Thursday, February 27, 2014


That's News In Brief to those not in the know.

  • We had our first, and second (and last) home study sessions last week and this. Because our home study was done by the same social worker, with the same agency, last time, and the main thing that has changed is, well, we have Baby Spouse, she's really only had to update it.  She couldn't fit this in before, and she wanted to allocate two full days to it in case it took longer than she thought.
  • She still has some further checks to arrive back, and she should have already submitted her full report to the Panel to meet this date, officially, but she's assuming we will go the Approval Panel in April. One of the missing items is an interview with one of our referees who is far too casual about the whole urgency thing.  I rang him last night and I hope I sounded sufficiently panicked.
  • We spoke to New Agency's social worker with whom we sympathised over the difficulties with Nella.  NA SW told us that, contrary to what Nella has told us, Nella denies that her current boyfriend is the new baby's father, and that Nella has said she is genuinely unsure who the father is. We aren't sure if she thought CB was the father, but changed her mind (or vice versa, or twice) or if she was just telling each party what she thought they wanted to hear (or if she was telling one party what was easiest/what she thought they wanted to hear, and the other the truth-as-she-sees-it).
  • We rang Nella again earlier in the week to push her one more time for a "here's your birth father and your birth mother" photo of herself and CB for the new baby, and CB answered the phone (which occasionally he does if she is driving/busy).  And told us that she's in jail.
  • Yep, you read that right.  If you remember, this has happened before. There is nothing we can do, and OHP has confirmed there's nothing we can or should do, we know she'll be getting fed, she cannot go AWOL/call another agency, there are some ways in which she will be taking better care of herself by force of circumstances, but she also cannot go to her regular doctor's appointments and there are obviously bad things about this circumstance.  Like any other relative fed up with someone's behaviour, this doesn't feel like an entirely bad thing, but we know this isn't going to alter anything long term for her.  We just hope it doesn't mean anything bad, long term, for us or the new baby, and we hope it doesn't last too long.
  • Sigh.
  • We're having a nice few days away (both of us having a single day's work to do in That London have managed to make these two days next to each other, so Mr Spouse has taken Baby Spouse to the park, and shopping, today, while I'm taking him to see some horses tomorrow, and we're all going to the zoo on Saturday).
  • Oh, and a couple of people in need of thoughts at the moment: Henry Street is flying to see the woman who is just about to give birth and whose baby will likely be their second child. She is very nervous but here's hoping it's the beginning of a wonderful new adventure.  May on the other hand is facing a new beginning in a much less pleasant way, working out how to move out her stuff from her marital home and into a new life without her H.  Hand-holding for both of them, and particularly gentle for May please.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Calm calm

This is what we say to Baby Spouse when he is worked up about something, crying his eyes out rather than having a tantrum, while we stroke his hair/arms/cuddle him (except not the latter if he's stuck in his high chair) and we (used to at least) give him his pacifier and/or muslin. He now says it himself when he knows he needs to calm down, though he also seems to think it means "pacifier" which we are trying to wean him off. But he is really very good at trying to calm himself down.

And everyone else seems to have, at least temporarily, calmed themselves down.  OHP seems to have persuaded Nella that, while NA can do what she needs, it can't necessarily do what she wants. She admitted to them that she'd looked at other agencies, and they told her that she wouldn't get more elsewhere due to her state laws. She told OHP that yes, she does want the siblings to grow up together. NA seem to have found a route that they and Nella can live with. 

And I spoke to Nella myself yesterday and she also said something about advantages of the siblings living together (though oddly she was proposing an advantage for us, rather than for the babies or for her - though I added how nice it would be for us all to have visits together). She also apologised for sounding a bit off at my last couple of calls, saying she been napping. I am not sure if she knew she'd sounded odd, or if she heard something in my voice, but it's true, she did sound more relaxed and clear this time. And she does usually apologise if, for example, she sounds unsure when she picks up the phone (as our number comes up as private).  I think she is calming down a bit, though this could be temporary, and I'm also more inclined to try and call more regularly, which can only help, I hope.

And Mr Spouse is also feeling calmer.  We got another bit of paperwork back, and we've got a full day of lovely social worker (she is lovely, but a full day of talking to her is a bit daunting), on Friday, so we can check which other bits of the UK paperwork need chasing.  We haven't got any of the extra documents that we need from the UK but for the OHP requirements, except for one thing from Mr Spouse's employer (and the fact that my employer hasn't done theirs is the least surprising thing to happen this entire year, I have to say). So I'm giving those people another couple of weeks and then chasing them down, and sitting outside their offices if I have to.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Well it's been a ... well, a day

Yesterday, this was.  I was having a quiet day at work (thankfully) when I got an email saying that Nella had been calling other adoption agencies local to her, to request expectant parent packets.

We worked out where this was coming from, after a phone call to Official Hague Person's assistant. Nella feels that she isn't getting enough (she says financial, and I think it's also emotional) support from New Agency.  She thinks she can get more elsewhere.  This isn't possible in her state, they are following all the rules, and they are fed up with her. It is a bit easier for OHP to be a bit less fed up with her as they aren't dealing with her day to day, but for us, this kind of wobble is pretty scary, and NA are close to telling her to look elsewhere. 

OHP is not sure if she is seriously trying to move to a different agency, if she will look further afield (there are unscrupulous agencies out there, especially in other states), or if she is just confused/having a tantrum/fed up.  From OHP's point of view, they want to work with us if she still wants to place the new baby with us, and if we can find an agency that will work with all of us (NA is the one they work with most in her state, but OHP says that they may find others that will work OK).  NA, however, are just fed up, end of their tether stuff. 

OHP say that now she has tried to look elsewhere, they are able to alert other sensible agencies and that none of these will be that interested in taking her on if she is going to mess them around (especially without us as a match -  but it's still worrying.

We are now at more or less exactly the point where we started with Nella in Baby Spouse's pregnancy - we have the same amount of time to go.  Part of me thinks this could still go OK, if everyone calms down now and neither Nella nor NA throw their toys out of the pram. Part of me thinks it could get worse, she could get more emotional, and an unscrupulous person could land on her now.

To say it's a bit of a rollercoaster is an understatement.  I am trying really hard to focus on being a good mum to Baby Spouse, and on being a mum of one now, not on being a mum of two in the future. I'm also trying to focus on thinking that there will be a way for us to grow our family, even if it isn't this.  Mr Spouse is, not surprisingly, spitting. He's wondering why we even started out on this plan, and saying that he doesn't see why we should make an effort to take Baby Spouse to see Nella and family as often as we planned if she's going to behave like this. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

That sinking feeling

We have had some medical reports on the new pregnancy - we are missing some crucial information, and New Agency seems to be saying "what? What do you mean?" or ignoring my emails, and it just is getting a little frustrating.

But one thing we did notice from the reports, and a medical friend has confirmed, is that Nella is taking exactly as little care of herself as she was in her previous pregnancy. And we are pretty sure that this lack of care has led to some problems we have with Baby Spouse, that we know don't make him very happy either.
It's basically like watching his early life in real time, and not being able to do anything about it.

This is a post linked to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out, where theme this week is "One Year On". But I'm actually thinking of two years ago - when we were starting to learn more about Baby Spouse's prenatal history.