Filed Under (Uncategorized) by catharine on Jul-21-08

We’ve been checking our emotional capacity for change for the past two weeks (thus the silence) and discovered that we can in fact keep up with a nine year old, but it wears us out.  Let me ‘splain.’ No, there’s no time to ‘splain,’ let me sum up: Natasha is coming home in a little less than three days, we have appointments, but no actual medical insurance, and we have a room, but no actual toys.

The long version of the story goes like this.  Two weekends ago we drove to Corpus Christi and met her for the first time while clinging for dear life to her case worker because we discovered that very morning that, in fact, we were both deathly afraid of nine year olds.  The door opened and there she stood calm and smiling and there we stood transfixed while her entire life passed before our eyes, and no doubt the vast potential it contained for our failure as parents.  Cliff managed to mumble a formal “hello” and shook her hand, which seemed like a good idea until I was doing it too, at which point I thought, “stupid, stupid, stupid, she’s not interviewing for a job,” but I guess we sort of were.  She started eyeing us more shrewdly after that and posed several probing questions about our cats and whether my mom was in fact famous for her pies (apparently not prone to exageration like her mother–she’s a literalist, this one, much to her father’s delight).  We fielded these questions well, I suppose, because she stayed with us and let us take her to breakfast, and to the aquarium, and to the beach for a snow cone, and to the park, and to Whataburger–all before 4:00.  We dropped her off after the first day, promptly had panic attacks, shook each other because we each realized we couldn’t both fall apart, fell into our hotel bed for a solid 9 hours of sleep and awoke to a new dawn and a new day: we had a daughter!

While Dad Cliff spent the next week bringing home the bacon, I spent it wrangling together the army of medical professionals required by the state.  If you want to know the current state of the nation’s medical insurance options give me a call–I will resist the urge to “soap box” here, but we have direct experience with just about every situation you hear about on the news (The un-insured, the under-insured, and Medicaid) and it is just as bad as they say if it takes someone with a useless graduate education to navigate the red tape.  But, I am nothing if not persistent and I managed to shock all of CPS and Superior Health (the insurance company for foster kids who said we’d have to go to Houston for health care) by convincing local medical professionals to accept insurance they otherwise don’t all so we won’t have to drive 4 hours round trip for regular doctor’s appointments.  I think they just wanted me to stop calling.

The following weekend we arrived armed with games, books, movies and puzzles–afterall, the best defense is a good offense.  You cannot imagine the research and debate necessitated by these purchases.  We were just short of consulting Consumer Reports when we discovered that there are ages posted on these things.  I assume you all already knew that they tell you right on the box for which age toys are most appropriate.  Thank goodness we live in the modern era!  This discovery resolved most of our debtes and expedited the rest of the shopping trip, which was spent in important discussion over the relative value of Hello Kitty versus Tinker Bell and whether I could convince her to listen to the first chapter of Super Fudge while there was an indoor/outdoor pool just outside our hotel room (by the way, the answer was a respounding “no”).  We swam, we played, we puzzled–the weekend was a success.  In fact, it was very hard to leave her behind with just two stuffed animals and enough clothes for three days while we drove off with every other one of her earthly posessions.

So, now we are simply waiting for her arrival on Wednesday afternoon.  The plan is for Cliff to meet her with her case worker at the airport to bring them back here, while meanwhile, I will be doing my best Donna Read impression, baking oatmeal raison cookies for her arrival.  The cookies will say “warm,” “loving,” “inviting,” “homey,” home assuming I don’t burn them, in which case we can at least not be accused of false advertising–our home is homey and loving, but the baking isn’t always…shall we say…reliable.

So, wish us all the best.  We’re clueless and it still requires both of us to make simple decisions such us “should she have the pink or purple electric toothbrush,” so I foresee a steep learning curve in the next six months.


6 Comments posted on "zero to 60 in six seconds"
Barb on July 21st, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

Wow! Thanks Cat. Please keep writing about this.

Me on July 22nd, 2008 at 4:38 am #

Sounds very exciting!

Susan on July 23rd, 2008 at 10:55 am #

Doubts, fears, debates…. yep, sounds like parenthood to me. You’re doing exactly what you should be doing. :)

Missy on July 23rd, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

Congratulations! We can’t wait to meet Natasha. Just remember, she’s probably just as unsure as you are and I’m convinced you actually have to try really hard to break a kid. They’re amazingly forgiving of our many faults and woopsies. Love y’all!

Julie on July 28th, 2008 at 3:04 am #

I loved the part where you said you and Cliff shook each other, realizing both of you couldn’t fall apart. 😉 How exhilirating that you are PARENTS! I can not wait to meet sweet little Natasha, what a bright, beautiful, interesting, wholesome and happy life she has ahead of her with you two as parents.

Green Pearls on November 5th, 2008 at 10:42 pm #


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