Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Husband as a Father

Even cuter than my little booger-boy is my husband taking care of him! Ahhh!




It's been interesting trying to figure out what works best for us with routines and sharing the workload of taking care of a newborn. It'll be even more interesting when I go back to work next week! Zay's gonna be the cutest stay-at-home daddy on the block! Lol.

Wow. Adoption is soooo beautiful! :) :) :)




Georgia's Adoption Revocation Period

 At the airport, on the way home to Utah!

One obstacle we expected to deal with when we found out we would be adopting a baby from Georgia was the 10-day revocation period that birthparents have after they sign relinquishment papers. Every state's adoption laws are different (anywhere from 24 hours to something like 6 months!!), but in Georgia birthparents have 10 whole days in which they can ponder the decision they've made and then have the right to say at any point during that time, "I changed my mind!" Just the thought of spending the majority or all of our trip there in such limbo was pretty scary. I understand the logic behind such laws, but at the same time I think that few women who are placing their baby for adoption are in any state of mind to make such life-altering decisions right after giving birth. And to have such a long period of time to do so is just emotional torture for everyone involved. The birthmother's hormones are going to be screaming "BABY!" even though she doesn't have a baby to care for. And postpartum depression can add to the confusion too and make decision-making even that more difficult.

I know some birthmothers who will agree with me that any revocation period - especially a long one - is just another emotional rollercoaster added to the time when they're already trying to recover from giving birth and grieve the loss of a child ... not a good time to be asked, "Are you sure about this?" I think adoption plans/decisions are best made well before the child is born. Still, a birthmother can't relinquish her parental rights until after the child is born... so naturally the revocation period is going to fall right during that emotionally tumultuous time since adoptions so often take place as soon after birth as possible.

Apparently, possible birthfathers can relinquish any rights they may or may not have before the baby is born, which to me is awesome and a great help during the adoption process. I actually don't want to talk too much about our birthfather situation, but I'll just say that it can be one of the most stressful issues to an adoptive couple when all possible birthfathers have not signed papers at the point of placement. Actually, it's probably one of the most stressful things for the birthmother too when an adoption plan is already in place and the biological father of the baby isn't certain or a possible birthfather all of a sudden wants to contest the adoption. There are times when birthfathers want to disrupt adoptions from happening simply out of spite for whatever falling out he and the birthmother had previously - not out of genuine love for the child involved. And that's just sad. In an ideal adoption situation, all possible birthfathers have been contacted and given an opportunity to sign relinquishment papers well before an adoption plan is made. This makes adoptions go much more smoothly, as sucky as it may be to have to contact all your sexual partners and let them know that they may or may not have a child on the way. Sucks, yes... but it's just one of the consequences.

As far as our situation is concerned, I'm pretty positive that there won't be any disruptions regarding finalization of the adoption of our baby boy. The revocation period has passed for the birthmother and the most likely birthfather... and LDS Family Services takes a pretty conservative/cautious approach to make sure any other possible birthfather scenarios are handled appropriately. There's still 6 months or so before everything is finalized - there are more home visits, interviews, attorney fees, government paperwork filing, court dates, and documents to be drawn up... but after the emotional garbage we were dragged through during placement, the rest will be a piece of cake. What a relief. Until then, the agency has legal custody of the child while we have physical custody.

All the legal mumbo jumbo is nonsense to me at this point, because I am just soooo in love with this baby of ours! So precious. So ridiculously adorable. *squeal!!!*




Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm a Mom!

Me at the Hospital

I'm sprawled on the floor in my bedroom, working on my laptop that I finally got up and running again. I got rid of my computer desk to have room for the crib, lol. But the floor is fine. :) Priorities!

Yesterday my beautiful baby boy turned 2 weeks old. He is GORGEOUS. And it's funny to think that I was ever worried about if he'd be cute or not (mothers-to-be worry about things like that!), because he is SO cute that I almost can't stand it! Ha ha ha. He is absolutely perfect in every way. Nothing at the hospital went like I thought it would, but when I finally did get to hold him, I recognized him immediately. That was my boy! I always imagined him scrawny like my nephew, but browner. With a cute little flat baby nose. Brown eyes and lots of dark hair. He was all that and more! What a little heartbreaker. :)

We got to bring him home from the hospital 2 days after he was born, but it took about a week after that before I "bonded" with him. I always imagined me falling in love with him the moment I saw him being born. But... I didn't get to see him born. And there were so many other emotions going on at once (hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, empathy, fear, confusion, etc.) that I completely disconnected emotionally. I couldn't process all of it at once, so I didn't process any of it. I knew I recognized his adorable little face and I knew our birth mom was firm in her decision (despite the grieving she was painfully experiencing right in front of us), but it took time. I was glad I was prepared for that.

Our caseworker kept telling us to be flexible about what we wanted out of the hospital experience and to be prepared for anything. I was prepared for a lot of things, but there were so many unexpected things coming at us at once that I was in panic-mode. Now that I look back, I'm glad we experienced things the way we did because it was all a huge learning experience.

A few of the things we learned: People aren't going to react emotionally the way you would think (including ourselves); being at the birth wasn't as important as we thought and even if you discussed a birthplan it doesn't mean that it won't change; feeling out of the loop and having a lack of communication in such a critical time as her being in labor is one of the worst feelings we've ever felt; just because the birthmother is firm in her decision doesn't mean everyone at the hospital is going to be supportive - actually, they can be downright deceitful, manipulative, and intrustive... even when the birthmother is a grown woman and can make her own decisions!; watching the birthmother grieve (while dealing with family drama) hurts like h***; birthmothers are even more amazing than I imagined; this precious child's adoption was meant to be for many, many reasons and I feel good knowing Zay and I were chosen to give him the stability and provide for him the way he deserves.

Oh, and I learned I love being a mom!




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Little Man

Born Saturday March 12, 2011 at 3:35am.

6lbs 13.8oz, 19in long.






Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Have No Words


It's like when the most important parts of the story are happening, I just can't find the words to write!

I'm laying here at my brother's place in Georgia. Zay's on one side of me, snoring away, and on the other side of me is A BABY in a bassinet! What the...? Lol. I'm kind of in shock because 1) the hospital experience didn't go as planned AT ALL, 2) I'm trying to figure out the bonding process when we're still in 'vacation mode' and none of this feels real for me yet, and 3) this whole thing isn't over yet. A lot of completely unexpected drama came up at the last minute that is going to be an extra hurdle and quite a hassle to get through.

When I get out of this 'shock,' and I figure out what I can and cannot write about, I'll try to catch up!




Friday, March 4, 2011

Adoption vs. Abortion

It takes a brave girl to choose life and adoption over abortion. To decide to carry a child for 9 months and place him in the arms of another... It just blows my mind. Our birth mother chose life. That one decision is changing our entire world! Everyone involved in this process (her, her family, her friends who are supporting her in her decision, this precious little baby who will be born soon, we as adoptive parents, and our family and friends who have been cheering us on all along) are positively influenced because of her selflessness and refusal to end a life before it began. We admire you, girl! And we can't thank you enough. :)

Here is a beautiful video of one birth mother's story. In some ways, it's every birth mother's story. "...it's about making an ugly thing beautiful, it's about making a wrong thing right, it's about making a bitter thing sweet..."





Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Can't Sleep

Photo: www.icanhascheezburger.com

I've been staying up way too late this past month. People keep telling me to "get all the sleep you can!" before the baby gets here, but with my mind racing and my excitement hitting a *peak*... I just can't get to sleep lately.

I'm pretty sure I could have written about 50 blog posts by now had my mind settled down to focus on one thing. But with only the month of February to prepare for a baby, I've been exhausted and absent-minded and on the verge of panicky.

My baby showers were definitely a success! I got to see sooo many friends... and just knowing that I have that much support just made me want to burst into tears, but instead I just grinned like a fool. :D People were so generous and supportive and I just couldn't believe that people could be so nice! I felt like I was the happiest girl in the world! One of my friends pointed out that I was glowing and that definitely hit one of those infertile nerves - never thought I'd hear that term in reference to me! Aww!

There's so much uncertainty that goes hand-in-hand with adoption. I'm right smack in the middle of what could be the worst part, but I feel so much reassurance that this really is going to happen and that God has His hand in all of this! Sometimes He just simply gives us exactly what we ask for... and that's amazing. I can't believe how quickly we've been able to develop a relationship with our birthmom and her family... that we had just enough money saved to cover initial adoption costs... and that we will be leaving very, very soon to experience something that I've only thought of happening in theory!

I can't wait to get to participate in the hospital experience. All I want is to be included, to be involved... I want to be in the delivery room. I would totally cut the umbilical cord if I was asked! I want to watch the circumcision. I want to spend time with just us, the baby, and the birthmom... I want to take lots of pictures. I want our birth mother to feel as little emotional pain as possible... Whatever we can do to make it easier for her, we will. I want things to be done the way she wants them to be done. I want the baby to be healthy... and there's no doubt he will be the cutest baby that ever was! right?!

I keep trying to imagine how this is all going to go down, but I know whatever I imagine isn't going to compare to reality. I know I'm going to be a mess. I'm already a mess. A huge emotional mess!

That's why I'm up so late (late for me... since I work at the crack of dawn, ha ha). I'm just trying to wrap my head around what's happening, at the same time trying to prepare myself for the best and the worst. I don't like going into things unprepared... and I'm terrified of things I've never done before. We don't have a clue what to expect, so we're totally winging it.

How can I sleep when she could go into labor ANY DAY NOW?!




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