And some nights are just awful. Last night being one of them.
The kind of bipolar disorder I have is called Mixed State. It means just what it sounds like – mania and depression occur simultaneously. Sometimes one is stronger than the other – sometimes to the point that I fall into a fullblown manic or depressive episode. Thankfully that’s rare for me, perhaps once every couple of years. More often, it’s simply that no matter how happy/giddy I am, there is a black cloud rumbling behind me – and when I am sad/depressed, there’s still a a bit of restlessness, a need to get up and do a couple of somethings, and a comforting little ember at my feet that tells me everything’s going to be all right.
One of my more annoying symptoms is that every evening, between about 6pm – 10pm, my mood hits a downswing. I know this, I expect it, and usually I am prepared for it – it’s just a crack in the sidewalk I have to step over. Only the downswings have been skipping nights, lately – which is great – and until last night I hadn’t had one in close to a week.
Last night, the downswing hit. I acknowledged it, told Robert about it so we could sidestep any sort of fight, and sat down at my computer, thinking I’d just play a few games before going to bed. Next thing I knew, several hours had passed and I had been crawling all over the adoption sites – agencies, information sites, message boards. This was not one of my brighter ideas.
Last night, I learned that an overseas adoption costs about as much as surrogacy with a donor egg – both can easily reach $100,000. I learned that even if I adopt a child in another country which has adopted the Hague conventions (which means I have to have a homestudy, inspection, and be certified to foster/adopt in the US before I go) I have to REadopt the child when I get her home to the US – and the INS/Homeland Security can block that adoption, denying my child citizenship. I’m not sure if it also means the child is returned to her country of origin – that was somewhat unclear. What IS clear is that it’s a cruel, cruel thing to do to a child who has spent 2-3 months bonding with you in her home country before being allowed to leave the country.
Last night, I made the mistake of visiting some of the message board forums talking about being disabled and adopting. I learned that yes, people with bipolar disorder can adopt – but that it takes much longer to do so and that there are a whole lot of extra hoops to jump through. Especially if, like me, you require daily maintenance meds.
Last night, I was pretty discouraged when I logged off and couldn’t have found hope if it crawled up my leg and bit my ass.
Today I am feeling pretty hopeful again. There are plenty of children here in the US, without looking overseas. Fostercare transitioning to adoption is actually easier than “normal” adoption. If all else fails, surrogacy remains an option if we can find a reliable surrogate willing to use her own egg.
The point is, it’s still going to happen. God/dess is going to bring us the right child, at the right time, as long as we keep doing the work – and I am not going to let a bad night stop me from doing the work.