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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who will Raise our Baby?

What kind of lesbians put all of their efforts into having a baby and then look for someone else to raise it? Ummm. Us. Duh. Sara and I mutually decided, with all of the money we spent to have Graisyn accompanied by the pure exhaustion her colic created, that it just wasn't worth it. So, it was time to find ourselves a baby mamma. Who will take over the grueling task of raising our Graisyn Quinn? We were accepting bids for an eight pound screeching pterodactyl.

Okay fine, by now I'm sure you all have come to the conclusion that I am talking about childcare and not selling our darling daughter on the black market. Hey, don't scoff. I'm sure we'd get a fair price for her. She is gorgeous! And fine, Sara and I don't think that raising Graisyn is grueling, but, at the time, her colic was enough to create an small sense of understanding of those parents you see on the news who have snapped on their kids...harmed them or worse. Both Sara and I can attest to the limit of crying the adult human brain can take, but we decided that's why cribs and doors were created, though even then it was challenging.

But, what then of childcare? If we could barely handle our little bundle, how could we expect the utmost of gentleness and care out of someone else? Ugh. It seemed scary and impossible, but we had to work so it had to be done.

Leave it to my wife, Sara, to make the impossible possible. There she was perusing the World Wide Web for cloth diapers to swaddle Graisyn's tiny, unborn hinder so we could be super-cool eco-friendly gay moms when she found a stay at home mom/licensed daycare provider/cloth diaper seamstress/everything else who was not only in our very city, but right around the corner from us! I practically peed with excitement. We had already looked at centers and none of them fit just what we wanted. We were bound and determined to find an in-home business that was quaint and comfortable and, well, home. This place seemed just right.

Sara e-mailed the provider of this sanctuary right away. She included our due date and the anticipated date that we would need Graisyn to start. It didn't take long before we received an e-mail back that she was full. No openings. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Back to square one.

So what is it that parents look for in child care facility? I'm sure that the lists are the same or very similar for most parents. Do you want your child in a center or in a home? The child will need to be fed, napped, played with, nurtured, loved, taught, cleaned. The child should be able to interact with other children. Just like dogs, children need to be socialized. The child should feel safe. Cost should be a consideration, but it should be last, or close to last, in my opinion.

We found another in-home child care provider a few streets down. She was welcoming and nice, but just starting on her own. She had done in home nannying for a number of years and had successfully raised three children one of whom took my pregnant belly pictures. We decided she was it! Finally, someone who would be able to take good care of Graisyn when the time came.

...Or not. We kept in touch with our new found provider throughout the rest of the pregnancy, but shortly before, or maybe it was after, Graisyn's birth, she cut contact with us. No calls. No e-mails. It was like a bad break up. Seriously? WTF? I've always done the dumping in a relationship. "It's not you, Hun, it's me." We were feeling like we couldn't catch a break and to top it off we were gay. Geez. The real kicker was the e-mail we received from the provider we originally inquired with indicating that she now had an opening which we of course declined since we had lined up care with this other individual. Hmmm. Maybe we'd have to revisit that.

Just when we thought we'd never hear from our long lost provider again, Sara received a phone call. Out of the blue, here she was. She wanted to visit and meet our newborn, Graisyn Quinn. She also had something to talk to us about. Fair enough. We welcomed her over for a visit and to take her verbal resignation. She was going through some health issues she told us and couldn't manage the feat of a business with small children. Sara and I both understood. Health should come first, but it still put us in the position to have to find childcare with only a few weeks notice.

Sara recalled the email from the first provider we looked at indicating she had an opening. The pessimist in me was certain that she would have already filled the position, but Sara is an eternal optimist and it wasn't going to hurt a thing to check. E-mail away, honey. And of course she did and of course the opening was still available. Yippee! Was if finally time to breathe a sigh of relief? I think so, friends, I think so.

Graisyn was scheduled to start at the in-home daycare right around the corner from our house in mid February. It was only January, so we would have to pay to the hold the spot should another interested client come along. Fine by us. It was well worth it to know that Graisyn would be spending her days away from us while we worked with a woman who would raise her in the same loving, safe, nurturing way that we did at home.

Thank You

Graisyn has been with her "third mom" for over two years now. We have watched her grow leaps and bounds during this time. Sara and I work as a team with her caretaker to make sure that the structure of the childcare environment and home environment are consistent and provide optimal opportunity for Graisyn to thrive as a growing child. We could not be more pleased with our decision to place Graisyn in this woman's care. She is a wonderful, smart business woman, nurturing mother to all children in her home, and a phenomenal educator. Plus, I know she reads my blog so she will get this memo. Thank you for all you have done! It is so appreciated.

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