Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Days To Go

Two more days until Baby E arrives! Its been a long journey for us to this point since we were chosen by emom when she was only about 4 months pregnant and I'm ready to bring my baby home and settle in as a mom of two.  He will be delivered via c-section on Friday.  The birthplan stated that she wants us in the delivery room and to cut his cord.  That will be a new experience for us since J was an emergency c-section we were not able to be there.  I will be staying at the hospital but DH will come home so J can sleep at our house.  I'm hoping for a one night stay at the hospital, I did not sleep at all the one night we stayed with J.  I was glad they didn't have room and made us go to a hotel after that.  Everything is ready and I'm just trying to enjoy my time with J as an only child.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

3 More Weeks

Baby #2 is arriving in three weeks!  I can't believe how fast time is going by.  I finally got a few baby things out and washed them up two days ago.  I've been super stressed out about this adoption the past couple weeks.  I thought things were going great with L but then we got an email from the lawyer just letting us know that she is taking a lot of pressure from her family to keep the baby but that she was committed to her decision.  I would have preferred they kept that info to themselves because all it did was stress me out.  Later that week I could not get through on her phone and she didn't contact me before the doctor appointment that was scheduled.  So I went to meet her there and she never showed up.  That all added up to me freaking out that she was changing her mind about going through with this.  We straightened it all out and she got a new phone number.  Her appointment was rescheduled for this week.  I made DH take off work and go with me for moral support, in case she didn't show or acted awkward like she didn't want to see me.  I was actually feeling pretty angry towards her and wondering how she could use us to fully financially support her and then change her mind.  I know she has a right to her decision but it would still make me mad.  So I had a prayerful heart to heart with God.  I didn't ask him to make everything ok and make her follow through with this adoption.  I've found that prayers asking for a specific outcome usually end up with me frustrated at God for not answering the way I wanted.  So instead, I asked Him to give her peace and comfort during this time, ease her pressure from family and take care of the baby.  Then I prayed that I would put all my worthless feelings of anger, worry and judgement towards her aside and just be the friend she needs right now, just be there for her in whatever way she wants and just love her for who she is.  And that prayer was immediately answered, I felt so much better.   She did show up and was just as friendly and nice as always.  The next day she had to go back for an ultrasound and I went to see the baby.  We had a good talk and she has started opening up more about her family.  I feel like we have developed a better relationship that I have with J's bmom.  This time is different in so many ways. 

BTW-  Baby is healthy and looks good, they measured him about 5 lbs and 7 oz today and he has 3 weeks to grow yet. 

Something I've been thinking about this week is adoption loss.  Everyone worries about going to the hospital and walking out empty handed because the birthmom changed her mind.  It is real and although it hasn't happened yet to me, I feel for those who have experienced it.  These past couple weeks when I was sure she was going to change her mind, I started to feel like I did when I had my miscarriage.  I cried almost every day, developed my eye twitch that only happens when I'm super stressed and have been short on patience with everyone.  The worst part is always that its hard to talk about because no one understands.  People have asked me if I'm really that attached, its not like he's been growing in my belly, we can just move on to the next situation and a different baby right?  No people, no, I can not just let him go and wait for a different baby.  I've been thinking about him for 6 months, I've been making plans for him, imagining what he'll look like, thinking about him and J playing together in a few years, wondering what kind of man he'll grow up to be, I've seen him on the ultrasound, we named him.  He has a name, OUR name.  So if this doesn't work out, don't act like its no big deal.  If she keeps this baby, it will be a very big deal to me.  I respect her right to make her decisions and I can't imagine what she's going to feel if she does follow through with this adoption.  But my heart is all in this too. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why is open adoption hard to understand?

Here's a quick summary of what's new......James had his second birthday last weekend.  We spent the weekend with his birth parents.  We hadn't seen them for almost a year but everything went great.  I'm not even really sure what to say because its so much like visiting any other part of our family that its not really news worthy.  So many people don't understand open adoption or the relationship we have with them.  I heard so many times from friends and family "oh you have to go see them for his birthday?"  And the answer is no we don't have to, we are choosing to because we want to.  We don't just do it because we are suppose to or because its the right thing to do or because its the best thing for James.  We do it because we want to. The other question I've been asked a lot is "does he recognize them?"  Recognize them as what?  His mom and dad?  The people who conceived him?  How would he recognize them as anything other than extended family or friends we see occasionally?  Until he gets old enough to understand the adoption process he's not going to think of them as his first parents.  He might always have a special connection to them but for now he's so friendly with everyone that I couldn't really tell a difference.  They are not our enemy, I'm not threatened by them  or afraid that he will grow up wishing they were his parents instead of me.  There are so many people that think adopted children grow up longing for their birth parents and resenting their adoptive parents but I have personally met several adoptees and they all have said their adoptive parents are their parents in every way.  They even appreciate them more so because they were chosen and loved by them in a special way.  Seriously why do so many naive people, including family, act like I'm a second rate parent?  I won't even get started on that rant.

As far as baby #2 to goes, the drama continues.  They have helped her get food stamps and some other local assistance that has eased our burden of fully supporting her financially.  Although it is still costing us so much in birth parent expenses that its frightening.  We should still end up spending about the same as our first adoption though.  I was getting really upset feeling like she was only using this for the financial benefit but since having a talk with our facilitator and L herself, I do feel a little better about helping her out.  We just believe in the "hand up not a hand out" theory and it was really starting to feel like we were just giving her a free ride and that was upsetting to us.  We really do want to see her end up in a better place after she has the baby and now I feel like we're making a difference.  She recently got her own place and both her daughters are starting school this year so she should be able to find work after she has the baby.  The new dramatic twist is that the birth father is back in the picture and is apparently a dangerous guy with dangerous connections.  That was one of the reasons for her getting her own place, so he couldn't find her. He's not in favor of this adoption but I don't for see him contesting the adoption legally because he will not want to draw attention to himself.  But I have had night mares about him hunting us down looking for his child.   Night mares that always result in death.  So needless to say I'm a little freaked out by who he is.  DH made the mistake of giving my parents the details and now they are asking us to get out and let someone else have this child.  But how could I do that when I feel like God called us to this situation.  A good friend reminded me that maybe its just Satan trying to scare us away from this path.  That made a lot of sense to me since its been one thing after another causing me doubts.  Really if we adopt this baby it will become part of God's family and if we don't it will more easily be another soul for Satan to claim, so of course he's trying to stop us from adopting this baby.  At least that's what I tell myself. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Can I get my straight jacket in pink?

I haven't updated for a while.  Life has been stressful.  A couple weekends ago we were at a wedding, J didn't get a nap and by 9pm showed a side of him I have not seen before.  It was pure 2 year old evil.  And I lost it, like really lost it.  There were tears, screaming, bad words, hyper ventilating, and that was just from me.  Add a two year old tantrum and poor DH had his hands full.  Although I did wait until we were in the car and J was asleep to have my tantrum.  Sometimes when life is so busy and stressful, I don't even realize its getting to me until I break.  It definitely takes a special man to stand by me through all the crazy and still love me.  Although a brief stay at the asylum does sound like a nice get away sometimes. 

A few weeks ago I went to an ultrasound appointment with L and we got to see the baby.  I feel like I should say it was awesome to see the baby but I didn't really feel any sort of attachment, it still felt like someone else's baby.  She hasn't had any doctor appointments but I was glad I got to go and hear for myself that everything is looking good.  And we found out if James is having a baby brother or sister, which I will reveal later :)  Sorry!  We also found out her due date isn't until late September.  Which is fine except that means we are paying a couple extra months of her expenses, which are getting ridiculously high already.  With our first adoption we used an agency with a flat fee, so we were hoping to save money doing it this way.  And we should still save around 10k but the financial risk is huge this time.  We paid the agency after placement so if J's birth parents had chosen to keep him we would not have been out our money.  This time if she chooses not to place we will be out 16k.  I would be super worried if she hadn't already gone through with an adoption before, it gives me some peace of mind although I'm still very worried.  We've had a lot of drama with her in and out of jail and other circumstances.  I've been losing a lot of sleep over this the past several weeks.  And just when I think everything has calmed down there is a new twist.  Last week the law firm actually offered us the chance to get out now and get all our money back and I was seriously tempted.  But I do believe that this is God's plan for us so we will stay the course and hope we don't end up broke with no baby in the end.  It really should not even be legal to have someone pay your bills for 7 months and then keep the baby and they are just out their money, it really is robbery.  But we agreed to take the financial risk so we will just keep praying it all works out. 

Besides all that drama, life with a two year old is a whole different kind of drama that makes me seriously wonder what is wrong with me for wanting another child.  Yesterday James fell and hit his head, it was pretty ugly and I was worried about him.  But he was fine, just kept on playing like it was no big deal.  A couple hours later he had a total melt down, like he was seriously dying because the wagon wouldn't stay hooked to his tractor.  Two year old logic leaves me completely confused.  Potty training is an ongoing battle, some days I feel like he has it mastered and the next I think we've made no progress.  And no matter what we're doing, if its mommy's idea, there is no way he's going to do it.  5 minutes later when its his idea, its the coolest thing ever.  Even his kisses are painful, they usually start with banging his head into mine, followed by licking my face,then a nose rub that may or may not involve snot and then a hug that comes with a complimentary shoulder bite.  Yep, he's a sweetheart!  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Little J Is Growing Up!

I can't believe it was almost exactly two years ago that we were just finding out that J was on the way.  Time really does go by too fast.  Since we got the news about a new baby coming soon, I got to thinking about how it will affect J.  He will turn 2 right before this baby arrives and there have been a couple transitions I've been thinking about making.  Moving out of the crib and potty training.  Potty training has been on my mind for a long time and I just have not wanted to do it.  Even though I feel like he's been ready.  We started with the transition to a toddler bed around Easter.  It was so much easier than I thought.  J has always gone to sleep on his own, we read a few books then put him in his crib.  Sometimes he would cry a few minutes but unless he wasn't feeling good he would go right to sleep.  In the mornings he would play in his crib until I got him out of bed.  I actually put a gate on his door because he is upstairs and the steps are so steep I don't want him falling down them when he gets up.  The first night I sat next to his bed until he fell asleep.   I think I was more of distraction.  It took about an hour and half but he didn't cry.  Just wanted to play.  The next night I tucked him in and left.  He got out of bed, cried for a few minutes and when I went to check on him he was back in his bed sound asleep.  In the mornings he gets up and sit in his chair to read his books.  The nights really depend on how tired he is and he's been sick so sometimes I do spend more time than usual putting him to bed.

Since that went so well I decided we should get started on potty training this week.  My strategy is get rid of the diapers and just stick with it.  Except at night we will still use an overnight diaper for a while.  So yesterday was day 1 and we went through 12 pairs of underwear.  But I think he did good, a lot of those were just leaks and we would run to the bathroom and finish.  He goes when I ask him too and when he has an accident he says "oh no, potty!"  I think recognizing those things is half the battle so I feel like if we stick with it he can totally do this.  We are half way through day two and he only had 2 accidents this morning.  I'm happy with that and hoping that's a good sign that he's figuring it out.  Even though he's doing really well its exhausting for me.  I was so tired of running to the bathroom and changing his clothes yesterday.  I am determined to be committed to it this time, we've tried a couple times before but I gave up.  This time I think he's ready, he seems willing and I just have to have patience and keep at it.  The sooner we can make some of these transitions the easier it will be when the new baby comes home.   

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Blind Date

We met our new future birth mom this week and I really liked her.  She is so cute and funny.  I wrote before that I was trying not to be nervous, like I was just going to make a new friend but DH had a better way of putting it.  He said it was like a being set up on a blind date.  We didn't know much about her, brought a small gift we had to guess she might like, and then had dinner while trying to make small talk and get to know each other.  All the way home I kept asking DH "do you think she liked us? Do you think it went well?".  And when we got home I cried to DH because this is just so hard sometimes.  Its hard to be emotionally invested in something we have so little control over.  But if I'm not all in emotionally I stand to lose a lot of good memories and joy to share with my child someday.  The next day I kept waiting for the phone to ring hoping our facilitator would call and tell us what L thought of us.   She said she really liked us and is happy her baby will grow up on a farm.  

I'm suddenly remembering how hard adoption was.  In retrospect it seems like adopting J was a piece of stress free cake.  It wasn't although it was easy compared to other stories I've heard.  But even when its easy, its still hard.  Our meeting was pretty relaxed and I think everyone was as comfortable as possible given the situation.  Our facilitator, I'll call her B, said I should bring a small gift.  So I spent about $15, got L some lotion, body wash and a facial scrub.  I included a coloring book, glitter crayons and a Minnie mouse book for the two girls she is parenting.  I also got a cute little flower pot, put a packet of flower seeds in it and filled the rest with candy.  She seemed happy and said her girls would love it.  Its hard buying a gift for a stranger that wants to give you her baby.  The whole situation is potentially awkward and strange if you think about it.  But I just pray and try to go with the flow knowing this is the plan God has for us.  

Yesterday when B called she told me that I should call L today and just say that I wanted to check in and it was nice meeting her the other night.  I did not want to do it very badly, I'm not good at making phone calls or small talk.  I warm up to people slowly, I'm just not overly friendly, more reserved usually.  So I spent most of the day stressing over it and when I finally did it was weird.  First she was confused about who I was, then acted like it wasn't really her, then when she realized who I was said oh sorry I saw your number and thought you were someone else.  Then she didn't seem to want to talk, just get off the phone quickly.  Maybe she was just busy or maybe she doesn't want to have that close of relationship.  I don't know.  This is so hard sometimes.  It really is like dating, wanting the other person to like you but not knowing or being comfortable enough to ask what they are thinking or how they really feel, just guessing and over analyzing everything.  All the time feeling pressured to be perfect because she has the power to take my dreams for the future away.  Making the whole thing worse I facebook stalked her before I called.  Of course a lot of her stuff is private but what I did see seems very different from the woman we met.  Adoption is a roller coaster sometimes.  We had ups and downs our first time around too.  I just need to stop worrying about everything.  We're taking J to the circus this weekend for the first time and I know he's going to love it.  If everything else falls apart I still have DH and J.  Not all my dreams for the future revolve around this new baby.  

Father help me to remember that my future is in Your hands and no one else.  You know the plans you have for me, I don't need to know them and I don't need to control them.  I trust You.  One step at a time. You have brought me this far and as hard as adoption can be, I know You chose this path for me for a reason.  Give me the strength and courage to emotionally invest and grow this relationship with my new friend L into what you desire it to be. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Big Day For Our Family!

Today is a big day for our little family.  First of all we had our home visit to finish our homestudy.  I have been cleaning and organizing like a mad woman for the past week and J has been working like crazy to undo all my efforts.  Since this is our second homestudy I understand that they don't care how clean the house is.  But I care, I don't want her thinking we live like pigs around here.  Even though we totally do, the house is always a mess and I hate dusting.  This home visit was good motivation for me to do some spring cleaning so I'm glad that can be crossed off the to do list now.  The meeting went great, this social worker is so much better than the last.  I felt like with our first homestudy, the agency social worker didn't like us or was always judging us.  This one is so friendly, seems to understand and have a lot in common with us and is just over all more pleasant.  So now our homestudy is done, we just have to wait for it to be written and approved which will take no longer than 30 days. 

In even bigger more exciting news.....we have already been matched with a expectant mom!  The facilitator we're working with has been showing our profile since early February.  With our first adoption I blogged about the process after the fact, so this time I'm trying to share it as we go.  Last Monday we got an email about a situation.  It sounded perfect for us.  While this is not the first situation that sounded good it was exactly what we were hoping for.  Local, actually a price we can afford, no drug or alcohol use, she has already had 4 healthy children and she has made an adoption plan before so this is not her first experience with adoption either.  Tonight we have our first meeting with her.  When we had our first meeting with J's birthparents I was so nervous.  I wanted nothing more than to get in the car and go home.  This time I have been more relaxed and laid back.  But I'm a little nervous.  I believe 100% that God's hand is in this so I completely trust that this will work out as He intends.  If we can't be ourselves then its not a good match anyway so I have no reason to be worried about impressing her.  Every thing worked out perfect with J's adoption and I know this one will too.  I'm excited and nervous but I keep telling myself I'm just going to make a new friend tonight.  Nothing to worry about :)

This is happening so much sooner than we planned.  I thought working privately with a small facilitator that getting a match would take longer.  We know people who worked with this group and waited a year and half with no match before moving on to work with someone else.  I thought we would just put our profile out there and patiently wait while we saved some money and if it never happened then J was meant to be an only child.  One thing this adoption seems to have in common with our first is that God just keeps giving me a little nudge, saying "just take this one step right now, don't worry about where the road leads".  So I take it one step at a time and before I know it I have one kid and now maybe two.  But its a good thing, I'm really excited about having another baby.  We only plan on two so this will make our family complete, at least I think so according to my plan.  Who knows what God's plan is for our family!