The Year of Toys

This post contains far too much babbling and a lot of soul baring so be nice please!

I said in my last post that we’re going to go ahead with the adoption procedure in 2009. When we went to the information evening back in June we discovered that the statistics for our region weren’t good (less than 1 in 6 couples get a baby per year right now) and we decided we were financially not ready to have a child. Of the 13 couples in that room we certainly appeared the least affluent. Although if we waited until we could *really* afford a child we’d die of old age first.

Anyway we decided to think about it for a bit longer.ย  But after another 6 months of hard thinking I am adamant – the heart wants what the heart wants. The heart wants a baby even if the bank doesn’t. Because I do not, for one tiny second, believe that having less money than the other people in that room will make us less fit parents. Love is free. And we’re not so poor, I don’t want people to think I’m trying to justify bringing a baby into a slum or something. I’m typing this on high speed cable after all ๐Ÿ˜‰ And before we even get into the waiting pool there’s classes, interviews, medical checks, home visits etc etc.

But I have spent the past 6 months thinking. And researching. Because while we aren’t poor I am perfectly aware that a child costs more than I think it does. And while I know we can afford to feed/dress/educate a child I wanted to be absolutely sure in my soul that we’re doing the best thing for the baby that some woman is giving up as well as the best thing for us. Are we prepared for not just having a baby but adopting that baby? The legal fees can be a lot higher if the birth father wants in on the adoption too. Open adoption means we’d have to keep in contact with the birth mother. What degree of contact do we want to maintain? And there’s something called ‘permanance’ which is where you get a foster child, usually not quite as young as a newborn adopted baby. You sign for permanent care of that child but the parents maintain their rights. It’s complicated. Would we be prepared to accept permanence of an older child? It’s more likely we’d get picked sooner than if we were only open to adoption of a baby. Do we want sooner or do we only want a baby? We decided that we only want a baby. And there’s a lot less hassle – a lot of the kids come with parents who are in jail or on drugs. I couldn’t handle that complication.

There is also the issue of marriage. As an unmarried couple only one of us would adopt the baby and the other one would have to apply for parental rights. I would be the adopter, that’s always been the decision. As a woman it would be easier to adopt than a man and as the mother I would want full legal rights over any medical emergencies or whatever. But would it have Dave’s last name when he isn’t legally the father? I don’t desperately want to get married, I’m happy as we are. So is Dave. But we do want our baby to be *our baby*. To have their daddys last name as a connection to him, like most other kids with two parents do. And for Dave to have full and equal rights with me at every step of the process. So while we have only vaguely discussed it it’s possible that at some point next year we’ll have a very small low-key wedding so we can both be equal legal parents. The legal adoption laws are from roughly 1966 – it’s an outdated legal minefield.

So….we’re applying to adopt a baby sometime in the first part of 2009. And I am scared. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But it’ll be worth it, I know that. It might be tough at times, we’re going to have to tighten our budget to the barest bones for part of 2009 to save for the fees but when your heart wants something this bad is that really a sacrifice? My mum will drown the baby in knitting, I’ll drown it in sewing, Dave will drown it in computer parts and Rastus will drown it in cat fur. Schooling is cheap, healthcare is cheap for kids and while my child may not get the newest designer labels they’ll never go without.

AND so….2009 is the Lovestitches Year of Toys. In order to save the legal fees (this bit is tricky – they can be as low as $500 or they can beย  as much as $2000, it all depends on…stuff. Lawyers and birth fathers etc) I’m going to be cranking the poor neglected (although I did have my 4th sale last week, woohoo!) etsy store up into high gear. It’ll be bulging under the weight of toys soon. Plus there’ll be craft fairs, my felt.co.nz shop (coming soon) and really as many other outlets for my work as I can find. Because if the man I love agrees to raise a child with me (the crazy fool) the least I can do is help pay for it.

I was planning on posting a photo of one of those toys in this post but after a day of sewing my cat softie looks alarmingly like it has hemorrhoids. The first toy in the shop is unlikely to be a cat.

Any feedback you want to leave will be appreciated but please remember how important this issue is to me and be gentle!

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19 Comments

Filed under adoption, shop talk

19 responses to “The Year of Toys

  1. my3boysandi

    praying for you
    I hope 2009 is a good year for you and that all your dreams come true
    HUGS

  2. With those sentiments I can see you would be a great mother. I hope that 2009 is the year you and your partner become parents!

    Best wishes

  3. Sometimes long entries on a blog can be off-putting but this one of yours really touched me.
    With your approach, which is so intelligent and soul-searching, and your obvious love for Dave you seem all set to be the best of parents.
    It must be so hard to be tested and examined to make sure you’re ‘suitable’ – as well questioning yourselves – when other couples produce children and worry (or not) about the cost and the wisdom of bringing children into the world only once they’re here.
    You’ll be OK. Roll on your adoption day so we can all celebrate!

  4. Hi, I’m the mother of five [!] daughters and 18 grandchildren [9 of each] – if any of these 23 beautiful people had waited until they could be ‘afforded’ then they wouldn’t be enjoying life right now. NO-ONE on this Earth can afford to pay for a child, you can spend as much as there is or as much as you can afford right now, but LOVE if free and is worth so much more. You have hands and a heart that creates, so your child will never want for the real things,and the rest doesn’t matter.Parents who love one another and them is all a child ever needs. On the marriage front, you would be surprised at the psychological advantage it gives you..but you will only know the difference when you try it!. I wish you everything you wish yourself and thankyou for sharing. Maureen. [England]

  5. I’ll be looking in on your Etsy shop before birthdays and special days….I love the things you make, and I wish much success. I believe you’ll be a wonderful mother

  6. Oh sweetie, I have no advice or feedback (having never been a mum myself.) Still I wanted to say good luck & enjoy the journey of adopting your own little one ๐Ÿ™‚ It all sounds so exciting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. All I can say is GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  8. bookwormbethie

    I will keep you and David in my prayers, it sounds like y’all have done a lot of thinking and soul searching yourselves and are ready, as much as anyone really can be, to be a parent!

    My hubby & I don’t have any kids yet and I don’t really know anything about the adoption process to be able to give you any advice, but I’d at least like to say to keep breathing (calmly!), keep smiling, be strong in the face of adversity, and keep thinking positive thoughts.

    Best wishes to you now and in 2009!

  9. Time is the best keeper of all things secret. There is a reason why we never know what stuggles and joys lie ahead. Take it all in very slowly and then you will be prepared no matter which path is the one for you.

  10. I wish I had something whitty or wise or wonderful to say, but I don’t really. ๐Ÿ™‚ What I really want to say is I wish you luck on your journey.

  11. Best wishes, I’ll cross my fingers for you all.

  12. Having a child is kind of scary, and I have been pretty scared each time I found out I was having another one (or two). Having kids is not a rational business. But it is the best way to live life! Go for it! All the best to you. I’ll check your etsy.

  13. eva

    Hi there!
    i have n’t been here for long time, but it seems like I’m right here in the very middle of exiting things happening in your life ๐Ÿ™‚
    I truly believe you’d make a wonderful, wonderful mother! Someone who plays with her/him and does a million everyday adventures with highest devotion ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you will have your own baby as soon as possible! I also hope that you have patience if needed for waiting for that RIGHT baby ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since you are having great time filling etsy and also need for some extra $, why do nยดt you open a charity fond or something? Just create a PayPal account so we all can be generous sponsors/supporters/donors! What do you think?
    :))))))

  14. fantastic – good luck!

  15. hey! good luck with it all. we are not rich either but have three children who are all happy, healthy and educated thanks to the good health and education system that we have here and no doubt yours is good too. you don’t need money to have a happy family, just lots and lots of love. a blogger once told me we are ‘famillionaires’ and this is now my favourite word. so, i hope you get that baby you want and i hope that you love every minute of being a parent – even those moments when the kids are tearing around the supermarket and you feel you’ve lost control (just happened to me 5 minutes ago).
    l
    x

  16. BeccaC

    a long time ago I was looking for the right couple;
    Most young women look for stable loving folks ..not rich people. And when they get you to make up the scrap book/intro file, money doesnt matter so much …sure a bach and a private school sound nice but when push comes to shove I think you will have a real advantage..
    just a thought from someone who looked over a dozen files

  17. Crystal N

    ” Because I do not, for one tiny second, believe that having less money than the other people in that room will make us less fit parents. Love is free”

    Amen and AMEN! What a touching blog, and to bare your heart the way you have, amazing.

  18. Bex

    Congratulations!
    What a wonderful decision you guys have made!
    Can’t wait for your words about the first snuggle, I’m all misty eyed just thinking about it! XXxx

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