K clarified some stuff for me yesterday (we've not had much talking time lately). Apparently when the default (on Day 30) happens, our lawyer will then file for a 'failure to respond' or something like that. THEN, bmom'll have either one or two weeks to respond to THAT (I guess 30 days isn't quite enough time ), but we'll already have a court date, hopefully around May 1st. THAT date will be the final date. But I've thought I knew the final date before. This waiting is like waiting for a burglar to break in in the middle of the night. I think it might happen, I've installed the alarm system and armed it, I can't see two feet in front of me . . . .
I think a lot about how special needs parenting forces us to give up so many of my "crunchy" ideals. And I'm wondering, now, if gentle discipline is one of those things we have to give up.
VeeGee has GERD and has thrown up pretty much constantly since she was born until she had a nissen fundo in January. Thankfully that ended the vomiting. And, for the first time, we can see inside of her mouth without her completely clenching her teeth. I know it might seem ridiculous, but we've just never been able to fight her hard enough to be able to see inside her mouth without her throwing up. But now we can.
Anyhow, we've discovered that her teeth are almost black - likely from the acid and the "neglect" and the massive amounts of antibiotics. SO, we've decided to start brushing them. And you'd think we were torturing her.
I'm used to torturing her, to her screaming in pain or agony or fury. I HAVE to do horrible things like give her breathing treatments, change her trach (until last month), clean/rotate her mickey button, oh, and change her diaper. I have to hold her down, probably hurting her, when nurses change her IVs, take her blood pressure, her temperature, her ears.
And now I'm wondering just what she understands. How much am I supposed to hold her accountable (I don't even know if that's the right word) for her occasional hitting, throwing and other 'misbehaviors' - mostly mild, really? Her therapists complain about compliance, and I just don't know how much more I can push her.
How do you establish boundaries, 'rules' or whatever when you're not completely sure that your little one understands? How do you cope with people who think you spoil your child because they aren't always 'following instructions' or whatever?
After successfully avoiding the process server for days and days, VeeGee's birth mom was FINALLY served with adoption papers. So that makes today the first day of thirty that will constitute 'default' in our case for termination. We tried it the easy way, by giving bm (what's a better term???? not that I care all that much.) the chance to join the petition, but she thinks we're liars when we say that she will always be a part of VeeGee's life. She thinks we'll, at some point, just decide that she can't ever see her again.
She hasn't called or written or sent a gift or ANYTHING in almost a year. You'd think she was pretty much over 'seeing her.'
I'm trying so hard to not be angry with her. Anger can't be good - for me, or for VeeGee, or, especially right now, for K. He's really suffering over this because he just feels like he's lost all of his family now in this decision. I don't think he'd change anything, but it's just hurting him. His grandparents, who are functionally his parents, have decided not to 'choose sides' between their grandchildren (K and his sister) - which means that, effectively, they're not supporting us. His grandmother, further, keeps insisting that 'this isn't A's fault, it's just that she was so young.' VERY FRUSTRATING.
I am feeling so sad about the way things are going for our family right now. My in-laws are really showing their true colors as a result of the approaching finalization of the adoption (of their grand-daughter - my husband's niece). I've always suspected that, despite protestations to the contrary, they have never really regarded me as part of 'their family.' Turns out that's true. Although K and I have been married for over eleven years, they still hold a longstanding (and asinine) grudge against my father (too stupid to go into). I, apparently, still bear the sins of my father. I have a huge and loving family (definitely NOT perfect, but very accepting) and his family have NEVER agreed to join us for holidays or any time that they perceive to be 'my family' time. It's always hurt me that they would not budge on this, but it's really coming to a head now.
We have decided to change our daughter's name, and we are giving her my grandmother's name as her first name and Grace as her middle name, reflecting the miracle of her entry into our family. The name she had did not have any family history (for her or for us). When we told the in-laws, their (HER) first response was "V?" (sneer) "where does that come from?" When K her that it was my grandmother's name and that she means very much to me, all we got was a sniff. Then, later, when she was saying goodbye to dd, she kept saying "Bye A" and when I gently and quietly said "VeeGee" she said, "Well, I'm just not ready for that yet." I didn't make much of it because she had just found out. I understand that it's going to take time getting used to. But, now, every time she sees VeeGee, she continues to call her A, insisting that she's just not used to it. She doesn't correct herself or anything.
Today, K was speaking to them and they were still protesting the change (it's been two months). They're angry that we're not offering an "olive branch" on the name issue. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Like, uprooting out entire existence, going into debt, wrenching our hearts out over this precious girl who was abandoned and most certainly going to be adopted by STRANGERS isn't "olive branch" enough?????!!!!!!! And then, piece de resistance, they asked K why we'd chosen a name that had nothing to do with VeeGee's family. Yep, I AM, APPARENTLY, NOT VeeGee'S FAMILY. Rich, huh? I'm so angry I could spit. And the worst thing is that this is really breaking K's heart. I don't want to keep ranting to him about this because I don't want to hurt him, and I don't ever want to sever VeeGee's ties with her grandparents, but I'M DONE being "their granddaughter" as they've called me for so long. (They're actually dh's grandparents, though they function more as his parent parents.)
NOTE TO FLAMERS/BIRTH MOTHERS: I've already been set on fire about the name change thing. That's a done deal as far as K and I are concerned. What I'm hurting over, what he's hurting over, is the fact that, apparently, membership in this larger family is conditional. And we're blindsided by that.
I'm VeeGee's Mommy, K's wife, an academic, a writer, a teacher, a gardener, a chef, blah blah blah. I write about my journey as an adoptive mom of a kiddo with Pierre Robin Sequence, and other stuff like politics, race, religion - you know, that stuff we're not supposed to talk about!