Wednesday, August 30, 2006

BN Vol.1 Issue 3: Baby Layaway or House Arrest

Can't sleep, so might as well blog.

This day has theoretically been just as long as the last few, but today seemed to move at lightning speed. Maybe that's a preview of how our perception of reality may be changing.

We picked up a rental car, made a mandatory Target trip (for other "essentials" as well as to provide me with some necessary toiletries), then we headed to a local fire station for baby seat installation training. After that we headed to the hospital.

If you're a prospective adoptive parent and have a friend who is a certified nurse midwfe, it probably helps you immensely if the baby you wish to adopt is at the hospital where your friend usually practices. Everybody in the birthing center was absolutely in our corner and laid out the red carpet for us. We met with the social worker, who copied our IDs and placed them in the baby's chart so that we could more easily gain access to the nursery. Then we waited. We were on hospital time.

The nurses in the nursery wheeled the baby's cart over to where we were standing on the outside looking in. He's a beautiful boy, born Sunday night, with lots of black hair. After what seemed like an eternity, we were escorted into an isolation room in the nursery and they brought the baby in to us. We held and cuddled him and fed him, then we had to leave to visit the in-state adoption lawyer.

Meanwhile, phone calls continued to intersperse the day. Our friend had been contacted by the baby's mother and the mother wanted us to call. We spoke with the pediatrician as well. We tried several times to contact the baby's mother but were unable to reach her.

We got the lowdown from the attorney: The baby's mother could terminate her parental rights as soon as the baby was 10 days old, then she had another 15 days to change her mind. So right there, it's a mimimum of 25 days before her rights could be completely terminated. There are interstate issues as well, so the baby can't leave his home state with us until the interstate issues are resolved. The baby needed an attorney. The mother needed an attorney. The father needed an attorney. There had to be a face-to-face meeting between us and the mother. A lot of things had to be done in court. There were genetic tests to be done as well. It all takes time, money, and patience. I think we can handle the first two items, but the patience thing, well, you know...

Anyway, we headed back to the hospital for more baby bonding time, and to stake our claim, if you will. We fed him again, then met with the pediatrician, who planned to release the baby that evening. The mother had already signed forms allowing the hospital to release the baby into our custody. So we had a brief overview of Baby 101, learning how to bathe and care for him. The Rev. will leave the umbilical stump to me, since she has belly button issues.

One more thing before leaving the hospital - circumcision. Our PTBNL (Player To Be Named Later) performed admirably. The pediatrician came in and said I would probably be upset seeing how the baby's "package" looked, but I informed her of my TC history and said I had seen and had a lot worse done to me in that area. The Rev. was wheeled out in a chair with the baby strapped in to his seat, and we were gone.

So, here we are back at base camp. "Mini Vinny", as we've taken to calling him, has basically been asleep since we put him in the car seat around 10 PM last night. So at this point he's been sleeping for 7 1/2 hours. For the last three hours I've been tossing and turning, wondering when he would wake up and request to be serviced. He stirs and makes a few gurgles and gasps every once in a while, but hasn't really fully awoken yet. We have formula and diapers at the ready when he does.

I'm glad someone's getting some sleep. I'm currently trying to figure out the logistics of the next month - getting back to Missouri, getting one of our cars out to Baby Central so we can return the rental, getting the adoption done, figuring out my work schedule, planning visits from grandparents while we're under "house arrest" in the state, etc.

I haven't quite come up with an appropriate analogy for our current status. At first I was thinking Baby Layaway, but since we already have him in our "posession" that doesn't quite fit - it's more of a "No Money Down" baby, although considering the lawyer costs so far, that's not a very accurate descriptor either.

We'll have a follow-up visit with the pediatrician on Friday, but at this point we're basically under unsupervised probation. What were these people thinking, letting us take home a baby that isn't ours yet?

Actually, that's not quite right. The baby may not yet be legally ours, but he sure is emotionally and spiritually ours. The Rev. and I have attached ourselves to what we believe is in our son's best interest and we will fight like hell (if necessary) to preserve his place in our family. If this adoption should fall through, we'll pick up the emotional pieces and move on. We are cracked pots, after all.


The Moores said...

I am so glad to hear things are progressing -- hope it continues to move along as smoothly as possible. Know that we are thinking about you a whole lot right now!

Anonymous said...

Hi Frank and Sarah,

Congratulations!!! I'm so excited for you both. I hope the lengthy adoption process you described goes quickly and smoothly, and that Test Drive baby (Much better than Lay Away, I think) comes home to Missouri with youall soon... ks


Anonymous said...

Good job mom and dad! I can hear it now, you are riding home in the plane, and "Mini Vinny" will be saying,"Are we there yet?" So let me guess, he likes garlic in his formula.............
Joy abounds


The Wharton's said...

I know you are knee deep in baby land and a million other things including rain, but I keep looking for updates that aren't there. Enjoy the ride - it's incredible. There is nothing better than a baby's hand wrapped around your finger, and a sleepy little smile.

Marcy & Betsy