Monday, April 18, 2011

A Weekend of 2's

We had two important milestones this weekend, both having to do with, well, two.

Those of you who have been with me for a while may remember a post from April 18, 2009. The day our lives changed forever, the day our sweet Sabrina was born. She officially turned two today, Saturday's party not withstanding, which means we've woken up for 730 days in a row believing today was the day we loved her the most and being wrong when we in fact somehow loved her more the next day, as impossible as that seems. She really did have a blast over these last three days, and enjoyed every minute of it. From the party on Saturday, to playing with all the new toys Sunday, and spending today riding the train at the Railroad Park with Daddy, she was laughing the whole way through. (The last few "one parent" days have been "Papa Days" as Gregg took off on times when I was out of town for work. So today I got to have a "Daddy Day" of my own!) 

Our other "two" milestone is that after the Railroad Park and a quick visit to Grandma's house, I met Gregg downtown at the adoption agency office to get fingerprinted and start the ball rolling on our home study for adoption number two.  Gregg has always wanted two children, while I had to come to terms with it.  I was happy in the "one and done" club.  But I know in the end, that's what's best for Sabrina and for our family.  Still, I come to this decision with mixed emotions.

Honestly, when Project Baby started back in March of 2008, as much as I wanted a child I thought we were about to give up a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of emotions, and in the end remain childless.  Call me pessimistic, but it kept nagging at me that "You're gay, this is Arizona, they're not going to allow you to have a child".  Of course, I had not yet been introduced to the Gay Parent "scene" at that point.  The journey has been fantastic, and I consider myself sort of an advocate for adoption in general and same sex parenting specifically.  Then the wonderful day two years ago when Sabrina came into the world.

That day, as joyous as it was, came as a bittersweet time.  For as in all adoptions, the happiness we gained as our family grew came at the cost of grief as a mother went home without her child.  Sometimes I still get stuck on that thought.  I know that one sentence is not really a fair statement as it has volumes of thought, emotion, and decision making propping it up.  The feelings of a mother considering what to do; weighing her options, being fair to her other children, loving her unborn baby.  Investigating avenues, reaching out and trusting strangers--almost blindly.  And finally--going home, leaving the hospital, but not with the child she carried for nine months.  If you've not experienced that day, signing a paper and becoming a parent, it teeters between pure joy and extreme sadness.  It affected me deeply.

We pushed gently on a mother who decided on no contact, happily reaching a point in the first few days where picture exchanges were permitted, and working up to a reunion visit ten months later when we were back in California to finalize the adoption in court.  Our email contact is sporadic; mostly me sending pictures back there, but I have to respect the comfort level.  It's possible there may be a trip out here to Arizona over the summer, so I'm hoping for that but have decided to stop pushing it.  (I noticed myself mentioning it in almost all of my emails.)

I've also become aware of an anti adoption movement on the Internet, made up of mostly (from what I can tell) people who were either adopted years ago before open adoption became the norm or birth mothers who were coerced back in those times to give up their babies due to societal or familial pressures.  This blog was targeted by those individuals who left hateful comments towards me and my family as profiting over the deeply personal loss of birth mothers by adult adoptees bitter about their circumstances.  I realized we were talking about circumstances from two different worlds, but I read some of those blogs, and it's hard not to be affected by what they say, even as I know their situations are so different from ours.

So I'm letting myself, carefully, allow the joy of another baby creep into my psyche.  I know that without a personal connection and trust of a future birth mother I will not be able to allow myself to feel comfortable about a match with her.  The good thing is Gregg and I both want to find someone as great as Sabrina's birth mom, so I know unless the understanding is there between the three of us we'll just keep searching.  I tend to have thick skin when it comes to myself, but get hung up thinking about the pain of others.  I'll have to remember why we're all doing what we're doing and making the decisions we're making as we move through the process.  When we make the connection that it's really about the child, I'll know it's right.

In the future I'll look deep into a newborn baby's eyes, know it's right and think, if this is so great for all involved, why did this kid just throw up all over my shoes?

Hamming it up with my new water and sand table from Grandpa and Grandma


birthmothertalks said...

Happy 2nd birthday to your little girl. I think it's wonderful that you are able to think and process the emotions of how building your family through adoption comes from hurt and loss. That will make you a better parent to your children and hopefully be able to cope better with an open adoption. It shows that your not just thinking of yourself and your wants for another child.

Anonymous said...

I agree with birthmothertalks. I love and appreciate your empathy and the journey you must have gone through to come to this place. I have learned a lot through your blog and I appreciate you sharing your journey with us.

Anonymous said...

OH..and your daughter is so cute! The pics keep me smiling.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Sabrina!

One day I'm going to make it the 128 miles up the road and drop by. I promise to bring red wine and good chocolate. It only takes me a glass and a half to be merry, you can have the rest of the bottle, and we can talk adoption. Your words articulate so much of what I feel about adoption, well other than you have the experience of having adopted Sabrina and you get to deal with another whole level of AZ leg. craziness re: being gay. Our homestudy application, autobio etc. gets mailed on Friday.

mommy3 said...

Happy real 2nd to Ms. S. And, Bobby, your words again really spoke to me. You articulated so much of what I feel in the adoption world; every story has a bittersweet aspect to it, no matter what happiness we feel day-to-day to parent our amazing children. You and Gregg will be the best choice for that right expectant mom, I just know.

Jeff and Kevin said...

You just try to give all of the love you can and that's that. You guys are open minded, push everything positive towards your beautiful girl. I hope to have as much love in our house some day :) Love your updates. Thx!

Jimh. said...

Happy Second Birthday! And congrats on having such a beautiful little girl! You guys have a very happy little girl, and that, no doubt, comes from the love she gets from both her daddies! Awesome!

Nicole said...

I absolutely love that you are thinking first and foremost of your child's birthmother and her loss. You are such a great example to others that adoption can be a good thing! It is about the child and you are putting your child first!

Also, you are right about the "old adoption" being two different worlds. I had a closed adoption 19 years ago and have really struggled with healing because of it. My son who was placed for adoption told me he struggled a lot thru his teen years wondering if I even remembered him or loved him at all...that all could have been prevented with an open adoption.

You are doing a great thing!