Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Two years into the marriage, a couple of pregnancies and surgeries later, my husband had his first tramatic brain injury. How many times did I tell him not to wait until the last second to get gas? Hundreds. He is an adult by law even if not by nature (MAN) and chose to wait. He ran out of gas in the turning lane and as he got out of the truck was struck by oncoming traffic. It took him months to recover, his short term memory is shot. We went 2 more years before another accident and a more serious head injury happened when he flipped his truck after falling asleep b/c they changed his meds and he couldn't stay awake. Months again befor he recoverd. Thankfully, he actually seemed better memory wise, this time.

Our first failed adoption happened after he recovered the second time. Maddy was 4 months old and in our home for more than a week when her aunt decided to parent her. Her Mother never even knew we had her and thought the aunt wanted to aprent the whole time. We were caught in the middle and were lied to by the aunt. We were devasted. I couldn't get out of bed I cried and cried. I vowed that would not happen again, I wanted to talk with the Mother directly.

I began to think maybe I didn't really want a baby, maybe I just thought I should want a baby. Quit smoking and turned 30, no baby. Signed up and was accepted for a study that would provide free In vitro fertalization if I donated 1/2 of my collected eggs to be frozed and thawed then discarded. I was thrilled. We were told we were the last couple they were selecting and had to wait several months to begin.

Just when things are going good, Maddy's Mom, Nichole, became pregnant for the 3 time in her 19 years and decided against abortion. I swear that girl looked at a boy and was pregnant. Her aunt called me and asked if we were interested. I told her not through her, only if I talked to the Mother. We went for Thanksgiving dinner at the aunt's house and Nicole and I hit it off. I have worked with teen girls and fostered them on and off since I was 21 and it was natural I would be drawn to her in her state of confusion. She had not decided if she wanted to parent but we struck up a friendship that I cherish today. I never told her I asked her to adopt her baby or told her to place her child, I was doing In vitro and she needed someone to talk to. I am not going to lie, I hoped she would ask. I never hinted or pushed. I offered to help her in any way she asked.

She decided to parent and had the baby for 3 weeks and I offered to babysit for the weekend so she could sleep. She jumped at it, I was thrilled to play Mommy for a couple of days. She didn't come and get her. She didn't call. Tuesday around midnight she called froma pay phone and asked if we would adopt her baby. I was worried about her and excited for us. I told her to tell me what she needed to keep her baby. She could do it with help. I loved her I did't want her to make such a devastating decision on a bad day. We talked the next day for hours, she had been afraid to ask me to adopt the baby earlier and her family was pressuring her to keep the baby. Her 2 year old was very aggressive with the baby adn she felt overwhelmed. She claimed she didn't feel prepared to parent again and wish she had placed all 3 children.

She had a huge fight with her Mother (not about the baby, about drugs and cleaning the house) and her Mom threw her out (not the first tiem and not the last). I went to get her and the 2 yr old so they could move in with us. I just knew she was going to change her mind now. She did not. After several more weeks, she pushed us to get lawyer so we could adopt the baby. She signed the papers w/o hesitation and said she knew she was doing the right thing. Don't think this was easy for her, she struggled with this decision and loves her daughter very much. She has built a special relationship with our daughter that she is unable to have with the other daughter she placed with her aunt.

We decided against In vitro b/c we didn't want Emma, our daughter, to think she wasn't good enough and we needed a natural child. We were in love and were satisfied with just her. We fianlized the adoption and Nichole became pregnant again. We were worried about her, she asked for money for an abortion and at the last minute, she changed her mind. This pregnancy I was afraid she wouldn't ask again until afterwards. Long story short, she suffered Post Partum Depression and her Mom called DFCS and got temporary custody of her 2 girls. I will talk more about that later.
I have known since I was a teen I wanted to adopt, I didn't know it would be my only option. I only discovered that after several ectopic pregnancies and 6 years of trying to conceive, good thing my husband's not perfect. I by no means am complaining, I love my daughter and can't wait to add more. I do not think I could do all the pregnancy thing and secretly think I never really wanted to. Glad I don't have to witness it either. I am perfectly content to have anyone else do that part, I have enough trouble with my weight and body image. I have great respect for any woman who can and does it, I just do not want to. I love my daughter's Mother and we are great friends, I do not feel her only contribution to our daughter was birth. She continues to be a huge part of my life and our daughter's. I love open adoption and hope we are able to have some openess with our next children's family, whoever they may be.

I guess I need to start at our first attempt to have a child. Three months into my relationship with my now husband I became pregnant and he wanted to get married. I on the other hand was "holding" out b/c I didn't want to get married just b/c I was pregnant. Turns out the pregnancy was in the tube and not viable. Now I was ready to get married. Somehow the loss of the baby or the drugs who knows, I proposed. He accepted and we were married a couple of months later in his parents back yard. His Mother planned everything, all I had to do was show up. The groom was hung over from earlier in the day and dressed like Tiny Tim. My sisters said my dress looked like I should be running through a field in a douche commercial so my Mom thought it would be funny to put a douche in the middle of my bouquet. I saw it after I started down the aisle and yelled, "There's a douche in my bouquet!" Everyone was laughing. Not you typical sweet wedding but it worked.

As you can probably guess, we had little money, hence the MIL doing and paying for everything. Pookie and I decided our gift to each other would be a secret inscription on the bands we designed. We had to wait until we were married to see the inscription. You can imagine the anticipation, we would wear this thing FOREVER, right? The moment the minister announced we were husband and wife we forgot to kiss, we ripped our rings off to read the inscriptions. Mine said, "To my one true love, Your Man." I was not so sweet, his read, "Sucker." He claims he was tricked! Ten years later, we are still together. He still drives me crazy. Not always the good kind.