So, yesterday, my husband and I went on a fact-finding mission to an international adoption agency. I scheduled this a while back in a burst of energy and forced optimism, and I didn't feel as if I could cancel it at the last minute, which I really wanted to do because I'm just not there yet. In any event, I figured we'd go and ask questions and figure out what sorts of judgment would have to be visited upon us by external observers during the adoption process (answer: staggering and varied amounts of it).
Well, on the way to this appointment, I got a fucking SPEEDING TICKET (for going 32 in a 25). And the officer threw on an additional $70 ticket because my front license plate was missing (I have it, but it just isn't on the car because one of the bolts rusted out and I hadn't fixed it). Now, the police in our town are not known for being understanding, but, for the first time in my speeding-ticket history (this was the fourth, but the first in eight years), I attempted to get out of it. I said, "I have an appointment at an adoption agency," and immediately dissolved into tears. The officer brusquely asked me what time and where, and I told him, and he said that this would just take a few minutes, at which time he sat in his car for 15 minutes and thus forced me to speed the remaining 30 miles to the appointment, weeping the whole way. That's the problem with me these days (okay, one of many problems) - once I lose it, I really lose it, and I cannot be stopped. The same mechanism in my brain that makes me think that maybe I deserve to be infertile also makes me think that because I have always confessed to my traffic sins in the past I should have gotten off easy for once, when it actually mattered. Alas, no.
So I met my husband at the agency, and I looked like shit. I mean, shit. Red nose, puffy and red eyes, a general tremulousness about me. I could tell that the social worker knew something was up. And, yep, this would be the same social worker who would do our home study, should we proceed down that road. I had to keep rubbing my eyes because they got so dry in the a/c. And on the drive home, I kept re-living my encounter with the law and imagining cutting remarks I could have delivered (had I not been sobbing), and began weeping anew over the injustice of it all.
[As an aside, some interesting international-adoption facts: (1) to adopt from India, you must have been married for five years, (2) to adopt from Korea, you cannot be overweight and one spouse max can be on antidepressants, both of which strictures I thought were rather judgmental, (3) it is still totally unclear to me whether you will be able to adopt from Guatemala or not after 2007, (4) Ethiopia offers the fastest timeline for adoption, and (5) Korea and China are soon going to take even longer than they currently take, which is already really damned long.]
On a happier note, when I was clearing out my parents' old house, I found the book that told me about the birds and the bees. I remember poring over this spread and obsessing about how babies were made. I didn't realize that, for me, this might as well have been a fantasy novel.