Friday, July 06, 2007


it's 3 in the morning and I'm still no where near tired... my little one is tucked in her crib upstairs next to her mama and my big kid is having a sleepover (his second) with his auntie and uncle, who are visiting from illinois and staying nearby at a hotel.

and me? well... i'm stalking the internet for any information on my children's birthfamilies. I've netted nada on James' first mom S. and equally nada on Anna's. I *have* found a picture of Anna's birth grandma, learned that BGM's brother was murdered in the 70's (still unsolved) and found a recentish picture of James' half sibling.

It's been just over a year since I last spoke with S. ...We left that visit with talks of openning up our adoption (it's always been wide open on our end... and less so on hers). I was hopeful that we'd be in touch, but things haven't happened that way. The cell # she gave me no longer works, and the go-between friend we used to communicate has fallen off the planet despite multiple attempts at emailing.

I miss her. I wish I knew how she was doing... wish I could share James' milestones with her.

* * * * * *

Life is busy, but good. Very good. I've struggled with being a SAHM to two little ones and with finding a new PT job, and have felt very overwhelmed at times, but summer has brought her beach trips and babies-dipped-in-lotion smells with her and my worries are baking away.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

if I keep waiting for...

...the perfect time to post, when I have hours available to detail the last month, you'll never hear from me again.

And that would be sad.


We're a family of four! Anna is an absolute delight and is settling in well as the newest member of our family. James has vacilated between indifference, jealousy and occassionally total disgust (with a few rays of sweetness and helpfulness) as far as having a sibling goes, but really he's being as kind as an uprooted, newly two year old toddler getting his last molars could be expected to be.

Life is crazy in both good and challenging ways... being laid off has, to put it mildly, completely fucked up our work/home and financial balance in about a dozen increasingly frustrating ways. Ugh. But it's not the end of the world... and really: having the two children I am blessed to parent is worth it.

Pics are more exciting than this drivel, eh? Lemme share my gorgeous kiddos with you....

James holding a very serious Anna. Oh the bribing that took place to get this shot.

Ahhh! Bowlicious! Anna with Easter basket bling festooned merrily to her scalp!

I dare you to resist the chub. The cuteness overwhelms.

So effin cute.

So, thanks to those of you who've commented or emailed, and sorry for falling off the face of the Earth. Mommaing two is HARD. But I'll try to be better and remember that it's ok if I don't write a deeply meaningful post every time. You'all want the pics more anyway. ;)


Thursday, March 08, 2007

there's that shoe.

I just got laid off. "restructuring". Oh god.

i joke...

..that my two month old is already causing me to lose sleep, even though she isn't home yet. But it's true -- my digestive system is completely shot and I can't seem to sleep more than 4 hours at a time... I feel like a zombie.

No complaints though -- I'll take a crazy fast how-the-hell-did-that-happen journey to mommahood over a long when-the-hell-is-this-going-to-happen journey anyday. I'm well aware that in both my adoption and lesbo fertility circles, my friends' happiness for me doesn't erase the sting they feel seeing both of our baby-makin' journeys be so swift. And I still worry that there has got to be a big fat shoe dropping sometime soon... as everyone has repeated increduously: Adoptions just *don't* happen so quickly, especially twice.

Anyway, I do realize how blessed we've been, and if I can ever be helpful to anyone at the start-gate of an adoption, I'd be thrilled to.

I've also been really vague about our agency, but now that things are more final with TMB's adoption, I'm so happy to recommend Spence Chapin's ASAP program to anyone and everyone. Our contact at SC has been the most fantabulous human being ever -- she calls us immediately with updates, even from home at 10 PM if necessary, and has been kind, empathetic, thoughtful and very respectful of TMB's birthfamily. SC's ASAP program is their 'special needs' program, though many of the babies placed through ASAP are on the lower end of the special needs spectrum (for example may have been substance exposed in utero, may have a birthfamily history of mental health, MR or medical issues, may have limited or 'undesirable' birthfamily medical/social history one one/both sides or may have certain more 'minor' medical conditions). They do place children with more profound needs too.

Their fee structure is based on a sliding scale by the adoptive family's income, and overall fees are incredibly reasonable. They cover all eparent/bparent expenses without increasing their agency fee, their legal fees (if you finalize in NY) are based on a sliding scale too. Our total fees will be about 15% of an average domestic adoption, for everything: travel, homestudy, agency fee to include all expenses, medical costs, etc and legal fees. Also, fellow queers in shitty states -- finalizing in NY means you both are legal parents in a joint adoption.

SC has been very supportive of us having an open adoption with TMB's birthfamily and encouraged them to consider us as her parents, even when TMB's birthmom had TPRed and given rights to the agency over a month ago. Had TMB's birthfamily not approved of us as her parents, they would kept looking until a suitable family had been found. (SC was incredibly queer-friendly, though.)

SC has interim care to allow new moms considering adoption time to really decide if they want to continue with an adoption plan. And TMB's mom was given a lot of support to choose parenting... and over 65% of the women who initially come to SC do indeed parent instead of place.

Simply put, I LOOOOVE SC, and highly recommend their ASAP program to adoptive parents open to any of the risk factors/special needs I mentioned above.. they're very good at letting you dictate your comfort zone and will only present you with situations where you've already outlined that you'd be prepared for that child's specific needs.

Meanwhile, TMB also does have a name beyond "TMB". :) She was named Arianna by her mom at birth, which we are keeping. We've nicknamed her Anna (rhymes with Banana, not Ahhhhnna). :) Her middle name is Lorraine, after my nana.

We meet and take home Anna next weekend. (!!!!!) We can't wait to see this face: person and snuggle her close.

If you have any questions about SC or want our contact's name, feel free to email me at and I'll shoot you a response.


Sunday, March 04, 2007


We just got word a half hour ago! It's official! TMB is ours!! We'll be picking her up in about three weeks....!!! I'm overusing exclamations!!

Here's my sweet gorgeous girl.... taken about a month ago. We are two very happy Mamas tonight!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Still no news...

Our agency contact (who I am madly in deep like with) has called twice just to let us know that bgrandmom hasn't called... they won't 'bug' her until Monday at the earliest, so it's likely we won't know until Monday night.

If I have fingers left after all this nailbiting, I'll be sure you update you all when I know more.


Thursday, March 01, 2007


A weird coincidence....

Dec 28th (TMB's birthday) was the last morning we charted J's temps. Baby girl was born that afternoon. :)

going insane.

Homestudy: completely done and on its way to Gigantic City.
ICPC: will start next week -- shouldn't be more than ten business days.
Cardiologist appt: Scheduled for next Monday.
Bfamily meeting: SW at agency is trying to "stop by" tonight and try to catch them home. If so, she'll be presenting us.
Agency contact: will call us tonight to let us know if it happened, and if it did, how it went.

'Nervous' doesn't do justice to how I'm feeling tonight.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2 month Dr.'s appt....

So baby girl went in for her 2 month check up today, and the short version is there was nothing discovered that would sway us from adopting her if we get that chance!! (waiting on pins and needles for birthfamily's ok this weekend, which is the last piece before it's 100% official....)
Here's the long version for those interested....

Apparently her pediatrician heard a heart murmur, so she'll be seeing the cardiologist to ensure that it's no big deal... likely it'll be fine, but even if it's the worst case scenario and she needs surgery to close a hole we're still blissfully moving forward. Otherwise, she's developing perfectly..

She's 9 lbs 4 oz, and 21 inches long... and the doc was thrilled with her weight gain and development (born at 5 lbs 13 oz). She's smiling and cooing and wasn't fussy during the visit at all, except when she had her shots. :( But she recovered quickly and had a bottle and according to our agency worker, she's even more adorable now than in the month old pics they sent us... She has some big filled out cheeks now. Swoon.

They're going to call us tomorrow with the date of the cardiologist appt (should be this or next week) and the time the bfamily caseworker will be presenting us to the bfamily this weekend. They'll call us this weekend right after the appt to give us the scoop so we won't have to agonize until Monday.

But if it falls through, I'm totally going to have to check myself in somewhere, so you all better promise to visit me. I've tossed aside "not getting emotionally invested" so fast my head is spinning....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So I spoke with our agency contact today... and things are still moving forward with TMB's adoption (whew!). It really was starting to feel like a dream.

We sent in our homestudy addendum and financial statement, our agency contact spoke with our homestudy worker today, and the agency has given us their official approval as the family for TMB. The only thing left (besides paperwork and ICPC) is for TMB's bfamily to give their approval of us, which we've been assured is likely to happen. That happens Saturday.

Our homestudy updates are basically written, we're just waiting on one set of clearances to make thier way to the office and it'll be done. We're hoping it'll be in our agency's possession by mid next week at the latest, and should work it's way through ICPC within two weeks -- maybe earlier. That'd have us picking up TMB in 3 - 3 1/2 weeks, if not sooner. Yay!

We'll probably leave James here with my mom/dad overnight (first time... sniffle). We're flying, because the idea of navigating Gigantic City and driving 8+ hours home with a two/three month old I've just met makes my head bleed.

Wednesday TMB has her two month checkup and we/our ped. will get her medical records. So, basically we wait for the medical update and to hear that our clearances are in, and then to hear on Saturday that her bfamily has given their ok for us adopting her. As soon as we get their ok, I'll post her 1 month pic on here... I can't wait!!

We've been scrambling to pull together everything, but we're also having a lot of fun shopping and squealing over her cuteness with friends and family. J put together a new dresser/changing table for bitty girl clothes, and I bought out the 0/3 and 3/6 sections at the local resale shops... and scored a LOT of cute outfits. Oh... and we bought a pack of bubblegum pink wall dots, so James and TMB's room has lime green, sky blue and bubblegum pink dots on the walls now.. it looks awesome.

Emotionally, I vacillate between completely numb and terrified. Excitement creeps in, but only in snatches. ..I know I'll feel SO much better once I hear that TMB's birthfamily has given their official approval.. it's the last piece before we can really call her ours, and despite the agency's assurances that they're really just looking for a 'good' family (and have no other requirements), I'm still terrified of things falling through.

That's the update for now.... thanks for following along.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I don't even know where to begin...!

I got the call from our agency around 2:00 pm yesterday ... at first, our contact's tone of voice made me think she was trying to let me down easy.. but then I heard the magic words "the other family decided to pass" and then I couldn't hear anything for at least 10 seconds because my ears were roaring. It was quite the afternoon -- friends (including the fab Cheese and Whine) witnessed the call, and my shocked expression, and my maniacal jumping, and were able to keep me sane while I got a cramp in my finger from all the refreshing I was doing while waiting to see emailed photos.

Anyway, as things stand now, we're the only family being considered. !! Baby girl goes in for her two month appt next Wednesday, and we're officially waiting to commit until we hear from the doctor and get her medical records, but they've been very forthcoming and we don't expect to hear anything that will sway us away from moving forward. So, it's looking REALLY good that she'll be our daughter!

Ok, now the good part: Maybe-baby was born on Dec. 28th, had apgars of 8 and 9, and weighed 5 lbs 13 oz. (peanut!). She's in private foster care, and her FM says she is very smiley and has just begun vocalizing.

They sent me about ten pictures... oh God... she is SOOOOOO cute! SO CUTE! Pouty lips, good amount of black straight hair, chubby cheeks... her complexion is similar to James', maybe a smidge darker. She's GORGEOUS. I wish I could share them, but until this is a done deal I don't feel comfortable posting them publicly.

I'm not sure when we'll be able to pick her up... I'm thinking not for a few weeks... we've got to finish our homestudy updates, do ICPC, blahde blah... I'm really not sure exactly when she'll be home.

I know I sound calm... but I'm close to certifiable at this point... . I'm NOT complaining, but WHOA this happened fast and my emotions haven't caught up beyond insanely excited, incredulous, and completely overwhelmed. I mean, who calls to ask if their agency got their profile and is presented with a baby born, birthmom TPRed but hopefully still open adoption situation the same/next day? Huh? Huh? I need to go find some wood to knock on.

That's it for now... there's lots still unsaid, so tune in. :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

update: goodbye sanity.

Ok. Trying to breathe. Failing.

I spoke with our agency contact this afternoon, who shared info on a child they're hoping to place.

A little girl, born at the end of December (so almost 8 wks old). The risk factors she may face are ones we feel capable of parenting. She's got great apgars, and is developing appropriately. She's in private foster care. Birthmom voluntarily TPRed last month and the time for revocation is already over. BF issues not applicable. Fees are completely reasonable.

Only catch -- there is a family considering adopting her who is in line before us. If they decide to move forward (and according to the agency contact it could go either way) she's theirs. If they decide not to move forward, she's ours. We'll know their decision as early as tomorrow -- as late as Friday.

I am FREAKING out.

I'm not sure what to wish for here -- obviously we want to parent her (ok, that's an understatement) but we also don't want to wish that the family considering adopting her decides NOT to move forward. Intellectually I know the child supposed to be ours will find us, but I'm having a hard time being zen about this.

How the hell am I supposed to do anything other than obsess over this for the next few days? OMG, it's SO hard knowing that there's a little girl in the world that could become our daughter and it all hinges on a family making a phone call saying "We're not the family for her".

I think I'm going to puke.

Happy Birthday, SBJ

My big two year old boy!! (shirt idea totally stolen from Mayhem's son's 2nd birthday)

James devouring his cake...

We bowed to his obsession with trains and had a train themed party. I was insanely proud of myself for assembling/frosting this cake... I hate baking but enjoy this one project each year.

...The only thing that would have made his birthday more perfect would have been hearing from S. That thick, fat pride and love you have for your child... I wish she and I could share in that together.. plus, selfishly, I miss her and I know with the passing of James' birthday... she's likely hurting with very few people to reach out to. I think of her every day.
James is starting to grasp concepts so fast, I cant keep up with all the milestones he's hitting. His latest fascination is letters -- he knows about half the letters of the alphabet by sight consistently, though he will confuse them if they look similar sometimes... D and P, etc. All this is self-led too, which rocks. He's still slightly speech delayed... but finally talking in two and three word sentences... his vocabulary and ennunciation skills still need some work, but it's been a really encouraging few months speech-wise.

He's definitely heading into the toddler push and pull of wanting control yet wanting to be babied-- we have huge battles getting him into a grocery cart, for example, but overall he's still the same funny, affectionate, genuinely kind little guy.. just a slightly bigger, grocery-cart hating version.

At two, James loves: trains, Elmo, babies, dancing to Beyonce, making pancakes or cookies with J, making huge block towers and then maniacally knocking them down, offering hugs to avoid dreaded diaper changes, long toy-filled baths, his family to include honorary aunties and uncles, playing with playdoh, saying "WOW MAMA" all day long, and 'helping' us do everything from fold clothes to vaccum (he'll even lift up the fabric floor panel on our couch to vaccuum under it with his toy vaccuum) to feeding the pets.

J and I remain desperately in love.

<3 <3 to my big boy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

my non-baby and my maybe-baby

James is two. :) Much longer post tomorrow on his new two-ness, complete with a few pics from his birthday party.... he's too big (and already answering "Three!" when people ask him how old he is..)


Ever get one of those feelings that something is happening? That's where I'm at right now... my skin is in constant goosebumps and my subconcious keeps focusing in on a baby making his/her way to us soon. It's all I dream of... an endless loop of squishy brown faces with big eyes and pouty mouths.

Tomorrow is our first homestudy update appt with the worker who wrote up our homestudy for James' adoption. Saturday we sent our profile to the agency we're working with... they should receive it tomorrow or Wednesday. I've spoken with the program contact person G. and she was very encouraging of our chances of adopting this way -- which would be so amazing because the fees are ridiculously low and very much in our miniscule budget. The agency is well known for being ethical and counseling expectant parents on their choices -- over 65% of eparents considering adoption choose to parent, which is a well-supported choice there. They also place a strong emphasis on open adoption... which we're thrilled about.

Anyway... I spoke with G. and she mentioned they're working with a few women due soon who may be a good mutual 'fit'. She asked us to really work on getting our homestudy updates done soon. I can't shake the feeling that our maybe-baby is on her/his way to us...

Then today I hit up the Goodwill children's section and landed about ten to twelve A-flippin-doable baby girl outfits... obviously all from the same well-off momma of fabulous taste, and all looking brand new. Each was $2. Whee! I couldn't help myself. Maybe it's a sign??

I'll update more tomorrow.... must go wake the wife and relinquish the laptop so J can do work...


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

schizophrenic much?

It's been SO long since I last wrote, and honestly 99% of the reason is that I've waffled so much on the whole family building thing that I just couldn't stomach writing yet another "we're going to do this... no this... or maybe this" post. So, true to my nature, I've just avoided blogger altogether instead of posting other stuff and leaving just that one topic alone.

But we're feeling more secure in what our next steps are going to be, and I really want to start blogging deeper than the day-to-dayness (or, lately, month-to-monthness) of my life. So, hi!

In the past month:

James has become James 2.0, the talking edition. He's learning buckets of new words every day.. "hug" and "i love you too" (I 'ov you tooooo! he says meaningfully after every "i love you" from us) are two of my current favorites. He's actually in the range of "normal" (ugh) now for speech for an almost two year old according to all the dev. guidelines.

Speaking of ALMOST TWO... wha? How did this happen? In a scant 3 weeks my son will be two. Every morning I read back in my Jan. '05 journal to see what adoption happenings were occuring. It's very moving to be reliving the last few pre-birth weeks with James' birthmom and her other child. I sent out an email this morning with hopes of being in touch with S. soon -- we haven't heard from her since May and miss her presence. We'll see... fingers crossed.

J and I actually *have* made progress on the baby-making front. We half-heartedly tracked her temps for a cycle and attended a preliminary appt with a OBGYN practice, but had all but concluded that we were mostly trying to force ourselves into a process we weren't thrilled about for financial reasons. We've ruled out a pregnancy for this baby... though I reserve the right to decide to morosely muddle through TTC if it's taken years with no success to have a baby join our family through the methods we prefer and that we're going to try. lol

So, what ARE we doing? We're pursuing straight adoption of an infant through one agency's 'special needs' program (we're open to certain risk factors in the birthfamily, to certain conditions or developmental risks, and to substance addiction or exposure) and starting foster care classes with hopes of eventually being able to adopt a foster child in our care (once the case plan changes from reunification to adoption). I've been worried about the emotional toll reunification would take on me/us/our family after bonding with a child for many months or years, but the more I research the more I feel being a foster parent and supporting RU attempts would 'fit' into our beliefs about adoption. I do believe in helping families stay together when possible, and if a child's case plan went from RU to adoption, we could offer some level of openness to the child's birthfamily too (obviously depending on why the child entered care.. but hey, I'm naive and untainted so far.... so I'm thinking best case scenario here until that changes.)

So. Luckily J and I are on the exact same page concerning the profile of a child we feel we can successfully parent. We've been careful not to extend out of our abilities/strengths due to desperation for a baby/any baby.

Our homestudy is on file with the straight adoption agency (which my all accounts is expectant parent / birthparent focused, ethical and queer friendly) and are turning in our foster care application tomorrow. Classes start on February first. We're settling in for what may be a long wait... but at least we're being financially solvent, and proactive in adding another child to our family. So that feels good.
And as for the rest of last month? Here it is in little exhuberant non-edible bites:
Christmas! Oh so many trains! James talking! Paperwork! Existential conversations about privilege and race! Snow (finally)! James' discovery of said snow! Shannon visiting! Lots of meals out with good friends! Puking on New Years Eve! Babies being born! My mom doesn't have uterine cancer!! Lots of bad reality TV! And lots of other stuff. :)