A To Do List On A Grand Scale

Adoption Journey – Day 63

Yesterday, we booked our first appointment of our home study. Now it all starts in earnest.

It’s great news for us. It means that we are getting into the biggest part of the adoption process, the part that takes the most time and patience. If we get it done and successfully, we will be allowed to adopt a child. It’s the key to a future with a child in our lives.

I must admit I am intimidated. Not so much by the home study process, because I think answering the questions won’t be such a big deal. But I am intimidated by everything we have to get done before we can have someone in and “inspect” our home. There’s just so much.

Our house is day-to-day clean, in terms of what you’d expect from two busy and not-so-neat adults living together. And having 3 cats, one of whom is elderly and pees on stuff from time to time, certainly doesn’t help. But although it is tidy enough for everyday, there’s no way it’s clean enough to pass inspection, and it’s going to need work before we bring a child home.

We have here the clutter of 10 years of busy life together, 10 years’ worth of stuff accumulated by two pack rats. And precious little storage space. So, one of the first things we must do is start throwing things away. We have to be ruthless. We have to just bite the bullet and start getting rid of stuff. I have to learn to throw away my Canadian Living magazines and my craft stuff and clothes I’ve been holding on to that I will never realistically wear again. And BDH has to learn to part with his old computer components and gear, most of which is useless, and his hobby stuff. We have to chuck the lot.

And don’t even talk to me about the garage. I shudder to think about the work that will be required for our garage, since it has been impromptu storage all these years. That’s going to require days of work in itself.

We have to get rid of old furniture. We have to throw away dishes we don’t use and bikes we’ll never ride and tools that never get used. We have to just learn to live with less clutter. And we have to buy storage to put away all the stuff we do need to keep. We also have to replace any of our old not-child-friendly furniture with brand new stuff. And since we have only one income, we have to learn to be realistic about what we need, since we cannot take on any more debt than the already painfully expensive cost of the adoption itself.

We have to wash windows and paint walls and mop floors and vacuum carpets. And then we have to get the carpets deep cleaned. We’ll likely have to hire someone to come in and clean the house and deep clean the carpets professionally after we do it, just to be sure.

And, one of the hardest things of all: we have to put Opus in her cage overnight and when she is not supervised. Granted, we’re putting a little 7 pound kitty in a huge Great Dane sized cage, so she’s got plenty of room and a comfy bed and food and water and litter — she has everything she needs. And she really doesn’t mind it so much, because she is so old she sleeps all the time anyway. But it hurts to take away her freedom and her ability to run around, especially now that she’s so healthy and happy. But we cannot have her peeing on stuff.

And then, once we get all the cleaning and general maintenance done, we have a long list of baby-proofing things that must get done. There are things I expected, like getting cabinet locks and outlet covers. And there are things I had not expected, like buying escape ladders for the bedrooms and carbon monoxide detectors and bolting our bookshelves to the wall. I don’t know one single person who has ever done these things in anticipation of having a biological child, and yet, we are required to do so to adopt. So we will cheerfully buy outlet covers, and escape ladders, and fire extinguishers, and gear to hide all our electrical cords, and put a cat-flap in the basement door for the cats to get into and out of the basement.

Before, this was just an item on a list, something that had to be done sometime. It was in the future. But now, it’s immediate. When I think of everything we have to do, I get so overwhelmed. I want to just sit down and cry. Paperwork I can handle. Bureaucracy I can handle. But this is just so much to do, and all on my own essentially, since BDH is at work all day.

I just have to remember why it is I am doing all this stuff. I just have to suck it up and get it done. And when it’s done, it’s done. It’ll all be worth it in the end.

But I don’t even know where to begin. Hell, I don’t even know where to begin my list.

2 thoughts on “A To Do List On A Grand Scale

  1. I can’t believe it’s here already! I wish I was closer, I’d be more than happy to help you.

  2. Aha, reality hits big time! You can do this Cinn. We have also (with the second baby) had to start all over again pitching stuff out from all the years of being pack rats, getting rid of what is not safe, getting on the floor and looking at things in a baby’s perspective. Things are scary down there and too much fun to explore. As biological parents we also have to have fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide dectectors, fire escapes, etc. but we do have not have to have the ruthlessness of someone else looking over our house from top to bottom and “judging us.” (Good thing too because our house would not pass!) That is not something I would handle well, but I know you guys will be fine. I have been in your home and it is lovely. It is probably time to get rid of some stuff anyway… spring cleaning and all …and you will be amazed at the space and storage you actually do have. You will feel such a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that you are making a wonderful living space for that well-loved, greatly anticipated child. Good luck. Now,where did I put those outlet covers from when Autumn was little and starting to crawl like Maddie…..

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