Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Trip Books

Each trip we have taken to Philly I have made a book for Baby Girl.  The year she was born the book was her birthstory.  The following year was a short story about the adventures to the zoo and last year was the story about her time with her birthmom and the museum.

These are Baby Girls Books.  She can read them as she chooses.  Most of the time she likes to look at pictures of herself as a baby.  These books are jump starts to conversations about adoption, and her birthfamily.  They are non-intrusive ways of saying her family is important to us as well as chronicling the trips for her.

While my In-Laws were here Baby Girl picked her book about her most recent trip to Philly.  I heard my MIL read the title and I quickly B-lined to her bedroom.  I have mixed feelings about these books.  I can't lock them up but I also am protective of her story.  I keep each book simple, factual, but not overly specific so that if anyone picks them up they don't know the most detailed aspects of her adoption story.  I save those details for when her and I talked while we read the book.  They still are her story and I'm highly protective of her and her birthfamily.

My MIL just looked at the pictures and commented on what Baby Girl was doing in each picture.  Baby Girl told my MIL who everyone was in the pictures and I helped Baby Girl with the words to describe her relationships as she is still learning that.  At one point my MIL asked how D does with visits.  In light of D's current vanishing act I was extra cautious of this conversation.  I shared with my MIL that of course D is sad when we leave but Baby Girl and D love eachother so much when they are together.  Baby Girl clearly was listening to this interaction (which I'm always keanly aware of) and chimed in "Why does D get sad?"  For a moment I was sad for Baby Girl to have her hear that D is sad sometimes, but then I remembered that in her adoption story we talk about how D was sad when we left but happy we were the parents she had chosen for her daughter.  This satisfied Baby Girl and it also allowed my MIL to see how this open thing works.  Yes there are sad parts, but emotions are normal and thats how we deal with them.

My MIL I dont think will ever understand why we do what we do but I think she has come to a point where she is starting to see that what we chose isn't wrong or bad.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Just before Halloween we skyped with Baby Girls Birth Siblings.  Something just wasn't right.  D was not mentioned her birth sister was a little more quiet than usual.  We were warned before the call D wouldn't be there.  DH and I chalked it up to it being a birthday party at one of D's siblings homes.  D isn't welcome in all of their lives and so it made sense but didn't seem right.

It was just a little after that I started to search for D again on Google and in the jail system.  No results.

Just last week we got an e-mail from Baby Girls birthsister saying something I already had put the pieces together and knew- that they had not seen or heard from D since before Thanksgiving.  My heart sunk.  It makes me sad because although I can be optimistic - realistically I know what this means.  She made it almost a year of sobriety.  I continue to search the jail system in hopes that she gets picked up so she is warm and safe.  So for Christmas her two other children were without a mother- and that breaks my heart.

Baby Girls birthfamily has become an extended family to us.  We care about them and want the best for them.  Baby Girls Birth sister is so wise beyond her years which will serve her well as she enters the "real world" but her world has been "real" for far too long.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Stop your Belly Aching

One of my coworkers is pregnant.  She told me before she told any of my other coworkers because she "thought it would be hard for me."  I was excited for her.  I know she will make a good Mom even though she feels like she isn't ready yet.

So she is now 4 months in which we have 5 more months to go.  She calls the baby the "blob" inside her and complains about the weight and all things pregnancy constantly.

While I do realize that pregnancy is likely hard physically it also comes with perks like having control over what you put into your body, and a due date!  She had the nerve the other day to tell someone she wishes she had a surrogate.

I just want to tell her stop your freaking belly aching.  At least you have a stupid due date.

My cousin also had her baby on the 11th a day before my birthday.  She got married in February... must be nice- huh?

Ok I'm done with my belly aching.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Brother Comes Tomorrow

My dear Baby Girl told daycare on Thursday last week that her baby brother was going to come the very next day.  I guess she was convincing enough that daycare checked in with DH to find out if there really was a baby brother coming.  Baby Girl typically is counting on a baby sister so I was as surprised as daycare was that a brother was coming.

Baby Girl knows something is going to happen.  Her classmates are having brothers and sisters arrive but so far she has waited the longest for this mixed blessing.  A friend to play with that unfortunately will not be all that much fun for a while.

While I frequently ask her what she thinks she will have when the topic comes up (a brother or sister) as well as ask her if she has any name suggestions (none of which we will use) I can guarantee she will NOT be on the first to know list.

In a small way I enjoyed her being able to relish in the excitement of a brother or sisters impending arrival.  To her I think its a complex reality of something we talk about but never happens.  For her friends there is a concrete "baby" growing in Mom.  For her its a phone call that could happen tomorrow, or next year.  When a sibling is waiting for the birth of said sibling everyone is excited for them for Baby Girl this waiting is so unknown and long that its the elephant in the room- its bound to happen someday but people have a hard time getting excited for something they may not even be in our lives to experience by the time it happens (in the realm of school).

So a brother didn't arrive on Friday which was my birthday- but it sure would have been fun!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Adoption is Normal

My sister called tonight.  While we were chatting she mentioned she went on a date with a nice guy. "He is a lawyer and 'a little quirky,'" she said.  "Oh he is adopted" she mentioned.  I told her I thought that it was interesting he shared that on a first date.  She said it was because he showed her a picture of his parents and while they were white and he was asian he mentioned that he was adopted.  I responded by saying "Doesn't the picture imply that he is adopted then?"  She paused "I don't know.  It was just something he said.  Adoption is normal I think."

I paused again.  "Well if adoption is normal why did he need to mention it?  Did you share that your niece is adopted?"  She went on to say that it was just a fact he shared about himself and that no she didn't share that her niece was adopted.

I tried to challenge her thinking and told her that I once thought "adoption was normal."  Until I had a daughter that was adopted.  While I personally think adoption is perfectly normal and adoption is the only context my daughter will ever know.  Adoption in the world is still not "normal."  If adoption was normal people wouldnt ask me "how do you love someone elses child?"  She responded "People actually ask you that?!"

My guess is this man showed my sister a picture of his parents and mentioned he was adopted to gauge her reaction.  To my sister adoption is a normal way to build a family.  My sister though has never experienced adoption on a daily basis.  While she may feel adoption is normal she has not lived the adoption experience.  No one questions her love of her mom and dad or our parents love for her.  No one wonders why her "real mom" didn't want her.  No one asks her why she doesn't look like our parents (though this one she might get since she is the blonde in a very brunette family).

I do think she gets adoption more then the average joe between growing up with lots of cousins that were adopted and being an aunt to an exceptional niece who also happens to be adopted.  If she goes on to date this guy I think she might go on to learn that adoption is so much more complex than "normal."  I just hope he is the one so she can hurry up and get married!

Monday, December 1, 2014


At one point when I googled D's name I'd get her mug shots.  When I googled J's name I'd get a priest.  Now I get a murder victim who clearly was a beloved teacher/mother for D and a journalist for J.  I still get one mug shot but I'll take that.  When Baby Girl first came home I had a chronological progression of pictures for D starting in her late teens to present day.  While it did provide me with pictures- they really were ones I could do without.  I really didn't look forward to Baby Girl googling her birthmothers name.  I'm happy D is continuing to make positive changes in her life and moving forward.  Oh adoption in the age of the internet.