Saturday, July 26, 2008

All About Clio *Edited and Updated*

***Sorry, I realized that this post wasn't really "all about Clio," so I added more info below***

J and I feel cautiously optimistic, nervously joyful, fearfully excited about Clio.

The optimistic, joyful, excited parts come from:

  • A baby, a baby, a baby!!!
  • From the information we have, Clio should be born healthy
  • 25% of birthmothers change their minds, so statistically, this time it should happen, right? If my statistical calculation is wrong, please don't tell me because it will just depress me. Thanks.
  • Our social worker tells us that usually birthmothers who aren't sure of their decision won't choose a couple who's recently lost a baby because they don't want to risk hurting us further. Hypothetically we'll draw the sympathy of birthparents who are secure about their choice.
  • We feel like this was "meant to be" because we got the call on our anniverary and the very day I'd gotten my contract in the mail to resume teaching. I didn't have time to sign and return the contract between the time the mail arrived and we left for the airport, so the end result was that I was still technically unemployed and was able to e-mail my principals and let them know. They were disappointed, of course, about having to look for somebody for the position, but they know me well enough that they are happy for us. I am relieved that I won't feel obligated to teach for almost an entire school year with an infant. Those of you who know me well or who know high school English teaching well understand how difficult it was going to be for me to do both well.

The cautious, nervous, fearful parts come from:

  • We also felt like Lucy was "meant to be." The call about her came the day after I received my inital contract from the school in March, and the day before we left for our New Orleans vacation.
  • There are several similarities between M&T and R&G: both M and R looked at our profile book and "just knew we were the perfect adoptive parents." Both M and R state(d) that their reason for relinquishment is that they feel they "can't provide the type of home that the baby deserves." Both couples began broken up, but M&T got back together right after we met them and signs point toward R&G potentially getting back together. All four have children already (R has an 8-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl and G has an 18-year-old son). Both couples are older (given that the stereotypical birthparents are teenagers or college students). M had T as a birth coach and R wants G to be her birth coach.
  • This is so soon after losing Lucy that we are still in the process of grieving her and can't just forget about her in order to be wholly excited about Clio.
  • We haven't met them yet; we'll meet G next week but won't meet R until September or so.
  • ***Updated: R doesn't want us in the delivery room like M did, but she does want us to be at the hospital and our social worker, Hillary, says that at this point R doesn't want too much contact with the baby after birth. So, even though we are scared about being heartbroken again, we are going to be spending a lot of time with Clio after her birth because, for goodness sake, she needs somebody to cuddle her and coo over her.
  • This adoption will be interstate because we are on the Missouri side of Kansas City and the birthparents are on the Kansas side. So, we'll have to spend about a week in Kansas before we can legally bring Clio home and there might be other legal complications we don't know about yet. We'll meet with our lawyer at some point to find out how much more this might cost and how much longer it might take.

I'm the type of person who needs to be working toward a goal in order to be happy, so my task in the next few days is to figure out productive ways to use my time in the next two months so that I don't give myself an ulcer worrying. My current ideas (and suggestions from Holly, thanks Holly!) are: quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, volunteering, cleaning and exercising. Any more ideas for me?

***Updated: About naming, we are still stewing over the fact that we "lost" the name Lucy, which we love, and we don't want to choose another name we love only to lose it to another failed adoption. So, we've decided we'll be calling her Clio until we bring her home after court. At that point we'll announce her name and I'll post it here, but until then we aren't telling!

***Updated: I don't have ultrasound pics this time, and I don't know if I'll ever get any, but based on her birthparents' physical descriptions, Clio should be average height (R is 5'6" and G is 5'9"), have brown hair (both R and G do) and light eyes (R's are blue and G's are brown, but all four of their children from previous marriages have blue eyes), be right-handed (both R and G are) and nearsighted (both R and G wear glasses). Both J and I wear glasses too, so Clio will fit right into our nearsighted family! Clio will probably have a very nice skin tone, as G has an olive type complexion, and so she won't burn in the summer as easily as J and I do (we are pasty and burn more than tan).

***Updated: Clio will be smart, since G was on the honor role in high school and graduated and R had a 3.8 GPA and also graduated from high school. Both of them stated that math was their least favorite subject, so Clio might feel the same way? Who knows. Other traits that Clio might have are creativity (R was involved in acting), a love for reading (from G), a love for the outdoors (from G) and an extroverted personality (from R).

***Updated: For the record, neither R nor G believe at this point that they want much contact with us or Clio after the adoption. They believe that occasional photos and letters will be a good arrangement. We are fine with this, but we were also fine with M and T wanting to be invited to her baptism and first birthday party. The reading we did before starting the adoption process convinced us that openness is healthier for the child. I wrote more about this in my post "Open" in the archives for March 2008.

Finally, a word about race. Lucy was bi-racial and I made race a topic of conversation on the blog, so I feel like I need to address it for Clio. Clio is a Caucasian baby. I have to admit that this makes things easier for J and I because we won't have to work as hard to help Clio develop a strong racial identity. On a related topic, I made a choice today to remove a widget I've had on the side of the blog that linked to the Anti-Racist Parent blog. The reason I removed it is that it has always bothered me that the widget is wider than the sidebar on Blogger and was cut off. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I don't like things to be cut off or asymmetrical. That had been bothering me, but I wanted it there because I thought other transracial adoptive families might eventually visit my site to read about Lucy and would benefit from knowing about the blog if they hadn't discovered it already. Now it's a lot less likely that my blog will pop up when people search for transracial adoption in Google, so I felt like I could "scratch that itch" and remove it so that everything lines up nicely. I'm probably being oversensitive here, but I want to make clear that I'm still reading that blog and I'm still committed to being an anti-racist parent to Clio. The blog isn't just for transracial or biracial families. I highly recommend it to all parents.


  1. I have a long list of projects to keep me busy over the next few months as well (or however long it takes to be chosen by a bmom). Mine include scrubbing every surface of the house (blinds, ceilings/corners, fans, floors, walls, trim, etc), Putting my blogs into a digital scrapbook, making a quilt for the baby, and starting my master' name a few! :)

  2. So glad you had an AWESOME time in Mexico!! I hope it was a time of healing, but also lots of fun. =)

    I can also completely respect your being cautious this time around. Naming something is such a movement of attachment, that I think it also makes good sense to conserve the baby's name until you're sure all is well. I'll just keep her in my thoughts as "Clio" with hopes that I'll be calling her something else very soon.

  3. I'm so glad that you have been selected again. I just knew that something wonderful was going to happen, as I felt it when I was praying for you and your husband. I hope it's a textbook adoption, and the time until then passes swiftly. Thanks for updating!

  4. Glad you had a great time in Mexico.

    What a wonderful anniversary gift you got. I wish for a perfect adoption and that we will get to know the name real soon. I am heading out for holidays, (Galena, Illinois for a week and then back home for a visit) so I won't be checking in much until I get back (Sept). I'll be keeping everything I can crossed for you.

  5. I'm glad you had a great trip! I totally get you being cautious this time. You and "Clio" will be in my thoughts and prayers.


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