halfway to what

there was a holiday party at our adoption agency,
so we went.

lydia ignored the carolers and ate caramel corn,
pushed buttons in the elevator.

leanne and i looked around the room at all the other
families with their adopted kids.

we met our caseworker in the hallway.

“i saw tina,” she said.

“where?”

“i took her out after she called me from the halfway house”

(she was in jail for a week or two and now is in the halfway house,
trying to get her life in order.)

“but when we were in the car, she said ‘guess what?’ and i said ‘no’.”

we waited.

“she’s pregnant,” said our caseworker.  “again.”

there was a big part of me that thought that maybe this decision,
to place rena in an adoption, was to be the first in a long line
of good, or at least better, decisions by her.

i thought that about her turning herself in too.

the first being an admittance of her inability to parent.

the second being an admittance of her inability to run forever or avoid or deny.

and yet here we are again.

or, here she is.

and soon, here another baby will be.

—–

but for now, i concentrate on rena.

carpetmonger

and she concentrates on trying not to puke

and on keeping our head up,

no matter what.

24 Comments

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24 responses to “halfway to what

  1. Oh my. I just don’t know what to say. I know that my first inclination if I were you would be to start adoption proceedings for this new baby, but I’m not you, nor are you loaded with extra cash that it takes to do another adoption, But really… don’t you have your heartstrings plucked knowing that Rena will have a sibling who just might be as cute as her?

  2. Oh my goodness, those eyes! She is precious, and I know she is bringing much joy to your house.

  3. I have been a “lurker” of your blog for some time. Your story first sucked me in when Leanne had Lymphoma…my mother has also been diagnosed with a form of lymphoma, has been treated and continues now to live in a watch and wait cycle hoping it doesn’t creep back in.

    Your gift of writing and your story has kept me following. We don’t even know each other but I have laughed and cried and felt dissapointment and celebration right along with you and your family.

    Last year at this time I attempted to be a surrogate for my best friend and her husband who also want nothing more than to be a parents. She had a complete hystorectomy due to cervical cancer and can not carry her own child. Both of my attempts to carry for them failed and now she is trying the adoption route. They have hit many roadblocks and have still yet to achive their dream of parenthood.

    I don’t know why I tell you my story or why you might care but I trully wish there was someway that my friends could love the baby tina is pregnat with this time around…..it is so unfair that pregnancies just happen one after the other for a person that doesn’t want a child but one that is willing to do almost anything can’t achieve the one dream that they wish for with everything in their soul!

    Rena is beautiful! You have an amazing family!

    • jaki –
      so sorry to hear about your mom.
      the first place i turned to when leanne was diagnosed
      was blogs. i just wanted to hear about it from people
      going through it.

      why do we tell stories to each other?
      are you kidding me?

      you know the answer to that.

      you tell stories so that we may care.
      to allow for caring.

      what an amazing thing for you to be a surrogate,
      to offer, to try. we had some people around us offer that too.
      young women and older women.
      people we knew and people we didn’t.

      the gift is in the willingness.
      at least that’s what mary oliver would say.

      i don’t know if tina wants to place the baby for adoption.
      strangely, the birth father (the same one as our daughter has)
      wants to keep the baby this time.

      why now, i’m not at all sure….

      • Ilene

        sad realization … I am the older woman surrogate! Love to all your girls :)

      • i didn’t say you weren’t hot.

      • dan

        you didn’t say i was.

      • Julia

        You said:

        i don’t know if tina wants to place the baby for adoption.
        strangely, the birth father (the same one as our daughter has)
        wants to keep the baby this time.

        why now, i’m not at all sure….

        My heart goes out to the birth father. Perhaps he had no idea how hard it would be to give up Rena. And now he knows. The best thing to do for her, preordained, whatever. It is still hard. So maybe he doesn’t want to go through that again. And maybe he’ll be able to build a better life for this new baby, with or without Tina’s help.

        Maybe I’m naive. But my heart goes out to him.

  4. She is adorable!! You are right to concentrate on her and your little family. Now and always they come first. :)
    Tina, seems to not understand her actions do affect others. One would think down the road it would hit her upside the head that her actions are not that of a mature adult. One could hope anyways. I just wonder when is enough enough.
    My thoughts are with you and yours this Christmas.

  5. Happy Hannukah to you guys from all of us!
    Amazing events!
    I actually think Tina makes cute babies, and best of luck to her too!

  6. Oh, my heart. She is simply beautiful. There really aren’t words.

  7. Jessica H

    What a precious picture! Glad that Rena is doing so well!

    Sorry to hear about Tina. It is always hard to have faith in people who just keep letting you down. Hopefully she makes smart choices for this baby and things work out in the end. I will certainly be praying for that baby.

  8. sarah g

    How adorable is your little one :)

    I know how they are and I’m not surprised she is pregnant again. Many that I know just can’t stop. They dont know how to be abstinent, and they dont know how to not use that ‘special thing’ as a means of replacing the loss of control they feel. Then they, who can’t provide for themselves, are once again going to be responsible for those who really can’t do anything for themselves (babies).

    Sometimes, I think its unfair and other times I pray that baby will bring something to that mother/father. Then that those babies may bring to others; what Rena brings/brought to you.

  9. sarah g

    ….just read the comments..and why did they decide to keep this one but not Rena?

    They couldn’t keep Rena. Rena was ALWAYS destined to be yours, and I’d like to think that she was picked especially by your last little one that you had to lose to keep the rest of your family.

  10. See I have a hard time with how the birth father could keep one and not Rena . I guess I can’t wrap my head or heart around it. But then I truly from the start knew that you would come to place where there was a new baby in your life. I to believe she was specially chosen for your family.I have many reasons for that to. I have lots of reasons I won’t put here why..but I just felt that it would happen.
    *The gift is in the willingness.*
    at least that’s what Mary Oliver would say. Some times in life , I do believe we are honored for that gift of so deeply showing our willingness.

  11. Jenny

    Oh my, Rena is so cute!! Look at that determination on her face!

    Hearing that Tina is considerig raising her new baby is interesting. I have a friend who is adopted. She found her birth parents a few years back and was beyond surprised to find out that her parents were married to each other, and she had both older and younger full siblings. The parents explained that at the time of her birth (third child), they were in no state emotionally (drugs, and mental health issues) or financially (both unemployed, on welfare) to support another child, but when times turned around for them a few years later, they expanded their family. My friend was angry and confused for many years at missing the opportunity to grow up with her siblings, and struggled with feelings of rejection, but over the last couple of years she has come to understand the gift she was given in being raised by her PARENTS in a loving, caring and nurturing home… As it turns out, her siblings are actually quite jealous of her having never had to share a room and being able to go to college.

    S0, I will pray for Tina to make the best decision possible for herself and this unborn child. Good that you are focusing on Rena, who is in your loving, good hands and hearts now — that is what matters most!

  12. Keri

    heart. melting.

  13. dan

    oh my. that tina, she sure is fertile.

  14. Sondra

    she’s beautiful, still holding all of you in my heart.

  15. Little Rena is too cute. Her name is a perfect fit for her face. And she is a perfect fit for your family.

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