Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Second Parent Adoption

My mother is making me nuts! I made the mistake of venting to her the other day about how unfair it is that Elizabeth will have to adopt her own children. I mentioned that there are lots of other things that we'd like to spend our money on besides lawyer fees.

This morning, I checked my e-mail and she's sent me a link to la.mbda legal. She's very proud of herself because she thinks she's found the answer to everything. Suddenly, she's the expert on gay adoption law. I've been referring to that organization's website for several years now, ever since we got serious about starting a family. Still, I politely thanked her, let her know it was a great site and that it helped us to find the lawyer we're going to go with.

Her next e-mail is what really got me. She told me not to hire a lawyer, and told me that she had my aunt and uncle looking into it. My aunt and uncle who did a traditional domestic adoption 26 years ago. She also has her lawyer friend's daughter who lives in my state looking into it. She has a whole team of people supposedly "looking into things" on my behalf. She sent me a link for the state court adoption information. Basically, she is suggesting that the lawyers are tricking me into thinking I need them, and that I can do this all on my own.

Right now I am feeling a bit humiliated. Humiliated that there are at least a dozen people who think I've gone into this baby making thing blindly and have no idea how to handle the second parent adoption. Humiliated that there are people who now think I am turning to mommy for help and am probably too irresponsible to handle a child of my own.

I understand that my mother means well. That's probably the only thing that's keeping me from completely blowing up right now. This is where I need the expertise of all of you out there who've been through this, or are going through it now. Did any of you do second parent adoption without a lawyer? Would any of you consider it? Everything I've ever read stresses the importance of using a lawyer for this. So before I tell my mother that going lawyer-free is not an option, I'd love to hear from the real experts on the matter.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who's your daddy?

Elizabeth and I finally got a chance to tell my younger brother he's going to be an uncle over the weekend. It was nearly impossible to keep the rest of my family quiet for an entire week, but I really wanted to tell him in person. We had plans to meet for dinner, so we used the same format we used for our parents- order food, then break the news. His reaction was quite funny and sweet. First he completely froze, with only his eyes moving from me to Elizabeth and then back again. He was waiting for one of us to crack and admit we were joking. After what seemed like an eternity, he said "really?" and I nodded. Immediately, he motioned for the waiter and ordered two glassed of champagne. I showed him the ultrasound pictures, and he got a little quiet. He pretended to be looking at something in the distance out the window, but Elizabeth and I could both see he was tearing up. We pretended not to notice.

Like everyone else we're told, the first thing my brother asked was about who the father was. We explained that it was an anonymous donor from a sperm bank who our children would be allowed to meet when they turned 18. He asked question after question about the donor- how did we chose, what do we know about him, what is he like. To be honest I wasn't expecting everyone to have so many questions about the donor right away, and I'm not sure how to go about answering them.

I've always been very private about our donor choice on the blog. I've seen multiple instances where a blogger with a particularly cute child will have random bloggers ask for her donor number! That's just creepy if you ask me. I think that giving out too much info about your donor on a blog just opens a door and asks all of the crazies to come in.

But what about my family and friends? I'm finding myself hesitant to give them too much information on the donor too. Maybe it's just a residual hesitation, from all those months of keeping quiet on the blog. Maybe there's something more at play. I think that some of my hesitation comes from the fact that I know so little about the donor myself. Sure I have a baby picture and essay and medical history, but that's really not much. If I start printing out the donor profile for my friends, they'll know as much about the guy as I do. I have to admit, I think I'd feel a little strange if a random friend knew as much about the donor as our own child did. I've been feeling a need to protect that information, so it will belong to my children before it belongs to anyone else.

Is this unusual? How has everyone else handled questions about their donor?

P.S. on a completely unrelated note, has anyone else had problems with the Lilypie tickers in Blogger? I finally felt confident enough to make a ticker, but it keeps getting stuck.

Monday, February 8, 2010


For the past two weeks, I have been a bad blogger and a bad commenter. I was so nervous about the 12 week appointment and breaking the news to my family that I was instantly hit with writers block anytime I tried to think about anything baby related.

The ultrasound on Friday went very well. Though I'm glad they took my blood pressure afterwards, because I'm sure it would have been elevated due to nerves had they taken it before the ultrasound. Both babies were mellow through about half of the exam. Then the ultrasound tech announced that Baby A seemed to be waking up. Let me tell you, A was not at all happy about being woken up. It scratched it's little head in confusion, and then flipped around a few times trying to get comfortable again. Once again, Baby B had a much quicker heart rate- 178 bpm and A was a bit calmer at 160bpm. Everything looked perfect, and we confirmed that the babies are fraternal and not identical.
For the first time in 12 weeks, I feel like I can breathe. I know that there is no magic date you can cross off the calendar and be guaranteed that everything will be okay. Still, I'm taking a great deal of comfort in passing this milestone.

(another poor quality picture for your viewing pleasure!)

Immediately after the scan, Elizabeth and I packed up the dogs and drove up to Connecticut to break the news to our families. We tried to use some of the creative ideas suggested, but in the end nothing worked. (We couldn't find frames we thought they'd like, the dogs wouldn't sit still for a picture, etc.) We arranged to meet both sets of parents for lunch at a place of their choosing. Fortunately, they get along remarkably well and it didn't seem unusual that we'd be meeting them together for lunch. After everyone had ordered and there was a lull in the conversation, I confessed that we had a motive for bringing them all together, and just came out and said that I was pregnant. As predicted, they were all shocked. Our mothers got very teary and high pitched. My stepfather smiled and gave us a congratulations. Elizabeth's dad sat in stunned silence for a moment. Every time he looked like he was going to say something, he couldn't get the words out so he just smiled and shook his head. They asked a few questions, and then Elizabeth's mother asked if we had heard the heartbeat. No, I told her, we heard heartbeats. It took her a moment to realize what I was saying, but my mother got it right away. So did the waitress, who jumped right into the conversation and told us about her own twins.

Once we told our parents, the news spread faster than an STD on prom night. Our mothers had to call all of their siblings and friends. After keeping this such a closely guarded secret for so many months, it feels strange to have so many people know. There are still a few people who don't know because we're waiting to tell them in person, but for the most part our secret is out.

In other big news, we've finally come up with nicknames that we think will work. It was actually my stepfather who came up with them. Upon hearing about their wildly different heart rates, he said "It sounds like you've got an espresso and a decaf". So from now on Baby A with the slower heart rate will be known as Decaf. Baby B, the little overachiever with a fast heart rate who tried to make an identical twin for him / herself will be referred to as Espresso.