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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Ugh

So, this afternoon, I was told by the agency that I am not allowed to write a blog about this journey. Nothing at all that can be seen publicly. Not one word.

Well, I cannot stop writing this blog. It has become my therapy and I will continue to write it for as long as I need to. I have to have a place to put down in words how/what I am feeling. That’s just the way it is. Sorry. If I must make it private only to me, then so be it. But I will not stop writing.

Which brings me to this… if you would like to continue to read my posts I need you to contact me personally and privately. After we are clear that nothing can be re-posted or shared without permission then I will give you the password to the protected posts. It is important to me that this is available to friends and family. Talking about it over and over again to everyone who calls to see how things are going is very difficult. I want all of you out there who love us to be a part of this journey, I just can’t talk about it daily, it is too stressful and too hard.

I will continue to make public this post and following posts which have nothing to do with details about the birth family or our current situation.

Anyway, now I am totally freaked out (again) after talking to the agency. At first when we voiced our concerns they kept saying how this was going to happen, not to worry, everyone involved was committed to this adoption taking place,  we are “moving forward” and that everything was fine. Now, I get the call saying not to talk about this publicly, not to buy anything yet, not to plan on sending out birth announcements until everything is final and that everyone is still “processing”. WTF?

Looks like another sleepless night for me.

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Snowmageddon #2

Well, it only took us 4 hours to make what is normally an hour drive up north this afternoon. It was awful. The highway was CLOSED for about an hour of that because of a multi-car crash. While sitting in that traffic, John broke the windshield wiper trying to get the ice off. I mean, he broke it. As in broken off completely. No drivers side wiper blade at all. In a snowstorm. Good times. Thank you to my sweet friend who lives nearby who came to the rescue with a complete set of new wiper blades delivered to the agency while we were meeting with birth Mom. What a day.

The meeting went… I don’t know how to say it went. They certainly weren’t kidding when they said she was detached. About 4 words were said about the baby at all. The walls this lady has up are impenetrable. It was a pretty awkward visit. All of you who know me well, know that I am very open and honest. I have trouble dealing with people who aren’t, it makes me very uncomfortable. I felt like I had to filter my own personality with her, which made me feel like I was not being open, which in turn made me feel like crap. Just to be clear, we still are moving forward with the process, our fears are not about her commitment to the adoption. Our fear is in the relationship between our part of this family and hers. I am terrified that she will be a very distant part of our lives after the baby is born. This outcome has always been my greatest fear.

In one of the 4 words she did say about the baby, she let the secret out about the sex. I really wanted to be surprised, but in her defense – that is a hard secret to keep. The baby is a boy. I have always wanted a son, and I am thrilled to hopefully bring one into our lives this summer. Ivy is excited to have a baby brother, and John is smiling from ear to ear too. The surprise would have been nice, but planning will be nice too. Also, we can give all of Ivys old clothes/toys to the birth mom, as she is raising a little girl who is younger than Ivy and could really use the hand-me-downs.

I am feeling very overwhelmed at the moment, so I will post more another day after I have had some time to think. Thank you all for the support and positive thoughts.

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Snow? Again? Seriously?

So, they are predicting a snowstorm AGAIN for this weekend. Just for the record… I WILL GET TO THIS MEETING. I do not care what the weather decides to do, damn it!

Anyway, I am starting to feel a little numb over meeting BM. Every time I talk with the agency about her, they use the word “detached” to describe her. As any of you who know me are aware, I am about as far from “detached” as a person can get. I worry that I will overwhelm BM with my personality. So, now I feel like I have to filter my emotions with her. Tone myself down a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand her need to protect herself from the pain that she knows comes with relinquishing a child. I would too, if I were in her shoes. But at the same time, I really want and hope for a close relationship with this woman and her other children. Maybe I have to just let go of reaching for that goal and let it come if/when it will? Even then, how do I let her know how important that is to me without her feeling as though I am a needy-crazy-lady? I want to give her the space she needs, and still somehow reach out and let her know that we ache to be a source of love, support and understanding for her and her children. People say “Just let it go, worry about yourself and your family” and they are right. But, still these birth families are just that – FAMILY. Just the same as any other extended family is. They are aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, siblings and birth Moms & Dads. Our family tree is just like yours, only we have many, many branches (and more than our share of nuts!).

Open adoption is something that we truly live, not just talk about. I know of plenty of “open” adoptions where the adoptive family walks the walk up until the adoption is finalized, then they just stop trying to include the birthfamily. It’s like something they had to do for a while, then they almost breathe a sigh of relief when they can finally stop. That makes me sad. Although, admittedly… I know the feeling. With our daughters birth Mom, I made (forced) myself to follow through with communication for the first few months. I kept telling myself “This is for the best, this is for the best…”. then, one day I realized that I wanted to talk to her BM. I wanted to see her and spend time with her and support her. I realized that I loved her! Not only because she is the woman who gave me a family, not because I owe her something, but because I love her, just as she is (crazy, immature behavior and all). She is a wonderful addition to my life as well as to our daughters’ and I treasure her every single day. I think a lot of adoptive families miss out on this wonderful opportunity purely out of fear. Fear that the child will love the BF more, fear of negative influences caused by some BP’s choices, fear of scheduling ANOTHER person into their already busy lives, fear of “too much” contact and fear of the negative reactions others sometimes have regarding open adoptions. Well, I tell you this… YES, it is hard. Everyday. But nobody ever said parenting would be easy, did they? These BF’s are a treasure and should be valued as all other family members are. There is no such thing as too many people to love.

As I read over this I realize that when I get on a rant about how wonderful open adoption is that I will scare this poor BM to death. Ugh! I just need to settle down and relax, Keep reminding myself that I don’t have to have all these conversations in this first meeting. There is time. There is time. There is time…

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Meeting with Birth Dad

We finally got to meet with Birth Dad (BD) yesterday. The meeting went very well. He is an extremely nice guy and seems comfortable with his descision. His sister joined him for the meeting and she is clearly a big source of support in his life and, while she wishes she could be the one to adopt this child (she has other adopted children in her family already) she and her family are just not in the position to take on that responsibility at this point in their lives. BD and his sister have very strong family values and the open adoption seems to be just as important to them as it is to us. I think after the grieving period, BD and extended family will want to be as involved as possible with our family too. This is a huge deal to me, because my greatest fear in this second adoption is that the birthfamilies will just disappear out of our lives forever. We really want a true open adoption and believe “the more, the merrier” when it comes to family – even when we may not be related by DNA.

I am still very nervous about waiting another week to meet BM. I get the impression that she will be the most detached and that will be hard for me to deal with as, again, I really want to develop life-long relationships with both Birth parents. I also learned that she is parenting two other children, so this is her 4th pregnancy at the tender age of 25. Her life must be so stressful! I can understand her wanting to protect herself from what is a very difficult and painful experience, especially considering that she has relinquished a child before. She knows what it feels like and is preparing herself for that experience. After all, she has other children to think about just like I do, she will not have the luxury of breaking down in front of them either. I can understand her detachment. She must be incedibly strong. I am told that she has an open, good relationship with the other adoptive family,and they support her choice for this adoption. They are out of state, so I don’t know how much contact they have, but I know they have some. That is encouraging, so I will hold onto that hope that she will want to have continued contact with us as well. I hope that we can develop relationships with her other children (including the other adoptive family) as well. What a great experience for all the kids to have such large extended families! You can’t have too many people in your life who love you, right?

I am going to work hard not to let the stress get to me too much this week. I am going to try and focus on the positive meeting we had with BD and not get worked up over next Saturday’s meeting with BM. I plan on getting to the gym as much as possible and getting the stress out that way, rather than dwelling on all the what-ifs. Wish me luck!

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