My Family

My Family

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The tying and breaking of binds

My adoption journey has never been a simple path.  It seems like when my parents took that same journey many years ago, they went in, requested kids, had a visit or two, and whamo two little girls came into their home.  Easy peasy right?

For us we have dealt with social workers, classes that tell you your kid will have issues, foster families, and a system so broken that it seems like it just should be scrapped and someone should come up with a whole new one.  Roller coaster days and nights.

But never in all this mess did I have to worry about bio parents.  Until last Wednesday.  Last Wednesday I took my anger, resentment, hostility, and fear to court.  My social worker had sent me soothing e-mails about what a good Christian I was and that she was sure I would treat Cary's bio family with compassion.  But I alas, am very flawed.  I didn't feel compassion.  Many other things, but compassion, not so much.

Our case was at ten so naturally we didn't get into the court room until 12:30.  Thankfully I had support that day.  A friend of mine came and sat with me and kept me talking and thinking about other things.  Plus she brought chocolate! I don't know if she will ever know how much that meant to me.  It meant everything just to think about normal stuff.  Plus my rocking mother in law came along.  She kept Shannon distracted.  Not that he seemed remotely phased.  Only his wife was coming unglued.  I had requested sedation, but everyone thought I was being funny.

When we went in my friend came with me.  The bio family has a few other children outside of Cary.  When bio mom and dad came into court I found myself looking at them.  They were both in handcuffs. Bio Mom was petite and had traces of prettiness that jail was working hard to take away.  She turned and mouthed "I love you and it's O.K. " to a woman who sat weeping behind me.  I am sure it was her mom.  Bio dad was tall and slender.  I could see where Cary got a lot of her looks from.  She has his hair, his face, and eyes.

The first part of was sad.  Their first child was set free to be loved by another family.  The bio family sat behind me and wept.  I felt for them.  Then they all cleared out.  It was as if Cary did not even exist for them.  Fine with me.  I was so keyed up by then I was sure I was going to puke on Shannon or my friend.  I also wanted to yell at bio mom and dad.  Or faint.  I was a mess.  I thought about shoving some of that chocolate in my mouth, but I am sure that would have been frowned upon.

The judge commended the bio family on signing over their rights.  All parties agreed that the minor was doing well and she was in a family that was willing to adopt her with all of her issues.  It was going great, the end was coming, and the papers were going to be signed.  It was a great feeling.  I was also holding it together and not bringing shame upon our area of the court room.

Then bio mom turned around.  She looked at me.  She looked right at me.  I don't know how she knew who I was but she did.  She mouthed two word at me.  Just two.  Thank you.  And she meant it.  She willingly gave up her child.  She released her child to people she does not know and she knows that she will never see her again.  She broke her bond to let Cary have a chance at a good life and a happy home.  The breaking of one family for the creation of a new one.

I was able to let go at that point.  I mouthed "thank you" back at her and I cried.  Hard.  I was pretty sure they were ready to check me into a mental home, but I didn't care.  Bio parents were cuffed and sent back to jail.  We walked out. I left my bad feelings in the court room.  There just isn't room inside of me for them any more.

We are now free to move forward.  To make plans, have hope, and dream dreams.  I am ready.  So very ready.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Good, the bad, and the downright annoying

I was hoping to post a little later on today, but Marvin's school decided that it needed to close at 1pm due to the impending doom of snow.  Really?  I remember growing up in the Midwest.  We WENT to school.  In snow.  In rain.  In fog.  And no, I did not walk uphill 3 miles both ways in a raging blizzard.  I got a ride.

So another week of doctors and drama. I feel like sometimes I live in a soap opera and all I want to do is turn it off and crawl under the covers.  But since life doesn't work like that I have to roll with it.  I must say that lately I have been rolling a lot better.  I think it has to do with my goals from my previous post.  I have been working on them and it has improved my attitude in general.  That and all the love and support around me.  It has helped.  More than most people realize.

On the good note Marvin is having a fantastic kindergarten year.  I would never have guessed.  Being the Montessori snob that I am I had pooh poohed public school and really thought that we were all that and a bag of chips.  I would have to say that I also did not display an appropriate attitude towards other forms of learning.  Thankfully, I have had a much needed attitude adjustment.  Marvin's teacher is the most amazing woman who has taken time, shown love, and kindled Marvin's fire for learning.  She is amazing.  Wonderful.  Perfect for my child.  Plus she has been so super with our family.  I want to take her home with me:).  And I get to abdicate from being his teacher.  No more power struggles with that.  It has improved our relationship tenfold.  I still love Montessori, but  have become more open to other options.

Another good thing is that Cary Lynn has had no sign of seizure activity.  She grows, she eats, she poops, and is generally a very happy baby.  As I am typing this she is in her pink bouncy seat banging on her toys and going "MMMM MMMM MMMM."   Which is Cary talk for life is good and I am soooo stinkin happy!

On the bad notes the termination of parental rights is around the corner.  Everyone expects good things, but it ties my stomach up in knots.  My social worker said that we are "kind Christian people that will be compassionate towards the family and show love to them."  Now I am going to be honest.  I do feel pity toward them.  But love??  That is something I am working on along with forgiveness.  I don't think I will be in court holding hands and singing campfire songs with them just yet.  Give me time.  This is a process.  I have to go through it a bit at a time.  Plus, I am now annoyed with my social worker so now I have something else to work on.

We also found out that Cary Lynn has abnormal growth patterns.  She is low on her growth hormones.  Not tragically bad, just the low end of normal.  Endocrine does not need to see her until July, so I am not letting that bother me for the time being.

On the downright annoying note the award goes to Cary's GI doctor.  I bring in a chubby 17 pound baby and he has the nerve to tell me she has not gained enough.  After thoroughly worrying the snot out of me about getting her a button for tubal feedings and telling me she needs to eat more, go on Pediasure, but she is refluxing because she was eating too much, and by the way good job mom I went out to the parking lot, got in my car and screamed.  Then I felt better.  Then I got smart and called the feeding clinic.

After a panicked call, the nutritional counselor assured me that Cary was just fine.  Her weight gain is great.  That GI doctors get special pleasure out of bringing doom and gloom into our lives.  I also got the calories she needed daily, grams of protein needed, and all sorts of good advice.  I felt better.

So now I can pick up and continue in the soap opera of life. Stayed tuned for next week's episode about the TPR trial:).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Running the Race

We all are runners in a race.  It's called life.  Some get a nice easy path.  The rest of us get hurdles and pits.  But soon you learn to jump the hurdles and stay clear of the pits.

Cary and I have successfully cleared several hurdles and pits this past week.  She does not have Hepatitis B or C.  Bio mom has C.  Cary's body stays protected from it and I am glad.  We also had a good endocrine report.  Cary is now 18 pounds and 4 ounces of pudgy.  She is also gaining height.  If her thyroid and sodium levels come back balanced we are in the clear for six months.

This means that her brain is starting to do something remarkable.  It is healing and remolding.  For a Montessori teacher, this is all in a day's work.  For the medical profession it is astonishing.  I was told that they didn't expect her to make it this far.  I said, "You haven't seen anything yet."

My PT told me that what I want is what Cary wants.  I need to impose my will on her.  So you'd better believe that I am imposing it with all my strength.  I want Cary to sit, crawl, walk, and talk.  I won't take no for an answer!  I have stopped believing the worst and focus on the child I see her becoming.

Don't get me wrong.  We do have pits and hurdles ahead.  In a week we go see the GI doctor.  It is just a check up, but I always have a bit of nerves about what may happen.  In two weeks we go to court.  Yes court.

I have to do something.  I have to look into the eye's of Cary's biological parents and watch them surrender their rights.  I have long ago forgiven Marvin's bio family.  I am still working on Cary's.  What they did was horrific.  How can you not care?  How can you look at this child and not love her?  How can you choose drugs?  How can you rot in jail?  How do you sleep with yourself?  I can't claim sainthood, but I just don't get it.  Cary's social worker anticipates that the parents are going to sign over rights without a quibble.  I hope so.  But we are required to be there and we will be.  I want to see them.  It is like some sick fascination.  I hope seeing them will be a cleansing process and I can move on.

So I continue to run.  The goal is far away and I may still trip or fall in pits, but I will brush myself off and move forward.  I will win.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Time to Mourn A Time to Dance

First of all, Happy New Year!!!  We, being the party animals we are, fell asleep at 9:30.   That's what happens when you have two little children.  On the bright side, I was up at the crack of dawn on New Years Day giving Cary extra kisses.  She had no idea what was going on, but enjoyed her yogurt without any trouble.  Marvin got up and demanded TV.  I told him the TV got a break on New Year's Day.  You can imagine how well that went over.

Anyway, it has been a bit bumpy but life is settling down to its usual rhythms and routines.  I was able to take some time and reflect on the year and the roller coaster ride called adoption.  There have been many times when I wanted to scream, shout, and throw up.  There have also been some amazing highs.  I have set aside some goals for next year as well.  Resolutions you keep for about two weeks while you walk around pretending to be a martyr.  "Oh, I am on my new diet and I only sip water and eat celery."  By the time you have made it past two weeks, you are wolfing down ho hos like your life depends on it and you cleverly change the subject or pretend to loose a contact lens  when someone asks you how it is going.  I like goals.  You don't have to eat celery unless you really want to and it is something you strive to be better at.  No one gets mad if you loose your path and did I mention no celery?

Goal #1-  To mourn when I need to.  I have a bad habit.  I shove it all down, pretend it is O.K. and then when someone leaves to toilet seat up, I loose it (after I fall in as I didn't look).  So when Cary has bad news at the doctor, when I get upset because the therapist doesn't show up again, or when I look at "normal" kids and realize that mine won't ever be like that I will be upset.  Not forever, but enough to get it out of my system.  My PT told me that parents who adopt don't grieve over their children's handicaps like a biological parent would.  We accept our child's limits and strive to improve them.  She is wrong.  I grieve.  I grieve in ways that most people won't understand unless they have a differently abled child.  But after the grief their is always the joy that these children bring.  Cary and Marvin are blessings.  My blessings.  They give me a new perspective on life, make me laugh, frustrate me, and above all inspire me to be a better person.

Goal #2- Get a life!  Yes, I have no life.  I don't go out and want to go to bed at 9 every night.  Can you say looser ville?  Anyway, I don't need a hot social scene, but some grown up time would be much appreciated.  I also need to find people to bully me into doing it.  My husband is great at guilting me into it.  I feel like a rotten parent if I leave my kids for a nanosecond, but after I do I feel much better.  I did not realize how much my job fulfilled my social outlet until I became a stay at home mom.  So now it is up to me to find new ways to meet people.  I am going to join a mommy group and force myself to meet new people.  I am also going to try a bit harder to get out with the people I do know.

Goal #3- Get Creative.  I have about a zillion scrapbook supplies gathering dust.  I love to scrapbook, but lately find myself avoiding it as I am too tired, too busy, too something.  There is always a reason, but never a good one.  I am happiest when I am creating so it's time to break out the Cricut and bust the dust.  I will make time.  I have albums in bad need of updating and attention, cards I can be making, and all sorts of projects.  I have ideas brewing and projects that I am itching to try.  Plus having a way to express myself, just makes me a happier person.

I think I am off to a pretty good start.  These goals are obtainable.  They are doable.  I think they will go a long way to help improve things.  They won't bring world peace, but they will bring me towards peace in my world.