Friday, August 16, 2013

The House

So, we moved into this house in January 2004. It's a nice house, but the boiler was broken, and we didn't have a bed at first, so we spent the first weekend under about 4 duvets on a mattress on the floor.

We have a yard (no garden really, but we are 300 yards from a lovely park) and it's a big house - in theory we have 4 bedrooms over 3 floors, plus a dining room, a living room and a kitchen.  When we moved in, we both assumed it would be the house where we had our children.

Things didn't work out quite the way we planned.  All my miscarriages happened while we were living here.  At least part of some of them in the house itself.  The room that was my study but, next to our bedroom, always seemed like an ideal nursery, stayed that way. I thought about moving out (I now find out Mr Spouse never felt this way - but I know a few people do this after a home is associated with unhappy times).

Now, though, it's Baby Spouse's home. It's where he slept in our bedroom for the first time, and in a cot for the first time. It's where he learned to climb the stairs and to eat with a spoon (well, kind of, on a good day). It's where we had to babyproof and buy a new washing machine to cope with the nappies.

It's also getting quite full.  I am stuffing the loft with outgrown baby clothes (all sizes including very small, just in case - Mr Spouse is having a small case of cold feet but I'm working on him - and he points out himself he wasn't sure about having a newborn last time and was very besotted). Baby Spouse's room might not be the best room for him long term, but although we have 3 bedrooms on the first floor and one on the second, one of those is used as a living room and one as a spare room and as my sewing room.

So I'm having a declutter.  A fairly big one that may involve items of furniture. One of the reasons is that, although in the long term we may still be able to have 1 child's bedroom, 1 parent bedroom, and 1 spare bedroom, we may in the short term need 2 child's bedrooms, or we may possibly only need to pretend to have the capacity to have 2 child's bedrooms. 

In case you care, this is because non-related children (i.e. Baby Spouse and a not-yet adopted and not-biologically related child) can't share a bedroom, and because although we have a spare bedroom, it's not on the same floor as our bedroom (so not great for tiny children). A not-yet-adopted child can share our bedroom, though, until they are 2 (the NHS recommendation is definitely till they are 6 months anyway).

So if you are interested in Monsoon silk dresses that are now too big for me (hooray!) or back issues of Threads magazine, get thee to ebay.

In other and somewhat more exciting news, today Baby Spouse learned two important skills: 1) to get the Clanger to make a noise and 2) to put two Duplo bricks together.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Birthdays, adoption days, and "gotcha" days

The latter is a rather strange term for placement or "meeting" days used among a lot of US adopters (I think mainly first meeting for those who meet their child overseas before being able to bring them home).

We met Baby Spouse at 3 days old and he was placed at 17.  It seems a bit pointless to have a big celebration for either of those as they are so close to his birthday, and when he's older he'll definitely want to celebrate his birthday.  He was cleverly born on my mother's birthday, rather than his due date which is my brother's birthday, so at least some of the family will remember it (though my brother has a 100% failure rate so far, but we didn't make a big deal of his first birthday, so are less bothered than we could be).

We didn't find out his adoption was finalised until a few days after, so just said a private "yay" and told people as it came up.  I actually just had to ask Mr Spouse when it was, and it's in a week or so, but I doubt it will be a day we celebrate a lot either, though maybe we'll raise a glass.

So birthdays it is.  Last year we arrived in the US the day before, but kept to ourselves for a few days, and saw birth family a few days later.  We are thinking of an adult and child, combination New Year buffet and birthday party next year, it's a good time of year for family and adult parties. It may not be so excellent for school age parties, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Maybe ice skating the weekend they go back to school.  My mother complains that she always got combined birthday and Christmas presents as a child so we will watch for that. We don't want to raise a materialistic child but some of these things hit a small child hard.

But we don't think we'll be going back to see birth family in January again.  We're more likely to see other family and to be able to travel more (my cousin's little girl is 3 days older and lives in New England) at other times of year.  I am not sure if this will be a relief or disappointment to birth family.  We haven't told the grandparents yet, and we were due to have a phone call with Nella but they don't have a current cell phone number for her (as of a month ago) so we suspect she's gone off grid again. We are fairly confident she'll turn up again, and in our heads we know we might go to visit her and have her not turn up, but I guess we weren't expecting it so soon, especially given that we talked regularly last year.