Thursday, August 29, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
You all know that I suffer from a mild case of OCD. Well, if you didn’t you do now. And with mild, I mean I don’t have to count shit or have little routines that make me late for work. I am usually late for work due to my cats, because they can be assholes sometimes. A good example of my OCD is like the other evening: I got up at 1am to go rinse out the dirty coffee mugs in the sink. I could hear little crusts forming on the bottom of the mugs, which drives me insane, and also I had to pee.
Now that we are busy with the adoption process certain parts of my OCD are in overdrive in ways I did not expect. I have learned through therapy that I have some “control issues” but I like to refer to it as “being organized”. It’s all just semantics really. Because if you are not organized that is how wars start and how the apocalypse happens. Having now completed Phase I of the adoption process I don’t know who is more annoyed, my husband or our social worker. And I can’t help feeling like I may be the cause of some that.
Firstly, even though I absolutely despise red tape and bureaucracy and think it was invented by Lucifer, I am really awesome at it; partly because I am a persistent and stubborn bitch, and also because I am fluent in bureaucracy. It’s like when you travel to a foreign country, if you don’t speak the native language you are somewhat fucked. Well, bureaucracy is no different. The trick is to just speak the language of governmental employees in a way they are more likely to respond to positively. The secret is being caring and finding new innovative ways of bypassing the black hole that is the dreaded mailroom. The mailroom is the place 90% of governmental correspondence goes to die!
Part of Phase 1 of our adoption process was to obtain Police Clearances stating that we are not axe murderers and National Child Protection Register Clearances saying we are not pedophiles or something vile like that. With the Police Clearances it was easy as I knew some people who work there. So I could track the process and even though we received no special favors, at least I knew exactly what was going on the whole time. With the Child Protection Register it was a different story. Being allergic to snail mail, because it is no longer 1964, I spent a good hour on the Internet and on the phone getting a contact number and an email address of a person who deals with these clearances. I finally found a lady and let’s call her Beth. Beth sounded like she was recovering from the flu and a bad case of job dissatisfaction when I spoke to her and we spoke on the phone at least once a week and corresponded via email regularly. I managed to get our clearances in two weeks. Which is a record; however there was one little snag.
You see, when Beth told me that our clearances were processed and finalized, she also told me there was an issue and my call was transferred to the Deputy Head of her department. He was pissed off at me! Apparently his department has not yet come into the 21st Century and email submissions were “unacceptable, unorthodox and irregular”. After asking him why he was so negative he rather rudely told me that they had made an exception for us “this one time!!!” and that in future all submissions were to be submitted to their mailroom “AND. NOT. VIA. EMAIL.” He didn’t want to hear about how mail in their mailroom didn’t want to die and how depressed the mailroom staff must be because he transferred me back to Beth in mid sentence. Beth, on the other hand clearly craved positive human contact and we chatted for a while before she wished me luck with our adoption. I still worry about Beth a little and we still mail each other.
The other paperwork for Phase 1 of the adoption was a breeze but we did have some trouble with the last aspect which was our Adoption Profile Book. When we finished it and got the printed copy back I was displeased and I think my first words after paging through it were “What the fuck?!” There were some formatting issues and page layout issues in the book that gave me hives. I mean, the book was not perfect like it was on the computer and, like I said before, if your book sucks then you are totally screwed! So we had a long hard and sometimes boisterous time redrafting the book. Formatting issues were corrected, some spelling was changed and some photos removed and others added. We reworked the book up until the point when we were literally sick of it. I am not sure if the book is perfect now, but the last draft was printed and hubby, I and the petting zoo signed off on it. Then hubby took it to the social worker.
Apparently we (mostly I) are overachievers and the social worker refused to take the book. She said that the book formed part of Phase II of the adoption process and that we should hold on to it until after our panel interview. So, we completed Phase I and didn’t even know it and now we are anxiously waiting for the start of Phase II. I am fully expecting to be poked and prodded physically, emotionally and psychologically more than your standard Alien Abduction, but I am sure in the end it will be all worth it. In the mean time we have cleared out the closets in what will become the nursery and started planning what we need to buy. We have lists, because lists prevent wars and the apocalypse and I have CDO, which is the same as OCD but the letters are in order as they should be. For this, I apologize to our Social Worker in advance. And if you are reading this, how about speeding up Phase II already? I do have your number you know. Don’t worry, I am only kidding. Or am I?
Till next time.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I am in a mood. Actually, I have been in a mood since Monday. For those of you who are not sure what I mean with “in a mood”, let me explain. Since Monday I have not been able to snap out of my normal, not so pleasant, grumpy Monday morning personality and I have been a Debby Downer ever since. Much like Grumpy Cat, I have been somewhat on the “glass is half empty and you can go fuck yourself” side. But don’t get me wrong. I am not apologizing. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day; or in my case a few of them. I just pity the people around me who have not learned how to deal with me when I am behaving like an emotionally stunted child alternated by me breaking down into a snot filled mess. The secret is to just ignore me or to say “you are pretty” but you have to get your timing exactly right or else things can get ugly. After some introspection (talking to our cats because I am eccentric or normal that way) I have come to the bottom of why I am being such a bitch. It was narrowed down to Vodka, Fat and Pollen.
Not being a big Vodka drinker, other than my love for Bloody Mary's in summer, you may ask yourself why Vodka is upsetting me. Well the answer is simple – Russia! You see I recently learned that a certain Vodka company is sponsoring Joburg Pride and this has caused a shit storm in the South African LGBT community. So much so, that I publically declared that my husband and I will be boycotting Joburg Pride this year. I mean how can we in good conscience participate in an event that is sponsored by a company from a Fag Hating country? Attending Joburg Pride would be like saying it’s ok that Russia is treating our LGBT brothers and sisters like shit, but hey at least they have Vodka! Right?
After posting our plan to boycott Joburg Pride on Facebook, I received some rather unpleasant Facebook messages and emails. All of which, I suppose, were from Vodka drinking homophobe loving assholes. Some did get my tits in a twist, but I decided to just let it go. Frankly, I am not being paid to think for people and I am not here to force my opinions on others (no matter how right they may be). However, all I will say about this matter is, if you are a LGBT event accepting sponsorships from homophobic companies, companies from homophobic countries or any other homophobic person and/or group it is just as good as saying you condone their attitudes toward homosexuals. It kind of makes you an event whore and I am not into shit like that. And because I am not into whoring out my moral values and integrity for money, we are not attending Pride. So if you want to send me more related hate mail on this subject matter, please don’t waste your time and enjoy your homophobic laced Vodka. Ok!
Apart from Vodka, I also was mortified to discover this weekend that I actually put on 4 kilograms. I have never had a good relationship with our scale, I hate that bitch and I am convinced she is a compulsive liar! I mean really? How could I have gained 4 kilograms but not have increased my body fat percentage? Where the fuck did the fat go, or better yet where did the weight come from? It’s not muscle, I am sad to say. Also, it’s not like I have been eating that badly lately. Sure I have stuffed my pie hole with some chocolates, but they were medicinal in that they made me feel better. After all, chocolate doesn't judge you or tell you that you gained a few. But scales do. They should be banned or at the very least be renamed “Deceitful Machines of Soul Crushing Misfortune!”
I am fully aware that I need to start doing something about my weight gain. I don’t want to end up on some reality show where the person can’t get out of bed and where the show starts with the word “Morbidly”. Luckily I am too lazy to develop an eating disorder and I am still in what is considered to be a “normal weight” range. Unfortunately, I have no immediate intention to start with an exercise regiment because that is for people who don’t own cars and have loads of free time. Besides, I consider herding the bunnies in the afternoons as sufficient exercise. After all it does contain some running around and some various other unconventional exercises like reaching underneath the car, climbing over wicker furniture, jumping over lounge chairs and crawling around on the ground on all fours. However, of late this too has seemed to become a lazy routine. You see, the bunnies too have gained some weight.
Our bunnies have a sweet tooth and, like children, they give preference to the foods they like. Foods like grapes, apples, pineapple and bananas. All of which are rich in sugar and the bunnies leave foods like hay, pellets, herbs, and other vegetables for last. Due to this they too have become somewhat chubby and lazy. Our herding sessions in the afternoons have gone down from forty minutes to five, maybe ten minutes at best. They also halfheartedly run, or sometimes stroll away, preferring for me to do most of the physical exertion. To the point where I wondered last week for who’s benefit am I doing this really. Sure, herding them is the time they should come into the house for dinner and settle in for the night, also it is supposed to be play and exercise time for them. Yet, I am the one getting all of the exercise, and lately not even much of that was happening either. All I really have to do is leave a trail of grapes to the front door and they will come in on their own. And technically letting them get fat is animal abuse. So I guess the two bunnies and I are going to have to go on a diet and I possibly may need to buy a giant hamster wheel.
Lastly, I am in a mood because of pollen and I blame global warming for this. It is August and spring is still a month away in the Southern Hemisphere and yet my garden has decided to start spring early. Now, most of you who read my blog know that spring is the worst time of year for my allergies. This is the time of year when I suffer from chronic hay fever; get pink eyes and generally look and feel like shit. Why nature decided to get a head start, a month early, on torturing my allergies I do not know. But one thing is for sure, I hope it ends a month early as well. If it doesn’t then Mother Nature is just being vindictive and taking out her vengeance on humankind for treating her like shit out on me! So to conclude; No, I am not in a good mood this week. Vodka, fat and pollen are pissing me the fuck off and I am allowing myself a “wallow in self-pity” week. If you have never had one, try it. It’s liberating. And fattening.
Till next time.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ok folks, I have some groundbreaking news to share with you. My husband and I have been debating when the right time would be to make this news public and we decided that the time has come. We have already shared this news with some of our close friends, family and employers and it is only fair that I now share it with you, my loyal readers (all 10 of you!). Before you grab a paper bag to start hyperventilating, there really will be no need for that. Except if you were already having a panic attack because you cannot handle anticipation, in which case grab the paper bag, nobody will judge you. Also, I am not quitting my blog, getting a sex change, fleeing the country, being arrested by Zimbabwean or Russian authorities or getting a divorce. And neither one of us is dying. This is good news people! We are adopting! And no, we are not adopting an Alpaca or my much coveted Gay Donkey. We are adopting a baby.
The adoption process was set in motion about a month ago. After a lot of discussion and some emotional theatrics, hubby and I finally came to realize that we are in the right place in our lives and marriage to expand our family. After all, I have been overcompensating for my need to nurture for a while now: our elaborate menagerie is evidence of this. I mean, how many animals can one person acquire before someone says “Adopt a child already!” And this is exactly what my mother-in-law did (coincidentally, she suffers from the same foot-in-mouth disease I suffer from). In the end she was right, and I did come to realize that I do have a deep seated desire to be a parent, so hubby and I took the first tangible steps towards becoming parents. We contacted PROCARE, a local private adoption agency that recently assisted friends of ours in adopting their son.
Now, anyone who has ever adopted will tell you the adoption process involves a lot of red tape. And with red tape I mean a shit load of paper work and physical and psychological assessments falling short of submitting to DNA testing and an anal probe. Currently, hubby and I are completing phase 1 of the 4 phase process. We have completed all our paper work, obtained medical assessment reports, got tested for HIV (which was optional), obtained mental health reports, obtained our Police Clearances stating that we don’t have criminal records and will be getting our National Child Protection Register clearances this week which will state that we are not pedophiles or have ever been flagged as being a danger to children. We have also successfully completed our first meeting with our Social Worker and the head of the Adoption Agency.
Our first meeting with them was rather nerve-racking. Both hubby and I were rather tense, not knowing what to expect and being scared that we would be turned away. There are some agencies that do not help gay couples. Luckily for us PROCARE is not one of them. They explained that they only take in a certain number of applications from gay couples per year and that we were the last intake for 2013. They do this in order to provide an equal opportunity for their prospective parents to get placements. Also, it takes a little longer for gay couples and single people to get placements due to social prejudices, which is understandable. Our first meeting was emotional and I did get teary eyed a couple of times during that meeting as did hubby. I didn’t feel that emotional since the time, a while ago, when I thought I was suffering from early onset male menopause. Except this time I did not have hot flashes and I got emotional about babies and birthmothers not the lack of air-conditioning and weight gain.
During this phase we also completed our adoption profile. For those of you who don’t know what that is, an adoption profile is a book that you put together with photos and some writing that introduces you to the prospective birthmothers and is the first impression she gets of you. The profile is also what they use to decide who the adoptive parents of their babies will be. So yes, you guessed it! The profile is super important and hubby and I have been stressing that ours sucks. I even had nightmares about it! And if your profile sucks then you are screwed; and not in a good way - more in a “you will be childless forever” way! Needless to say we have redone our book so many times to date, trying to make it as reflective of who we are, who our family is, our home is like, what we can offer a child and why we would make good parents. It came close to driving us totally insane until sometime last week when we had an epiphany.
During our first meeting at PROCARE we were shown a couple of examples of Profile Books and when hubby and I discussed those profiles we were underwhelmed by most of them. Also, after doing some research on the internet we came to the conclusion - fuck it! Our profile book should be reflective of who we are, it must be authentically us and should not be made to live up to some unrealistic expectation we created in our own minds. The Profile must not be perfect. The Profile must be us. This way, the right birthmother will love our book, she would look at it and feel that we will be the best parents to entrust her child to and we will get the right baby for us. It’s better to have a book that one birthmother will think is awesome rather than having one that ten birthmothers will think is just OK. So last week hubby sent our book to the printers and we decided that the version that is being printed is the version we are going to stick with. We might still end up childless, and that would really suck. I mean how am I then going to explain my weight gain? But I digress…
Next we are about to enter Phase 2 of the adoption process. This phase involves more psychological assessments, more interviews, reference checks, socio- economic profiling, a house visit and a panel interview; all of which we are prepared for and looking forward to. However, one thing I realized recently is that I have to work on my potty mouth. Words like “fuck, shit, asshole”, and a few others, need to be replaced with words like “fudge, bollocks and butthole”. I am not sure how this will work, but I will try my darndest to stop cursing and it is going to be hard as fudge! Or maybe if I just say those naughty words in my head and not out loud it could also work and be less offensive and more child friendly… I will let you know how that goes.
Phase 3 and 4 of the adoption process are the placement phase of the baby with the adoptive parents and all the legal aspects that goes along with that. Phase 2 and 3 can happen simultaneously which makes it rather hard to plan things. In this regard we have a lot of questions and we’ve only got answers for some of them. For instance, when is the right time to prepare the nursery, how long will we have to make the final preparations to receive our child (2 weeks), how old will the child be when we get him/her (2 to 3 months old), and the list of questions goes on. I will keep you updated on the progress of our adoption on my blog. Seeing as this was just the breaking of the news to y’all some future posts will have more details. In the mean time if you want to send us baby or nursery stuff, you are more than welcome to. Or just send us cash. I am sure it could be tax deductible. Or send us some advice, it’s free and I am sure we are going to need plenty of that. We are pregnant people, only not physically, but I have gained some baby weight. Because I can and things like this happen during pregnancy. Don’t judge me.
Till next time.