In the beginning, when I was convinced that adoption would be a wonderful option of my unplanned pregnancy, I thought I wanted a closed one. Mind you, I knew nothing of adoption, save for the two hours I spent giggling at the movie Juno a year prior to getting pregnant. I didn't know the difference between open and closed. And I thought that it was actually possible to place my child with loving parents, and then move on the next day as if nothing happened. This is what I had planned in my head...A fun open pregnancy, with my chosen Aparents at every doctor's appointment, at the birth, taking her home immediately, and me going back to my life immediately after like nothing ever happened. It was not because of Juno that I thought this. It was because I thought I knew me...and I don't like to wallow or grieve. Everything is water off a duck's back. There is no use crying over spilled milk. The grass is not greener on the other side....etc. I roll with the punches.
When I chose L* and M*, I told them all of this. In the beginning, we had talked about how afterwards I didn't want any contact. They, whom were already certified, and home studied, and classed out, agreed to this, and told me that if anything changed that all I had to do was let them know. I struggled for most of the pregnancy, convincing them that I was carrying "their" child, and trying to get them to accept that. It became a source of irritation, how guarded they were, and then I remember one day I received an email saying they had given up worrying and went and bought a crib. For them, it was easy from there. For me, however, as more time passed, the more I began to second guess my "no contact" plan. I communicated with them several dozen times regarding this, stating that "Yes. I would love pictures and updates often. Yes, I would love to hear funny parenting stories and kid adventures. Yes, I would like to know what goes on in your lives. You can call me on one of those, "Oh God, why did I choose this?" days that all mothers have. Think of me as a friend, or a twice removed aunt at the very least."
Throughout the six months I went through pregnancy with them, I went from wanting nothing, to wanting a lot, and they agreed always. "Communication is so important, and we want what you want!"...if I had a nickel for everytime I heard that from their mouths, I'd be wealthy right now. I did make the mistake of not setting a set schedule for pictures or updates, and told them to send stuff whenever they wanted, so it didn't feel like as much of an obligation. After all, I knew they'd be busy, and with L*'s crazy habit of making lists and being overly organized for everything, I didn't think getting timely information would be that hard.
It has been like pulling teeth. It is as if they truly only heard me say, "I don't want any contact" on that cold day in November, and that the 100's of conversations we had regarding increased contact between then and April never happened. That everything else was simply tuned out, and welcomed with a pair of smiles and two nodding heads.
"Step into my parlor, said the Spider to the fly...."
I recently went back through my emails from them, to document how much I have received as far as updates. You all know that the pictures I get are a joke...the baby never looking at the camera, or its far away. Not creme of the crop for sure. Nothing framable. Nothing that any of you would show your friends, or crazy distant relatives. For those of you who are parents, I want you to think of all the funny kid stories you tell to perfect strangers, and how many times a day you show off your kid pictures, and for those of you who will be parents soon...remember this post when you are telling your stories and showing your pictures. In one year and two months, this is what I can tell you about Lauren.....
4/27/09: Everything has been wonderful over here! Lauren is everything we have been dreaming of, and we are very happy!!
4/30/09: Not much new with Lauren since we last saw you three weeks ago. She is eating 4 oz at a time now, which is great! Of course she is doing a lot of pooping, peeing, crying, and sleeping. We really like the feeding and the changing because we get to spend extra time with her, and enjoy her expressions. It's so much fun (except for the crying) :) We gave her a regular bath last night for the first time (she was having the sponge baths before this). She seemed to enjoy the warm water and wasn't fussy at all.
5/16/09: At about one month we noticed Lauren's eyes staying open more often. She is eating well and is up to about 5 oz. of formula at each feeding. She has gained almost 3 pounds and grew about 3 inches in six weeks
7/24/09: Lauren is doing well. She's making new noises, starting to raise her head up when she's on her tummy, and grabbing and holding objects. We have another doctors appt. in a couple weeks. She's probably about 15 lbs. now and seems to be getting bigger every day!
10/06/09: She had her 6 month doctor visit today and is doing great! It seems like Lauren gets shots every time we go for her appointments. After a couple cries and a few hugs all is well. Although the percentiles change with each visit, Lauren always seems to be more than the 50th percentile in length, weight and head circumference. Lauren has developed quite a bit over the last month. She is making a lot of noises, sitting up, touching/grabbing everything within her reach and eating more than just her formula. So far she's eaten bananas, carrots, peas and seems to like it all. No teeth yet though. Since she's been 2 months old she's been sleeping through the night.
12/24/09: Lauren is doing well. She started clapping recently and is making many more noises. She hasn't started crawling yet but she's scooting all around on her tummy. No teeth yet either.
3/22/10: We have been thinking about you a lot lately, with Lauren approaching her 1st birthday. It's hard to believe a year has passed. It seems like just yesterday that we were going to doctors appt's with you. Rather than wait for that perfect time to put together a lengthy, detailed email, we want to just say hi. Attached is a recent photo of Lauren. She's doing great! (This one is my personal favorite...)
4/05/10: Yesterday we had a birthday party for Lauren. It was mostly family and some of our long time friends, with a few babies that Lauren has gotten to know. We got Lauren her own little birthday cake which she thoroughly enjoyed, while everybody watched and laughed.