Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Name changes

My brother was asking me some questions about adoption today, one of them being if we plan to change SuperD’s name. I’ve given this a lot of thought. We will definitely be changing his last name, of course. And I’m going to offer him the option of changing his middle name to hubby’s middle name or maybe even a name that he chooses himself. I don’t think he’ll do it, but I want to give him the choice.
But we’re not changing his first name. I know the foster/adopt community has strong opinions on this topic. Our reasons are as follows:

  • He’s almost 5. He knows his name and it would be unfair to ask him to take a new one.
  • While I would like to change his name to make him less searchable by his bio-family, there are no safety reasons that compel me to do so.
  • SuperD, in particular, is very attached to his name as his identity. I believe it will be hard enough for him to change his last name and that he’d freak out if we changed his first. He doesn’t even like it when we joke about his first name being something different than it already is.
  • I believe as he grows up, having his name as a link to his first parents will be important to him.
I don’t love SuperD’s given name, but I do love him enough not to put him through another loss on a whim. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mama Bear

As we get closer to being able to tell SuperD and our families about his impeding adoption (hubby insists we wait until after speaking with an adoption worker), I find myself getting more anxious about how our little guy is going to react. After all, the last few weeks have brought more and more disregulated chatter about his parents. He’s starting, after a whole year with us, to disclose information about life with his parents. And it’s not good. What I’m hearing is definitely bringing out the Mama Bear instincts in me.

It has been months since SuperD has had a real emotional outburst regarding his birth parents. I’ve felt for a while that something has been building, and last night it came out. He was going to bed almost an hour early after a whole evening of misbehavior. We didn’t change the bedtime routine, we just started it early. As usual, we crawled into bed to read books and sing our bedtime songs, but when it was time for hugs and kisses, my little man buried his head under the pillow and started sobbing about missing his Daddy D.

Lots of hugs and cuddles later, I finally started to tell him the truth about the situation. I basically told him that sometimes first mommies and daddies can’t keep kids safe and take care of them, even though they love them. Then they get second mommies and daddies who also love them, but can keep them safe and take care of them. This is the first time he’s ever been told that his parents couldn’t take care of him. The first six months he was with us, when we were in touch with his parents almost every day, they told him repeatedly that he would be coming home, they weren’t going to lose him, they would always be mommy and daddy, etc.

That was his story for so long that I’m truly afraid of what changing it at this point will mean. As excited as we are about adoption, I’m afraid it is going to break his heart. We finished the night by playing making a love sandwich with SuperD as the filling and two stuffed animals as the bread. There was lots of giggling and he woke up this morning happy and balanced, so hopefully his little mind is at peace for the time being.

This month marks 6 months since he’s talked to his birth father. Next month marks one year since he’s been in our home. September marks 6 months since he’s spoken to his birth mom. The Mama Bear in me is gearing up for life in trauma-versary land for a little while, but I know we’ll make it through and I can’t wait to help him heal.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Down time

Nothing new is going on here. I'm trying to come to grips with the fact that in the same month (August) we'll likely be getting an adoption caseworker for one kiddo and a reunification plan for the other. Other than that, we're enjoying a few relatively quiet weeks, which has been nice.

Since going back to work, I cherish the two days/week that I have off. Unfortunately, much of those days is eaten up by chores, errands and life stuff. But in the downtime, I snuggle my Monkey. Watching her laugh and play today has shown me that she’s not really my baby anymore! She’s not walking yet, but at almost 11 months, she’s looking more and more like a toddler. Tomorrow, I will take her to a family birthday party for one of her brothers. Her sweet mama made a point of inviting the foster parents, and even SuperD (I’m not taking him). It counts as her visitation for the week. I haven’t been to a visit since I started work, so about 6 weeks. I’m sure it will be hard to see my baby with the people she really belongs to, but as always, I know it’s the right thing to do.

In other news, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that SuperD’s bio-mom’s appeal will be dropped today. Since she has officially told her attorney she wants to drop it, they moved today’s hearing from appeal to withdrawl of appeal. I’m so nervous something will go wrong, though!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Big news!

As of yesterday, SuperD’s biological parents’ rights are terminated. Mom still has an appeal pending, but she has informed both our social worker and her attorney that she wants to drop it. Once that occurs, we’ll be assigned an adoption worker!
I’m thinking it might be time to tell my parents and hubby’s that they will be welcoming their first grandchild into the family sometime this year. Up to now, we have been adamant to them that we are NOT adopting SuperD, so this will come as a surprise. I’m trying to come up with a way to tell our parents that we’ll be adopting without them first thinking I’m pregnant, which would lead to disappointment for all of us (i.e. I can’t just say, “You’re going to be a grandparent!”).  I may or may not have spent an hour last night browsing and pinning adoption announcements. I really like the wording on the one below. :)
I was riding pretty high on the foster care rollercoaster yesterday, and just so I didn’t forget that this is still foster care, I also had a conversation with Monkey’s mama. She is always so sweet to me, and I’m so grateful for our relationship even though it is emotionally hard. It is becoming so clear to me that even though the state is asking for an adoption goal next month, the judge won’t be granting it. And my head knows that’s a good thing, but my heart can barely handle the idea that this sweet girl will be leaving us.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Slow and steady

Hubby is returning home from a 10 day business trip today. We were both dreading SuperD’s reaction to him being gone, but I have been totally blown away by how great my boy is doing! Six or eight months ago, I would have been tearing my hair out by this time. At times over the last 11 months, SuperD’s progress has crawled so slowly that it felt like no movement. There have been backslides. But when I look at the overall picture, I see obvious forward momentum that I sometimes don’t see day-to-day.

The only thing I’ve really noticed since hubby left is LOTS of talk about his biological dad, including telling stories of things they did together that I know he’s confusing with thing hubby did with him. That breaks my heart. I so wish his story was that he was born to an intact* family (us!) with, had a normal infancy and a happy childhood. We have a very important court date tomorrow that could go a long way toward making that happy, stable childhood a reality for SuperD. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

*By which I mean, a family who was able to love and appropriately take care of him, not necessarily a heterosexual, two-parent family.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Missing them

Is it horrible that every time A & N’s grandmother calls me, I secretly hope she’s going to tell me that we can have the girls back? I would never actually wish the trauma of another placement disruption on them, of course. I just wish they lived in our state so we could continue to see them. It has been almost nine months, and I still miss them