight from an emotional base. Kennith tends to remain a bit more logical and likes to have a pie chart with a laser pointer when he fights – the boy likes to put up a good argument with visuals.

Any the who, there we were having a big old argument, all good judgment had left, all logic had abandoned us. I had started the argument, because I had had a total loss of humour failure – total, gone, missing in action stuff. It had been boiling under for just over a week.

The weekend before I had been left alone for the weekend as Kennith had quite a bit on. To add to the stress Isabelle was suicidal-ill. She was ill, I was suicidal. We also had house guests.

Kennith had not really weighed this all up and decided to invite 10+ people over on Friday for a braai thing, and then waltzed off without making any effort to clean up.

I have been blessed with many coping mechanisms, but the one thing that actually makes it impossible for me to cope is a dirty house. Any façade I had of keeping it together crumbles when I see unmade beds and unwashed dishes. If you throw a few towels on the floor, and a number two floating in the bowel because children cannot flush, it is like taking a long stick and poking it in a bull’s eye.

Last weekend was especially challenging to say the least. I came into this week still shaking a little and clutching at my bleeding soul. However the week progressed nicely as it does until I realized that I was facing a long weekend.

Like all other un-productive employees I share a certain joy of long weekends. However as a mom with kids, I get a little scared as I realize that my right-hand Robin to my Batman is going to also be away. (My maid is going to be on leave, for you who are not picking up on my cryptic message method.)

I started to get a slight twitch in my left eye at the thought of this weekend unfolding and knowing what a tip my home was going to descend to. Problem is that I had not had sufficient healing time from the trauma I had experienced last weekend. I was definitely showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

To cut a long story short, Kennith had been offered tickets to the rugby game on Saturday night. Eye really started to twitch now.

I knew he was going to go and I started to feel really angry that again I was going to be left with all the shit, while he happily skipped off.

I really tried to put on my big girl panties and suck it up. Just go with the flow, be a trooper, say “no problem!” when inside I was seething.

I said “no problem…..” I may or may not have managed a smile on my face while saying it.

Saturday came around and Kennith decided to use all his lavatorial knowledge to fix our toilet. This resulted in him sitting up close and personal with said latrine and taking it apart. “What a handy bloke you have around.”– you may say. It was difficult to really “feel the love” for the toilet being repaired as I was making beds, tidying up and trying to prevent our home slipping in to nuclear disaster. I also had not slept on Thursday night, so I was feeling pretty tired, which did not help.

Hours of toilet repair later, Kennith called a plumber, then sat and played computer games in the room while plumber was there “for security reasons.”

Kennith then went to rugby.  I got really annoyed that he had not helped tidy up, do dishes, empty the nappy overflowing dustbin prior to him skipping out of the house with his mates to have a few beers and watch the game.

I spent the balance of the afternoon and the evening swearing under my breath, and cursing the day he was born – as you do!

Unfortunately for Kennith’s sake, he came home.

He further decided to push the envelope on this and invited friends in for drinks. Not thrilled, but attempted to look mildly pleased and hospitable – was I feeling any love right then, fek no.

Kennith has been making this rather annoying comment regarding my drinking wine. Every time we unscrew/un cork something the says “You are just going to quaff this, you really do not appreciate it.” – or something of that nature.

I have been smiling like an idiot, and nodding in humour, but it has been grinding me so much that I want to scream. But Emily Post teaches one to smile in tense social situations.

As luck would have it, I had not been reading Emily Post that day – I had been doing dishes, and cleaning up – so when Kennith made his now-not-original-and-now-so-annoying little comments, I really lost sight of the entire conversation and just went off pop.

It was not dissimiliar to the little Dutch girl who pulled their finger out of the dyke. Catastrophic disaster and huge loss of life.

That is pretty much how the fight got started. I lost my rag and had an absolute shit-fit – totally

Unfortunately Kennith could not plug in his Powerpoint presentation fast enough, so instead decided to retaliate with being mean. It was really one of those ones where you go to sleep cross, and wake up exhausted but still really angry.

Ah, good times…