Monday, May 30, 2011

A year in...and painting!

So apparently I have lost 2 blog followers. Is it strange to admit that it kinda hurts my feelings! Oh well, not much I can do about it!

Last Thursday we had an appointment to update our home study at the agency since we are hitting the year of waiting mark. We had to get notes from our doctors, saying we were still in good health, and we had to go over our profiles and think about some things we might want to update or add. Our adoption coordinator also gave us the advice that if we want our letter to go out to more potential birthmothers, we might want to open up what drug or alcohol use we are comfortable with. Right now we have that we are fine with marijuana and alcohol use in the first trimester. We were not ok with cocaine, heroin, or meth. There is also a new category, other, which includes pain meds or anti-depressants. All of this means that if a birthmother admitted to using, even once any of those drugs, including marijuana and alcohol after the first trimester, then our profile will not go to her at all. As far as the health of the baby goes, from what I have read, alcohol seems to be one of the most damaging, but we felt that there are times that women do not know they are pregnant in the first trimester, so social drinking or smoking pot might be common. The reason that we felt uncomfortable with other drug use was that we want to have a good relationship with our child's birthmother, and drug addictions can make having a good relationship difficult. Our coordinator suggested that we might want to expand what we are comfortable with because our profile would go to more birthmothers, and we can then decide if she picks us if we are comfortable with any drug use she may have had.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience about this?

Since we have been waiting for a year, we also go on the last minute hospital list. Sometimes our agency gets a call from a hospital (most likely it will be in Southern California) with a mother who has just given birth and she did not make an adoption plan before hand, but she has decided that she wants to do now. Our agency will then send over, with a counselor, profiles of those on the last minute hospital list that match and prerequisites that she may have stated (such as a religious preference etc) and then she will pick one or two and then the counselor will call the first one and see if they can get to the hospital. Generally, they will want an answer within 30 minutes, or they may go onto the next family. This is up to the birthmother. If she is fine waiting longer because that first family is the one she wants, then the counselor will of course follow her wishes. So in this scenario, one day we will have no baby, and the next day, bam, we will be parents. That is a little frightening, but also exciting! I asked how many of these situations they see, and our coordinator says it probably averages like once a month. So not too common, but a possibility.

With the possibility of a last minute placement, we had a painting party over the Memorial day weekend. We took everything out of both bedrooms, with the hope of getting them both painted, and then the nursery will be set up in what was our bedroom ( a better closet!), and our new bedroom will be the front (bigger!) bedroom. We only finished our new bedroom. The nursery is all set up, and taped, ready to be painted sometime this week. Then the fun will begin, as I will start painting the tree mural. I am pretty excited about it, and I hope I can actually get my vision onto the wall!

Here are some pics of my sisters and Adam's dad helping us paint. I want to thank them, and our friend Chris for helping us out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Free Range kids?

I stumbled upon a blog that I have become obsessed with. Free Range Kids is the site, and it is an outlook or philosophy on parenting that would be an alternative to the "helicopter parent". If you do not know what the term means, the blog has this definition:
It’s a sort of disparaging term for parents who believe their child is so vulnerable — to injury, to teasing, to disease and disappointment — that they have to sort of hover (like a helicopter) over the child, ready to swoop in if anything remotely “bad” happens.

You may have heard of the woman who runs the blog. She has been labeled, by some, as the worst mother in the world, because she and her family live in New York, and she let her 9 year old take the bus and subway alone. From that, this sort of movement sprang up. I am 37, and most people in my, and previous generations, would probably say that we were raised as a free range kid. I am not a parent yet, although I have been a nanny, and I am an aunt and a member of society, and I must say that I have witnessed the so called helicopter parent all too often. I happen to agree with the philosophy that fear should not run your life. I can see how easy it is to succumb to fear, since all you hear are bad, horrible, negative stories in the news. Which is why I love that this site exists. It helps give some perspective. Anyways, check out the site if you are interested, or just want a better idea of what free range means. And let me know your experiences or thoughts on this matter.
Have a great night!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mother's Day

Just a quick observation. Right before Mother's day, I read on an adoption board, a woman who was upset that her agency sent her an email card saying Happy Mother's day. She, and others who responded thought her agency was callous to send such a greeting to a woman who was not yet a mother, but was waiting. I found this very interesting, especially since being in this process, I have constantly read and heard the term "paper pregnant". Having never been pregnant myself, I am only going by observations, but I seem to recall people wishing "Happy Mother's Day" to pregnant women. Did this upset them? I suppose it could have, even though they did not express it. So if we as waiting couples, (or singles) are "paper pregnant", why shouldn't we enjoy a Happy Mother's day greeting? We have gone through tons of mental preparation to get to the point of wanting to adopt. We have filled out tons of paperwork, and answered many questions about why we wanted to become mothers and fathers. I think we should enjoy this time as much as we can. Full disclosure, we are about to hit our one year mark in waiting, so I know the waiting can be hard, but I just can't get upset if someone would want to wish me a Happy Mother's day, knowing all that we have gone through in order to be parents, and knowing we are going to be parents, sooner or later.

What do you think? Have you been in this position before? Would it upset you too?

Monday, May 2, 2011

I can't believe it's May!

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have posted anything. I do see that I have a couple new followers, so I want to welcome you!

We have been pretty busy the last few months. We had decided in January that we needed a nice holiday, to keep our minds off of the waiting, and because it may be a while before we can take two weeks to go to Europe! So we spent my birthday in London for a week, and then a week in Paris! It was such a wonderful experience, the history, the art, the people and the food!

We still have not had any contact from potential birth parents. I have to say that I feel very removed from the whole thing. It doesn't feel real. We still have not switched bedrooms, or painted. In the back of my mind I keep telling myself that we should get going on that, but it just feels like we are playing at becoming parents. Which is why it probably is a good idea to prepare the nursery, as it will be a real step, nesting if you will, towards us becoming parents.

It has been 11 months since we became paper pregnant. Next month it will be a year. This means we have to go into the IAC and update our home study. We have to get another letter from our doctors, saying we are still healthy. This also means that we will now be on the Last Minute Placement list. So if there is a woman who decides at the last minute that she wants to place her baby for adoption, say at the hospital, during or after labor, our profile will be shown to her as long as we are compatible, and she may decide that she wants us to parent her child. Wow, see it probably is a good idea to get our bedrooms in order! That would be a whirlwind, getting a phone call that you have been picked and the baby is ready to go home right then! Has that happened to any one out there?

I hope everyone is enjoying springtime. Here is a pic of Adam and me by Notre Dame.