Friday, August 15, 2008

Here We Go Again

I got a call from our social worker; she met with R today to develop a birth plan. Parts of it are extremely different from M & T's plan, but some key parts are very similar and those similarities are ringing warning bells in my head: "danger, danger, you are setting yourself up for more pain and heartache!" I think the perfect word for how J and I feel about this adoption right now is "skittish." I'm not sure when that feeling will dissipate, but I imagine it will be the moment our lawyer calls us from court and lets us know that R & G's parental rights were just terminated by the court and we were awarded temporary custody. Yes, in Kansas we don't have to be in court for the initial hearing, our lawyer (at $5,000,000 an hour or some such...I mean, $400 an hour) can be our proxy. Anyhow, I digress. Here is how R wants the birth to go:
  • R goes into labor, calls our social worker, who calls us
  • R goes to the hospital and we follow fairly promptly (it is a 40 minute drive, as opposed to 5 minutes to the hospital where Lucy was born), after packing our car tight with baby stuff (to be explained below)
  • R labors while we wait, in the waiting room, for who knows how long
  • R delivers and the nurses skedaddle Clio out of the room ASAP into an adjoining room to clean her up etc. The only thing R wants to know is what Clio weighs and if she is healthy, she doesn't want to see her, hear her more than necessary and definitely doesn't want to hold her at all.
  • The nurses call us back to hold Clio for the first time, give us our own room and then we take care of Clio until she is discharged.
  • The hospital transfers R to a different ward to recover so that she doesn't have to be in the maternity ward and possibly see us or hear babies crying
  • Our social worker will make a visit to the hospital at some point, and R & G might want to meet us at that point, as long as Clio is in the nursery during the meeting
  • As R is discharged, her lawyer and ours will meet with her to get her signed consent (and G's) to terminate parental rights

Then, after R's discharge, here is the timeline (this is via our lawyer, not R):

  • Our lawyer takes the signed consent to court and has us designated temporary guardians (this is where the wonderful phone call happens and most of the weight lifts off of our shoulders). At this point the court will give our lawyer a court date for the adoption to be finalized, 30-60 days later
  • We leave the hospital and check into a hotel in Kansas (we are not allowed to cross the state line into Missouri, where we live)
  • We care for Clio in the hotel for between 2 and 10 days (here is where the car full of stuff comes into play) while Topeka (capital of Kansas) and Columbia (capital of Missouri) send bureaucratic paperwork back and forth to give us authorization to take Clio across the state line (the 2 days is if all of the appropriate state employees are not on vacation and don't have a paperwork backlog, the 10 days is worst case scenario)
  • We get our clearance from the states and bring Clio home!
  • 30-60 days later we go to court to finalize the adoption. As required by law, our lawyer will send certified letters to R & G to notify them of the court date and if they would show up at court at that point to contest the adoption, the judge would require that they prove they were coerced into signing away their rights (or that G is not the real birthfather, or some such other "good" reason). Basically what I'm saying is that the finalization is a formality and R & G really can't change their minds after they are discharged from the hospital unless our social worker has been bribing them secretly....yeah, I doubt it.

So, the part that is different from Lucy's birth is that we had so much involvement with M & T, whereas we'll have almost none with R & G. The part that's similar is the amount of contact with Clio. Contact=attachment=love=risk of pain. That is what my heart is screaming at me right now. But we can't say no, and we don't want to. Aren't there cliches about love being risky? Yeah, I thought so. If this adoption falls through, we'll be just as devastated (though less shocked, maybe?). If this adoption succeeds, all of the worry and risk will be worth bonding with our daughter from the very beginning.


  1. Well it sounds like you are in the right place with this. I think anyone who had been in your shoes would feel skittish and scared of trying again. The way you close this entry is absolutely right though, and as long as you keep that in the forefront you'll be fine. I think it's amazing you are putting your fears aside for the opportunity that is being presented to you. Who knows, maybe the lack of contact with them right away will end up being a good thing for you? GOOD LUCK!!


  2. Who wouldn't be skittish? I know I would be. But I think your attitude is totally right.

    You have my sincere prayers and hopes for this adoption!

  3. 39 years ago THIS WEEK I was in your shoes. Granted, the circumstances were somewhat different, our baby came from a state agency and was 8 mos old. It was still a scary proposition as we were told the birth mother had only terminated her rights within the past 6 weeks. We forged ahead and it was so worth it!

    Thinking good thoughts for you in this skittish time...

  4. It's going to be has to be. She's going to be wonderful and beautiful and exactly the daughter God has in store for you. Oh how nice it will be when October rolls around!

  5. I can understand your fears and concerns. When you love you risk to be hurt, but you have to take the risk to gain love.

    When we flew out to pick up Lillian three and a half weeks ago, we were very concerned that the birthmother would change her mind in the last minute.

    She didn't want to meet us first, but then we ended up seeing her. And I am so glad we did. It was wonderful to meet the person who has given us the greatest present on earth.


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