Saturday, February 26, 2011

Support Group - Dear Birthparent Letter

Support group #2. There was no one our age. Everyone was 40+ though it sounds like Jeff and I have been married longer then some of them have known each other. The topic was Birthparent letters. I was expecting it to be a family that had recently adopted. Not sure that I would have gone otherwise. I think rather then being helpful it put doubt in my mind. I like our book but have never been too confident with the letter. We purposefully left it brief as we felt the subsequent pages in our book were much better. Well as promised in a much earlier post here is our Dear Birthparent letter:


Our names are *our names*! Thank you for taking the time to read our book and we hope that in the next few pages you will get to know us better. We cannot imagine how difficult this journey has been for you but respect that you are making a decision that is best for you and your baby. This book was a great deal of fun to put together but also a little strange because we dont typically write about ourselves.

Early in our dating relationship we talked about having a family. Soon after we were married, we began trying to conceive a child but learned we could not. We always knew we wanted to adopt children so we then turned to adoption.

As we have learned more about the adoption process we have grown to have an appreciation for open adoptions. We would hope to work with our future birth parents to establish an open adoption plan that works for both of our families.

Our family is very important to us and will be a big part of our child's life. Because of this we invited our parents and brother/sisters to each take a page and introduce themselves to you. Our baby will be the first Grandchild on both sides so this process has made both of our parents very excited.

We are very excited to be future parents and share all of our hobbies and interests with them. We also look forward to learning from them and seeing life through new eyes. We plan to speak openly about adoption and believe that he/she should always know and feel your love and we will do everything we can to make sure of that.

~Our Names~

On the next page we have a brief bio of each of us as well as about our relationship accompanied by a photo. Hopefully one day someone will read it and feel a connection. A resource that the agency did provide us (which would have been helpful PRIOR to writing the letter) is: Also we listened to a clip from This American Life which is in Act Three about a mother reading dear birthparent letters. Hope this helps someone else :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Girl Feb 6 2011

Here is a copy of the e-mail received on Feb 6 2011 at 2:27 PM from our case manager and made me oh so sad:

Below is the description of a baby that we may be looking for a match for. It is out of the criteria of all of our waiting families. If you read this and think this may be a match for you, please let me know and I will include your albums to be shown to the birthparents.

Thanks a bunch!

Baby Girl was born on 1/*/11 at an estimated 26 weeks gestation. She weighed 1095 grams (2lbs 6.6oz) and measured 37 cm in length at birth. The baby’s head circumference was 26 cm. She was born vaginally and with no pre-natal care. After delivery she was transported to the NICU and placed in an isolette where she is currently being treated. Her physical exam upon delivery was overall normal however her lungs appeared to be somewhat underdeveloped. The birth parents’ rights expire on 2/*/11 and 2/*/11.

Baby Girls birth parents are both 19, her birth mother African American and her birth father Hispanic. They report no alcohol or drug use during pregnancy. They are currently living together and parenting three children and do not feel like they have the resources to parent another child. They are both in agreement about the adoption plan.

The baby’s most recent physical exam on 1/31/11 indicated she is still experiencing a pulmonary insufficiency. This can mean “1. Incomplete closure of the pulmonary valve in the heart, allowing blood to return from the pulmonary artery into the right ventricle. 2. Respiratory insufficiency in which the lungs cannot take in enough oxygen or expel enough carbon dioxide to meet the needs of the body.” I believe in her case it is the latter.

At her exam on 2/1/11 she currently weighs 1500 grams (3lbs 4.9oz), there was still indications of a lung deficiency, there was also a possibility of sepsis that is being treated with antibiotics. She is still in an isolette at this point on room air but is occasionally experiencing apnea, anemia due to prematurity and feeding problems. She will continue intravenous feeds at this point, as she is not yet ready to be bottle fed. She is also on caffeine treatments which stabilizes her heart beat. There have been no signs of brain bleeding that can occur with premature infants.

Our hope is to match her as soon as possible with an adoptive family so they can begin visiting her in the hospital and learning more about her overall health. At this point the birth family is requesting letters and pictures but not annual visits.


It is interesting to read the e-mail now that I am not as emotionally tied up in the situation. So many details slipped past me at that time such as the fact that she was born in January (at the time I couldn't understand why parental rights ran out so quickly). I also saw that she was on room air in the isolate but missed that she had probably was on 02 prior. My heart is still eager for a little one but I realize more so that this little girl was not to be mine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


So this process is filled with disappointment. This is no new revolution however in the past few weeks we have been exposed to many disappointments.

On the 9th of February which is the Super Bowl Sunday that will live in infamy not because the Packers won but it was a sad day of many this month. We got our first "offer" I dont know what else to call it. I dont like the word "offer" because it sounds like a buying a car or house. We received information about a baby via a mass e-mail. It was mass e-mailed due to the fact that no one at our agency was a "match" for this kiddo. The baby was of mixed race (Hispanic and African American) in Maryland that was premature. There was no adoption plan in place but the two 19 year old parents had three children already and were not prepared to parent this baby due to the medical condition. DH called me at work to inform me of the email and started the conversation by saying "I don't think this is the baby for us but we received an e-mail..." then proceeded to tell me of the present condition. As a health care worker the baby sounded extremely healthy given how premature she was. I was ready to say "YES" I wanted to say "YES" but I also knew that the baby would need to stay in the NICU until the due date and since I have no FMLA yet this wouldn't be possible let alone the time after baby came home to work through the medical challenges. Intellectually I knew this was not the baby for us but it made me so sad to have to delete the e-mail.

To make matters worse we had about 20 people to prepare for as we were having a super bowl party. There were three babies and one pregnant lady at our party. The babies were all welcome- I want to be a parent because I enjoy children. Pregnant ladies I dont enjoy. This particular lady had challenges becoming pregnant and used IVF to become pregnant. Which is great for her. She is annoying because all of the things that she told me prior to her pregnancy that annoyed her about pregnant women- SHE FREAKIN DOES!!! It drives me crazy especially because she of anyone should understand what we are going through. As a gracious host as well as to keep me from bursting into tears I strategically was always in the opposite room she was in. I did have a blast playing with the kids and it did keep my mind of things strangely.

On a bright note (this is getting kinda depressing). I had explained to my friend (also my hairdresser) during my hair appointment the day prior that I was disappointed my mother-in-law had not gotten us anything for the baby for Christmas. I explained that when women are expecting during Christmas families usually buy stuff for the baby (because they are expecting). I got nothing not even an acknowledgment that maybe next year there would be a baby. Well when my friend came to the super bowl party she brought me a blanket and some chocolates. She told me that she "got it" and told me she was excited for us. I didn't vent to her in hopes that she would "get it" which kinda makes me feel bad. Though her "getting it" made me feel validated that my mother-in-law should "get it."

Three days after the superbowl party I was in a car accident. The car is totaled. I'm fine. The silver lining to my car being totaled is that we can start fresh and think of cars with the perspective of a car seat in mind. This is not really sad or happy news just inconvenient news that hopefully we can use to our benefit.

So to kind lighten the mood a little more. DH called his mother to explain to her that she could start getting us baby stuff whenever gift holidays came about. They got on the subject of baby showers and it sounds like she wants to have one. I need to take a deep breath and go on face value that she really didn't realize we literally are "expecting" at ANY minute.

Last but not least sad news I found out tonight that my cousin who got married a year after us is expecting. This just adds to the list of all the people that have been married after us that will have children before us. It just prompts me to say "Life is not fair!!" The news is not "official" however he posted a picture of what looked very much like a "baby car" when I looked at his profile someone had posted that they had heard the news and congratulated him on his wife expecting.... maybe she is just expecting a job promotion lol.

To end on a positive note because I'm feeling a little better. The biggest positive to having an "offer" we were unable to accept was it helped us realize all the things we need to do. We need a car seat because you cant leave the hospital without one. We need a plan for the pets in case we have to leave quickly. We need to communicate with our families about what we will need from them when the real offer comes in. We also have talked with my parents about starting a "loan account." At this point the money we have saved plus the tax rebate equals what we would need... but we dont get the tax rebate until next year. So having the loan up front so we can write a check when we need to will be important.

Wow that was a lot and I still have more to write about (day care tours, and legislative stuff)... but i'll save that for another day. Thanks for listening :)

support group

Tonight we attended our first adoption support group through our agency. Some agencies require attendance however ours due to geographical barriers does not. Tonights group was to update us on fees and the yearly update process. Fees did not go up however we will fall into the higher fee category as of July. Walking into the room I wanted to cry I can't put my finger on it but it just plain sucks to have to wait. It also may have been that the two other couples that were there when we arrived were about our same age and I kind of hold into hope that because we are young we will get picked faster.

My mother attended with us which is nice because she was visiting from out of state. I really appreciate her enthusiasm. I can understand why some people would want their families not to douse them with gifts at Christmas however I enjoy the fact that she sees herself as about to become a Grandmother for the first time. My Mother-in-law has yet to show any positive emotions towards the babies arrival. I guess its just not real to her yet.