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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005 - 12:57 p.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

Even Paintbrushes Lose their Points Over Time

I feel like life is wearing me down.
It seems like I just work. And work. and work.
Walk the dog and work.
sometimes I vacuum.
sometimes I put up things from the garden so I can eat them.
Eat and sleep work and eat and sleep and work and eat and sleep and work.

I suppose it's my fault... I didn't go out last night. Didn't feel like it.
Had work and garden stuff to do.
and didn't get the garden stuff done.

FIVE shopping bags of basil to turn into pesto.
So I will do that this afternoon.
I was hoping for a sunny gorgeous fall day like yesterday.
To take doggies to the park for the first time since my vacation, in her bike trailer.
It has been either raining or stiflingly hot every day I have the time, or can take the time.

Maybe it will rain again.
I would not be surprised.
Yesterday it was gorgeous.
But I had work to do.

Today, finished the work, but the basil.

Life is wearing me down.

I am not feeling like doing much of anything that is exciting. It seems so much effort. And uses time and money I don't have.

I feel like I should get into shape. But don't have money to take classes, not really. My gym pass runs out in five days, and that costs $300. The $300 that I am waiting on for a job done last month.

No money for day to day living, computer fixing, new chair in the studio (old one dead), just $300 in and $300 out. One gym pass. Like the computer fixing. $1000 out, and $1200 in... and the $200 went on dog food and meds and the telephone bill. We won't talk about the bill for the car for my vacation in August. No. Did something fun and I'm in the hole.

I feel worn down.

People kept saying 'why don't you just adopt?' when I was trying to get pregnant.

Every option is hard. Very very very hard.

I used to live in a smaller place, worked less and had more time. I realise that I wouldn't have been approved to adopt there. I didn't make enough $ for international, and for domestic, for fosteradopt, you have to have your whole home approved... it has to have a separate room for the kid, with two exits. The only room extra I had was to have turned my livingroom into the child's room, and it wouldn't have passed... it only had one exit (door, no window or second door).

International adoption. Loops to jump through. $14000- $30,000, depending on. Dossiers and criminal checks, translation of dossiers and medical forms. Homestudies. The best for me, would be an open adoption. This is where you put your name in with an agency where the birth mother can pick you. I could be nontraditional, and a nontraditional mom could pick me. I would feel approved by her, feel that she was happy that I raised her child and am a latenight artist who goes to fetish clubs.

But we don't have that option where I live. There are not any private adoptions here, nor open adoptions. All babies and children, ALL, go through the state.

And there is a TEN YEAR waiting list for babies and young children actually given up for adoption. The lady at the govt agency was clear... I would be too old to get a young child by the time my name came up on the waiting list. She gave me the paperwork anyways. I haven't filled it out. It is depressing. Name of spouse. Years married.

All the rest go through the foster care system. You have to be approved for foster care... that means a govt agency scrutinising your life. You have to look good, be good, not stick out. You have to work within a system. The children do not belong to their moms, they belong to the system. The govt. They keep repeating at the foster adopt classes: these are not your children. Do not be possessive of them. They will come and they will go, and it is not in your hands. The social workers will make a plan. They will present the plan to the judge who will or will not agree. The judge will decide. Will decide what kind of home, when they will move, if they will stay.

The kids will have problems. Mothers who did drugs and alcohol during pregnancy, parents who neglected and beat them, sexually abused them. They are all considered special needs, with attachment disorder, and traumatic stress syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and even simply behavioural problems from lack of stability, from fear, from having not been able to count on the adults in their lives.

Problems are ok. But it is the social workers and the system who will decide how to deal with them. You have to call in every day they have a tantrum, or if they get a bruise or a scratch. At the classes they keep saying 'protect yourself'... ie report anything before someone reports you. Report that bruise and say how they fell, so the birthmother or the school doesn't report the bruise first. Get someone else to be there while you wash the child so they cannot accuse you of sexual abuse (esp if they have been abused before, they get ideas). No you cannot tap the child on the hand or butt. No you cannot sleep with the child, or have another child sleep in the same bed. You have to report their routine. Make a plan, go with the plan. You have to report who you have into your home, if you go on vacation, get permission to take them across the border. Let's see: 'judge, I am going to Toronto for a kink festival, please let me take little johnny, we are staying with a punk piercer'

OK, so that is foster care. If you are lucky very lucky, you will get a kid without drug problems (in vitro), you will get a kid who has not been beaten or raped or neglected in ways that will make you upchuck. And even then you may not get to keep the kid. They may go back to their mom, they may be in legal limbo. If you are lucky, after only 2-3 years you MIGHT be able to adopt the kid.

Fuck. It's raining. Really really I was looking forward to a sunny Sunday afternoon in the park with my doggy. Yesterday was such a day, but I had work yes work.

OK, so that's domestic adoption.

I am feeling broke, the work that was supposed to be paid at the end of May MIGHT be paid by the end of October. Do the math. Domestic adoption, since they are not YOUR kids, the state gives you $. It's weird. I should find that good. Instead it feels like being on welfare, or babysitting. Not like having my own kid. Like being a sort of dog kennel for kids.

I keep thinking... all my money is sunk into my house. I could sell the house... I could downsize. I had $ when I had a smaller place. And then I remember that it is the house that will be acceptable on the homestudies. A tiny artist's dump is not going to work.

So... that's domestic. All state. No private, no open.

I could do private, open adoption in the States or the rest of Canada.

And that would mean paying an agency, it would mean constant travel to another province or country... to fill out the forms, to meet the agency, to go to their required training and parent meetings. To meet a birthmom if chosen. And then I would have to pay the healthcare and other expenses (therapy, living expenses etc) of the birthmom til the birth. The birthmom would have between 72 hours and a month after the birth to decide whether to keep the baby or give it to me. If she keeps the baby, I still have waited for the birth, and paid all the expenses, and lost the baby. Yes I could try again, hope to be chosen again. Most parents whose first adoption has fallen through get another referral. Cost per try? About $20,000 and all that travel. Not to mention the waiting and hoping a birth mother will pick you. It is entirely chance... not waiting lists. You get the homestudy, put it in the agency's binder, and HOPE that eventually a birth mother who wants to give up their baby walks in, and choses you. It could take months, or years, or happen never. For high fees. And that's IF you find an agency who will work with someone out of province, out of country. I called a few places in the states and they wouldn't work with Canadians.

It makes sense... there is so much paperwork, working with the state adoption agency here to get everything in order, with immigration, different forms and papers for everything (ie they have one form for the IRS, we have another for federal taxes, they have one form for adoption approval, we have another one... it really is a specialty, doing international adoption).

Homestudies, finances. Do you know how hard all of this is? 'letter from employer" ... haha, I am self-employed. Spouse, years of marriage. hahahaha. Extended family hahahha. Support system. Plans for discipline. I just want to crawl into my bed forever.

So, besides domestic foster adoption, or private open international adoption, there is straight up international adoption. Again, it is an agency looking for standard nice homes. And the countries whose children are up for adoption. Someone last week suggested Korea...I looked. They don't accept single people. Only married couples (married three years). China? There is a two year waiting list for singles to even be considered. Guatamala? There is no agency that is approved to work with Guatamala in my province, and only approved agencies can help people adopt. Haiti? They aren't letting Canadians travel unless your adoption was already started before the more recent violence there.

And all options except China cost over $20,000 (China costs $14000 for a single person). Did I mention I am broke? Not broke as in not functioning. Broke as in I am in my credit margin, and working all the time to try to pay it off. Broke as in having no savings other than my retirement savings plan, money I cannot touch.... since all my savings went into the house. Back to the house... aack. If I sell the house and live in a little apartment... frankly rents have also doubled in the last five years in my neighborhood. And I am less likely to be approved by any homestudy (except the domestic foster care).

If anyone says 'why don't you just adopt... there are so many kids who need homes", ....

I have no idea how to end that sentence. Cry? Whap them? Start giggling hilariously?

Sure they will tell you that they know people who have adopted.

People in couples where they can afford a house, cuz they work two jobs. Where if they get a kid with problems on can work and the other be a stay at home mom. People who are nicely fitting into the system, who go to bed at ten and get up at 6 and have an employer to sign their forms. People who have raised kids already so they aren't fazed by a five year old with acronyms upon acronyms in their files. People who have careers working with the system, social work, specialists in early child developement and developemental disabilities. People who are calm and docile, who are fine with social workers saying everything they must do with their kid, who can deal with a system that seems set up to inadvertently hurt as many children as possible. People with the money to travel to another country, to buy a huge house, and a car, and pay for homestudies at a thousand dollars a pop. People who have relatives in Guatamala, and so can adopt from there, or have immigrated themselves from Vietnam, so they have an in with orphanages.

I am trying I am trying I am trying to find someone for a role model. Even the weirdos and the queers are in couples. Or make $100.000 a year.

And yeah. that makes me feel good. If you have a home, and money and family and friends who live next door, and are surrounded by privilege, you get to have another privilege.

But if you are single, and want to not be alone, to start a family, to have a reason to hang with people with kids, and fit in, instead of them being all apologetic that they cannot stay up late, or go to a movie, or even have a conversation while their kid plays and interrupts, to for once not be left out of the birthdays and anniversaries, baby showers and wedding showers, the first of school days and the christmas dinners... good luck.

And dating. How is that going? I don't even know where to date anymore. I don't think I care anymore. I don't have the time, nor the desire, I don't know what to do with being infertile and wanting to adopt. It is like when I wanted to have a baby... it is real weird to meet people and say 'i want to have a kid within a year'. I am attracted to people who have more problems than the children in foster care, and they are attracted to me. Normal people are all busy with their normal busy lives, with families and children, and parents and jobs and normal hours.

I DID get felt up (ok, he mostly seemed to want to caress my hip and arm and spontaneously hug me) by a wellknown illustrator after a meeting last week. It is funny. I never really knew him, but I get the feeling he is sort of an artistic bum. How many of those are there? A million? Anyways, he wanted to invite me for breakfast one day... turns out he's a morning person. At EIGHT AM he wants. haha. When I said that was too early, he suggested NINE AM. hahaha!

Ok, I don't fit in. And if I could reproduce, it wouldn't matter.

All day every day I pass people who don't fit in. Half my neighborhood doesn't fit in. They are hippies and punks, single, and gay, They are pagans who cosleep and don't vaccinate their kids... Selfemployed artists, people on welfare, or who live in tiny apartments or lofts (did I mention lofts are not acceptable to homestudy? The child must have a separate room with walls, and two exits. The bathroom must have a door that closes. etc etc etc)

And they would NOT pass for adoption unless they made up a new life for themselves. But they have kids. They may be divorced, or had a kid with a lover they no longer live with. Or inseminated. But they have kids.

Anyways, all of this is wearing me down. I don't know. If I throw myself in my life... going to queer things, kink things, I am just developing more nonacceptable to agencies friends and habits. I can see it now. Are you involved in any groups or charities? Yes, the association of lesbian parents, the trans positive aids group, singing in the gay choir, and drawing for the dyke porn magazine.

Sheesh. sheesh again.

OK, for tomorrow I'll probably feel ok again.

But for now. I am just dragging.
Isn't this what september felt like the past three years? yup.

One thing. One thing. Either money. Or time. Or someone I might want to love. Or a kid. .... one thing that would make me pick up and be energetic. But instead I feel draggy.

Fighting the urge to hide in bed.

Now if only my therapist didn't charge $100 an hour.

And I called one of my best friends to talk last night... but her love is there from Germany for three weeks, and so she is making love and cuddling, and then her daughter will be back. And her highpaying job takes time. Enuf said.

Go back one to read my spider poem.
Dang. They all start out building big beautiful webs in hope and love of life too.
And then they get no bugs, their web gets crinkled and ripped. They starve to death alone.
Ok, go read the spider poem.
It's happier than this entry.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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