Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adoption Lords: 1 Me: 0

I was a good girl - rallied- and got our fingerprint papers and our physicals turned in at our last class last night. I was so proud.

Then today I got a call:

My physician didn't fill out the "eyes, ears, and nose" portion of the physical. He also needs to get a urine sample analysis for each of us, and check both of our cholesterol. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? He had left those tests out because he didn't think they were necessary, as we are both healthy adults. But, the adoption lords seem to think that we need them to parent. So, now I get to take the form back to the doctor, pay for another appointment, and hopefully go through the forms line by line with our doctor. Then, get lab slips for the above tests for both of us, and get those done.

I'm freaking out a little.

Last night I learned this timeline:
ALL paperwork and finger print results from the FBI, ect must be turned into the agency BEFORE a social worker is assigned for final visits.
Time for fingerprint return: 4-8 weeks
Time for homestudy to finish once paperwork done: 6-8 weeks
Time for homestudy to be released once finished: 4-6 weeks
So at maximum this could take: 22 weeks. Baby Due: 22 weeks & 4 days.

Am I panicking? YES.

So we are going to be working very hard to get our remaining documents complete while we wait for our fingerprints to come back. Then, we are going to be very flexible when the social worker calls us to get our appointments with her out of the way so she can write our home study. Then we are going to pray that the final release only takes a short time, not 4-6 weeks as outlined. Because, it would be pretty lame to not be able to take our baby home once he/she's born due to paperwork.

I'm off to get a paper bag to breathe into now.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 17

The baby we are matched with is 17 weeks along today. Notice I didn't call it our baby. I just don't feel like I can anymore. I have never felt so uncertain, but I still hold hope that there is a baby out there for us. Maybe that baby will grow in my heart and in some ones else's tummy, maybe it will grow inside me, maybe its the baby we're currently expecting, maybe its not. I really don't know, but all I can do is keep moving forward and pray that the story ends with a baby.

With that being said, we are completing our homestudy in such a way that it will allow us to accept either the baby we are currently expecting or another baby who is has been placed in the foster care system since birth or shortly thereafter, has parents whose rights are being terminated, and needs to be adopted.

Am I scared?
Am I sad?

But, I have to keep moving. I have to believe my baby is out there. Somewhere.

Come home baby, mommy and daddy can't wait to meet you. And we will love you, period.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'd like to get off the Roller Coaster.

I knew going into this that adoption would have its ups and downs. But, honestly, I felt like I could take it. I mean, infertility has its ups and downs too. But, here I am, after two and a half years on this roller coaster ride, and I'd like to ask to please be let off. Now.

Yeah, I know it's not going to happen, but man, I'm tired, dizzy, and outright scared. Maybe I even have to pee; but, there isn't anyway off this one. Not until there is a baby crying in the bedroom next to mine and I sleepily get out of my bed at 2am to soothe them.

This week I have spent a total of 7 hours with a social worker. I have driven 320 miles between work, and our appointments/classes out of town for the adoption (and its only Wednesday). I have had a good conversation with our birth family, and a conversation that made me question whether our birth mom was still in this. But, as much as I'm yearning for clarity, and sureness that it will all work out I don't have it. I won't have it until that baby is born and we're able to take him/her home. Period. Actually, even after that the next thirty days are uncertain.

I will leave you with this: We have learned an awful lot about adopting kids in foster care over the past couple weeks. We've learned that we can adopt a baby (not a newborn though) through the foster care system and become parents that way as well. It has its uncertainties, but it also has its benefits. So, we continue to learn, and to complete our massive home study (see updated to-do list), one day at a time. I hope that somehow we find the path we're supposed to be on.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Abdominal Pain related to Stress secondary to Paperwork

Today we had our intake appointment with our agency. It was conducted by a social worker which was somewhat intimidating but, it went well. Well until they gave me the CD. Yes, a whole CD full of files that include signature pages, documents to be filled out and sent to all kinds of fun places (like the DMV, the state, our doctor), and general information pages. There are the upward of 100 documents on this CD. My head honestly almost spun around and popped off. Literally, popped off. I am the most anal-retentive organized person I know, in fact, I'm the most all of those things that a lot of people know, and I am officially overwhelmed.

Just breathe. In......and out......and take it one paper at a time.

OK, I'm mellow. I am going to take this one stinking piece of paper at a time, and scramble to get this all done. I was just whining to my husband today that I am bored and need something to do over the next 5 months or I may go crazy, spend a lot of money, or both. Well, I guess God has a great sense of humor, because now there is PLENTY to do.

I will be updating "the mother of all to-do lists" soon. But for tonight, I am exhausted. We have a full work day tomorrow followed by our second (out of  three, yay) adoption class tomorrow night, did I mention its 1.5hrs away? K, just making sure.

I'm off to eat some tums. If I survive this process without an ulcer I'll be stunned.
Hmm...stunned, very appropriate word. Go me!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Working Through

What a crazy week. It began with devastating news that the birth father is not going to willingly give consent to this adoption. In fact, he has stated that he is going to get a lawyer and try and block us from adopting the baby. I have learned a lot about birth parent rights this week, and I must say I'm relieved. Let me elaborate:

There are two types of birth fathers: Presumed and Alleged. A presumed father is a one that was living with or married to the birth mom. An alleged is one that is either the "only possible father," openly stating he is the baby's father, etc. So, ours is an alleged father. And, actually he has less rights than you would think. We really thought that the term, "blood is thicker than water" stood firm. But, in order for our birth father to block this adoption successfully he must do the following: provide emotional and financial support during the pregnancy at a reasonable point once he learned of the pregnancy. He must be able to support the baby on his own and provide a sturdy parenting plan.

Our birth father has not been supportive to our birth mom. In fact, he really has been a negative influence to her since she's been pregnant. He does not have parenting plan. So, I have discussed this situation in detail with both our lawyer and our social worker and have been assured by both that he cannot block this adoption given his current situation.

Does it mean we're in the clear? No. When baby is born, he will get served papers stating that his rights will be terminated and our adoption granted in thirty days. If he chooses to appeal this within thirty days we will be going to court. The court process can be long. It can be expensive.

We have decided that we will continue to pursue this adoption unless one of two things happens:
  1. The birth father begins to perform the duties necessary to block the adoption, and it begins to seem that we may not "win" against his appeal.
  2. We find out that this young man truly is attempting to parent for the right reasons. If he genuinely wants to be this baby's father, we won't stand in his way because this is HIS baby first and foremost.
So, as of today we are 15 weeks 5 days pregnant. We leave in less than a month to go to visit our birth mom and her family, and find out the gender of our baby. Last week she told us that she'd actually like us to be at the doctor's appointment with her for the sonogram. We are elated and trying to move our plane tickets around to try and be there for that appointment, what an amazing thing to share!

Our home study process has begun, we have completed one of our three classes, and have our "intake interview" (with the social worker) on Monday, followed by our second class on Tuesday night. It's a big time commitment because the classes are 1.5 hours away,start at 5:30pm and go til 9:30pm, and occur on week nights. Oh well, pressing forward, it will be worth it in the end!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Update (sorta...)

First off: adoption update. Last night our birth family met (birth grandma and birth father) to talk and try and figure out what is going on in our birth fathers head. I haven't heard yet what happened, but assume they'll call me today.

As for the not communicating, they truly weren't being malicious. They have a lot going on, and didn't have any news, so they didn't call. But, we did finally speak, and set some guidelines for our communication over the next 6 months. So, I'm feeling better. We're definitely not out of the woods with the birth father, but we're on track. At least, I think we are. I have no idea what we're in for, except that instead of the two of us having a baby, there are two more people and their families involved in this baby's plan, so its obviously a complicated process.

Now, for the good story that I want to share. One of my friends who tried along side me for a long time to get pregnant finally succeeded, she is in her early forties, so I'm really happy that she was able to conceive, as her "clock was ticking" as they say. Anyway, she is having a baby shower this weekend, today actually, so I sucked it up and went to one of the little baby boutiques that she registered at. (I say sucked it up because I did this as all the other stuff seemed to be falling apart, so it was a bit of a bittersweet idea at the time).

So, a friend of mine and I went to the store. We walked in and were give a tour guide and the baby registry and we embarked on our mission to find a gift. Remember the movie, "Away We Go?" The lady in that movie that said strollers, sugar, and separation were the enemy? That was the attitude of this store. No, I'm not exaggerating.

OK, back to the tour guide that was a a size zero and looked about 14 years old. She showed me in detail all of the cloth diapering products. She then proceeded to inform me that she used them for her baby. Baby? Whaaat? Where did you get the baby? Pretty sure you're 14 years old. I was already distracted and our "tour" had just begun.

She continues to show us around....from the $30.00 magnetic bib to the $55.00 terry clothed towel that you can wrap around your neck, holy crap this store was ridiculous. Why not wal-mart? $8.99 for three towels and four washcloth's? I mean, c'mon!

Anyway, I FINALLY find something to get her. I chose the "nature touch" bathtub she wanted, and then decided to would go to Toys-R-Us for some bath towels and such and I was ready to get the heck out of there...but first I had to pay. Take a deep breath before you keep reading.

I went to the counter, and the lady there was cooing to her kid, that she was wearing. This may sound normal to some of you, but now I'd like to let you know that the kid was 6 years-old. Yep. The 6 year-old was clinging to her moms back like a baby monkey. My friend (who has a 7 year old) even made the comment to her, "If my daughter did that I'd dislocate a shoulder." No Sh**! It was nuts. As I made my purchase the lady noticed her daughter had chocolate on her face. After figuring out her daughter had eaten a skinny cow ice cream she stated to her child, "I thought we weren't eating those anymore because they contain pear-tree oil that kills monkeys in the rain forest?" Noticing my horror, she looked up to me and said, "She goes to Charter school and last week she informed me that we couldn't buy skinny cow ice cream bars anymore because of the pear-tree oil. But, we still had some in the house so we decided that we would finish those." I did not respond. I was officially traumatized.


Things that are "out of the question" for my baby:
Cloth diapers (I'm sorry, but I just cannot do it)
Charter school
Baby wearing over the age of .....hmmm....lets say 1.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hanging by a Thread

It's been a tough weekend. The longer we've gone without an update from our birth family on the status of our birth father's rights, the more worried I've become. And this afternoon, my fears were justified. Our attorney notified me that she had spoken with our birth family, and the birth father is being resistant to terminating his rights. Not only is he threatening to not allow the adoption, but he is stating that his family is going to help him, and he may want to parent the baby.

I know what some of you are thinking: Why am I surprised? I knew this could happen all along. After all, the bottom line is that this is truly HIS baby. And, I have to respect his wishes.

Needless to say, my heart is breaking. What seemed so close yesterday could now be miles away. It's not for certain. He could just be treading the waters and stalling while he processes all of this. But, we don't know that yet. The scariest thing that our attorney said to us was, "honestly it could be this way up until the very end. Lots of birth fathers stall until their 30 day window after the birth but never take any action." Great. That's freaking terrifying. But, again, that is the risk we took when we agreed to this. Though, I must mention that the first time I spoke with our birth mom she said that the birth father was on board with adoption. So, I don't know what changed.

My heart is also breaking for our birth mom. She really wants to have us adopt her baby. And her relationship with the birth father is not a good one. I am sure she is just as scared as we are by the problems he is presenting. I cannot imagine her having to carry this baby only to have to either decide to struggle and co-parent with him, or allow the baby to go to his care, which I know she really doesn't want.

The most worry is actually not because of the birth father. Its that the birth grandma who was facilitating this termination of rights has not communicated with me at all. I texted her a "hi there, how are you" text last night and she didn't write back. Then, I left her a voicemail this morning and she hasn't called back. Not really a huge deal except that she has never done that before. And, open communication is huge in this situation.

So, I don't really know what I'm to do. I guess we wait. We pray, or plea with God. This seems appropriate:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change those I can.
And, the wisdom to know the difference.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I haven't posted because I really don't have much to update you all on. I have not received word that the birth father has signed his papers. But, on the flip side, I haven't received word that he has outright refused to sign either, so I'm really just playing a waiting game still. I did talk to our birth mom today, which was great. We sent her a "Preggle" pillow which an amazing body pillow that supports your back and can wrap around to your legs and belly if you want it to. She said that she was getting uncomfortable sleeping and I wanted to do something for her. She was very happy, and said something that warmed my heart: "after I'm done using it maybe you can take it home with you and use it when you're feeding and holding the baby. It says its good for that." It made me stop and realize, "wow, she's really giving us this baby." I'm so grateful for her.
Of course I'm scared about the birthfather. Truthfully, this has all been pretty painless up until now and I don't want it to fall apart. I'm in love with this little one, how could I not be? We will be 14 weeks and out of the first trimester on Monday.

Here's what a 14 week little one looks like in the womb (not our photo):

I sent our application for the homestudy via certified mail a week ago today, so I know it got there, but I haven't heard from them. I know that our next step is to go to our first class, which is on September 15th, so I'll call next week to check in if they don't call me.

Things I'm already doing that I shouldn't be:
Thinking about whether I want cherry wood furniture or white furniture in the nursery
Looking a bedding patterns
Talking names with my husband.

Remember, this blog is a "no judgement" zone!