Open Adoption Roundtable #11

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.

An open-ended prompt this round, because it’s always interesting to see where each of us takes it:

Write about open adoption and the holiday season.

Previously written posts work, too.

When I sat in the adoption agency’s conference room with Ruth, Nora, and an agency flack, we were all three of us tentatively mentioning things that we would like in the open adoption agreement (legally enforceable here!). I mentioned that I wanted to be able to send a birthday and a Christmas gift every year, they agreed, and now I could theoretically take them to court if they refused to accept a Christmas present. Adoption seems very strange sometimes.

Last year, I surrendered my son on December 9 and then flew to the Midwest on the 19th. I wanted to get away from the site of my loss for Christmas, so the future Mr. Book and I decided to spend Christmas with his family. We celebrated an early Christmas with my parents before I left, and they were very sweet. I remember making pancakes for everyone in the morning, in my nightgown, and noticing that my feet were wet, and realizing that my milk had come in.

Christmas in the Midwest was grim—except for one screaming fight, Mr. Book’s family was pretending that Cricket had been born dead. I was miserable, he was miserable, and we both just wanted to lie around and not talk about anything. I’m glad we got to spend it together, though.

This year, we have invited my son and his parents to Christmas with us, but they haven’t responded. Ruth wants to keep Christmas out of Cricket’s life as much as possible; she worries that the Jewish holidays, being less flashy, will suffer by comparison in the eyes of a child. She says that she may ask people to send Hanukkah presents instead. I think about the fact that I have a legal right to send a Christmas present and don’t say anything.

Ruth invites us to Cricket’s birthday party, which is also a Hanukkah party. Mr. Book has to work, so we visit on a different day and bring birthday and Christmas gifts. The Christmas gift is a pair of books, one of which I had as a child. I didn’t remember that Christmas happens in the book, but it’s a bit late now, so I give it to them with an apology. They ask about our Christmas plans with no apparent awareness of the fact that there is an unanswered invitation outstanding.

The adoption relationship is good, but the holidays are bad. I don’t know how long this will be the case.

The Spirit of the Season

I’ve been thinking about gifts and open adoption. I’ve mentioned before that gifts are important in my family, and it was important to me that the right to send a birthday and a Christmas gift be in our open adoption agreement. The state legislature will now theoretically enforce my right to send Cricket two presents a year. When I married, I secured Ruth and Nora’s permission to give Cricket a wedding present. Talking with Mr. Book recently, I realized that I like the idea of in some years being able to send a book or a cd or something at the other end of the year, in the spring or summer—maybe sending a souvenir when we travel. Of course, this would only be once a year or so, and nothing terribly expensive. Part of the reason that I’m so tentative is that in my experience, what I’ve read and seen, gifts can be tricky.

In my group therapy, there is a woman whose children were taken by the state. That’s got to be much harder than the kind of adoption that I have personal experience with, but I winced to hear her talk about all the presents she sent—including a box of back-to-school clothes in the fall. Now, I can see that a new school outfit might be a sweet present, but a full box of back-to-school clothes would feel to me like the firstmom was trying to parent from afar. One birthmother whose blog I read talks about sending presents frequently to give her an excuse to contact the adoptive parents. And I’ve heard adoptive parents talking about getting a box full of things ever month or so and feeling a bit overwhelmed; the gifts were too many and too impersonal to feel really special, but the adoptive parents felt guilty throwing anything out. Those adoptive parents talked about wishing that the birthparents would call or visit—the presents were taking the place of the contact that the adoptive parents and the kids really wanted.

When I visited my sister, as I mentioned earlier, I wanted to buy Cricket a book. I resisted the impulse. Ruth has mentioned in the past that she doesn’t want gifts to take the place of a close relationship, and that makes sense to me. At the same time, if I had a nephew in the area, I would probably have brought him back a book. And since I am mostly cut off from Cricket, I want badly to give him extra gifts and make him food and make the other gestures of love that are important in my physical vocabulary. Since I’m aware of the impulse, I guess I should redirect that energy into reminding myself that in most of the ways that matter, Cricket is not my son. Fighting to stay close to him isn’t really appropriate right now. I do believe that we’ll have a relationship, but I don’t think it will probably be very close. Understand, I grew up barely knowing the names of my extended family—I don’t have a model for closeness outside of the immediate family.

Therefore what? I ordered a copy of that book I wanted for Cricket, but not for him. I will make graham crackers, but not for him. I sent Cricket a birthday present, I will send a Christmas gift (two books; I already have them), and I won’t do anything else—this year. It’s hard for me to sit back and let things evolve…but that’s all I can do in this case, I think.

Open Adoption Roundtable #10

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community.

This is a topic that is very timely for me (Thanksgivingmom) right now, but is something that all of us in open adoption deal with at least once during the year: birthdays.

I know that birthdays can be an extremely emotional time, for everyone connected to adoption, not just those of us in open adoptions. So what is it that we do, as part of our open adoptions, during the “birthday season”?

Our experiences on this are so diverse, that I don’t want to limit your responses to one specific question. BUT, since some of us (like me!) sometimes like the specific questions, here are a few that have been rattling around in my brain as my daughter’s third birthday approaches:

  • What do you/your family do to integrate open adoption and birthday celebrations?
  • What do you wish you would see in future birthday celebrations re: involvement with your child’s adoptive parents/birth parents?
  • Do you have an open adoption agreement that requires contact on/around birthdays?
  • How does that agreement affect you? Do you wish it were different? Do you wish that you did have an agreement that requires such contact?
  • If you do not have contact around birthdays, do you do something private to honor birthdays?
  • If you’re an adoptee, how were birthdays celebrated in your family with regards to open adoption?
  • How do you wish they would have been celebrated?
  • And anything else you can think of!

How timely for me! Cricket’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and we’ve had a bit of chaos surrounding it. Since I am one of those who likes the specific questions, I will answer these.

  • What do you/your family do to integrate open adoption and birthday celebrations?

Well, Mr. Book’s family chooses to pretend that Cricket is dead, so I assume that they won’t be commemorating his first birthday in any way. I suppose there’s a chance that he’ll get a weepy, angry phone call from his mom, but there will probably just be silence from that side of the family. My mother has bought him a book and a birthday card. I’m actually a bit nervous about this, as she didn’t get express permission to send a book. On the other hand, it is a cool children’s book, and I think the gift is coming from a good place in her—I think it’s really a (relatively) uncomplicated desire to send a present to a baby on his birthday. Ruth has said that she doesn’t want me to get trapped in the middle of my mom’s relationship with them, so I haven’t mentioned to them that my mom has a book to send. I just don’t want to then be responsible for telling my mom that she can’t send it, which would feel sad and unkind. So yeah, I’m taking the coward’s way out. As for me and Mr. Book: he may have to work on Cricket’s party day, but we are invited to the party. If we can’t go, we will visit some day that week. I have already mailed his present and a card.

  • What do you wish you would see in future birthday celebrations re: involvement with your child’s adoptive parents/birth parents?

I really don’t know. I would like to be included, but not at the expense of Cricket’s happiness—if he doesn’t want us around, I want to respect that. But assuming that he doesn’t care (or, miracle of miracles, wants us around), I hope that we’ll be able to see him on or near his birthday every year. If we can’t make it, I would like to call. Of course, that’s not exactly right; in some ways, I want to not call or go or have any kind of contact. I want to grieve and mope and feel sorry for myself. But since I keep reminding myself that this is a child-centered open adoption, I want to want to do the right thing by Cricket.

  • Do you have an open adoption agreement that requires contact on/around birthdays?

Our open adoption agreement guarantees us the right to send a birthday present, but not to have any kind of contact. However, Ruth and Nora have said that of the two mandated sets of photos a year, they plan to send one around his birthday every year.

  • How does that agreement affect you? Do you wish it were different? Do you wish that you did have an agreement that requires such contact?

Honestly, at this stage in our relationship (and hopefully forever, knock on wood), the agreement matters very little. Ruth and Nora want us around, we want to be around, and we are all working together in a pretty good set-up. I do wish that we lived closer—this only started a week or so ago. For the rest of the adoption so far, I’ve been glad to have this buffer of distance. But now… When I sent Cricket’s birthday package, in addition to his card, I included a card for Ruth and two books I think she might enjoy. And in the card, I said that I wished we lived in the same city sometimes, because I’d like to be able to take her out to coffee once in awhile and just chat or hang out, no big deal. That is such a big deal for me. I know how small it sounds, but while I’m sure I’ll get frustrated or angry or depressed about things in the relationship again in the future, I have this enormous faith in her, and a great love for her. I don’t want to buy her a cup of tea so that I can stare at the baby, although he is adorable and certainly I’d be glad to see him—I wish that I could have her company sometimes, is all. I guess that’s friendship, or the wish for it. I don’t think we ever will live in the same city—we love it here, they love it there—but just wanting less distance is a precious and rare thing for me, the antisocial butterfly.

Presents and Presence

Well, Mr. Book’s work has informed him that no one gets days off during the holiday season; this means that he may very well be schedule to work the day of Cricket’s birthday party. If so, he will try to trade shifts—if that isn’t possible, I don’t know what we’ll do. Tomorrow I will mail Cricket’s wrapped gift up to his parents so that it can be opened at his birthday even if we aren’t able to be there; finally, my habit of acquiring gifts two months in advance pays off! The whole situation is slightly complicated by the fact that we don’t actually want to go to the party—but we think that we need to, that it’s important for the open adoption relationship.

Wrapping the present was a challenge for me—I am somewhat clumsy and impatient at this sort of thing—but I really wanted it to look nice, so I bought paper and bows and took my time. It does look nice, if nothing special—the paper has little zeppelins on it, which I like, but I should emphasize that they are peaceful-looking little airships accompanied by shooting stars. I didn’t move here with any wrapping paper, so I ended up spending better than $10 on the roll of paper and some bows; Ruth would be horrified, I’m sure. It’s a stupid way to spend money while we’re poor, I realize…but then I don’t think that kids think “Well, of course she didn’t wrap it, they need that money for the gas bill.” As long as we’re able to do both, however carefully, I want to keep up appearances for Cricket.

On Monday, before I started for home, Kate and I spent a bit of time wandering around downtown–some lunch, but mostly used bookstores. Souvenirs are important in my family, and it’s a tradition I hope to keep alive in the Book family—I’d already gotten Mr. Book something, but I ended up adding a couple of vintage Canadian postcards and something little for his mom, who is having a pretty rough time of things this year. Then, suddenly, I wanted to find something for Cricket. Now, there was probably nothing in these musty stores that would be genuinely appropriate for a baby, but I thought about getting him a book for when he is older, some beautiful out-of-print something that his parents could hold on to for him.

As a kid, I loved the books of Albert Payson Terhune—he wrote about beautiful, clever, noble collies, and since Cricket is growing up with a dog, I thought one of his books might make a great present—I found one of the same set that I had as a kid, and for only ten dollars. And then I just got upset and put it down and left, wandered into the biography section and finally left without buying anything.

I have this split in terms of how I feel about the kid. On the one hand, I think that my life would be easier if I could just stop thinking of him as mine at all, think about myself as no more a mother than any woman who has an abortion. I know how ugly this sounds, and how selfish–certainly, even when I’m holding this out as my personal ideal, I never imagine myself contradicting Cricket in his opinions. In some ways, all I am doing now is deciding what I’ll think until he tells me how it’s going to be. But of course it will inform my attitude and decisions, that underlying belief, and so I have to choose the right model. The other hand, of course, is feeling like the other mother; I’m sure I don’t even at my most momly feel as much like his mother as Ruth does, but I do feel some mom things. What do I do? I guess I think that the more I feel like one of his mothers, the more hurt I am going to get. Maybe that’s true for any mother. But when I think of him as my son, I think “I’m not going to see my son this month” or “I wish I could cuddle my son when they visit” or of course the big things like “I would never put my son into daycare.” If he’s not my son, then I’m fine—kids do great under all kinds of different, thoughtful parenting philosophies, and while Ruth and Nora’s differ from mine quite a bit, they are good and loving parents, and why shouldn’t they, e.g., dress him in clothes I would never ever choose? Maybe I could ideally feel like a grandparent; he is very slightly mine, for all that I don’t get to pick or do a lot of bonding.

So what will I do? Well, I’ll probably pick up a couple of those books for futurekid off the internet. That’s my imperfect solution to so many of these questions—what happens when I can’t get pregnant? Yes, I know that I’m borrowing trouble with that question, but if you’ve read my blog, you know that that is my m.o. And this way I get to come up with answers; if there is to be no futurekid, I can give these things to future nieces and nephews. My sisters each want three kids, Tammy has already gotten pregnant twice…odds are that there will be some kids around sometime in the next several years. A bold claim, I know. So I’ll pick up The Heart of a Dog and one or two others, and I’ll put them on the shelf that has all of the children’s books—which is in the room that was closed off when Ruth and Nora were here. There are things that I am glad to hide from them.

Push

Dear Internet,

Here I am in Illinois; my sister’s party was a success. We’ve also spent a lot of time talking about (and, in my case, to) our brother. I’m flying back to Stumptown later today, and then my next trip will be to my parents’ (and brother) for Thanksgiving. Mr. Book has to stay behind, as he is working all that week. Quel bummer.

I’ll get back to adoption stuff now, I swear. 😉 Ruth’s friends are adopting through foster care a sibling group of three kids, all younger than their bio son, and the boys were just placed with them last week—my adoption universe is getting a little more complex. The boys’ foster mother is apparently adding some tension to the situation, but hopefully it will all be resolved soon. I expect to meet them at Cricket’s birthday party in December.

So I have a present, wrapping paper, bows, and a card for the birthday—which is still a month away. I never, ever wrap presents: a mixture of apathy and lack of skill on my part. But I really want to do everything just right, so I bought some nice paper and will spend some time carefully wrapping the blocks. The card will be mailed in advance, since the party is several days after his actual birthday. It’s a funny thing; I know his due date, and I know that he was born three days earlier, but for some reason I spent the first few months of his life unable to decide whether he had been born the eighth or the ninth. I know that I am lucky to have a birth certificate I can consult, but I didn’t want to pull it out and look at it…. Still haven’t, for whatever reason.

Cricket’s birth was kind of rough—I was in labor for a few days, and by the time I was ready to push, I was just sick and exhausted. It was natural childbirth, but I still couldn’t feel when I was supposed to push because I was too tired. I just pushed for as long as I could, breathed, and pushed again. The midwife really wanted me to reach down and feel his head at the critical point—I’ve heard that that can bring on a second wind for some women—but I politely declined each time she brought it up. I guess that sounds strange, but I had the idea that I knew what I needed to do and just wanted to keep working at it until I was done, no side trips. I only pushed for forty-five minutes, so I guess that wasn’t the worst idea. He was perfect when he was born, and huge! Ruth and Nora weren’t in the room with me, but they were in another room of the birthing center, and they came in as soon as I was decently covered. I asked Ruth to cut the cord, and was secretly annoyed that she didn’t seem excited about it. Then again, it is kind of gross. 😉 When and if I get to have a child of my own, I want natural childbirth again; it was hard, but a lot of that was because it was my first time. And with my personality, I can’t imagine that being less in control of the process would make things any easier for me.

When I was younger, my mother was a Bradley instructor. I picked up what I now realize was an unusual amount of information about childbirth and laboring from her, and didn’t end up actually taking childbirth classes when I was pregnant (although I may have fudged about that to the midwives). I did have a very hard time mentally during transition; there was a lot of pain that I couldn’t affect, and I ended up throwing up and worrying that I couldn’t make what was supposed to happen next happen. Happily, once the midwife broke my water, everything moved along nicely.

I took a pregnancy test today. Not that there was any real need, but my birth control is causing me to skip a period, and I wanted the peace of mind. I am 90 percent relieved and 10 percent disappointed. The disappointment makes me feel stupid, but I guess it’s something I need to understand better and finally learn to live with.

Christmas Jesus

So I’ve found another adoption blog to read, Puzzle Pieces, the blog of firstmom Ginger (now in my my blogroll =)). Reading the archives, there’s one bit from August that I wanted to talk about. It’s about boundaries:

They tell you the good things and the happy moments. And might be good things and happy moments. But the minute you sign the termination of parental rights papers, the rules come. Or worse, there are no rules until you cross an invisible line that makes the parents uncomfortable and suddenly you broke a rule you didn’t know existed.

There are other things in her post that are less applicable to my situations–Ruth is very good about keeping in touch, and at this point they want more visits than we do–but this part, the idea of the invisible lines, is something that drives me crazy. So far, we have only one rule in our open adoption, and it’s one that I got by asking and asking: “What is it okay to give him?” We had in our written agreement that birthday and Christmas gifts were okay, and I’m not the sort of person who’s likely to give him anything dangerous or obviously inappropriate, but what were her limits? The answer: [edited down to the essentials] “We don’t really like things that light up or make noise.   We also prefer to avoid trademarked characters.  Anyhow, I think as far as gifts go, these are the main things we prefer to avoid.  Oh, also guns or scary things, or military.  Or Jesus, or Santa, or Christmas-y decorations or toys.  But that leaves lots of things.” That’s a super reasonable list, and something I wouldn’t naturally have violated–but the part that left me scratching my head was the Jesus bit. I am Catholic, they are Jewish…but do I seem like the kind of person who gives little Jewish children Jesus-related presents? I’m pretty sure that I don’t. Ever since then, when Mr. Book and I talk about possible presents, the idea of Christmas Jesus always comes up.

But that’s our only rule right now, and while I know it comes from their feeling comfortable with us, it still worries me. I can call whenever I like (I have never called), email whenever I like (I email Ruth about once a week), and if I were going to be in the Emerald City for some reason, I guess I could call and see whether they wanted to hang out. Nora talks enthusiastically about taking us to their family vacation property at some point. I’ve had to make a list of rules for myself that I haven’t shared with them, but even so, I’m terribly afraid that at some point I’ll cross that invisible line and they will feel threatened or frightened, and that will be it. I sign letters to Cricket “Your Mama Susie,” since Ruth and Nora decided that Mama Firstname and Papa Firstname were what they wanted Cricket to call us. [They are Mama and Abba.] And…I still feel weird about it, despite the fact that it is apparently not a problem. I have sent him three cards so far, and that is apparently not too many. I am careful to find occasions to mention “your Mama” meaning Ruth and “your Abba” meaning Nora when I am talking to him. That part of it is relatively easy. I don’t feel like his mom. I feel like I would like to be a mom, but now I’m some kind of quasi-mom to no one.

On our very first post-placement visit, Ruth and Nora were visibly nervous about the whole parental v. birth parental thing–maybe they worried that he’d see us and say his first words, to us, and they would be “Mama!” or something similar. Cricket definitely had some interest in my chest, although he only breastfed for a day. And Mr. Book and I were on our best behavior; we smiled and hung back and didn’t make any requests, didn’t act entitled to any kind of interaction with the baby. And it worked. When we saw them the next day, Ruth and Nora already seemed more relaxed; we were not going to do anything crazy/parental.

Last week, I got a birthday card from the three of them–it contained a crooked line that was Cricket’s signature and his very first writing. I was worried that I should offer to give it back (his first writing! Mr. Book says no), and very touched, and almost immediately afraid that I will screw this up and lose this relationship. I definitely hope never to be alone with him, at least until he’s much older–I’ll tell him not to grab the baseboard heater, or he’ll scare the cat, get hissed at, and start crying, and I will have messed up bad and the trust will be broken. I don’t feel this way about my marriage; Mr. Book has been with me for seven years, and every stupid or inappropriate thing that I could plausibly do, I have done. And he loves me. But I’m always so careful with Ruth, Nora, and Cricket that the relationship feels incredibly fragile. I wonder what it feels like to them?

Milestones

I just got a birthday gift in the mail from my sister and her husband (I usually just call him my brother, but that could make this sentence sound kind of . . . icky)–a madeleine pan and a tart pan. Woohoo! She then apparently reminded my other sister of the date, she asked what I want . . . lots of wonderful baking stuff coming my way! I am a total slut for kitchen stuff; it delights me that I have juice glasses which I use for juice and nothing else. And yet (I realize this might sound weird) I hope that Ruth and Nora don’t remember that my birthday is this week. I know they have it on countless bits of paperwork, and in fact I gave Ruth a (very small) birthday gift a couple of months ago, but I desperately want them not to know about my birthday. Not sure why. But, for example, when they said that they wanted to come down some weekend in October, I said “We’re busy the first weekend, but otherwise you can choose your time!” I don’t want to see them on my birthday. =/ This may be related to the fact that when Mr. Book and I have futurekid, I don’t want to see them for a few months–I dread seeing them while pregnant. This stuff is all arational, and I don’t quite know how to unpack it, but I guess I’ll think aloud for a bit.

I want to say right off the bat that I am 100% confident that Ruth and Nora wouldn’t be harboring hopes that things wouldn’t work out, and that I’d need to place futurekid with them. That is just the creepiest thing, and I read women saying things in forums along those lines that horrify me. I think part of it is wanting futurekid’s birth in some ways to be as different from Cricket’s as possible; not in a lot of obvious ways, though–I still want natural childbirth, and a midwife, and waterbirth. But I wouldn’t go back to the same midwife even if I could, even though she was a total sweetheart and fantastic at her job. A couple of days after the birth, I went back to her for a checkup, and it was in the same room where I’d had Cricket. She asked whether the room seemed different, and I nodded, and she said “A lot of women talk about how the room is totally transformed, and it’s such a powerful, emotional experience to be here.” And I thought, “Yes, but I lost my baby.” Didn’t seem to cross her mind. I started to have a panic attack.

I suspect that I’ll be fiercely protective of futurekid; I’m already inclined to try to defend my loved ones whether they need it or not. But I imagine that next time people will be sort of wondering whether I’m going to keep this one, and it makes me want to just go hide out in a cave for a year or two with plenty of vitamins and high-protein snacks.

Ha, I just got an email from Ruth which mentions the nearness of my birthday. I mean, I think there’s a lesson here, about the considerateness of people, and that I don’t have to count on Ruth and Nora being ignorant to prevent them from doing some thing that horrifies me. They’re good and thoughtful people, they’re not going to mention that they’re around in case I change my mind when I get pregnant. But that doesn’t change my feelings about wanting to hide the pregnancy and the baby when it’s futurekid time.

I had a dream early this year in which I was hugely pregnant and talking to Cricket about it–he was maybe two, and Ruth was listening in the next room, which dream me didn’t know about. It was a really sweet and peaceful moment, and it’s something that I should probably try to hold on to when I’m anticipating acting like a feral cat during futurekid’s gestation.

Book It

So every year, Mr. Book and I will get to send Cricket a birthday present and a Christmas present–since his birthday is in early December, we decided that we’d always make the Christmas present two books, as we both love books and I know a lot about children’s books. Also, we get to dedicate them, which I quietly enjoy very much. Being the kind of woman that I am, I’ve been planning out books in advance, and while the list gets adjusted every so often, here are the first five years:

0. Last year we each picked a book we remembered fondly from our own childhoods: Bread and Jam for Francis for me and What Do People Do All Day? for Mr. Book.

1. Calico the Wonder Horse and The Kissing Hand.

2. Dinosaur vs. Bedtime and Katy and the Big Snow.

3. If I Ran the Circus and Miss Suzy.

4. The Mouse and His Child and This Is the Way to the Moon.

I’ve been writing an email to Ruth telling her that I did see Juno (at her suggestion), and I think I figured out something about the movie, so I’m going to include that snippet here: “The film’s so hip that I can’t imagine how it gets its pants on in the morning, and I find that annoying—but I was pissed at the movie, not just rolling my eyes at the unstoppable snap/crackle/poppy dialogue. I’ve been thinking about it for almost a week now, and I think what really bothers me is maybe not fair; if I had liked you guys only as much as Juno liked Vanessa, I never would have gone through with the adoption.” Juno’s relative calm after the placement also bothered me; after we placed Cricket, I was so sad I couldn’t stand. Bleh. Enough talking about a movie I dislike.

I was up until 6:30 this morning working, so I’m going to take it a bit slow today; Mr. Book has the day off, so there will be beer and hockey and probably pizza. We also went out to lunch at this Lebanese place that I love. Oh, and @TGM: If I was still living near you, I would so bring you a goodie basket on one of my baking days. I need more people to feed!!

In the Mix

I made Cricket a mix cd in May; his parents haven’t played it for him yet, and I’m pretty sure that they will instead just heave it straight into the memory hole, but that’s okay. I told Ruth that I think I’ll make him one a year, labelling them with the year, and I think that I will . . . although it’s a little weird to know that he probably won’t hear them until/unless he gets interested when he’s a teenager. I’m careful to pick age-appropriate music, but I have very different tastes than Ruth and Nora, so I think they just don’t want to hear it. It does make me a little sad, honestly, but it’s a sad that I think is my fault. And yet I am working already on the cd for next year.

Mr. Book and I are planning to go out for ice cream in a bit; it’s been a hot day, and he’s depressed, and it’s his first day off in a while and the only one until Friday. But I’ve seen a Ben and Jerry’s downtown, and we are going to go there.

Today I believe that I will never have a kid. This is pretty random, but it happens to me sometimes. I’m not sure that Mr. Book will feel that we’re in a good enough position to do so in the foreseeable future, and after that I won’t be physically capable. I don’t really want to wait at all, but right now we are officially waiting to get pregnant until next September. When the year has passed, I sort of expect another delay mandated by Mr. Book. I should say that he wants to have a child now–we both do–but he feels more strongly than I the importance of waiting until we’re financially equipped to deal with a baby.  I suspect know that we have different ideas of what that looks like; additionally, I bear in mind that we need these things nine months after we get pregnant. Yes, I know that I sound like a tremendous whiner. Look at me, whining to the internet.

There will be better days than today, and there have certainly been worse.

Getting Started

I’m a birthmother, which is pretty weird; my son is nine months old. My husband and I are supposed to visit him and his parents on Saturday, for Rosh HaShanah, but I haven’t heard back from his mom with confirmation of the plans. The kid and his parents live in a big city a few hours away from our big city–we’ve only driven up there to see them once so far, and they’re talking about driving down here next month some time. When I read about open adoption, prior to getting into one, I read that adoptive parents generally want more contact than the birthparents do. “Not me,” I thought–but in fact I would choose to have visits less often than they would. Not because I don’t enjoy seeing them–I do, very much–but because the visits are emotionally complicated for me. But the kid’s doing great, and his parents are over the moon for him, and that’s perfect.

The kid’s birthday is in December, and I just found the perfect present; lovely wooden Hebrew blocks. His family is Jewish (I’m not), and they’re pretty into the “My first dreidel”/”Baby’s Book of Jewish Things” kind of stuff, so I’m confident that they’ll like this. It’s funny; when I talked with his mom about gifts, many months ago, she specifically requested no Christian stuff–giving Christian stuff to people is just so not my style. My futurekid will have St. Francis coloring books etc., but I wouldn’t dream of trying to convert other people or their children.

In the meantime, I spent some of my pocket money on baby stuff this week. This is a chronic problem for me–I’m hoping to have a kid in a couple of years, and I can’t stop myself from slowly nesting. That way, when I have the baby, I will be so obviously prepared that the idea of losing him won’t come up. =/