Friday, September 9, 2011

The Long Story

The long story of our Baby S, or I should say my long story because this is my story of how she came to be with us and no one else's, started this past February or March. We had gone ahead and applied for one of the last available adoption grants with WACAP at the end of 2010 and were stalling with the paperwork.  Our not-so-secret hope was to procrastinate as long as we possibly could so that J would be at least two years old when we were matched for baby #2. So there we were, applied, accepted and procrastinating when I started to think a lot about Z, baby J's first mom.

Andrew and I had decided before ever re-applying that the only matching agency we wanted to work with was the one in Georgia that we had adopted J through. (for an explanation of how our WACAP program worked, see the FAQ that was the very first entry on this blog) I had a lot of reasons for wanting this: it was familiar, our children would share a birth state making trips to the homeland more efficient, and finally I wanted to give Z a chance to see J.  I've never met Z, but I knew from a few emails to the agency in GA that she had been picking up the letters and photos we were sending. Initial paperwork had indicated that she wanted to see J again someday. I thought if I started talking about it letters then maybe she would have time to think on it and perhaps be ready.

The more I thought about Z the more I realized how little I knew about her.  I had been afraid to ask many questions when we had gone to GA to pick up J, it just seemed like my focus should be on my new baby.  But I had some wonderings - inconsistencies in paperwork about her and whatnot. I decided to set up a phone call with Debbie, the social worker in GA who spoke the most often with Z. I told Debbie that was just going to ask her the questions that kept coming up for me, and I asked her to let me know what the appropriate boundaries were - to tell me if I was straying into territory that wasn't my business, or that Z wouldn't want me to know.

I learned a lot from that phone call. Most of it isn't my stuff to tell here on this blog. But the pertinent thing I learned was that Z was pregnant again, and while she had not decided what to do just yet she was considering relinquishment.  Debbie was under the impression that she had just found out about the pregnancy which, by our calculations, meant she was due sometime mid to late fall.

So that's the unbloggable thing I referred to here.

Because of when you are reading this, you probably are able to guess the end of the story. But I want to be clear - I did not at that moment, or even afterward, assume that we would be adopting Z's baby. In fact I worked pretty hard not to assume it. I felt a lot of things in the months between then and now, all of it pretty confusing. My heart broke at the thought of J having another family member out there in the world that she didn't know or see.  My heart broke at the thought of Z losing another child. But my feelings weren't the most important thing - the most important thing was to be ready should Z need to place and supportive of her if she didn't. We accelerated our plans with the goal of being ready to adopt by fall.  Z stopped calling Debbie and picking up photographs. About a month ago Debbie emailed me saying that maybe Z wasn't pregnant after all, that she really thought she would have heard from her if she was.

Of course, she was wrong. Z was pregnant, and further along than any of us knew. S was born full term on August 17th and a few days later Z decided she needed to give her up. When I got the call last week I was completely dumbfounded - I think I actually said "oh no!" It's the only phone call in my memory that made me feel physically dizzy. I suddenly had to sit down.

So we scrambled and waited all at once. S was still in the ten day waiting period when Debbie called to tell me about her. She normally doesn't do that, but she knew we would need time to get ready. It was a hard wait, despite being unexpected. This baby looked so much like my J, I felt so connected to her already. It was hard to remember that she wasn't yet ours.


But the days passed, and here she is. She is Z's daughter, our daughter, and J's sister in more ways than one. I still have Z on my mind, how could I not with two of her beautiful babies forever in my heart and my life? Salome is darling, sweet, already different in some ways from her older sister and yet eerily the same.  We've spend so much time the past 24+ hours marveling at her and at our two girls together. No adoption happens without something in the world going wrong - but looking at them it feels infinitely right that they are together. So we are doubly, triply, infinitely blessed.  J and S will grow up together.  I get to be their mom. It's overwhelming and amazing.

And I think it is about time I met their mother. We are hoping for a visit while we are here - Debbie is helping us with the coordination and details. I won't push, but there are a few people working to make it happen. I know without an atom of a doubt that my girls' first mother loves them completely. It is my hope that we can go forward together, as she is able.

In the meantime, hello family of four! I always thought that our second child would be a boy - the name I had picked out, M, was a boy name. But this - this is beyond anything I could have thought up or asked for. She is perfect, lovely, and everything I've ever wanted. (plus now I don't have to decide about circumcising anybody!)

Thank you so much for your love and support! Our adventure is only beginning...

Sisters and daddy, hugging it out.








19 comments:

  1. OMG! Tears! That is amazing. Doubly blessed! I will be praying that Z decides to meet you while you are out there.

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  2. Congrats- I am so happy for you guys!

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  3. I am so happy for you guys and can't wait to meet her when you all get back home! (ps- you used her full name once in this post)

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  4. Congrats again on the new addition to your family. So glad that S and J get to be raised together. I hope a meeting gets to happen while you're there, but Id understand if Z isn't up for it right now. Hopefully she will be.

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  5. KatjaMichelle - I would totally understand, too. I think it would be good for a lot of reasons, but none of those reasons trump her right to decide if it's the right thing for her to do. Only she knows that. But I'm hoping!

    Kari - thanks for keeping an eye out! I'm okay with using names now and again, I just don't use them repeatedly. I'm weird that way...

    Thanks everyone!!

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  6. I am speechless. What an amazing story. Complicated, wonderful, and rich! Thanks for sharing this.

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  7. Beautiful, beautiful babies.... wonderful, wonderful mommy and daddy! Love you.

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  8. OMG OMG OMG!!! This post just made me SOOOOO happy. I can't believe it (and yet I can). J has a sister! You guys have S! S has a sister... and a good home! And Z has her two daughters together! And you guys have J & S. It is just almost too much fairytale. I love you guys. I can't wait to tell my mom (she is going to cry, even though she doesn't really know you guys). I can't wait to meet S. This is so so so so amazing. CONGRATS x 100. xoxoxo

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  9. God is so good! Congratulations!

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  10. Wow, that an amazing story! I love it! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations to you all.

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  11. I'm so happy for you all and I hope the meeting with Z will happen. (And when I realized I had a second girl, one of my first thoughts was also relief about the circumcision decision!) I can't wait to compare notes with you about raising two girls.

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  12. Congratulations! She's a beauty, like her sister.

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  13. Congratulations to you all again, a breathtakingly beautiful photograph of the girls and Andrew. They look so right together.x

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  14. Wow, this is an amazing story! Congrats to your little family. I will forever be wondering what your boy name (M) was!

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  15. This story made me cry. So amazingly beautiful. I have read every single one of your blogs from the beginning to the end. I knew your story before baby J. I have sit here and read the heartache and joy throughout your journey. This particular blog brought everything you've went through full circle. I know there is so much more to this journey, but to know Baby J and Baby S are growing up in the same household with the same parents is so unbelieveably wonderful. I believe it is the photograph that finally brought the tears in my eyes to spill over. I look foward to reading the rest of your journey and secretely I am hoping to read one day that a baby boy M will be added. OS seems like so long ago... You are the mother of two precious baby girls and I am the mother to precious 15 month old twin boys.

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  16. Yah, the photo got to me too. So precious! Sniff!!

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  17. What an incredible story! You are probably pinching yourself - to see if it is all real! Many blessings to you all!

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  18. oh. my. goodness. i've been so out of touch. wow is pretty much the only think i can say right now!! how amazing that J will grow up with her bio sister. simply amazing. congrats...i look forward to reading more:)

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