When Ted and I were doing the long-distance dating thing, I'd tell him how much I was looking forward to seeing him, expecting him to say the same and being disappointed when he didn't. It's not that he didn't want to see me; it's that Ted doesn't look forward to things. He prefers to fully live in the moment, being surprised by goodness when it comes along. Consequently, the man is rarely disappointed--having no expectations can do that for you.
I'm not this way. I really like the anticipation of something good. If Ted surprises me with something, I feel cheated out of the fun I have looking forward to whatever the gift was. So he's learned, like today, to say, "Hey, I have something for you in the back of the car" so that I can look forward to and wonder what is waiting for me (in this case, spiced pumpkin soap and a pumpkin sugar-cream set--I'm obsessed with pumpkins these days).
So with the adoption, and now specifically with being on the Waiting List, I've been trying to take on Ted's outlook. I'm trying not to think about how long we've been waiting and when we might get our referral. Consequently, this blog for the next few weeks or months might be a tool used for my distraction from the Waiting. If I hear anything, I'll post it, but until then, I may be doing a fair amount of posting about pumpkins and using the word "consequently" a lot.
(oh, and I'm doing a fair amount of reading on the subject of adoption, so I'll probably end up posting stuff about what I'm reading too)
With all this Waiting going on and trying not to think about the fact that we're Waiting, Ted's done very little imagining of what day-to-day life with a baby is going to be like. As I've written before, we haven't done anything to prepare the room. We haven't bought anything except a few tshirts. We are looking through the Baby Whisperer book, but other than that, the fact that a little creature in need of shelter, sustenance, and safety has been a pretty abstract idea for Ted.
That is, until yesterday, when Ted's big sister Alice changed all that at her birthday party. After she'd opened all her gifts, she pulled me to the side and was already crying when she reached for the bag. In her Alice way, she squeaked out that she'd gotten us something for the baby and handed me this huge bag.
I called Ted over and we pulled out two flannel blankets, hand-made by Alice. While Alice was tearily squeaking things about how happy she is for us, Ted had this deer-in-headlights look on his face and then his eyes started turning red and slowly filling with tears.
Now, Ted can be a crier, no doubt about that one, so the fact that he was crying yesterday wasn't really a surprise (I can tell during a basketball game when he's going to start crying or which movie trailers will do it for him, like the one for The Pursuit of Happyness when Will Smith tells his son not to let anyone tell him he can't do something he dreams of). The surprise for me was that Ted was crying over something baby-related. We inspected these amazing blankets and Ted told me that it was the first time the concrete fact of our 'expectingness' hit him.
And he is very proud of the fact that it took him very little time, only a few minutes really, to push it all down and walk out of the room clear-eyed and manly again. "There's no place for a grown-man crying at a birthday party!" he said as he turned to face the room filled with grown-up nephews.
Maybe it was his big sister going to the effort of making these blankets and giving them to us, knowing now that it's not just us waiting--it's our siblings waiting for a new nephew or niece, our parents waiting for a new grandchild, our siblings' kids waiting to meet their new cousin. It really is a family affair. I can't help looking forward to that moment when we introduce this new person to the family. And I really can't wait to see how that moment makes Ted cry again.