So less than 24 hours to go before our home visit and the paranoia is official.
My understanding from other adoptive parents in the trenches is that this time frame should elicit behavior similar to nesting, but with mega doses of anxiety and panic mixed into the cleaning. And it turns out they were right!
Rationally: We are fine. We will do fine. We will be fine. We will pass. We have nothing to fear. We are going to rock it.
Emotionally: I can't eat, my stomach won't stop churning, and I can't stop cleaning. And if you know me AT ALL, you know that it's pretty standard to feel the first two in the face of anxiety, but cleaning is not something that typically "breaks out" like a rash in my home. I usually get anxious and crawl in the bathtub, drink some coffee and avoid the dust in the corner. I do not break into cleaning the same way that characters spontaneously break into song in a musical.
I also am a bit horrified to learn that my linoleum floors will come clean, if I get on my hands and knees and scrub them with a scrub pad. Huh. Man. 3 years in this house and there have always been black streaks and areas that seem to be different shades of brown. I've just assumed this whole time they just stay that dirty and no amount of mopping would work. I was right. Mopping won't work. Floor scrubbing akin to Cinderella and her bucket of water does the trick. Whaddya know. How embarrassing.
I know it might sound a bit odd, but I'm one of those people that has "off limits" sections in my house. Sure you can visit! If you give me 24 hours advance and know that we are staying in the kitchen or living room and please for the love of god, do not go rogue and begin opening doors. I can't be held accountable for things that might fall out of that closet onto your head. It's off limits. I am not the only one. You know you are surely on my inside circle of loved ones if I ever let you even see our bedroom or master bathroom. Those are... off limits. I'm not the only one who has parts of their house that are rarely, if ever clean. So imagine cleaning the normal two rooms, plus all the off limits areas!
The thing is that we will be approved. I am simply freaking out for the same reason that anyone else might freak out in this situation. I don't typically have people over to my house to actually evaluate it and look in the closets. Most people that visit are coming for the company. She's coming with a list of questions and a notepad. I'm anxious because there are things that are much easier to process on paper and much harder to talk about in person, no matter how far we might have come emotionally when it comes to infertility or past childhood issues. It's still rough to talk about those things openly, while also attempting to be genuine but impressing her at the same time. As she's also noticing the dust in the corner. I'm freaking out because there is crap I don't want to rehash and I don't want to rehash all the moments of my life, good and bad, when it's not a therapy session and is meant instead to make us look presentable and put together. I know it's not a test, but it sure feels like it! I mean, how mentally put together do you need to be to talk about your biggest trauma's and still convince someone you are normal and healthy? That's a tall order! I usually reserve those topics for other therapist friends, my husband, family or best friend. Tell me about those miscarriages, keep a smile on your face, and convince me that you've moved past it. OK!