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Adoption Thread

pennquaker09

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Ohh praise Jesus!! I am tearing up big time IG, I am so incredibly happy for you and your family. So happy. Avery is so beautiful. I just keep thinking, praise Jesus.

I'm childless (Nate and the kids are in Colorado.) and I thought I would pop in while I'm at the airport waiting. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Good to see you, Penn!!! :wavey: It is very exciting, isn't it?! How are your children?

IG...those pictures are gorgeous!!! I do have to tell you that my daughter had a baby girl in Nov. and they also did newborn pics. They had trouble getting sleep shots, too! Ironic since the baby slept a LOT at that point!
 

diamondseeker2006

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IG, just checking in on you and baby Avery! Are you getting any sleep? These days may be sleep deprived, but when you look back, they will have passed so quickly!
 

AGBF

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AGBF|1319766807|3049097 said:
ImperfectGirl|1319723982|3048675 said:
I got a call from the 14 yr old birthmother last night. She called to tell me how things went at her appointment that day. I can't get over how much she sounds just like a baby but then I have to remind myself that she is a baby. She'll be 30 weeks on Monday and says she is doing well.
That 30 week mark has come to mean much more to me than it would have until recently! In the past week or so I have been in touch with a close friend who has been beset with miscarriages for years following the birth of her son (about to turn three in a couple of days) at 27 weeks. She is hoping that with her current pregnancy she can make it to 27 weeks, but is now only at about 22 or 23 weeks. If she loses this baby, she will not try again. She has never carried another baby except her son for this long, but has had about 15 miscarriages at very early stages. She is at extremely high risk for premature birth which would, if it happens now, mean the baby's death or terrible disabilities at best. So when I hear "30 weeks" now, I feel a sigh of relief! Who on earth would have thought I would feel that even two weeks ago? Life is so strange! Now I am hoping that this young birthmother has an easy birth and that my friend makes it to at least 27 weeks and has a healthy baby!

A baby is considered "viable" at 24 weeks, but that doesn't mean that most are likely to survive if born then. At 24 weeks they have not yet reached the third trimester and, if they survive, may have serious disabilities. In fact, only 36% survive. If I seem obsessive, it is because I am about to immerse myself in her family the day after tomorrow. I'm going to her son's birthday party. I hope I get more good news then!

I wanted to let everyone know that, defying all odds, my friend was the one in a million who went on-after having had to have steroid injections to keep her from giving birth prematurely-to go full term with her pregnancy! In the end, labor had to be induced! A couple of days ago she gave birth to a baby girl who weighed well over 8 lbs (yes, eight pounds!). Mother and baby have gone home from the hospital and are healthy! The baby is truly a miracle baby!

Thank you for your prayers.

Deb/AGBF
:read:

Beyond24Weeks.jpg
 

Loves Vintage

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Deb, How wonderful!!! Thank you for the update and the photo of your friend's beautiful baby girl!!

IG, Would love to hear an update from you if you have the time!
 

AGBF

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Loves Vintage|1329409546|3127393 said:
Deb, How wonderful!!! Thank you for the update and the photo of your friend's beautiful baby girl!!

IG, Would love to hear an update from you if you have the time!
Thank you, Loves Vintage! I got to hold my friend's baby yesterday, and she was so wonderful in my arms! I couldn't believe the feel of her little head and hair against my face! Her full head of dark hair reminded me of my daughter! The baby had quite a birth story, too. She had to be taken from inside her mother and resuscitated. She was white as a sheet and her father saw it happening, but did not tell his wife. It took a minute (he said it felt far longer) to get her to breathe and turn pink. He was hysterical. When he recounted the story (on demand...his wife's mother was pushing him to tell it) he and his wife were both in tears. (And he is an ex-cop.) As I said, her life is a miracle.

I, too, want news of beautiful, wonderful Avery...and I hope IG will grace us with some very soon!

Deb/AGBF
:read:
 

diamondseeker2006

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Deb, I am SO happy to hear this little baby was born full term and very healthy! :appl: I am sorry they had that scare, but thank goodness the mom didn't know at the time!

Yes, IG, we DO need an update! You are past the 30 days and we really need a new picture of Avery!!!
 

Bella_mezzo

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IG_I hope that everything is going well!!!!

Deb-I am so happy for your friend!!!!

We are doing really well, hard to believe that we've been a family for 8 months!

B is an incredible little boy and I am so blessed to be his mommy!

One thing that I am struggling with a bit is how to tell him parts of his story in Ethiopia (namely deaths of close family members that resulted in him needing to be placed for adoption and close family members who still live there).

Any suggestions are most welcome!
 

diamondseeker2006

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Bella, I think telling him his story as he is very young is the best choice. Then he will just grow up knowing it. Same with my daughter from China. We told her early on that her parents couldn't keep her because China limited families to one child and that God sent her all the way around the world to join her forever family. In B's case, some family members were deceased and those remaining were very poor and wanted him to have a better life, and however you choose to explain it, he was meant for your family! I think when the story is made as simple as possible and the child hears it young, then they just accept it. I think the very worst choice is keeping a big secret and springing it on the child later. Then they will think there was something bad about it since it was hidden. It wasn't too long ago that someone told me one of their older child was adopted but the younger child didn't know, and I thought how very, very sad that was. It makes adoption seem second rate when it should be an equal miracle to birth!
 

Bella_mezzo

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thanks DS! We spent some more time cuddling and talking about it today and I am trying to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible with a framework of decisions made in love from all sides...today was better for him which was good and I am glad it's a three day weekend and I think he just needs a little more one on one time (he's definitely regressing a little in terms of bonding and expresses similarities between daycare and an orphanage ;( So, we're just trying to stay close this weekend!

On a more positive note:

first fingerpainting:)

IMG_20120218_181737.jpg
 

diamondseeker2006

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Oh, Bella, he is precious!!! I know it can be confusing for children to go from an orphanage to daycare, but it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of spending lots of good bonding time with him!
 

AGBF

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Bella_mezzo|1329455113|3127951 said:
One thing that I am struggling with a bit is how to tell him parts of his story in Ethiopia (namely deaths of close family members that resulted in him needing to be placed for adoption and close family members who still live there).

Any suggestions are most welcome!
Bella- B is such a physically beautiful child! I really think I see his sweetness in his looks, too, although it may just be my imagination. (I don't really believe it is! I believe I can sense his his essence!) It saddens me to think that he is hurt by being left in daycare!!! He will, however, see that you always come back!

I recommend books on loss for B. Sometimes children learn better by hearing stories about things that happen to other boys and girls (or animals) than by hearing about things that happen to themselves. It is less threatening. Although it may, now, be a little old for B., I recommend that you procure a copy of The Foundling Fox (which is out of print), by Irina Korschunow. It is the story of a little fox who is orphaned and adopted by a mother fox who has her own babies. It is one of many, many books I read to my daughter about adoption but since it deals with death and since you said that death figures in B's story, I think that you should have it.

Something else that you should be aware of is that B is not old enough devolopmentally to understand death. Given that he cannot, yet, understand the concept, what you say about it at this point will have limited meaning. The important thing, as diamondseeker pointed out, is to be matter of fact about his life circumstances. Nothing should be hidden or secret. No topic should be taboo. He should hear that he was adopted and that his birth parents were unable to care for him because they were poor or that God took them when he was a baby (if that is your belief), or whatever the reality was. He shouldn't be left with surprises coming to him in the future.

He will accept whatever is his real story. What he will find traumatic is finding he has been lied to.

I hope that this has been helpful.

Hugs,
Deb
 

Bella_mezzo

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Thank you so much DS and AGBF!

He is gorgeous inside and out, and you are not imagining his sweetness:) He's not sweet all the time of course, he's three! ;)) but he does have a sweetness about him that is indescribably special.

We talk about adoption and his story all the time, I just get stuck on the parts about death b/c I don't want to belabor the point about death, etc. with a three year old who can't really grasp that concept and it might not really make sense/or sound scary (that someone can be there and then not be there, that they stop being able to take care of you, etc.)

I don't want reinforce those fears about DH and me if that makes sense...most 3 year olds don't even consider that their parents might die, and I don't want to harp on that with him. He already has a real fear that we won't come back.

I think I over think it with him when it comes to death and maybe I can just say it and not worry about it, eg. "Your Enat and Abat (ethiopian formal words for parents and what we call his biological parents) died, but then God brought mommy and daddy to take care of you. Now we are a family forever, mommy, daddy, and B" and then just leave it.

That's kind of what I do now, but with a lot more stammering, and TONS of self-doubt/questions/second guessing in my head.

We have a lot of adoption books and books about animals/adoption/family, etc. I'll keep an eye out for the foundling fox!

thanks for the reassurance. IRL I'm actually a really matter of fact, laid back parent :bigsmile:
 

ImperfectGirl

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Hello all! :wavey:

I apologize for letting so much time go in between posts...the time since my last post has been very eventful with many ups and downs. And here I thought the roller coaster ride was over once we brought Avery home! Basically, D has (understandably) had a very hard time with the placement. For a good chunk of the last month, she and her mother have been at odds with the placement. D wants Avery back and S feels that the placement was best for everyone involved. Hearing D voice her regret over the decision has been so difficult. On the one had, I love Avery more than anything and can't imagine her not being my daughter but on the other hand, I want D to feel peace about the decision. Ugh, it's been so hard. So even though D has voiced her desire to have Avery back, we've had no legal obligation to comply. The legal paperwork she signed states that her consent to place the baby for adoption was irrevocable for 60 days and that most likely her rights would terminated in a court of law within the 60 days. I've felt so bad for her...I never want to feel as if I 'took' her baby. S has been communicating with me and feels confident with the decision and just feels that D is grieving. D has started seeing a therapist to help her deal with all this aftermath. D has my phone number and texts me almost daily. Some of the texts are nice and asks for photos of Avery and some are not so nice. She wants to get together and see Avery this summer and while I would normally not have any issue with a visit, I don't know if it will do more harm than good at this point. But, I don't want to say no and be 'those adoptive parents' who disappear once we have the baby. Ahhhhh, I'm just trying to take things one day at a time right now and enjoy Avery.

On a happy note, we did finalize Avery's adoption! She legally became our daughter on February 21. The judge was so nice and we took lots of photos and went to a celebratory dinner that night. She is growing so fast! She turned 9 weeks on Monday and had her 2 month well baby visit yesterday. She's 11 lbs 5 oz (75%), 23 inches (75%), and loves to smile at everyone! I live for those smiles! Her pedi says that she's very observant for her age. She is such a delightful baby. She rarely cries and is sleeping 5 hour stretches at night. She is just the light of our lives. Everywhere we go people tell us how beautiful she is and how much she looks like her daddy (lol!).

I'm at work now (1st week back), so I don't have any pictures of her on this computer but I promise I will post a couple tonight! She's gotten so chunky!

Sorry for the me centered post...I will catch up and reply to everyone tonight as well!
 

Clairitek

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IG! I was so excited to see an update from you! Sorry that D is having issues with the adoption. I am glad to hear that her mother is standing by the decision and is trying to soothe your worries a little bit. As sad as I am for D I am glad to hear that you do not have to legally comply with D's request to have Avery back. Best wishes for you and your husband as you continue to grow together as family.
 

JGator

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Bella, I wanted to chime in on talking to B about death. My father passed away the day before my 3rd birthday. I always knew that my dad died and that he was in heaven. I don't remember being 3 or how my mom told me. I can only remember being 4. But, I was very open about it to the point where my first grade teacher told me to stop telling the other kids "my dad died" as they didn't understand death. I think if you make sure he always knows it, it will not be a big deal to him. It will just be a fact and part of his story. And, B is so fortunate to have a Mommy and a Daddy even if his birth parents are no longer here.

IG, so sorry to hear about the stress you have been going through with D. I hope the therapist is able to help her. And, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
 

lliang_chi

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Bella, sounds like you have an amazing little boy there. And I can see why you're preoccupied with how you convey his story to him. But I think you're on the right track that you tell him that you, your DH and B are a family forever and that God gave you to each other because there's so much love to share. I think for now, you should stress the fact that you guys are a family and let him contemplate his birth family as he gets older and understands death and circumstances. It seems like he needs all the reassurance that you and your DH are and always will be there for him, and it sounds like that's what you're giving him. Best of luck!!!

IG, I'm so happy to hear you're doing so well. I feel terrible that D is having a hard time with the placement. It's best for her to see a therapist to help her through this. It's so easy for her to be swept up with emotions especially after giving birth. Stay strong. I think you should consult a counselor or someone if having D meet AVery this summer is a good idea. I can see that you don't want to disappear with her, but you also want to set boundaries. And it's best that D sort out her emotions and everything. Until then, enjoy your beautiful baby!

~LC
 

Puppmom

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IG, I'm glad to hear Avery is thriving! I am sorry to hear that D is having such a hard time. Adoption is such a heavy thing for a young girl to deal with. I think it's a great idea that she's seeing a therapist. The post-partum period can be so difficult and the emotion related to the adoption on top of that must be very tough on her. I'm sure she can only *imagine* what it would be like to have Avery and, in her mind, it seems happy and easy. Of course, the adults around her know that's not the reality. I'm glad that S has stated strong for D and is doing all she can to help her through this.

It really is so kind of you to be concerned for D. Avery is your daughter and you have to make decisions based on what is best for her, you and DH.

On a better note, I can't wait to see pictures of your little gal!
 

PetitiePoire

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Huge hugs IG! I'm thrilled to know that Avery is doing so well. She sounds like a doll and it's so heart warming to hear you talk about her.

I'm sorry for D. At 15, I'm not sure she is able to grasp how a real life with Avery would be, unfortunately. I'm glad her mom is staying strong on this as I feel it will help her move past the tough feelings. I hope her therapist can help her realize that there is no going back. It sounds like she is stuck in a dream version of what could be if she was just handed back. Again, at 15, I think it is difficult for her to realize the legality of it all. In time she will heal, or at least come to peace with the adoption. Is there anyway you can talk to S and limit the amount of contact directly from D? I just can't imagine her sending daily texts is going to help her heal. She needs to find a way to separate her new life and daily contact is just going to keep the adoption in the forefront of her mind.
 

kefira

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Hello, all. I'm new to PS, and have just recently started looking a bit at the areas outside of the sparkle zone. This thread caught my eye, and although I'm not sure I really belong in here, I was hoping I could contribute a bit. I read through the entire thread yesterday and was moved, touched, heartbroken, and exhilarated by the stories here.

I am a birthmother who placed a child through an open adoption. My story isn't really important, but I wanted to give some comfort to all of you who have shown so much love and empathy for the birthmothers in your lives. I know every woman and every story is different, but it's honestly not all pain and sadness on this side of the equation. For me, it was a blessing, and a very dear moment to me when I placed A in his mother's arms. I have never regretted doing it, and I knew it was exactly what I wanted and exactly the right thing to do. To this day, I'd never take back that decision.

I guess what I am trying to say is that adoption wasn't something that tore me apart or left me feeling alone or like I'd abandoned my child. I had the opportunity to be a conduit for a new family, so what could be better? It wasn't a loss, in fact for me it was the opposite. That's not to say I was never sad about the circumstances, but there was so much more happiness than sadness.

I hope this made some sense and isn't inappropriate here.
 

diamondseeker2006

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kefira|1331215207|3143865 said:
Hello, all. I'm new to PS, and have just recently started looking a bit at the areas outside of the sparkle zone. This thread caught my eye, and although I'm not sure I really belong in here, I was hoping I could contribute a bit. I read through the entire thread yesterday and was moved, touched, heartbroken, and exhilarated by the stories here.

I am a birthmother who placed a child through an open adoption. My story isn't really important, but I wanted to give some comfort to all of you who have shown so much love and empathy for the birthmothers in your lives. I know every woman and every story is different, but it's honestly not all pain and sadness on this side of the equation. For me, it was a blessing, and a very dear moment to me when I placed A in his mother's arms. I have never regretted doing it, and I knew it was exactly what I wanted and exactly the right thing to do. To this day, I'd never take back that decision.

I guess what I am trying to say is that adoption wasn't something that tore me apart or left me feeling alone or like I'd abandoned my child. I had the opportunity to be a conduit for a new family, so what could be better? It wasn't a loss, in fact for me it was the opposite. That's not to say I was never sad about the circumstances, but there was so much more happiness than sadness.

I hope this made some sense and isn't inappropriate here.
God bless you first for giving your child life, and secondly, for doing what you believed would give your child the best possible life! I wish I could give you a hug, because people like you have amazing strength of character and are examples to the rest of us! :appl: :appl: :appl:
 

diamondseeker2006

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IG!!!!!!! OH thank goodness the adoption is final and you don't have that worry!!!!!

As far as D goes, she is just a child and so many girls her age keep their babies now, so I am sure it is hard for her. Yet she has zero idea of the reality of caring for a newborn or raising a child, because she is one herself. I would ask her mother if you can speak to D's therapist to see what they recommend regarding the amount of contact that will allow D to adjust and move on. Mature mothers like Kefira can handle an open adoption. But in this case, it might cause more problems than it solves. The daily texts definitely are not healthy. You really need to speak to her therapist.

Can't wait to see new pictures of beautiful Avery!!!
 

ImperfectGirl

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I promise I tried to come back and upload pictures the same day I posted but PS was not cooperating!

Let's try this again...

IMG_0326.JPG
 

Bella_mezzo

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IG0I am so glad that you posted! Avery is gorgeous!!! Congrats on finalizing the adoption!

I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be for D. I hope that S is a good support system for her daughter and that you all are able to work out a way for D to still be a special part of Avery's life. It's a delicate dance but am sure that you will continue to navigate with the graciousness you've shown throughout the process.

Kefira-Thank you for your perspective and for the amazing parenting choice you made for your child.

JGator-thank you so much for your perspective. I am so sorry for the loss of your father, but it is very helpful to heard from someone who has experienced this kind of loss and made sense of it at a young age.

Thanks so much everyone else for your affirmations/encouragement as we figure out how to best communicate B's lifestory in age appropriate ways. I remembered two other adoption books we have and he really likes them, they seem to be helping him make sense of things (Horace and Rosie's Story). In general, we're talking more about Ethiopia, but less about death and that balance seems to be working for us right now...

We're also trying to get in to talk to a highly recommended attachment therapist to ask some of these questions, and to get a check-up/establish a baseline, in case B (or we) has some rough times in the future.
 
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