Friday, November 22, 2013

References for Parenting Permits and Thanksgiving in a Can

My Sailor has been really hammering his side of the adoption paperwork pyramid, which is awesome. It's nice to feel like we're actually making progress as our first home visit is 19 days away. I'm more excited about the visit than nervous, which is suprising. Most adoptive parents talk about being scared or nervous, but so far, it just feels like a step in the right direction and it fills me with hope.
As part of this whole adoption thing - we sent out our reference letters to friends and family for the adoption. Last night, I heard back from one of them that also read the Cure to Over Population blog. Her reply? "I read your blog about everyone having to go through a vetting process before becoming a parent - with questions like this, if that were true... Man would the world be a different place!"

In case you're wondering, the questions are likely something only a marriage counselor would know. I can't think of a single friend or family member that could answer all of them adequately.

Here are the questions our friends and family are being asked about us.

1. How long and well have you known this couple and what kinds of activities do you share?

2. Please describe in detail your impression of both applicant 1 and applicant 2. Tell us about each applicant's personality, strengths, weaknesses, ability to handle crisis and frustration, and interests.

3. What is your impression of their relationship? What adjustments have they had to make? How do they make decisions, and how do they settle disagreements? What is the greatest strength of their relationship and the greatest weakness? Who do they turn to for support?

4.Are you aware of a loss that either person has suffered? If so, how did they handle the loss?

5. Have you observed this couple around children?  If so, what age of children, and in what situations? How have they reacted to children (for example, their ability to talk with children, set limits, type of discipline used, the way they dealth with disabled children or children of a different race)?

6.  How do you feel this couple will meet the demands of parenthood? How will the addition of an adopted child affect their relationship and family life? What will be the greatest change they will need to make?

7. Do you have any additional information you feel would be important to share?

Now, I don't know about you, but most of those questions our friends and family will struggle to answer. Not because we haven't spent time around kids, but because we're rarely together in the same place long enough for people to really intimately get to know both of us. Even family. Go figure.

If you've followed this blog for over a year, you probably know that My Sailor and I aren't good at Thanksgiving. We're okay at other holidays, but honestly, we just haven't had that many holidays where both of us are in the same state (or on land), to really hit our strides yet. I've never been big on 'feasting' anyway, so it's okay by me. Our first Thanksgiving included Ramen noodles (which has now become a lunch time tradition). Our second included a deployment, and the third included over cooked goat.

This year, determined to celebrate in style, I booked an Argosy Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise since My Sailor wasn't supposed to be working this holiday.

Well, I learned last night that that may change. It's not set in stone yet, but it's 50/50 right now.

I also learned that the $255 dinner celebratation tickets are non-refundable, but they are transferable. So if I opt not to use them, or My Sailor can't make it and I can't find a "date", someone will be getting a pretty awesome early Christmas present...

But that said, it's sort of my fault. I usually make sure the tickets are completely refundable before I buy them, but, since My Sailor is supposed to be in 'off crew' (meaning he's not supposed to be doing more than working a regular day shift - though he's been taking required night classes and, starting next week, when he's not doing that, he'll be working an early morning shift).

There has been a lot of chatter on the Navy wives facebook pages that encourage spouses not to have expectations.

I refuse to believe that.

Expectations are healthy! The trick is to set realistic expectations. I don't expect My Sailor to be at home all the time, or ever, come to think of it.
If I buy tickets to an event, I familiarize myself with their refund policy. I also am prepared to either fly solo to said event, sell the tickets and do something else, or invite a friend instead.
If he's available to come, great!
If he can't, that's okay. He's not doing it 'on purpose' so it's completely counter productive to resent him for that disappointment.
Besides - if I'm looking forward to several different options (spending time w/ friends, flying solo, or having some extra cash in my pocket) I don't really lose.

So no matter what happens this Thanksgiving - I'm covered.

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