He’s Here

Our son, Rio, was born August 15th. We are forever grateful to his amazing birthmother, “A” for giving us this most divine and selfless gift. 

Thank you to the incredible followers over the years who have offered love, encouragement, and hope, even when I had none left for myself.  

Our greatest dream has come true and we will make the most of every moment with our amazing little boy. 

Wishing you all so much love and light as you journey towards your dreams. 

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37.5 Weeks

I feel like writing about our match happened a lifetime ago.  Everyone always told us that receiving The Call makes all of the trauma of the previous wait disappear and I don’t think I ever believed it could be possible until now.  We feel so incredibly blessed to have been chosen by A.  To us, she is perfect.

We have spent the last three weeks preparing by getting necessary baby items, reading books, soliciting advice, wrapping up with work, and enjoying adult only activities. It feels insane to know that baby could truly arrive any day now.

Getting matched and going to the that first meeting is like going on a very strange blind date for which it feels your whole destiny is on the line.  We agonized over what to wear (we are casual people and figured it was better for her to find out sooner than later).  We agonized over what to say (keep it light to avoid awkwardness or ask the hard questions right away to makes sure we are truly all a fit for one another).  What if she doesn’t like us?  What if we don’t like her?

We were thrilled when the first meeting went well.  We planned a second “date” a week later. Our lunch out in her hometown about an hour away ended up as the three of us spending the entire afternoon together.  There of course were still some awkward quiet moments as happens on any second “date” but it felt better than the first meeting. On Monday, she invited us to her prenatal appointment.  We felt incredibly grateful to be included in this special moment and were elated to hear baby’s heartbeat.  We all went for dinner afterwards and the third “date” was even more comfortable yet.  She will come to our home for dinner next week.  We are so hopeful we are slowly building a foundation to a long and trusting relationship.

There remains the possibility that she has the ability to change her mind about placing her son with us, but the more time we spend with her, the more I feel she is committed to her plan. We are counting the minutes until this precious little mini enters this world.

Match Meeting

I am going to be a mom. I am elated and terrified.  I am hopeful and skeptical.  I am overwhelmed and reassured. I am ALL of the feelings.  A part of my heart now exists outside of my body.  

We were so nervous for the match meeting.  We are mindful that our excitement for the future also means that this precious birth mother is going to experience one of the most painful times of her life.  We don’t want to make assumptions about anything and want so much for her to take the lead so we can be respectful of her and her process.  

In meeting her, we were overwhelmed by her grace and maturity.  There is no doubt that she truly wants the very best for baby. Our conversation flowed quite easily.  She said she picked us because our profile felt most “genuine.”   What a gift.  I want so badly for her to be part of our family and I am hopeful she will choose to keep in frequent contact with us.  

After all spending some time getting to know one another, our social worker asked everyone whether it felt like a match.  We all agreed it does and that we would like to move forward.  I feel scared things could change. Hubby, as always is a beacon of optimism.  In debriefing after, we decided that whether we choose excitement or caution over the next five weeks does not change the outcome so we have decided to choose joy.  We are shouting from the rooftops that we have been matched.  

Our lives are about to change drastically so very quickly.  I am giving notice of a parental leave at work today and have a month to terminate with my beloved clients.  Hubby will cancel his trip to Peru for which he was supposed to leave tomorrow. It just doesn’t make any sense to go as the due date is three days after he was meant to come home. We will look into whether it’s possible to induce lactation in this time frame. 

We exchanged contact information with A, our birth mother.  She indicated she would like some time with us as her due date approaches.  I cannot wait to get to know her. 

I saw photos of my son yesterday.  We are going to have a little boy.  

THE Call

I’m in a fog.  I am swimming in feelings.  We got THE call today.  We have been selected by a prospective birthmother.  We will all meet tomorrow to ensure it’s a match.  It feels surreal to even write this.

This weekend we spent time with both sides of our family.  We discussed our sadness that our child would not be close in age with all the other littles. We told ourselves we needed to mentally prepare to wait at least another year. Hubby is booked to leave for a five week trip to South America in three days.  THE call came when we least expected it, just as everyone said it would.

The birthmother seems perfect.  She is beyond anything we could have hoped for.  In describing herself, she used every adjective I use to describe me.  My heart aches for her already and the weeks and months ahead of her.  I want to wrap her in my arms.  I want to be excited at the prospect of my family’s future while honoring the grief that awaits her. I’m overwhelmed by her courage and her grace in pursuing adoption. I’m terrified she may not like us in real life.  Feelings!!

Little one… if you are meant to be ours, please know we have dreamed of you and planned for you for five long years.  We have cried, and hoped, and begged, and loved in anticipation.  There is no greater gift than you and I promise to be the very best mother I can be.

You need to bake for six more weeks and I need to be realistic that you might not be meant for us.  I will trust in whatever this universe has in store for you and for me and hope that our stories join together.

 

 

Parenting Goals

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Infertility and our loooooonnnggg wait to adopt has resulted in five years of fantasizing of what kind of parents we will be.  When you desire the opportunity to parent so deeply and have ample time to prepare, you are at significant risk of turning into a judgmental asshole of all the parents around you whom you decide aren’t up to snuff.  I constantly need to remind myself that my vision of what I hope to be as a parent is unlikely to be the reality once a living, dynamic, unique little person is added to the equation.  But a girl can aspire to parenting greatness…  And sometimes I wish the people around us who are blessed with fertility galore would invest so much more in preparing to be parents and in continuing to hone their skills once their little bundle arrives.  Had we become pregnant when we first started trying years ago, I feel certain we would have been much less intentional/successful parents than we will be if we are placed in the near future.

My lens on parenting has been deeply influenced by my work with individuals experiencing significant mental illness and addiction over the last six years.  I feel increasingly drawn to research on trauma, attachment (not the same as “Attachment Parenting” often discussed in media), and attunement.  I have been gifted with many stories from my clients and it is easy to make connections between extremely traumatic and neglectful childhoods and their subsequent experiences of homelessness and poor health.  I view addiction as the strategy (not the symptom) to cope with the immense pain they have experienced.  No parent can be perfect, but awareness, support, and intention can have significant implications for prevention of poor health in later life.  The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is a pivotal piece of research with very clear outcomes.  The more negative events experienced, the more likely a person is to experience poor physical health, mental health, addiction, employability/education, etc. later in life. A male who answers yes to six or more of the 10 categories is 43x more likely to become an IV drug user than a person who answers no to all of the categories.

I have also been swooning over Dr. Gabor Mate recently.  In his books and presentations, he takes the position that early childhood experiences are interpreted by children as being a reflection of who they are and what they deserve.  Attachment is everything!  This feels like immense pressure – no parent can be perfect but we sure as hell can try our best.

My reading, attendance to seminars at our adoption agency, experiences at work, and my own general disposition towards the world draws me towards parenting strategies rooted in developing and feeding attachment – being physically responsive to little people (there is no such thing as too many snuggles!), being emotionally attuned and validating, and facilitating connection to other positive supports will be core principles of our parenting journey.  We certainly won’t always get it right, but I hope that we can constantly grow with our child.

Blog Boldness

Not much happening in our world these days, hence my scarcity in posting.  We did our yearly home study update recently.  Placements are low at our agency.  The wait crawls on!

Our agency has been much more active on social media as of late.  They initiated a guest blog a few months back and I have loved reading the contributions of birth parents, adoptive families, staff, etc.  I felt inspired to share our experience and contributed a post that was published on their website last week.  Due to strict adoption laws in my province, the blog was posted anonymously as we have to be very careful to not “advertise” that we are prospective adoptive parents.  That being said, I boldly directed some close family and friends to check out the post.  This was HUGE for us as there were loads and loads of feelings described along with a synopsis of our experience to date of being waiting parents.  It very much felt like sharing a diary entry with my world!

As vulnerable as I felt that day, the response received was overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging.  Most powerfully, my in-laws acknowledged that they truly had no idea how difficult this process had been for us until reading the post.  This statement of empathy and validation from them was invaluable to me.  If only all of these folks knew I have almost three years of infertility blogging hidden in the depths of the internet!