Monday, August 31, 2009

Home alone

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 am tired, but things are good.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Henry's book

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 $ 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.

Friday, August 28, 2009


It's over. Henry cried. He's sleeping now. My Dad held him.

I really, really hope it heals quickly. It's supposed to only take a few days.

It may take T a bit longer to recover from this.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Open Adoption: Birth Story

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.

Monday, August 24, 2009

still a blow

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.

Perfect Moment Monday

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.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Home forever

Henry on the airplane flying to his forever home with us!

Friday, August 21, 2009

back in boston

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.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

My son is sleeping in my lap. He is three days old.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We have a son

I haven't decided what I'll call him on this blog yet. Maybe Henry because we my blog is Henry Street? But he's with us now.

H's birth parents were amazing through this. I can't believe their strength. They helped me so much -- when it was me that should have been helping them.

They just love him so much.

I wanted to publish pictures, but I realized that violates their privacy. So they're not here.

His makeshift crib in the hotel room.

Friday, August 14, 2009


She's in labor. We're trying to get a flight to FL now.

She's 5 cm and 100% effaced, so he'll be born before we're able to leave.

Talked to dad. He wants us to be excited. He asked how I was feeling. I said I didn't have words to describe it. He liked that.

This is happening.

He was born at 10:35 pm Eastern. 7 lbs 14 oz. Dad called me and I heard some of his first cries. He was taking pictures for us.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Everything is okay

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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No answer

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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just exhausted

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.

Still waiting for the call.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

freaking out a little

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.

Friday, August 07, 2009


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.

It could be this week.

Holy cr@p.