So many posts are floating around my head, but this is the one that decided to come out tonight.
When you’re pregnant, and you pass a certain number of weeks, you’re relatively sure you’re going to actually have a baby. I know that tragedies happen – late term pregnancy loss, stillbirth, micro premies who don’t beat the odds. I’m not sure of the statistics, but it seems to me that after hitting about 22 weeks, a woman is most likely going to have a baby.
When you match with an expectant mom, you usually* have no such guarantees.
We haven’t spoken with Margaret since the match. I sent her, via the agency, our 24-page scrapbook and a card. I talked to JoAnn (aka The Agency Lady) when she received it, and she said she would be forwarding it to Margaret. She also said that she was going to try and facilitate a conference call. I gave Margaret our phone numbers and my email address too. I haven’t had a call.
The problem with working with a small agency is that one or two people have to do all the work. So, your phone calls aren’t necessarily returned promptly if there’s a crisis going on. Now, I have JoAnn’s first and last names, cell phone, office phone, address, and email address, which is much more than I ever got from our last “counselor” at ANLC. I don’t worry that JoAnn’s going to disappear. But it would be nice to know how Margaret is doing, and if there’s anything that we can do, other than worry.
Margaret has until at least 12 hours after the baby is born to change her mind. In Kansas, she can’t sign the termination of parental rights until at least 12 hours after birth. She can take as long as she wants, and that’s her prerogative. I know that. I want her to be, for lack of a better term, at peace if she decides adoption is the way to go. I want adoption to be the right thing for Margaret, for the children she’s parenting, and for the baby-to-be. And I can explain all of this very rationally. I remind people that, just because we’re matched, doesn’t mean this is a sure thing. We hope we’re having a baby this summer, but we just don’t know.
When I informed one of the agencies we were working with of the match, I got back “a cautious congratulations” from the social worker there. I appreciated that, really. It’s the perfect expression. We’ve matched! Woo hoo! … But a match is just a possibility. A maybe. A hopefully. So, a cautious congratulations is in order.
I’m swinging a lot from “we’re having a baby!” to “maybe we’re having a baby” to “I just know she’s going to change her mind”.
Margaret is raising other children and she’s in “over her head” as it is. I’ve only talked directly with her once. (At this time in our match with Jack, I had only talked to S once and emailed her once.) My sense from that conversation and from talking with JoAnn is that she’s resigned to the fact that she simply can’t raise another child. She believes that adoption is the best choice, but she doesn’t like that it is. If her head rules the day, then, yes, we’re having a baby.
But Margaret also said that she doesn’t want to see the baby at the hospital, because she’s afraid she won’t go through with it. While we were all speaking, JoAnn said that a lot of women feel that way going in, and many do decide to see the baby. She’s there to facilitate whatever the expectant mom wants at the hospital. I told Margaret that the time in the hospital is her time, and she should do whatever she feels is right. (No one told S this, and it was a huge issue.) If her heart rules the day, then, no, she’s going to change her mind.
I imagine she’s remaking her decision constantly. When something is this important, I think you have to second guess yourself constantly. I know I would. Of course, I overthink things. Which is why, about 75% of the time, I’m in “we might be having a baby” mode.
I don’t know when we’re going to Kansas. The last time I spoke with JoAnn, she said we’d probably make plans at the middle or end of June. Margaret said that she wanted to meet us and she wanted us at the hospital. So, we’ll probably plan to fly in a few days before the due date. She could go into labor early, too, so we might get a phone call to that effect. We just don’t know.
I could go on. I’ve started writing tangents, but I think those are all other posts.
* Occasionally, an expectant mom who is going to have her baby removed by the state will be allowed to make a private adoption plan. In that case, you’re fairly likely to have the baby, although sometimes those moms change their minds and allow the state to take over.