With a month to go until Bob was due, I was awash in feeling overwhelmed; and the worst part was that I knew I’d probably look back and laugh at my naïveté. But I tried to just take a deep breath and focus on what was in front of us. At that point, everything was in front of us. So, first we delved into making travel arrangements that essentially circumnavigated the globe and attempted to coordinate them with a future un-timed event, all the while trying not to throw us in to my husband’s greatest fear of bankruptcy from mere airfare costs. Oh, and then we added a dollop of bureaucratic fun and threw in the bit about trying to figure out how to coordinate a passport and subsequent ticket for Bob’s return to Kuwait. Oh yeah, and we couldn't forget trying to find a pediatrician from 6,500 miles away. (For the latter, I employed the girlfriend-network and got a list of recommended pediatricians from their girlfriends with kids, so we’re good to go; thanks girls! Now who wants to work on coordinating the due date?)
In between all that fun, we attempted to deal with health insurance providers whose employees knew nothing more than what their script told them. So when they said, “The insurance for your adopted child will be active upon receipt of the final adoption decree,” and we pointed out that the actual final adoption decree might take up to 18 months to receive (thanks to the iceberg-speed of our various state court systems), but we’d have paperwork giving us legal permanent custody in the interim, and they subsequently responded with, “The insurance for your adopted child will be active upon receipt of the final adoption decree,” we just took a deep breath and thanked them for their time. Then we madly started researching health care laws and sending out desperate pleas on adoption forums, acting on the assumption that adoptive parents don’t just forego health insurance and keep their fingers crossed.
From there we moved into the name-game; taking the ardent advice from many people, not to share our thoughts with anyone before seeing the baby. I had no doubt that someone, probably more than just my mother, would have had something to say about whatever name we decided on. But I figured it’s much harder to complain when you’re handed that sweet-smelling bundle of joy and told, “Say hello to your grandchild, Cleopatra Dorkus Hermoine Stellaluna (or Aslan Frodo Albus Khufu, in the case of a boy).”
Despite months of research, we were still swirling in the ever-changing world of infant car seats. After first doing the safety research, then adding in the ease-of-use research, and coupling all that with the will-it-work-with-the-stroller-we-bought research, I narrowed it down to three models. (I didn’t have room to even consider the cuteness-factor.) Then I added in the age range and weight comparisons combined with the seat’s weight (some them weigh almost thirty pounds, without the infant!) and suddenly wondered whether it would fit in our Jeep.
After doing some preliminary Googling, I became worried that any seat will fit in our Jeep. One forum’s responder said, “You have to move the Jeep’s seats completely forward, but it’s only for 18 months.” Gee, thanks. I’ll finally be able to perfect steering with my thighs. Whereas most people will take their car to Babies ‘R Us and maybe test out a few, we’re just going to have to buy one, use it, bring it home and if it doesn’t fit, get a new car.
In quieter moments, my mind relaxed, the panic subsided a bit, and I got to think of just holding Bob; mentally practicing my swaddling and shhh-ing techniques; feeling overcome with joy and terror at the same time; and then I thought of those peaceful moments where all would be quiet and there was nothing else in the world but us and I’d be humming a gentle lullaby. But then my mind does a quick search and comes to the realization that I don’t know any lullabies! It had been over 35 (cough!) years since I’d had a lullaby remotely near to me and even that I’m just supposing. Was there a lullaby-immersion class I could take online? Maybe I could memorize some CDs in the last month. I couldn’t be a mom who didn’t know a lullaby!
When I shared these thoughts with my husband he just stared at me, blinking. It was almost as if he was reconsidering something, and I had a feeling it wasn't Bob. But I had every faith that the insanity (and accompanying nausea) would pass. I mean, decisions would be made, paperwork would be filed, and Bob would arrive, regardless of my nursery rhyme ignorance, right? Right?!?