I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I'm pretty sure that my holiday blues are in full swing already, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Worse yet, I think that for me, they started around Hallowe'en, which ... what the hell, you know? The Mall and the Wal-Mart have been playing Christmas music for at least two weeks already, and every year it seems like I am less and less tolerant of the whole Labor-Day-into-Christmas mess.

There is no excuse for it: all things considered, it looks like it's going to be an okay Christmas for us, really. I mean, I spent a good chunk of my Christmas Club money at the casinos in Niagara Falls back in October, but I got my holiday bonus early, and it was double what I got last year. (Still not enough, y'ask me, considering the amount of ravenous flaming bullshit that I put up with throughout the year, but I shouldn't complain, since I get anything at all.) We're not flat-ass broke, although we never have as much as we want, but we know the budget, and we should be covered.

It's just ... we had a lot of expectations for the holidays this year, many of them patently ridiculous but expectations nonetheless, and none of them panned out quite the way we had hoped. Back in August when we started the adoption classes, we were told that we could have a placement in time for Christmas. And we heard that, and glommed onto it, and are having trouble embracing the reality of the situation, which is:

That was a great big conditional "could" there, kiddo, with a lot of if's attached.

Long story short, because you're probably wondering: we had absolutely zero idea what we were getting ourselves into, and even less idea what that meant to us. It's been four years since we starting trying to have a baby, and we figured that a few months of more waiting was no big fat hairy whoop, but ... we were oh, so wrong. Tom Petty said it, and we didn't listen: "The waiting is the hardest part."

So when I got my Christmas charity child, and it's a two-year-old Hispanic girl, which is pretty much exactly the kind of kid we want to adopt? I about lost my shit. Especially because that happened less than a week after our case worker told us, point blank, that the likelihood of us getting a child under the age of 3 is pretty much nil. We've talked about it, and I think we're fine with an older kid -- maybe a 2nd grader -- but I'd be lying if I said that it was our Malibu Barbie Dream Situation.

Because, and I need to admit this: we really, really want a baby. When we were referred, we had the idea that this would be no problem. I don't know where I got the idea that DPW had babies growing in the backyard or something, but I got it into my head that we were going to have one. Poof! "Mr. and Mrs. G., congratulations, here's your infant!" And on some level, intellectually, I just knew that it was too good to be true, but I wanted to believe. I still want to believe.

But at this point it doesn't look likely. And I want to be OK with going from nothing-to-seven-year-old in one day, but I don't know if I really am. I believe in fate, and I believe that -- despite all the personal problems I'm having with God lately, all the doubt and anger and indecision -- I still believe that He has a plan for us. And I really want to believe that the child that is placed with us is absolutely the child that will complete our family.

And yet ... and yet. I've been asked more than once what I want for Christmas, and the only answer I have is: a baby. And I feel so wicked and evil for saying that, because obviously there is a reason why I can't have one of my own. Right? Isn't there? But what is the reason? Why can't I understand? Why won't the Universe give me some kind of clue? And why can't I accept that there are some things, some questions, to which I am not meant to know the answers? Why won't I stop being such a bullheaded fool and just acknowledge that some things, many things, especially the big things, are out of my control?

Now I go into the holidays knowing that the one thing I want, the only thing in the world that I want, more than life, more than anything, more than the moon, is not for me to have. It's not even fair for me to ask for it, really: that's so much responsibility to place on the shoulders of a wee one. "Welcome to the world, little boy or little girl! Go make your Mommy happy!" Gaaaah. I don't want to be that person, and I don't know how to shut it off, and I don't know how to stop feeling guilty about being unsure of my place in the world.

There is a prayer that should be said by and for people like me. You might recognize it from every 12-step program meeting ever held anywhere, ever. It goes like this:

"God, grant me
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And always, the wisdom to know the difference."

And, if you have a line to Santa? Please: no socks or underwear, OK?