Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Initial Phone Call

They way that the system works (or at least worked in our case) was that when an expectant mother decides to give her baby up and meets with an agency or attorney, she tells them what she has in mind as far as an adoptive couple/person.  The agency or attorney then helps her find people who meet these criteria.  When we fit our agency or attorney would share our profile and the link to the blog we created just for this purpose.  She looks through several and decides who she wants to meet.  We made it this far once in December 2013 but ultimately weren't chosen.  During the first week of February 2014 we got a call from LDS Social Services that we met the criteria for an expectant mother.  After a brief description of her we, without hesitation, allowed them to share our profile with her.  The following day she said that she wanted to skype with us. 

**side note here...For anyone who believes in miracles there are so many of them in the story of how Gavin became a Forbes.  For anyone who doesn't, there are some amazing coincidences.  Many of them begin about here. 

This expectant mother is deaf so our call was delayed a day while the social worker lined up an interpreter.  The week before we learned of her, a deaf man I worked with started offering a sign language class over lunch once a week.  I attended so I had a bit of a head start (not really but I did remember most of the alphabet) and it showed her that I had an interest in learning sign language.  It was a nerve wracking but really good call but we had no way to gauge how she felt about it.  The following morning while I was at work I got an email from the expectant mother that intimated that she had picked us after our call the previous night.  I showed a co worker and forwarded it to the social worker.  And yes, she had picked us!  Wow.  So many emotions and a fair amount of disbelief.

We made phone calls and told our families and tried unsuccessfully to keep from getting our hopes up.  And we put up the crib we'd had shoved in a corner of our third bedroom nursery.  Part of me had a hard time believing that we'd ever really become parents but here we were.  There was still a lot that could go wrong and some of it almost did but we made it this far and we were cautiously optimistic overjoyed at the prospect. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Not just any baby will do

One of the forms we had to fill out to help match us with a birthmother related to what we wanted and were willing to accept as far as the child goes.  Some questions were easy.  We said we'd accept either gender and any racial make up.  Beyond that it required a bit more soul searching. 

We had a list of diseases/possible birth defects/other things that we had to consider.  We talked to doctor friends and looked stuff up on the internet and talked about a lot of things we never thought we'd have to consider when having a child.  Ultimately we crossed several things off our list of what we would accept but we still left quite a bit that we'd consider.  At times this felt pretty crappy because it's hard to want a baby desperately but to have to admit that we don't want just ANY baby.  But, whether it's a rationalization or legitimate reasoning, we were ok with our choices because we gave up a whole lot of control by choosing this route and this was one way that we could reassert some control over the situation.  All of the information we got from birth mothers was self reported so we knew we'd never be 100% sure that the information we had would be accurate anyway. 

At one point we were given the chance to be considered by a pregnant woman who had an STD.  I got the information about the birthmother while I was at work and I remember looking up the disease and saying rather loudly in my very open work environment, "well, if you're going to have an STD, that's the one you want."  Fortunately my co workers all knew what we were going through and they assumed my comment was related to an adoption rather than marital problems at home. 

After all this was done and our wait officially began we tried to distract ourselves as best as we could.  One of my favorite distractions was a trip we made to NYC just after Thanksgiving in 2013.  We met up with some old friends and had a great time playing for a few days.  One of our friends is very tall and this is me wearing his coat and hat before we headed out for the day.   
 And a more serious picture of the two of us. We saw a couple of plays and  went to some museums and went to mass at St. Patrick's and walked all the way back to our hotel one night while Stewart and Dan sang loudly in the street and ate great steaks and pizza and laughed and just had a great time. 
Little did we know on that trip to NYC that our birth mother was there too, pregnant with our Gavin and trying to decide what to do. 

*side story...last night after we put Gavin to bed he didn't fall asleep.  He wasn't fussy but he wasn't falling asleep so I went up to cuddle him a bit.  Usually when I have to do this he pushes away from me after a minute and asks to be put down and then he falls asleep.  But this time he put his head on my shoulder and we just snuggled.  Then he asked for his beanbag so we laid down there.  He asked for a blanket and had brought his stuffed lynx.  Then we smiled at each other and had kisses and talked for a few minutes and then he fell asleep blowing me kisses.  It was maybe the greatest thing ever.  I think I promised him a pony but fortunately he forgot about it this morning.