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I placed my daughter in an open adoption in 2002. I started this blog in 2004 as a place to journal and eventually I became part of a community. The community has moved on, but I have decided to come back.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Birthfather

I got an email from my daughter's birthfather yesterday morning. It caught me by surprise. I haven't heard from him since the month after my daughter was born.
He actually got rid of every email account he had and didn't respond to any of the letters I sent. (Recap: My daughter's birthfather is a citizen of another country.) I didn't think I'd ever hear from him.
He doesn't know that our daughter was placed for adoption. He knew that was what I planned to do. He met my daughter's parents and my social worker during his only visit to our country. I never wavered, but I know he doesn't know.
He didn't tell his family I was pregnant until I found out I was having a girl. His visit was before this. When they found out that I was having a girl, he was no longer supportive of my plan to place her. He didn't want to raise her; he wanted to give the baby to his sister who had suffered a miscarriage a couple months prior. While I wasn't thrilled about sending my baby off to grow up in another country, I told him okay but that I would like to fly out there and discuss it with his sister and him. I got the run around.
We argued a lot in those final months. He accused me of wanting money. I refused to fly out there to give birth. My sister was also pressuring me to give the baby to her. I told him that I was uncomfortable with her leaving the country. Eventually he told me to do whatever I wanted and to leave him alone.
I met with my social workers and several lawyers. My social worker contacted him with step-by-step instructions for how to claim our daughter after her birth. Initially he said he would come get her in November. After that we didn't hear from him. No word of his intentions, no idea about travel plans, no word on where he would like the baby to be in between birth and his arrival.
In the last days of my pregnancy, I met with a lawyer in another state. Her birthfather could still claim her, but if he didn't come we wouldn't have to deal with the six months of paperwork before she could be relinquished. I was terrified, but I wanted my daughter to go home right away. I couldn't take her home with me waiting to see if he showed up though I did have enough supplies to take her home for the first few weeks.
I emailed him a week after she was born and sent a picture. We spoke on the phone once in October. He never again mentioned coming for her and I was too distraught to talk to him much beyond saying that we were both healthy. I've sent him pictures since then, but have never heard anything from him.

Obviously I need to tell him that she was adopted by the couple he met. I feel less nervous about it now then I ever have. I hope he stays in touch. I'm proud of my daughter's heritage and really hope he appreciates how much her adoptive family and I want her to know him.

Hoping for the best I suppose. I guess this is the second Christmas surprise he has given me. He's quite the gift-giver.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Is Santa Coming to Your House?

My daughter just called and this is what she asked me. She also asked several times if I was coming over. I asked her when I should come and she said Saturday. She was talking up a storm. What a sweet voice she has!
Her mom took her into New York City this week. That stuff makes me so happy. I love NYC and always wished I could live nearby or go to college in the city. It never happened. When I met my daughter's parents and found out that they lived near the city and had family there, I was so excited that my daughter would be able to experience all of that. Another benefit is that the schools around there teach her birthfather's native language. They promised him they would teach her so I hope that when she gets a little older, they follow through on that promise. It will be nice for her to know the language if she ever wants to visit her birthfather and his family (he also has a son from a previous relationship).
As expected, I probably won't be able to see them until mid-January. The way the holidays fall, there just isn't another day. Her mom couldn't get any time off next week either. She was disappointed that the tree will be down when we visit. We've always taken lots of holiday pictures. Last year in particular, my daughter's mom was very careful to take lots of pictures and laughed that my daughter would appreciate it someday as we propped presents around her little sleeping self.
I did find out what my daughter asked for for Christmas over and over and her mom said she couldn't find it anywhere so maybe I'll try. She wants a shirt with Tigger on it. An odd request for a toddler, but a cute one.
My daughter just started to use the potty, too (big news :)). She's growing up so fast. I developed my last roll of regular pictures yesterday (I finally went digital) and was completely amazed by her growth. She is so cute and precious.
Anyway, the phone call was such a nice Christmas treat. I've been really depressed this week so although talking to her makes me sad, it also gives me peace going into the holiday season. I wish I could see her tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Lifebook

Christmas is approaching. I just got a card from my daughter's family with her Christmas picture. She is growing up so fast. She has lost most of her baby face and really is starting to look like a little girl. She is so far from the little baby I gave birth, too.

It's sad to think about her growing up. As each day passes, it becomes more and more difficult to remember that year of pregnancy and birth. I replay it often to keep it fresh.

I created a lifebook for my daughter two summers ago, but never completed the last few pages. Her mom finally emailed her approval so I've been trying to complete it. Unfortunately I can't find any of the hospital pictures. I remember that I was planning on moving them into a different album, but I don't know where I put them in between albums (though I'm sure it was somewhere safe!) I'd like to finish it soon because the whole book is geared toward a toddler or young child.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a break. Hopefully, I'll see my daughter shortly after Christmas. This year it might be a little rough because Christmas falls on a weekend, but I'm sure I'll work something out. Then comes a long stretch. I usually only see my daughter once between Christmas and summer. That's the hardest time. It also brings back all the memories of my pregnancy.

My birthday is in March and I vividly remember my pregnancy birthday- it was not easy. In April of that year, my daughter's birthfather visited me for a week. It was and still is his only trip to this country. Those months were very difficult.

Today though, I feel happy.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Book Recommendation

A couple months after having my daughter, I went out with a friend from junior high school. We were best friends back then and we still talk a few times a year. I hadn't told him about my pregnancy, but finally confessed when we got together. He was upset that I hadn't told him sooner (probably felt the same as I did when I was one of the last to learn that he had come out...sex things are kind of hard to share with a friend that goes that far back.) He was really supportive and soon after our visit, he sent me a book in the mail as a token of his support.

The book was The Kid by Dan Savage, a story of two gay men adopting a baby. I didn't read it for awhile. I carried it around sometimes, but I was too busy reading emotional, educational, or soul-searching birthmother stories to dig into a humorous adoptive parents story. I finally picked it up this week and never stopped to put it down.

This book was one of the best I've ever read. It doesn't matter how you feel about homosexuality, adoption, or any combination of the two, this book is incredible. It sounds corny, but I really did run the whole gamut of emotions while reading this. The author is dead on in so many of his commentaries about society today. I appreciated his honest and modern information about adoption today and his respect for all three members of the triad.

The first few chapters may be a bit shocking (the guy makes a living as a sex columnist so he isn't shy) but the book is so worth the read. I have rarely felt so strongly about a book. Read it. Your mind is begging you.