Superhero Origin Story - Michelle & Ramona
Now when we think of the whole process of having a baby we think of the actual physical side of it all. We go through the process of having sex in hopes that the sperm reaches the egg and BOOM! Baby! That would be too easy wouldn't it? The body is a complex organism and orchestrating the events of having a baby needs all the right parts working together as one. Sometimes that doesn't happen and that's ok. We live in a world today where we are able to try other methods and have science to help that. If that doesn't work we have another method called adopting where parents go through a long, crazy process to bring home a baby that needed parents who will love the crap out of them. And what better way to start this Origin Story of Michelle and Ramona.
Michelle's story is pretty wild. It's not just a straight forward story of Michelle and her partner, Luke, deciding they wanted to adopt like you see in the movies or TV shows (stay tuned until the end to hear more about Luke's Project on this). It was a decision that was more complex then that like most things are in life. Michelle and Luke tried that old fashioned way of making babies but all the ingredients between her and Luke weren't working. There was something wrong with Michelle's hormones that made it tough to bake that little bun in her oven. Though, the great thing about the world today is that there are alternatives to try to situations like this and they were up to trying it all out. The one things they didn't account for was Michelle getting diagnosed with breast cancer. They still could try and do the process of her eggs getting frozen and going off of the medicine she needed to be on for 5 years to help battle her cancer with a potential of it working. But Michelle decided that she didn't want to put her health at risk and needed to take care of herself if she was going to be a future mother. That lead to her and Luke deciding to go the root of adoption instead.
Adoption seems super easy. Some people have babies they don't want and there are people like Michelle and Luke who can't have babies and want one. So, the math should add up to the people who want babies getting babies right? Wrong! Well, wrong-ish. Sure, Michelle and Luke could get a baby from a mother/family who was willing to give theirs up but it wasn't as cut and dry as they make it seem in movies and tv shows.
There's a whole dog and pony show that you have to go through to make sure you are the right fit like creating a book with pictures and content about yourselves to be picked by the mother/parent and even if you are picked they can still change their mind. Also a lot of the adoption rules depending on the state that you are in, too. And to top it all off you are supposed to put in, as Michelle puts it, your “baby order,” which is basically specifying what type of baby you want and their medical background/family genes. So, instead of just having normal symptoms of labor you have this labor of paperwork to go through to make sure everything will go according to plan.
Another step you have to take is to set up how you want to contact/be contacted by potential birth parents. There are a few ways you can go about it, through an agency or a lawyer. An agency brings the prospective birth moms/parents to you, and with the lawyer you have to pro-actively go after the prospective birth moms/parents (by placing ads in papers and whatnot like you saw in the movie JUNO). They decided to go with the agency to make it easy.
As they put in their "baby order" now all they had to do was hurry up and wait. This waiting period was based on your “order” and if you wanted a baby that was domestic or international and the race and health of the baby. It’s also just luck because once you were shown to a potential match, you have to be picked. At first they wanted a caucasian baby because they were fearful of what others might say if they had a baby that was different and the lasting effects this type of judgement could have on their child (which in of itself is a tremendous amount of pressure). Though, through some education on their end on they felt better about how to handle any types of racism or nasty comments that might come their way and felt more confident about being able to just parent themselves and to screw up their baby on their own. Because that’s what we get to do when we become parents! All in all they were going to love this baby no matter what and she was going to part of the family.
When you get a match it doesn't mean you get the baby right away. Since there are different rules in different states you have to make sure to check how long of a timeframe the mother has to change their mind once she signs away her parental right, though they can change their minds at any time before that. This can range from 48 hours to 30 days. The first time they got selected was on Mother's Day. They set everything up according to the adoption laws of the state of Pennsylvania and had booked a hotel for a month (you are allowed to go/stay in any state but your home state during the transition period) and was ready to meet their new baby. Well, a disappointment happened. This is aptly named as when a mother decides to change her mind about giving the baby up the term is called a disappointment, which is probably an under statement and more like heartbreak. But alas Father's Day came around and they get another match. This time they are prepared themselves to know that anything could happen. They went to the hospital and met with the mother and their potential baby. Since they were chosen by the mother and she had already signed her parental rights over after they met her and their baby, they were able to leave and take her back to their Air BnB and was given the all-clear to go home 2 days later.
Even though they were able to take their baby home there was still a chance that they might not get to keep this little bundle of joy. So, they didn't tell anyone, expect close family and friends because it’s hard to hide a baby, for a month they had a new addition to the family. Once that month was up they were able to introduce to the world RAMONA!
Sure, this process isn't as easy as they make it to seem and Luke actually has written a TV show pilot to show the crazy/complex process of adoption and how it's never fully represented in shows or movies. He wants to give you the full on experience of going through adoption and their story. He currently has a fundraising campaign going on to raise money to shoot the first episode of his show called Adapting ! Go CHECK IT OUT NOW!!
Ramona is lucky to have such a superhero like Michelle as a mother. Not only did she have to "labor" away at filling out paperwork, being matched, waiting 30 days to have Ramona (and funny enough this process took 9 months so she endured labor of a different kind) but also to battle breast cancer on top of that with a smile still on her face still blows my mind! I can't wait to finally meet Ramona and be best friends with her! She's lucky to have such amazing parents!