Surprise

We officially became a “waiting” family last week. Today a social worker is reviewing us for consideration of the two children she works with. Who knows how long the process is for the child worker to determine we should move on to step 2 of meeting with her but we’ll see. Maybe we’ll make it past this stage on the first try, maybe not. Fingers crossed!

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Are your pants on fire?

I have this relative that I think most people have one of. She’s a compulsive liar. I think there is something deeper going on because she copies what other people are going through. I had a miscarriage and the next day so did she, allegedly. Her sister had a medical issue that fussed two of her organs, suddenly this person has a similar issue with her uterus. This woman lives off other people’s trauma. I’m glad we don’t live near each other because I’d probably punch her in the face.

So, back to me. On Thursday our relatives received their foster parent announcement cards. We got calls and messages and people are happy for us. Thursday night my lying relative posts on Facebook “we have finished our foster to adopt classes. We will meet our newborn son in 3-5 weeks when he is born. This is a closed foster to adopt.” And she included a sonogram photo. Her language for the situation seems inappropriate if she is closed adopting a newborn. There are so many flaws with this story that I could scream. 

She and her husband live in their car on a beach in Florida. Neither of them have steady jobs and he can’t get a legal job. His visa expired 2 years ago and he can’t renew it without risking deportation because he waited so long. This also means, to me, that they wouldn’t pass the background check. They did some shady illegal things last year and most people think there are warrants for their arrest. In what real world would the government approve them for children? I am so angry at her attempt to high jack my life.

My sister tried to probe her with comments but our relative was ducking her questions. Someone else commented “wow, the wait list for babies is very long in America, I’m surprised you’re jumping to the front of the list.” No response from fake-mom-to-be. The worst part that we all see coming is the explosion. What sob story will she create for why she didn’t get a baby in a few weeks? Will the mom change her mind, will the fake baby be stillborn, will she say she and her husband changed their minds? She’s using this excuse to get money and donations right now. It’s really sad. 

Not one relative posted a congratulations to her. That says something, no one believes the lie. Her friends are buying into it but her parents and siblings know better. She’s burned so many bridges by lying, stealing, and spontaneously moving across the country. No one wants to deal with her scams. Maybe I am too skeptical, maybe she is magically getting a newborn baby to adopt next month. We’ll see.

Aunt 3x

My sister in law was induced on Wednesday night due to too much amniotic fluid. I don’t know the ins and outs of the issue but her medical folks felt they needed to get Maxine out so into labor she went. Yesterday my SIL was 37 weeks along so they felt it was safe. My niece was born at approximately 9pm EST and is doing well. She’s tiny- less than 6 pounds and only 19 inches. In Alabama you must stay in hospital for 48hrs while they perform “state tests” on your child. Not sure wtf that actually means but the new parents are happy to be in the center of attention in the hospital.

Mama wouldn’t allow photos of herself for the first 12hrs afterward but baby looks great!

My younger brother and his first child. πŸ’œ

I’m not there, which is sad, but I did see them a few weeks ago and will see them in a few months hopefully. They’re strange new parents so I likely wouldn’t be allowed to visit immediately anyway. I’m glad not to be in the mix of family drama and hurt feelings at the hospital. I can enjoy her arrival from afar. 

This is my 2nd niece and I also have a nephew. Man, I never thought my little bro would have a kid before me but it’s ok. I’m happy for them and for our journey. 

Let’s catch up

Things are strange at my office. Several department heads were demoted, fired, or motivated to retire. There are so many managerial job postings right now! My director was demoted after 30+ years leading the department. She’s 70 and very hurt by the change but will continue on with the office in a lesser capacity. For now, we have no leader. That’s strange. 

I applied for a position in a new unit, one I’ve been following and training for. It’s a 3 year grant position which is fine with me but there is heavy competition. Attorneys are applying for the same jobs that social workers are! Only 2 positions are available in the first year and then 2 will be added in the second and third year. I feel nervous after hearing what a micro-manager the department heads are. I barely survived that type of manager when I first started here. Hopefully I’ll get an interview and will have a decent chance at one of the positions.

Last year I went to several grad school open houses to figure out if I wanted to get a higher degree. I need change either in the form of a new position or a new career path altogether. If I don’t get this new position, I’m applying to grad school. I’ve set my heart on doing something rather than being stagnant. In the coming months we’ll know what I’m actually going to be doing with my life. 

I went to a hot air balloon festival last week!

Buried my MIL with her parents in Burlington, MA on June 18th.

Ocean City,NJ         I got so sunburnt. A month later and I’m still peeling skin!

Wearing down

I have been mentally drained lately. It started with me picking up a book I had put down last month, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. This is a phenomenal book about caring for the aging, the struggles and triumphs of the medical professions and the emerging hospice/assisted living movement. It’s a real look at people who either don’t want a say in how they die, they just want all the treatment possible, and the people who want to know what’s next and plan for their care. So many things come up in this book that remind me of my MIL and leave me hurting and thinking. One part that really hit me on Saturday was a personal story of a woman who was in assisted living and was in extreme pain, spitting up blood, etc but didn’t tell anyone. She suffered silently and didn’t get help until she was having a heart attack – and died. I wonder if that was J my MIL. She had been so run down and weak for months on end and it seemed worse the week prior to her death. Was she really struggling and not telling us? We talked about that sometimes, if she was more uncomfortable than we realized. She didn’t complain much- except about why she wasn’t dead yet. It hurts me to think that she might have been hiding her true difficulty from us so that she could speed up her death on her own terms. I hope that wasn’t really the case and I’m trying not to kick myself for not noticing that something might have been going on.

We are going to Burlington/Boston, Massachusettes this weekend to bury C’s parents. They share an urn and will be laid to rest with his grandparents in a designated cemetary plot. There has been a lot of back and forth about if there is really a headstone there that needs to be written on or if there isn’t one at all. The granite guy and cemetary people don’t seem to be on the same page about what exists so we’ll find out on Saturday! C’s brother and brother-in-law will be there for the burial and then we’ll have some kind of lunch afterward. I think C’s brother won’t really feel the sting of her death until we are there without her. I know he’s been struggling and it doesn’t seem like his mom is dead. But she really is, as hard as it is for all of us.

If you are watching the news, you are flooded with the shooting of Pulse in Orlando, Florida, USA. This attack on the gay community has terrified me and hurt me in ways that are so hard to even talk about. I can’t talk about it without weeping, without thinking of how we are set back by this. I am struggling to make sense of it and to still be “proud” and “out.” I am not very “out” in general life because of these kind of fears of violence and disproval. Now that something has happened on a large scale it makes me want to go back into the closet, be even more stealth, and separate myself. I’ve never said this but today I told C “I’m glad we don’t go to gay places” because I don’t want to face this reality. I haven’t felt fear for my safety since I was first coming out 15 years ago. Now it seems so real and that it could happen anywhere. Bars and clubs are home for so many gays. I used to be at the gay bars every weekend because that’s where my people were, my safe place to be a lesbian and meet others, to not worry about being judged. These places aren’t just a hang out, they are a community center for the LGBTQ community. No one should be afraid to go anywhere but the truth is, we have the potential to be scared to go everywhere. I want to know I can gather with my gay friends and not worry about a hater throwing shit at me, being rude, or shooting me. My brain is on repeat that “this is not a national setback” and “I could be next.” I don’t want civil rights to get stalled and I don’t want to let my fear and anxiety change me into someone else. I also don’t want to weep when I think about all those beautiful souls who died for nothing. There was no cause or choice on their end. They were dancing and having a great time with friends and they were murdered. MURDERED! Nothing will take away the pain and suffering of the loved ones of the deceased and injured. This will forever be a mark on our country and on the LGBT community. I hope I live to see a day when none of us are murdered for being our true selves.

Sorrow

My mother-in-law passed away this morning. I felt it last night and didn’t want to go to bed. I even told my friend staying with us “tonight feels different, I just don’t think she’ll make it.” I decided to be on morphine duty every 2 hours so I could keep an eye on her. At her 4:30am dose she was agitated and not as she has been. I woke my husband up and we sat with her until she passed away an hour later. Our dogs were with us, one laying on her legs. Her hospice team came out quickly and the funeral home was soon to follow. We’ve taken care of the arrangements for cremation and will pick her up in a few days.
It’s surreal and heart breaking. Our house feels so quiet now that her oxygen machine isn’t here. It’s strange thinking of all the things we didn’t do, like her mother’s day dinner or special projects we had planned. My husband is devastated, they were very close. His mom was so proud of him and so grateful for us doing so much for her. I’m glad we were able to offer her comfort in her last years and give her great experiences.

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Prayers needed

My mother-in-law, whom lives with us, is terminally ill and her time will come soon. We are at the hospital now waiting on hospice but they say her life is coming to an end very soon. She went downhill very fast and though she’s been ready for death for a few years, it’s still hard on us.
I don’t know what the days ahead will bring. I hope she goes peacefully.

It’s time

Tomorrow the movers come and our apartment is in shambles. We have moved so much ourselves but it just isn’t enough. We have the kitchen completely together at the house and some of my mother-in-laws belongings are in.

She was weird about movers so we had to move her bed, dressers, and valuables today. That wouldn’t have been an issue except C was doing it alone because I had to work. He left his tools at the house so he couldn’t take her bed frame apart and somehow managed to get it down a flight of stairs and into the moving van on his own. He-Man! He also prematurely moved her remote for the sleep number bed so he couldn’t deflate it to move. Another item that he managed to not break while moving. He could have asked our nice neighbors to assist but he is shy. If I were here I’d have borrowed the damn wrench and wrangled helpers. Just saying. I’m really impressed that he got her moved by himself.

I’m at the apartment packing up things while he is at the house putting her bedroom together. I feel like I’m making progress but my back hurts so much right now that I am feeling defeated. I haven’t had that feeling this whole month of home improvement and moving but all of a sudden I feel broken. I suppose that means I’m really ready for the movers. If only they were also packers!

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This week

4 years ago I was pregnant. Do you know how weird that is? I could have a toddler right now. 4th of July isn’t the happy holiday for me that it was before. I remember us going for the first time to see the big fireworks show at Penn’s Landing and going to a big festival in Chinatown during the few weeks of pregnancy. It was so exciting and nerve-wracking and then devastating.

When people ask what we are doing for the holiday – it is NEVER going to be go to fireworks. I just don’t think I’ll be able to have that experience without being so utterly sad in my memories.

Earlier this week I literally talked a client off a bridge. I have no crisis intervention skills and I was in a position where I was all he had. It was hours of emotional turmoil and feelings I can’t describe. In the end, he walked off the bridge instead of jumping to his death and that is a “success.” Then he was taken into custody for his own protection. That part is always so hard to wrap my head around – the jail as treatment model.

On the upside, we did finally find out that we are got into the mortgage program we applied for. Sometime next week we should get the official mortgage monies figured out. I feel like it’s okay to celebrate our little victory because there is no going back now. YAY home ownership.