I have been working on this post for a while—during my spare seconds, but today (Thanksgiving Day) I received this question on my Ask a Question page:
I'm struggling with the thought that because my MLCer and I don't have children we have nothing tying us together except memories. I hear and read a lot for the sake of the children, but I never read about reconnection with a couple who doesn't have children somehow bring them together.
Well, Chuck and I are one of those couples, but not anymore! Back then I worried that without children there was not enough to tie us together; I was wrong. It probably made it a bit easier since I had a Clinging Boomerang who moved home and left multiple times. I might not have been able to handle that if children had been involved and even if I could have handled it, should I have allowed as much as I did? The back-and-forthing might have made it more traumatic for children. I think MLC plays out with patterns according to Contact Type rather than whether there are children or not. So a Distancer without children may be like a Distancer with children.
I’ve talked about what is going on in my life quite a bit at the forum, but I thought I should write a more formal post. So I am posting this here and in my thread at the forum—I’ve started a new thread (Adopting a New Life Part III) so that this post will be the first.
This post is not about MLC; it’s about living joyously after MLC and I am sharing it with you for a few reasons. My main reason is that I’m excited and Thankful on this Thanksgiving Day—well that’s an understatement; I’m overjoyed. The other reason is that I want to share with you my recovery so that you can see it is possible and how far it can go.
I don’t think I’ve wrote much about Chuck and my process with adoption here at the blog. I wrote one post a few years ago, but other than that I think I’ve said very little. So here’s the story:
I was young at Bomb Drop: 32.5, so that left me a few fertile years—so I thought. But we later learned that I have premature ovulatory failure. The doctor said that in vitro fertilizations wasn’t an option because I probably don’t have any viable eggs—and hey, the cost is beyond our means anyway. So Chuck and I signed up with an adoption agency, we then switched to another agency, we then decided to use that agency’s foster-to-adopt route instead of traditional infant adoption. Two years after signing up with that agency we were not licensed for foster children other than those whose parents’ rights had already been terminated. We switched agencies again and this time just signed up with the state agency instead of a private agency—so no cost—though we did pay $7000 to the agency that did not complete our license! Six to eight weeks after completing paperwork for the state agency, we were licensed. A few weeks later we were offered a baby for respite (that is overnight relief/babysitting for a foster parent). This baby was in the care of a foster parent who specializes in special medical situations and she was not intending to adopt him, she asked us to respite him so we could get to know him and possibly become his permanent foster parents. A few weeks later he transitioned to us as his permanent foster parents.
YAY! We fell in-love with him at our first meeting. We are licensed for more children and had been hoping for a sibling group, but we told the agency that we needed to focus on this baby for awhile—before accepting any more placements…
But then on 7 October they called with a perfect fit: A 10 day old baby boy and his 16.5 month old sister. The baby arrived that afternoon and his sister transitioned to us 10 days later.
Because they are foster children there is no guarantee we will get to adopt any of them, but their cases are more likely than others which is why they have been placed with us. Since they are foster children, I am not allowed to give their names or post pictures, but I will tell you a little about them with a pseudonym for each child—based on their real name.
Meet the Family
Fire: Now Almost 6 Months
We met Fire when he was 7 weeks old and he came to live with us when he was 10 weeks old on August 17. He is happy and a sociable flirt who loves to go visiting so he can charm everyone with his magic powers: smiling and giggling. He was born addicted and had to be airlifted to Children’s Hospital because he was having seizures. He’s doing well now though! He went through withdrawals and had some problems typical of babies who are born addicted—feeding issues. He is now developmentally on track, but we are warned that developmental issues may arise since we don’t know what sort of things the drugs may have affected. Two weeks ago he had his first taste off the bottle: rice cereal which he now loves!
Tadpole: Now 9 weeks
We got the call for Tadpole and his sister Peace at around 11:00 on Monday 7 October and Tadpole arrived that afternoon at 3:30 pm. Peace was at another foster home and we recommended she transition slowly because she had just moved from a long term foster home and we wanted her to get to know us; Tadpole had to be moved immediately.
The most important thing in Tadpole’s life is probably his dodo—pacifier, though I hope he considers us more important! Tadpole and I stay up after everyone else goes to bed because he eats every few hours and we then get up a few times during the night for some milk and a snuggle. He was tiny and skinny, but he has chubbed up. This week we diagnosed reflux problems; he often arches and writhes when eating and it started to get worse. The doctor is monitoring him and he is on medication. Meanwhile, I try and feed him in an upright position and some nights we sleep together in our reclining chair with him swaddled onto me in a Boba wrap.
Peace: Now 18 months
Peace arrived knowing several signs for communication; this was exciting for me because I’d already began signing with Fire. She is happy and fussy and all the things someone her age should be! Her favourite thing to do is take a bath—the shampoo rinsing down her face does not bother her, rather she sticks out her tongue to catch the water. She tries to help with her brothers too: she has tried feeding them her sippy cup and their bottle. This week she got the sippy cup straw all the way into Tadpole’s mouth and I had to rescue him from the dripping water. Tadpole smiled for the first time about a week ago and it was because Peace was patting his head.
This has been an amazing year. The last week of December 2012 we moved across state to our dream place and in August we became parents. I have one more major dream: to be published, maybe I’m on a role!
Since I am busy (like really busy!!!) with our new adorables, I am on an extended maternity leave which is why I am not posting at the forum or the blog as much as I used to. I am not doing any written coaching sessions right now, but am available for Skype; check out my Coaching Information if you are interested.