Saturday, April 4, 2009

Follow-Up to Flip-Out

I'm feeling much better since my last post. I was due for a meltdown, so I had one- and now I'm back on track. Our agency is trying to set our court date for the week of April 20th, so we could be leaving VERY SOON, as in less than 2 weeks. I've been dying to get this baby for two years, but I'm nowhere near prepared to leave VERY SOON. I think I've mentioned once or twice or twenty times that I don't have much baby stuff yet, have I not? I'd kind of been waiting until our referral, believing we'd have a month (at least) before we'd travel to get everything else I'd need. Uh... no.

Aside from all the sudden adoption excitement, my mom has been planning for months to come up for the girls' birthdays (the 6th and 10th of this month). She was coming next Monday, on Livie's birthday, and leaving Friday, which is Bri's birthday, AND now it's also the day my stepdaughter is having a baby, which we just found out the other day (she's being induced). We were planning to drive an hour and a half in one direction to take mom to the airport early Friday morning, then drive three hours or so, the opposite direction, to the hospital where our granddaughter will be born. Lots and lots and lots of stuff to do. So, um... When exactly do I run out to buy baby bottles, and diapers? I've been feeling a little Over.Whelmed.

Anyway, my mom has now decided not to come, since she's also coming to stay with the kids when we go to the RMI, and she felt it would have been too much for both of us to try to cram in all of that. She only would have had about a week in between visits, which is crazy stressful for her, too.

So, last week was very busy and emotional, is what I'm saying. And... have I mentioned stressful yet? This coming week was going to be more of the same, so there was more to my flip-out than the necklace, know what I mean? I was on emotional overload, which is something I don't do well. When I flip out, it's big. And loud. Big and Loud. Be thankful you only have to read it, and not see or hear it.

It occurred to me though, while I was reading through the comments and emails on the necklace post, that I haven't done a very good job of explaining how the open aspect of RMI adoption works. By *open,* I mean really, really open. In fact, we'll probably be picking the birth mother up to give her a ride to court. We'll invite and include her in our activities (going out for dinner, etc.) and we'll spend time not only with her, but the extended birth family as well. The goal is to spend the month building a relationship that will last. One that will feel like extended family by the time we go home. Then we will continue that relationship through calls, letters, pictures, and someday, a return visit so Sam can see his mama. This is why I was putting so much weight on that dumb necklace... I feel a lot of pressure, for Sam's sake, to make sure she "likes" us, feels comfortable with us, and knows we feel comfortable with her (and that obnoxious, pain-in-the-butt, scary little voice that lives in the back of my head keeps asking, "But what if you don't?"). We've decided to take Kate's suggestion (in the comments- Thanks, Kate!) and give her a small "generic" gift when we meet her, then save the necklace until the end of my stay. By that time, hopefully, such a personal gift will feel more appropriate and natural. Hopefully, there will be a genuine affection and the giving, and receiving of a personal gift won't feel forced or uncomfortable. As usual, the solution was both easy and obvious, but I can't ever see it because I've worked myself into such a tizzy. Ahhh, if only I didn't spend so much time creating my own problems.

I've been asked by a few friends if the birth mom will have our address, and if so, does that make me nervous. Yes, we will gladly give her our address, because we want the contact to go both ways. We want Sam to be able to receive pictures and letters from her, just as much as she'll want them from us. It doesn't make me nervous at all. And no- it doesn't make me feel threatened or worried that Sam won't understand which one of us is his Mom. We both are. BUT... If we were adopting domestically, especially from a city close to us, It might make me "nervous," to be honest. The distance probably does help us feel so relaxed about the level of openness that we'll have.

Anyhooo... I spent much of today shopping for baby necessities, and Darrell talked with a travel agent who has experience with RMI adoption travel, to start that ball rolling, so I'm feeling a little more prepared and a little less freaked. For now.


Katie said...

I'm glad you're doing better.

We only got one week's notice with our son (about six months before we were expecting a referral!), so I totally understand the stress. Of course, I found that it didn't take nearly as much "stuff" as I thought I would need. You will have access to places to buy thing you didn't think of while you are there, right?

Our adoption is fully open (domestic). It is really great that you will have the chance to meet the extended family. In our case, they really have become family for us. I didn't comment about the necklace, but I'm guessing Sam's birthmom will see it for the genuine and thoughtful gift that it is--especially if it comes with the assurance that it is the first in a long line of picture! ;)

Good luck with everything!

Michelle said...

There are stores there, but apparently the availability of things isn't always something you can count on. The prices of some things there are ridiculous, too. For example, a head of lettuce costs $7.00. Not that I would pack a head of lettuce, or anything...

Tami said...

So glad you're feeling better. All of this is so exciting...but I totally understand the overwhelmed feeling. I felt overwhelmed for each of our trips and we had over a month to prepare for each one! :)

Lina said...

I remember the feeling of excitment, confusion, chaos, etc. You'll get through it and in no time you'll be on the way!

Anonymous said...

Michelle -

I am right there with you! We found out our court date last week and we need to fly out this Wednesday. It's normal to question everything right now so don't be so hard on yourself - wondering about picking the right gift is what we all do. We haven't even finished that part yet and we leave in 2 days. We just haven't found the right "hey thanks for our daughter" gift. We have our ideas but just need to get them tonight. The other thing to remember is we are forming these relationships for a lifetime....plenty of time to send other gifts throughout the years!

Also, not to stress you out, but we had a HORRIBLE experience with our travel agent last week even though we had started the process with him 2 months ago (and only needed our actual travel dates). I'll send you an email just in case it's the same person. Again, not to add to your stress but want you to have the heads up.

We are now inside a week of our RMI court date!
(again, with the dang login issues so I'm anon).

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! I just can't get over it! I am so happy for you!

I think the suggestion of giving a small gift at the beginning and saving the necklace for later is an excellent one.

I know this is a silly thing to say, but try not to stress. It will be overwhelming, and you may not have everything you need, but you will figure it out. Try now just to think about what you need for the trip. While you're there, you can think about everything you'll need when you get back. Can you e-mail a shopping list to a friend or family member so that they can have stuff ready for you when you get home?

Kelli said...

I just caught up on you last few posts- congratulations! I am so happy for you! Can't wait to keep following along (more regularly now!).

Anonymous said...

What a blessing, to be able to get to know your child's birth mom and have her get to know you. I didn't realize you'd be in RMI for a month? Wow! Hope you can post a lot from there, I can't wait to hear all about it!