Open Adoption Roundtable #3: Wishlist

9 07 2009

(please forget that I missed #2)

Round three of the open adoption roundtable writing prompt goes like this…

Share your wish list for your open adoption(s):

1. Reciprocation; other than a fantastic card, I haven’t heard anything from R’s birth parents. I have asked them tons of questions and haven’t gotten a response. I am not in any way angry at them, I get it as best as I can, but I want it for me and for R.

2. Pride; I wish for R to be proud of who she is and of her history. I wish that she would always be confident and secure with herself and always feel loved and never sad about her adoption story.

3. A visit; I wish I could say I want to meet with them every month. I am still afraid of that, but if I could have one visit with them maybe I would want more. Maybe they would, too.

4. A unified front; I wish my husband was half as open as I am. I guess it wouldn’t matter because R’s birth parents aren’t.

5. Peace; more than anything I wish R’s birthparents peace.

6. Understanding; I wish our family and close friends could get it. I really really wish that.

7. Photos; all I have are the ones from the hospital. Stress and labor are not the most attractive features and I would like some other photos for R.

8. Wisdom; I want to know the right things to say to R at the right times. Always.

9. Manual; I wish there was an instruction manual for this open adoption thing. What to what to say, what to write, how to act…


Adoption Progress

8 06 2009

So, do you remember this post and this post? I haven’t mentioned the whole issue for awhile. Partially because when I felt that it was an issue, I couldn’t even think about it and when I didn’t feel it was an issue, there was nothing to talk about.

Well, Friday marked the end of our “due dilligence”!! It is somewhat of a relief, but for the past month or so I haven’t even thought about it. I already knew in my heart that R was here to stay.

But, this does make us able to petition the court! So yay for progress!

Bits and Pieces

5 06 2009

So, it’s Friday. Yay! I made it through my first week back to work. It wasn’t so bad, but this morning I did have a fleeting thought about how this is it. This is how my life is going to be from here on out. I guess it is possible that I would be able to go part-time or be a stay at home mom sometime in the future, but with the way things have gone financially the last year, it isn’t going to be anytime soon. So, I am still trying to find my way through the acceptance phase.

(brutal, ugly, honesty confessions ahead….be forewarned. It’s not pretty.) I don’t know how I feel about my grandma being our nanny. Not because she doesn’t do a good job, but because I don’t feel like I am handling it very well. For the record, I am unbelievably thankful that she is willing and able to do this for us. I SHOULD be nothing but thankful, but I didn’t realize that it was also going to be hard for ME. Apparently, I am a complete control freak. Yesterday, she and Hubbs cleaned the ENTIRE house. How awesome is that? It made me feel guilty and then I started noticing things that weren’t done right. The biggest thing was R’s laundry. The folding was horrendous and then ALL of her stuff was just shoved in one drawer. Her socks, bathing suit, clothes, burp clothes… into one drawer. I know this sounds terrible and I should be more thankful, but in reality, I just have to do it over again. But really, I can handle that. The part that I don’t know if I can handle is how I feel at night when I am home. I feel like I am entertaining and I feel like I am being judged as a mother all the time. I don’t feel like I have any alone time with R and I feel like I am being watched while I interact with her. Now, there is NOTHING that Granny is doing to make me feel this way. NOTHING. I know it is all me and it is all part of my insecurities, but it is still there. I am also really jealous. I hate that most days she gets to spend more time with her than me, and unlike a typical situation, she is still there at night. And then, even worse, I feel guilty for feeling this way because it is so totally unselfish and wonderful that she is doing this for us. Maybe it will get better and maybe I will get more used to it.

I’m sooo TIRED. The no sleep is catching up with me. I am ready to sleep in for sure! I keep having to wake R up in the mornings and when I get home to spend time with her. She doesn’t seem to mind, though. She still wakes up with a smile. I wouldn’t. Actually, I don’t!!

Yesterday at work, my boss’s boss asked me how my daughter was doing. It gave me chills to hear that. How fantastic. I think most people say, “How is your baby.” But for some reason, the word “daughter” is so much more powerful to me. I remember I have a baby at home, I think just sometime I forget I have a “daughter.” Does that make sense? (the difference isn’t between a daughter and son, but a baby and a daughter). So cool!!

I am finally getting caught up on my reader!! I have been a bad bad bloggy friend and I am sorry. I didn’t comment too much because I was trying to get caught up… but I am back. After all, I do have 8 hours a day of company time to kill. Hehe!

I LOVE reading birth parent blogs. My favorites are the ones who are struggling with THEIR placements, but are still supportive of the adoption world. It makes me feel like there is hope out there for the adoption “industry” to be viewed more positively.

I had an unfortunate incident at work with a co-worker that made a comment about adoption being “baby buying” in a matter of fact way. She wasn’t judging, just being ignorant. Needless to say it didn’t go over well with me and my polite way of trying to handle it ended up creating kind of a scene at the office because her ignorance ran so deep she didn’t understand that I was offended and I needed to make that CLEAR. I was kind of worried that I had totally embarrassed her, but a few hours later she came and asked if I wanted to start carpooling. So, I guess the ignorance just runs too deep there. I will not be carpooling with her. I don’t love the Earth THAT much. Sorry Earth.

I drink a lot of coffee now. Like five times as much as I used to.

I thought I saw R’s birth mom at work today. Obviously it wasn’t her, but it made me adrenaline pump nonetheless. It forced me to think about the very real possibility of running into them one day. I hope I am mature enough to handle that. I have been thinking about her birth parents a lot. I write letters to them in my head all the time. I am very disappointed in the first letter I sent them. This next one will be much better.

Today is a very big day adoption-wise. And would you believe it, I forgot about it! I will post more about it once today is OVER!!

Some Adoption Notes

13 04 2009

R’s birth parents:

I forgot to say in my last post one of the coolest things. R’s birth father was adopted himself! We thought that was very cool and it became even cooler when we talked with them at length about it. He had a whole different perspective on it (from a typical birth father). When he first started talking about his story and he mentioned his dad- I wasn’t sure who he was refering to, his biological father or his adoptive father. Then, R’s birth mother said, “Those are his parents, they loved him and raised him every day. It doesn’t matter who gave birth to him. Those are his parents.” While I will never ever discount the tremendous nature of the amazing gift that J and C gave to us, it is really cool that they are able to have the perspective from the other side of things. I am thankful for that.

I will never forget the maturity, conviction and strength they exhibited when they talked about why they were chosing adoption. I knew I wasn’t going to have ill feelings for the people who gave life to my child. What I didn’t know was how powerful the positive feelings were going to be. I was so impressed with them. So in awe of them, yet so sad for the decision they were about to make. I have nothing but respect and admiration flowing through my veins for them. I love them. It is weird to say that about someone I only met for a few hours, but I do. They are absolutely amazing and full of love. For each other, for little R and for life. I cannot imagine the amount of strength, courage and self awareness they have. I am eternally grateful for all of that.

I am immensely protective of her birth parents. Their identities, their decisions, and everything to do with them. I get very tense when someone talks about them. I worry I will have to defend their honor!! So far, nobody has made that necissary, but I tend to interject my respect for them early in any conversation about them.

People are obsessed with appearances:

1 – It is funny how people feel the need to comment about how much R looks like us. She probably will not look unlike us, but we don’t NEED her to be similar for her to be our daughter. She could be purple with four noses and we wouldn’t care. We aren’t trying to pretend she is biologically linked to us. We are proud that she came to us a different way. Immensely proud. It doesn’t offend me when people say these things, I just think it is amusing- like they think they are making us feel better. My only worry with it is that I think people want to “erase” where she came from- and I want to honor that. I don’t want her to ever feel like we are pretending she doesn’t have her own biological history that is very important.

2- People are very concerned with what her birth parents look like. “Does she look like you?” “What famous person does she look like?” “Was she tall?”

The Biology of it all

Hubbs was talking to his best friends’ father about something with R. He misunderstood what he was saying and thought I was struggling with the fact that she isn’t biologically connected to us. I realized then that I honestly couldn’t care less. I like that our family was created in a different manner. I think it is going to make me a better mom than I would have been and I will have a stronger bond with my family. I honestly don’t care one ounce that I didn’t carry her for nine months. I thought I would. I don’t feel threatened at all by the two amazing people that gave her life. I feel they are an extension of her that I honor and respect. (how many times can I say that in one post? Ok, you get it.) The only way I will have any angst about this adoption is if she does.

Our adoption in general

I wouldn’t change a thing.Not one thing! I do think this situation has been absolutely perfect (post-placement potential bump aside- even though when all is said and done I will grow to love that part of the story and its imact as well) I do believe everything happens for a reason. I am thankful beyond works for this wonderful blessing. Someone said to me, “I don’t know who is more blessed, you two or her.” Definately us – but I thought that was a great thing to say rather than the, “she is so lucky!” that we get. Hello? We went through a lot find this amazing blessing. WE ARE BLESSED!

R’s Story

11 04 2009

I wish I could tell you all every detail. I feel so close to you guys, and you all just really get it…I wish you could know every detail. But somethings have to be kept for R to tell and some things need to be kept private for her birth parents sake.

But anyway…. here is our adoption story…

On Wednesday I wrote this post. I was down in the dumps about adoption and I was learning so much about the perspective of birth mothers. About 12 hours later my daughter was born. As we went out to dinner with our friends, J and C were thinking about adoption. As I went to work the next morning, J and C were talking to their new SW at our agency. As Hubbs and I put new batteries in our boat, J and C were picking our profile out of the 18 they were shown. Saturday morning we were shampooing our carpets. As we were letting them dry, we were looking online to purchase concert tickets for the next weekend (our anniversary). I went to call a friend of ours to see if she wanted to come with us and I had a message from our case worker. The CALL. THE call.

It was so exciting calling her back, shaking, anxious with our minds going a mile a minute. We learned about our little girl. It seemed to good too be true. We made the plans to meet, and then tried our best to prepare. We called my mom and Hubbs parents, and that it is. We didn’t want EVERYONE to ride the roller coaster with us. Our familes cried.

Four hours later we were meeting with two of the greatest people we will ever meet. We talked with J and C for hours. We were so nervous at the beginning, but we had so much in common with them. They chose us because of Hubbs connection with our goddaughter, because we were young and active and had the same values that they do. Several hours into the conversation, they asked us to be our little Rs parents. I didn’t cry. I wanted to cry, but I was so guarded, it was so surreal, and I wasn’t quite sure it was really going to happen.

J and C seemed so certain. From what I could see, they didn’t falter at all. They were choosing adoption. They were choosing us for the honor of parenting their child. Period. But I was still guarded. We went home and shortly later got a call from our case worked saying the plans were for the TPRs to be signed at 10:30 am (1 hour after legally acceptable even though the caseworkers told them they should wait a few days because it was happening so fast) and we were to meet at 11:30 am to sign placement paperwork and then head to the hospital to pick up our daughter. Holy crap. Seriously? It didn’t seem real.

Needless to say, I slept the worst I had ever slept that night. I distinctly remember every hour of the night. My brain was going a mile a minute. I was fantasizing about calling our families, sending text messages to friends, posting on my blog to share the good news. At the same time, I was imagining the devastation if this didn’t go through. I was also making a mental list of all the things we NEEDED for this little girl. We had lots of stuff, but not everything.

The next morning we went to several different stores to buy a gift for J and C, diapers, hand sanitizers, etc. We were still scared, still unsure. But we bought a little sippy cup with the name we had chosen on it….and kept the receipt folded nicely in my wallet. When we arrived at the agency to sign consents we were on pins and needles. When our caseworker opened the door she said, “well, all the paperwork has been signed. Congratulations, you are parents!” We both burst into tears. One of the greatest moments of my life, right there. We signed our names on three pieces of paper and then headed to the hospital.

On the way, I called my dad and his wife who had no idea any of this was going on. I asked my dad to put me on speaker phone and told them both at the same time that we were going to pick up our daughter. My step-mom was screaming at the top of his lungs and my dad was sobbing like a baby. Another of the greatest moments of my life. It was really awesome to make that phone call.

Placement was awkward and a little uncomfortable. It was hard to be excited when I felt so sad for J and C. They kept asking how we wanted to handle discharge and finally the words came, “Today is about you guys and R. Not us. You do what feels right for you.” I was shocked that there were no tears at placement. Her birth mom held her as she was wheeled out at discharge. She strapped her into her car seat we had bought for her and kissed her goodbye, hugged us, and we left. It didn’t feel like enough. It didn’t feel like we could be thankful enough, express our admiration for them enough, or tell them how much we were going to love her enough.

Having her strapped in the back of our car was surreal. I felt like a baby thief. She slept the whole way home, so I got to send my text messages and picture messages. At home we had TONS of visitors. We wanted everyone to come that day, then let us be alone for two weeks (that didn’t work out, but whatever. We are loved!). In a matter of hours, our little girl had a complete wardrobe of pink (something I was concerned about!!). We felt so loved, supported and blessed, but we didn’t quite feel like parents.

**I decided that the new information from my last post does not affect our story. When we were first told of the story, there were lots of holes which we filled with worst case scenarios. We have since filled those holes with the truth, and it has since solidified our admiration and respect for the TWO people that we wholeheartedly believe are this little girls birth parents.

*****Looking back over this post it is dissapointing to me. It doesn’t quite articulate the magnitute of amazingness that this situation warrants. But it is the best I’ve got. In short, the whole situation was awesome and I wouldn’t change a thing about it, for us, or for R.

Prayers Needed

4 04 2009

We have been given some new information that has my stomach in knots. I cannot divulge too much, but we desperately need your prayers. We have good reason to believe everything will be ok, but we need your prayers. Thank you all for your support.