Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Week 4/5

So we are just about to week 5, aren't we? Boise was great. The class was really interesting and we learned a lot. I think most people go into adoption with faith and naivete. There's a common belief regarding adoption is that "love is all it takes." Not true. Our counselors teaching the seminar gently introduced us to all the pain, confusion, and obstacles that are just a package deal with adoption. The shine is definitely off the apple.

But the good news is...none of it changed our minds. We are just more prepared. We are more affirmed in our decisions to 1) pursue a domestic infant adoption and 2) have an open adoption. A lot of people (mostly those of a previous generation) believe that open adoptions are crazy and the best way to do things is to seal all records and throw away the key. Just a bit of a soap box: adoption is a scarring and damaging process. There is no way around it. Compared to the "assimilation" adoptions of the 60's and 70's, the semi- and fully-open adoptions of today are much healthier for all parties involved.

Feel free to have your own opions, but please realize that we have fully researched both adoptions and we truly, really, honestly feel that having an open adoption is best. We WANT an open adoption. It's not just something we're doing to get a baby faster. We WANT it for us, for our child's sanity and identity, and for the mother who is giving us such a monumental sacrifice.

Another interesting thing about the class in Boise. We were the only couple there doing domestic infant adoption. And we were the only childless/infertile couple. We thought we'd be able to network and bond with other couples going through the same thing, but not quite. All the other couples had children and were adopting internationally.

We had this exact cheesecake. It is to die for!

We stayed at the Hyatt. Such a nice hotel. Very luxe. I was sad that it was only for one night. We ate at The Cheesecake Factory on Friday. My meal ended up being too spicy, and the waitress was so kind to bring me a different entree without any fuss or making me feel guilty. We knew we were going to give her a big tip. We got our cheesecake to go, and when she handed over our bag, Justin gave her $15. We then realized that we didn't have any forks to take with us to the hotel to have our cheesecake. The restaurant was closing and it was hard to find any staff. So, being desperate, I just plopped in a metal fork. "With that tip, we paid for it," I said. Then just as we were getting ready to go, the waitress came up, saying she hadn't given us a plastic fork. I tried to take it from her, but she was quicker and opened our to-go bag and plopped it in--right on top of the metal fork. She didn't make a big deal out of it, just said "I'll take this one" and retrieved the metal fork. I was so embarassed to get caught attempting to steal a metal fork. Please believe me when I say that when she brought the plastic fork, I fully intended to put the metal one back. And now I'll never return to the Boise Cheesecake Factory because I am a fork stealer and everyone knows it.

On Saturday we ate at Joe's Crab Shack--our favorite restaurant in Boise. It's kind of become a tradition for us. We drove home that night. I had a couple crazy days at home, then headed off for my company's convention in Salt Lake City. That was brutal. I hate convention. I dread this week all year. Our shifts were--not exaggerating--7 a.m. to midnight. On your feet the whole time. In nylons. In HEELS. Oh the pain!!!! So that was Wednesday through Saturday. Justin was intending on mailing the adoption papers in while I was gone, but alas, that didn't happen. His parents ended up coming for a visit on Friday and just left today. So he needs to finish up his resume/work history and that's it. Then we have EVERYTHING! All letters of recommendation! All background checks! All of EVERYTHING! Whoohoo!

(On a side note about work: last week, I was called down to Human Resources to discuss my proposal. The company has no intentions of altering their current benefit plan. However, they choose to offer certain forms of assistance to people who request it. While they have requested I keep it confidential, they are offering me a certain amount of aid. I am happy that I am able to get assistance and I am happy that I did it my way. Though I wish the end result would've been a permanent change in benefits, I won't deny my gratitude for their help.)

Justin is on call this week. About once a month he does on call service for Child Protection Services. One week of being on call is $500 extra, but it's a lot of hard work. He's been picking up extra shifts for adoption money, but he emotionally and physically can't handle it more than once every four or five weeks. First of all, there is no such thing as a good night's sleep (he got a call at 2:30 this morning from someone wanting to change their afternoon appointment. What are they thinking?). And then there is the really draining part of having to actually respond to emergencies. We were at the baseball game tonight when Justin got called in on a case of an infant with a fractured skull. This baby is alive and is being life-flighted to Salt Lake (in July he responded to a case of a 2 month old being beaten to death by the father). These situations are literally, physically nauseating. I am sure they have a violently potent effect on anyone involved, but it just really feels like a sucker punch to me because I can't have children. And here these people are abusing and killing their babies. There's nothing fair about it.

But, I am proud of the work Justin does. It's hard. He tells me how hard it is to assess and interview these parents--these murderers--and keep calm. How hard it is to not physically do to them what they have just done to their innocent, helpless child. He is stronger than I would be, because it's all for the children. It's not about justice, it's about the children. He's still at the hospital now.

Other craziness in the household--Justin started school yesterday. First day of the last semester. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I haven't had a weekend to myself in...hmmm...maybe a month. My good friend and colleague Jessica had her last day of work today. She is headed to BYU for her master's degree. I learned that the wife of my friend and former supervisor, Cameron, has cancer. My zucchini is ripe and beautiful. Justin's glassed broke in half in the middle of church. The weather was downright chilly today. And the Chukars lost their game tonight.

So I am sending out love to all those who need it tonight, for many, many different reasons.

1 comment:

Jared Smith said...

Lara Hays (ok, i guess its Zierke)! Long time no talk! I was talking with Keith the other the day and it reminded me of you, so I googled you and, Voula! Here is your blog. It was good to read your blog and catch up... I wish you the best with the adoption, and hope all goes well. Did you hear Keith got married? Give me a holla, as Keith would say.


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