Yes, it’s a real flurry of activity all of a sudden!
Since the Yes at the panel last week (which has now been officially ratified by the local authority – woohoo!), I’ve dived into a frenzy of busyness.
Racing about in-between various birthday parties and seeing friends, driving around the county collecting secondhand bits and bobs from various people, making endless lists, building the cot, waiting for the delivery of buggies and car seats, booking in the handyman to help with final fixing and babyproofing, batch-cooking meals for the freezer, thinking of a million things I’ve forgotten, which are all currently being added to my ever-growing wishlist!
I have bought a kid’s toothbrush but failed to buy any children’s toothpaste, I bought calpol and sudocrem (which made it all feel SO real – I’m not sure I should be allowed to medicate small children!). I have a cot mattress, but failed to buy any sheets for it (my sister kindly reminded me of this and gave me a load of her old cot bedding to use).
In amongst all of this it’s been my last week at work, so I’ve been trying to stay organised and write careful handover notes, documenting projects I have been working on, making sure all my files are clearly labelled and uploaded into shared drives so people can find stuff. And there have been lots of lovely phone calls and messages and good wishes from near and far, with lovely and supportive friends reaching out from around the globe to offer help and support and advice. People from all over my life have been telling me what an awesome mum I will be, which is so nice and reassuring. One friend commented that she told her sons my good news, and her 11-year old responded “She’ll be SUCH a fun mum” which just totally made my day.
Colleagues have been very kind and supportive and got me cake and a card and a lovely gift voucher. One friend has requested permission to organise me a VERY last-minute baby shower, which is extremely sweet. Another colleague came and told me how pleased she was for me, and seeing as she has 5 kids, I MUST contact her if I have ANY questions at all. She told me the hardest thing was to cope with all the unsolicited advice I’ll be getting from everyone, it’s a total nightmare, yada yada, and she then proceeded to give me a whole load of unsolicited advice for about 20 mins!
There was a mini-drama with the cot (I found a lovely second hand one which was cheap and in GREAT condition and looks beautiful, but one screw wouldn’t come out, which meant I couldn’t work out how to get it all put together). Thankfully my new handyman has come over and fixed it so it’s now safe and secure, and he’s done a few other jobs around the house, so everything is coming along.
I’ve been given advice on some books to read about transracial adoptions, and books to read on preparing for introductions, and books to read on toddler healthcare and development, books about adopted children, books about ethnic minority children (though clearly there won’t be time to read any of them!), and links to plenty of websites about managing mixed-race hair (turns out it’s COMPLETELY different to caucasian hair) so I’ve ordered various recommended hair products and combs and conditioning oils. I’ve also found some lovely story books with fairy tales illustrated with non-white princesses which look really nice. It’s a funny thing that we tend not to notice the inherent whitewashing of children’s storybooks, but it suddenly occurred to me that it doesn’t actually say anywhere that Rapunzel was white, or the princess and the pea was white, it’s just assumed based on the illustrations, so it’s nice that I found some lovely ones that can show different kinds of princesses and am trying to make sure we have a good mixture of storybooks for bedtime (plenty of ethnic minorities being represented and also lots of strong female role models!).
Later on next week I’ll be shopping for my daughter’s favourite foods (Gah! Feels so weird to say “my daughter” out loud! So exciting!) and making sure I know what size nappies to buy, and what type of toothpaste she’s used to, and finding out what kind of laundry detergent her foster carer uses so I can wash all my clothes and sheets and try to make everything smell familiar and comforting if I can.
I’ve also got 3 days’ leave next week before the introductions start, so I’ve booked in for my regular Dr’s appt, and got the cat booked in for her vaccinations, got several other appointments lined up so that I’ve ticked as much off the list as I can before it all starts! People keep telling me to relax and enjoy my last few days of freedom, but frankly, I’m not sure there’s any time for that!
One of my favourite people made the very astute observation that this must be what the final 2 weeks of a pregnancy must feel like, all the urgent nesting and faffing about and doing all those little things to get ready, “but without the impending threat of a tiny human ripping it’s way out of your body and destroying all your lady parts”. Well, quite! 🙂