Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Postive Thoughts Are Needed

Remember when I mentioned the national agency? Well, sometimes when they have unique situations they post them on their web site. Sometimes the birthmoms have specific requests like religion or couples who live in the same state or area. Sometimes it is sad things like drug exposure or health problems. Sometimes it's not. The wife component of the couple we know who are awaiting an adoption through American Adoptions sent me an email today about one of the situations. It is a set of twins in North Carolina due in April. They are full African American which seems to be the reason that they are having some placement trouble. Obama is just a step people! He hasn't ended racism. Be watchful and insistant in our vigilance for equality.
Anyway, there are a couple of things we have to do, but it looks like we are going to be considered by this birthmom. We had to send the profile we did for AFTH, and AFTH has to send them a copy of our home study. If we end up matched we will have to do a little scrambling as it is twice as much as we were planning on spending, but well two kids, we're done, and we get the double tax credit. We will figure it out. Where there's a will and all of that....
So thoughts and prays and all of that. Again. And again until it's right.
Oh, they are a boy and a girl.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Pet Peeve

Did anyone see this “movie”, Expecting a Miracle on the hallmark channel? Probably not because most of you have something better to do on a Friday night than watch the Hallmark Channel even if you are at home watching TV. I, however, had a tetanus shot on Wednesday that has taken me down like the flu. The only thing on that might have been worse was the car auctions on Speed. Anyway...

Basically, a couple, played by Jason Priestley (When did he get bow-legged? Is that a result of prison?) and Terri Polo (who I use to like), who after years of infertility treatments is on the verge of divorce. A magical Mexican village (where everyone speaks perfect English, of course) and its inhabitants (Boy, have Cheech's and Chong's careers diverged.) help then find each other again, and they decide to adopt. SPOILER: At the end of the movie they are filling out adoption paperwork when the wife gets sick. Of course she is pregnant.

OK, yes, we are adopting because of infertility. If I got pregnant at this point, I would be excited, but no more so than I would be if we got THE CALL. I do not see pregnancy as better than an adoption. I will admit, I think getting pregnant is overall a more straightforward way of getting a kid, but not a better one. Society may play lip service to adoption as an option, but it is still seen as second rate. Yes, it has been a really hard journey to be on, but really isn't pregnancy as well? OK, they are different, but still they both have their ups and downs. And the end result is the same, only I won't have pooped in front of people or have stretch marks.

By the way, the down I was going through earlier this week is swinging back up. You know me, I don't stay down for long. Love you all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Punch Drunk

I couldn't write the entry on the situation that came up over break. It was too raw. There were way too many conflicting emotions for me to write of it in any kind of clarity. So John had to bounce that one. This one falls to me.
John received a call today asking if we wanted to be shown to a mother who had done heroine everyday for the first two trimesters. He said no. Someone is made to love that baby, I know that in my heart. It is just not us. The feelings that are rolled up in that run the gambit from guilt to anger to numbness. There is such a thrill that runs through you when you answer the phone, and it is the agency. The deflation when you realize it is not THE CALL or even one that can lead to THE CALL is truly the most depressing feeling I have ever had. It makes it hard to remember or even want to breathe. There have been days when I have to mentally tell myself to put on your shoes, turn the key, talked to the students, write your lesson plans, workout, eat dinner, pet the dog, brush your teeth, go to sleep, because it all feels fake. It doesn't feel like the life I am suppose to be living. I should be home, sleep deprived, unable to shower, covered in odd smells from baby powder to spit up.
So I wish I could be more uplifting. I wish I could show all of you the optimism I know is buried in me somewhere. I am sorry to add my burden to whatever you carry for yourself and know that there are more out there worrying for me. I don't like to feel worried over. I don't like to garner everyone's pity. All I can say is that I promised when I started this blog that it would be completely honest. Unfortunately, honesty can be ugly and unwanted.
However, anyone who knows me will know that soon enough I will be writing a post that will make everyone laugh and relieve some of the worry I know I have placed on others.
On some more factual and concrete issues.
We are a little worried about the state of our agency. They closed the Harrisburg office and consolidated it with the Lancaster office without informing anyone. This is the second office they closed this year. There have been some lay offs. There are small signs that it might be a sinking ship. We have started to consider a national agency with which two couples we know have had placements within a couple of months of joining. We will wait a little while longer as there are some negatives like national means national. We could go to any state in the nation. Also because of that size, there won't necessarily be the support in the hospital there would be with AFTH. And it will be more money, of course. But we are starting to consider the options especially since our home study will need to be renewed in May costing another $750 (I think.) and meaning we have to go through things like another fingerprinting. Which I don't get. They have them on file. Just run them again. Ah, the bureaucracy of the FBI.
Nothing from ZOE for Life. I wrote them a check at the beginning of December, and it hasn't been cashed yet. I talked to a representative right after the holidays. She said they had our materials, but we need to be approved by a committee. I will let anyone know if or when more comes from that organization. I have a feeling they are pretty understaffed and a lot of it is volunteer based, so patience and understanding.
Until then... STOP WORRYING. We're fine. Really. We laugh a lot. OK, Snick is ready for our evening popcorn session.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

When Forced to Say "No"

We had a wonderful holiday break -- but we have a bit of news to report, and this news isn't super-super easy to write about -- please bear with me if I ramble a bit.

On December 30 (my birthday), Duffy's phone rang from an unrecognized number -- it turned out to be a caller from Adoption From the Heart, mentioning that there was a special situation brewing and they needed to consult us immediately. In New Jersey (home to the most adoptive parent-friendly adoption laws in the union), a mother of two was experiencing financial difficulties, and was planning on the creation of an adoption plan for her children. There was a five-month-old girl and a 22-month-old boy.

We got as much information as we could, but not a whole lot was known by the social worker. After listening to everything as described, we asked for some time to talk things over and offered to call the social worker back. The "pro" in this situation was that we could become parents (note that we were only giving our permission to be in the profile book -- there is no guarantee that we would have been chosen, or even that we were a good bet to be chosen), and that is a pretty big pro. The problem was that we came up with several cons -- each of them seemingly insignificant, but they were adding up quickly.

First, the age of the children would be quite difficult to get over. One of the first pieces of advice given to parents of international adoption is to not allow anybody but the parents of the child to hold said child for several months -- this isn't to be snooty, it's just that the early bonds between parent and child aren't there, and this helps to build those. Children of international adoption typically range from three to six months in age, so the younger of these children falls into that -- the older child would be the equivalent of a foster adoption.

Next comes items directly related to age: we wouldn't get to use the names we've been working on, we wouldn't have been there for the first step, the first words -- we'd be completely changing existing routines. Of course, next are disciplinary issues - we just wouldn't know if there were any, what was done, etc. etc.

Finally, there are items adjacent to the financial issues. While the agency had every belief that the children were healthy - if a single mother is having difficulties making ends meet, what are the chances that the children have been in for regular checkups? I know I'm making a huge leap of logic here - but there is just a ton of stuff that we wanted to know, but could not ask directly (only through the agency, and then we had to rely on what the social worker was willing to share with us, and because of the timing of this all, it was unlikely that the birthmother could be asked said questions before an adoption plan was created).

In the end, this just didn't feel like "the situation" in our guts. We know that situation will be coming -- but this wasn't it. We asked that we not be considered in the list of potential profiles.