Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just to clear things up....

It seems as though there has been a bit confusion on where I stand as far as adoption is concerned. Let me just say that I am totally Pro-Adoption. Adoption can be a beautiful, wonderful thing, like it is in my life. Painful, but beautiful. When done right, adoption can be amazing. But that's just it- when done right. So often, adoption is not done right. There are still agencies out there that are coercing men and women into placing their babies for adoption. There are still adoptive parents that promise one thing, and then do the complete opposite. There are still so many unethical practices. There are still so many birth parents out there who are empty and hurting, because they were not given the things they were promised.... These are the things I am against. These are the reasons I believe adoption needs to be reformed. I will keep firm in this belief until every birth parent can have as beautiful of a situation as my own.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just a quick thought.....

 People recommend that you do not separate a puppy from it's mother for at least six weeks.... This is for the overall physical and emotional health of the mother and the puppy..... So why is it that when it comes to human infant adoption, we try to remove the babe from its mother as he is drawing his first breath? Why is it that we can't extend the same courtesy to a MOTHER and her CHILD that we do to a DOG? 
Just a thought.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Transfer of Motherhood

As I’ve said before, I cherish the few weeks I got to parent William. I am so, SO thankful I had that special time with him. It was so nice to be referred to as his mommy, to actually BE his mommy. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
The first time my mom saw William after I signed the papers and sent him home with H and K, she handed him to me after holding him and said, “Time to go see Ashleigh!” Ashleigh. Not mommy. I knew I wasn’t mommy anymore, but to hear my mom refer to me as just Ashleigh when only a few days before I had been “mommy”…. Well, I guess it really made things real for me, and it really sucked. It was like someone turning a knife in my chest. A month later, it still hurts every time she refers to me as “Ashleigh” around William. But for some reason, it only hurts when she says it and not when other people say it (on a side note; H will sometimes call me “Mama Ashleigh” when talking to William. The jury is still out on how I feel about this, but I think that I like it- lol).
William used to follow the sound of my voice. It didn’t matter where I went; he would always turn his head towards me (causing my mom to say quite a few times, “He knows who his mommy is!”). Now, he follows H’s voice. She’ll talk to him, and he turns his head towards her. It makes me sad at times to see just how much he has already bonded with H, as though our time together never happened. But at the same time, I absolutely love seeing H & William together. I love being able to see just how much she loves and cherishes him. It does my heart good to know he is so loved by so many.

HB 2904 pt2

For the last week I have tried to write again about HB 2904; Why I support it, and the people who don't support it. But I just can't do it. Every time I sit down to the computer to type out my feelings, I become so frustrated, and so upset, that I just have to walk away. I seriously just can not understand how anyone can be SO against themselves, and others like them. How can a birth mother NOT support birth mothers, birth mother rights, and protections for birth mothers and the adoptee? I can not, and will not, EVER understand this. 
So because I am too upset to put my feelings into words, I will instead post a comment made by an adoptee on a post over at the First Mother Forum. Please read her (I am assuming this adoptee is a female, please correct me if I am wrong!) entire comment, as she makes some very good points.   

"Speaking of "not reading posts very well," how many times does Jane have to write a post explaining the legislation before people will read it and understand that their questions have already been answered?

If they have actually read her posts, and still have questions, perhaps they could clarify which ones were not cleared up, based off of what Jane said, instead of just saying Jane hasn't answered anything. She has. Good grief, I feel like I could write a master's thesis on this bill already.

--She has said who "Oregon Birth Mothers" are. She has named names. What is the claim that they don't exist based off of? Because they aren't registered non-profit status? Lots of groups aren't registered (e.g. "grassroots") and they very much exist. Some of the mother's stories were published in a magazine article which Jane has linked to at least once. 

--Jane has stated the 8 day period does not interfere with bonding. The APs can take the baby home if that is what the mother wants.

--If time periods are waivable, then there's nothing to stop an unethical lawyer/agency from pressuring a mother to waive them. Do people understand this inability to wave the decision-making period is to prevent coercion to protect the mother and child?

--Jane has stated that both the 8 day period and 30 day period are not "anti-adoption" barriers to adoption, but recommendations by the Evan B. Donaldson adoption institute. How in the world is following the recommendations by one of the leading adoption policy groups in the U.S. "anti-adoption?" 

--An issue with many institutions and industries is when one entity knows more than the individual making a life-long decision. I experienced this first-hand when buying my home and signing my mortgage (the unfair advantage is precisely why there's a mortgage crisis!). In adoption, agencies and lawyers hold the same advantage. Is it really that horrible that the law require them to give necessary information to a mother making a decision for her child?

--Just because one mother had an ethical lawyer/agency does not mean another lawyer will for another mother. What is wrong making one ethical standard so that ALL mothers can receive that same ethical treatment?

Why doesn't anyone who opposes the bill have answers to these questions?

Is anyone who opposes this legislation reading anything anyone writes to answer their questions? I would think that those who would want others to be as madly in love with adoption as they are, would support legislation that would enable women to make sound decisions and enable APs to know that the original mother made a sound decision so that there's a greater chance that they WOULD love adoption.

So many of we adoptees have mothers who were not given adequate time to make decisions because nothing was stopping the agencies from asking them to sign consents when our mothers were not ready and had not had adequate information (or any information at all). When I think of my mother pining all those years, wondering if she did the right thing, I don't see extended decision-making time as her automatically not choosing adoption. It's not "anti-adoption." I see it as providing her with time, when the agency couldn't have stomped into her hospital room, to really think about it and have had more peace with her decision. She deserved that peace of mind. I think it's sad that there was no law in my birth state that would have prevented the agency from treating her that way.

I really wish people would take just 5 minutes of their time to read Jane's posts and respond directly to what she's said. Jane is obviously more than qualified to speak on and interpret law, especially in Oregon. Instead of just repeating themselves and shouting the same misinformation about the law, why don't they comment directly on her explanations and tell her how she's wrong? Instead, they've come here to be rude and sarcastic to her, making remarks about her personally instead of the legislation, when she's done nothing but follow her convictions."

*** I have permission to post this comment. Any emphasis has been added by me (with the exception of the words in all capital letters). For more information on this bill you can go here and here. You can also read these blogs. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A big thank you...

I’m not quite sure what I would have done without the online adoption community. It has connected me with so many amazing and supportive people. For starters, I would have never met H if it weren’t for our online adoption group. That means I would have been stuck with a family I knew nothing about- A family who probably wouldn’t allow a relationship between my two birthsons, a family who could possibly close (or severely limit) the adoption one day. Instead, I have a family that supports and encourages a relationship between William and his brother Robbie (as well as with R’s other children) and has me over once a week (or more) to see my (birth)son.
 The internet also helped me to connect with people who have already gone through what I am now going through. Like for instance, Kelsey Stewart. I was able to talk with her about what it was like to choose adoption not once, but twice. She gave me some great advice, as well as writing this blog post about her experience. Then there was Joniece, who was able to share her experience of going to court with her (birth)son’s birth father. I am so thankful to her for her words of encouragement and advice! And then there are people like Meg and LeMira. Those two ladies are awesome! They are always there, supporting me, encouraging me, and loving me.

So to all of you awesome people, thank you!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's over!

So it’s done. V-Day has come and gone, with out a word from R about changing his mind (again). 12 AM last night, the adoption was finally official on our end. H was finally able to make the big announcement on facebook, and I expect them to send out announcement cards soon. Today after work I went over to their house for a sort of celebratory dinner. H cooked lasagna, and I made a peach cobbler (Yes, made. Peeled and sliced the peaches myself!). We had a lovely time, as always J

Once I got home I checked facebook just to see what all she had said in her post, and which pictures she had decided to upload. H had sent me a text earlier in the day letting me know she was going to post a few things and include “Liam” as his nickname, but explained that I did not have to call him that and to please call him William if I wanted. We had a talk several weeks ago about what his nickname would be; I liked “Will” and she liked “Liam”, and for different reasons, we each did not like the others choice (Mainly because of people we don’t like that go by those names). In theory, I didn’t really have a problem with her family calling him “Liam”…. But once I heard it, and once I saw everyone (EVERYONE) calling him “Liam” on Facebook… Well, I have decided I absolutely HATE that damn nickname. HATE. Loathe. Abhor- WHATEVER- I do NOT like it. First, I don’t think it’s a very attractive name. Second, I don’t think about my beautiful little William when I hear it. Instead, I think about someone I despise and I think about what they did to make me despise them. And then I get angry and upset (yeah I know, forgiveness, right? But these wounds are still too fresh for me to “forgive and forget” just yet).
Maybe it will grow on me, like Robbie’s new name did. Maybe one day I’ll be able to call him Liam without wanting to vomit. Or maybe not. We’ll see.

I guess I’ll just be happy that this adoption mess with R is finally over. I can finally relax!

Monday, February 14, 2011


This last week, a very awesome friend of mine adopted a baby boy. Well, they are in the process of adopting him.
I am overjoyed that things seem to be working out for them, that they are getting a chance to complete their family. I know they will be great parents to this little boy and that his birth parents will always be kept in very close contact and treated with the utmost respect. However, I feel so sad at the same time. I can’t help but think of the first parents and what they must be going through right now. My heart aches for them, and I wish that they didn’t have to suffer through this tremendous loss. I wish I could be there for them, wrap my arms around them, and let them know that eventually, one day, it will be OK again. I want to tell them not to worry, because their son’s adoptive parents are truly amazing and will always keep every promise they make, and then some. I want to assure them they will always be a huge part of their birth son’s life, because I know my friend wouldn’t have it any other way.
So to the first parents of this beautiful little boy- you may not ever read this, but I am sending hugs, thoughts, and prayers your way.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

HB 2904

Let me just say that for the most part, I am pro adoption- IF adoption is necessary, and IF it is an open adoption. Not every adoption is necessary. There are many first mothers who place because they are led to believe that they are not enough, or that they didn’t have what it takes, only to realize too late that they really could have made it work. I believe that while adoption can be a wonderful thing, like it is in my life, it can also be a horrible thing. Some times adoption can be no more than the legal kidnapping of a child. Adoption is something that needs a lot of change. Current laws need to be changed; new laws need to be put in place.

It has come to my attention that a group of first mothers is trying to have a bill passed that would change how adoption is done in Oregon. It is called HB 2904, and the group of first mothers that blog under the name of “birthmothers for adoption” are against it. At first glance I didn’t see why they, or any birthparent, would have a problem with it. I mean of course a lot of adoptive parents and adoption agencies would hate it, but it seemed to me that this bill was only trying to protect birth parents from coercion and child kidnappers (people who promise an open adoption only to disappear after the papers are signed).

After reading the bill over several times, as well as sharing it with several different parties and discussing what they do and don’t like about the bill, my opinion hasn’t changed much.

Over all, I am A-OK with this bill being passed. I think it is something that NEEDS to be done. Adoption isn’t rainbows and butterflies, and while I may have been blessed with two amazingly open adoptions, I am realistic enough to acknowledge and understand that not every adoption turns out as nicely as my own have. I believe that passing this bill will empower expectant parents and first parents to really be able to make the absolute best decision for them and their child, whether that is parenting or adoption. Because this bill provides so much time for the first mother/father to consider/change their decision, I believe the majority of first parents who do continue with the adoption will be largely at peace with their decision. So many first parents are NOT at peace with their decision, whether it is because they felt they were rushed, forced, coerced, lied to, etc. They go on to live a life full of bitter regret, always wondering what could have been done differently.

However, there are a few things in the bill that need to be changed.

  1. The new law would require 8 days to pass before the expectant parents can place the child with the adoptive parents. These 8 days can not be waived. During those 8 days, they can either parent the child, or place the child in a state run foster home. Now, I fully support the 8 day wait, BUT I do believe you should either be given the option to shorten the wait to 3 days OR sign something allowing the adoptive parents to take the baby home with them during those 8 days. Not every adoption is the same. Some times the reason a woman places has nothing to do with a “crisis” pregnancy. Some times the pregnancy is a product of rape and/or incest. It would be down right cruel to force a woman to parent her child for 8 days in a situation like that.
Yes, there is the option of foster care, but really, would you trust YOUR child to the state? My parents were foster parents for a few years, and I am very familiar with how well social workers can (NOT) do their jobs. Once a child is in the care of the state, everything goes down hill. It all becomes one giant, sticky mess, and you run the risk of the child remaining in foster care until they are an adult. Foster care is something I would not want to mess with.

  1. Well, I just re-read all the changes and honestly, I can’t think of anything else I disagree with.

The bill gives the first parents 30 days to change their mind- they can not waive this right by signing a Certificate of Irrevocability. I know some of you may be screaming, “30 DAYS?! THAT’S A LIFETIME!” Well, maybe it is a long time. I know in my current situation, 30 days DOES feel like a life time. It would mean R had even more time to flip flop with his decision, or continue with his antics. However, I know when I placed Robbie I would have given anything to have that 30 days. I mean think about it. Would you decide what kind of car or which house you are going to buy in less than a week? Probably not. You are more than likely going to do some research, some budgeting, and some serious thinking before making such a big decision. So why is it so different when we are deciding the fate of our CHILD? Why must we make a life time decision in just a few days? Why does that even seem normal?! That’s not normal!

The bill also says this “For up to one year, any party to an adoption may file an action contesting the validity of a consent to an adoption and whether the counseling and attorney participation and requirements were met, as well as challenging an adoption if they can prove fraud or duress. For this provision, in an agency adoption the birth parent has now become a party.”
This doesn’t bother me. Quite often, an expectant parent is promised an open adoption, only to have the adoption closed once the Aparents have the baby. I believe that giving the first parents the right to challenge the adoption for up to a year could possibly prevent this type of fraud. Not completely, but partially. I believe it would force potential adoptive parents to A. Be honest with what they REALLY want (open, closed, semi-open) and B. Keep their promises.

HB 2904 would also require the couples home study to be seen by the expectant parents. To that I say, GOOD! This couple is asking to take my child, why shouldn't I know everything about them? This isn't a puppy I am trying to get rid of, this is my CHILD! Reading the couples home study would provide you with a very clear picture on how your child would be raised and what kind of life style they will have. I did not see the home study for Robbie's adoptive parents, but I made sure to ask (and receive) the home study for William's adoptive parents. I know their yearly income, I know how each of them were raised, I know how they plan to raise William, etc. If I can give you my child, you can give me personal information. It's not like we're asking for your social security number, we just want to know WHO exactly will be raising our children, and how. 

So that’s my take on it. I don’t believe it should be passed like it is, but I do believe it should be passed after a little bit of tweaking.

Feel free to share your opinions on HB 2904! 

****EDIT**** Amanda has posted her interview HERE. PLEASE go read it! It resolved all of my questions about/issues with the bill. I can now say that I completely support the bill, and I truly hope it is passed, and soon! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This is what open adoption really is

         Can I just say that I love OPEN adoption?

Yesterday I got together with M, H, and *our* precious boys. This is Robbie’s second time meeting William, his little brother. That’s right, his BROTHER.
You all know how M and S had decided to not tell the boys the exact meaning of being adopted (basically that they grew in some one else’s tummy) until they were older? Well, they FINALLY had “the talk” with J. William will now be referred to as Robbie’s brother, though I’m sure all four of the boys will grow to be like brothers. M even had the idea to photograph the four of them together and send it out as their Christmas card this year. How completely awesome is that!?!
I am so excited to watch the relationship between our families grow. It truly is a beautiful thing :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Story: Part 2

Well, how do I begin? I’ve always been completely honest on this blog of mine, but I must admit that over the last few months, I’ve been keeping something from you all. And not just my online readers and friends, but almost everybody I know. I suppose I should start from the beginning (be prepared, this is more of a book than a blog post).

The relationship between Robbie’s birth father and I has always been like a roller coaster ride. There have been too many ups and downs to count. I honestly believe if I had never gotten pregnant that first time, our relationship would have been over and done in less than a year. However, having sex with someone and conceiving a child together, whether that child lives or dies, creates one hell of a bond between you. No matter what happened, no matter how many times we broke up, we some how always ended up back together. Our on again, off again, relationship stretched out for a little over three years.
Because of this bond, I have given R many “second” (more like 222nd) chances. I cared about him, so I let him get away with things I would have killed other guys for doing. It wasn’t healthy, and I am glad I was finally able to put an end to things.
Robbie was conceived during one of our many short lived “on again” moments. For most of my pregnancy, we weren’t together. In fact, R actually dated some one else for the majority of my pregnancy. After Robbie was born, we got back together for a few months. Then of course, we broke up, only to get back together again before the end of the year. But by February, things had ended again. Unfortunately, there were a few times I let him get to me, and we ended up hooking up a time or two in the month  before Robbie’s first birthday. It was then that I finally realized I wanted better for myself, that I didn’t want to keep making the same bad choices that led to the same situations. I completely ended things with R, even going as far as blocking him from Twitter, deleting him as a friend on Facebook, and for a while I blocked his number from my phone. For the first time in three years, I made a REAL effort to move on.
Things were going pretty well for me. I was doing great at work, I started going to church more regularly, I had more time for friends and family, and I was finally rebuilding the trust I had lost with my mother.
Sometime last fall, I set up an appointment to have a physical at a low cost clinic. I don’t have health insurance, and I haven’t for most of my life, so needless to say this physical was long over due. They did all the usual things, including a pregnancy test. The doctor told me I tested positive for being pregnant. I laughed at him, and told him it wasn’t possible. I hadn’t been sexually active in MONTHS! And I had absolutely no pregnancy symptoms. “Trust me,” I said, “If I was pregnant, I would know. I’ve been pregnant before.” So he had me agree to do a blood test (they didn’t have an ultrasound machine), which after a few days also came back as positive. I know enough about this stuff to know that if a blood test says you are pregnant, you are pregnant. I couldn’t believe it.
After looking back over my calendar and figuring out when I possibly could have conceived, we calculated that I was over six months pregnant. I was due the first week of January. I was shocked. I mean when I say I had no symptoms, I mean that I had NO symptoms. I didn’t really have any weight gain, and the only time I ever vomited in the entire 6+ months was when I tried a White Russian with a friend (if you don’t know, a White Russian is a horrible drink consisting of Vodka, Milk, and Kahlua. I do not recommend it). It made me horribly sick all night and I felt queasy for about 36 hrs afterwards (Now that I am writing this, I remember saying to my friend (in between vomiting) something along the lines of, “Gosh, I haven’t been this sick since I was pregnant.” Ha. I should have knocked on wood!).
After finding out, I immediately went and applied for pregnancy Medicaid, and started searching for good doctors who accepted Medicaid and delivered at a good hospital. Lucky for me, I found a great doctor who was able to see me pretty quickly, and she was affiliated with one of the best hospitals in Atlanta. I had my first doctors appointment and ultrasound when I was a little over 7 months along (it took a few weeks for Medicaid to come through). Amazingly, he (yes, another boy!) was completely healthy, and was actually half a pound bigger than he should have been! It was a huge relief to know he was healthy even though I hadn’t had any prenatal care. God was definitely looking out for us.
Along with applying for Medicaid and finding a doctor, I also had to figure out what I was going to do. Parenting wasn’t an option. My situation hadn’t changed much since I was pregnant with Robbie. Sure I had a job, but with it only being part time, I really didn’t make much money. Not enough to support myself, and definitely not enough to support myself AND a baby. This left adoption as the only option.

My journey through adoption has connected me with quite a few awesome people. One of those people is my dear friend, “H”. H and I met in the fall of 2009 in an online adoption support group. We instantly clicked after she responded to one of my posts, and began messaging each other frequently. It wasn’t long before we found out we lived in the same area, and made plans to meet for coffee. We would meet for coffee at least one morning a month and talk for hours until one of us had to either work or pick up a child from school. With me being a birth mom and her being an adoptive mom, we had the best conversations! It was wonderful being able to learn from each other, share our experiences, and gain advice from the other. We quickly became close friends.
When I found out I was pregnant, I already knew M and S would most likely not adopt this baby. While M is a stay at home mom, S works a lot. So quite often it is just M at home with the two boys. Adding a new born to the mix would have been insane. As I thought, the answer was no (even though it just about killed M to know that Robbie would have a full blooded brother that wouldn’t be with me or them!).
So the next logical step was to ask H (and her husband, K). H and K aren’t an interracial couple, so I wasn’t sure how they would feel about adopting a biracial child, but I asked anyway. The answer was yes! And so we moved forward with an “adoption plan”.
 This situation was an answer to my prayers. I already knew them, they were looking to adopt again, and I knew first hand that they really did have an open adoption with their son’s family and wanted another very open adoption. It was nice because I already had an established relationship with them, and therefore already had a certain level of trust with them. There was no anxiety over them closing the adoption or not keep their promises (And there was no pressure. I knew that if I changed my mind and decided to parent, they would support me 100%).
It was completely different than the first adoption. I did things with them I wish I had been able to do with M and S. For instance, I brought H along with me to a couple of doctor’s appointments, the four of us got together for a 3D ultrasound, H came with me to my hospital tour, and I invited them to visit us 3 out of the 4 days we were in the hospital. Oh, guess what? R and I got to pick his name! I picked his first name (William), and R picked his middle name. As far as adoption goes, it was the perfect situation.

                                  William 12/29/10  7lbs, 10 oz 19.5 inches long

 Unfortunately, everything started to go down hill once William got here.

First- R’s girlfriend (who, by the way, is pregnant! Shocker! I’ll call her #3, as she will be his 3rd baby mama) showed up to the hospital not once, but TWICE, and once she was there she stayed for several HOURS. And to make it even worse, R’s mother actually gave her a ride both times! She went completely out of her way to pick her up from the other side of town and bring her to see MY son! Apparently in their family, it’s completely normal to bring your sons pregnant girlfriend to the hospital room of his ex girlfriend who just had his baby and is recovering from major surgery and then stay for several hours (ha, can you tell I’m still pretty pissed off?).  After the second day of #3 showing up, I had a “talk” with R. She didn’t show up again after that.
Second- R’s mother, Sandra, asked me if she could “have” the baby, since I was “giving him away”. She continued to ask this the entire time I was in the hospital, and tried to bribe me with things like letting me keep him on the weekends and still allowing me to be called mommy. I appreciate her “offer”, really I do, but the only way she is raising my child is over my dead body (I won’t go into specific reasons as to why I would not accept her offer, but trust me when I say I have very good reasons).
Third- When Robbie was born, R was great! He was so helpful the entire time we were in the hospital. I didn’t have to ask him to do anything because he was already doing it. This time was entirely different. The first night (when I still couldn’t get out of bed because my legs were numb from anesthesia) he didn’t do anything but sleep. I couldn’t walk, but some how I managed to do every feeding and every diaper change. When I tried to wake him up to help me (I even threw a few things at him), all he did was roll over. He once threatened to leave William and me alone at the hospital during a fight about #3 showing up. He even went so far as to pack his bag and leave for a short time before showing back up.

We had planned to sign the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) papers after being discharged from the hospital. Last time we signed at the hospital and Robbie and I left separately. Being wheeled out of the hospital with a swollen stomach and empty arms SUCKED, and there was no way I was doing that again. Well it turns out I didn’t have to worry about that. The day we were discharged, Rob decided he wasn’t ready to sign the papers. There was no choice but to take little William home with me. Thankfully, M lent me Robbie’s infant car seat, a pack and play, bottles, clothes, etc. I don’t know what I would have done without her help.

I called H the day we were to be discharged from the hospital and informed her that R was having second thoughts. She and K had already accepted that the adoption wasn’t going to happen. We both cried on the phone together as she told me something along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing here) “It might not be what you planned for, and it may not have happened the way you envisioned, but I have no doubt in my heart you will be an amazing mommy to William. He is so lucky to have you for a mother. K and I completely support you parenting.” She assured me that while the situation sucked a little, this didn’t change our friendship, and she hoped to still be a part of mine and William’s life. She even lent me a few things like clothes and bibs for William to use.

That first night home from the hospital was the hardest. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from the stress of dealing with Robert’s family on top of major surgery and taking care of a new baby, I actually slept through two of William’s feedings (I am an extremely light sleeper, so this is highly unusual, basically unheard of). I don’t know what would have happened if my mom and her boyfriend hadn’t been around to take care of him those two times.
I had no idea what was going to happen for me and little William. R was refusing to sign the papers, and I had NO plan B. I had no way to raise or care for William, and neither did R. Then there was R’s controlling, selfish, and manipulative behavior (e.g. “If you don’t do ____, then I’m not going to sign the papers”)... The stress on top of the pure exhaustion left me in tears many times. I decided this was not what I wanted my son live with. After talking with my adoption coordinator, I decided I still wanted to try for adoption. I called and talked to H about it, and we agreed that as long as everyone was on board, they were still interested in adopting William.
      After a little over two weeks of R’s constant back and forth, he finally agreed to sign. January 15th, the day before my birthday, we met at the agency and signed the TPR papers. Again, it wasn’t anything like the first time. I didn’t cry; I didn’t feel any overwhelming sadness. We signed the papers, and then went back to my house where we ate tacos and watched the Atlanta VS. Greenbay football game with H and K. After watching Greenbay unfortunately destroy Atlanta, I packed up William’s things, kissed him goodbye, and sent him home with his new family.
     It wasn’t goodbye for long though! The very next day the four of us (plus William!) went to dinner for my birthday, and a few days after that they had us over and I got to give William his first bath! So far, I’ve seen William at least once a week (sometimes more!). Things were going very well until that next week.
            He liked the water, but not so much the whole cleaning process lol
                                                                         So cute!

In Georgia, you have 10 days to change your mind after surrendering your rights. On the very last day (the 25th), just hours before the deadline, R revoked his surrenders. He had no real good reason, and he had no plan for what he would do next. After dealing with a few more of his childish antics, I decided to move forward with the adoption with or without him. If he didn’t want to re-sign the papers, I would take him to court and terminate his parental rights. I shared my desire to do so with H and K, who (much to my relief) said that as long as I was 100% sure, they would support me. I contacted the agency attorney and made plans to have R served with a notice of my intentions.
 The past weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. That being said, the few weeks I parented William will forever be treasured in my heart. I loved everything about it; the way he felt in my arms when I held him, learning all of his facial expressions and sounds, having him scream in my hear non-stop for over an hour and still being able to laugh and tell him how absolutely precious he is, and most of all- realizing that I COULD do it. Coming to the realization that I could handle parenting, and handle it well, was amazing.
  In the two weeks since R revoked his surrenders, we have set things in motion for him to be served. I suppose the knowledge of this has scared him a little, because yesterday afternoon he resigned the TPR papers with the attorney. He has until midnight on Valentines Day to change his mind (again). If he does revoke his surrenders a second time, he will have 30 days (starting the day he is served, which will be soon, very soon.) to obtain a lawyer and take us to court. If those 30 days pass and he does nothing, his rights will automatically be terminated. If he takes us to court, I have no doubt that we will win (due to his horrible job history, lack of income, lack of housing, lack of transportation, the fact that he has other kids by other women that he can not care for, etc.).
I am just hoping it doesn’t come to that…

So now we hold our breath until V-Day. I’ll keep you posted….


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