Baby Chronicles 1: Single girl considers Adopting through Foster Care

I am sending this to my girls.
 I need to share.
 Yesterday was my first night of baby classes. When considering adoption or
 foster care through the state, it is required that you take 24 hrs of
 classes to help prepare you for the long road ahead. I hope to start a
 journal (this might be entry numero uno) during the process, some of which
I plan to share , other bits I will just hold close to my heart.
 Read what you want, I just hoped to share it with those strong women I
 adore and admire. (Those I might need to count on in the future for
 guidance or reassurance during this long and emotional process- don’t say I
 didn’t warn you ! )
> I rushed out of work with my google map in hand, only to get lost 3 times
> in the maze of Boston traffic. Frantic and worried about time (would I be
> considered “unfit” if they knew about my Habitual Lateness Disorder ?) I
> made an illegal u turn across 4 lanes of manic traffic. “Come get me
> coppers !” I cried. . How many times over the next few years will I be
> rushing about to meet a daycare pickup or attend an after school event?
> Better start getting used to it now : the single girl transitions to a
> schedule not quite her own. This is someone Else’s clock, and these new
> “must do’s” do not conclude with a celebratory martini at the end of the
> rainbow.
> Bouncy and in working girl style I arrive as the bell rings. I run to the
> Loo to freshen up. A weight watchers meeting is happening in the same
> office plaza and it is hard to discern the hopeful future-moms from the
> aspiring weight losers in the ladies’ room. Everyone has this weird glimmer
> of hopeful anticipation which is scary when you think of it. Can loosing 15
> lbs be as exciting as evolving a future family ? Ask me in the summer when
> I try to squeeze into my swim suit!
> A woman in the bathroom chats me up, assuming we are going to the same
> weight watchers meeting, further exciting my awkwardness. Instead of
> listening to my social worker, I spend the next half hour wondering “do I
> need weight watchers?????” . And I can’t even blame my midlife tummy on
> “baby weight” …..shucks.
> But the vanity and the paranoia are only a mask to distract me from what’s
> really on my mind….
> Knee high black boots, my skinny jeans a belted tunic sweater (which after
> the weight watchers incident made me feel as if I looked a little more like
> santa and a little less like a MILF) I wondered, am I mom material ? Can I
> still be coquettish with baby spittle on my blouse ?
> My classmates- “Mr and Ms” , very cool. It took me a while to see them
> clearly. Older, amazing hearts, hopeful to adopt a young person they know
> with autism. “Talulah”, earth mother if I ever met one. Her kids are grown.
> She is hoping to be a foster mom to a baby girl and is open to one who has
> special needs. She has the warmest eyes and a melodic voice and I want to
> crawl into her lap….. Our teachers- “J” our leader. She reminds me so
> much of my sister. This gives me great comfort and strength. “Red”
> boundless energy, the drama queen, she is an adopted mother and shares
> advice and humor. When she laughs she wrinkles her forehead and nose, and
> her whole body shakes. “Twinkle” a social worker who works in intensive
> foster care. Very luscious and energetic with a rhinestone studded tank
> top. Not at all what I expected for a social worker.
> These people are cool.
> I was hoping class would be quiet, full of yuppies with cross pens and an
> opportunity to hide in the back and process as we go. Instead we are
> expected to PARTICIPATE. To role play and reenact deeply emotional things.
> At first it feels more like group therapy than a class put on by DSS. I
> really had to take a moment and shed my eggshell heart-armor I was wearing.
> It was so real. I think we all cried at one point or another.
> Here’s what I learned today. (Aka- things that scared me):
> *Sometimes the kids that come home with you are afraid of you and don’t
> understand why they can’t be with their birth parents.
> * its good to create HOUSE RULES as it helps the child understand what is
> expected of them. Never assume they know what you want.(Even if the house
> is on fire)
> * Its important to encourage the child to speak openly about his history
> and maybe even put a picture of his birth mom near your family photos. It
> makes him feel like it is okay to talk about his past and he does not need
> to choose between you and the birth family.
> * a lot of social workers and people you will never meet will be deciding if
> you are the “right” parent for this baby. Kind of like yentas with the
> baby’s best interest at heart.
> My head is spinning and I am a little overwhelmed. I sat by my fireplace
> eating mango ice cream and realized… Wow. What a new, scary and beloved
> thing to do…
> And this is only the beginning.

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