Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Second-Hand Life

My shop (AKA my garage)
Sometimes friends give me a hard time because I post all the fun things I do with my boys, and living in San Diego with so much available, I can see how it might get tiring hearing about the beach and the zoo and the perfect weather all the time.  And of course, my perfect, beautiful boys....  I was accused recently by someone who had known me less than a week and had heard second-hand about something I had written on my adoption blog (you can the story here in the post below this one), that I had a "poor me attitude".  So, it is with some caution that I write this.  But please know that for every picture I post of myself with my two boys doing something fun, there is a picture like the one at the right here of the work that I do later that night after they have gone to bed.  The life we have here does come at a sacrifice, and I choose to make that sacrifice because I choose to stay at home with my kids and spend that precious time with them.  I do reupholstery and sewing work so we can make ends meet in this overpriced community we live in.  Don't feel sorry for me, and don't roll your eyes because you think I want you to feel sorry for me.  We love life by the beach.  We love the perfect 75 degree weather year round.  We love the fresh air, the produce, the culture, the sunshine, the active lifestyle and the amazing friends that this little spot of paradise brings into our lives every day.  I don't post these pictures all the time because I want to make the sacrifice--it is worth it to me.  I don't want a full-time job where I will miss out on this precious bonding time I have with these boys.  I waited too long for them to let someone else raise them.  I want them to remember a beautiful childhood with their mom.  I want them to remember how we swam, boogie boarded, biked, explored and laughed our way through some very happy days.  We don't have a lot of new things.  We get hand-me-downs and I thrift store shop, and mostly, we do without a lot of the things other people have.  Our newest car is a 2005.  I am often tired from the physical labor of wrestling a sofa into some new fabric.  I am tired from rising at 6 a.m. (because heaven forbid these boys sleep in!) and caring for them for ten to twelve hours until my husband gets home, and then staying up six more hours to finish a project.  I have an amazing husband who steps in as often as he can, and I don't know what I would do without that.  I am tired, but I am very happy.  Someday, my kids will move on and I won't see them nearly as much, and I will sleep then. And maybe I'll buy a brand new wardrobe and finally treat myself to a spa day, luxuries we don't have right now.  I'm not whining about it.  I'm just stating a fact.

Please know that I do not criticize women who choose to work and have a nanny or some other arrangement, and I am well aware that there are many moms that would love to stay at home, but they don't have a choice at all.  My friend taught me years ago that the true meaning of feminism, which often gets a bad rap, is having the freedom to choose--and one of those choices is whether to work outside the home or to say home with my children.  I make special care not to judge my fellow mothers who choose differently than I did. They have their reasons and it's none of my business.  I do work at a paying job.  It's not a very fun or creative or fulfilling one, but I can do it on my own time and I can earn the extra money we need to make it each month so it suits its purpose right now.  And for that, I am grateful.  So, if you find yourself jealous of my charmed life here in the land of eternal sunshine, just remember you probably wouldn't be as jealous of the hours I spend ripping out thousands of staples!  And I'm sure you aren't jealous of the cars we drive or the clothes we wear.  That said, I wouldn't do it if it wasn't absolutely worth it.

However, should you want to write us in to your will, don't think I wouldn't accept....

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kicked Out of School for This Blog.

How much of one’s story is too personal to share?  When does it go from being a story about personal triumph over adversity (even if that adversity is sometimes caused by our own bad choices) to inappropriate details about our private lives that should remain private?  This is the question I faced this morning as I was called in to see the head of a private school in which my 5-year-old son had been offered a spot.  He was supposed to start Kindergarten there in twelve days.  We would normally not be in a position to attend such an elite school, but because they needed boys in that particular class, and because we were in the right place at the right time, we were able to work out a deal that would benefit all involved.  I was hesitant because I am not rich.  I don’t run in those types of social circles.  The newest car we have is a 2005 and I’m just not that Lululemon-wearing, Lexus-driving, latte-swigging mom.  I have nothing against it.  Financially, it’s just not our crowd.  But, after some interesting conversations with those who had experience with this school, we decided to put our fears and inadequacies aside, and go for it.

At least, we thought we were going to, until a staff member saw a link to my blog on the bottom of my email.  Less than twenty-four hours later, I was told this school just wouldn’t be a good fit for us.  You might think my blog showed pictures of me hung over at a New Year’s Eve party, or perhaps joking about having smoked weed in my younger days.  Or perhaps it might have used bad language, or racial slurs, or had pictures of me in a string bikini with my arm draped around some guy other than my husband.  But no.  It was this blog, where I write about our adoption experience.

I won’t attempt to include the entire conversation here, as it lasted about 25 minutes.  But I will hit the highlights.  I was told that there was no good that could come of me putting this kind of personal information on the internet.  She asked me several times what good I thought I was doing by airing my “dirty laundry”.  And by “dirty laundry”, she was referring mainly to two things (out of almost 50 blog posts over the last few years).  The first was that I mentioned that my boys had been exposed to drugs in the womb.  The second was that I mentioned my husbandhad been arrested two times before, both of which were thrown out before it even went to a judge because they were so ridiculous.  “Why would you share that with anyone?” she asked several times.  But the part that really got me was that she said that she was concerned that parents at this school might not want to include my son in playgroups or birthday parties or other social gatherings because he had been exposed to drugs.  She told me I should keep that a secret and that there was no reason that even my son should ever know that information.  She said that their school was a positive place and that there wasn’t room for the negativity or the “poor me” attitude I displayed in my writing.  I explained to her that not one of my posts were about “poor me” and that each one, although perhaps sharing some difficult experience, always took a positive spin and left the reader with an understanding of the good things that have come from it.  I could tell by the way she referred to my writing, that she hadn’t even taken the time to read through the blog herself, at least not very much of it.  I have written about everything from drug exposure, to the crazy process you have to go through, to our own experiences with invitro, to our failed adoption—every thing you could possibly want to know about this process is there. Yes, it’s personal, but I don’t think it is so horrible that it should be the reason my son is not allowed to attend this school.  I am not ashamed of one thing I have written.

I tried to explain that the current research on adoption shows that the secrecy of the past adoption culture has proven to be detrimental to children.  Secrets mean shame to a child.  If my son were to find out from someone else that he was born positive for drugs, then he would know I had lied to him, and he would assume I lied because something was so wrong with him that I wouldn’t tell him the truth.  I told her I will continue to share all of his story with him, age appropriately, and that at some point in his life, he would know every detail.  Research has shown this is the better path.  She argued that there are adopted children at this school who know nothing about their past, and that these children are just grateful to have what they have and they don’t think about their adoption story.  I cannot disagree with this more.  Perhaps they don’t ask many questions now, but this school doesn’t take middle school or high school aged children, which is when most of them begin questioning as they are figuring out their own identity.  And my guess is that she has not done much research on the subject, or she wouldn’t have made such a blanket statement.

So much more was said, but the point is that it was clearly stated that my story should be private, and there was absolutely no reason for having these details made public.  I told her that I was in the middle of writing a book about a lot of my difficult experiences and that the adoption story was only a part of that. I told her that I would be willing to leave some things off the blog, but that wasn’t enough for her.  She wanted the whole blog to be removed, and for nobody to ever be able to trace those stories to me.  She requested that work on the book be private, meaning it could not be published as long as any of our children attended school there.  I was not to write publicly about any of it again.  I was floored to hear such censorship in 2014, especially for what I consider such non-controversial material.  I told her that I was sad for him to miss out on the opportunity of going to such a great school, but if parents and teachers were going to ostracize my young son for choices beyond his control, then I didn’t want him going there anyway.

I felt a little selfish for not giving up a blog for this opportunity for a great education.  But I think it’s more than that.  If I am being censored over this kind of information, then what was next?  What else was not going to be acceptable?  I asked her if there were no other parents at that school who blogged about their life, or who had written anything controversial.  She said she wasn’t aware of any.  I find it hard to believe that nobody there has a past that is public in some way.  You’re telling me nobody has ever posted a picture of themselves on Facebook doing something inappropriate?  Or made a public comment that was controversial in any way?  Please.

I would love to hear thoughts/comments, even if you agree with the school.  I’ve been stewing about this conversation all day, trying to see it from their side, and I just can’t.  Read through my blog posts, and tell me if anything is inappropriate or cause for my son to be kept out of a school.  I truly want to know.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Open Adoption and All of its Implications

Open adoptions are really becoming the norm these days.  Twenty years ago, it was still pretty common for the majority of adoptions to be closed, but research has found that route isn't the healthiest of options, in most cases.  I'm all for an open adoption.  We have two of them.  But, they aren't without their risks or pain.  We all want to be honest with our children, and I think more often then not, a little painful honesty is better than a bunch of softer lies.  I think kids tend to deal with the pain and move forward, knowing they can trust you more.  But it is hard.  Don't think it isn't.  It is hard to answer questions from your young child when the completely truthful answer would involve some form of "they don't want to see you," even if that is soften with a hundred logical, understandable reasons as to why.

I am not judging the birth families in any way.  Please know that.  I know there are circumstances.  But young children only comprehend so much about the whys of things.  And they internalize everything.  Everything is because of them, for good or for bad.  They don't understand that a person has an illness or great pain that prevent them from being a part of their lives, or from even wanting it.  What they really think is "I must have done something wrong for them to not want to see me."  

I have two sweet, loving boys who have close biological relatives who, for different reasons, don't want to see them.  When an adoptive family decides to accept an open adoption, there is some trepidation.  We did have concerns about an open adoption.  We worried about what kind of influences the biological families would bring, what kind of lifestyles they lead, and if they would ever say or do anything that would be hurtful to our boys.  Keep in mind both of my boys were drug babies, so these are real concerns. In the end, we decided the risk was worth it, and that they would have the opportunity to see for themselves, unbiased and unfiltered, and either have a desire to continue those relationships, or not.  The decision would be theirs. 

I stand by that decision.  And, we have great relationships with some of these family members.  But, there are those that we have no relationship with.   And, oh, when your child asks about those things, it can break your heart.  There are a few relationships I have not informed my oldest about yet, because he would be heartbroken to know about them and know they don't want to see him.  But, I have to tell him at some point.  I haven't lied to him, I just haven't told him everything yet, and that is the challenge we are faced with, too.  I am trying to protect him with just enough armor that he can be safe but still be able to move and grow and fight his battles. He is an extremely sensitive child, with a thousand questions on the tip of his tongue at any moment of the day.  He has a solution for everything....a way to fix EVERYTHING (at least in his mind).  But, he can't fix this.  He can't fix others.  He can't make them love him or want to see him.  Nothing he could do would make them change.  But he doesn't know that.  He still thinks that if thinks it should be so, then the world should bend to make it so.  And that it WILL bend to make it so.  I hope  he will understand someday that some people just struggle and it's not because he has done anything wrong.  I hope he can eventually sort through these relationships and deal with the damage in a positive way.  That he can sort it out and put it in its proper place in his life.  No bigger or smaller than it should be.  And I hope someday those people will decide that knowing this amazing boy is worth it.  It is worth any amount of pain.  It is worth facing guilt and heartache to know him.  He is worth it.  But, for now, we take it one question at a time.  One sensitive, yet honest answer at a time.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It Has Only Taken Seven Years

Celebrating the completion of Ninja
Camp with an ice cream cone.
Something happened last week that hasn't happened to me in six years.  July 7th came and went without me realizing it.  it came and went and I forgot to be sad.  7/7/7 was supposed to be a lucky day, and as one that has always read a little to much into signs, I thought that it was an extra big sign that we would be given a child with that birth date.  I don't know what happened.  Maybe it was the craziness of returning from a twelve day vacation with family in Texas.  Maybe it was Summertime or sleep deprivation or loads of work to do.  Maybe it was my recent obsession with Brendan Coyle, leading me to Google/Youtube/Hulu/Netflix everything he has ever acted in so I could watch for hours as I worked in my shop into the wee hours of the morning.  Or maybe the recent finalization of S's adoption....miracle #2....has finally settled my heart.  Whatever it was, it took four days for me to realize Isaac's birthday had come and gone, tearfree and without the longing I often feel for our first son.  It's amazing how someone can be with you for only five months and losing them can cause years and years of grief.

My little guys share a birthday, in a crazy twist of fate.  I have two little left-handed boys born on the same day four years apart.  Maybe I got my sign after all.  They are the best.  They both have their own adoption story full of joys and sorrows.  D is five now and we have already had discussions about his adoption. S is one year old and oblivious to the  miracle of how he came to us.  But, someday we will start talking about it.  Someday soon.  It's a good thing.  Not without it's challenges, but nothing worth anything comes without a challenge.

My first ice cream cone
I tackled a fear this morning.  I did on ocean swim in preparation for a triathlon.  I love the ocean but I'm afraid of sharks, especially swimming out past the breakers.  I did it though, and I felt great for so many reasons.  I'm 43 and I'm running Ragnar and doing an open ocean swim.  I live in a beautiful place with two little boys that I wasn't sure were ever going to be a part of my life.  I will always miss my Isaac, but I am learning to see the joy and to keep moving forward, tackling life's challenges and relishing its opportunities.   I am learning to accept the pain of losing my baby and the fact that it will always be there, but it is a reminder that I have the capacity to feel love, and I don't regret that.  And this year, as his birthday came and went without a thought, I am learning that time really does heal us.  Or maybe its my two beautiful boys that are healing me.  Or my three beautiful boys teaching me, even if one is teaching me from a long way away.  It's only taken seven years.  Another number seven.....maybe it's a sign.   Happy belated birthday, sweet baby Isaac.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Cost of Adoption

from our most recent invoice
We got an invoice from our adoption lawyer in the mail recently (see picture).  As you can see, we were charged for "receipt of family pictures; save to file".  Now, it does say "$25 no charge" an I'm not sure if that's what it's referring to, as we still incurred a charge on this bill.  But, remind me
not to send them cute pictures of our family any more!  They request them from time to time to stay current on our family, but I didn't realize we were getting charged for them to "save to file".  But, I am not complaining.  This lawyer has been great, and I know it's just the way it works these days.  But, it made me think about what it costs to adopt.  What it costs to give a home to a child who would otherwise not have one.  What it costs to provide a home for a child that would otherwise become a ward of the state and cost us, as a people, in tax money (and in so many other ways) to support.  Foster children have a much, much higher risk of needing social programs throughout their lives.  Did you know that 70% of people in prison in California were foster children at one point?  They are at much higher risk for needing all kinds of public assistance.  And I don't mean just as foster kids.  I mean way beyond into adulthood.  So, it just seems like it would help the whole situation if the whole adoption process was much less costly.  I have friends who became legal guardians to THEIR OWN grandchildren after their daughter passed away from cancer, and they had to do paperwork and pay $900!  I mean, it's a drop in the bucket compared to a regular adoption, but still ridiculous!

When I sat down to write about this, I thought about ALL the costs of adoption.  When all is done, S's adoption will wind up costing us about $10,000.  That includes social workers, a home study through the county (that costs $4500 alone!), lawyers, travel expenses back and forth to the hospital and little things here and there that nobody thinks about.  And $10,000 is getting off easy.  Most adoptions will cost much, much more, especially if you adopt internationally.  And there's the cost of the craziness it brings, the stress between spouses as you try to decide if this baby is for you, or if the situation is too risky and might result in a failed adoption, or the cost of the major life change it brings about, often with hardly any notice.  There is the cost of adding another child to your family and wondering how it's going to affect the child you already have.  There is the cost of having a child with a history and a family that you now need to figure out how to mesh with yours.  There is the cost of knowing that your child will always have a desire to know about his or her past and will most likely want some contact in some form with the birth parents or birth family, if possible.  There is the cost of your young child asking you why his parents didn't want him, or why they don't want to see him, or why was she so sick that she couldn't take care of me (because at four, we have chosen the word "sick" to describe her drug condition....we will tell him the truth later when he is able to understand what drugs are). There is the cost of those teenage years, when most adopted children go through a heightened identity crisis.  And I'm sure there are costs I don't even know about right now.

So, with so many costs, why adopt?  It's just like anything else you save up and pay a lot of money for.  Because it's absolutely worth it.  A new car, a European vacation, a new home....all those things have a cost attached, but what you get from it is so worth it.  Don't think I am comparing a child to a car or a vacation.  It's an analogy.  The experience you get on that vacation will last a lifetime.  You will make memories.  You will take pictures.  You will see and taste and touch things you never could have before.  And it will make the stress of saving that money and pinching pennies a very distant memory.  All you will remember is how amazing it was.  And that's how adopting is.  Every single one of those costs will never be more important than every single amazing moment of having a child, or of being a mom.  And not that every moment of being a mom is amazing....but you will look back and remember the good.  When my son, out of the blue says "Mom, I love you" or "am I your sweet baby?" or "come snuggle with me" or "will you read this to me?" or "will you play monster trucks with me?", the costs we incurred adopting him will just not matter.  In fact, S's adoption isn't even final yet, and it already doesn't matter, because I love these boys more than life itself, and you can't put a price on that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fear and Self-Loathing….Why Sometimes Not Having a Biological Connection to your Child is a Bonus.

I was reminded again this week that my insecurities are still a much bigger part of me than I had hoped they would be in my forties.  I won’t go into the sordid details, because frankly, they’re not THAT sordid, and most would say, just get over it!  But, here is my point as it actually pertains to adoption.  I have realized that there are benefits to not having a biological connection to my child.

My handsome D.
First, let me let you in on a little secret.  I have self-esteem issues.  Yes.  It’s true.  And those of you who know me really well are not at all surprised by this declaration.  Those of you who know me on a little more superficial basis are probably somewhat surprised.  Exhibit A.  The title of this blog.  As I went back to research it a little more, I realized that the phrase comes from a novel entitled “Fear and Loathing in Vegas.”  I would, of course, be the one to add in the “self” part.  I have had that phrase stuck in my head for a long time, “Fear and Self-Loathing” and it’s not even correct!  But, I’m digressing a bit.

Here’s the thing.  I have realized that because I have some unaddressed issues that keep me from feeling as confident and self-assured as I would like to feel, I have a really hard time feeling that confidence about anything I do, whether it’s artwork or writing or anything I have had a hand in creating.  Like children.  But, I’ve realized, that since I didn’t have a hand in creating these children, that I find they are exempt from this.  I used to pine away over not being able to get pregnant.  But, I’ve realized that maybe that was one of the greatest blessings.  Not just for me, but for them, too.  They will never have to suffer me coming down on them because they represent something I never was.  To me, they are even more beautiful and more amazing partly because they came from somebody else.  I feel perfectly justified in bragging about them and in telling them, or others, how handsome they are, because there is no part of me that feels they are beautiful because they carry any of my genes.  I am removed from them in a good way.  They will never carry my baggage.  I will never feel to cut short a compliment because, in some roundabout way, I might feel I am bragging about myself.  Or worse, YOU might feel that I am bragging about myself.

My beautiful S.

Maybe this is all just a little twisted.  And yes, I’m sure I need therapy.  And I am not saying that others withhold because of these reasons.  I am speaking to me and my case alone.  Contrary to what this might portray, I am a silver lining kind of a girl.  And this is one of the unexpected silver linings to adoption.  I love these boys partly because they are NOT a part of my gene pool.  I shower them with compliments.  I tell others (probably to an annoying, nauseating degree) how beautiful these boys are.  How amazing and talented they are.  How funny and smart and thoughtful they are.  How athletic and bound-for-the-Olympics they are.  And, even though I know some of that comes from how they are parented, I truly believe that a lot of it came with them when they were born.  I love these boys more than I thought I would be capable of.  And maybe, when I truly feel that love for myself more, I will be capable of even greater love for them, too.  I hope to get there someday.  But for now, I know I am released from any boundaries that would inhibit feeling and expressing my love for them, because they are released from representing any part of me that I don’t love.  And that is a great thing.

P.S.  PLEASE don’t see this as a call for compliments and reassurances that I am just so wonderful.  It won’t change me.  I have to be the one to change myself, and I am truly working on it.  It only makes me think you don’t know me so well!  :)

(photos by the amazingly talented

Friday, February 7, 2014

Somewhere Between Saviourhood and Depression

There are two comments I, as an adoptive parent, really get tired of hearing.  Take note, because I can guarantee if you know someone who has adopted a child, they feel the same way.

My boys.  Challenging and amazing.
This first is some version of "you are so great to adopt these children!"  And when I respond something like "oh, well we are really blessed to have them," I usually get some form of "well there are so many kids out there that need good homes, and you are so great to take in these kids and give them a good life."  Does anyone else see what is wrong with this?  I'm forty-two years old.  The first time I went on fertility medication, I was twenty-one.  My oldest child is four and a half.  I know you can do the math.  Let's just say I spent many, many years trying to have a child.  Praying, begging, crying, pleading with God to let me have that blessing.  I am not a savior.  I didn't go into it with some altruistic goal of saving some poor child out there.  I didn't set out to save anyone, except maybe myself.  Not only is it uncomfortable to be spoken to as if I had done some great unselfish act for the sole purpose of being unselfish, it's almost offensive.  I am a girl who grew up wanting to have a family.  I am not a charitable organization.  And it's even worse when this kind of comment is made in front of my child.  He is not the receiver of a charitable act for which he needs to consistently show gratitude.  He is a child.  He is my child.  He has a mom, just like your children do.  And he doesn't need to be reminded how lucky he is that someone took pity on him and was kind enough to give him a pillow on which to lay his little orphaned head.  He needs to be reminded that he is loved, like any other child in any other family.  And his childhood should be just about that--childhood.

The other comment I get tired of hearing is, oddly enough, on the other end of the spectrum.  If I am having a difficult day with one of my kids, for whatever reason---maybe one is being a pill, or one is fussy because of teething, or one is sick, or one is just not sleeping much and I'm exhausted--I don't need to be reminded that this is what I asked for so I need to be more grateful.  Or as someone stated just the other day, "yes, but this is what you signed up for." Yes.  You are right.  This is what I prayed, begged, cried and plead for.  I am well aware of that.  I don't need your gentle reminder.  But, you need to understand that I deal with the same parenting issues that everyone else does.  I have hard days.  I get tired.  I get frustrated.  I seek out help with issues my children are having.  And, I need your love and support, especially if you have walked the path of parenthood before me.  Believe me, I am completely grateful to be dealing with these issues, because it means I have children.  It means I am a mom.  It means I am enjoying this long-awaited dream.  I know this.  So please just take it as an unspoken fact that I am more grateful than you will ever know.  I love being a mom more than you could possibly comprehend, unless you also had to fight seventeen years before you were blessed with a child.  And I love these boys more than I ever thought possible.

Like most moms, I ride somewhere in the middle between Saviourhood and depression.  I rarely get close to either extreme.  I ride in the middle, recognizing that even on the most difficult days, life is still so beautiful.  And the best days don't come because I was just so overly righteous that day.  They come and go just like they do for every other mom out there trying to do her best.  They ebb and flow mostly near the middle of the river between perfection and disaster, rarely nearing either shore. And I'm okay with that.  In fact, it is what I consider a successful day.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Our Second Little Miracle

It’s been nine months since my last blog entry, and eight months since our little world changed again. I have been meaning to sit down and write the story of our second adoption, but the whirlwind and subsequent day to day life of raising two little boys has somehow prevented that from happening.  Until now.  I thought it was time to sit down and finally tell the story of this second little miracle.  I am going to try to keep it as brief as possible, and touch on other aspects of it down the road.  Today, I just want to tell you how it all came to be.  It is such a little miracle.

If you haven’t already read my last entry, written just weeks before this second baby came,  “ComeWhat May and Love It” was about accepting and embracing the fact that I might only ever have one child, and that I was okay with that.  Haha!  I think God has a way of waiting until you have truly given in, before giving you the thing you desired in the first place.  And, after years and years of fighting it, I had truly gotten to that place.  And then…..bam!
aby came into our lives, you should read it.

I think the timeline is kind of funny, so I will share it with you.  My friend, who adopted three children from the same birth mother, messaged me Facebook.  Here is how the conversation went:

May 13
MY FRIEND: Hi Susan. I know u haven't heard from me for a long time, but would u mind giving me your number so I can call you?
ME:  Sure!
MY FRIEND: Hi Susan. I'll call u at around 2pm. If you're not available then, I'll try again later. Not to be mysterious or anything. Just want to talk to you about adoption.

We had a phone conversation, in which she told me that the birth mother of her three children was expecting any day now, and they just couldn’t take a fifth child and would we be interested.  Now, let me tell you that a lot of people might have been super excited.  But, I honestly had no idea that this would really go through.  I mean, the birth mother didn’t even know us.  And, considering our past experience with a failed adoption, and knowing that people had approached us before about “a sure thing” and we had never heard from them again, I did not even think twice about it.  I said yes, we would be interested, and then I thought I would cross that bridge when a paper had been signed.  The mother didn’t have a due date since there had been no prenatal doctor visits since very early on in the pregnancy. 

A week passed and I got this message on Facebook:

May 20th
MY FRIEND:  Hi Susan. Just wanted to update u. I still haven't heard anything from ####, the Birth mom. I spoke to ####'s mom this morning and she hasn't heard anything as well. Sorry for the delay of information. Hope all is well for you.

ME:  No problem. Like I said before, we are used to things not coming through so we aren't holding our breath! But, thanks for thinking of us. I talked to our adoption social worker and she said it would be a private adoption, so we would have to figure out how to pay for it. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Thanks!
Just as I suspected.  It wasn’t going to pan out.  Glad I didn’t spend any time looking at baby clothes!

Four days later, on Friday afternoon, May 24th, I was at the park with D and I got a call from my friend.  She said the birth mom had spoken to the social worker and had given her our names.  Okay, now it was a little more serious, but still… me when someone has signed a piece of paper and when a baby has been born!  I hung up the phone a little more anxious, but still not getting my hopes up.  I thought about the whole possibility for a few minutes, when the phone rang again.  It was 4:30 in the afternoon.  This time it was the social worker, Christine.  She told me that the birth parents had spoken with her and given her our names and they were sure they wanted to place the baby with us.  Okay…this was even more serious.  But, she hadn’t been able to get a meeting with them to get papers signed.  It was Memorial Day weekend, and she said she would try to get it all in place this weekend and update me next week.  I hung up and started thinking that this really could happen.  However, still….call me when someone has signed a dang piece of paper!  I went home and told John and we chatted about it for a minute, but knew nothing was set in stone, so off to bed we went.

Saturday morning, May 25th, 8:00 a.m.  I was getting dressed for work when the phone rang.  It was Christine.  The birth mom was in labor and on her way to the hospital.  Long story short, she had to get an adoption plan in place and signed by them before the baby was born.  They suspected the baby would be born positive for drugs, and the county would take it away if an adoption plan wasn’t already in place.  If the county took the baby, the birth parents wouldn’t have a say in where it was placed.  But, we also had to have a lawyer’s signature.  God steps in on these little miracles, I know He does.  Christine just happened to be in the process of adopting a baby herself, and because of the circumstances, even though she was a social worker, she needed an adoption attorney.  She said “the only lawyer I have in my phone that will answer my call at 8:30 on a Saturday morning is the one we are using.”  I said I trust that an adoption social worker knows how to hire a good adoptions attorney and that I trusted her judgment.  She said the only other hang up could be if the county social worker decided this adoption plan hadn’t been put in place soon enough, then she would have the right to take the baby, if and when it was born positive for drugs.  She called back thirty minutes later and said everything was in place.   The lawyer was on board and the county social worker said she was fine with the plan and had no intention of disrupting it.  One hour later, he was born.
I didn’t know about him until 12:30 that afternoon.  I was at work with butterflies in my stomach.  I was texting and calling family and friends and the lawyer and the social worker and my friend.  At 12:30, Christine called and said the father had called her and said he had been born at 9:33 a.m., 22 inches long, 12 pounds and ready for school!  Haha!  He was huge!


And the kicker?  He was born on my son’s birthday.  D and baby S share the same birthday.  Isn’t that amazing?  I had decided to have D’s birthday party the previous Wednesday, and I don’t know why.  His birthday was on a Saturday, and that would have been easy to do.  But, I had chosen not to.  And now I know why.  D was born at 7:33 a.m. four years earlier, and S was born that morning at 9:33 a.m.  It was, and continues to be a miracle.  I got to drive up to Anaheim that night with a friend, and see this little miracle ten hours after he had been born.  A baby I had no idea was going to actually come into my life just the day before, and I was sitting in the hospital nursery holding him.  He was beautiful and huge and precious and mine.  There is more to the rest of the story, but I will save that for another post.  Just know that I know that God knows each of us.  He knows us personally.  He answers our prayers, and sometimes that answer is “no.”  And sometimes the answer is “not right now.”  And sometimes the answer is “yes.”  And all the “no” answers and all the “not right now” answers make that “yes” answer just that much more precious.