I’ve never been a big television watcher, with the exception of two addictions: Coronation Street (25+ years’ devotee) and documentaries. If there’s a David Attenborough feature on, I’m done for the next hour.

A few weeks back, I came across a documentary on penguins. This one was a feature on one lone penguin wandering about the ice in Antarctica. The deal was either she hadn’t found a mate, or for unknown reasons, she wasn’t able to lay any eggs.

Biology is a pretty persuasive thing and this penguin just wasn’t going to give up. She got it into her head that she could do a few things to ensure she had a baby penguin of her own. She settled herself onto other nests when parents weren’t looking; she casually stole an egg out of another nest. When these efforts failed, she built her own nest, stealing whatever she could, and defiantly sat on it long after all of the other baby penguins had hatched.

A few strange things have happened the past few months. It started slowly with rearranging closets, decluttering…then I bought a home steam cleaner and I was a woman on a mission; sanitizing nooks and crannies, scrubbing and ironing, wiping and folding. At times, it was all consuming.

Yes, I have become that deranged penguin.

I’ve been very lucky that so many of my close friends have let me into their children’s’ lives. So no, I have never had to resort to contemplating kidnapping (and don’t plan to, just in case our social worker is reading this blog!). Being an honourary aunt has been an extreme joy in my life. I don’t take my responsibilities lightly.

Still, at times like Christmas, I am raw. It’s a magical holiday for children and while I am embarrassed to admit it, sometimes I don’t even know how to carry my own limbs, because they don’t have anyone to hug or hold on to. I’m uncomfortable and lost. Yes, there’s wonderful Martin and my amazing parents, but it’s impossible to get motivated to decorate or put up a tree. I just don’t want to.

So what do I do instead?

Well, I’ve already spectacularly blown my gift budget on the amazing “nephews” and “nieces” in my life. I regret no expenseJ  Writing each card and wrapping each gift reminds me of how blessed we are to know them.

I observe a lot. I see other families and find myself goofily smiling at other children in snowsuits and mittens. I spend time with my great friends (parents and non-parents alike) who even when they can’t understand all of this adoption miasma, still graciously pour a glass of wine and a laugh. I’m grateful.

Still, that penguin doesn’t just go away. I can’t stop waiting. I keep hoping, with my mind stuck halfway around the world.

So if I’m withdrawn over the holidays, it’s not you. I’m nesting.

**Post Script from Martin – he posted this in the comments, but it is worth a highlight – this is what we will look like when we get to adopt…http://www.myamazingearth.com/2012/12/the-happiest-penguin-ever/ **

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