Creating connections with Adoption Choices families

Posts tagged ‘twins’

Regardless of the Origin of our Roots: Our Tree Reaches for the Same Sun

In a few weeks, I am going to attend a presentation on genealogy.  I have always wondered where my ancestors came from, what did they do for a living, and the overarching interest in finding out what tie there is between who I am now and my past.  I have been blessed to have had the benefit of grandparents who lived until their 80’s and 90’s and my husband’s dad is in his 90’s.  We have had conversations and learned of some of our family history but it isn’t enough.  I want to learn more.

However, this raises many feelings about what happens when my son and daughter start having similar interests.  We have some basic history on their birth parents…..on birth mom’s side, we know that there is a sister who, too, was adopted and now lives in California, a brother down in Texas, and a sister in Florida.  Our twins also have three nephews…one lives with his great-grandmother in Kentucky, one was placed with an adoptive family and the other lives with his mother (Bruiser & Princess’ sister).  We know that their birth mom lived in Las Vegas as of a year ago.  Their birth dad is a merchant marine based out of Florida and he has a son, who, also, calls Florida home.  Most of our twins’ birth family is geographically spread out and moves quite a bit.

I realize that the whole genealogy thing is hard for everyone……..constantly going down paths that lead to dead ends….but then one little piece of the puzzle connects to another, and another to yet another and so on.  I wonder when my twins will have the curiosity to seek out their genealogy.  Will it be in 10 years………will it be later?  What will their genealogy tree look like?

Far more complicated than ours……….but no less important and vital to their understanding of who they are.

Bruiser –you are my son.  Princess – you are my daughter.

Although you were not born from my belly,

Although your family tree will have a few more branches on it,

Although the roots may be a distance apart,

Our leaves reach up to the same sky, seek the same sunshine, and breathe the same air.

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Twins–Independence from each other isn’t so easy

I am so happy I have my own room now…..but am I really?

Just a few weeks ago, we finished the transition of moving Bruiser into his own room (aka the office).  He was so excited to have his own room…….new bed, cool karate mural on his wall, many shelves and drawers to put all his “STUFF.”  Bruiser loved the whole idea of being given a room that he could call his own rather than sharing with his twin sister.

The big day comes……………the awesome captains bed is scheduled to arrive in a few days but Bruiser insists on staying in his new room with an air mattress.  He goes on an organizing binge: all his stuffed animals are arranged perfectly on his bed, the action figures are all poised to protect from attack, the books are in perfect order from smallest to biggest.  The clothes will wait until the captains bed arrives.

Well, with all the wonderful anticipation…………the transition was far from seamless.

Night #1:  Bruiser is out bed every 5 minutes.  First it is I need a drink, then I have to go to the bathroom, then I am going to help JJ clean his room, then I am going to see if Princess is ok in her room alone, then he comes in (11:30pm by this time) to tell us that although Princess is sleeping, he thinks that she is scared without him in her room.  So 3 hrs in new room and 8 hrs in old room.

Night #2: Big meeting between the twins………outcome is that Princess must sleep in new room with Bruiser for one night.  Well another late night of chit chat and giggling.

Night #3: Twins beg us to let Princess sleep in new room.  But at this point, we refuse to be persuaded or manipulated by two 6 yr. olds.  Bruiser in one room and Princess in the other.  Although the twins continued whining and moaning for 2 hrs.  protesting our insistence that each sleep in their respective rooms, we remained strong and stuck to our plan.  By 10:30pm, both were asleep.

Night #4: Bruiser’s new captains bed arrived and he carefully folded every piece of clothing and placed it in its’ precise place.  The organization process took at least 2 hours but it was finally done.  Bruiser went to sleep exhausted from figuring out where everything belonged.

Since then, Bruiser has not looked back.  He loves his new room.  Now….we just need to figure out what to do without our office.  But that will be a problem for another day.

Treasures Hidden in the Chaos: You never know what you will find

Well, our twins, Bruiser and Princess are turning 6 yrs old in a month, and it is time for us to have them in separate bedrooms.  It is easier said than done, considering there are no additional bedrooms in our home.  There was only one solution!  Move Bruiser into his 12 year old brother’s room………..

1)      Great way to deal with space issue

2)      Great way to separate boy/girl twins

3)      Great way to cause brotherly friction

4)      Great way to increase the opportunity for squabbles

5)      Great way to ruin JJ’s study environment

Guess that isn’t the best solution, or even a realistic one.

The other alternative would require relocation of our office partially to the kitchen and partially to the basement……..this is the way, begrudgingly, we decided to go.    What a pain to go through papers, files, and “stuff” that we accumulated over the past 12 years!  We found things including: computer diskettes (don’t even know how to see what is on these), cords that we have no idea what they go to, rolodex files (2 of them) with business cards from before the year 2000, bills dating back to 2004, highlighters and pens that haven’t probably worked in 10 years, multiple pads of paper and notebooks with less than 10 sheets of paper on them……….and the list goes on.

But then, my husband found our Adoption files.  Everything stopped.  Amongst the 10 bags filled with shredded paper, the stacks of books that we didn’t remember that we had, the vicariously balanced electronics, the bills from beyond, everything beyond the Adoption files were irrelevant…..my husband sat and looked at each file, piece by piece.

  • The memories of the first time we met with our social worker.  The conversations came flooding back……….domestic or international adoption?  If international, what country?  If domestic, how?  Agency, Facilitator, Lawyer?  We had so little knowledge then.
  • The memories of the constant contact with our social workers once we were matched.  I had saved every email between us and the social workers.  Reading through the emails, we remember the emotional rollercoaster that we rode.
  • The receipts of my trip to visit my twins’ birth mom.
  • The medical records, lawyer and agency contracts.
  • A scribbled note on a piece of paper with the birth mom’s description of the “6 ft, blue eyed, ROTC” birth dad.  This was quite interesting because we ultimately met the birth dad.  (we are thankful to have met the birth dad who did have amazing blue eyes but the rest of her description was a bit off.)
  • A ripped piece of scrap paper that I wrote the weight and height of each baby when they were born.  I remember getting the call…….I was standing outside my house packing our car to make our flight.  I grabbed a piece of paper from the floor of my car.
  • Plus, so much more.

Surrounded by clutter and chaos, my husband was transported into a world of peaceful memories……..some of the best memories of our life.   It was like re-living the adoption experience over again, except this time we know how it will turn out.

These very special files will bypass the shredder………..but will need to find a new place in our home.  Where do they belong? I don’t know yet, but it will be somewhere worthy of these very important memories.

Remembering Remarkable Moments of Our Adoption Journey

Remembering the call………….”We have found a match for you.  The birth mom would like to talk with you tomorrow!”

Remembering the anxiety…..Tomorrow came with much anticipation and fear but then the phone rang.  Talking to the birth mom was easier than I could have ever expected.  Our call lasted about 30 minutes.  I was so relieved to speak with her………she seemed intelligent, kind, loving and really vested in finding the best situation for the child she was carrying.  It was actually like talking to someone that I had known for a long time but just hadn’t kept in touch with.  All the anxiety that my husband and I had felt was really unnecessary.  This was the first of many calls that we would have over the next few months.

Remembering the day………….Our social worker called about a month after our match and two months before the due date.  “I need you to sit down,” she said.  “Call your husband and have him lay down.”  My heart sunk into my stomach although our social worked insisted that it was nothing bad.  But what was I to think as I leaned back in my office chair looking out at Boston Harbor and dialing my husband work phone.  Once he was on the phone, the bombshell was dropped.  Our social worker informed us, “There is a possibility it is twins but we aren’t sure.  Often after multiple pregnancies, a woman will appear bigger than in her prior pregnancies.  No need to worry, but I felt I should let you know of the possibility!”  Thankfully, my husband was lying down otherwise he may have fainted.

Remembering the panic………Immediately upon hanging up with our social worker, my husband called in a panic, “How can we adopt twins?  Is there room in the house?  How will our oldest feel about it?  Do we have the energy to raise twins? We can always wait for another match.”  I tried to rationalize with him and get him to work through the fear insisting that it was the same shock and fear that any dad who just heard that he might be having twins would go through. My husband then proclaimed, “Let’s ask JJ and see what he thinks.”  Pretty crazy idea that I was not going to give my buy-in on.

Remembering the conversation….Although I was 150% against asking my oldest what he thought about the idea of twins, especially since we didn’t know for sure, my husband couldn’t help himself and asked anyway.  He blurted out as we were heading back home from dinner, “What do you think if we adopted twins….2 sisters?”  Well, without skipping a beat, JJ responded, “I would rather have a brother and sister instead of 2 sisters.”  His answer was enough to calm my husband down and open his mind to the idea of twins.

Remembering the confirmation….The birth mom called me a few days later and confirmed, “I am pregnant with twins.”  However, there was fear in her voice.  She was scared that we would call the adoption off since we had been expecting only one baby.    Thankfully, we were all on the same page, after my husband’s conversation with JJ.  We assured the birth mom that we were thrilled with the idea of twins and we would not consider backing out of the adoption.

Remembering the doctor’s voice….A few weeks later, I jumped on a plane to meet the birth mom and go with her for the next ultrasound.  Within a few moments of seeing the image, it was confirmed that Baby A was a girl and Baby B was a boy.  JJ will have the siblings that he was hoping for.

Remembering the frantic voice….It was a Thursday morning, half way to work, I got the call from the birth dad, “She is in labor.  We are headed to the hospital.”  OMG….we were about to be the parents of twins.  Immediately calling my husband, we both headed back home to work through the logistics of booking flights, finding hotel, arranging for my mom to come to our house to stay with JJ, going to school to tell JJ, and so much more.”  This was probably the most hectic time in our lives but beautifully orchestrated if I must say so.

Remembering the magical moments….

10:30 am – we received the call that the twins were born and were healthy.

10:30pm-we walked into a Florida hospital room and laid our eyes on our twins, so beautiful, so sweet and magical additions to our family.

Adoption Journey: A Trip of Turbulence, Delays and Surprises

It is hard to believe that 6 years ago our journey with adoption began. Although there was no map, the direction was clear but the coordinates were unknown. We knew how our journey would end (well, at least we thought so) but we weren’t sure how to get there nor what type of turbulence we would encounter en route. We knew that our family would be larger after the trip but we had no details of what type of detours, stops or surprises we would face along the way. Travel to a new place is always a bit scary yet exciting at the same time. This was destined to be a once in a lifetime trip that would emblazon memories and evoke emotions far greater than one could imagine.
Our travel agents for the journey worked together to make our trip as seamless as possible. The team of professionals and non-professionals (primarily made up of family and friends) joined forces making our voyage so memorable. I distinctly remember our first meeting with the team from Adoption Choices (even have a picture on the steps of the 1960’s brick office building that houses the agency) whose soothing words and manner helped us piece together the itinerary for our journey. I can dredge up memories of the initial $300 phone call with our lawyer spelling out everything that could go wrong and the expenses that we may incur. Which then quickly brings to mind the phone call with our social worker down in Florida, who talked about all that would go right as long as we stayed emotionally strong and kept the will to press forward. I recall the first conversation we had with our very supportive parents broaching the idea of adoption. And, who could forget the conversation with our, then, 5 year old son…trying to explain the concept of adoption and why it was our plan. It didn’t go as smoothly as it could have. Instead of just saying “Great mom and dad”……our son, JJ, just kept on asking questions, “Why can’t you make another baby?” “What do you mean that my new sister will be in another mommy’s tummy?” Guess we shouldn’t have been so surprised the he couldn’t process our convoluted answers. None the less, everyone in our little world from the 5 year old who had tons of questions to the 90 year old who questioned nothing and was completely supportive, our travel guides were nothing but driving forces who kept us moving forward, picked us up when we were down, laughed with our joy and held us when we were frightened.
Our itinerary didn’t go as planned: extensive turbulence led to delays and surprises were around each corner. Yes, the turbulence was unsettling and kept us on our toes. But the surprises were what left the greatest lasting effect, one surprise in particular. One morning as I sat at my desk gazing out the window at Boston Harbor, my phone rang. It was our social worker, ML, from Florida who asked me to conference my husband in on our phone call. My heart began to race and my mind began to imagine the worst…did the birth mom change her mind this late into the process? Once my husband was on the phone, ML suggested that he lay down. I really began to get nervous but then ML let us know that our adoption of a beautiful baby was not in jeopardy but there was something that she did need to tell us. She then blurted it out, “It is twins!” This was the most amazing surprise that we could have ever imagined on our adoption journey.

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