So I got a call a few days ago from our adoption worker for baby Emma. From what I gather they want to make sure we understand what we are getting ourselves into. She wanted to talk with me about the situations we are open to, recommend I do some research, uh…..hello!!! I’ve read every book, every article, I’m also parenting a drug exposed mild special needs toddler. But okay, I will humor you and do some more reading. This is a special needs adoptive program-I know that. Man, I felt like she was talking to me like I was an idiot but I do tend to be overdramatic. In reality she got real. She made sure I understood what we were getting into and I “got it”. The reality is according to experts and Doctors we could very well adopt a child that will have permanent damage that cannot be undone and no amount of love, care, or therapy will help them, am I prepared for this? So folks am I? If you asked me this about Everett, if you told me he would grow up and never be a productive member of society I would tell you to go to hell-that I know he is going to amaze everyone in his life, and that come what may he is my son, forever and always. Getting honest, this talk scared me. I am angry at myself for this fear……grrrrrrrr. Maybe I shouldn’t be??? I got off the phone very discouraged. Thinking perhaps we should back out, maybe this isnt’ for us?! Find another agency……oh man, yes doubting big time.
(The positive) she said that she is keeping in mind the birth mom’s that are due soon who match our risk level. She is going to begin working on a potential match for us just as soon as she has that homestudy in her hand, which should be any day now. She explained that they will ask us if we are willing to accept a match, we will get every bit of medical family history they have, all prenatal information they have, birth/weight/APGAR. So why is this scaring me!??? She wanted to make sure that I understood it was okay to say “no”. I told her I have no problem with that as I had said “no” to several situaitons as a foster parent. I just told her just know that if we say “No” that doesn’t mean we always will. She seemed more confident I was not so eager I would jump on the first referral w/o thinking it through. Man, she needs to get to know me. I will first overthink it to death. Dh will tell me (can I kill him for this?) “Its up to you, I trust your judgment, will support you with whatever you decide.” I sometimes wish he had more of an opinion. Then I will pray like no tomorrow. I will ask my mom, I will talk to my friends, I will talk with God some more, I will email Lorie and ask her what she thinks, I”ll talk to our Pediatrician……..then we will decide after praying some more. I want Emma. I firmly beleive with all of my heart I have felt this little girl around me wanting to come to this earth. I beleive we are alive before we come to earth, I beleive we have a right to choose how we want to come to some extent, I beleive this was her choice, I dont’ know why, but some day we will know. I beleive we are forever tied to her birth family, why? No reason, just a feeling. I don’t know this, but I sometimes think that Everett wanted to help his birth family stop the line of dysfunction through his birth mother’s side. Hard to explain…….its deep stuff that I dont’ fully “get” just feelings when I ponder and meditate. I feel Emma has similar reasons for wanting to come this way to our family. In our faith we beleive that we are sealed for all Eternity, not just in this life but in the next. I beleive that with all of my heart, that we existed before, we will exist after. I don’t know how it all works……I just know that I want Emma, the little girl I have felt and I dont’ want to say “yes” to any other baby girl, no matter how amazing and wonderful she will become. I want my daughter. I said “yes” to children who came to our family and left. But I tell you all of those children touched my life in a positive light (even if it was hard and painful) and every single one of them lead to the miracle of Everett’s adoption. I was willing to accept infants/children w/o any info. and would HAVE without question adopted them!/?? What the heck. I know the risks. I thought I was okay with this. I am feeling sick, I am feeling overwhelmed with my 3 children, with life….I know this is part of it. Okay so back to the process, if we are open to the “situation” (also known as baby) then they will present our family to the birth family along with other profiles in their “pool”. Birth mom/dad/family gets to choose the family they want. They want to prepare people for the worse case scenerio-I know this. I appreciate this. I think this is fair, honest, and ethical. Unlike the CPS workers who would intentionally withhold negative information, it is best to know everything in order to help our baby.
Man I so don’t want anyone who is in our day to day life, including family to know about what I’m writing. I’m considering making this blog private. I am not a “private” person and generally open. But there are a few somewhat negative energies who would not respect our adopted children’s history, they would talk about it to people and shed a negative light on it. I also do not ever want anyone to have low expectations of my children based on what their birth parents chose to do during their pregnancy. I don’t mind at all telling people that Everett has a sensory integration disorder, thats fine. But his family history is his own, NOT to be shared with anyone unless they need to know for medical purposes. When he is old enough we will share what we know, in a positive and healthy way, and then its up to him if he wants to share it with others.
This is where I have to admit something. The way this SW was talking to me got me scared. Not just a little frightened, but almost like whoa……hold on here, can we do this!? She told me specifically that any birth mother who uses cocaine will be drinking alcohol to come down from their highs, at the very least, and may very well be binge drinking and not admit it, that we should be preapred for FAS and FAE with any child we adopt who is drug exposed. UGH! I am not scared of the affects of drugs, I have sort of figured that those are things we can deal with. I terrified of fetal alcohol affects and fetal alcohol syndrome. I took a 3 hour class on this and it was not Researched it extensively something I feel totally unprepared prepared as a human being to do. I dont’ feel strong enough or cut out for it. I also in a selfish mother way want the highest hopes for my kiddoes.
Everett’s mom admits to some fairly embarrasing things. I have read through the history and she said over and over again to Dr’s, WIC and SW’s, that she did not drink. I am fairly certain she would have admitted to it as she fessed up to a boat load of other totatlly unacceptable risky behaviours while pregnant with him all as socially unaccpetable as drinking. I explain this to the social worker who then tells me that she doesn’t beleive that Everett’s birth mom did not use alcohol and that I need to expect he was exposed in utero to it. BLAH, treated me like an imbasal for thinking otherwise…….or that is how I felt anyway. But my gut tells me she didnt’ drink, that was not her drug of choice. DEEP BREATH At the same time I trust this woman, I appreciate her frankness, her honesty. I understand why she is saying what she is saying to me. She has no reason to “lie” to me. If what she is saying is true we are taking about a 50% chance that our child will have “permanent brain damage” from prenatal exposure to crack cocaine/heroine/alcohol/cigarettes and most likely a combination of several. That a birth mom is likely to lie about how much and if she says “a little” we have to be prepared that she could have been binge drinking entire pregnancy.
Today I watched Oprah, I was sick and Everett was sleeping, kids at school. I never get to watch her-it was on a Canadian channel much earlier in the day, I’m not sure if this was a rerun or not. It was amazing. Dr Oz was on and this woman who had a massive stroke that left her like an infant. I didn’t get to see the entire show. She is a brain Dr.-was at the time she had her stroke-a facinating perspective. It took years but she has fully recovered and has wrote an amazing book on her journey. Part of her healing was her mother treating her as if she were an infant. Part of it was what she said was the “postive energy” people came into the room with. She could sense that above anything else. She could feel a lie, rather then hear the words…I hope I am describing this well. I Can’t remember the name of her book. Anyway they talked about how people have always felt that you can’t heal a damaged brain, however, they are finding that is not the case. There are ways to heal-but you have to reach in and find the person in order to heal them. I am going to go out and buy the book. They brought some brains that showed the affects of strokes, I know this is most likely different then the affects of drugs/alcohol…but all the same it was facinating. I swear I could smeel the fermaldahide through my comptuer screen looking at those brains…gross, still, facinating. The thought came to me as they talked about how remarkable the brain is, You know Lori, you can heal this child, you will know how. YOu aren’t the only one who wants her healed, God and his angels also have a vested interest in her life. I felt not going to be easy, but it can be done. Then today all day long I thought of Emma. She is going to be okay. I thought of Everett. He’s so smart, he’s so cute, he’s so perfect JUST as he is-special needs and all. This baby girl is going to grow, she is going to heal, Emma will be okay. My fear is still there, DEEP BREATH, but I have a faith and hope that she will heal. I then packed all of her little things for when we go to pick her up in the city. I got her diaper bag ready, I have a few tiny snuggly outfits, I have her winter bunting, I have her blankets, I have my baby sling, I’m ready-faith keeping me steady.
For the people who read my blog, thank you! YOu are all awesome, all 3 or 4 of you :). Please send positive thoughts our way.