OK, for those of you out there with both bio and adopted kids, can you tell me:
Is there a nesting instinct that kicks in for adoptive moms? Or is this solely a biological phenomenon, brought on by pregnancy hormones?
Because my husband thinks I am officially nuts. I've been obsessively working on home improvement projects since practically the moment we got our referral. Except my projects are not of the traditional "I must sterilize this house so no germs touch my baby" variety. No, that would make too much sense.
My compulsions are not around cleaning my dirty kitchen or even painting the nursery. I am more than happy to let the dishes rot in the sink for yet another day. They are more around completing every single home improvement project that has ever occurred to me in the 5 years that I've lived in this house. My compulsions are more of this variety: "I must tear this wall down NOW", "I must tile the floor in our home office", "I must add another circuit to the subpanel," and "I must get a shed in which to hang my garden tools." And if I'm not frantically working on the project itself, I'm perusing the aisles of Lowes and Home Depot, or I'm researching how to do the next phase of the project on the Internet. (Yes, my real job has suffered as a result of my obsession.)
Most of these projects have nothing to do with the baby. They have more to do with just getting the house in order. The way I always wanted it.
I rationalize my home improvement obsession by telling myself it's because I don't want to be working on these projects once our son is home -- I want to concentrate just on him and not on hanging dry wall. Or I delude myself by saying it's because I don't want him exposed to the nasty chemicals I use in these projects nor the dust I create.
But the truth is, none of these reasons is really THE reason. I am doing these projects because I feel absolutely COMPELLED to do them. I feel like THEY MUST GET DONE before the baby comes home. I feel a bit of panic at the thought of them NOT getting done.
But since (unlike pregnant women) there is no excess prolactin running around my body, WHY the compulsion?
My husband thinks I have totally flipped. I am kind of annoyed at him because he has done precious little of the huge list of things that I perceive MUST get done before the baby gets home. Things he promised to do, like get life insurance, set up a trust, etc... He is actually a hindrance in helping will home improvement stuff, so I'd actually prefer he stay out of the way and just help me carry some of the heavy things. But boy, I wish he would do some of the non- home improvement things. If it were even approaching 20% of the effort I am making I would be happier. (not HAPPY, just happiER).
I mean, I'm the one who's done all our taxes, filed all our adoption paperwork, handled the eff-ups with US-CIS, lined up pre-adopt medical evals for our son, selected and purchased and assembled all the baby gear, signed us up for baby class, taken care of all the family and friend birthdays, done nearly all the household shopping, dealt with subcontractors, researched childcare, etc.
He annoys me because I feel I am spending every moment to prepare for this huge thing. I am almost panicking that it won't get done. Yet, he seems totally unmotivated and I don't get this. I have motivation in spades but lack the time and some of the knowledge to accomplish everything on the list by myself. I wish he would WANT to help out a bit.
But my husband is right -- precious little of this "Must Do" list actually MUST get done before the baby gets home. Really, the only thing we HAVE to do is buy presents for the Korean foster family and make travel arrangements once we get the call. Oh, and get a pediatrician. And a pediatric cardiologist. And line up yet another new day care since I just heard my company is going to move offices to a different city. And finish up all my stuff at work. And clean out all the boxes in the attic. And have the front deck refinished, install new light fixtures throughout the house, steam clean all the upholstery, install a new medicine cabinet, buy new sheets, label all my photo albums, purge my closet of all my infertility-fat clothes, ....
Maybe I really AM crazy.
(Adoption Process Update: We've heard nothing more from anyone since US-CIS approved our I-600. Now we just wait for the travel call, which could be in 2-3 weeks, or 2-3 months, or longer... who knows?)