Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I know it's cheesy, but I'm super excited about this Halloween. In particular, it's because I am expecting my first family trick-or-treater this 6-month-old nephew! He's the first little one I know who lives close enough to us to visit on Halloween night all decked out in whatever creative costume his parents have chosen (they aren't telling). This is rather significant because in three years of marriage, we have had exactly two trick-or-treaters, and they were the next-door neighbors, who have since moved. I can't tell unpopularity is because we both work and aren't home until after the ridiculous trick-or-treating hours of 3:00 to 5:00, or if it's because most of the kids in our neighborhood are in high school. It certainly can't be the choice of candy, because I get the BEST candy...all chocolate mini candy bars for us! At any rate, it will be fun to see the little nephew all dressed up.

When we were kids, living on the farm (miles from other families), Mom always dressed us up and sent us out in the car with Dad, who drove us around for about two hours, where we stopped at about seven houses of our "neighbors"...families who had kids who were the same age as us. Mom always stayed home to pass out candy, and she made these amazing little baggies with all sorts of goodies. Trick-or-treaters at our house were treated well! But, again, being "in the country", Mom only got to give out three or four of her cute baggies (which, of course, was a bonus for us kids, who got to share the leftovers).

I guess I just figured that by living in a "neighborhood", we'd naturally get a bunch of trick-or-treaters. Not so, my friends. Bummer.

I'm thinking of hitting the post-Halloween costume sales in preparation for next year, when we should have an almost-one-year-old to cart around in her Halloween finery. What should she be...a princess? A pumpkin? A Ninja? So many choices!

Monday, October 29, 2007

And the countdown begins...

We have a due date. The birthmom's c-section is scheduled for Monday, November 12th!!

In some weird way, this has all suddenly become very "real". Before, it was just a really nice idea, but now that we have a date and a plan, it's all so very real.

Although I've known for weeks that this was looming in the distance, I haven't been able to focus on all the things that need to be done between now and then. Especially at my job. The reality is that once this baby comes home, I will be taking time off from my job and won't return until January. And, of course, there's stuff that needs to be done to prepare for all the events that are coming up in January and that would typically be reserved for November and December. And all that work has to be crammed into two weeks now.

Seriously, it's not like I haven't known this, but I needed that due date for my mind to focus in on all that had to be done. And now I am working like a madwoman and filling up my white board with tasks to do. So I'd better get back to it. But I wanted to be sure I told you, dear internet, about the latest news. The countdown is on, and the next few weeks promise to be a whirlwind of activity and preparation. And registering for baby items. Oh, the registering!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

To burst the big bubble of fog...

...the one that has existed over this whole "idea" of adoption...

Our lawyer (let's call him Jim) called yesterday to report in after his discussion with the birthmother's lawyer (and we'll call him Barry).

So Barry met with the birthmom for the first time yesterday. After his interview with her, he determined the following, with some degree of certainty:

1. She is determined to place this baby for adoption.
2. She is convinced that we are the parents for this baby.
3. She really, truly wants us in the delivery room, if at all possible.
4. She wants to have the c-section scheduled 2-weeks early, if possible.

After his discussion with Barry, Jim strongly encouraged us to reconsider going to the birthmom's state for her scheduled c-section so we can be there for her during the delivery. He also discovered more details on the legal process involved in that state and briefed us on how long we can anticipate being there and what other things we might expect.

All in all, he encouraged us to make preparations to travel and be ready to go in about 10 days.


We should have a pretty solid, scheduled due date after the birthmom's appointment with her doctor on Friday. I will talk to her that afternoon, and look forward to seeing how she is handling these final stages.

Last weekend, my husband's sister was in town visiting, and we discussed some of the final stages of what is going on in this adoption plan. She seems to have some difficulty seeing domestic adoption as anything other than bartering for a human life.

I see it differently. Throughout this process, I've been pretty concerned about making sure we didn't put pressure on the birthmom...that it was her decision to make. But given her situation (which I won't explain in detail, to protect her privacy), this is truly what she wants to do, and she at least seems to be really happy about it. For a variety of reasons, she feels strongly that she CANNOT care for this child, and is just really relieved to have found a couple she likes to be the parents of this baby. I'm feeling pretty comfortable and confident that all will go according to plan. And I know that this special birthmother will be in our prayers for the rest of our lives.

I'm sure that there have been instances in which domestic adoption has been a painful and coercive experience in which the birthmother was not given many options. That was what I wanted to avoid at all cost. And I think we have. God bless this baby and her first mother as we approach her birth day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What? My life is going to change? You're kidding...

In the past week, I have met with many new moms (through both birth and adoption) who have been quite congratulatory about our pending adoption plans. As I recount my plans to bow out of various boards and responsibilities as soon as I can, they all have said some version of "yeah, you think you're busy now...just wait. Your life is about to change dramatically."

In some ways, I think this is just about the stupidest thing that people can say. I mean, who doesn't realize this? Don't they know I've been spending hours just sitting and thinking of the many ways our life is going to change? That I spend that last 20 minutes every morning lying in bed and hitting the snooze and realizing that this luxury of hitting snooze is about to end?

And then it hit me last week after my weekly phone conversation with our birthmother...she mentioned that she was about 35 weeks along so far, and she expects that they might schedule the c-section at 38 weeks.

WHAT? We're talking roughly two weeks from now people. That's soon.

Not that I haven't had this "window of possibility" circled on the calendar since August, but seriously. Now I'm focusing in and looking at all that I need to get wrapped up at work and all the things I STILL don't have ready for the baby, and I'm starting to freak out...just a little.

Anyway, it's really not that bad, but it is a shocking revelation...when you've waited and hoped and dreamed about having a baby, and you realize that it's roughly two weeks away from actually happening.

In the back of my mind, I still have that part of me that's holding out on joy because of the possibility that the birthmom might still change her mind. And that is something that she has every right to do. At this point, based on her circumstances, I really don't anticipate her changing her mind, but that's always a possibility.

So I guess it's all feeling a little surreal right it's something we are anticipating but don't really expect to happen until it really does. And I guess no amount of preparation will be enough to prepare us for the reality of the experience.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lots of babies...

This weekend, I attended a wedding where some of the guests included two friends of ours who are ready-to-pop pregnant (one due in two days, one in two weeks) and a couple who recently adopted their first child. The adoptive mom and I chatted about the latest news on our adoption plan, and I delighted to watch her obviously social baby revel in al the attention she was getting as she was passed from person to person. The two pregnant women (both with their first child) also wanted updates and are so excited that we may all soon have children the same age.

It's so comforting to know that we have close friends in the same stage of life. It's equally comforting to be sure that our daughter will know other adoptees and adoptive families close in age.

For so long, it seemed I was watching everyone else having babies, and then more babies, until I wondered if we would be "passed up" by all the people we knew and would have to learn to socialize with a much younger "new baby" crowd when and if this parenthood thing ever did happen for us. But I guess God had it well in hand.

I'm planning to call the birthmom again late this week to check in on her. I think she prefers to have some sort of regular contact with me, and that is perfectly OK with me at this stage. I'm getting cautiously excited about the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oh so relieved...

After a huge exercise in patience today, I broke down and contacted the birthmom. She had been asking the counselor and lawyer to speak to us anyway, and after getting the go ahead yesterday from our lawyer, I thought it would be OK. He still hasn't contacted me, but I figured he had to have had time to call her before now.

It was so good to talk to her. I am SO relieved, and I could tell that she was too. She had heard from the counselor and the lawyer that we were still on board with the plan, but she wanted to hear it from us. We talked for about 15 minutes, and now that she feels comfortable with the fact that we are solid on the plan, she is going to set an appointment to see a doctor in her new city. She said she'd call the counselor when she had a solid due date.

I just feel so much better after talking to her. I can tell that she really desires to have everything go as planned, and she really wants us to parent her baby, but she just had so many anxieties because she wasn't sure how the distance affected our decision.

She really amazes me. I could tell from the start that even though she couldn't parent this baby, she is very concerned that she could choose someone who could and make provisions for the care of her child. At one point in our initial interview, she said "Now, do I need to put together some clothes and toys to give to y'all, or do you take care of that?". Of course, she has never asked us for anything except to love and care for her baby, and we assured her that we would take care of everything that the baby needs...all she had to worry about was taking care of herself and having that baby.

I promised to call closer to the due date (after we find out what that will be). I am just so excited.

Probably just freaking out for no reason, but still...

So yesterday, I FINALLY spoke with our lawyer. Turns out, he had been catching up on details and had intended to call the birthmom later that day. Of course, my phone may have jump-started him a bit. Anyway, he said it was fine for us to call her to reassure her, but he wanted to speak with her first. He said he'd call me back later yesterday or this morning to let me know how that conversation went, and then I was free to give her a call. I haven't heard from him yet.

Have I mentioned that I'm not so good with the patience thing?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm not so good with the patience thing...

On Friday, I learned from the counselor that our birthmom had decided to just deliver in her current state of residence. OK, we can deal with that. And she wants to make sure we are still on board with the adoption plan. Yes, of course. However, our lawyer has yet to make contact with her to reassure her of this.

On Sunday, birthmom had a phone conversation with the counselor. She expressed anxiety over not hearing from our lawyer and wanted to know if she could speak to us personally to know that we are still wanting to adopt her baby. Problem is...I don't know if it's OK for us to call her. We got all these instructions from our lawyer about what to say/not to say, and I got the impression that we were to talk to him before making any contact with her. That would be all fine and well if the counselor were still actively involved as liaison, or if the lawyer was actually calling her to give her the info. But as of today, Tuesday, I have left two messages at his office and he hasn't yet called back.

Additionally, birthmom asked the counselor if she should be looking for a different couple to adopt her baby. She is really concerned about our interest in this plan, and she hasn't been reassured. I SO want to call her and say YES, YES, you have NOTHING to worry about and we still want to move forward as planned.

Now, I know our lawyer is experienced and very capable and probably is just working on some details or hasn't had time to get to my messages yet. But I am FREAKING OUT HERE PEOPLE!! I'm not good with patience, and I NEED information...any information. I thrive on information. It is EXTREMELY hard for me to just sit and wait, with no information.

I'm reading this book about the Journey of Infertility (don't know the exact title) by Lois Flowers. The content is really describes a lot of my journey up to this point. Amazingly, it is also extremely comforting in the midst of an uncertain adoption plan. I think it is one of the tools that has helped keep me sane these last couple of weeks. That, and the busyness factor. Unfortunately, my schedule has lightened a little too much, leaving me time to obsess. In an ideal world, I'd have contact with the birthmom, would know when (exactly) she was scheduled to deliver, and could make a plan for that. But then I'd still obsess about factors beyond my control...her lack of prenatal care since moving to another state, whether or not her medical coverage will apply, whether we should commit to being there for the birth (as she originally requested) or protect our hearts by waiting to drive the several hours to the hospital until after we learn that both birthparents have signed their TPRs. Nothing at all in this equation is perfectly according to my plan. What...plan? I think I hear God laughing.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Not easy for a control freak

I'm a detail person. I can multi-task. I can think of the people who need the information I have and I can get that information to them so that all runs smoothly.

We found out today that our birthmom has decided to deliver in her new state of residence, rather than driving back "home" to deliver. OK. But what does this mean for us? She wants to make sure we are still on board (we are). But our lawyer is not in to tell her that today. We also have some questions that we'd like the lawyer to ask her. But we're being billed by the minute. Wouldn't it just be easier to handle this ourselves?

Yes, I understand that our lawyer is trying to protect our legal interests. And I know that I'm probably too emotionally involved to really speak to the birthmom and answer her questions (most of which I wouldn't be able to answer anyway). And we don't want him calling her all the time either because that might appear like he's pressuring her to place.

But there has to be an easier way than sitting and waiting and having no information until birthmom decides to call someone.

Deep breath. OK, I'm better now.

Luckily, I have a huge event I'm planning for this weekend, so at least I'll stay busy and maybe keep my mind off of this!!