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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.  


  1. Oh Brandi this is so tough. I think if it were me, I would go for it. I just would. It will be so hard but I think I would have to. I know you are not me and your situation is not my situation but oh man would this be a tough one. I hope you come to a peace with whatever decision is made and everything turns out alright. (And how icky is it for the Aunt to want the baby just because it was a girl?)

  2. I guess I am not fully understanding 2 things, 1- Why this woman continues to birth children she cannot care for, and 2- Why would this be your responsibility to take in any more children she may have? Is it just because she asked you? I am not being sarcastic, I honestly am asking. I think that the situation does stink, but I would hate for you to take on another child for the wrong reasons...i.e. being pressured to, or having guilt about it. If you feel in your heart and your husband does too, that this is the right thing to do, than it's worth proceeding. If it is a reason other than that, than perhaps it is time that she and her family have a sit down discussion about the future of this baby.

  3. Erika,
    Regardless of why she keeps having kids, there is a baby on the way. All I can say about it is she does not have the same logic as I do, which in turn she does not do everything in her power to prevent pregnancy...obviously. I used to get so mad at women like her since I was doing everything I could to get pregnant and it was a lot of "why me?" thoughts, but that didn't get me any where except for being extremely angry all the time.

    2- I don't have to take the baby, just like my son's biological family wasn't responsible for taking him or his older brother...and they didn't take them, and I think that was awful. All her kids are healthy and happy, so for me personally, I can't fathom why his biological family didn't take them in because there is no way I'd let any of my nephews or cousins be in the foster system.

    It's not my responsibility to take the baby just because she asked, I'm actually thankful she told us she was pregnant know, at least I have some time to prepare for the possibility. I would have been heart broken for myself and for AJ if this baby was born and put into foster care and then I found out about it.

    I don't feel pressured or guilt, I wrote the post quickly so maybe it came across the way, I'm not sure. When his sister was born, AJ was only 20 months old, my youngest was 9 months, and then here comes a newborn?? That was overwhelming, and even though I don't love the fact that i'm pretty sure his aunt wouldn't have been interested if it wasn't a girl, it was a girl and she loves that little girl to death and her boys love their sister and that situation turned out exactly how it should have in the end.

    We know now that if the baby is taken away and child services allows us to take in the baby (meaning it doesn't go back to the mom), we will take that baby and love it as our own. she has said she is done having kids after this, I don't really believe that and we can only take it one day at a time and not think if she has 5 more kids we will take all of them in. In her defense, she has lived a horrific childhood since the age of 3 that i would not wish on anyone which I believe led to her substance abuse and her mental instability and I'm so thankful I had a great childhood that allowed me to turn into what I have become and that I am able to give AJ a life so different than the one she lived. Her family is really, REALLY messed up so I believe it will be a counselor or a social worker that hopefully inspires her to lead a better life in the future.

    Sorry this response is so long!! I guess I just wanted everyone to know that I don't feel burdened by the possibility of having another baby, my heart is very open to the situation and I think that's the only way adoptions go well. If I did it out of guilt, that baby would feel that every day of their life and I couldn't ever be the mother that child needs.

  4. I think it is an awesome blessing in a "not so great" situation that "she keeps having babies" She can get pregnant, and women like you and me yearn to be mothers. God has designed us to have children, and with the help of each other that dream will come true. How wonderful a blessing that she didnt abort the baby or sterilize herself! This child might just complete your family! I am happy for you and hope that you ask God's will be done!

    1. Annie, I just love what you said and that very well could be a great line in an adoption profile.

      Brandi, I will be praying about this situation. I know your way to parenthood hasn't been easy.

      For me my road started 7 years ago. We were in line to adopt two sisters but our state gave the bio family time to get their situation together and when they did they were given back to the family only to end up in foster care again. We'd not learned that they were available for adoption until their forever family signed the papers and we're ok with it. More than Ok while it was hard on us at first we prepared ourselves in advance of heartbreak. We were thrilled that they were placed into a loving family and won't be going back to the situation they came from.

      We've been pregnant twice. We get the "well at least you can get pregnant that's a start right?" Problem is issues arise and we've lost two babies in the second trimester. What good is getting pregnant if I can't stay pregnant....

      Our son would be turning 3 in a few weeks and our daughter would be 16 months old.

      Right now we're stuck in the where do we go from here and what do we do now?

    2. Elisabeth, I'm so sorry that you have had to go through that with the adoption and the pregnancies:( Parenthood certainly hasn't been easy but being almost 2 years out from the adoption being finalized, I can look back (and look forward) and realize that if this is my hard and I can choose, I'd choose this hard. My kids are healthy and happy, I haven't lost loved ones tragically, no one in my immediate or close family has had cancer, etc. so I just see so many other people really have it hard, if this is my hard, I'll take it all day every day and twice on Sunday. But it's still hard no doubt.

  5. We adopted our daughter at birth.. She was born exposed to all sorts of things . Her bm lied.. To everyone about what she was taking. It was a very hard first year of life for her and us. We ave had no contact w her bm.. But have very little contact w a grandma.. She keeps waiting to find out the bm has overdosed.. Anyway, if we ever got a call about a sibling, we would take it in a heartbeat.. No matter the challenges that lie ahead.. Knowing full well it would be a struggle.. And will probably continue to be one for life.. But that person is a sibling.. Maybe the only person they will ever have contact with that will look like them and share the same mom.. That ay not mean much to a five year old but may mean a great deal to a 15 year old, etc... Yes, we will never know why some people are granted the ability to have children easily, and others not so much.. But the child is coming, god willing.. I believe that we are given the child we need at the moment we were meant to recurve them. The roads are long, they are hard to endure.. We don't understand the heartache or even the joy .. But I know my daughter was given to us a year ago so that my dad had a year to love her and cherish her.. Before he passed away.. He wasnt sick.. She helps us endure ... Such a big job for a little person... But we were many years into our journey.. Actually the night before the call I told my husband I was done and couldn't endure anymore... Anyway.. I'm getting off track..I do think u and ur husband need to work on ur marriage before bringing another person in, with that said, I would want that relationship and connection for my child..

    1. I agree with working on our marriage. Now we are actually trying which is leaps and bounds better than us both being fed up. I think because the baby situation could be reality versus a slim chance, it's made us talk a lot more and that was our break down was we used to not be able to talk without fighting. We had to drive somewhere last week, just the two of us, for 8 hours round trip and we talked the entire time and it was probably the best 8 hours of conversation we've had together in years. Doesn't mean our problems are gone completely, I just can feel like I can breath once again. I'm sorry you had to go through such tough challenges after the BM lied. I'm nervous that we won't have all the details if we are asked to take the baby home and I'm just hoping that because she's had 3 healthy babies, this one will be similar but who knows. I would love AJ to have a full blooded sibling that looks like him or just has that connection with him. His sister, that was adopted by his aunt,has the same exact big smile as AJ, they look so much alike and I think in the teen years, it would be really great for him to have that sibling in his life. I love that AJ and Dylan are so close:)

  6. All adoption is expensive unless she gives up her rights and asks for no expenses.. Which probably won't happen by the way u make things sound.. But my question to u.. R u really tat concerned over the money for a day are stipend? If so, then, no u shouldn't take the child... If u had another child biologically, there would be no money there.. In my eyes, that's how I look at it.. I wish we had a medical card for our daughter as our insurance doesn't cover much.. And it takes away a lot of the money we could use elsewhere, but such is life.. She's ours for better or worse.. For whatever expense arises .. We are her parents... We, not the state, are responsible for her..

    1. I'm not that concerned over the money for day care stipend as far as it is not a make or break thing for whether we decide to take the baby given the chance.....if you reread that part about daycare, we would adopt regardless of that but let's be real, this wasn't a pregnancy I planned....I'm not irresponsible and I personally like to have money set aside or a budget that allows me to pay $800 a month for infant daycare and I will have 3 kids in daycare if we get to take the baby home. I don't know a lot of families in that situation that think affording that is easy. If by taking a slight risk of doing foster-adopt and negotiate the stipend presents itself, I see no harm in taking the stipend. I'm not out to prove anything to anyone or make some kind of statement by NOT taking a stipend. My taxes fund those stipends and I've never drawn unemployment or been on food stamps or public housing in my life so I'm not draining public finds but when out of the blue you are presented with the possibility of being given a baby and wouldn't fault anyone that wished to pursue a stipend. "If u had another child biologically, there would be no money there" yes, I get that.....that's why I am NOT TRYING TO GET PREGNANT! Because we are not set up to pay for daycare so I prevent pregnancy. If I wanted to get pregnant, like we did with Dylan, we would have money saved and would be financially able to take care of the baby BEFORE conceiving. I don't really know what your adoption situation is, but please don't judge mine. If you know my story, I loved AJ like he was my own for 2 years while going through the foster care adoption and while raising a new born. I usually can take people's comments with a grain of salt but there is just something that really rubs me wrong about the way you wrote this.

  7. I miss all of your YouTube videos. I came upon your channel after suffering from a miscarriage. It took us 3 years to be able to conceive my daughter. I am pregnant again with a baby boy due in October. Any person that has a heart and home to take in a child is more than I can explain in words. You are an awesome mother.