Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A regular Sunday at church

This past Sunday started out as a regular Sunday.  Matt got off of work and waited for B and I as we finished getting ready.  We were out the door and early for church.  We sat in the car a few minutes listening to funny ringtones on my phone (One of B's favorite things to do).   Matt usually walks B to his building for kids church while I go on ahead to our building and get our spots.  (And by our spot I mean fifth row from the front, center aisle seats.  I'm not happy when I don't get my spot.)

As I walk in, I see that they have the Angel Tree cards laid out in the back.  We did this program last year where we selected a card of a boy who was close in age to B to shop for.  Since we were so early, there wasn't really anyone at the tables yet so I just thought I would take a peek and get our choice selection for who we wanted to shop for.  ( I'm kind of weird like that in that I like for the interests to be similar for B so he can help pick out things he would like)

As I am scanning the table, I see some baby ages and it hits me. I need to find a card for J's age.  None jump out at me so I ask the lady if she has any 5 or 6 month old girls.  She is looking through her stack (There are over 500 kids in need that our church is serving this year so not all of them were laid out on the tables yet) and says she has an 8 month old.  I tell her that won't work and I'm sorry to be such a pain.  After I said that I tell her I will be right back because my eyes have started to tear up.  I leave her searching her stack and head to the bathroom for some tissues.  I come back with a few tears and she has a found two for me to choose from.  I decided on a 6 month old looking for clothing.

I take the card and head to my seat.  I am still having a hard time getting the slow tears to stop dripping down my face as Matt arrives.  He asks what is wrong and I show him the card.  He understood.  I didn't even pick out a boy one because it was so hard being at the table.  After church he grabbed one that was perfect for us- a boy looking for legos. 

I was better by the time church got out and am looking forward to doing the shopping.  I just didn't realize that I will always have to pick a card to represent her too in my heart.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  May you count all of the blessings that you have and find some new ones along the way!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 Adoption Bloggers Interview Project

I am so excited to be participating in the 2012 Adoption Bloggers Interview Project being held at Production, Not Reproduction.   Last year, I was partnered with Mara from Marriage 2.0 and you can find her interview answers on this post.  Sadly, her blog is now private and I didn't save a copy of mine.  I really wish I could look back (and laugh) I'm sure and what I wrote.  I definitely don't consider myself a very good blogger or writer, but I was really looking forward to the interview project this year due to how much I have learned over the past year + since starting this adventure.

Heather at PNR did random pairings with tons of open adoption bloggers who represent all sides of the adoption triad.  My random match this year didn't seem too random.  I was really excited when I saw my partner because it was someone I felt I already "knew".  Even though we live just about an hour away, we have yet to meet in real life.  Actually, we have even been at the same baseball stadium and fireworks show at the same time but didn't get to meet.  I have been following her blog for about 4 years now and really look up to her with any adoption experiences she shares.  We have exchanged blog comments, emails, and even become facebook friends. I am looking forward to watching both of our families grow and eventually meeting in person!

She is an adoptive mommy to one of the cutest 4 year old boys ever. We both thought we were getting beautiful baby girls this spring and both are still parents to just our boys.   We are both praying, waiting, and hoping that our call comes in again soon.

Introducing......  Ashley from More Than Dog Children.

( I gave her a huge list of questions and told her to pick which ones....she answered every one!)

Q.  You currently have an open adoption with your son- What aspect makes you happiest about his adoption (besides him of course!) and is there something you would have done differently with the experience?  

A.  I feel like if we changed anything, our outcome could look different so this is a hard one for me! I can think of one thing: at the beginning, when D was a newborn, his birth parents wanted to meet every other week. D was a high maintenance baby and it took us 6 weeks to realize he had a horrible milk protein intolerance. So, we were exhausted and overwhelmed. To meet every other week was extremely stressfull. I wish we hadn't waited 6 months to address the frequency of visits.

Q.  In what ways did/ do you honor your son's birth mother?   

A.  We honor D's birth parents by staying committed to our openness. We have not missed a visit- ever. Sometimes we have to adjust it a week here or there but we haven't missed any. We also talk to D about who they are and look over pictures from when he was born. We tell them he loves him "tons and tons" and how he was in C's belly when he was a baby (age appropriate stuff, this will change over time and be more detailed). When he really started to understand he was in C's belly as a baby, not mine, he started telling everyone! Let's just say we had some interesting discussions with strangers at Target!

Q.  I read on several blogs where adoptive parents have different ways of sharing their child's story when it comes to school.  Now that your son is a big preschooler, do you share the fact that he is adopted upfront or prefer to keep it private with his school/ teacher? 
A.  D's adoption has came up since we are adopting again. When we were matched in April, we gave the teachers a heads up because they might be confused if D came to school as a big brother all of a sudden. They were all excited for use to adopt #2. I definitely did not talk them like, "just want you to know, D's adopted...." I would never do that! It was just to warn them of a potential new member of our family last April.

Q.  You are waiting for your second placement-  How have your views on adoption changed since becoming parents the first time?  

A.  Honestly, I'm a little jaded. D's birth parents changed their mind after a long match. Fortunately, we fell on the rare side of the stats, and they changed their mind again when he was 7 days old. This time around, I'm always waiting for our hearts to be broken. Also, I have this deep pit in my stomach that our wait will be super long because we already have a kiddo. I have this crazy belief that all birth parents want to give the ultimate gift to the childless couple. I need to keep in mind all BPs have different views of what they want to give to their child and some might want a sibling (or even an adopted sibling at that). In regards to adoption itself (not just the match/placement process), my views have changed immensely. I was SO SCARED to enter in to an open adoption. What would it feel like to have visits with the birth parents? Would I feel like mommy or would I feel like I was competing? Now, I know it's a beautiful relationship! I'm confident the openness is the best thing we could be doing for D. He knows who he is, where he came from, how loved he is! There is no doubt who mommy is, ever!

Q.  What do you think of all that paperwork involved in the process and what part do you dislike the most?  

A.  The paperwork BITES! I get bitter every time. There are so many sucky parents that will never have to disclose their health, their finances, get references, etc! Arg! I will say, this second time around, I knew what to expect and ripped it off like a bandaid- fast and less painfully. I dropped everything off (that didn't have to be sent in like fingerprints, background checks and references) within 24 hours of receiving it. That portion took us weeks the first time around!

Q.  How are you and your hubby supporting each other during the wait?  

A.  Mark is the coolest cucumber you'll ever meet. He could care less about the wait. He feels confident God's plan is perfect and our next child will join us in His timing. Now, I agree, but I'm squirmy! I never pictured my kiddos spaced out this far. We are ready to be parents again and D's super ready to be a big bro. Mark is supportive by hearing me complain and encouraging me with his steadfast trust in a bigger plan.

Q.  We both have big brothers in waiting also and I know you have made comments about how your son has started asking for a sibling (as do we)How do you explain this process to him? 

A.  I always say the same thing: "You will have a baby sister/brother but only God knows when". He prays for a baby sister every night. He's too young to understand the 'waiting to matched' part of it. In fact, we feel like he's too young to be a part of anything at this point. With our match in April, we never told him anything that was going on (at time of match, when baby was born, when we were visiting baby at the hospital, etc). We felt it was important to protect his little heart and his inability to understand if the match fell through- which it did.

Q.  The baby showers, cute pregnancy announcements, and friends who have gone on to have 3, 4, and 5 children really weigh on me some days.  Is this difficult for you as well?  What do you rely on to get you through these days?  

A.  Oh, gosh, isn't that soooo hard?! I've had so many "oops" pregnancies around me these days. In addition to those announcements, I have to endure the complaining about not having a certain sex of baby or the bad timing of the pregnancy in general. It makes me want to scream. Most of our close friends have a kid Declan's age and are pregnant with or have #3 already. What I do to cope is to think about how good we have it. This summer when I was struggling bad, I consciously decided it would be the summer of swimming...because it was simple and we could! I had one kiddo to get ready, load up, keep track of, pay for. We went 3 times a week at least and it was such a fun time! I try to keep in mind how easy it it to just pick up and go. This changes dramatically with a newborn! Financially we have it easier too only having to pay for preschool. Little things like that keep my mind in a healthy place. But I definitely drift to the dark side. Sometimes I talk to my sister-in-law. She's adopted and has an extra dose of compassion when I'm feeling negative.
Q.  We have both been through failed placements for different reasons this summer-   Did that change any of your feelings on adoption and what advice can you give to someone who might be faced with this situation in the future?  

A.  It changed my opinion on the match/placement process by making me doubt future matches will actually result in a placement! I'm getting over this more and more every day. My opinion on adoption in general has not changed. D was worth the wait and kiddo #2 will be as well!

Q.  Most of my infertility/ adoption friends are all online. My husband laughs at me since I've never met most of them personally.  We know people who have adopted but don't have any "friends" who have.  Do you have any gal pals that you can identify with or are you surrounded by Fertile Myrtles?  

A.  We have one couple we are friends with who have adopted through the Children's Home like we have. We don't see them often, but when we do, there is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken!) understanding about all things adoption related. We have some acquaintances that have adopted internationally and one couple who have adopted from the foster system. We share a "cool, our kids are adopted!" bond, but nothing like the one couple who have a domestic open adoption like us.

Q.  You and your hubby are currently building a house (totally jealous!  fun!!!)  Do you plan to go ahead and set up a room for the baby when you move in if you are not placed by then?  

A.  SOOO excited to move in to our new place. We have designated nursery and will put all the baby gear in there. I don't think we'll decorate yet. We decorated for the little girl we were expecting in April and it's pretty depressing to think about taking that all down (haven't done that yet, oops). 

Check out this link on her blog to read my interview!  

Thanks so much Ashley for taking the time to be my interview partner!   Don't forget to check out the other blogger interviews here!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Random thoughts

Just a quick stop in for some random things I wanted to share. 

First- I'm looking forward to posting my Adoption Blogger Interview Project next week.  Be sure to stop back on Wed to read my interview of my partner from More Than Dog Children.

Second- This past weekend a friend of mine (who reads this I think) was back in town with her children for a family birthday party.  My family met up with her and the kids for a quick bite to eat before they headed back for their 2 hour trip home. 

Her oldest and her were going to run across the road to a clothing store and get a shirt that she needed for school.  We met at a Bass Pro store where I wanted to return a pair of shoes.  These stores are like a mini field trip and her kids have never been in one.  I said to leave the younger ones with us and that way it will be easier for them to shop. 

Her son is older than B by a few years, her next youngest daughter is a few months older than B ( we were pregnant together when I started teaching) and then they have a 3 year old.  My husband and the bigger kids headed in and I stopped to ask my friend a question as they were leaving the parking lot.  We turned to walk towards the entrance of the store and I grabbed the little girls hand.  She had one cute little fashion boots and a plastic necklace.  As we walked through those doors with me holding her hand, my heart hurt a little.  I want so bad to have a little girl of my own to hold her hand and do mommy things with her.

Third- last night I was with some friends and one of them mentioned something about what the date was.  She said the 8th and I thought to myself, "I missed it".  For the second time in a row, I missed it.   J turned another month older and I didn't even think of it.  I think of her everyday, but I didn't think of that on the 4th of this month or last month for that matter.  That makes my heart hurt. 

That is all I have for now.  I am having a happy day, the post makes me sound like I am down.  It was just a few things I wanted to share lately.