I've clearly run out of ways to say the same thing: still waiting.
We're running out of ways to fill this waiting time so the mister and I are just doing all those things we won't be able to do soon (we hope!) and rubbing in in the faces of any of our friends with kids. Movie night? Oh yah. We saw that new Tarantino film on opening weekend and really liked it. Sleeping in and lounging around reading the Sunday paper? Yup, did that too.
Piece de resistance? Pre-show dinner at a hot new spot known for amazing cocktails and Chinese small plates followed by 4th row center seats (so freakin' center we had a center aisle seat) at Wicked. All planned last minute because that's how we roll.
Now it's Monday and both the mister and I are supposed to be working. He's doing a better job of pretending to do that. I'm trying but just don't really care.
I did find out that I can likely get 6 weeks of paid family leave even though I'm self-employed. I just need to register and start paying for optional disability coverage. I had no idea that was even an option in this state and would have been paying it all along. Since you can take the leave any time in the first year of a newly born or adopted child I will have time to qualify for benefits. Nice, huh?
Ok so perhaps time to clear up some questions several of y'all have asked.
Are we matched?
I honestly am not sure how to answer this question. In short, yes. At least I think so. But we haven't had a "match meeting" or anything like that (which is typical with our consultant). Ms FoodNetwork is no longer talking to any other prospective adoptive parents and has stated it's her desire for us to adopt this baby. She was working with another couple but broke off that match/talks before reconnecting with us.
What is the plan?
The current plan is that Ms FoodNetwork will call/text when she goes into labor. So far she says she'd like us to leave at that time and perhaps visit her at the birthcenter if she's still there but not be at the birth. There are only a couple of direct flights a day with the latest flight at 1:00 pm so it might take us a bit to get there. We'll definitely ask if she's ready for us to fly and offer a few days of alone time first.
Can we spend time one on one with her?
Of course we'd love that and are hoping to make that happen. There are some interesting dynamics at play so I'm not sure how easy that will be while we're still in the Lonestar state. She will be coming back with us for at least 3-4 days and it will likely be just her then which pleases us. We've invited the biological dad as well (through her) but don't think that's likely to happen at this point. We've also suggested something similar to what wavybrains suggested (getting a hotel room near her regular residence and hanging on campus or somehow enabling her to attend her classes during this time) but am not sure that will happen due to said dynamics.
Why don't more people do more of a transitional time in adoptions?
Honestly I think it should be done more often. I think that many of the current practices are based in fear. I totally get that. If you'd told me back when we were originally thinking about adoption that we would seek this out and encourage it, I'd likely have wondered about your drug usage. But after reading and thinking about it, it just makes sense.
I remember reading getupgrrl back when she was writing about taking her son from the only person he'd known and how she wanted that to be easier on him. I have also seen it work remarkably well with other families in our service. People have worked out all kinds of arrangements during this time. One of the considerations is whether it's a local situation or not. Many folks plan on spending 2-4 weeks with the birth family when it's not a local situation. Hearing diverse stories from so many people that we've come to know through their journeys, adoptive parents as well as birth parents and grandparents really demystified it for us. We are lucky because we've experienced this through our friends so many times already and it just seems natural to us.
I think this kind of transition doesn't happen as often as perhaps it should because agencies and lawyers get very fearful that adoptions won't happen if transitions are encouraged. And for the most part this is still a big business. I think there's still too much "she needs to get on with her life" thinking and not enough "how can we make this humane for everyone considered and really think about what the baby needs". I think expectant moms are worried about bonding "too much" and the pain being "too great" and not counseled about that or perhaps just counseled about what possibilities exist and what they might need. And those moms aren't told they can change their mind after birth about what kind of transition they need and that's ok.
It's awfully easy for me to write this because I haven't been through this yet. I fully expect this all to be much harder in real life. I know it's going to be awful to have our greatest joy come at a high cost for another family.
I also know this transitional period is going to be hard for our families to understand. It's hard for many of our friends to understand as well. I know they are protective of us and worried about what might happen. In their minds the worst thing that can happen is for a baby to be "taken away" from us. While it would be incredibly hard for that to happen, and I do not deny that at all, that's not the worst thing that could happen. It isn't about us, it's about a family deciding to parent or to place. We feel strongly that every parent considering an adoption plan revisit their decision after birth. It's up to the mister and I to give them the space to do that. We also agree with our consultant's philosophy that papers are never signed in a hospital.
We get asked a lot about laws in various states and "how long can she change her mind" kind of questions. We spend a lot of time trying to (gently) explain that we don't really know or care. We're trying to approach this from the stand point of building a relationship based on trust and mutual respect. As Ms FoodNetwork's family has repeatedly stated "this is a sacred covenant between our families". Yes we have to make sure the legal parts get done (in a way where the baby's rights are put first and everyone's rights are respected) but that is really just paperwork (no offense to any attorneys reading).
Why doesn't the family want to consider our ideas about transitional time?
Again, there are some pretty strong forces at play and we're trying to respect that. It doesn't mean they aren't open to other ideas or don't want to utilize resources offered but they have a ton on their plate. Keep in mind that all of this would be a lot easier to discuss and process if we had more time. We have had much more time to get to know each other than we thought but really everyone just wants this baby to show up.
I think if it were a few weeks ago we could have longer discussions about this, read up on things even encourage them to talk to some of the other families (including birthmoms) who've experienced this. The reality is that we're all sitting with various bags packed and just wondering when the main event is going to start. I also think it'll be more organic and perhaps easier to have some of these discussions in person.
Last but definitely not least: What do you mix raspberry vodka with?
Everything! Actually I must admit I love me a good Cosmo and nothing makes a better Cosmo than a spectacular raspberry vodka and some fresh lime juice. It is also lovely with lemonade.Or watermelon aqua fresca. I also love Pear Vodka with ginger beer/ale and Vanilla Vodka with Diet Coke. With my in-laws it's good to have a variety of vodka drinks in your back pocket. ;)
@wavybrains: Thanks so much for your long, thoughtful comment that was chockfull of great info. It's VERY appreciated. I am looking forward to sharing all of it with her. I know she's anxious about getting started with school but apparently can get many of her classes online until she can attend in person. Thanks again!
@Tammy: Thanks so much for delurking! Any friend/reader of Tertia's is a friend of mine. Thanks for the good thoughts and support.
@Sparkle: It is rather full on, isn't it? So far no one thinks it's a boy.
@Michell: Do the tour! It's awesome and free! Or I'll just make you a killer drink and we'll eat our cupcakes. The coparenting for a time did freak us out a bit before (we're only human) but we've seen it work great so hope we're up for the challenge.
@louise: I think it's amazing how every situation is so different. I think it's challenging to offer that time but also express how excited you are at the same time. Any tips on how to navigate these challenging days/emotions/etc are welcome!
@krista: It does feel like we're getting close, whether this one happens or not. I don't know that we're all that selfless just trying to do what every parent does or should do (put the baby first). I suppose all this extra time has even us the chance to become more equipped to do it this way. Though don't think for a minute I wouldn't rather be an insensitive bitch with a school-age kid.
@Mad Hatter: Your name is one of my very fave Halloween costumes/characters EVA! I wish you all the best with your journey. Feel free to write with more specific questions about high fsh if you have them.
@pocket: You're home! So you have the girl feeling too?
@Summer: Thanks! I'll definitely find a way to post some pics, even if briefly.
@MM: Thanks for the questions and thoughts for my 'rents. It certainly isn't the best time for all of this but when is it ever? Love the xxxxxxxxxs.
@Bonnie: Today or next week? It's next week, right? Big celebratory plans?
@Lut C: Banana bread rocks! I think that sounds yummy. Perhaps I can just substitute coconut oil for the butter? It's interesting to me how adoption still seems to be fairly closed there but at least in many countries (though not sure about yours) all donor stuff is more open. Do you find that to be the case?
@Tricia: LOVE your photo idea!!! That hadn't even occurred to me but I really love it.
@PiquantMolly: Once things get more in motion I'll start updating those other places with statuses and feeds and such. Thanks for the excitement!
@Erin:I'm a longtime reader of you who is touched by the comment. Thanks!
@jen: You are supposed to COME HERE and get it at the source. That would be the most special delivery you could arrange. ;) I do think you have a lot of cute boy stuff that would make great hand-me-downs. Is there good news on your end? Sounds like it!
@tublessinstl: That's how I get you: lull you into a false sense of security with no action and no posting then WHAM!
@Red Headed Momma and PBfish: Welcome to my world! Waiting and more waiting.