Friday, February 22, 2008

Winds of Change

I may have to rethink the name of this blog.

You see, there has been a LOT going on in our lives over the last 6 months or so that never made it to the blog. I take responsibility for that. I've felt more like living my life than writing about it in that time. Sue me.

Anyway, the blissful sheen of foster care has worn off. Okay, it was never there, but it's even less there lately. "Celeste" is a real piece of work. She's a walking, talking potential-foster-parent-repellent...with a few bright spots, as I've been careful to note.

Still...I'm now 40. The Wife will be 40 this summer. Time to think about our own family, if we're to have one. And it seems that maybe we ARE to have one, after all.

There are two serious irons in the adoption fire right now.

One I've already partially described...we're currently in the process of trying to figure out what we need to do about him. We went down and met him yesterday, and he's SO PRECIOUS!!!! Oh, and he was NOT born without any ventricles in his heart. That'll teach me to take what I hear from a non-doctor as even somewhat true.

The real story is that he was born either without a wall between his ventricles, or with a very large hole in that wall. The doc tells us he was born without a wall between the ventricles...basically one big ventricle sending blood through the pulmonary artery to his lungs AND sending blood out the aorta to his body. This leads, obviously, to decreased oxygen content of his blood in general. Not good, but not catestrophic. I was watching his blood oxygen level obsessively the whole time we were in his hopital room. The highest I saw was about 90% (of normal), and the lowest was something like 65%, even when he was fussing. From my CF experience, I can say that 65% is not even close to being dangerous, unless maybe over the long term. I'm not entirely sure about that. However, the doc says that 2 more operations should make this little guy able to live a normal life. I'm ready to bank on the American medical system at this point.

You remember the American medical system, right? The one I've championed just recently in this blog? This mom has NO resources. Her child was born with severe medical problems, and she is a drug addict. This child has not only received the best medical care available in the WORLD, but he's obviously a favorite of the nurses and volunteers. He's getting LOVE. That's good stuff, even if it's not his forever family giving it to him at this moment.

But we haven't been sitting still. I've set up a meeting with an attorney (on the advice of the SW most closely working with this new baby's case) for next Tuesday. Her assistant laid it out grand that her fees were $175/hr. I laugh at her misfortune. My divorce attorney in the cities cost me about $400/hr, and $75 to "review" an email of 2 lines. Anyway, we're going to go ahead and draw something up, hopefully, to the effect that this will be a "trial" placement for adoption, and after 30 days (or whatever seems reasonable to the attorney) it becomes permanent. I don't know if such an agreement seems normal, and any attorneys or other knowledgeable people out there please advise, but we need some way of time-limiting this thing.

Anyway.....on to the next exciting possibility. A coworker overheard me negotiating time off to go see the first birthmom described above, and he asked me how serious we were. Hello! So he knows this woman who is 6 months pregnant and has been desperate to find a good situation for her child, since her boyfriend doesn't sound like the type to welcome a child at this time. Sorry, but i have to be diplomatic, here.

So we are to go to his house tomorrow and meet this woman. She's already viewed our profile as well as a PDF copy of the newly-created profile we'll be sending out if none of this works out to our satisfaction. My coworker says she's all fired up and even relieved already that she's found an option that might work.

It sounds like it's ours to lose...which always sets off alarm bells in my head. Still...we are what we said we were. We have not told a single lie through this whole process. I am a product of my parents. I want desperately to bring my child(ren) up in the very same principles and environment that my parents brought me up in. I've been DESPERATELY glad of my parents' support and my upbringing since I've been old enough to care.

So why am I so nervous? Because of the counties. One county wants this, another wants that. One wants you to be a foster parent in order to care for a medical child, another wants you to be certified as a "medical foster home" before they'll let you TOUCH their children, whether they're medical or not. Sigh.

And now for that "sheen of foster care wearing off" comment. We are quitting foster care. And that's why I need to consider changing the name of the blog. Because...if we're going to adopt, of course I'm going to have lots to say, and I definitely don't want to stop blogging. But it won't be about "other people's kids", now, will it? So...somebody recommend something in the comments that would work in our position.

And I'll let you know what happens in this space WELL before you need to worry about changing links or anything.


At 6:32 AM , Blogger Amanda said...

So many opportunities. I'm keeping everything crossed for you and I'm so glad to hear that you'll keep blogging.


At 1:20 PM , Blogger ttlyeightmom said...

You could call it Not other peoples kids. I admire you guys for sticking it out this long in the Foster care system. My Dh and I were burned out by the 2nd month of dealing with the endless hassles. Luckily we are almost done with it and can get rid of SW and their counterpart Adoption workers soon.

At 2:39 PM , Blogger Mary said...

Well, you could still call it Other People's Kids -- just with a snide tone to it!

At 12:38 PM , Anonymous Lee said...

Wouldn't you still, in a sense, have other people's kids?
I don't mean for the above comment to be mean or anything. I'm just pointing that out in the only way I can think of now.

At 1:13 PM , Blogger Julie said...

SOOOOOOO excited for both of these babies and how wonderful to have all those diapers out of the way at once! Like twins! :) I sure hope you get both!!!! Keep blogging- maybe- Twice Blessed would be a good name. Or if she ends up having a boy too-it could be Twin brothers from different mothers- :)

At 10:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one of those dreaded social workers, I appreciate that you have poured your heart into the kids that you have had in your home. I also appreciate that you took the kids that are the most difficult to place - and the ones that really tug at my heart, so much pain yet so much opportunity for one person to be the one that makes the difference in their lives. I am sure that has been the case for some of the kids who have made their way through your home. Thank you both so much. We need many more of you.


At 12:00 AM , Blogger JUST A MOM said...

I will say taht I personaly know how hard the "system" is with babies/younger chidren...I can not imagine the older ones I say good job looking out for YOUR family unit. I/we were not healthy enough to do that. We fostered for 10 years and although the fosters were younger then our birth chidlren ,,the whole emotional thing wears on ya... I say good job and a job well done.


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