Thursday, March 26, 2009

First Sentence

Lauren's been talking up a storm for a while now. Every day she says new words and is doing a great job of putting 3 or 4 words together so we can really communicate. Her favorites are "Where sun go?" and "Bath time NOW." and "I pee in potty."

The talking was especially helpful yesterday when she was able to tell us that her ear hurt (she's had what I thought was a cold, but after a trip to the doc, found out that basically the whole left side of her head is a mess -- sinus infection, ear infection and something lovely coming out of her eye).

Anyway, last night as I sat up from being flat on the couch, she looked at me with glee and said, clear as day, "Mommy, your hair is a mess!"

Friday, March 20, 2009

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked to speak in public. In April I’m going to serve on a panel of parents who’ve adopted domestically, at the RESOLVE Great Lakes Conference. It feels a little funny to be on this side of things. I attended 2 or 3 of those conferences several years ago and got a lot of great information, as well as the boost from meeting people who “get it” when it comes to infertility. Now, I’ll be answering their questions about what it’s like to adopt. I hope I don’t scare the crap out of them. I also hope I don’t feel pitied – I have this sense that to someone who’s still holding out hope that she’ll get pregnant, I’m her worst nightmare: I tried, it didn’t work, so I adopted. I am proof that fertility treatments don’t always work. But I’m also proof that if you want to be a parent, and you’re willing to go through a lot of bullshit and pain to get there, you can. I hope they feel hopeful after hearing us adoptive parents speak. I will try to tone down the “pain and bullshit” stuff (but really, they need to know that it’s not all sunshine and roses; I don’t know anyone who’s adopted who would say that the process was easy, that waiting was no big deal, that they didn’t encounter any roadblocks or disappointments along the way). And I am not inclined to give them the “it was all worth it in the end” line, either. Yes, I would go through all of that again to get Lauren, but saying those kinds of things to people who are just now starting to even consider adopting is not helpful. I’m sure many of them are already hearing “just adopt” from their friends and family members, and there is no “just” in that process, trust me.

The other thing I was asked to speak about is related to the last two blog posts, about the new Butler County Children’s Services policy to give preference for foster and adoptive placements to hetero married folks. I’ll be speaking at Nexus Church in May, where I attended on and off last spring/summer. This will be good for me, because as an intuitive-type person (INFJ, if you’re into Myers-Briggs stuff), I “know” things in my gut that I can’t always articulate off the top of my head. I need to write it out to get clear on my thoughts. I’m looking forward to doing it and feel honored to be asked.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Natural Selection

And so the story continues and the good people of southwestern Ohio comment.

Here’s one:
“These people are defective and should not be allowed to adopt. If you can't conceive naturally as nature intended you shouldn't be adopting/or let someone else bear your child (a surrogate). This is natures way of telling you, NO ! I don't hate gays also not religious but nature rules.”

Huh. I guess that not only applies to gay and lesbian folks, but folks like me. So if you ARE able to conceive “naturally,” then you must be the cream of the crop. Your genes must be superior to the genes of those who can’t conceive. And I guess that includes these people*:

  • A 40-year-old man who sexually abused his 19-year-old son who is physically and mentally handicapped and cannot speak.
  • A 28-year-old woman who murdered her newborn daughter by putting the baby in a microwave oven.
  • A 30-year-old man who shook his 4-month-old son so severely the baby was critically injured.
  • A 19-year-old who was charged with taking her baby to a drug deal.
  • A 25-year-old woman who shook her 3-month-old daughter so severely that she left the child blind and developmentally stunted with little hope of having any quality of life.
  • A 26-year-old man who badly injured his infant daughter, including giving her multiple rib fractures and a severe brain injury. Now 23 months old, she has the motor skills of a 1-month-old and the language skills of a 4-month-old.
  • A 19-year-old who was charged with killing his 4-week-old son. The child died from a skull fracture.

Yes, I can see how their superior genes deserved to be passed on.

* I did not have to search long for this list. Unfortunately, all are local people and all but one story is from within the last few months. So imagine what’s going on in the rest of the state and the country and the world.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I came back from lunch and read this article about adoption in my county.

The moron in charge of this agency is a career politician with a bachelor’s degree in education. He is not qualified to even run this agency, let alone make policy decisions that are NOT based on research. He is a conservative Republican who is trying to advance his own moral agenda at the expense of children – children who need loving parents. Period.

I posted a comment to the article under the screen name gusdog-1, and added a link to this executive summary of research done on adoption by gays and lesbians. I sure hope the “leadership” of the agency reads it and learns a thing or two.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I do have a long-standing beef with this agency. Years ago, when I got sick of waiting for an adoption to come through Catholic Social Services (the adoption agency I was working with), I called Butler County Children’s Services and told them I had an approved homestudy and was interested in adopting through the county and asked what I needed to do. You'd think they would've jumped at that, with all the advertising they do about needing foster and adoptive parents, but the two or three people I spoke with were completely disinterested in talking to me. They said I had to go to the state of Ohio adoption web site, "surf" for a kid, and if he/she lived in Butler county, to give them a call. Way to be proactive. Clearly, they’re putting children first.