Thursday, May 31, 2012

File Under: Enough With the Stealing!

I do not know what to make of the fact that our porch swing cushion was stolen yesterday.  I know I sat on it Monday and then Tuesday was raining when we left for breakfast so I don't know if it was still there.  I do know when I was dropped off after breakfast it was gone.  Pouring tropical storm rains and it was gone.  Someone walked right past the ADT security sign in the yard to grab it.

And it wasn't even that nice!

The cushion itself is probably 20 years old, a hand me down from my mom that already had a slipcover.   I made another very handmade looking slipcover for it last year.  The swing is really falling apart.  The god awful plywood porch is repulsive.  Who looked at the disaster that is our front porch and said, "you know what, I want that ugly cushion and I'm getting it during this here tropical storm."

So now I have to replace the damn thing and I don't know exactly what to do.  I want to somehow lock it to the swing, which seems highly impractical.  Would a new one even get stolen?  Was it an isolated incident?  Is there money in used swing cushions that I don't know about?  I even thought about implanting a gps signal in a new cushion (all spy-like) so when someone takes it I can just go knock on their door to get it back.  And be rest assured, if I knew where my 20 year old swing cushion was I'd be knocking on their door getting that my cushion back.

I don't know if you've ever had anything stolen but it's such a weird feeling.  I keep thinking somehow I misplaced it, certainly I did.  I sat on the porch, well, I didn't sit because my cushion was gone and tried to imagine all the stuff out there to see if something else was gone.  It's so disconcerting.

The Field

We've had 3 "opportunities" for adoption since we started renovating the blue house in September.  I say "opportunities" because I don't know how considerable they are, just like I don't know if you can really consider my 2 miscarriages, real miscarriages.  One was 2 weeks of knowing I was pregnant and not even making it to the first ultrasound and the second was having a bad first beta and knowing it didn't look good, the second beta 2 days later confirmed the numbers dropping and then I miscarried a couple days after that, I pretty much knew right off.

When I was recaulking the tub over here, see how I remember what I was doing, my mom called and said her neighbor's granddaughter was pregnant and very poor and couldn't afford the baby and was looking for a home.  I pretty much let my mom take the lead on that.  I was actually angry at the time because my big thing was moving here was going to help me move past being a mom and I wasn't even in the house yet and fate was trying to drop a baby in my lap.  I adjusted pretty quickly (obviously) and we got to the point where it was time to meet the mom and she backed out and decided to keep the baby.  I think because I was so swamped with renovations it didn't get to me too much though I remember Brian and I laying in bed talking about having a baby for Christmastime.  You do things like that.

The second time was through a colleague of Brian's.  Her daughter's friend was pregnant and was looking for adoptive parents for her baby.  I don't know how far this one got either.  We found out she had a miscarriage which then felt like we were closer than we probably were and then I got mad at God again for literally taking the baby away.  Oh, me and god. 

This time was last Wednesday and it was through the same colleague.  This time felt a little different.  This was was a client of the colleague.  First thing that was different was the baby was already born and the mom had lost custody of 2 previous children.  The baby was born with cocaine in its system so it would go straight to foster care, or adoption if she chose.  I think it was a situation where the idea would be presented that she could allow the baby to be adopted by us and be able to skip dss court appointments and fighting with dss for years to regain custody of the baby.   The baby stays out of the system and the mom can go on with her life.    And it broke down somewhat like this.  The mom was missing from the halfway house over the weekend.  The mom was found.  The mom missed her appointment with her attorney on Tuesday.  Then, and we knew it was coming by then, the mom skipped court on Wednesday.

The moment the mom went missing, I knew it was over, and when she missed court on Wednesday, it's pretty much over.  Sure maybe they can track her down quickly, immediately and hold her down long enough to explain the situation and what could be the best for the baby but the baby is going in the system.  Today, tomorrow, I don't know but soon, and once that happens it's over for us.  Scrambling, seems an impossibility.   All this happened over the course of a week.  We found out last Wednesday that we had a good chance and this Wednesday we found out we have very little chance.

Speaking of last Wednesday, I really loved the Modern Family finale.  I loved when Cam and Mitchen fell into the field exhausted and frustrated with another failed adoption.  I wanted everyone to see it and know this is what it's like, you don't just clap your hands and adopt a baby.  It's difficult and draining and hard and sad and frustrating.  Your chances seem slimmer than it did when you tried on your own.  It's a freaking miracle if it happens, a downright miracle and should seem anything less.  This time I thought it would really work out, this felt like my baby, starting with knowing it was born already, that it was a girl and I just bought this wack-a-doo turquoise rug for the front bedroom.  That our baby would be in the middle of my brother's two children in age, how great is that?  Having a whole week where my cloud lifted and I felt normal.  I could read baby blogs and think about decorating a nursery.  We walked through the baby section of Target and I didn't get sad or get hives.  Brian pointed out a Hispanic baby in the baby section and said she would look like that baby.  The first time I've been in Target baby section and there's a Hispanic baby there?  That's serendipity.  It's a sign!

I felt normal for a whole week.  So I'm trying to hold onto that.  That and knowing we had 3 chances since September and that's huge.  Something could be just around the corner and maybe, just maybe, that one might work.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Fox came from a litter of 5 cats.  They were remarkably similar brown tabbies.  One had some white so you could tell him apart and one was more of a yellowy-brown so you could tell her apart.  Sugar, Fox's mom, left one kitten behind when she moved the kittens from the blue house to the yellow house to be closer to the food, that kitten was a five week old Fox.  Fox screamed his little kitten head off until out tenants went out to look for the source of the wail.  Brian saw a flashlight between the houses and rushed out in his boxers and baseball bat.  Fox was still under the blue house by a grate in the concrete foundation.  It was difficult to get the grate off, it couldn't be pulled, I came out with pliers and even then it was difficult, the grate was covered with stucco and it was just not easy to get off.  When enough of it was bent back the tenant reached her hand into the crawlspace (crazy!) and voila, pulled out Fox by some miracle.  At first she wanted to keep him but upon seeing how little he was, too small to feed himself, and the fact that he NEVER STOPPED CRYING, LIKE EVER, she pawned him off on me.  I spent the next month or so wiping that kitten's butt and giving him a bottle of formula every two hours (tiny kittens can't poop on their own).  Who says I'm not a mom.

I'm telling you this because I always felt out of the five it was a mistake to leave Fox behind.  One of the three triplets (no white, all the same shade of brown) was always smaller, always sickly.  We named him Huck and named the other brown tabby Tom.  Huck and Tom still to this day hang out at our house for food.  But we can't pet them.

The summer I had this notion to have a square food garden on the sunny side of the yellow house Huck used to watch me water every day.  One day I reached up to him and he let me touch him and pet him.  It was the day I took this photo of him with my iphone.

From that day forth, Huck became kind of our outdoor cat.  He wanted affection constantly and would sneak on the screened porch and get under our feet while we did yard work.  He was very much the world's sweetest feral cat.  I was able to give him flea medication and if he had gunk on his eyes, and he did often, he was quite sickly, he would let us wipe it off with a warm, wet papertowel.  He was more patient than our own cats.  If you approach them with a paper towel all of our cats go running.

Since moving into the blue house, Huck's health has deteriorated.  One day Brian found him in the backyard with a small potato chip bag stuck on his head like a kitty terrorist.  Brian had to use force to remove the bag.  We were certain his oxygen was affected and he had a terrible cold and gunk everywhere afterwards.  We think this was really a downturn moment for Huck, he never fully recovered from that.  We bought him canned cat food and that seemed to work.  But in hindsight I don't know if he ever really ate the food or pushed it around.  Hucky was really sick last week and we were trying to decide to take him to the vet, a very scary place for a stray cat.  We gave him another can of food and he looked like he was eating it.  He lay under the chair on the deck and then decided to get up.  It sounded like he fell down the stairs.  We went looking for him and I saw his tail sticking out under the house.  Brian had to go under the deck to get him and we put him in a crate and took him to the emergency hospital.  There wasn't much they could do, Huck was in bad, bad shape so we had him put to sleep.

And although it was sad, it really really was, I was having a terrible time getting past it, I was crying on the spot for like 3 days, tears in my eyes all the time.  I don't think I cried that much about Ally or Bella.  Why was Huck making me feel so sad?  I didn't take Ally or Bella to the vet their last days (my mom took Ally and Brian took Bella) and when Brian was on the phone with our vet to figure out what to do I was sitting on the porch with Huck in the bottom half of the crate not moving an inch, just his tummy moving up and down from breath.  I cried and cried and told him I was sorry over and over.  I felt so bad for the little guy.

I don't know, maybe it was misplace Mother's day anxiety.  Maybe it was the stress of all life's will.  My heart just broke that day.  I think I also used to find some comfort in knowing Ally and then Bella were up in heaven running around on a flowered field with other kitties.  With all my infertility stuff, I think God has really taken the brunt of my pain and loneliness and offered me nothing in return.  No comfort, no solace, no baby and therefore I really doubt Huck has gone anywhere else after here.  I can only hope letting Brian and me into his little kitty life has given him enough joy to make it all the pain and fear at the end worth it.