Thursday, October 09, 2014

More Miscellany

* I don't know how to do bullet points on my phone but that's the easiest way for me to post at the moment.

* Potty training continues to go astonishingly well. We may be in our third consecutive dry day.

* Mummy however is struggling with shouting. The current flash point behaviour is mainly around food, but any exclusion (shutting out of the kitchen to stop him grabbing at the stove, or in his room so I can do TMI type things in the bathroom) tends to lead to an accident on the floor. So it's hard to prevent food-related bad behaviour.

* Tiny seems to be teething, but it took Small 3 months from this stage to an actual tooth.

* I am currently pinned under a sleeping baby while Small watches Ceebeebies. I think I'll live.

Friday, October 03, 2014


Erm... oops?

I keep thinking of little things that I mean to write but by the time I've got anywhere near a computer, they are gone out of my head. I will try and give you a few bullet points, not necessarily the most global or interesting ones.

  • Small is more or less potty trained. Wha....?! He just decided he wanted not to wear nappies, we went through three weeks of constant accidents, and he is now a whizz (ha ha, sorry) on the loo but still has the occasional pair of wet pants (currently between zero and two per day), usually now through being busy with something else rather than attention seeking.

  • My niece is now living with my mum (this is somewhat relevant to the Family of Five's recent post). She hasn't been in school for a year, she was "failing" before that, she's in her last year of primary school and has only had two years in school before that, and although she has in theory been home schooled in practice there has been borderline neglect and no schooling at all. Not surprisingly she's apprehensive about secondary school and also suffers from social anxiety and very poor sleeping. Sound like any children my fellow adopters know?

  • We met up with the lovely Hairy Farmer Family recently, she'll be able to tell you that Tiny continues to be gorgeous.

  • We also met up with a relative who said something along the lines of "but she doesn't look that dark". I'm not quite sure what the implication was, maybe that we shouldn't bother telling Tiny her birth father wasn't white?

  • Small and Tiny's birth area was mentioned on the news recently and Small said "where's Nella?". Our collective gob was smacked.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Forgot to say we are home!
Not much time to say much else, sorry.
If I sit down ever, I'll post a bit more.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Day in the life

We are supposed to hear something about the visa tomorrow. In the meantime, we have been trying to keep busy.  Our days seem to go something like this:

2am. Wake up and panic that we haven't fed Tiny.  Realise she's still asleep.
3am or so. Tiny wakes up. Feed Tiny.  Change nappy. Tiny decides it's time to play.  Persuade her it isn't by putting her in swaddler. Tiny resists. Tiny goes back to sleep. Brain decides it's time to play. Realise it's 9 am at home. Check email.
4am. Check email again.
5am. Go back to sleep.
6.30am. Small demands milk. Ignore him
6.40. Repeat.
6.50. Give up and give him milk.
7am. Feed Tiny in the brief interval before Small demands breakfast with menaces.
7.30 or so. Small has now finished his brief period of playing nicely for the day.
9am. Realise that we have not yet dressed Small or ourselves, or showered, and that we are due to go out. Unsure where the last 2 hours went.
9.30 am. Argue about who is ready to go out, and whether we have time to feed Tiny again.
10am. Go out to some activity. We do have a weekly schedule, including a church "moms who shop" daycare, swimming, the zoo, and the library.
11am. It is close of business at home, despair of getting any news today.
11.30 am at the latest. If we have been outside, it is now too hot and we go inside for lunch or home.
12.00. Waiting for lunch. Small is yelling "food coming" and throwing cutlery. 
12.30. Lunch arrives. Tiny demands a bottle.
1pm or so. At home, Small down for a nap.
2.15. Praying that his nap will last. One of us has possibly gone to the supermarket, in which case he will definitely have a short nap and wake up grouchy.
3pm. Small is probably up, throwing all his toys, and being told not to pull his sister's arm (no idea why this seems appealing to him). If we are lucky, he is also "helping" to sweep the kitchen/sort the laundry.
4pm. Decide it's cool enough to walk to the mall/dollar store/throw a ball around the garden/that you really do feel like filling the paddling pool.
4.15pm. Small is tired and hot and yelling Up! Up! Or you are deeply regretting the walk as you are tired and hot. Or Small has got bored of the paddling pool within 5 minutes of you taking 10 minutes to fill it.
4.30. Wonder how long it is till bedtime. Small throws more toys while we feed Tiny.
4.45. Small has been sent to his room for the 10th time. Half his toys are in our bedroom.
5.00. Give in to demands for Tumble ipad. Or Big Bird Elmo.
5.10 Small says "No dis one! the End!" after every scene.
5.30. Decide to make Small his own dinner and get adult takeout.
5.50. Small eats the meat and carbs and says "all gone". Say you'll help him. Put 1 cubic mm of potato on a spoon on top of a carrot. He eats both (For which we are eternally grateful).
6.10. Bath and running around naked.
6.30. Drinking milk on nappy change mat while kicking parent. Repeated walking out of room until he stops.
6.45. Small rejects all possible stories including all his previous favourites. Is told he will have story X or no story. Forcible teeth brushing. Asks for kiss from Mummy, Daddy and Tiny. 
7.00. Order takeout. Go and collect takeout. Small demanding more soft toys. Cannot see Small under toys. He then demands cars. Refuse.
7.30. Arrive home with takeout. On entering apartment, Tiny smells takeout and demands milk. Eat takeout one handed.
8.00. Boil water for formula, watch Breaking Bad, drink alcohol. Tiny demands song and dance.
9.30. Persuade Tiny to have more milk.
9.45. Tiny in swaddler.
9.46. Parents in bed. Read 3 pages of relaxing book.
10pm Asleep.
Midnight. Awake and panic that we haven't fed Tiny. Realise she's still asleep.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
(Yes, they do seem just as long to us...)

Saturday, July 05, 2014


We've been celebrating:
Mr Spouse's birthday yesterday;
July Fourth today;
And Tiny's placement yesterday!
But I'm too tired to tell you much more.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Our package (home study and all the rest) is out on the courier truck for delivery to New Agency from OHP, in the next hour. We're headed to the agency. Crossing our fingers we don't need anything else, as NA have not actually seen any of this paperwork yet.
We still need the placement letter (which is all we needed when Small was placed as the rest had been in place for ages) but that's at least straightforward.

Friday, June 20, 2014

There isn't a box for Brown

Oh no, I'm so sorry - we don't even have the excuse that we've got a newborn, for not updating.

We've spent most of our time over the last 3 weeks driving up and down to the foster carer's house and also various activities for Small.  He has become much more settled since a) Daddy arrived and b) we found some regular things for him to do (swimming, library story session, a small part time daycare). We've been to the beach for the weekend and we have a promise of a babysitter for Mr Spouse's birthday and an invitation to a July 4th party. I and Small are doing a Library Summer Reading program. This feels like a summer in my childhood actually - even down to not wanting to get in the hot car. Small has got a bit more used to the heat too.

Tiny lost, and then didn't gain, some more weight, but she's rallied and is now happily getting chubby. She also has some features which mean we don't think her birth father is the person Nella thinks he is, her current boyfriend, let's call him Steve. Steve appears white and has a European last name. We are due to see them again and I for one am a bit nervous about his reaction. We think we'll have the grandparents present at any meetings though.

Tiny has quite a bit of pigmentation, which is darkening over time, and straight dark hair (though so does Steve and to be fair, Mr Spouse). The doctor agrees. We're going with a Hispanic birth father (it was one of the original options). She's had a couple of medical appointment and at one of them the practitioner double checked our form. I explained I hadn't checked White or Hispanic so I was left with Other. "There isn't a box for Brown, is there?" said the practitioner, who looks like he's spent his life needing one. We wonder how many congratulations cards we'll get and how many of them will feature blonde, blue eyed girls. We do know a family who have adopted from Central America but there are very few families with similar origins, though a lot of brown families, in the UK.

Our first batch of paperwork (the home study) should be sent to OHP today or Monday, and then New Agency have to look at it. The UK department should then send our placement letter - in theory by the end of next week. Assuming that NA have all they need, we can take custody of Tiny then. We have a bassinet, and a vibrating chair. Small had a padded floor mat when he was a newborn, and we were staying in the next door apartment to this one (there is a strong sense of déjà vu here!) but with a boisterous toddler that's not practical! We have a car seat, and a selection of random clothes. Nappies I think is all we need.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

And further apologies

The last post was in draft for 3 days... But yes, we have met her, she's a lot more gorgeous than in the photos birth family took of her in some rather hideous clothes, and she's just very very small.
Currently I'm trying to manage a toddler who doesn't really like the heat, or riding in cars a lot, in 32C heat and a sprawling city. And I'm also trying to remember how to feed a teeny newborn who finds it tiring to suck. Small thinks she's "cute", he's clearly making an effort to remember her name, and he thinks her hair is "fluffy". He doesn't seem too impressed with me holding her, not surprisingly.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sorry to leave you hanging!

I'm currently looking at cute, handmade, very expensive unisex baby clothes on Pinterest to counteract the bushel of Minnie Mouse outfits that birth family seem intent on giving our daughter.

Yes, you read that right - paperwork all signed off, Tiny is with Lovely Cradle Care Lady in Agencyville, I'm in Birth City with Cranky Toddler henceforth known as Small.

We had an, er, trying day today which I didn't manage superbly well but Small coped OK. He was rather taken with Tiny's birth father despite the suboptimal teeth to tattoo ratio. Sadly, I found out yesterday that he (Tiny's BF) was adopted himself, aged 8, I assume after a lengthy spell in care.  I am angry with myself and also with some other people, unconnected to us, about disclosing information that isn't theirs to disclose. But there's not much that can be done now.

I have managed to stay awake a full hour longer than I thought I would by the power of Fritos. Small went to sleep at his normal time so we'll see if he's bouncing off th walls at 4 am again.

Name inspiration:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

On tenterhooks

The baby (a girl) was born early this morning. Nella has called and texted us several times, including sending several pictures. She doesn't really have much option besides terminating her rights, sadly for her, given her history - New Agency social worker says the hospital is aware of the child protection involvement.
So we should meet her on Tuesday. However, it's possible that she (I think I'll call her Tiny, because she is) may be discharged to the cradle (foster) carer on Monday. In which case we'll spend Tuesday with Nella, her parents, Tiny's probable father, Nella's older daughter, and possibly Nella's older son and his parents, all scaring poor Baby Spouse, who will also be jetlagged. Deep joy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

As Peter Kay would say...

Booked it, packed it, f*&(&(*ed off...

Well, I've done the first, most of the second (calculating daily what I can pack away next), not yet the third.

I've booked flights for Monday (a week today) to Nella's city (which is about 3 or 4 hours from NLA/New Agency City).  The plan (and you know what they say about plans) is that I fly with Baby Spouse that day, arriving late afternoon Central Time, and go straight to an airport motel where we both go to sleep. We would then see Nella and her parents the next few days, staying in a Suites type motel nearer the parents' home. 

I am understandably pretty nervous about this. I'm nervous about flying with Baby Spouse, that he'll be very upset/not sleep, nervous about driving on my own in a big city that I don't know well (I'm no more nervious about doing this on the wrong side of the road though!), nervous about seeing them all, nervous that the baby will be late and we'll be hanging around for ages and ages, and of course very nervous that Nella will change her mind again.

Mr Spouse should be coming out after about a week (though if the baby is very late this just means we'll have even longer twiddling our thumbs and not doing very much, while Nella probably gets more and more fed up). I am trying to be a bit sensitive to her and not say every five minutes "so, any news?".

I have a feeling Nella thinks we are planning to come a bit earlier and also to fly immediately the baby is born, like we did last time - firstly we are still very fed up with her, and secondly it's not as easy to drop our lives this time as it was last time - so I'm not really looking forward to breaking it to her that we aren't coming as soon as she'd like, either.

On the other hand, it will be warm (no, it will be unbearably hot) and Baby Spouse loves swimming and the motel has a pool... And I've been looking up toddler swimming lessons, and library toddler story sessions, all that kind of thing, in NA City. We are likely to be there for longer this time than last time (it was 6 weeks last time but our home study wasn't completed 30 nanoseconds before travelling last time). We're trying to look on this as a little holiday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A mild irritation

As of yesterday, whichever due date you pick, the new baby is at term (37 weeks).

This means that given any slight developmental delay, if the baby is placed with us we do not have a good, publicly sharable reason for it.

Other than that, I'm alternately twiddling my thumbs and manically running around trying to get work done. Today's jobs are to re-read a long and annoying document that's been hanging around for a while, and to put away in some drawers some files that should not be hanging around in my office (but that have been for months). I'm getting nearer.

We've been calling Nella and she's been positive and responding.  She tells me "oh you listen to me so much better than my mom/my older son's mom". Well, I don't berate her for her lifestyle choices because (although they may still turn out to have affected Baby Spouse) I can't do anything about them, and also because we have been much luckier than her older son's mother, or to be more strictly accurate Baby Spouse has been luckier than his older brother, who seems to have some significant developmental delay.

We accidentally found out a way to text each other (Google Voice) and she sent both a picture of her "friend" who was partly responsible for her quick trip to jail and also (she says) responsible for her being pregnant.  All I can say is none of the tattoos I can see would lead me to believe he will become too angry if he's obviously not the dad.

And that is it really. I am just wishing that the baby would arrive early (so we have no more limbo, and so I can meet the baby) and wishing that it wouldn't (because our paperwork is nowhere NEAR crossing the pond, and if our paperwork isn't there, we can't have custody).  Current plan is that I fly in about two weeks with Baby Spouse unless the baby gets here sooner, and if I do that, we'll spend some time with Nella (if she is around) and her parents, before the baby is born.  Baby Spouse is due an annual visit with her/them, even if we are still annoyed with her.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Guess what?

Things have changed. Then they've changed again. Then they've changed again. If you've kept track of that, you'll work out that this week/day/hour, Nella is now saying she'll place the baby with us. There has been a lot more behind the scenes than I've said but I have no energy to tell you all of it.

We, and OHP, are pretty sceptical, but playing along.  Of course we will again be freshly devastated should it not go ahead.  OHP spoke to New Agency who said they'd be the in-state agency, on paper, they don't want much to do with her so OHP will be the support for her.  OHP needed to find out if she was a) still pregnant and b) no longer working with her other agency.  We called Nella and also her dad, who is sane, and her dad said "she's huge" so at least we've got a) answered!

We go to our UK approval panel on Tuesday and if we have b) answered correctly on Monday (a holiday here but not in any of the relevant states) we will be telling our UK SW this too.

Baby Spouse arrived on a date which would be about 3 weeks from now so really, it could be any time now.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Something cute

It's Mothering Sunday in the UK, so perhaps you'd all like to hear how my actual child is getting on, rather than just drama about our hypothetical child.

We spent about half am hour this afternoon sitting on a stool by an upstairs window looking out at the sunshine on our rather empty street, and spotting bees, as well as pushing wooden cars and a horse along the window sill, and putting them to sleep on the window sill. At one point I got up to go to the loo and The Tiny Dictator (as he is known) came to the bathroom door to tell me to "come on, mummy".

So life with Baby Spouse is good. He's still a good sleeper, and we've managed to fool him into going to bed a bit early this week in preparation for Summer Time. He's had some issues with being far too hungry/grabbing food/screaming for more but we think we've got most of that sorted for the moment (partly by dishing everyone's food up away from the table, but he also seems more able to wait longer for food - he can now play in the kitchen while I cook, without having too much of a meltdown, so I think it's partly that he's a little older).

He's just started enjoying scribbling, stickers etc and also Duplo (baby Lego), and it's great to have things he likes doing that don't necessarily involve running around, or throwing things.

He has loads of new words most weeks - we're almost at the "gosh, I've lost count" stage. We are however about to make an appointment to have his height and weight remeasured, to see if he's a bit further up the charts (weight was fine but height was below the 9th centile. He's never going to be a basketball player (which is a sha physiologicalme as he loves balls, and is pretty good with them too), but they want to check it's nothing physiological.

We did find out something interesting yesterday regarding Nella, which makes sense of a few things, and may or may not help or hinder us. We'll see.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The post that I do not want to write

My computer seems to be conspiring with me to prevent this, too - and my phone has decided to implode - we've been living with this news all this week and it gets no easier.

Nella decided she had had enough of NA and that she'd find a new new agency.  We think she'd been talking to them for a few days, because all of a sudden we heard that she was moving to them and already had a couple she was working with and no longer wanted to work with us.

That is basically it. We feel like someone has died. Mr Spouse was afraid of saying that it felt like one of the miscarriages - but I felt that way too. "Our" baby will still be out there, though - instead of a notional due date, there will be a real baby that we may never see grow up. We've talked to our social worker about our feelings, as well as about what to do now.

I don't think we can give up hope that she will change her mind (or it is slightly possible that she would be left with no other alternatives if she continues to burn her bridges left, right and centre, now there's a great mixed metaphor!).  It's also entirely possible that the new couple might decide she's too much like hard work.  We have put out some feelers but we aren't really sure which of them would be a mistake, if any.

Our SW had originally worded our PAR (the full form that includes the home study) to say we were approved for a sibling of Baby Spouse.  Her manager pointed out that this should really be just for "a baby" (before this all blew up) so that is changing. It's not going to make much difference to the time taken to approve us here (a 3 week delay to panel), and it's still therefore possible that we would be ready in time should she change her mind.

We have decided for now to go with the "sibling, or other baby, from the US" option but our heart is not in the "or". It will take a bit longer to get ready for the "or" so we have a little time to have a break, a holiday, that kind of thing. We do have other options and we are worried that we might burn our boats on those, though, if we end up waiting too long on this option.

I'm basically in denial at the moment - I have hinted to a couple of people that this might not be happening but there are just too many people to tell, at work etc. etc.

I think that Baby Spouse has worked out something is up, too; he's been very clingy, and his nursery worker said he was looking at the picture they have of us all and saying "Daddy, Daddy" and getting very upset, several times this week (though Mr Spouse was late home a couple of times too, and we've all been very tired).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

There's more

Nella can't stay calm for long it seems. She's managed to wind up both OHP and NA. They have agreed that OHP will now mainly deal with her, with NA doing the things that they only can do, being in state. She's generally OK with us on the phone, or even apologetic, but we also suspect she doesn't know what they tell us.

She rang us the other day to tell us she's thought of a name for the baby. Will you think about it? she asked. Well, it's definitely something we can talk about, I said. For about five seconds, said Mr Spouse when I told him her choice.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Just a quickie

Nella is out of jail, and sounds much more positive than she did recently, too. I imagine it's mainly relief to be out.  I won't go into details, but the BF is no longer on the scene and that sounds like a good thing.  She was also - crucially - positive about the help that New Agency are giving her which is a huge relief to us.  I am sure they are putting in the effort they should be putting in - it is possible this isn't quite the level of effort she felt she had with Nice Little Agency, it's also possible they were overstepping the mark a bit.

Anyway we are kind of back where we started when we were matched with Nella before Baby Spouse was born - and she had a breakup with a boyfriend - and she called me to tell me how awful he was. Quite a bit. But that's OK, it feels familiar and that had a good outcome.

Mr Spouse says that the more we learn, the more we can see how we are not "taking the babies away" from a beautiful life with their birth parents.  It's going to be hard to tell him/them about this when they are older. But it's going to be necessary. It is, as a friend once said, one of the special burdens of adoptive parents.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


That's News In Brief to those not in the know.

  • We had our first, and second (and last) home study sessions last week and this. Because our home study was done by the same social worker, with the same agency, last time, and the main thing that has changed is, well, we have Baby Spouse, she's really only had to update it.  She couldn't fit this in before, and she wanted to allocate two full days to it in case it took longer than she thought.
  • She still has some further checks to arrive back, and she should have already submitted her full report to the Panel to meet this date, officially, but she's assuming we will go the Approval Panel in April. One of the missing items is an interview with one of our referees who is far too casual about the whole urgency thing.  I rang him last night and I hope I sounded sufficiently panicked.
  • We spoke to New Agency's social worker with whom we sympathised over the difficulties with Nella.  NA SW told us that, contrary to what Nella has told us, Nella denies that her current boyfriend is the new baby's father, and that Nella has said she is genuinely unsure who the father is. We aren't sure if she thought CB was the father, but changed her mind (or vice versa, or twice) or if she was just telling each party what she thought they wanted to hear (or if she was telling one party what was easiest/what she thought they wanted to hear, and the other the truth-as-she-sees-it).
  • We rang Nella again earlier in the week to push her one more time for a "here's your birth father and your birth mother" photo of herself and CB for the new baby, and CB answered the phone (which occasionally he does if she is driving/busy).  And told us that she's in jail.
  • Yep, you read that right.  If you remember, this has happened before. There is nothing we can do, and OHP has confirmed there's nothing we can or should do, we know she'll be getting fed, she cannot go AWOL/call another agency, there are some ways in which she will be taking better care of herself by force of circumstances, but she also cannot go to her regular doctor's appointments and there are obviously bad things about this circumstance.  Like any other relative fed up with someone's behaviour, this doesn't feel like an entirely bad thing, but we know this isn't going to alter anything long term for her.  We just hope it doesn't mean anything bad, long term, for us or the new baby, and we hope it doesn't last too long.
  • Sigh.
  • We're having a nice few days away (both of us having a single day's work to do in That London have managed to make these two days next to each other, so Mr Spouse has taken Baby Spouse to the park, and shopping, today, while I'm taking him to see some horses tomorrow, and we're all going to the zoo on Saturday).
  • Oh, and a couple of people in need of thoughts at the moment: Henry Street is flying to see the woman who is just about to give birth and whose baby will likely be their second child. She is very nervous but here's hoping it's the beginning of a wonderful new adventure.  May on the other hand is facing a new beginning in a much less pleasant way, working out how to move out her stuff from her marital home and into a new life without her H.  Hand-holding for both of them, and particularly gentle for May please.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Calm calm

This is what we say to Baby Spouse when he is worked up about something, crying his eyes out rather than having a tantrum, while we stroke his hair/arms/cuddle him (except not the latter if he's stuck in his high chair) and we (used to at least) give him his pacifier and/or muslin. He now says it himself when he knows he needs to calm down, though he also seems to think it means "pacifier" which we are trying to wean him off. But he is really very good at trying to calm himself down.

And everyone else seems to have, at least temporarily, calmed themselves down.  OHP seems to have persuaded Nella that, while NA can do what she needs, it can't necessarily do what she wants. She admitted to them that she'd looked at other agencies, and they told her that she wouldn't get more elsewhere due to her state laws. She told OHP that yes, she does want the siblings to grow up together. NA seem to have found a route that they and Nella can live with. 

And I spoke to Nella myself yesterday and she also said something about advantages of the siblings living together (though oddly she was proposing an advantage for us, rather than for the babies or for her - though I added how nice it would be for us all to have visits together). She also apologised for sounding a bit off at my last couple of calls, saying she been napping. I am not sure if she knew she'd sounded odd, or if she heard something in my voice, but it's true, she did sound more relaxed and clear this time. And she does usually apologise if, for example, she sounds unsure when she picks up the phone (as our number comes up as private).  I think she is calming down a bit, though this could be temporary, and I'm also more inclined to try and call more regularly, which can only help, I hope.

And Mr Spouse is also feeling calmer.  We got another bit of paperwork back, and we've got a full day of lovely social worker (she is lovely, but a full day of talking to her is a bit daunting), on Friday, so we can check which other bits of the UK paperwork need chasing.  We haven't got any of the extra documents that we need from the UK but for the OHP requirements, except for one thing from Mr Spouse's employer (and the fact that my employer hasn't done theirs is the least surprising thing to happen this entire year, I have to say). So I'm giving those people another couple of weeks and then chasing them down, and sitting outside their offices if I have to.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Well it's been a ... well, a day

Yesterday, this was.  I was having a quiet day at work (thankfully) when I got an email saying that Nella had been calling other adoption agencies local to her, to request expectant parent packets.

We worked out where this was coming from, after a phone call to Official Hague Person's assistant. Nella feels that she isn't getting enough (she says financial, and I think it's also emotional) support from New Agency.  She thinks she can get more elsewhere.  This isn't possible in her state, they are following all the rules, and they are fed up with her. It is a bit easier for OHP to be a bit less fed up with her as they aren't dealing with her day to day, but for us, this kind of wobble is pretty scary, and NA are close to telling her to look elsewhere. 

OHP is not sure if she is seriously trying to move to a different agency, if she will look further afield (there are unscrupulous agencies out there, especially in other states), or if she is just confused/having a tantrum/fed up.  From OHP's point of view, they want to work with us if she still wants to place the new baby with us, and if we can find an agency that will work with all of us (NA is the one they work with most in her state, but OHP says that they may find others that will work OK).  NA, however, are just fed up, end of their tether stuff. 

OHP say that now she has tried to look elsewhere, they are able to alert other sensible agencies and that none of these will be that interested in taking her on if she is going to mess them around (especially without us as a match -  but it's still worrying.

We are now at more or less exactly the point where we started with Nella in Baby Spouse's pregnancy - we have the same amount of time to go.  Part of me thinks this could still go OK, if everyone calms down now and neither Nella nor NA throw their toys out of the pram. Part of me thinks it could get worse, she could get more emotional, and an unscrupulous person could land on her now.

To say it's a bit of a rollercoaster is an understatement.  I am trying really hard to focus on being a good mum to Baby Spouse, and on being a mum of one now, not on being a mum of two in the future. I'm also trying to focus on thinking that there will be a way for us to grow our family, even if it isn't this.  Mr Spouse is, not surprisingly, spitting. He's wondering why we even started out on this plan, and saying that he doesn't see why we should make an effort to take Baby Spouse to see Nella and family as often as we planned if she's going to behave like this. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

That sinking feeling

We have had some medical reports on the new pregnancy - we are missing some crucial information, and New Agency seems to be saying "what? What do you mean?" or ignoring my emails, and it just is getting a little frustrating.

But one thing we did notice from the reports, and a medical friend has confirmed, is that Nella is taking exactly as little care of herself as she was in her previous pregnancy. And we are pretty sure that this lack of care has led to some problems we have with Baby Spouse, that we know don't make him very happy either.
It's basically like watching his early life in real time, and not being able to do anything about it.

This is a post linked to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out, where theme this week is "One Year On". But I'm actually thinking of two years ago - when we were starting to learn more about Baby Spouse's prenatal history.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Slightly less painful

So some good news this week - first, our medicals are fine, no problems, big relief, all done and dusted.

Turns out we don't need the horrid ouchy tests, but I need to call the clinic to ask them for a letter confirming this. I also need letters from about 75 other people confirming we earn money, confirming that Baby Spouse is well and healthy, etc. etc.

Finally, I actually think my boss is quite pleased I'm probably going on adoption leave. The plan would be for me to take about 9 months again, and this overlaps with S and M (did I already say they are adopting again?)* and someone's maternity leave, meaning he has a much better case for getting money to cover us all.

I'm already running through nursery furniture, childcare options etc. at the same time as telling myself exactly what I told my boss (this is a high risk pregnancy) and what I'm not telling him (Nella is very, erm, fickle).

*I see I didn't. S and M, work colleague and husband, are the Central American adoption couple whose little boy was placed about 2? 3? years before we were matched - he's about 6 or 7 now - he asked for a "brown" sibling and they are obliging with a UK child of mixed ethnicity. Funnily although M is significantly older than Mr Spouse, there were no objections his age by their agency.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Two appointments next week - one to see my boss and explain what's happening and the timescales, and one to have a nasty skin test done that, apparently, is crucial for the Victorian medical conditions that pertain in some parts of the US (it's not actually required by Baby Spouse's home state - it is however required by Official Hague Person's state, and as our paperwork touches their ground...).

I'm not sure which will be more painful for me. I am wondering if I should take Baby Spouse to the work appointment to make it less painful - sadly he also has to have the nasty skin test done so I know that one's going to hurt him, poor lad.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Good news

Not only did we have a lovely night away in a hotel with a huge, delicious dinner (I will never eat again) but Mr Spouse also had a positive appointment with his specialist today.  His test results are going in the right direction (i.e. down) so they will continue to monitor but no nasty investigations and no serious worry at the moment. Obviously it would be better if there had never been any concern in the first place but this is the best outcome we could have had right now.

It is still not completely ideal so we think this is not a certainty from the point of view of the agency but it's looking a lot more positive.

I now anticipate wobbles from Mr Spouse ("can we cope with two?") and to a slight extent me ("is this really the right time, especially for work?").

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


We have booked in the first of our many checks for this Friday (this one takes the longest to come back), and on Saturday Mr Spouse has another appointment with the specialist.  They didn't tell him the test result before going in (I can't remember if they wrote to him last time to tell him, but it's a different specialist, so probably has a different style of working).

In between those two times we have a room and dinner in a luxurious local hotel which has the most fabulous Victorian showers - my Christmas present to Mr Spouse.  We also have Baby Spouse with us so that may not mean much of a lie in - though we have to be back for the hospital appointment anyway so we couldn't have lounged around till midday.

I will try and remember to keep you all updated...

Friday, January 03, 2014


We've been a bit busy - annoying work issues are mainly resolved, though it's not a long term solution; I finally found some Christmas presents for Baby (now, really, Toddler) Spouse, and for Mr Spouse; my seemingly vast family have come and gone and we've celebrated Baby Spouse's 2nd birthday, which really seems impossible.

I started getting very panicky a couple of days ago and, of course, not sleeping, about our UK approval process for the new baby.  We were told in early December by our nice social worker that an April approval panel was possible - but I was starting to see that recede into the distance.  Part of the issue was that the agency didn't want us to have to start the process (and pay the overseas fees) if we were definitely going to be rejected due to Mr Spouse's medical issues.  But if our approval is delayed by a month, that means a month of cradle (foster) care fees. And a May panel could easily clash with, well, a birth.

So she's understood that now and is suggesting a timetable that does mean approval in April (or, but fingers crossed not, rejection before then). If Mr Spouse's medical issues do turn out to be at the severe end (which doesn't seem likely) then we think the hospital will want to rush further tests before then anyway, so we'll not be left in limbo about that either.

So all in all. Phew. Now all I have to do is persuade my boss to give me some annual leave in term time which he unfortunately considers evil and wrong. Oh, and to tell him what it's for.  He'll be SO pleased. Not. You remember S and M, overseas adoption couple (she's my colleague)? They've been approved and matched for a second adoption. I'm very pleased for them. It is strangely easier to be pleased for friends adopting again than even those who "lap" us by having a second after many fertility struggles. I know that makes me a nasty person, but there it is.