Posts Tagged ‘lesbian’

Adoption update.

May 24, 2013

So, are those kids finally adopted yet, you ask?

Here’s the deal. We submitted the application to court about a month ago. You need three months between the submission of the intent to adopt and the actual application. Through colossal screw ups that were not our fault, the time requirement had not been met. So everything was returned to us.

I went last Monday to submit everything again. The legal team needed TMD to go in to sign something they’d missed spotting the first time around. And now we wait.

The next step is the final hearing, which we are not expected to attend. I guess it is when the judge goes through everything and issues the adoption order. After that is the celebrationary hearing, which is when the adoption certificates are issued. This is when the judge makes a big deal out of it, you can invite your family and friends, and it is like a party in court. For normal adoption proceedings, I think this is nice.

For our particular circumstances, I think it is shit. We don’t want two almost four year olds to have to question things – they are very observant and curious. It would be nightmare. We want to explain things to them organically and in our own time, not because a judge arbitrarily says TMD is now their mother. That’s crap.

So we have talked to the court and elected to not attend the celebration hearing. We will need to confirm it nearer to the date, but our plan is to have all of our documents and the certificates mailed to us. In theory this should all go without a hitch.

The adoption process has taken much longer than we expected, but all in all it has been smooth and easy. Nice social workers, friendly court people, straightforward process. Looking forward to it being done, though! Maybe I’ll host a blog celebration when it happens, which will hopefully be within the next month. We shall see.

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Adoption.

March 17, 2013

Since I know there is at least one other lesbian family that reads this blog and may choose to do a step parent adoption, let me outline our process:

First, we contacted social services to get put on their wait list. After an eternity, we were finally allocated a social worker and also gave permission for a student social worker to help. Our expectation was that it would be a fairly brief process, since this social worker needed to complete the work in under two months. Meetings were every fortnight.

First meeting: the social worker and student came to our house. This was really just an introduction to each other and the process. The kids interrupted loads! Ha. The plan was laid out – the main objective was completing the adoption report. It was divided into manageable chunks; we would complete and email it to them prior to each visit, and the visits would be spent answering any additional questions.

Second visit: The student came on her own. Spent about an hour answering her questions, chatting,etc. This time we sat round the table as we thought the kids might interrupt less….it sort of worked. Ha.

Third visit: the student and social worker came. Again, they only had a few questions about the paperwork (as by this time we had Sussex they liked long, chatty essays for each question!). We discussed the next steps – they are chasing up various references (whoa, TMD needed a lot. Every position where she’d ever worked with children, three personal references, info from the fertility clinic, police check, etc)…. The fertility clinic, in particular, are being an ass. The lady in charge of the sperm is always shocking at getting back to people, but this time I’m seriously annoyed as if we can’t prove the donor has no legal rights, TMD can’t adopt. Ugh. Gave the social worker the contact details as I suspect an official request may bear more weight.

Next step is waiting to hear from the social workers regarding submitting our official application to the court for the adoption. The court then schedules a hearing within three weeks or so. Social workers want us to wait till the report is totally finished so we have no delays before court.

Fourth and final planned visit : cancelled as they don’t need to see us. Our last visit was actually really nice….they told us they may not need another, so I made sure to say a warm thank you for how respectful they have been of our family. We could not have asked for two nicer workers, particularly the student, who I suspect is actually the one doing all the work for our case! The social worker said it was really nice to just ‘get to see a really happy family for once.’

I will say I also asked about the process to foster or adopt further children from the care system. Got a detailed answer and this is not entirely off the table. This would be something we have to think very deeply about, as well as the impact it would have on Snort and Coconut. The average placement age is three years – and by that age, the potential for attachment disorders is just massive. Also not sure how the home educating stuff may influence their willingness to place a child with us. All stuff to think about for the future…

Will obviously update you all as things move forward. Maybe we will have a virtual adoption party! You can bring the streamers and balloons, I’ll bring the dressing up box and the cheese. Deal?

The longest post ever?

February 28, 2013

I have been sort of AWOL, lost in my own misery of intense chronic pain and the accompanying fears and despondency. It’s fun.

I am back in the land of the walking, but am in pain every second of the day. It’s not excruciating anymore, but it’s not great, either.

So that’s me.

We spent a lot of time at home last week, as I felt I needed a break (maybe I knew my body was about to collapse?), which sort of sucks as this week we had to spend a good chunk inside as the pain has been so bad. But as I said, I’m mostly physically functioning. We even went swimming yesterday.

I am scared, though. My last lot of pain injections were on the kids’ second birthday. I think they must have worn off by now, but recent pain is making me worry that they have only just worn off, and this is my true pain baseline, and I’m going to be like this forever.

I feel like this every single time I have a relapse. Like crippling hopelessness, terror, deep exhaustion from coping with the pain. Every single time I worry that this is forever.

And every single time I recover.

This painful blip has been going on for almost two months. It’s the longest it’s ever happened. I’ve also had recent pelvic instability – we are talking my pelvis full on wobbling around, with the gross accompanying clicks and cracking noises. I’ve not been like this since pregnancy.

So my blues are a little more blue this time. I think that’s okay, I think that’s expected.

But it sucks as I have little to no motivation to do things that need doing, especially as it exacerbates the pain. Tomorrow is our third social worker visit, and normally I’d spend a Thursday morning cleaning bathrooms, clearing the dining table of the assorted crap it collects, randomly dusting, etc. It has become an ongoing joke that if we had a social worker visit a week, the house would always look fucking amazing. Though I must say, as nice as the social workers are, I can’t wait for this shit to be over.

The forms are incredibly discriminatory and insulting to families like ours. Questions about what makes TMD qualified to raise children, asking other people and herself how she keeps them safe, and on and on and on. I am only angry about this in small doses, and the social workers are apologetic and very understanding, and on the whole the process is very smooth and straightforward. Hopefully we have tomorrow’s visit, then just one more (four in total)- excepting the court date where the kids get formally adopted. Maybe we will go out for cake afterwards.

But right now, the bigger picture for ME is thinking about how I hope I can walk into court without crutches, without pain, without having to always be conscious of how my body moves.

This afternoon we are going over to a friend’s house. We have started a tearaway rebellious new home education meet, a small group of families who rotate houses on Thursdays. We want our younger children to build up good friendships and have regular contact with the same kids, especially as these children will be some of the ones they grow up with and attend various classes and groups with. It’s an interesting group as two of the children have Asberger’s, one more severely and probably leaning towards full on autism. All in all, I like all the people, children and adults alike, and look forward to all our friendships growing. I’ll probably write more about this group in future, especially as I need advice on what to do if a fellow mama steals a toy from your house. Ha. No shit.

But today a family is ill, so it’s just us and this other family. I love the mum, love her to bits, and it is always a quiet relief to hang out with like minded people. Especially when they are all creative and shit, and there is no tv in their lounge, and you can see water from their back windows.

IVF – round two.

August 14, 2012

We can say we have officially begun our IVF protocol, since myself, my wife, and the egg recipient are now all on the pill. For those who aren’t sure of what’s going on, I’ll be stimulating my ovaries to produce a nice crop of eggs, then giving half to my wife and half to an anonymous recipient. I’ve actually shared eggs with this same anonymous woman in the past, so it’s nice to try to help her expand her family again.

And, of course, our hopes are to expand our family again, too. While the emotional part of me would LOVE another set of twins, the rational part knows we should be aiming for a single baby this time. And TMD certainly is in the singleton camp.

So, I’ll be gearing up to share all the nitty gritty. I know last time I heard from quite a few people who were undergoing IVF. I hope to help people again this time.

This time the focus will be on what happens when a married lesbian couple wants eggs from one partner to turn into embryos for the other partner to carry. And, of course, egg sharing and the whole TTC process. Please do share with people who may benefit from the information. I haven’t seen many blogs explicitly cover how the whole lesbians carrying their partner’s egg thing works, and I know I’ve been curious in the past. The next couple of months is a chance for us all to learn!

Here here here.

July 27, 2012

I’m here. We all are. And I have lots to say. Much of it more insane worries over how tall my kids may or may not be.

Pushing that little bit of my own personal crazy aside, I’d like to say for posterity that we had Coconut tested for a peanut allergy. She had a few hives when the kids tried peanut butter, but her reaction was pushed to the side in light of his much more severe reaction. The doctor said if she was borderline, her immune system has kicked that allergy’s ass.

Snort wasn’t so lucky on the peanut front. His skin prick showed a bigger reaction than last year. The doctor also wanted him tested for wheat, but it wasn’t available. He tested negative to early flowering trees, which was a shock.

But the biggest shock of all – his immune system is kicking the egg allergy’s ass. Last year his egg reaction was much larger than the peanut. This year it was tiny. 2 mm. (whereas the peanut measured 10 mm with smaller hives all around the large one.)

He’s having blood tests to confirm that it has gone down, and then if they are okay we will soon be having an egg challenge. We get admitted to hospital, with a resuscitation team and medication at hand, and he gradually is introduced to more and more egg protein powder.

We are all excited that eggs may return into our life. We shall see, though. We’ve been warned this test is just to make sure eggs won’t kill him, but it may totally fuck up his eczema.

It’s a half day or so in the hospital. Coconut will stay with her Nana, and this will be the first time I’m the parent responsible for a hospital admission. Exciting in a totally sick way.

The doctor did ask about the height of the sperm donor, and myself, during the appointment. And before we even went in, while reviewing Snort’s chart, he came out to grab the boy’s height growth chart thing.

This has worried us. I didn’t ask for either kids’ height or weight to be given to me, so I don’t know how he measured, but we measured him at home. He was in the 98 percentile at birth, dropped to 75 and hung around there for awhile before settling and staying around 50. Well, dudes, he’s like at the ninth now.

Of course, I’ve also measured him as being in the 98. So, you know. What the fuck. I do think his growth has slowed, though, as he no longer towers over coconut. While she has held steady and perhaps even gone up a bit in percentiles. We generally don’t care about what charts say, as long as we see we have happy, healthy, thriving kids, so they haven’t been measured or weighed in a long time. If he has dropped this severely, of course I am slightly freaked.

Going to try for a same day appointment on the 3 August, so wish us luck!

Can’t believe the kids will very soon be three. Yikes!

And in TTC news, TMD is now on the pill. Things are moving forward. I start the pill in August when my next period starts. I have lots of feelings around how I haven’t been physically preparing for the process this time, largely guilt and fear, but that’s for another day.

I’ll leave this entry with the fact that we had a brutal and awesome post picnic dinner water fight last night. Massive. I did not win.

But I loved it anyway. My family are great, even of Chick-fil-a disagree. (what, you’re out of the loop? I’m getting pretty active on my Facebook page again – come find me! It’s called, predictably, ‘existere’ and features a pic of one kid pushing the other in a toy trolley.)

I’ve missed the dildocam.

June 19, 2012

Road trip to Country W today. I’m having my antral follicle count – to see how many follicles (and therefore possible eggs) I produce in a natural cycle. It’s day 4 of my period.

Let’s hope things look good, as TMD and I are moving forward with various screening tests. And, an additional cool thing, I mentioned to the clinic that the woman I previously shared eggs with had requested to be informed if I donated in future. She’s apparently thrilled, grateful, and already on the pill waiting to be synched with my cycle.

So half my eggs to TMD, half to this other woman. Unfortunately our same sperm donor is not available, but we don’t really mind that much. This new baby is OUR baby, you know? Whether they have green hair or purple eyes is irrelevant.

The most interesting part of today is TMD’s dad. He has to come along as I’ll have the kids. No doubt I’ll have to take them on my own at some point, but this first appointment it’ll be nice to have them in the waiting room with FIL.

I have consequently discovered a neat little trick to end any conversation. I simply say ‘ovaries’ or something similar.

So, I’ll update you later! Peace out, yo.

Uh.

May 31, 2012

My AMH is 21.95. That’s pretty fucking good. Better than good.

Nurse says I’ll respond better to IVF than TMD, but it is only in terms of quantity, not quality. Though obviously my eggs are great, or were three years ago, considering I had twins and the woman I shared my eggs with also had a baby.

Cancer risk apparently under 5% and doesn’t increase with multiple cycles. Still scary. But they know of no clients of theirs who have developed it.

So. Lots to think about.

For once in our lives….

March 21, 2012

….we both have our periods. It’s like the universe lined this up for us to get blood tests in tandem this week.

Perfect if we had got our shit together in any discernible way, which we don’t.

But on the plus side, my little sobbing breakdown in the car this morning (‘Don’t go straight there! I can’t stop crying!’) has resolved and I’m feeling a bit better.

It would seem….

March 20, 2012

A lovely friend linked me to an article stating that children conceived with egg or sperm donors from Country A are eligible for citizenship. So if we go with my eggs, baby number three can also get dual citizenship.

I wonder about TMD – what are her rights, considering she is the mother of Country A citizens? Particularly once she pops one out. Hrm.

Weirdest comment about our rainbow family.

October 14, 2011

Random lady to Snort and Coconut at storytime: Where’s your mummy this morning?

TMD: I’m their other mummy.

Lady: Are you like their nanny or something?

TMD: No, I’m their other mum. They have two mums. Existere is my partner.

Lady, after pause: Oh, that’s complex.

(wtf? Complex? What a weird comment.)