Monday, June 25, 2012

Our secret is out

DH and I have always been private people, especially when its come to our journey to have a family.  A few reasons being that I don't consider my reproductive organs or sex life anyone's business, how and when we build our family is a personal decision and my grandma goes to coffee in our small little town which is gossip central and she can not under any circumstances keep a secret.  The main reason I've wanted to keep our adoption a secret is because I'm still afraid of failure.  I do have confidence in our agency and in this match being successful but there is always a chance that it won't.  When we did our first IVF we told everyone we were doing it.  So of course everyone wanted to know if it was successful and we couldn't lie so we told them it was.  Everyone was so excited and a couple weeks later we had to tell them that we lost the baby.  It is one thing to suffer that loss privately but for me it was worse that our family knew.  For some people that extra support might be helpful but to me it felt like I was a failure and like it was my fault they were all disappointed.  This is so much bigger because our whole church, everyone at work, all our family and all our friends know about our plans to bring a baby home in a few weeks.  I can't imagine disappointing them all with a failed adoption, even though I understand its not my fault. 

This weekend our  little town had a big celebration and while at this celebration my grandma deliberatly let it slip to people who didn't already know that we're bringing our baby home in a month.  She waited until we had gone home.   I'm pretty mad about it.  Its not like its still a secret but I'm still trying to limit the speed at which this gossip was traveling. What I'm mostly upset about was that she told someone special to me that I was waiting to tell myself.  I just haven't seen this person in a quiet setting for a while.  I know she's excited but its not her news to share, its my announcement and I should decide who and when to share it with the world. 

At first when telling people I felt so excited immediately followed by regret, thinking how painful it will be to disappoint these people if it didn't work out.  Now I'm past that regret but I still don't feel real comfortable with everyone's happiness for us.  How wrong is that?  I feel like there is always that pity there because we couldn't have bio children or like they think this adoption was our second choice.  Everyone says "oh you must be so happy, you guys have waited so long, you'll be great parents".  I'm not sure if I'm paranoid and reading into it or if I'm sensing that people are really thinking about our infertility.  I already feel  like a mother bear to our little baby and like I should attack anyone who even suggests he is second best.  I have to confess that I have even asked God not to let me get pregnant - ever.  I may have taken a while to come around to adoption but my heart is all in it now, it is not second best or my second choice or something I have to do to grow our family.  This is how I want my family to be built, I just didn't know it.  I don't want a copy of DH and me, I want everyone in our little family to bring something different to the table that will strengthen and grow everyone else.  Different genetics, different looks, different personalities, different likes and dislikes, different perspectives and what ever other joys our children will bring.   Not that we wouldn't welcome and a love a bio child, but I kinda wish I could undo all those years of praying I would get pregnant, I'm sort of afraid God might answer that prayer now that I've changed my mind about what I want.  So I'll leave it up to Him, obviously He knows better than me.  So glad I listened when he called me to adoption.  One more quick fun fact - Last November is when I had a change of heart about adoption, practically over night.  Last November is also when our little baby was conceived (I did a reverse due date calculator).  I really feel like God woke me up to adoption and said "hey Jen, your baby is on its way so you better get your act together!"  His timing is always perfect!  When we first applied I told DH and our SW that I felt like our baby was already on its way, they laughed and told me not to get my hopes up too high.  DH said the same when I started buying baby stuff right away.   How awesome is our God's timing?  So happy to have Him in my life! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012


It doesn't occur to some people that nesting isn't just pregnancy related.   Apparently adoptive moms do it too.  This week we moved our bed to the upstairs bedroom so that we can be near the baby at night.  Because we have super steep stairs that I hate going up and down, we are going to be using what was our main floor bedroom as the baby's room during the day.  I plan to use the pack n play for changing and naps but also have the swing, bouncy and rocker in this room.  While the rest of the house including our new upstairs bedroom has been a total disaster, I've been totally focused on making sure everything in both of the baby rooms is just right.  The baby rooms shouldn't be a priority right now since we still have a month to go but organizing and cleaning for the baby is so much more fun than regular house cleaning.  But both rooms are complete now, as well as our room upstairs so now I just have some major main floor cleaning to do.  But today I'm taking the day off to relax.

I've been trying to decide what to do for a long time about work.  It has always been my intention to be a stay at home mom and not work at all.  But I don't want to quit before the baby gets here in case the adoption fails.  I'm not sure I want to quit completely even after the baby comes because I'm fearful of not having the extra income.  So what I decided to do is quit full time as of July 15th.  That way if the baby comes early I don't have to wait for someone to come replace me before we can leave for the hospital.  This way we can leave as soon as we get the call.  I decided that if this adoption fails, I'm okay with only working as a substitute until we eventually bring home a baby.  If we do bring this baby home in a month, I will still be a sub for a while and see how it goes.  I may quit completely or I may welcome the break of occasionally going to work.  I feel really good now that this decision has been made.  As long as our baby doesn't make his appearance before the 15th, it should all work out.

Our agency called this week to set up our final meeting with the birthparents and birthgrandparents for July 5th.  We are going to meet at a park for a picnic.  I'm excited, I love picnics and it will be a little more relaxed than sitting around a table at a restuarant.  I'm not worried about meeting his parents, we already have a lot in common and I know we'll get a long fine.  I asked the agency to get me an update about how our birthmom is feeling and if she's been to the doctor lately.  They haven't called back yet but I'm hoping this next week they will.  I'm praying that she's been to the doctor and everything is going great. 

Instead of a countdown to baby, I'm counting down to my last day of working full time.  The next few weeks will go by fast, especially with the holiday and our visit with the birthparents to look forward to.  Our little boy will be here before we know it!! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Adoption Book Reviews

Our agency has a great book list on their resource page.  They list books about adoption, kids books about adoption, parenting books, magazines, and books about racial issues.  Check it out here:

Here are the ones I've read so far:

Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina

This book is the one required by our agency.  It was the first book about adoption that I read and it was informative since I knew so little.  I skimmed through it and skipped a large section about international adoption since we didn't go that route.  It made me a little weary of continuing with adoption since this book like so many others seemed to focus on the negative aspects of adoption.  I'd consider this one average, there is some good info in it but I feel like I could have learned the same thing in other books. 

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge

HATED this book!  In its defense I will say it is outdated but I could not stand the negativity of it.  It was all about how messed up adoptive kids are and really made me feel like we would be ruining this child's life by adopting him because he will have issues that can never be overcome.  I felt it was a little slanted towards saying that all kids are better off with their birthparents.  She did say that children in open adoption have fewer issues but its still really hard on them.  I thought this would be a good book because it was written by someone who was adopted but it really wasn't.  It only feeds the stereotype that adopted kids can't grow up healthy and happy.

Dear Birthmother: Thank you for Our Baby by Kathleen Silber

This one was a huge improvement over the last one.  Again this one is outdated too and focuses mostly on semi-open adoptions and the letters that are passed back and forth through an agency.  It was great to see real examples of the letters to/from birthparents, adoptive parents and adopted children.  It was more positive and showed how even though adoption is still emotional, all parties involved can be happy with their lives.  This one I would totally recommend.

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell Moore and C.J. Mahaney

The BEST so far.  Written in 2009 it is more relevant and was written by a Pastor who adopted from Russia.  This one was positive and focused on how we are all adopted by God through Christ and that adoption can be a wonderful experience for everyone.  While Twenty Things focused on the negative of how adopted kids will always wonder who they are and where they came from, this one says adopted kids are no different because we all are searching for the answer to those questions.  And the answer is the same for everyone, we all came from Adam, we're all sinners and Jesus saved us all.  I always thought that if we raise our adopted son to know Jesus that he won't end up with all those sterotypical adoption issues and this book affirmed that.  Our little boy can grow up and be a stable adult, he is not doomed to be unhappy and confused.  The chapter on infertility and adoption about made me cry, it was so true of our journey. 

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

This is not an adoption related book but it is a great parenting strategy that was echoed in some of the other adoption books.  The main idea I got from this one is that parenting can be fun.  The author said he feels guilty for enjoying parenting so much because all his friends only complain about how much work it is and how stressed out and miserable they are.  I hope that we can apply his techniques to our parenting style. 

Still on my to read list: The Connected Child by Karen Purvis

I've also bought a few kids books about adoption. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

40 Days and Counting

So I added a ticker to this blog.  I'm now trying to figure out if I stare at it long enough if the days until D-day go by any faster.......I'm gonna say no, it does not help to stare at it. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dear Adoptive Parents

I'm reading a book called Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge.  I'll comment further on books I've read in a later post but I wanted to share this from the book.  Its an imaginary letter from God to adoptive parents.

Dear Adoptive Parents,
One of my children needs a home - a mother and father who will love him and provide for him.  I know how much you wanted to have children.  I know the tears and anguish you have experienced.  But the only way I could make a place for this child in your home was through the open door of your infertility.  I am loaning him to you for a while to take care of.  Do the best you know how to do, for he is precious to Me.  Someday, when you are gone I will be his mother and father.  He will learn to trust Me and depend on Me as he did on you.  Thank you for being willing to love My son and give him a home on earth.  Love, God

When I find this whole adoption and parenting thing so overwhelming that I just don't feel like I can do it, I remember this.  This little baby that we will bring home will always be God's son first and his birthmother's second and mine third.  God and his birthmother have given me the task of raising him for the next 18 years and then I give him back over to God's control.  I can't do it on my own, I can only do it with lots and lots of prayer.  Adoption has taught me that I am only an instrument of my Father and I'm here to do the work He has planned for me.  And there is no way I can do something so huge and so important without Him.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Second Birthparents Meeting

Last week we met with our expectant birthparents for the second time.  This meeting was SO much easier and stress free.  I was not nervous at all.  We were there early again and their social worker came in a few minutes before they did.  She told us that they really like us and she thought our last meeting went well.  She said I was a little too quiet but she understands that's my personality and DH did perfect.  Well thanks to that comment I spent the rest of the visit thinking about how I'm being too quiet and I should say something but didn't know what.  She should never have said that to me.  They had not had their hospital planning meeting yet so we really had nothing new to talk about.  We had lunch and visited for about 2 hours.  I hate how I have to spend 8 hours in the car for a 2 hour lunch but I know that at this point that is what needs to be done to strengthen our relationship with them.  I always feel unsure how to act about the baby.  Do I act like we are going to be his parents or do I act like we still aren't sure if they will follow through with it.  I feel better about them going through with their decision after they talked some about why they chose adoption.  And with it being an open adoption they understand that they are not saying goodbye forever. 

One concern I have is that this is her second pregnancy and the first time she had a stillborn at 36 weeks.  She never went into detail about the circumstances but it makes me extremely nervous.  And what makes it worse is that she hasn't been to the doctor since her gender ultrasound.  She said work is too busy but that she feels the baby moving all the time.  After we got home I talked to my social worker and she said she will have their SW talk to her about seeing the doctor and take her there if necessary, although they can't force her to go.  I just get all these scary thoughts in my head of us going to the hospital ready to meet our baby and its stillborn.  Its hard enough to think about them deciding to parent but to end up with no healthy baby at all for anyone to take home is just horrifying.  So then of course I google it and read even more scary things.  Since she didn't say why it happened the first time there is no way to know if it was preventable.  I'm just praying that she will go to the doctor and everything will be fine.

Next week is Bmom's birthday.  I sent her card and wrote a nice note about how special she is to us and we can't wait to grow our relationship and spend many more happy birthdays with her.  Our agency doesn't let us give gifts until after placement so I sent her pictures of the nursery.  I'm not sure if it will make her happy to see we have a place ready for him and we will take good care of him or if it will make her sad that he has a home ready with someone that's not her. 
We are down to almost 6 weeks until due date.  I'm getting so anxious.  I can't imagine if I were the one that was pregnant.  I just want to bring this little guy home.  Everyone says we need to enjoy our last few weeks of freedom but I'm ready for this.  We've had 8 years of married freedom and we're ready to move on to the next phase.  Of course I'm hoping she'll suprise us with an early delivery but not too early because we want him to be healthy.  Everyone keeps asking me for updates and there is nothing to update.  Other than our next meeting with them later this month, I'm just working on being patient.