Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The window

When you look at this picture, you will see a window with a strange fitting into the ceiling and a set of white-ish mini blinds.

And if I ask you to look closer you will still see an ordinary window.  That is not your fault, it's just because you don't know the journey this window has been on.  When we moved into this house, the window was one of a few that had suffered the strange habits of the occupants before us.  Their way of opening a window which stuck or would not otherwise open was to break it.  This particular window, on the south wall of what will hopefully soon be the nursery was a jagged piece of glass sitting in its frame when we moved in.  There was also a black curtain that looked more like a sheet hanging in frront of it, in place of blinds or a normal curtain.

When we knew we were going to be starting the adoption process, I asked Nathan if he could figure out some way of fixing the glass before the home study so that it didn't look so bad.  Nathan and his dad took the window out of the wall and sent it to a local construction business who refitted it with new glass and sent it back.  Then it sat in our basement for a while, so that Nathan could repaint the outside frame.  This past week, Nathan and his dad put it back in place in the wall and even fitted the blinds in there, which had been bought earlier by Nathan's mother.  It may just be me that is impressed by all this, but it makes me very, very happy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today, I conquered the world.

Today, I conquered the world...or at least it felt like it.

Because, for the first time in my life, I drove myself into Downtown Chicago and back, alone, to a doctor's appointment.  And, I didn't freak out too much on the interstate, and I didn't get lost...not once.  Come on, that's awesome!  I didn't take any exists I shouldn't have, I didn't make any wrong turns.  Granted, I had a GPS to guide me and I called on God Almighty and half the Saints in Heaven for prayers, but it's still cool. This is something I've been putting off making myself do for 27 years and frankly, I'm surprised it worked out for that long.  The remarkableness  of that statistic is due to my mother's willingness to juggle her schedule and come with me.  It just didn't work this time.

Not only that, I handled an issue with my referral on my own.  Yes, I called my mother to complain about it and to be reassured I could, in fact, handle it.  Hey, I'm not a superhero.  But I got everything straightened out and under control.  I was early to my appointment, which was for a cardiac MRI, and everything worked out fine.

But then...I found out they wanted to use dye to get some of the images right and  that meant an IV.  This was also the very first time I have ever been anywhere and gotten an IV completely by myself.  And I did not cry.  My eyes welled up a little, but it's not the same thing.

If it had been up to me, most of what was cool about today probably would not have happened because I would have taken someone with me.  But it is nice to know that I can get through these things on my own.  It seems that Medical Me is growing up.  Who would have thought it? 

On a slightly different, but not unrelated topic, if you happen to go down I-290 into Chicago anytime soon you will pass Rush St. Luke's Medical Center.  The first building you will see in that complex is several stories of older-fashioned red brick design.  There is a ledge running around the middle of it.  Check out the window on the end just above the ledge as you drive by.  That window was my window.  I was born in Downer's Grove and they sent me almost immediately by ambulance to Rush and my mom once told me that she used to walk me down to that window and talk to me and watch the traffic go by outside.  (I tried to find a picture of that building, but they just built a new facility at Rush, so all the pictures I located were of the new building.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes

 1--I stole the idea for this from my friend Bonnie at Learning to be a Newlywed.  I think she got it from a place called Conversion Diary, which I don't think I've ever been to before.  My only hope with using it here is that it makes me write about something other than the adoption.

2--This summer has been ridiculously humid so far.  I have had to come up with different ways of dealing with it.  Initially the only air conditioner was in our bedroom, so I was kind of stuck up there on the really bad days.  But then Nathan and his dad installed a large window unit in the sun room.  We have yet to need it, but I'm really excited for when we do.  My other way of dealing...Sundresses!  I've bought two so far this year and they are a lot cooler than shorts and T-shirts.

 3--I've been knitting quite a bit, I'll post pictures later. I've been practicing socks and mitten/gloves so I have one of each.  Maybe one day I'll make pairs.

4--I need to learn how to cook in the summer time.  My specialties are casseroles, lasagnas and other heavy "oven foods."  I really don't know what to make most nights when the temperature is over 60 degrees.

5--This picture was taken last month at my nephew's baptism on the 19th.  He was baptized in the same church as my dad, my brother and me.  The window we are standing under is an image of Christ revealing His Scared Heart to St. Margaret Mary and my mother tells me at my baptism we took pictures under this window too.  Also, Brian's baptismal gown was gorgeous and handmade by my sister-in-law's coworker.

6--Our dryer is on the fritz again.  We bought it last year from a garage sale and it didn't work right away because (we later discovered) the outlet was bad.  Now it is not putting out heat and the timer is not least it's nice out so I can hang clothes on the lines.

7--It is really hard to think of non-adoption things to write about.  The dryer comment was me scraping the bottom of the barrel.  I hope it gets easier.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wishful Shopping

It has been just over a year since we signed our contract with Angel Adoption.  Since it's a two year contract, I have always kind of dreaded getting to this place.  We are over halfway through now, and as far as I know, no closer to becoming parents.

I do my best to keep mine and Nathan's spirits up and remind myself that God's timing is not our timing, but it doesn't always help.  Why is it that when things are starting to look a little bleak or become a little overwhelming, is when everyone I know gets pregnant or has their baby?  I've noticed this phenomenon throughout the whole process.

My biggest problem is figuring out what to do with myself.  How do I spend my time?  What should I be buying or preparing?  Is buying or preparing anything a universal adoption jinx that I just don't know about?

And then there's Nathan...Nathan who won't talk about the baby much or even how he's feeling about the process unless I mention it's stressing me out.  He doesn't like to talk about names or painting the nusery (even though it needs to be done).  How am I supposed to support Nathan and his feelings when I don't even know what they are?  Why do men always think we are mindreaders? 

I've read all the adoption books I care to and they can't really say anything new about where we are in the process because really, there is no set way to handle it.

With that in mind, I actually have done a little shopping...We decided a long time ago, that we wanted the nursery theme to be farm animals; it's perfect, cute and reflects who we (or rather Nathan) are as people and its androgynous, which is probably the most important factor.

Not long after we signed the contract Fisher Price came out with a line of swings called "How Now Brown Cow" that was a farming theme.  Our local Target started carrying it and everytime I walked into the store I would go and stare wistfully at the swings.  Nathan got a $50 giftcard from work for administrative professionals day and I knew he would never use it, so early last month, I went to Target and bought the swing, which was normally $100 but was on sale the day I got there...

Not long after, I went to Lombard with my mom, who was shopping for a baby shower gift for my nephew Brian Patrick.  We went into Babies R Us and one of the first things I saw was a 6-piece crib set on sale for $90 from about $180.  Seriously, this was an amazing sale.  The theme was "Animal Acres" and since then I've found they actually discontinued the set.  So, I bought that too.  While we were there my mom picked up an extra crib sheet and the wall appliques of the same set for me.

There are a bunch of other things I want to do.  I want to find a smallish bookcase and paint it white and then add in pastel paints of all different colors, my favorite quotes from all the books I love beginning with "Once upon a time in Spain..." from Ferdinand, my very first favorite book.  I've picked out two possible colors for the nursery and I'd like to get it painted.  I want to spend half a paycheck on books and buy the cute "police uniform" onesie I saw in an ad the other day.

But maybe I'll wait...