Friday, March 21, 2008

Oh, And By the Way...

Tomorrow we meet a potential birthmom. It's her second child, she's due in September, and the child will be part black, part white and part native American. We're going to buy the lady and her 1-year-old dinner.

Amazingly, we live about 1.5 hours apart, though the agency through which we met is in Illinois. Go figure.

I may give some first impressions tomorrow night.

"Celeste" Continues Her Downward Spiral

Okay, we're not fostering for the time being, but we ARE keeping tabs on some of our former tormentors.

First and foremost is "Celeste". The Wife is still working "temporarily" at the day treatment school. I put that in quotes because it seems fairly obvious to us that she'll go on full-time at the beginning of next year. But as it is, she sees "Celeste" on a day-to-day basis. She also sees "Celeste's" new foster mom, who is a teacher at the school.

She ran. Again. And I'm not really in the loop so I don't know the exact details, but my impression is that this time she broke her record for amount of time after running before the cops found her. Heh.

I also got a crypic comment on my MySpace page (gotta delete that thing one of these days) from her. It didn't say anything. Just a comment from her. I suspect she did that very purposefully to make me think of her. I'm guessing she doesn't think I think about her...but I do. All the time. If I thought it would help her, I'd invite her back here. But that's CLEARLY not what she needs.

Anyway, the other foster kid we've heard from lately is "Josie". She is apparently at the foster home that she went to after us (in a different town). As I understand it, she asked to come to our place and was rejected. By The Wife or by the court, or by the court at The Wife's request, I'm not entirely sure. But believe this: I still love that girl, and it means a lot to me that she asked to come live with us again.

Aside from all that....I'm tanning up for the spring. I've had three tanning sessions and I'm starting to see it on my stomach. Hard to believe that it'll be 80 within a month-to-6-weeks when we just got a snowstorm last night and today, but I'd bet money on it. I've lived here 40 years. I've seen snow on May 5 and 80 degrees on May 10. Bank it.

I'm also salivating over my new canoe. I've never been one to go out and start fishing at midnight on the opener, but I might just do that this year. I LOVE THAT LITTLE BOAT.

And that's all I've got time for. Time to go play Civilization 2.

I love my life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Adoption Follies

I guess I owe you guys an update.

I've not been updating the blog on purpose. I've needed to reassess my directions and meditate on my motivations and all that other new-age stuff.

See, I'm sure a lot of you who have been reading for awhile know that I'm a recovering alcoholic. Well, now I'm recovering from a much more RECENT alcoholism. Yes, I fell off the wagon.

In December. According to my memory of the last few months, I've probably drunk alcoholic beverages every 2 weeks or so since that first fateful sip after 8.5 years of sobriety.

I have a wonderful wife. Because of that, my folks know each and every time I take a drink. Also because of that, I have for the first time entered into some meaninful counseling...with an actual shrink. And contrary to my expectations, it has actually been useful so far. I recommend it...but only to someone who is willing to be open about whatever they're there to talk to the shrink about, and only if they're willing to face their own worst fears/expectations/whatever. Because this particular shrink is following the classic formula I learned in Psych 101, and he's basically mirroring back at me the stuff I give him about myself. I've been in counseling before for my first marriage (my earlier alcohol counselling is a whole different thing), but this is the first shrink I've been willing to pay the fee for for my second visit. The guy is pretty good.

Anyway, I've been able to confide in this guy ALL the broader influences on my life in our second meeting. He has me writing a "journal", which I'm required to bring to him every session. It seems that journal is the basis for our session. I wonder what this guy is going to do when I bring him the journal next time, and there's nothing radically new? Remember that I'm a blogger, and as such am used to psychological nudity. I show you guys most of the deepest stuff I'm thinking. So what will he add, now that I've shown him ALL the stuff, even the deeper stuff that I haven't shown you guys?

Anyway, just so you all might be assured, I've been tackling the alcohol problem head-on, with a wonderful partner. The Wife. I don't know if this is a thing that all women have, but The Wife can tell with one glimpse at my eyes whether I've been drinking. No, this gift is NOT perfect...she's falsely accused me in the recent past. But then, she had good reason. Because I WAS drinking, just not when she caught me.

Anyway, I've enlisted my clergy in my effort to "cleanse" myself. Tonight I had a GREAT talk with our assistant pastor...a talk we scheduled when he was good enough to show up at our door at about 2-hours notics after The Wife figured out that I was messed up YET AGAIN. Anyway, we had a pretty good theological discussion.

See, I'm one of those EVIL "evangelicals" that you hear about so much on the news. The ones that supposedly slavishly follow Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Problem is, I found both of those men to be ridiculous, at least as far as their theological outlook is (was) concerned.

Yes, I believe in Jesus. I believe he is our savior, I believe that the Bible is the Truth, and I also believe that God created Heaven and Earth. What I don't believe is that there is necessarily any conflict between the Theory of Evolution and Creationism.

See, I believe that God did His work THROUGH evolution. Hey...God also gave us scientists...and I'm of a scientific mindset. God gave us clues to what happened in the past. He meant for us to find them, and He meant for us to figure it all out. He most certainly did NOT mean for us to kill each other over whose interpretation of observable fact is correct. Apparently, to judge by recent headlines, he left that to Muslims.

Anyway, my Pastor did not seem overly surprised to hear my dirty little secret about my beliefs...but he did feel sufficiently moved by my revelation to offer to lend me a book by a creationist that (by his testimony) "proves" the creationist viewpoint.

Now, I'm open to suggestion. I think that's important...a person SHOULD be open to other points of view. But his book better have better stuff in it than the other 5 or 6 books I've read on the subject. Because otherwise, I'm going to just go on believing what I believe...that God USED evolution to EFFECT his Creation.

See, my belief is that science and religion don't even really intersect. Science addresses some questions...the what, the how, and in some cases the when and the who. Religion addresses the WHY...along with the sometimes-correllating when and who. But the big thing is the WHY. And in my Pastor's case, he was hung up on what I think of as the extremist-wing of the "evolutionists". They often make the statement that this all happened by accident.

That is a statement of faith I'm not willing to make. I believe God is in charge in this world...but I also believe that God tends in almost all cases to work through natural means, at least these days, and probably in most days. Therefore, who's to say that God didn't CRAFT man out of apes? I LIKE the idea. Apes are cool. If I could PICK an animal to be modeled on, I'd probably pick an ape, and probably the chimp or a near relative.

Anyway. On to other things...

We've been working hard on the adoption thing. And I mean HARD. And we've had many disappointments, as well. I don't know if it's just us or if this is normal (comments are welcome from the knowledgeable) but we've had a half-dozen or so "situations" flame out on us. Birth moms "change their minds", or hospitals taking care of the baby change their minds for them, or other adoptive parents swoop in and take what was ours, etc.

So last Friday The Wife talked to a birth mom on the phone for over an hour. They hit it off. The mom has a 13-month-old, she's single, and she doesn't seem to think she can care for another. Fair enough. I was sitting next to The Wife as they talked, and while I didn't participate in the conversation, I definitely got the feeling that it was working well. Well, we've had that before too. See, I've gotten pretty sour on things since I last wrote.

And we have a meeting set up with this same birth mom for next Saturday. Hmmmm. Maybe this one is, at last, for real.

And just to add a little spice, I got a call from a totally different agency we're working with (Thanks again, Mary), and they had a pair of TWINS for us to adopt. They're black, one boy and one girl, and they're 18 months old. The only problem is that they NEED TO BE ADOPTED THIS WEEKEND. Hoooooooold on there, buddy. Why all of a sudden this weekend? We've got to rearrange our lives around if we're going to bring in 2 18-month-olds.

Oh, it HAD to be this weekend. Why? Well, their mom decided she can't parent them, and her family (where they apparenly are placed now) has decided they can't parent them either. Are they both healthy? No behavioral issues? No, we're assured. They're both healthy, they just need a home. Riiiiiight.

Note to adoptive parents...beware of the things they're reluctant to tell you. Somehow we learned this without actually adopting, but I'm offering that bit of wisdom here for free.

After consulting with my folks, who confirmed my misgivings but offered their financial support should we choose the other path anyway, we have, at least temporarily, declined. Part of this is that we want desperately to have the infant we're currently working toward, but also because this whole thing just feels WRONG. Why so soon? Why the pressure treatment? If they were just HONEST and gave us the unvarnished truth, we might well consider adopting them. But not when we feel like we're being hustled.

They could start by explaining why they're offering us two Afro-American kids for the price they earlier quoted us for ONE. Is it just because of the twin thing, or is there something else? Because I made a special point of asking them earlier if we ever were to find a twin situation if we'd get a 2-4-1 special (only half joking at the time) and they told us there would be certain savings, but it wouldn't be 2-4-1. Now suddenly it IS. why?

Anyway, enough of that. Suffice it to say, we're desperately looking for an adoption situation, we'd be good parents, and anybody who knows of a preganant woman thinking of adoption should contact us at their earliest possible convenience. Because while we have a pretty good line on our first child, we'd like to end up with 2-3 children. I'll let me earlier writings in this space speak for how much that child would be loved and how much of our lives we'd pour into that child's upbringing.