Monday, April 26, 2010

A meme...

My brain was invaded by the not-sleeping monsters last night, and then again this morning (it's good practice for having a kid, right?) so I'm avoiding work. And the lovely May nominated me for this:

The rules: List 10 things that make your day & then give this award to 10 bloggers.

This may be slightly sleep-deprivation influenced, I warn you

  1. Coffee. Serious barrier to thinking about trying to get pregnant again
  2. When my statistics come out right. Especially when they come out righter than they did before I spotted a rogue data point which I have a really good, justifiable reason for excluding
  3. Mr Spouse leaning over and rubbing my back/holding my hand in bed when he knows I need it but wants to sleep himself
  4. 12 small girls (and counting - we had a population increase this week) dressed in yellow and brown
  5. Cake. Especially cupcakes.
  6. Knitting. Virtual knitting is pretty good for helping you sleep, too
  7. Sewing. I have a wifi music player in my sewing attic and can sit for hours pottering away and creating things (some of which I will even wear) listening to audio books.
  8. Trashy TV. The things I like to watch that Mr Spouse doesn't like are currently, Gray's Anatomy, Glee, and The Mentalist.
  9. Facebook. But I don't play games.
  10. The fact that it's just a week till our adoption approval panel.

Some people who also regularly make my day:

  1. Ms Prufrock (and you're right, it is about damn time for some music)
  2. Henry Street
  3. A+A
  4. Little Dragon Fruit
  5. reservado para futura mama (who hasn't posted in a while, and I'm not sure she reads here, but I like her blog)
  6. Goose
  7. Me, Him & Junior
  8. Lindyloodles
  9. Pamplemousse (because we all want to know how she is doing)
  10. Sell Crazy Someplace Else (again quiet for a bit, are you sensing a theme here!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm sure you've all been here

Facebook announcement - X is having a little baby brother or sister in October (so that's end of 1st trimester now, right?). X was present at the scan. Why would you do that??!

What's even more galling is this is a couple that was, for good reason, getting upset about taking a really long time to get pregnant the first time; reading between the lines, there may have been a minor issue that they were unwilling to treat (or even get diagnosed properly; I seem to remember a whisper of MF and a grumpy husband). But age (20-something) and time were on their side; the happily sub-fertile.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


We're going to go and see Peter Kay on Friday - he has some pre-tour charity gigs in a local venue (local to him, fairly local to us).

We actually have tickets to see him in April 2011 which is ages away - and isn't the latest date available - a friend just got tickets for Nov 2011.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Very nice report. Full of lovely phrases. A couple of blanks and inaccuracies, and also quite a bit of boilerplate stuff that she has to put in and that isn't really relevant to our situation and that, erm, we never actually discussed (but that was on our preparation course - for example references to children who've experienced trauma).

I think there's one thing I'd really like to discuss but that we haven't really covered in either place, which is parenting an adopted adolescent. But there is loads of time for that as the agency takes a life-long approach (as it should do, given what we've paid them!)

We got it...

Our Prospective Adopters' Report.

We need to read and return ASAP; I'm assuming the social worker is planning on doing the final interview with Mr Spouse and tacking it on to the end (or, she's made it up). Will let you know if we approve of it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's not every day...

that you go to a wedding with the Birmingham Irish Pipe and Drum band playing the couple into the reception. Nor one where the demise of the pig for the hog roast is announced in advance.

Friday, April 16, 2010

May I join?

The latest Open Adoption Roundtable is thinking about money.

I've been having a discussion about adoption and the costs associated with a group of non-adopters (mainly) on a semi-professional discussion board. I'm not open on there about the fact that we are adopting, and I do know something about adoption from a professional point of view, so I've mainly emphasised that part of it.

I know there's a lot of misconception in the US about the costs of adoption (for example, many people are under the impression that adopters who choose an overseas adoption mainly do so because it is cheaper - we have found out from various sources that Russia, for example, is vastly more expensive than adopting from the US, even for us with our additional UK costs).

In the UK most adoptions are free, or virtually free. Some fellow prospective adopters have had to pay for medicals or occasionally if their adoption was contested, for legal expenses (which are a lot less costly than in the US). In some cases they've only hired a solicitor for peace of mind, really.

So we are kind of keeping quiet about the costs. Family and friends here think it is free, or almost as cheap as they think UK adoption costs. Oddly people in the US seem to think that foster care adoption is also horrendously expensive (in fact, sometimes you can get paid to adopt in the US, in the same way you can in the UK, e.g. through allowances for adopting a special needs child).

But we would not be able to adopt - and we would also not be able for Mr Spouse to study as he is doing - if we were not financially comfortable. We live in a cheap part of the country and we don't have very expensive tastes. We were brought up by stingy parents who taught us never to get in debt. We have additional rental income and considerable savings (it's mainly the savings that are paying for the adoption).

We are very much hoping that we'll end up in an open adoption with some direct contact with some members of our child's birth family. I have no idea how money will enter into that relationship - but I know I've been in a slightly similar situation before. When I was fostering A, and later when we were helping him to get through school, first his father and then he were often requesting money from me and us (obviously I was single when this first came up). It was easier, though, in both cases, than it might be with some relatives/birth family members - A was a child (and as such prone to flights of fancy about what might be reasonable expenses) and his father was an alcoholic. But we visited A, paid for him to go away with us to visit his father, and when A was living with me, I did help his father with practical things. Given his situation, I didn't know he wouldn't sell his clothes/medicine to buy drink. I suspect he took his son's clothes once to sell to buy drink. It's hard.

Just wondering...

which of my colleagues/colleagues' partners will have had their baby over the weekend. Though bets are on N rather than A as I think A is not due till next month.

It is very inconsiderate of N as until recently N resided elsewhere (a short hop by plane). Now N is grounded N's partner P no longer has to do a lot of flying and gets less time to read things we want P to read. And once the baby is born P will be even busier I suspect.

As I say, very inconsiderate.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spam comments

Anyone know how to stop these happening? I probably get one every week or two so not that many - but I already have word verification, moderation on posts older than 28 days, and registered users only.

Mostly they are in Chinese so I'm assuming they are just irritating rather than successful!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Moving along...

One of our referees has done her interview with the social worker - they got on like a house on fire apparently - our friend liked her and she was very complimentary about us. She feels that all the changes Mr Spouse has had in the last few years will mean he takes being a new parent in his stride. I'm not sure about the second "friend" referee but I know the "family" interview is also now timetabled.

My moves towards world media domination are slightly further forward - I've been shortlisted for a summer placement for a few weeks with a paper or radio/TV company - a science media reporting scheme. My boss says (and he may be right) that being in a slightly more media-friendly field (most people know what a child is, not as many can tell atmospheric chemistry from a hole in the ground) may give me the edge over some scientists. Unfortunately it may mean I have to report on atmospheric chemistry or, indeed, holes in the ground.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A great quote

From the lovely Waffle:

"This is by far the largest category of the blogs that I read. I pulled them all together under this heading. I used to subdivide them into mothers (obviously, I read a lot about mothers), infertility (because being infertile makes you a better writer - this appears to be true)"

I am not too sure if I am really a good writer, but it makes me feel better about reading so many IF blogs - it is the quality, not my obsession. Honest.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pieces of paper part 3

OK, so we did produce:
A family tree each (so I'm counting that as one, but mine covered 3 sheets)
13. Chronology each
14. Childhood story each
15. Financial statement (reassuringly healthy)

and I despaired so much I didn't keep count. Then we got (did I say this already?) a letter saying we'd paid one of the countries I used to live in, in the wrong form, so we should send cash please (very polite they were, and it was only $25 so I am not that bothered if it goes astray). So I guess the next one is
16. New letter to country I used to live in
and then
17. Details of support network (I think this is mainly people we know, though I'm checking whether it's also institutional and organisational support).

To be honest none of these individually is that difficult to do (the support network took me about an hour, if that, tonight) but it all adds up.

Well, OK

Being back at a computer that lets me post does not, we can see, make me post any more.

Vast quantities of chocolate are still sitting on the dresser, we had a lovely if random day with friends on Sunday, and I finished this top for my niece who will be 4 shortly: