Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh right, there’s an actual KID at the end of this process.

It does sound overly obvious doesn’t it? But it isn't. After all the paperwork and psychological tests and really big checks and travel, I sometimes forget that at some point someone will hand us a kid and send us on our way. I think about this a lot of course, but it only really profoundly sinks in once in awhile.

For instance on our recent trip, Danny and I left the adoption agency on a cloud of romantic visions of what life with kids would be like that only first time parents to-be could conjure up. Building forts with bedsheets. Pancakes on Saturday mornings. Playful bathtime romping. Giggles and Smiles.

We then went to dinner with my cousin Raechel and her two children, Wesley, 9 months and Joceylene, 2 years. They’re great kids, they just needed the normal toddler tending. Joceylene wanted to sing at the top of her lungs. Wesley wanted to throw things on the floor. Joceylene banged Danny's sunglasses on the table while Wesley ate napkins. Joceylene wriggled out of her booster seat while Wesley experimented with tipping his high chair over.

Meanwhile Danny and I sported the stunned expressions of two people who’ve just woken up from a lovely, lovely garden reverie only to find that they’re in the middle of a Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday.

At the agency, we’d gone over a dizzying list of expenses and fees. They even had a list of projected expenses when you travel to Russia, so that people wouldn’t forget to budget for such things as eating during their stay.

It occurred to us later however that in all the planning, financial and otherwise, for GETTING the kid, we sort of forgot that we will also need to get things FOR the kid.

It may sound obvious to some prospective parents, but I think the agency should also tell people, “Now, after you pay your fees and travel and other costs, please don’t forget you still have to buy clothes for the baby, and diapers, and a bed, and maybe a few toys and books would be nice. Oh, and remember they will have to eat sometimes too, and probably need medical care, and a coat, depending on what climate you live in. And a car seat, and a high chair and safety plugs for your wall sockets. And how about a trip to Disney once in awhile? And hooded towels, those are cute, kids like those, buy some of those…”

We are just getting to the point where the paperwork is almost done (unless there’s more hiding around the corner that I don’t know about) and I’ve started to dip my toe into thinking about things I will need when the kid arrives. It turns out adoption paperwork is the easier of the two tasks. Which rattle is best? Which nail clipper and grooming kit? Which crib mattress? Plus, some of the items I’ve seen out there are positively baffling.

I’m pretty sure they’ll need a bed, and food, but beyond that my eyes start to glaze over a bit. But it's okay, like all other parents since the beginning of time, we'll figure it out.


David said...

I am thrilled about all this, Stephanie!

james ford said...

i had to read that twice to understand danny had a sunglass lens knocked out and THAT'S why he looks like some kind of latino nick fury.

you really are overthinking this. in fact, i fully intend to have my children dress like trollops from early 19th century dickensian london and make them call me "gov'nor" and sing for their dinner (which will be porridge, gruel and other things nobody eats in a first world country).

as babies they will sleep naked in a drawer lined with newspaper and the softest woodchips money can buy. like my father, i will waste no money on carseats which are a scam and can easily be replaced with a well-padded laundry basket and strategically placed bungee.

their books will all be about sewing as to improve their fake wallet making skills. their medical plan will consist of a strap of leather to bite down on and a bottle mad man whiskey and hope that all those episodes of SCRUBS honed my surgery skills.

while i am here. if it's a girl i am hoping for natasha and for a boy i am hoping for a nikolai. both can be trimmed to sound more american if you adopt a sellout baby. when you teach them english, make sure you do it in a thick cartoonish russian accent so they don't forget where they came from.

then make them watch RED DAWN and realize how lucky they are to be here because patrick swayze would kick their ass.

PS - i think this friday's blog is about you. you might want to put lawyers on standby now.

Jessica M. said...

Two words: garage sale, well five words really, when you add "hand-me-downs". There's always someone who's getting rid of their kids' used furniture, clothes, etc. Diapers you're pretty much stuck going to the store, since those are more or less a single use item; unless you're like several of my hippie, vegan, earth-loving friends who use the fabric diapers.

lynn said...

You are going to have a great time finding all of the things you'll need! I'll volunteer to shop with you anytime!

Tim has completely unrealistic expectations as far as children are concerned. As a teacher, I find this completely hilarious. Once we have a kid, I'm thinking of starting a blog about how he reacts to it all!

Steve said...

NICE! Now I totally don't have to stress about what to get you and/or Danny for birthdays and christmas this year... that website was VERY helpful! From dolls with body hair (cause what parent doesn't want their baby clean shaven) to bulletproof strollers (although depending on your neighborhood this might actually be a smart buy). So please, warn Danny now that he will most likely be getting the baby snuggie for his birthday and the baby facial hair for christmas. You on the other hand I think I would have to go with the toddler mop and the Obama onesie. But in all seriousness if you don't already have a membership to Sams or BJs I would look into now cause from what I hear around the water cooler at the office that's the place to go for diapers etc. Just remember, don't be surprised this year when you open your birthday or christmas presents!! :) Looking forward to being "Uncle Steve".

Candi said...

Oh yeah, when I have this baby that is coming fast and furious, it's actually going to keep me quite busy. I have been fantasizing about taking trips and finally having a good night out for drinks, but there will be this baby! I understand, you will have several more reality checks. My latest is thinking everything is "my last": my last hair cut before the baby, last swim class, last dinner out without a baby...

I will help you with a list. It's kind of my obsessive compulsive campaign style way of approaching things anyway, so let me help! I have a great book that breaks it down by what you need to buy, what you can borrow, and what you don't need AT ALL. We'll get you registered and you will be surprised what you actually have to pay for. We've paid for very little.

Phil said...

Shopping for rattles and ridiculously expensive clothes (before opting for something more sensible) is all part of the fun. It's nice reading a blog with a smile!

Jocelyne said...

Steph, it will all turn out great. Hey, the ink is barely wet and you already have everything planned out up through the astronomical college tuition. Oh, was I supposed to mention that? You, know, if you start saving those pennies now... ;)