Thursday, February 25, 2010

Postponed

Well, unfortunately my meeting with the social worker was cancelled again due to the weather. Unfortunately I had arranged for a sub at school and my school was OPEN. This gave me some stress because it means that I will now have to arrange for another sub and take another day off which is kind of hassle. But what can you do--you can't argue with mother nature! Our social worker did kindly offer to do an evening interview but I decided that I would rather take another day off and get this over with sooner. Now that we are pretty much finished with our profile we are anxious to get into the pool of waiting families.

Last night we went to a class offered by our agency designed to give you a better understanding of what to expect once you have been matched with a birth mother and the child is born but has not yet been released for adoption. Not surprisingly this is one of the most emotionally fraught and difficult times of the adoption process. And it is the time when birth mother's are most likely to change their mind about their adoption plan. The director of our agency said that it happens about 20% of the time in fact, a fairly daunting statistic. Overall it was good information filled with do's and don'ts for us to best support our birth mother and to try to make an incredibly difficult situation goes as smoothly as possible. There is no way that it won't be an angst ridden time for everyone. No matter how much we will want that baby to be our baby it won't, and at any time the birth mother has every right to decide to parent her baby herself.

The most important point that was made last night was one that has often crossed my mind as I imagine what it will be like to adopt our baby. This is the fact that the day that all of our dreams are coming true and we will finally be able to have the family we ached so long for, will also be day of unimaginable grief for the birth mother of our child. In almost all cases birth mother's make adoption plans not because they don't desperately love and want to care for their babies, but because they realize that the circumstances of their life don't allow them to. In all likelihood it is because she is too poor and too unsupported by our society to care for her own baby, that she will have chosen adoption for him or her, not because she does not want to be able to be a mother to her baby. Many adoptive parents have said that they were taken off guard by how deeply they were affected by the birth mother's grief. Driving away with a baby who's mother has just said had to day goodbye to him or her after she has nurtured this baby in her body for nine months is i an incredibly sad and difficult thing to do. In a horrible irony that makes my head and my heart hurt to think about it, our baby will probably come to us because we live in a culture that doesn't make it easy to care for a baby if you are poor. No easy access to health care, or childcare or housing or education are what usually make adoption the only viable choice for these women. And this is that will likely be fresh in our minds as we drive home from the hospital with our baby. Not excitement or euphoria over finally becoming parents, but grief.

Infertility comes with many losses and one of them will be the the opportunity to have a joyous celebration at the hospital when our child is born. That will come later of course, once the dust has settled and the papers are signed and the grief subsides. Instead we will need to focus on making the occasion as peaceful and dignified as we can for everyone involved, remembering that despite it's bitter sweetness it is and always will be the beginning of the story of our life with our child.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting Closer





Slowly but surely we are making progress. A rough draft of our profile is very nearly complete-we are hoping to be able to send it off to our agency for review by Monday, if we have some time to tweak it tomorrow. Wednesday we will be going to our class on the "Hospital Experience" and on Thursday I will have my final meeting with our social worker which will, barring no unforeseen problems, wrap up our home study and allow us to begin to be shown to potential birth parents.

Serendipity/too much time on my hands led us to our first big baby purchase. This has been an incredible source of excitement/anticipation/ obsessive Internet researching for me this week! I periodically peruse Craig's List for baby items never knowing what I'll find, or really even what I'm looking for. On Wednesday I happened to see a listing for a Bugaboo Frog for $250 dollars. If you are not a city dweller you may not be familiar with these, but they are a super chic kind of baby carriage that then converts into a stroller for older children. It's supposed to be uber good at maneuvering uneven city sidewalks and turning on a dime. It also has tons of bells and whistles like a mosquito net, and rain cover etc. The Frog's also have a feature where you can unsnap the seat part, add a converter, and snap on a car seat. Sounds great right? The only down side is the $800 price tag, obviously and absurd amount of $ to spend on a stroller. Anyhoo DH and I have always admired them, even when we lived in Hoboken and didn't really want a baby yet, just a bugaboo, because well, they look cool. So you can imagine how psyched I was to see such a good price, even on Craig's List they are often asking $400-$600. When we went to pick it up today they also offered us the car seat converters and the car seat for another $50. This was a great deal since the converter alone retails for about $45 dollars and the car seat they had was of course a super fancy kind of car seat that is made in Italy and is supposedly the safest one you can get (it's called a Peg Perego). Luckily I had researched this a bit and knew that those suckers were expensive also. Car seats do technically have expiration dates on them, but even using the most conservative standards we should have at least 2 years left on this one, which I hope will be long enough since it is only good for an infant up to about 20 lbs.

One of the things about adoption that I still struggle with is the lack of control over the timing. I know that if I were pregnant I would have nine blissful months to prepare for baby and I know that I would be a nester on steroids. I like to plan and decorate and research and shop! So, for now, I have decided that I am going to prepare for our baby with the joy and enthusiasm of any other expecting mom while keeping in mind that even if we do get matched with birth parents there are no certainties. All of this gear currently in our dining room and all of our planning is for OUR baby when it finally makes it here. There is no telling whether that will be from our first match or our fifth match because in the end the reality is that birth mother's change their minds and it happens. A lot. But-- for now we have an AWSE stroller and car seat which we got for a song and if there is one thing I love more than really cool stylish gear, it's a great bargain!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

snowpocalypse 2010






Well we spent the weekend digging out from the 28 inches of snow that fell on us Friday and Saturday. Frankly the timing couldn't have been more despicable. So far this winter we have had two snowstorms of over 20 inches, neither of which have yielded any days off of work. Really mother nature? Why do you mock me so?

They are forecasting another snow fall for Wednesday. I am scheduled to have our third and final visit with the social worker on Thursday, and I am so convinced am I that I am ENTITLED by the universe to a day off, that I have put off all of my cleaning chores to be completed on my snow day on Wednesday. This could make for a very hectic Wednesday evening. Especially since we are also attending a class in center city that evening entitled "The Hospital Experience". This will try to prepare us for what it might be like for us when we are at the hospital waiting for our potential birth mother to decide whether or not she wants us to parent her baby. This is understandably supposed to be one of the most difficult times in an adoption and the period in which the adoption is most likely to disrupt. Hopefully this class will give us some pointers on how to deal with it all.

The upside to being snowed in all weekend is that we finally got to work on our profile. This is the scrapbook of pictures that will be shown to potential birth parents when they are choosing parents for their baby. Needless to say it is an important step in this whole process and one that DH & I have been struggling with.

How do you say please give us your baby I promise we will be awesome parents in 40 pictures or less?

The person from our agency that they sent to help us answer this question was in fact the opposite of helpful and put all kinds of restrictions on our photos based on her past experience with potential birth mothers. Only one photo with animals, no wedding pictures, no pictures where anyone is drinking anything etc. Plus she really gave off the vibe that she didn't find us to be all that photogenic by looking at our photos and saying things like "hmmm...do you have any more?" Actually-no we are really the kind of people to take a million photos of ourselves at every event. I have sweated and cried over this and today I fianlly just banged it out with what we have. Guess what? I used three wedding pictures and two pictures with animals. Sue me. I think it's pretty good--just missing a few photos of my family which hopefully my mom is putting in the mail tomorrow. I'm sure we will get some serious "feedback" on it once it is turned in but at least we have a definite jumping off point. DH is working on our introduction letter as I am writing this. Next weekend is a long weekend so with any luck we will be able to hand in a first draft of this $%!@@#$ thing some time soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maybe? Someday? Really?

Well my powers of persuasion over mother nature are apparently quite impressive, and I am basking in my extra two hours of found time this morning as a result of a bit of snow causing our school to have a two hour delay. I impulsively used this gift of extra time to make my first baby purchase. It's a baby book geared towards babies who have been adopted so that way you have space to tell your adoption story and don't have to deal with all of those blank pregnancy pages. About a week ago someone on my adoption BB had posted a link to it, it was on super markdown for only about $6 and several women who have already adopted chimed in to say they had the book and they loved it. I looked at it several times and thought about getting it but hesitated. Too much disappointment, anguish and water under the bridge for me to actually, really feel confident that somehow or another we are going to have a baby and need a baby book. But today I ordered it. So I guess deep down I really am starting to believe we are going to have a baby. Either that I am just giddy from the excitement of our two hour delay and I'm not thinking clearly. Plus, I REALLY LOVE a bargain. The only bad news is I guess this means we actually are going to have to tackle putting together that @#$#$# profile book.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Family-Journey-Adoptive-Families/dp/B0032FO2SQ/ref =sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264780777&sr=8-1