Wednesday, April 19, 2006
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 3)
I left off in Part 2 with meeting Quinn for the first time and mentioned that we wouldn't see him again until the day of Snuggle Bug's birth.

An odd thing happened, as we waited for Snuggle Bug to arrive. In September 2004, we received a phone call from Oronzo's mother (to be referred to as Aleiza), telling us of a friend of a friend's granddaughter who was due to have a baby in October (Snuggle Bug was due in December) and who chose to place the baby for adoption (so much for the myth of there being no newborns available to adopt). Aleiza said she'd already had contact with the expectant mother's grandmother and it was determined between them that they wanted Oronzo and I to adopt the baby girl!

Many conversations were had between us and Aleiza, with her urging us to consider accepting this match. We did consider it, in length. We imagined the various scenarios. One, that we pursue both babies (the little girl due in October and Snuggle Bug due in December) and have near-twins, assuming that both expectant mothers were okay with such a scenario. Two, that we pursue a match with the baby girl's expectant mother and turn down our match with Giselle if we were truly picked by this other expectant mother. Three, that we turn down the potential match for the baby girl and stick with the original match with Giselle and her baby boy.

After many conversations, Oronzo and I agreed that we didn't feel confident enough, as first time parents, to raise two babies so close together. And it didn't feel morally right to turn down our current match to pursue a baby that was due only two months earlier. In the end, we chose Snuggle Bug. Oronzo and I both realized that we were already quite attached to Giselle and her unborn child and, come what may, were going to see it through. We were determined not to consider anything that might jeopardize our current match.

Aleiza was quite disappointed when we told her of our decision. She tried to persuade us to change our minds and, when the healthy baby girl was born in October and was successfully placed with adoptive parents in New York, I prayed that we had made the right decision.

I must admit, although were matched easily with Giselle and things seemed to be going well (communication was open, she appeared determined to follow through with her adoption plan), I was a bundle of stressed nerves during the 5 month wait! I was nervous about the Home Study and the steps involved to become licensed to adopt (we had to jump through a lot of hoops, but it wasn't as painful as I had anticipated). I had never dealt with adoption lawyers before and I feared we'd be taken advantage of or misguided by either our lawyer or by Giselle's. I was anxious to learn everything I could about the legalities of adoption, fearful that we'd somehow accidentally break the rules along the way and be accused of coercion. I never, ever wanted that to happen!

I was nervous about the health of the baby, since we had absolutely no control as to how Giselle took care of herself during the pregnancy. It appeared that she was taking good care of herself but she admitted to being a smoker and I worried.

Most of all, I was afraid that, in the end, Giselle or Quinn would change their minds and decide to parent. My mind accepted that this was a reality and that they had every right to do so, but my heart ached at the thought of this happening. Despite our best efforts to not get attached, it was clear that remaining emotionally detached was impossible. I loved this child, before he was even born! If I could form such an attachment to an unborn child that I wasn't carrying inside my body, I couldn't even begin to imagine the internal struggle that Giselle was experiencing during her pregnancy.

And if the adoption did take place, I wondered how we all would survive afterwards. I felt such guilt with the knowledge that my happiness in becoming a mother would be at the expense of another mother's pain at loosing her child. I hadn't just become attached to Giselle's baby, but I had also become quite attached to Giselle! The more I learned about her, the more I respected and liked her. Considering that Oronzo and I originally didn't intend to have personal contact with a match, these feelings of attachment were unexpected and scary at times. Adoption is definitely not for the faint of heart!

Finally, the time we were all waiting for had come. The day before Snuggle Bug was to be born, we got a call from Giselle letting us know she was having mild contractions and would probably be going to the hospital. By then, we were in the same city, awaiting the arrival of her child, so we were able to drive to the hospital when her mother called back a couple of hours later and asked us to meet them there!

Oronzo and I sprang into action. We threw a few of our things in an overnight bag, just in case (we already had a little bag packed for the baby stored in the trunk), and drove quickly to the hospital. We were met at the information desk by Quinn. He appeared calm and managed to greet us with a smile. He escorted us back to Giselle in the birth center (which we had toured just a few days previous). We found her lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a machine that monitored the baby's heart beat. We got to hear his heart beat and, again, the sound brought tears to my eyes.

Giselle looked calm, but it became clear that the contractions were causing her discomfort. I went to her and held her hand for a bit as we chatted to her and her mother. Quinn was fairly quiet.

Eventually Giselle was put into a wheel chair and taken to a private room. We were invited to follow them. I remember feeling quite out of place, not sure where we should be and not wanting to make Giselle or Quinn feel uncomfortable. I was very grateful that we'd met with a hospital social worker previously and gotten a tour of the birthing rooms and a run-down on what to expect, which helped to alleviate some of the fear of the unknown. This hospital had done many adoptions in the past and the staff that we talked to came across as professional and compassionate, not just towards potential adoptive parents, but also towards potential birth parents.

After Giselle was settled in her room, the nurse asked all of us to leave so that she could talk with Giselle in private. We learned later that this was when Giselle gave the nurse a written list of her desires in regards to the birth and the pending adoption. For example, she made it clear that she wanted the baby to go directly to us and that she wanted her mother to have some time alone to say "goodbye" to the baby before they left. Giselle was still of the opinion that it would be best for her not to see the baby.

After talking to Giselle, the nurse came and talked to us. She shared with us the wishes that Giselle had expressed that pertained to us. We assured her that we'd do whatever was asked of us and that if Giselle changed her mind about wanting time with the baby, we fully supported that choice. The same went for Quinn and any other family member! Our family would not be present. Oronzo and I felt that it would be in poor taste to have our family there celebrating the baby's birth with us, while their family went through such an emotionally difficult time.

We learned that when the baby was born, we'd be given a private room a few doors down and the baby would be brought to us immediately and that he would be cleaned up and weighed in our room. I was told that I would be given a hospital bracelet that would allow me access to the nursery and that Giselle would be given one also.

Snuggle Bug was not in a hurry to arrive. Giselle's contractions slowed down and we alternated pacing the halls and sitting in her room along with her mother, grandmother, and Quinn as we all waited. As we waited, Oronzo and I went out and called some of our family members to let them know where we were and to promise to keep them updated. By about midnight, Oronzo and I finally gave in to exhaustion and got blankets and pillows from the nurses station so that we could doze in chairs outside Giselle's room while she, too, tried to sleep. Giselle's mother and Quinn assured us they'd wake us up if the contractions began to pick up again.

Okay, here's a good stopping point. I'll continue on with Part 4 of our adoption journey in the near future. Stay tuned!

To continue reading about our first adoption journey, see Part 4.

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10:20 AM

At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, have we ever -- and our dd is only 19 months old! The first "baby buying" comment we got was from our sister-in-law, not a source we expected to hear THAT from. When we told her, somewhat aghast, that dd was not a commodity bought and paid for, she continued to argue her pointless point that since money had changed hands (lawyer, agency, prospective birth mother living expenses)indeed she was. Grrrrrr. Knowing her as we do (likes to argue for the sake of arguing), we quickly changed the subject. Not going to change that opinion anytime soon, either -- good thing we don't see her often!

And then there are the many tiresome variations on the "real mother" theme: does she ever see her "real" mother (yes, every day -- what?! oh, you mean YOU); aren't you worried that she knows your names and where you live (why?!); aren't you worried that she'll snatch "her" child back (oh, that's why); what do you know about her "real" mother (none of your freakin' business!!!) Blah, blah, blah....Some questions come from well-intentioned but ill-informed sources, so we often have the opportunity to gently educate while respecting dd's, as well as her bmom's privacy. But some of the questioners are just opiniated and even hostile, with no desire or intention to learn anything other than what they already *know*.

Oronzo has it right....sometimes all you can do is laugh at the jackasses out there.....better than bashing heads against walls (your own or somebody elses;-)

At 6:15 PM, Blogger kpjara said...

I've got to say I'm so glad I didn't arrive here until much of the early story was told, because to be left hanging outside the room waiting for the contractions to start again would just kill me... Good you write for the soaps?

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Lovely Rita said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm going to finish it tomorrow when I can cry when your son is finally born (my family would want me to explain the whole thing, it's not often that one cries while on the internet).


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Name: Overwhelmed

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It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Easter Greetings!
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 2)
Look what Snuggle Bug is addicted to...
To squeak or not to squeak, that is the question!
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 1)
Family Friendly
Mama's little gardener

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