Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wait Blues

I've been recently feeling a bit blue with the wait. It's not so much having to wait so long, having to occupy ourselves and watch my friends' children grow up while we wait. It's more a bitter sweet feeling that my daughter may miss some things, windows of opportunity. Like, my friend's son will be rather older than my daughter instead of just a little older. Rats, anyway!

Our cats are getting older, and I find myself worrying about them dying before she gets to know them. They are very sweet, albeit quirky, cats. I find myself worrying that they will be suffering health problems by the time we have to travel. As much as I long for my daughter, I have a fear of leaving my kitten boys behind if they are not well. They do okay with us gone for a weekend. They have even survived a couple weeks or longer on occasion, but they are not exactly secure and happy with it. They are my existing babies, so I have a dread of "abandoning" them for too long when they get older, and perhaps accelerating their decline if we are not around to care for them as usual. I had a sad, traumatic experience with an earlier cat, so that is probably coloring that feeling.

And then, these are the perfect cats for a child to know! I'm worried that by the time our daughter is with us, the cats will not have their personalities intact and allow her to know them as individuals. Well, I suppose it could be educational and all to experience the death of a pet, but in my minds eye, I have always imagined ourselves as a family with these particular cats. It would be like having little furry brothers. lolol : D But cats are not necessarily long-lived, so it makes me sad to think that our daughter may not know these cats as we do.

Then, I worry about my parents as well. They are still reasonably healthy, but they are getting into the range of elder health problems and sudden death. Yeah, lovely. I'm not even so freaked about about the impact on myself, but it makes me sad and worried at the possibility that my daughter may not know her grandparents. If we have to wait another 3-4 years, how able will my parents be to BE that grandparent and have a relationship with her? Actually, knowing them, only death or dementia would keep them away from a grandchild! And that's reassuring. But still, it concerns me. I lost a grandparent when I was quite young; I regret not knowing her and having real memories of her. My in-laws are even older and in poorer health than my own parents (not that they are exhibiting any excitement about this adoption), so I am a little anxious trying to imagine which of the four will still be around to know our child.

I know it's just the unknown future. I usually try to shrug off the future, saving my energy for things that *actually* happen instead of things that *might* happen, but sometimes I can't help wondering and worrying.

In my head, I calculate some of the numbers. So here we had been hoping to get our daughter through college by the time we are ready to retire. By the time we are at retirement age, though, we'll be in the thick of paying for college, which is itself a scary thought! No kidding. Here I wonder about having enough to retire, and my kid will need more resources to make a better life for herself. Not sure how we are going to wangle that! I guess the college fund needs to get started. Maybe I won't retire... :P

I also worry about her not having enough "people resources" as she gets older. Her family will be aging. Parents, aunts, uncles and cousins will be out of generational range. At least one cousin so far will be within her own age range, and even she may be a number of years older by the time my child comes home, but maybe old enough to be that older cousin! Well, that may work out... I really wanted her to have some generational family relationships. My sister could have another child; my other sister could adopt domestically. Ya never know. Of course, by the time she gets here, the next generation of babies will be born among friends, family and church friends. No doubt there will be scads of kids her age if current church demographics are any indication.

Also, I can worry myself about relative ages. When she is at 20 years, we'll be old and wise. haha! When she is at 40 years, we may be old and decrepit! Ack! When she is older than us now, well, we may be dead. :( And no, this does not make me feel too old to be a parent, just that we may have less time than ideal.

I feel extra pressure to help her become self-sufficient and able to stand on her own two feet as she comes into young adulthood, and confident, unlike, say, myself at a younger age! But I don't want to push her, either, which could cause her to feel unsupported. She needs her babying and time to know reliable care. It's a tricky edge to navigate. I'm just aware of how long it took me to become really my self-sufficient self, and I want to able to be fully there for my daughter as she negotiates her own levels of maturity.

I guess so much of my anxieties come from knowing that so much can change in a few years. I want to do the best for her. So much could go wrong in those intervening years while we wait... Illness, financial difficulties... or even overwhelming career success! Gosh, that would throw something in the works. I get to worry about astounding success. Some of that is already happening, and I find myself wondering what the heck I am going to do in a few years when I may have to reign in my work related activities. I am trying to get some projects done beforehand, to see how much I can get out of the way before she comes home. Ha! Not unlike I have attempted in the past!

The fact is, I don't know. I can't really plan for good or bad and base decisions on that. I had been putting off some work and life decisions for years thinking I'd have a child any month now, yes, for *years*. I'm done with that. I have to pursue the rest of my life and not wait for it, just as I have pursued being a parent (and not "waited" for it to happen, although we did wait to get married to our ideal person first). Even the wait: I have already pursued IA wholeheartedly... and now I pursue the rest of my life wholeheartedly while I wait for this other parent-endeavor to bear fruit. But meanwhile, I am really sad that our circumstances may be very different by the time our daughter is matched with us. I wish I could stop time so that our daughter gets our best *right now*.

I know it doesn't make sense. I actually do have time to prepare during the wait and get things ready for her arrival. I'm just sad thinking of the time going by... and she's not here with us to experience and enjoy it. I want my baby here.

* * * * * * *

As Long As I Live ~ Koehler/Arlen
Lena Horne, 1944

Baby, I can't live to love you as long as I want to
Life isn't long enough, baby
But I can love you as long as I live.

Maybe I can't give you diamonds and things
Like I want to
But I can promise you sweet baby
I'm gonna want to as long as I live.

I never cared, but now I'm scared
I won't live long enough.
That's why I wear my rubbers when it rains
And eat an apple every day
See the doctor anyway.

What if I can't live to to love you as long as I want to,
Long as I promise you baby
I'm gonna love you as long as I live.

* * * * * * *

Labels: , , , ,