Friday, December 28, 2012

Coming up for air...

I have a lot of writing to do - to talk about what it was all like. The phone call, the trip to Virginia, meeting Verity for the first time, the revocation period, these first 5 weeks. But I can't yet, I don't have the brain space, and everything is just rattling around fresh and raw and amazed.

What I can say, what I can say over and over and over again - because it keeps becoming really obvious everywhere I turn - is that people are wonderful, and we have so very much to be grateful for as 2012 comes to a close.

Newtown, CT is so much ugliness that I can't even speak about it, it's heart-shatteringly awful. But even as the news rolled in about that I felt I could speak with confidence about the light in people. They positively glow.

2012 was hard for us, heck, the past 5 years have seemed hard. I began to have a complex about the universe being out to get me, us, because in this one piece of our lives we could not reach comfort. We felt kicked, and kicked again, and then kicked some more. But that's gone now, the universe doesn't hate us (and no, cosmos, that's not an invitation). I know this because I saw the way people rallied around us when we needed them.

When we got the call and went into full-on panic mode, our community came forward. Friends scrambled to get our dogs to the vet, paperwork faxed, our house taken care of, my cat fed and (ack!) litter changed. Family and friends, and friends of friends - DOZENS OF THEM - donated to our adoption fund, making the scary scary expensive last minute travel doable. We could breathe because of the kindness and generosity of those around us. People offered lodging, and reached farther into their own circles to find us help. We drove pell-mell towards Virginia secure in the knowledge that whatever we left in our wake here at home would be taken care of, because people here loved us and were willing to show it.

Our daughter Adeline was safe and in incredibly loving arms with Ben's parents, with extra visits and love from the honorary Aunties. I knew whatever she needed she would have, because of that community. We missed her in a visceral way - the longest we've ever ever been gone, but we knew she was loved, and that made it doable.

When we got to Virginia and holed up in our hotel for the most frightening week of our lives, a woman named Patricia, whom we had never met - a friend of a friend of a friend - came to our hotel and loved on us, and arranged meals and little gifts for us every night of our stay. Strangers made us hot meals, sent clothing for Verity, cookies, little presents. Strangers who had no reason in the world to help us. We were all alone in that city and she made us feel like old friends, and when I needed to find something in Portsmouth, she made sure I knew where to find it. I feel certain she would have done whatever we needed her to, even with 4 children and a busy community of her own to tend to. She admired our daughter and heaped encouragement and support upon us. She was on fire with goodness and I will never be able to repay her kindness.

When we returned home we were met with a house that was so clean and good smelling. Festooned with pink streamers and ribbons, and snowflakes and pictures made by our dearest friend's children. There were gifts, and chili and rice and cornbread, and cards, and a banner that said WELCOME HOME. We felt so welcomed.

People keep saying that Verity is so lucky - as though she somehow benefits from being saved by our little family. This makes me laugh, because domestic adoption of newborns doesn't work that way - there was a long line of people that would have swept in to be Verity's parents if we hadn't said yes. Many of those families are probably wealthier or happier or better adjusted than we are, although I like to imagine that they weren't the Right family, because we are. I insist when they say she is lucky that no, we are the lucky ones, because Ben and Adeline I believe that we've won the lottery, we feel like we robbed a bank and they are letting us keep the money. This beautiful soul encased in the sweetest little brown baby is in our family now. Could we be luckier? But there is something that gives me pause in all of this. Maybe Verity is lucky - not because she was adopted  - because let me be clear that we did not save her, but because she has brought out the very shiniest aspects of those around us. She has champions in every corner, and her first weeks seem to hold all of the auspicious signs that come with being born a Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac. She is lucky. All by her herself.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Best News

I only have a moment, but someone appropriately pointed out that our last blog entry is rather dire- and suddenly there is a flurry of motion.

A baby girl was born yesterday morning at 5:29am. and she very well may be our daughter. We got the call at 7:51pm this evening. We've been "matched" with her and we travel tomorrow (as soon as we have clearance from our agency) to meet her. My head is a flip top right now. I am filled with panic and shock at having to throw together a plan to be away from hearth and home and Adeline for 2 weeks.

Tomorrow is Adeline's birthday. She was born on Thanksgiving 7 years ago. This baby girl, in a hospital in Virginia, was born on Thanksgiving. What are the chances? Will we have two daughters born on Thansgiving?

We're speechless, and terrified, and it doesn't feel at all real.

We'll meet her, and on Monday she will be discharged from the hospital to us where we will stay in a hotel with her until ICPC clears and the revocation period (the time which her birth mother has to change her mind and decide to parent) is up. And then we will bring her home. That's the plan.

More to come when we can share more.

Send vibes. We need them.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Untelling.

Here it is, that thing we were warned sometimes has to happen. The thing we knew could happen.

We got a call from the agency today. Some information has come out revealing the woman we were matched with to be a convicted scammer. They have unmatched us and are pursuing legal action.

We're feeling hurt and bewildered - but also really relieved that the agency we are working with did the legwork when something seemed fishy, and that they protect us from financial risk - all of the money that we've spent comes back to us, allowing us to continue our journey to adoption.

So, we are back to "Active" and waiting with our agency, and would love for everyone to spread the word. Our baby is still out there, we know it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

There's news people.

So, in the interest of full disclosure (ha, ha) - and because I don't want to leave you hanging (whoever you are), I need to share.

But I do so with the caution that our agency suggests that we don't tell the wider world this, because we might just have to untell.

But, hey, whatcha gonna do?


We. Are. Matched.

Yup, right now there is a little bitty baby growing that may someday come home to us, be our son or daughter.

On Friday afternoon, while in TN with friends, my phone rang. It was our agency's number, and I knew as soon as I saw it that it was THE call. I went outside and answered it, with Ben right behind me.

And the woman on the phone told us a beautiful thing. An amazing expectant mother has picked us, from out of many families, to be the family for her baby.

I am not going to give any details, because they really don't matter - it can all become clear if this works out.

What can I say? There is a baby, in another state, due to arrive earthside in the spring.

We are in love with everything about the situation, aside from the wait. A lot can happen before spring comes. But we have faith that what will be, must be.

Oh little baby, we love love love you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No news is... good news?

No, not really! However, that's where we're at. Starting in October we have to renew a bunch of our homestudy documents as they begin to expire. Criminal background checks, health forms, child abuse screens, and our home study report. Unfortunately that means more money, and that it will be a year since we formally began the process to adopt.

If you see me, don't ask if there is anything new. Maybe just hug me? And Ben, he always needs hugs.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Positive Adoption Language - this is something that comes up all the time. I have had friends ask me to explain the right words to use for what. It might not seem like a big deal, but words have huge power, and they will shape the way those in the adoption triad feel about themselves. Most people don't mean ill, or disrespect when they use incorrect terms, but they can be very hurtful nonetheless. Remember, you can always ask if you don't know the answer! Help to educate those around you so that the language surrounding adoption can shift, and with it, dispel misconceptions.

So (with a help from Adoptive Families Magazine) here we go:

Postive Language                          Negative Language
Birthparent                                         Real parent
Biological parent                                Natural parent
Birth child                                          Own child
My child                                            Adopted child; Own child
Born to unmarried parents                  Illegitimate
Terminate parental rights                    Give up
Make an adoption plan                      Give away
To parent                                          To keep
Waiting child                                      Adoptable child; available child
Biological or birthfather/mother          Real father/mother
Making contact with                          Reunion
Parent                                               Adoptive parent
Intercountry adoption                        Foreign adoption
Adoption triad                                  Adoption triangle
Permission to sign a release               Disclosure
Search                                              Track down parents
Child placed for adoption                  An unwanted child
Court termination                              Child taken away
Child with special needs                    Handicapped child
Child from abroad                             Foreign child
Was adopted                                    Is adopted

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mother, Blessing.

It's August! We've been active for 225 days so far. That sounds like a really really really long time, but it actually isn't. Weird.

Still waiting, no word.

I vacillate between stressed and almost forgetting that we're even waiting. Money is scaring me, not knowing how much this is going to cost, fear of the cost of travel, of staying in a hotel for a couple weeks. Adoption is an astonishing expensive thing. It is only through our families that we are able to do this - and I feel so grateful that money is not stopping us from expanding our family, as it does for so many people.

I recently had an amazing "mother blessing" hosted by some very dear friends. Some very close friends gathered in a room and shared thoughts, beads, and lots of tears as they wished us speed and luck and strength, and told me they know this will be beautiful. I felt so loved and held up that for days I was buoyed by that love. I have been to many mother blessings myself, hosted a bunch, intend to host many more. I never had one with Adeline - I wasn't at a place in my life where I had so many sisters. After the miscarriages mother blessings became exquisitely painful. Not that I didn't wish joy and blessings on my friends, just that I knew that I would never sit in that place myself, and rub my belly with expectation. But I did (although there was no belly rubbing, just a little drinking!), and it was more than I ever could have expected. And all of these women have been with us on some part of this path, and all of them know the baggage we carry around, and all of them have carried some of our pain around to help share the burden. As each woman shared the bead(s) she selected to be strung on a necklace for me, she explained why, and gave a bit of her heart. It was hugely moving, and I cried through nearly all of it. Some of the tears were just from having these friends open themselves so wide, some were from the deep significance of the beads and thoughts and words they had brought, some were from joyful and painful memories. They were good and cathartic tears.

I am a Mother, and I get to be a Mother again, and I get to bring this child into a family of women that love him or her very dearly already. I am very very blessed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Nearly halfway?

So it's June, how did that happen?

I'm not quite sure, but here we are. Time has, mercifully, passed without incident, and I am happy to say no one in our little family has yet exploded with the pressure of waiting.

When we activated with the agency we are using they gave us an approximate wait time of 1-12 months. This is a time frame we are kind of clinging to, as the only even faintly concrete portion of this process. Soooo... could this mean that come July 1st we are halfway to meeting our baby? Or that within the average of 1-12 months (what kind of average is that anyway?) 6 months is the mean?

Clearly we are still chock-full of hope - or at least I am - because I have been knitting like a fiend for this baby. If he or she arrives this summer we will have to spend our time in overly air conditioned rooms so that the wee pilot caps and sweaters can be worn, if only for pictures. The little garments make me smile smile smile. Baby you are loved! Wherever you are.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bad bad blogger

Yes, the last post was in February, what can I say? There has been little to report, that's my defense.

So it's April now, the month Ben predicted our baby would join us. There are still 23 days left in which that could happen, but I don't think I'm going to hold my breath.

We did have the closest brush we've had yet, with a local situation that we may have been considered for. The circumstances required us to pass on it, which was hard, and weird. I know that wasn't our baby, and so we continue to wait.

We got good news from our agency - our profile was able to be shown to over 30 expectant Moms during the month of March, which is apparently, as they put it, a "very high number". So our comfort level with different scenarios is evidently open enough that our chances for a match are increased. This gives me huge hope, because as we wait our agency warned us we would hear from them very infrequently. My pessimistic mind feared that our profile was never being shown, and it turns out we're in good shape. Just waiting for someone to decide that we are IT.

And because a friend suggested it - I'm going to do it: post our profile right here.

So, if you know anyone that is pregnant and considering adoption - they can check us out. We've got a lot of love. Lots.

I'll try to be more consistent about blogging, and maybe poke my negligent husband into doing the same. Perhaps I'll even add some pictures of the quilt I'm making for the baby, or the preparations we're making for an infant being in our home again (wow!). Or maybe, just maybe, April will be the month I turn 31, and the month I become Mama to a second child.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Wait

So we've been officially active and waiting with our agency for 8 weeks today. I had a nice talk with a very close friend tonight about how that feels - and how we (so far) manage not to lose our minds, with all of the unknowns floating around. On one hand, she was right, it's crazy making, not knowing ANYTHING about the arrival of our baby. We don't know when, or where from, or who, or how this baby will arrive. We can't really make any solid plans about what we will do when the time comes, because there are so very very many variables at play.

But I guess that is the very thing that is helping us feel at ease with the wait. We've done what we can, and now we wait. I am making a quilt for the baby, which is coming along slowly. We talk about names regularly, knowing that the circumstances surrounding the baby may change what his or her name ends up being. I pick out knitting patterns, and debate what size to make, not knowing if we will have a wee tiny winter baby, or a chubby little spring baby, or a leggy summer baby, or some variation thereof. I poke through Ebay, looking at cute Hanna Andersson pajamas in the little tiny sizes (because if my adorable nephew looks that cute in them, our baby must also), and I do a lot of dreaming.

I won't lie, I have moments of feeling such urgency - "come baby, come right now!" and willing the phone to ring. 4 years is such a very long time to wait for this to happen, and we're not done waiting yet.

This past weekend I attended 2 adoption related events, one with my Mother-in-law. They were so interesting and relevant, and I got to meet a bunch of other families that have already walked through this path. It made me feel hopeful and so happy - to see these families in the flesh, knowing that our own will look an awful lot like that very soon. They are real, and normal, and happy, and this really will happen. It's my mantra. This will happen.

Say it with me now.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

You know what's fun?

Looking at adults of all shapes, sizes, and colors and wondering if someday Ben and I might be parents to someone who grows up to look like that. The possibilities are endless, and magical. We are a lucky lucky family.

Friday, January 27, 2012


It's shocking to me that the first month of 2012 is nearly over. I have so many friends that are having babies this year, and they keep popping out of the woodwork. I feel excited that our baby will be growing up with other new little ones in our group of friends. It's also interesting to watch others go through pregnancy, and recognize the parts of it I will always feel a longing for, and the parts of it I am grateful to never have to do again. Watching a sweet little girl moving in a friend's belly, her arrival expected any day now, makes me feel such sweet warm memories of what that was like, that swimming feeling. The sensation of carrying your tiny companion around, watching the wee girl roll as her mother laughs. But another friend battles with morning sickness, and all of the rottenness of the first trimester, and I think that I am grateful to never have another first trimester again. Not so much to avoid morning sickness (because although it's awful, it often accompanies a healthy babe down the line), I feel incredibly lucky not to ever have to wonder again if I will "stay" pregnant. I feel fear and panic and when I think of that part again. Not ever ever ever. So releasing my own body from the burden of nurturing life to fruition feels like a great relief. And makes me that much more grateful for the possibility inherent in adoption.

I thought that activating with our agency would help me feel more ready to "nest" for this little one - because I feel with my whole heart that this baby deserves as much pomp and ceremony and nesting as Adeline received. But I still feel unsure, and a little out of practice. We do need to carve out a space for this person, I want him or her to know that there was physical as well as emotional space being held as we waited.

In answer to many of your questions (and I feel so touched that our family is in your minds!), nope, no news. I don't expect there to be any for a while. And although I am excited, I don't feel anxious in the wait right now, just settled. Ben is predicting April, he isn't sure why. April would be lovely, but so would any other month. Adeline is already thinking it's taking too long, with a little over 3 weeks of waiting under our belts ;) I've explained that were I pregnant we'd have a long 40 week wait, but time is very fluid in her head.

So yeah, that's it for now. Please keep us in your thoughts, and send warm thoughts to the little one who might be growing this very minute.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Very Happy New Year

I'm too weary to write much, we all have a bad cold. We're now active with our agency. Our profile is visible for the whole world to see and is now being shown to potential expectant mothers. Now we wait. happy happy happy.