Friday, 9 July 2010

The grouch

Round 27: Winter 2026
last update/next update

Joanna and Rose Draper are both 31.
(Ione is 30, Lia, Olivia and Asha are all 29 and Aaron is 23)

Narrated by Rose Draper

Our friend Olivia is getting married soon, so we girls decided to take her out for drinks to celebrate. We were planning on going to the Old Brick to relive our college days but Joanna objected. She's sworn off that place for life after being groped by some oversexed college boy last time we went there.

Once Olivia gets married, Asha will be the only single one left in our group. We keep asking her if she and Luc will ever get married. She just grins and changes the subject. I think she likes keeping us all guessing.

After drinks, most of us spent the night dancing. Asha happened to run into her friend Aaron and she hung out with him a little bit. Aaron's gay but Asha says Luc's a bit jealous of him anyway.

Lia ended up getting too tired to dance after a while and she and Ione sat down and talked about their kids for the rest of the night.

Oh well. We did all have fun, even if it wasn't a wild and crazy night. I don't know if I have it in me for wild and crazy nights any more.

We took Olivia home because she told us she had a gift she wanted to give us, for when our adoption finally goes through.

She made us a quilt for the baby's room, as well as a patchwork teddy bear. They're both adorable and I love how they add a bit of a personal touch to the room.

It was near the end of last year when Joanna and I decided to try to adopt a child. We both knew we'd eventually want to start a family. It was just a matter of when.

Now just seems like a really good time for us. We're both doing well with our careers. Joanna is still teaching at the high school and I'm still writing for the paper, so financially, we're doing well.

We've been living together for almost ten years and married for three, so we're stable and we feel like we've enjoyed enough time by ourselves as a couple and we're now ready for kids.

We're in the middle of the home study now but before we started, we spent almost every weekend looking around for things for the baby.

There is so much cute stuff out there! I would have bought everything without Joanna to rein me in.

Our house is very kid friendly now. We've got a great nursery and we even put some play equipment up in the backyard. The baby won't be able to use it for a while, of course, but we couldn't resist it!

I was so nervous the first time Tamara, our social worker, came to the house to meet us. Joanna had promised she'd be on her best behaviour but she's got such a temper sometimes, so I was still a little worried!

Predictably, Joanna can't stand Tamara. She's on her very best behaviour while Tamara's actually here (which to Joanna feels like all the time).

The minute she leaves is Joanna's cue to start her ranting session. Tamara's insincere, the whole process is intrusive, etc. I don't mind hearing her out because honestly, it does feel intrusive sometimes. We each had to have a full physical, they contacted our employers to make sure we weren't lying about our income and they've asked for multiple references from our friends and families.

But it's like I keep telling Joanna, we just need to get through this home study, which will last six months at the very longest, get approved officially and then it'll all be over. It's worth it to start our family. She knows but Joanna just gets put on edge really easily and Tamara rubs her the wrong way.

Personally, I kind of like Tamara. She's been really helpful in explaining the whole process to us and she's put me at ease about a lot of things.

All the prying is a lot to take in but the interview part has been beneficial for us too. There have been some issues Tamara has asked about that are really important but that Joanna and I hadn't considered before. If we were doing this without her, we might not have ever thought of them.

Like open adoption. Tamara had asked us what we thought of it and if we'd be willing to consider it. We'd done some research but were still a little unclear as to what it entailed.

Joanna was worried it would be like having a third parent in the picture, which is not something either of us want.

It turns out that the laws here in Sullivan mean that the adoptive parents negotiate the arrangements with the biological parents, so the boundaries are based on what everybody is comfortable with.

We're both a lot more relaxed about the idea now. We're not under any illusions that negotiating something like this will be simple but at least we'll have some control over the situation.

Deep down, Joanna knows Tamara's not so bad but she was ready to hate her and she doesn't want to admit she was wrong now.

Joanna was really annoyed when I got confused about our appointment time and Tamara ended up arriving when I wasn't home yet.

Joanna managed to not bite poor Tamara's head off though. Tamara had come over to do an inspection of the house, to make sure it was baby-ready, so Joanna showed her the backyard while I was gone.

I think Tamara was a bit concerned when she saw we had a big dog but I don't think there's anything to worry about with Abel. He's great with my brother Chris and with Joanna's brother's kids.

Abel's really a big baby. He sometimes even cowers away from us if we approach him too quickly.

Our nursery was officially approved too. Joanna thought Tamara might think it was too small. We have an empty larger room upstairs but while the baby is little, we'd rather keep it downstairs nearer to our bedroom.

It might sound weird because we don't even have a baby yet but it's already my favourite room in the house. It's very warm and inviting. I want to talk to Joanna about redoing the rest of the house in similar colours, once we get settled.

When Tamara left that day, I asked her if she thought we had a good chance of being approved. She wasn't willing to say anything concrete because there are still some more checks to be performed and references to check over.

I'm apparently forgiven for leaving Joanna alone with Tamara, but only because it all worked out well and if I promise I won't do it again!

But we've finished the interview and home visit part of the home study now, so we can relax a little. It's all in the hands of the adoption agency anyway, so there's not much we can do. Tamara was very positive about us at every point along the way though, so we can't help but feel pretty optimistic about this!

  • Title comes from The Grouch by Green Day. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've intentionally listened to Green Day since high school but it was so funny that this song came up on my iPod as I sat down to write a Joanna update!
  • I did not teleport Aaron into that bar. I take him there a lot with Calvin and apparently, he's developed a taste for the place and now visits there all the time of his own accord. Every time I take a Sim down there, Aaron shows up! I think that's hysterical!
  • I don't think anything I've ever written for Sullivan has allowed me to be as nerdy as this adoption thing! I've read so many pages explaining what a home study is, how long they last and how long it takes to be matched with a child once the study is completed. It varies depending on where you are but I've decided that Joanna and Rose's home study will probably last until near the end of spring and Sylvia will be adopted officially in the summer. I'm really excited to get this family all settled in together.
  • Joanna most definitely does not like Tamara. They were sitting on the couch watching TV together at one point and their relationship went down! I've never seen that happen with TV watching. I often use that when two Sims just won't get along because the relationship always seems to go up with it. Joanna is special, clearly!


  1. Same here, whenever I do research for Apple Valley-which is always-I feel nerdy too. I loved the update and seeing how the women are coping with everything. I didn't realize that they had been together so long.

  2. Their nursery looks great, I love how you always decorate your houses so amazingly! I'm excited for when they finally get to get little Sylvia for themselves, I think they're more than ready for this baby!

    Lol, Joanna really just doesn't get a long well with people does she? I'm glad she put on her best face for Tamara though :)

  3. I figured you were researching for the adoption again when you posted on twitter. I'm looking forward to the little homecoming when everything is said and done.

    And LOL on Joanna and Tamara's bar going down while watching TV. The nursery looks great, and seriously, a jungle gym!? How can they not be approved!! (It would be so mean of you to deny them at this point) ;P

    They are so clearly super excited, I love it, and the little teddy bear/talk through.

  4. That nursery is so pretty and cozy-looking! If i was a little kid, I'd love sleeping there. The quilt and the bear are the perfect touches. I can't wait to see Joanna and Rose as parents, because they already seem so dedicated.

  5. Thanks everyone!

    Apple Valley, glad I'm not alone!

    Rose and Joanna have been together for ages! They got together when they were 15 and have been together ever since, so it's 16 years for them now.

    Tessa, it's only recently that I pay much attention to decorating but I really enjoy it now. If you look at some earlier entries, there's a lot boringness but it started to make me bored!

    Joanna is just a curmudgeon. She likes the people she chooses to associate herself with and would be very happy if she never had to talk to anyone else again. She's kind of like an exaggerated version of me, in that way!

    But she and Rose are both definitely ready for this baby. They'll be good parents.

    Maisie, ah, actually, that tweet was referring to Cordy's update. I was researching strokes because I was pretty sure you could go into a coma from a stroke but I wanted to be positive and I looked up a few little other tidbits while I was at it! But I did yet more research on adoption while I was writing this too.

    Rose and Joanna really went all out for this kid, didn't they? I think Sylvia might end up being a little spoiled!

    Christina, heh, I wouldn't mind sleeping there myself! Most of my Sims' houses are decorated nicer than anything I ever come across in real life!

    It feels like so long until we'll next see Rose and Joanna. After the Summer 2027 birthdays, when they'll meet Sylvia for the first time, I think I have them scheduled for Spring 2028! I'll have to have them pop in to see Lake and Kendal and Adam and Athena, so everyone can meet Sylvia.

  6. It maybe nerdy all the resaerch you do for Sullivan, but I really admire you for doing it! It's something I can't do, I simply don't have the patience for it!
    Rose and Joanna most certainly are ready for little Sylvia to come and live with them, they will be such great parents!

  7. Ha, I love Joanna *trying* to behave herself for the home study and still lowering her relationship score with Tamara instead.

    But I think they'll make great parents and I can't wait for them to finally get Sylvia in their home. I love the nursery they set up for her! It already looks like Sylvia is going to be very spoiled. ;)

  8. Tanja, doing all the research to try and make this at least partially realistic is part of what keeps my interest, so it doesn't really require patience for me. It's almost a part of the game.

    Shana, Joanna just can't help herself. Even when she's trying to be good, her anti-social tendencies still come out!

  9. The title definitely made me laugh, especially with Joanna's picture. I just love these two. It's so funny that Rose is so sweet, and Joanna can't even watch TV with someone, yet it works!

    I can't wait for them to be get the baby.

  10. I'm impressed by the amount of research you do for Sullivan. All the details of the adoption sound so real, well, because they are!

    I was literally sitting on the edge of my chair when the social worker was visiting Joanna and Rose. I was afraid that Joanna would blurt out something rude which would decrease their chances. I'm glad she didn't!

    That nursery really looks great!

  11. Lunar, I think Rose is a good balance for Joanna. She reins her in before she goes too overboard. Joanna's good for helping Rose keep her feet on the ground, so it goes both ways.

    Sari, thanks. It's not too involved - just a bit of Googling and some Wikipedia. It's amazing what you can find out these days!

    Ha, Joanna knows when it's best to behave and if she wants to, she can control herself. She often doesn't want to but she knew there was more riding on this than just her desire to tell Tamara off, so she wisely kept her trap shut for once!

    And thanks!

  12. I'm glad everything went well with the home study and Joanna was able to keep her cool with Tamara lol. I love the look of the house and the nursery looks great! I love the colors, too. I agree that Sylvia probably will be spoiled, which will be good for her knowing what situation she COULD have been in.

    So do you think you'll go through the process of having them adopt another child when the time comes or is that too far away? LOL

  13. Danielle, ah, yes, Joanna and Sylvia can definitely offer Sylvia much more than Adrienne could right now. She'd likely lead a very different life, if Adrienne had made another decision.

    It's possibly Joanna and Rose will adopt again but I may also want to try out the sperm donation I was talking about a little while ago. We'll see.

    It's never too early to ask about my plans though (unless I'm keeping them secret for whatever reason ;)). There are a couple of little kids around who I have plans for when they get older, though the plans are very vague and subject to change at this point, obviously! I do think ahead a lot, even if things don't always turn out the way I thought they would! If they did, Finn and Victoria would have broken up at about 15 or 16 and Finn would have ended up with Patience and Victoria with Jacob. But it didn't turn out that way at all. ;)

  14. LOL, they've got the playground all set up already! They are prepared! :)

    I've certainly done my share of nerdy research for LH too, so no judgments here! So, just curious, but could there have been any conditions or situations that would have led to their being disapproved?

    Rose and Joanna are just adorable with their excitement. The nursery and the house looks amazing, and they're both going to be great parents!

  15. Laura, hmmm, you know, I hadn't really thought of that. Maybe if Joanna had actually got into a slap fight with Tamara! Or if they lost all their money, say in a chance card. They're paying $10,000 in fees for this and that needs to be paid up front.

    But it seems so sad to let them get all excited and then say no! I don't know why because my Sims have had sadder things happen to them.

    Joanna's been in a very good mood around Sullivan of late, so I think she must be excited!

  16. I know, it *would* be sad! That's why I was wondering if you would consider shooting them down for any reason, lol!

  17. LOL, I'm such a softie! I really do like it when everything works out for my Sims, in the end.