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Friday, August 31, 2007
If you haven't had the pleasure of reading Maggie's blog, take a look. She posted her feelings about her son's birthmother and it got me to thinking about Addy's. Ironically, I just got done reading Danielle Steele's book "The Gift" about a teenager in the 1950s who gives up her daughter for adoption.

I have nothing but empathy and compassion for Addy's birthmother. I was able to read what a crappy life she and her siblings had, of her very low IQ that inhibited her from ever being able to fully grasp how to be a mother. Frankly, at 15 even the most intelligent mothers would find the task difficult. And I am so, so grateful for her for the gift that she gave me (tearing up as I write this). Giving up your child is the biggest sacrifice a mother could ever make and it is the biggest gift that could ever be bestowed on another family and for the child.

The birth grandmother, however, I have a much different opinion of. She is same age as me and has managed to have child after child after child and has not fulfilled even their basic needs - to be properly sheltered, clothed, schooled, cared for, etc. She has allowed Addy's mentally challenged birthmother to get pregnant again and now the stories I have heard of what he is going through make me sick. (I wish I could get into it here but he's living in a house with 20 other people and there are major neglect and health issues). Why hasn't he been removed yet??

I'm heartsick that this cycle gets repeated over and over. It could have stopped with the grandmother but for whatever selfish reasons she has, she keeps producing children and those children are producing children and the cycle continues. When Addy is nestled into my arms and contentedly sucking her thumb, I sometimes wonder what her life would have been like had the state agency not existed. She's such a sweet, bright little girl and she deserves the best of everything life can give her. She is so much luckier than her mother and aunts and uncles who never made it out to get the opportunity to just be a carefree child.

I thought finally getting a daughter would quench the desire to have any more children but experiencing adoption has only made it worse. If I had the bedrooms and the money, I would adopt 10 more. To see the same faces on my state's photolisting website month after month, year after year, just breaks my heart. They deserve the oppotunity to have a mother and father to let them shoulder the adult stuff. They all deserve to be part of a family, something we all just take for granted.

I wonder who hit the $315 million Powerball this week? What I could have done with that money...from helping birthfamilies to get what they need to keep their children, to helping prospective adoptive parents along the process, to providing good homes for the waiting children, or providing services and counseling, fundraising.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Referral Photo 1/3/07
At home getting ready for court....

Opening some presents before court...
Friday, August 10, 2007
It's Official, we're a family of 5
It's done! I feel bad I don't have pics to post yet but my digital is broken so I'm waiting on my mom to send me them. (I'm going to try and remember every detail for Addy so this post might seem overly filled with useless details).

Yesterday morning Addy and I woke up her usual 6ish. I had taken a vacation day so we ate breakfast and watched Barney. I gave her a long bath and washed her hair. I put her down for a nap before 11:00 so she wouldn't be tired for court. I was surprised that she fell right to sleep but the bath must have tired her out.

At noon, I ran to the florist to pick up the flowers I ordered for Addy's social worker and Addy. She forgot all about it so I had to wait while she made up the order. They came beautiful. I ordered a presentation bouquet that could be put into a vase once she got back the office. It was done with pale pink roses and mixed flowers. Then I had a little wristlet made for Addy with 2 tiny baby pink roses and some baby's breath. When I got home, my mother and then my 2 nieces came over because they were coming to court with us. I woke Addy and got her dressed up. She looked like a little princess in her tulle dress and she is such a shoe girl! She loved her little silver ballet slippers I got her. She kept twirling around and touching her dress, LOL. My mother gave her a book and my nieces gave her a baby doll. After she opened her presents, we took off for court...

We got to the courthouse at 1:30, put money in the meter and got to the fifth floor and waited. The social worker showed up and Addy hugged her. She loved her flowers. We took a bunch of pictures. Then her guardian ad litem showed up and then our lawyer. Addy was getting very restless with all the waiting, she was rolling all over the floor and I didn't want her dress getting dirty but what are you going to do?? A security guard came over and gave her a blue raspberry Dumdum lollipop which promptly turned her lips and tongue blue. The social worker and I were talking and she said if she ever wins the lottery, she's going to build us a 20 bedroom house so she can fill it with children for us. Oh, how I wish it would happen!

At 2:40, we finally got called into the courtroom but, as luck would have it, our lawyer was 2 doors down doing a divorce so then we had to wait for him. 2:50, we are ushered into the courtroom. DH and I sit on the left side of the courtroom with our lawyer and I have Addy on my lap. The guardian ad litem and social worker sit on the right side with the boys, mom, mother-in-law and nieces in the seats behind them. DH and I had to raise our right hands and get sworn in, then the lawyer asked us a series of questions such as do we realize that she will be our daughter as if we had given birth to her, that we will have all responsibilities for her, etc. Then the judge asked the social worker if she recommended this adoption. She answered that in all her years, she has never seen a better fit between parents and a child (awww). The lawyer then advised us of her name change and that a new birth certificate will be issued with us listed as her birthparents (that surprised me)and that all records will be sealed (because Addy's birth family cut all ties and does not even want pictures or updates, but it's their loss. I would have welcomed keeping the ties open for Addy's sake).

The judge then proclaimed her decision to let the adoption go through and everyone clapped. She invited us up to her bench to take family photos and gave the boys and Addy lollipops. The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes from start to finish. We shook hands with the lawyer and guardian ad litem, hugged the social worker and left.

The boys and my nieces wanted to go Uno's to celebrate. Then it was home and that's it! I thought it would feel different once the adoption was done but it didn't. I realized that, at some point, I had already become her mother in every sense of the word and I didn't need a judge to proclaim it to make it so.

P.S. I decided to go with Adaline Grace. I debated on the spelling right up until the last minute but A-D-A just felt right.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Three Days and Counting!!
I've been so sick the last couple of weeks. Addy started first with the stomach flu then I got a sore throat that progressed to the flu then it went into my head and lungs. I'm still sick and it's been 9 days. I hope we're all healthy for court because.....

Thursday is Adoption Day! Three days to go. It's hard to believe how fast this year went by. Last summer at this time we were taking our training classes and now we're at the home stretch. Court is at 2:00 downtown. Addy and my outfits are all set. I still need to take the boys shopping for something to wear. My mother-in-law, my mother and my two nieces who are in town are coming. We're going out to eat after to celebrate and I think I'll get a cake for a little celebration at our house after. I ordered a bouquet of pink roses and mixed flowers for the social worker and a wristlet with baby pink roses for Addy. I'll finally be able to post pictures of her on here!

She's growing up everyday. She's talking in 3-4 word sentences, she repeats everything, she can name tons of new things each day. We watch Barney every morning while we're getting ready for work/daycare and she runs over to me and hugs me and kisses me when the closing song comes on. She is so gentle with her babies and she puts them to sleep and talks to them. She baby talks to the dogs and hugs them.

Her hair is so long now. When we first got her, I took her for professional pictures and her puppytails were barely 2 little puffs on her head. This morning I was joking to DH that she looked like Minnie Mouse because she had these two huge round puffs of curls on her head and I had put in red/white striped bows. It's even long enough to braid. I could just eat her up I love her so much.

She loves the pool, what a fish she is! She just wants to swim by herself. She find it highly inconvenient that I have to hold her in the water because she just wants to swim on her own.

She's getting better with DH, slowly but surely. She's fine with him when I'm not around but then she doesn't want to have anything to do with him. She's getting better though. She'll talk to him and go to him now. When he does yard work, she likes to go out and watch him.

The house....we signed the papers but with a contingency that we sell our house first. We're still having doubts because B is adament about not moving and Addy is so secure in her daycare I don't want to move her. Not to mention the extra $1,000 a month and 17 extra years of a mortgage. I don't know. I guess we'll see what happens. My house still isn't ready to be listed yet. I just haven't had the energy to do much being sick.