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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now... to add to the fact that I am a horrible person for adopting in the first place I am now even worse for actually naming our baby before she arrives...

Are you kidding me? So this is another thing that I am supposed to "not do" since I will not be the biological mother of this child. I am "erasing" her true identity... I am "running out to the BabyMart" to pick out a baby that fits my needs... And by specifying a preference toward a girl (who will most likely be our only child) I am less sensitive, less humane, less of a mother...

I have done all that I know to do... I do not agree with those of you who have appeared on this blog (thanks to "Myst" and her previous blog post about what a horrible person I am) to question my decisions to become a mother. I have tried to explain myself... to plead my case... to show you into my heart and let you now that no matter how screwed up the system is that I am one of the "good guys" who actually care about the birthmothers feelings, rights and emotional well being... but some of you are so bitter, so jaded and so hurt that you can't see that even in a flawed system there can be good decent trustworthy people with good intentions and values.

The fact is.. as many people in my corner have said... that there are children being placed for adoption everyday... there are people in this world who should not or can not parent a child... and I am willing to stand in that gap. To parent a child that I did not birth. To give a home to an infant who otherwise may not have a safe, warm and loving place to grow up.

So even though there is "no such thing as a reputable adoption agency" I am signed with one that I feel is doing the best they can in difficult situations... That has been the story of my life for the past 7 years "doing the best I can in a difficult situation."

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Friday, December 18, 2009

I vant to be left alone...

To quote Ms. Garbo.. "I vant to be left alone..."

I know many of you are new to my blog (ie... the ones who have come over to yell at me because my blog link was posted on another blog and you were encouraged to come over and call me names..)but I really would like you to go now... I get it that you all think I am a terrible person because I want to be a parent.. I understand that you feel that I am out to steal another woman's baby.. that I feel "entitled" and that I am almost criminal for wanting to have a child to raise... but what you don't understand is that I believe in adoption... I think it is another way to build a family... I believe that there is a baby out that that God has chosen to bring into our family through adoption. I will love this baby and raise her to be a good person. I will make sure that this child will have a good home, a stable home, a loving and safe home...

I feel like I have been attacked and I know I can't change any of your minds. But I don't think adoption is evil... and I know my husband and I are not evil people for wanting to raise a child. I have always wanted to be a mother... I have spent the last thirteen years as a teacher... and I know that despite being unable to conceive, I am supposed to parent a child.

I know there is nothing I can do to change the minds of the people who have posted here... many of you have been hurt by adoption and I can only say that I am sorry that you have been hurt...

But this is about my family... and I have done everything that I can to try to be prepared to raise an adoption child. And I am going to be an adoptive mother... so instead of the blastings, why don't you try to tell me what I can do (besides not adopt or to adopt from foster care... both of which are not options for me) to be more prepared to raise a child who for whatever reason... has been relinquished for adoption...

After 6 years of infertility treatments... and grief counseling to deal with the loss of two pregnancies... we began to explore adoption.

We took a year to interview agencies and go to meetings to decide what type of adoption was best for us.

We have chosen to adopt an infant domestically... we asked to be matched with a baby girl.

We chose an agency who we felt was very reputable. They are a tiny agency and they do things differently than many agencies... They match couples to the birthmother. The birthmother does not "pick" parents for the child... instead the agency matches you (sort of like international adoption).

We will not meet the birthmother before placement. This is to protect the birthmother from having a prospective adoptive mother in her life talking he into things she doesn't feel comfortable with. We won't be there to buy her gifts, to go to her doctors appointments, or in the room when she gives birth.

When our birthmom signs her paperwork she will only know that she is placing her baby in a safe and loving home that has been through a rigorous interview and background check. If she chooses to change her mind she is free to do so... without knowing that we are in the other room... there will be no guilt related to "letting us down" or "breaking a promise" to us. When she signs the papers she will have every opportunity to change her mind.

All of this is the main reasons that we chose this agency... because it protects the birthmother from feeling pressured... and we liked that.

After the papers are signed we will get a call. We have let our agency know that we are happy to meet with the birthmother if she chooses. I would actually prefer that... but it will be entirely up to her. Once the baby comes home with us the adoption will be closed for one year... we will send updates to the agency during that time for the birthmom to have if she chooses but there will be no contact with us. After the year we will have a mediated adoption which means that we will have contact through our adoption attorney. Whatever relationship both parties agree on is what we will have... and we have already made it clear that we would like to stay in contact with our birthmother... but again... that will be up to her.

In addition to being very careful about choosing our agency we have also done a lot of research in to raising adopted children... We have attended 2 adoption conferences featuring some of the countries most renowned adoption expects, we have attended an adult adoptee panel where we listened to the feelings these adopted people had growing up. We have read various books about both adoption and parenting, watched dvds, taken baby classes and cpr, and basically outfitted a nursery with everything we could to try to make the little ones transition more comfortable. We have dedicated the last 2 years to planning and preparing for this child. Everyday, I plan and think and pray for this child... and I hope and think and pray for her birthmother.

We have arranged for her care, planned to bank her cord blood (if her birthmother consents), purchase her car seat, interview her pediatrician, and I have undergone protocol so I can provide her with my own breastmilk... and I have pumped since April... because we thought that she would be here in early summer.

I know I will never be this child's biological mother... that there will be a loss in her life... that there will be hardships that we have to overcome. But I look forward to it all.. every single moment. I want to be there for this child for the rest of my life.. to love her, raise her and teach her... I recognize that there is sadness in this process... and I hate that... but that doesn't mean that I will not be able to love this baby as if she came from my womb. She will know that she is adopted and have (age appropriate) access all the information that her birthmother choses to share with us. I will be there when it is time to reunite with her birthmom and I will support that reunion.

Honestly, I am trying... I am sympathetic to the needs of all of you with hard, horrible, heartbreaking stories... but I am still going to parent. And this child... our daughter, Finley Elisse, will be the most cherished thing our lives.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh for God's sake...

Wow... My last post generated a lot of hostility... Since most of you have never posted before I will assume that my blog was the topic of a message board somewhere and the link was passed around... There seemed to be a bit of mob mentality there...

Here are my thoughts...

Clearly (if you read the post... ) the people I called selfish are the people who find it easier to have an abortion than to place their baby for adoption... not people who opt to parent their children.

I still say the CPS system sucks and that people should not be able to abuse their children and keep them until they have damaged them so severely that recovery is almost impossible.

Cracked out people should lose their right to parent (see above comment)

Choosing to parent a child you can not afford is not a problem to me... it is just an unfortunate fact. This week alone I have fed three high school students pb&j for lunch and an afternoon snack at school because their parents can not afford for them to eat breakfast or dinner. This is the comment about the economy... it is just a fact. I am sure that their parents love them. None of these posts were questioning love... they were questioning the ability to provide for a child .

About the Grandparents... I can not imagine that the pain of being adopted into a loving family is any greater than being abandoned by your parents to be raised by grandparents. In fact... I would say it is probably very similar. I have many students who have zero contact with their parents because they have started "new families"... are in jail... or have just disappeared... And many (not all) are being raised by grandparents who resent the fact that they have to raise another child. This is a good time to remind people that my post was about reasons why adoptions have slowed... and this is a reason (right or wrong) that people are not placing their children for adoption. Did I ever say that no child should ever be raised by grandparents? No... I did not.

And finally the biggie... children raising children. When I wrote this post I was thinking of a few cases in my mind from my very own personal experiences with teens... #1 the 13 year old at my school who is expecting twins, #2 the pregnant 15 year old whose parents have kicked her out who now lives with her abusive 17 year old boyfriend and his alcoholic mom, #3 the pregnant 17 year old who is pregnant for the second time and already has a 16 month old at home, #4 the 20 year old who came to me last night and announced that she is 26 weeks pregnant and has not seen a doctor, lives with mom (who takes younger brother aderol (sp?) and says "I don't know... I guess I'll just keep it." And #5 the 14 year old... who is keeping her baby... to raise with her 30 year old mother who works at Walgreens part time... and the baby's father is... mom's husband.

Many of these girls are starved for attention... which is probably a factor in why they are pregnant now... They love the attention they get at school from the other girls when they pass around the sonogram or invite people to their babyshower... Last year I even had a student bring her 3 day old baby up to school to show the class... during the swine flu outbreak... and her grandmother drove her there and waited in the car for her... Maybe it is offensive to me to say... but these are not people who are going to make sound parenting choices... watch the new show Teen Mom on MTV... it is heartbreaking.

These are real life teenagers... who are about to parent children. Again... I did not say that every pregnant teen should not parent... but seriously... can you not step back and wonder if any of these girls should maybe consider adoption??? There are plenty of other pregnant teens who "maybe" could be ready to parent... but can you not see that adoption is a needed alternative?

I have read The Primal Wound... I understand... but there are, in my humble opinion, bigger mistakes that you can make with your child than placing them for adoption... bigger wounds... more hurtful than being selfless enough to want them to have a better life than you can provide.

And for those of you that suggest that I was callous to birthmothers... you are wrong. I have the most respect in the world for a woman who is able to put her baby's needs above her own feelings. I do not see birthmothers as a commodity... I see them as brave women who are making a decision that is well beyond the sacrifice most of us will ever make. I think they should be honored and celebrated... not forced into a life of shame by people who feel that the biological bound is the most important link to raising a child... and who treat these women as criminals for opting not to parent.

So to those of you who felt that you needed to reprimand my feelings on my blog maybe this explains my heart to you a bit more. Not that I owe any of you an explanation... this is my journey, my pain, and my blog... if you don't like what I write about then click to another page. On this blog I will continue to post my feelings as a way to vent and express what I am going through on my personal journey.

I am sorry to offend so many of you... but I would like to suggest a few things:
1. read the entire post... all the words... before you snap to judgement
2. Remember that just as my baggage clouds my opinion so does yours...
3. know that I am not really looking for your approval.
4. Try to have compassion... you don't even know me.
5. If all else fails... fuck off.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Still #3

We are still number three on our adoption agency list. That means that they have not successfully placed a domestic infant in over 4 months.

This is hard news.

But... before everyone gets up in arms I have to say we still believe in this particular agency. We have rechecked their accreditation and our attorneys license and everything is in order. There are just circumstances beyond their control that are happening and they assure me that it is happening with domestic adoptions all over the state. Let's discuss the possible reasons that people are not giving up babies...

#1 - The bad economy - people may actually be keeping babies that they can not afford to get the extra state support. This shocked me because I thought in hard economic times people would be more likely to relinquish a child they can not afford. But when you think about it it sort of makes sense.

#2 - Abortions - Maybe more people who can't afford a baby are choosing to terminate the pregnancy. Especially working women who can not afford to lose time off the job or to care for a child and pay for childcare.

#3 - It is totally acceptable for teenagers to have babies. Trust me I work in a high school... I now a little about his one... Thanks to young starlets like Jamie Lynn Spears it is acceptable, almost fashionable, to have a baby when you are a teen. There is no stigma. Pregnant teens walk around school in maternity shirts with "Baby Mama" printed on them and pass out there sonograms and baby shower invites in class. It is a way to get attention from all the girls who flock to hear news of the latest doctor visit... We have programs at school to help these girls pay for their expenses, to help them with childcare, and to help them finish high school... that sounds great right? But these services all disappear when the mother graduates... so then what?

#4 - Grandparents are totally willing to raise their children's children. Not just the above mentioned type of girls but even the most cracked out mothers usually have a long suffering mother who is willing to raise their children. Parents who made poor parenting decisions with their children are not getting a second chance to raise their grandchildren. Parents float in and out of the child's life while the aging grandparents try to stretch the social security check to pay for tennis shoes and school supplies.

5. The CPS system sucks. It takes a lot for a child to be taken away from a parent in our country. Even the mother who gives birth to a meth baby has the chance to clean up and start over with her baby after only a few months of sobriety. This is why there are so many sibling groups in foster care... women can't care for the baby they have and then find themselves pregnant a few more times... finally when the kids are older they realize (or CPS realizes) they just can't handle the children and put them in the foster system... but only after the children have been so abused, so neglected, and have so much mistrust of adults that they have trouble finding homes for these kids.

6. Adoption is the hardest option. Many people are to selfish to consider adoption for their child. It is to hard... it comes with pain and consequence for poor judgement. No one gives you a party when you choose to place your baby for adoption. No one celebrates the selfless decision being made. Many people feel it is easier to terminate the pregnancy and "be done with it" than it is to give that child a chance at a good life because it requires the birth mother to suffer the grief of losing her baby...

7. My small agency has had 3 fraudulent birth mothers in the last 2 months... one of which may not have really been pregnant at all. Imagine that. There are women out there that have no intention of placing their baby for adoption but want to try to scam the agency out of services and money while they are pregnant.

I have a friend who just adopted a baby privately. She is wealthy and pulled out all the stops t get an infant fast. She paid just under $70,000 for this baby and "birth mother expenses" and when the baby was born there was meth in her system and the ethnicity was different than expected (meaning the birth mother doesn't know who the father was).
My friend is happy and in love with her baby... but the cost is over 3 times what we could pay... she got her baby in 6 months... but that is what money can do. That is why I want to punch people who say thing like "I don't want to have another baby because I got so fat! So we are just going to adopt". Adoption is HARD people! If you have ever told someone to "just adopt" you should apologize to them.. and bake them some cupcakes... because you are lucky they didn't clock you.

So I would love to hear you opinions and words of wisdom...
But just so you know..

Yes... we are sure this agency is for real and not a scam.
Yes... this is the right agency for us.
Yes... we are sure that we want to request a girl.

Please continue to pray for us and Finley... this is the hardest thing we have ever done and we appreciate your support and prayers for us, our baby and our adoption agency.

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