Some upsetting news

So. On Tuesday the DNA results came back for Will’s paternity. The man who we thought was his birth father is not his father. We are all in shock. We have bonded with this guy and his family. His mother stitched a quilt for Will to hang in his room. We gave Will his middle name. He and all his family are all just devastated. And angry. He has been through so much!  He bonded with us and with Will. It is heartbreaking news.

As for the adoption, this means that everything will be put on hold for awhile until “reasonable efforts” are used to find who the actual birth father is. That means trying to get accurate information from birth Mom, searching him out as best we can and perhaps publishing a legal notice in the local paper. We do not think that there will be any problems with the adoption going through, although there is the slim possibility that whoever this guy is will be found and he will want to (and have the ability to) parent Will. We are trying not to worry about that, but the fear is definitely hard to erase from our minds. Still, we are attempting to stay positive and look forward to the new finalization date sometime in February/March.

Meanwhile, little Will is growing more and more each day. He even starting smiling last week! It is, of course, just precious and melts your heart every time he smiles, which he does easily and often. He is a joy to have in our lives and we treasure every moment. He continues to be a very easy-going boy and big sister Ivy has settled in to the new routine of our lives and is doing great too.

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Wow! Time flies with a newborn in your life!

It has been so long since I have written. I am so sorry! Anyway,

Our precious son was born on June 19, 2013. We got the call about 10:30 that morning. Our daughter and I were at a friends house for a playdate and Daddy was at work. Luckily, Ivy was able to stay at her friends house so that I could drop everything and rush to the hospital to be there when he was born. I got there just in time too! He came into the world at 1:34pm. I was able to go in and see him about an hour after his birth, a nice surprise given that we were not sure when we would be allowed to go in. John and Ivy arrived later in the afternoon and got to hold him right away. Birthmom did great and was wonderful about letting us give him a bath and a bottle. We all got to share in the joy of his first moments, it was precious!

I stayed overnight, while John and Ivy went home to attend to house business and take care of the dogs. My sweet friend Rachel came to stay with me, bringing movies, lobster rolls, Cheetos and wine (which we hid in Chipotle cups and drank with a straw so the nurses wouldn’t see!). She left about bedtime and I got to keep Will in my room all night. It was wonderful. But, the best surprise of the evening was that I learned that I am able to nurse him! My friend Becca offered me the idea of using a Supplemental Nursing System to do it. (http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/51/supplemental-nursing-system-sns)

I was definitely up for the idea, and ended up talking with a lactation consultant at the hospital who set me up with what I needed and showed me how to use it. I have never been happier as a mother than I was the very first time nursing my son at my breast. I know that not everyone has that experience with breastfeeding, but I have had enjoyed nothing but pure bliss doing it and will continue it as long as it works for both of us. I have even started to produce some milk of my own and feel very lucky. I will forever be grateful to Becca for her passion and encouragement. She will never truly know the gift she gave me with that gentle suggestion.

He is a very good, easy going baby. Barely cries, even when he is upset. He has a gentle spirit and is a happy boy. Ivy has been so sweet and gentle with him, she is an excellent big sister and is totally in love with him! John and I have fallen easily back into our routine as parents of a newborn and the adjustment has been pretty hiccup-free.

Our relationship with both birthfamilies is wonderful! Couldn’t ask for anything better. We have seen birthmom & her other two children and the meeting was easy and comfortable. We feel like family. Can’t wait to see them again!

Birthdad is coming over next week to stay the night and go to a golf tournament with John the next morning. We are looking forward to the visit and anticipate having a great time with him as well. His parents (Will’s grand parents) will be in town sometime this month and we are excited to meet them as well.

Hopefully, my blogging with start up again and I can keep you updated on his little milestone and our ever-growing relationships with the birth families.

Birth announcements are ordered and, if you have ever gotten a Christmas card from me in the past, you are on the list and will be getting the announcement very soon! Hold on just a little longer and you will get to his beautiful little face.

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Just something that has been on my mind today…

So, with the birth coming any day now, I have had birth parents on my mind a lot today. Here is what has been running through my thoughts as a kind of “letter to my children’s birth Parents”…

I don’t know what you had planned for your life. What your dreams have been or whether or not any of them have come true. I can only assume that finding yourself in a situation where you have to make a choice about adoption for your child was probably not in the plan. Probably not in the story you had in mind for yourself. Or your child. Maybe you dreamed of being a concert pianist, a doctor or a professor. Maybe you dreamed of having a nice, quiet life with the white picket fence and a two car garage. I will probably never know.

But I want you to know this – With this precious, selfless gift you have made all of my dreams come true. Although infertility was not a part of the story I once wrote for my life, I was absolutely put on this earth to be a mother. I didn’t always know how that was going to happen, but knew it was meant for me. My relationship with my own mother is strained and difficult, but I’ve always believed that it doesn’t have to be that way. Mother-child relationships should be beautiful. Filled with unconditional love, support, understanding and mutual respect. Giving children the tools to be whatever they want to be. Wanting to hold tight and protect them every second, but letting go anyway. That is what being a mother is. Living that belief, creating that lifestyle every day, is the very reason that I get up in the morning and what keeps me going when times are tough. Even though it may sound odd, I honestly was not a whole person until the day you put this child – your child – into my arms and allowed me the chance to be a Momma. I want you to know that not a single day goes by without me thinking about you and your gift to me. It is sacred and beautiful.  

Thank you. Thank you for entrusting me with this amazing little person. I will never succeed at doing everything right, but I promise to try.

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Counting down the days!

It has been a very busy few weeks! Our daughters last week of school. Last minute appointments to get out of the way before school is out and baby arrives. But… we are finally completely ready for our little man to come home, and it could be any day now. He is officially full term (37 weeks) and birthmom thinks he will be arriving within the next week or so.

Birthmom has been considering letting us witness his birth (HOORAY!!) but has not made up her mind yet. I guess we will find out her decision at the hospital. I would really love to be able to see his first breath, just like we got to do with his sister… but I am not holding mine. Something tells me she just doesn’t want us there. She is a tough cookie and I think she mostly doesn’t want us to be there to see her get emotional. I believe now that it has nothing to do with us personally, but that she needs to stay closed off emotionally from this. If she sees us with him before she is ready, it will be too hard for her to hold up her façade.

Birthdad has decided to be at the hospital, along with his dad. He does not want to witness the birth, but wants to spend a short amount of time alone with the baby at the hospital. I am so glad to finally know his thoughts and even happier to know that he wants to be there to meet the baby. It is such an important day! Even though it will be hard day for all of us, I know that if he had chosen not to be there, he would eventually regret it. He is a good man, very thoughtful and sensitive. I know this will be tough for him too.

I hope that we can make them all understand that, even though they need to say their “goodbyes” to the baby at the hospital before we leave, this is not goodbye! We will be a forever family, linked to this little person and each other for the rest of our lives. And we will all be better people because of this journey.

I will post again after his birth and let you all know how it goes at the hospital.

Wish us luck!

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Birth Plan

So, I got the birth plan today. Birth Mom does not want us in the room with her at all for the birth. I am incredibly sad. We were so lucky to be able to be there to see our daughters grand entrance into the world and to witness her taking her very first breath. I was really hoping to have that experience again with our son.

Birth Mom is okay with us stopping by to say “hello” when she is in the early stages of labor. Then she wants only her Mom in the room. After he is born, she is going in for a second, planned surgery. The baby will be in the nursery during her surgery. She does not want us to see him at all until during this time. After she is out of recovery and ready she will have some time alone with him to say her goodbyes. It is very important to her that she is the one who physically hands him to us. I am sure that would feel very symbolic to her. Just the act of “giving” him to us, rather than feeling like we are “taking” him is probably a big piece in her grieving. She has said that if there is any overnight stay, she wants him to be with us in our room at the hospital, not with her. She also wants us to have some time all together before we leave the hospital, but just a short time… maybe half an hour or so.

I do completely understand all of these choices and, if I were in her shoes I would probably want the same things. I can imagine that she wants her voice to be the first one he hears speaking softly into his ear, telling him how special – how loved he is. She deserves that. I want her to have that. But, the selfish part of me wants the same thing. Even though I know that I am the one who will get to see the future “firsts” of his life (first teeth, first steps and first words), I would really have like to be there to see the very first moments of his precious little life too. Regardless, I fully support her decision and will honor her need for this time with him. She has earned it.

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Back from vacation!

Well, we are officially returned from Mexico. It didn’t start out, or end very well, but the middle was quite nice. Our daughter was diagnosed with pneumonia three days before the trip, so she felt yucky for about the first day, then perked up and had a great time. We swam a lot, dug in the sand at the beach and swam with the dolphins (great experience, I highly recommend it if you ever have the chance). Then I got sick towards the end, came home and got diagnosed with pneumonia too. Not fun. Anyway, I got some meds and am feeling better, just really exhausted. At least we both got sick before the new baby, right?

So, news on the adoption…

We had our final home study visit on Monday and it went very well. We are in compliance of almost everything we need (just one small adjustment, that is an easy fix). So, from that end we are ready to welcome our new baby home when he decides to be born. We also got some good news that birthmom has found a place to live and is probably moving in this week, it sounds a lot better than her current housing and we are so glad to be able to help her get into a better situation for herself and her children. We also heard that although birthdad is not ready to have much communication with us, he is cooperating fully with the agency and is working on his complicated feelings, but still committed to the adoption. He will most likely be in a better place after the birth and we continue to hope to have a good, ongoing relationship with them both.

Birthmom is working on her birthplan and we should know in a week or so what that will look like. Things like whether or not she wants us at the hospital, in the delivery room or how much time she wants alone with him after the birth. It will be nice to know her intentions and we will feel better being able to make a plan for us as well. We talked a bit about decision-making (circumcision, naming and immunizations… that sort of thing) and she is completely okay with us making those decisions at the hospital. The social worker used these words: “She sees him as your son, so those choices are yours to make”. Can you imagine my huge sigh of relief??? Big smile 🙂

I am feeling so much better about all of it. I really tried to not think about it on the trip, it must have worked. I finally am starting to feel like we really are going to have our son home with us very soon! It feels so good. I have the nursery pretty much done, clothes in his closet, carseats ready to go, bottles cleaned and diapers stacked in the diaper basket. I am ready! We put his name on the nursery door the other day and I cried some happy tears when I saw that.

Well, again… thanks for listening and I hope that next weeks installment will have some news about the hospital plan to share with you all.

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Much needed vacation…

Tomorrow morning, early, we leave for our trip! I am looking forward to a few days of relaxation with the two people I love most in the world… my sweet husband and our beautiful daughter. Although family vacations are rarely much of a vacation for the Momma, I still think that the time away will do me (and my fragile nerves) a lot of good. and the endless stream of cocktails wont hurt either 😉

As for any adoption news, here is what there is to report. Birth Mom got evicted when the trailer park she was living in was condemned (yikes!). So, we are currently looking for a place for her to stay. It will probably end up being a weekly/monthly motel as her credit will not allow her to get a lease anywhere. Whatever she is able to find, we will pay her living expenses through June/July. Poor thing. She must be so worried and stressed out! She has those two young children to care for PLUS she is pregnant PLUS she is unemployed PLUS she has no place to live PLUS she has to still deal with all of her emotions regarding the adoption. I do not envy her situation. I do, however feel better about her commitment to this choice. I think she is all too aware of her situation and that bringing another child into it would be impossibly hard. I don’t worry (much) about her changing her mind at this point.

As for birth Dad… neither we, nor the agency has heard a single word from him. They tell me he said he would contact us/them when he was ready. They tell me he is still “processing”. They tell me not to worry. They tell me everything will be fine. Yeah. Okay. I will get right on that. I keep telling myself that these things have a way of working themselves out, but it is so hard not to worry! I keep thinking that maybe he is changing his mind. Maybe he isn’t calling because he is busy trying to find a two bedroom apartment he can afford. Buying a carseat, diapers and onsies. Stocking the pantry with formula. And securing daycare. And getting health insurance for the baby. Maybe not. Maybe he isn’t calling because the thought of relinquishing this child is just too hard right now. Thinking/re-thinking his decision over and over again. I don’t know why he has gone silent, but I sure do wish he would give us something to go on… anything would be better than nothing.

Okay, so that is all for now. I will try and not think about this stuff for the next 7 days (wish me luck!)

Thank for listening!

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Finally, something to look forward to

Adoption of any kind is a huge lesson in learning to let go of what you cannot control and taking control of what you can. I am terrible at this. People tell me that I am a bit OCD and they are correct. Not in a crazy wash-my-hands-400-times-a-day kind of way… just that I like things to be orderly, clean and predictable. I get a physical reaction when my house is in disarray, I need to clean out my purse/closet/car or if there is anything on my to-do list that has been there for more than a couple of days. So, having no choice but to let go of every single thing having to do with the child I hope to bring into our family in June is hard. Excruciatingly hard. I am left with nothing but sitting an empty nursery and crying hopeful tears that it will soon be filled with the sounds of a growing baby boy. Although, I must admit it is now starting to collect diapers, clothes, toys, burp cloths and other baby necessities that must be in place before he comes home to us. Not so empty anymore I guess. It is starting to look like a baby belongs here! That is both wonderfully exciting and terrifying at the same time. All parents feel that way, I know. It is not exclusive to adoptive ones, but I think our fear and excitement is different in a lot of ways.

I have forced myself to focus on what I can control. Preparing for our vacation next week. Getting the nursery ready. Getting in some good one-on-one time with our daughter before she must share me with her baby brother. Cleaning out the storage unit and bringing home all the baby stuff that we need. Going through pictures and getting the photo books updated while I have the time/energy for it. Painting the patio furniture in preparation for spring. Making phone calls and setting appointments that will need to be done before there is a newborn in the house. That sort of thing. It is keeping me busy and it is working on the stress level a bit. I am also determined to relax in Mexico! Fruity cocktails and paperback novels here I come.

And now, for the good news…

I just got an invitation from birth mom to come to her other two children’s birthday party in May!! They are a year and a couple of days apart and they are celebrating together. I am thrilled beyond words to get this news. To me, it means that she might want to have more of a relationship with us than it first seemed. Very, very happy news for me!!! Going to go shop for gifts for them now, nothing extravagant but something they will enjoy. 🙂  🙂

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One more thing…

Also, I have decided that I will be getting one, 90-minute massage per week until the baby is born. And as many as possible after that until the adoption is finalized. My poor neck/back simply cannot take the constant stress! I get massages fairly frequently as it is, but I have got to force myself to make the time to do it at least once a week during this time… I think it will really help.

And, yes. I am a spoiled little housewife sometimes.

It’s awesome.

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Stress, stress and more stress

Okay, so not much to report this week. I guess Birth Mom and Birth Dad have already signed some paperwork regarding their intent to relinquish the child. SO, that is something. But it really doesn’t mean much, because they can still change their minds up until the actual termination of their parental rights. But, still… its something!

The agency asked if they could give my phone number to birth Mom (YES! Duh…), but I have not heard from her yet. I am still hopeful that we can build a good relationship and I am really trying to not read too much into these early meetings/conversations. I need to keep reminding myself that our great relationship with our daughters birth mom took time. This one will too. Just breathe.

We have not heard anymore from birth dad either, But we did extend an invitation through the agency for them to come over to our house one weekend in May. We would love to meet more members of the family and get to know them better. They do seem like really nice, down-to-earth folks. I hope they accept and we can meet on a more casual level -rather than at the agency, surrounded by social workers!

I suppose that birth mom is thinking about her birth plan and hopefully in the next few weeks we will have some idea as to how it will go at the hospital. Whether or not she wants us to be there at all, if she wants us in the room (like we were with our daughter), if the hospital will allow our daughter to be there (since she is not technically a sibling) … those sorts of things. Our last experience in the hospital with our daughters birth was pretty bad, but most of the bad parts were due to total incompetence with the agency/social workers we used for her adoption. We are using a different agency this time and I hope it will go better!

I have stressed myself out so much this last month or so that I made myself physically ill this week. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Muscle aches, headache, general grumpiness, even a bit of a fever. I have GOT to figure out how to let some of this stuff go! So, in an effort to accomplish that – I am trying hard this week to focus on getting ready for our family vacation to Mexico coming up April 14. It should be a nice, fun trip! I know our daughter is very excited about going to the beach and now that she is pool-safe I might be able to relax a bit by the pool instead of chasing after her constantly :). I know that my sweet husband is glad to get some spring golfing in and he certainly deserves a break too. If I get one afternoon at the spa all to myself, cocktails by the pool in the evenings and at least one day to sleep in then I will consider the vacation a success.

 

 

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