Books!

I am a genealogy nerd. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been practically obsessed with family trees–first, my own, and then later, the family trees of friends. Genealogy requires a lot of research: reading, note-taking, meticulous citations. Hours and hours of time spent in libraries, on websites, in cemeteries and city archives, and curled up in my living room with a book and a highlighter.

If I’m not studying something related to genealogy, I’m diving into something else involving research–it’s kinda my thing. Most recently, it’s been wedding planning. Our wedding is in just over three weeks, and everything is pretty much done, so in the past few weeks, I’ve switched gears to adoption research.

Oh boy, I have so much to learn.

I’ve been reading articles on the AFABC website and doing endless Google searches on attachment, openness, LGBTQ adoption, and anything else I can think of. I’ve read the current issue of Focus On Adoption so many times that I think I have it memorized. I dug out my copy of The Kid and read it again for the millionth time.

Last month, I picked up a copy of Attaching in Adoption by Deborah D. Gray. I hadn’t done a lot of research on the author, but the back of the book looked good, so I figured I’d give it a shot. It completely blew my mind. I realized only a few pages into the first chapter that I have so so so much to learn about this whole new world we’re stepping into.

Which, as a research nerd, thrills me to my toes. As a prospective adoptive parent, it’s somewhat sobering to realize the depth and breadth of what I need to learn, but I feel optimistic. Which is a good thing, because the following books arrived on our doorstep from Amazon yesterday:

I can’t wait to read them! And when I am done these four books, I am going to order a few more off Amazon. I have another dozen or so in my shopping cart. Yep, I really am a research nerd. 🙂

It’s the middle of the night, my husband-to-be and cat are fast asleep, and I have hours to kill until I need to sleep before my night shift tonight. Time for a cup of tea with my new stack of books. 🙂

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork

I get the feeling that the stack of papers on our dining table is just the beginning.

We got an email back from our social worker on Monday, and finally had some time to sit down together on Wednesday to fill in the few blanks we had left.  And now it’s done!  I’m going to scan everything for posterity, and then mail it off today.

Aaaaaand then back to the waiting.  Waiting for my newest round of adoption-themed Amazon purchases to arrive, waiting for our social worker to process our paperwork, waiting for our wedding to be over and done with (one month to go, so there’s a little stress on that front).

This isn’t really a complaint. I know there will be a lot of waiting, and I am actually happy about it. If everything happened in close succession, there wouldn’t be time to process and think and plan and research. Which are things that I love doing, and things that need to happen.

And so. Time to redirect our focus back to the wedding and honeymoon, for the time being. 🙂

Queer femme dad

I just realized that as I start participating in discussions on adoption websites and blogs, more people will be viewing this website. And those people will be strangers. And so, I thought it might be a good idea to explain a bit more about myself, and why the words ‘queer’ and ‘femme’ and ‘dad’ are in the title of this blog.

To start, a little history/etymology:

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. Originally meaning strange or peculiar, queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late-19th century. Beginning in the late-1980s, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert a politicized identity distinct from the gay political identity. Queer may be used by those who reject traditional gender identities as a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to LGBT.

From Urban Dictionary:

Femme: n.) A gender identity in which someone (female, male or other) has an awareness of cultural standards of femininity and actively embodies a feminine appearance, role, or archetype. It is usually–but not always–associated with a gay or queer sexual identity/sexuality. It is usually more accentuated and intentional than a straight female gender identity or gender presentation and often challenges standards of femininity through exaggeration, parody or transgression of gender norms.

From Miriam-Webster:

Dad: noun: a person’s father

Clear as mud? Well, okay, I’ll try a little harder. 🙂

I am a femme man. I have a lot of mannerisms that are traditionally considered to be feminine. I wear the occasional bit of makeup when getting dressed up for something fancy. I throw fabulous dinner parties while wearing my apron. I consider my femininity to be central to my personal identity. I am not ashamed of the fact that I talk with my hands. I look great in glitter. I covet jewelry the way my male co-workers covet new golf clubs. And much, much more.

I also a queer man.  I like this word better than ‘gay’ a lot of the time (although I tend to use ‘gay’ to describe myself when I am talking to people who may be less educated about queer culture as a way of skipping some unnecessary questions and strange looks) because it feels more expansive and welcoming, to me, and also is a word that has particular meaning in the GLBTQ community that I am a part of.  It allows for muddiness, for grey areas, for ambiguity, and I like acknowledging that gender and sexuality aren’t black and white.

One day, I hope to be someone’s father.  This part should be pretty self-explanatory. 🙂

And so: I chose to highlight these things in the title of my blog, because they are core parts of my identity, and they are things that make me rare (as far as I can tell) in the adoption blogging world. If anyone out there has any questions, please let me know.

Sad face

Today, I am making a sad face, because I know that we have so much waiting ahead of us, and I just want to move forward right now.

Here are a few things I am reading while we wait:

There is more to my ‘sad face’ right now, but it feels too complex to spell out in words. My heart is full and happy, but there is a longing that makes the corners of my mouth turn down from time to time. This is one of those times.