This week, we found out that the doctors were considering inducing M and we began making earnest pre-plans to travel.  At this point, we are (mostly) packed, have a few different travel plans to choose from, have a few different hotel options to consider, have carseat arrangements figured out… but the doctors have decided to give her at least another week before talking about inducing again.  the good news is that during this, our communication levels have increased and I’ve had the opportunity to say some important things (via text still, sigh, but at least they’ve been SAID) to M and she’s said some important things to me as well.  Despite not meeting yet in person, she is not a complete stranger to me.

Today has seen some rushy-frustrating details pop up with our adoption agency which would require us (maybe) to do some of our paperwork hoop-jumping AGAIN (not through any fault of our own) and I’m trying very hard not to get all tied up in knots about it.  Because we weren’t sure if we’d have to drop everything and fly to Texas today, I’d let us run out of milk and a few other essentials, so tonight i stopped by the grocery store.  as i made my way around the perimeter of the store, still mumbling to myself about the injustices of the day, i slowly realized that the song being played on the store’s sound system was “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips.  First of all, it was enough of a pleasant-memory-flashback song that it put a smile on my face immediately.  Then, I listened to the lyrics and decided it was a sign that I needed to just be patient.

“Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things’ll go your way
Hold on for one more day”

tomorrow is a new day.  let’s see what it will bring.

yup, still matched….

but still not a ton of communication and i’m not sensing a lot of trust from her yet.  we had planned to go down to meet her last weekend, but a little more than 24 hours before our flight, she contacted me to say that she had a last-minute schedule conflict and asked to re-schedule the trip.  at this point, i’m not really sure if re-scheduling will be possible, but i’ve made peace with the idea that we may not meet in person before the big day.  I am encouraged that this week she texted me three days in a row, but this relationship has been much more challenging to build than the last time.

Worked on decorating the baby room a bit this week…

still matched

no big news to report here other than that I’ve had one or two more text conversations with the expectant mother that we’re matched with and she also sent me a photo, so she feels a little more “real” now.  I’ve also stopped stressing (or at least stepped back the level of stressing) over what I was perceiving as her non-communicativeness.  I feel completely foolish that it took a casual conversation with a colleague of mine who pointed out that I was comparing this experience to our first adoption and the lives of these two women (my son’s birthmother and the woman we’re matched with now) are completely different.  Whereas Mommy C (as she’s affectionately referred to around here) was unemployed and living with her grandmother and likely bored and starved for positive adult attention (and so texted me frequently and at almost any time of the day and sometimes the middle of the night), the woman we are now matched with has a full-time job and is a single parent to two kids.  Um, duh.  She has no TIME to text me!  Still, there are a few details I’d really like to discuss with her, so… I hope she responds to my small “hello?’s” soon.


On the Friday after Christmas, we were on the long drive home from Kentucky and got a call from our Texas agency letting us know that an expectant mother that I’d spoken to for about an hour ten days earlier had chosen us for a match (sort of the equivalent of being engaged–once matched, you’re not open to other relationships, but there’s no guarantee that she won’t ultimately change her mind before saying “i do.”).  We rushed home so we could pick up the fax at the library before they closed (we drove up at 2 minutes til closing), then spent some time reading over the 21-page document that evening and chose to accept the match.  It was my responsibility to contact the expectant mother to share the news of our official match with her, but I didn’t hear back from her for two days.  We had another hour-long conversation when she finally did respond to me and although that felt more encouraging than the silence had, when I got off the phone that night, I realized I still had some pretty big questions after our conversation that I don’t really understand.  For confidentiality purposes, I’m not allowed to discuss any of the specifics here, but suffice it to say that I am only very cautiously excited about this opportunity and I have no idea how it will play out in the end.  I am honestly way more at peace about the ambiguity of the circumstances than I would have ever believed possible, but prayers for discernment would be appreciated.

making space

I’ve now cleaned (most) of the excess STUFF out of the room that will be the new baby’s room and I’m starting to play around with the furniture layout.  This second time of nursery decorating has been very different than the first time.  Last time, we had an “office” that we hadn’t been using much since we’d gotten laptops and in my head it was always the “baby room” (even before it was decorated) and as such was a bit of an aching wound every time we walked by it, empty.  The idea of decorating it so that it obviously WAS a baby room was terrifying.

The newest baby room was originally our guest bedroom (and may still need to function in that capacity from time to time) and so there’s a lot of furniture and other things in there that I’ve had to fit the baby things in around.  I did reject one of the room layouts I tried because the guest bed dominated the room and was the first thing you saw when you walked into the room and the crib was sort of off to the side, almost like an afterthought.  Although technically one of the better layouts for the room (just in terms of usability), I couldn’t leave it that way.  I don’t EVER want to give the impression that this baby is an afterthought.

I’m finding this process to be a fairly accurate reflection of some of the larger aspects of adopting our second child as well.  I am becoming more conscious of how much STUFF we have in our lives and our daily schedules now and part of preparing for another baby has been figuring out what STUFF or activities we’re going to get rid of or rearrange or “put into deep storage” in order to make sure there’s plenty of room for this newest addition to our family and that they never feel like we had to squeeze them in around the edges.  I do wonder if we end up having a long wait if making this space in our lives will at some point begin to feel like an aching wound.  Either way, simplifying our lives before this next chapter seems like a good idea.  I wonder what other differences between adoption #1 and adoption #2 I’ll discover as our story continues…

In case you’re curious as to how things are progressing with us, three of the six couples from our July orientation group have now been matched with expectant mothers that are due to give birth in November and December.  We are STILL cranking through the last dregs of the homestudy update paperwork (we are sooooo close to being done, but I know this is the deceptively long part) and I’ve spoken to one expectant mother for about 60 seconds and the agency called to ask our permission to show our profile for a case that needed a little extra consideration (we agreed to be shown, but haven’t heard anything back and don’t necessarily expect to).  I am definitely not feeling impatient yet, but my heart does leap every time our home phone rings.

surprised by grief

About six months after Gabriel was born, some close friends of ours here in town gave birth to their second child.  When we arrived at the hospital to visit them and meet the new baby, I was surprised by a flood of tears right outside the door to their hospital room.  Visits like this had been torture for the past few years, but I had thought that now that I was a mom I’d be fine.  The trigger for me had been realizing that we would never have a “happy” hospital visit where friends and family could drop by to meet and admire the baby and say all of the, “congratulations, wow! you look amazing!” sort of compliments.  Instead, the hospital experiences for our children would be marked by sadness and that careful dancing step we do during the “48+ hour wait.”  Plus, instead of being surrounded by our own family and friends, we were surrounded by family and friends of the birthfamily (who are most likely not there to support us, so we’re navigating those first tender days of newborn life much more alone than we would be in the comfort of our own hometown).

It’s possible that during Gabriel’s days in the hospital we danced too close to the sad side.  The adoption worker told us that Gabriel’s birthmother had commented  that we didn’t even seem all that happy or excited about the baby (I guess we’d been trying to remain somewhat neutral so she wouldn’t feel like we were pressuring her to place).  Thankfully, the caseworker was able to explain to her that we were probably trying not to “rub it [our happiness] in” and after we’d learned that (and after placement) we felt a little easier about letting our happiness shine through to our son’s amazing birthfamily. We realized that one of the rewards that she reaped in placing her child with us was the joy of helping to create a family for people unable to do so for themselves and we needed to make sure that she witnessed that joy!

I realize that building a family through adoption is different from building a family the more traditional method in MANY ways with much larger and long-ranging griefs than the details of the hospital stay, so it seems somewhat petty to even bring this up (especially when the birthfamily is experiencing a grief so much more profound at this same time), but it’s just one of the infertility griefs I was surprised by.  We’ll see if our “dance” is any more graceful the second time around.


Before we adopted Gabriel, my sister told me a story about a friend of hers who had adopted two children after being diagnosed with infertility and who then found herself quite unexpectedly pregnant and rather indignant and irritated about the situation.  I was flabbergasted to think that anyone who had ever struggled with infertility would ever be disappointed to learn that they were pregnant and secretly hoped that maybe someday I would be “one of those” women that we hear about all the time—you know, the ones who get pregnant as soon as they adopt?

A few months ago, soon after orientation, my body thought it would be fun to suddenly have a two week delay when it had always been pretty predictable to within a day or two of my four week cycle.  I was astounded at the wild range of emotions that bombarded me over those two weeks of “what if?”.

First of all, there was a flashback to my days of infertility, but not just that fluttery joyful hope at the prospect that I might be pregnant, but instead that sinking feeling that the plans that we’d so carefully laid might be tossed out the window and my life’s rough draft once again crumpled up and started over.

Then there was a sense of feeling as though, if I were pregnant, I’d be betraying all of the people who’d ever commiserated with me about infertility, that I’d become one of THEM (the people who gave birth to children after adopting) and perpetuate that ridiculous old wives’ tale that we’re all told by so many strangers that we’ll “get pregnant as soon as we adopt.”
Then there was the daydreaming about what creative method we could use to reveal the big news to friends and family.

Then I worried that one of my kids would think I was giving the other preferential treatment solely because of the manner in which they joined our family.  And I worried that I actually WOULD treat my kids differently.

Then I thought about how nice it would be to actually have a happy hospital stay right here, close to home, where friends and family could come visit us and admire the new baby.

I have to confess that there was also a teeny part of my brain that pouted that all the weight I’d lost over the last two years would pile back on and all this work would have been for nothing (so petty, I KNOW!).

Somehow, during that time, I also realized how ridiculous it is for me to still be angry at women who get pregnant easily and then gripe about the accompanying annoyances and inconveniences.

Suddenly, and with great clarity, I understood the reaction my sister’s friend had had to the news of her unexpected pregnancy.  And, when I finally did get my period, I experienced a huge sense of relief that our plans were still on track and that I didn’t have to worry about all of the things I mentioned above.  I never thought I would feel that particular sense of relief ever again in my life.  In an odd way, it felt like a gift

And then I felt guilty for my reaction because it meant that I was back to relying on adoption—a process fraught with sacrifice and emotional pain, especially for birthparents—to build our family.  Was it even okay for me to be thankful that I wasn’t pregnant when it meant that someone would have to grieve in order for our family to grow?   Oh the complicated emotions of this life story we’re writing each day…

words that trip me up

after all this time as an adoptive parent, there are still some words or phrases that trip me up or that I just don’t like.  For instance:

“firstborn” — is Gabriel my “firstborn” even if he wasn’t born to me?  My “eldest” yes, but my firstborn?

“offspring” — is Gabriel my “offspring” if he didn’t spring out of me?

“progeny” / “begat” / etc.  — see above, more or less…


words that make me uncomfortable:

“nurse” (not as in the profession, but as in “to breastfeed”)– oddly, “breastfeed” doesn’t bother me, but “nurse” does.  not sure if this is adoption/infertility related or just a me thing.  can’t remember how I felt about the word before infertility diagnosis.

[can’t seem to remember the other “ick” words related here, but I’ll continue to update this list as I think of them.]


a story for you:

One day, I was marveling about how my son had just, on his own, come up with the “Old MacDonald” permutation, “Old MacDonald had my mom” which I had also sung as a youngster.  I chuckled to myself and thought, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” and immediately followed that thought with, “oh crap.  is that another one of those phrases that will now trip me up?”  After more thought, I decided that actually THIS metaphor is pretty close to perfect since modern apple trees rely on grafting to produce fruit.  After all, isn’t adoption sort of like grafting onto our family trees?

here we go again!

Hello?  [tap, tapping the microphone]  Is anyone still reading this?  We’re diving back into the pool and I might have a few things to say here throughout the process, so I’m dusting off the ol’ adoption blog.  If you can hear me, please leave a comment on this post.  Otherwise, I’ll have to drum up an audience somewhere….

a visit to texas (with egregious use of parenthetical statements)

a few weeks ago, we took a birthday trip to Texas for baby dude’s birthday (which I just realized I never blogged about–it was lovely and low-key. maybe i’ll post photos sometime….) to visit his birthfamily and my Texas relatives. Although the travel itself was exhausting (despite practically zero delays and no luggage problems, there’s just something about the airports that puts us all a bit on the edge. I did manage to pack a pretty good stash of toys, books and snacks (yogurt melts were a big hit!) that successfully entertained baby dude for all except the longest of the four legs of air travel and honestly, when you’re on a plane whose air vents aren’t working and the lady sitting in the seat in front of you is not in a particularly good mood (especially after you (the baby) accidentally whap her in the head which would have put ME (the mama) in a bad mood if I were in her place) and you’re really sleepy but not used to having to be squished up in daddy’s arms…. well, it wasn’t pretty and we were all glad to finally arrive at that particular airport.) where was I? Oh yes.

Although the travel itself was exhausting, and certain parts of visiting Baby Dude’s birthfamily were a bit awkward (the boyfriend who kept calling me “Ma’am” (because he couldn’t remember my name) and who kept expressing admiring amazement that anyone could “take in someone else’s kid”), all in all, I think we’re all so very thankful we were able to have this time together. We spent a lot of time outdoors since the temperature was in the 70’s and we’d been missing the feel of warm breezes in our hair and we had lots of fun swinging at some local parks and we ate some fantastic breakfast tacos every morning. Seriously fantastic. Baby Dude could put away most of the fillings of an adult-sized egg and bean taco by himself.

At the end of our time with Baby Dude’s birthmother, she said, “Wow. This is the first time that I haven’t felt super sad when you guys are leaving. I just feel happy that you were able to be here and that we were able to visit together!” We are so happy too. 🙂