January 11, 2010

Baby Stuff

Filed under: Adoption, Birth mother, Infertility, Paperwork, Preparation — adoptation @ 9:01 pm

With only about 2 months to go until the baby’s birth mother is due, my wife and I are having to get serious about our preparations for the adoption. We’re now officially beyond paperwork (well, not entirely…there’s still plenty of paperwork to do!) and have to do stuff like pick out a car seat, get some baby clothes, and generally figure out how to start taking care of this baby the minute he’s put into our arms.

One thing I’m staunchly against doing is buying a lot of stuff. Not because I don’t think we’ll need or want stuff—I just know that family & friends are going to want to buy gifts and help out and such and, well, they’re certainly welcome to do so! So I’m getting a Target registry together for the baby.

But since, again, we really don’t know all that much about babies and their baby stuff, my wife thought it would be good to go to our local Target and explore the wide world of baby bedding, figure out what exactly “receiving blankets” looked like, and get a general feel for the baby-stuff scene.

And wow, did we ever have fun!

We had fun looking at stuff that we wanted our baby to have (cute, but not too cute, onesies). We had fun mocking the stuff we wanted no part of (Diaper Genie? No thanks). We had fun being horrified by some of the stuff (a gadget that lets you listen to, record, and e-mail pre-natal sounds). We had fun picking up some stuff we’d really need (car seats are not all alike). We had fun imagining this stuff in our house and the baby in our life.

But the biggest shock was realizing that we were having fun. Doing baby stuff.

That hadn’t really happened before; certainly not in a long, long time. Any baby stuff (ie, infertility stuff) we did tended to involve negative emotions that ranged from nervousness and tension to disappointment and crippling heartbreak. The rest of what we did, including for the adoption, was generally paperwork stuff. And imagining life with a baby was way, way too outside of what felt safe to think about or discuss; being in the baby aisle of Target would have just meant hours of my wife crying while I tried to comfort us both.

But there we were, showing each other funny bibs and talking about why some onesies had mittens. We were just enjoying ourselves amongst the baby stuff, and starting for the first time to get a genuine, real feeling of what it might be like to arrive at the place we’ve been trying to get to for so long.


January 5, 2010

Yours, Mine, Ours

Filed under: Adoption, Birth mother, Infertility, Paperwork — adoptation @ 9:08 pm

In short order, this blog has gotten a decent readership—which is a pleasant surprise, considering that I wasn’t entirely clear to whom I was writing when I fired this up.

I certainly don’t know as much about adoption as a lot of my fellow adoption bloggers do. My wife and I are still fairly new in this world—we begin the paperwork and initial preparations during our final round of fertility treatments, which isn’t exactly recommended, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Then the paperwork and agency stuff and initial match all happened so quickly…well, I feel like we’re simultaneously taking our hesitant first steps and barreling down the highway at 90 miles an hour.

Which brings me to an interesting note I received from one of this blog’s readers. She clearly sensed my rookie-dom here and offered an observation that had never occurred to me: that some might object to my use of the phrase “our birthmother” and other possessive-pronoun phrases (she also sent this link).

I definitely see the point here…but I kind of don’t know how else to refer to this woman (one of the most cosmically generous I’ve ever know, btw…). In other instances, the use of “our” or “my” doesn’t indicate any sort of entitled feeling ownership: you’d say, “my boss” or “our Senator” without it being about possession. They’re just people who are connected to us, and the possessive indicates that there is a relationship…right?

Am I just being naive here? We’re definitely developing genuine feelings for our the birthmother, and not just viewing her as a holding company for the baby we’re hoping to adopt. But I also recognize that this is a transactional relationship…which almost all relationships are, but this one perhaps more tangibly so. I’ll have to think on a better way to refer to her (maybe just something like: M), but this is a good reminder that both my wife and I will need to look even more deeply at the lifelong relationship we’re entering into…not just with the child, but with the baby’s biological mother.

December 28, 2009

28 Days Later

Filed under: Adoption, Birth mother, Paperwork — adoptation @ 8:14 pm

The call came today. I wasn’t ready for it, but it came anyway.

I’ll bet that no one is ever really ready for this call, the one that says, “A birth mother has picked you.” (Translation: “You will have a baby soon, for real.”) But if there was any one thematic element that had run through all of the stories we’d heard from the agency, from other adoptive families, from adoption-themed blogs, from Lifetime Original Movies, or really from any source that troubled itself with adoption, that theme is: Wait. You will have to wait.

We waited 28 days, and then the call came. This is a full lunar phase, or how long it takes to go through rehab. Noah hadn’t yet seen a ray of sunshine 28 days after the flood began, Obama hadn’t yet become president 28 days after being elected. They told us it would take, on average, 6 – 9 months, but it took fewer days than there are in any month on the calendar, except for our friend February (and in a leap year, not even then).

And that’s not all. The call said that our baby is due in 11 weeks. But, everyone told us: Wait. You will have to wait, even after you get the call. Because humans gestate for 9 months—OK, 10 lunar months, but let’s not get too technical—not for 10 weeks. Imagine getting a call that said, “Hi. You’re now 5 months pregnant.” No one gets that call. But we just did.

Now, after nearly 3 years of nothing (or at least nothing good) when it comes to baby making, there are only 11 weeks left. And that could be 10, gestation being what it is. It’s like being shot out of a slingshot that has been drawn back for months and years, potential energy getting all kinetic with one phone call.

It’s 28 days later, and now there are 11 weeks, followed by 48 hours for the consent forms, then 5 business days for paperwork, then 6 months for more paperwork. And then the rest of our lives. Better get busy, because the waiting is over.

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