Friday, January 26, 2007

25 is my new lucky number

I just can’t put it into words. They were all right. When you get the call, you’re not expecting it and you don’t know what to say.


We are out!! The PGN decree was signed yesterday, 1/25.
How odd.
DNA Match: Sept 25
Pre-Approval: Oct 25
PGN decree: Jan 25

I do believe that 25 is my new lucky number.

We got the call while we were in WallyWorld buying milk and dogfood. (Not to be used together, thankfully.) I had made it to the back of the store, near the baby section, when my cell phone lit up and I recognized the agency's phone number. I paniced for a few seconds wondering if I should be so excited. What if it was a kick out? I don't know what I would have done. Alas, it was the good news we'd been waiting for. No kick outs and we're done. Decree granted. It took eight weeks for the final signature. I got my copy of the decree and noticed the reviewer signed off on the case on Dec 4th. He got it on a Thursday and signed it out on the following Monday. The rest of the time was waiting for that one final signature. Bureaucracy at its finest.

At this point, we are now awaiting his First Mother’s signature on the final adoption deed, the Protocolo. I want to take a minute to share a few thoughts here. I have seen others write similar statements but now it’s my turn. This will be the fourth time she has had to sign paperwork related to the relinquishment of this precious baby boy. Her baby boy. At any time she has had the right to say “No. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.” I am very well aware that I have no right to this child. I personally would argue that no person on this earth has the right to this child. He is his own person and he belongs to himself. However, for legal purposes, his First Mother has the ability to grant custody to whomever she sees fit. I hope that continues to see fit to grant custody to us.

I won’t insult her by pretending to know how she feels or what she is thinking. I don’t know anything about her or her family. I can only offer that I and my family will do everything in our power to raise her child to manhood. I hope that he is able to accomplish any and every dream that he has. I promise that I will spend every day of my life loving this child and caring for him until I draw my last breath. I know it all sounds trite and cliché and has been said thousands of times in the past month alone. I can only hope that my actions will speak louder than my words.

On a happy note, we’ve cleared another MAJOR hurdle in the journey that will bring us back to Guatemala. We’re hoping for a quick embassy appointment to bring him to our humble little abode. A new life for him and for us. Not better. Not worse. Just new and different and full of possibilities.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Adoption is bad? (or why I should just shut the hell up)

I’m more than willing to concede there are adoptees in this world who have never “come to terms” with their adoptee status. I put those words in italics on purpose. I don’t know what psychological term to use. Deal with? Accept? Work through? Whatever you, the reader, want to take from that, you will. My point is that this group of individuals is completely defined by, undermined by and devastated by this experience in their lives. I truly am sorry for them. I don’t know what to say to them other than I am sorry. I wish that their experience were a different one. I’m not trying to trivialize their experience. I’m being brief because I obviously don’t have any idea what their truths are. I can’t comment on what they feel because it’s what they feel.

As a future adoptive mother, however, I obviously hope that this is not the case with my future son. I hope that he does not look upon his adoption as the sum total of his world. I expect that he will grieve and may have many doubts and fears. I have already begun to plan for these events in his life. The only thing I can do is be there for him, recognize his feelings and be there for him, in whatever capacity he wants me to be. Tragic events can happen in a person’s life but it does not mean they have to be defined by that tragic event.

I read numerous blogs of women who placed their children for adoption or were adoptees themselves. (Placed is my word. Feel free to peruse their blogs to read how they define it.) These blogs are rarely pleasant and generally fill me with fear and dread. I have to remind myself that it’s highly unlikely someone is going to create a blog that says “Hi. I was adopted and thrilled about it.” Of course not – don’t be silly! For the most part it appears that only people with horrific adoption experiences are compelled to share them with the world. I can understand why. I compare it to the infertility blogs I’ve read. As an infertile I often felt like I was the only person that felt the way I did. Oh, but only if I had known about the blogosphere five years ago!! I might have felt less alone. As such, I can understand the need for adoptees to write about their experiences in order to relate to other who feel the way they do. Power in numbers. I get it.

Another phrase I hear often in the aforementioned adoption / adoptee blogs is when an adoptive mother “gets it” or “doesn’t get it.” I continue to read these blogs in an attempt to be open-minded and understand there is another side to adoption. I’m happy to report that I have finally begun to understand the difference between my ability to “get it” or “not get it.” If I agree with their point of view, I “get it;” if I make the mistake of not agreeing with their point of view, I’m one of those who “doesn’t get it.” Good to know.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not so naïve as to think that someday, my son will tell me that he wishes I never adopted him. He may tell me that I stole him from his “real” family. I hope that it doesn’t happen, but it’s possible. I have to tell you though; my mother has four biological children. Two of these children adore her, are active in her life and thank her constantly for the lives they currently have. The other two children rarely speak to her and blame her for every negative thing that has ever happened in their lives. Same mother, same parenting skills – different perspectives on childhood. And I remind you – they are all the biological children of this woman. Interesting… sharing DNA with another human being does not equal a special bond. This may be an area worth researching. Anyone looking for a thesis topic in social psychology????

I guess this is just another rambling rant. I was under the assumption that folks with blogs were looking for discussion, open dialogue. If not, then close the comments section and simply post. Make it your personal op-ed page. If you’re writing and requesting comments, then you’ve got to assume the general public is going to do just that. If you’re looking for a specific demographic then perhaps a little disclaimer letting the unwelcome know who they are would be a helpful addition to your blog.

Then again, maybe I should just shut my trap and read. I always assume the silence is an invitation to talk.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

7 Weeks

7 weeks

Today marks the seven weeks mark that we’ve been in PGN. I’m trying to stay positive that no news is good news. I watch the forums religiously in an attempt to make some sort of sense. In the past few days there have been a dozen or so “outs” posted. Most of these folks have entry dates in the teens or early 20s of November. We went in on 11/30. Oh please, oh please… let us out soon! Ironically today is my youngest step-son’s 13th birthday. We got confirmation of our DNA match on his older brother’s 15th birthday. I sure was hoping we’d get out today. It would make for a cute story wouldn’t it?

Eye update: My eyes have finally healed. After 4 weeks of steroid drops, fire-water eyewashes and being stuck in my glasses, I am thankfully back in my contacts with no permanent damage. Yea! I love my optometrist. He’s a keeper!

Mom update: She’s fine. She was released from the hospital on 12/30 with a gazillion prescriptions. Final diagnosis? Bleeding ulcer caused by H-pylori. I believe she is finally on the mend. Apparently, my father was feeling overly generous because he bought her a belated birthday present. How about a 2006 P*ontiac $olstice? It absolutely gorgeous! I’m so happy for her. Too bad it’s a stick and I can’t drive stick. (Sad, isn’t it?)

The in-law visit was relatively uneventful. Only one slightly uncomfortable moment when MIL informs me that her sons were on solid food before she left the hospital with them. I must be an idiot for worrying about bottles and formula issues. Colin’s almost 6 months old. I apparently should be picking out a nice corned beef for his homecoming! (I was a good girl, however, and kept drinking my margarita rather than calling BS on her.)

In other news, last weekend I made a pilgrimage to I*K*E*A.
If I hade a religion, this place would be my temple! It was the most amazing experience. I drool online all the time and have ordered a few minor things. Unfortunately, the closest one is SIX hours away. I’ve complained repeatedly that we needed to go when we both had a three day weekend. Thank you, Dr. King! Because how better can I give back to my community than by shopping? Can you believe I bought a room full of bedroom furniture that fit into a 1999 C@mry? Honestly, I love this place. I got tears in my eyes when we pulled into the parking garage! It’s the simple things in life that move me. Being able to decorate a house exactly the way I want to? PRICELESS. Of course I couldn’t leave out my little man. Unfortunately, my favorite store doesn’t ship any of its baby textiles (quilts, bed linens, etc.). So I loaded up on my favorites. I bought a new quilt for my bed as well. While there we decided we wanted to buy a new bed, too. They didn’t have what we wanted so we’re going to have to go back. LOLOL – no you heard me correctly. We have to go BACK! Tentatively, we’re heading back for President’s weekend. This time we’ll be renting a minivan. I promise I will do my best to fill it up before I head back home. As always, all bets are off for this schedule roadtrip if we’re too busy in Guatemala bringing home my precious baby boy. He turned five months last week. If things don’t move quickly, he’ll have a beard by the time he comes home!

I continue to read around the blogosphere on a daily basis. I’m gonna get that blogroll thing done sometime soon. Maybe this weekend. Beats cleaning the house.