Thursday, February 21, 2008

Surprise Babies

Ok, so my sister-in-law Ilene just blogged about her surprise pregnancy. I was particularly interested in the comments thus far to her blog about how many other ladies out there have had surprise pregnancies. I’ve never had a surprise pregnancy. Ok, so I’ve never had ANY pregnancy. I’ve never gone into details in this blog about our infertility, and I never will.

The closest we’ve ever come to having a surprise pregnancy is the surprises that come from finding out what all is entailed to adopt children in this glorious world. So my dear blogging friends, I’ll open up about something I rarely talk about. I don’t talk much about adoption because I just don’t think it’s a big deal, not because there is anything shameful or un-natural about it. Adoption has been the biggest blessing to our lives. If you ever say anything negative about it to me I’ll punch you in the face. Ok, I won’t punch you, but I’ll role my eyes and then give you a mouthful to your earful. Not that any of my friends would ever say such ignorant things.

But here, my dear readers are some SURPRISING facts that you may or may not know about adoption— (This is not going to be a blog about how awesome my kids are, that’s another blog, or actually all my other blogs.)

1. You have to be finger printed by a police officer. Yup, Paul and I got the full criminal treatment in the basement of the police station. The whole speech from the officer about, ‘Stand here on this line, keep one hand behind your back. We’ll move each finger across the paper, you just hold your hand limp.' I nearly cried as we did this. I felt like screaming, “Does every couple have to do this before they have sex and conceive?” They should, you know. Only fair.

2. You have to answer 52 essay questions in great detail. Well, if you go through LDS Family
Services you do. Here are some actual questions: I still have them on my computer: Describe your parents including education, occupation, personality, interests, etc.; What are the strengths and challenges of your marriage ?; Describe your methods to teach and discipline children.; List possible hazards in your home and how you manage them for safety. For example, firearms, medication, etc. Oh, lets save these questions for date night Paul!

3. You get to write out checks left and right to various groups. One is to the state for your
BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) check. What’s funny about these background checks is that after adopting three kiddies we now know that Paul’s will always be held up for further investigation. Yup, my hubby, the man with only a few traffic violations has an evil twin out there with a similar name who is a criminal so they always hold his BCI check to do further investigations. Again, I ask, do other couples have to do this before they have babies? What would the fertility rate in this country be if BCI checks were a must before conception was allowed? Yea, I know, sounds like Brave New World. Sort of.

4. You have a series of home visits. The first is to determine if your home is safe for a child. On the days we’ve had ours we put away our automatic weapons, our Samurai sword collection, and dump out the cigarette butts from all our ashtrays. After the baby is placed with us, the case worker comes 2-3 more times. So we put away all the contraband items again.

5. And my favorite surrpise of all, the on going questions from morons, such as; “Which ones are yours?” or “What is she?” or “Is her Dad dark?” See, this is where I know the camera from heaven is zooming in on me because all Christian thoughts have now left my brain. I feel like it’s a test from above or below, not sure which. Do I have compassion on this ignorant soul and nicely answer the question? Or do I go with my instinct and humiliate them? Either way, its being written in the book of life and I’ll have to answer for my behavior. Dang it.

Give me morning sickness and stretch marks any day.......


Ilene said...

I KNOW my way is easier than adoption but I will fingerprint myself 100 times over if it means I could bend over and reach my toes, not have the feeling like my uterus is going to fall out between my legs, sleep without drooling puddles or having a bloody nose...

However, I would LOVE to have Dan share in some of the pregnancy pains. Perhaps the adoption techniques should be employed for him to really feel the misery of child conception. It seems while you don't have the specific physical ailments of pregnancy, you have all the emotional drains and dramas.

Ah, what we do for our children.

Win said...

The one thing that has occurred through your adoption process, that has not occurred with any other person I have known to have children (not to compare but to thank), is the ever so sacred spiritual experiences that come (and occur) when a child is being adopted.
Although it may not be your most favorite aspect of your life....for me....I am ever so grateful for the many wonderful lessons, spiritual experiences and unconditional love I have experienced through watching your children come into your home. I find it a joy when anyone has a child but I have really learned more through your experience.

BTW: I am sorry people are so dumb! Anyone who states those things in 5 are ignorant and in a very sad stage in their we say, "everyone is on their own journey."
But if you want me to, I'll punch them in the nose for you! ;-)

Win said...

I better not ever write a comment after 11:00pm at night--Now you can add me to your list on #5. When looking back at my comment I realized that I was being quite selfish....I hope you know my comment was only to let you know how grateful I am...but it was in no wise meant to dismiss the frustrations you have experienced and at times continue to experience....I hope that came across....if not I am clarifying and apologizing! I am definitely on my “own journey” and where to….who knows!
You can definitely punch me in the nose!

cyn the win said...

You are right on every single account! Like I said, this was a blog about just the SURPRISES of adoption--not all the sweet and tender aspects of it. That would be an endless blog.

cyn the win said...

And Ilene,
Good point--adoption makes things more equally yoked between the husband an wife. I vote for that all the way!!

Anonymous said...

3 things-
a. some people are stupid
b. I will never forget being at your house the night you brought Ilene home
and c. you are the best and I love you.
People have actually asked me how I got my twins..some days I want to go into detail just to see them blush :-)

Patty said...

Aww, Winnie. Thanks for your sweet comment. Your words brought tears to my eyes for I feel the same way about Cynthia's children.

Cyn, I feel your pain about stupid people and comments they make. While we have never adopted, people always ask how long we have been married. When I answer them, "13 years," they always ask, "Do you have any children?" I answer, "No." They always say something stupid like, "That's good that you're waiting to have children. It's nice to have time alone with your husband and build up your relationship before the children come." I feel like telling them, "Um, if I haven't built up my relationship with my sufficiently in the last 13 years of mariage, how long do you think it really does take?" Duh! People are so dumb!
So, the moral of the story is, no matter what situation you are in (childless, adopted children, natural children, etc) there will always be stupid people with stupid comments! Bah on them!

Michael Harrington said...


You can have all the stretch marks you want so long as you can give us Nathan, Ilene, and Hallie all over agian and just as they are! We love them dearly and feel no less closer to them adopted or otherwise.

Love Dad and Mom

nicole said...

the fact of the matter is most of the time those who know your family mostly just forget you adopted your kids because to us they are just our nieces and nephew, cousins etc, but most importantly YOUR kids.
I have to tell you Cynthia that you will probably want to punch me for this but John and I have actually discussed adoption or foster care because we know there are so many children who need to become a part of a family who will care for them the way we've seen you and Paul form your family.(although I'm nowhere near ready to take on the challenge that you've outlined yet and most days just unsure I could handle another kid no matter how it came to our family)-which means I will probably be pregnant soon(which would be another surprise)
Oh and if you really want some stretch marks I have a few spare ones. oh what the heck-take em all.

cyn the win said...

Why on earth would I want to punch you in the nose for doing something so amazing as foster care or adoption? Hello?! I haven't ruled out foster care yet myself--someday when Hallie is older I think. You are John are definitely amazing.

you are sweet. I wouldn't change anything about my kids for the world--just the SURPRISES i could do without.

colleeeen said...

hey, sorry people are idiots sometimes. since traditional families are eroding away, i guess people don't think asking questions like that are insulting. dorks. you can always humiliate them with factual answers, but i guess it's your motives that count, not the words. darn.

i'm really, really feeling like we have to get involved in foster care, and if an adoption comes from that i'm open to it. after all, we just bought that beastly old suburban, so i can fit a few more carseats in there.

Care Bear said...

I don't think your suggestion in #1 is so far off, actually. Petition your senators! Let's take this country one step closer to forced Utopia by requiring all fertile Americans, male and female alike, to have to pass a criminal background investigation before their working parts are allowed to fully function. Because I think if we do that, we'd be facing less of what you face in #5. We could be the great new lobby in Washington.

ps. Seriously, I had no idea those were some things that had to be endured in the adoption process. Wowsa.

cyn the win said...

Yea baby, fill that gus guzzling (soon to be recycled vegetable guzzling) Suburban up with children!

Anonymous said...

You are so right, Cynthia. Even with my three cesareans I'd say you had it tougher. Liz

Anonymous said...

Ilene men do suffer during pregnancy! We get to watch the woman we love endure endless physical discomfort and not be able to do anything about it! I can't stand not being able to give Steph some relief.

Also the mood swings! AHHH!!! Stephanie is a Native American and when she was pregnant I swear sometimes I think she wanted to take a tomahawk to my head! Try being patient with somebody who is always irratable!

Ohh Patty you are correct there are always stupid things people say no matter what. Like when they complimented us on how cute Katherine was when she was a little baby. They often called her a boy, despite the fact that she was covered in pink clothing, and pink blanket!

The Coolest Allen Family said...

Sorry...I am a sort of a blog stalker. I know Winnie because she is my daughters awesome teacher! I had to comment though because our 3 kiddo's are adopted as well. It is nice to know other people feel the same way. My husband and I are always surprised by the stupid things people say. We constantly get asked "Where did they come from?". We just tell them Colorado (that is where we became a family). I will tell you that if you ever choose to do foster/adopt you will at least be able to cross off part of #3. Only the one check to take care of finger prints and background checks. Everything else is taken care of by the state. That was a huge blessing to my husband and I. Anyway....I hope you don't mind that I left a message. I just felt a connection to this post. Thanks!


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