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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

She's arrived

Born today, 6 lbs 4oz.  My heart hurts, like physically hurts and sometimes I feel an anxiety attack coming on and have to stop and relax my mind.  Her mom has decided to keep her, to take her a couple hours away to live in a small hotel next to the paternal grandma that said she'll help out.  It's not a good situation.  Last week she texted me she had a fight with her husband and he kicked her out of the hotel room and she was staying at a shelter.  She said if she was still there when the baby was born, she'd call me to come pick her up.  A few days later she went back to her husband and that was that.

It's like a failed adoption except for I knew in my heart for a few months that she'd try to keep the baby so I didn't prepare anything in my house.  But now this baby girl is forever connected to my son as another sibling of his and it's not like we move on to another adoption.  This was a one time thing.

I finally ordered an infant fleece snow suit and hat because it's cold here and that's the first thing that sells out and I was worried about getting a call to come get her  and that would be the hardest item for me to find.  I haven't even opened the package it was mailed in because I knew it would likely be returned.  And it will be.

She had a c-section so she'll be in the hospital for a few days.  Who knows, maybe something will come up and she'll change her mind but I doubt it.  I know the day she texts me they are leaving the hospital will likely be harder than today because then any hope will be gone.  My husband is very sad about the situation.  He really wanted to be a dad to that baby girl, he wanted to keep her safe and raise her.  It's not that we can be very supportive of the mom to keep her baby because unfortunately when someone continually abuses drugs, that's not a safe place for any baby to be.

But then I looked over tonight and watched my boys cuddled up on the couch together laughing and hugging each other and though I'm very sad and worried for this baby, I'm so very lucky to have these two boys.  I can't imagine how excited they would have been if we had had the chance to tell them we were bringing them a baby sister home.  They are baby obsessed this year and if a baby is near by, they are right there next to it being such sweethearts.

We are off to Hawaii next month.  The boys are excited and I think it'll be good timing for us after all of this.  I can't imagine a day going by that I won't worry about this baby girl.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

2 months until the due date....

A couple weeks ago I wrote the birth mom an email....it was tough but it had to be done and I lovingly told her the truth.  We will not do a foster care adoption again.

Why?  Because I have two boys, 3 and 4, that just emotionally and intellectually are not at a place that can understand a baby coming into our home and possibly being their sister and staying forever, or possibly leaving us.  Having social workers, guardian at litem, and whoever else in and out of our house several times a month.  When I jumped at the chance to tell the BM initially that we'd be more than happy to adopt again, I was coming at it from a place that my husband and I could emotionally make it through the process again...but my kids?  Even as Dylan approached 1 years old, I began to worry just how much it would affect him if AJ had left us and what that does to a kid with such a strong brotherly bond.  But I convinced myself he wouldn't remember because he was so little.  But now?  They have these amazing memories.  I'm shocked when they recount an event from last year in detail.  And we always said we wouldn't probably do foster care again until our kids were teenagers and could really understand the coming and going of foster kids.

Also, I'm really unsettled about her consistently smoking marijuana and then at some point going to a bar to have beers.  I mean seriously, who does that??  Not a former infertile that's for sure.  You ladies know, we work so hard to get pregnant we are going to be stupid and do anything to jeopardize that baby's health!!

She texted me the other night and said she didn't think she should keep the baby because she still has anger issues and it would probably be best to just do a private adoption.  My requirements of her for a private adoption is that she not leave the hospital with the baby, she immediately gives us guardianship, it would be a closed adoption, and that a paternity test would have to be completed.  However, even with that I'm not guaranteeing anything.  They decided this weekend they'd move back to a town about 3 hours a way so that they could have a cleaner bigger room in case they get to keep the baby.

My heart tells me this baby is not meant to be mine.  And that possibly I want to be pregnant next year and have a biological baby.

If we were to adopt, I simply cannot do the two babies at one time thing so that would mean we'd wait a few years to have another baby and I don't think that's what I want.

My clients are on the wait list for a baby for foster-adopt and she told me she gets a call a week and by the time she calls back they've always already placed the baby so I'm confident there are enough homes ready to take in a baby to adopt.

I think the situation just seems all wrong to me but then am I THAT person that leaves my son's biological sister in the foster care system?  I do have to remember she had her first kid for 2 1/2 years before he was taken into the states care and it could be she makes it a while taking care of this baby.   My number one concern is the baby's health but I have zero control over that at this moment so I just have to sit tight and let this situation play out how it's meant to be.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Update on the Potential Adoption

Let me just be real for a moment, since I found out in March that my son's biological mom was pregnant, I've been in a funk.  I went from losing 12 pounds the first 2 1/2 months of the year to gaining 14 pounds and being consumed by thoughts and scenarios running through my head about this baby.  Because there are just so many unknowns, it's been tough.

Last night we met with them to have dinner and talk.  I told my husband last week my gut was telling me that my son's biological mom was going to say she wanted to keep the baby.  And she did.  After some small talk I asked what their plans were after the baby was born and she said didn't know until the baby is born and if children services for out state steps in or not.  If they don't step in, she plans on keeping the baby.  Yet, she tells my son's aunt (who adopted his little sister) through several text messages she wants us to adopt.  What I was hoping is she would again state she wanted us to adopt the baby and we would talk to her about a private adoption.  But since she didn't, we let her talk a little bit and then told her, if children services takes the baby, us 4 cannot tell them to go away and we'll just do a private adoption.  She'd have to agree to that as soon as the baby was born and we'd have to make children's services aware of our plans.  And with that, we'd have to hire a lawyer at our expense and would need time to prepare and talk about everything the adoption would entail.  Where I live, she can give consent at birth, then has 10 days to change her mind.   It's crazy because she'd talk about if children's services took the baby, then maybe we could do a private adoption because she doesn't want the state in her business....again we'd have to correct her that we cannot do that if she doesn't do it before they take the baby.  And if they take the baby their first goal is reunification.

I did finally have to tell her for the sake of our family and especially my boys, I did not feel comfortable taking the baby if it went into the state's custody because the length of time it takes to adopt and the uncertainty involved.  Now between you and me, would we probably take the baby, yes unless she really wanted to get the baby back and I'm not playing the in and out of rehab for months, years, until she finally gives up.

After she had to leave to catch a bus, my son's biological dad stayed behind to "fill us in."  Basically he ratted her out for 30 straight minutes.  She's been smoking pot through the pregnancy because of her nausea and loss of appetite.  I'm not shocked, disgusted yes, but not shocked.  Also, she's went to the bar a couple times to have a beer.  Because she's so small and lost so much weight, I can see how a bartender might have served her but still, disgusted.  The dad says they cannot keep the baby and he cannot deal with her outbursts and that they literally have no money for this baby.  He said he cannot raise a baby in a crappy hotel, he knows his baby deserves more.  But this is also the guy that asked us to adopt last time, then told the courts he wanted the baby back with the mom just days later.

They are living in a crap motel here while the dad works security and throws out the drug dealers and she sits in the hotel all day.  I so want to go to Costco and stock her up with healthy food but it's just not my place.

Not your fairytale adoption story you had hoped for?  Number one thing, I want that baby safe whether she keeps it or we adopt.  But I have zero control over that at this point.  We are really back to square one with probably just having to wait for the baby to arrive.  We hope to just have dinner with them once a month until then and keep the open communication going.

We are planning to meet with our adoption lawyer from our last adoption and come up with a plan should they go along with a private adoption or if she is able to represent us if the baby is put into state custody and brought into our home.  Also, we want to talk with children services and see what the process is in this situation and make sure the file is flagged with our name as first contact.

The reality is, she'll never get to keep this baby long term, but just how long she might get to keep this baby girl, I do not know.  And how long are we willing to wait?

As far as my funk, I got back to the gym yesterday (i was going 6 days a week and stopped cold turkey) and I prepped all my meals on Sunday for this week so hopefully I can get back on track.  My husband and I are doing well, not perfect, but so much better and we just celebrated 8 years of marriage!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

And She's Pregnant....

The email came late this afternoon.  About the 5th word in....pregnant.  The end of the paragraph "would you and chad consider another adoption?"  We knew it was pretty likely this event would occur at some point.  But right after I wrapped my mind around never being pregnant again because let's face it, my marriage is less than ideal and it's actually really great having two toddlers that can dress themselves, go to the movies and sit through it, are only a couple years away from kindergarten and so many other things that make life easier.

But today, today I have to start planning and thinking about whether or not, if the opportunity comes up, to adopt AJ's brother or sister when they are born this fall.  With her first two kids and then the birth of AJ's sister the year after he came to us, she fought to keep those kids.  Not fight in the way I would or she should have, but in her mind she thought she could take care of them and that the state would let her do just that.  This is different though, I can hear the fear and how scared she is in the email.  She takes medication for depression and probably other things, but she had to stop taking those because of risk to her fetus (this is what she told me, I haven't researched it so just take it with a grain of salt) and she had a breakdown.  Now the state is monitoring her entire pregnancy and will decide when the baby is born what they will do.  She doesn't want the baby going to a foster home because she wants to make sure her baby is safe.  I'm not going to bash her about the whole concept of safe since she is not a poster child for a healthy pregnant woman, but I know not every foster home is like how ours was.  WAS.  We aren't even actively licensed, we said that chapter of our lives was closed minus this possibility.

Here's the thing though (for anyone reading this and thinking we should just say no to the possibility of adoption), when you adopt a child from foster care and they become your child, the same as a child born from me, their family in a way becomes your family.  We aren't making a decision about just fostering any child, we are making a decision about adopting a relative.  One thing that always made me upset about AJ's biological family was that not a single person was asking to take him and his older brother and only after we offered to take his baby sister did his Aunt step forward because it was a girl.  But now we are those relatives, so how does it make it any better for us to turn our backs like they did.  I remember deciding we weren't going to take his sister.  I had a really rough first year with two babies and post partum depression and fighting to keep AJ and that whole mess. But the  next morning after our decision, my heart literally hurt and I knew that wasn't the right decision and so we said we'd take her and it felt right.

She isn't due until October, there is no guarantee the state will take the baby, but let's be honest, she's lost 3 kids and the state is already tracking her, it's not looking good for her.  Here is what I keep thinking over and over:

What if she doesn't stay clean and sober?  What if this is finally the baby that IS affected in a major way by those actions?

Will the state allow her another 2 years to get her act together after the baby comes to us?  Or will she terminate rights right away?

Could/should we just attempt a private adoption, here it takes less than a month but there would be no stipend for daycare?  But in the end $10,000 stipend a year versus the agony of having a baby with us for over a year just to just to jump through the foster/adopt hoops and possibly lose the baby in the end? 

Are my kids old enough to understand all this if one day we were to go and pick up a baby?

I said I was done having kids, what if she just keeps having more, will this ever end?

What if we do want to keep the baby, the baby is born and she decides that another family member fights us for the baby (if it's a girl, what if the aunt wants another girl??)?

Part of me just wants to relax and know that what is suppposed to happen will happen regardless of any worrying and planning I do in the coming months so just live in the moment.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bra Shopping and Valentine's Day!

How many of you have been fitted for a bra recently?  How many of you find it incredibly awkward to peel off all your layers of clothes above the waist and stand naked in front of a sales lady you met about 3 minutes ago and shake your "girls" into a bra while the lady inspects the fit?? **raises hand**

But I had to do it.  I've been wearing the same two bras for the past 3 years!!  They are so worn out and I was tired of feeling like my boobs were falling out of the bottom of them (like the underwire hardly ever touched my torso and then the material between the two cups acted like a bridge, I seriously could have stuck my wallet in there and carried it around).  I dropped AJ off at preschool and headed to Nordstrom on Tuesday.  Of course I casually browsed the bras, grabbed a couple in 38DDD and 40F before the sales lady took charge, asked my size and went to the back. Little did I know, it's much easier for them to run to the back to grab sizes if you are a larger cup.  I measured myself at home, 38 DDD, maybe F.  I lied and told the lady I'd been measured a few weeks ago.  I really do not lie like that, but I was so stinkin nervous I just blurted it out.  So in I went to the dressing room and I tried on the first bra that I CHOSE.  Awful, totally not the right fit.  So I decided right then and there to just ask the lady for help. 

She said the cup size was too small, she came back with larger cup sizes.  Still wasn't working, she asked to remeasure  me, I let her.  I'm a 36- G.....wait what????  She ran out and came back a couple minutes later with a bunch in that size.  EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. fit perfectly, I'd never felt better about my boobs than right then!  Moral of the story, get professionally fitted!!!!  I meant to buy 2 bras, I ended up with 3 and a sports bra and 2 camisoles.  I called Chad immediately and said I'd forfeit my allowance for this month and March to cover it.  He didn't mind but it's only fair when spending that much!  I had bought a Moving Comfort sports bra in a 38 DD, fits awful but is better than my old sports bras and now I get why it fit so bad, totally the wrong size but it was the largest the running store carried and that bra only goes up to a 40DD online. At Nordstrom I bought a Wacoal sports bra, it looks almost like a regular bra and looks normal under regular clothes, score! 

And by the way, I did day 3 of the Couch to 5K program in it yesterday, walked 5 minutes....RAN 20 MINUTES WITHOUT STOPPING!!!!!  More on that later, but I did it!!!! 

Last night I bought Jillian Michael's Slim For Life book on my Nook that was just released, look at this little tid bit for my PCOS ladies!  For real??  Awesome sauce right there huh?

AJ has his first Valentines party at preschool today.  I made these invitations off of an idea on Pinterest, loved how they turned out. 

We are heading to dinner with my parents tonight. I know, not a romantic date for two, but I've had some really awful Valentines dates with Chad in the past 3 years and I'm just going to play it safe tonight.  Baby steps right?  He did buy me this clutch that is awesome and I made him homemade truffles and got him a gym membership that he wanted. 
Happy Valentines Day Friends!!  Hope it's a wonderful day for you and your loved ones!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Date Night and C25K Update!

My husband and I had a date this past Friday with some Chinese food and the movie Identity Theft.  I have worn a dress once in the past year for a wedding but that's it but I bought several new ones at the Gap clearance sale the day after Christmas.  So I thought maybe I'd wow my husband and throw one on for the night!  Even though I'm only down 8 lbs since New Year's Eve, I feel like I'm standing a bit taller and I have a little more confidence:)  And seriously, how do the other bloggers take such good self portraits?!  Excuse the bathroom backdrop and my dirty mirror, but you get the idea!  I know horizontal stripes are supposed to be the worst pattern for larger girls, but seriously, I'm not trying to fool someone into believing a size 2 is hiding under that dress!

I'm on week 5 of the couch to 5K program, it's killer!!!  I went from running 3 minutes at a time to running 5 minutes at a time for a total of 15 minutes and today I have to crank out 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking, then 8 more minutes of running.  Two days later tha workout says "Run 2 Miles."  WHHHHAAATTT?  But I'm not ready!! That's what I keep telling myself followed by saying that I know I can do it.  It's a total mental game at this point.  Also, cheat meal has turned into cheat day which turned into cheat weekend.  I really have to get back on track because it's awful feeling like you've undone all your hardwork during the week with a sloppy weeekend. 

This weekend I took the boys ice fishing with my Dad.  We did this a lot as kids, but it was my sons first time!  We didn't catch anything the first day but my husband took AJ back yesterday and he finally caught one, he was so proud of himself!  And it was freezing out this weekend, but I did it for the kids:)  So that was my weekend, I hope you all had a great time too, I have lots of fun things to do this week too so I'll catch you all up in a few days!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mommy Time

I can still remember 4 years ago when I was not pregnant and I'd get bored in the evenings or on weekends and I thought that once I had kids I'd do all these fun things with them and my free time would be so filled with quality family time. 

Enter 2 kids 11 months apart, post partum depression, complete lack of sleep and the vision I had in mind was anything but what I was experiencing.  There were a lot of amazing moments, days spent with the kids and I love to look back on everything we've done with our kids. 

But about 5 months after having Dylan, I was craving alone time.  Could I please just go browse Target for an hour without hearing him scream?  Can I please sit down to a hot meal and not have to eat it so fast I could barely taste it and usually I was standing up!  And as someone that struggled with infertility and an adoption that focused on reunification, I felt so much guilt even thinking of leaving them.  I found myself only leaving if they were both asleep and then I just rushed as fast as possible and tried to make it home before they woke up.

I even thought about Stroller Strides and joining some of the mommy groups. But honestly, it's just not for me.  I don't think I can take another question of how long I breastfed Dylan or if I had a natural birth!  Not that that's all they talk about it, but there's things I want to talk about that I don't need my kid right there while I'm handing out snacks and wiping boogers. I would count that as family time and I have friends that love it, but for me it just wasn't appealing.

This year though, I've realized that I'm a social person.  I always have been and for some reason as soon as I got married I gave up more and more opportunities to be in social situations.  My husband is anti-social in 95% of scenarios.  And that's okay.  He'd rather go for a run or go hiking by himself and that brings him happiness.  I've been trying to reconnect with friends and at least once a week be in a social situation without the kids.  I usually have lunch or brunch with one of my girlfriends once a week.  I was also asked by one of the preschool moms if I wanted to join her women's volleyball team that plays Monday nights.  It's a blast!  I played competitively in junior high...so about 17 years ago:)  But I still have some skills and we play no earlier than 6:45pm so I do kiss my kids good bye and tell them I'm going to play volleyball and I've noticed the happier and excited I seem about the more they seem okay with it.  Same thing when I go to the gym in the evenings, maybe twice a week because I missed my mid-day work out, they'll ask why I'm going and I'll tell them because I need to exercise and be healthy and they give me hugs and kisses and then wave at me from the front window. 

I am a better mom because I got a piece of me back.  Each mom has to find what works for them.  Y