Monday, 24 October 2011

Halo

Round 32: September 2035 (Spring)
last update/next update

Aaron and Calvin Clarke are both 32.
(James is 60, Madelyn is 55, Abigail is 52, Maia is 33, Ethan is 29 and Rebecca is 26)

Narrated by Aaron Clarke

Calvin and I haven't been out on many dates lately but last week, we had dinner at Front Page Cafe, which is just a couple of blocks away from our new house.

Calvin is great in the kitchen, so we eat well at home but just having a meal without worrying about cooking or cleaning up afterwards was a nice change of pace for us.

I don't know if we'd ever eat out at restaurants if it was up to Calvin. As much as I love him, he can be a little cheap sometimes.

But he won $500 in the lottery, so I managed to talk him into splurging a tiny bit.

It can be expensive to eat out but we always have so much fun. I think it's worth it. Calvin is pretty set in his ways though, so the next time we go out, it'll probably be with the coupons Ethan and Maia gave us.

The coupons were specifically for use after 5pm and due to expire soon. Maia is way too exhausted by dinner time to go out to restaurants. Pregnancy is really taking it out of her.

The baby is due any day now and she and Ethan are both just really eager to meet him or her.

I am too, actually. Calvin has nieces and nephews from his brother and his stepsisters but this will be the first baby on my side of the family.

We're hoping to do something about that soon. For the past several months, Calvin and I have been living and breathing adoption.

We watched Rose and Joanna go through the whole thing when they adopted Sylvia but you don't realise how involved it really is until you start delving into it yourself.

I can't count the times we've met with our social worker, Rebecca, since we started this process and I still get nervous every time I know she's coming over.

The pacing drives Calvin nuts after a few minutes and he has to force me to sit down. He doesn't really get it; he only got nervous the first few times.

Rebecca isn't quite what I was expecting in a social worker and she still leaves me feeling a little uncomfortable.

I thought she would make every effort to put us at ease but she's very no-nonsense about everything and doesn't waste much time on pleasantries.

Rebecca is nothing if not thorough. She recommended we have a fence installed around our property and when we did so, she insisted on inspecting it extremely closely.

And I don't know what on earth she was looking for in our shower but she checked that out too.

Rebecca was the reason we got the nursery ready so incredibly early. We didn't want to take any risks but she actually looked surprised when she saw the room. Apparently, a lot of people don't bother until they're much further along in the process.

Rebecca has also grilled us on just about everything that could possibly relate to our suitability as parents: our routines, the neighbourhood we live in, our friends and family members, our jobs. Ideally, one of us will be able to stay home with him or her for at least the first few months or so.

Calvin already has three days off in the middle of the week but I work Monday to Friday, 10-6. I'm hoping my editor will be open to letting me go part time for a little while.

Abigail is a pretty understanding boss with most things, so I'm hoping it won't be a huge deal, when the time comes.

Rebecca has also talked to some of our friends and family, my parents being the last. They were happy to do it for us but also surprised at how in-depth the process is these days. It's very different from when they adopted Connor, more than 20 years ago.

Mum and Dad have been really awesome throughout this whole thing. Without them, I don't think we would have been able to get our house ready and have enough for the application fees.

They're very excited for us. Neither of them have ever been the type to nag us about getting married or having kids but Mum especially is totally ready for grandchildren. She's been talking about it since we announced we'd be adopting last Christmas.

But the interviews are over now, thankfully, for us and our references. We were expecting it to take a little longer but we're officially approved to adopt.

The last meeting we had with Rebecca, she told us that next time we talked, it would be to inform us that we'd been matched with a child.

I can't believe we could actually be parents in just a few months! It could take longer but Rebecca told us not to be surprised if the wait was a relatively short one.

I almost wish she hadn't told us that, because I think I'm getting even more antsy about it now. I'm in that nursery all the time, checking everything is still perfect.

Now that the adoption is feeling a bit more real, we're freaking out a little bit. We've done plenty of babysitting but the only living thing we've ever been fully responsible for is Ulysses.

It's mildly terrifying to think someone is just going to hand us a kid to raise but we can't wait to meet our child either.

Extras:
I had meant to go in and let Maia have her baby right after playing Aaron and Calvin but I ended up spending way too much time watching Ulysses get high on catnip instead!

I think the fact that his eyes are two different colours make him look mildly crazy, which I love!

And I did get Maia and Ethan's baby born in the end. That post will go up tomorrow. :)

Notes:
  • Title is from Halo by Foo Fighters.
  • Calvin rolled the Small Lottery Prize ROS this round. They could have used the Large Lottery Prize Elspeth rolled but they're doing okay now. Their financial situation is what made me finally decide to have them adopt a toddler though. The fee to adopt a newborn is $10,000, which they don't have. If they want a kid further down the line, they might be able to afford a newborn then.
  • I cannot imagine Rebecca is the easiest person to deal with, especially for someone as meek as Aaron. She is also super-neat, so even though the shower was clean before she came over, she decided to give it another once-over anyway! I really love it when Sims act the way you'd expect them to.
  • I'm doing a random roll thing with Aaron and Calvin, to see when they get matched with a kid, like I did for Rose and Joanna when they did artificial insemination. So when they do get matched, I'll write it into a related update, either their own or a family member's, depending on how long it takes. I'm hoping soon but we'll see!

18 comments:

  1. I love how you do random rolls for adoptions and I can't wait to see the new babies

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  2. Congratulations Aaron and Calvin! I can't wait to see all of the new babies.

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  3. Apple Valley, well, I think this is the first time I've done a random roll for an adoption. I don't remember doing it with Sylvia, as we were talking about an already existing Sim who needed a home in that case. But I like mixing it up a bit like this. I just did all my rolls last night, so I already know when Aaron and Calvin will be getting their baby. :)

    Thanks for reading!

    Sarah, me either! Well, I've already seen Maia and Ethan's baby but am waiting for Aaron and Calvin's just like you guys!

    Thanks for reading!

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  4. This was a fun update i like the idea of rolling, I might use it myself down the line. Funny about her hopping right in the shower and the fence looks nice. Would be nerve wracking to go trough the process, can't wait to see everyone together with all their kids soon enough. What did you have to roll for the adoption?

    Aww I'm excited to see the toddler, no waiting to see what they look like at that stage! Funny too that their baby will be older than Maia's baby. My sister went trough that, had a daughter named adison then her sister in law finally adopted after years, and the baby was 6 months older than adison and her name is madison. You can't change names for the first 6 months here if the child was removed from a home but they just kept it after they finalized.

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  5. I'm doing a random roll for Stella and Deacon's adoption as well. And I already know how that goes :)

    I love this couple. I was watching Adoption stories yesterday and it had a gay couple who adopted a little girl and I immediately thought of Calvin and Aaron.

    I can't wait to see Maia's baby and I especially can't wait to see Calvin and Aaron's toddler. So much excitement going on :D

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  6. Awww I'm happy for them. And I loved the picture of Maia gazing up at Ethan, too cute :). That's a good idea, rolling on the adoption. For Kip and Kimber, I just decided the whole process would take about a year. I'm glad they're getting a toddler too, we'll good a good idea of what they're going to look like. And Rebecca is definitely a scary social worker lol

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  7. Maisie, rolls always seem to add just the right amount of randomness to the proceedings! For the rolls, I just used the Choice A and Choice B options in my edited version of Laura's ROS file and decided that whatever month they rolled Choice B would be the month they were matched with a child. I won't say when that is though!

    I think adopting would definitely be a nerve-wracking process, especially with Rebecca as your social worker.

    True, we'll know what the kid looks like right away - there's one advantage. Depending on when they are matched, their baby and Maia's baby might end up being closer in age than you think though.

    Cousins Adison and Madison! Well...I've seen rhyming names on siblings, so it shouldn't be too much of a hardship for cousins, I guess. I actually have no idea what the law is about changing an adopted kid's name here. Adoption is so very rare here - most of the rules I've been using for Sullivan are adapted from US and UK rules.

    Thanks for reading!

    Sari, I forgot you were doing that! I'm excited to see the outcome for Stella and Deacon.

    Oh, what a coincidence! I'll be so thrilled when I finally get to match these guys with their baby!

    Everyone will get to see Ethan and Maia's baby today. :D It's going up in about 15 minutes and will probably definitely be up by the time you read this!

    Thanks for reading!

    Mizzgin03, Maia did that on her own, though I had to pose Ethan a bit. I think that pic is adorable.

    A year is about how long it ended up taking for Rose and Joanna as well, though it was so long ago that I can't remember if I planned it or it just worked out that way!

    It's probably a good thing for any prospective adoptive parents in Sullivan that Rebecca won't stay in social work. It's just a level in Shana's Counseling Psychology career (and a very realistic level, I have to add - most of the social workers my sister works with are psychologists), so eventually, she will move on.

    Thanks for reading!

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  8. Rebecca inspecting the shower is hysterical! She would scare me to death, too.

    Interesting that a newborn costs so much more than a toddler. Is that because they're more difficult to take care of? Or in more demand?

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  9. S.B., yeah, I don't think I'd feel too at ease around Rebecca either!

    Well, when I set the fees, I was thinking newborns were more in demand, so I made them more expensive. But I've done a lot more reading since then (I've had those fees set since the beginning of Sullivan) and I don't think that bears out in real life. You have to wait a lot longer for a newborn but I haven't seen anything that indicates it ends up costing you more. So I may look into that and revise it.

    Thanks for reading!

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  10. Rebecca would freak me out. The shower? Talk about an inspection.

    I'm excited for these two. I can't wait for them to have their child. =)

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  11. Choco, Rebecca is extremely thorough. She's not a serious Sim but I imagine that she'd take her job extremely seriously.

    I wish I could reveal when Aaron and Calvin will get their baby but I'm keeping it a surprise until it happens. :) Once we find out they've been matched, we will meet the child very soon afterwards.

    Thanks for reading!

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  12. Aww, great!!! I love how you made Rebecca checking everything in the house, including the shower! ;D That's really nice. I didn't comment on the previous post, where Kendal and Lake visited her to give her warranties for Calvin, but I found the idea pretty genius.

    Hourrah for the adoption!!!

    I loved Ulysse!! The picture where he's sleeping between them both is already adorable, but the outtakes are too cute and funny!!

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  13. Sandy, it just seemed like something Rebecca would do. ;) It's fun to have a playable Sim as the social worker. With Rose and Joanna, I used a townie. I did the interviews with them too but again, it was with a townie, so it was much more fun to do it with Rebecca and thew boys.

    I forgot how cute Ulysses was until this round. I wish the cats could sleep on the beds like that for real but I had to use an OMSP, seeing Calvin and Aaron were already taking up the two slots. Still sweet!

    Thanks for reading!

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  14. Wow. I know that's what happens when a child gets adopted in the real world, but I still sitting here going, "I wanna see their kid!" I think they'd be good parents, and I hope the dice is kind to them.

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  15. I'm so glad they got approoverd for the adoption, and I can't wait for them to meet their newest family addition!
    I loved Rebecca, checking every possible thing in the house, I don't think she would like to hear it, but at that moment she kind of reminded me of her mother :)

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  16. Fini, me too, don't worry! I know when it's happening, while you guys don't but I think that could be even more torturous!

    Thanks for reading!

    Tanja, neither can I! With each update though, we get closer and closer. ;)

    LOL, no, I don't think Rebecca would like to hear that she reminded anyone of her mother! But you know, half her DNA comes from Megan, so there would have to be some similarities. ;)

    Thanks for reading!

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  17. Yay! So glad that they'll be getting their child soon. I know the process hasn't been easy and Rebecca being the social worker didn't make it any easier. But it's over and they'll be getting their child soon. :D

    I'll have to sit down and figure out what I want to do in my hood for adoption. I'm not in need anytime soon, though, so I'll think about it later.

    I'm not much of a cat person in RL but I really love it when cats get catnip. The animations in the game are too funny.

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  18. Danielle, I know exactly when Aaron and Calvin are getting their baby and it's driving me crazy that I can't reveal it yet, lol! I'm so excited for them to have their happy ending to this process, which definitely wasn't easy!

    The catnip animations in the game make me wish we'd got some catnip for our cat, when we had him. He was kind of crazy already, so I imagine he would have been nuts on it!

    Thanks for reading!

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