Posted by: manyblessings | 09/25/10

“Blood family”

I have heard this term over my lifetime and never thought much of it; I understood what it meant.

Now when I hear it, I bristle.

Our youngest daughter is no less our daughter simply because she came from another woman’s womb. She is no less our daughter simply because we do not share a blood type or DNA. She is no less our daughter because we wouldn’t be able to donate organs (or maybe we could? who knows?) or bone marrow. She is no less our daughter because we didn’t conceive her.

In every way that matters, she is our daughter. We have loved her since before knew about her, in much the same way I loved the other kids when I was carrying them in my belly. We have fed her, clothed her, given her much love and attention, and kept her safe for as long as we have known her. We cannot account for her treatment in her first nearly three months of life, for we were not there; however, from all appearances the NICU staff basically adopted her as their own and, as much as they were able, provided her with a family when she needed it the most. Since then, it has been our job, and we have found it to be a pleasure. The sweet baby girl we took away from that hospital that day in February is now a part of our family in a way that is just like the other children. There are times, in fact, when talking about how many pregnancies I’ve had when I slip and think that I had four. She has become that much a part of me. Not wanting to take away the grief and pain and turmoil and stress that her pregnancy must have been for her birthmother, I regardless liken our situation, unconsciously, to that of a “real” pregnancy.

Of course, in the end we who are Christians should also recognize that among believers there is a “blood” bond far more important than any earthly blood bond, that of our bond with each other through Jesus’ blood. For some reason we let ourselves forget that and remain tied to this earth, this physical way of looking at the world. And yet again, I realize how much adoption and this sweet baby girl have inexplicably changed the way I see something.

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Posted by: manyblessings | 09/22/10

The end of an era

We are officially closing our adoption home study this week rather than updating it. With our pending move, we decided it wasn’t worth it to try to keep up a home study in this state. We have no idea if we’ll have a standing home study completed in our next home state or if we’ll just stay at six in our family, but for now we’re staying with our family as it is.

It’s bittersweet after the past two years of being in this frustrating, seemingly neverending, finally successful stream of paperwork, site and safety evaluations, interviews, and prying questions. Moving to a big city in a big county will undoubtedly make a future home study (if we have one) an entirely different process altogether, but we’re okay with that.

Life is good.

Posted by: manyblessings | 09/17/10

Race.

Sometimes if I think about race/transracial adoption/our daughter’s future perception of or reaction to either of these too much or too deeply at any one time, I can become very overwhelmed very quickly.

Since the only time I have to think deeply about anything is in the evenings when the children are all asleep, the next time I see our daughter after such thinking sessions is in the morning. Almost instantly, perhaps due partly to my own sleep replenishment, I realize that none of it matters in the here and now. Yes, I acknowledge and proudly proclaim that she is a beautiful African-American girl, that her heritage and life in this country is part of a legacy of people brought here to be enslaved but also part of people who built this country, who lived and worked and died in this country just like my own ancestors. I also acknowledge that we look very different, that people looking at us do not automatically assume she is my daughter, and that this may cause issues for her when she gets older.

But I honestly believe that no matter what questions she poses or issues we face or racism we endure from other people, we will handle it with much prayer. I find solace in the fact that since God brought her into our lives and us into hers, we also believe He will help us deal with whatever comes our way.

Posted by: manyblessings | 09/15/10

So much has happened.

All good things, all good things… just so much.

May: cross-country trip
June: trip to New England and decision to move cross-country
August: finalization!!!
September: school starts, house on the market
Today: new birth certificate arrived

And here we are.

I feel as if it’s kind of a lie. A legal lie, but a lie nonetheless. I realized upon rereading it, however, that it nowhere indicates that our daughter was born to us, just that she was born on this date and at this time and weighed this much, and here are her parents’ names. Since we just picked up our son’s BC a couple weeks ago, we realized this is pretty standard. But still! I feel like a fraud. And of course, thankfully we have birth parent information; I would feel pretty uncomfortable with this rewritten history otherwise. Maybe that makes me weird.

But we’re final (YAY!)!!!

And we’re moving (yay!) and going CRAZY in the process.

Posted by: manyblessings | 04/27/10

Awkward.

I wrote the first of our year’s worth of letters to our daughter’s birthmother yesterday.  Technically we don’t even know if she’ll want to read them, but we said we would commit to a year and send them to the attorney and then if she does want access to them, she can have access.  If she wants more contact, she can contact the attorney and he can get us her information.  I don’t foresee this happening given the current chaos in her life, but a part of our desire all along has been that if we can have a positive impact on her long-term, we would love to.  We can’t have that without SOME contact.  So this is a start.

It was weird enough making a family profile back when we were in the earlier stages of the process, and the profile “sells” your family to expectant women who are thinking about placing their babies.  Now this process eliminates all of the uncertainty about who will read the letter, and now we know who–not much about her beyond what we were told and have gathered on our own, but enough that it’s not longer as ambiguous of a document.  The weirdest thing is that I don’t know how to approach this.  Obviously we want to show that she’s happy and adjusting and developing (which she is, thankfully), but I don’t want to shove it in her face of “Here’s the baby you couldn’t parent for whatever reason and look at how we have saved her from your pitiful existence.”  I have no idea if anyone else has ever felt this or if I’m just weird, but that’s where I am.

So I’m still working on this and hoping that as the year progresses, the letters will get easier to write.  And maybe someday we’ll get a letter back.

But even if we don’t, I hope that our daughter will always know how much she is loved and wanted.

Posted by: manyblessings | 03/25/10

We were discharged

and got through ICPC
and finally made it home on March 1
and got used to life (sorta) with a newborn preemie girl who has wrapped us all around her little finger
and participated in baby showers, and family dinners with friends, and watched movies, and baked, and overall had a pretty decent time
and then found out my husband will need to find a new employer at the end of the year.

So March has been fun.

We anticipate that if nothing else, the baby’s adoption will be finalized before we have to move… so that’s positive. And obviously we’re thankful that God put her in our lives BEFORE having this information, because we wouldn’t have gone to get her had we known ahead of time. And He already knew that.

Posted by: manyblessings | 02/15/10

Waiting for discharge

and then ICPC. Trying to make this week feel less than stressed-to-the-max and failing miserably. Thankfully, I will feel more powerful once everything (banks, government offices) are open again tomorrow. Getting here on a Friday afternoon was not a smooth move, and despite the hospital’s desire to have us here they have done zilch to make anything happen.

Posted by: manyblessings | 02/14/10

Baby Girl!

We are waiting for our baby girl to be discharged pending some ridiculous bureaucracy. God is good, and He truly makes all things beautiful in His time.

Posted by: manyblessings | 02/10/10

Yep, something might happen….

We are heading to a city about 1300 miles away in the morning. WOOHOO!

Praying fervently.

Posted by: manyblessings | 02/09/10

At the risk of jinxing everything….

I just want to say that I think something very exciting is about to happen. 🙂

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