I don’t even know what to write. I just got a call from the agency. The birth Mom and birth Dad are having trouble communicating and want to do separate meetings with us. Birth Mom has cancelled for tomorrow and we will meet only with birth Dad and his sister instead. We will meet with birth Mom next Saturday.
I am feeling… I don’t even know what I am feeling. Is this a sign? TWO cancelled meetings in a row. What am I supposed to make of this? I have been terrified for three weeks straight, and now I have to go another week before I even meet her. And then another 14 weeks after that before the baby is due. How am I supposed to survive this? I am not strong enough. But, still I have no choice but to pretend to be strong enough. I have to do it for my daughter. I do not have the luxury of emotionally checking out. First and foremost, I am a mother and just because I am completely freaked out about the process of adding another child to our family, I must not forget to do my job the best I can for the child we already have in our lives.
I would really like to write more, but at the moment I am all a jumble and am in serious need of a glass (or ten) of wine.
I have known many very special women in my lifetime. Three in particular come to mind tonight when I think of bravery, strength and courage.
The first is my beautiful daughters’ birth Mom. She was 18 years old when she made a choice that I cannot even begin to imagine having to make. She put the child that she had given birth to only days before into the arms of strangers and somehow found the courage to believe that we would be good, kind and loving parents. She trusted us with the most precious of gifts. She gave us her daughter. Think about that for a second. I mean really think about that. Could you have done it? She handed this beautiful little creature to me and then watched as I got into my car and drove away. How she found the strength not to chase after my car screaming at the top of her lungs I will never know. In my opinion, that is the ultimate in selflessness. A descision made purely out of love. She changed the lives of so many people with that decision. Hers. Ours. Our daughters. Our daughters children someday. Everyone who will listen to my re-telling of her brave story. Whatever happens in her life or mine, she will forever be the absolute bravest woman I have ever met. She gave me the gift of motherhood. If I live to be a thousand years old, I will never be able to thank her enough for that.
The second is a friend of mine who lost her son to cancer. He was three years old when he passed away last year. He fought longer and harder than many adults could have – and he did it with bravery and courage beyond his years. But this story is not about that sweet little boy. It is about his mother who has amazed me at every step along the way. In her shoes, many of us would have sunk into an inescapeable depression. Drugs. Alcohol. Anything to numb the pain of that kind of loss. But not my friend. She has given of herself, her time, her money and tomorrow – her hair. Tomorrow, she is shaving her head to raise money and awareness for all children going through this terrible disease. In hope of finding the cure that will come to late for her sweet boy. She is, quite simply… amazing in her strength. She might not know this, but her story gives me courage every day. If she can survive the loss of a child, then I can certainly make it through anything life can throw at me. All of my sad stories seem pretty lame compared to that. She is a hero, a champion of mothers everwhere.
The third I met just this week. A teacher at our daughters school. I found out recently that she is a birth Mom. She came over for dinner tonight and shared her amazing story with us. She listened as I told her our adoption journey story, and we enjoyed discovering that – as two opposite sides of adoption – we shared many of the same feelings of fear and self-doubt. We both felt sad and happy at the same time. She validated a lot of the fears that I am struggling with right now and talking with her was wonderful and needed. Towards the end of the evening she kept saying how she wasn’t sure she could have the courage be an adoptive Mom. How brave she thought adoptive moms are. How brave I was. Me? Seriously? I am not brave. Or strong. I am terrified. I am hanging on by a thread. For her to say that she thought my side of the adoption story is the tougher one… I dont even know what to say to that. I am in awe of women like her, women who can give the gift of family to someone else. Amazing.
A lot of birth Moms do what they do without the love and support family. A lot of them do it completely alone. All of them do it out of pure love and the desire to do the best for their child. Many people I have come across in the last few years seem to think that women “give up” their children because they are not able to parent them properly, or because they don’t want the responsibility. I say that they are doing the very best parenting that can be done… that is the selfless act of doing what is in their child’s best interests and ignoring the pain that sometimes comes with that choice. I say they are all heroes.
Great. So, we were supposed to go to meet the birthparents tomorrow. But, instead we had to reschedule the meeting for next Saturday because the forecast is calling for high winds and up to a foot of snow to fall in our area starting tonight and through the day tomorrow. Normally, I love the snow. Especially when it falls on a weekend. Hot cocoa, snowmen and all that crap. This time? Not so much. I really need to get past this first meeting so I can get a feel for the birth Mom and birth Dad. I am so very nervous right now – I just need to see their faces, talk with them and get the “vibe”.
On a lighter note… we had our first talk with our daughter last night and it went very well. We told her that our family had been chosen by a birth Mom and Birth Dad and that we might be adding a baby brother or sister to our family… her little face just lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July! She was so excited! I loved seeing the energy in her face and answering her questions. Today, we told her friends and teachers about being chosen and hopefully there will be some opportunity to help more folks understand the process as we go through it. She was excited to share the news about meeting the birthparents and I know she will probably talk their ears off when we do finally meet.
So, tonight I am going to pour myself a second glass of wine and try to relax. I have been so worked up over this meeting and the thought of having to wait ANOTHER week is making me crazy. I really just need so badly for this first step to be over. Please let this week go by quickly.
I probably sound like a nut-case, but when I decided to write this blog I told myself that it would only be worth doing if I was authentic and true to myself with every word I write. That is what I am trying to do.
So, it has been about a week since we got the call from the agency. I still feel really scared and even though we have been waiting for this for almost two years now… I almost afraid to be happy/excited about the prospect of adding another child to our family. I feel somewhat better than I did last week, probably because I got a bit of sleep finally! (Thank you, Valium…) But I am far from feeling really good about it. I know in my heart that I will get to a good place with this, just like I did when we went through it with our daughter the first time, but I’m not there yet. I am trying hard NOT to feel guilty about my lack of enthusiasm, but that is a work in progress as well. Wish me luck…
We have made arrangements to meet with the birth parents this Saturday at the agency. I. Am. Terrified. So many questions. All of them hard to ask and hard to answer. These are strangers that we are forced to be emotionally intimate with from the moment we meet. We have to be totally honest about everything, while still maintaining a level of distance and boundaries that will be comfortable for all involved. We have to do everything we can to protect our family, while still working to integrate these two new birthfamilies into it. All of us -my husband and I, as well as the birth Mom and birth Dad- have to be brave and strong enough to trust each other throughout this emotionally charged process and all the ups-and-down that come with it. We have to do all of this and more, the whole time knowing that everything about the outcome is completely out of our control as the hopeful adoptive family. We just have to be who we are and trust that it will all work out.
Oh yes, and we have to do all of this with our daughter along for the ride. She is a part of the process too, we have been as honest about it as we can without giving her too many grown-up ideas to deal with. She knows that we are hoping to adopt a sibling for her soon, and she has a four-year-olds understanding of the process. We have not told her that we have been chosen by a birthfamily yet, we plan to do that on Friday evening so that she can absorb it a bit and sleep on it. The agency is about an hour away and we will have time to talk more on the drive Saturday morning. She is well aware of her own adoption/birth story and I am sure she will relate her story to this new one as only a pre-schooler can. Probably with a few awkward statements along the way. She is a precocious little thing who is very articulate & smart and has no problem saying what is on her mind and in her heart. I can only hope that they will be understanding of her and willing to answer her questions as well.
My husband and I adopted our fist child in January of 2009 through an open adoption. The process for domestic open adoption is, as I like to call it… NOT for sissies. We adore our childs birthfamily and love having an open relationship with them. It truly is a blessing to have so many in our lives who love our child. We would not have done it any other way the second time around, but it is hard. Really hard.
We have been waiting for almost 2 years to get the call that we had been chosen my a birthfamily for a second child. That call came on Saturday, February 23 2013.
I want to be excited about this, really I do. But at this moment, I don’t see the joy of the journey, all I see is the shit that can go wrong. And I feel guilty because I don’t feel excited. I should be giddy! I should be shopping for onsies and painting the nursery, but instead… I can’t even make myself tell anyone yet. I just feel so scared right now.
We meet the birthparents in about 10 days, maybe that will help ease my mind a bit? Maybe then I will feel like a real choice has been made and that we are really going to finally be a family of four. Maybe.
Thanks for listening, wish us luck 😉