Sunday, May 27, 2007

Home... finally

At least for a few hours. So, let's see. In the past week and a half I have:

Traveled to Anaheim and back (by plane)
Traveled to Cincinnati and Louisville and back (by car)
Traveled to different city in the midwest and back (by car)
Taken my first red-eye
Met three *wonderful* bloggy friends
Reconnected with some people who were very important to my professional life
Visited Downtown Disney
Ran 12 focus group taste tests
Missed Lily like crazy
Missed PB like crazy
and... met who I think will probably be the first parents of our (hopefully, someday) adopted son.

See how I tried to sneak that in there on you? LOL. Let's go in order though. My trip to Anaheim was for a professional conference - the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. It was a really good conference, even if it was in the middle of strip mall tourist hell. I reconnected with my former adviser, and with a fellow grad student who worked with him so it was good. The red eye, BTW sucks!

The bloggers I met were Renee (and Shana), Susan and Raechelle. I loved *all* of them. I also got to meet their great kids and share in Rae's recent good news. I can't even express how much I wish we all lived near each other. It was so cool to finally meet them in person. I am not blogging more about this or posting pictures because I know that some of them like to remain pseudo-anonymous, which I can totally understand :-)

Downtown Disney was very cool. There are lots of shops and restaurants and on a personal note, I had the realization that I was in a better place with my infertility - that is, seeinig tons of happy families with their perfect children didn't make me want to run screaming from the place.

Work is work and the taste tests were part of that. Enough said.

I miss PB and Lily like crazy - I've barely seen either of them... PB and Lily did just fine without me of course, but she is huge and . . this close to smiling.

And now, what you've probably all been waiting for. I think I mentioned at some point that we were speaking with a couple who were connected to us by PB's cousin's roommate. I had several really good phone conversations with the mom, K, and I really felt like we clicked. As in, I could imagine us having an open adoption and being perfectly comfortable with it. K is really sweet and seems to have really thought out the decision. I met her boyfriend, C, for the first time this weekend when we drove to a different city relatively near (i.e. within 6 hours)our home and met them. It was great. We all felt pretty comfortable with one another (or at least that was my impression). And we talked a lot about their decision and I got all of the rest of the info our adoption attorney needed. Both of them tell us they are really certain this is the best decision and in fact, they both expressed that finding out about us and meeting us was a huge relief because they didn't know what they were going to do. They both seem so young... I can't imagine trying to make this decision.

K actually asked me to be in the delivery room. I am not sure how I feel about that - there have been a lot of bloggers (first moms and adoptive moms alike) who say that a PAP in the hospital is too much pressure, and I would imagine a PAP in the delivery room is too much pressure to the nth degree. But C is really squeamish and has expressed he doesn't want to be there and I definitely don't want her to go through that alone. In addition, K. really wants both PB and I to be at the hospital for pretty much the duration of her stay - she says that she feels like it will be easier for the baby if he transitions from her to us. I think it comes down to my whole approach to keeping this as ethical as possible and that is doing whatever the first parents say they want us to do. If they want us to come to the hospital we will, if they don't, we won't.

My only hangup is that she hasn't told her parents yet - she suspects they know because her sisters know but they haven't actually talked about it. I told her I thought she should tell them as this could be an avenue of support for her that she hadn't explored yet. She says she isn't interested in their support and she feels like it would damage their relationship irreparably. I am clearly not going to push it as she is an adult and I don't even know her parents, and it's really none of my business. I just knew that for my own mental health I had to make the suggestion.

So, at the risk of jinxing this (which is why I haven't posted sooner) I am cautiously optimistic. I am afraid the situation at the hospital could get really weird if her family shows up and is against the adoption. I also don't know how well I will do in the delivery room if it really comes down to that and I have no idea how the logistics of travel will work out when she actually does into labor.

PB and I are off to pick up Lily from my parents - they kept her for us overnight last night while we were away.

Stay tuned for more details :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I am.

Tagged. I think. See, I think Robin tagged me but there is another Amanda in these parts, so it could be her. Oh well. I'm proceeding as if I am tagged.

I am

I am funny, some of the time.
I am happy, most of the time.
I am grumpy as hell in the morning, all of the time.

I am infertile.
I am a foster mom.
I am married to a wonderful husband who complements me well and is much nicer than me.

I am surrounded by people who care about me.
I am honest and direct, sometimes too direct.
I am lucky to have the life I do and I am aware of that fact.

I am pretty typical and sometimes boring.
I am prone to strong emotions and sometimes don't control them.
I am a blogger, a reader, a writer, a thinker, a music lover, a knitting fiend, a sister, a daughter, a curious agnostic.

I am me.

So I am supposed to tag 5 people to write their own "I am" poem on their blog.

I tag:

R. (since you post anonymously, no blog link but I can put it up if you want to)
Foster Mommy

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wow. Just Wow.

I don't mean to dog bioparents, but seriously, what does someone have to do for Child Welfare to stop beating around the bush and move on?

Disturbing news story here

Key Quote:

"Given what we know today, we will probably work toward terminating her parental rights and reuniting the child with his father or another relative"

Note, probably italicized by me.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The long awaited update

Finally heard from Lily's CW today.

Mom did not show up for the hearing last week because she was in jail. Potential dad did, however, show up, which surprises me. CW was perturbed that the only questions he asked were what Lily looked like and if she was cute. Paternity testing has been ordered and if it comes back that he is the dad, I guess they will start visits.

Unclear when mom's visits will resume, though according to her sister (who contacted the cw to let him know about the jail thing) she still wants to see her.

Also unclear at this point if sister is a potential relative placement. We'll see what happens.

Hearing was continued until June 19th.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Broken hearts

So I was trying to make heads or tails of what I wanted to write about when I read this post.

I started to comment then realized I had my own blog and didn't have to hijack her comment page. What I started to write about was how perfectly she described my own feelings about Baby Bear.

I think PB and I have an unspoken agreement not to see him anymore. Not because I don't love him (and miss him) like crazy but because it is too hard. But beyond that, it is because mourn for what we could have given him, if he had stayed with us. And I don't mean material stuff, except to the extent that he wouldn't have to live right on the edge of poverty. I mean love and support, a caring extended family, attention to his development, encouragement & unconditional positive regard, and two parents who are emotional and mentally ready to be parents. All of the stuff that all kids should get. And all of the stuff I want him to have.

And you know what? He might be getting that, or at least most of it. And maybe maintaining contact with him would let me see that he was. But I can't face the alternative and, honestly, I can't watch him turn into a differnt person than I know he would have been with us. Maybe that's selfish and maybe it's not.

The bottom line: it just is. It is what I am capable of handling.

I have mentioned before that I didn't know what people meant when they said their heart was breaking before Baby Bear left us. I have lived a pretty pleasant life. I had a remarkably lovely childhood. I have tons of people in my life who love me. I married the first man I ever seriously dated. I still have both of my parents and generally, what I've set out to do, I've done (except for that whole getting knocked up thing). So my life has been relatively light on the despair and drama. Which is a good thing. Before Baby Bear I didn't know what it was like to physcially hurt when you just thought about someone leaving. I didn't know what it was like to have a panic attack. No possiblity in my life had ever been so terrible that it made me literally throw up. I didn't know what it was like to miss someone so much that it was blinding.

One of the things that has come out of this whole thing has been surprise at our capacity to love. Again if you know me IRL, please try to hold back your gag reflex. But truly, I am amazed at the depth of our love for him, after such a short time. And I am equally amazed at how quickly I fell in love with Lily, this time against my best self protective efforts. I guess if nothing else ever works out - if we never get to adopt a baby from foster care, if we never get to maintain a positive relationship with any of our former foster children, if we never win foster parent of the year LOL - I will at least have gained that.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Nothing new...

Haven't really received any updates regarding Lily's plan / mom / court hearing. I fear becoming a stalker so I haven't emailed her caseworker... yet. But I probably will on Monday if I haven't heard anything.

Found out from the Help Me Grow nurse that Mom also used Methadone, Marijuana and drank occasionally. This makes me very concerned for her. With that kind of drug cocktail, I would imagine she is at high risk for ODing. And she is so young.