Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My baby, you amaze me!

Ok, I'll just say it: My daughter amazes me daily! I never cease to be amazed at the things she knows and says. A few days ago, as I made breakfast and Lovebug played at her play kitchen, I started to hear her count... in SPANISH!

"Uno, dos, tress, cuatro, cinco, seis...."

Say what?!! The most amazing thing is we've never worked on counting in Spanish to her. She loves Dora and Handy Manny, which is undoubtedly where she learned it, but that's the amazing thing to me. She doesn't sit in front of the TV all day. We watch maybe one or 2 shows a day after waking from a nap or while I'm cooking dinner. She just hears or sees things and soaks them up! It's crazy.

Then today as we drove past the local post office I heard a tiny voice from the back seat say "Cisten?" (Cristen, bmom's imaginary blog name ;)). It took me a second to realize where we were and then it dawned on me, the last time we went to the post office was a few days ago to mail off a Mothers Day package to C. We talked all about it and I let Lovebug decorate the package with markers and tape. We wrapped it in Lovebugs special, squiggly paper and talked about how excited C would be to get this in the mail. Anyhow, as we drove past the post office again, she must have been remembering our trip to mail C's gift. But, then she amazed me again. She went on with her thoughts "Cisten? Nanny? Eat Pizza!" I can't tell you what I felt when she said that. It was really something.

As I sat there and listened to my 21 months old daughter recount our last visit with her birthmom and birthgrandparents I just melted! Melted! I know 6 weeks doesn't seem like very long to an adult, but it seems like a long time for a 21 month old. She remembered everything "Pizza hot" (we kept making her wait to eat becuase the pizza was like molten lava. seriously), "see water" (there was a water fountain in the town square that she wanted to see so badly, but had to wait until after dinner), "Hug Nanny". She talked about it like it was yesterday. She even recounted a funny part of the visit "Papa.... I shy". She had a hard time warming up to C's dad this time. She would talk and laugh with C and N, but then when P would look at her she'd freeze and look at the ground. Apparently this stuck out in her brain too and she felt is was worthwhile to mention again.

It was a fitting conversation to have on the eve of this weekend. It was comforting. Although Lovebug may not yet understand the place C holds in her life, she knows C's there and even though we've only seen them twice since Lovebug was born, she seems to know they're important enough people to file in her brain. Not just random people we bumped into and had pizza with. It make me feel that, even through the recent frustrations I felt in our OA, it's worth it. It's all worth it.

It makes this Mama's heart happy and I'm pretty sure it makes her birthmama's heart happy as well :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

"After a visit" OA Roundtable #37

This Open Adoption Roundtable is all about how you feel after a visit and since we've just recently come back from our second visit with Lovebugs birth family, it's all fresh in my mind. But, lets start at visit 1.....

I remember the anticipation of visit one like it was yesterday. Lovebug was 10 months old at the time and we hadn't seen Lovebug's birthmom or birth family for almost exactly 1 year, since we didn't see them at the hospital. We were meeting at a restaurant to have lunch and hopefully play in the nearby fountains. I was so excited and so nervous! I had all these things rushing through my head from one direction to the next. In one thought I worried that Lovebug wouldn't want them and in another I worried that she wouldn't want me. As we parked and walked up to the building, my knee's got a little weak. The gravity of of what was about to happen hit me at once. I remember looking at my hubby, trying to break the thickening air around us, and saying "It's bout to get real up in here!" or something to that effect. But, as we turned the corner and made our way up to the restaurant, we spotted Lovebug's birthmom and bgrandma smiling and waving and all of those fears vanished and suddenly felt very silly.

We had a good visit. Everyone was happy and talking and holding sweet Lovebug. We finished lunch and headed over to the fountains to watch the kids play. To my surprise though, I noticed Lovebugs birthmom hanging back a little, willing to be close, but not too close. After about 2 hours, birthmom decided she needed to go. So we snapped a picture of the 4 of us (one of my faves BTW!) and hugged. I'll never forget when C leaned in to kiss Lovebug on the cheek and said "see ya later" as we said our last goodbyes and Lovebug chugged her bottle in Hubby's arms. It was the first "see ya later" we witnessed. I could see the pain that sat behind her eye's, her eye lids forcing the tears back.

As they walked away, I remember feeling all sorts of things. I felt heartbroken for Lovebugs birthmom, I felt thrilled that we got to see them and that they got to see us and I felt sad that the visit was already over and truly, I felt disappointed that maybe I had expected too much. I remembered all sorts of things I wished I had told them and wondered if the things that I did say truly conveyed our feelings. It was a strange mix of emotions, that really swayed to the unpleasant side of things. I was happy, but overwhelmingly sad all at once. I wondered when and IF we'd ever see them again. Did they enjoy it seeing us and Lovebug?  Would these snap shots of our first visit be the only picture's I'd ever have to show Lovebug her birthfamilies love for her?....

Fast forward, 9 months later and we were leaving visit #2. A much more natural visit. Calmer. Like visiting old friends that you haven't seen in sometime. We had dinner, talked, laughed. I had to peel Lovebug off of my chest so they could see her beautiful face and she finally opened up some and they got to hear her chat away and throw a temper tantrum like a true toddler. It was just more relaxed and organic.  As we left dinner this time, things felt much different. The saddness wasn't there like it was the first time. I didn't see that same look behind C's eyes, and although I'm not under the misconception that there's no longer sadness, I get the impression that it's just different. And although the visit was way shorter (even more so than the last time) than I had hoped, I didn't feel disappointment and sadness driving away. Part of that is because I've become more realistic with what to expect with our situation. Not using other OA's as a standard to go by and recognizing that each OA is different, with different people and different ways of going about things. The other part of that,  I realized as we drove away, is with our first visit I had some unresolved feelings of grief for Lovebugs birthmom. I was carrying around, deep inside, a guilt for getting to be this precious baby's mommy. I realize now that some of the sadness I had when we left the first time was a feeling of guilt that we were driving away with our sweet girl and they weren't. Maybe because we hadn't experienced that in person when Lovebug was born and it took that visit to bring that to the surface and finally deal with it. This time, I did not feel that way. I felt solidified as Mommy. Confident in my role in Lovebug's life as well as C's role in Lovebug's life.   It was sad to say goodbye just because I'm not sure how long it will be until we see them again, but as I looked in our back seat and watched our sweet baby girl snuggling into her car seat, my heart couldn't feel anything, but to feel grateful and whole.


To read other responses to this topic, head here!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This time around

Today, I'm a rollarcoaster of emotions. Yesterday, a rock grounded in Gods peace. Tomorrow, well we'll see.

Since my last post, Hubby and I decided to take a step in faith and start the adoption process earlier than expected. We rushed to get things done, finger prints, profiles, homestudy. We've been a flurry of excitement and apprehension. Trying to remember that above all, above the excitement and anticipation, we want Gods will and timing for our lives.

We've been shown to 3 different expectant moms so far, 2 choosing other families and one is still considering us and 2 other families. It's funny, but when I found out we'd been passed up by 2 moms I didn't feel sad. I felt total peace. I know God lead us to submit our application and profiles now, for these situations, but I didn't know why. Maybe because one of these babies is our child, maybe as a step in faith, maybe to serve as "options" even though God had already chosen other parents. Maybe for all of the above. It's hard to know for sure right now, but what I do know is I'm right where God wants me. He wants me here and even though I feel like I'm hanging in limbo, foot on the line waiting for the gun to sound, the anticipation building as each second passes, I feel Gods hand on my shoulder reassuring me that he's got this.

So in the mean time, I'm soaking up my sweet girl. These could be that last days I have with only her and she's getting too big to fast. I'd like to really pause at this age. At 20 months she's talking more and more each day, stringing new words together and being as funny as ever. Hubby and I keep having these super sentimental moments where Lovebug will be playing and we'll just be staring at her. One of us will remark and how fast she's growing and then we'll both look at each other and sigh. Where has our baby gone? But, as sad as it is to see one phase go, it's equally as exciting to welcome the next one. Except when it comes to the temper tantrum stage which we've just recently hit. Honestly, at this point it's not bad. More funny than anything. But, I know that eventually the endearing factor to her throwing herself to the ground in a fit of protest will fade away and then we'll be in the thick of it! But, again we'll have to rely on that ever present hand on our shoulders saying "I got this" and let Him guide us along!

"...All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" Psalm 139:16

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Word of God speak

Whew. Ever have your plans laid out and then God throws you a curve ball that you have to decide quickly whether to swing at or let it pass you by and hope it wasn't a strike? Yeah, we're there.

Our plans. Let me first start out by saying, you'd think by now we'd know that *our* plans rarely work out the way we planned them. But, our plans for baby number 2 have been that we would start the adoption process at the beginning of summer. We have a few things that we'd like to get done before then, a few which are already done and few that aren't and it seemed like a good time frame.

Well, this past weekend we learned, with out going into too much detail, that there are a handful of babies that are going to be born by May and only 1 family open to adopting them. Hearing this our hearts sank. WE would love to be parents to anyone of these sweet babies, but how could it work in time? Financially how could we raise all the fee's needed, buy all the baby stuff we need, and prepare for another family memeber in just 2 1/2 months?!

Then yesterday, after praying for guidance and asking to hear the Lords voice clearly, I opened my bible to the first chapter of Luke (the next book to read in my reading plan). I couldn't help but notice the theme: in 2 separate occasions angels appeared to announce that a son would be born in an unlikely circumstances (John the Baptist and Jesus) and although in both circumstances there was a bit of confusion, Gabriel told Mary this:

 "For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

Wow! Thank you Lord! The words jumped off the page and straight into my heart. Nothing will be impossible! Not finances. Not life circumstances. Nothing!

Hubby and I are still committing this to prayer, but I know whatever he tells us and whatever our path maybe, Luke 1:37 is a promise straight from God that I will cling to in every circumstance! Praise God!

If you could, pray for us. Pray for Gods clear guidance and provisions. We want His will of our lives and the life of our future child. Pray that His will be done.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The chain of love: Grandparents

Grandmas. I love Grandmas. Grandpas too for that matter, but sadly I lost both of mine fairly early. But, there's something about a Grandma that just makes you feel warm and loved. There tho ones that would spoil you and send you home as a kid. The ones that looked on is horror when your mother dared to scold her perfect little baby when that baby broke the rules. They're just the ultimate soft place to land... like a mom and steroids.

Lovebugs Grandma's fit just that. She can do no wrong to them and all they care to do is just watch her be and cuddle with her. I feel so blesses for my sweet little girl that she has 2 amazing Grandma's (and Grandpa's) that melt at the mention of her name. Seriously, my mom will call and ask how "our baby" is doing that day. I can respond with "She's good. We're having a snack." and all I can hear is a long drawn out "Awwweeeee!" on the other end of the phone. I'm pretty sure I could say anything about Lovebug to her and get that response. I know that forever she'll have that soft place to land with them. An understanding ear and a warm hug. There's just no words to describe that kind of love.

Lovebug also has 2 Great Grandma's who adore her every move. Hubbys Grandma just got Skype and her first thought was... I can call Lovebug now whenever I want! She was so excited to be able to do that. Then last night I was talking with my Grandma when I mentioned that Lovebug had been sick. She quickly interrupted me and said "What?! Whats wrong with my baby?!" She then went on to mush over how Lovebug is the cutest baby ever (and added a "sorry, you were cute too, but Lovebug... well she's the cutest!" lol!) and then toward the end of the conversation she said  "I just don't know how you two got so lucky as to be her parents..."  I don't know either Gabby. I don't know either.

Then to top off the Grandparent love, Lovebug also has a Grandma and Grandpa on her Birthmoms side who love her immensely and spoil her even if it's from afar. I wish we lived closer so we could see them more often, but I know they think of her daily, pray for her daily and love her daily. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Is this a joke?

Is this a joke? Should it be?

I get it. I do. Your the older brother and your pesky little sister does nothing but annoy you. So to get back at her you tell her she's actually adopted and watch her squirm as the prospect swirls through her head. I get that at age 7, this seems like the ultimate burn.

But is this how the world as a whole still views adoption? As a cruel joke? Well, look around long enough and you'll see it posted as "hilarious!" or "so funny and true!".

I've seen a few adoptive moms comment that it doesn't bother them and that they actually find it kinda funny. To each their own I guess, but what I see is the continuance of an uphill battle that my sweet girl will have to climb. The idea that adoption is a cruel joke or at best second best and, sorry, that's not ok with me.

I realize that we can't sensor the world. We can't completely keep our kids from hearing hurtful things in regard to adoption or being adopted, but what we can do is educate our little circles in whats appropriate and whats not. We can and we should. If we can't stand up and be advoctates for adoption acceptance, how can we expect our kids to be?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My new hobby hates me.

 If you've known me for any significant period of time it's very likely that you've heard me complain joke about how I hate running. For years I've looked at those overachieving, 5am waking, seriously in shape people running on the side of the road with a bit of suspicion wondering what in the world they saw in running endless miles while their bodies all but gave out on the sidewalk.

 So when Hubby, one of those crazy avid runner's I just mentioned, approached me before Christmas about making one of my New Years resolutions about running, I kinda chuckled while simultaneously giving him the evil eye. He proposed that one of my resolutions be that I would train to run a 5k with him this May. Honestly, when he said it in the back of my head I was thinking "yeah, ok. (insert obnoxious sarcasm)", but my mouth said "Hm. Maybe I'll give it some thought." You see, he's been encouraging me for years now to get back in shape. Not necessarily for the physical benefits, but for the long term health benefits. I really didn't want to push off his idea again and honestly I wanted to like running. So, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Well, I gave it a shot alright and as it turns out I love running! It's exhilarating, exhausting and extremely gratifying all at once! You set your goals and work hard to meet them and when you do you feel on top of the world! The problem is running does not love me. Or maybe it's my knee's that don't like running. I haven't quite figured out who to lay the blame on yet. But, nonetheless after my last run, where I was feeling great and shaved 2 1/2 minutes of my total time and getting within 5 minutes of running a 5k in 30 mins (my goal), my knees started to really hurt. I went and had a gate analysis done and found that my ankles pronate pretty badly. After doing some further research it seems the mixture of old shoes, pronation and being a new runner has  probably caused Pes Anserine Bursitis. Ouch and what a bummer! Just when I've fallen in love with my arch nemesis I'm taken out of the game... for a short time. I've ordered new shoes that should be here today and I'm religiously taking Ibprof.en and icing my wimpy knees. I'm coming back running... wait for me!

On the note of incing though I wanted to share a penny pinching trick with you. Those flexible ice packs can get pretty pricy espcially if you need to buy more than one. But what if I told you I had a DIY trick for you? Do you have Ziploc bags and Dawn dish soap? You do? Then you my friend have just saved $10+ per ice pack!

I used freezer bags for the extra ziploc protection and bought the $1 sized bottle of Dawn.
Pour entire Dawn bottle into Qt sized bag, squeeze air out and freeze!

About five minute after you remove them from the freezer they're completely flexible! Take that expensive ice packs!

Hopefully with the icing, resting and new shoes I'll be back to running quickly!!