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August 2011
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September 2011

Actual news I can actually report

I am half-daunted, half-thrilled. (Is there a single word for that? There should be.) On Tuesday I received a phone call from the by now much-beloved Detective, our social worker, to tell us that we have passed the board, and are deemed suitable to be adoptive parents.


It is big and somewhat odd to be declared (apparently) sane by your government. Something to celebrate! I feel all government-sanctioned! All I need is an APPROVED stamp on my forehead to complete the look.

Then on Wednesday, more life-changing events: we took the train to another town for a meeting in The Hotel of the Swirly Carpet. It was extraordinarily informative, dispelling many myths, and covering all sorts of important stuff on Bulgaria and India, as sending countries. India probably has over 10 million children without families. OVER TEN MILLION. There are any amount of impromptu and unlicensed orphanages that spring up to care for them, but many of the children inevitably do not even have that much luck. It is utterly heart-breaking and overwhelming, isn't it? Words fail. We fail. All those children, all their needs, all their talents, in need of so much nurturing, of so many hours of hugs and stories, so much encouragement, so many peeled potatoes, and slices of toast, so many pairs of pyjamas, so much effort, patience, understanding and love.

So walking back to the train station, the next morning, the JB and I, down the steep steps, with the fog lifting, we made up our minds that India is it.

It seems this is how you make decisions that change your life, while you hurry to catch a train. You've arrived at a fork in the road, and you've run out of time, standing still is not possible, you just have to move one way or the other. So you just take your life in your hands, and go, and try not to be haunted by the ghost of other path, the way unchosen.

So we sent an email to the detective to ask her to change our country to India. The USA was our previous choice, but it seems that there is an uncompatibility between the Irish interpretation of Hague and the American one, which means that private adoption is looking rather uncertain for the time being. We could adopt out of the state system, however. Frustratingly, the JB does continue to waver on this. Yesterday he sent me the link to an (of course) utterly adorable one-year-old on a state website. Now, I do understand that as a purely pragmatic tool, these sites do work in placing children, but it makes me oh-so-uncomfortable to look at the children's profiles. I mean, apart from the awful, awful heart-rending God-is-that-my-kid? That-could-be-my-kid! confusion, it just feels wrong to me. I do believe that it is getting the cart before the horse. There is a reason for the agency being the one that matches parents with children, and doing the referral. They know things.
(What do you think? Maybe it is simply that we are not ready for that yet.)


That was the news from Dublin.

[Insert single word that conveys both the excitement and fear of this moment.]

Yaaaay! Eeek!

in which I continue to be a crap blogger

I have so much piling up in my small, overheated, '94 Nissan Micra brain - so many things to drone on about. But tomorrow I must go away to a thing I can't exactly be clear about, and can't begin to commence to arrange all these stories into a even vaguely coherent linear narrative-like thing. Beginning, middle and end. But where to begin?  Where to end? Aristotle never mentioned that! (Or maybe he did. I wouldn't know, to be quite frank. Original texts! So awfully hard. Whimper! Classics people: feel free to roll your eyes now.) I can't keep up and I need to keep up -  I need to process The On-going Succession of Events That We Like to Call Life. It keeps me sane. Ish.

So! Another tree, until I arrange my unruly thoughts into a crocodile line? How about that?

Your over-wrought,

ps. P-kit is doing what she can to hinder. She has perfected the I Just Have To Be In The Middle of Whatever It Is You Are Trying To Do Stance that all cats adhere to, by zoning in on my right hand, and lying heavily on it. So devilishly clever! Cat people, please explain. Why is it I feel strangely flattered by being thus inconvenienced? 'Tis verily a mystery.

on blogging

I don't know if I really am busy. I seem to spend a lot of time thinking how busy I am, if that's anything to go by. There are lots of worky things going on which I dare not mention, for fear of being revealed. Naturally enough, the more personal you are on your blog, the more important it becomes to hide your identity. And yet, what is a blog for, if not to have a safe place to vent? And having more than one seems fragmented and complicated.

Tricky, eh? I'd like to able to tell my whole story here. You're my friends, after all. All this dodging and diving, role-playing and image-projecting - pfffft.

What do you think? Do you limit what you write to one specific area of your life? I think sometimes it'd be nice to be able to be all open and out there, just write in my own name, no fear or favour. So what if my family cut me off!


How much would you curl up and die if the wrong person read your blog?


*Thinks of a few people, curls up and dies.*

And now, a calming look at some trees:


Oh dear. I seem to have dropped the blogging ball, so to speak. I have left you with The Question for an age. (Thank you for your consoling answers. I am Not Taking It Personally. You know, the fact my beloved niece acted like I might stick her with a fork and toast her on the fire, and ran away from me, screaming. Hah! I forgot to report her charming question: You not my mummy. What are you?
Me: WHAT AM I? Just a child-toaster!
Not. Taking. It. Personally.)

It's back to school-ish, cover your books-ish weather here. Time for new shoes, and a new geometry set. Sharpen your pencils! Lay out your uniform! The air has had that delicious autumn chill (I like the Irish Winter. I readily accept that this makes me Odd.) the leaves are turning, there's that wonderfully gloomy smell of decay in the air, with all its intimation of mortality. Ah, yes! Mortality! Don't you just love it?


So, yes. I have been busy with these and other preoccupations. I have been drawing a lot. I have been to lots of meetings, and been doing lots of planning. I made a cognitive leap or two.

And today we finally saw our social worker, the dear Detective, who handed over our report to read, and left the room - surely the closest I'll ever get to the red book moment in This is Your Life. Other people from my group have reported finding it tough to read their life story, but I just, for whatever reason, didn't. I mean, it's not like you don't know. None of my life events are a no-go area to me; I've taken the sting out of them by processing them here (And I thank you for reading. That's so important.) or in my work. I don't think anyone could accuse me of living a life unexamined - probably, like all of you too, of the online writing persuasion, I have had ample opportunity to think about My Stuff. We do that, don't we? And, it turns out, that is good for you. Like Guinness.

However. It is very interesting how much of a story resides in the manner of its telling. There are so many ways to spin a life; the details you select are so telling. My mother, the home-maker, the baker of cakes - well, all that is true. There's so much more, though. My mother, defender of the proper use of the apostrophe, arthritis sufferer, stalwart, stoic, charitable figure, nice person, repressed, passive, defensive person, with the sardonic sense of humour. You know? And the fact my father's rather florid temper becomes "a more old-fashioned parenting style". Dramaboy was characterised as "moody and dramatic". Also, to be fair, a massive over-simplication. So where is the truth, exactly?

All that said, our detective friend did a beautiful job for us, in distilling the reams of material to a coherent, credible account of us. A great relief. Now to wait a couple of weeks before the next Adoption Council meeting, where she will go before the board. She doesn't foresee any problems.

Progress, then! Good!

And now, for a picture. I find myself drawing and redrawing this view, it's endlessly interesting to me: