I was stuck between two titles for this post. So I went with both.
In this week of Thanksgiving, I felt that I had to take a moment and be thankful. I haven't had much time to sit and reflect on all the things in my life I have to be thankful, so I suppose this is as good as a place as any to begin.
There is much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for the incredible people in my life, the family that has supported me through my entire life, and the new family of my own that is beginning. I am thankful that we were able to travel to a state that allowed Carla and me to get legally married and I am thankful that I live in a state that at least recognizes our relationship with many (though not all) of the legal rights that other married couples get.
I am thankful for family that loves and supports me. I am thankful for a mother who only sees the very best in me and would do anything in this world just to make me happy. I am thankful for a father who consistently surprises me with the amount of love and pride that he has for me and who is stronger than he realizes and continues to fight to get himself well again. I am thankful for a sister who doubles as my best friend and who is able to give of herself in incredible amounts to those of us lucky enough to be in her presence. I am thankful for friends who understand my laziness about the telephone and who surround me with love and support and make my life so full. And I am thankful for Carla. I am thankful that I have found someone who makes life feel complete. I am thankful for the ways that she fills my life with such love, would do anything to make a day a little easier and better, and makes me laugh no matter how crabby I might be.
I am thankful for a beautiful home, filled with quirky and entertaining animals, and filled with love and warmth to come home to every day. And I am thankful that we live in a world that, though it is far from perfect, it makes room for a family with two moms. We live in a state that allows Carla and me to adopt a child, to put both of our names on a birth certificate, and to both be legally recognized as the child's parents. I am filled with such excitement and anticipation at the journey that we are on and I recognize that just a few years ago, this journey would not have been possible and that in many places around the world, this journey still isn't possible for gay and lesbian couples. So with each step along this path that we take, I am thankful for the opportunity to take it.
Well, that's enough of the being thankful for now. Now on to the next step we have taken. On the morning of Friday, December 9th, Carla and I will meet with our counselor from The Cradle for our initial consultation. We will meet with Dana at the Evanston office and she told us to expect the meeting to last for 2 hours. I cannot even imagine what we will talk about for 2 hours, but Carla and I are both extremely excited about the meeting. We found out about the meeting as we were on a walk with the dog. I took my phone out to check to see if I had any money left on my Starbucks card since we were walking past a Starbucks and I thought a coffee would be a delightful treat. Well, I didn't have any money left on the card, but I did notice that I had a new email. I opened it. Read it out loud to Carla and enormous smiles spread across both of our faces. I think that each time we get to take another step that brings us closer to our goal, we just become giddy with excitement.
Of course as the meeting date moves closer, our excitement mixes with nervousness. Neither Carla and I are totally comfortable talking to new people. And we can't help but wonder what kind of an impression we will make on this woman. Now, logically, we understand that this woman is not meeting with us to judge us and determine if she thinks we will make good parents or not, but it is hard to really believe that emotionally. So of course there will be nerves. I would imagine that as we prepare to walk into the meeting, there may even be feelings of extreme nausea. But these nerves also excite me. I only get this nervous when something really big is happening and this is certainly something big. This step makes us feel so much more official. Someone has been assigned to us! That is a big deal in my mind.
After the initial consultation we will be required to attend what they call, "Adoption 101." This is a panel presentation with a birth mother, adoptive parents, and other experts on oped adoption. And I believe once we attend that program, we will be able to actually begin the lengthy home study process. I am still a bit fuzzy on all of the steps, but I am sure we will understand it all soon enough.
So as we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I will be thankful for what I have been through, thankful for where I currently am, and extremely thankful for where I will be going.