Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This shit's getting real

H's social worker emailed us yesterday to let us know she'll be on vacation next week.  My first thought was "oookaay...who cares?".  She goes on to tell us all the backup resources available should something happen next week.  And then, I realized...something could happen next week!!!

It probably won't, and we don't really want it to, as H will be 34 weeks next Monday.  But, holy crap, knowing that it is feasible and not necessarily a bad outcome if it does happen is crazy.  CRAZY.

Logistically, when H does go into labor, she should call her social worker.  There is someone on call at the agency 24/7 for that purpose.  They would then call us, no matter what time of day, and tell us to get our rears in gear.  However, given the close relationship we've established with H & P, they also may decide to call us directly as well. 

Assuming the call comes before her due date (as we do have a flight scheduled already for the day prior), T and I will then jump online and look at our flight options.  We'll want to balance getting there as soon as possible and trying to save money if we can.  We'll need to call my parents and figure out our dog situation, and then he & I will be on a flight to Florida with a whole lot of luggage we have never taken on a plane before (like a carseat!).

H does want us in the delivery room with her.  If she goes into labor early, there is no way we would make it in time, but we'd still try to be there quickly.   If she actually delivers on her due date or after, we'll already be in Florida. 

After the birth, H - at this point - has chosen to not hold the baby or really see the baby.  So, if we aren't there, the baby will go into the nursery to be cared for by the nurses.  The hospital may give us our own room if there is one available, and we can stay the hospital the next couple days and "room in" with the baby.  If there isn't one available, we'll likely only be able to be there during visiting hours, and will have to sit in the nursery with her.  We'll definitely visit with H during this time as well (without the baby).  H can change her mind at any time on how she wants to approach this, so we also will be super flexible.  At that point, "the" baby is still "her" baby in every possible way.  We would just essentially be watching over her until H makes her decision.

In Florida, the time to sign the termination of parental rights is approximately 48 hours after birth (or at discharge, if she is discharged earlier).  After that, the decision is irrevocable.  Those 48 hours will be ridiculously hard.  At this point, based on our knowledge of H, we will be shocked if she changes her mind.  BUT - she has every right to do so, and we need to be prepared for that possibility no matter what.  This decision is hers to make and has nothing to do with us and any feelings we have.

Assuming she does sign, we will then wait for the baby to be discharged separately (at which point she is "our" baby!!), and we'll head out to our longer term hotel.  We then hang out there as long as necessary for all the state paperwork to be filed and approved (2-3 weeks likely).  We'll probably drive back to the hospital a couple times for her checkups.  Then we fly home! 

After we get home, our local social worker will need to do a couple visits with us to fully sign off on our newfound parenthood.  Once that occurs, the adoption is finalized and it's all super duper official.  That will be a few months after birth. 

In the meantime, we continue to prep the nursery.  At first, I wanted to do as little as possible, especially anything gender specific.  But it is too special a time to not do anything, and we just have to know that it could ultimately be for naught (especially if H changes her mind and we are eventually placed with a boy).   But it is magical and comforting and beautiful to think of a child being in this room, so we've been going full force forward.  I'll post pictures soon!

In the meantime, Cam is in a play this weekend, so my parents are coming up to see her and us.  It's weird to think the next time they come -- there could be a new family member!

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