Well, Baby is more than 6 months old now. It’s still crazy amazing and fun and hard and tiring all at the same time, but it also feels normal now. She’s eating some “solids” now, she’s wearing clothes that are bigger than her age bracket, and she’s going to start daycare soon. We’ve balanced our budget and lifestyle so that Baby gets what she needs and so do we. We’ve even made some new little buddies with babies our age. It’s all progressing swimmingly.
The one hiccup in our parental bliss is all the legal bullshit we have to deal with because we live in this state. On some level, in general, I am grateful that, given our biological limitations as a couple, we get to have a baby. Fine, I’ve said that. But that does not mean I have to be grateful to the ass-backward social and political institutions that make us jump through fiery barbed hoops that are inconvenient, expensive, and time consuming for everyone involved.
Here’s a summary of the ridiculous, up to this point:
* Before The Little Red Haired Girl was inseminated, the fertility clinic made me pay a fee and get a full panel of blood work done, just to sit next to her and hold her hand during IUIs. (Maybe I should be grateful for this, since they were treating us like a straight couple?)
* When the Baby was born, we discovered that in this state, The Little Red Haired Girl is considered an unwed mother, and that Baby’s father is unknown. This is how she was required to fill out the Birth Certificate form, and the only last name that Baby could be given is The Little Red Haired Girl’s. So, over the course of the next few months, we paid a lawyer, the courts, the registrar, and the social security administration to have Baby’s last name legally changed to include mine.
* Now that Baby is 6 months old, we have begun the adoption process. (You can’t adopt a child until he or she is a legal resident of the state, and that takes 6 months of living there). This requires more lawyer fees, caseworker fees, court fees, and a pile of paperwork and meetings that is more intensive than my graduate degree. BOTH The Little Red Haired Girl and I have to answer 5 page-long questionnaires about all our personal business, get reference letters from friends and family, have our employers write letters, get fingerprinted, have our finances scrutinized, have long personal interviews, have MORE blood tests (because they have to be within 6 months), have home visits, etc. All just so I can be legally recognized as the parent of my child.
So yes, I am crazy pissy about all of this. It will be a happy day when we get to move on out of here. Some folks might be brave and generous enough to stay somewhere difficult and fight the fight, but that’s not me. Coastal urban liberal elites, save some space for us!