Monthly Archives: March 2011

Round 2

Warning: big announcement ahead.

We’re waiting for a baby. We’re waiting an indeterminate period of time, gestating without any delivery date, expecting without guarantee. It’s hard to know what to call this period in the adoption process when you’re in line but have no idea when the baby will come. I usually say we’re expecting. Actually, we’ve been officially expecting for a month now, I just haven’t had the time to tell anyone.

It tends to be something I casually drop into sentences, thinking that I’ve told the other person. Then: sorry, what the what?

The whole thing is a bit hard for me to believe. If I were pregnant, I could say something casual like, we were thinking about it and it just happened, all of the sudden. But it’s hard to say we fell into our 2nd child, casually, maybe even accidentally, when we spent hours and hours writing the 20 pages of our autobiographies, and pondering our childhoods and our parenting philosophy in an effort to portray ourselves in the most positive light possible – pick us, pick us!

It all just seems so much more carefree and cavalier than last time. By the time we adopted Josie, we’d been waiting for a baby for 3 years, since before I was diagnosed, then through a year of treatment in which we let go of our hope of biological children, came to terms with the possibility of my short childless life, then started the adoption process. I was kind of a wreck by the time we finished the paperwork. Wait, I was kind of a wreck even before we started the paperwork. Then we got a dud of a social worker for the placement part of the process. Then we started working with a facilitator who yelled at me. I was officially broken by the time we got the call about Josie.

Fortunately it worked out. We met our girl a few days later. I realize now that in some deep hidden part of my brain, I believed the gift of a child was permission to live. It was a grant, a concession from the universe, a permission slip to go ahead and resume “life as normal.” Carry on.

Of course, my rational brain knew this wasn’t how the world worked but that didn’t stop me from feeling it. The adoption of a child was a sigh of relief, a celebration of not just her life but the resumption of ours. I see that now and I understand the entirety of what was at stake.

This time, I know it will happen. The baby will come. No lives hinge on the delivery. I hope to relax and enjoy the process, even the wait, to enjoy the imaginary, indeterminate gestation. I have dreams of a wait time filled with preparation, nesting, house projects, photo books, and buying a few cute little baby things that I was afraid would jinx the process last time.

That’s a nice dream but in reality, my imaginary, indeterminate gestation is filled with a tireless three-year-old, endless book edits, a job, and a blog, but this is it, this is what normal life looks like. This is us as we carry on. This is us, busily waiting to greet our new baby.


As soon as I heard Who in This Room would be published I started hotflashing and eyelid twitching about what the cover would look like. Handing over control has never been easy for me.

Fortunately, the lovely and utterly-reasonable people at Calyx agreed to let me pursue a few design ideas and I immediately called my friend, Judy. You may remember Judy of the super-cool tattoo from this post. As soon as we spoke I knew she was the perfect person to create the cover for so many reasons – here are the top ten.

1.       She’s so much cooler than I am. Do you need to look at that tattoo again?

2.       She’s had breast cancer.

3.       She uses the word ‘hoopty.’

4.       She’d never pick up a book about cancer (unless it was written by a friend who wanted her to design the cover).

5.       We both love the television show What Not to Wear.

6.       She’s a talented graphic designer. Oh yeah, there’s that.

7.       She has a whole cabinet of Japanese anime dolls. At least I think that’s what they are.

8.       She designed the logo and image for our friend’s business. I love that logo. BTW – Great cancer/health related blog on her site.

9.       She happened to be between projects. How lucky for me!

10.   She works FAST. Thank goodness.

I’m in love with the end result. Eyelid twitches be gone! Thank you, Judy!

Her Beautiful Friend

Lately my three-year-old brown baby has become aware of skin color. She points out all the black children at the pool and the store. Sometimes she seems pulled toward them. Other times she seems not to have any interest, she’s just pointing out a fact.

A few weeks ago, I bought the new Mavis Staples CD. When Josie asks for her it comes out sounding like mabitaple and she always wants to listen to her LOUD. I’ve told her teachers and grandparents that if they can’t figure out what she’s saying, she’s probably asking for Mavis.

We’d only listened to the CD a few times when Josie found the jewel case sitting on the front seat of my car. She picked it up and stared at the picture of Mavis. We talked about how pretty she is – what a nice smile she has. Josie started calling Mavis her bootiful fwiend and carrying the case around, holding it close to her chest.

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