Friday, June 29, 2012

one night in NH

We spent last night on the way to Maine w my inlaws in nh. We left right after I got home from work. 5 hrs would have been too long in the evening because baby girl would have slept all five hours and wouldn't have slept the night. So we decided to drive the 3 to the inlaws and this morning we are going the last two hours. Lucky for me baby girl was only awake for about an hour and a half once we got there. Baby girl was fussy and didn't really want anyone but her mom and dad. I felt bad because it seemed like my mil took it personally. Baby girl slept really poorly the night before and just needed to smuggle w mom. So all went well except a foolish comment from my mil. She asked me "if either of her (baby girls) parents have blond hair". I should have said no dh and I both have brown hair.... Instead I told her that "her BIRTHmom has blondish brown hair and her BIRTHfather had hair about my color. Her BIRTHsibilings had darker brown hair.". I just hope she can get the basics of adoption friendly language before baby girl is old enough to understand. Now that I got that off my chest we are off to enjoy family time in a cabin on a lake in Maine.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


As I finished packing up the gift which also included the response to her birth sister, a note to her birth grandmother with a wallet sized picture of the three children together, plus a note for her bmom with the same wallet sized picture I though.... when is Bmoms birthday?  I did not intend on sending a gift but I had intended on acknowledging it some how since I sent both of her children photos on their birthdays.  Well it passed.  Two months ago.

I added it to my calendar so next year I wont forget to make one of her letters coincide with her birthday.  Next year I'll remember.  I'm not perfect.  I'm just doing my best.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gift for Brother

I had a friend make a picture frame for Baby Girls brother for his birthday.  I wasn't thinking and didn't tell her the picture was in landscape so I kinda panicked when I got the frame in the mail.  It has Buzz Lightyear on it which is his favorite Disney character and his name down the other side.  I found the local drug store lets you make wallet sized photos so I was able to put two wallet sized photos in the frame.  I'm really happy with the results because I have a picture of Baby Girl, her brother and sister from when she was in the hospital plus a recent picture of baby girl with the grasshopper from bugs life that her brother gave her when she was in the hospital.

I'm so happy the picture of the three of them exists.  Her brother was too young to go back in the NICU but we sent him onto the unit with his Grandmother when his sister was already with baby girl.  I'm assuming that their Grandmother took the picture.  Its perfect and though I wasn't with them when the picture was taken its a memory I'll always cherish.  He was only able to stay back for a few minutes because he was so distracted by the environment but I'm glad he was able to meet her.

The picture was taken on baby girls final week in Phili.  I was really nervous about the visit because I didn't want anything to disrupt her schedule since crying equaled a poor score which meant more meds which meant more time in the hospital in Phili.  Baby girl was a trooper that day and must have felt all the love from her brother and sister.

Since her brother is so young I am going to send the frame to his Grandmother who is his legal gardian.  I'm assuming she will give it to him but I want to respect that he doesn't fully understand the concept of adoption because of his disability as well as his age.  I dont think I've mentioned that baby girl was named prior to our arrival by her bmom.  We chose to change her first name and hyphenated the middle name that bmom picked followed by the middle name we had picked.  Both middle names are family names from each of our families.  Baby Girls Brother already had been told the name the bmom picked and was confused why she had a new name.  By his second visit he did call her by the name we chose but it was hard for me to see him so confused.

I hope he gets the frame and loves it as much as I do.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dinner at the Farm

In the past five months we have done so many things that we have never done or found our selves doing less of.  We WALK so much more.  We walk to the beach, for coffee, and to the grocery store.  We take time to just sit and watch baby girl.  I think we spend more time with friends and family.  We do things together like grocery shopping where as before it was a chore that I ran out to do alone.  We take time to appreciate what it is we have in our relationship as well as a family.  I find when I'm out without baby girl that I'm not self conscious and constantly watching families with babies.

Tonight we went to "burger night" at a local farm.  Its something that I have wanted to do in the past but never did.  I do think that I avoided places where I knew there would be families.  Tonight with DH, Baby Girl, my aunt, and uncle we enjoyed burger night.  Its picnic style so you buy the burgers & salad and then enjoy the drinks you bring on a blanket in the grass.  Music is played by the band and kids run in the field.  It was a perfect evening and baby girl made it all the more special.

Its nice to not have that constant nagging feeling weighing me down and keeping me from enjoying the simple things in life.  I feel alive again.  I worked hard at keeping going and doing the things I knew I couldn't do once a baby was here.  Many times I used that as an excuse to keep going during our wait but I'd have given any of those things up I did while waiting had it meant baby girl came sooner.  Now that baby girl is here there isn't anything I want to do except be with her and DH as a family.  There is nothing I've ever enjoyed more then being a Mom.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More Days Home

I have a potential job offer.  The job isn't really different then the job I currently have just at a different facility.  I've told them if they let me work three 10 hour days I'd consider jumping ship.  I'm loving my three day weekend with Baby Girl and I'd take four days with her.  The only challenge is that its almost an hour away so it would really mean three 12 hour days (assuming I get out on time- which never happens).

I know that all employers discriminate against parents that adopt.  Had I been at this new employer when baby girl arrived I'd have had the same struggles: no paid FMLA while my pregnant co-workers do.  To add to my frustration my current employer also changed the way the pay for holidays.  In the past I've worked most holidays because someone has to and I didn't have children and was compensated with time and a half.  I hardly ever worked a full day on a holiday because not everyone needs to be seen.  Now they mandate you to take a day off during the pay period the holiday falls in.  So for memorial day I was forced to take a day off.  I took the Thursday after Memorial Day off so I could go to baby girls 4 month appointment and worked Memorial Day (no time and a half, nothing special- just worked my regular 8 hours).  I got my paycheck and was shorted 6 hours.  It turns out that they average the last three months hours worked and that is what you get compensated for the forced day off.  Since I was on FMLA there was almost two months of 0 hours worked.  No one told me this prior.  I was still like everyone else mandated to take a day off.  I was hurt.

So when this new opportunity came up I've explored it.  I dont think I really want to work 12 hour day.  When I factor the increase in pay and decrease in day care with the increased travel time and travel costs I think its a wash.  If only police officers made more money- a woman can dream.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Pity the Fool

So I've taken a new montra for life "I pity the fool."

A friend of my e-mailed me in response to my post titled Where Were You?.  She shared that he MIL was similar and well she finds it helpful to pity the poor soul who is not enlightened enough to enjoy so many things in life.  My dear MIL has missed the boat on so many things and well... I do pity her.  She missed an opportunity to become closer with me as well as her son but instead she chose to judge our decision- so I pity her.

So it initially was going to pertain just to my dear MIL until I got a package in the mail today and I've decided to pity ALL fools.  My aunt who despite her having cut most contact off with me I sent her a birth announcement because I thought it was the right thing to do.  (The reason she cut contact is a long story but to boil it down to extreme basics we disagree on politics/religion and I asked her politely to refrain from discussing politics and religion with me because I respect her opinions and don't try to force my beliefs on her and thus I'd like the same respect).  Since baby girls arrival I've heard nothing from her not when we announced "going active," no response to my e-mail about adoption friendly language, and no response when my mother announced Baby Girls arrival- nothing.  On the birth announcement I did not give any indication baby girl was adopted because well its a birth announcement and I figure no one announces C-section vs vaginal delivery on their announcements so why should I include her mode of entrance into our world... I digress.  So I suppose if she had chosen to delete all the other e-mails and had not read them she wouldn't know we adopted which is what I kinda hope is the case.  She sent three books (at first I was excited first because it was like a peace offering to have aknowledged Baby Girls existance her first great-grand niece/nephew).  Then I read the titles.

The last book was religious which I initially could have looked past.  I do believe in God and attend church religiously but our perspectives on religion are different.  I tried to give the book a chance because maybe it wasn't specific to her religion.  I opened the book a few pages in and the book is talking about how the baby was placed by God into Mommys belly then Mommys belly got bigger and bigger.  I recycled the book.  DH pulled the book and read it cover to cover.  It was about how the baby joined the family starting at conception and ending at childbirth.  I felt that her sending the book was disrespectful because it didn't respect my religious beliefs it also did not respect how baby girl joined our family.  It is true that Baby Girl did grow in D's womb (I have issue with babies growing in bellies- it makes them sound like their mother ate them).  I'm OK with talking about that.  I'm OK with talking to baby girl about how babies grow inside their moms.  Most of baby girls friends will have grown inside the moms that raise them.  This book in particular though was not my way of teaching baby girl about how babies are born and how they join families.  It then dawned on me that I could just pity my aunt for not being able to appreciate our family for who we were.  I pity her for not being able to see that there are a few things we dont agree on but we still are family and if we can decide to not touch those subjects we could have a lovely relationship.  I pity that she continues to show that she can't respect my simple request and thus I pity her that she will miss out on seeing baby girl grow.  Its her loss not mine. 

So now I've decided that anyone that just doesn't think that our family is beautiful just the way we are- I'll pity them as well.

I've given this post a few days. I edited the post.  Then added/deleted more.  Its hard for me because the topic of the book is pregnancy (at a childs level).  I struggled initially- was it that the book was about pregnancy that hurt me or her disregard for my request to not discuss religion/politics (which I think naturally would carry over to gifts to my child)?  I think had the book just been about "where do babies come from?"  I'd been OK with it (as long as it was age appropriate).  Most children like both DH and I were- born to and raised by the same mother.  Baby girl will know this and I think the more upfront and honest I am with her about the subject the better.  The bottom line is- I'm baby girls Mom.  I get to decide what she is exposed to until she is old enough to start exploring the world on her own.  I want her religious perspective to be one of openness and love and not of a God who punishes and hates.  I will not tell my aunt that her gift made its way to the recycle bin nor will baby girl ever know of the books existance- however I also need not apologize for it either.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sadness and Hope

You would think that this having a baby thing would suddenly rocket me into happy land.  Adoption is such an emotional roller coaster and I do feel so many more highs then lows at this point.  The lows still are not that far behind me.  Fathers Day a year ago is what I thought was a vivid memory.  I remember being in the car driving back from NH where my in-laws live but I couldn't remember why we were driving.  All I remember is feeling like I was going mad listening to the radio because EVERYTHING was about Fathers Day.  I remember vividly writing the post last Fathers Day so I looked back.  Turns out we were driving back from the wedding of DH's friends which took place in CT.  What I wasn't mistaken though was my sadness about the day and the radio that wouldn't let me go five miles without hearing about Fathers Day.  At the time I was starting to come to terms with the idea of not thinking "next ____ holiday we will be parents" but rather realizing that we didn't know when.

These past two weeks I've been told by a close friend as well as an acquaintance that they are experiencing infertility.  When both of them told me I cried for them.  Its hard for me to hear their stories without re-experiencing my journey.  I wish I could fix it or at least show them the out come; both of which I know are impossible.  One of them doesn't think adoption is the right path for her and her family.  The other was seeking my input on adoption.

Today I also learned that a fellow blogger had a failed adoption.  My heart broke instantly for her son.  I cried for her and her husband. I can only imagine their sorrow but I know she has a strong faith. I also know that she has a large heart and still feels compassion and respect for the potential birthmother.

I started this blog because I knew only one person who had recently experienced infertility and that person wasn't available to me.  Now that I"m on the other side- maybe my infertility was too painful for her?  Did I make her feel guilty that she had been able to pop some pills and get pregnant?  Did I remind her of the Christmas she had to give herself a peptalk in order to make it through the day?  I did feel resentment towards her for being unable to be sympathetic.  It hurt ten times more when she threw her baby at me and talked about how exhausted she was being a mom.  Maybe for her she had to pretend she didn't know about my experience because I was her ghost of Christmas past?

I now want to be the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.  I want to be the hope for the people in my life that I encounter with infertility.  I refuse to be the friend that tells them what they should do.  Rather I want to be the friend that knows that there is no "correct" response.  I want to be the friend that people know they can call and I will not judge.  I will be the friend that realizes that sometimes a baby to snuggle is so needed while on other days its what hurts most.  I will be the friend that realizes that not all days are good days and somedays you just need someone to cry with.

The blogger who's adoption failed was a big inspiration in my increasing my blog posts.  She told me she was reading, and she shared she found my blog helpful.  As I have read her blog I've learned so much as well and gained so much insight into my own adoption journey.  I want her to know I don't know what its like, I can only imagine how hard it is, but her strength and passion makes me admire her.

Infertility is not a journey you start and then its over.  Infertility is a life long journey and we need to be there to give strength to those just starting as well as encouragement to those who have been on the road a long time and feel like they may fall.  Infertility is a burden but it has made me stronger, more compassionate and a better person.  By leaving those in its present grip behind I feel that I would be denying the sadness and pain.  Infertility is part of who I am and by acknowledging that; it makes me available to those who may need me.  By acknowledging infertility as part of who I am it also allows me to define its roll in my life.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Baby Girls 19 year old sister sent us a thank you note for the gift we sent her.  She just finished her freshman year of college!!  Smart girl!  She is a hard worker and so strong for their brother.  She is mature beyond her years.  I dont want baby girl to grow up fast but I hope she is as fantastic as her sister.  The note was nice to receive and hope she continues the contact.  In her note she mentioned one of the current struggles her mother is having.

I finally got a response back to her finished today.  The first half of my response was easy- I told her how Baby Girl has grown and some of the things she is doing, I told her how excited I was she finished her freshman year and what I thought of her amazing dedication to her job.  I shared that I wished she found time to have fun as well like an 18 year old girl should.  The second half was harder.  I wanted to acknowledge the information she shared- which I already knew- but also reassure her that it doesn't mean we wont be in contact.

I explained to her our agreement baby girls birthparents to write letters 4 times a year and visit once a year.  I shared that I hope she comes on the visits.  I also shared with her that if she writes- we will write back.  This is whats hard for me.  I dont want D to think her daughter is getting different contact/preferential treatment; however D has not made contact except in the form of late night texts (which have stopped).  If D ever writes I will respond.  I'm only "letter counting" because 4 is what they asked for but I made it clear when we were in the hospital that if she wrote I will write.  I also struggle with contact with Baby Girls sister because she is old enough to understand what has happened- she was very emotional at the hospital and I dont want to hurt her further.  I want to make sure that anything that I agree to with her I WILL uphold.  Since she is so mature its hard to remember at times that she is actually still a girl that is turning into a woman.  I'm so thankful to have contact with Baby Girls sister but I dont want to take advantage of this young persons emotions.

We are figuring this out as we go.  Since there is no predicting what an adoption will be like until you are in it there is no other way.  I considered the fact that baby girl might have siblings- but never one that was over 18.  I knew she would have extended family.  I knew there was a chance that the birthfather would be distant.  I knew that I might send letters and never get a response.  Its one thing to know that things are possible, but its so different once the story begins.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where Were You?

I was reading a comment made by someone about their unsupportive family during the waiting period of the adoption.  I continue to struggle with my feelings about my in-laws and their lack of support during the waiting.  Everyone said once the baby arrived they would be OK and its true, they love Baby Girl very much and she is their first granddaughter.  The comment was "Where were you during my struggle."  It clicked.

That is my question for them- "Where were you during my struggle?"  While you were off belly aching that some of your grandchildren would not be biological I had arrived at a point where I was OK with not having biological children.  Though I was rarely sad that I would never have biological children I was frequently anguished over the roller coaster of watching other families become complete, and wanting so desperately for MY baby to be in my arms.  Your belly aching added to my stress and struggle.  It was self centered and uncalled for.  So rather then putting an arm around me and saying we are happy you have found peace in your decision you belly ached.

I know I was strong enough because I made it off the roller coaster though it still would have been easier had I had another set of hands to hold.  I'm allowed to be upset with them, and I dont know that I'm required to get over it.  I do have to make sure though that it doesn't affect baby girl.  I dont want their belly aching to ever be something she is aware of.  Their inability to come to terms with adoption at that time has nothing to do with her and all to do with me.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Family Weekend and a Letter!

We went to CT and MA this weekend for Baby girl to meet her Great Aunt Rosie and then go to DH's cousins graduation party.  When we arrived at my Aunt Rosies house one of the neighbor girls came over (because she had been told there would be a baby).  My Aunt has no children and is kinda the "aunt" of the neighborhood.  So baby girl and I were in the living room with the neighbor girl playing and DH and my aunt were in the kitchen cooking.  The little girl says to me "So Baby Girl is adopted so you dont know who her mom is" she then quickly changed it to "you know her real mom" then she got flustered.  She is 9.  I dont expect her to know adoption friendly language (and I actually dont expect adults to either I just like them to be open to education).  I didn't correct her I just told her that the wonderful thing about Baby Girls adoption was that we DID know here Birthmother.  It was instantly that the girl started using the term Birthmother to ask questions.  It was AMAZING!!!  I love how open children are to the world.

I believe that this girl does know other adopted children but the children were adopted internationally (which shouldn't change the language but from my limited experience it does seem that people who adopt internationally seem to have different verbiage).  She didn't skip a beat though and was willing to use our language.  So DH and my aunt got on the topic of the adoption (my aunt is pretty good about using adoptive friendly language- she does use "give up" a lot and I dont think I'll ever change her).  It was funny though because my aunt would ask a question and then the girl would ask a similar question for example my aunt asked who stayed with baby girl the first week she was in the hospital and if her birthmom was able to stay with her.  The girl then asked me "Did the Birthmom get to spend a lot of time with her in the hospital."  It was a sweet interaction and I hope that I was able to make an impact on this girl.

We spent time with my in-laws on Saturday at the graduation party.  My DH's cousin had specifically requested no drinking at her party so of course they all "pre-gamed it" at his other aunts house in the area. They all came a little tipsy which was just annoying to me.  I felt it showed a lack of respect to a girl that had worked so hard in school.  It also reminded me that I'm never going to change them and well I can only control my own actions which is why we chose not to go to his other aunts house prior (because we had a good idea of what was going on there).  DH's aunt who has a son via a closed (originally semi-open though the agency they used no longer exists) adoption asked if we were continuing communication with the birthmom and how that was going.  I got the feeling she wasn't supportive so I kept my answer short and sweet.  I know his family doesn't understand in our circumstances why we are continuring an open adoption.  At this point I think it would be too easy to close the adoption but she has such an amazing extended biological family that I don't think we ever will fully close the adoption.  From the outside I can see why people would want us to close it but its not about their comfort with adoption it is about what is best for Baby Girl.  If at any point I think the relationship is not healthy for Baby Girl I will not close it but change it to semi-open but so far I see no reason.

So after our long weekend of travel we arrived home to mail in our mailbox.  It was from our agency so I initially thought it was a copy of Baby Girls Birth Certificate which we have been promised but still have not received.  When I opened it- it was a mothers day card from Baby Girls sister.  It thanked us for her birthday gift and told us how happy she is to know her sister has a better life.  She also told us she looked forward to our visit in the future.  She concluded by explaining why we had not been hearing from her mother (which we already knew).  It was so sweet for her to send the card but it also reminded me what an adult this young woman is and my heart aches for her.  Baby Girl is so lucky to have such a fantastic older sister and it was a strong reminder of how amazing Open Adoption is.

What do you all call your children's Bio Siblings?  We have been calling them baby girls sister/brother even though technically they are half siblings but I think A) its too complicated and B) I think it diminishes the relationship.