Wednesday, June 07, 2006
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 9)
I left off in Part 8 with us receiving the call from our lawyer that Giselle had terminated her parental rights and that we were free to keep Snuggle Bug and petition to adopt him.

When we got home, I got Snuggle Bug out of his car seat, walked into the house holding him close, and started crying again. I had an outpouring of tears of relief, joy, sorrow, and of hope. The tears just kept coming and coming. Poor Snuggle Bug got quite a shower. He didn't mind. He was fast asleep, his tiny head resting against my heart.

Eventually I laid Snuggle Bug in his bassinet to sleep and shortly after that, the phone rang. It was Giselle.

"OW, it's Giselle. I just wanted to make sure that you'd heard, I signed the paperwork a bit ago." Her voice sounded calm, but I thought I detected a bit of a catch in her words.

The floodgate of my tears re-opened and I sobbed, "I'm so sorry you had to do this!"

Giselle started crying as well, "I've been preparing for this day for 9 months."

We cried together over the phone. I wished she were next to me so that I could reach out and hug her.

"If it's not too painful, can I send you some newborn pictures of Snuggle Bug soon?" I asked Giselle tentatively.

"I'd like that," she said quietly.

We talked more about our hopes and dreams for Snuggle Bug. Before ending our conversation I told Giselle, "Please keep in touch. I really want to know how you're doing. Call me, email me, whatever works best for you."

I wasn't sure if she would keep in touch. I was so afraid to be the one to contact her and cause her more pain than I was certain she was already feeling. For the next 3 months, as we waited to finalize Snuggle Bug's adoption, I found myself missing Giselle far more than I had anticipated. I missed seeing her. I missed her updates. I missed her company. I felt a connection to her (I still do), the first mother and the adoptive mother connected forever by a child.

Giselle set the precedence of contacting me after she received pictures and an update from me. She'd email me to let me know how much she enjoyed the pictures and she'd tell me a bit about what was going on in her world. Our post adoption agreement was to send pictures and an update once every 6 months, but I found myself wanting to send them more frequently. I had to tread lightly with this, for more than one reason.

First, I was afraid of invading Giselle's privacy and I wasn't confident that she'd tell me if it got to be too much. I've heard many first mothers say that they were afraid to speak out for fear that the adoption would be closed. I’ve always tried to assure Giselle that we would always honor our commitment, but I’ve never been certain that she still doesn’t have that fear.

Second, I had to also think of Oronzo. He made it clear to me that he committed to what he knew he could and updates every 6 months, nothing more, nothing less. He was honest about that with all of us involved (including Giselle and Quinn) from day one. I knew he wouldn't appreciate it if I was reaching out to Giselle with far more frequency than we had agreed to.

It was tough. It's still tough. I feel like I'm doing a balancing act, trying to please everyone, including myself. I have always made a point to share the info from Giselle's emails with Oronzo (she has emailed me a few times over this past year and a half) and he listens and occasionally asks questions. And this Valentine's Day he took an awesome picture of Snuggle Bug dressed as a cupid and I let Oronzo know I wanted to send a copy to Giselle then, so she'd get it on Valentine's Day, rather than have to wait for our next scheduled update in June. He was fine with that.

We occasionally get phone calls and gifts for Snuggle Bug from Giselle's grandmother, Ellen. She mainly mails him children's books, and the occasional stuffed animal. I'm careful to mark each book from her with a note on who it came from. After he's outgrown them, I'll store them in a special place to give Snuggle Bug when he's older.

We've also received the various letter or two from Giselle's mother, Clara, and one from Ellen. I have these tucked away in my hope chest, along with Giselle's printed out emails, saving them for Snuggle Bug. I'm hoping that Giselle will one day send the letter and pictures of her and Quinn that she's mentioned wanting to do, but so far she hasn't and I'm not going to pressure her.

We don't hear from Quinn. I've learned, from Giselle, that Quinn's way of coping with this adoption is to not talk about it. It hurts Giselle at times because he doesn't look through the update packets that we send, although she said she has caught him looking at the pictures of Snuggle Bug that she has framed and displayed in her room.

I know that Quinn loves Snuggle Bug. Perhaps one day I'll get an email or a phone call from him, asking for an update. I'll gladly give it to him, informing Oronzo in the process. For now, I have to be content with knowing that he and Giselle are still together and that he has access to the info that we send her.

Well, that's all for now. I meant to discuss Snuggle Bug's Adoption Finalization Day, but I guess I'll do that in Part 10.

To read the final chapter in my 10-part series describing our first adoption journey, see Part 10.

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4:45 PM

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Ellie said...

I found your site several weeks ago from a link on Princesses, Dogs, and Chaos, and was captivated as I read through Snuggle Bug's entire adoption story (as far as you've told it). Thank you so much for sharing it with us, it is truly an amazing story, about an equally amazing little boy. I also love reading the stories you write about Snuggle Bug's activities and accomplishments. What a sweet boy. God bless!

At 7:15 PM, Blogger kpjara said...

This story just gets better and better and I thank you so much for sharing it.

It is your story that has prompted me to really get started (beyond just think about it) with the whole adoption process. I thank GOD that He brought me to this space.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

what a beautiful picture! I'm sure it must feel like you're walking a fine line between making everyone happy with the updates, and how much to do and the frequency etc. Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job holding that all together and I'm sure Giselle appreciates all you've done to make this easy on her too. Thanks for sharing!

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took Munchkin's firstfather two years to consider meeting her and he's still slowly dealing with that. In my personal adoption experience, the father is slower at contact as it isn't socially "appropriate" for males to show emotion... and how could you not in an open adoption? Heck, the love Josh has for Munchkin is so ... BIG ... that I don't even understand it.

Anyway, rambling. Lovely story.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger said...

Waiting for more...

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Shereen said...

I am thankful that I just found your blog yesterday, because it would have drove me insane waiting to hear whether Giselle signed the papers or not. I was happy to be able to read all 8 parts in one shot. lol That picture is absolutely precious. He really does look like a little snugglebug in your arms. By the way, thanks for leaving me a comment on my bread post. I was laughing with my dh, because he was the first person to leave me a comment when I first started blogging in April. I told him my blog must be pretty corny if my husband has to leave me a comment so I don't feel bad. lol ;0) Keep snugglin' that snugglebug!!

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Catch said...

I was so happy to see you had posted some more of the story...and what a great pic of you and Snuggle Bug. You are such an amazing considerate of everyone. Im sure Giselle realizes what a wonderful Mother and Father Snuggle Bug has ...and it makes it a little easier for her. He is a very precious little boy who is growing up with loving, kind and considerate parents. My hats off to you !!!

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

I receive emails when people post comments. If they enter their email address when they post, I make a point to reply to their comment with an email. It's important to me to do that.

There are 3 of you that didn't leave me an email address and I couldn't find one on your blog, so I'll leave a comment here and hope you return to read it. :)

Jenna- Thank you so much for your insight and perspective along the way. It means a lot to me.

Tracey- More will be coming soon. Thanks for coming back to check.

Shereen- You have a cute blog design! Thanks for taking the time to go back and read all my adoption journey posts. I sure appreciate that! And there's nothing wrong with your husband leaving you your first comment. I think that's sweet!

As for the rest of you, thanks for your comments as well. Check your inbox. :)

At 4:32 AM, Blogger pithydithy said...

Each chapter of your story leaves me teary and grateful to have had it shared with me. Thanks so very much.

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing journey you have been through. I really enjoy reading.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have goose bumps. How brave of Giselle to stay in contact. You are an amazing mother to share your child!!

Although it is hard you are doing the right thing for your family.

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My adoptive parents were the same way after we terminated our rights (the birthfather and I did it at the same time). I went to see Baby M the day after we terminated the rights which was in December, but then I didnt see her again till August. It was just too painful.

It is right of you to allow Giselle to set the pace. Though there are times I wish B & J would reach out to me.

I dont think you said...or if you did, I think I missed it...why did Giselle and Quinn decide to place Snugglebug? If you would rather discuss that via email....thats fine. I was just curious.

Ooh and you have inspired me to actually chronicle the events of Baby M's adoption. I am going to be asking B and J to add their thoughts too.

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Beth- I think it'd be great for you to chronicle the events of Baby M's adoption, especially if B & J are willing to add their thougths too!

As for Giselle & Quinn's reasons for placing, I've deliberately left those reasons unexplained because, although I'm writing anonymously, I still feel it's an invasion of their privacy to get into to that. I hope you understand.

Oh, and it appears that you accidently posted the same thing twice, so I deleted your 2nd comment. :)

Thanks so mucgh for stopping by! I really enjoy reading on your blog as well.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Third Mom said...

Thanks so much for helping adoptive parents see the experience of open adoption through your eyes. Beautiful!


At 8:50 PM, Blogger Shereen said...

Thanks for responding back and the compliment on my blog design. How do I post so that you can see my email address? Just in case, it's I also put a contact me/email me on the right column of my blog. Thanks. Keep up the great work on your blog.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger shade said...

You are a beatiful woman and a gift to your son and his birth family. People like you are precious and special, and full of a strength I admire so very much!!!


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

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!

Will he be a musician or a conductor?
Diaper challenges
My blog's been spotlighted, a new baby, matters of...
Five Ingredients Friday (Pork Kebabs)
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 8)
Five Ingredients Friday Launch (Quick Cheddar Chee...
Up, peaz!
Colored Chalk
3 objectives to this post.
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 7)

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