Ready for a Do-Over


I’ve never been much for sports. Not team sports, anyway. When I was in elementary school, during recess I was most often found exploring tree-line that bordered the field or trying to swing as high as I could and leap out of the swing for that few seconds of being airborne.  Kickball, eh.  I wasn’t terrible at it, but it wasn’t really my thing.  *A* on the other hand, states vehemently that kickball was exactly her thing.  She was apparently a kickball queen.

When things didn’t go well, or as planned, during a turn at kickball, it was common practice to enter a plea for a do-over.  Depending on level of utter failure or unexplained interrupting phenomena that had just transpired during the play in question, the level of sophistication (or ruthlessness) of your opponent, and the length of time left before the bell ended recess, you were either granted or denied your request. (I attended one of the more liberal elementary schools, clearly, because such rules as “no do-overs!” as existed at *A*’s school, didn’t exist at mine – thank goodness – though that might give us all insight into *A*’s predilection for kickball mercilessness…er..proficiency.)

kickball closeup

*A* was (is?) a Kickball Queen. But Tetherball, she informs me, was her real sport. Pardon me while the former shortest kid in the 3rd grade rolls his eyes at the former tallest kid. 

When a do-over was granted, wow, did you exert all your might and strength and focus!  That ball was headed to the moon this time! Or at least so far past the second base-person who was picking his or her nose at the moment and not paying you the least bit of attention that it would just be a giant whooshing sound and every head of every kid watching would turn in amazement. Yeah, that just happened, you’d confidently say as you dashed around the bases.

And that, dear readers, is the best analogy I can give you right now for where we are adoption-wise. Our adoption is somewhat akin to a kickball game right now.  And the first play didn’t end well. We want a do-over.


Yes. We call a do-over on this whole adoption story thing.

I haven’t written a word in this blog since September 24th.  On that day in September, we were exactly two years into the “official” wait (“official” meaning the time we’ve been live with our agency).  We were almost two months separated from the best five days of our lives.  I won’t rehash – you can read that last post here.

The last almost 8 months has brought a lot of changes to our lives.  We took a week-long trip to escape, see some place new that we’ve always wanted to go.  Though my job at the museum ended – with many weeks of notice – I found and started a new job – one with benefits, better pay, and an office of my own(!).  *A* has been teaching a graduate course this spring.  Mostly good things.

But we also lost *A*’s beloved grandmother.  And we were not done with the grief of what happened to us last August.  We’re still not done.

We’ve had good.  We’ve had bad.  We’re still hanging in there.  And we’re hopeful.  We know that nothing’s so black-and-white as it was in elementary school days of dreaming of your future, when 30 was ancient and of course we’d have a house full of kids (and I’d be taller, while we’re at it), and we know that there’s no magical way to make reality match that picture in our heads – as it used to be or as it is now.  Still, true to form, I’ve over-complicated things in my head.  And though I had much to say, the excuses running rampant distracted me from writing, and I got further bogged down.   I’m currently striving to un-bog.

In regards to the kickball analogy and the whole do-over thing: please understand this part – there’s nothing we would do differently from what we did last August.   That’s not what I’m talking about when I state firmly that we want a do-over.  No one is at fault – it’s not our fault that what happened happened, and it’s not the birthmother’s fault and the whole thing was just wonderful and awful and what I mean here by “do-over” is that we want this – our starting a family through adoption –  to work, so we’re putting ourselves back in the game.  If you’re friends with The Littlest Brooks-Livingston on Facebook, you’ve likely noticed an uptick in posts (daily, now!).  We’re putting our adoption coordinator to work asking for contacts – and using those contacts, we’re sending out letters to medical professionals about us and our agency and open adoption. And I’m writing a blog post, which you’re reading right now.

It’s no small thing (to me, the introvert) that I’m writing here again.  I was pretty close to just shutting the whole blog down.  I figured that no one would want to hear from us, sad turn that our story had taken, and that this part of our adoption story was too awful to move beyond writing about. *A* and I have been through all of the various stages of grief and back again so many times in the past few month, and like I said, no we’re not done yet.  I needed the break, the space.

So in that space, I did nothing.  I made no move to shut down the blog nor to write another post.  Slowly, I began to realize that shutting it down – with all the work we’ve put into it and all the things here that are still so true and relevant, all the things we want to share with our kid’s birth family – it would signify giving up on the adoption. And I won’t lie, that did enter our minds.  The thought of quitting was squashed as quickly as it came.

Because as gnarly as *A* swears she was as a kickball queen in 3rd grade, I’ve seen a side of her no one else has – she’s was – and will be again – a sweet mama, too.  And I just can’t give that up. We call for a do-over.

So, from here: onward.  I’ll keep going with the blog, and I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting.  *A* and I appreciate all the support, understanding, good vibes, happy thoughts, prayers, and whatever positivity you can give us, here on the blog, on our Facebook page(s), and in person. Thanks for sticking with us.

kickball in air

The Do-Over: Launched.




10 thoughts on “Ready for a Do-Over

  1. Hugs to both of you as you step back into the ballgame with renewed hope and love in your hearts. Although I can’t imagine what you go through, my heart aches when I read this post. And, I cheer you on because I have faith in the universe and your passion to be parents of the Littlest. Peace and love to you.

  2. I was overjoyed to find your blog waiting for me today! You have been heavy on my mind this entire week as I start the arduous task !of packing for the next five months. One thing for sure I will miss you at the museum! Everything in the world seems so unsettled these days. There is one thing of which I am certain…. you and “A” would be a blessing to any child! I’m overjoyed you are going to “do-over”

    • Dear Sherry, it’s been far too long since we’ve seen each other last. Now we have to plan a get-together when you get settled in your little gnome house again! Thank you for your love and support – we can count on you to help us keep our chins up!

  3. I’m so glad you’ve returned to your blog! I love the do-over approach. Sending you good wishes that your child will find his or her way to you soon.

  4. I am a stranger who happened upon your blog a few years ago and I found myself checking for a post from you many times since September. I was delighted to find you had posted, and with what appears to be a renewed outlook and strength. I will keep you in my prayers as you continue on the journey toward finding the child who is destined to be yours. And what a fortunate child, to have such wonderful parents who can show by example how to persevere when life doesn’t go the way we hope, and follow the time line we desire!

    • Hi Andrea,
      Thank you for thinking of us and being a cheerleader. We don’t know each other, but it means a lot to know that folks out there are sending good thoughts our way. Perseverance is one of those life lessons that’s much better in theory than the actual practice, which is pretty crappy, indeed, sometimes. But here we are, and we know somebody wonderful is on the other end of our long wait and we’ll meet soon. Maybe not as soon as we’d like, but soon. Thanks for sticking with us! –Ethan


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