Posted by: jenn11970 | September 7, 2007

Creation of a Family

My 2 yr old looks just like her First Mom. They have the same impish smile when I tease them, the same hair color, and the same gorgeous eyes. When my daughter cries, I see J. As I pull into the driveway at J’s house, I hear “J, J, J!!!!” from the backseat. If we are in the mall, or tooling around Target, Little One needs to know where J is. She delights in the attention J gives her, and so do I. All of this makes me smile, and makes me happy. It reminds me daily that I have done the right thing in making this adoption so very very open. This is what I wanted, and it is working. Is it easy?? Some days. Most of the time it is like dealing with extended family. In a lot of ways, I feel like I have sometimes bitten off a lot more than I can chew, but I still keep plugging away doing my very best.

My husband and I were married in 1995. Since I relinquished a daughter to adoption in 1987, I never had any doubts that I would be able to have kids. In February of 1995, my DH was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. No cure, and the doctors weren’t sure how it would progress. The medications at the time were brand new, and although pregnant women, or those trying to conceive couldn’t take them, there were really no studies on whether it was unhealthy for men. So we blindly went along with the doctors hoping that the meds would help him stay out of a wheelchair. Flash forward to 2005.

For someone who got pregnant after having sex once unprotected, having ten years of unprotected sex and no pregnancy was a pretty big flag. We had already been to doctors around years 7 and 8. We decided we weren’t going to go to dramatic means to conceive, but did try a few things. We finally agreed to stop stressing and started looking into adoption in late 2004. We agreed on an agency, and had a homestudy done. Jumped through all their hoops, and we were signed up for classes. Enter C, J’s older sister.

C worked for the same company as I did, and I was her boss’s boss. C had worked with me for about a year. I knew her younger sister J was pregnant and a young teen. She was getting in touch with adoption agencies, and to say that C was being hard on J was putting it pretty mildly. She really had no idea what her sister was going through and kept complaining about J and how all she had to do was pick a family. As a First Mom, I was appalled at her behavior toward her younger sister, and decided to have a talk with her off the record, and off the clock. There were only a few people I worked with that knew I had relinquished. In 2005, let’s face it, it was 18ys in my past and really none of their business. However, I really was having a hard time trying to tell C to have compassion for her sister, without letting her know I knew what J was going through. We sat down, and I told her the whole story. I let her know she had to make sure she was going to be there for her sister NO MATTER WHAT!! She had to let her do things at her own pace, and to make the decisions on her own. If she needed resource info, she needed to help her get it, or find someone to help. (I offered to help her with resources that were available) I also let her know that one of the agencies her sister was looking into, was very unethical, and that she should let her sister know. I was really trying to help her be the older the sibling this young woman needed. J was positive an adoption plan was what she wanted, and C would ask me about agencies, and I would find out what I could. 2 of the agencies my DH and I had looked into, and we were really not thrilled with them, so it was easy. This was all taking place at the beginning of 2005.

My husband was away for business when my phone rang April 28th. It was C. She had a few questions for me. I told her I wasn’t busy. She said she had spoken to her boss, and had heard my DH and I were looking into adoption and that we had signed with an agency. Was that true? I told her yes, why? She wanted to know what agency, and I told her that I was a little uncomfortable with all the questions into my private life. She then said, listen, my sister is here, and she is really annoyed with the agency she is with. They keep giving her profile of much older couples, and none of them really seem right to her. She wants to talk to you. I asked what J wanted to talk about, the agencies? I told her she didn’t need to feel obligated to anyone, if she wanted to change her mind, or go somewhere else it was her right. She was the mother. C told me that J wanted to talk to me to see if my Dh and I would be interested in meeting her because she felt like we would be the right couple for her baby. She felt I would understand her, and her feelings, and that we seemed like the best choice to her. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I don’t think I spoke for at least 2 minutes. I just sat there, unabe to really think,and unable to really believe what was happening.

C wondered if I was still there. I told her yes, but that I didn’t know what to say. She said hold on, J wants to talk to you. J took the phone, and we talked for about an hour. I told her I was completely floored at her request, and that I really didn’t know what to say. I then went forward with asking her tons of questions. Why was she relinquishing? Did she need help looking for resources? Adoption should really only be a last resort. you know you are only temporarily too young, too penniless, etc. Do you know about WIC? Do you know how to apply for Medicaid? Are you sure this is the choice you want? I can help you find what you need. After every question, she would tell me this is what she wanted to do. Well not really wanted, but what she felt was right. She wasn’t going to tell me right then and there that we were the ones she wanted, but she wanted to meet us, to get to know us, and let us get to know her. I told her I needed to talk to my husband but that I had no problem meeting her. We talked about the father, and how he felt. He was in juvenile jail, and he was okay with her decision to relinquish. I told her I would get back with her after I talked to DH, and we hung up. I cried. I cried for her, and for me. I couldn’t believe how strong she sounded over the phone. So confident, so sure. I hated that if she chose us, I was going to cause her pain, anguish, loneliness, fear, anxiety, terror, emptiness, and guilt. I knew these things, these feelings, I was intimate with all of them. The counselor at our agency knew I was a First Mom, and she knew I was very nervous about starting my family this way.

After 5 messages to my DH, he finally called back, and was very concerned because he could tell I had been crying. I told him about our call, and he was overwhelmed. He told me to go ahead and set up a meeting, and I told him I also wanted her Mom to be there with us. I felt like this 15 yr old girl needed to have an adult with her. He agreed. He asked me if I was okay, and I told him how guilty I felt. I don’t think it became real to me what it meant for us to adopt. A lot of ugly emotions were boiling up, and I wasn’t sure I could go through with it. He told me to take it easy till he got back, and that we would talk it all out when he got home. He said he would leave it up to me whether I should set up the meeting or not. I called her back the following day and we set a dinner date up for the 4 us.

We took our time in getting to know one another. The agency she was working with was very angry at her, and was not very happy when she told them she had found a couple on her own. Our agency started to tell us the statistics on pre-birth matches with young teens, and that we shouldn’t get our hopes up. We were fine with that, and if she had decided to parent, all the power to her. She knew that, and we knew that. We had her meet with our counselor, and she was told different resources that were available if she wanted to parent. We talked about what would happen when she went into labor, and I told her we didn’t need to be there. I explained to her how wonderful it had been for me to have that time to myself, and I wanted her to know that it was okay if she changed her mind. I knew she NEEDED that time. She told me she wasn’t sure what she wanted, but she appreciated me telling her to take her time.

She called me with the first contraction. They proceeded to get worse and her Mom called around 8pm to let us know they were heading to the hospital. Once she was settled in her room, her Mom would call us with updates. She kept apologizing for her daughter not having us at the hospital. I told her not to worry about it, just to be with J. At 1:30 in the morning her Mom called us to say she was 7 cm dilated, and J had changed her mind and wanted us to get there as fast as we could. She really wanted us to be there. We rushed around getting dressed, and drove like bats outta hell to get the hospital that was about 30 minutes from our home. Little One was born at 2:13am, we arrived at 2:25am.

We only stayed for about an hour. Everyone needed their rest and we didn’t want to intrude. She wanted to know when we would be back up to see them, and I told her that would be up to her. She asked that we try to come up a little later that day. We didn’t go back up till 8pm. She was worried that we weren’t going to come and see them, and she had wanted to get pictures with us and the babe. We sat and chatted with them for about an hour, and then left her to enjoy the time with her family.

I know what it feels like to go home with empty arms. I know what it feels like to be pressured.  I needed to make sure I gave her the time and space she needed.

With the adoption of Little One, our family went from 2 to many.  We Love J and her family very much, and we look forward to having them all in our future.  We get along with Little One’s paternal side too, but sadly her biological Dad passed away in a car accident this April.  We only get together with his Mom, Grandma and baby sister.  They are wonderful people and I ache at the losses his Mom has suffered.

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Responses

  1. very very cool post sorry it took me so long to get back on line….I love the story…


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