Monday, October 8, 2007

Reality sinks in for Ted

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.


Amy B. said...

That is so sweet! Sweet of Ted's sister, sweet that Ted cried, just sweet all around! You may not be posting much about the wait...but you know that all your blog buddies will be checking for that one magical post! Amy

Anonymous said...

that is so sweet of Ted's sister to make you cozy blankets. I'm glad it touched both of you.

I read on another site someone lamenting how everyone asks them "have you heard anything" and how infuriating it can be...knowing that people are asking because they are excited for you and anxious too. I know the waiting is torture. If someone said, you will have a baby in your arms on this day, then you can go about your life and deal. But the unknown is torture.

I remember being nervous for every phone call for months before anything happened. You think that you'll get past it and forget, but that rarely happens.

But the anticipation is exciting, the unknown is unnerving, and all the while God is holding you during this time.

And Lori! do the baby room! that's the fun part!

Lori said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Jill, but I'm not sure how much I can do on the baby room when we don't know what's coming. Not that I'll do all pink or all blue, heaven-forbid,, maybe green? We are in Oregon after all, get 'em started early on conservation :)

Meredith said...

Beautifully said

Drew Carey Show said...

The waiting was so much fun for us... glad you're enjoying the journey! Those blankets will be your favorite gift of all... =)

Anonymous said...

How exciting!!! Love the post. It was precious that Alice was crying just trying to give you this gift... and that Ted was too. Touching!!


Anonymous said...

I'm sitting at my desk at work, catching up on your blog, and reading about the baby blankets and Ted getting teary made me tear up, too.

I'm all better now.


Celia said...

This is so exciting! Lori, go buy that baby some diapers!! We had a diaper wall (and wipes) by the time Kinsey got here and didn't have to buy any until she was almost 10 mos. old. The diaper wall helped Allen kind of move past the abstractness! Buy little baby things and ENJOY!! YOU'RE EXPECTING!!!!

Karen said...

I'm all about pumpkins, too. I love pumkin anything...pie, soup, lattes.

I'm so excited for you. I'll live vicariously through you since we won't be excpecting until another year or so. We got our packet from Wide Horizons today, so the paper chase begins! I'm sure I'll be emailing you with questions!

(My husband cries at the drop of a hat...I love that about him).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a good morning cry, and then a laugh. Ted's phrasing reminds me of what my friend Scilla and I say when trying to suck it up: "There's no crying in baseball."

I can feel fall in your pumpkin pictures and it reminds me of my childhood in Michigan. We would go to the cider mill and have fresh pressed apple cider and warm cake donuts fresh out of the oven.

Wish I could rake up a big pile of leaves and jump in the middle of them right now.

Thanks for sharing your randomness with us while you wait.

Pattie VZ