How do you know when it is time to end a friendship?
I have been friends with this person for a long time -- over ten years. But I feel like I have to be SO CAREFUL about EVERYTHING I say less she take offense. She thinks I am very self centered. I think she's very self centered.
I'm not sure I have the energy to work this out this time. (This is the person who made the "pain Olympics" statement to me. She thinks I think everything is about me and I'm always out to "win" somehow.)
Does that means I just should leave it be and let the friendship die?
Thanks for all your well-wishes. Yes, I'm blogging again. My MIL just left after being here for a week and I have to get some things out there.
First, I wanted to acknowledge what Holly said in my comments in that though I am not thankful for my infertility, I do think it has changed my perspective on things and I am much less likely to take things for granted. That is absolutely true.
Now, I just want to gripe about my MIL. She would stare at Henry and point out the tiniest physical flaws. The one I remember most clearly is that he has one pointy ear and one rounded ear. (?!?)
Then I showed her pictures of CC and O. to show her how much he looks like O. Then she said two things which I wish I had a response to. "I don't know how they did that. I could NEVER give up my baby." That one I've heard about and though it caught me off guard I blurted out something about circumstances and you just don't know what you would be able to do in a different place. It wasn't good enough and I didn't talk about what a loving choice it was. I was disappointed with my response, but I was just not prepared.
The second thing she said was, "I'm just so glad that they gave birth to him and didn't have an abortion." Ummm.... I just don't know how to respond to that. I have NOTHING to say to that. How do you respond to that?
I hate how much she drives me nuts, but she really really does. I hope it didn't show through too much. She did enjoy her time with Henry despite her saying constantly how she doesn't know anything about babies any more and she doesn't know what she's doing, and about how fat and what a blob she is. She's a hypochondriac and comes up with all these insane theories about why she doesn't have any energy. I have never seen her where she didn't say, "I'm feeling better than I was, but I just haven't got my energy back." Seems to me she hasn't had her energy since I've known her, but whatever.
Anyway, enough b1tching on my part. Thanks for listening. Let blogging break commence again. :)
I'm not sure if I'm going to keep blogging or not. I may take a break for a while. I've never had much in the way of readership (which is fine with me) and I've used this blog as a catharsis. I'm doing pretty well these days and I'm just not sure I feel like taking the time to blog. This is pretty obvious as I haven't been blogging that often lately. I may find the need to blog again in which case I will. But expect posts to be few and far between.
One thing I wanted to say before I take my break is kind of weird to say and I don't really know how to start. I guess I have read other people's blogs who have said that they're thankful in some ways for all of the trouble they had with infertility because without it they wouldn't have their child. I do not feel this way. I love Henry so much I could never put it in to words, and I feel my love for him grow bigger every single day. There is nothing I wouldn't do for him. I believe our match with CC and O. was an excellent one and everything worked out. That being said, I also believe that if we didn't struggle in the way we did, we'd love the child we had as much as we love Henry, and we wouldn't have had to suffer nearly as much. I guess I just don't believe in fate or in things that are "meant to be." I do, however, believe in the way things are, and right now things are good.
Henry and me in a ring sling I made. It needs a little more work.
Today was the court hearing to finalize Henry's adoption.
Though he has always been our son in our hearts, today Henry is officially our son according to the law. We love you, Henry. And we thank CC & O. for such a gift. You will forever be his first parents and we know how much you love him, too.
A friend told me that she and her husband are going to start trying to have a baby. Her husband has said for 40 years (he's over 40) that he didn't want kids, but she decided she did and in order for them to stay together he changed his mind.
I'm trying to figure out how I can remain friends with her if/when she gets pregnant. I'm really not sure I can take it.
I feel like them having kids is a disaster.
Of course it's none of my business and I haven't said anything to her. I'm not sure she'll understand my difficulty around this now that we have Henry. Henry is the best thing that has ever happened to me (aside from marrying T) but I still will have a very difficult time with the fact that my friend's husband will most likely have a biological child after speaking out and fighting against that idea for over 40 years.
Edited to clarify:
Husband is over 40 years old. They have not been married 40 years. He's just "always known" he's never wanted kids for his entire life. Wife was undecided. Until now.
I emailed CC and O. yesterday with Henry's 3 month update. I included many of the adorable pictures I have posted here. And CC emailed me back! I am delighted. She sounds really good and she definitely adores the pictures. She sees how much Henry looks like O. (he really does) and she even said in her letter, "I'm just glad he's happy and healthy and we made the right choice." We also asked a few questions about their family and got some answers. This is what openness is all about.
I am over the moon that she responded! I am so glad that she sounded like she is doing so well. I hope O. is doing as well as she is.
Hearing back from CC has renewed my faith in the openness of Henry's adoption. This has made my day.
We have a court date and it's in only a few weeks. Before Thanksgiving and our 4th anniversary. Wow.
Things are good. Henry is really growing and changing. He has awake days and sleepy days and days he doesn't eat much and hungry days (like today). He's definitely napping a lot less, and will sometimes fight sleep so much until he's screaming because he's so tired. That's not much fun. But he's generally a delight. He smiles with his entire body -- his arms and legs wave around. He looks at me with such an intense love, it's crazy. I mean, I feel like he can barely be aware enough of himself to keep his thumb in his mouth, but he can look at me with adoration in his eyes.
Today would have been the day I would have had to return to work. Needless to say, I am glad I didn't have to wake Henry up and drop him off at daycare. I am thankful that I can stay with him all day.
"Children deserve to have just one family during childhood and not to deal with anything adoption-related until they are more mature. A fully open adoption robs a child of a normal childhood."
This is the statement in Heather's Open Adoption Roundtable that struck me the most, so I am going to react to this one.
The fact of the matter is, adoption robs a child of a 'normal' childhood whether it is open or not. To be raised by parents who are not related to you biologically is not the way most people have created a family. If you are telling your child that he or she is adopted, there will always be issues around adoption, whether the adoption is open or not.
I am coming at openness in my adoption from a semi-open perspective. My son is only 3 months old and we have lots of time to cultivate openness. I am trying to communicating with his birth parents more often than the 'official' agreement dictates. I have sent notes and pictures to his birth parents, though they have only responded once, back when Henry was only a week old. I will continue to send them updates at a rate that I am comfortable with (more than once per year which is what I agreed to at placement) unless I hear from them or through my agency that they don't want to get them any more. I am disappointed that I do not get any response from them, but I know things must be difficult for them and I am trying to be understanding and give them space. I hope that in time they will be able to respond and send us pictures for us to show Henry. I am hopeful that one day we can meet each other again. I felt a strong bond with them when we spent those first 2 days of Henry's life together in the hospital. I want Henry to know that bond.
To hit on some of Heather's other points, I think it is my responsibility to keep Henry connected to his birth family at some level before he is able to make the decision about whether or not he wants to keep up with that connection. If there is no communication for 18 years (or really if there is only one-way communication from us to his birth parents), there is really no basis for him to make that decision -- it has been made for him by us. To truly give him that decision, it is up to me to create some sort of relationship for him to decide about.
I read several open adoption blogs, and Henry's adoption isn't nearly as open as most of the blogs I read. I'm not sure I am emotionally ready to have that type of openness, but as it isn't even an option for me at this time I try not too think about it too much. I do, however, hope that throughout Henry's life we can communicate with his birth parents so he can know where he comes from, genetically. Even though I can't know what it's like to be adopted, I imagine that I would be curious and would want to know about my birth parents. So, as Henry's mom I am obligated to make sure that when these questions come up I can answer them as best I can and hopefully take him to look in the face of someone who looks like him.
I truly have some mixed feelings when it comes to full openness, but I would never dismiss it as bad for the kids. Adoption is complicated, period. I entered into adoption with my eye wide open about this fact, and I think it will take Henry's lifetime to figure out what this will mean to him.
Sometimes I feel so spoiled. Here I am at home trying to figure out how to juggle dropping something off at my brother's house, feeding Henry, walking the dog and showering all in time to meet some other adoptive moms for coffee. Such problems to have, right? Poor T is miserable at work and this is what I'm struggling with.
I know T wouldn't be happy staying at home full time -- it's just not his gig. But I do sometimes feel guilty that I get to grapple with things like this, which I honestly don't find particularly stressful, when he is really stressed out at work. He tells me to not feel bad about it and I try not to, but sometimes I just can't help it.
Even though I wasn't due back to work until next week, I'm definitely feeling like resigning from my position was the right thing for me to do. I am so glad I didn't have to go out and find day care for Henry. That is such a daunting task and I am not envious of people having to do that. I know at some point I will want Henry to go, whether I start working or not, but for now having him home with me is such a luxury and I am so happy that we were able to make it happen.
It's so weird that I'm feeling so 'lucky' lately. I'm so used to walking around feeling bitterness toward everything all the time. I can't say that all of my bitterness is gone, as I still have acute feelings of bitterness related to our infertility. But I don't generally walk around feeling bitter toward everything constantly. It does come up from time to time, but it doesn't color everything anymore. I'm not sure whether or not I'm having a difficult time re-adjusting. I seem to do okay. My shields are up a lot, but I'm not sure that things are being thrown at me too often.
People ask how Bdog is responding to the baby. Bdog is generally indifferent toward Henry. It's the cats I worry about. Exhibit A:
We went over to Grammie and Grampie's house yesterday. My mom fed him twice and changed a poopy diaper, which thrills her. She just loves babies.
Staring at Grammie
Today there is a costume party at T's office, so I'll get Henry all dolled up and bring him there.
T and I had a discussion/argument about finding our "new" roles now that I've quit my job. I put it in quotes because the roles aren't particularly different, but I have to reframe things a little bit now that I'm not working out of the house. We've always had some differences in perception on how things were divided inside the house, and now that I'm always home it seems like it needs some more shifting. It's a pretty complicated thing for us, especially since domestic chores and such has always been the biggest source of contention in our relationship in general.
I'm finding it interesting that Henry won't really nap very well in his crib, but if we go out and he falls asleep, he'll sleep for hours in his car seat. He naps well in his bouncy seat, too. But it would help me do more things around the house if he'd sleep in his room as I wouldn't worry about leaving him and the animals alone for more than just a moment or two. I don't like to leave them all together alone for 10 or 15 minute stretches.
I had a long and busy weekend. My nephew had his bar mitzvah and there were lots of out of town families. Our house lost power for 20 hours, so we ended up staying in the hotel where everyone was staying and driving back and forth for our formal clothing and to walk Bdog. We were running all around, but everyone was doting all over little Henry. I found out 2 of my cousins are expecting, but I wasn't too thrown off by it. I still have some issues around pregnancy, but I didn't feel my stomach drop to the floor. Baby steps, right?
I'm so exhausted that I can't even write anything, but I wanted to post this picture. :)
I resigned from my job today. In person. I brought Henry with me. My boss was amazing. She said she somewhat expected this. (I'm not surprised by that.) She also said that she completely understands, she thinks I'm doing the right thing and that if our positions were reversed, she'd do the exact same thing. She also said to not hesitate to use her as a reference or even if I wanted to come back or wanted help finding part time or work from home work that she'd help me out. It really could not have been better. I expected her to not be surprised, but I didn't expect this much support. It really made me feel good about the decision.
And if I needed more help, this is what I came home to after walking Bdog this morning.
T and I went on our first date night last night. We left little Henry at my parents' house and went to a lovely steak dinner. It was super yummy and I had two (2) glasses of wine, so I was a bit in la-la land. It was definitely a place where we could not take Henry and having such super yummy food was quite a treat. I was a little nervous and thought about Henry almost the whole time, but I didn't call and was quite calm. I am so proud of how calm I am with him. I espouse a Free Range ideology, and I feel like I am living up to that with the way I am parenting Henry. There's not much free ranging for an infant, but I feel I am doing what I can do with this in teaching him how to be independent from the very beginning. Free Range doesn't mean less love, it just means less worry and hovering.
We also went to an adoption group yesterday. I am trying to arrange one close to home, but there were 4 other families there with kids ranging from 8 months to 2 1/2 years. It was really great and I hope we can keep it up and get the closer one rolling. One cool thing is that one of the parents at the adoption group was someone that T and I had met in a 'Waiting Families' support group. It was so cool to get together with our children after fretting together about whether we'd actually ever get to be parents!
We're enjoying a chill long weekend, which is nice. Next weekend is a bar mitzvah weekend and will be full of family and being places, so I'm glad we can relax for now.
We had our two month check up today. That meant shots. The PA did them really quickly and Henry only cried very briefly, which was a relief. I was nervous about them, but they did such a quick job I didn't really have time to freak out too much. I'm sure this is from experience.
I have to say I love our pediatrician. He is so calming, and he makes me feel so good about myself and how I am doing as a mom. He can see how happy both Henry and I are, and he tells me that our happiness is a self-fulfilling prophecy and that Henry will just be happier and happier and cuter and sweeter because that's how he is now and that's how I expect him to be. Henry is about average in height and a little above average in weight. He's healthy and growing as expected and doing really well.
I've been going to my in-town Mom's group every week and I went on a social outing with a social Mom's group yesterday for coffee. I enjoyed that and will be trying to go again. I had T's friend S come over and help us de-clutter, which was great. Our house is looking infinitely better, especially downstairs. She also helped us turn our 3rd fl into the guest bedroom now that Henry took over the previous one. She assembled a bed from 1ke@ for us, which was HUGE.
The other huge thing is that I'm 99% sure I've decided to quit my job. Everything is pointing toward that for me and I think I'm just going to do it. The 1% is really just my fear of doing it. Can I tell my boss over the phone? Everyone has been so encouraging about it that I'm just going to do it because I think it's what will make me happiest in the end. I'm going to double check that I'm not accruing anything or earning anything at work (I don't think I am) and maybe talk to my boss on Friday. Any resigning advice? I want to leave on as positive a note as possible.
I'm still here. I guess I don't feel like I have too much to say. Motherhood is the best. I absolutely love it.
My biggest concern is still about work. I've sort of decided that I want to quit my job and stay at home. However, I feel like I can't know that for sure unless I try working part time. I also feel like it would be terrible for my already lousy resume to quit. But when I think about returning to work, I basically want to cry because I feel so strongly that I do not want to. I wish I could convince myself that not going back to work was the right thing. I'm not sure why I can't accept that about myself, but I seem to be having a difficult time with that. My husband fully supports me no matter what I do. I think he wishes I would believe myself and just quit and stay home. But there's just this lingering feeling in my stomach when I think about quitting that I'll regret doing that some day.
Henry is growing. He's hit six weeks and is really changing. All his predictability has been thrown out the window. One day he barely napped at all, and the next day he slept all day. His night sleeping continues to improve and now Bdog is more likely to cause me to be sleep deprived than little H is. Between the two of them, though, it definitely alters my sleeping patterns. I wish Bdog didn't start getting hyper at like 5:30.
We sent a 6 week letter and email to CC and O. We didn't hear back from them. I can't say I'm not disappointed, but I do understand why they didn't reach out. Maybe next time. I'm going to send another email in November.
Nothing else to report. I guess I see why people stop blogging after becoming parents. I'm not planning on doing that, but right now I don't have too much time to report on my parenting and adoption experiences.
Oh, I am trying to facilitate an adoption group that meets once a month, locally. It's meeting for the first time on Saturday. I'm interested to see how that goes.
We had the hearing test today. He passed! His hearing is within the normal range. I suspected his hearing was fine because of his reactions to noises. However, it is still a relief to have a test confirm it.
I sent off our first letter to CC and O. yesterday. I printed some pictures and wrote what I could think of. I feel like our letter is woefully inadequate. I do plan to send them and email with some additional pictures this week. I want to tell them to let me know if they want the electronic versions of the pictures we printed. In fact, I just looked at the contract we signed and I think I left out some information that I'm supposed to supply. But I'm hopeful that because I'm going to encourage them to ask if there is something they want to know that we didn't include, that this will work out.
I feel so crazy busy. People keep telling me that I might get bored, but at this point I can't imagine it. I still worry about what's going to happen with work. I went back to visit yesterday and no one did anything but assume that I'm going to come back to work full time. I'm not. In fact, I'm dreading the idea of returning at all. I'm definitely thinking about staying home, but I haven't made any final decisions yet.
I just made myself worry about the letter and pictures. Dammit, I hate when I do that. I tend to lose sleep over things like this.
Things are good. I love being a mom, and I definitely feel a lot more like a mom. Our boy is precious, and I know he is comforted just by my presence or my voice. I can't believe this has finally happened to me. I am enjoying every minute of it, even the exhausted ones.
We finally gave him his first 'submerged' bath (instead of a sponge bath). He handled it like a trooper. He is such a good baby and sometimes will even go almost 5 hours between feedings at night. Too bad it's from about 8:30-1:30 instead of like 10-3... but I'm not complaining. I know how lucky it is that he can even go that long.
He is waking up more and focusing a little more every day. We are so happy to have him as our son.
I have to start writing our first letter to his birth parents to be sent to them at 6 weeks and would love some advice about what to include.
Today I went to a New Moms group in my city. It was small and a little shortened today, but I think I'm going to go next week. It was good to have a destination and to have one or two other people to talk to baby stuff about. I told of Henry's adoption from the get-go and the facilitator and the other mom there were very supportive. The other mom had a friend who went through infertility and adoption and has an 8 month old. She was very empathetic and nice.
We keep having visitors, including the delightful ultimatejourney and her darling A who is incredibly cute.
Henry is eating and sleeping on a reasonable schedule, but is generally up every 3 hours -- sometimes he'll go almost 4 at night. Nothing to complain about, but I do still feel a bit tired. No matter H's schedule, I walk B-dog between 6:30 and 7 am every day while T gets to stay in bed and feed Henry when he's ready. Then I walk B-dog with Henry in the sling in the afternoon. I've used the stroller, but I find that more difficult. T ordered me a longer leash to see if it makes the stroller easier.
We have another pediatrician appointment tomorrow morning, and then on Thursday we're going to Ike@ with E and toddler S to look for some furniture. I need a cheap platform bed to replace the guest bed that used to be in Henry's room. I also possibly need a rug for H's room.
I try to nap every day, but don't necessary get there. Henry is definitely awake much more often than he used to be.
His circumcision has healed (thank god) and he's scheduled for a hearing test the third week in September because he failed his newborn hearing test. I'm generally not concerned about this because a lot of babies fail their newborn hearing test, but I am a little concerned from time to time. I try to not think about it.
The annoying thing is this is a sleeping test and they want me to bring Henry to the office tired and hungry. It warns you to not let your baby sleep in the car on the way over to the test. Now how you get a tired and hungry baby to not sleep in the car on the way to an office? That's just stupid. Please.
I'm trying to find adoption groups in the area and it's not as easy as it seems like it should be. I know there are a LOT of adopted people in the metro-Boston area, but they don't seem to get together that much. I found one that meets once a month outside of the city. I'll go to that, but of course the hearing test is at the same time as their next meeting.
It looks like Henry may finally be settling down, so I think I need to, too. Maybe I can get a cat nap in!
We had our first post placement visit with our social worker today. As I've read on other people's blogs, it was quite relaxed. We talked about the dog, about CC and O. and about little Henry. She was of course enraptured by his adorableness. We shared the story and talked about his habits a little. She asked if it seemed real.
It's starting to seem more real.
We showed her the room and discussed new mom groups and if there was an adoptive mom/adopted kid group. I know there are a ton of the former, but I'd really like to find the latter. I'm sure I'll organize something. I just know being friends with other adoptees has been invaluable to my niece.
It went well. Two more in the next 6 months.
Henry is getting a little more fussy. He's hungry -- gotta run.
Today was my first day home alone with Henry. T finally went back to work. The day was uneventful -- not that much different than when T is here. Henry needed his regular feeding and changing. He was awake for a few hours today which is kind of new, but as he's doing this during the day, I encourage it. But eventually he gets tired, makes a tiny-huge yawn and I put him down. He's a pretty easy kid. He cries for a reason -- hunger or needed a new diaper. He doesn't really cry for no reason, which is nice.
I was even able to get some chores done. I put him in the bouncy seat on the floor in the kitchen while I washed dishes and filled the dishwasher. He got tired so I put him in his crib upstairs, safely away from the animals, and I was able to do some laundry.
Later in the day I walked the dog with Henry in the sling. I walked with my friend Jess yesterday with Henry in the stroller, but I kept hitting Bdog in the back of the legs. Bdog wouldn't poop while being so close to the stroller, so I do prefer the sling with the walk. I think with practice this will get easier.
Tomorrow we go to the pediatrician and my mom is going to come over.
I want to write a book just for Henry with his birth story in it. I took pictures while in FL so I can put a book together for him. I decided to use $hutter.fly to make it because we can get a hard copy and order multiple copies so we can give one to CC and O. We thought they might like one.
I've uploaded the pictures and started the layout, but I'm finding it difficult to write. I need to make it simple so that a little kid can understand, but I want it to be lasting as well. I guess I have a little while, but it's more difficult than I thought it would be to make.
Things are going pretty well. Henry is healing up quickly and nicely. Tomorrow is T's first day back at work and me home alone with Henry, so I'm a little nervous. I'm sure things will be okay, but it's nice to know someone is there for backup if you need it. Luckily T works less than 10 minutes away, so if there is an actual emergency he can be home asap.
I'm starting to again think about work and what I want to do. I guess I can't decide without having been home all by myself yet, but I'd love input from other moms about when they did re work. Keep in mind that I don't have a real 'career' just a job. I could take it or leave it and I'm 100% sure I'm not going to work full time. I guess I want to know the pros and cons of working part time vs. not working at all.
All I gotta say is 12 weeks to be home with a baby is certainly not very long. 24-30 weeks seems a lot more realistic. 12 weeks is nothing.
I think B-dog peed on the rug in the living room, which is totally out of character for him. It smells like pee and I don't know how to fix it. T claims he can't smell it at all, but I certainly do.
My friend Jess is in from Wales and is going to meet Henry for the first time. I have to go pick her up at the station.
I am Jewish. T is not. He's an atheist, and if you ask him his religion, that is what he'll answer. Before we were married, we agreed that we would raise our kids Jewish, and after their bar or bat mitzvah, they would be able to choose whether or how or what or when they would practice Judaism or any other religion.
I never thought we'd have a bris (ritual circumcision). I always figured if we had a boy that he'd be circumcised in the hospital. But I didn't bring it up with the lawyers when the match was made, as I didn't want the decision to circumcise this child to be made by us before we had legal custody of the child. So, Henry is not circumcised.
We told the pediatrician that we wanted to get him circumcised. It comes with the territory when you're Jewish. So we called a local hospital, and it's their policy to not perform a circumcision until a child is over 6 months old. Well, that seems crazy to me! Baby boys are circumcised on day 1 or 2 in the hospital. A bris is performed on day 8.
So, it ended up that we needed a mohel. A non-traditional mohel because Henry is going to be 2 weeks old tomorrow.
We made a few phone calls and found a mohel that is also a physician (a urologist, which is the type of doctor we were referred to in the first place). He is coming to the house tomorrow to do a non-traditional short version of a bris.
I'm quite nervous. I know this has been going on for thousands of years, and I know I want to have Henry circumcised, but I wish I didn't have to do this. I'm terrified.
I have shut off comments because I know how controversial circumcision is these days. But, as a Jewish person, it is part of the package and I don't want that discussion to happen here.
My parents, some old family friends, T and I will be the only ones here. I'm scared out of my mind for the first time since Henry has entered our lives.
I left work early on Friday. I knew the call would come soon and we had so much crap to do -- I had to pack up stuff from the back bedroom, move out a bookshelf, take the bed out, etc. The plan was to work all day Saturday.
But then came a phone call at about 9:30 pm. I was getting ready for bed. It was the attorney's office and she asked if my bags were packed. CC (the expectant mom) was in labor. She was 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced, so we knew it would be soon.
Of course I wasn't packed, so I worked on that. I yelled downstairs to my husband. We needed plane tickets. His office will buy flights for people to pick up their adoptive children as a benefit. He got on the phone right away to book. Then he got put on hold. For 45 minutes. He called one number. They told him to call another number. At that number they told him to call the first number. He sent emails and left voice mails. Nothing.
While he was working on flights, O. (the expectant Dad) called us. He just said "Listen," and held the phone to the air. I heard a baby crying. Then I started crying. Then I ran over to T and had him listen. Then T started crying. There we all were, listening to the first cries of our soon-to-be son and we were crying too. I will forever be grateful to O. for making that phone call.
With many trials and tribulations that I will not go into here, we made it to FL and to the hospital. We went right into the room. We met CC and O. and I gave them both a hug. Then the nurse wheeled the baby in. I cried again. I held him.
The five of us spent the next day and a half together. We took pictures and took turns holding the baby. We talked about names and all sorts of other things. We explained to them how we chose his name. We laughed and we talked about how we would communicate after T and I took the baby home.
When CC was due to be discharged, the paperwork had to be done. We decided to have CC and O. spend the last half hour before the paperwork started with the baby. We left the room. We asked the nurse what CC and O. wanted to do regarding leaving the hospital. We knew the lawyers were in there with them at some point. We waited and waited and waited and waited. I almost started to get nervous even though I knew CC and O. were committed to this adoption.
Finally the lawyers came into the room. CC and O. had finished their part of the paperwork and it was time for ours. We did that piece and went over to CC's nurse. The lawyer's representative wanted to leave, but CC and O. weren't ready yet. The nurse figured out a way to let the lawyer go and let us stay for a little while longer. (CC's nurse was AWESOME! I can't thank her enough for being so understanding.) We spent more time together with the baby in the hospital room. We ate some lunch and talked some more. CC took a shower. We took more pictures.
We talked about naming the baby. They had some ideas of their own, but in the end decided to give him the name we had chosen for him.
Finally, it was time to leave the hospital. CC helped me work the car seat and we made sure that Henry fit into it. CC got into the wheelchair and a nurse took the baby. We took the elevator down. O. and T went to get the cars. I put Henry into his car seat. O. pulled up. The tech pushing her wheelchair seemed to almost give Henry to her to put in the car. My heart skipped a beat. T pulled up. I put Henry in the car. I hugged both CC and O. again. T went to say his goodbyes to CC and O. We got into the car, crying. We watched CC and O. pull away with tears in their eyes. We cried harder. Our hearts broke. This is the moment that has forever changed me.
We pulled ourselves together and drove back to the hotel with our son. ----------------------- Written for the Open Adoption Round Table.
Even though Henry is home and we are doing really, really well, I'm not sure I feel like a Mommy yet. It just doesn't feel real, somehow, despite me knowing that it is. I guess my emotions haven't caught up with what's actually going on.
Then I login to F@ceb00k and see an announcement and an ultrasound.
It still slams me. I do know that I'd be way much more of a mess about it if we didn't have our beautiful Henry at home, but it's still a kick in the stomach. Especially those f*cking ultrasounds. I hate that people share those. Should I post the CT scan of my diverticulitis?
Henry will be about 6 months when this baby is born. I'm guessing that by then I will really feel like a mommy.
My parents and both my brothers, their wives and their children came over yesterday to meet Henry and to set up a nursery for us. We didn't allow ourselves to prepare for a baby because of all the mental anguish we had been through. They did in about 3 hours what it would have taken us months to do. I can't express how appreciative I am of what they did for us. They worked so hard, including the kids, and they were all just so happy to meet Henry and stare at him and have nothing but love for him. He is truly home now.
We arrived back at home around 1pm today. So much to say, but way, way too tired to say it. The little guy is constipated, so he had some major fuss time this evening. Really, it was the most difficulty he's had so far -- usually he is good about his eat, sleep, pee/poop routine. Though, the poop part has definitely become a little tough.
My parents picked us up from the airport. We got so many comments flying home. Everyone wanted to know how old he was and where it was we were going. The first time I told someone that we adopted him and were going home, I started crying. I hadn't been overly emotional about him for a few days and it took me by surprise.
I know it's only a week, but everybody who has heard the word adoption come out of our mouths have been nothing but congratulatory and happy for us. Really, the only curiosity has been about the wait. I know it won't stay like that forever, but I'm glad I haven't had to face anything overly insensitive yet.
So far the animals and Henry are doing well together. Bdog sniffed him a few times, but really showed no interest. When Henry makes a noise or two Bdog's ears go up, but nothing has been at all worrisome so far. The cats have sniffed him as well. Rcat is totally clueless and we have to make sure that he doesn't try to jump in our laps when Henry is in one of our laps, but I think that's do-able. And he should learn. S-cat (I don't want to call her Scat) keeps her distance.
All animals were glad that we returned.
I've been up since about 4 am, so I need some rest before Henry needs another feeding. It's good to be home.
I spoke to the attorney in FL. They had spoken with expectant dad. Everything is fine. Expectant mom is so done with being pregnant. She wants it to be over. She has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and may ask to be induced.
While talking to the attorney's office we got to talking about money. This made me feel awful. It's terrible how much economics plays into the decision to place. I know for a fact that is not the only reason this couple is placing, but it is definitely a huge factor. I hate to feel like I'm 'buying' a baby.
I was sitting here reading parts of "Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew" and found something that rang true. Adoptive parent guilt doesn't really help the situation. It doesn't make us better parents. We need to let go of the guilt and do what's best for the baby. The expectant parents cannot provide what this baby needs for many different reasons, including financial ones. It is not fair, but it is true. We should be proud of them that they recognize this and made an intelligent choice in who to entrust with raising their baby so that he will have a good life. We will make sure he knows this about them and how much they love him. We will communicate with them throughout his life so that they can see he is doing well and he can know who his birth parents are and who he looks like and where he comes from.
The attorney's office also mentioned that sometimes at the very end, near labor, expectant parents pull away from adoptive parents because the reality of what's happening is setting in. I get that. Makes sense.
But they're still talking to the adoption agency which means they are still counting on this plan. Though this doesn't surprise me. This nervousness comes more from me and my own insecurities than from anything this expectant couple has said or done. They have been nothing but reassuring, honest and up front with us. And I get the feeling that they like us and are happy with the match.
So, I guess I'll get an update after expectant mom's doctor's appointment.
Called expectant mom tonight. Went straight to voicemail. I know that they run out of minutes often and have changed numbers once already since we were matched because they use those prepaid phones and had to get a new one to get new minutes. However, it still makes me nervous.
There is a heat wave going on. I don't know if it fits the 'official' definition, but it is very hot and humid. We do have some window a/c units and we use them, but I still find it exhausting. Coming back to work after a very relaxing vacation is exhausting. And waiting with bated breath for a phone call that a woman who wants us to raise her son is going into labor and we have to go down to FL to pick him up is exhausting.
I'm trying really hard to get work done. I have this huge project that is about to peak in a month or so. Of course, if all goes well, I won't be there so I want to have as much done as possible before I go. However, my ability to focus is incredibly compromised.
I had a meeting with HR today to make sure that all of my paperwork for FMLA is done. It is. All I need is that phone call.
My niece was here for the past couple of days. For Chanukah, T gave her a trip to a museum of her choice in Boston, and they finally went on their little outing. She stayed over night and they spent another half day together. She was adopted. She's 12 (and a half, she made sure I didn't forget). T was asking her questions about being adopted. She had a lot of insightful things to say to him and asked a lot of good questions about the dog and cats and all sorts of other things. I tried to ask similar questions, but got more typical teenage grunts in response. I'm a bit jealous that she opens up to him in a way she doesn't open up to me, but I guess it is what it is. I'm glad she loves him so much and that they had a good time together.
My brother and SIL are supposed to come over tonight and bring nursery furniture. I think we're going to leave it in the garage for now. There's too much other furniture that we need to remove from that room to put it in the proper place. And it's too hot to move furniture. We have too much to do.
I'm feeling so impatient and so ready for this weird time to be over. I do know that once this time is over, if everything goes as planned, we are in for another crazy time -- though completely different. Everyone I know in adoption remembers the matched but waiting time to be incredibly surreal, especially so close to delivery. I find it very unsettling.
We didn't sleep very well last night. We're nervous.
My brother and SIL are going to bring over furniture in a few days. We picked out (finally) some crib sheets (why are so many baby things BROWN?) and got a car seat. We were at B@b1es.r.Us looking at crib sheets and we bought one to make sure it went with the paint in the room and we went to the clearance table and we saw a little fall sleeper outfit and I allowed myself to buy it. It was organic cotton and expensive, but I just wanted to buy one little baby thing in the baby store. So I did it. T was really afraid to -- even more than me. But we bought it. It's in the house. We have an item of baby clothes in the house. I can't believe it.
(Here is the fitted crib sheet we're going to use.)
(Here are the clothes. It also has a wearable cotton blanket thingy that has a cowboy motif.)
My mom wanted to know when she could tell my aunts and uncles. I told her after the revocation papers were signed -- when we leave the hospital with the baby. I don't want to tell them before, just in case.
I just feel like I'm on the verge of tears all the time. I got a gift for the expectant mom. The order for the gift we wanted for the expectant dad got canceled, so we have to go to a store and buy it. We need to do that soon -- hopefully tomorrow or something.
I wish I could calm the f*ck down, but I can't. My mind is just racing. I'm trying to breathe, but I can't. I can't even focus on the Sox/Yankees series. The Sox are playing like crap anyway. I'm just playing video games on my iPhone to pass the time.
I'll close with the adorable alpaca we saw in VT. Alpacas just rule. See the hay stuck to his face? See how he's too fluffy to have eyes? How freaking cute is this thing!?!?
It's scary to see that I'm allowing myself to believe that this whole thing might come to pass very soon. I am allowing myself to believe it just a little. It is the single most frightening thing that has happened to me in a really, really long time.
We're back from nowhere. It was very quiet, very relaxing, and I'm SO GLAD to be home. We even came home a day early. The bed there was terrible. Nothing like being away from home to make you appreciate it.
Talked to expectant mom again. She's starting to dilate and she thinks it's going to be this week. (!)
She also mentioned to me that she heard about other situations where expectant parents change their mind and that she and expectant dad have thought long and hard about this and they took several months to come to this decision. I think she wanted to reassure us that she's not going to change her mind. I tried to say that I understand why someone might change their mind and that it's their right, but I think she was trying to convey a message to us.
It's a little awkward to talk about these things, but it's good. I said I wanted pictures of her and expectant dad at the hospital so we could make a book for the baby and read it to him to tell him about his birth. She was okay with that.
I think we're going to work on setting up the room now. I think I can allow myself to do that. Expectant mom wants the room to be ready for the baby.
We leave for vacation tomorrow morning. We're going off the grid. No cell phones, no computers, just books and trees and each other. (And the dog.)
I'm really looking forward to it.
August is just about here. We keep talking about preparing for this possible arrival. People expect me to be excited about it. I don't feel the least bit excited right now. I do feel a little nervous, but I guess I don't really think it's going to work out. Something somewhere is going to go wrong. This has been our story for so long that I can't imagine it being any different.
Expectant mom seems to not want to talk about 'it' very much. We've talked a few times and she's happy to talk about her life and what's going on, but not about what's supposed to happen.
We don't know how much to communicate with them. We call because we want them to know we think about them, but we don't want to bother them.
So we wait. We get away. I really hope I can relax during this vacation and not worry too much. I seem to always find something to worry about. I was worried about work this morning, but now that I'm away from work I'm not worried about it. So I find things to worry about. I worry that things are not going to work out.
Here's my 500th post. 3 1/2 years of blogging later and I finally might be a mom in a few weeks. It's pretty weird to imagine.
We went to visit a pediatrician today. We liked him. He was very soft spoken and laid back. The nurse in the waiting room asked noted I must not be due for a while (we were there without a child) and so I had to explain.
The doctor said he sees a lot of adopted babies. We reviewed the health history of the birth parents and he said that unless the expectant mom was drinking heavily or doing hard core drugs, then there was really no significance in it. He thought things sounded good.
We picked out some crib sheets that we like and think will go with the room. My mom is going to buy them for us.
We have to move the bed and a bookshelf out of that room. We have to organize the garage a bit because it's too crowded in there.
I'm leaving for the Boca area on Sunday for work until Tuesday. I work Wednesday through Friday. Saturday we're going on vacation to Vermont away from cell phone coverage and internet. We plan to read and knit a lot. Well, I plan to knit. T is just going to read. And walk and hike and sleep and generally laze about. I'm looking forward to it very much.
When we come back it will be August 8. That leaves about a week until the due date.
I'm feeling cranky today. Nothing quite worked out right. It was one of those days when I wanted a do-over.
People are pissing me off. The comments that people are making regarding things that are happening in the news is pissing me off. Sometimes this country drives me crazy. I try really hard to respect people and their varying opinions, but sometimes I just feel sad when people interpret certain things in certain ways. I am sure other people feel the same way about my thoughts, though. They're sad for me because of the way I interpret certain things. I suppose I can see how to agree to disagree, at least on some level, but I don't see how we can compromise, and that makes me feel like I don't understand how we can elect a government that will make decisions that will represent our beliefs.
I know I'm being really vague here, but I don't feel like getting into specifics. I just sometimes get upset about the way things are™.
We have a company outing tomorrow. On Sunday I go to Florida for work for a couple of days. Then I work 3 days and then is our vacation. I simply cannot wait for our vacation. I need a vacation so desperately. My ability to focus and accomplish things is highly compromised, though when we come back the baby will be due any minute so I don't know how things will be any better. We have so much crap to do.
We spoke with expectant dad on the phone this evening. He was great. He's a little more reluctant about the adoption plan, but he knows it's best for them. We could just hear in his voice how much he wished he could parent this boy and it's just so hard.
We assured him this child would know how much he loves him. We assured him that we would let him know how this boy is doing on a regular basis. We said to him that we could possibly meet face to face at some point. We created an email address just for them to send us emails.
He told us he definitely knows that this is the right thing for his child -- he wants this child to have what he knows he cannot give the boy. But it so clearly hurts that he cannot provide this to the boy.
He asked if we were nervous and excited. We told him we were. We are.
MIL went back home. It's funny -- it's sad to see her go, but I'm so glad she's gone. It would be nice if she could live closer, but both T and I tried to bring it up and she has no interest in moving out here.
After we dropped MIL off at the airport, we went to buy dog food. There is a Bab1es.R.U$ in the same mall, and we actually went in there and looked at car seats. I only had a couple of mini-panics, but I didn't even come close to tears. We learned some stuff and we need to do some more research.
We also walked over the the furniture department. Yikes. My parents wanted to buy us a crib. Everything looked so HUGE to me.
Since we were on a roll, I called my brother and SIL asking if we could come by and see their old furniture. I honestly liked what they had much more than anything in the store. I think we may use all of that and just buy a new mattress, pads, etc.
I've also been looking into eco-diapering. We're thinking about doing these new-fangled cloth diapers or g.D1apers. With disposables when necessary.
We didn't buy anything or bring anything home. All this will be done when we know things are truly going to happen. But I allowed myself to think about all of these things.
Intellectually I know this may happen and I'm letting myself plan a little, but I don't truly feel it inside. I don't feel hopeful or excited or optimistic. I just want to prepare as much as I can. And I know that despite holding back hope and excitement that if things fall through, I'm going to be devastated. But I'm not sure I'll be surprised.
I was really scared. I cried a little while telling them. But it does feel like a monkey off of my back.
They were supportive and happy for me. I mentioned the caution and how I didn't want people to know until papers were signed, just in case we left and I came back a few days later without a baby. They seemed to get it.
The HR woman had a friend who was matched and the birth mother decided to parent after the baby was born. So I feel she does get it a little bit.
My boss has a crazy family story, but is pretty open about it. I'm more worried about her saying something. She said that she'd say, 'Family issues' or 'Personal issues' when she was informing people that they may have to take over some of my work. I think she's going to consult me before she decides how she's going to split up my responsibilities and maybe I'll have some control over it, but we'll see.
But I do feel some relief that I came clean.
Now I just have to worry about whether I will indeed come home with a baby or not. And a bunch of other stuff.
My MIL is here from Oregon. We're taking her to Martha's Vineyard tomorrow for one night. We're boarding B-dog for the first time. It's only one night, but I hope he does okay. I think he might miss us, but he doesn't suffer from any separation anxiety, so I think he'll be okay. We went over to visit the house of the person he'll stay with and he totally peed in her house twice. I felt *really* bad about that. :( But she has dogs everywhere and he's never really been in anybody else's house. Still, it's a bad precident.
I think I've pinched something in my hip. I'm having a hard time standing up for more than 5 minutes. When I sit I'm fine, but standing up I get pain and numbness all the way down to my ankle. I need to get this fixed. I went to the chiropractor today, but it didn't really make a difference.
T's been having migraines lately. We wonder if it's stress from all this adoption stuff. They're really bad and it sucks.
MIL is a lovely lady, but we don't have much to talk about and she tends to not want to sit in silence and just talks and talks to fill in the lulls.
I'm supposed to talk with expectant mom again this evening. I called during the day, but she was napping. She asked that I call later tonight, so I will. She had a doctor's appointment on Friday. She said that everything is good, and she is having a 3 hour glucose test on Monday.
Time is going both incredibly quickly and incredibly slowly. I guess I will tell work that I plan to return, even though I think I probably won't. I'm going to tell them the week of the 20th. We'll switch to T's insurance just in case. If I don't return, they'd make us pay the premium and I don't want to get stuck with that. I still am not sure I even want to return, but if they'll take me back part time, I guess I'd consider it. I can ask them if they'll consider that about a month before my 'return' date.
I think we're putting off thinking about more baby stuff until MIL goes home next Saturday.
Still freaking out. --------------------- ETA: Spoke with expectant mom again. Less awkward this time. This woman really expects that we are going to parent her child. I just can't wrap my mind around it. She was giving me mommy advice!
Have a rocking chair in the baby's room.
Have a good nightlight so at night you don't have to turn on a bright overhead for diaper changes or feedings.
A bit of information regarding formula. (Not divulged here for privacy reasons.)
She wants T to give expectant dad a call so they can talk 'guy stuff.' Told her maybe next week because MIL is here. I'll have to help with that phone call, but I think it's important to talk to him.
Also, she thinks she might have ultra-sound pictures on a disk and offered to send them over to us. She said there were some good shots. I'm not sure I can look at them, but I do want her to send them over.
I just looked at our employee handbook. You're supposed to give 30 days notice for FMLA. I'm supposed to give, in writing, my intention to return to work. I don't know if I'm going to return to work or not. How do I decide this?!?
I've said out loud that I'm going to ask if I can come back part time, but I'm not sure if I really want to do that or not. But the whole thing is, what if we go to Florida and come home without a baby? Then I will need this job.
I'm so scared of all of this.
I'm not sure when to tell work. I was thinking I would tell after my work trip to Florida on 7/27, but I think I have to do it earlier.
We need a pediatrician. We're going on vacation for a week on August 1st. I need to get a tune up on my car. We need to get the dog a check-up.
I have an appointment for a 'meet and greet' with a pediatrician on July 23. We haven't even seen the expectant parents' medical records yet.
I keep having appointments and missing work for sorting all this stuff out. I'm so stressed. I can't calm down. I was freaking out about organizing all the baby stuff, but it turns out that's the easy part. I feel so stressed for time! And I feel like I'm pushing the limits of missing work for all these appointments.
My MIL is coming to stay for a week. She arrives tomorrow.
I'm FREAKING OUT. ----------------- ETA: Oh, and we can't agree on a name, either.
We've told a few people. My parents. My brothers and their families. T should be calling his mom tonight to tell her. I told one friend because she was making plans to come to Boston around the time the baby is due (!) and normally stays with us, and I had to tell her that this probably wouldn't work out this time.
Telling is really difficult. The fourth tell was the easiest so far. I just said it. "We were matched with a potential birth mother."
There are lots of questions about her. I'm trying to answer as few of them as possible. I explain that it's our child's story and we're erring on the side of caution with keeping the information private.
I won't believe in this until it actually happens, but conversation does turn to cribs and planning and organizing the baby's room, especially from my mother. I try to push it back. Nothing is sure until it is sure. The only thing we're really thinking about buying at this time is a car seat. Everything else we would need we can get later.
We went to a fireworks show. There were, of course, tons of children there. It didn't bother us so much this time.
But it's still weird to tell. I still feel like this is all a big secret. In fact, our story is not a big secret except at work. So maybe this will feel secret until I tell someone at work, which I have decided I'm not going to do until we come back from our vacation.
I just don't want many people to know until it has really happened. This feels weird.
We just sent in all of the paperwork. They should receive it on Monday. All of our bureaucratic registry forms were sent in too. I royally messed up the fingerprints, though. Hopefully it can be straightened out, but we may have to do that over again.
I know this might actually happen, but I feel strangely unattached from this. T says I'm just protecting myself. That's probably true, but I keep thinking how what I'm currently doing will have to work differently not so long from now. Maybe.
But the paperwork is in and we'll soon be on record as the prospective adoptive parents of a baby.
The state where the expectant mother and father live is one of those states that created laws that bars gay people from adopting. During this journey I have not wanted to use an agency from that state, even though there are a large number of birth mothers that want to place their children who live in that state.
This situation came to us, but on the paperwork we have to fill out we both have to assert that we are not gay or bisexual.
I'm having a difficult time with this form and asserting these things. It's not right and it's not fair. At the same time, I don't know that I can walk away from these expectant parents that want to make a plan for their yet unborn son.
This is weighing heavy on me, but unfortunately I think I will make the assertion on paper. Then maybe I can make another donation to Lambda Legal. That seems so lame. ---------------------- ETA: I had to look at our financials for this state application, and though we had an almost 10% down payment and have been paying our mortgage for 4 years, we officially owe more on our house than it is now worth. The value of our home has gone down by about 25% since we bought it. Keep in mind that the median home value for a home like ours at the time we bought it was something like $375,000. That's almost $100,000.
We are doing paperwork. CORI checks, s.ex offender registry, Dept of Children and Families, FBI fingerprints. Remember that pesky renewal packet I was complaining about a month ago? I ignored it. Now we need to step on it and get everything in so that paperwork won't be the reason that this doesn't happen.
We have to fill out applications, sign contracts, send in money.
We talked for an hour and a half. It was a little awkward and she kind of went on and on (and on) but she seemed to like us. We liked her well enough. We seem to be what the expectant parents are looking for.
This is what greyhound owners call roaching. Upside down with arms stretched out, like a dead cockroach.
We went for a long walk this afternoon. I let him run around in the dog park without a leash for the first time. There weren't any other dogs and the fenced in area was reasonable small, but he came to me when I called him. It was a good first for us.
I have to work on renewing our homestudy and sending an application off to the agency in FL, but I've done none of it. Perhaps I can try to do that this weekend.
I played hooky today and "worked from home." I did check in at work, but I have so little work to do that it literally makes no difference if I take an entire day off. I don't have enough work to do and just procrastinate most of the day. I wish I could find work fulfilling, but I truly do not. T isn't enjoying his job much these days, either. It sucks when work doesn't do anything for you and you aren't able to have the family you want to fill the void.
Things with the dog are pretty good. He's really good except for in the mornings. I wake myself up at about 4:30 every morning, and he's sometimes up already or I can't fall asleep because I'm listening for him. He's been barking by 5:15 or 5:30 and I'm trying to get him to quit that habit. If he was quiet until 6, I'm not even sure I could sleep until then anymore. Needless to say, I walk around exhausted all the time.
It's been raining for weeks and has finally cleared up, but now it's hot and humid. MIL is coming to town in about 2 weeks. Hopefully we'll take her to Martha's Vineyard for an overnight, but we have to figure out if the dog will come with us or we can board him somewhere.
We're having some people come over to give us quotes regarding fixing up the yard and adding the fourth fence so B-dog can run around in the yard off-leash.
I worry that I won't be able to handle both the dog and a baby, but T tells me to stop worrying about it. I guess I am the type that always needs something to worry about. I can't simply be happy. That seems pretty lame.
Maybe I'll try to upload our book now that I'm not doing anything.
Here's a pic of T & Me from my parents' anniversary dinner.
Today is my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. They don't know about this blog, but it's too big of a deal to not mention.
Here is a picture of my mother, my brothers and me when my mother was about the same age as I am now -- probably a year or so younger, actually. My dad was most likely taking the picture and that is why he's not in there.
Would you say I'm around 2 in this picture? Maybe a little younger? If so, my brother S on the left is about 10 and my other brother J in the middle is about 13. My mom would be about 36. I think it's funny that my brothers look like they're paying such attention to me. S looks especially amused by me.
I just can't believe my parents have been married for 50 years. I mean, can you imagine? I know I certainly can't. If T and I are to make it to our 50th, we will both be well into our 80s.
Isn't life funny? What was it that John Lennon said? Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans?
4 miscarriages, 3 failed IVFs with PGD, 2 different sperm donors, 1 diagnosis of balanced translocation.
Now we are the proud parents of a boy via domestic infant semi-open adoption.
We had a failed match for kid #2 and are now matched again.