Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The End of 2008 and the beginning of 2009

Its New Years Eve it feel like a regular day but it isnt. It is the end of an entire year and tomorrow is the beginning of a new one. I am not an overly sentimental person, but this year has been so tumultuous in our life that I am anxious today. Today marks the end of the year that we found out about the Endo, the year we moved to California, the year we decided to adopt. It has been the hardest year of my life.

Tomorrow is the beginning of 2009. A year filled with so many dreams. The year we should become parents and who knows what else. Will it be better than 2008? (Really, how could it be worse) willl 2009 be the best year of my life? There are so many unknowns ahead.

Today is also a day to reflect on what was acomplished and what wasnt, a day to set goals and ideas for the future. What do I want this year of my life to be about, what do I want to achieve. I have never set new years resolutions before, but I think I will this year. This is what I have so far.

1. Loose Weight. I know I am joining every other american in this statement, but it is true, I need to loose some pounds. I was depressed for alot of last year and not that I have any excuse but it does bring on the pounds when you just dont care about life. So starting tomorrow, I will start eating better, excercising etc.

2. Live life with Energy. Like I said I have battled a lot of depression this past year and I hate it. I want to be excited about life, to wake up each day and conquer it. I want to have energy again! I want to pursue my passions, be motivated and get more done in a day than is physically possible.

3. Expand my hobbies. I love to do random crafty things. I am not that good at any of them but I enjoy dabbling in a little of everything. I want to do this more and get better at it. I want to paint more, write some children stories, scrapbook about the adoption, paint my kitchen with flowers, decorate our house a little more, plant more flowers, cook more new dishes.

I am sure there are more but I think this is a good start, I will post more as I realize them. I am really bad at keeping goals that i set, so hopefully this year will be a year of change.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We are half way there!!

We are half way through out visitation rounds. We have seen my parents, brother and his family, my grandparents and aunts and uncles. Today we visited with Hubbs stepdad, nana and aunt. Right now I am sitting in his sister's bed trying to be tired so we can wake up at 4 in the morning and drive to Florida to see the rest of his family. Needless to say I am a little worn out. Family is draining and especially with the added holiday run around, presents, dinners, parties, etc.

We have had good time to talk with all of the family so far about the adoption and mostly it has gone well. My sister in law is exstatic and really made us feel good about it. So are my parents. My mom gave us a white baby blanket that she crocheted. It made me cry. Their support was evident and really appreciated. When we got to my grandparents they asked alot of questions and had a lot of old ideas about what adoption looked like. They are from a different generation and I will never be able to explain all the details to them so they can understand. My grandfather made a couple of comments that could have been offensive about birthmothers, but I just let it roll off my back. It was kind of hard being around for the family catch up, hearing my grandma and her sisters talk and brag about who is having babies, or so and so and her 5th kid. Never did they mention us in the bragging list. It is kind of frustrating having to remind people that we will have a child too.

Today we got to talk with Hubb's stepdad, who is by the way a true southern boy. I love him but he is crazy and thinks he knows everything and never shuts up! When we brought up the adoption he ranted for a little while about how we better have legal contracts that say what the birthmother can and cant do because there are crazy people in the world and she could come back one day and kidnap our baby and be in mexico in no time. We assured him that we would talk to the social worker and ask about that (yea right) Hubbs asked about race and ethnicity I dont remember exactly how it came up, I think he just asked, and stepdad said that he would love whatever child we had just like he had raised Hubbs as his own. It was really sweet and then he quickly returned to the crazy mother rant.

The only somewhat negative response we got was from Hubbs' Nana and Aunt D (stepdads moma and sister) It was kind of strange. I was able to spend some time with Aunt D and tried to talk about it a little bit but she was not taking the bait. She was stone silent and didnt even seem like she was paying attention. Ussually she is real talkative, It seemed wierd. With Nana, Hubbs asked her if she had any questions, and she said No, she didnt want to know anything about it. (wow) Then there was silence. What do you say after that? Hubbs said that was ok, and she mumbled something about it being a different way of doing things and things happen or something and that was it. Very strange because I expected the exact opposite from both nana and Aunt D. It was like we struck a sore subject or a dark family secret that we dont know about. I am hoping that maybe they were just having a bad day and that it will change when there is an actual child. The good thing is this is family that we dont see very often maybe once or twice a year, so hopefully it will get better, but if not they will not be a huge influence in our child's life. (I kind of feel bad writting that)

So I guess so far so good. The main players are on borad and supportive. Tomorrow we will see Hubbs dad and Kari (the sometimes evil sometimes lovely girlfriend/stepmom) spend a few days there and then to His Mom's and hopeful not encounter her deadbeat boyfriend that just got them into a car accident because he was drunk and ran into a pile of dirt. (Classy)

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, I probably wont be able to update again until after the newyear.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Visiting with Family and talking about Adoption

Hubbs and I have talked a lot about what we would be open to as to a child's race, background and medical issues. It is a lot to work through, they have a form that asks you about every combination of ethnicity on the planet.

This was not a hard conversation for us, when we heard that there are certain races that are less wanted, that was all we needed to hear. There should never be a child or group of people described as less wanted. The idea of building a multi-ethnic family kind of excites us. I know that we will be different and it will come with a lot of challenges, but I think we are up for it.

Before we fill out the form the way we would feel comfortable we feel like we have to talk to all of our family about how they would feel. This makes me nervous. There is no way that we could say yes to having an African American child if one of their grandparents wouldn't be ok with it. I think they all will, but I dont know for sure. There are a lot of people in the world that say they are not racist but would not want their family to be multiethnic. Maybe we are being to worried, but we feel we just need to talk about it. So the plan is to talk about it while we are visiting for Christmas. We have already talked with my parents and they already expected and are as excited as we are.

Now the fun part is how to not just walk in the door pass out the presents and blurt out so how would you feel about having a hispanic grandchild? It would be a whole lot easier if they brought it up, maybe they will. I really do expect everyone to be ok with it, atleast I really hope they will. I think we will wait until the last day and see if it comes up naturally as they ask us about the process. If not then we will have to bring it up, and just ask the question.

Please pray that everyone is excited and understands and will be loving and accepting of any child that we bring into the family.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

THe Adoption Class

This class was amazing!!

When we walked in the door there was about 8 couples sitting around in a circle, the lady teaching the class was sitting in the front chatting with one of the couples. We signed in and picked up our packet. A 2 inch stack of articles with the top one boldly stating "Parenting".

When we sat down I scanned the room and quickly realized we were the youngest couple there (maybe birth moms like young) everyone looked nice and was quietly talking with their spouse. My husband tried to break the awkward silence with a joking comment about the huge packet, and if anyone had tempted to look through it yet. Well that fell flat! (they are not funny, we are funny, birthmoms like funny) A few glanced up but quickly returned to their own conversations. (who wants unsocial people to parent their child)

The class started with a round of introductions, Hi I am the husband and this is my wife and this is our 2nd class, we are adopting because our equipment doesnt work yada yada. Until one couple mentioned that they were a little distracted because they met with a birthmother that afternoon!! Everyone's ears perked up then and flung the questions, "what did she ask?", "what was she like?", "Did you feel the Connection". They kindly debriefed with us a little but you could tell that they were completely overwhelmed and still processing the day.

The next sections is where the magic happened! An adoptive mother and three of her 6 (Holy Cow!) adoptive children came to speak with us. It was so eye opening to hear these girls talk about their lives and their journey, and to hear their mom tell us about the relationships she had or didn't have with their birth families. Honestly I was and still am completely overwhelmed and still processing all the information. But here are a few things that I learned.

1. I can do this.
The mom that was there sharing with us was no Martha Stuart. She was ruff around the edges normal old mom. and the girls were so well adjusted and had a confidence in who they were. They talked so naturally about their adoption. There was a lot of humor and sarcasm used as they described their situations. It was amazing. It was so empowering to see a normal women just like me have such a successful story! It made me realize that with a lot of love and good parenting that We can do this and have happy normal children who wont resent us for the rest of their lives.

2. Where Facts Flounder, Fantasy Flourishes.
They said that most kids make up a story as to why they were adopted. Some are putting themselves to blame and some are fantasy tales of arriving on the back of a dragon. The point is the more information you can give a child as to their history the less they will have to make it up. Confidence in who they are and who you are is everything, this is what will allow them to be comfortable with their being adopted. The girl that was adopted from Birth had always just known that she was adopted it was talked about often and there was never a sit down day to tell you about your secretive past. This makes sense. And they make great books called "Lifebooks" to help with it. More on that later!

3. Ways to talk about adoption that make sense to a child.
Just listening to the mom and girls talk about adoption was so helpful. Sometimes I just dont know how to describe it or what the proper way to say stuff is. The mom told her children that while they were growing in their birthmom's tummy that they were growing in their heart. How sweet is that! Another one: She told her son that his birthmom could be that his birthmom but she knew that she couldnt be his everyday mommy and so she came and found her to be his everyday mommy. How respectful and loving towards the birthmom! Totally keeping these ones in the arsinal.

4. People will say stupid stuff but with a little humor and sarcasm you will make it through.
Those girls had so much fun messing with people! The older girl was Hispanic and she told a story about how she was looking for her mom in the stands one day after band practice. A friend came over and said oh I bet I could pick her out. Her response, Sure go ahead and try! After her friend pointed to every Hispanic women in the crowd, she proudly pointed out her mom, the short blond on the front row. The whole story was told with laughter. There were stories about explaining to people they were sisters, and people asking the mom about the dad and what he looked like, and every kind of stupid question you could think of. Each response was sarcastic and funny, and made the situation light hearted.

There is a ton more but again I am still processing. Our next class is in January, many of the same couples will be there, maybe they will talk more next time. Maybe I will feel more comfortable next time, and less judgmental (probably not).

Hubbs and I leave tomorrow to go and visit family for Christmas. I will be in and out but hopefully not completely silent. It will be good (I hope) to see family but we will definitely need your prayers and strength. There will be lots of adoption and baby conversations, so pray that we will be able to utilize the humor and sarcasm trick well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prayer Request

Sorry that I have not updated yall on the class, it was awesome and I was going to post about it today until I got this phone call.

My friends mom called to ask me to pray today. Megan (the friend) has gone into earlier labor at 24 weeks. This is their first baby and they are a very young couple. The mom was at work and had no one else's phone number to call, so I was asked to be in charge of getting the word out for people to pray.

At first I didnt think anything about it and sprung to action calling friends. Of course I got voicemail because no one seems to answer their phones these days. I quickly told them the situation, but then i started to say Let's all pray and ask God to work, and it all fell a part. Ask God to do what? I know He could save their baby, He created the child He can surely protect it, but what if things go wrong, does that mean that we didnt pray hard enough or that God couldnt do it?

All of the feelings of anger and confusing as to how God is working in all things baby came flooding into my heart. I am sure their message makes no sense but hopefully they got the point and i didnt say something insensitive.

The truth of it is I dont understand why some babies dont get to make it. I know with all my heart that God is Holy and Glorious and that He is always working. I just dont understand why.

I wanted to call Megan and Matt and let them know that I was praying and thinking about them as well. This message was equally as hard and confusing. I didnt know what to say. I am praying that GOD will save their baby and that Megan would be fine, but I know that isnt gaurnteed. Sometimes it doesnt work out that way, and I didnt want to be pesimistic or rude but I just couldnt say outload that I was praying and believing that everything would be fine. I am praying but believing? Believing is a little harder.

So again I am sorry that I havent written about the meeting yet, I promise it will come soon. I would like to ask you if you would pray for my friend Megan and Matt, that they would be prepared for whatever comes their way and that their faith would sustain them and they would Know that God loves them throughout and they are aloud to be angry for even the thought of bad things happening, but that they will look to God for hope and not blame.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The first adoption class

So I have been really bad this week and havent posted anything since last friday, I was going to do it yesterday, but then it would be another one about my amazing husband, and yes I could write something new about him, that was the last post and I didnt want to double it up. So. Sorry for being quite this week.

Monday we go to our first adoption class. The title is life long adoption issues. pretty much the broadest title in the world but I am really lookng forward to it. I am ready to jump in and take the next step forward. Just filling out paperwork sucks!

I am slightly nervous as well, I guess because I dont know what to expect. There will be other adoptive parents there, and possibly birthmoms as well, and of course the social workers. I feel like every word and action is recorded and kept in a secret file to review later. I am so scared that we will say the wrong thing, be misunderstood, offend someone, or worse, and then they will think we are evil people and never give us a baby!

And the other couples in the room, I really want to see them as fellow sojourners but they are kind of like our competition. I know this is awful to think about, but I DO. Their portfolios will be shown to the same mothers that our portfolio will be shown to. Even though I dont want to I will probably be comparing the other couples, their strengths and weaknesses and ours and wondering who will get a baby first.

I know I am crazy and somewhat of an awful person, but I just had to be honest with what I have been thinking about.

How did some of you adoptive parents overcome this?

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Husband Rocks!!

This is a new thing I am starting. I found it on another blog and loved the idea.
So every friday you write about how your Husband rocks. The point is that so much negativity surrounds marriage relationships and we typically have a bent towards complaining about our spouse. Here is the link so you can read more about it and join in too:

My Husband ROCKS fridays!

My Husband rocks this week because...

Last night we had a Birthday party at our house for one of the college students we work with. We do this for all of them and it is always fun. I always ask them what their favorite cake is and then we have all the young adults from the community over to the house that night, usually around 25ish people in our little house.

The cake that was asked for was fairly time consuming, well he just asked for chocolate with oranges, but I made a 4 layer orange cake with alternating cream and chocolate layers covered with Chocolate Ganache. It was to die for! Hubbs was amazing, knowing that I would need to spend extra time on the cake he cleaned the house, put away all the dishes, complimented me for washing all the dishes and helped get the house prepared for the party.

The cake was a HIT and Hubbs even tried to hide it after everyone had one piece so he could eat the rest of it. I kept pulling it out of the fridge just to find it missing minutes later. I felt loved and acomplished by his praise and love of the cake.

The night ended with everyone leaving and Hubbs and I slow dancing in the living room to michael jackson. I couldnt stop giggling at how funny we must have looked to anyone else at that moment, but I loved it. The room was all romantic too, all the lights were off except for the christmas decorations on the shelf. I loved the spontaneighty of it.

I love my husband, he is hardworking, passionate, and he loves me.

Join the fun and post about your husband too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sharing the News

So we have begun to let the word out. We have been calling close friends and family, sending out emails, and today I am writing our December newsletter. To be honest I was really anxious about this because I thought there would be a flood of questions and stupid comments and that just hasn't happened. All we have gotten is support and encouragement, and a ton of excitement! What a blessing. I should be more trusting of people.

A small update: We laid in bed on saturday and filled out paper work. Joy! They ask some really hard questions. We wrote until our brains were exhausted but it felt good to get a little bit of it behind us.

Then I gave the blog a makeover, what do you think? I needed a more happy space, Hope and Joy are part of my life again, and I wanted to show that off. And Blue and Brown are the colors we are going to use in the baby room! It is so much fun thinking about decorating a baby room! More on that later.