Friday, December 12, 2008

My big fat happy update

First, because I never want Lucy to have second child syndrome, she clapped for the first time on Wednesday. Yay for milestones!

Now, as some of you may remember yesterday was Lily's court date. I arrived at 9:05 for a 9:00 hearing, stupidly worried that I might have missed something. At 11:00, when I was still the only party signed in for the case, I was simmering, mentally writing an angry blog post about how no one even bothered to show up for her case, and no one really cared what happened to her.

At 11:05, her cw arrived. He shocked the hell out of me by informing me that they had service on both of Lily's parents and they were going to go ahead with the motion. "You mean PCC could be granted today?" I asked. He said yes, provided that neither of Lily's parents showed.

They didn't show. And the magistrate granted PCC. What next, you might ask?

Well, all visits and transportation by the county stop. The judge has to sign the PCC order and then there is a 30 day appeal period. If neither of Lily's parents appeal, the PCC will be legally binding. That means she will be free for adoption. In the meantime, our case will get transferred to adoption. Yes, that's right, Lily will now have an adoption cw.

And, the icing on the cake is that I just heard from my attorney (and best friend!) that our petition to adopt to adopt Lucy has finally been filed and a court date has been set (January 14!).

So it's possible that in the first quarter of 2009, we will officially, legally, be the parents of two of the world's most adorable girls. Please keep everything crossed for us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Starting to not be a baby

Lucy has totally passed that cliff between cute but pretty much basically responsive infant, to big baby who is this . . close to being a toddler. Yesterday she clapped for the first time :-)

She also says "yeah, yeah, yeah" after someone sings the line "She loves you..." from the Beatles. She says Mama and Dada but there's no real meaning attached to it yet.

We had the sweetest moment with Lily this weekend, too. We were downstairs on Sunday afternoon and Lily (who sleeps in her big girl bed most of the time) was napping. While watching TV we heard the cutest little voice say, "Hello?" from the top of the stairs. She was standing at the top of our stairs, looking all rumpled up from bed with the cutest little smile on her face.

Too cute. I don't know why, but that little voice from the top of the stairs made me realize just how incredibly lucky we are.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

How is it so close to Christmas already????

I seriously don't know where the last year has gone. Insanity. I have almost no Christmas shopping done, although PB and I (and the girls) did take advantage of extended mall hours last night to shop. Lily played on the indoor playground at 10:00 last night. Way past her bedtime, but you wouldn't have known it to see her.

Yesterday was big day for Lucy too - she pulled herself to a stand for the first time! She's been doing it with assistance for a while now, but she actually grabbed ahold of a toy and pulled herself up last night. Exciting.

The next month is CRAZY. Lily's hearing is next week, as is PB's work Christmas part and we're having dinner for Lily's extended family at our house that weekend. The weekend after that is (thankfully!) free, but the next weekend is the foster parent christmas party (where my dad is Santa!) on Saturday and Sunday PB and my BIL are taking dad to a football game for his birthday present, while the girls and I head home for my family's Christmas cookie baking.

Fun times, if we survive it. LOL.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I can't even see straight

That's how angry I am. PB's parents are at it again. We've been dealing with their shit for the past couple of weeks, and it looks like now they are at their passive-aggressive best, refusing to take PB's phone calls.

All of it started with an incredibly offensive email she-who-shall-not-be-named sent to PB. I don't want to get into the details, but suffice it to say that Jacob felt like it was an affront to our entire family, and in typical assy fashion, she responded with anger when her called her on it. Things went downhill from there, with PB's dad eventually chiming in with an almost equally offensive email, and then finally me entering the fray, with an email of my own basically sticking up for PB and telling them that 1) he had made his boundaries clear 2) they could decide whether or not to live by them and 3) I fully supported him and our family.

And now, despite him sending a reasonable, olive-branchy email and calling them several times, they have not bothered to respond at all. I don't know if it means they aren't interested in living with the boundaries he's set or if it's just more assiness, but it sure would be nice if we could find out.

Happy holidays, eh?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lucy is waving

Title is pretty much self explanatory. She is also starting to do the cutest scrunched up face smile... I think it's her first intentional smile that is not in reaction to something / someone - a smile that's supposed to woe us, which it pretty much does.

I don't have a height or weight update. Lucy is almost never sick so I generally only have to take her in for well baby checks. It feels like we were at the doctor every other week for Lily, for eating stuff and also ear infections, so I guess this is just another way they are opposites.

We had pictures done today. Not the greatest, but I think we are officially at that age (for Lily at least). There were some quite adorable ones of Lucy though.

Nothing much else to report around these parts. We did get the official letter from legal indicating they filed for PCC on Lily for the upcoming hearing. More on that in mid-December.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thanks, America.

For the first time in a long time... at least 8 years, but maybe more, I feel optimistic about where we are heading and what we can accomplish. I look forward to telling my children that I voted for the first black president, and that I did it because I honestly believed that he wants what's best for us all.

I know there are people who doubt Obama, but you know what? We, all of us, needed a change.

And BTW, I believe this election is the definition of a mandate.

GOBAMA.

This makes me VERY, VERY nervous

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/11/04/rove-predicts-obama-landslide/

Trying to encourage Democratic votes to be lazy, Karl? I *really* hope we're smarter than that.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Heh, heh, heh

Ask Lily who she's voting for.... She'll proudly yell, "Bama" with a smile and then run to get you a book.

Yes, I bought my child a book about Barack Obama. No, I did not buy her a book about John McCain. Yes, apparently I am deliberating molding her into a mini-me. Only cuter :-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Milestones everywhere

On Sunday, Lucy used her spoon to feed herself mashed potatoes for the first time. Mind you, mashed potatoes is the only food she can successfully get to her mouth, but she doesn't really get that yet, poor thing. Makes feeding her interesting, since she now insists on grabbing the spoon regardless of what she's eating.

Also on Sunday (big day!!) I got my first unsolicited hug and kiss from Lily. Too sweet. I was putting on her shoes in her room and she just turned around and smooched me :-)

Tonight, Lily used her potty for the first time. She's been sitting on it. A LOT. But this is the first action it's seen. Let's hope it's soon because she is still very prone to diaper rashes.

Also, we are now on our third ear infection THIS MONTH. Started out about three weeks ago, in the left ear. Our doctor called in drops, which cleared up the left ear, then it showed up in the right ear. We didn't even call it in, just started treating it... Now, it's back in the left ear. Awesome. We'll be heading to the ENT no later than next Tuesday, when our follow up is scheduled, but probably sooner.

Good times :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008

So, theoretically...

they will be filing for PCC at the December court date.  Keep in mind that this also going to happen in June, but, Lily's dad has not seen her in a couple of months and missing visits is not a good way to get a second 6 month extension granted.

If this actually does happen in December (3 days before my birthday and 2 days before Baby Bear went home) we will probably have a pre-trial hearing sometime early in the year, then the real trial in February / March.

Definitely no chicken counting in these parts... I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The things that Lily says...

She is officially using 4 and sometimes 5 word sentences. Yesterday as she was leaving lunch with J., she grabbed her keys, ran ahead of her and the other girls, then turned around and said "Bye, people!!"

Recent words that I had no idea she knew include: fire (??), wallet, money, and scooter. She's also learned the dog's name and calls my parents Grammy & Ampaw. Pretty cute.

She's going "potty" which basically means saying potty, running to the potty, crawling up, staying for approximately .75 seconds, yelling "Done!", and then "Frush" and flushing the toilet. Kind of a timesuck, especially with cloth diapers, but I think it's a good sign.

She also says: play, frosty, punk - for pumpkin, and a ton of other words I can't think of right now. I swear, at this point, I think she's picking up at least one new word per day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

7 months ago today

Lucy was born!! It is so hard to believe she is 7 months old already. Where does the time go?

She is sitting up very well and has decided that she is open to actually eating food now... she has been drooling over food, grabbing for food and wanting to put food in her mouth for a couple of months, but whenever any food actually passed her lips she would get a terrible look on her face and spit it out.

She babbles a lot (dadadadadada is a favorite). And she will seriously light up a room with her smile... she is one of the happiest, most laid back babies I've ever seen.


And now, for a limited time only, a picture of the cutest little chicken I've ever seen :-)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Two Years Ago Today

Baby Bear was born. I wonder about him. I wonder what he is doing today - are they having a party? Is he celebrating with an extended family who loves him? I wonder if he's happy.

The thing is, I could know. His mom called me a few months ago and sent a couple of snapshots. She said we could see him "whenever we want". And we haven't, our choice.

It just seems weird. He won't remember us, and I don't really know him, not really. I know Baby Jack (that's the name we picked out, but not the one his mom eventually gave him), who is long gone. It wouldn't be pleasant for him, I don't think. And it would be pleasant for us, but also painful. With the potential to be incredibly painful.

So I avoid it altogether. I don't know what that says about me, but I think whatever it is, I am OK with it. I've made peace with the whole thing, but I suspect it's a fragile peace. If I did see him and he seemed unhappy, it would kill me. So I prefer to think about him like I remember - the cutest little baby boy I've ever laid eyes on and in the pictures she sent - smiling and laughing and happy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Checkups

Both girls went to the doctor today - Lucy for her 6 month (6 MONTH!) well baby and Lily for her 18 month. It's convenient that their birthdays are so close together, we can get two checkups out of the way on one day.

Here are the vitals:

Lucy, at 6 months, weighs 15lbs 14.5 ozs and is 25 inches long - that's average weight for age, but well over average weight for height. She's a shorty right now.
Lily, at 18 months, weighs 21lbs 13 oz and is 29 inches long - as always, good weight for height, but TINY for age.

Based on her drinking and weighting habits, we did a blood glucose on Lily and while the in office one was high, the fasting glucose taken two days later was fine. So was the hemoglobin test.

Other than that, no major concerns.

I'm not posting...

because I am considering crawling into a safe room with PB and the girls and not emerging for... a couple of years.

LOL. It's been an interesting few days around Chez Psychic. Saturday was AWESOME! While we were getting ready to go to a friend's birthday party:
  • Lily hit her head (hard!) on the corner of the car door resulting in an impressive bump which is now bruising like crazy. I get to take her to the dr. today, so hopefully he won't call the cops on me. JK.
  • I was in the bathtub, while PB was getting the girls ready, when he burst into the room and started throwing up. That in and of itself was REALLY pleasant.
  • Then, both girls started screaming at the same time, so as I'm scrambling out of the tub to get them, I fell, brusing my legs, my arm and messing up my remaining pseudo-good ankle. I don't know how I hit both my legs and my arm and my ankle at the same time. I am just that good.
  • As we were leaving (yes, we still went, PB's presence was specifically requested by said birthday girl, and he was confident it was something he ate, not something systemic, which he was right about BTW) I heard our pool pump making an unholy noise and I realized that it was getting about 10% of the water it was supposed to. There is a clog. In the pipe that runs underground. Which snaking didn't help. Yes, friends, that is the sound of more $ flying into the stinking money pit that is our pool.
Other miscellaneous crap that we've dealt with since vacation:
  • The damn dog has fleas. That are apparently resistant to anything that won't leave him glowing in the dark for the rest of his natural life. Which may be short.
  • Our sink is leaking. AGAIN.
  • Our agency is incompetent. AGAIN. I am driving 45 minutes tonight to meet our awesome placement supervisor (no really, that's not sarcasm, she is the one redeeming feature of the agency at this point, but that's because she's a contractor) halfway between our house and mine so that Lucy's paperwork has some chance of being submitted prior to her being enrolled in Kindergarten.
The coup de grace? PB just called me from work saying that he was rear ended this morning. Apparently, she hit him hard enough to push him into the car in front of him... A Stratus sandwich, if you will.

His car isn't that bad (which actually kinda sucks, it's worth next to nothing and an insurance claim might be it's only value at this point), but he says that he hurts. All over his back and neck. YAY for whiplash. I told him to get to the doctor today if he could... I've never had an injury like that but I have to think that the longer he waits the worse it will get.

So, that's the long and short of it. Nothing majorly horrible, but lost of oppressively annoying little things.

Lucky, there are two amazingly wonderful, beautiful little things at our house that make us keep getting out of bed in the morning :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Arrgghhh

That's the internet version of a primal scream.

I can't believe I am so stressed out already :-( I just got back from an awesome vacation that was so refreshingly relaxing. Now, I already want to hurt the people from our agency (who are nowhere NEAR finalizing Lucy's adoption) and my husband (who has "fixed" our sink that leaks three times now and still insists that I not call a plumber). At least the girls are awesome. And, despite hurricane force winds in our area that killed the power for a week, no trees fell on our house. That's a plus.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lucy''s first tooth!

She finally cut her first tooth (a bottom front tooth) while we were on vacation and she was staying with my mom. Her second tooth bottom front tooth came in the next day (9/17)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Someone emailed me last week...

It was a very nice email regarding their twins... it was not posted as a comment and somehow it has disappeared from my yahoo account.

I promise I mean to reply! Can you email me again, if you get a chance?

Thanks!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Why other people are pissed about Palin

As I was reading through my blogrolls tonight, it looks like some people are speculating that the whole announcement was for show and they will "unname" Palin soon. The idea is that she was announced so they could paint a portrait of the perfect pro-life family, complete with son with Down's syndrome and young daughter who is pregnant and choosing to parent the baby. Some people are really upset that she would allow her teenage daughter to be used as a political pawn.

For the record, I think that's giving McCain WAY TOO MUCH CREDIT. I think it was irresponsibility, plain and simple. I've read that he only met her twice before he announced it and frankly, I think she was picked because she's pretty, has lots of babies and much like Georgie Jr. wouldn't be too hard to control in office - it's pretty hard to be effectual when you have no idea what the VP even does.

That said, I am still objecting (vociferously!!) to the criticisms regarding her decision to run now. Whether now means now when she has an infant son or now means now when she has a pregnant teenage daughter. Because I really don't think we'd be talking about this if Todd Palin was governor of Alaska and he was running for president. Or if we were talking about it, it would be in the context of his dealing with adversity and standing behind his party's morals, not in the context of how crappy a parent he is. The difference is that she's a woman and a mother. Or at least that's my humble opinion.

And again, I am angry about it. I'm just not convinced that a woman can get a fair shake in politics. I don't think there's a winning strategy because you either have to be barefoot and pregnant and therefore lovable and harmless or you have to be smart and strong and dominant and then you're automatically a bitch.

I mean really, we can't even dislike Palin because she makes terrible decisions and has basically zero experience? We have to crucify her for her parenting skills and having the gall to run while her family is having a rough time?

I am appalling

So, you know this is a political time of year and you know I'm not one for hiding my opinions on most issues. I gotta say that McCain's VP announcement is probably going to start a whole season of anger for me.

People are already attacking her for being back to work very soon after her child was born, for even daring to consider becoming vice president when she has an infant son.

Because you know, being a mom, and being a smart, competent, driven professional are diametrically opposed, right?

A friend of a friend, told said friend that even as a feminist, she found it "appalling" that she was back to work so soon after having a baby with Down's syndrome. Which I guess must make me a monster because I was back to work the day after both of our girls came home with us. And I continue to work full time, as does PB.

We suck :-)

The thing is Palin is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. She didn't take any time off? There must be something wrong with her as a woman, hell as a person - what kind of freak would do that? And who cares if she is the GOVERNOR OF AN ENTIRE STATE. But if she had taken 3 months off after his birth? Well, then, clearly she wasn't serious about her job. Because otherwise she would have been back to work right away. Repeat, ad nauseam, as necessary.

That pisses me right off. What difference does it make and why is Palin anymore defined by her status as a mother than John McCain or Barack Obama are by their status' as father? I bet Obama didn't take much time off after either of his kids were born, and hell, McCain's wife brought home a baby he didn't even know about, at least according to his oh-so-charming campaign stories about adoption. Why aren't we talking about that?

I mean, really, if you're looking for a reason to be upset with Palin, there are a ton of others - apparently she did actually fly home from Texas after her water broke (without telling the flight crew), she is currently under investigation for her role in trying to have her ex-brother-in-law fired, she seems to be kind of shying away from the truth about her real stand on the bridge to nowhere AND she is running on an astinence only platform while her teenage daughter is pregnant. That last piece of news makes me so sad I won't even make fun of her kids' names, at least not directly.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Blood vs. water, etc, etc.

There are so many cliches you can spout off regarding family and ties that bind and blood relationships. Right now I'm reading a book, completely unrelated to adoption which has me thinking. The protagonist is searching for his lost sister and has lost his wife to cancer and is remarrying so there is a lot of discussion of whose related to who and how and the importance of DNA.

Obviously, our girls don't look like us - some people comment on Lily's resemblance to PB, and say that Lucy looks like me, because we both have darker skin tones. But really, people see what they want to see and I don't particularly think either of them look like either of us, or one another. That really drives people nuts when we are out together - I would say at least once per week a stranger references how the girls don't look anything alike. To which I generally smile and nod.

But I can't help but wonder what will happen when the girls are older. They will both always know they are adopted. But I don't want them to feel like they have to explain that to everyone they know, or happen to eat beside at Denny's. Not that I really care much what the girls tell total strangers or how those total strangers perceive our family - but they (the girls) might care and I don't know if I know what to tell them.

My mom and I were talking recently about family reunions, and what, if any, interest my daughters might ever have in attending them. Aren't family reunions about reaching out to the people who are distantly related, but in reality not much more than casual acquaintances, so you can hear stories about other family members and look for little physical and personality similarities... or is that just how I think of reunions? In any case, I wonder whether Lily and Lucy will care who their second aunt three times removed on my mom's side is? I mean, I barely care. Don't get me wrong... I feel like PB and I and our girls are as much a family as is possible, as are my parents and our close friends, and to a lesser extent, PB's family. But beyond that, will they ever be interested in knowing anything else? I don't know.

And even more importantly, what do they (especially Lucy, who will likely have less contact with her biofamily)lose by not seeing who they look like, where they got their grin or their laugh or their eyes? Will they be upset that they don't look like us? Or will they not care either way?

On another note, notice how I am becoming dangerously casual about referring to Lily as my daughter? I am afraid all cautiousness and emotional reserve and boundaries have flown out the window. Despite her case being in basically the same state as the last time I talked about it, there's not a single fiber of my being that doesn't feel like her mom and if we lose her... well, I have been resolutely staying in denial about that possibility. We'll see what happens in December, I guess.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Teef!

That's how Lily says teeth - which she is currently obsessed with brushing. She's just cut one of her molars and another is popping through - probably explains her sleep difficulties for the past week or so.

Lucy's got a ridge under her gums, but nothing breaking through, yet.

I'm sure you're all super excited to know about their dental progress, eh?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New skills and no, he did not show.

Lily said her first three word phrase today. Guess what it was?

"Mama, bite you".

Sounded more like mama bichoo, but the attempted bite following it made the meaning pretty clear.

She also said "Want my daddy" today when she was going down for a nap.

And, Lucy developed a fake laugh this week - I heard it first on Thursday. Hysterical.

Finally, for those of you who asked, Lily's biodad did not show up. In fact, I haven't spoken directly with any of her paternal biofamily in quite some time. I did leave a message on pgm's vm to let her know that Lily was fine, and got a thank you message in return, but that's it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

All is well

Lily is home resting after her procedure. Doc says that both ears were full of fluid and one was starting to become infected.

She was actually out of surgery before the time she was scheduled to go in - apparently the case before us showed up late so we got bumped up in line.

The nurses and doctors were all amazing. Oh, and Versed is Lily's friend. Once they gave her a dose of that, she got wobbly and giggly and made absolutely no objections to being taken away by the nurse (who carried her into the surgery room, instead of rolling her in a bed - how sweet).

She had a bit of a hard time waking up, but we brought her home and put her to bed and everything seems to be fine now. At 5 hours afterwards, you really wouldn't even know she had it done.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

She passes!

Lucy passed a toy from her left hand to her right today, several times actually. We were so excited that we clapped for her, prompting Lily to stand and watch, and when she did it again, to clap and cheer.

She will be 5 months old on Friday.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We're still alive

The girls are doing great. Lily is having tubes put in her ears on Friday, so keep your fingers crossed for us. Lucy is eating cereal and some vegetables now, though only sporadically - some days she really loves it and other days she hates it.

New words for Lily recently:
buckle, seat, towel, teeth, potty, berry, apple, swing, please, nose, yellow, pink, trash, cookie, sit, bubble, rice, juice, Elmo, belly, stuck

And stuff she's doing now that I can't forget:
  • She's become our resident litter patrolwoman - she is fascinated by putting things in the trash. When I took her to PB's softball game on Thursday she was convinced she needed to throw every rock in the park into the garbage can. It was a long night.
  • She thinks that biting me is the funniest thing in the Universe. She also still loves to be chased and will laugh her little butt off as she runs the other way.
  • She is obsessed with bellies, hers, mine, Lucy's, and on a particularly memorable trip to the grocery store, some stranger's... she didn't actually make contact but yelled "Belly" and pointed.
  • She loves shoes. Really. She will periodically take them out of her little chest in her room, fondle them, put them all back in, close the lid and sigh, "nite nite soos".
  • She loves to leave our house... as soon as anyone mentions bye-bye, she scrambles to the door and waits. Not unlike Gibson, our dog.
  • She likes most music, but she does have her limits... in my sisters car, we were listening to Garth Brook's greatest hits, and while she loved, loved, loved "We Shall be Free", she covered her ears and shook her head when that Papa Loves Mama song came on. PB was proud of her.
Cool stuff for Lucy, too:
  • She can sit up, if we help support her at the waist.
  • She does fairly well with moving food to the back of her mouth and swallowing.
  • She "kisses" you if you hold her up to your face. At least my mom counts it as kissing.
  • She will reach for things if they near her and she definitely responds to voices.
  • She blows raspberries. Especially when you are feeding her green vegetables. She thinks that is too.much.fun.
  • She is starting to distinguish us vs. them - she sometimes gets *really* sad when someone she doesn't recognize talks to her.
  • She pulls her paci in and out of her mouth.
  • She is probably starting to hate me... I am a loud talker and I have a really loud laugh and I scare the crap our of her all the time.
  • She seems to have a preference for early Beatles. While Lily likes almost everything (see above) Lucy is going to be much more selective, that makes PB even more proud.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I really am shorting my secondborn :-(

For whatever reason I thought I already blogged that Lucy set up, kind of... if you prop her just the right way she holds her self up like a frog. Too cute. She first did it last weekend at my mom's house.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lily's biodad

Apparently, for the moment, Lily's biodad is clean. He has completed 30 days of residential treatment and is attending meetings every day. His mom says he is excited about visits, and that they all miss Lily like crazy all week long.

They want to be here when she has the tubes put in. They want to make sure she is OK and they worry about her. They return all my calls and they get excited when I send pictures.

And I am scared to death. Of course I know that fostering is uncertain, and of course I know that she's not legally my daughter. But she is is in *every* other sense of the world. This is nothing new. Nothing has changed substantially.

It's just one of those days when it bothers me more than others. I don't know what I'll do if she goes home at the December hearing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An aside: cute things Lily does that I don't want to forget about

  • Says "peeze" and "Shank you" usually pretty appropriately.
  • This hysterical thing with her hands when she hears music she likes which means we are supposed to snap our fingers.
  • Talks in her sleep - sometimes so loudly I have to go stop her because I'm afraid she'll wake Lucy.
  • Puts her finger to her lips (and usually up her nose) to shush Lucy
  • Turns and runs as far as she possibly can in the opposite direction when I ask her to come to me or bring me something and she wants to play instead (cuter inside than out)
  • Sleeps with her butt in the air
  • Says "sgusting" when PB makes various disgusting bodily noises

Such an interesting discussion is unfolding

in the comments.

I wasn't really trying to justify or explain my rules (because as a couple of you pointed out I don't have to do that, and thanks for that, BTW) but more just exploring something that will probably continue to affect me and how I parent.

I think healthy eating thing is like anything else - there is a fine line between too much and not enough. I knew kids like the ones you all mentioned who were so deprived they would binge whenever they got a chance. My cousin was like that, and believe me, when he was at our house, he ate more junk food in a day than I did in a week. What my ideal goal would be is for this to be such a lifestyle / ingrained thing that Lily and Lucy never have to struggle with thinking about it... they like good stuff and they pick it and sometimes they have junk food and that's OK too. I want the whole thing to operate in the deep background of their lives, at least for as long as it can.

One of the reasons this particular issue drives me so nuts, and why I am writing about it right now, is that I don't understand why I can't get over it, already. I'm a smart girl, I know what I should be eating and I know the very real health consequences for my behaviors. My boss is constantly talking about why I should or shouldn't eat this or that, as if it's a knowledge gap. I finally told her one day, "Look, I'm not STUPID. I know what I should be eating. I know why I should be eating it. But I don't." This is the same problem I had the one time I tried to talk about this with a counselor. I was immediately referred to nutritionist, who proceeded to tell me which exchanges I should be eating. Well, thankyouverymuch for providing the information I could get online at any time. That's really not what I needed, but I totally appreciate it.

Because at the end of the day, I still don't make the right calls. In fact there are only two times in my life I have been in reasonably good shape - one was in high school when I just pretty much subsisted on granola bars and rice cakes. Poor PB - I was at my thinnest when we met, and he totally didn't know what he was in for. The second time was when I was in grad school and I enrolled in a clinical research study. I don't know if was the accountability of someone reading and critiquing my food and exercise logs, or the fact that I was afraid to mess up her dissertation or what, but for whatever reason during that study I was working out regularly and totally followed the pretty rigid diet.

Anyway, for a control freak like me, the fact that I don't just do it already is a little disturbing. I think at this point, my thoughts are moving from my girls to me, and wondering once again what my big deal is.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My relationship with food

As a few of you correctly surmised, these food choices that I make for my daughters (right now, but not forever, obviously) are related to my own, long-standing food issues.

I am a big girl. I have been a big girl for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I pretend I am big because I have a slow metabolism. Sometimes I joke that I am evolutionarily adaptive - because, yo, if we were cavemen, I would *SO* outlast the skinny-ass girls. But the fact of the matter is I eat.a.lot.of.crap.

There I said it. I crave sugar and fried foods, and I have for as long as I can remember. I am probably the pickiest adult eater you will ever meet. Sometimes I drive PB crazy with my ridiculously constrained meal choices.

I can't help but think that some of that is related to the fact that I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted when I was little, and I was offered lots of sweets and fried foods. My mom, bless her, would cook two or three meals to keep all of us happy, and she never pushed me to eat anything I didn't want to, which I totally loved at the time. But this eating thing is the one thing that I want to do differently than my parents - really, I think they got pretty much everything else right, and in the scheme of things, overindulging your child is probably better than being mean or emotionally distant or any number of other things.

I am a big girl now and I take full responsibility for my current poor eating habits, and my relationship with food thing may not be related to what they did or didn't do when I was younger. I don't know. But I do know that if it might be related then I don't want to walk down the same path with my daughters. I don't want them to worry about it and be stressed about being thin, I'm not trying to create perfect skinny little girls. I want them to be able to maintain a healthy weight because they like tons of different stuff, and I don't want it to ever even be an issue for them. Even though I know it will (sigh) even if they are tiny little things.

Plus, it's about healthy food in general, like I said. We put so many nasty chemicals in our bodies, it's amazing that any of us are still functioning properly. I'm going to do whatever I can to hold that off as long as possible for my girls.

And as Barb said, I'm off my soapbox. At least for now :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh, and about the inlaws...

maybe I haven't posted it here before, but we don't have the world's greatest relationship.

So, honestly, I was *waiting* for an excuse. But yes, she did know that Lily doesn't get pop and this was her second try - she was almost banned for allowing my nephew to feed her gummi bears when she was 4 months old. And laughing about it. She also mixed my nephew's formula with the fruit water stuff from walmart that has aspartame, and laughed about how pissed his mom was that he wouldn't drink baby formula mixed with plain water - at 2 months old! So overall, I can't say I trust her nutritional instincts.

But mostly, the pop thing is annoying because it's disrespectful. I mean, my mom thinks we're a little nuts about food stuff too, but she listens to our opinions and doesn't go against them. Because, you know, I'm the mama.

I do kind of have a hang up about what she eats - I'll admit that. But one of my big goals as a parent is to help my kids develop healthier habits than I have. It's not just about sugar - I really try to avoid processed foods for her as much as possible and buy organic when I can afford it. But I promise, she's not deprived. She gets her cookies and candy (mostly from my mom who always asks first). We just try not to make it an everyday thing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I wish I had something interesting to say

Before I get started, big, wet, sloppy, congratulations kisses to Rae, who had her miracle baby during my week of radio silence.

Now, part of the whole I no longer appear to be blogging thing is I haven't had a new placement for a while and Lily's case is in pretty much a holding pattern. She continues to visit with her PGM, her biodad is in rehab... PGM has told me that she "prays every day" that Lily will stay with us. That means that Lily's dad is really the only possible placement for her. He is young and lives with his parents and apparently has some anxiety / depression / and obviously, substance abuse issues. However, it is definitely still possible that she will end up with him. But right now, no real foster care drama to blog about.

PB's family has been behaving themselves... well, they were until relatively recently and now my MIL is banned from watching our children because she gave Lily (my 15 month old daughter!!!!) Sprite. But other than that, nothing huge.

Work is another story, but one I don't want to get into. Suffice it to say that if our pending business sale (and therefore me getting a new boss) doesn't happen before the end of the summer, Mama's gotta find a new cubicle to crunch numbers in. Oh, and this legal consulting stuff? Very cool, but very difficult and v.v.very time consuming.

So that's where my head is right now. How is everyone else's summer going? And, what in the name of all that is holy, would be interesting for me to blog about?

Monday, July 07, 2008

The craziness is overwhelming, but overall things are good.

We just got back from a baby extravaganza - a 2nd birthday party on Saturday and a baptism on Sunday. We spent the night with our friends (the parents of both kids) and let's just say... well, drama makes me tired. The girls did amazingly well despite a crazy schedule. Lucy has once again earned the title of most laid back baby in the universe.

We're good though - the girls are on "grammy vacation" and I believe that everyone involved is enjoying every minute of it. Except for PB who is mowing the lawn while there aren't two little ones to be wrangled.

I think Lily is officially headed for tubes - she's on antibiotics for *another* ear infection, which makes the second one in six weeks and we've been very strongly advised to get the surgery scheduled.

And good news all around these parts recently. My friend Dr. M, has got a new teaching gig that's actually permanent, my friend A. just had her third baby and they finally had a boy (who was BIG - 11lbs, 10oz) and our nanny and her partner just survived the TPR trial of their two year old foster daughter - mom surprised everyone by giving up the fight, and asking that she stay with them. Sure beats the hell out of a full court hearing and then waiting 60 days for a visit.

Ooh, and we got our first three word sentence sometime in the last week. Not surprisingly it was, "I want more".

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hmm... wanna hear about my super awesome kids?

So, I have officially turned into "that mom" - the one who brags about her kids nonstop... but hopefully only in my head, well, and on this blog. Be forewarned, because I suck at things like baby books, I tend to record things here. Plus, I can't help it. They're just so. damned. amazing.

Let's start with Lily, who just turned 15 months. She runs now, and she just (like yesterday) learned how to jump, kind of. But unfortunately, most of the time she falls on her butt. She says "thank you", sometimes even unprompted. She also says: mama, papa, helper, more, Lucy, baby, baba (for her blanket), cup, cracker, nana (for banana) swing, water, pool, ball, car, book, rocky (for her rocking chair), shoe, dog / puppy, cow, chicken, duck, kitty, bird, fish, yummy, yucky, up, poopy... (i know - gross), owie / owwwww, hi, bye, nite-nite, gigi (her nickname for her aunts), (and when I ask her to) "sgusting" and "love you!". She also will mimic most words,

She sometimes puts herself to bed, by gathering up her binky and her baba and going to her own room, waving nite-nite over her shoulder. She just learned the word "owie" and is obsessed with it... when I peel her banana, she says "Owwww", when she sees a mole, on my arm, same thing, and today her cracker had an owie because one part of it was not baked brown like the rest. She also kisses her own "owies" when we ask if a kiss will make it better.

She'll tell you that cows moo, ducks quack, and pretty much every other animal in the world says "baa". She thinks that if she tells you "helper" you will do whatever it is she wants, even that means helping her grab the business end of the knife (which just for the record, we don't help her do). She loves being applauded and will do anything to make you clap for her. In fact, she kinds of takes it as an insult if you're the only one in the room *not* clapping for her.

And Lucy is pretty freakin' great too. She's 3 1/2 months and rolls back to front pretty consistently now. She holds her head up, tracks things with her eyes and is just starting to reach for things. She watches Lily whenever she can and is never happier than when someone is holding her, facing out.

She doesn't like to be left alone, even for a second, and I can't help but wonder if that's some emotional fall out from leaving her first mom. Just this week, she started making sounds to get our attention, and doing that cute thing where they vary the pitch and intensity to almost sound like they're talking but with random syllables.

She loves it when we brrpp our lips and tries to copy us but only ends up spitting all over herself. She is eating like crazy - she took 9 ozs in one feeding twice this weekend which I think is probably a bad idea but the girl was *seriously* upset when I cut her off at 8. We are toying with giving her some cereal because she is food obsessed - gnawing on her poor little fists while she watches us eat - but I'm trying to hold off until 4 months at the very least. We'll see.

I continue to be amazed by how completely different my girls are. Lily is loud, busy, bold and aggressive and has been pretty much since we met her. She demands food and always has - she had an angry cry, regardless of how intense her need was at the moment - she was kind of a drama queen from day one and that's developed into a *huge* temper as she's got older. She is tiny, has fair skin and light hair and pretty much has never met a stranger.

Lucy, on the other hand, is quiet and observant and really, pretty laid back. She has a smaller cry, which sounds sad, not angry, and is *much* harder for me to hear. She has an adorable smile, which she lets loose on me, PB, our parents and our sitter, but not a ton of other people. She is adorably chubby and has beautiful dark hair and eyes.

It will be so interesting to see what kind of little people they turn into. Sorry you had to read my extended milestone entry - if you're still around, thanks for hanging in.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Court

Today was my first experience at court. It was *so* *much* *fun*. I got there at 8:40 for a 9am hearing. I was the only party signed in until biodad came in at 9:30, and caseworker at 9:35. The attorney made it around 10:00 and we waited around until 11:00 for the GAL who... whoops was on vacation.

The funny thing is she filed a reporting stating that she visits with Lily when she sees her mom. Now, remember, Lily hasn't seen her mom since last September. Too bad the GAL is supposed to be seeing her every month... nice.

Anyway, 1st extension to TCC was granted, as we expected. Next hearing will be December 11. No other changes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Aww, shucks...

thanks for the affirmation on the birth certificate thing. I felt like it was the right thing to do - it was great to hear from my fellow sneaky adoptive moms so I knew that I wasn't the only one. And thanks, too, for sharing your personal quest to get an original birth certificate for yourself or a loved one. I HATE that those records are sealed. Hate it. I am going to request Lily's birth certificate ASAP, so I have the in hand as well.

Another question, wise readers - I think a lot of you know where I live... if anyone else who lives here has a pediatrician recommendation, I would LOVE to hear it. My pediatrician recently made the local news because he was charged with sexual harassment of a parent. Gotta love that. I am looking for someone who would at least be open to a non traditional vaccination schedule - both doctors I saw at the current practice wouldn't even really discuss it as an option. Anyway, I know it's a long shot, but I thought it was worth a try.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hi, my name is Amanda...

and I'm a bad adoptive parent, too!

My agency worker is... umm... distressed that I have a copy of Lucy's original birth certificate. According to her, without a notarized letter from Lucy's first parents saying that I had permission to get it, I shouldn't have requested it. Further, the county where Lucy was born, she says, should not have sent it to me.

But I did, and they did.

And I don't feel badly about it. I mean, I guess, yes, technically it's a violation of Lucy's first mom's privacy... but I told her that I wanted to get a copy of it, and she said that was fine. Plus, aside from her first dad's absence on the document there is NOTHING there that we didn't already know - we exchanged full names and addresses in the hospital, and one of the reasons we finally settled on Lucy's middle name is that it's her first mom's. Hell, I didn't even do anything DISHONEST to get it - I just went online, filled out Lucy's information, filled out my information and paid my $28 bucks.

Besides that, I feel like the bigger violation would be to NOT do everything I can to get my hands on it before it is sealed by the state, for Lucy's sake. I think it's totally ludicrous that she doesn't have a legal right to this document once we finalize and the crazy new "Look it's just like Amanda and PB gave birth to Lucy" certificate is issued. Isn't that a worse thing to do - to keep her from having that?

I don't know. I guess it really doesn't matter. What's done is done and really, I'm glad I did it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Oh, and another thing?

Baby Mama? You can bite me.

Tina Fey, I adore you. And Amy Pohler? You were really funny in this move.


But why, for the love of all that is holy was there a miracle pregnancy? They really don't happen that often... I promise... You, Baby Mama, YOU are the reason why people still tell me I'll be knocked up any day now.

Thanks for that!!

This is why I love language

Here's a sentence that I think may be totally unique....

"No! Don't hit your sister with a horse."

Friday, June 06, 2008

Updates, updates, updates

Lily has 8 teeth now. Just this week, she began to recognize herself in pictures and she is a BIG fan of the word "me" now. She can finally push herself on one of those little plastic cars (though she would still prefer for us to do it) and I think she is FINALLY over her ear infection, though it required another trip to Urgent care and an alternative to the antibiotic. At 14 months, she weighs 18 and 3/4 lbs... still itty bitty.

Lucy - whose blog name I may have to change to Wee Bit, since that's what PB calls her - is also doing well. She is officially laughing now - at least sporadically, and smiles all the time.

One not so good thing... I did manage to obtain a copy of Lucy's original birth certificate with the name her firstparents gave her. To my dismay, her firstdad's name is not on it. I don't know what this means for the adoption... yet... we've put a call into our agency. I assume they checked the putative father registry and Lucy's firstmom never hinted that the baby might be anyone elses, though we have had our suspicions.

Ick.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Infertility redux

You know what? The more I think about it, the more I think I am pretty much over being infertile. I mean, I still am, and I always will be, but I don't think it really bothers me that much anymore. The more I thought about the Juno moment, the more I realized it was about grieving for PB - for what he felt bad about missing out on. It wasn't about me, really.

Which is good. I mean, it's good that I feel badly for him and yet I'm not still all up in arms and angry or bitter or depressed. For me, pregnancy was just a means to an end. We tried to get pregnant first because it was easier... after all there's no homestudy, right? And because it has the illusion of being cheaper (although with any kind of deductible on a hospital stay and the kind of agency we found for Lucy, it's kind of a wash for us).

Now I won't say that the impact on my body image won't be around for a while. I mean, more than anything infertility = failure to me. My failure to do what most other women seem to be able to do with no problem, heck even accidentally. Or rather, my body's failure to do that. That's still a bit scorched and probably will be for a long time, maybe forever. But that scar's kind of already there, so that, the negative body image, is what needs addressed, not the pain of infertility.

For the first time in a long time, I feel good about the way I'm dealing with all of this. What I thought was a huge backslide was really just me learning the kind of stuff that PB felt like he missed out on. Which is also big because while we were doing the few fertility things we tried, I really felt the pressure and the spotlight and the blame was all on me. That it was all about me, and now, not so much.

I feel lighter. Even if I don't look it. See there's that body image again :-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mixed Feelings about MEPA changes

Today, the NYT covered a recent report by the Evan B. Donaldson Institute which suggests that minority children are ill-served by the Multiethnic Placement Act. This act basically makes it illegal for social workers, judges, placement agencies, etc, to consider race when placing a child for adoption.

I've written before that the only thing crappier than foster parents being allowed to turn down minority children (which I still, personally, think is gross) would be forcing minority foster children to live with racist foster parents who don't really want to parent them but they have to because they can't say no.

Man that was a long sentence.

So, I have mixed feelings about this idea of messing with MEPA. Do I think that parents who adopt transracially (myself included, if this ever happens) should take prep courses on transracial adoption? Abso-freakin-lutely. Do I think that a lot of parents who adopt transracially would jump at the chance to take those classes? Umm, yeah. Do I think said parents should HAVE to take those classes? I don't know about that one.

I don't like the idea of giving the system any reason to allow minority kids to languish in foster care just because they want to place children with families of the same race. I don't care how you prepared you are (or aren't) for transracial adoption, I think a clueless permanent family of a different race is LIGHT YEARS better than no permanent family.

Admittedly, I've only read the executive summary of the report, but the recommendations it makes are fairly innocuous I think. The key one for me is an encouragement to states to recruit more minority foster parents so that children do have appropriate same race placements. While I agree with that in theory, I don't want to make a blanket statement that a home where the parents have the same skin color as the children is necessarily a better placement than my home. I don't think that's always the case.

Anyway, I am still processing all of this. Just wondered if anyone else has been thinking about this?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ouch

Most of the time I feel like I've left the infertility behind me. So much so that I am probably / 90% certainly going back on the pill next month. Because I hate my cycles and how painful they are and would love to go back to the non-cycle having oblivion I enjoyed before we started TTC.

But there are moments. Friday night was one of them. We rented Juno, which was, I think, just OK. Certainly not worthy of all the hype it got and also not, from my perspective, a meaningful portrayal of the whole process of relinquishing and adopting.

But I digress. The ouch moment wasn't directly from the movie itself. Rather, there was a scene where Jennifer Garner stumbles on Juno in a mall, unexpectedly. The baby apparently started kicking when it heard her voice so Juno invites her to talk to it so she can feel movement. Jennifer Garner looks like Christmas just came early and literally gets down on her knees and worships Juno's belly. Blissfully unaware Amanda says, "See, that's probably part of why adoption never seemed like second choice for me in any way - because I was never hung up on being pregnant".

And from the other side of the bed.... silence.

At first I thought he had fallen asleep but when I glanced over I saw that wasn't the case.
Finally, PB said, "See I think that would be really cool and I know that I would feel too weirded out to ask someone else to do that, so that's part of the experience that I feel like I really missed out on."

Ummm. Yeah. Blissfully Unaware Amanda = total asshat for a couple of reasons. First, of course, because I couldn't get pregnant so PB couldn't experience that. Second, and really, worse, that I had no idea this was something he felt sad about and I was so quick to give up the ship in terms of fertility treatments. Finally, there's the whole yeah-you-think-infertility-doesn't-bother-you-but-when-you-least-suspect-it-it-does. Stung just a tiny bit.

He quickly moved on and said, "Not that it's your fault, or there's anything we could do about it... just...."

Now, obviously, we made the decisions together and obviously PB really doesn't blame me for our failure to conceive and really, I don't think he cares that our children are not biologically related to us. But it was still hard to hear.

We can't just leave Lucy any old place anymore

Lucy rolled from front to back today. Twice! And despite that fact that I am pretty immobile and can generally be found in the same room as her, I missed both rolls. But PB saw them :-)

Oh, and other stuff I haven't updated you on. Even though all the literature says it's impossible, I promise you that she has been smiling since she was about 4 weeks old. She's also just started cooing at about 7 weeks. Too cute :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

We all went to the doctor yesterday...

Lucy weighs in at 10lbs 5 oz and is 22.5 inches long. According to our pediatrician (who is soon to be our former pediatrician, but that's an entirely different post) she is doing just fine. She also got her first round of shots and did fairly well with them. While we were at the doctor I asked him to take a look at Lily's ear because she had pulled on it a few days ago. Sure enough, another ear infection and me leaving feeling like the worst mommy ever because she's been much more fussy than usual for at least the past week.

There's no freaking way I'm posting my weight on here, but I got good news from the ortho. I have a walking cast for the next 4 weeks and he's optimistic that I'll be OK after that. Apparently I had what is called an evulsion (?) fracture which means basically that the tendons or ligaments or whatever muscley-goodness hold my ankle together ripped hard enough to chip off some bone. That explains that fact that I can now bear some weight on the ankle (i.e. it wasn't a joint fracture) and also why it hurts like a mother.

So that's my update. Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My uber coordinated self....

has broken her ankle by slipping off the last stair. When we went to the ER this weekend, not one or two, or even three, but FOUR medical professionals said something along the lines of "Man, that's the biggest ankle I've ever seen."

I rock.

Friday, May 09, 2008

OMFG

This just in from Discovery Health courtesy of an email blast:

"It wouldn't be another Mother's Day without another Duggar on the way."

Well, umm.... actually, yeah it would. One might be tempted to argue (if one were the judgmental sort) that it would be a better Mother's Day without another Duggar on the way. But you, know, maybe I'm crazy.

Seriously? Number 18? The mind freakin' reels.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hmmm....

Not a ton to blog about these days. Lily and Lucy are both doing well. Lucy is holding her head up pretty well on her own - she started that about a week ago. She's trying really hard to laugh / make noises when she is smiling. Oh yeah, and she smiles at lots of people now... but she still smiles more for us.

No news on Lily's case. Not sure what, if any, program biodad has made on his caseplan. I called PGM last week to see when she wanted to get together to talk and she hasn't returned my call. This weekend we are taking Lily see her MGGM about an hour and a half away. They weren't able to come to her party because MGGP had pneumonia and was in the hospital. Both the great grandparents and my parents were devestated that they didn't get to meet each other so we are all going to "have a visit" this weekend. Should be good.

Other than that nothing much to report from Chez Psychic. I guess no news is good news for right now.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I think this gets its own label

Ewww... take your shoe out of the toilet, please.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lucy update

Well, despite our ongoing quest to find the right formula, Lucy is doing well. The public health nurse who visited today weighed her at 8lbs, 4oz. Also, she actually smiles now, in response to PB or my (and sometimes my sister's) voice. She's been doing that for about a week or so.

Is it wrong that I am secretly happy that she doesn't smile at J. (our nanny) or my parents? I think it is.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How people get to my blog

Recently I was inspired by some commenters who delurked (HI!, by the way) to look at my stat counter for this site. I love the google search feature. Some of the searches totally make sense:
  • Maybe I'm Psychic
  • Psychic blogspot
Others I can see:
  • cloth diaper pretreater
  • parents of foster child harassing foster parents in ohio
Some just crack me up:
  • i think im psychic, is there a way to control it? My answer... um... Maybe? (ba dum dum)
  • are ohio foster parents picked from a list? My answer... um... WTF? And not that I know of.
  • psychic craigslist - yes my services are for sale or trade
And one just made me sad:
  • will i ever get ride of broken heart
Really? Am I that much of a buzzkill that g.oogle finds me when searching for this phrase? Man, I'm amazed you still visit!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So, are you crazy yet?

I get this question (or some variant) a lot. People want to know what it's like going from 1 baby to 2 babies. We also get A LOT of strange looks when we are out and about with both babes. I'm sure the fact that Lily looks like she's 9 months old, instead of 13, doesn't help anything. I'm amazed at how often strangers will just flat out ask us how old they are, and respond with something like "Wow" or "Oh My God". It's funny.

So far, having two has not been bad at all. Of course, that's because Lucy can't move yet and pretty much stays wherever I put her. I'm sure if you check in again in about 6 months, I'll be singing a different tune.

The one exception of course, is the Mommy Guilt - that famed creature that I laughingly thought I had escaped. I mean, really, I do work full time and I do take weekends away from my kids with my husband. I don't co-sleep (at least not intentionally) and I don't breastfeed. All those areas that should make me feel guilty... well, really haven't bothered me all that much.

But now? With two kids to split my attention between? I feel badly whenever Lily has to wait because Lucy only cries when it's something essential - like eating - which means that her needs often take precedence in the moment.

I feel badly when Lucy sits in the swing or the bouncer (or on the couch... or on the bed... or even, gasp, the floor...) because she will stay where I put her and I have to stop Lily from climbing onto the table.

I feel like Lucy is missing all that two-on-one focused attention that Lily got it, and that Lily is probably even worse off since she knows what it was like to have her all to ourselves. Sometimes, I think I even miss Lily, miss just being able to rush home and grab her and play with her. How freaking bizarre is that?

In the end, it's a great issue to have, don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not complaining. It was just an unusual reaction that I didn't expect to have. So, of course, you get to hear all about it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A letter to our daughter

Dear Lucy,

We love you very much and appreciate the fact that you are now more alert and want to look at things. Really.

One small request - could your 90-minute period of happy alert time NOT happen at 3:00 in the morning right after your 2:30 feeding?

Thanks much,

The Parents

Friday, April 18, 2008

I heart my commenters

OK. You guys all seriously rock. I am amazed at the level of support I've found through reading other people's blogs and writing my own. Someone recently left an anonymous comment on my "Lily's Checkup" post that I really wanted to thank you for. Since you posted anonymously, which is is fine with me, I had to do it here :-)

Anyway. I've also got a couple of questions regarding abbreviations recently. So I'm going to put a list of the ones I used most commonly:

  • cw or cw - caseworker. Usually if there is drama involved I am referring to the child's caseworker, because our cw is teh awesome.
  • TOC - Temporary Order of the Court. This is usually a 30-day order, issued after an emergency removal order (that's a three day order which allows a child to be removed while CPS investigates. The TCC basically gives the county some time to decide how they want to proceed with the case. Both Baby Bear and Bebe were only under TOC
  • TCC - a more longstanding order, called Temporary Court Commitment. This is usually good for 6 months or a year. Lily is currently under a 12-month TCC. Generally, this is used when the County know that the bios will need to work a caseplan, but expect reunification.
  • PCC - Permanent Court Commitment. My understanding of this is that it is exactly what it sounds like - the child is permanently removed from their parents' custody. This is when they start planning for adoption. Or I guess sometimes for older kids, a PPLA (Planned Permanent Living Arrangement)
  • TPR - Termination of Parental Rights - This happens after PCC and usually involves a trial, I think. It is also pretty much exactly what it sounds like
  • PGM/P- Paternal Grandma, Paternal Grandpa
  • MGM/P - Maternal Grandma, Maternal Grandpa
  • TTC - Trying to conceive
  • CD - Cycle Day (although this also is Cloth Diapering, which we do... but I'm pretty sure the context will make it pretty clear); and last but certainly not least
  • PB - Pete Best (AKA The Fifth Beetle): My blog name for my husband, who is a hippie born 30 years too late.
Does that clear everything up? If there are any I left out, let me know.

Warning to all Ohio foster parents

According to a link from the Columbus Dispatch and a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer, your name and address is about to become public record:

State court orders release of foster-parent records
Friday, April 18, 2008 5:35 AM
THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER
Names and addresses of foster-care parents, sought by The Cincinnati Enquirer after the August 2006 murder of 3-year-old Marcus Fiesel, must be released, a unanimous Ohio Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The ruling came despite a state law passed in February that will bar public access to foster-home details. However, that law doesn't take effect until May 14.

Awesome!

PB and I are lucky enough to not have to worry about the ramifications of this decision. All of the bioparents we have worked with (past and present) seemed like OK people and we were never afraid for them to find out where we lived once we got to know them. We still have a listed phone number, in fact.

However, some people aren't that lucky. Some biological parents are (rightly or wrongly) very upset at the system and often displace that anger onto foster parents. Those people are now in danger.

Even if no danger is involved in the situation, the decision to disclose my address or not, ought to be mine and mine alone.

Thoughts?



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You know it sounded too easy, right?

The c/w called today and they are NOT filing for PCC in June. The attorneys at the country don't feel like they have a strong enough case so they want to get an extension to December.

Yee-ha.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lily's checkup

Lily had her one year well baby check today. She is small for her age, but her weight is exactly proportionate for her height... hmmm.... I sense a theme here. She weighted in at 18lbs, 4oz and is 27 1/4 inches long.

She is doing amazingly well. The doctor was very impressed by the size of her vocabulary and how well she is walking. She actually said that Lily looks "fantastic" and developmentally is way ahead.

Lily's birthday party went well. She was inundated with far too many gifts and she ate *a lot* of cake... I think a good time was had by all.

Lucy is also doing well - she has picked up the pace when it comes to eating and is getting her puffy squirrel cheeks back. She is still kind of fussy, not in a shrill, unhappy way, but more in a mildly displeased, life is not perfect kind of way. When she was at the doctor last Wedneday, she weight 7lbs 4.5 ozs, so she's made it quite a bit past her birth weight. I also could swear she smiles when she hears our voices... though I am pretty sure it's much too early for that.

Unless she's going to be a child prodigy like her big sister.... which high stress, childhood ruining activity should I get them started in?

Friday, April 11, 2008

i hesitate to send this out the internets

but we might have got a very surprising and very positive call from Lily's caseworker.

he might have scared the ever livin' shit out of me by first asking about Lucy and when we got her and how we didn't mention it when he came to our house recently.

but then he might have said that they were planning to file for pcc in June and that PGM might be leaning towards letting us keep lily.

maybe.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

One Year Ago

Lily came to live with us on April 9, 2007. In some ways it's hard to believe we've had her for a year, in other ways it feels like she's always been with us.

During the past year, we've been there for all the big stuff - rolling over, sitting up, crawling, eating, now walking. And that was really cool - seeing all those milestones.

But we've also been there for the little stuff and the little things are some of my favorites. I love how Lily rubs the satin on her blanket and says, "Ahhhhhhhh" while looking at me to make sure I see her rubbing the satin. I love how she bounces and claps when she hears music with a good beat. I love how she delights in splashing water in the tub and how she does everything with enthusiasm - she lunges after balls, grabs her cup and shoves it into her mouth with a flair, she even goes to sleep with drama - flinging herself down onto the crib with an enormous sigh.
She yells everything, and tries to run everywhere.

She is, quiet simply, an amazing baby. She is beautiful, smart, crazy loud and funny as hell. You know, just like her foster mom. Well, at least the crazy loud part :-)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Lucky

I pretty much walked around feeling incredibly lucky this weekend. We took the girls to get their pictures done on Saturday morning, then just played (even outside!) all day. On Sunday, my folks brought my grandma over to see the girls, and we had lunch and got ice cream. It was almost a perfect weekend - if it had culminated in a low key bbq with some friends, by the pool, well I might have died from sheer happiness.

Lucy was given the all clear by the doctor on Friday - she is back up to her birthweight (7lbs) and he told us to "stop worrying about how much she's eating". On Saturday, she finally started to actually act like she was hungry when it was time to eat, instead of accepting small amounts that we kind of forced her to take, as she had been previously. We also got an amazing picture if what I'm counting as her first "smile" even though I know it was completely unintentional.

Lily is trying to cut four (four!) teeth at the same time, which makes her pretty unhappy at night, but hopefully we'll be done with it soon. She played on a real playground with other kids for the first time this weekend, and she loved it.

Last night, PB's softball team had a scrimmage and we took the girls out to watch. Lily finally decided to play in the dirt - grass and sitting / standing on her own outside have really been freaking her out - so that was fun. She spotted PB on the pitcher's mound and jumped up and down at the fence, yelling to get his attention.

That's about it around these parts. No news on Lily's case yet. We're consulting attorneys to decide how / when to fight for her if it comes to that, but we haven't taken any action. As lucky as I am to have my girls for right now, that's always in the back of mind. I'm working on it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Perspective is a good thing

Through Uncommon Misconception, I came across the story of this family, who is dealing with probably every parent's worst fear. I don't normally donate to internet causes (even on blogs that I really adore) but this one struck a chord with me.

Perspective

Monday, March 31, 2008

Lily's family

This weekend, we met Lily's dad's family. They had a birthday party for her, here at her aunt's house in town.

In the words of PB, "It was easier before we met them".

They are not bad people - quite the opposite in fact. I suspect that Lily's mom has been lying to a lot of people about this family and Lily's dad. They seem perfectly normal, and remind me a lot of my own family actually - they are loud, and funny, and clearly they love each other a lot. I would say that if Lily returns home (and at this point, I really don't see how she won't, unless PGM decides that she can't commit to raising her) she will return to better circumstances than either Baby Bear or BeBe. In fact, I think she would thrive with her family, based on what little I saw of them this weekend.

And really, that breaks my heart.

I liked it better when I thought that her paternal family was disinterested at best and unfit at worst. That's fucked up, I know it is, but it's the truth. Because I don't want to REALLY think about her leaving. I still can't think about it without crying. I cried when I told my boss about the visit this morning. I cried when I came home and told my mom about the party. And I am crying now, as I write this post.

I want Lily to NEED us the way we need her. And she does, right now, because we are all she knows. She will suffer if she is returned, but as hard as it is to think about, it will be a temporary, transitional thing. It seems that reality is that, in the grand scheme of things, she might not NEED us to parent her for the rest of her life. There might be perfectly suitable parental figures in her biological family. And in time she will stop crying for us and bond to them.

She will forget us.

Please don't mistake me - the thought that Lily will be in a safe and loving environment brings me comfort beyond measure. I just hate that it's taken so long and she has become such an integral part of our family. She is my heart.

I am really beginning to hate being a foster mom. Truly. I suspect that despite all lofty goals to the I will be a short termer. I have to stop writing now because I am at work and I am losing it.
I will post a Lucy update later.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Luuuucccccyyyyy, you're home

Don't worry, that won't be the worst I Love Lucy reference, I promise.

Lucy is home. We returned last night around 8pm. She met my sister, was greeted by her bug sister (who was promptly put to bed), then snuggled with her daddy and ate 3ozs of formula.

Which was all she ate until I woke her up at 2:30. Then she at an ounce and a half. Slept again, until PB woke her up at 7:30am, when she at an ounce. Yes, that's aout 2.5 ozs in 12 hours. Not good.

We called our doctor this morning and they told us to bring her in. He suggested it was a feeding issue related to nipples that were slightly different than those used in the hospital. He did not seem to be concerned about the small amount of formula and told us to call if / when she went 6 - 8 hours without a wet diaper. She weighs in at 6lbs, 10oz, so she is approaching her birthweight pretty quickly. We take her back in a week for a follow up.

I am a giant ball of stress right now, which is not what I was expecting. I hope she starts eating for us soon.

In the "Oh-my-god-my-girl-is-brilliant" moment of the week - the first time Lily saw us feeding Lucy, she promptly made the sign for water and pointed at her cup, the first time I've seen her generalize a sign or word in any way.

Gotta love that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March 25th is my favorite day EVER

Lily turned one today. She was with my parents and my sister for most of the day, but when we got home this evening, we had a little birthday party, during which Lily wore a hat, ate some cake, looked at her balloons and generally hammed it up. I *can't wait* for her big family party (in two weeks).

As you all know we have been pseudo-parents for some time now. But, thanks to Baby Girl's first parents, we are now legally recognized, will be finalized in 6 months, de-facto parents. They signed the surrender, we signed the adoption placement agreement and she will hopefully be home (for good!!!!) on Thursday.

The whole day was very emotional, incredibly draining and I feel like I want to sleep for about a month. So I won't be posting any details now, but they will come, I promise.

BTW, now that Baby Girl will be a permanent feature around here, I think I will make her blog name Lucy - it was in the running for her actual name, but we went with something else, so I'll use it here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A random post about where I am right now

We met Baby Girl's parents at the hospital before we went up to meet her. It was strange to meet in the hospital, especially since Mom had just delivered, but there really wasn't too much choice.

When we met with her Mom and Dad last Saturday, they had a few questions for us, but really they didn't ask that much. They have visited fairly regularly since she was born. They did not visit this past weekend, though Mom did visit (and brought her 6-year-old son) on Friday. It is hard to talk with her and see how painful this is for her. She seems very certain that it's the right choice, but I think she wishes she were in a much different place and that the choice wouldn't be necessary.

She told me a little bit about her past. Apparently she has (in the not so distant past) used with her own mom. She acknowledges that she has taken advantage of people in her life in the past, in order to get money for drugs. She told me about being in prison for drug offenses and said that she is clean now, for good. She said that's because Baby Girl "saved her life".

I can't honestly say that I would rather see Baby Girl go home with her mom than us. I wish I could say that, but I simply can't. I can say I would rather not take her home than feel like I talked Baby Girl's mom out of her daughter and I would rather not take her home than know that either Mom or Dad felt "obligated" to place her. I know that I've done *everything* I can to make sure there was no pressure from us, aside from our presence at the hospital to visit with Baby Girl (which Mom and Dad both feel is a good and necessary thing).

I hope it's enough.

My mom thinks I'm crazy for not asking them to sign sooner, for not pushing for things to be final. But really, what's a week in the grand scheme of things? I've lived with crushing uncertainty about Lily for so long that I feel like I could handle this in my sleep. Sure it would be the suck if the adoption failed now, I am certainly attached to Baby Girl, and we've picked a name for her and we anticipate bringing her home on Tuesday.

But that's nothing compared to raising a baby for a year and watching them grow and progress beyond your wildest expectations. Baby Girl doesn't call me Mommy, and doesn't smile when she sees me and doesn't bring me things to look at that she's excited about.

I feel like my feelings about Baby Girl and Lily are all tangled up right now. Untangling them could be interesting.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Still smooth sailing.

Hospital staff are behaving themselves, Baby Girl is doing amazingly well - she in markedly more relaxed today and I really feel like she is over the hump. Of course, now that I say that I'm sure I've jinxed it.

The best part is that PB and Lily should be on their way up here very soon. I miss her tons and tons - and him too, of course :-)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm glad I came

In the end, I couldn't wait until Saturday to come back up again. I really felt like I needed to see Baby Girl again, and she needed to see me too. The last part is probably false - her mom and dad have been visiting each day when we can't be there so she's got plenty of love.

Once I got back up here, it was just like last weekend - they gave me a room to visit in and let me stay with her as much as I wanted. I met the social worker, who was much more pleasant than I was expecting and I also met with our social worker from the agency. I had a really great conversation with the nurse practitioner and have, generally, had nothing but a warm reception from the staff.

It looks like mom and dad will do the permanent surrender and we will officially be Baby Girl's future adoptive parents on Tuesday at 2:00pm. Mom is still very emotional about all of this, so there is still a chance it might not happen. That said, I think that Mom and Dad both feel that placing Baby Girl would be the best decision for her. I feel so badly for them - it's hard to watch.

It's also hard because I really want to keep reminding them that they don't have to place her with us. But I've already had that conversation with them a couple of times and I don't want them to think that I don't respect their judgement, etc. I also think they are probably right in their evaluation of their ability to parent her in the immediate future. They are both addicted to some very nasty drugs. He is still actively using and she is on methadone, and will attempt to get clean once she feels like she is past the post-partum period. THat doesn't mean they couldn't turn it around and parent her, it does mean it would be very challenging for a while.

Baby Girl herself is doing very well. If things keep up the way they are right now (i.e. her w/d scores stay low and she continues to eat well) it looks like she will be discharged on Tuesday - we will be able to sign the papers, pick up our girl and BRING HER HOME. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Advice, anyone?

Has anyone adopted privately and had any difficult coordinating with the hospital regarding visitation, etc?

I'm getting serious mixed messages from the various staff there. Last weekend, the nurses were great, seemed happy to have us visit with baby girl and were super nice to us. This week, we've been told different things by different people (I can board there, I can't board there, We can call to get info, we can't call to get info, she is doing great, she is going not so great).

It's so hard, it's all complicated by the fact that we're three hours away. We want to be there as much as we can IF we can visit as much as we can, but it seems silly to go there, pay to stay and have limited contact ESPECIALLY when we have Lily to care for. I don't want to take time away from her unless it will be useful to be in Cleveland.

As we stand now, I can't stay at the hospital and I will only be permitted to visit for one hour, every three hours. If you take away the nighttime - when I can't be there because I can't board there - then that leaves about 5 one hour visits per day (max), at a cost of 100 bucks a night for a hotel, two days PTO from work and three days away from Lily.

ARGH... I am really at a loss about what to do at this point.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

An update on both my girls

First Lily: she walked 7 steps in a row today. And PB got to see it.

Her c/w visit wasn't as terrible as I was afraid it might be... it doesn't seem like a move is imminent. Basically, the meeting was more of the same... mom hasn't been in touch, dad doesn't have a job, has been testing dirty and isn't doing his parenting / drug stuff yet. But, you know, if he busts his butt between now and April, then we'll go ahead and file for an extension.

PGM is still very much on the fence. He actually suggested that if they go for permanency (which they may at the June hearing) we might all (meaning us, her aunt and uncle who still see her and her dad and PGM) want to get together to decide what would be best for her.

Wha? You mean the team concept might actually be employed? I'll believe it when I see it.

You might not be able to tell it, but I actually do have a lot of respect for her c/w. I think he is good at his job and he doesn't let bioparents get away with much. The problem is that his hands are (almost) as tied by the system as ours.

At any rate, nothing is happening right NOW. There is still a possibility that we MIGHT be able to keep her. That's enough for me, for today.

Our other girl is also doing well... so far, she hasn't been medicated at all. She is eating better today and also seems to be sleeping more peacefully. Our biggest issue (right now) is that she is losing weight. She was born at a healthy 7lbs, then dropped to 6 lbs 9oz Sunday and to 6lbs 5oz yesterday. Apparently it's OK for an infant to lose up to 10% of their body weight over the course of a week or so... but over the course of 2 days, well, that's cause for concern.

They've bumped her up to a high calorie formula, and she seems to be coordinating her feedings better, so hopefully this won't be a concern for long.

In addition, we've *finally* received authorization to call in to get updates on her. This happened because her dad was there visiting and expressed his strong desire for us to be able to call in. Then, he called me himself, from the hospital and gave me his "band number" which is the call-in code.

So, all is good with her for now. Unfortunately for her, w/d peaks between days 3 (today) and 5, so she may just be entering the worst part of it.

Tomorrow, I am heading back to Cleveland and I plan to stay through Sunday night. After that, we'll need to reevaluate her status and try to make some guess about how much longer we're looking at. I can't wait until we can get her home - leaving Lily behind really makes me sad. Who knew that one day I'd be splitting my time between two daughters in two different cities?

I am convinced

I voted for Obama in our recent primary, and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I count myself lucky to live in a nation where I had to choose whether to vote for a female candidate or a black one. I count myself lucky to feel that my choice in the primary was between two people who I would be equally thrilled about being the next president.

The feminist in me was SCREAMING to vote for Hillary. Not only because she is a woman (I happen to think she would be a fine president) but at least partly because she is a woman. And how freakin cool would it be to tell my daughters that I helped elect the first woman president? In the end, I voted for Obama because I think he is more electable. But I have to admit, I almost cried when I did it.

After hearing the speech he delivered today, I am firmly convinced that I did the right thing. I have never heard a politician (or really anyone) for that matter, speak so eloquently about issues of race and inequality. If Obama wins the nomination and the candidacy, I think today's speech will go down in history.

I'm proud that I voted for him in the primary.

Monday, March 17, 2008

She walks!

Lily is almost officially walking - like I wouldn't call her a walker yet, but she has officially walked. Her aunt said that she took two steps on Friday, but she didn't take any this weekend. Then, this afternoon, J. called and said she saw her take two steps. When I got home, she was up to three and I saw her do it a couple of times. Unfortunately, she wasn't "performing" for PB so he hasn't seen it yet.

It's so adorable, she throws her hands up and out and is so proud of herself. Then she freaks out and falls down.

At the same, time, it's also incredibly sad... she is growing up so fast. Her milestones are making crazy now. I feel like each one if bringing us closer to the day when she's taken away from us. How morbid is that?

I've felt all along that PGM would be the biggest possibility for placement, and moving visits there is a pretty good sign - she has now passed the homestudy and is an approved caregiver. There is no supervision during the visits.

Last week I got an email from her c/w - Lily's grandma has expressed "some interest" in getting her. Now, IMHO, "some interest" after almost a year doesn't mean shit. But we all know that's not how the system works, now don't we? Her c/w is coming out to meet with us tomorrow night; I'm afraid he's coming to tell us that he will recommend moving her at the June hearing. That thought literally terrifies me. I don't even know what to do with thoughts of her leaving. I mean, it was terrible enough with Baby Bear, this... this is something I can't even comprehend happening.

Lily also has three teeth now - one of her top teeth broke through just last night / today. Why do I wish I hadn't noticed that?

Edited to add: will post updates about the new baby soon. I'm really focusing on Lily tonight.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cleveland rocks!

Or at least for now it does.

Our maybe, eventually, hopefully, soon to be, adoptive daughter was born yesterday at 5:47am. We got the call to come to Cleveland around 11:00am, and we were here by 4:30.

She is adorable, of course. She was born at 7lbs exactly, and is 19 and 3/4 inches long. She has a full head of dark hair and dark eyes... or at least they look dark, what little we've seen of them.

We met mom and dad. They were very nice, and the meeting wasn't nearly as awkward as I was afraid it might be. Mom, especially, is very emotional. I feel really badly for her. It's so hard to realize that our happiness has to be based on someone else's loss.

The baby is doing well so far, but she is already beginning to w/d. We will be here through tonight, then back home for a couple of days. I am considering coming back up on Wednesday, with PB joining me on the weekend. We'll see. The hospital says we are looking at a hospital stay of 10 days, minimum - it's their policy to not dismiss babies born addicted prior to 10 days.

Lily is at my mom's house, which I think has both of them thrilled. We miss her terribly, and we talk about her all the time with the nurses. My parents and my sister are doting over her, so I don't feel too bad about leaving her.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rest assured....

Late night visits will not be happening again, if I can help it.

Lily finally got home at 9:30. Now I don't think nap and bed times are sacrosanct, that kind of rigidity is not my personal priority - though I do understand that for some children, routines are absolutely necessary. So a disruption in her schedule does not normally cause me to flip out. That said, Lily is in a pretty consistent pattern of going to bed around 7:00 -7:30.

IMHO, transporting an infant to a visit with her biological family in a city an hour away in the evening is just not acceptable... it really isn't.

Her cw insists it is a one-time thing. And if I have anything to say about it - which, let's face it, I really don't, especially if I'm not the one transporting - it will be.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's 8:15pm

And Lily is not home. Why, you ask?

Well, that's because this week is the first week they transported her to a city an hour away for her visit. Crappy enough in and of itself.

But, this week the transporter had a conflict. So, of course, we just pushed the visit back. She wasn't picked up until 4:15. So with an hour each way and two hours in the middle, that puts her back around 9:15.

But wait, she wasn't picked up until 4:30... so 9:30.

Only two hours past her bedtime. No big deal.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Home

Mom got home on Friday. She is still weak and tired and very much in the thick of recovering, but she is happy to be here instead of in the hospital.

Lily and I are here keeping her company. I think Lily is good for her. Or at least I hope she is :-)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A close call

My mom was admitted to the hospital on Sunday. She has pneumonia. When she got to the ER her BP was 60 over 30 and apparently, her kidneys were failing. After they realized this, they admitted her right away. It was a close call.

She began to make some improvements, was feeling better and breathing better. Until Tuesday when her BP bottomed out again and she started feeling much worse. Turns out she also has sepsis.

5 IV bags full of antibiotics in 36 hours have helped, but she is still there. I do think she's feeling better and she's probably going to be OK now, but it's hard for her - she's pretty much NOT into being sick and really dislikes being forced to have a roommate. They're telling her she'll probably get out tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Update

We did match with the e-mom. We asked for time to make the decision, we apologized profusely for not being able to say yes right away, but both PB and I felt like we needed to just process the situation and make absolutely certain it was a good idea.

I don't want to disclose too much, but the e-mom has a disease that is transmitted through blood (not the BIG one, but still). There is a very low chance of the baby contracting it, but it is still a possibility, and we won't know if she has the disease for a very long time.

It was a surprisingly hard decision for us to make. I don't like to think of us as "those" PAPs, the ones who feel their pain and their infertility and their long suffering childless standing give them the privelage of parenting only a perfect, white infant. What we realized when this situation presented itself is that maybe we are more like "those" PAPS than we thought, which was... um... ridiculously uncomfortable.

Eventually, we thought about Lily and how similar this baby's circumstances are to hers. We thought about the fact that we had absolutely no idea if her biomom had the same disease - she very well could, given that she shares a similar history with the e-mom. We realized that if our agency called us and asked us to take this baby we would, without hesitation. We felt like she might need us, that maybe having Lily prepared us to not flip out about the drug exposure (which we probably would have just one year ago).

So first, on Thursday night, we said, "No way." We took the night to sleep on it and asked Nancy, our wonderful s/w from Cleveland for more time to think about it. Then we took the weekend, talked, thought, etc, and finally called Nancy on Monday morning to accept.

So that's probably way more than you wanted to know about the process. If anyone is still wondering, I did tell PB that I am roiling ball of emotions, which, you know, up to that point he hadn't realized, and that he had to have the ultimate veto power on this one.

Now we wait.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Survey says...

Hey, if you are a member of the adoption triad, take a minute to complete Dawn's survey, will ya:

Click here

I unfortunately don't yet qualify for the survey, which is about open adoption.

You should also check out her blog, if you haven't already. Love it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Now is a bad time for me to be making decisions

I think there should be a warning on Clomid. Maybe on all fertility drugs... Do not undertake important decisions while taking this medicine.

Unlike injectibles, which directly stimulate the ovaries to work (hence the choice of injection sites), Clomid operates on the ovaries indirectly - by stimulating the areas of your brain that control your ovaries. In essence, by changing how your brain works.

For me, this mostly shows up on CD 6 - 10. Which is when the Clomid apparently builds up enough to allow the emotional centers of my brain turn me into a crying, drooling mess. Remember how I love the hyperbole? Well, for me, Clomid causes emotional hyperbole.

Everything becomes important, and anything (really, anything) can reduce me to an emotional mess.

So of course now (on CD5) would be when I would receive more information about the potential emom from the agency we're (kinda, sorta) working with. Especially since we have to give them an answer by Monday (CD 8). And, before you ask, I am deliberately not blogging the new information because I am still processing it, sorry to hold out on you like that.

I guess the question is just how much I want to allow my emotions to influence the process. And how much I am capable of keeping them in check. Will keep you posted :-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wha?

You mean everyone in the whole world doesn't have the same issues as me and therefore doesn't know crazy infertility abbreviations?

My bad.

For Anon: CD2 = Cycle Day 2. CD1 is the first day of your period. So, obviously the Clomid / Met combo wasn't successful last month.

Thanks for asking the clarifying question and sorry that I wasn't clearer before. I actually caught myself saying CD1 to PB the other day - he looked at me like I was certifiable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

OK, so now it's officially on

I just got an email from our C/W - she was out Thursday and Friday so she is just now opening our second slot.


We also got a call from Cleveland... they have an e-mom due with a Caucasian girl that they considered not even meeting with - she is on methadone and the baby will need 7 - 10 days to withdrawal, which apparently freaks out a lot of their families.

As you all recall, Lily is a Caucasian girl who was on methadone and in the hospital for 15 days. She was born March 25th, 2007.

This e-mom is due March 21. They are meeting with her this week. We'll see what happens.

But it's CD2 in these parts, so at least we know that option is out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Can anyone say neurotic?

So I haven't been a foster parent for long, but all three times we've been waiting for placements (as we are now) I've been on edge, jumping every time the phone rings, checking caller ID for our county number. I've felt giddy, like a teenager waiting to be asked to the prom. Well, maybe not exactly.

Because, see, I didn't wait to be asked to the prom. Or, more accurately homecoming.

I think I wrote before that PB and I were high school sweethearts. Our first date was homecoming and I asked him. I went ahead and made the move, took control and did my best to effect my reality. And I gotta say, it's working out pretty well for me so far :-)

Somone commented recently about the fact that we are doing Clomid / Metformin at the same time that we are fostering one baby and have an open slot for another one. They basically thought we were nuts. Which we might be.

But really, it's just my attempt to control the situation. I like pushing the button and telling my social worker to go ahead and open our slot. Even though I hate the actual taking of the Clomid and it's side effects, I like to make the decision to take the Clomid. These actions make me feel like I am doing something... anything... to have an impact on what's happening.

I am an information gatherer, I learn about what's going on, I devise a strategy and then I fix the problem. There are only so many books and articles you can read about fostering and adoption. Only so many agencies you can contact for information and only so many friends or family members you can talk to.... again.... again... and again.

So you gotta do something, right?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We did it

We opened up our second slot. We've been thinking about it for a while and I had a conversation with my friend, J., who watches Lily during the daytime and she agreed to come nanny for us at our house if we had a second baby (and therefore paid her significantly more).

It seems nuts, but really, I think it's an OK idea. Lily is almost a year old now, and her case is still very uncertain. Plus, we hear that they have been placing a lot of babies lately. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Party

It's decided. We're having one party, at our house, with mostly our family and friends. We are inviting MGGM/F and MA/U/C., but none of Lily's paternal biofamily.

Safety is only secondarily a concern with Lily's great-grandparents and aunt. Lily's aunt already drops her off at my house every Friday so she knows where we live and I am fine with that. I am a bit more leery of MGGM knowing, but only because I know she has more contact with Lily's biomom, who I have only meant once and have no reason to trust. But she has shown no interest in Lily since September, so that is probably a moot point. Plus, MGGM has our home phone number so if she was really motivated to tell biomom where we lived (which I don't think she is) she could theoretically do so.

As for the paternal side... I think I will put a call into Lily's PGM, letting her know that if she intends to do anything for Lily's birthday we need to coordinate it now, since it's only a little over a month away. I will transport for them if they want her to be someplace, but nothing more than that.

Thanks, BTW, for the advice - hearing you all say that I didn't need to stress out over including biofamily was important and necessary. So mwah!