Monthly Archives: August 2009

We had such a great weekend, it was hard to see it go. Friday night while I was putting Woob to bed, my cell phone rang. It was Woob’s bio grampa, G. He had called awhile back as his girlfriend’s daughter will be attending college in our town this year and wondered if we could be a touchpoint for her. I had totally forgotten when he said she was going to be coming…well, turns out move in day was Saturday! He was going to be coming into town with them and wondered if we had a little time to meet the daughter, but also of course, wanted to visit a little with Woob if it was possible. Isn’t timing everything? Saturday we were due to eat lunch north of here for Papa2Roo’s aunt’s 90th birthday…while they were coming into town, we would be driving out! So we talked a little while about everything, about the wedding, about Woob and disappointedly said goodnight.

But dang. The next morning, I kept thinking there HAS to be a way around it. So I called him back while they were on the road and we concocted a plan that allowed us about 1/2 hour (barely) to see each other as we left town. We hustled in a major way to be able to get to the university when they got there.  Thankfully, it was a beautiful day, and Woob could run around in the yard outside the dorms.  He was able to take a little time to warm up to G., though he wasn’t terribly shy, which I always worry about.  Actually, when we told him we were going to see G., he was excited and wondered if N. and the girls would be there too.  We got to meet G’s girlfriend and her kids and catch up a little.  I think he really enjoyed seeing how big and grown up Woob is getting.  We were able to take a walk down to G.’s car, as he’d gotten Woob a viewmaster and some discs, which he loved!  It also served us well for our trip up north–he was occupied the whole time.  The best part…we got some beautiful pictures of the two of them together.  The only other we have of them together is from the hospital the day Woob was born, so its just really sweet.

It was stressful.  It was hurried.  But it was so worth the effort.  During visits with N. he is usually nearby, but tries to stay back and let them spend the time together, so this was really a different kind of opportunity for them.  G. is a good, good man.  I hope we’ll always be able to work these things out.

On another adoption front, there’s interesting things happening at Woob’s daycare.  One of his favorite teachers recently brought home the two little kiddos she and her husband are adopting.  These kids are relatives who been in foster care in another state.  She’s been letting the kids in the classroom know that she’d be these kids’ mommy when she came back from being away, and now one of the kids is actually in Woob’s class.  As far as I know, this is the only other kidlet in the class who was adopted, though I know there are others in the school, more conspicuous, so the staff have at least been aware.  Sunday when Woob and I were at the library, we ran into the teacher and her kids.  She said she was looking for books and that they’d be working in class on “all about me” type things.  Apparently some of the kids (they are 3, 4, and 5 year olds) at school have been asking her questions about why she was now the mommy, when she wasn’t their mommy before.  One of the other teachers was trying to educate the kids by telling them that their mommy had gotten really sick and couldn’t take care of them anymore.  Which led to Ms. C. educating her on why that probably wasn’t the best explanation.  I love that there’s a little bit of adoption talk going on in the room, and that Ms. C. is helping educate the staff to some of the finer points they might not have considered before.  It makes me wonder, though, what kind of conversations might come up at home, too.

Okay, enough rambling.  If you’ve read this far, then you have earned a MAJOR AWARD!   a nap or some caffiene.

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Filed under adoption, birthparents, open adoption, parenthood

Context

We’ve been working with Woob on learning his address other helpful facts lately. On the way to the amusement park Saturday, we were talking about what to do if he got separated from us, and “drilled” him on his name, address, etc.

Us:  If you get lost, find a grownup, and tell them that you’re lost.  Tell them your name–what is your name?

Woob:   (states first, middle, and last names)

Us:  What is your address?

Woob:  (perfectly states our address, all the way down to city and state, though those are interchanged)

Us:  What are your parents’ names?

Woob:  (states N.’s name)

We weren’t expecting that one!  Of course, he’s right–it was just interesting trying to help him understand why she IS his parent/mother, but why that was the “wrong answer” so to speak to that particular question.  We work so hard to get him to understand the adoption stuff, even though he’s just three, yet we’re surprised that it bleeds over into other parts of life, too. 

We go over the “you have two mothers” thing fairly regularly.  I do think he’s a little confused about it now, but have faith that it will work itself out at some point as he grows older.  We talk about having two moms who love you–Mama N. who grew you in her belly before you were born and loves you from far away, and me, who gets to live with you and take care of you everyday.  Just last week, he asked again, “where’s my mom?” and I fully knew he was speaking of N. so I explained again how she lives a little bit far away so we don’t see her as much as we want to.  A while back we had a similar conversation and I asked if he would like to talk to her on the phone, and he said “yeah!” so I dialed but she wasn’t there and we left a voice mail message…and never got a call back.  So I decided not to just call on the fly like that anymore so as not to have him all disappointed.  He told me the other day that he wanted to go swimming with his sisters and N. and that G’pa G. could come too.  So we got on the myspace and he “dictated” an email to her. 

Heather challenged writers a few weeks ago, through the Open Adoption Round Table, to share their Open Adoption Wish List.  I think my wish list would start with the following three things:

  1. That the explanations would come simply, whatever it is that they’re for,
  2. That our communication was more fluid, consistent, reliable–that I could know that a phone call or an email would be responded to directly, and
  3. that sometime soon, IF we start having more consistency, N. takes more time to respond or connect directly with Woob–send him a card, call him on the phone, write him a letter or email instead of us.

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Filed under adoption, birthparents, growing up, open adoption

Goin’ to the Chapel…

Another chapter in our evolving family will begin this fall, as Woob’s first mom is getting married.

Yep, married. And my overly-invested heart/mind is flip flopping over this. On one hand, I’m all “uh, oh–her track record over the past few years in picking men has been less than stellar,”(NO, I’m not simply being judgmental–if you haven’t heard the story straight from me,  which came staight from her you’ll just have to believe what I say), and “but she hardly KNOWS this person!” On the other hand, I’m all “GREAT, I hope she’s found somebody who will treat her the way she deserves to be treated,” and “It will be great to have some stability for both her and the girls for a change,” and “awww, LOVE!”

I hate that.  Why can’t I JUST be the supportive, happy person who accepts things at face value?  Shouldn’t it be enough for me that she’s over the moon for this guy and feeling happy?  That he’s employed and feels protective of her and the girls?  Shouldn’t I MEET him before getting all dubious about him?  I wonder if its a motherly/protective feeling thing I have going here or simply my own control issues coming out?

So…

What I do know is this:

  • She’s getting married in October and making plans for the wedding as we speak.
  • She’s having fun with the whole thing (Yay, N.!)
  • They are living in a house together, and have been for about the past two months.
  • Her mom AND her dad both like this guy (and they rarely agree on anything!)
  • I’ve seen a picture of him on myspace.
  • He’s age-appropriate for her (by my own standards, I understand not everyone agrees with me on what age appropriate is.)
  • He’s employed, and has been, stably, for awhile.
  • He’s not on the sex offender’s registry. (Please don’t judge me for checking–its public record.)
  • We will be getting an invitation in the mail.
  • What’s good for N. is good for Woob.

I like the idea of this.  I want it to be the fairy tale.  She needs something good in her life–the past few years have been so hard for her and the past year in particular has been pure crap.  Please join me in praying, chanting, doing whatever it is that you do, that this becomes N.’s “happily ever after.”  White horse, and all.

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Filed under adoption, growing family, open adoption

Always Running Behind

…but yet, I persevere!  I think this “assignment” was due by the beginning of this week…but that seems to be a trend these days, so my new mantra is “better late than never!”

This installment of Open Adoption Roundtable, brought to you buy HeatherPNR, asks us to write about a small moment that open adoption made possible.  Honestly, when I first read this, I thought it would be easy!  So many moments have been made possible by the openness we share with N. and her family.  But then it seemed to be a very big task to pull out one small moment.  So I just put it on the back burner.

Then such a moment came the other day that seemed so perfect even in its simplicity.

Woob loves the idea of motorcycles, even though we are not a motoring family.  “I want to get a motorcycle!”, he says often.  And we reply, with humor, “of course you can have a motorcycle–when you turn 21 and can affort to buy it yourself!”  So he goes around telling everyone proudly that when he’s 21 he’s getting a motorcycle.  Told his daycare teacher that this morning as a matter of fact!  So while he was in the tub the other night, I was reading to him from the “MOTORCYCLES!” book that has lots of pictures and explanations and bike parts and such.  He again reminded me about what he perceives to be his 21st birthday present.  I replied,”but you know, neither Mommy or Daddy knows how to ride a motorcycle.  Who do you think will teach you?”  Without missing a beat, he smiled and said “J. and M. (his two sisters who are almost 2 and 1 year old)!”  When I laughed, and asked, “really?  You think they’ll be able to teach you?” he giggled and said “no, that’s silly! They’re just babies!”

One of the reasons I pursued openness is for the fact that I wanted Woob to know any siblings he had as he grew up.  I feared that there would be family out there floating around that he would never know, never be able to depend on, never even possibly know they existed!  This little exchange showed me that he knows exactly who his sisters are, even if he hasn’t spent tons of time with them, that he thinks about them, and puts them into some category of “People Who are in My Life”.  I also know his first mom enjoys riding four wheelers, and I could envision years into the future all of them riding together (though it scares the heck out of me!).

I followed up that conversation asking “you’ve been thinking about your sisters?” He nods.  “Would you like to see them sometime soon?”  And he answered, “Yeah! and Granpa G. (N’s dad) can come along too!”

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Filed under adoption, open adoption, things that make me smile